Sunday, January 31, 2010

St. John Bosco- Creve Coeur

Happy Feast of St John Bosco!  He's also known as Don Bosco, Don means Father, think of the Godfather.

Today (1/31), because it is the feast of St. John Bosco, I attended the 11:30 am Mass at St. John Bosco in Creve Coeur.

St. John Bosco was built in 1974.  There are only 2 stained glass windows, one above the sanctuary and one above the doors.  There were other windows but they were clear and small, except for the ones at the top which were semi-circles.  The Church is a square shape, with the corners pushed in.  The pews are fanned out in the nave.

The Church was nearly full (~300-400?), with lots of late comers.

The music at Mass was accompanied by an electric guitar, bass, flute, cello and a full drum set, along with a choir.
The music:
Gathering:  For You Are My God
Offertory:  You Are Near
Communion:  Blest Are They
Recessional:  We Are Called.
In August 2008, the Vatican issued a directive asking that "Yahweh" not be used in songs at liturgy.  The song "You Are Near" used to start off with Yahweh.  The hymnal has changed the words to reflect this directive.  The choir was using older music.  It was odd to hear the people singing O Lord and the choir singing Yahweh.
Okay.  I'm all for drums and such in Mass.  I draw the line at beating the drumsticks together, to get everyone on the same beat, at the beginning of each piece of music.  We are not at a rock concert, no matter how much we might wish it.

The homily was kickin'.  Father definitely had his delivery down.  Father started off talking about St. John Bosco, his life and the lessons we can learn from him.  He used this to transition into the discussing the 2nd reading, about how God loves us and we desperately need to hear that.  Father talked about how education, while important, wasn't the be all end all, that imagination was important.  You could be the most educated person or have lots of achievements but without love, your life is wasted.  You need love in your heart.  God is love.

Before the Intentions, the candidates for Confirmation were presented to the parish and Father.  The candidates and their sponsors promised a variety of things such as learning about our Faith and for the sponsors, being good witnesses to our Faith.  Father gave a little talk about what it meant to be Confirmed and then blessed the candidates.

At the Intentions, parishoners had a chance to add their own intentions for the parish to pray for.

There were no bells at the Consecration.  I'd love to tell you what Eucharistic Prayer Father used, but I have no idea.  The closest I can find is Eucharistic Prayer 1 for Children.  I am positive that was the Preface used.

Finally, I have to mention the two boys (~10/11 and ~8/9) that sat in the pew in front of me.  I understand Mass is a drag sometimes and all that standing and kneeling can get tiresome.  But really, you can't put your books down and pay attention to what is going on?  Perhaps had they been theologically bent, such as Mass books or Saints' lives, I wouldn't have minded as much.  One kid was reading Pendragon, the other was reading The Haunted.  Not exactly what I'd call Mass appropriate material.

Exterior of St. John Bosco
I'm sorry.  It just resembles Plaza Frontenac, a local mall.

View from the er Middle Pew.
I did take a shot from the back pew but there were people,
so you could see the altar.
Nor could you see the rocks that were scattered around the sanctuary.

Yes.  Those are rocks.  That is the altar to the left..
I have no clue why.

Side Chapel with Tabernacle.

Banner next to side chapel.
I'm thinking this represents the Trinity.
God's giving us a high five cause we are awesome.
They had another banner with a fish escaping, but alas
it is too blurry for even photoshop to fix.

Mary and Joseph
From the back corner, it looks like Mary is trying to hold Joseph's hand.
But he's a guy.  With a hammer.

The Eighth Station:
Jesus Meets the Holy Women

St. John Bosco

Above the Doors
It says "The Peace of the Church"

St. John Bosco Website
Stained Glass Window from Rome of the West.

