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Sometimes, there is room for democracy in parish life. One congregation has completed a vote and another has a ballot pending to choose weekend Mass times.

At Sacred Heart Parish in Tillamook, Father Joseph Hoang experimented with a summer change in Mass times. Parishioners were disoriented and made their feelings known. Meanwhile, some liked the change. So the pastor decided to put the times up for a vote.
About 150 people cast ballots and resoundingly chose to have a 9:30 a.m. English Mass on Sundays, replacing previous 8:30 and 10:30 Masses. There will still be a 5:30 p.m. vigil Mass on Saturday and a Spanish Mass Sundays at noon.

Voting is currently under way at St. Charles Parish in Northeast Portland, where parishioners can choose to retain the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Masses or have a single Mass at either 9:30, 9:45 or 10. A week of voting ends Sept. 8.

Holy Names Sister Phyllis Jaszkowiak, pastoral administrator, decided to put the times up for a vote. Parishioners can drop papers in a box or take an online survey.

Joan Winchester, pastoral associate, says the parish tries to make collaborative decisions.
Advantages of two Masses are accommodating both early-morning Catholics and late-morning Catholics. There can also be both traditional and contemporary choirs.  

Those who favor a single Mass say it would be good for parish unity, increase the vibrancy of liturgy, and make it easier to offer education and programs for everyone after the single Mass.