Soles 4 Souls

St. Maurice Parish is supporting the “Soles 4 Souls” shoe drive begun by Sts. John & Paul parish in Sewickley. We are asking you to donate new or gently worn shoes. These shoes will be sent to Honduras where they will be given to persons in extreme poverty. These recipients are taught to be entrepreneurs through a micro-enterprise program where they learn how to clean, repair, and sell shoes. Shoes may be dropped off at receptacles at the back of the Church during the weekends of April 14th-15th and April 21st-22nd. Click this link for complete information including a tax donation receipt.

January 28, 2018

A new ministry highlighting the dignity of work: The Service and Outreach Committee will be launching a new ministry in the hopes of  reaching those in need of employment and those wishing to strengthen their careers. The Saint Maurice Parish Career Networking Ministry is for parishioners seeking employment or entering a new career. The mission of the ministry is to provide career transition information, resources,  mentoring, and networking. It is designed to use the skills, talents, and resources of our parish to support one another as we fulfill our God-given call  to healthy work.

Recall the words of our Holy Father: Work should be the setting for rich personal growth, where many aspects of life enter into play: creativity,  planning for the future, developing our talents, living out our values, relating to others, giving glory to God. It follows that, in the reality of today’s  global society, it is essential that “we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone,” no matter the limited interests of  business and dubious economic reasoning. We were created with a vocation to work. Work is a necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a  path to growth, human development and personal fulfillment. Our broader objective should always be to allow our brothers and sisters a dignified life  through work (Pope Francis, On Care for Our Common Home [Laudato Si’], nos. 127-28).

A voluntary survey will be available in the bulletin the weekend of February 3 and 4 (copies will also be available at the Welcome Desk). Please read  the survey, and then complete and return it to the Welcome Desk if you are seeking services, if you wish to share your expertise, or if you wish to be a  mentor. More information about this exciting new ministry will be available in next week’s bulletin along with the survey. Please contact Diana Hardy  with questions, hardy_diana@comcast.net.

Janury 20, 2018

What does the word Mass mean: Last weekend, in my homily, I talked about how we don’t come to Mass to follow God. The point I was making was that we follow God as we live our lives in the world, which IS our call to holiness and evangelizations. But this idea should have been obvious to all of us even before I spoke it. Why? Because of the word Mass itself. The English word “Mass” comes from the Latin word missa, which means to be “sent.” This Latin word has been used since about the 6th century to describe the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist. The word is used during the conclusion of the celebration when, spoken in Latin, it is said, “Ite, missa est.” Pope Benedict XVI expanded on these words. He wrote, “In antiquity, missa simply meant ‘dismissal.’ However in Christian usage it gradually took on a deeper meaning. The word ‘dismissal’ has come to imply a ‘mission.’ This succinctly expresses the missionary nature of the Church. Viewed in this framework, the “Mass” is not just an isolated celebration on a Sunday, but rather a startingpoint for our Christian witness. The Mass sends us forth into the world to be followers of Christ and his hands, feet, and voice. Let us all go forth on mission!

Update on Lumbar Fusion and Laminectomy Surgery and a Thank You

Dear Christ’s Faithful,
For seven years I have endured lower back pain and have sought medical attention, but to no avail. A recent MRI revealed a ruptured disc and damaged nerves. Based on the severity of the rupture, the orthopedic surgeon recommended Lumbar Fusion and Laminectomy surgery as the best option. Due to the excessive cost of the surgery, I considered living with the pain even though it impedes my efficiency in ministry and diminishes the quality of my life.

I had decided to follow the doctor’s recommendation and proceed with surgery which was scheduled for Tuesday, January 16. But I then took into consideration my travel home, the long flight and long drive that I must take, and decided that this is not the right time for surgery. Therefore, I have postponed my operation until I return to the United States in the Fall.

I appreciate your prayers and concern and ask that you continue to pray for me. Thank you again for the constant support and care I have received since coming to your welcoming parish. Thank you for assisting me with my bills – – medical, travel and otherwise. Your generosity is a sign of God’s love alive in you. Always in my prayers and may God richly bless you.

Sincerely,
Fr. Daniel A. Adjei

January 14, 2018

Thank you: I really wish that I could send each of you a personalized thank you for the wonderful gifts you gave me for Christmas. However, that probably is not going to be possible. Please know how deeply I appreciate the cards, gifts, prayers, and cookies. You have been so very kind to me and I cannot put into words how much that means. Thank you. I pray, and will continue to pray, that you are greatly blessed in 2018.

Gifts to the parish: I’d also like to say thank you to those who have recently donated items to the parish. We have received many gifts including two televisions, a movable TV stand, sanctuary bells, and the cost to replace a lighting fixture. These, of course, are specific items that have been donated. Please know how much all of your financial contributions are appreciated as we continue to maintain our parish and increase our ministries.

Epiphany home blessing: Last week we celebrated the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. This is a typical time for blessing one’s home and it was intended that we would have had chalk and prayers available for you. Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen difficulty, our Epiphany blessing was not able to be set up for the weekend. So, this weekend we will provide the items needed for you to bless your home. As they say, better late than never.

