August 12, 2018

New Interim Mass schedule to be released next weekend. For an update on the release of the new Mass schedule, and how to prepare ourselves for the change it will bring, I am going to borrow heavily from what Fr. Kevin Fazio shared with his new grouping of parishes in Butler. Please keep in mind that the one constant to expect with the On Mission initiative is change, more change, and perhaps more change for a number of years, until the On Mission “dust settles,” so to speak. While many of us may not like to hear this, it is a reality of the times that we are living in.

When the interim Mass schedule is published, please be mindful that we (current clergy – Fr. Al Semler, Fr. John Lynam, and I) and the future clergy team considered numerous factors in our proposal to Fr. Fred Cain, our regional vicar, some of which included: the total number of parishioners attending weekend and Holy Day Masses; the church buildings’ seating capacity, access, condition, location, and parking (including campus traffic patterns/concerns); the religious education (CCD) schedules; our region’s demographic and population trends, and the number of funerals celebrated each week. We also gave great consideration to the reality that our grouping of four parishes is slated to have only two priests by year 2025, if not sooner.

We attempted to do our very best in anticipating the needs of our community in light of future realities and to suggest a Mass and Confession schedule that would be stable. Yet, no one can predict the future and this announcement is the INTERIM MASS/CONFESSION TIMES. At what point in the future this might/will change, I cannot say; but change is a real possibility.

Our main objective as clergy (the outgoing and incoming clergy teams) is to serve you, to participate in our community, to listen, to observe, and then to make decisions…one moment at a time. None of us can do everything; we can only do the next thing!

I ask that everyone please be understanding, patient, and flexible with these changes, especially those of you who worship and participate at Mass and in various ministries. Our recent change to our scheduling system was made in the hope that it better prepares us to meet the needs and desires of those who offer a liturgical ministry here at the parish. It is one small step we have taken to help ease this transition. Still, the clergy recognizes and respects that all leaders of liturgical ministries (music directors, cantors, musicians, Lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, ushers, greeters, altar servers, etc.), and all involved in our religious education programs, will be greatly impacted by this change. We will do our best to keep you informed and assist you in the transition. As more information is given to us we will respond in a way that allows all of us to best meet the challenges and opportunities as they become known.

“Be not afraid!” Jesus often-times says to us, when change is necessary. Let us keep this in heart, mind and prayer as we support one another on this journey

August 5, 2018

Forgiveness reflection based on Guy Gruters’ talk: During his talk, Guy recalled taking a knee in his cell as a POW and explained to us how he began to pray the rosary even though he couldn’t remember the mysteries. He only recalled that it would have been 150 Hail Mary’s and an Our Father after each set of 10 Hail Mary’s. But he prayed and most importantly he prayed that God would help him to forgive. I was so moved by the fact that he had forgotten the mysteries. Oddly enough (or more likely God inspired) that very day I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and I think I only remembered the first one correctly. It was very frustrating for me to not be able to remember the mysteries. How was I going to grow in holiness if I didn’t remember the mysteries and I didn’t properly reflect upon them? Then, as I listened to Guy speak, it struck me…I’m not the one in charge and I cannot be so prideful as to think that I am doing this on my own. I was being all about me as I prayed and not making room for God. In other words, I wasn’t letting go and letting God. So, God messed up my memory that day to highlight my need to be with Him in prayer and to learn to depend upon His power to overcome hardship and not depend upon my own pride-filled ego.

I was also moved when Guy spoke about not judging others. Only God knows what is going on in someone else’s heart, mind and soul. He talked about how each of us has been given our own gifts and talents from God, as well as our own free will to choose how to use those gifts. But he also spoke about how each of us is brought up in different situations with our own unique setbacks, hardships and troubles. All of this makes it impossible to truly know the journey someone else has traveled leading them to the actions (or inactions) they make. It made me think of that favorite prayer I often say: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” Finally, what I heard Guy say over and over again was that he didn’t give up on forgiving. Each day he chooses to place his life into the hands of God and through Him, who sacrificed everything for us sinners, Guy finds the strength to forgive others. It is a daily choice he makes, not a one and done scenario. The humility it takes to fight this fight each and every day struck me with great awe. It made me think of that scriptural passage: “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). So, in summary, I took away from Guy’s talk that the steps of forgiveness are:

  • Place it into the Hands of God. Only He can give us the strength to forgive.
    • Don’t try and do this via your own will, strength or pride.
  • Do not judge the other. Judgment is for God.
    • Acknowledging your own pain and sharing your story is not being judgmental.
  • Don’t give up praying for the grace to forgive!
    • If need be, reflect on how much God sacrificed for you even though you are in need of
      forgiveness yourself.

