Square Zero

Ye Olde McWalBucks Shoppe

Posted by Eric (December 5, 2006 at 3:31 pm)

ShopI was quite pleased with myself the other day for coming up with the term “McWalBucks” to describe the takeover of all commercial activity by massive retail chains and the attendant homogenization of the landscape and indeed of the entire culture. However, a Google search of the term yielded no fewer than nineteen original uses of the term, going back at least as far as 2004, including the site McWalBucks.com, which appears to be some kind of front for a rap music recording business. Pretty clever.

So while I can’t claim to have invented the term McWalBucks, I can at least aspire to hit Google Post #1 with this blog. There are but 19 links to supercede. So I ask you—please to link to this post. We’ll see where we rank in a search for “McWalBucks” in a couple weeks.

But back to the subject at hand: the homogenization of American culture. What got me thinking about all this was, of all things, chocolate. I was wishing there were a local chocolatier that we could patronize for our Christmas stocking candy, rather than the lumps of high fructose corn syrup mass produced by the major chocolate conglomerates.

We usually buy our holiday candy from Fannie May; their candy is very good and they’re based in Chicago—sort of. They’re actually owned by 1-800-Flowers, based in New York, and operated by Alpine Confections, based in Utah. Anyway, much better stuff than Hershey’s or Nestle.

But what I’d really like is a small chocolate shop, making their own candies with their own recipes and simple basic ingredients. I know such places exist, and of course I’d expect to pay much more for chocolate. That would mean eating a lot less chocolate. I wouldn’t say I’m a moderate chocolate eater, but chances are I eat less candy than your average person; I rarely buy the regular candy bars because I just don’t like the taste of things sweetened with that poison; plus quite a few weeks out of the year I’m fasting from such things anyway.

But you know, I think I might be willing to make that trade off—to eat less of good things in order to enjoy a higher quality and buy locally.

It seems to me that the whole McWalBucks thing depends on massive consumption. Could the big chocolate companies survive if people enjoyed chocolate more moderately? Would there even be such a thing as “Holiday M&Ms” if people took Advent seriously as a time of fasting and preparation rather than a crescendo of indulgence?

What I really want to know if it’s inevitable for big holding companies to absorb or destroy all the smaller businesses. Could it have worked out any other way? Is there a parallel universe with paved roads, penicillin and PHP, but without the same insipid strip mall stamped into the landscape from coast to coast?

I often wonder if the many of the plagues of modernity—not just consumerism and cultural homogenization, but much worse things like abortion, euthanasia, pornography and the dismemberment of the family—are almost what you might call mathematical necessities of the modern age.

I don’t have the space or time here to connect the dots, but it is hard to imagine a world with such modern delights as SRAM X-9 shifters or the Guttenberg Project without Internet pornography and “gay marriage.” I wonder.

Now, here is where I ought to bring things around to some kind of hopeful thought, preferably with a Christmas theme. But this is Advent—the Christmas or Philip’s Fast, or Little Lent, to Byzantines—and I think it’s worthwhile to leave it there, with these dark thoughts about the nature of our world. There is something wrong about it, basically, deeply, inevitably wrong here.

Ponder that. And save the chocolate for Christmas.

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21 Responses to “Ye Olde McWalBucks Shoppe”

  1. Very Rev. Fr. Gregori says:

    Too bad, how sad! Gone are the days of walking past the neighborhood bakery and joyfully filling one’s nostrils with the delightful smells of fresh baked cookies, cakes, pies, breads and rolls.

    Gone are the days of running down to the family owned corner grocery store, or as a special treat, going to the neighborhood Candy Shop to get a bag of homemade candies and chocolates.

    Globalization and corporatization has completely destroyed the pleasant “old fashioned” way of doing things. And this goes for how families are raised and even what constitutes a family. Now with all of the “Mega” churches and on-line churches, even our church attendance is being controlled.

    Yep, if it ain’t broke, fix it till it is.

