Sunday, January 29, 2012

Holy Family - Port Hudson

YAY!  I finally made it out to Holy Family.  It's so far away that if I overslept, I couldn't make it.  There are lots of curvy county roads so if the weather is dicey I didn't want to chance it.  It all came together today!

I think Holy Family might be the smallest church in the Archdiocese.  It's tiny.  And it was full.  So full that people were sitting in the choir loft.

The music was accompanied by a guitar (in the loft).
Opening:  Gather Us In
Mass Setting:  Mass of Christ the Savior
Offertory:  Christ Be Our Light
Communion:  Blest Are They
Closing:  We are the Light of the World

Father wore his stole on the outside.  He used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were bells.

In my 31 years as a priest, I have had lots of questions about religious things.  In the first reading, there are mediators, God speaks through people.  Originally God spoke to the people but the people were terrified of this.  The people asked for holy men, like Moses.  Bible then goes on to talk about holy men in the rest of the books of the Old Testament.  The real revelation is Jesus.  He's the big spokesperson.  He's got authority.  The people recognized him speaking the Truth because He knows what the Father wants.  Jesus claimed victory over evil and over death.  This is the One we look to.  Bishops, priests, theologians, teachers, parents all can be holy people for others.  Holy people don't speak their own will but God's Will.  They need to accurately interpret what God wants.  We are part of the Mystical Body of Christ; we are called to do this.  For example, not to bash the Muslims, but understand the historical reality.  They believe that the Koran is the real word of God.  They worship the same God.  It must come from Jesus.  Paul thinks we should be celibate, but he makes it clear that those are his thoughts and not God's.  What about private revelations?  The Church is ok with them but that you must ask yourself if this comes from Jesus (and not your delusions...or ]:>  )  Ask if these revelations bring you to God.  Focus on finding out what is His Will and do we have the courage to do His Will.

Guardian Angel

Jesus and children
Jesus has flip flops!

The drive leading up to the Church had statues along the side of it.

Holy Family - Port Hudson

View from the Back pew


Station VIII

Information from the Archdiocese
Pictures from Rome of the West  (ooo the Church has been renovated since he went!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

St. Cletus

Good Evening all.

This morning I attended the 10 am Mass at St. Cletus in St. Charles.  I was going to attended the Noon LifeTeen Mass but I had a headache...

St. Cletus was built around 1967 and is in a modern style.  The stained glass is chunky and abstract.

The music was accompanied by a choir and a piano.
Opening:  Glory and Praise to Our God
Offertory:  Rain Down
Communion:  O Sacrament Most Holy and Change Our Hearts (it's like a show Mass..)
Communion Meditation:  Follow You Jesus (don't actually know the name...but that line was repeated a great deal.)
Closing:  Blest Be the Lord
Mass Setting:  Mass of Renewal

There was a Children's Liturgy of the Word at this Mass.  They had a little homily about how Jesus speaks to us.  The kids came back with fish necklaces.

The homily started off talking about how we are now in Ordinary Time but that Christmas still lingers, as can be seen by the poinsettias around a statue.  Father then related a dream Mary had that she told to Joseph.  There was a birthday party for our son.  There were decorations and a tree.  There were gifts and they gave gifts to each other but not to our son. They did not mention our son.  But they did not know him.  Our son would have been intruding if he had gone to the party (not if he had an invite).  He was not wanted at his own celebration.  How terrible if this dream had been real.  Mary had the strangest feeling Jesus would have been intruding.  How willing am I to let Jesus in my life?  In our offices, our politics, our sexuality (huh?), our computers, etc.  This week's Gospel is similar to last week's.  Jesus invites James, John and Andrew to fishers of men.  If I had been one of the men at the boat, how would I have responded?  Would I have said I will or would I have said I'll think about it.  Do we invite Jesus into our bank accounts, our computers, our offices, our sexuality?   What are we saying?  When you go to the dentist and have x-rays you wear a lead blanket to keep from being penetrated.  We wear a spiritual blanket to keep God and God's Grace out.  Jesus wants to penetrate us (ok.  I admit it.  I'm 12.  I snickered in the back.  I had to shove my fist in my mouth I started giggling. So many inappropriate comments...) Our habits make that shield.  God can't penetrate us.  Jesus still invites us.  Father then talked about St. John Gabriel (or here) who was martyred in China.  He read a prayer written by him.

After the homily, there was a commissioning of some kind of ministers.  I missed what Father said.  They had over 50+ hours of training.  There were some vows taken by the ministers.  Apparently they are Stephen Ministers.  I'm not sure what this... Then we all said some vows.  (If the song Lord You Give the Great Commission appeared I was so out of there...)  Then we nazi saluted blessed them and clapped.  And then skipped the Nicene Creed.  But we added the Catholics Come Home prayer from the Archdiocese.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were no bells.