Thoughts from Jo Ann McLaughlin-Klemencic:
One of the most striking sentiments from Guy Gruters’ reflection for me was this: that if you have power over others, be careful not to abuse it. Power can easily corrupt those who have it, so watch how you exercise it. It reminded me of a Gospel passage from John 19. Pontius Pilate is trying to release Jesus, but the crowd yells that Jesus should be crucified 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, ʽWhere are you from?ʼ Jesus did not answer him. So Pilate said to him, ʽDo you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?ʼ Jesus answered, ʽYou would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from aboveʼ ” (John 19: 8-11).

What I find interesting in this passage is the mention of fear and power. Fear is certainly a motivator, but usually motivates us to make poor choices. Eventually Pilate’s fear of the situation leads him to wish to be rid of the whole situation, so he hands Jesus over to be crucified. He had the power to make a different choice, but his fear blinded how he could have used his power for good.

Fear and misunderstandings of perceived differences are at the root of many personal, historical, and present conflicts. I am wholly convinced that the suffering that we all experience because of choices motivated by fear and misunderstanding, including what Jesus experienced, is the result of sin.
Sometimes these are individual sins and choices, but more often than not, it is societal sin, the sin we all carry the burden of because of our fall from grace. We live in a broken world that we were never intended to be a part of where we daily feel the effects of sin. Guy’s story is just one of unfortunately millions and millions of examples of that.

So, how do we forgive those who have abused power? We follow the lead of Jesus. First, we pray. Hard. Allow Jesus’ words to be your simple and beautiful prayer: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). These may not come easy, so proceed to my second step. Second, we often need to give ourselves time. Third, we should talk to those we can trust. Forgiveness involves healing of self, a healing that may not be achieved without additional support. Fourth, seek out the Eucharist, the perfect gift intended to make us whole. Fifth, remember that in our humanness, our forgiving someone or something may not change the behaviors we see. That can be difficult and add time to the process. But our forgiveness need not be predicated on that change. A helpful gauge to know if you have forgiven a person or situation is if pain and hurt are not your first thoughts regarding these. Then base your actions accordingly, repeating above actions if necessary and also guarding your future interactions.
This process is not a simple one, and my thoughts are not complete or foolproof by any means. They are a start, and any process rooted in the Lord is a good place to start.

July 29, 2018

Celebrating Sister Judith’s time as Principal: Sister Judith has served as principal of both
Saint Maurice Parish School and East Catholic School, Inc. for 21 years. She has decided to retire and deserves the well earned rest! A “Thank You Celebration” has been planned. On Saturday, August 4, beginning with the 5:00 PM Mass at Saint Maurice and continuing afterwards with a reception in Keane Hall, our school community will join in celebrating Sister Judith’s service to our children. Please plan to join us and say Thank You to Sister for her many years of dedicated service to Saint Maurice in particular
and to the entire East Catholic community. Please feel free to come to either the Mass or the reception – – or better yet, to both. Hope to see you there. And once again, Sister Judith, thank you for your dedication and ministry to our students.

Moving of the Food Pantry and Diaper Bank Scout Project Update: To better serve our St. Vincent de Paul food bank and to accommodate our school and afterschool programs, we will be relocating the food bank from the parish/school garage to the old rectory office space. This space will also be utilized by Matthias Brucker as his distribution point for his Eagle Scout project of forming a community diaper bank. Matthias is progressing with his project as he continues to build relationships with the other churches in our community and researches the nuts and bolts of diaper distribution.

CALL FOR HELP: On August 5, following the Noon Mass, you are invited to join our St. Vincent de Paul members in moving the food from the garage to the rectory offices. The more hands involved, the easier and faster this important task will be accomplished. Please consider lending a hand.