Also!  Remember this Wednesday is the Feast of St. Blaise!  Don't forget to go to Mass and get your throat blessed! Which means, there will be a special mid-week report :).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Immaculate Conception - Augusta

This week starts Catholic Schools Week!  Support your Catholic schools. :)

January 24 is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales.  However, I've already been to St. Francis de Sales so I looked around for somewhere else. I apologize.  For those of you who go to St. Francis de Sales, the feast day in the 1962 calender is January 29.  See the comment box for details.   Lucky for me, I discovered Immaculate Conception in Augusta had pancakes.  Since the weather wasn't bad, I decided to have pancakes and go to Mass.  They had potato pancakes (WOOT!!!), real big sausages, pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy and baked apples.  It was delicious.  Immaculate Conception has pancakes the 4th Sunday of every month.  Since it is in the heart of wine country and is incredibly close to the Katy Trail I recommend, Pancakes, Mass and Wine/Hiking and make a day of it. However, MO 94 is very twisty and hilly and there are no shoulders to speak of, so I recommend going in good weather.  I also got a tip that St. Vincent in Dutzow has pancakes the first Sunday of the month.

When I think of churches in rural areas or on the prairie, this is the Immaculate Conception in Augusta is what I imagine.  I have to say this church is tiny.  It can't possibly hold more than 100 people.

The music for the Mass was accompanied by a piano, an organ (maybe) or a guitar depending on the song.
Sang today:
Opening:  Come, Worship the Lord
Offertory:  Prayer of St. Francis
Communion:  Dwelling Place
Recessional:  They'll Know We Are Christians
The Gloria was spoken.  I didn't recognize the Mass Setting, but the Lamb of God had "offered for us" inserted in.

The homily (which was very short) spoke about how we like to do things our own way and how the media brainwashes us to think this way.  We are people of Jesus, not of the world.  Father went on to talk about how he downloaded a carbon calculator to see how "green" he was.  He then went on to say, wouldn't it be great if there was a "Catholic" calculator and we can see how Catholic we are?  There is!  The lives of the saints and the examination of conscience (links to some are at the bottom) everyday.

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

After Communion, Father summarized two letters from the Archbishop.  The first was thanking the parish for their contributions to the seminary's Faith for the Future campaign and the second was to inform us of the Archbishop's vision for Catholic Schools.  The most important thing is that our Catholic schools have a strong Catholic identity.

Before the closing prayer, Father invited all the children up and individually blessed them.  (They weren't blessed during Communion time)


Side view
Building in the front, I think, is the old convent.

Holy Spirit Window
Above the Front Door

View from the Back Pew!

St. Angelica

St. Aloysius Gonzaga
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Agatha (?)
These statues were on the front of the choir loft.
I don't think I've seen this before.

Close up of Cross
The writing on the top I believe is German.
and says "Save Your Soul" (thanks penny!)
On the bottom is HI Mission
The dates 1918 and 1920 are on the bottom as well.

Website for Immaculate Conception-Augusta
Pictures from Rome of the West

Examination of Conscience:
There's an App called iConfess
PDF examination of Conscience from Be Reconciled to God
From Father Pat
From Father Corapi (with reference to the Catechism)
Jesuit Examination of Conscience
Daily Examination of Conscience

Monday, January 18, 2010

Special Visit - Mount Grace Chapel - The Pink Sisters

Hi all!  I was out with my pal Mark, from Rome of the West, and we drove by the Mount Grace Chapel, where the Pink Sisters are, and being good Catholics, we stopped and went in side.  It in North St. Louis City, off of Adeliade near I-70.

Mount Grace Chape is a Perpetual Adoration Chapel.

Jesus and Bells

Ave Gratia Plena
"Hail, Full of Grace"

His shield translates to "Who is Like God"
Which is what Michael means.

Rose Window
There are angels depicted, with St. Michael at the top.

View from the Back Pew!
That would be a pink sister in the center praying.

