From the Rector: Do you burn or bury broken blessed religious items?
Jul28

From the Rector: Do you burn or bury broken blessed religious items?

As Catholics, we are accustomed to having religious objects “blessed,” which signifies the permanent sanctification and dedication of an object for some sacred purpose. I think every weekend someone asks me as well as the other priests to bless a rosary, a statue, or some other religious object. Once a religious object is blessed and dedicated for divine worship or veneration, it must be treated with reverence and must not be used in either an improper or profane way (cf. Code of Canon Law, #1171). What happens when the rosary or statue breaks and is irreparable? Or, when the palm dries out, and the following Palm Sunday provides us with new palm? The basic rule for the disposition of these items is to burn or to bury them. During the 1800s, both the Sacred Congregation for the Rites and the Holy Office (now known respectively as the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) issued various determinations concerning this issue. Here are a few examples: A chalice which becomes “unserviceable” is not to be sold, but must be used for some other sacred purpose, or melted. Vestments, altar cloths, and linens must be destroyed. Polluted or excess holy water must be poured into the ground. Palms are to be burned, and the ashes then used for distribution on Ash Wednesday or returned to the ground. A broken rosary or religious statue normally would be buried. In all, the underlying idea is that what has been dedicated to God should be returned to God, in a sense, the same way a person’s dead body is committed to the earth. Never should one just “throw out” what has been dedicated to God. Therefore, the normal “rule of thumb” is that anything that has been blessed should be burned (and then the ashes buried) or simply buried. I remember as a child, several times when my father dug the hole to plant a new shrub, my Mom would first add the broken rosaries, which made me think of the new shrub as something holy. My job as a child was always to burn the old palm. Even as a pastor, I have a whole box of old palm, worn linens, and other things, that I save and burn periodically. Living in a society where things have become so disposable, we must differentiate from trash those religious objects that have been blessed and dedicated to God for sacred use. My heart breaks every time I enter an antique store or look on EBay or another website and find a chalice, a reliquary (sometimes still containing a relic), vestments, and other sacred objects that were once used for the holy Mass. I have to...

Read More
Sunday School: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul21

Sunday School: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle...

Read More
From the Rector: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Jul21

From the Rector: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion What are the qualifications to server as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion? When the necessity exists, because of a lack of Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, for the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, the Church permits that pastors may choose and instruct laypersons to serve the Church in this way. The first qualification is that the persons are fully initiated, that is, they have been Baptized, received First Holy Communion, and have been Confirmed. The person must also be able to receive the Sacraments themselves, and so would be living either a Single life in conformity with the teachings and discipline of the Church, or if Married, have the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony received from the Catholic Church. The person should be known to the pastor to be of good reputation and character and to have a spiritual life that fosters devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist. The person must receive instruction concerning the manner of serving as an Extraordinary Minister at Mass and for home visits. The person should be commissioned by their pastor or at least deputed for service. Because of the expectation that EMHC’s will take Holy Communion to the homebound, they will also need to participate in Safe Environment training (VIRTUS) as well as a background check through the parish or the Diocese of Gallup. It is a tremendous gift to be called to serve the Church in this manner.  If after prayerful reflection, you would like to serve the Church in this capacity, please call Fr. Keller at the parish office to make an appointment....

Read More
Sunday School: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul12

Sunday School: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle...

Read More
From the Rector: Patron of Arts
Jul12

From the Rector: Patron of Arts

The Church as a patron of the Arts As members of the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish it’s easy to notice how we try to foster an appreciation for the arts and the look for opportunities to help them flourish in order to inspire and enrich our lives.  Each year at our Fiesta we host The Spanish Arts Market, and later in the summer we host the Sacred Music Concert connected with the Land of Enchantment opera. This begs the question, Why does the Church foster the arts? This question leads us back to that crucial moment in salvation history, The Incarnation. That moment when Jesus, who is the Word of God, became flesh. The God who made the Beauty of creation, made Himself visible. Because of that, we use the things of creation, to Glorify God by our works, in the arts. Beauty helps us to understand God. It points to God, and helps us feel His presence.  We know this when we see the beauty He has created, in the mountains, in sunsets, in the stars, in babies! The Vatican museums are a collection of some of the greatest art ever created.  The Church doesn’t horde artworks for her own benefit but in order to share our patrimony with the world. The purpose of the Church, its mission, is to announce Jesus to the world, to bring people near to God to recognize His Love. His love fulfills us, and it is beautiful. God is personified beauty. All beauty comes from God. So, in order to demonstrate that beauty, we create and share, music, painting, sculpture, architecture and every other form of art. Art has always been part of the ministry of the Church.God has become Visible in Christ, and Christ has revealed and manifested His Father. The beauty of art is the representation of this supernatural reality.  We develop human fields of art to achieve the expression of the mystery of God. The challenge for Christians is to create art that actually brings us nearer to God....

Read More
Sunday School 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul05

Sunday School 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle...

Read More
From the Rector: Stained Glass Windows of Sacred Heart Cathedral
Jul05

From the Rector: Stained Glass Windows of Sacred Heart Cathedral

Stained Glass Windows of Sacred Heart Cathedral One of the stained glass windows on the North side chapel in the Cathedral depicts Fray Juan Ramirez, who is considered the Evangelist to the Acoma people. The pueblo village of “Sky City” is reputed to be the oldest continually occupied place in the what is now the U.S., a thousand or more years. Declining an escort of soldiers and with “no other weapon than the crucifix”, Ramirez climbed up to the city.  The Acoma people initially tried to repel the friar. How Ramirez was able to peacefully enter the Acoma village and have the people build the church is an interesting story. Some sources tell the story of Juan Ramirez entering the Acoma village saying he was initially greeted with a shower of arrows to deter him from entering the village. The sheer cliff shielded him as he ascended the mesa. A young girl was believed to have fallen off the mesa during the event to what seemed like certain death. Ramirez made it to the top with the girl still alive, which was perceived to be a miracle, and the Acoma people were much more willing to let the friar talk to them about Catholicism after the incident. They worked with him relatively peacefully during his time as friar of the Acoma, and many Acoma people became legitimate converts to Catholicism, although many of them retained many of their former religious traditions.The Church of San Estevan Rey was built in the friar’s time at the pueblo, completed around 1629 making it the oldest church what is now the Diocese of...

Read More