July 22, 2018

July 25, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae. How much do you know about this important Church document? While the world was running into a revolutionary transformation of sexual morality in human history, the Church dared to ask the question no one else was asking: What are the consequences? The papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae, written by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1968, provides beautiful and clear teaching about God’s plan for married love and the transmission of life. In 1963 Pope Saint John XXIII wanted a serious answer to the question of regulation of birth, so he established a commission. Paul VI enlarged the commission to 75 members who studied the question for four years — completing their study in 1968. Paul VI studied the evidence of experts in various scientific fields, weighed moral arguments, conflicting opinion, and the Church’s unbroken tradition of teaching on life.

This depth of study is why Humanae Vitae remains relevant today. The Pope’s desire to consult fellow bishops and experts is important because one of the most repeated accusations, after the publication of Humanae Vitae, has been that the Pope decided in solitude, in a non-collegial way. This simply is not true. In fact, new research shows that Bishop Fulton Sheen and Bishop Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope Saint John Paul II) were among the bishops who urged Pope Paul VI to double-down on the Church’s infallible wisdom on life.

In Humanae Vitae Blessed Paul VI reflects upon how God designed the nature of married love. He drew this from Sacred Scripture and the Catholic Tradition. The Holy Father wrote that married love is fully human (involving the body and soul). Married love is total, faithful, and fruitful. This affirms basic beliefs in how God made men and women, the nature of human sexuality, the nature of marriage, the nature and meaning of the conjugal act, God’s call to husband and wife to co-create with Him, and the centrality of the family are all intertwined. They speak of our God of love who desires to build a people of love. In fact, we read that “to experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator (n13).”

Ten years ago, on the 40th anniversary, the USCCB released a statement that the world so desperately needs to hear again. Therein, we hear proclaimed that “the Church is not against sexual pleasure as some of her opponents allege; but, more importantly, we are for the happiness of the human person. The fostering of that happiness requires understanding the gift of our sexuality as God has intended it. Sex, in God’s plan, is more than just a “recreational activity.” As Catholic feminist and philosopher Janet Smith says: “…sex is for babies and bonding. If people are not ready for bonding and babies, they ought not to be engaging in acts of sexual intercourse.” And what are nuptials (marriage) but the public expression of a couple’s readiness to do just that?

Humanae Vitae raises up the question of planning births in a family. The Church has always taught that it is reasonable for husband and wife to space and even limit births in their marriage for just reasons; however, they are called to support God’s design not to reject it. Use of contraception or sterilization rejects God’s gifts. That is because contraception and sterilization do harm to the nature of married love and the gift of life–they separate the unitive and procreative nature of conjugal relations. Saying this another way, husband and wife express their committed love not only with words, but with the language of their bodies. The mutual gift of fertility is an integral part of the bonding power of marital intercourse. To reject one’s fertility by using contraception or being sterilized is to reject God’s gift to husband and wife.

A careful rereading of Humanae Vitae – or more likely a very first reading˗ especially in the light of the “sexual revolution” can help us appreciate how prophetic the Pope was in his warnings of the dire consequences that a “contraceptive mentality” would have on society. The numbers of unwanted pregnancies and abortions have not decreased with the widespread acceptance of contraception – they increased. And the ‘pill’ [which has been proven to contain Class 1 carcinogens] far from freeing women from male domination made them more likely to be victims of sexual exploitation. The breakup of families and the epidemic of divorce in our culture, the increasingly high incidence of women bearing children out of wedlock, the flight from adult responsibility and the extended “adolescence” of men, all point to – in hindsight –the rightness of Paul VI’s and the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.

Pope Francis, in his 2016 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation On Love in the Family, stresses that “the teaching of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae and the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio ought to be taken up anew, in order to counter a mentality that is often hostile to life (222).” I urge you to read these documents and learn the TRUTH so that you may share it with all you meet. The sexual revolution has brought about death, violence, confusion, isolation, fear, loneliness and despair. Only by embracing God’s original plan for our sexuality will this darkness be driven out. Become a light in this darkness. Live your Love truthfully!

This article includes sources taken from the USCCB and twitter at #AskTheQuestion and #HV50. You can access the above documents via the USCCB or Vatican websites

July 15, 2018

Mission Week 2018: Living the Truth in Love: The following testimonies are from youth who attended the 2018 Mission Week. The week’s theme was Living the Truth in Love, based off this passage from Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.” The evening reflections focused on this verse and the promotion of the growth of the body of Christ. That time allowed youth to think and pray about the work they are doing and how their faith impacts that work. Please enjoy what our youth have to share, and may you be inspired just as much as the youth were.