The Cornerstone
D. O. M. = deo optimo maximo = To God, most good, most great
Christo = Christ
Deo = God
Regique = King
Eucharistico = Eucharist
Christ, God and Eucharistic King

Thanks to Joy (and everyone else on for helping me with the Latin!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Holy Name of Jesus - Bissell Hills

Hi!  Sorry for the late posting.

For Mass on Sunday, January 17, 2010, I attended the 10:30 am Mass at Holy Name of Jesus, in Bissell Hills, which is in Bellefontaine Neighbors in North St. Louis County.

Holy Name is a new parish, being formed in 2005 by a merger of North County parishes.  The current church used to be St. Jerome.  Some the parishes merged to form Holy Name of Jesus were St. Lucy, Corpus Christi, St. Jerome, and Our Lady of Good Counsel.  What I found interesting is that there didn't seem to be any elements from the closed parishes represented.  In other merged parishes, such as Our Lady of the Rosary, there were visible signs of the closed parishes.  I wonder if they just went with kind of a clean slate approach.

Holy Name is the same physical design as Holy Redeemer, which is not surprising given the architect for  both was Maurice Carroll.  The stained glass windows are a different and the sanctuary is also different.  I actually prefer the sanctuary at Holy Name.

There is a very narrow choir loft.  Given the size of the loft and the age of the choir, it is unsurprising that the choir sat in the front.

The music was relatively traditional.  Three songs were accompanied by the organ and one song accompanied by a piano. There was also a flute.
Opening:  Songs of Faithfulness and Praise
Gloria:  Mass of Creation
Offertory:  See Us Lord About Your Altar
Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen: Mass of Hope
Lamb of God:  Mass of Creation
Communion:  We Are Many Parts
Recessional:  Holy God We Praise Thy Name

There was a Children's Liturgy of the Word.  The children followed a banner out of church after being blessed by Father.

I have to say today's second reading is one of my favorites.

The homily was given by the Deacon and was very nicely done.  Deacon started out with joke which he then wove into the homily at various parts.  Deacon referred back to Epiphany and how today was the third manifestation of Jesus.  Mary believed in Jesus; that's why she asked Him to help at the wedding at Cana.  We need to go beyond ourselves and do what He wants.  It is a challenge to follow Jesus.  What is Jesus asking us to do?  This is where the second reading comes in.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were no bells at the Consecration.  

Before Mass was officially over, Father invited the youth group going to March for Life to come up to the altar to receive instruction and a blessing.  It was quite a large group.  Father spoke about being a witness and politics.   Father gave a blessing to the teenagers (which was awesome), and asked us to raise our hands and bless the teenagers along with him.  This happens at other parishes, with the laity being asked to bless children before they go on to Children's Liturgy.  It makes me feel uncomfortable but I can't exactly say why. I guess it is because to me, it seems priestly, and I'm not a priest.   After some searching and some help from my CLN (Catholic Learning Network), it turns out that it is prohibited by Canon Law 1169.2 and 1169.3 and from De Benedictionibus (Ritual of Blessing), 18c (This is the book of blessing).  This law says that blessings are reserved to ordained ministers.  Ecclesiae de mysterio also says that the laity are not supposed to perform gestures that are priest like.  I really like blessings and I like it when Father brings out the Blessing Book.  However, when I'm invited to do things like raise my hand and bless things, I feel really Protestant for some reason.  

It was a nice visit and the parishoners were very nice.


View From the Back Pew

There were 16 windows along the aisles of the Church.
The fifteen original (minus the Luminous) Mysteries of the Rosary were displayed.
The 16th window was a prayer.

The Pieta
You can see a statue of Mary in the back on the left.

The back window.
It was three separate windows that I merged into one image.
It says:
"I am the Good Shepherd, I know My sheep and My sheep know Me."
"The Good Shepherd give His life for His sheep"


New Cornerstone
The old cornerstone was bricked up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Holy Infant - Ballwin

Hello all!  Today is the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.  The St. Louis Archdiocese doesn't have a parish named Baptism of Our Lord, however, in the traditional calendar, January is dedicated to the Holy Infant and the Holy Name of Jesus (Bet you can't guess where I'm going next week!)

