Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mass in Vegas

No. I did not cease to be a Catholic when I went to Vegas. Yes, I did go to Mass the one full day I was there, which happened to be Sunday. I went to the Cathedral, pictured above. Had I known there was a Catholic Church next door to my hotel, I may have gone there, but I decided to hop on The Deuce (the bus that runs up and down the strip) and head to the Cathedral. I did not know the Mass times, but as luck would have it, Mass began right when I showed up. As you can see, the Cathedral is of a more "modern" design, if you consider the 1960s modern.

The inside was also of the more "modern" sort. I'll let you decide whether you like it or not, but I will say that the Liturgy, as a whole, was pretty good here. The homily was pretty good too. I learned a lot, and it was one of those where it seemed the priest was talking directly to me. He spoke of idolatry, and how we can idolize certain things. He mentioned the Internet as one of them. Definately true for me. When schoolwork is down, the computer is the first place I go for entertainment.

I was wondering what sort evangelization efforts happen in Vegas. I was disapointed there wasn't more of an effort made to minister to the prostitutes, and the women of Vegas in general. But, sadly I understand now after being there. First off, a priest can best evangelize by wearing clerical garb. However, I can't think of anything more annoying than being in clerics walking around Vegas. "Hey Father! Can I buy you a shot?" So what if a priest wasn't in clerics, and wanted to walk up and start talking to a prostitute. Well, if the girls pimp found out what was going on, I don't think he'd like it. In fact, he would probably hate it, and use forces of intimidation to make sure it didn't happen again. Overall, its a crappy situation as far as getting those poor girls off the street.

Up and down the strip, there were people (usually mexicans) handing out fliers of the girls for sale. They had red shirts on with yellow lettering that said "Girls to You: 696-9696" (ironic phone number, huh). It was like the girls were objects.

Also, I will add that being a girl in Vegas would not be a great experience. You are constantly bombarded with propaganda of women being overly sexually submissive to men and money. You can't even look at the ground in Vegas without seeing "Almost Porn" laying all over the ground. The women in Vegas have to try hard to compete. This was made clear to me when you would see the 40 or 50 somethings dressed like they were in there prime, to keep the attention of the men, whether it be their husbands or the guy they are serving drinks to.

Pray for an end to prostitution, and the objectification of women, in Las Vegas and throughout the world:

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Wasn't expecting to rant like that, but what the hey?


Val said...

Wow you weren't kidding when you said you were going to do a lot more posting. You should see what the prostitution problem is like in Vancouver. My old high school does ministry with them every Tuesday night. Agape Street ministries.

Anonymous said...

hey nice pics!i went there too!it was perfect cuz it was walking distance from our hotel.(like 2 minute walk) it's funny cuz i didn't even know that that was the cathedral because i personally find it a tad small to be a cathedral (esp. in a place where millions of dollars are being spent daily)but nevertheless, it's beautiful and it's by the strip, so Jesus is easily accesible to people.

Syzdekistan said...

I found your blog while searching for some updates on the guys from "God or the Girl"and really enjoyed reading your views. I'm a Catholic in Vegas and can tell you that living here is definately a unique experience. However, those that live here pretty much become desensitized to the overt sexuality that teems from the main street that divides our fair city from north to south. We all struggle with the same things as any other metropolitian area - education, crime, jobs, affordable housing, etc. My husband's a Vegas native and parochial school-educated. We're proud to say that we were married in Vegas and there was no drive-through or Elvis involved (although Fr. Bob does bear some resemblance to Friar Tuck from Robin Hood). The next time, you're in town, check out Christ the King Catholic Community. Many seminarians make field trips to our parish, especially for our holy week services, which are incredible demonstrations of the power of a faith community. All the best to you on your journey.