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What’s the Mission of the Post-Pandemic Parish? by Joseph B. QuinnJuly 15, 2021
By Michele McAloon, Crisis Magazine, July 15, 2021
Michele McAloon is a wife, mother, retired Army officer, and canon lawyer. She resides with her family in Germany.
In J.F. Powers’ 1963 National Book Award winner Morte D’ Urban, the acceptance of lavish gifts sets the protagonist, Fr. Urban Roche, into a spiral of spiritual conflict. In this comic masterpiece, Fr. Urban, a priest in a fictitious religious order that is noted in history “for nothing at all,” is an ecclesiastical hot shot who enjoys lobster and champagne, all for the good of the order, of course. His vow of poverty is more of a theoretical goal rather than a lived reality. Fr. Urban says of his adherence to his vow “to the spirit, though, rather than the letter.” The acceptance of gifts, however, puts him in questionable ethical situations and leads him to live a lifestyle of a bachelor rather than a priest. …