My "Come to Jesus" moment began when I fell behind in completing stewardship hours for Confirmation. By January of my 7th grade year I had failed to complete any of my stewardship hours, with no prospects going forward. To remedy this, Sr. Lorraine offered to waive any stewardship hour deficiencies if a student attended the Pro-life March in Washington D.C. My parents were unable to accompany me, but gave instructions to "follow the nun" wherever she went. I did. As I entered into 8th grade Sr. Lorraine informed me that in order to complete my stewardship hours that year, I was going to assist her in teaching a 2nd grade class. This was a real challenge and gift for me because I didn't know anything about my faith until I had to teach it.READ MORE
"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). I have always loved teaching. There is something so special about sharing your passion with others through explanation and group discussion—and when it comes to teaching others, not about a subject, such as math or Spanish but the person of Jesus Christ, it becomes even more significant. I had the great privilege of co-teaching a group of 8th graders on Monday nights this past year and it was as if this verse from John's Gospel came to life. I was entrusted with a group of young people, desirous of being understood, listened to, and known. It is precisely in being aware of these basic human needs that a soul can be open to God's word. In each one of my students, I saw a soul on the journey to God and I wanted to do all I could to help them along the path. I sought to share my experience of Jesus's love in my life and the joy He brings as the fulfillment of all desire.READ MORE
"Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord, sing praise to him and highly exalt himforever."
The Gloria is a very ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church glorifies the Father and the Lamb. It is preferably sung (or said) on Sundays and feast days outside the seasons of Advent and Lent. The Gloria is a joyful response to the forgiveness received in the Penitential Act. When it was first introduced to the Roman liturgy, it was sung only at the midnight celebration of the Nativity of our Lord – called the "Angelic Hymn" (because it begins with the song of the angels that was heard at the birth of Jesus Christ).READ MORE
What are the few moments/decisions/events that you relied on the Holy Spirit to guide you?
The Holy Spirit is a gift that we all receive first at baptism, second at confirmation and then He is also present within the Church in each one of the Sacraments. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples that He would send one who would teach and guide all those who believe in Him. Jesus’ promise was fulfilled less than two weeks later when the Holy Spirit descended upon the believers at Pentecost.READ MORE
Although I was not raised in the Church I married a Catholic. I went to Mass on Sundays with my husband and children, refraining from going up for communion. I was intrigued by the person of Jesus but not willing to make a commitment to this way of life. It wasn’t until my daughter was in first grade that she asked me pointedly, “You say that God is important and that we need to do our prayers but why don’t you go up to get Jesus?” I was stumped and began to really ponder this question. I asked myself if I really believed that Jesus was Lord and Savior or was I just going through the motions? I realized I was afraid of disappointing my family, fearing that they might look down on me for converting to another religion and it was only when I began to ask myself what was more important: disappointing my family or accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior that I went through RCIA.READ MORE
My parents were Italian Immigrants who came to America during the early 1930's. My mother, having been taught by nuns in a Catholic boarding school in Italy, was very strict. She walked to Church with us every Sunday. My two siblings and I loved going to Church because afterwards we would stop at the local bakery and pick up donuts and fresh baked bread. My mother had a great devotion to Mary and so named me after, Our Lady of Sorrows.READ MORE
We begin the Sacred Liturgy, as we do all good things: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit --the Sign of the Cross. After the entrance hymn, the priest invokes God's presence and power with these words – taken from the lips of Christ himself (Matt. 28:19).READ MORE
I grew up in in a predominately Catholic neighborhood in upper Manhattan. My parents were not practicing Catholics; for their own personal reasons they had turned away from the Church. As I reflect back upon my upbringing, I believe my parents, without realizing it, raised my brothers and I according to the Ten Commandments with the exception of 'keeping holy the Sabbath'. All of my friends were Catholic and it was through them that I learned about God and the Catholic Church. They attended Catechism (as it was called then) taught by the nuns.READ MORE
Father Tim had such words of wisdom last week in his homily, which has been resonating with me all week: "Much of what we do is habit – we go through motions on automatic pilot, without much thought. Therefore, it is nice to have a reminder of the importance of what we do." Just as we heard last week the importance of receiving the Eucharist, so might we need a review of how and why we participate in the liturgy.READ MORE
Each week we come to participate in the "source and summit of the Christian life" (cc1325). We are then called to 'go forth and make disciples'. To help us become more familiar with the structure of the Mass, over the next few bulletins we will look to the specific parts of the Mass and their Biblical references. But first let's have a brief overview of the Liturgy itself.READ MORE
My parents raised me in the Catholic faith, providing me with a Catholic education; but apart from Sunday Mass we did not focus much on faith. Despite this, I always had a desire to know and love the Lord. I can remember reading St. Therese's "Story of a Soul", and becoming aware that God was always with me. In high school, I remember having an assignment to read about Moses in the Old Testament, (where God delivered the Israelites from slavery), and thinking that if this story were really true, God must have deeply loved His people.READ MORE
Treasured ancient rites, familiar rituals. Wouldn't you like to know where it all comes from?
The Mass has been at the very center of Christian worship since the time of the apostles. To examine its history and development, we look to the New Testament and the account of the Last Supper. It is because Our Lord told us to do what he had done, in memory of him, that our Liturgy exists. A definite pattern, or format, of the Eucharistic celebration developed within decades of the death of our Lord. The earliest and most detailed account of the Eucharist is found in St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, which predates the Gospels – written in Ephesus between 52-55 A.D. By the time of St. Gregory (d. 604), we have the text of the Mass, its order and arrangement – aren't we so privileged to partake in this most sacred tradition? Minimal changes, moving certain elements to different places, took place with each century, but by 1570 and the Council of Trent, we have the finalized edition of the RomanMass.
In weeks to come, we will walk through the main parts of the Mass, and ponder them in light of their Scriptural background. With this understanding, the more we will come to appreciate the splendor of the rich treasure of the Liturgy. We will be better prepared to give ourselves to Jesus in every prayer and gesture; and the more we will be prepared to encounter Jesus.
I can't pinpoint a particular moment when I first came to know Jesus as my savior and friend; it has been a journey. Yet, there have been moments throughout my life when this realization has been more clear. For example, early in my marriage I found myself in Michigan, living in a community where I didn't know anyone; however, our local Church had a perpetual adoration chapel. Spending time with the Lord was the one thing I "knew" and I found comfort in His presence. I asked the Lord while I sat before Him in the Blessed Sacrament to "increase my faith", and I felt like He really filled me with His strength.READ MORE
In pondering the title of this column – LIVING LITURGY – it led me to reflect on:
The Liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time, it is the font from which all her power flows. The Celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy is the formal structure for us to worship, give praise and thanks, ask forgiveness, pledge fidelity and render service. Aaah – render service - this is where the remaining 167 hours comes in to play!READ MORE
The Young Adult group of St. Magdalen's encountered the Lord in a very particular way on Holy Thursday, this past year: in both adoration and in the traditions of the Church.
The Holy Thursday Mass commemorates two great gifts in the Church: The Eucharist and the Priesthood. At the end of Mass the altar is stripped bare and the tabernacle is left empty—signifying the fact that Jesus goes into the Garden of Gethsemane to suffer, and to begin the Passion. The empty tabernacle, is like the tomb, it tells how God handed over His Sprit and died for us. The Blessed Sacrament is placed in a side chapel—called a repository. It is a custom in many cultures to visit seven churches, praying in those side chapels—heeding Jesus' request to "stay awake and watch" with Him. The side chapels are decorated with beautiful flowers and plants to signify the Garden of Gethsemane.READ MORE