Sunday, March 25, 2012

St. Maurus - Biehle

So, what do you do when the Church you are at doesn't have Sunday Mass?  Find another of course!

I ended up attend up at St. Maurus in Biehle.  This is a nice, old stone church in a rural area.  It was nicely decorated in side.  The high altar was really neat with mosaics.  Neat as in didn't expect to see something so nice.

The music was accompanied by an electric piano/organ and a small choir in the front of the church.  The loft was used for extra seating.
Opening:  Lord Who Throughout These 40 Days
Offertory:  Psalm 42 (As the Deer Longs)
Communion:  Seed, Scattered and Sown
Communion Meditation:  Hail Mary
Closing:  We Walk BY Faith.

Today is the 3rd Scrutiny for those entering the Church at Easter.  At St. Maurus, there were 3-4 people who were entering the Church or getting Confirmed.  That means the readings are different.  It's supposed to be the story of Lazarus, which goes with the Blessing in the Scrutiny.  We had the regular readings for today.

Father read his homily very fast.  I could hardly keep up.  I apologize now.  I believe I got most of the jist.
Farmers are getting ready to plant.  Before they can do that, they have to prepare the soil for planting.  Farmers know that planting is so much more than putting seed into the ground.  So is our Faith.  It needs the right conditions.  The Old Testament  is all about getting us ready.  Jesus Christ laid down His life to fruitful salvation.  The old covenant was unfruitful because the people didn't obey.  God would plant in hearts so that everyone would know how to live right.  Jesus is a seed.  Must plant and die then grow a new plant.  So it is with our salvation.  We must die to ourselves.  We must die.  Lent is about dying.  Spiritual dying so we can come to Jesus Christ.  Jesus' death is a result of our disobedience (ooops).  Seed dying is Jesus dying on the cross for our salvation and redeem us.  This erases the claim the devil has on us.  We have been redeemed.  Now that redemption must be applied.  We must die to self.  Jesus learned obedience.  To be Christian, we must be obedient.  Jesus was obedient to the Will of God.  He could have said no.  The death of Jesus teaches us obedience.  This Sunday used to be called Passion Sunday.  We used to cover statues, which is still allowed.  We are entering into Passiontide, getting ready for the holiest week of the year.  The lesson is to be obedient.  At every Mass we bring up bread and wine.  We are brining ourselves to Christ, who takes us to God.  Those hosts represent us.  Many of us to make a host and work together.  We become one in Jesus.  We offer ourselves to Christ.  Priest, acting in persona Christi, offers us to God.  Many of us would like to be the foot of the cross with Mary, John and the Holy Women (uhm no.  I'm a wuss.)  At Mass, we are at the foot of the cross mystically.  We give ourselves to God obediently at the Mass.  Father then talked a bit about walking the Stations in the Holy Land.

Father had a chalice veil and burse.  He used Eucharistic Prayer I and there were bells.

St. Maurus

View from the Back Pew!

Station VIII

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

St. Joseph - Highland

Good Afternoon.
In continuing my theme of St. Joseph, I headed to St. Joseph in Highland.  Because the church is 1.5 hours away and Mass was 8 am.  I had to get up at the crack of dark and leave.  On the drive there was lots of nice fog.  Too bad I waited until the last second to leave or I could take pictures of fog.

I get to the Church, which, surprise, surprise, is not where the coordinates indicate where it is.  And there's a sign saying Mass starts at 8:30 am.  Ok.

At 8:25 am, another person pulls into the parking lot.  It turns out, that once a month, they don't have Sunday Mass.  And that Sunday without Mass is today.  I'm not sure why the parish doesn't do a Sunday Service in the Absence of a Priest instead of everyone fending for themselves.  I'm not sure why there wasn't a sign on the door either.  Alas.  I guess I'll come back at the end for Mass.  At least gas was 30 cents cheaper in Perry County.


Never fear, I have a GPS and a 3G iPad.  I found another Mass nearby ;)

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Goodbye Jake

For those of you who have been long time readers, you may remember that I have a basset hound named Jake.  I loved coming home from Mass and him being in the yard.  He'd be sniffing, see me, and come running towards me.

In August, Jake was diagnosed with lymphoma.  This morning, I had to put Jake to sleep.