    “Abouna”

    Comment posted December 5th, 2006 at 6:21 pm
  2. Karen says:

    I’ll link to this post, Eric… it’s a good one.

    Have you ever visited Rod Dreher’s “Crunchy Con” blog, or read his book by the same title? He has coined this title to describe political conservatives who don’t fit the mold of “Republican conservatives”… who are as suspicious of big business of they are of big government, and who advocate supporting small businesses and getting back to a family-centered, simpler life. Sometimes crunchy conservatives are accused of being liberals (in part because they are also also big on saving the environment and favor organic and home-grown food).

    For the record, I HATE Wal-Mart, and am proud to say that I haven’t set foot in one in almost a year.

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 8:27 am
  3. Very Rev. Fr. Gregori says:

    Karen, I must be as “crunchy” as they come, because I miss the days when food tasted and smelled like food.

    When I was little, my favorite seasons were spring and summer, because when we went outside, and people had their windows open, we could smell the aroma of fresh brewed coffee coming from a house all the way down the end of the block. When our German/American neigbors cooked sourbraten, the whole neighborhood knew it.

    I loved going into an Italian food import shop just to smell the aroma of what I called Italian perfume, a mixture of the smells of olives, various cheeses and cappacola (an Italian spiced ham). I remember the old family owned butcher shops with the smell of fresh saw-dust sprinkled on wooden floors and the smell of fresh sliced cold cuts and how the butcher would hand you a slice of what ever meats you were buying, to taste it. When I was just waking up in the morning and my mother would just come in the house from an early morning grocery shopping trip, I always knew when she bought bananas, because their aroma filled the whole house.

    I remember when we used to go to a shoe store to buy shoes, a hardware store to buy tools, nails, screws and other hardware, a neighborhood drug store to fill perscriptions and buy other medicines. Now days with all of the big mega stores and one stop shopping, businesses have lost their personal touch and all of the fast grown and processed foods have all lost their individual flavors and aromas.

    I must admit that I really miss the open air markets that I used to frequent when I was in Vietnam.

    “Abouna”

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 1:12 pm
  4. Eric says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Fr. Gregori—here and elsewhere on the blog; I’m glad you found us here!

    Karen—yes, I’m familiar with the Crunchy Con thing, and sympathize with much of it; I live in an old house, attend a traditional liturgy, and try to eat healthy, local foods.

    Rod Dreyer was criticized, though, for not providing any kind of solution to the problem in his book. I can appreciate why not. As my reflections above indicate, I’m not sure there is an antidote to McWalBucks. I’m open to ideas, though.

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 1:32 pm
  5. Denise says:

    I also wish it could be different. But there is no other option here. I don’t know of any locally owned stores where I could afford to buy groceries, clothing, or household sundries for my family of eight children & husband. We don’t seem to be breaking even buying at K-Mart…,we could never afford anything from a local meat market or chocolatier or baker. So I guess I’m glad we have K-Mart, in a sense.
    But maybe we would be better off if the only stores were specialty…then we would be forced to eat only the healthiest of oatmeal for our one meal per day, for example, and we would truly rejoice at the single precious orange in our stocking.
    I really do agree with you at heart, though. And maybe I’ll try a little harder to find ways to simplify. I do think that we
    American consumers have become much too dependent upon our box-stores. We would have a hard time functioning without our mass-produced cheap merchandise. And someday, that dependency will cause the majority of people to violate their own principles, if indeed that day hasn’t already arrived (e.g. buying at Wal-Mart & Target in spite of their well-known active support of gay marriage & abortion).

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 2:31 pm
  6. Very Rev. Fr. Gregori says:

    Denise,
    As I see it, the biggest things that has led to the demise of healthy eating and the unhurried days of shopping, has been “Free Trade” and “Globalization”. This has led to many of the other social and moral problems facing our society today, not just here but all around the world.

