Thursday, October 29, 2009

November 2009 Schedule

I know you are all dying to know where I am going in November!

11/1 All Saints in University City (10 am)
11/2 St. Francis deSales (6:30 pm)
11/8 St. Elizabeth, Mother of St. John the Baptist (may exchange with All Souls)
11/15 St. Elizabeth of Hungary
11/22 Christ the King
11/29 is still open to debate either St. John the Baptist, St. Simon, Old Cathedral (or you could persuade me to go elsewhere!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

What is Up With All the Extra Links?

Hello all.
In case you haven't noticed, I've started including links to provide background on some of the things I've mentioned. So for example, when I've mentioned the Stations of the Cross, I've provided a link to a website that describes what the Stations of the Cross entail.  This is to help non-Catholics, new Catholics and Catholics who have forgotten their Faith learn about being Catholic.

Why am I suddenly doing this?  Well, I was listening to Father's homily on World Mission Sunday about how we are called to be missionaries for Christ and are called to serve and I started thinking about how I could be a missionary for Christ.  Without the hardship.  Or the possible martyrdom.  And then I was like...hey I have a blog (or 3)...I could be a missionary that way.

Have a good week!
If you have some suggestions of websites that provide accurate, clear descriptions of Catholicism and Catholic tops, feel free to leave them in the comment box! (Try not to link directly to the Catechism? ;) )

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our Lady of the Rosary - Spanish Lake

On Sunday, October 25, 2009, I visited Our Lady of the Rosary in Spanish Lake.  It's right next door to Trinity Catholic High School.   Our Lady of the Rosary is a new parish, founded in 2005, by merging Our Lady of Loretto, St. Aloysius and parts of Transfiguration.  Our Lady of the Rosary is located in the what was Our Lady of Loreto's Church, which was built in 1983.

Our Lady of the Rosary is roughly in the shape of an isosceles triangle, with the sanctuary at the tip of the two equal sides.  It is throughly modern and sparsely decorated.  There were banners.  The Stations of the Cross were on the back wall.

There was a choir in the back on the left.  The songs were:
Opening:  Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
Song of Presentation:  Christ Be Our Light
Communion:  A medley of Open My Eyes and Amazing Grace, the verses alternated.
Closing:  Sing of the Lord's Goodness

The opening song was played on the organ, the rest of the songs were played on a piano, and the Sing of the Lord's Goodness was accompanied by an African drum.

The Church itself was half full and most of the parishioners were older and elderly.  The entire Mass I kept thinking something was missing (besides people to fill the rest of pews) and I finally figured it out during Communion.  There were no young or little boys.  There was one teenage boy and that was it.  There were few men that were not of the baby-boomer generation.  This is a big contrast to Holy Rosary, which was full of men of all ages.

Instead of a homily, Father instead talked about the Faith for the Future campaign, to benefit the seminary.  There was also a nice video (which you can see on the website.) about the seminary and the men who have studied there.  I was able to pick out a couple of priests (Hi Fr. B!) and churches in the video. Apparently our seminary needs some repair.  Even if there is no direct benefit to you (according to Father at Mass) you should still donate to the campaign. (Really you should, so I can get the seminary's books through my university library...directly benefits me :) ).

The Mass was a typical Mass.  Father's chasuble was just plain green.  He said Eucharistic Prayer III and there were no bells at the Consecration.  His gestures seemed off.  I can't say for certain, the gestures just seemed not right.  Father called the Our Father, the prayer of the disciples.

Father did say at the end of each Mass, the parish would pray the prayer the Faith for the Future campaign leaders provided.


The Cornerstones and a statue of St. Aloysius

View From the Back Pew

I believe I Can Fly.
I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be the Crucifix.
But it seems to be missing the Cross.
Maybe it is the Ascension?
(I have been informed this is Touchdown Jesus...wonder who Jesus is cheering for?)


This picture is a mosaic made from picture of the
families from the parish.
This is totally awesome.

Our Lady of the Rosary Website

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!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Holy Rosary - Warrenton

October is another month traditionally devoted to Mary, especially the Rosary.  So I decided to visit parishes in some way connected to the Rosary in October.  My first stop was Holy Rosary in Warrenton (although Truesdale was just feet away), 64.4 highway miles from my house (took me about an hour).  This is in a rural area although it is experiencing some urbanization/suburbanization (The big hint:  The parish bulletin asked for donations of hogs...).   I attended the 11 am Mass on October 11, 2009.

This was a very modern church.  Very modern design.  The interior was a mix of modern and traditional. It was also rather small, only 14 pews on a side.  Mass was pretty close to standing room only.

