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Mass at Holy Cross & St Stanislaus, South Bend, Indiana,
& St Stanislaus, South Bend, Indiana, USA.
of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
One of two churches that comprise the parish, the two congregations
having merged in 2001. It is a light colored Romanesque brick
building. The church area was mainly a square large expanse
that could probably seat 600. On the left and right sides are
seven stained glass windows, each with six panels of stained
glass high. There is also a rose window over the entrance. Beneath
the rose window there is a choir loft, but the organ console
and a piano sit in the sanctuary, and the choir sang from there
also. On either side of the altar are statues of Mary and Jesus.
The parish draws people from all over South Bend, including
some blighted areas. The people that we talked to at the reception
were middle aged, cheerful, and articulate. Some were of Polish
origin; one of us sang in a Polish church in the past and reminisced
with one of the third-generation Polish members. The school
recently expanded and now offers classes from kindergarten through
South Bend is a city in northern Indiana. Once a major industrial
seat and the home of such icons as the Studebaker automobile
factory, the city declined as the 20th century waned, and the
empty shells of some of the old factories stand as a reminder
of former greatness, as do several once-tidy residential neighborhoods
now gone to seed. The University of Notre Dame, a separate political
entity from the city, is a lush, green oasis in stark contrast
to its surroundings. The church is located in an area of small
homes, some of which could use repairs, off a main street in
The Revd Adam D. Booth, CSC (whom we Shipmates know as Hart),
was the principal celebrant of a concelebrated mass, many of
whom were Hart's friends from the seminary. Hart, who had been
ordained the previous day, was celebrating his first mass. Also
assisting were several seminarians not yet in holy orders.
The date & time:
Second Sunday of Easter, April, 27, 2014, 10.30am.
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
Filled with people, a broad spectrum from elderly to babies.
Hart, who had served as a deacon in this parish, is a well loved
member of the community.
Did anyone welcome you
Yes, a greeter.
Was your pew comfortable?
Ordinary wooden seats with kneelers.
How would you describe
the pre-service atmosphere?
We were a little late, as we had gone to the "other"
church in the parish first. We arrived to find a nice reverential
attitude. Mothers with children went to the crying room on the
side well, some of them did anyway (read on!).
What were the exact opening
words of the service?
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
What books did the congregation use during the
The hardbound Gather hymnal found in many Catholic
churches that take their music seriously. Plastic sheet with
the mass responses.
What musical instruments were played?
Organ, piano, and single head African drum.
Did anything distract
An occasional screaming child in the congregation. They had
very good lungs I'll give them that!
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
Middle of the road. Hart performed his priestly duties like
a pro perhaps some website has had a good influence on
Exactly how long was the
12 minutes. The text of the sermon is posted
on Hart's blog.
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
10 Hart's years spent in the United States have not erased
his charming British accent. He spoke clearly and understandably,
in well developed sentences with logical structure.
In a nutshell, what was
the sermon about?
Hart spoke on the day's readings, Acts 2:42-47 (the fellowship
of believers) and John 20:19-31 (the risen Jesus appears to
the Twelve). He mentioned the "dream sessions" that
the parish had recently undertaken for strategic planning, and
wondered what Luke and John would have thought had they wandered
into one. Luke would have marveled at the parish's willingness
to share their bounty with those in need. John would have noted
that the parishioners, like the Apostles, experience personal
encounters with the Divine through the sacraments and in their
lives. Hart said that he is thrilled to be beginning his priestly
ministry in this parish, where he can help the world see Christ's
Which part of the service
was like being in heaven?
The repetition of the song sung at the ordination ceremony yesterday:
"I have been anointed", complete with drums.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
But sadly the choir, although good, included no men's voices.
And some of the crying infants were exceptionally loud. Also,
there was something wrong with the sound system. The quality
began to degrade at the start of the eucharistic prayer, and
by the time of the dismissal it was totally gone.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Hart told us that the church ladies had set out a brunch in
the school's basketball court and that we should be sure to
go, that he would see us there.
How would you describe
the after-service coffee?
Fruit; egg quiches in assorted flavors like sausage, crab and
asparagus as well as vegetarian, cheese, and gluten free; pastries.
Coffee and orange juice to drink (but no tea). And a delicious
cake! Those church ladies sure can bake!
How would you feel about
making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
10 Hart's first mass, as well as all of the events of
the weekend, were just wonderful! We non-Catholics were happy
to be here. We had met many of the participants when Hart professed
his vows several months back, and it was good to see them again.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
We'll never forget the whole ordination weekend.
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