Mission week was one of the best experiences I have had in my life so far. Over the course of the four working days, my group worked at three different sites. Most of the work I did consisted of lawn mowing and other forms of yard work. I also became a skilled duster while cleaning up an elderly woman’s home. On the last work day my fellow group members and I worked together to paint a woman’s back porch. I saw God a lot during this mission, but the most memorable moments of seeing God occurred at the end of the day when we were thanked for all the hard work my group had accomplished. The people we helped were in tears each day and were so grateful for what we had done for them. My favorite memory of the week was probably the talent show on Thursday night. Father Ken showed us all his amazing dance moves. I don’t know if I have ever laughed as hard as I did that night. Also, I will never forget the night we attended Adoration. I truly felt closer to God that night more than ever before. I made many new friends throughout the week, grew closer to the friends I already had, and I especially grew closer to God. – Josh Reder

Mission Week was a great time for me. I’m so glad I was able to go again. This year I helped with putting up drywall, carpeting, and wood paneling in an elderly family’s house, along with painting a porch and fixing a railing for a woman in need. This program gives me a great deal of opportunities to strengthen my relationship with God and reflect on qualities of mine that can be improved upon to be a more virtuous and helpful member of any project or community I’m a part of. It’s very satisfying using the gifts God has given me to help others. I met up with many friends and made new ones as well. I can’t wait to go next year! – AJ Markiewicz

This year’s Mission week to Enon Valley was a refreshing experience that I will never forget. My group was assigned on the first two days to serve food to the homeless who came to a rehabilitation center. I was really shocked to see how many homeless people there were in the area, and this made me realize that I shouldn’t take anything God has given me, even the little things, for granted. The last two days at our work sites, we helped another group move furniture and lay down a carpet for this elderly couple who weren’t physically capable of doing it themselves. They watched us work the entire time and tried to help out when they could. When they saw our finished work they were so overwhelmed with joy that they were crying. Overall I can say that doing this really impacted my faith in God because we have to live out what we believe in, and we can do that by helping those around us that are in need. Some people might have lost their faith in God because they didn’t get the help they asked for in life, or given the opportunities other people might have, but we can help bring them back to God by being the answer to them. – Christian Markiewicz

July 8, 2018

Mission Week 2018: Living the Truth in Love: The following  testimonies are from youth who attended the 2018 Mission Week. The week’s theme was Living the Truth in Love, based off this passage from Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.” The evening reflections focused on this verse and the promotion of the growth of the body of Christ. That time allowed youth to think and pray about the work they are doing and how their faith impacts that work. Please enjoy what our youth have to share, and may you be inspired just as much as the youth were.

This was my second Mission Week. I felt more comfortable and confident with myself this year compared to last year. Matthew, a Junior Leader from our parish, was in my group, as well as one of my cabin mates, Bella, from St. Bonaventure. I had an amazing time with my cabin mates. Even though I had to leave early due to some medical reasons, I still feel like Mission Week 2018 was a success. I saw God, in the fullest and purest way, during Adoration. I’m not really one to go to Adoration and embrace the Lord, but this time it was so powerful that I felt heat through my whole body, as if I was given a huge hug. I honestly loved the music this year (shout out to Jonah, our music minister for the week)! Overall I feel like it is/was an amazing experience, and hope that more decide to join us next year!

-Julianna Kustra

I went to Mission Week for the first time this year. Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect or what my experience would be. As we got further into the week, I realized that it was the right decision to attend. I helped people who couldn’t help themselves, and grew in my faith and as a person while I did so. My favorite part of the week was when we went to Adoration, and we got to sit quietly in the Lord’s presence and talk and listen to God.   – Owen Kostandinu

July 1, 2018

Mission Week 2018: Living the Truth in Love: The following testimonies are from youth who attended the 2018 Mission Week. The week’s theme was Living the Truth in Love, based off this passage from Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.” The evening reflections focused on this verse and the promotion of the growth of the body of Christ. That time allowed youth to think and pray about the work they are doing and how their faith impacts that work. Please enjoy what our youth have to share, and may you be inspired just as much as the youth were.

