Sunday, November 30, 2014

And now what?

Hello all.
I have been officially transferred back to St. Louis, effective today!  YAY!

I have bought a house.  YAY!!!!  It's not quite in the neighborhood I want, but pretty close.  It's actually in the parish of Epiphany.  Barely.

I vaguely remember my last visit...after awhile, all the churches blend together unless something spectacular happens. (like dancing...)

I'd forgotten how plain the interior of the church was.  All white except for the woodwork.  There was stained glass but it was symbols and not people.  It was all white....white...with a tiny tabernacle in the center of the whiteness.

I was sitting there going I can overlook the vast expanses of white if I am spiritually fed, if there is good music.

Hey did you know today is the first day of Advent?  I don't think the music director got the memo.  The closing song was Soon and Very Soon and then the Communion and Offertory was 670 and 671 in the Breaking Bread.  The opening was by Marty Haugen...I want to say 587?  No O Come O Come Emmanual?  No Advent songs at all???

The homily was about some new scheme Father had to get money or people involved.  Ah yes.  It's in the bulletin.  There are 3 advent goals for the parish.  The gold goal...send some teens to Haiti to help the poor heathens.  The Frankincense goal...write down what you want the parish to pray for.  They will be placed in the "...frankincense container as reminder that as the smoke of the incense raises heavenly ward so does our prayers at each Mass."  Incense?  They actually use incense here?  Oooo.."At each and every Mass as the gifts of bread and wine are brought forward we are invited to the bread and wine as a symbol of our hopes and dreams."  (That Jesus guy...his blood and body...not so much...but hope and change...er sorry hope and dreams.. definitely....).  Feel the squishy....feel it!  The 3rd goal is the myrrh goal...seek out opportunities to die to oneself...we are being challenged to do something 1x a week or even 1x a day that is outside our comfort zone and to die to ourselves in the service of others.  Like doing the dishes without complaining, or learning about the Faith.  (Funny...protesting and participating in die-ins wasn't mentioned...).  I don't know about you...but doing the dishes without complaint, especially when there is a dishwasher involved, doesn't seem so much like dying to myself....

The first part of the homily was about the word Watch.  I don't know I wasn't paying attention.  I was trying to imagine how if I infiltrated the parish council I could convince/coerce the parish that white...vast expanses of white, are bad....

Before I went to Mass today, I decided that I will give the parish 1 month.  If any hugging breaks out though, I'm out of there.  It's going to be a long month...

Immaculate Heart of Mary - North Little Rock (Marche)

For my last Mass in Arkansas, I headed to Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the community of Marche, which is on the edge of North Little Rock.  I'm thinking this used to be a Polish community, but now it hosts the Vietnamese Masses every other Sunday.

Music was accompanied by a small electric piano and choir in the front of the church.  The choir loft provided extra seating.
Opening: The King of Glory
Offertory: The Summonss
Communion:  Whatsoever You Do; Gift of Finest Wheat
Closing: Soon and Very Soon

The homily was given by the Deacon.
Who is your king.  Who or what do you let lead your lives. Some say it is cultural. The Irish drink, the German are bullheaded.  This is not an excuse.  We are called to conversion.  Do we let the government detemine our morality or does Jesus determine it?  Jesus separates the sheep from goats. He decides who is who. Jesus rules until his enemies under his feet.  Jesus puts the sheep on the right.  The sheep are the ones who give him food and comfort.  When was the last time you called or visited the sick?  Have you comforted the stressed or are you the one causing the stress?  What if that person is anxious because they need forgiveness from you.  Maybe you need to be forgiven.  Have you asked?  Jesus is King.  Who rules your life?  Is it Christ the King?

Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells.  And a bake sale after Mass.

Pictures:












The Archangels, but I don't know who #4 is.



Link:
Immaculate Heart of Mary - Marche

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nigerian Community Mass

Hello all!

Little Rock is home to a Nigerian community.  Every 3rd Sunday, they celebrate Mass in Igbo at St. Augustine's in North Little Rock.

I was told by someone that if I arrived 1/2 hour before Mass, Sister would go over the responses.  I got to St. Augustine at 1:30 pm, walked in and was greeted by women who were curious as to why I was in Church.  I discovered that the Mass had been moved to St. Patrick.  (GPS to the rescue!).  Fifteen minutes later I'm walking into St. Patrick.  The 2nd Reading is currently being read.  Apparently Mass started at 1:30 instead of 2 (ooops).

