Week of May 10 Update

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ! 

After ten long weeks, public Mass will resume tomorrow, May 25. I know this has been a challenging time, but I also hope that this time helped each of us unite more closely to the cross of Christ. It is only by the cross that we are saved; there is no other way. We can try this or that short cut, but there is none. It is only by uniting ourselves to the crucified Lord that we can be saved. Sometimes we choose the crosses we bear, but other times they find us. And when they do find us, we can never allow them to steal our interior peace and joy because we know that through them, we are working out our salvation in fear and trembling. So even as these ten weeks were hard, there was an excellent opportunity for grace, and I hope we didn’t squander that opportunity! I hope we all also appreciate our way of life, the Church, the Sacraments, and each other a bit more!

Please know that throughout these weeks, both Fr. Adrian and myself offered Mass daily. Mass continued to be offered at both Old St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart. We heard many confessions, we received two people into the Church, baptized several infants, celebrated an ordination, and had several funerals. The sisters worked hard at keeping things clean, braiding palm, and helping us to still have Sung Mass from time to time to celebrate the Feasts that came up with solemnity. Both Churches underwent regular and extraordinary maintenance. In other words, life here continued as usual as we could, waiting for you to return. May we continue to pray for those affected by the coronavirus, for all those who have died, and all those economically affected. 

We will resume Mass as normal beginning tomorrow. The only exception is tomorrow since it is Memorial Day. Mass will be at 7:15 a.m. (Latin) and 9:00 a.m. (English). Confession will be heard at 8:15 a.m. Otherwise, the Mass schedule is as indicated under the intentions. On Tuesday, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Philip Neri, the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory. There will be a Solemn Mass at 5:00 p.m. On Saturday, we prepare to celebrate the second greatest Feast on the entire liturgical calendar, Pentecost. We will have a Solemn Mass of the Vigil of Pentecost at 7:30 a.m. This Mass is very similar to the Easter Vigil and will last about three hours. We will also administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to those adults who were preparing to complete their Sacraments of Initiation. These Mass will be at Old St. Mary’s. 

Please note that we have blocked off certain pews for social distancing. Please observe this. We have also temporarily removed the hymnals and other booklets in the back of the church or the pews. Leaflets will be provided to assist you at Mass. There may be socials, but the vast majority of people should remain outdoors in the garden or in the space above the carport. Please be courteous to the Mass going on inside of church by keeping your voices low. 

Please note that there are no other regulations at this time. Holy Communion may be received how one chooses, except at the Latin Mass, when communion must be received on the tongue. Please receive communion well to help keep the priest from coming into contact with you. Please also be conscious and courteous to those who prefer to be more socially distant than others. Due to various circumstances, some are remaining more cautious than others. It is a matter of justice that we respect other’s boundaries as we may not know their circumstances. 

Please note that the Archbishop has continued to grant a general dispensation to the Sunday obligation. If you feel ill or are in a vulnerable class, you do not have an obligation to attend Mass for the time being. Once he lifts this dispensation, he let us know. 

Also, be sure to continue to check the parish webpage calendar. You can find the calendar at this link: Google Calendar.

Thank you for observing these few rules. I will continue to assess our situation and will make changes and modifications as needed.

I did not get to record a sermon yet this week and I wanted to get this update out. I will send post a sermon to the webpages as soon as I record, but otherwise I look forward to seeing everyone this week! Have a blessed week ahead, and God bless each of you!

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Week of May 10 Update

The re-painted arch at Old St. Mary’s!

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ! 

First of all, a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers. You have a very special role to play in the world and I thank you. I entrust you today to the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of mothers, and I ask her to intercede for you today before the throne of God to grant each of you many graces! Thank you for choosing to be mothers and doing everything you do and the sacrifices you make. May God bless each of you!

I am happy to announce that the Archbishop has said that we will be able to open for Mass again on May 25.  This will enable us to be able to celebrate the Feast of St. Philip Neri publicly on May 26! While the Archbishop stressed this isn’t a return to normal, we will be able to hold public Mass again on this day. I will be studying his guidelines over this upcoming week and determine how we will proceed at both Old St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart. So please watch here and the webpage next week!

Please also note that this upcoming week I will be away on retreat. Please remember me in your prayers and know that you will be in my prayers. For those who wish to make a Holy Hour, Old St. Mary’s will be open Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday at 8:00 a.m. You must arrive no later than 8:00 a.m. as the doors will not be left unlocked. On Tuesday, Church will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. On Friday, Church will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. Please also note that there will be workers in Church on Monday to move the scaffolding and then painters later in the week. However, in my absence and with Fr. Adrian’s responsibilities at the hospital, this was the best we could do under the circumstances. Confession will be offered on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. but will only be Fr. Adrian. So please take into consideration that it will only be one priest hearing confession that evening. Confession will also be offered when Church opens on Friday.

