Sunday, September 14, 2014

Update

Just an update.
On the Sunday before Labor Day I got really ill.  I was sick that entire week.  I finally went to the doctor on Friday, who sent me to the ER, because they suspected appendicitis.

It turns out I have 1 or 2 very large cysts on my right ovary.  I'll need surgery.

I'm aiming for mid-October and plan to have the surgery in St. Louis.  I think my recovery will take anywhere from 4-6 weeks...so if I disappear...that's probably why.

Thanks.

St. Boniface - Fort Smith

Hi all.
On Saturday I decided to visit Forth Smith to visit the historic site instead of mopping in my apartment. (There will be a 2nd post explaining the mopping.) I managed to visit all 3 parishes in Fort Smith and attended Mass at St. Boniface at 4 pm on Saturday.  The parishes were really close together, something I was rather surprised give how spread out everything else is.

You know the best part about doing this?  Walking into a Catholic Church and recognizing it as a Catholic Church.  I've been in some churches that could be confused for a giant lecture hall.  St. Boniface did not disappoint in this aspect.

The music was supplied by a piano and cantor in the choir loft.
Music:
Opening:  Lift High the Cross
Offertory:  Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
Communion: We Have Been Told
Closing: How Great Thou Art

So I never really got the whole idea behind Father What-A-Waste...I mean they are priests.  Most of them are *old*  Yeah.  I got it today looking at the priest.  Very cute in a rugged way..that's one way to get people to come to Mass.

Mini-Homily:
Means of our Lord's death becomes our redemption.

Homily:
The homily was said by the Deacon.  This had to be one of the best homilies by a Deacon I have ever heard.  I was impressed.  (Which is saying something.)
18 yrs ago when in formation, taking homelitics, something stuck in my mind.  A near perfect homilest was talking about how a homily was not an exercise in elocution.  It is by the Power of the Cross that I have been given the power of giving homilies.  The Feast of the Holy Cross has been around since the 7th century when the True Cross was recovered from the Persians and shown in Jerusalem.  The cross is about the triumph of Jesus' love for us.  The cross of Moses prefigured Jesus.  Moses' cross healed all those who gazed upon it.  Jesus was lifted up so that all who believe would have eternal life.  God so loved the world, He gave His only Son.  The cross is a symbol of all our stains; it is the symbol of our personal relationship with Jesus.  Many people think the Cross is a trinket and has extra powers.  It is the power of Christ that conquers evil. (Duh...that's what they chant in the Exorcist...).  In the 2nd reading, Paul explains that Jesus accepted the worst death to demonstrate God's love for us.  Jesus showed us His love of the Father.  His death saved us from horror and a meaningless life.  Jesus is Lord.  His love makes this possible.  When we wear the cross, we are showing that Jesus is the Lord of our lives.  All of our problems take on infinite (missed this word) when merged with the Cross.  All might be saved through the Cross.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells.  Additionally there was a 2nd collection.  Father explained how he didn't get a raise every time there was a collection but that the money was used to protect the Church's patrimony.

Pictures:

















Link:
St. Boniface - Forth Smith

Sunday, September 7, 2014

St. Michael - West Memphis

Hello all.  I went to Memphis to look at a possible basset hound for me to adopt.  She totally snubbed me so I'm still looking.  Since I was on that side of the state, I attended St. Michael in West Memphis.

I attended the 5 pm Vigil on Saturday.  It was pretty full.  St. Michael's was a nice little church and the people seemed friendly.

Music:  Apparently the organist didn't come, so Father randomly picked songs.
Opening:  We Gather Together
Offertory:  Amazing Grace
Communion:  Silence
Closing:  Now Thank We All Our God

Homily
I really like our nuns but sometimes we drive each other crazy (I see).  Father then related a story about how he and Sister were driving somewhere and Father asked Sister to give the trucker the finger (the scandal).  So Sister gave him a thumbs up.  In today's Gospel, Jesus says if something bothers you, you need to address it yourself.  But we don't do that.  We go to the authorities first.  We go the person last.  Cops say domestic disputes are the worst, because there are no winners.  When we have a problem with another person we gossip or call the authorities but we don't confront that person.  It is very difficult.  We don't like to be confrontational. (some of us live for confrontation....)  When someone is bothering us, ask is it worth it?  Is it worth getting the authorities involved?  Look at your priorities.  Let it go instead of making a big deal out of it.  If you don't like something that a priest does, don't call the bishop first, let it go (somebody's gotten in trouble....).  We have to stop passive-aggressive behavior (*blink* but it is so much *fun*).