I attended the Noon Mass on January 10, 2010 at Holy Infant.  The Mass I attended was more teen/youth orientated.  There were lots of teenagers and their families.

Holy Infant is a modern church, with the church being built in 1988.  It's a fan shaped church.  There is only one stained glass window in the nave with two stained glass windows in the adoration chapel attached to the church.

The music was done mostly by teenagers.  There was a piano and guitars and maybe a bass.  I'm a little disappointed there were no drums.
Instrumental Music before Mass.
Opening:  Come, Now is the Time to Worship
Offertory:  Better is One Day
Communion:  Something I couldn't make out the words to and I Can Only Imagine and some instrumental music
Recessional:  Let the Valleys Be Raised

The Responsorial Psalm was supposed to be Psalm 104: O Bless the Lord My Soul.  I'm not sure what the choir sang.  I couldn't make out the words.  I think it was something to the effect "Give the Lord Glory/Honor Alleluia"

A parishoner informed me that the music is less contemporary at the other Masses.  And yes, I did feel like I stumbled into a Time-Life commercial.  I have no problem with contemporary music at Mass.  I love it.  But is there any contemporary music written by Catholics or must we swipe the Protestant music?  Our theologies are different in some critical aspects.

Mass was standing room only.  The Adoration Chapel was full.  Mass was packed; I'd say somewhere around 700 people.  And it wasn't packed with groups of one or two people.  It was families with 2, 3 and 4 kids.

Also, this Mass we had a seminarian or college student acting as a Master of Ceremonies.

Before Mass, a nice man from the Knights of Columbus came up and spoke about sending roses to our legislators in Washington D. C. to stop abortion.

The homily was about A-ha moments and how Father had one reading the readings for today.  Also that we are in a transition today.  We are transitioning from Christmas to Ordinary time.  Jesus led by example; He prayed and we should pray.  God is still with us even in Ordinary time and our ordinary lives.

Father said Mass reverently.  He purified all vessels after Communion.  Next to the Tabernacle, there was a little container of water; all the EMHC that handled the Precious Body purified their fingers in that.    Father said Eucharistic Prayer 3 and there were bells at the Consecration.

Families held hands during the Our Father.  The Lamb of God had an extra preface, "Peace I leave you my friends and I will be with you until the end."  This was interwoven with the traditional words of the Lamb of God.

It was a nice Mass overall.


Outdoor Nativity

View From the Back Pew!

Adoration Chapel.
It's like a mini-church.

Nativity Window

A window depicting the Risen Jesus (tomb in the way back)
and either Mary, His Mother or Mary Magdalene.
This sparked an interesting debate on my social network.
Apparently in art, when red is over blue, it represents divinity clothed in humanity.
When blue is over red, divinity enshrouding humanity.
If you go with Sacred Tradition, it is Mary.
If you go with Scripture, it is Mary Magdalene.
If you go with matches a statue inside the Church, it is Mary.

The Holy Family

Big Window in the Back of Church
You can see the various symbols of Christ.

Quilts/banners on the back wall.

The First Station:  Jesus is Condemned

Holy Infant's Website

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Epiphany of Our Lord -St. Louis

Happy Feast of Epiphany!

To celebrate the Feast of Epiphany (and to get my plenary indulgence :) ), I went to the 11 am Mass at Epiphany in South St. Louis City.

Epiphany is a rather vibrant parish in South City and is roughly middle class.  The church building is in a classic style, but very plain on the inside.

