This month, our bishops will go to Rome for their ad limina visit/report/pilgrimage. A summary of their report can be found here, and is quite interesting, not least in the great hope it engenders. What with all the liturgy discussion of the last couple of weeks, here's what the summary says about the state of liturgy in our local Church. ["I" in this quotation is our archbishop, +Timothy.]
I have been pleased to find that our parishes believe that the joyful, reverent, proper celebration of Sunday Eucharist, with full participation of the people of God, is at the heart of our identity as a Church.
There is strong adherence to Vatican II principles regarding full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy. To me, this reflects the unity of the entire Body of Christ. I think the Archdiocese of Milwaukee can be proud of the efforts to provide liturgical education and formation to the faithful.
I am concerned, however, about the number of Catholics who do not attend Sunday Mass. Our weekly attendance rate hovers around 40 percent, which is simply not good enough. If I could issue one pastoral challenge to Catholics in southeastern Wisconsin for the upcoming season of Lent, it would be this: Go to Mass each Sunday!
I am also pleased that there seems to be an increase in participation in the sacrament of Reconciliation. What a great gift this sacrament is, and I pray that it remains readily available in our parishes and is often utilized by the faithful as a way of deepening their relationship with God through interior conversion.
Likewise I am pleased with a renewed devotional life among our people, evident in, for instance, the rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, and Scripture prayer groups.
I have seen nothing at all that contradicts this, and much that supports it and upholds its validity.
Do not believe all that one hears from the professionally outraged.