Sunday, September 26, 2010

St. David - Arnold


On September 26, 2010, I attended the 10:30 am Mass at St. David in Arnold.

St. David was built in 1964.  It has to be the plainest Catholic Church I have been in.  It gives St. Matthais a run for its money.  There were no Stations of the Cross.  There was a tiny statue of Mary in the front.  I understand in the 1960s, there may not have been funds or the inclination to decorate the Church.  Surely, with all the parish closings/mergings in the last 10 or so years, they couldn't get a bigger statue of Mary from one of the closing parishes?  I'm immensely curious as to why there are no Stations (and yes...they could get those from a closing parish or Archdiocesan storage.)  I thought they were rather required in a Catholic Church.

The music was accompanied by a piano and a choir.  One of the choir members played the saxophone for one song.
Opening:  Let Us Go to the Altar
Gloria:  the one with Sing Glory to God in the Highest
Offertory:  Here I Am
Setting: the one with the Christ going up and down alot.  The Lamb of God was the echo one that is half in Latin.
Communion:  Song of the Body of Christ
Closing:  Lead Me Lord

There was a seminarian in a cassock and surplice :)  He's in Theology 1 at Kenrick!  (Remember to pray for vocations :) )

The pastor had another commitment this morning so the priest was a chaplain from the VA.  His homily was excellent.  It was succinct and a good length.  As Christians, we have a reality of the end times.  We have an eschatological reality, eschatological meaning the end times.  We get what Jesus passes on.  When we die, our Faith and Action will determine what happens to us.  We will face individual judgement and judgement as a group.  We are all moving from this life to eternal life.  There is death and judgement.  Today's Gospel is a story of hope.  Hope we too will be in heave with Abraham, Lazarus, Jesus and all the martyrs and saints.  With hope comes responsibility.  The rich man is not condemned because he is rich, but because he is selfish.  He had no understanding of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  We need to put Faith into Action.  What do we believe and why?  As Christians we are heading towards the end times.  Father ended his homily with the last lines from the Funeral Rite, In Paradisum (here's a youtube)

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


View from the Back Pew!

Tabernacle Close-Up

Baptismal Font 
Mary (the only statue in the church)


St. David Website

Sunday, September 19, 2010

St. Lawrence - Lawrenceton

Ahoy me mateys! (It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day! alas no parishes named after Our Lady Star of the Sea...)  I journeyed to St. Lawrence in Lawrenceton MO and attended the 8:30 am Mass.

St. Lawrence is a smaller church that still has the high altar, which was awesome looking.  The kneelers were really hard though.

The choir was in the choir loft.  The music was accompanied by a guitar.
Opening:  Praise to the Lord, The Almighty
Offertory:  One Lord
Communion:  The Supper of the Lord
Recessional:  Lord Whose Love in Humble Service
Mass Setting:  Mass of Creation (Gloria was spoken)

Father used the full Penitential Rite and used Eucharistic Prayer III.  There were bells at the Consecration.

In case you missed it, for the last couple Sundays, the Archdiocese has been pushing stewardship, with the culmination being today, Stewardship Sunday.  In his homily last week, Father focused on the Work of and for God.  As part of his homily, Father read the letter from the Archbishop.    This week Father focused on the letter and what was learned at the Convocation (the Archdiocesan priests were retreating last week).  We need to be good stewards of God's things.  The struggle is in the little things.  Most of us aren't out committing big sins but are committing little sins, like lack of charity (whistles and looks semi-guilty)  We need to be building a habit of good rather than building a habit of bad.  Some depressing news from the convocation:  in 5 years 30 pastors will be at retirement age, in 20, half of the pastors will be at retirement age (75).  (I have a suspicion we haven't reached that replacement rate.)  Which leads to the next depressing thought, parish closings/mergers.  Although nothing was *said*, Father chatted about what a vibrant parish was as discussed at the Convocation.  There were seven marks of a vibrant parish.  The parish should have a strong Sacramental presence (I'm guessing this means more than 15 minutes a week for Confession....).  Seriousness of prayer and spirituality (does squishy spirituality count?).  Does the parish have strong devotions and does it have Adoration?  Does the parish have good Catechesis and an RCIA?  How are we doing with evangalization?  How are we taking care of our resources (the money, the parish plant, etc).  How are we doing with charity and social justice?  Do we do things for the poor, pro-life, laws, etc?  And finally, is the parish supporting vocations and the call to religious life?  Apparently, Archbishop Carlson promised a parish at one of his former dioceses that he wouldn't close them if they produced two vocations to religious life.  Needless to say, the parish managed to dig up/produce 2 seminarians.  So a note to the parishes...extract a promise and then encourage those vocations!  (Perhaps a friendly competition is in order....).  Father ended his homily by reminding us that we are all co-workers in the Lord's vineyard.  We need to begin each day with a prayer asking God what He wants us to do today.