There is a choir loft, but it is not used.  The choir sits on the St. Joseph side of the sanctuary.  The Mass was accompanied by an electronic piano.
The music:
Opening:  The First Nowell
Gloria: Mass for John Carroll with the refrain in Latin
Offertory:  As With Gladness Men of Old
Holy and Great Amen:  St. Louis Jesuit Mass
Lamb of God: Isele (Lamb of God, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace)
Communion:  Child of the Poor/What Child Is This (sang together at the same time)
Recessional:  We Three Kings

There was a family that joined the Catholic Church today (HOORAY!) so Mass was much longer and the Homily incorporated the fact that there were Baptisms and Confirmations.

Epiphany is one of the many parishes that do a Children's Liturgy of the Word.  This involves having the children come up before the readings, receiving a special blessing from Father (or the whole parish)  and they go off to color somewhere.  Epiphany sang a special song for the children as they left.  I have to say that I'm slowly becoming convinced that separate liturgies for children are a bad idea.  First, and probably the least important reason, is that it smack of being Protestant.  Second, you mean to tell me the children can't listen to the Scriptures and Father's Homily?  I don't think it is a matter of understanding, as I've had some homilies that I don't understand.  Children need to learn how to behave in Church, sending them out of Church doesn't model the proper behavior for them.  Third, it is incredibly disruptive to the flow of the Mass.  This ties in with the fourth reason.  Today there were Baptisms and Confirmations after the Homily.  The children were still coloring and did not see the Baptisms.  They were essentially excluded from the community of faithful and participating in this Sacrament.  They came back smack in the middle of the Confirmation Rite.  That's right, while the 5 people were being Confirmed, the children returned from wherever.  This was a shame, because it was disruptive and it denied these children a chance to see what Confirmation is.

Father's homily addressed a variety of topics.  He talked about how the Church is still celebrating Christmas unlike the rest of the world.  Also, that the accounts in Matthew and Luke are different and the small details do not matter, but rather it is the big picture overall that matters.  The story of the Magi illustrates the inclusive nature of God's call.  Father hopes that we will all come to know (and love) Jesus Christ.  Additionally, we need to be challenged in our Faith to keep it alive otherwise it just becomes an intellectual exercise.  Throughout this, Father mentioned how this all connects to Baptism, Confirmation, Communion and Confession.

Next came the Baptisms and Confirmations.  A family of five was brought into the Church.  I have to admit, I'm throughly confused.  Why were they all baptized now and not at the Easter Vigil?  I thought that we had an RCIA program and that adults had to go through Scrutinies and stuff?  I could understand why the children were baptized, so that perhaps they could be confirmed with their classmates.  But they were confirmed today.  The youngest was around 10, so it seemed odd she was Confirmed today, as I believe the norm here is 12-14.  Granted, there are most likely reasons that I'm not privy to.  I'm not saying it was wrong, it just seemed odd, given that the Easter Vigil is 4 months away.

Additionally, I was confused by the proceedings themselves.  Admittedly, the last time I saw an adult baptized into the Church was Easter Vigil around when I was 13.  However, I have been to my goddaughters' Baptisms so I know how that works.  If what I saw today was correct, then adult Baptism is lame, lame and lame.  When an infant is baptized, the baby isn't just dunked or splashed with water.  The baby is also anointed with the Oil of the Catechumens on the crown of the head and on the chest.  There's a phrase about being anointed priest and prophet.  Additionally, there is part about being clothed in Christ and the baby gets a new white garment.  There's an exorcism part too.  Today, the members of the family were just splashed with water while the correct words were said.  No anointing, no new garment of Christ.  Now, granted the family was then Confirmed like five minutes latter, so maybe anointing isn't necessary.  But when you are Confirmed, you are anointed with Chrism, which is a different oil.  I'm all confused.  I will say it seems like combining both Baptism and Confirmation is rather lame.  Note:  I want to make it clear that the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation are not lame and a very aweseome.  However, the execution of those sacraments can sometimes be rather lacking.  Additionally, call me greedy or whatever, but if you combine them, that's one less excuse to party and get presents ;)

Father said Eucharistic Prayer III and no bells at the Consecration.