There was no choir at this Mass, but there were two cantors.  The music was provided by an organ in the back corner.  The music:
Opening:  On This Day, O Beautiful Mother (Everyone sang, even the men!  I was floored.)
Gloria:  Gloria by Mike Anderson (It's the one with the clapping...but we didn't clap) (572 in The Music Issue) (mp3 with clapping!)
Offertory: Christ Be Our Light
Communion:  Eye Has Not Seen (connects with the homily) and Pan De Vida
Closing:  Gather Us In (Not to be snarky, but isn't this an opening or gathering song?)

Something different this week, the Confiteor was said in the Pentitential Rite and  Eucharistic Prayer III was used.  There was no processional Cross or bells at the Consecration.

The theme for the homily was What Must I Do?  and Where Do You Seek Wisdom?  and something about a sword and pain.

After Mass, I talked with Father who gave a little history of the Church.  He was very sweet!


Bell from the second Church.
(The current Church is the 4th.)

Holy Rosary has a Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  It was locked but I did get pictures of the outside for you!

Front of Blessed Sacrament Chapel
There's a cross on top...but you can't see it because of the clouds.

Front Window of Chapel

Back Window of Chapel

Cornerstone (Not on a corner BTW or the ground)
The Cross Says Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church
Archbishop Ritter

(Outside of Church)

View From the Back Pew!

Altar and Tabernacle
According to Father, the interior was renovated a few years ago.
The altar came from another parish.
The candle stands (and matching ambo) were made by a parishoner.
The tile work around the Tabernacle extends around the stained glass cross
on the back wall.
Also, the renovation moved the Tabernacle from the side to the center.

Our Lady of Guadalupe with St. Juan Deigo Botto
In the background you can see the handmade lecturn or ambo.

Holy Rosary Parish Website
The Rosary from Catholic Encyclopedia

FYI:  The parish is having a Fall Dinner on Oct. 25, 2009!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pet Blessing at St. Anthony of Padua

Today(10/4), being the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, the local Franciscan parish, St. Anthony of Padua, had a pet blessing.  There were some birds, some cats, 3 chickens, lots of dogs and Jake!

Father read the Blessing from the Book of Blessings and then he went around and sprinkled every animal with Holy Water.

The friary at St. Anthony of Padua

Father Jim blessing the pets.

Jake waiting for his blessing.

St. Anthony of Padua - St. Louis

Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi!

To celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I headed to the local Franciscan parish, conveniently located about 10 minutes from my house.

I attended the 10 am Mass at St. Anthony of Padua on Sunday October 4, 2009. Because it is a parish run by the Franciscans, the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time was superseded by the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, so all the readings and other liturgical pieces, like the opening prayer were different.

The choir was in the choir loft with the organ, which was used.
Before Mass Reflection: All Things Bright and Beautiful
Opening: For the Beauty of the Earth
Offertory: For the Fruits of This Creation
Communion: Canticle of the Sun
Communion Reflection: Prayer of St. Francis/Make an Instrument of Your Peace
Closing: All Creatures of Our God and King

Father wore gold sparkly vestments, which from a distance, looked like unbleached linen, but they then they sparkled when the light hit them. He did wear his stole on the outside, which had the Franciscan Cross and St. Francis on it. The Franciscans from the Friary also attended and they were all in their Franciscan habits, minus sandals (but wearing shoes). Right after the Gloria, the children were sent out for Children's Liturgy, with Father telling them they were going to learn about God, Jesus and maybe St. Francis.

The homily was about how St. Francis was searching for the answer to "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Francis spent his life trying to be Christian. The final thought was a quote from St. Francis, "May Christ teach you what is ours to do."

The Intentions of the Faithful were orientated to St. Francis and Franciscans, with the response, "Remember us Lord, in Your Love." There were bells rang at the Consecration.

I will have to say, of all the churches I have visited, St. Anthony's has the roomiest pews. I'm not all that thin, and it was nice to be able to kneel without my back-end hitting the pew. I also didn't feel crowded, like in some churches were the pews are closer together.


View from the Back Pew!
(I believe the aisle is 125 feet.)

The nave of the Church is decorated with paintings of
the Saints and scenes of Christ's life.
These are pretty high up.

St. Anthony of Padua

Extra Pictures:
St. Anthony of Padua Website
Pictures from Rome of the West or here.
Pictures from Built St. Louis

As a special bonus, the Franciscans had a little fair in the parish hall to display their different ministries.

Brother Bear

To celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, here are some St. Francis links
My Favorite Franciscan, Father Charles
Franciscan Archive
Franciscan Prayers (Thanks Lavona for the link.)
Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi (Thanks Joy for the link.)