Sunday, September 10, 2006

TV Priest brings his dogs to Mass!?!???

How can this be? I clicked on the TV, which is often set to EWTN the few times I watch it. I have been enjoying the broadcasts of events in Germany with Pope Benedict.

This time, when I clicked it on, I see Fr. Louis Scurti who runs a small university chapel in New Jersey, giving a homily during Mass. Something seemed off in general about the setting and just as I was about to turn it off, this big black dog comes hobbling out from near the altar in the Sanctuary and begins to come out towards the people.

I don't think this was EWTN, but CTND (Catholic Television Network Detroit), which imho, has too much secular focus. They share the same channel on comcast and I don't have a box to get EWTN on the other station where they are not shared.

How can this be that a priest would bring dogs to Mass - a televised Mass yet????

I did a quick google on "Fr. Louis Scurti and Dog" and this article turned up on it. It certainly confirms that these are not dogs for the physically impaired, but the priest's pets and he brings them all the time to Holy Mass!!!

Monday, May 16, 2005


HALEDON - The priest, dressed in a flowing red robe, says Mass. He reads from the Gospel, gives a homily, prays for the sick, blesses bread and wine.

He could be at any Roman Catholic church in the country, except for the dogs near the altar. A black, bow-legged mutt sprawls out for a nap, and a white wolfish type paws gently at a parishioner as the priest talks of Pentecost and Babylon.

Is this God's house or a doghouse? Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Chapel is both. The Rev. Louis Scurti brings his two dogs everywhere, and that includes Sunday Mass. The dogs make people feel at home, Scurti says. Churchgoers add that the dogs give them a sense of calm and peace.
continue reading Scurti and the dogs at the New Jersey Herald...

Who is the bishop of that diocese? Does he not see this??? Does he have any control over a university chaplain?

Good heavens, when Mass goes to the dogs!

And, I'm an animal lover, but this is totally inappropriate.


Rick Lugari said...

If WOW cable is available in your area, switch to it. I believe it's cheaper, but most importantly, they haven't been pressured or coaxed by the AoD to cut into ETWN's programming to deliver their third rate programming.

Diane said...


Comcast has a channel (291), which carries EWTN uninterrupted, but it requires a box. We have boxes in the house but to cut down on expense, I do not have one in my room, which doubles as an office.

Does WOW require a box to get that channel? I keep just basic cable in my room.

There are times I am shocked at what is on CTND. They permit a non-Catholic news service, which they admit does not necessarily agree with CTND. They have a program, I think out of a local Catholic college which is almost exclusively secular in nature. They featured a fashion show the other night! And, there is mostly Catholic football and other sports on. There is a priest that has some kind of show that appears to be childish in nature and his content is.....strange to say the least. That one lady - don't know her name, the one who is often with Archbishop Hannan, seems to have programs which revolve around many unapproved revelations. Do we not have enough time-tested, approved material to cover? This says nothing of Fr. Louis Scurti's program, with the dogs.

Heaven help us. CTND needs an overhaul. I've been tempted to write the Cardinal with specific points that trouble me as a local Catholic, but I figure it may not make it past the chancery.

Rick Lugari said...

Heh... I deleted a paragraph that was quite cynical and took issue with CTND's choice of programming. If they were to do a decent production job and supply genuine Catholic programming they might not have to usurp ETWN's audience by force.

I wouldn't count on any satisfaction from complaining. A friend of mine in Monroe tried. He complained Comcast when CTND hijacked EWTN on Comcast's system down there (2-3 years ago) then to the AoD about how poor their programming is. He got the customary blow-off by the AoD, but at least the guy at Comcast raised the issue at their regional meeting (but Comcast went on with it). Oh, and a number of years ago I heard the good cardinal mention how proud he was of what the CTND crowd was doing. We shouldn't have to wait too terribly long before we get a bishop who will at least examine the content and quality of the "network".

I'm downriver and WOW runs EWTN uninterupted on their basic (or expanded basic - which you don't need a box for). You may want to check out their packages. For 90 bucks you can get cable, Internet, and phone (unlimited long distance). I was paying $72 a month just to have unlimited long distance on MCI and 15 a month dialup. With WOW, I got phone and cable Internet for $68.

Dr. Edward Peters said...

Diane, your note got me to thinking. I posted a few thoughts on this at

Barb, sfo said...

I used to attend Mass at this college Campus Ministry. No pets were present at that time, though. But he's a very informal guy, used to having Mass in the living room. I think it's all spilled over from there.
I'm not sure having dogs in church (other than service animals) contribute to a reverent atmosphere....

Ian said...

I've been to this parish before. The best way to describe it physically and artistically - if you're an Apple user - is "iChurch".

When I first went there with my girlfriend, I expected the worst. Prior to Mass, the dog was indeed walking around (but in the very back of the church), and Father Lou introduced himself to me wearing a T-shirt and boxers (he got vested a few minutes later). There is also a TV set up in the corner of the room (off to the side of the sanctuary) with video announcements for various goings-on.

That said, when the mass started the dog was already out of the church and the TV was turned off. Father Lou was completely orthodox and gave one of the best - and Christocentric - homilies I've ever heard in Jersey. And there wasn't any hint of liturgical abuse.

I went there another time and Father Lou remembered me and my girlfriend. Again, there was no dog walking around during the mass (although he was meandering about prior to mass - although not by the altar), and he gave a completely orthodox homily - this time exhorting morality and - if memory serves me - the pro-life cause and chastity.

Both times I've been there, the liturgy was conducted with absolute orthopraxis. I'll definitely go again.

It just goes to show you can't judge a book by its cover, and there's no accounting for taste.

Diane said...

The televised Mass I saw was already at the homily and the big black dog got up from next to the altar and wandered down the steps - obviously during Mass.

It doesn't matter how orthodox a priest is or how good he preaches. Dogs don't belong in Holy Mass, for reasons cited in my next post on the subject.