Sunday, July 25, 2010

St. James the Greater

Happy Feast of St. James the Greater!

For Mass I attended the 10:30 am Mass at St. James the Greater in the Dogtown area of St. Louis.  Since it was the patronal feast of the parish, the readings were the readings for the Feast of St. James, instead of the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The Gospel was from Matthew and was about James and John asking to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus via their mother.

I have to admit, I don't know all that much about St. James other than he was an apostle and brother of John.  When I first walked into the Church, I noticed red decorations.  Apparently St. James the Greater was a martyr.  I asked Father and found out he was the first apostle to be martyred and was beheaded.

The choir was actually in the choir loft.  The music was very nice and some songs seemed to have an Irish flair.  There were bells, tamborines and drums along with the piano or organ depending the song.
Processional:  Here We Stand (They changed the lyrics to get St. James the Greater Community in there.)
Gloria:  Mass of Light
Preparation of Gifts:  Gather Your People
Rite of Peace:  Irish Blessing
Communion:  The Summons
Meditation:  Prayer (to the tune of O Danny Boy)
Recessional:  Canticle of the Turning

Father went all out for the feast day with the Full Penitential Rite, with the Kyrie in Greek and Eucharistic Prayer 1 (with bells)!  The Our Father was chanted.

At the beginning of Mass, Father asked us to pray that God makes us a saint like St. James (Can I pick a saint that wasn't martyred??)

The homily talked about how John and James were fishing when Jesus called them and how they left everything behind.  Father mentioned John and James were teenagers mostly likely looking to get out of work.  According to St. Paul, St. James was a vessel of clay and had weakness.  God finds it easier to work with those that are weaker, as His Glory shines through.  John and James were known as the sons of thunder because they were impetiuous and hot headed and followed Jesus without much thought.  In the Gospel, John and James tried to manipulate Jesus through their mother.  Jesus, like all men, apparently had trouble turning women down, especially crying women.  (Really?  That seems rather wussy of Jesus.. and note to self...cry when I want a guy to do something for me.)  Jesus chooses the weak and the impetiuous.  Additionally, in the most important parts of the Gospel, Jesus bring Peter, John and James along, like for the Transfiguration and the Agony in the Garden.  What can we learn from St. James? Jesus chooses vessels of clay; we can carry the Glory of God.

At the end of Mass, Father mentioned that St. James was Irish and the Irish were a lost tribe of Israel. (see my eyes rolling?)

Father was very friendly and it was a lovely visit.
There were also pancakes today to benefit the school.  YUM!

Exterior of St. James the Greater
St. James the Greater

Celtic Cross
Celtic Cross Dedicated to the Priests of the Parish

View From the Back Pew of St. James the Greater
View From the Back Pew!

Sanctuary Wall
Close Up of Sanctuary Wall

St. James the Greater
St. James the Greater

Relic of St. James the Greater
Relic of St. James the Greater

Chapel of Our Lady
Chapel of Our Lady

Relic of St. Velo
Relic of St. Velo (Vela)
not sure really
the letter BMV are also seen
UPDATE: Apparently, this is a piece of the Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Eighth and Ninth Station
The Ninth and Eighth Stations
And a Consecration Cross

Jesus Teaching
Scenes from the Gospel: Jesus Teaching
I'm not sure what the young person with the dog is in the middle column
bottom row is.

Gospel Scenes Involving Boats
Thinks the theme for this is Jesus Rescuing people
There's Jesus in the boat
Jesus saving a lamb

Mary and Various Saints
Second Row: St. Dominic receiving the rosary
St. Simon Stock receiving the brown scapular
Third Row: St. Barbara and St. Cecilia (not sure I'm buyin that's a harp)
Not sure on the top row.

Link to more pictures by me on flickr.  (Feel free to leave comments on who or what is seen in the windows.

St. James the Greater Website
Pictures from Rome of the West
FYI:  The parish is selling cookbooks to raise money for the 150th anniversary celebration of the parish!

Visitation/St. Ann Shrine

The Feast of St. Ann, Mother of Mary, is July 26.  Every year, Visitation/St. Ann Shrine holds a novena to St. Ann for the 8 days leading up to the feast and the feast day itself.  On Saturday, July 24, 2010, I attended the seventh day of the Novena and the 6 pm Mass at the Shrine.   The seventh day of the Novena was for those suffering from physical illness.  Different priests celebrate Mass on each of the different days.

Visitation/St. Ann Shrine is a beautiful old church in need of a little restoration.  The stained glass windows are awesome.

Visitation/St. Ann Shrine is in a part of St. Louis City that is predominately African-American.  As such, the church music (gospel and soul) and decorations (like the altar cloth which was kente cloth) tend to reflect this.