    There was a time when the United States was supposed to be a government “by the people”, “for the people” and “of the people”. Those days are gone because with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, our government has been hijacked by bankers and Wall Street tycoons. We are now a government by, for and of big business, banks and rich folks who can afford to buy politicians and law makers.

    There was a time when people had a real “work ethic” and there was a pride in workmanship. Not so today. Employers are more concerned with mass production and everything seems to be made with built-in obsolesence so that they will wear out or break at a set time, thus causing the consumer to have to repurchase items over and over again, unlike the good old days when things lasted for years and many appliances could be repaired at rather low cost. Now it would cost as much, if not more to repair something as it would be to buy a new item.

    This “hurry up and produce more even at the cost of quality” mentality has even affected our agriculture, poultry and meat industry whereby everything is injected or sprayed with all kinds of chemicals and hormones which I believe has a lot to do with so many of the health issues facing humankind today. And, sad to say, our children have been so dumbed down in the public schools and through mass media into accepting all of this.

    I am afraid that the only solution to this mess is when Jesus Christ returns. The alternative is not very pretty, and that would be an uprising on the part of the majority of people to take back our government from corporations, bankers and special interest groups and force the government to start following the Constitution as the founding fathers intended it, not what political action groups and liberal judicial activist judges want it to mean. And to bring decent morality back into our daily lives. To do this, will take intestinal fortitude and most likely will cost many lives.

    But to just sit back and do nothing will only bring us more of the same and the complete erosion of our freedoms and rights. Darned if we do and darned if we don’t.

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 4:19 pm
  7. Karen says:

    Fr. Gregori, that sounds so nice! I never experienced that… my parents did, though. I think a lot of people are nostalgic for the “good old days.”

    Eric, I know what you mean about Rod not providing solutions to the problem of the corportate huggenots… I guess we as individuals have to actively choose to reject the culture of consumerism… it’s not that easy, though. Most of us can’t just pick up and become farmers like some of the people Dreher interviewed.

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 7:26 pm
  8. James Macchione says:

    It’s odd that you would lump gay marriage and internet pornography into a post with which I otherwise completely agree. Pornography and same sex relationships are not a result of mass globalization. They have been around forever, it is simply the vehicle for their distribution that has changed. You and I will never see eye to eye on anything relating to the realm of sexuality.

    But onto where we agree…technology and progress invariably lead to mass marketing and mass production. The reason for this of course is capitalism. While I am not a socialist, there can be little arguing against the many problems inherent in a society based on financial gain as the ultimate end. Wal-Mart can sell crap and refuse health benefits and underpay their workers because the stockholders demand a higher return. McDonalds can pump their drinks full of high fructose corn syrup while ladling gobs of transfat onto their fries because its cheaper, people don’t know any better, and it helps the bottom line.

    When Exxon Mobil can make 10 billion dollars in PROFIT in three months while any one person starves or goes without health insurance or is forced to feed his family prepackaged tripe is simply inhuman and unholy. Things like this require change on the simplest levels. Don’t buy McDonald’s, don’t shop at Walmart. Shop locally, make your own cookies, refuse to paricipate in the stock market. Let Phillip Morris know how you feel about their cigarettes polluting our lungs and our air, let Anheisur-Busch or Miller know how you feel about the way they ojectify women to sell their beer.

    While you and I don’t agree on a good handful of topics, mass capitalism on such a frighteningly wretched scale, with so little concern for our smallest and frailest neighbor or friend, with a focus simply on turning 10 billion dollars this quarter into 11 billion dollars the next quarter into 12 billion dollars the following quarter will only continue to dehumanize all of the small people and small companies and small ideas that have always been inherent to exactly what it is that makes us closer to our spirituality and closer to where we came from.