The parish seemed really friendly.  After Mass, I spoke with some long time parishoners.  I mentioned how nice it was they had the high altar still and somehow the talk turned to the Latin Mass.  I told them that under Summorium Pontificum (or whatever it is) all they had to do was ask, since they have a right for it.  ;)  They did say the music was lovely in Latin.  So who knows, maybe one day there will be a Latin Mass down in that neck of the woods!

St. Lawrence Cemetery

Our Lady Queen of Peace
I suspect that is the original cornerstone.
This was built in 1942:  Our Lady Queen of Peace seems appropriate!
(How did Our Lady get this title?)

It's the Archdiocese way of encouraging thin priests...
and penitents...

Baptismal Font 

The Eighth Station
Jesus Speaks to the Daughters of Jersualem

View from the Back Pew

Altar Frontpiece





Symbols in the Windows

Info from the Archdiocese (It's on Route Y.  If you do a Google Search, the Rectory pops up, and the church is a mile or so down the road.  Has the coordinates on my GPS, but I don't know how to get them out!)
Picture from Rome of the West

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Holy Martyrs of Japan - Japan


This morning (9/12/10) I attended the 10 am Mass at Holy Martyrs of Japan - Japan.  I didn't even know we had a Japan in Missouri.  This is one of the parishes on the far edge of the archdiocese.  The parish seems to be in the care of the Passionists.

The church was built in 1896 but the interior was redone in 2000.  It's sort of cute inside, if plain.

There was no accompaniment but Father had us sing 2 hymns:
Opening:  Prayer of St. Francis
Closing:  Holy God We Praise Thy Name

Father wore a tan/brown alb like robe that had a hood and slits for pockets.  He wore his green stole with the Passionist emblem on the ends.  Father added a great many words to the Mass in a variety of places.  At the start of the Penitential Rite, Father added a bunch about peace and the gospel of peace.  He said all of the priest's silent or personal prayers out loud.  He also exclaimed "My Lord and My God" at the elevation, which I just saw on Fr. Z's website is not exactly Kosher.  He also added some extra words in the Consecration formula.  I'd have written down what he said, but I took so many notes about the homily, I had no room left.  Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were no bells. Oh and Father addressed everyone (but me) at Communion with So and So, receive the Body of Christ.  I'm sure Father does that to feel inclusive, however, since he didn't know my name, I didn't feel very included.

Father's homily started out discussing how the story of the Golden Calf was a rewrite.  According to Father, the golden calf incident didn't happen during the Exodus.  It happened 400-800 years later when Israel split into 2 kingdoms.  Apparently, the Northern Kingdom wanted to build their own Temple because it was bad everyone was leaving town to go to Jerusalem.  When they built their own Temple, it had a golden calf.  (I have spoken to a variety of people....Father seems to be put it kindly..)

Father's homily then took an abrupt left turn.  When people become angry, they become dangerous.  They burn bridges and say things they don't mean.  We all understand the role of the loving Father.  We struggle in with our humanity.  Many of us relate to the Prodigal Son.  We make mistakes.  We put ourselves in the middle instead of God.  We want to be righteous but we have difficulty with it and are prideful instead.  We tell those that are not WASPs to pull themselves up by their bootstraps because we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps.  Because I did it.  But the first son does it for a reward, he has anger in his heart and he is cold-hearted.  The Muslims want to build a mosque (uhm it isn't a mosque but go on) at Ground Zero.  The Muslims are watching the Americans on both sides be angry and think we are crazy.  (uhm.  I don't even know where to start with this statement.  I'm going with the you can't be Muslim and American?)  Angry people have no good in mind; they just want to vent.  Hitler Youth, KKK, Taliban, and others are all dangerous because they are angry people.  Angry mixed with grief is the worst.  Vindictive people don't do any good.  Anger begets anger.  (So there is no such thing as righteous anger?  So I shouldn't be *angry* that oh I don't know, the Bishops played shuffle the naughty priests around?  What should I be?  Accepting?  Anger, channeled correctly, can lead to good things.  If someone gets rightly angry, they can be motivated to change something...but I guess if it is fueled by anger...that change is bad.  So many people voted for Obama because they were angry and he promised change.  That apparently was bad..Father's right...nothing good does come from anger!!!)  Father then began to talk about stewardship.  Stewardship is a call to share our treasure which is more than our coins.  We have to share our Christ like presence and the social Gospel (uh. social gospel?  uh wut?).  The Bishops' are too concerned with language (direct quote) they need to be more concerned with the social gospel.  (Dude, I'm taking an entire class on analyzing language...after 2 weeks I have learned you can't be too concerned...especially if you want to embed a message in it).  Father ended his homily with a prayer.  During the Prayers of the Faithful, we prayed for the angry people.

