This is indeed a sad ordeal that could have been avoided with proper catechesis. The monsignor at the parish claims that this is no big deal, the parishioners are upset and letting it be known that this is an every week sort of thing and that bloggers are just looking for hits. Now I'm not saying I didn't think this would not eventually draw hits, but primarily we all know in order to stop a problem the problem needs to be made known, even by some jerk Pharisee 873 miles away in the Cream City.
I don't think its worth while to attack the defenders like Deacon Kandra, the parishioners or even the monsignor, its just a waste of time. When it comes down to it what is happening is a matter of some or even many of our brothers and sisters in the faith understanding the Mass in its purpose and application.
I'm not against the wearing of costumes to Holy Mass for instance on All Saints day. Even at St. Stans children dress up as the saints, but I do think it obvious that a line is being crossed when you profane something by equating the secular gimmicks with the ancient faith. Are these costumes going to evoke love of God like in how saintly garb may remind us?
The dumbing down of the liturgy is a concern. One of the parishioners thought it ok because it would one day lead the children to continue going to Mass if now we make it fun for them. Haven't the gimmicks all been tried to retain the youth? What are the fruits of this event Catholicism? I think its a worthwhile question to examine how these innovations effect the thinking of the faithful. To me if we don't take things seriously from the beginning why should they take it seriously later. If its a matter of entertainment they will run to the heretical sects of Protestantism, they are good at entertaining and warm feelings.
Before 1963 there was no such thing as children's Mass or a life teen Mass. What is the focus, are we not saying that the focus of these things is on the people, and the glory of God must bend its knee to be compatible with the days norms? Children are not as dumb as some seem to think. Considering over half of the parishioners at St. Stans are under 30, and the back 10 pews are full of children, there is no need for a children's mass because that is not what Mass is about. Even having the choir behind the Altar (I'm thinking of you St. Als) starts to confuse the purpose of why Mass is said, not to entertain but to bring about the graces that now, as then, flow from the Holy Sacrifice that is once and for all offered once again upon the altar.
I get it that the intentions to keep the children excited are genuine and even praise worthy, but time and place. Have the star wars party after Mass, but don't profane this sacred rite of the church with the mundane. If you want to use star wars in your homily do so, but you don't need to make a whole gimmick to surround it. What religion are we taking part in? Do we know where we are when the consecration takes place? Where is our focus? Have we asked if this action will glorify God before we make the decision to go ahead with it? Good intentions don't necessarily equate to prudent actions.
And just a note to those that are upset and taking it out on Mr. Hitchborn that this has gone viral, perhaps there is a reason that is worth looking into. Mr. Hitchborn and the rest of us don't hate you and don't want to be the rain on your sunny day, but it is incumbent upon us to make it clear that there is something seriously going wrong here, whether the intentions are good or not. Please realize this before you want to yell at us for not being understanding or for "trolling" your parish. We desire one thing, the glorification of God, which can be had objectively. Below I have posted a video from Michael Davies which I do hope will bring to you a greater understanding of what Mass is.
May God bless your Parish and Pastor