St. John Bosco – January 31, 2023

Patron Saint of the Youth John Bosco was only two years old when his father died, leaving the support of three boys to the mother, Margaret Bosco. His early years were spent as a shepherd and he received his first education at the hands of his parish priest. At the age of nine, John had a dream, which influenced and gave great meaning to the rest of his life. In the dream he saw himself amidst a great throng of young people whom he was charged to care for by means of goodness, kindness and love, rather than by means of force and compulsion. Even as a boy he commented to his mother on the fact that the priests he met were cold and distant and never bothered to speak to him. “If I am ever a priest,” he told her, “I won't be like that. I will devote my life to young people. Children will … [Read more...]

What is Ordinary Time?

The Christmas Season officially concluded on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord last Sunday, and Monday we began “Ordinary Time” with the colors of the vestments and altar furnishing returning to green from the violet of Advent and the white of Christmas. What's so “ordinary” about it? Actually, “Ordinary Time” is the English translation of the Latin Tempus Per Annum (“time throughout the year”) and gets its name from the word ordinal, meaning "numbered," because we begin to count the weeks rather than the seasons. Ordinary Time, depending on the year, runs either 33 or 34 weeks, and makes up the time in the Church calendar that does not fall within the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter. The Church celebrates two periods as Ordinary Time. We just entered the first period, … [Read more...]

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18 -25 The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years, during which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity.  By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."  (cf. John 17:21) The theme of this year's WPCU is "Abide in my love... You shall bear much fruit" from the Gospel of John, chapter 15, expresses the Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family. Here, Jesus reminds his disciples that he is the vine and we are the branches. If we abide in him, in Jesus and the Covenant made in his precious blood, we will be such a healthy branch as to bear much … [Read more...]

Twelve Days of Christmas

I always loved Christmas when I was growing up. It wasn't just the gifts, the lights, the holly or the music. It was the magical feeling of awaiting the Birth of Christ. In our house, we always had a creche scene, an Advent calendar and a Christmas tree with a star on top. But every year, December 26th seemed like such a let-down! Sure, we still had the tree and decorations, but the excitement, the sense of joy, and the feasting gave way to empty wrapping paper and leftovers. One problem is that Christmas has become an isolated feast day, excised from its place in the liturgical year, especially Advent, Epiphany, and the Baptism of Our Lord. Just as we often ignore the hopeful and quietly expectant mood of Advent, we also forget about the feasting and joy of the full Christmas season. But … [Read more...]

Feast of the Holy Family December 30

Consecration to the Holy Family O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou protect us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Thy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness. Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering … [Read more...]

Advent Liturgies

With Advent here for next four Sundays, I want to call attention to changes that we may observe in the liturgies.  Advent has a twofold character: it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when our minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devotion and expectation. The liturgical color for Advent is violet, just as it is in Lent. Both seasons prepare us for great feast days. And like Lent, Advent is meant to include an element of penance in the sense of preparing, quieting and disciplining our hearts for the full joy of Christmas. “During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be … [Read more...]

Poinsettias!

Poinsettias in the Sanctuary during Christmas make for a beautiful display.  We appreciate a suggested donation of $25 in memory of departed loved ones whose names will be recorded in the bulletin and on the parish website. Thanks for helping us decorate the altar! … [Read more...]

The Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath is a set of four candles which are lit each Sunday of the Advent Season. Three of the candles are violet-colored, and one is rose-colored. The violet candles symbolize faithful expectation, and the rose candle symbolizes joy and hope. These colors mirror the colors of the priest's vestments used during the Sundays of Advent. In earlier times, the season of Advent had stronger penitential and ascetic aspects, and a relaxation of disciplines was offered on the third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin for "rejoice", the first words of the Introit. This turn is reflected in the shift from violet to rose. One violet candle is lit on the first evening of Advent (a Sunday). On successive Sundays, the second violet candle is added, then the rose candle on … [Read more...]

No Gloria during Advent?

During Advent, we refrain from singing the “Gloria in Excelsis Deo / Glory to God in the Highest.” Why? Let’s start with some basic rules of liturgy set down by the Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.  Within the cycle of a year the Church “unfolds” the whole mystery of Christ, from the incarnation and birth until the ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of blessed hope and of the coming of the Lord (no.102). The church is to be particularly directed toward feasts of the Lord that point to salvation (no.108). In other words, a principle in ritual is to celebrates “feasts” and “fasts” in different ways so as to allow the mysteries of Christ to be made clear by the celebration. The Resurrection of Christ takes pre-eminence and is … [Read more...]

Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul – November 18

The Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican (photo left), is the second patriarchal church at Rome (after the Basilica of St. John Lateran), and under the main altar lies the precious mortal remains of St. Peter, the “rock” on which Christ built his Church.  St. Peter was martyred during the persecutions of the Emperor Nero from 64-67 B.C.  He was crucified upside down in Nero’s circus (arena) for the enjoyment of the crowds and to cast blame away from Nero after the Great Fire of Rome in July, 64 A.D.  He was originally buried originally in a simple grave on the Vatican Hill. The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the walls (photo right) lies over the remains of St. Paul, who was martyred during the same persecutions.  Since Paul was a Roman citizen (having been born in Tarsus), he could not be … [Read more...]