Mission Week was very fun and exciting, but it was also very inspiring as I became closer to God. My group went to the Sisters of St. Joseph’s in Baden to help with weeding and other outdoor work. The main director that led the outdoor work was driven by God in his job, which inspired me to live my faith a little bit more. After we finished our work each day, we were able to go swimming, play mini-golf or sports, or just to relax and socialize back at the SNPJ property where we stayed. During the week we either had Mass in the morning or in the afternoon, which was a good way to start off or to end the day. Later in the week, we had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which led me closer to God than I have ever been. All in all, the week was a very good time to become more active in my faith and to be around people just like me. – Gregory Parrish

My worksite this year at Mission Week involved helping out at a summer lunch program and working with kids ages 5-11. The kids were so energetic and kind! I loved it so much. The joy they brought me, along with a lot of laughs, made my week. I think the way I saw God most was in the kids. A lot of them come from underprivileged families. They were always happy and smiling. The kids were amazing and were truly very strong and high spirited. My favorite Mission Week memory would be jamming out in the car with my group mates and Fr. Ken. I also enjoyed talking about Bigfoot and other conspiracy theories with Fr. Ken. Mission Week was wonderful. I hope more youth decide to join us next year. The experiences I’ve had and friends I’ve made will last a lifetime. – Maggie Scifo

June 24, 2017

Reminder: On July 25 a special speaker dealing with forgiveness will be at Saint Maurice. Forgiveness is something that is hard to understand, to offer others and most especially to give to ourselves. Our parish will host a truly remarkable opportunity to better understand forgiveness. On
July 25, at 7:00 PM in the Church, Saint Maurice will be hosting internationally known speaker Captain Guy Gruters. Guy was an Air Force pilot and a POW. As a result of being shot down over North Vietnam he was captured and spent five years as a POW in six different POW camps, twice kept in the famous Hanoi Hilton. While in the camps, he experienced a thorough conversion experience and was able to forgive his enemy. You may
have seen Guy on EWTN where he has appeared on three separate occasions. He brings to us a powerful and much needed message. Mark your calendar for July 25 and invite your friends; this will be a talk you definitely do not want to miss.

Lenten Collection Update: During Lent the Worship Committee sponsored a loose change collection to help purchase new altar cloths. The collection brought in $276. After searching through numerous catalogues but not finding the perfect fit, the committee decided to meet with a religious goods representative. Last week that person was on campus to measure our altar and provide us with many options. Currently, we are in the design and pricing stage of this project and have another meeting scheduled for later next week. Soon, your generosity will be visible upon the most important table we share, the altar of our Lord.

Tabernacle Lamp: As you know, our tabernacle lamp burns for a week in memory or honor of someone’s special intention. Each week we post the name of the intention in the bulletin and we also have it shown throughout the week on our video message board so that our entire faith community can join in praying for this special intention. This remembrance has been very well received. In fact, there are only four weeks of this year that have not been taken: October 22-28, November 12-18, November 26-December 2 and December 3-9. If you are interested in sponsoring this lamp during one of those weeks, please see the Welcome Desk attendant. The cost for the Tabernacle Lamp is $25.

Mission Week Thank you: Thank you for remembering our Mission Week participants in your prayers. In the near future, we will have personal reflections from our youth who attended so that you can learn about the impact this week had in their lives. It is always a moving experience to be with young Catholics who are not only growing in the faith but also alive with an authentic love of Christ. It truly inspires me and rejuvenates my soul to see such a witness.

Concrete Work: Thank you for your patience and understanding as we undertake the job of patching and replacing our sidewalks and stairs. This is a job that has been a long time coming and there is still so much more to do. I am amazed at the size of our campus….it seems we can never get ahead of the weeds, the broken concrete, the potholes, and water leaks. But thankfully we know that Church is about people and love, not bricks and mortar. Thank you for helping to make our campus a place of welcome so others can experience the goodness of our people and the love we have to share.

June 17, 2018

Festival Thank you: I want to say thank you to everyone who helped make the festival such a wonderful success. This includes those of you who prayed for good weather: you did a great job! It also includes everyone who volunteered for set-up and clean-up, worked a booth, worked the
kitchen (or cooked), tended the bar, called and worked bingo, worked the many areas of Keane Hall, worked the money room, or did any of the many jobs I accidently failed to mention. Please know that there was no work that was done, no matter how small, that is not deeply appreciated. Also, a special thank you to those from our neighboring parishes who volunteered to help our festival; we greatly appreciate the help and your fellowship. In a special way, I want to thank those who co-chaired this year’s festival, Frank Porco and Liz Kostandinu. The work
you gave to the parish (and the stress involved) is a true witness to living the Christian life and the precepts of the Church. Thank you.