St. Cletus

View From the Back Pew!

Relic of St. Cletus

Mary and the Child Jesus
I'm not even going to say anything.

It looks like they have installed the New Stations. 
The first station was the Last Supper.

Website of St. Cletus

Sunday, January 15, 2012

St. Angela Merici - Florissant


This morning (1/15) I headed to 9:30 am at St. Angela Merici.  I had trouble finding the Church as either the address given by the Archdiocese or the GPS was confused.  I had the right road, just half a mile off.

St. Angela Merici is a modern church in a fan shape that is 50 years old (The parish is starting to celebrate the 50th anniversary this month!).  The interior is slightly plain.  There aren't any traditional widows.  Along the top of the nave is a strip of stained glass with symbols.

There is no separate area for the choir, although the organ is an alcove in the back.  The choir sits in the back and is quite large.  Today the music was accompanied by a violin and a flute (which was really loud)
Before Mass there was a song.
Opening:  Here I Am Lord
Offertory:  Psalm 40:  Here I Am
Communion:  Behold the Lamb
Communion Meditation:  Jesus Lamb of God, Bearer of Our Sins
Closing:  All the Ends of the Earth

Father was incredibly reverent.  The full Penitential Act was used.  Eucharistic Prayer III and bells were also present.

So Mass is moving along and I'm typing something on the iPad about the music.  The lady next to me leans over to me and says that's inappropriate for Mass.  I show her the iPad and say I'm taking notes not playing games.  She's like it is still inappropriate.  I proceed to tell her that coming late for Mass is also inappropriate behavior (There were lots of people late for Mass and she was one of them).   I'm also going out on a limb and saying calling someone out during the First Reading is also inappropriate.  She proceeded to shoot me dirty looks all through Mass.

Father's homily was nice but on the long side.
Our experience of faith is difficult to communicate to others.  We assume others have the same faith experience as us.  It is hard to be comfortable in our Faith and not judge others.  Our experience of faith may become stagnant.  When we are young, we learn proper Christian behavior and then model such behavior (by pointing out the bad behavior in others no doubt).  When a crisis happens, we don't know how to deal with it with our Faith, especially if we are just going through the motions.  We let other mediate our Faith.  We rely on the Faith of others.  We go through the motions and never break free of limited sense of Faith.  What is lacking in our Faith?  How do we go grow up in Faith?  In the First Reading, Samuel deals with this.  Christ asks us to be childlike, not a child, but have a relationship with our Father; we are His children.  We need to be more mature in our Faith.  What will happen when we respond to the unknown?  We all have to respond to God's call.  What we learned as a child is not sufficient.  Religion isn't just responding to the world around us (bet someone saw the latest youtube making the rounds....) but is about a real relationship with the person of God.  That framework we learned carries us through life.  But sometimes we never respond "Speak O Lord, Your Servant is Listening"  We have examples in our Tradition to responding to God's call:  marriage and Holy Orders (guess single people don't usual.)  Leap into the unknown to respond.  If we respond God gives us grace to live our vocation.  We respond not just once, but continually.  There are lots of vocations in the Church:  religious life, consecrated single life, every day is an answer to God's call.  God will not call us in the night like He called Samuel (why won't He?)  God's call comes from the teaching authority of the Church.  It is not an overbearing call but an enlightening one.  It helps us understand what God is calling us to do.  It supports us so that we can respond more deeply and be open to the Voice of the Lord.  In the Gospel we see the Apostles being called.  Others lead us to Christ, but we have to actively follow.  It changes our identity.  Meditate on it in our hearts.  Deepening of our Faith where ever we are not judging each other.  If we stop and listen to the Lord, He becomes a person to us, not just rules.  Father then told a story involving the Archbishop.  FYI:  legal stationary gets his attention.

At the end of every Mass, the parish is adding a Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for Pro-Life causes.

St. Angela Merici

View From the Back Pew


Website of St. Angela Merici

Sunday, January 8, 2012

St. Andrew Kim

Happy Feast of Epiphany!

This morning (1/8), I attended 10:30 am Mass at St. Andrew Kim, the Korean parish.  Mass was all in Korean.  I only recognized 1 song, the opening song, We Three Kings.

Before Mass, there were prayers.  I think they were saying the Rosary.

At the Offering, everyone processed up to the front to donate.  When the people said "And With Your Spirit", the bowed.  At the Sign of Peace, everyone bowed.

There was a woman who was kind enough to share her missal so I could follow along.


St. Andrew Kim 


View From the Back Pew


St. Patrick
The Church used to be St. Patrick.

That statue is St. Patrick

The Beautitudes
I leave you to figure out which is which

Information from the Archdiocese