Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Concerning Google Review of SSPX Chapel in Oklahoma City

(UPDATE: no email response yet from their parish, but I did post something conciliatory in the Google Review. Click on the first link below) 

We've been thinking to take a road trip to OKC sometime soon, to include a visit to St. Michael's Chapel, where the Society of St. Pius X offers the Latin Mass. So I was checking out their website for Mass times and directions, when I first came across a rather disconcerting public Google Review of their chapel, when I googled "SSPX Oklahoma City."  Which I thought appropriate for discussion.

(You can click on her name to view her Google profile, with more photos.  Apparently she is quite the foodie, writing several, fair-minded reviews about OKC restaurants.)

Marlene Puente
a month ago

Everyone was very cold. Except one nice old lady with a
tracheotomy. She even whent to get me a head cover
and im sure it took alot out of her to do so. If looks could
kill I'd be dead. Those men wanted me gone the second
I walked in. They weren't ashamed to show it. I felt
unsafe and one thing for sure God is not there at all.

Yikes.  The images of the scene she describes, that come to mind reading this review, leave me, how shall I say...speechless. 

Being the concerned kind of personality I am, especially for damsel's in distress, I emailed the Coordinator using their chapel email address on their website, suggesting they contact Ms. Puente (is that a Hispanic name?) to offer some kind words after her experience, and consider posting a reply, saying something conciliatory at least.  

I am waiting for a response...

My main reasoning is that for months, or even years in the future, countless people who are interested in the Latin Mass in OKC, whether at the Society or the Fraternity, will often first come across this objectively scandalous review. 

Nonetheless, this blog post will come and go in a matter of days.

The same kind of public relations could even be necessary at some point, I suppose, on this side of the state, to promote Catholic tradition on Google Review, Trip Advisor, and the like.  Any visitor of say Most Precious Blood in Tulsa (FSSP), for example, could get on Google and write a review, though from personal experience I suspect most or all would be glowingly positive. 

Oh I just checked, there are actually very positive reviews of MPB already on the ubiquitous, all-seeing eye of Google:  LINK.   

Google is going to become even more ubiquitous as we go.

True, there will always be anti-traditionalist types that come to the TLM, and peel out in the parking lot after Mass driving home, angry at the "oppression" they imagined there. 

But I didn't get that impression from this reviewer/visitor in OKC.  Did you?

That said, I have to say St. Michael's in OKC has been for several decades, a beacon of traditional Catholicism, in terms of preserving the traditional Mass and doctrine, having been served by both the FSSP and SSPX.  I have known a number of their members over the years and can vouch for their personal character.  And the chapel itself, their weekly liturgies, and the pastoral setting of the place, makes it an idyllic, hidden traditionalist oasis, in the west OKC suburb of Bethany.

Yet, reading this Google Review I have to admit I was quite taken aback, but frankly not surprised.  It does come across at least somewhat sober and level-headed, and I interpret the last part "one thing for sure God is not there" as hyperbole.  She did not personally experience the presence of God in a peaceful way that day, due to her painful experience.

For all we know, she was screaming profanities at the people, or dressed like a street hooker, but I seriously doubt that.   At any rate, even a street hooker can dress modestly.  :)

I hope she was not so burned by the experience to never want to attend the traditional Mass again.

And that future readers will not be scandalized.
This blog post will come and go quickly, but I think that major review will likely stay there for months or even years.

If you would like to also respectfully express concern, here is their chapel email:

  Well said, my son.


  1. This has been a common critique of traditional parishes in general. I have seen this personally as I have traveled around, though I have found that to be less the case at FSSP parishes. This is no slap against the SSPX though. They have been fighting the battle for a long time and often I get the impression of a bit of shell shock and insularity that comes with being a repeatedly kicked puppy. Now, the challenge will be how they change this mentality and move to evangelize.

  2. The bunker mentality, it sounds like, which I understand. They see someone come into the bunker with them, and reflexively raise their rifles. Which of course rightly comes across nutty to the newcomer who is unaware there is even a war.

    But we need everyone in the bunker. Most trads werent born in the bunker, so each trad parish needs to have clear policies how to respond to visitors, especially the ushers.
    I'd bet my dinner (which says a lot because I'm starving) she was immodestly dressed and the Modesty police let her know through stares
    her appearance was intolerable.

    Anyway, I hope they email me back. If you google "Latin Mass Oklahoma City," that review is one of the first things you see, though the FSSP parish website is just below it.