And how it can do the same here…and be the foundation for evanglesation
This is an interview with His Excellency Athanasius Schneider ORC, auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan and titular of Celerina. Bishop Schneider is a noted author and speaker. His best known work is Dominus Est – It is the Lord! – a defense of the traditional discipline of receiving communion.
This is a translation of an interview, first published in Polish after his recent visit to Poznan, Poland, and it first appeared in Polonia Christiana magazine. The interview was by Izabella Parowicz, whom I met at the Sacra Liturgia conference on the sacred liturgy in Rome last summer .
What I find particularly interesting is his description of growing up in the former Soviet Union when, at some periods, there was no possibility of attending Mass at all. He describes how the profound reverence for Our Lord he saw in his family members and for the Blessed Sacrament during adoration was transmitted to him and others around him. Ironically, irreverence in the Mass came to the former Soviet Union from missionary priests from the West once there was relaxation of political control. He talks, for example, of how even when the Novus Ordo was introduced in Kazakhstan, it was celebrated as a matter of course in Latin and ad orientem and with such reverence that it was not noticeably different to the celebration of the Extraordinary Form (as it is referred to now).
This highlights the power of the home, of the Domestic Church, in preserving and nurturing the Faith in a powerful way; and in inculturation. This story tells of how even the sense of the liturgy was preserved through right prayer at home. We could learn from this today and see it as part of our mission of evangelisation. If we focus on ourselves first and get that right, then the light will shine and draw people towards it despite ourselves!
I should mention that Izabella did the translation and asked me to correct any grammatical errors (Polish is her first language). I was reluctant to make too many changes for fear of inadvertently changing precise meanings, but did do so on some occasions nevertheless. So please be aware, that if there appears to be any confusing terminology or error, it is almost certainly due to my misunderstanding and ignorance!
Here is the interview (the photographs were taken at a Pontifical Mass (Read More)