A Publication of the Pastoral Staff
Sunday 8AM (Streamed)
10AM and 12PM
Monday - Friday 9AM
[All Mass intentions are listed
on our parish calendar.]
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30
following 9AM Mass
except if there is a second Funeral
or any time by appointment
THE COLUMN | Fr. Rob
You will have heard me make mention on occasion of praying the Mass ad orientem, “to the east." It is a term that describes the way in which we celebrated Mass with you during the shutdown from the rectory chapel. You may have heard this posture described as when “the priest had his back to the people." But that is not accurate. Rather, praying in this way means that the priest is facing the same direction as the people, spiritually to the east, to the rising sun, or, toward the Lord's coming again in glory.
This Advent, I would like to celebrate the 12PM Mass on Sundays facing the same direction as you. It is not because of a nostalgic desire to return to a bygone age. Rather, I think Advent is a fitting time for us to pray this way because of its twofold character of looking forward to the birth of Christ, and of looking to His coming again in glory.
To be sure, the priest stands in persona Christi Capitis (in the person of Christ the Head), but the lay faithful are also in Christ as members of His Body. Our present posture, however, (called versus populum, or, “towards the people”) can turn us in on ourselves; the priest looks at the people and the people look at him. Or, if you will, the head looks at the body while the body looks at the head. The problem with this posture is that it can lead to navel gazing, and navel gazers don't go outward together; they are too busy looking at themselves.
The real irony (and, it seems to me, one of the big enablers - if not causes - of the abuse crisis) is that this posture of versus populum actually promotes a sense of clerical entitlement and can serve to distort the relationship between the priest and the people. While it is possible to look toward Christ praying versus populum (as we do), I think the posture is also a hinderance at times. Like a teenager obsessed with his/her own body, the Church can turn in on Herself. We can become, as Pope Benedict says, a community celebrating itself.
And as the holiday season turns our hearts to our loved ones who are away from the Church but who will come to Mass on Christmas, we recall the devastating effect of the sexual abuse crisis. It is my belief that celebrating Mass versus populum has led some priests to think of themselves as demigods, the only ones with permission to go in a different direction, the ones who control the Church. How much better it would be for the salvation of those priests to know themselves again as men who are truly with their people, leading them in prayer like the pilot of a plane who faces the same direction while journeying with them. +
* The Church currently permits the celebration of the Novus Ordo ad orientem. Celebrating ad orientem is not the same thing as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, which is always celebrated in Latin. A Novus Ordo Mass celebrated ad orientem, while it may be celebrated in Latin, need not be. In short, while the Second Vatican Council did call for the usage of more vernacular within the Mass, the rubrics of the Roman Missal nevertheless indicate that the Church presumes the priest is celebrating ad orientem. For example, during the Rite of Peace, after the prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you…", the rubric notes: The Priest, turned towards the people, extending and then joining his hands, adds: The peace of the Lord be with you always [#127]. Also, after the Agnus Dei, the Roman Missal says: The Priest genuflects, takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud: “Behold the Lamb of God…" [#132]. After distributing Communion, the Priest may return to the chair. The Prayer after Communion may be said either from the chair or from the front side of the altar. Then, standing at the altar or at the chair and facing the people, with hands joined, the Priest says: “Let us pray…" [#139].