The music was accompanied by an electronic keyboard.  It wasn't the full choir that provided the music,  I was told after Mass: the full choir is apparently quite large.  The keyboardist was awesome.
Opening:  I've Got a Feeling (Not the song by the Beatles or Pearl Jam FYI)
Presentation of the Gifts:  All I Need Is a Touch
Communion:  Spirit of the Living God
Recessional:  Hold to His Hand

Since the readings were for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the homily reflected that, although Father started off by asking for the intercession of St. Ann.  God knows what we need.  God provides what we need to touch us.  Where is that place you go to pray?  What do you ask of God?  We are God's beloved.  We find our names written on God's palm.  There is that sense of love.  We need to pray that God's Will be done.  Sometimes God's will is a test of our hope and our faithfulness to walking God's Path.  God will provide the healing we seek; We are His beloved.

After the homily, the relics of St. Anne were venerated as well as the novena prayers said.  I thought it was a little odd to have the novena in the middle of the Mass.  I thought they were supposed to be outside of Mass.  (FYI People:  If you are going to be kissing relics, don't wear thick gooey lipstick...)

I think Father used Eucharistic Prayer I for Reconciliation, whichever Eucharistic Prayer it was, it was in the way back of the Sacramentary.  There were no bells.

Father and the parishoners were very friendly.


Front Exterior of Visitation/St. Ann
Visitation/St. Ann Shrine

Gargoyles on Bell Tower

Relic of St. Ann
Relic of St. Ann

Relic of St. Ann
Relic of St. Ann

Interior of Visitation/St. Anne
View From the Back Pew!

St. Anne Teaching Mary

Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted
Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted

Virgin of Montserrat

Hail Mary

Jesus with Children
Jesus with Children

Assumption of Mary
Assumption of Mary

Death of St. Joseph
Death of St. Joseph

Mary Visits Elizabeth
Mary Visits Elizabeth

Links to more pictures by me on flickr

Visitation/St. Ann Shrine Website
Novenas to Saint Ann:  Novena 1, Novena 2Novena 3  (I think they are all the same..)
Litanies to Saint Ann:  Litany 1, Litany 2, Litany 3
Link to Chaplet of St. Ann  (Visitation/St. Ann Shrine had handmade chaplets available and St. Ann Water.  I'm still trying to figure out what exactly St. Ann water is....)
Pictures (and here!) from Rome of the West

Sunday, July 18, 2010

St. Mary - Hawk Point

Hello All!

On Sunday, July 18, 2010, I attended the 9:30 am Mass at St. Mary in Hawk Point.

I have to say straight up that although it was a cute little church, the Mass was rather depressing.  There was no music and Mass took 36 minutes.  In other words, it took me nearly 3x the length of Mass to get there...  I can't remember the last time I went to a Sunday Mass and the priest, in the absence of musicians, didn't attempt to sing the Alleluia.  Also, I thought on Sunday, if there was no music, the Entrance and Communion Antiphons were supposed to be read or used.  Which makes me wonder why there are antiphons if they are never used...

The church was packed with people needing to sit in the choir loft.

Father started his homily off by mentioning how life is getting busier and faster (like this Mass...but I digress).  As life has gotten busier and faster, it seems as if we have lost things, like entertainment (uhm..the Internet entertains me...I'm thinking that's not the word form Father wanted...but rather wanted the art of entertaining or some such) and being a gracious host. In the First Reading, Abraham was shown to be a gracious host.  In the Gospel, Martha doesn't spend time with her guest, Jesus.  The Lord wants to be a guest in our house in us.  Why aren't we prepared for our guests, for Jesus?  Why all the excuses?  Excuses are for bad hosts (YES! I knew Jesus didn't want me to clean my room but rather hang with Him).  At some point open the door for Jesus.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were bells at the Consecration.

I have one minor little quibble.  I was reading the bulletin and noticed that the parish is selling "Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers"  (I would have bought a copy had I known...).  The blurb in the bulletin mentions that you may be given a religious item, such as a rosary or medal, you would like to bless and can use this book.  Rosaries and medals are sacramentals and must by blessed by someone who's taken Holy Orders.  I'm thinking it is just a bad example because three lines above the example, the blurb mentions that only the ordained can bless things that center around the ecclesial and sacramental life of the Church.  I could be wrong I guess, but if who blesses a rosary is not all that important, in that I could do it, why is it such a big deal to have a rosary blessed by the Pope or by a

I'm still curious as to which Mary the parish is named after.  I don't think I've ever heard of Mary, Mother of Jesus referred to as a saint, so I'm wondering who the parish is named after...
Update:  Okay apparently it is common to name Mary as a Saint.  As in St. Mary of Victories and such.  I always thought Mary was kind of above the title of Saint, being Queen of All Saints.  So when I hear of a parish named St. Mary, Our Lady is not the first person I think of and don't make the connection.


St. Mary - Hawk Point

Grotto of Mary

This was on the side of the church.

View From the Back Pew!
13 pews down a side.

The Eighth Station:
Jesus Speaks to the Weeping Women

Apparently, the parish has Bohemian origins.
(psst...I'm Bohemian too!)