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 9:11 pm
  9. Francis says:

    Eric,

    My apologies for posting this on a random thread, but I wasn’t sure if you’d see comments on the older posts. Onto my thoughts if you don’t mind:

    I wandered here through a link over at BEMA and, of course, read your piece “Catholic vs. Orthodox.” As a Latin Rite Catholic (literally, I attend the Latin Mass, not the Novus Ordo) with only a handful of Eastern friends, I found your material (as well as that posted by others in the comment section) to be quite intriguing. Thank you for educating the Romans/Latins of the world. =P One quick question did arise in my mind though ’bout this portion of your text:

    “Both parishes are working to restore Byzantine tradition. Annunciation is doing so agressively; two parishes and a mission were combined in 1999 in a new temple build in strict accordance with tradition, and the pastor, Fr. Tom Loya, is working tirelessly to restore Byzantine Catholic identity not only within the Ruthenian Church but throughout the Eastern and Western Christian worlds.”

    I have gone to Fr. Loya’s parish once for their weekday Divine Liturgy, and I was astounded by the beautiful icons. As well, after the DL, one of the parishioners approached me, offering to give a tour and a brief explanation of the traditions of the Byzantine world (that really is what I perceive it to be, not just something confined to a handful of parishes here and there). Anyway, onto my question, what steps (exactly) are Fr. Loya trying to take in order to restore Byzantine tradition? Obviously, all of the beautiful iconography (and a great parish) are steps in the right direction, but what else does he do? (Not criticising, just curious!)

    In a similar line of thought, how’re the Romanians? I’ve been thinking about stopping in there one of these Sundays and was curious as to your thoughts on the church. I read your brief comments about the modernisations/Latinisations, but do you like the parish otherwise? Is the DL reverent? etc.

    Lastly, as a “Latin Riter” (as some of my Orthodox buddies tease me about), I’m always curious to find a place that still uses Old Church Slavonic. I realise that this is highly controversial amongst Easternerns (liturgical language vs. vernacular), but it only seems proper as a Western Catholic to want to hear that language when attending a DL. Any recommendations? Some friends overseas (who have been to the area) suggested the Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Holy Trinity, as I’m sure you’re well aware), but I’d obviously prefer a Catholic parish. I doubt I’ll find one anytime soon, but I figured I’d ask.

    Thanks for listening and also for a great blog! ^.^

    Francis

    Comment posted December 6th, 2006 at 9:27 pm
  10. Very Rev. Fr. Gregori says:

    Francis,

    I hope you don’t mind my butting into this one, but I was somewhat taken by your last statement in your comment that you would prefer a Catholic parish.

    Please do not be offended by what I am going to say, because that is not my purpose for writing this, but we of the Orthodox Church, be it Russian, Serbian, Greek, etc, consider ourselves to be Catholic as well as Orthodox. We are Orthodox because we hold to right, true or correct doctrine, teachings, which were handed down from the early Church Fathers and we are Catholic because we are universal. There are Orthodox churches in just about every country of the world, including communist China. If you really want to hear the Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic, don’t be afraid to attend a Russian Orthodox Church, they don’t bite. After all, the Byzantine Rite Churches that are under the jurisdiction of Rome, are Uniate Churches that were once part of the Orthodox Church.

    Now, just for a little added something extra, have you ever heard the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Aramaic language which was the language spoken by Jesus? It is very interesting and beautiful, but you would have to find a Syriac or Syro-Malabar Church to hear it, but it would be well worth it.

    I started life out as a Roman Catholic Latin Rite, but I switched to the Byzantine Melkite Rite when I was 13/14 yrs. old, due to the drastic changes that followed Vatican II. I began seminary training a year later, but due to Roman Catholic Canon law, I was told that I could not be ordained as an Eastern Rite priest because I had to be ordained in the Rite of my father (he was Latin Rite), so I entered an Orthodox monastery, became Orthodox Catholic, completed my studies in the monastery and was ordained a priest in 1983. We each have our own path to walk on our spiritual journey.