Church Open Daily 8AM to 8PM
(to 2PM on Sundays)
Friday Holy Hour
8AM to 9AM
The Holy Rosary Daily
following the 9AM Mass
[except if there is a Funeral]
First Saturday Rosary
prayed before 8:30AM Mass
Taize Holy Hour for Healing
2nd Tuesday of the month
7PM to 8PM
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month
[for families with young children]
6:30PM to 7:30PM
*next gathering in September
John Poggi | Christopher Frey | Alexander Vecchione | Baby Abigail Elliot | Jaclyn Falcone | Carol Tonner | Peter Petruzzi | Henry Keidel | Daniel Costello | Gerard Mastellone | Al Jurgensen | Helen White | Custodia Parker | Maria Poulis | Fern Neuenschwander | James Murphy | Christine Evans | Diane Ullman | Gige Anderson | Denise Giambalvo | Patricia Mudge | Nestor Lobito | George Yurcak | Liam Richards | Barbara Bombace | Franca Strippoli | Mark Becker | William Cardone, Sr. | William Duckham | Albert Mlodynia, Jr. | John Lafemina, Jr. | Mary Heizman | Colleen Kojak | Edward Curtis | Shelly Muniz | Laura Tucciarone | Pauline Cahill | Sharon Kalinoski | Mary Kay Matteson | George Soros
For the Repose of the Soul of
James M. Murphy
William J. Cordone
SANCTUARY CANDLE [ available ]
ROSE FOR LIFE [ available ]
BREAD AND WINE [ available ]
Saint Therese [ available ]
Saint Anthony [ available ]
Saint Jude [ available ]
The Holy Family [ available ]
Sacred Heart of Jesus [ available ]
The Blessed Mother [ Leo and Carol Kanabrocki + ]
These large devotional candles, by each of the shrines in our church, burn for the whole week. Please contact Rose Ann Linko [email@example.com] at the parish office to dedicate any of these Memorials. The offering is $25.
Brick pavers in Our Lady's Prayer Garden are available to be engraved in memory of a loved one, to mark a special occasion, or commemorate a living person or family. The offering is $130.
LIVES OF THE SAINTS
by John Linge
November 28 - St. Catherine Laboure
Zoe Laboure was born in Normandy, France in 1806 to a farming family. When her mother died when she was just nine years old, she adopted the Blessed Virgin as her mother. She and a sister were cared for by an aunt for three years, during which she had a vision of a priest telling her that she had been called by God to care for the sick.
At the age of 12, she returned to the family farm to help her father care for her brothers and sisters. Her father perceived that she was attracted to religious life, which he disapproved of, so he sent her to Paris to work in a restaurant in a poor neighborhood. There she observed the work of the Sisters of Charity in helping the poor. When she saw a picture of their founder, St. Vincent de Paul, she recognized him as the priest who had appeared in her vision.
At the age of 24 she fulfilled her dream by entering the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity, taking the name Catherine. During her novitiate, she was awakened one night by the voice of a child summoning her to the chapel. There she had a vision of the Blessed Mother surrounded by bright light, telling her that she had been chosen for a great mission, that she would face opposition, but that she should persevere.
In a later vision, the Blessed Mother appeared to Catherine in an oval, standing on a globe, with rays of light coming from her hands. Some rays did not reach the earth because, as the Blessed Mother told her, they represented graces for which people forgot to ask. Around the oval frame appeared the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” The image in the vision seemed to rotate, revealing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, with images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary beneath.
As the vision ended, St. Catherine heard the Blessed Mother instruct her to communicate this vision to her confessor and to have medallions struck with the images she saw. All who wore the medallion would receive great graces.
Her confessor was at first skeptical of the authenticity of her vision, but after observing her common sense, industry and devotion for two years, he took her story to the Bishop, who immediately had a jeweler produce medals of St. Catherine’s design. They were snapped up by the faithful so rapidly that it was considered miraculous, so it was henceforth called the Miraculous Medal.
St. Catherine spent the rest of her life in a hospice, caring for the elderly and infirm, working on the hospice’s farm, caring for the poultry and cleaning the stables. After a lifetime of service, she died quietly in 1876 at the age of 70. When her body was exhumed to be moved, it was found to be incorrupt.
The Miraculous Medal has been a popular sacramental for Catholics ever since. We do not carry it as a magic talisman. Rather, when we feel it around our necks or when our fingers feel it in our pockets, we are reminded of our Blessed Mother’s care for us and the graces devotion to her bring to us.
Lord Jesus Christ, King of our hearts,
have mercy on us!