I see the Annunciation, the Wedding at Cana, and the Assumption.
I'm a little confused why Mary is being crowned with thorns though

St. Joseph
I'm not sure who that is above the Vatican.
If that is God, I'm rather scared...

PS For those of you who are interested, I'll be doing an update the first week of August, to celebrate 1 year of church hopping!  A little tease:  I've only heard "Gather Us In" 7 times...

St. Mary's Website

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Peoria's Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception

Last Saturday, July 10, I was helping a pal and was in Peoria.  We happened to find the Cathedral, so of course we stopped to take pictures.  The Cathedral was really cool, but in a not so cool neighborhood.  The doors were understandably locked.

The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception 
Bishop's Residence

Bishop's Seal
I can't tell if they replace this everytime they get a new Bishop.
It looks like it has been replaced..
you can see the cement on the edges.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Marian Seal above the door

I took a picture through the glass and down the hallway.
Looks rather interesting

Cross to commemorate a visit by Father Marquette

Pictures from Rome of the West

Friday, July 16, 2010

Comment Moderation

Hello All!
Happy Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Sad to say, this blog keeps getting hit with porn spam.  As a result, I've had to turn on comment moderation, which makes me very sad.  I'll allow pretty much all comments except for spam.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Relics of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Today there was a special event at Sts. Teresa and Bridget!  Relics from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta were on display as well as posters detailing her life.  The order Blessed Teresa worked with works in the neighborhood and there was a large presence today.  There were many people that came to see and venerate the relics.  I saw priests, seminarians, sisters, as well as people of all ages.  Considering I didn't hear about it until 1 pm (Thanks St. Louis Catholic!) and it opened at 3 pm, I thought it was well attended.

Sts Teresa and Bridget is a beautiful older church built in 1900.  The stained glass windows are phenomenal and the ceiling is painted with saints and scenes from the Bible.

Relics of Blessed Teresa Calcutta

Relics Up Close

Blessed Teresa's Crucifix and Rosary

Blessed Teresa's Sandals

Crowning of Mary
Love the Rainbow :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

St. Richard Creve Coeur

Happy Monday!
Sorry my post is late.  Some friends from out of town came in and I've been playing tour guide.  In honor of my friends, I went to St. Richard in Creve Coeur.

I attended the 11 am Mass on Sunday, July 11.

St. Richard was built in 1965 and is a more modern design.  It's in the shape of a square.  The Sanctuary is in a corner with the pews fanned out around, essentially around the diagonal.  There are four huge stained glass windows, with one on each wall.  The Stations of the Cross are actually inset into the wall.  Although the Church was a little sparse decoration wise, I rather liked it.  There were lots of late comers to Mass this day.

The music was accompanied by a piano, with the musicians and choir in a corner off to the side, rather than in the front.
PreMass:  The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor
Opening:  Praise to the Lord
Offertory:  Though I May ( was a solo by the cantor)
Communion:  Here I Am Lord
Closing:  Lead Me Guide Me
The Gloria was rather jazzy.

Father started off his homily referring to Lebron James and how he has an exaggerated sense of importance.  In the Letter from St. Paul, St. Paul spells out the importance of the Lord.  He answers who Jesus is.  Jesus is the greatest.  (Thought that was Ali).  Father then moved onto the Gospel and why the first two men passed the victim by.  Father explained it was likely that the priest and Levite were on their way to the Temple and it might be their only chance in life to serve at the Temple.  If they had helped the victim, they would become unclean and wouldn't be able to serve.  Father then moved on to the question of Who is my neighbor and how Jesus answered it.  Jesus' answer was so radical because the Jews only thought other Jews were their neighbors.  Father than talked about immigration.  We see the immigrants not as neighbors but as bad people.  It is a problem but we can fix it.  As Catholics, we have to face this issue.  The country the people are coming to and the country they left both have rights and responsibilities. See here in the Catechism.  Father referenced Archbishop Burke, who used to be our Archbishop, but is currently at the Vatican on the court.  Father then told a story about two churches.  One church celebrated their Jubilee with dancing and partying while the other church celebrated by feeding those in need.  The challenge for us is to go and do likewise.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were bells at the Consecration.  There was a lot of hand raising at the Our Father.  It was a nice Mass.  My only quibble was that during the intentions, the Deacon read every single name off the parish sick list, which was most definitely over 20 people.  I have no problem praying for the sick of the parish, it was just really long and I wonder how many people pay attention...

St. Richard
The Square beyond Compare...

St. Richard going through a door...

Painting of the Holy Spirit

Mary and St. Joseph
Electronic Candles...

Painting of I think Veronica's Veil
(Sorry about the glare)

View From the Back Pew!

One thing I really liked is that the Church had signs under each of the window,
informing one of who the saint was and a little blurb about them.

I'm curious as to the cup on the ground.

The Eighth Station

See St. Richard on the wall?  

St. Richard Website