St. Roch, pray for me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shrine of St. Joseph

Happy Feast Of St. Joseph!  (well, tomorrow...)  In continuing the theme of St. Joseph, I was invited to the Shrine of St. Joseph by the organist.  He was kind enough to invite me up to the top choir loft (there be 2! lofts.)  I would have stayed, but alas, as post-Vatican II child who went to grade school in the 80s, I don't know very many traditional hymns.  I know Marian hymns.  I don't know any St. Joseph hymns.  I also forgot how loud an organ is when you are in the loft with it.  Brought back memories :)  (I used to be in choir...)

When you walk into the Shrine, there is no doubt you are in a Catholic Church.  There are Catholic symbols and statues everywhere.  This has to be one of the most decorated churches I've been in and well kept.  It's much bigger than I thought too.  I thought it was small, but I think it is about as wide and long as St. Anthony of Padua or St. Francis de Sales.  There's actually 2 lofts.  I've only seen that at St. Mary of Victories.  I'm curious as to why...

Music was supplied by an organ (from 1890!) and there was a flautist.  The choir and organ were in the upmost loft.
Prelude:  A hymn to St. Joseph of some kind
Opening:  God of Our Fathers Whose Almighty Hand
Mass Setting:  Mass of Creation
Offertory:  O Blessed St. Joseph
Communion:  Ite ad Joseph
Communion Meditation:  Panis Angelicus (I think...)
Closing:  Holy Patron, Thee Saluting

Guess what color vestments Father wore?  It's Laetere Sunday (Info here or here, except the Gospel wasn't loaves and fishes but John 3.16), so Father wore rose.  I have to say this is a first.  I don't think I've ever seen rose worn in Lent.

Father's homily started off with him being frustrated because he wants to leave us awestruck with his homily (I'll settle for coherent and relevant oh and heresy free...that would leave me awestruck), but he can't do it because he is mortal.  He can't give us a glimpse of God's love.  The Gospel is centered on John 3.16.  The First Reading is a summary of the Old Testament's view of God.  If you obey God's laws, everything is good.  If you disobey, you get punished.  Much of the Old Testament plays out like this.  We need rules and regulations.  We have this belief we will earn our salvation by doing good.  Father then told a story about a class he took in the seminary entitled The attitudes of Christian existence which focused on the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.  They finally connected for him in his mind.  He understood what the Gospel was about.  Our salvation is a gift because God loves us.  St. Ignatius said that God is a god that loves us without measure or regret.  There have been times when I have gotten a glimpse of that love.  What a thing to rejoice about.  Joseph must have been righteous.  He has been called a just man.  He anticipated joy.  My prayer for you is that you will get these glimpses of God's love.

Communion was only one species.  There were no bells.  I think Father used one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation.  Father blessed bread at the end of Mass and there was a relic of St. Peter Claver to venerate.

Shrine of St. Joseph

Guardian Angel

Death of St. Joseph

Baptismal Font

View from the Top Choir Loft!

Catholics:  The original Goths

Detail on Communion Rail Gate

Marian Altar

Main Altar

Jesuit Altar

Relic of St. Peter Claver

Table for the Holy Family

Station VIII

PS:  Rumor has it that March 23-24 is Reconciliation Weekend in the Archdiocese.  The Sacrament will be offered for more than an hour at most places ;)  It seems to be a secret as to what the actual details are...I can't seem to find anything on the Archdiocese website.

Pictures from Rome of the West
Website of the Shrine of St. Joseph

Sunday, March 11, 2012

St. Joseph - Manchester

Afternoon!  I had intended to head out to a St. Joseph much farther away, but I can't leave Jake alone for too long cause he's a trouble-maker ;)  I attended the 11 am Mass at St. Joseph in Manchester.

St. Joseph in Manchester is a fan-shaped modern church that reminds me of Mary, Mother of the Church. When I walked into the nave, there was a sign that said Labels for Lent.  They wanted people to wear name during Lent.  As the Busted Halo Fast, Pray, Give Challenge for today is to fast from complaining about others with the give challenge is to do something God wants you to do.  I'm going to take a stab and suggest God would like me to refrain from snark.  So I have nothing to say about this....

The music was accompanied by a choir, guitar and piano located in the front on the left.
Opening:  Kyrie
Offertory:  Come to the Water
Communion:  I Am the Living Bread; Deep Within
Closing:  Your Grace is Enough

Mass started with everyone kneeling while the Kyrie was sung.  Then Mass proceeded straight to the Opening Prayer.  Before the First and Second Readings, Father gave a little chat about them.

