Sunday, October 18, 2009

Immaculate Heart of Mary - St. Louis

Due to circumstances within my control (driving while tired and not paying close enough attention), the wheel of my car is damaged and only drivable in an emergency.  I was hoping to get it fixed and go to a Life Teen Mass during the evening or to the Old Cathedral, but unfortunately, wheels are a little hard to come by on Sunday morning.  Which means I had to walk.  To my territorial parish.

On October 18, 2009, I attended the 10:30 am Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary in south St. Louis City.  The pastor is currently serving his country at a medical center overseas, helping wounded soldiers (WOOT!).  The kind priest who filled in for him was from the seminary and was wearing a cassock.

Today is also World Mission Sunday, a chance for Catholics to recommit themselves to being Christ's missionaries.  Apparently, it is also time for a second collection to support missionary efforts throughout the world.  No second collection occurred :(

Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) was built in the mid-1950s.  The Church is in a T shape, with pews in the arms and down the front and is very modern.  There is no choir loft and the choir sings to the left of the altar in the arm of the T.  For a time, the only statues in the Church were gold statues of Mary and Joseph, but recently, the parish has added 3 more statues in the back.  The windows are blue and modern with the windows above and behind the altar depicting the Joyful Mysteries and Mary, Queen of Heaven.  The windows down the center part of the Church are of the Apostles, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louis, King of France.  As I was waiting for Mass to begin, I started wondering where the female saints are and how the ratio to female and male saints compares throughout Churches.  Then I wondered how a parish even picks what to put in the windows.  At my old parish, St. Boniface (now closed :( ), the people who donated the window picked the saint, which made for a very eclectic collection.  Why some churches had abstract blocks for stained glass windows became rather clear at that point.  After Mass I did find 3 female saints, out of 20 windows (not counting Mary, who had 6!).

Apparently, the Seventh Graders from the school planned and assisted today's liturgy.  It is wonderful to see pre-teens involved in the Mass.

The songs, which did a nice job of tying into the theme of the readings (Being a Servant) and World Mission Sunday were:
Opening:  Amazing Grace (played on an organ)
Offertory: Servant Song (played on the piano)
Communion: The Summons (piano)
Recessional: Take the World of God With You (piano)

IHM has a Children's Liturgy at this Mass and before the children went off to parts unknown, Father they gave them a very nice blessing.

I'm having a little trouble picking out the theme of Father's homily.  It was very nice and was about how Jesus offered everything to God and how we are servants because we have Baptized and Confirmed.  Also we are called to be servants and offer up suffering? for the salvation of souls.

I think I am just cranky from lack of sleep, but everyone seemed awful chatty in Mass today and instead of singing were chatting.  Dress was really casual and there was a mass exodus after Communion.

There were bells at the Consecration and the deacon kneeled during the Consecration.


Statue of Mary, outside of Church.
She's in a little garden with a rosary walk next to her.

Blessed Mother Teresa

View From the Back Pew!

The Twelfth Station of the Cross:  Jesus Dies

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Website
Pictures from Rome of the West
More information on the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Thanks Joy!)

Bonus Pic:

Welcome home from Mass Mommy!

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