From the Rector: Catholic Communications Campaign
Jul20

From the Rector: Catholic Communications Campaign

Catholic Communications Campaign Special Collection Next week, our second collection is for the Catholic Communication Campaign. This campaign connects people with Christ, here and around the world in developing countries, through the internet, television, radio, and print media. And fifty percent of funds collected remain in our diocese to fund local communications efforts. Your support helps spread the gospel message! To learn more, visit www.usccb.org/ccc. Below is Bishop’s letter concerning this special collection. Bishop’s...

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From the Parochial Vicar: Missionaries, Not Mercenaries
Jul13

From the Parochial Vicar: Missionaries, Not Mercenaries

THEME : MISSIONARIES, NOT MERCENARIES                                                                         BY REV FR ANSELM CHIGOZIE AMADI INTRODUCTION: The Bethel sanctuary was built by King Jeroboam to prevent the people from going to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to God. This  was motivated by political reasons, to secure the Northern Kingdom from having contact with the temple of God in Jerusalem, less their hearts turn back to the king of Judah (1kings 12:26-30). He, therefore, established two royal sanctuaries as alternative places of worship for the Northern Kingdom. He appointed  Amaziah to be the priest of this “political sanctuaries”. Amaziah, so to say, was a minister of “political sanctuary” and ministered to the political interest of the king. Amos, on the other hand, was a minister of the Word of God and God’s spokesman. His prophetic utterances threatened the political security of Jeroboam and job security of Amaziah, the conventional priest. In defense of his politically based priesthood, Amaziah saw the message of the Most High as treason and banished the prophet. The two actors of the biblical scene mirror two  classes of religious workers in the church today, namely, missionaries and mercenaries. TWO GROUPS OF MINISTERS In the old testament we have court prophets who minister in the court of the king. They told  the king what he would like to hear and painted walls instead of speaking out when the king was in error. Those prophets and priests placed affinity with the king above relationship with God and counted material benefits more important than eternal reward. Such are the likes of Amaziah, mercenaries and not missionaries. Compromise is their Creed and gain their measure of success. Missionaries are those whose hearts the Lord has touched and who are sent by the Lord to proclaim the Word to the world, to both kings and nobles, rich and poor alike. They are empowered with the Word and spiritual authority as Jesus did to the apostolic emissaries in the gospel. They fear neither human nor spiritual strongholds in cognizance of their spiritual endowment. Real missionaries speak truth to power and combat the powers of darkness, be it sickness or demonic influence. SOMETHING MORE THAN BREAD Amaziah banished the prophet thus: “go to Judah and earn your bread there by prophesying ( Amos 7:12)”. Because of his bread apostolate, he could not see beyond the mercenary boundaries. Amos was motivated by a power beyond bread attractions. Jesus gave us in the gospel, the power that sustained true missionaries when he said “my food is to do the will of my father (John 4:34). In man, we have sensitive appetite which is satisfied by material and carnal gratification...

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From the Rector: Biblical Counsel
Jul05

From the Rector: Biblical Counsel

Here’s some helpful Biblical counsel for us all. Don’t open your mouth when: 1. In the heat of anger – Proverbs 14:17   11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie – Proverbs 4:24 2. When you don’t have all the facts – Proverbs 18:13   12. If your words will damage someone else’s reputation – Proverbs 16:27 3. When you haven’t verified the story – Deuteronomy 17:6   13. If your words will damage a friendship – Proverbs 16:28 4. If your words will offend a weaker person – 1 Corinthians 8:11   14. When you are feeling critical – James 3:9 5. When it is time to listen – Proverbs 13:1   15. If you can’t say it without screaming it – Proverbs 25:28 6. When you are tempted to make light of holy things – Ecclesiastes 5:2   16. If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family – Peter 2:21-23 7. When you are tempted to joke about sin – Proverbs 14:9   17. If you may have to eat your words later – Proverbs 18:21 8. If you would be ashamed of your words later – Proverbs 8:8   18. If you have already said it more than one time – Proverbs 19:13 9. If your words would convey the wrong impression – Proverbs 17:27   19. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person – Proverbs 24:24 10. If the issue is none of your business – Proverbs 14:10   20. When you are suppose to be working instead – Proverbs 14:23 ” Whoever guards his mouth & tongue keeps his soul from troubles” – Proverbs 21:23...

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From the Rector: When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence?
Jun27

From the Rector: When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence?

When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence? heres a large excerpt, (minus the list of grievances) In Congress, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States…. (list of historical grievances are being omitted here) We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,...

