Sunday, August 26, 2012

Christ the Savior - Brewer

Good Evening All.
I hope you are all staying dry.  Hard to believe in a month this little adventure will be over with!

This morning I headed down to Brewer to attend the 8 am Mass at Christ the Savior.

It's a small Church and it reminded me vaguely of something.  It dawned on me about half way through Mass that it was vaguely similar to the gym at Immaculate Heart of Mary, which used to be the church.

There was a small electric console in the front.  Unfortunately no one was there to play it.
The music:
Opening:  All the Earth
Offertory:  Be Not Afraid
Communion:  silence
Closing:  Alleluia!  Sing to Jesus
The Our Father was sung however.

For the past five Sundays we have been hearing from the Gospel of John and the Bread of Life discourse.  We have heard at the beginning Jesus literally feeding the crowd.  Gradually we have been moved to be being fed spiritually.  We are fed in many ways.  Physically, psychologically, emotionally and finally spiritually.  We need these ways to nourish and grow.  This week the discourse ends and we go back to the Gospel of Mark.  It has come down to the last straw.  The disciples are grumbling that this saying is hard.  Last week it was My Flesh is real food and My Blood is real drink and I am the Bread of Life.  Now they are saying this is hard.  The disciples are beginning to question and many left.  We know this in our head, but it is hard to get in our hearts.  Love your enemies, pray for your persecuted.  I know what that means but how do I do that?  Peter asks when do I forgive, seven times and Jesus says seventy times seventy times.  Many sayings challenge you.  Do I really want to do this?  Do I want to pick up my cross and carry it (Sure.  As long as I can do it with ill grace :P )  These are hard things.  I understand them, how do I bring them into my life.  In the First Reading Joshua asks the people who they are going to serve.  As for Joshua, he and his house will serve the Lord.  Jesus turns to the Twelve and asks do you want to leave?  Peter asks "To whom shall we go?" (HEY!  I recognize's Cardinal Dolan's motto thing...)  People who leave the Church do not leave because of Christ, but for other excuses.  As Church, we are human; it is not perfect.  There are hurts within any relationships.  Sayings are hard.  Who can accept them?  (Speaking of hard sayings, notice how nothing was said of the 2nd Reading....)

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II.


Information from the St. Louis Archdiocese
Picture from Rome of the West

Sunday, August 19, 2012

St. Mary Magdalen - Brentwood


A friend asked me to help take all his cats for a ride so I headed to 5 pm Mass on Saturday at St. Mary Magdalen in Brentwood.

The Church of St. Mary Magdalen was built in 1944.  The stained glass windows are colored diamonds and very narrow.  It's very dark in the church.

The organ and piano used to provide music were located in the right transcept instead of the loft.
Opening:  Now As We Gather
Offertory:  For the Beauty of the Earth
Communion:  I Am the Living Bread
Closing:  With One Voice

St. Mary Magdalen has frequent Confession times so being the good little Catholic girl I am, I availed myself to partake in the Sacrament.  Based on what happened in the box, I didn't hold out a lot of hope for Mass.  I was pleasantly surprised however.

There was a Baptism.  YAY for the new member of the Church, Carter Scott!  I find it interesting that every parish does the Rite differently.  In some parishes, the ceremony is held after Mass.  In some parishes the Rite is done in the Mass.  In these cases, sometimes the first part is at the beginning, before Mass starts and sometimes it is all done at once.  What was odd was that the Deacon did the Baptism while the priest just sat there.

Father gave the homily.
Today you will witness the baptism of Carter Scott.  If Carter was a member of an Eastern Rite, such as St. Raymond, he would have receive Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.  (Uhm actually, he wouldn't.  At St. Raymond he would have been Baptized and Confirmed but he would have still had to wait until age 7 or older to receive the Eucharist.  Eastern Orthodox receive all three at once, but not the Maronite Rite.  I'm not sure about the Byzantine or other Rites.  I know this because my Aunt and her family are Marionite Catholics.)    The Early Church really emphasized frequent Communion.  Infants received Communion first and then the adults. (Uhm, I'm confused, because I was always taught that in the Early Church, they delayed Baptism until the last possible moment, to get all those sins wiped away at once. And I distinctly remember the Church had to implement a rule, the Easter Duty, because people were not receiving Communion frequently.)  In the 11th and 12th century, that changed to the age of reason.  ( this, especially page 10).  The point of this story is that we should come to the Eucharist.  God will provide all that we need at the table of plenty (Oh dear.  Now that song is stuck in my head.)  Listen to the theology.  God's grace is given, not earned.  The Sacraments cost you nothing.  It is a free gift.  (Clearly Father hasn't been in a parish where Confirmation has to be earned doing various service hours...)  Why wait until age 7, 10 or 12?  You have a right to be here.

