Archives for March 2009

From the Pastor – March 28, 2009

It's hard to believe that it's only two weeks until Easter Sunday! Next weekend is Palm Sunday, and then we begin Holy Week. I know that there is a very strong group in our parish that attends all of the events of Holy Week, but many Catholics limit themselves to the bare necessities: Holy Days of Obligation. If you're one of those who have never really experienced each of the events of Holy Week, consider doing so this year. On Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7:00 p.m., the Mass commemorating the institution of the Holy Eucharist where Jesus also washed his Apostle's feet. This Mass begins the Sacred Triduum, and it is when the Eucharist is taken out of the main Tabernacle in the church and “reposed” in another altar to commemorate Jesus being arrested in … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 21, 2009

This Sunday is “Laetare” Sunday, which comes from the introit (the introductory antiphon) of Mass “Laetare Jerusalem" ("O be joyful, Jerusalem"). We are called to have a restrained joyfulness because we're halfway through the pilgrimage of Lent and getting closer to Holy Week. While we should strengthen our resolutions regarding our penitential sacrifice, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The rose vestments testify to this special Sunday which also has several other meanings attached to it throughout the centuries.  Since the Jews frequently referred to the city of Jerusalem as “Mother Jersusalem” the early Christians began referring to the Church as “Mother Church.”  And since Jerusalem was mentioned in the introit, Lætare Sunday began to known as “mothering” … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 14, 2009

What's the Big Deal with Stem Cells??? Last week, President Barack Obama gave a speech wherein he reversed a policy which strictly limited the Federal money that could be spent on research involving embryonic stem cells. As someone who has followed this issue over the last several years, I thought as your pastor, it would be good to briefly explain the science, ethics and morality involved in his decision. Let's start with a few facts: (1) AREN'T STEM CELLS JUST STEM CELLS? No. President Obama's speech is not about “stem cells” per se. There are different types of stem cells. Some stem cells come from living adults, and some stem cells come from destroyed human embryos. There are no ethical arguments against doing research on adult stem cells that are voluntarily donated for … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 7, 2009

Last week, I admit I might have thrown a “curve ball” to you – I changed the liturgy without explaining my reasoning: I decided to distribute the Eucharist only under one species during Lent. Let me tell you the reasons behind my decision. It started on Ash Wednesday, when I was pleasantly surprised by the large crowds that came for Mass and ashes. When I saw the crowds, and realized that everyone would come to the altar twice (one for ashes and once for Communion), I decided that it would be faster if we had 4 stations for ashes and 4 stations for the Body of Christ (rather than two for the Body and two for the Blood, since we only had 3 Eucharistic ministers). After all, most people didn't anticipate a 90 minute Mass on Ash Wednesday! This “short term” decision led me to reflect … [Read more...]