View from the Back Pew

The Creche

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh


Jesus Meets the Women
Station of the Cross

Rose Window

These are some of the windows in the Sanctuary.
They are angels that are holding symbols of Jesus.
The yellow blue angel is holding a lamb.
The greenish one is holding a pelican.
The blue girly looking one is holding leaves.
In photoshop I can only make out the pelicans and lamb
I didn't realize they were angels holding things until I zoomed using photoshop.

Upper Windows
The upper windows had various symbols in them.
This one has grapes and lilies.

Etching on the Main Glass Doors
Father's Chasuble has these symbols on them,
only vertically.

Epiphany Parish, information for St. Louis Archdiocese
Exterior photo from Rome of the West

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mary, Mother of the Church-South County

I'm just going to be upfront.  This was not a happy visit.

For the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, I visited Mary, Mother of the Church in South St. Louis County.  It's on a hill and overlooks the Meramec River, practically in Jefferson County.  I attended the 9:30 am Mass.

Mary, Mother of God is a very modern church in a fan shape, with two smallish modern stained glass windows in the front.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

One thing I noticed was the the parishoners were all my parents age, aka baby boomers.  There didn't seem to be any older elderly parishoners.  There were 3 children and one teenager.  I was then the next youngest, maybe by a good 5-10 years.

The music was accompanied by a piano, except for the last song which was accompanied by the organ.  This drives me bonkers.  Does the organ only work for certain songs?  I'd buy it if it was a different person playing the organ than the piano, as not everyone can play an organ.   It seems silly to go through the trouble and expense to buy two instruments that are so similar.

Opening:  Away in the Manger
Offertory:  Carol at the Manger
Communion:  Child of Mercy
Recessional:  Joy to the World
I realize we are still in the Christmas season, so Christmas music is totally appropriate.  However, today is a Marian feast and Marian songs would have been nice.  Christmas songs that have a Marian focus would have been the best.

Additionally, on January 1, if you publicly recite (or sing) the Veni Creator (Come Holy Spirit this is pretty close).  No mention of it. :(  I understand that some parishes and priests are not into indulgences.  However, what about my right to receive them?  I shouldn't have to call parishes to figure this out.  This has to be one of the easiest plenary indulgences to get and absolutely nothing was mentioned.

I have to say, this is the first time I've seen adult female altar servers.  I'm thinking I don't like adults as altar servers, regardless of sex, unless they are seminarians.

We have two more firsts for the blog as well!!! Blue vestments!  Which Father kindly modeled for us during his homily.  They are purple on the inside, as he lifted it up over his head for us to see.  The deacon was a wearing a dalmaic with the deacon's stole on the outside.  During the homily, Father mentioned that he wore the blue vestments because it is a Marian feast, the deacon agreed (lesson:  you have the power to stop wrong-doing: use it)  and he felt like it (the lamest excuse ever.)  Now, I don't want to start a debate about whether blue vestments (properly done) are appropriate, cool or whatever.  The fact of the matter is, blue vestments are illicit (read: not allowed) in the United States.  Now there is permission for Spain to use blue for Marian feasts, but this isn't Spain.  I realize 100+ years ago this was Spanish Territory, but I think that is stretching the rules a little too far.  Fr. Z discusses blue vestments every Advent (explains why).