Father used one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Various Needs...it was all about love.  There were bells at the Consecration.

I was impressed.  Mass was over in 33 minutes.

Pictures:







Links:
St. Michael - West Memphis 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

St. Mary - Helena

Evening all!  I'd like to wish all my St. Louis readers a Happy Feast of St. Louis!  I wish I was there to celebrate and go to a mass in French (and to get the plenary indulgence and the ice cream...).

I was in Tunica this weekend, gambling the rent money, and passed through Helena, AR (It's a combined city...Helena West Helena).  I decided to return here for 10 am Mass on Sunday morning.  It's a really nice church for Arkansas and it is the second one with walls the color of my parents' living room.  (I picked that color out and did the painting so I'm real familiar with it.).  I wish I had known the church was designed by Charles Eames (SQUEE!! The Powers of Ten guy!!!!!!).  The windows were done by Emil Frei (I wondered why St. Louis was in the window...).  I got to Mass 5 minutes before it started and like most churches, the lights were off 10 minutes after Mass :(  I'd have taken a picture of the ceiling had a known. (Eames designed a second church in Arkansas.....and I pass it every time I go to St. Louis....very interesting....) Wow.  Who would of thought.  Helena AR was big when cotton was king and is the site of a huge Blues Festival (King Biscuit Blues Fest), as it had a thriving blues community in 1940s & 1950s.  Apparently, besides cotton, the other major industry was rubber.  When the rubber plant closed, the town has faced rough economic times.  It's apparently one of the poorest cities in the nation....(which doesn't surprise me in the least...).

Everyone was dressed rather nice (except me...ooops).  The pastor is going back to the Congo for the next month, so his replacement was introduced this morning.

The music was supplied by an organ (and maybe bells) and a choir in the loft!
Music:
Opening: The Church's One Foundation
Offertory: Only This I Want; Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
Communion: You Satisfy the Hungry Heart
Closing: Holy God We Praise Thy Name

Homily:  (For a change, I thought you'd like to see my actual notes, not the cleaned up version.  I had my ipad with me so I took digital notes.)
Word of god challenges us on authority
Symbolized by keys
Shopping for car.. Story of peter with big keys pope kisses statue not true

Prophet Isaiah speaks to man incharge of palace...chief of staff or prime minister
People who have lot of authority
God says will throw out and replace
All symbols will be given to him
Not good news if you threaten those with power...died in a "road accident". How people with big powers behave
Keys are given symbolize of authority
Have responsibility
Not only to those to government
Responsibility in family..
Parents are everything...have power, give displace and security
Difficult without parents when are young
Responsibility when you farm... Teach others..gives authority
It is nothing if not at service
Not priest for self...for others
What is point without congregation
U are good teacher when your students succeed (ugh...education reformy language)
Authority do your best
Peter has authority in faith
Only man god choose. That god reveleaded to him...who the son was and the father
Through peter we know that Jesus is son of god
Who do you say I am...Jesus continues to ask us
What is your answer...determined your commitment
When man and woman together,...what they call each other determines the commitment
If we never say Jesus is god, we don't have right relationship
He's not prophet, he is son of god...we profess this everyday

Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells at the Consecration.  The Holy Holy and the Lamb of God were sung in Latin and the Our Father was sung.

During the announcements, a note from Bishop Taylor was mentioned and Father further talked about it.  Basically, the Bishop is asking us to pray to stop the Black Mass in Oklahoma.  Father discussed it and talked about spiritual warfare.  Additionally, Father mentioned when Confirmation was this year and if you'd never been Confirmed, it wasn't too late.  (wow...topics I rarely here about at Mass.)

Pictures:  (Sorry...I was rushed..window #1, St. Anne and St. Joachim are all unusable)





Find St. Louis ;)

St. Bernard and St. Dominic


The Transept Windows: Representing 4 Offierings


Windows #2 & #3

 
Windows #4, #5, & #6



Link:
St. Mary - Helena (Click on the link that says Church Architecture...how Charles Eames came up with the design and the windows are described :) )
Helena West Helena (in case you want to go)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

St. Mary - St. Vincent

Hello all!  I'm back on track.  Going to Mass.  :) Until next weekend...and the weekend after that..and the weekend after that....(I'm going out of town (Tunica!), will do my bestest.)

