Skip to comments.The History of Joan of Arc (Parish, Minnesota)
Posted on 05/25/2006 8:30:16 AM PDT by marshmallow
Ever wonder how St. Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis became what it is today?
It all began with Fr. Harvey Egan, who passed away on Saturday, May 20th. St. Joan of Arc has a video documentary on their website which includes excerpts from a 2003 interview with Egan by Anna Vagle, a parishioner who has been with the parish, apparently, since the days of the first Gym Masses at St. Joan's.
You can view the video clips here. They are posted in segments of about 5 minutes each. Here are some of the highlights:
Segment 1: "Being a rebel was part of my nourishment... I took that with me to high school, college and the seminary."
Segment 2: Egan discusses his anti-war activism, and his involvement in activism with Jim Shannon (the bishop who left the priesthood over Humanae Vitae and wrote the book Reluctant Dissenter).
He sees those holding onto the traditions of the Church as "pumping fresh blood into a corpse... the old church is dead." He also expresses his surprise that "more parishes haven't found the Joan of Arc way" which, in his view, embraces "the full package of renewal."
Segment 3: Egan discusses his decision to move the 11 am mass from the Church into the school gymnasium, and to begin the practice of including a secular reading in the liturgy. The interviewer notes that "this has become an immensely important part of our worship today." Egan said he picked up this practice from something he saw in Europe. The Vatican never approved of this, but "Jesus didn't say everything had to be approved by the Vatican."
The good news, according to Egan, is that "everything can be sacred... there is nothing secular... it's all sacred."
Segment 4: More discussion of Egan's innovations in the liturgy, including the use of the penitential rite as a time to discuss current events (as they relate to sin in the world). He talks about the important role Gloria Steinem has had in the parish's development... she was "the inspiration" for using non-sexist language in the liturgy and referring to God as Mother. The interviewer notes that, although it took a while for parishioners to get used to this, now "if they only hear Father (in the liturgy), they sense something is wrong." Egan notes that what some viewed as a scandal -- Steinem's involvement in the parish -- led to the rapid growth of St. Joan's: "you can't beat popularity."
Segment 5: Egan discusses the quote "everything that rises comes together." He speaks of the last things: "There won't be a heaven and hell at the end -- it's all glory, it's all heaven. That's the way it is, even though most parishes don't see it that way... they're coming together too." He also notes that "even if Joan of Arc were closed, the community would carry on."
When asked what he is most proud of, Egan says it is his sense of gambling / risk-taking and creativity... the sense that things must always be improved. He also speaks of his hero, Hans Kung, who has "kept the kernel of Christianity."
Segment 6: Egan speaks about how other parishes find salvation elsewhere -- "hooray for them." At the same time, he comments that so many of the Church teachings that these other parishes adhere to are "fairy tales."
Segment 7: Egan autographs a copy of his book for Anna, who gets teary-eyed and wipes the tears away with a 1970's party napkin.
Pray for Harvey Egan, and pray for St. Joan of Arc
You have to be kidding me! Random highlights from their website:
That's pretty much the gospel of Jesus Christ, isn't it?
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