St. Stephen Cathedral Mass
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Mass
Published on August 9th, 2013
I. WHAT WE DO on SUNDAY IS IMPORTANT! Recently, I spent five days at a workshop on liturgy which underlined for me the importance of good liturgy. The only churches growing are those good at welcoming people with genuine Christian hospitality. Not only the role of the priest and deacon as presider and/or preacher, but how the greeters and ushers welcome people as they enter church, how the people in the pews make room and acknowledge those who join them, how the cantor leads the Assembly in sung prayer, how the instrumentalists blend with cantor/choir and Assembly, how our extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion give the Body of Christ to the Body of Christ, how our servers minister with reference and dignity at the altar, as well as the “active, conscious, intentional participation” of the Assembly. It takes all of us working together, giving of our time, making a ministry commitment; if we do our part to the best of our ability, we can bank on God’s part being done extraordinarily well! What we do on Sunday and how we do it is extremely important for faith to grow.
II. HOLYDAY of OBLIGATION (Opportunity) on Thursday, August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don’t know exactly how it first came to be celebrated. One of the earliest memories of Jesus’ mother centered around the “Tomb of Mary,” close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived. On the hill itself was the “Place of Dormition,” the spot of Mary’s “falling asleep,” where she had died. The “Tomb of Mary” was where she was buried. Though this feast of the “Assumption of Mary,” was being celebrated in the East much earlier, we know it was celebrated in Rome by the 7th century. Not until 1950 did Pope Pius XII proclaim the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic Church. With that, an ancient belief proclaimed first by the grassroots People of God was declared officially a doctrine of faith! Holyday Mass schedule: Eve: 6:00pm; Day: 7:00am, 12:05pm, 6:00pm.
III. NUTS and BOLTS: about three weeks ago we replaced one of the large air-conditioners for our church building to the tune of $16,375. A few days later one of the office air conditioners died and was replaced at the tune of $4,268. Undoubtedly, most of you have noticed how good the new sealed and lined asphalt on the back parking lot looks! Fortunately, we split the cost with the Diocese since the Catholic Pastoral Center uses this lot as well; our part in this obvious paving need was $27,837. I bring the above three items to your attention because they were not budgeted items. The total cost was $48,480! Anything you can do to help off set this cost is much appreciated!
IV. SHEER GRACE! On August 9, 1975, I was ordained a priest by Bishop Henry Soenneker in this very Cathedral. It was a wonderful weekend of grace! Not only the ordination followed by a wonderful reception, thanks to St. Stephen Cathedral parishioners, but also the dinner for family and friends at the Sorgho KC Hall that evening, and my first Mass at St. Alphonsus Church (where I was baptized, Eucharisted, and confirmed), followed by a marvelous reception hosted by parishioners there. The memory of the entire weekend has provided much needed grace in the long days and darker times of the past 38 years! How the years has zoomed by! I’m amazed at how a need has drawn forth ministry from me! I’m edified by the tremendous active faith of so many people, young and old, over the years! I’m humbled at how God has used me in ways beyond my imagination! What can I be but grateful! I anticipate with joy the years we will spend together here at the Cathedral of St. Stephen enriching our faith as we journey forward with the Spirit of God as our guide and comfort, our inspiration and challenge.