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


  1. Why was it "odd" for the deacon to do the baptism? The deacon is an ordinary minister of the Sacrement of Baptism! Also, not to 'nit-pick', but St. Raymond's is in the Maronite Rite (not marionite).
    I do enjoy reading your posts and viewing your photos. Thanks for providing a nice tour of the Archdiocese.

  2. I apologize for the misspelling. I'll fix it shortly.

    I don't think it is odd normally for a Deacon to do a Baptism. What I found odd was in the Deacon being the minister in the context of the Mass. Perhaps I should have "outside the realm of my experience" instead of odd. For me it was like going to a Confirmation where the Bishop just sat there and let the priest do the confirming. That's not the greatest analogy, but it just left me curious as to why.

    1. No apology necessary!

      I understand your questioning the fact that the priest did not preside at the baptism. In many parishes, including mine, baptisms are assigned on a rotating basis among the priests & deacons. It may have been the deacon's turn to do parish baptisms. Or, the family may have asked the deacon to baptize the child due to their relationship with him. I have baptized four of my grandchildren during Mass. Having said all that, if a family asks to have their child baptized at Sunday Mass, I will defer to the pastor, giving him the first opportunity. He may prefer to do the baptism, or just have the deacon do it. Either way is "legal". Hope this clears things up a bit! :-)

  3. Most Eastern Catholic Churches are in the process, or have already restored, the sacraments of initiation in proper order, so that the newly baptized will be immediately chrismated (confirmed) and then receive the Eucharist at the Divine Liturgy. It has been hard to convince sincere Eastern Catholics that this practice is truly theirs and to give up "First Holy Communion" celebrations at age 7 or so. With proper catechesis it is happening, along with the restoration of the married priesthood here in the US.