"But Dani! We have the Seminary, and the priory and an amazing campus ministry!"
I have heard this one a lot. Yes we have a seminary and a Priory. They are very well and good but they truly do not define the Catholicity of UD. Campus Ministry does. And while I like the majority of the people in Campus ministry, I do find disagreement with the head chaplain, Fr. JD. (side note: this is why I was punched: I said that Fr. JD needs to be replaced to improve the Catholic Character of UD. Needless to say, the aggressor likes JD a lot and and vehemently disagreed with me and did not wish for me to share my views on this matter in public or anywhere else. This has provoked me to write this note.)
At this point, I expect many of you to stop reading this, shake your head and leave an explosive comment. You may even blow up at me in person later this week. That is your issue. I expect to catch flak for this. You can tell me it is not my place to criticize clergy. This may be true, for some I may be undermining the establishment of the priesthood. For others, it is their opinion that none should ever criticize a priest. I expect they said the same thing for Fr. Maciel. Do not know who he is? Look him up. Read anything by the New Oxford Review about him. Criticism is good when it is necessary. If you do not want to see my personal critical opinion of Fr. JD, then stop reading now because you will get angry.
Fr. JD is a nice man. In fact, he is very nice. His character is not flawed in his interactions with other people. He is sociable and easy to talk to. These are qualities of a good campus ministry chaplain. Of this I have no problem, in fact I do praise him for it. However, what does bug me is his celebration of the mass, or rather, the specific liturgical changes as well as a few other things. As for the liturgical changes, I cite his frequent replacing of the word "Father" from the liturgy and replacing it with "One" or less often, "Creator". On occasion he will remove entire parts from the liturgy to avoid saying "Father". If you pay attention during mass they you have probably already noticed this. In the liturgy it says before the Lord's Prayer "Jesus taught us to call God Our Father...".
Minor right? perhaps. perhaps not. I do not know the reasons why but I wish i did. Other things that bug me are : the informality of the mass it feels like a dinner, not the sacrifice of the Crucifixion relived or the solemnity of the Last Supper. It seems to lack respect. Why do I say this? Because: the manner of the sign of peace destroys any reverence for the Eucharist that was there before especially with the manner in which Fr. JD repeats himself by waving frantically at everyone, pointing at some and making the peace sign repeatedly. And yes he is repeating himself because he says :"Peace be with you" we respond "and also with you" then he may say (is not required to but does anyways, nothing wrong with that) "you may now offer one another the sign of peace". So him doing Jazz hands and pointing like our President and making the peace sign is extra. And it breaks from the solemnity of the mass. From the USCCB General Instruction of the Roman Missal(GIRM): The Rite of Peace
82. The Rite of Peace follows, by which the Church asks for peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament.
As for the sign of peace to be given, the manner is to be established by Conferences of Bishops in accordance with the culture and customs of the peoples. It is, however, appropriate that each person offer the sign of peace ***only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner***.
His homilies are occasionally also a topic of frustration to me. For example, on All Saints day, or at least on the Vigil mass, his homily consisted of this message "Celebrate yourselves! You are saints because you are part of the communion of Saints!"
- I am not a saint because a saint is someone who is either canonized by the Church or someone who is in Heaven. Seeing as I fulfill neither of those I cannot be a saint. The definition of the Princeton Dictionary:a person who has died and has been declared a saint by canonization.
- All saints day is: Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honor all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year. (New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia).
I am not dead. I am not canonized. I am not a saint. A theologian told me this bordered on Heresy. But I will reserve judgment seeing as he was not there.
What else? Minor things perhaps. He wears tennis shoes to mass and his vestments do not cover them up. He never seems to be wearing his cassock and maybe I'm just missing it. He does not genuflect after the Consecration. I am pretty sure that the proper order of the mass calls for genuflection to the holy presence of the Eucharist. And it does: once again with the GIRM: Genuflections and Bows
274. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.
During Mass, three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant: namely, after the showing of the host, after the showing of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. above, nos. 210-251).
If he is unable to genuflect, then this only shows another problem.
According to the Diocese of Dallas, retirement age for priests is 75. I believe I have heard that Fr. JD is over that point. His health interfering in the sacrifice of the Mass does not speak well of UD. HIs health should not interfere with his work in Campus ministry.
Other things. I have heard rumors (and just this and pending verification) that Fr. JD denied a senior gift of across to place atop the Church because he "wanted people to look harder for the church".
Personal problem. When I was in my parish at home, I would receive communion while on my knees at my parish. I was very much offended when I was told by Father to get up. This was at the first mass I attended here at UD. This made me very unhappy.(side note: the proper method according to GIRM or receiving is standing)
Right now I am very tired and find myself unable to finish this note. I will return and finish it next week. However I will leave you all with this. If you disagree with me and my argument I will ask you to please not overreact to me. I know there si a strong following here at UD in support of Fr. JD. This note is not to defraud JD but to simply point out some things that I myself am worried about. If you do not like the fact that I am publishing his publicly then I am afraid to say it but too bad. It have every right to publish this and my argument wherever I wish and Take note that this document in no way attacks the character of Fr. JD but merely some of his practices. I hold a deep seated respect to all those who are clergy and Fr. JD is included. However I strongly believe is standing up for what is right and the discovery of the truth. I will not stop until I know the truth. Feel free to comment but please be civil.