Sunday, June 24, 2012

St. John the Apostle - Bismarck

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  Since I've already been to all the St. John the Baptists in the Archdiocese, I did the next best thing and headed to St. John the Apostle in Bismarck.  I attended the 8 am Mass.

The church was modern, built in 1975.  It was rather sparse on the inside.

The music was sung a capella.
Opening:  We Are the Light of the World
Offertory:  One Bread, One Body
Closing:  They'll Know We Are Christians
After Mass one of the parishoners turned around and said I have a lovely singing voice....

Back when I was a teenager, I served Mass.  There were 5 priests at the parish and you could tell which one was serving Mass by the chalice that had been set out.  I pondered chalices a great deal as a seminarian.  It was like when teenage girls look at engagement rings and are like maybe some day (more proof I'm not a typical girl).  It was the same with us looking at chalices, maybe some day.   I remember one chalice had a quote from St. John the Baptist around the cup.  He must increase and I must decrease.  This summarizes the life of a Christian.  Jesus must increase and everything else must decrease.  We want Jesus to increase in our lives.  The king in St. John the Baptist's time did not want to give space to religion.  John speaks to the truth and gets beheaded.  John's greatest virtue is fortitude. We have much to learn from him.  The Bishops have called for a Fortnight for Freedom to pray for religious freedom.  Picked this fortnight because of the different saints' days during the two weeks.  St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More were beheaded for speaking the Truth.  Sts Peter and Paul were martyred for the Truth.  (3 out of 4 were beheaded) They were men for all seasons.  The most cherished and most important is religious freedom (wouldn't it be freedom of speech?)  It is the foundation of freedom.  All freedoms are fragile if conscience is not free.  Refuse to obey an unjust law such as the HHS mandate, which concerns abortion and not just conception or feeding undocumented people.  We don't feed people because they are documented or undocumented; we feed them because they are hungry.  We may be called like John the Baptist.  It is a gift from God, an inalienable right.  We insist on speaking the truth.  I will play Archbishop Carlson's speech to the state legislature after Mass (anyone have a link to it?  It's the one he said he won't pay and he'll go to jail...)  We may be called to sacrifice.

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


Website of St. John the Apostle - Bismarck

Sunday, June 17, 2012

St. Mary of the Barrens

I've been going into Perry County to other churches.  One day I got lost and found this church.  Mark, from Rome of the West, took me there before, but I dropped the drive with the pictures on it.  Also, I can't find anything on purpose :)


Pictures from Rome of the West

St. Joseph - Apple Creek

This morning I was up incredibly early.  Early enough to take a really long drive to Mass really early.  I drove out to St. Joseph in Apple Creek.  Mass was at 7:30 am.  I left my house at 5:30 am.  Ugh.

The parish of St. Joseph has been around since 1828 with the current church building being completed in 1884.  It is a lovely church, typical of many of the rural churches I have visited previously.  What I especially like about St. Joseph is the Grotto/Shrine.  They have dammed up a spring and made a shrine/grotto there.  There's an outdoor Altar and Mass is celebrated there occasionally.  It is a very pretty and peaceful area.

I was actually greeted by someone from St. Maurus.  She was like you really are going around to all the churches.  Inside, a man asked me what I had in my hands.  An iPad.  He's like in church (in a very disapproving tone)  I'm like yes.  Mass hasn't started yet so?  I suppose if I was playing Angry Birds it might be a problem but I was checking to see if a friend was up and reading about God being our Father and all that rot for Father's Day.

Music was accompanied by an the loft!
Opening:  Seek Ye First
Offertory:  Only a Shadow
Communion:  We Will Rise Again
Closing:  Now Thank We All Our God

Father spoke incredibly fast. Hopefully I got the jist of his homily.  Louis Braille has an accident in 1812 that left him blind.  At the time, the blind read by feeling large raised letters that took forever to read.  An officer from the French military came to school and talked about night writing.  It was a code and a way to read messages in the dark.  Messages were relayed by punched holes.  Braille was fascinated and worked on modifying the system, simplifying it and making it raised does.  Braille's story teaches us three lessons, the same three lessons found in the Readings.  1.  The greatest movements in the world grow from the tiniest ideas.  2.  People who begin movements are often tiny and insignificant themselves.  3.  They often die without seeing the results of their work.  The same can be said of the Church; it began like a mustard seed.  It started small and became large.  This is a time of trial for the Church.  Even if its members give scandal, the Church is still holy.  The Church is being persecuted.  The HHS mandate is an attack on religious liberty and a violation of church beliefs.  (blink.  I'm stunned.  A homily about current issues?)  All rights come from God (or those that think they are God...)  Their ideology (of the people trying to take our rights away) is based on relativism, and not on natural law.  Starting on June 22, the Feast of St. Thomas More, the Bishops are asking us to pray for our religious liberties for two weeks.  Those who persecute the Church will loose.  The Nazis and Communists tried, the Romans tried (somebody's been following a meme...) It is a doctrine of the Church that nothing will destroy the Church until the end of time (well, isn't that convenient.)  The Church is sometimes referred to as the Barque of St. Peter.  It will lead us through the storm and to the kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus has not abandoned His Church.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells at the Consecration.  After Communion, we recited a prayer to St. Joseph and another prayer.  Father gave all the fathers a special blessing.  We then said the Prayer to St. Michael.

St. Joseph Apple Creek

View From the Back Pew


Information from the Archdiocese
Pictures from Rome of the West

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

St. Louis University Hospital Chapel

I had to go to St. Louis University Hospital to pick up an MRI.  I found the chapel :)  I forgot my dSLR and used a little compact...