    God bless you on your journey.
    Fr. “Abouna” Gregori

    Comment posted December 7th, 2006 at 1:17 am
  11. Generations for Life » Blog Archive » Helping Out a Co-Blogger says:

    […] Eric is asking bloggers to link to “Ye Olde McWalBucks Shoppe”, a post at his other blog, Square Zero. […]

    Comment posted December 7th, 2006 at 9:53 am
  12. Francis says:

    Fr. Gregori,

    Please do not be offended by my comment. Although I am willing to visit Orthodox parishes, I’m sure you can understand why I wouldn’t want to regularly attend the DL at an Orthodox church (as I could never receive the Sacraments, etc.). Especially being that I am a Latin Rite Catholic, it is even highly frowned upon that we have anything to do with the Orthodox, which I find to be quite silly. I’m trying to find the middle road here, so just give me some time to figure things out. ~.^

    As to Aramaic and the Syro-Malabar Church, I am familiar with the Saint Thomas Diocese here in Chicago. I have yet to attend their liturgies, but I was quite frightened when one of my Syro-Malabar friends (who frequents the Novus Ordo when he can’t make it to his own church) said that his church was essentially the same as my former Novus Ordo parish. Beyond the ethnic differences of the laity, he couldn’t point out a single difference. Of course, I probably should go check it out for myself, but that did indeed scare me away a bit.

    As to your own switches, it was my understanding that one could officially switch rites once in his lifetime by contacting the present bishop and the future bishop. I know of a handful of people who did this, but it was probably at least a decade or so after you tried (early 90s). It is unfortunate what is happening here amongst our bishops.

    Lastly, what do you think of the Melkites? We do have a Melkite parish here (in Chicagoland), which I have visited several times. Although it definitely had an “Eastern” feel to it, I was a quite astonished when they had the “sign of peace.” I don’t remember seeing that at any other Byzantine parish nor in the rubrics for the DL. Have they gotten this from the Novus Ordo? Or perhaps this is just a curious Melkite thing?

    I suppose I’ll stop taking up space on Eric’s page here.

    Thanks for responding, Father!

    Francis.

    Comment posted December 7th, 2006 at 10:16 am
  13. CC says:

    This was a good post, I’ll link you.

    I have also questioned the pros versus the cons of all the discoveries, the moving-forward stuff… there always seems to be a “bad” that comes with the “good.”

    With the invention of instant communication, we gave up the benefit of face-to-face meetings. With the invention of the cell phone, we give up the right to get away and spend time alone. How many times have you seen a man out to dinner with his wife when “work” calls him? My own father won’t even go on vacation without his cell phone, and he often wakes at midnight because “work” calls and he has to get up and go back to work to fix the problem. With cars came an increase in air pollution. With video games came a reduction in kids going outside and playing with friends. With the radio and television came trash. With modern medicine also came birth control, abortion, cosmetic surgery, and now we have “desisn your baby” on the horizon with genetic alterating.

    Just some stuff to think about…

    CC

    Comment posted December 7th, 2006 at 3:55 pm
  14. Very Rev. Fr. Gregori says:

    Francis,
    When I was with the Melkite Rite Church, we did not have the “Sign of Peace”, it must be something that the particular parish priest started there.

    I am surprised that you cannot receive the Eucharist from the Orthodox Church. I often give communion to Roman Catholics and here where I live (Western New York) many Orthodox will occasionally attend Mass at a Roman Catholic Church and receive the Eucharist.

    God Bless’
    “Abouna” Gregori

    Comment posted December 7th, 2006 at 4:32 pm
  15. Francis says:

    Father,

    Although I am not familiar with the protocol in the American Orthodox Church, it has always been my understanding that Catholics are not permitted to receive communion at an Orthodox church and vice versa. Despite some of the overabundance of “ecumenism” in the Novus Ordo, I have been otherwise taught (by traditionalists of many varieties) the above.

    I do know of some heterodox Greek kids who receive at any church they happen to be in, but that’s more an issue of a lack of understanding and/or a rejection of the age-old teachings on transubstantiation. Quite unfortunate.