This morning I headed to the blink and you missed it town known as St. Vincent.  It's about an hour or so away from Little Rock to the west.

The church was built in 1931, but it looks like the interior has been redone more recently.  I have to say they have the narrowest pews I've sat in for a modern church.  The pews had to be about foot on the part you sit on.  Not comfy in the slightest.  It was pretty plain on the inside, but nice.

Music:  There was an organ and small choir in the front of the church.
Opening:  All Are Welcome
Offertory:  Isaiah 49
Communion:  Come Gather At the Table
Closing:  Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

Homily:
Send her away say the disciple; not one of their finest moments (there are quite a few of these actually...).  The words seem so heartless, have they no compassion?  Jesus seems indifferent to the woman.  He was silent.  Jesus was up to something.  He was waiting to show His cards.  What is their motivation?  The disciples were physically tired...they had been following Jesus around, they were tired of the requests.  They were crabby.  Enough is enough.  We can see that in us.  Additionally, it was very important to know who were in and who were out.  It was unthinkable to acknowledge someone who was out (It's like high school...).  What did Jesus do?  He verbalized the deep seated prejudices at the time.  The woman senses what Jesus is doing.  Jesus is confronting man made barriers and ridiculous grudges.  Jesus did not buy into injustice.  He and the woman were in search of goodness.   He tells the woman that her Faith is great.  The disciples were closed minded, narrow viewed, cold hearted and lacking in Faith.  The woman was open minded, broad viewed and warm hearted and had great Faith (cause she's a woman...and we awesome.)  This is not a window into the past.  The prejudice continues today.  We like to inclusive/exclusive; based on how much they are like us.  We make hurtful distinctions about who is one of us and who is not.  God's love has no boundaries.  All of us have people in our life that need our love, compassion and understanding, but we fail to give it to them.

Father verbalized all the secret prayers and used Eucharistic Prayer III, with bells.

Pictures:





Link:
St. Mary - St. Vincent

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Celebrating!

My birthday coincides with the Feast of St. Dominic.  One must properly celebrate.



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sorry

There was no church visit today.  I explain why below.

A family member and I got into a huge argument last night.  This family member is leaving the Catholic Church and being baptized into the Baptist Church.  Normally, I would just be like whatever and put up a token protest.  Of course, there is a complication.  Namely 3.  I am Godmother to this person's children (2 of 3 and would have been to all 3 if the pastoral administrator hadn't gotten creative.)  I reminded (as nonconfrontationally as possible...but you've read my blog...) that they and I had gotten up before the Catholic Church and promised to raise these children Catholic.  Needless to say, this person took exception to be reminded of the Baptismal promises.  This person claimed they never had a choice to be baptized.  I accepted that reminded them that they stood up since then 3 times to baptize these children.  I got a lot of well the children think Mass is boring.  The homilies are boring.  There is nothing the Church offers the children like Vacation Bible School and bible study.  They aren't learning anything in PSR.  I tried to remind them that it is their responsibility as parent to teach.  I also reminded them that the world is boring and you'd just better get used to it.  What happens when they (they are in 3rd and 1st grade) find school boring?  Are you just going to stop going?  Oh they love school...  I tried to tell her that religion is not a shoe, it is not about a "fit" Then I was reminded of my responsibilities as a godparent and how I've utterly failed.  Which I freely admit and accept.  I have done a terrible job.  But I couldn't just let this go.    Needless to say, this has escalated to Facebook, where terribly unChristian things are being said.  (I'm thinking this baptism isn't going to stick either).

Needless to say I didn't fall asleep until 5 am because I was so upset and only slept for 2 hours.  Two hours of horrible dreams of black tendrils pulling at me, pulling me down.  Fell back asleep at 10 for two more hours.  I'm totally out of it.


I confess to almighty God 
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, 
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, 
through my fault, 
through my fault, 
through my most grievous fault; 
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, 
all the Angels and Saints, 
and you, my brothers and sisters, 
to pray for me to the Lord our God.