Tuesday, May 31, 2011

St. Justin - on the Mass

June 1st is the feast day of St. Justin, Martyr. He is a patron saint of philosophers and his words describing the Mass - written around the year AD 155 - are quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (below). I have included paragraphs 1346 and 1347.

The Mass of all ages

1345 As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

1346 The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:

- the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily and general intercessions;

- the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.

The liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist together form "one single act of worship"; The Eucharistic table set for us is the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord.

1347 Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table "he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Respect Life - Walking the walk!

“We are called to act with justice; we are called to love tenderly; we are called to serve one another: To walk humbly with God”

This song was ringing in my ears the whole way over to church. I was attending an 8am Mass for Respect Life and I was going to meet a woman who was scheduled to have an abortion but because of the wonderful ministry of the “sidewalk pray group” she changed her mind and was due with a baby boy in two weeks. Why was I meeting her? I crochet baby blankets on behalf of the Respect Life Committee here at St. Benedict Church and was going to give her my latest blankets.

I was nervous but excited all at the same time. I just wanted to hug this woman and I indeed did just that. I never met her before. She was in the pew with her other two children – both daughters. I introduced myself and told her I was a mother of four boys. She smiled. I held her hand and said that I made this blanket with love in hopes to keep her son warm. Tears naturally filled my eyes and we just looked at each other and I gave her a hug and told her “I love you”. She said “I love you too”…and then, the Mass was about to start so I grabbed her hand one more time.

I most likely will never see her again or her baby. I did give her my phone number and address in case she ever needed anything – babysitting, clothes, money or just a friend. It was the right thing to do. During the Mass, I prayed for her to continue to have strength. Some long days and nights are ahead of her. She deserves a chance to be successful. After the baby is born, she needs to find employment, then child care perhaps, etc…. her journey will continue. I will keep praying for her. I will never forget her face.

If you don’t think you have time to make a difference in Respect Life, think again. There are so many ways to get involved in building the Kingdom of God. I found a way to help and all it involves is a little extra time at home. It’s something small but I know God values the small things we do. If were not “serving” someone daily, then were missing an opportunity to grow in our Faith. Consider how you can serve Respect Life.

Sincerely ~Maura MacDonald
For more information on St.Benedict's Respect Life ministry - http://bit.ly/fhTvw3

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Newly Confirmed: A Reflection

Newly Confirmed - A Reflection by Claire Marie Faith Kirby.

“Confirm (verb): to acknowledge with definite assurance.”

That’s the definition you get on www.dictionary.com. But for Catholics, the sacrament of Confirmation is so much more. During Confirmation, we firmly pledge our faith as adults.

We say YES to so much:
yes to God the Father,
God the Son,
and God the Holy Spirit;
yes to carrying out the will of God in everything we do;
yes to love over hate, to hope over doubt, to life over death.

From the moment we are Confirmed, we acknowledge that we truly want to live as Jesus did, most definitely and assuredly.

I was Confirmed Wednesday, May 11th, just about two weeks ago. Once a month since September, Sister Virginia had been teaching me and the other Confirmation candidates exactly what the sacrament was about. We talked about saying “yes” to God and becoming adults in the Church, but I don’t think this fully impacted me until my Confirmation night. For all those months, I hadn’t really been looking forward to Confirmation; it was just something everyone in the Church went through—nothing too exciting. I admit, in the minutes before I left to go to the church around 6:20 that night, I was way more concerned with finding my shoes and fixing my hair than I was with becoming an adult in the Church.

However, once the Mass actually started, I started to realize…I was about to be a full-fledged, legitimate adult member of the Catholic Church. This was, in fact, something to be excited about! I could no longer think that I was too young to be active in the parish; no longer could I sit back and watch. Once Bishop Kmiec blessed and anointed me with oil, I was fully initiated. I am now Claire Marie Faith Kirby, and I’ve come to realize that the time to act for God is right here, right now. Not someday, not when I’m older. You can never be too young—or too old—to bring God’s goodness and kindness to others. More than anything, Confirmation has helped me realize this, and I’m ready to go out and spread God’s will.

Sports Breakfast 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Respect Life news


Spring is finally here and the Respect Life Ministry is planning on holding our Annual Flower Voucher Sale. Last year's sale was so successful that we will once again be selling Gift Certificates to Badding Bros. Nursery. Last year the Respect Life Ministry was able to fund raise over $500 - which we used toward:

- sponsoring a local high school student's attendance at Camp Esther for Pro-Life Leadership Training ($100)

- purchased and distributed Respect Life information in our parish on topics such as Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Chastity and Natural Family Planning ($150)

- cosponsored a lectured series on Life Issue with area parishes. St. Benedict's had Dr. Rose Hershenov speak on Embryonic Stem Cell Research ($100)

- most recently, purchased a yearly parish subscription to Celebrate Life magazine (will be available for free at church side doors starting this month) ($70)

- sponsored a parishioner to attend the March for Life in Washington D.C. ($80)

-bought and distributed cd "Why Contraception Matters" to all St. Benedict's PreCana couples ($70)

-recently bought 3 copies of unPlanned by Abby Johnson for parish circulation (available in main foyer of the church). This is the dramatic true stroy of a former Planned Parenthood leader's eye opening journey across the life line! ($50)

We hope to have just as much success this year so that we can keep up the good work!

Flower Sale Vouchers will be available at the rectory in $10 and $20 denominations until Father's Day. Happy Spring Planting!!

Janelle Horn, Respect Life Coordinator

For information about our Respect Life Ministry - http://bit.ly/fhTvw3

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ashley & Kaitlyn - amazing Girl Scouts!

Congratulations to 7th grade parishioner, Ashley, who was presented with the hard-earned Marian Medal for Girl Scouts by Bishop Kmiec on April 16 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. 

The Marian Medal program is for Catholic youth in Girl Scouts.  It is designed to help the girls grow in appreciation of Mary and in understanding themselves. 

Congratulations also goes to 2nd grader Kaitlyn who received her I Live My Faith award for Girl Scouts at St. Leo’s on March 6. 

The sisters both attend Religious Education classes at St. Benedict's. 

 We're proud of you both!

Ashley receiving her award from Bishop Kmiec