A view from the pew

A summertime routine for Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., is to attend Sunday Mass as a “private citizen.”

In a column appearing in the July 30 issue of the Rhode Island Catholic, his diocesan newspaper, he said: “Even though I truly cherish the privilege of leading the liturgy as I do almost every Sunday, it’s also refreshing once in a while to be on the other side of the altar.” 

That perspective gives him a “renewed appreciation for the truly ‘faithful’ who come to Mass Sunday after Sunday,” he wrote.

When they come to Mass, he said, Catholics are seeking “authentic community, effective preaching, the Eucharist and sanctuary. … It’s what they need for a faithful living-out of their Christian vocation. It’s what the church should give them.”

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