Sep 24, 2005

Good to the last drop

This is what I call baptism, Hollywood style. The priest is Jesuit Father Michael J. Mandala, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood. Here he is performing a baptism during the 2005 Easter Vigil extravaganza. You can almost hear him exclaim with a certain panache, "voilà," as he empties the contents of the iced tea pitcher onto the slightly traumatized convert. To his credit, though, Father Mandala resists the temptation to jump into the baptismal pool along with the young woman. That maneuver must be just a Paulist thing.


Anonymous Sock said...

Hooray for Hollywood, that screwy, bally hooey Hollywood.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like a comedy show. You couldn't make this stuff up. About the "Paulist thing", I have seen other priest jump into the hot tub with the converts.Does it take away from the joy and beauty of the sacrament?Yes!

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah, our Pastor here at our parish in the diocese of Monterey does the exact same thing. Actually, I don't know if he did it this year, as I do not go to any of the local Easter Vigils, but in the past he has, and I have taken pictures (not as good as on onelacatholic) of the goings-on. We just can't have people dressed in their Sunday best and have the water poured over their heads, they have to be humiliated by wearing some thin brown cloth that when wet just might show through? OK, let the anger subside...

Upside: Our pastor will be taking a sabbatical for the first six months of next year.

The downside: We get a Precious Blood priest who in my opinion is even worse. What is this One Monterey Diocese Catholic to do? September third has come and gone.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

We do it like this at Holy Family Parish in Newark, Delaware, and I don't see a thing wrong with it. I am usually in tears at this part of our Easter Vigil service, and not tears of anger or chagrin. My nose starts prickling as we sing the Litany of the Saints, with its explicit addressing of the cloud of witnesses who have come before. By the time the folks are in their "thin brown" robes getting water poured on them, I am openly weeping for the joy of receiving more souls into the Church.


3:10 AM  
Anonymous Sock said...

The sacraments are outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace. One would think that these signs ought to taken seriously and solemnly by both the recipient and the administer of the sacrament.

That’s what I was taught anyway.

Today, the sacraments are “celebrations” of the “community.” (translation: Put on your party hat, were going to have fun.)

I believe that this case (along with numerous other examples throughout the country) demonstrates the carnival mentality created purposefully to entertain dumbed-down, anything-goes congregants. The grin on this priests face as he appears to look toward the audience for approval/applause, confirms it.

These folks can keep their parties. I’ll stick with “bells & smells.”

Unity in diversity, Yeehaw!

6:33 AM  
Blogger Non Sum Dignus said...


For Todays Busy Catholic Presider On The Go!

When proper catechesis is a wee bit too much... "Insta-Convert"!

Just Add Water! Just like sea-monkeys!

6:40 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

At one time, Blessed Sacrament/Hollywood was the parish affiliation of Roger Wagner, (RIP), KCSG and mentor of Paul Salamunovich, KCSG.

Somehow, I don't think Roger would approve....

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Xochilt said...


Speaking of weeping, look at the face of that poor girl! And I agree with Sock, the priest in that pic is a showman. He's entertaining the "audience." The focus is not on God the Holy Trinity entering into the life of that most likely poorly catechised young woman. This is a trivialization of the holy. Why does joy have to be raucous?

7:10 AM  
Blogger hilary said...

The thing that gets me is that he is obviously playing this to the crowd as a joke. That poor woman, no doubt in good faith, wanted to enter the Church and has had her solemn rite of baptism, probably the most important event in her life, turned into a Gong Show gag. With the priest standing there soaking up the laughs and, doubtless, the applause. I'd be mad enough to sue.

10:47 AM  

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