The Gospels for Mass have shown us the Lord preparing the Apostles for His Ascension into Heaven. In the Gospel read at the Ordinary Form of the Mass for this Sunday, Our Lord, taken from John 14, declares: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” Many, over the past few weeks have had many worries. Perhaps there has been anxiety over the past years or decades. Concerns about the Church, the Family, society, our county. Today, Our Lord is also speaking to us, do not let your hearts be troubled. If we have faith in God, so too must we have faith in Christ, because He is God! He has trampled death and given life to all in the tomb. We must take solace in that fact and remind ourselves of it every day. Our Lord paid a great price for us, His very life.

When we allow worry, anxiety, fear, and anger to fill our hearts, we are almost telling Him that what He has done for us isn’t enough. We must place our confidence in Christ! It was this confidence that gave the martyrs the strength they exhibited in their trials. As Cornelius Lapide says in his commentary on this passage: “By this faith and confidence ye may overcome all your fears, and be made partakers of my promises. Cast all your cares and anxieties upon Me, your Lord and your God. For although I go away from you as to My bodily presence, yet in My spirit, in My care and guidance of you, I shall be always with you.” When we doubt or are filled with temptation, repeat the words of Christ: “You have faith in God; have also faith in me.”

Per previous updates, please remember that you can find suggestions here on prayers and where to watch Mass.

Also, be sure to continue to check the parish webpage calendar for the hours that church will be open, and when confession will be offered. You can find the calendar at this link: Google Calendar. This will be the most accurate and updated list, but please be sure to check daily in case something has changed. Please enter through the side door of church.

There is Holy Water and other materials available near the side door. Holy Water bottles are available to be purchased for $1, which simply covers the cost. Please drop this in the donation box under the high pulpit. You can also drop your Sunday collection envelopes for either Old St. Mary’s or Sacred Heart and/or other donations in there as well. You can also set up online giving for Old St. Mary’s here, for Sacred Heart here, and the Oratory here.

Please note that the physical parish office is closed, but everyone is working remotely and responding to phone calls and emails during this time.

Finally, my sermon for this Sunday can be found below. As always, pray for a swift end to the pandemic, for all those who suffer, and all those who have died. Have a blessed week ahead!

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Sermon

Week of May 3 Update

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ! 

A lot has been going on in both parishes behind the scenes these past few weeks. At Old St. Mary’s, we are in the process of repairing some plaster spots in the ceiling that needed new plaster and paint. The sanctuary should be complete early this week, and perhaps we will then move on to a few other spots in the nave (where the pews are) that need some work. At Sacred Heart, we went ahead and upgraded several of our electrical panels, which is something we obviously want to ensure we keep up on. Several panels were old and some fuses were faulty and could have caused a fire. They have also begun putting up the scaffolding around the school building to replace the roof there. Something that was long overdue. We continue to look at projects we can during this time, including fixing the clock at Old St. Mary’s, working on the HVAC at Sacred Heart, and ensuring everything remains clean and laundered for when we can fully re-open. 

I thank everyone for their patience and their support over these past few weeks. I am fully aware that they have no been easy. But without your prayers, these past few weeks would have been all the more difficult. Without your financial support, we could not keep up both buildings or keep paying our bills. Thank you!

Currently, we have two young men making a month visit to the Oratory. This is the final step before they decide if they wish to pursue entering the novitiate. If you happen to be visiting the church and see them around, they have made a few visits before, that is why. Please be sure to keep them in your prayers. As I said last week, it is up to us not only in our prayers, but in the culture we develop, to promote vocations so that we may have abundant priests and religious.

Today, we continue with that theme of the Good Shepherd, as today is when that Gospel is read at the new Mass. The image of the Good Shepherd appears throughout the Paschal Season and in the Divine Office. Last week, I focused on the importance of praying for, encouraging, and forming a culture in which vocations can flourish. Where the priesthood and religious life, even with all of its issues, is still seen as something as respectable and worth sacrificing for. We must each do that in our lives, homes, and parishes. It is also up to us to ensure that each of our young people has at least considered the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood and religious life. 

Today, I want to encourage prayers for the clergy and religious we have. We may not always be the clergy and religious you want or deserve, but we are what we have. We give much and make it is easy to be critical of us, but as I speak of in my sermon today, are we also willing to pray for the clergy and religious. Especially those we are most critical of? Are we willing to do penance for them, to ask the Lord to also make them Good Shepherds? Are we willing to ask ourselves the difficult question, am I difficult towards this one or that one simply because he challenges me?