    Perhaps you could provide me some information on your situation there?

    Thanks,

    Francis

    PS. I’d be willing to hear what everyone else has to say on anything I’ve posted here (and am particularly awaiting Eric’s thoughts). Also, Eric, if this is getting way out of topic, I’d be more than happy to go elsewhere. Thanks for everyone’s patience. ~.^

    Comment posted December 7th, 2006 at 10:39 pm
  16. Eric says:

    Francis—Thanks for your interest in my comments on the Byzantine Church. To answer your first point, I recently installed a WordPress “most recent comments” plug-in on the Square Zero homepage to help me—and visitors—see comments on articles that were posted a while back.

    You asked what else, besides restoring the liturgy, Fr. Tom Loya is doing at Annunciation Church to restore Byzantine traditions. But I think Fr. Gregori would agree with me that to restore Byzantine liturgy is to restore Byzantine tradition.

    There is in the Byzantine tradition a far closer link between liturgy and the entire spirituality of the Church. If you want to learn Eastern Christian theology, you do better to attend many liturgies—especially Vespers, Matins and other liturgies besides Sunday Divine Liturgy (Jerusalem Matins, for example)—than to read a book about it. Books are great, but even then you’ll find that Eastern Christian writers will always speak of the liturgy when explaining the faith.

    That said, there are other areas where Byzantine traditions have decayed, and Fr. Tom has worked on those areas as well. Two that come first to mind are restoring a more rigorous adherence to the traditional fasts (Great Lent, of course, but also the pre-Christmas “Philip’s Fast”, Apostles Fast before the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and the Dormition Fast); and encouraging the praying of the Jesus Prayer as the primary personal Byzantine devotion (the Jesus Prayer is so central to Eastern Christianity that it is often called simply “The Prayer”—see it here).

    As for St. George in Aurora, I encourage you to come some Sunday for Divine Liturgy (at 10 a.m.). You ask if it’s reverent, but honestly I don’t know how to conceive of an irreverent Divine Liturgy; the vestments, the icons, the incense, the chant all weigh against the very possibility of anything but reverence, which is part of its genius.

    You won’t find the sign of peace at D.L. at St. George, but you will find kneelers, and the congregation does kneel at those points you’d expect it in a Latin Rite church. This is something that I hope will change in due course; I don’t kneel on Sunday, but quite often I’m up front cantoring where I wouldn’t kneel anyway.

    The Romanian chant is quite beautiful; it’s richer and more complex—and often more challenging—than the Ruthenian chant you would have heard at Annunciation.

    But one of the great things about St. George is that we have a fabulous coffee hour after Liturgy, which is actually much more like a brunch. You’ll have the chance to meet folks and ask any questions you have about the liturgy or Byzantine traditions. Hope to see you there sometime!

    A final comment on liturgical language. The liturgies at both St. George and Annunciation are in English, with occasional use of the “old country” language. In the case of the Ruthenians at Annunciation, this would be Slavonic; at St. George, Romanian (they used Slavonic long ago, but consider it a foreign imposition). I think it’s important to honor the historical roots of a parish by keeping the old language alive, but even more important to allow the people to worship the Lord in the language they know.

    All the same, I would love to hear an entire liturgy in Greek, Slavonic, Aramaic or Romanian. In Chicago, if you want to hear something close to Slavonic, you could go to one of the Ukrainian churches, which usually have liturgy in Ukrainian (esp. Volodimir and Olga, which is always in Ukr.).

    Comment posted December 13th, 2006 at 11:49 am
  17. Francis says:

    Eric,

    Thanks for all of your clarifications to all of my questions. I did indeed notice the most recent comments feature…about 30 seconds after I made my initial post. Oh, well. We all survived. =P

    I think I might stop into Annunciation Byzantine this Sunday and then hope to visit St. George or possibly St. Michael the Sunday after that. Speaking of which, do you know much about the latter parish (St. Michael)? It seems to be only a few short miles away from the former.

