Tag Archives: Mass (liturgy)

More Thoughts on the Black SheepDog, John Corapi

Fr. John Corapi

After reading comments on the issue, I thought a bit more about Corapi’s first few paragraphs in his recent statement:

All things change, only God stays the same, so I have to tell you about a major change in my life. I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone. I have been guilty of many things in the course of my life, and could easily and justifiably be considered unfit to engage in public ministry as a priest. The present complaint that you have heard about is, as far as I know, from the one person that I can honestly say I did more to help and support than any human being in my entire life. I forgive her and hope only good things for her. I am not going to get into a back and forth or argument with the Church or anyone else about this matter.

Suffice it to say that I love the Catholic Church and accept what has transpired. Unfortunately, the process used is inherently and fatally flawed, but the bishops have the power, apparently, to operate anyway they see fit. I cannot give a lengthy explanation of what has transpired, but I can tell you that the most likely outcome is that they leave me suspended indefinitely and just let me fade away. They can’t prove I’m guilty of the things alleged because I’m not, and they can’t prove I’m innocent because that is simply illogical and impossible. All civilized societies know that. Certain leaders in the Catholic Church apparently do not.

I accept moving on, but I am not ready to be altogether extinguished just yet. In the final analysis I have only one of only two viable choices:

  1. I can quietly lie down and die, or
  2. I can go on in ways that I am able to go on.

I did not start this process, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas ordered my superiors, against their will and better judgment, to do it. He in fact threatened to release a reprehensible and libelous letter to all of the bishops if they did not suspend me. He has a perfect right to do so, and I defend that right. Bishops aren’t bound by civil laws and procedures in internal Church matters. I agree with that, and would defend to the death the Church’s right to proceed as they see fit. He is the bishop and he has the right to govern as he sees fit. It isn’t an easy task. Many forces besiege him, including pressure from other bishops.

via TheBlackSheepDog.us

Please take note of my emboldened selections. From the text above many have expressed their beliefe that Corapi is “leaving” the priesthood. Despite headlines in many places, this is not explicitly stated above or anywhere else in his post for that matter, unless I completely overlooked it.

If being a Catholic and amatuer theologian and apologist (not to mention my line of work) has taught me anything it is that one must look at the nature of the language: it is precise and clear or is it implicit and subtle. Many have already judged that Corapi’s statement means he is out. This is based on the latter. However, not being a Canon Laywer I believe that because his statement is lacking the former may indeed indicate that there is more to this than we are certainly privey to.

For sure an all out public investigation and/or trial would cause more scandal that is warranted in this case, which of course could be the root of the decisions on both sides. One cannot compare Padre Pio to Corapi, that is not fair to either man. Yet one cannot avoid the parallels where they exist. (Keep in mind that Padre Pio was not a public figure and was granted many miracles – this is not the case for Corapi though his ministry is effective nonetheless.)

Corapi’s decision may simply some sort of settlement. For example, his minitry continues outside of the pervue of the Bishop and in turn, he is on an indeffinet suspension and cannot celebrate mass publicly and thus cannot serve in that capacity – publicly. Keep in mind that a priest always remains such in their soul but not always in their roles. This may be similar to what occured in Leeds back in 2008:

Fr Mark Lawler has now been banned by Bishop Roche from celebrating Mass and the other sacraments publicly. In legal terms, his faculties have been withdrawn. And so the grotesque mishandling of the closure of churches in West Yorkshire continues.

The bishop writes: “In spite of my Decree that the closure of the Church of St John the Evangelist, Allerton Bywater was to take effect on 23 August 2008, public Mass was celebrated by Fr Mark Lawler in the Church on a Sunday subsequent to the Decree ordering its closure.” Fr Lawler then ignored a further warning, says the bishop, and so he is now forbidden to say Mass in public, to hear confession or to celebrate other sacraments “publically” (sic). 