There is much to unpack and consider in the current landscape of the clergy and religious. Decisions we don’t like, decisions we don’t understand, decisions that are simply bad. Actions that are sinful, examples that cause scandal. Priests and religious we sometimes just don’t like because we don’t. But do we pray them? I often wonder if Our Lord himself would meet the standards we often set. We know He didn’t meet the standards for being the messiah that was desired. Would we listen to the Lord today any better?

Pray for priests and religious, and beg the Lord to make them like shepherds after His own heart and example. If we beg enough, the Lord will certainly hear our prayers. He has said so in the Gospels. We rely upon your prayers and encouragement, especially in the dark days! Our prayers and sacrifices can be the difference between a priest following in the footsteps of Judas or in the footsteps of St. Peter.

Per previous updates, please remember that you can find suggestions here on prayers and where to watch Mass.

Also, be sure to continue to check the parish webpage calendar for the hours that church will be open, and when confession will be offered. You can find the calendar at this link: Google Calendar. This will be the most accurate and updated list, but please be sure to check daily in case something has changed. Please enter through the side door of church.

There is Holy Water and other materials available near the side door. Holy Water bottles are available to be purchased for $1, which simply covers the cost. Please drop this in the donation box under the high pulpit. You can also drop your Sunday collection envelopes for either Old St. Mary’s or Sacred Heart and/or other donations in there as well. You can also set up online giving for Old St. Mary’s here, for Sacred Heart here, and the Oratory here.

Please note that the physical parish office is closed, but everyone is working remotely and responding to phone calls and emails during this time.

Finally, my sermon for this Sunday can be found below. As always, pray for a swift end to the pandemic, for all those who suffer, and all those who have died. Have a blessed week ahead!

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Sermon

Week of April 26 Update

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ! 

On Saturday, we celebrated the ordination of Bro. Brent Stull, Bro. Henry Hoffmann, and Eddie Hoffmann to the diaconate. Though we had hoped you could all join us, we look forward to the priesthood ordination next year! The Archbishop ordained ten to the diaconate on Saturday, nine transitional deacons, and one permanent deacon. Next year, there will be nine new priests within our Archdiocese. A sure testament that God is still at work, even in the midst of the chaos of the world. Please continue to keep Bro. Brent, Bro. Henry, Eddie, and all those progressing toward the altar in your prayers.

This is all the more significant since Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday on the traditional calendar, and this coming Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday on the reformed calendar. Which gives us a week to contemplate and meditate upon this person of the Good Shepherd. In the Gospel, Christ declares Himself to be ‘the Good Shepherd.’ This week gives us the opportunity to continue to ask and beg God to send to us shepherds modeled after Christ, who will seek to lead the Church into the ways of holiness and virtue. 

This is also a time when we should consider what we do promote and create a culture where vocations can be abundant. We ought to pray, and we should beg God to send to us priests and religious. However, we also have to encourage our young men and women to consider a vocation. That even with the ugliness of the clergy that we have seen for so many decades, that we still recognize that it is Christ the Good Shepherd that is the model and respect for the clergy is still needed if we hope to inspire our young to consider a vocation. Every young Catholic should at least ask themselves if they have the capacity to embrace a vocation to the priesthood and/or religious life. To ask themselves if they are capable to be generous with the Lord and the Church to help lead the Church and our families into greater holiness.

May we pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and strive to make a culture within our families and parishes where serious consideration can be given by the young to consider making the sacrifices necessary to be good priests and religious. This is all the more important today as we seek to raise up the new saints in our own generation.

Per previous updates, please remember that you can find suggestions here on prayers and where to watch Mass.

Also, be sure to continue to check the parish webpage calendar for the hours that church will be open, and when confession will be offered. You can find the calendar at this link: Google Calendar. This will be the most accurate and updated list, but please be sure to check daily in case something has changed. Please enter through the side door of church.

 There is Holy Water and other materials available near the side door. Holy Water bottles are available to be purchased for $1, which simply covers the cost. Please drop this in the donation box under the high pulpit. You can also drop your Sunday collection envelopes for either Old St. Mary’s or Sacred Heart and/or other donations in there as well. You can also set up online giving for Old St. Mary’s here, for Sacred Heart here, and the Oratory here.

Please note that the physical parish office is closed, but everyone is working remotely and responding to phone calls and emails during this time.

Finally, my sermon for this Sunday can be found below. Have a blessed week ahead!

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Sermon

Ordination of Bro. Brent & Bro. Henry