Festival Observation: I was really moved by the help that was extended to us by the parishioners of our On Mission grouping. We have been working for the past two years to build an extended community of cooperation and collaboration and that work paid off. This year’s festival really showed how our different communities came together to be one in assistance and generosity. This is a great sign of what the future holds as we continue with the On Mission process. It also wasn’t a surprise at all. The people of our grouping are already the Church Alive! and I am happy that I have the opportunity to experience your Christian witness.

Our part of the Love Story: As I preached last week, Ordinary Time in the Church is a perfect time for each of us to deepen our personal relationship with the Lord. Although many of our ministries take time off during the summer, we, and the diocese, offer special activities during these vacation months. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities. Please see our bulletin, website, Facebook page, twitter account or video board messages to learn about events at our parish. You will also find information about events across the diocese via their social media
accounts and the Pittsburgh Catholic.

Confessions next weekend will not be heard at St. Maurice: Due to many different activities occurring in our diocese next Saturday, I was unable to find a Priest who could cover our normally scheduled Confession time. Please know that I am available to hear your Confession during the week by appointment. If you want to go to Confession on Saturday, our neighboring parish’s Confession times are listed below and are posted on the Church front door.

Happy Father’s Day: To all our fathers, grandfathers and godfathers, I wish you a very blessed day. May St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, protect you, assure you that you do not labor alone, and teach you to find Jesus in the ordinary elements of life. May St. Joseph also intercede on your behalf with Christ to provide you with the graces you need in this moment.

June 10, 2018

Some questions that have come up since the use of the Sequence at Mass this past weekend:

What is the Sequence and why did we do it? A few times during the year a sequence is part of the Liturgy of the Word. It follows the second reading and is either sung or read. Both Easter and Pentecost — the bookends of the Easter season — have required sequences while other celebrations have optional sequences (e.g., the Body and Blood of Christ). The Easter Sequence, known as Victimae paschali laudes in Latin, is a beautiful and ancient poem, telling a short narrative story of Resurrection morn, set to a wonderful Gregorian chant melody. It is claimed that historically the Sequence fulfilled the congregation’s desire for an extended expression of the beauty within the Liturgy of the Word, as processional music as the deacon processed from the celebrant to the ambo to proclaim the Gospel and as a preemptive meditative piece preparing one for the Gospel.

I chose to use the optional Sequence to help highlight the significance of the Liturgical Celebration. I could have used other elements, such as the sprinkling rite or incense to heighten your senses with the hope of increasing your attentiveness to the liturgy. (It is often ‘good’ to get lost in prayer during the Mass, especially during Ordinary Time; however, the hierarchy of feasts in the Church does teach us important elements of our faith and I think using permitted options is a wise practice.) It was, however, simply my choice to go with the reading of the Sequence rather than to “smoke you out,” although I do love using incense. Hopefully, the addition of the Sequence caught your attention and reminded you of the importance of our celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Another question asked was: When a part of the Liturgy is not followed exactly as required has the Sunday obligation of the people in attendance been fulfilled? For example, if due to human error a different reading is proclaimed or a different responsorial is sung or a sequence is omitted, or the celebrant accidentally skips a prayer, is the Mass valid? The short answer is… yes. Accidental mistakes in the Mass do not affect the validity of the Mass. The Church is wise enough to know that things happen and realizes that the liturgy belongs to the Church Universal and not simply to one individual. Do not let a small mistake cause you stress. I promise you that I would not allow anything to happen˗or fail to happen˗that would impact the validity of the Mass.

Another Thank You:
We held a very nice social gathering this past week for our college students. Hopefully, we will continue to reach out to these parishioners and better serve them. I would like to take this opportunity to say  Thank You to the  parishioner who donated a picnic table for our Parish Center patio. It was a great addition to our campus and worked  wonderfully for our event (until the bad weather forced us indoors).

Thank you to everyone who helped with the Parish Festival, either by volunteering or supporting the event. (As I write this the festival has not yet begun but know that I am praying for its success and that you and your family and friends will have a wonderful time.)

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