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Pastor: Father Paul D. Lee

Mass Languages Offered: English, Korean, French, Lithuanian (monthly)

Korean Service Attendance: about 150

English Service Attendance: about 45

Service Length: 55 minutes

Sample Worshipper Dress: brown corduroy slacks, giant fur coat

Congregational Fervor

Although an 8:45 a.m. Korean-language Catholic mass packed the house to capacity, things thinned out considerably by the time the English service rolled around at 10 a.m. With a congregation composed of graying locals mumbling hymns, the proceedings were far from the acme of zealous worship.

Food for the Soul

During his homily, Lee discussed a passage from the Gospel of Mark, in which Jesus instructs that one should not “pour new wine into old wine skins.” Stressing the relevance in not forcing old ideals to fit new realities, Lee assured the congregation that change is not something to fear: “When you go out of the country, you convert your currency,” he said. “We adapt to different systems. Although when it comes to God, we might not be that receptive.”

Food for the Body

No food or drink was offered at this service—not even Folgers.

Overall Worship Power

At the close of the service, Lee recommended several pamphlets containing helpful preparations for the Lenten season, including “Renewed for Life” by Henri J.M. Nouwen. In preparation for Ash Wednesday, Nouwen offers this meditation, sure to generate a few extra collection-plate dollars: “Our Temptation in Lent is to be so impressed by our sins and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in a paralyzing guilt, a guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God.”

—Aaron Leitko