From the Rector: Why abstain from meat on Fridays
Feb02

From the Rector: Why abstain from meat on Fridays

Why abstain from meat on Fridays Why is it that the Church instructs Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays (as well as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday), but gives the “thumbs-up” for Catholics to eat fish? First of all we must ask the question, “why Friday?” The USCCB gives a succinct explanation: Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church. Since it is believed Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross on a Friday, Christians from the very beginning have set aside that day to unite their sufferings to Jesus. This led the Church to recognize every Friday as a “Good Friday” where Christians can remember Christ’s passion by offering up a specific type of penance. For much of the Church’s history meat was singled out as a worthy sacrifice on account of its association with feasts and celebrations. In most ancient cultures meat was considered a delicacy and the “fattened calf” was not slaughtered unless there was something to celebrate. Since Fridays were thought of as a day of penance and mortification, eating meat on a Friday to “celebrate” the death of Christ didn’t seem right. (As an aside, some bishops have chosen to lift the ban when Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday during Lent, as it is considered a “solemnity” for many Irish Catholics.) But why is fish not considered “meat”? According to the USCCB the laws of the Church classify the abstinence from “land animals.” Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs — all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Fish, on the other hand, are not in that same classification. Fish are a different category of animal.  Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted. In Latin the word used to describe what kind of “meat” is not permitted on Fridays is carnis, and specifically relates to “animal flesh” and never included fish as part of the definition. Additionally, fish in these cultures was not considered a “celebratory” meal and was more of a penance to eat. Our current culture is much different as meat is generally considered the cheaper option on the menu and no longer has the cultural connection to celebrations. This is why many people are confused about the regulations, especially those who love to eat fish and do not consider it a penance. In the end, the Church’s intention is to encourage the faithful...

Read More
Sunday School: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan26

Sunday School: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B...

Read More
From the Rector: The Angel of Portugal
Jan26

From the Rector: The Angel of Portugal

The Angel of Portugal Many Catholics already know that Mary appeared to three poor children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. But did you know about the angel that visited the children before Mary? In 1916, the year before Mary appeared to them, the children Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco were leading their families’ flocks out to pasture when an angel appeared to them. “We began to see,” Lucia later wrote in her memoirs, “in the distance, above the trees that stretched to the east, a light whiter than snow in the form of a young man, quite transparent, and as brilliant as crystal in the rays of the sun.” The angel spoke to them: “Do not be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me.” He and the children knelt down, and they repeated after the angel this prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.” When they finished, the angel said this before vanishing: “Pray in this way. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are ready to listen to you.” Another day, the same angel appeared to them a second time. Again, he exhorted them to prayer: “What are you doing? You must pray! Pray! The hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. You must offer your prayers and sacrifices to God, the Most High.” When the children asked what sacrifices they should make, the angel explained: “In every way you can offer sacrifice to God in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for sinners. In this way you will bring peace to our country, for I am its guardian angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, bear and accept with patience the sufferings God will send you.” A third time, the angel appeared to them again – this time holding a bleeding Eucharistic host over a chalice. Leaving the host and chalice floating in the air, the angel knelt and led them in a new prayer: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. And by the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.” The angel then offered the host and chalice to the children saying, “Eat and drink the...

Read More
Sunday School: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan19

Sunday School: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Read More
From the Rector
Jan19

From the Rector

We have all, no doubt, witnessed the chronic condition in our community of substance abuse, homelessness, and the related lack of food and clothing resources. We would also like to be of some help in bringing relief, but don’t always know how. One of the little steps our parish has made in the past year was to establish an ongoing food collection. We directly distribute the food that is deposited in the entrance of the Cathedral Church, if there is an excess, we contribute it to the local food pantry. Most of us no doubt feel an inner conflict when we encounter the homeless when its connected to substance abuse. We are sometimes afraid that resources we give are enabling the dependance, and also sometimes simply just do not wish to encounter people who are not in a state to be gracious receivers of help we could give. There is of course no easy solution, or else it would have been accomplished long ago. I recently was given a good piece of advice from a person who does homeless ministry. He says that direct aid of money should probably not be given ordinarily. Rather, food, clothing  or other useful goods can be given. I would encourage you to make, and keep in your car a few little lunch sacks with non perishable items in them. What is always helpful is genuine human interaction! It is also always helpful to be able to make good referrals to agencies that are better equipped to deal with the material needs as well as resources for getting out of the circumstances that the people find themselves in. One thing you could and should always offer is prayer. Here are some local agencies that can provide help to people in need and in difficult situations. Catholic Charities 506 W. Hwy. 66 505-722-5272 Food, Clothing, Utilities Sheriff’s Department 300 B. Nizhoni Blvd. 505-863-1410 Gasoline Casa St. Joseph 411 West Wilson Ave. 505-721-5156 Food, Shelter (men and women) Care 66 407 W. Hwy. 66 505-722-0066 Shelter (men and women) Southwest Indian Foundation 100 W. Coal Ave. 505-863-2837 Assistance...

Read More
Sunday School: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan11

Sunday School: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Read More
From the Rector: The Lamb of God at Mass
Jan11

From the Rector: The Lamb of God at Mass

The Lamb of God at Mass During the breaking of the bread leading up to Communion at Mass, the Fraction Rite, the priest prays a short prayer as he places a small piece of the Consecrated Host into the chalice. While he does that we say or sing the Agnus Dei (AHG-noos DAY-ee) three times, the Lamb of God. Lamb of God is a name for Jesus that reminds us Jesus died for our sins. The priest genuflects and then makes this proclamation and joins us in the response. Behold the Lamb of God”. This is closer to the Latin, Ecce Agnus Dei (EH-chay AHG-noos DAY-ee), majestic in sound, this is a direct reference to John 1:29 where John the Baptist points out Jesus to his followers. The most basic description of what it means to be a Christian is that we believe Jesus Christ is both fully God, and fully Man; that he came for the sake of our salvation; and that we profess our faith in Him and accept Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  John the Baptizer is one whose entire life was dedicated to that exact program. So when the assembly repeats his words, they are proclaiming what John proclaimed, that Jesus is the Lamb of God.  The priest takes the Sacred Body of Our Lord and holds it up either over the paten or the chalice, and declares the very words of John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God, Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” Beati has been rendered “blessed.” You may be blessed even when you aren’t feeling so happy. This together with the direct reference to “the supper of the Lamb” makes clear the connection to Revelation 19:9. There, the angel in the vision has John write down the words that proclaim ‘blessed are all those called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.’ Our response, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed,” echoes the words of the Centurion, who asked Jesus to heal his servant in Luke 7:6-7 and Matthew 8:5-13. As we are presented with the very Body and Blood of Christ, we are called to the same, deep level of faith as the Centurion. While the priest receives communion following the Agnus Dei, we can prepare for communion by chanting the Communion Antiphon and silently making an Act of Faith: “Lord, I am about to receive you in the Eucharist; Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. I believe this...

Read More