Most of the Mass was in Igbo.  The homily and Eucharistic Prayer were in English.  Most everything was sung, including the Nicene Creed.  Strangely the Our Father wasn't sung.

The music style reminded me of this song or this one from the Lion King Broadway Musical.

In case I was unclear if Father was born in America, the first part of his homily cleared that right up.  He actually talked about the First Reading from Proverbs 31.  I had a hard time understanding him in the back.  In the First Reading, it describes an ideal woman and wife.  A role model.  Something women should emulate.  Men would be happy if women would be these things (riiiight.)  Complete happiness.  Men must search for this woman, not just go to a club and pick any old women.  (mmhmmm).  If you find, you will know what makes a woman.  Beauty.  Her heart makes her beautiful.  Do not marry for beauty...beauty fades.  Marry for her worth, what she can do.  She takes care of her family, her community.  Men you must praise and encourage your women.  Her reward is your praise.  (I prefer sparkly things...).  Father then went on to talk about time, talent and treasure.  (the standard homily of you need to use your talent and treasure).

At the Presentation of the Gifts, everyone danced up and gave food.  (Which apparently the priests eat...I hope they like rice...saw lots of rice).  There was some minor chaos at this moment.  In the back the men were like this is not what was agreed.

Apparently, it is harvest time in Nigeria, so today is when they would traditionally have their harvest fest.  After the Closing Prayer, each family brought up a donation for the Church to auction off.  Had this been in Nigeria, it would have been some of the harvest.

Many of the women and men wore traditional clothing.  The women wore headdresses that looked like roses...they were folded and wrapped around their heads.  The dresses were very sparkly and two pies. The skirts were tight at the top and then flared out at the bottom.

Here's a movie of the Presentation of the Gifts.

video




Links:
To pictures previously taken of St. Patrick
St. Augustine

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine

Mary, Queen of Peace
Roadside Shrine in 
O'Fallon, MO

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hey

Surgery went well...
Is at parents recuperating...
When i can sit upright ill post pictures

Sunday, October 5, 2014

St. Edward - Texarkana

Hello all.
I have some semi-sad news.  This is my last actual Mass in Arkansas.  There might be one more in late November.  I have some more stuff to post so the posts will be going on for a couple more weeks.
I report to St. Louis on 12/1 :D  (YAAAAY!!!!!!!)  If you know of a house for sale (I'm poor...so no mansions...) drop me a line.

On Saturday I went digging for diamonds (no diamonds....) and then went to Mass in Texarkana AR.  I went to St. Edward for the 5 pm Mass.

I was asked again who I was with when I was taking pictures.  This time I played dumb and was like where was the bathroom?  I look like I just rolled out of the diamond mine....I'm sure I'm with a professional organization...

It was very lovely inside but the windows were the best.

Before Mass the congregation recited the Act of Faith.  Then there were announcements.

There must be a shortage of children in the parish as Grandma acted as the server.

Music:
It was accompanied by an organ in the loft.
Opening:  Bring Forth the Kingdom
Offertory:  Lord of All Hopefulness
Communion:  Now We Remain
Closing:  O Christ the Great Foundation

Homily:
Father was a non-native speaker of English.  Normally I don't have a problem understanding a non-native speaker, but I had a tough time understanding Father.  So I apologize for the sketchy homily.  In the Gospel of St. John, the Lord works as a Gardner and asks us to produce more fruit (ever since I got that job in agriculture, the Gospel makes more sense.)  Our life is the fertile soil.  Faith.  Love of parents trains us with care.  Christ encourages production.  We must endure pruning to correct wrongs in our life (I don't want to be pruned....)  Instead we watch TV instead of service.  Sacrifice shows us how to live life well.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were bells.

Pictures:














 







Links:
St. Edward - Texarkana


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Update pt2

Next weekend will be my last post of an Arkansas church for a bit.  I'm having surgery for my girlie bits on October 15. Feel free to pray (that it goes well...).  I could be out anywhere from 2-6 weeks.

Oh.  And by the way....
I've been transferred back to St. Louis :D :D :D :D