Holy Family Grotto

Agony in the Garden
I think this is over a well...

Holy Martyrs of Japan

View from the Back Pew
No.  The lights are not really that color.
Between the fluorescent lights and the yellow light from the window,
the camera was flippin out.  

Our Father in Japanese

The Eighth Station:
Jesus Meets the Holy Women

Mary and Joseph

Baptismal Font
(I think)

Around the Sanctuary.
I'm hoping the altar is supposed to be a Sacrament in this painting...
otherwise...we seem to be one short...

Trinity Window

Information from the Archdiocese (FYI..the GPS was slightly off again this week!)
Pictures from Rome of the West

Monday, September 6, 2010

St. Vincent de Paul - Dutzow

Hello! Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!

On Sunday, September 5, I attended the 10 am Mass at St. Vincent de Paul, which was preceded by pancakes (which they have the first Sunday of every month).  St. Vincent de Paul is on a hill in the middle of farmland, which was handy because I had the wrong directions.  The GPS couldn't find the address, so I took the latitude/longitude coordinates from Google (which comes the Archdiocesan website) and inputed them into the GPS via Google Maps which had (38.602050, -91.009209).  Unfortunately, those coordinates are about 1.5-2 miles off.  By the front door of the church, the coordinates are (38.59233, -90.98446).

According a sign posted outside of church, the parish was founded in 1837 and was originally known as Sts. Peter and Paul.  The name was changed in 1858 when the first brick church was built.  The current church was completed in 1875.  I don't think the interior is from 1875 however, except for the windows.

The music at Mass was accompanied by an organ and the organ and choir were in the choir loft (getting to be a rarity...having the choir in the *choir* loft).  The Gloria was spoken.
Opening:  Lift High the Cross
Offertory:  You Are Mine
Communion:  One Bread, One Body
Recessional:  For the Fruits of This Creation
Mass Setting:  The one with the Lamb of God that goes "Lamb of God, offered for us, and Grant us everlasting peace"

Between the pancakes and the very unhappy toddler, I'm not sure I got where ever Father was going with his homily.  Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem and is telling stories.  In today's Gospel, the story is about discipleship and is meant to "shake up" some of his followers, specifically, who are following Him to see a miracle and will then go home and back to their ordinary lives.  It is a call to wake us up.  We change even though week to week we sit in the same place at Church (hmmm what is it about church seating?  2nd week in a row mentioned...).  We need to go deeper, where our lives encounter scripture (This is where he lost me.)  All the joys and sufferings are wheat for the bread (He means the Eucharistic bread).  Jesus is alive and engaged in his life, deep within.  (I'm glad to hear a priest profess belief in Jesus.... :) ).  Our days belong to Jesus, surrendering all.  Only Jesus can meet me in the depths of my heart (Hope He brings a flashlight); that is where I will meet Jesus.  We need to consecrate everything to Jesus.   Jesus wants us in His inner circle (great...Jesus has a clique too.).  It will cost everything (most cliques tend too).  It is your choice.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were bells at the Consecration.  At Communion, everyone stood and stayed standing until everyone was back in their pews.

Found in the Parish Hall
The same statue, but with the children reversed,
is in the choir loft, where a rose window would be.

Our Lady of Fatima
I love how the majority of these scenes have sheep.

St. Vincent de Paul - Dutzow

View From the Back Pew
That Jesus creeped me out all through Mass.
Jesus didn't seem in proportion...

Baptismal Font and Easter Candle
Horns!  The Candle has horns!
The Claw...the Claw is my master...


St. Joseph

The Eighth Station
Jesus Comforts the Women

In the back was a case with some historical items
I thought this was rather interesting.  
Apparently this parish raised/donated a total of $5000 to build the Cathedral.
An enormous sum back in the day.

Stained Glass Windows: Under each window was the name of the saint depicted in the window and who they are the patrons of.  I always find it interesting which saints are chosen for the windows.  Is it the most popular, the most recently canonized, or something more practical, the favorite saint of the one donating the window?

Immaculate Heart of Mary

St. John comforting Mary

Patron saint of cats

St. Theodore 
died 306
Invoked against storms
(can't find anything online)

The Holy Family

Patron Saint of Photographers

St. Vincent de Paul Website
Pictures from Rome of the West