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Wonderful Developments, Liturgical and Otherwise, at St. Mark Parish in Plano January 31, 2020

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, North Deanery, priests, Restoration, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership.
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He lives!  Sorry for the long absence.  I even missed the 10th anniversary of the blog by a month and a half.

But something important has come up.

I have known the young pastor of St. Mark parish in Plano, Texas, since he was a newly ordained priest.  We were always gratified to see him wearing the occasional cassock and frequent Roman chasuble.  He even wore black at funeral Masses.  I figured we could expect great things from him.

This good priest, Fr. Marco Rangel, had some other assignments in the intervening 10 or so  years, but last year he was assigned as the pastor of St. Mark in Plano.  He has made a number of changes that I believe almost all devout Catholics will find most positive.

First, St. Mark, god bless it and whatever its merits, I don’t think has ever been anyone’s idea of a brilliant architectural and artistic achievement.  A sunken sanctuary with stadium seating and bare concrete and stucco walls, it at least did have one very large stained glass window, and a nice, traditional crucifix (which the former pastor, Fr. Cliff Smith, is to be thanked for fighting for.  He caught surprising flak for replacing the touchdown Jesus, Christ rising on the cross “crucifix” with a far more tasteful,a nd I would say, accurate and Catholic one).  However, Fr. Rangel has made a number of changes, which you can see below.  Most photos were taken during Christmas, which of course includes additional decorations, but most all the paintings and statuary are new.  The angels kneeling in adoration next to the tabernacle are definitely new, and so welcome, as is the Benedictine arrangement on the altar.

The before:

Some initial changes:  Small but noticeable:

The full monte:

Changes to the Eucharistic adoration chapel:

I’m amazed at the improvements these changes have made.  Some – like the addition of the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe – were made under Father Smith, but most have been made under Father Rangel.

Next, there are major liturgical improvements underway.  Father Rangel offered Mass partially in Latin during Advent and on Christmas, and will do so again during Lenten Sunday Masses.  This included the propers and Gloria in Latin as appropriate, as well as organ music and Gregorian chant.  Father Rangel intends to continue adding more and more reverent aspects to the Liturgy and is open to even becoming bi-ritual, should interest warrant such a move.

And that’s one of the purposes of this post, not only to apprise of these positive developments, and prove I am still alive, but also to ask readers here in the Diocese of Dallas to send a letter of support to Bishop Burns for authentic, orthodox liturgical improvements, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Father Rangel in particular.  Whether  you attend St. Mark or not, if you desire to see liturgy more in keeping with the constant belief and practice of the Church, this is a great opportunity to show both your interest and your support for a local priest who is taking large steps in that direction.  Of course, Father Rangel has encountered a great deal of resistance, so he could use all the support he can get.  This kind of support can be vital in determining how a bishop may respond to these kinds of initiatives made on the part of pastors. I thus implore all local readers, and even interested non-local ones (you should indicate whether or not you reside in the Diocese), to contact both Bishop Burns and Father Rangel.  I provide some form letters below, which you are free to use.  It is quite a risk for a priest to make changes like this, and at this pace.  Father Rangel has not been pastor at St. Mark for even a year, yet, I do not believe.

This also ties in with changes in catechesis and sacramental preparation at St. Mark, which is my final point.  Father Rangel is working to revamp the materials used in these vital areas, to be in accord with timeless, unchanging Church teaching which goes back to the Apostolic Deposit of Faith, and not just the current theological experimentations presently in vogue.

Letters should be sent to:

Bishop Edward Burns
Catholic Diocese of Dallas
3725 Blackburn St.
Dallas, TX, 75219

A sample letter is included below, just as an idea.  Feel free to compose your own:

Dear Bishop Burns –

Greetings in Christ! I have been apprised of the very positive liturgical, architectural, and catechetical improvements made by Father Marco Rangel of St. Mark parish in Plano, Texas, and I am writing to indicate my wholehearted support for these efforts.  Father Rangel is moving the liturgy at St. Mark to be very reverent and to offer great glory and honor to God.  His artistic and liturgical changes are in keeping with the great patrimony of our Holy Mother Church, and unite our worship with that of millions of Catholics through years past.  His changes incorporating more Latin, Gregorian chant, and great reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament are all very edifying and are bringing great benefit to many souls.  We implore your eminence to support Father Rangel in this new direction for St. Mark.

I would also like to include in this letter a request for regular Traditional Latin Masses (TLM) in the north deanery of the Diocese of Dallas, most particularly in the Plano/Richardson area.  At this point, St. Mark and Father Marco Rangel would appear to be the most suited for offering this ancient and beautiful form of the Mass, but St. Joseph in Richardson may also be a strong candidate.

We thank you for your continued leadership of this diocese, and  for the many blessings and benefits this leadership has brought.  We pray your leadership, and that of good priests like Father Rangel, will continue to bring glory to God and aid in the sanctification of all the souls in  the Diocese of Dallas.

God bless and keep you,

Name

In all likelihood it will be Bishop Kelly that reads these and responds, but the message will hopefully get through to Bishop Burns.

I also implore you to send letters of support and thanks to Father Rangel at St. Mark.  He can be reached at:

(Pastor) Father Marco Rangel
St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church
1105 West 15th Street
Plano, TX 75075

Another sample:

Dear Father Rangel –

Greetings in Christ!  I have learned of late that you are in the process of making numerous liturgical, artistic, and catechetical improvements to St. Mark.  May God reward you!  This is such a happy and blessed development, and will surely bring enormous fruit to souls.   I support you in your efforts to bring more  reverence to the Mass and to bring St. Mark’s liturgical, artistic, and catechetical practice more in union with the great patrimony of our Holy Mother Church.  I am so grateful that some of the fruit of the “reform of the reform” is beginning to blossom in Plano.

I would also like to indicate my interest in having a regular Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) at St. Mark.  I reside in the Diocese of Dallas/North Dallas/Collin County area and would be overjoyed to have a TLM closer to my home and/or place of business, particularly at St. Mark.  If you are assessing the level of interest in this form of the Mass in the Plano area, please be assured of mine, and that of my family.

May God continue to bless and support your apostolate in every way,

Name

Father Rangel can also be reached at pastor@stmarkplano.org.

If at least 12 of you do not contact Father Rangel with support, I’ll never post again.   Like that’ll be any different!