“This action I take out of pastoral concern for the people in my care,” adds the bishop. The decree is stamped “Arturi Episcopi Loidensis”. (Bishop of Leeds bans priest of closed church from saying public Masses | Telegraph UK)

Do you see the parallel here? It may be that Corapi is simply doing as he says, keeping on – keeping on. But for this of us sitting in our armchairs we must refrain from judgement and err on the side of giving Corapi the benefit of the doubt. The same goes for the Bishop.

This entire situation is known truly to three persons: Corapi, the Bishop and God.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

— Saint Paul, Romans 12:9-21, Marks of the True Christian (RSV-CE)

(H/T to Arminian Chronicles for the above passage today.)

On a final note. I cannot help but think that the Enemy is scoring a big victory on an individual by individual level here. And I am not talking about Father Corapi. I am specifically calling out all of the armchair saints who want to say you should have…

Certainly there is one thing everyone should have done. Pray more, talk less!

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Christ gave the Sign of the Cross on Ascension Thursday

As is often the case, Taylor Marshall (Canterbury Tales) posts a tasty nugget of Christian tradition:

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Today at the Ascension Mass, our priest recounted how Tradition holds that Christ made the sign of the cross over Mary and the Apostles before he ascended into Heaven. “He lifted up His hands and blessed them” is interpreted as Christ raising his hands over the Apostles and then making the sign of the cross over them. This belief is affirmed by the Church Fathers (e.g. Saint Jerome). 

The sign of the cross is of Apostolic origin and it remains in the liturgy and life of the Holy Church of Christ. Father Arthur Tonne provides us with examples:

  1. The sign of the cross in some form or other is made about 54 times during Holy Mass.
  2. It is used frequently in the Divine Office or daily prayer of the priest.
  3. It is used in all blessings bestowed by bishop and priest.
  4. It is used in all the sacraments: 14 times in Baptism; 17 times in Extreme Unction. Yes, even in the semi-darkness of the confessional the priest makes the sign of the cross over you.
  5. It is used in everything blessed for the service of God—altars, linens, holy water, etc.

via Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall: Christ gave the Sign of the Cross on Ascension Thursday 

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Christ gave the Sign of the Cross on Ascension Thursday

As is often the case, Taylor Marshall (Canterbury Tales) posts a tasty nugget of Christian tradition:

Today at the Ascension Mass, our priest recounted how Tradition holds that Christ made the sign of the cross over Mary and the Apostles before he ascended into Heaven. “He lifted up His hands and blessed them” is interpreted as Christ raising his hands over the Apostles and then making the sign of the cross over them. This belief is affirmed by the Church Fathers (e.g. Saint Jerome). 

The sign of the cross is of Apostolic origin and it remains in the liturgy and life of the Holy Church of Christ. Father Arthur Tonne provides us with examples:

  1. The sign of the cross in some form or other is made about 54 times during Holy Mass.
  2. It is used frequently in the Divine Office or daily prayer of the priest.
  3. It is used in all blessings bestowed by bishop and priest.
  4. It is used in all the sacraments: 14 times in Baptism; 17 times in Extreme Unction. Yes, even in the semi-darkness of the confessional the priest makes the sign of the cross over you.
  5. It is used in everything blessed for the service of God—altars, linens, holy water, etc.

via Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall: Christ gave the Sign of the Cross on Ascension Thursday 

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Immerse Yourself in the Truth and Life of Our Blessed Lord

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This long overdue review of the Truth and Life Audio Bible is one of the most difficult reviews I have yet to complete simply because I find it difficult to articulate the experience of immersing oneself in Scripture in this fashion.

The immersive feeling is a testament (no pun intended) to the level of production put forth into this resource. Not only does the all-star cast perform to the level one would expect but the subtleties of the score and sound effects is what completes the picture for the mind’s eye.

When we read we often paint a picture in our minds of the places, persons and events described within the pages. Obviously, this is no different with the Bible. Yet we carry some prejudices into pages of Scripture when we read whether images on holy cards or visual performances but also theological precepts and solid Catholic teaching.

The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible allows one to dig deeper granting an experience of oral teaching that is usually experienced at Mass with the aid of an able lector. Listening to the narration and dialogue drew me in and my Catholic formation began to pick out the Truth behind the Church’s teachings.