Father's homily started off saying there was a hot topic currently being debated.  Texting while driving (must. not. snark.) Father was aware he was out of it, he can barely deal with bumper stickers.  He's fascinated with by bumper stickers, especially one that read:  God said It, I believe It, That settles It.  We don't really believe it.  We want to know why.  The First Reading needs 1 sentence added to it, And then the negotiating began.  We have renegotiated every commandment.  We are always renegotiating.  We have a conflict with the Word of God.  What questions do you have for God when you get there?  We need to have dispute with the Word of God, so we can trace it and deal with our tendency to water it down, instead of dismissing it entirely.  In the 2nd reading, it talks about the cross.  The Church insists there be a crucifix in the church.  Because we don't get it.  In the Gospel, we ask if Jesus did sin by being angry.  Instead of trying to get at what's going on.  Historically, the economy at this time was animal sacrifice.  Jesus said the Temple was not going to last.  It was destroyed never to be rebuilt.  If they could rebuild the Temple, would animal sacrifice be acceptable again.  We slide into patterns of living.  We are comfortable with them.  Look at slavery, it was all about the economy.  In 1937, the final lynching law was abolished.  Segregation, we never thought of it, it was a part of life.  Not compatible with God's Word, but we massaged it so it would be ok.  Have I really embraced the Word of God or have I tempered it?  Season of Lent is good time to revisit that.  Look at those compromises. The courage to live.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation 1 and there were no bells.  The Sanctus and Angus Dei were in Latin.

There was a talk about the men's ACTS retreats and there are Jonah teams available.

Oh.  I've made a decision BTW about a parish.  Baring any surprises.


St. Joseph 

The Holy Family

View From the Back Pew


Our Lady of Guadalupe 

Website of St. Joseph

Sunday, March 4, 2012

St. Joseph - Zell

Afternoon!  Did you know that March is dedicated to St. Joseph? In honor of St. Joseph, I'll be going to parishes named after him during the month of March.  (pray for low gas prices).

St. Joseph in Zell was built in 1847 and is a lovely country stone church.

The music was accompanied by a guitarist in the choir loft.
Opening:  Only in God
Offertory:  Earthen Vessels
Communion:  Beyond the Days of Hope and Mystery
Closing:  Though the Mountains

The parish still seems to be working on getting the hang of the new translations.  The Sanctus and the Acclamation were the old settings.  Father did use the new Eucharistic Prayer II (dewfall teehee) and there were bells at the Consecration.

Before Mass, there was a prayer for vocations and blurb about the Gospel and its meaning.

Father started his homily off with a story about a man who had 3 daughters but really wanted a son to take deer hunting.  He tried to take his daughters but his wife wouldn't have it.  They finally had a son.  When the son was 7, he took the boy hunting.  The mom was not happy and asked Father for advice.  Father begged off.  So they go out hunting and the first time, not even an hour into it, the son shoots a 14 point buck.  (this seemed important.  I don't know anything about deer.  Except they make good jerky for Jake) Dad was so proud.  One guy came up to the Dad and asked the dad if the boy really shot it.  The dad was like of course.  The guy was like the kid is ruined for hunting and would give it up.  (uhm...I thought guys went hunting to be guys and drink beer and do guy stuff and bond and drink beer.  The deer's just a bonus)  The boy may fall into the trap that everything is blaize.  When you have been to the mountaintop, it's hard to come down.  Jesus took 3 apostles up to the mountain.  They are confused, terrified and overjoyed all at the same time.  When they come down, they still have to wash dishes and earn a living.  Sometimes when we get really close to what we are shooting for, we don't quite make it.  Remote chance that it will come again.  Many people have been to the mountain, and have a profound experience but don't say anything because of fear of the reaction of others.  Don't loose sight of the trivial, everyday things.  That's where we see God.  If you haven't had that profound experience, don't be crushed.  Don't give up.  Great saints are not made in a moment.  They are made in sanctity every day.  In the nuts and bolts of everyday living.  Don't get lost in the dramatic.  Don't lose sight of the everyday.  Difficulties are not so bad.  They lead us.  Routine is not so bad.  Father told a fishing story here.  Something about how boring it was to always catch fish.  This is where we will encounter God daily.



St. Joseph

View From the Back Pew!

Closer view

Uhm.  It's Lent.

Baptismal Font
The Easter Candle had lilies on it.

The Trinity

The Holy Family

Station VIII

Painting on back wall

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