Boston and Syracuse

Last evening, Tuesday, I spoke in Boston — again in a Protestant church.  The event was organised and run by Dignity, the organisation that works for equality for LGBT people, so there was a definite flavour of that particular issue about my time there.  The church was not very conducive to good communication, with only one fixed microphone, and an echo in the building. So, rather than having people speak up themselves after I had finished, cards were given out and people wrote in their questions.  I wasn’t very comfortable with that, because I don’t like presenting myself as something of an expert, with an answer to every question.

Then this morning I took an early flight to Syracuse on a small propellor plane, which did some fairly scary dancing around as it came down through a bank of thick cloud;  but it landed safely.  After a short break I had an interview with a local radio station, and then a meeting with about twenty five priests. That surprised me. I suppose I did not expect to many clergy to come out and meet me. We had a very good discussion about the state of the Church on both sides of the Atlantic for about an hour and a half.

Shortly I will be brought to dinner, and then to the venue for tonight’s talk.

Intentional Eucharistic Communities>

This is a movement that is developing rapidly over here, and seems to be spreading right around the country. Small groups of people are coming together and forming themselves into what they call Eucharistic Communities.  They meet regularly in various venues. They reflect on the Word of God together, pray, and celebrate the Eucharist. In most cases there would not be a priest present, and either some one of the group would lead the celebration, or they might all say the eucharistic prayer together. These groups sometimes come from parishes that have been closed down, but more often from people who get tired of what they find in their local church. Sometimes they are people who have largely disassociated themselves from the local church, maybe because they have a very traditional, authoritarian priest; but other times they are the really committed people, who have a record of long involvement at parish or diocesan level, but who are looking for a more meaningful celebration.

I find this development very interesting, and I believe that as numbers of priest continue to decline, and Church authorities continue to refuse to face the obvious, more and more people will go to these types of communities. So the official Church could end up cutting its own throat by refusing to do something about the impending “eucharistic famine”