Yet, listening to an audio Bible, even of this caliber, does not replace the reading of Sacred Scripture. Letting the splendor of the acting and familiar voices walk you through the events of the New Testament in a manner that can only add to the mystery that is the written Word of God: multi-layered, multi-faceted, multi-generational.

Again, this review is difficult to articulate because the Word, the sounds, the score and the actors all meld together under superb direction and editing to give all faithful Christians – not just Catholics – audio food for the soul. This is a recording that needs to be experienced rather than read about.

Make sure you add this audio bible to your collection today. It makes a great Confirmation and/or Ordination gift.

I wrote this review of Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible – New Testament for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

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Immerse Yourself in the Truth and Life of Our Blessed Lord


This long overdue review of the Truth and Life Audio Bible is one of the most difficult reviews I have yet to complete simply because I find it difficult to articulate the experience of immersing oneself in Scripture in this fashion.

The immersive feeling is a testament (no pun intended) to the level of production put forth into this resource. Not only does the all-star cast perform to the level one would expect but the subtleties of the score and sound effects is what completes the picture for the mind’s eye.

When we read we often paint a picture in our minds of the places, persons and events described within the pages. Obviously, this is no different with the Bible. Yet we carry some prejudices into pages of Scripture when we read whether images on holy cards or visual performances but also theological precepts and solid Catholic teaching.

The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible allows one to dig deeper granting an experience of oral teaching that is usually experienced at Mass with the aid of an able lector. Listening to the narration and dialogue drew me in and my Catholic formation began to pick out the Truth behind the Church’s teachings.

Yet, listening to an audio Bible, even of this caliber, does not replace the reading of Sacred Scripture. Letting the splendor of the acting and familiar voices walk you through the events of the New Testament in a manner that can only add to the mystery that is the written Word of God: multi-layered, multi-faceted, multi-generational.

Again, this review is difficult to articulate because the Word, the sounds, the score and the actors all meld together under superb direction and editing to give all faithful Christians – not just Catholics – audio food for the soul. This is a recording that needs to be experienced rather than read about.

Make sure you add this audio bible to your collection today. It makes a great Confirmation and/or Ordination gift.

I wrote this review of Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible – New Testament for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

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Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

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Cristo de San Plácido by Diego Velázquez 

“It is accomplished; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.”

John 19:13

Today the whole Church mourns the death of our Savior. This is traditionally a day of sadness, spent in fasting and prayer. The title for this day varies in different parts of the world: “Holy Friday” for Latin nations, Slavs and Hungarians call it “Great Friday,” in Germany it is “Friday of Mourning,” and in Norway, it is “Long Friday.” Some view the term “Good Friday” (used in English and Dutch) as a corruption of the term “God’s Friday.” This is another obligatory day of fasting and abstinence. In Ireland, they practice the “black fast,” which is to consume nothing but black tea and water.

via Catholic Culture

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Hymn from the Morning Prayer

Faithful cross! above all other,
One and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be:
Sweet the wood, and sweet the iron,
And thy load, most sweet is he. 

Bend, O lofty tree, thy branches,
Thy too rigid sinews bend;
And awhile the stubborn hardness,
Which thy birth bestowed, suspend;
And the limbs of heaven’s high Monarch;
Gently on thine arms extend. 

Thou alone wast counted worthy
This world’s ransom to sustain,
That a shipwrecked race for ever
Might a port of refuge gain,
With the sacred blood anointed
Of the Lamb for sinners slain. 

Praise and honor to the Father,
Praise and honor to the Son,
Praise and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and Ever One:
One in might and one in glory
While eternal ages run.

via Magnificat Magazine


Liturgy
Following the ancient tradition of the Church, there are no sacraments celebrated on Good Friday nor Holy Saturday. “Celebration of the Lord’s Passion,” traditionally known as the “Mass of the Presanctified,” (although it is not a mass) is usually celebrated around three o’clock in the afternoon, or later, depending on the needs of the parish.

