The Patricians: Who Are They?

10-24-2021Weekly Reflection

The Society of the Patricians was established in 1955. Its purpose is to build up the religious knowledge of the people, to teach them how to explain themselves and to encourage them to apostleship. Its method was intended to be experimental but it has remained unchanged. Though minds were busy at first in proposing alterations, it is realized that all of these were but reversions to other established methods, such as the catechism class, the lecture system, the question and answer session. These have their own essential place, but they do not cope with what is probably the root problem of the Church: adult religious ignorance and the paralyzed tongues of the laity. The Patricians has been showing itself effective in that field and therefore must be jealously safeguarded.

The Patricians is a family affair. A family conversation about what concerns us all, open, frank, and from the heart, is one of the delights of home life. We Christians, as Christ’s brothers, belong to God’s family. Thinking about our faith, talking it over, and discussing its applications in the spirit in which Our Lord and the apostles chatted about the day’s teachings at the end of a missionary day in Galilee: this is the spirit of the Patricians.

To know Christ Jesus as the wonderful, lovable Teacher, Master and Lord that He is, means that we have to soak our minds in His saving truths and feel thoroughly at home in talking about religion, just as we love to talk about our children, our home, our work. The Holy Spirit gives us all insights into Christ’s truth. These we share at a Patrician meeting with others and learn in turn from them. There we are witnesses to Christ and our hearts burn within us as He speaks to us through the mouth of our neighbor. In and through the Patricians, God comes nearer; His Truths impress us more deeply; and the Church as our field of endeavor becomes more real to us. Minds catch light from minds; hearts glow with faith; Christ grows within us.

The Patrician meeting begins with the Patrician Prayer. A layperson introduces the subject to be discussed in remarks to be no longer than fifteen minutes. It can be less. Then a free discussion begins and is encouraged for a time. There is a break for refreshments. After refreshments, the priest addresses the group, again no longer than fifteen minutes. It can be less. There is further free discussion for a short time. After that there are announcements and then the date and time of the next meeting is established and the topic. The meeting ends with the Apostles Creed and the blessing by the priest. Any Catholic can come to the Patricians. They don’t have to be members of the parish. The upcoming topic will be: A layperson said she does not pray for her deceased husband because she knows he’s in heaven. Besides wasn’t Purgatory and all that done away with? Is she correct? Find out by joining the discussion October 28th, 7PM in the school cafeteria.