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

A bit of good news!  The associate came out at announcements and said he was starting a House of Discernment for men contemplating the priesthood (wonders about women contemplating religious life, but I digress).  It will be called Kolbe House and will be at Sts. Mary and Joseph!  YAY!  I'm so happy to see that the Church will be in use again!


Pictures  from Rome of the West
Website of St. Mary Magdalen

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

St. Peter - St. Charles

Happy Feast of Assumption!  I hope you all made it to Mass.  If you didn't, I expect you'll be in line on Saturday ;)

I attended the 12 pm Mass at St. Peter in St. Charles.  Since Main Street is usually packed because of festivals practically every weekend, I thought a Holy Day of Obligation was the best choice.  I also had to wait until the windows were back.  Apparently the windows were taken out and releaded.  They are sweet!

St. Peter is very beautiful and well decorated on the inside.

Music was accompanied by an organ in the choir loft and a cantor.

Opening:  Immaculate Mary
Offertory:  Sing of Mary
Communion:  O Sanctissima (First verse in Latin)
Communion Mediation:  Ave Maria. (Sung by the cantor in Latin.  Did a great job!)
Closing:  Hail Holy Queen

Before Mass started we were to stand up and greet our neighbors in Christ.

At the Kyrie Father mentioned sins that weigh us down but did not weigh Mary down.

The Homily was given by the Deacon.
We hope that one day we will be with Mary in Heaven.  We pray we will be prayerful and faithful followers of God's Will like Mary that we are called to be.  Every time we say the prayer Jesus taught us, God's Will be Done.  Our readings describe what happens when we do God's Will.  The First Reading has inspired many works of Art.  Mary is doing God's Will.  It is the first ushering in of God's Will in Jesus.  The Gospel is easy to imagine.  When you are filled with joy you want to share the good news.  Mary had to visit.  She is a model of charity helping Elizabeth during this time.  She had just given her foolhearty yes to God.  It is easy to see God when we magnify His actions.  Mary is the model of giving her heart and soul to God.  We can proclaim the greatness of God.  (I sort of checked out during the homily for some reason....can you tell?)

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II.  There were no bells as there were no altar servers.  In my day (OMG I'm old...if you were a server and at Mass and the assigned server didn't show, you were to volunteer yourself...if Father didn't come out and pick someone...)

There has handholding and hand raising at the Our Father.


View From the Back Pew!


Look!  It's the Holy Family!
And Child Jesus isn't making a cross!





The Chapel:

Website of St. Peter
Pictures from Rome of the West

Sunday, August 12, 2012


xin chào buổi ngày!

This morning I headed to Resurrection of Our Lord in South City.  I remember back in the day when this was a territorial parish with a school.  (We played against them in sports.)  Now it is the home of Vietnamese Catholics.

Resurrection is a modern, pre-Vatican II church.  It is more fan shaped than straight.  The windows are at the top of the walls like at Mary, Mother of the Church.  It is very cleanly designed inside.

The windows are the more traditional flat thin glass in shades of black, yellow, reds and browns.  I have to say the actual art on the windows was uhm scary.  The heads of the Apostles were disembodied and very emaciated.  It was more reminiscent of skulls...

Mass was very full this morning.  Many women were in traditional Vietnamese clothes and most people were nicely dressed.  There were even 10 Sisters, 9 in habits.  The 8 Sisters in front of me were all younger than me.  They also spoke very little English....

The choir was up in the loft.  The music was very nice and seemed to be more Western but with Asian elements, if that makes any sense.  I'd love to tell you what they sang but alas, I don't know any Vietnamese.

Nearly every response and every part that required a response was sung/chanted.  The Confiteor (at least I think it was...) and the Creed were sung.  There were bells at the Consecration.

At the end of Mass, everyone turned to the statue of Mary and said a prayer and sang a song.  I tried to find out what it was but I couldn't figure out who could speak English....  It seemed too long for the Hail Mary.



View From the Back Pew

Mary and Jesus

Staring at me...all through Mass
Creeping me out.

Station VIII

Old Baptistry

Window in Baptistry

Website of Resurrection
Pictures from Rome of the West
Pictures from Built St. Louis