The altar is completely bare, with no cloths, candles nor cross. The service is divided into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. The priest and deacons wear red or black vestments. The liturgy starts with the priests and deacons going to the altar in silence and prostrating themselves for a few moments in silent prayer, then an introductory prayer is prayed.

In part one, the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the most famous of the Suffering Servant passages from Isaiah (52:13-53:12), a pre-figurement of Christ on Good Friday. Psalm 30 is the Responsorial Psalm “Father, I put my life in your hands.” The Second Reading, or Epistle, is from the letter to the Hebrews, 4:14-16; 5:7-9. The Gospel Reading is the Passion of St. John.

The General Intercessions conclude the Liturgy of the Word. The ten intercessions cover these areas:

  • For the Church 
  • For the Pope 
  • For the clergy and laity of the Church 
  • For those preparing for baptism 
  • For the unity of Christians 
  • For the Jewish people 
  • For those who do not believe in Christ 
  • For those who do not believe in God 
  • For all in public office 
  • For those in special need

For more information about these intercessions please see Prayers for the Prisoners from the Catholic Culture Library.

Part two is the Veneration of the Cross. A cross, either veiled or unveiled, is processed through the Church, and then venerated by the congregation. We joyfully venerate and kiss the wooden cross “on which hung the Savior of the world.” During this time the “Reproaches” are usually sung or recited.

Part three, Holy Communion, concludes the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. The altar is covered with a cloth and the ciboriums containing the Blessed Sacrament are brought to the altar from the place of reposition. The Our Father and the Ecce Agnus Dei (“This is the Lamb of God”) are recited. The congregation receives Holy Communion, there is a “Prayer After Communion,” and then a “Prayer Over the People,” and everyone departs in silence.


Activities
This is a day of mourning. We should try to take time off from work and school to participate in the devotions and liturgy of the day as much as possible. In addition, we should refrain from extraneous conversation. Some families leave the curtains drawn, and maintain silence during the 3 hours (noon — 3p.m.), and keep from loud conversation or activities throughout the remainder of the day. We should also restrict ourselves from any TV, music or computer—these are all types of technology that can distract us from the spirit of the day.

If some members of the family cannot attend all the services, a little home altar can be set up, by draping a black or purple cloth over a small table or dresser and placing a crucifix and candles on it. The family then can gather during the three hours, praying different devotions like the rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy devotions, and meditative reading and prayers on the passion of Christ.

Although throughout Lent we have tried to mortify ourselves, it is appropriate to try some practicing extra mortifications today. These can be very simple, such as eating less at the small meals of fasting, or eating standing up. Some people just eat bread and soup, or just bread and water while standing at the table.
via Catholic Culture


 Scripture Readings
First Reading: Is 52:13 & 53:12

See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. 
Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all. 
Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood. But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity. 
If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked; and he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.


Responsorial Psalm: Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.



Second Reading: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Brothers and sisters:

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. 

So let us confidently approach the throne of gracec to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. In the days when Christ was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.


Gospel of the Lord: Jn 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 

Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?” 

They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.” 

He said to them, “I AM.” 

Judas his betrayer was also with them. When he said to them, “I AM,” they turned away and fell to the ground. So he again asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” 

They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.” 

Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 

This was to fulfill what he had said, “I have not lost any of those you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, and brought him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people. 
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. But Peter stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in. 
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” 
He said, “I am not.” 
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm. 
The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” Again Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crowed. 
Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was morning. And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?” 
They answered and said to him, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 
At this, Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.” 
The Jews answered him, “We do not have the right to execute anyone,” in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled that he said indicating the kind of death he would die. 
So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 
Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” 
Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” 
Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” 
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” 
Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” 
When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 
They cried out again, “Not this one but Barabbas!” 
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!” When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” 
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” 
The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” 
Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him. So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” 
Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” 
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. 
And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!” 
They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” 
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” 
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” 
 Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: 
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots. 
This is what the soldiers did. Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” 
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” 
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. Here all kneel and pause for a short time. Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: 
Not a bone of it will be broken. 
And again another passage says: 
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 

They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 

Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

via USCCB 

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Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

Cristo de San Plácido by Diego Velázquez 

“It is accomplished; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.”