Say thanks to Fr. Daniel: Many of you noticed the work crews here throughout the week. They were taking care of some smoke damage that occurred due to a very small fire. The flames, the result of a simple human error, were quickly put out by Fr. Daniel. Due to his quick action there was minimal damage and the situation was immediately addressed. So, thank you, Fr. Daniel!

January 7, 2018

Why bring back the bells at the consecration? For most, but not all, the return of the bells during the Mass at the consecration is a welcomed addition. I would like to share with you my thinking as it pertains to this and the reason I have chosen to introduce the ringing of the bells within this faith community.

First, let us reference the Church’s teaching: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal refers to bell ringing in No. 150: “A little before the consecration, when appropriate, a server rings a bell as a signal to the faithful. According to local custom, the server also rings the bell as the priest shows the host and then the chalice.” This official text of the Church makes it clear that ringing a bell at the consecration is an option, not an obligation.

Now, let me share with you why I think it is appropriate to include the bells within our Sunday liturgies. There are three primary motivations on my part for this addition. I present them in no particular order.

I am often told that people have trouble staying focused during the Mass and I believe this introduction of sound will help gather our wandering minds back to the mystery being celebrated. In reading a biography of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, I was moved to learn that she loved hearing the bells at Mass because her life was so hectic that she could not maintain focus during the Mass and the bells drew her back from the worries of life to the glory of our Lord.

I know many of us can relate to that.

Research continually shows that those Catholics who do not attend Mass in accord with the precepts of the Church no longer believe in the true presence of our Lord in the Eucharist. Correspondingly, as a society, we are living in an age when people are enthralled by audiovisual means of learning (and less attentive to the abstract and/or silence). I feel that by calling special attention to the consecration we can regather everyone’s attention and help highlight and teach the truth of the True Presence of our Lord.

We have a strong group of parents who is attempting to teach the Mass to their children. This is most evident each third Saturday of the month when we gather for our spirited babies and young children Mass. The more engaged we make these very young Catholics the more they will learn about the Mass. Hopefully, that knowledge of the Mass and of our Lord will lead to a lifelong Love relationship with our God.

Whereas I do fully acknowledge that the historical and practical reasons for ringing the bells have all but disappeared, I believe it serves a purpose as an extra aid to call attention to the moment of the consecration, as a jolt to reawaken wandering minds, and as a useful catechetical tool for children and adults alike.

Remember, the ringing of the bells alerts the congregation to the calling down of the Holy Spirit and prepares them for the consecration that immediately follows. The bells are rung at the time of the epiklesis in the Eucharistic Prayer. At this point, the priest joins his hands and places them over the bread and wine to be consecrated. He prays for the Holy Spirit to come down upon the gifts so that they may become the Body and Blood of our Lord. After the priest says the words of consecration, he elevates the Sacred Host or the chalice of Precious Blood. The ringing of the bells at each elevation alerts the faithful that transubstantiation has taken place and that the Body and Blood of our Lord are truly present on the altar.

Information was gathered from http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur94.htm and from Straight Answers By Fr. William Saunders http://www.catholicherald.com/News/Why_the_Bell_Tolls/

December 31, 2017

The tabernacle in the center of the Church. Since moving the tabernacle to accommodate the Giving Tree gifts, I have been receiving a very large number of compliments and requests to make this change permanent. Personally, I have found that it has resulted in three benefits. First, it makes celebrating Mass (especially on Monday night) much smoother for me as celebrant. Secondly, I believe (and others have agreed with me on this, but I am sure there are opposing views) that the tabernacle and tabernacle lamp add depth, context, and color to our wall which actually helps to highlight our sculpture, adding to its beauty. Finally, I have been so pleased that upon entering the front doors of the church you immediately see the altar and the tabernacle−the centrality of our faith as well as its source and summit−greet all who walk into our church.  What a special gift and what a special welcome! With this in mind, I am going to leave the tabernacle where it is.

Therefore, I do want to remind everyone of some basic information which becomes more relevant to our liturgies with the new placement of the tabernacle.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal teaches us that those in procession at the start of the Mass genuflect to the tabernacle when it is in the sanctuary, at the beginning and end of Mass. Ministers carrying items in the processional (i.e. the cross, candles, book of the Gospel) bow their heads instead of genuflecting. However, all ministers, including cantors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, bow to the altar during the course of the Mass. Ministers bow toward the altar when passing in front of it once Mass has begun because the Mass is the unfolding mystery of Christ – – first His word in the scripture, then His sacrifice on the altar, His communion with us, and finally His abiding presence. Remember, we see the altar as representing Christ, the Living Stone (cf. 1 Peter 2:4). Because of this association, a bow of the body is prescribed as the normal gesture made toward the altar, as if toward Christ Himself. Outside of Mass, however, the normal tradition applies. We genuflect whenever we cross before the Lord reposed in a tabernacle (remember a genuflection to God is made by bending the right knee).