The homily.
One should not tell odd personal stories when there may be complete strangers in your parish.  Father apparently adopted two boys and named them Mickey and Burpy.  Apparently these are gerbils (THANK GOD!....maybe) Anyway he went on about how Burpy was a cool name.    This was followed up with a story about boots that hold whiskey.  Apparently Father's parents were the original green parents.  According to Father, Christmas is a time for stories.  Father then jumped to how tales in the Bible are bookended.  Note to Father:  this is a common literary device in many works of literature and is associated with foreshadowing.  Father talked about how Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling cloths and later would wrap Jesus in his burial shroud.  Mary had to do it because men just can't put diapers on right.  Next Father spoke about the Circumcision of Jesus and how it is like Baptism.  Jesus bled at the Circumcision just like he will bleed for us on the Cross.  God seals the deal with us.  There won't be a New Covenant.  Then Father started talking Abraham and animals sacrificed and being split in half and some kind of covenant coming out of them.  Or that we would be split in half with the covenant if we break it.  Honestly, I was kind of losing it.  I needed a map to keep track of everything.  Then comes the best part.  I have learned that what I learned in 12 years of Catholic school was wrong.  Father informed us that the most important words of the Mass were "Get out of here."  Uhm I don't what missal or Sacremantary (big red priest book) he's using, but I've never heard those words in Mass.  He then said it was the Go in Peace (the final blessing) part and explained but I was so dumbfounded to find out that Sister lied about the Consecration part being the most important words of the Mass I forgot to get his reasoning (or lack thereof).  This homily killed whatever charitable thoughts I may have had about this parish.

Through social media, I have met a variety of Catholics, most of them with a more traditional bent (think St. Francis de Sales)  A frequent complaint I see from them and other Catholic bloggers is that the Mass becomes the Father Star Show instead of the Jesus Show.  Honestly, I thought they were smoking something.  I think of Fr. B and how his love the Eucharist shines through during the Eucharistic Prayer, I think of the priest (and other priests like him) at the Newman Center in Urbana who was so incredibly reverent, or other priests who just don't seem to care or convey it is just a job.  This Mass proved to me they actually may have a legitimate complaint.  The deacon read the Gospel and the intentions very dramatically and reminded me of a Protestant minister.  I can't even describe Father other than I got the feeling it was about him and not about God.  He said the Eucharistic Prayer I very dramatically? showy? I don't even know.  It just wasn't *right*  Update:  A MMOC parishoner has given me some background on Father.  He used to work with the Archdiocesan Deaf Ministry and for that ministry one needs to exaggerate(?), overdo (?) facial and body expression as well as having a speaking style that can be easily lip-read.  This makes perfect sense, as I did go to Mass for the Deaf, which was signed the entire way through, and movements were emphasised :)

Then I got to see first hand my traditionalist friends favorite liturgical abuse.  I'm not sold on that it is an abuse per se, but I can see how common sense (which amazingly shows up in the things we do) would tell you not to do this.  In every other parish I've been in, the wine is poured into the cups for distribution immediately, at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  This makes sense, because if you leave the wine in the big vessel used to bring it up during the presentation of the gifts and Consecrate in the big vessel, you then have to pour the Precious Blood into different cups.  This is a disaster waiting to happen.  First of all, aside from the horror of spilling the Precious Blood, if you pour it before you consecrate it, spilling it isn't a big deal initially.  Also, if you spill one cup, you still have other ones with Precious Blood in them.  If you knock over the big vessel by accident, that is going to be nightmarish.  One cup, eh, not so bad.

Not surprisingly, hands were held across the church for the Our Father.


Blue Vestments
Psst:  If you are going to break the rules, could you have at
least picked pretty vestments?
I bet these get used during Advent, given the purple and pink ribbon.

View from the Back Pew
Notice the headless shrugging Jesus outline

The Creche

The Tabernacle
It has V-shaped birds or flames
Sorry about the blurry, but I think it make it better...

Stations of the Cross

The Two Stained Glass Windows
I wonder if they were designed by the same person
who did St. Matthias
There seems to be 7 major symbols;
7 sacraments?

Pictures of Pictures of Saints
Because putting Saint statues in the alcoves
would have been too much.
(Hint:  30 parishes were closed in 2005.
Many of their statues are in Archdiocesan Storage (or eBay)
Go pick two out!)

So uhm, which tree is Mary and which one is Joseph?

Mary, Mother of the Church

Mary and Baby Jesus have unfortunately been harpooned.

Hey WOW.
It's the Chi-Ro on the Arch!

Mary, Mother of God Website