John 19:13

Today the whole Church mourns the death of our Savior. This is traditionally a day of sadness, spent in fasting and prayer. The title for this day varies in different parts of the world: “Holy Friday” for Latin nations, Slavs and Hungarians call it “Great Friday,” in Germany it is “Friday of Mourning,” and in Norway, it is “Long Friday.” Some view the term “Good Friday” (used in English and Dutch) as a corruption of the term “God’s Friday.” This is another obligatory day of fasting and abstinence. In Ireland, they practice the “black fast,” which is to consume nothing but black tea and water.

via Catholic Culture

http://www.gloria.tv/media/67002/embed/true/autostart/true


Hymn from the Morning Prayer

Faithful cross! above all other,
One and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be:
Sweet the wood, and sweet the iron,
And thy load, most sweet is he. 

Bend, O lofty tree, thy branches,
Thy too rigid sinews bend;
And awhile the stubborn hardness,
Which thy birth bestowed, suspend;
And the limbs of heaven’s high Monarch;
Gently on thine arms extend. 

Thou alone wast counted worthy
This world’s ransom to sustain,
That a shipwrecked race for ever
Might a port of refuge gain,
With the sacred blood anointed
Of the Lamb for sinners slain. 

Praise and honor to the Father,
Praise and honor to the Son,
Praise and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and Ever One:
One in might and one in glory
While eternal ages run.

via Magnificat Magazine


Liturgy
Following the ancient tradition of the Church, there are no sacraments celebrated on Good Friday nor Holy Saturday. “Celebration of the Lord’s Passion,” traditionally known as the “Mass of the Presanctified,” (although it is not a mass) is usually celebrated around three o’clock in the afternoon, or later, depending on the needs of the parish.

The altar is completely bare, with no cloths, candles nor cross. The service is divided into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. The priest and deacons wear red or black vestments. The liturgy starts with the priests and deacons going to the altar in silence and prostrating themselves for a few moments in silent prayer, then an introductory prayer is prayed.

In part one, the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the most famous of the Suffering Servant passages from Isaiah (52:13-53:12), a pre-figurement of Christ on Good Friday. Psalm 30 is the Responsorial Psalm “Father, I put my life in your hands.” The Second Reading, or Epistle, is from the letter to the Hebrews, 4:14-16; 5:7-9. The Gospel Reading is the Passion of St. John.

The General Intercessions conclude the Liturgy of the Word. The ten intercessions cover these areas:

  • For the Church 
  • For the Pope 
  • For the clergy and laity of the Church 
  • For those preparing for baptism 
  • For the unity of Christians 
  • For the Jewish people 
  • For those who do not believe in Christ 
  • For those who do not believe in God 
  • For all in public office 
  • For those in special need

For more information about these intercessions please see Prayers for the Prisoners from the Catholic Culture Library.

Part two is the Veneration of the Cross. A cross, either veiled or unveiled, is processed through the Church, and then venerated by the congregation. We joyfully venerate and kiss the wooden cross “on which hung the Savior of the world.” During this time the “Reproaches” are usually sung or recited.

Part three, Holy Communion, concludes the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. The altar is covered with a cloth and the ciboriums containing the Blessed Sacrament are brought to the altar from the place of reposition. The Our Father and the Ecce Agnus Dei (“This is the Lamb of God”) are recited. The congregation receives Holy Communion, there is a “Prayer After Communion,” and then a “Prayer Over the People,” and everyone departs in silence.


Activities
This is a day of mourning. We should try to take time off from work and school to participate in the devotions and liturgy of the day as much as possible. In addition, we should refrain from extraneous conversation. Some families leave the curtains drawn, and maintain silence during the 3 hours (noon — 3p.m.), and keep from loud conversation or activities throughout the remainder of the day. We should also restrict ourselves from any TV, music or computer—these are all types of technology that can distract us from the spirit of the day.

