Friday, April 30, 2010

Revised Roman Missal

Coming to a Catholic Church near you!!

The New Version of the Roman Missal has been approved by the Vatican. Last I heard, the date for implementation in the U.S. will be Holy Week 2011.

You can read about it HERE.

You can read the translation HERE.

Lay Blessings During Communion

A topic that has been discussed at length over the last few years has been the practice of lay people giving blessings to individuals during communion. It is technically not appropriate for this to occur. As a result, what to do when someone approaches an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (myself included) for a blessing has caused some difficulties. In fact, it is my understanding that neither a priest or a deacon should give a blessing during communion.

However, I read an interesting discussion of this problem by Bishop Chaput of Denver. He said that the words "Receive the Lord Jesus in your Heart" can be spoken by either a Priest, Deacon or Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. These words are not a blessing but an invitation into this mystery. More of Bishop Chaput's explanation as well as more debate on this topic can be found HERE.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

St Catherine of Siena

St Catherine of Siena's Feast Day.

St Catherine was an amazing woman. Born during a turbulent period of Church history, she was influential in convincing the Pope to return to Rome from Avignon. Her writings are some of the most influential in the Church and was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1970. She died at the age of 33.

She is buried at Santa Maria supra Minerva in Rome (in the shadows of the Pantheon) and is one of my favorites in the city.

St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Feast Day of St Mark

Today is the feast day of St Mark (my name sake). Not much is known about St Mark outside of what we read in the Acts of the Apostles. He was know to be a disciple of Peter and traveled with Paul and Barnabas in Paul's first missionary journey. He also traveled with Peter to Rome and was the first Bishop of Alexandria.

The Gospel written by Mark is the shortest and considered the first of the four. He was martyred in Alexandria in 68 ad.

St Mark the Evangelist, pray for us.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A New Post

Sorry for not posting in quite a while. The last 10 weeks have been quite a journey and not sure where to start; so I will start with what has kept me from having the energy or desire to post.

On March 17th, I lost a dear friend, Deacon Al Weber. I have known Dcn Al for over 19 years. He and his wife Marilyn were one of the first families to welcome us to St Thomas the Apostle Church. At the time, we were a young family with two small children and we immediately felt welcome. Over the years, Al was a constant presence in the church, and this was before he became a deacon.

Dcn Al's influence on my exploration into the diaconate cannot be underestimated. His emphasis on service to the Church, which is mostly unseen by the parish at large, deeply moved me. Once I entered formation, he calmed many of my fears and helped me understand the process. We had recently begun a ritual of meeting for evening prayer on Thursday evenings.

So on a Thursday evening in January, Al complained about his Crohn's Disease acting up. He had been suffering with this disease for many years. He finally went to the doctor and had a CAT scan, where they found a mass in his small intestines. A week or so later he was admitted to the hospital to have it removed. Long story made short, he was diagnosed with cancer in his small intestines and it had already metastasized to his liver. He had the mass removed but his health deteriorated rapidly after the surgery. He was back in the hospital one more time to insert a feeding tube because he was not able to eat due to his liver shutting down. At this point, he was in and out of consciousness. After he was stabilized, he was moved to hospice where I was able to visit with him on several occasions. He was never awake but I felt I needed to keep vigil. Dcn Al died on St Patrick's Day.

One of the last things Dcn Al said to me before his last trip to the hospital was that Karen and I should do those things that we dream about and do it sooner rather than later. He said "we never know how long we have in this life so we should live it to the fullest". I think we will take his advise.

God Bless and thanks for reading.

[as a sidebar: Dcn Al was the third member of the clergy at St Thomas we have lost in the last 9 months].

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone.

I hope this Easter Season reminds us all of the blessings we share in our faith in Jesus Christ.