I took two groups of students to the Twin Cities yesterday and today. One group went to St. Agnes and another went to St. Joan of Arc. St. Agnes church is known for its celebration of a Latin Mass at 10:00 Sunday Morning. It's a rather complex mass in many ways involving a lot of servers and bows and such. Some of the students said that they didn't feel as participatory as they would have liked, which told me that I need to be better prepared for Latin next year. The people responded and we didn't because we didn't know how. They also just needed a little more general preparation. Even though it's the mass as we all know it, there are a few changes that deserve explanation such as taking communion at the communion rail on the tongue while kneeling.
When we met up with the students that went to Joan of Arc they had a different reaction. Joan of Arc is known for its differentness. They actually strive to be different and do the barest amount possible to remain in the church. The students hated it. They couldn't see the catholicism in it and were worried about what made the children that went there actually love the church. They felt like they still needed to go to mass.
The people who went to St. Agnes were impressed with St. Agnes and were hoping to bring things back. They were perplexed by some things but genuinely felt like they loved the mass. It gives me hope that people don't want to be Protestants, don't want to make the mass into a "worship service". They want to learn how to love what is authentically catholic. If only we could make sure all the priests felt the same.