If some members of the family cannot attend all the services, a little home altar can be set up, by draping a black or purple cloth over a small table or dresser and placing a crucifix and candles on it. The family then can gather during the three hours, praying different devotions like the rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy devotions, and meditative reading and prayers on the passion of Christ.

Although throughout Lent we have tried to mortify ourselves, it is appropriate to try some practicing extra mortifications today. These can be very simple, such as eating less at the small meals of fasting, or eating standing up. Some people just eat bread and soup, or just bread and water while standing at the table.
via Catholic Culture


 Scripture Readings
First Reading: Is 52:13 & 53:12

See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. 
Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all. 
Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood. But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity. 
If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked; and he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.


Responsorial Psalm: Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.


Second Reading: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Brothers and sisters:

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. 

So let us confidently approach the throne of gracec to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. In the days when Christ was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.


Gospel of the Lord: Jn 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 

Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?” 

They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.” 

He said to them, “I AM.” 

Judas his betrayer was also with them. When he said to them, “I AM,” they turned away and fell to the ground. So he again asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” 

They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.” 

Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 

This was to fulfill what he had said, “I have not lost any of those you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, and brought him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people. 
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. But Peter stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in. 
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” 
He said, “I am not.” 
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm. 
The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” Again Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crowed. 
Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was morning. And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?” 
They answered and said to him, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 
At this, Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.” 
The Jews answered him, “We do not have the right to execute anyone,” in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled that he said indicating the kind of death he would die. 
So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 
Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” 
Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” 
Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” 
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” 
Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” 
When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 
They cried out again, “Not this one but Barabbas!” 
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!” When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” 
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” 
The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” 
Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him. So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” 
Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” 
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. 
And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!” 
They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” 
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” 
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” 
 Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: 
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots. 
This is what the soldiers did. Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” 
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” 
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. Here all kneel and pause for a short time. Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: 
Not a bone of it will be broken. 
And again another passage says: 
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 

They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 

Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

via USCCB 

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All Things in His Time and in Unity With His Will

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Image via Wikipedia

After this past Sunday’s Mass I received two words from my pastor that I have longed to hear for over three years now, “it’s done.”

He was referring to my request to have my marriage convalidated within the Church. Convalidation of a marriage is basically the blessing/recognition/regularization of a marriage between a Catholic and a nonCatholic Christian whose “marriage,” for whatever, reason is not valid and sacramental due to some impediment. This impediment usually falls on the shoulders of the Catholic spouse because as baptized Catholics, they are bound to the Church (the binding and loosing thing).

The usual impediments in this case are failure to seek a dispensation from the Catholic’s bishop to marry a non-Catholic Christian and many times dispensation to marry outside of the Church. This was essentially my case.

As Catholics we are bound to follow the Church’s authority in these matters under penalty of sin. And a sin of this magnitude is considered a mortal sin in most cases. But because God desires that all men be saved there are always means to reconcile oneself to the Church, thus con-validation.

Con-validation is usually quick and simple – so long as both parties are willing. Unfortunately, this was not my case. When the spouse is not willing or able to participate there is one other means to correct a marriage in this state. That is called radial sanation:

The radical sanation of an invalid marriage is its convalidation without the renewal of consent, which is granted by competent authority and entails the dispensation from an impediment, if there is one, and from canonical form, if it was not observed, and the retroactivity of canonical effects. (Code of Canon Law 1161:1)

My parish pastor was giving me the positive news that our bishop approved my petition for radical sanation. At these words, “it’s done,” I felt such a relief that I held back my tears as I kneeled in a pew before the Tabernacle in thanksgiving.

There is still more for me to do on my journey to full reconciliation with Our Blessed Lord through His Church and that includes receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation, the Eucharist and later Confirmation.

Pray for me especially as I enter this season of Lent.

All Things in His Time and in Unity With His Will

Rembrandt's depiction of Samson's marriage feast

After this past Sunday’s Mass I received two words from my pastor that I have longed to hear for over three years now, “it’s done.”