    As for another comparison, have you been to St. Nicholas (the Ukie Cathedral)? It has been my only experience with the Ukrainians. I did get a chance to look at the OUTSIDE of Volodimir and Olga, but I would like to see the interior (as well as attend a DL there) someday. Do they have a daily DL (like at St. Nicholas)? Or perhaps they follow the more Eastern custom and only celebrate the DL on Sundays?

    I think that’s it (for now). Thanks once again! ^.^

    Francis

    Comment posted December 15th, 2006 at 12:25 am
  18. Eric says:

    Francis—I’ve been to DL at St. Nicholas Cathedral, years ago. I found it interesting, but not compelling in the way Annunciation was for me. The English liturgy is very lightly attended there, and there were no books for guidance.

    I’ve been to St. Michael’s a few times during Lent for Presanctified Liturgy. It’s a much smaller parish than St. George, much more ethnically Romanian in identity and character, and rather more Latinized overall than St. George. I’m not sure how much chanting they do there on a Sunday.

    I can say with a fairly high degree of certitude that you’d feel much more comfortable at St. George.

    Comment posted December 15th, 2006 at 3:29 pm
  19. Very Rev. Fr. Gregori says:

    Eric;
    I do agree that to restore the Byzantine Liturgy is to restore Byzantine Tradition, as without the Bzantine Liturgy, you cannot have Byzantine Tradition.

    Even though we in the Orthodox Church, often speak of the Divine Liturgy, we consider the entire worship (Vespers, Matins, etc.) along with the many traditional fasts as our required service to the Lord. How right you are that one can learn more by attending the various services of the Byzantine and Orthodox Churches then you can by just reading books. Books can give you an over all knowledge, but only actual attendance can give you the true spiritual knowlege.

    And I strongly urge everyone to visit the various ethnic Byzantine or Orthodox Churches as each Church using their native language has its own special beauty and spirituality. During my monastic training, had the pleasure and honor to attend many different ethnic churches which included the following: Ruthenian, Russian, Romanian, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Aramaic, Arabic, Vietnames and even a couple of dialects of Eskimo tribes. I am so glad that I did.

    Comment posted December 17th, 2006 at 11:19 pm
  20. Dr.Dorcell says:

    Comment posted May 2nd, 2007 at 12:45 pm
  21. Paul says:

    Well, this blog thread is rather old, but I just wanted to say to Francis that there is a Romanian Byzantine Catholic Mission in Chicago on Fullerton Ave which has a Sunday Divine liturgy there in Romanian. I attended once a few years ago. The pastor is (or was then) also pastor of the parish in Aurora, St. Michael’s Byzantine Romanian Catholic Church.

    I would encourage you to go to Ss. Volodimyr and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Church sometime. I have not been to a Divine Liturgy but I attended Sunday Vespers twice. There were only three clergy singing this liturgy, but their voices filled that completely traditional church. How glorious!

    I am a Traditional Latin-Rite Catholic who has also been interested in and attended Byzantine, mostly Ruthenian Divine Liturgies, many times at Annunciation Byzantine in Homer Glen. I was seriously considering joining that parish, but the distance to travel to it was prohibitive. Eventually I came to the realization that in my heart and soul I am truly a Latin-Rite Catholic and part of my mission in life is to contribute in some small way to the restoration of the traditional Latin Liturgy.

    I am very blessed to be the cantor and director of the Schola Cantorum at the Shrine of Christ the King, 6415 S. Woodlawn in Chicago. The Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest is there, under the direction of Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General for the Institute and Superior of the American Province, which includes apostolates in Wausau, Green Bay and Cashton, WI, St. Louis and KC, MO, Oakland, CA and most recently in West Orange, NJ.

    God bless everyone.

    Oremus pro invicem.

    Comment posted September 14th, 2007 at 4:37 am
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