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From the Rector
Jun22

From the Rector

Father Josh Mayer’s Homily at Vespers before Father Mitchell Brown’s Ordination: “God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us he brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin. By this favor you were saved.” Tomorrow, here at our Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, at 11am, we will have the joy of participating in a great outpouring of God’s mercy, at the Ordination Mass of soon-to-be-Father Mitchell Brown. A great grace will be bestowed not only upon Deacon Brown but also on the whole Church, even on the whole world which the Church is called to serve. And this grace, this incredible divine favor, will come through the same unexpected and paradoxical means that Jesus embraced in order to save the world: through death. Tomorrow, we will witness Deacon Brown lay down… and die. A brief reminder that one of the most recognizable symbols of the Catholic priesthood is that we wear black. The uniform for Diocesan Clergy, us priests and deacons, is all black clothing, either a black cassock or black slacks and a black shirt, with a white collar. The white collar stands for purity and for slavery: we commit ourselves completely to the service of Jesus Christ. What does the black stand for? Death. The black Clerical Uniform is meant to tell everyone who sees us that those of us who wear it have died to ourselves, to our ego, our sinfulness, to our own plans and desires, we have died to the values and machinations and schemes and temptations of our lost and confused world, we no longer live for any of that, but only for Jesus Christ, His Church, His Mission, His Cross, His Heart, His Love. Tomorrow, during one of the most powerful moments of the Rite of Ordination, we will all intercede for Deacon Brown as he prostrates Himself before Christ and offers his life to the Lord. This, too, is a symbol of death. It’s an action of self-emptying, of embracing the Cross of Jesus Christ, of dying with Jesus so that you can rise with Him. In the waters of baptism, we die and rise with Jesus. In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, that death and resurrection is specified: Deacon Brown, this is how you will live out your death in Christ: as His priest. The flock that Jesus entrusts to you are the children you are called to die for, tomorrow and every day of your life from there on out. We will be praying for you. Die well, my brother. Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating? Isn’t this all a little gloomy, a little morbid for an...

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From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part II
May29

From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part II

40 Hours of Adoration-Part II A Roman Tradition  About 1550, St. Philip Neri introduced the Forty Hours devotion in Rome, and in 1592 Pope Clement VIII became the first pope to give formal recognition to the devotion with his papal decree Graves et diuturnae . Pope Clement’s intention was to use the 40 hours to pray for God’s aid in protecting the Church against all dangers, both internal and external. He also intended the observance to be continuous: “We have determined to establish publicly in this Mother City of Rome an uninterrupted course of prayer in such wise that in the different churches … on appointed days, there be observed the pious and salutary devotion of the Forty Hours, with such an arrangement of churches and times that, at every hour of the day and night, th e whole year round the incense of prayer shall ascend without intermission before the face of the Lord.” The Vatican instructions or rubrics associated with the Forty Hours were issued by Pope Clement XI in 1705 and later in that century revised by Pope Clement XII. These rubrics, known as the Clementine Instructions, provide, with great solemnity, minute details for conducting the devotion and are mostly still followed today during exposure, benediction and reposition of the Blessed Sacrament. All the instructions are designed to focus attention on the sacredness of the Sacrament. For centuries there was little doubt when the devotion was taking place, as a picture or banner depicting the Blessed Sacrament was hung on the church door, the church bells were rung every hour and the Sacrament was surrounded with at least 20 lit candles. While the Clementine Instructions were binding only on the churches in the city of Rome, they were quickly adopted throughout the rest of the world. In 1853, St. John Neumann, fourth bishop of Philadelphia, introduced Forty Hours as a diocesanwide devotion in the United States.   With Greatest Possible Solemnity  At one time all Catholic parishes were obligated to conduct this popular devotion. The 1917 Code of Canon Law prescribed that the Eucharist be annually exposed for 40 hours of adoration, “with greatest possible solemnity,” in all places where the Blessed Sacrament was normally reserved and on dates determined by the local bishop. Today, except in churches where there is Perpetual Adoration, such annual periods of Eucharistic exposure are less common and only “recommended” by the Code of Canon Law that was promulgated in 1983. Guidance from the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, in the document Eucharistiae Sacramentum , issued in 1973, states that the local bishop can approve extended adoration...

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From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part I
May25

From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part I

40 Hours of Adoration-Part I For over 500 years one of the most beautiful of all Catholic devotions has been the one known as Quarant Ore, or Forty Hours. The Blessed Sacrament is solemnly exposed for 40 hours outside the tabernacle and continuously adored by the faithful. In past centuries, especially in the late Middle Ages, people turned to the Blessed Sacrament, the Body and Blood of Christ, during times of crisis. Bishops frequently ordered exposition of the Sacrament for “serious and general need.” The faithful would come in shifts before the Sacrament seeking God’s intercession during events threatening the local community, such as war, epidemics, drought or famine. Calamities faced in our own era, such as terrorist attacks, the Iraq war and natural disasters, would have likely resulted in Forty Hours of prayer. In recent centuries, devotion before the exposed Sacrament has become less a community prayer for intercession in times of darkness (although certainly such times are not excluded) and more an individual time to make reparations for sin or offer thanksgiving, or perhaps general adoration or contemplating the majesty of Our Lord. Milanese Beginnings  There is evidence that 12th-century Christians prayed a 40-hour vigil before the tabernacle during the Easter Triduum. Whether or not the Blessed Sacrament was exposed as part of those early Holy Week devotions is unclear. During the 12th and 13th centuries Christian worship increasingly accentuated the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; this was in large measure a response to various groups who condemned this belief. The faithful sought to acclaim publicly their convictions about the Real Presence, and processing the Blessed Sacrament through city streets, such as on Corpus Christi Sunday, became popular. Also, this era introduced the custom of elevating the Host at the consecration during Mass for the faithful to adore. Over the next 200 years, the concept of combining public exposure of the Blessed Sacrament with 40 hours of prayer evolved. During the 1520s and ’30s, in the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy, this prayer devotion was extended beyond Holy W eek and often added to Pentecost, the feast of the Assumption and at Christmas. About 1529, an invading army confronted Milan; the faithful were called to 40 hours of prayer and soon thereafter the threat subsided. Almost simultaneously a fever or plague struck the city and again the people sought God’s intercession through 40 hours of prayer. At the prompting of a Capuchin priest, Joseph of Fermo, the devotion was conducted on a continuous basis, rotating between Milanese churches. It was at this time that the Eucharist was taken outside the tabernacle and placed on church altars throughout the 40...

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