He was referring to my request to have my marriage convalidated within the Church. Convalidation of a marriage is basically the blessing/recognition/regularization of a marriage between a Catholic and a nonCatholic Christian whose “marriage,” for whatever, reason is not valid and sacramental due to some impediment. This impediment usually falls on the shoulders of the Catholic spouse because as baptized Catholics, they are bound to the Church (the binding and loosing thing).

The usual impediments in this case are failure to seek a dispensation from the Catholic’s bishop to marry a non-Catholic Christian and many times dispensation to marry outside of the Church. This was essentially my case.

As Catholics we are bound to follow the Church’s authority in these matters under penalty of sin. And a sin of this magnitude is considered a mortal sin in most cases. But because God desires that all men be saved there are always means to reconcile oneself to the Church, thus con-validation.

Con-validation is usually quick and simple – so long as both parties are willing. Unfortunately, this was not my case. When the spouse is not willing or able to participate there is one other means to correct a marriage in this state. That is called radial sanation:

The radical sanation of an invalid marriage is its convalidation without the renewal of consent, which is granted by competent authority and entails the dispensation from an impediment, if there is one, and from canonical form, if it was not observed, and the retroactivity of canonical effects. (Code of Canon Law 1161:1)

My parish pastor was giving me the positive news that our bishop approved my petition for radical sanation. At these words, “it’s done,” I felt such a relief that I held back my tears as I kneeled in a pew before the Tabernacle in thanksgiving.

There is still more for me to do on my journey to full reconciliation with Our Blessed Lord through His Church and that includes receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation, the Eucharist and later Confirmation.

Pray for me especially as I enter this season of Lent.

[INFO UPDATE] Please Support a Trip to World Youth Day 2011

Well of course it is not for me. I am too old for World Youth Day; however, my niece isn’t.

Yesterday I received the following request from my niece who lives in Northern California, residing in the Diocese of Monterey:

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Click on the image above to donate any amount. Thank you in advance and God bless.

Dear Family and Friends:I am writing to you to invite you to help sponsor my trip to the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain. World Youth Day (WYD) is an international event that only comes around every three years and in different places in the world. Catholic youth attend this event to celebrate and grow in their faith. There will be many exciting experiences, including celebrating Mass with The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. This will be an experience of a life time, and will undoubtedly stay with me forever. We will first go to Lourdes in Southern France, then travel down through Northern Spain for a few days before arriving in Madrid. We will have a day in Madrid for sightseeing, and then we will be off to conferences, Masses, and the rallies. I have been involved with my church for 6 years, including being a catechist for the Children’s Liturgy of the Word during mass and being a part of our youth group.

This summer I will also be partaking in the planning and execution of an annual summer camp for teens of Madonna del Sasso Church. This ministry is an important part of my life and I know this pilgrimage will benefit not only me, but the youth in my community and everyone else around me.

The total cost of the trip for the 30 young adults of Sacred Heart and Madonna del Sasso churches who will be travelling to WYD will be $90,000.

The Catholic Extension has awarded us a $25,000 matching grant. Your donation is also tax deductible; you will find the Tax ID number at the end of the letter. The remaining $40,000 is being raised through various fundraisers. I would greatly appreciate your sponsorship through a donation to help me achieve my goal. Any amount would be of great help, no donation is too small or too large.

I sincerely appreciate your consideration to sponsor me.

Thank You for your time and prayers,

[My Niece]

Tax ID # 94-1658203

This is a worthy cause from a deserving young woman. If you are able to please consider helping to make this trip possible. I know many of us are broke but even little amounts add up.

Thank you and God bless.

[Okay, I see that several people have viewed this post and the linked donation page. That is great because if you can’t give money prayers are free and more effective. Anyway, according to my niece the deadline is April 1st, however, she is going to verufy that with parish organizers. She also provided me some information for those who wish to donate but just not on PayPal. (Can’t say that I blame you. The way I set it up is a bit rushed and can raise some antenneas).

If you want to donate by check, please make it out to:

SACRED HEART CHURCH
22 Stone Street
Salinas, CA 93901

And please use WYD2011 as the purpose/note in the bottom left-hand corner of the check. Thanks again and God bless.]