In August Bishop Thomas wrote a letter to all pastors saying that he had accepted an invitation from the World Apostolate of Fatima (a.k.a. “The Blue Army”) to receive the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima Statue that is traveling the USA for a year in preparation for the 100th year anniversary of the apparition of Fatima. Pope Francis blessed this statue back in October of 2013. The Bishop was asking parishes to consider hosting the statue. I responded that we would be willing to host the statue at our parish, and as a result, we will have the Fatima Statue with us all day on Wednesday, November 2nd. It will be at our Paulding campus, along with the normal Wednesday adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The caretaker of the statue, along with his wife, will use Paulding as a homebase to take the statue to surrounding areas for several days prior as well. Then they will move on to Chicago. Please make a special effort that day to come and say a prayer in front of Our Lady’s famous image, as she appeared in Fatima, and to adore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I invite all the various prayer groups and other groups of the parish to make a visit that day.
This weekend we are having a reunion of all those parishioners who experienced the pilgrimage to Rome this past February. Now seems a good time to announce the initial stages in our planning for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land February 19-March 1, 2018. The trip will include these sites: Nazareth, Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, Caesarea Philippi, the Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee, Mount Tabor, Samaria, Jacob’s Well, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, the Via Dolorosa and the Holy Sepulchre, the Dead Sea, Qumran, Jericho and the Jordan River. Margie McDaniel of Catholic Faith Journeys, who organized the pilgrimage to Rome, will also organize this trip for us. The guide for us in the Holy Land will be a man named Amer, a Palestinian Christian who was the guide for a trip I chaplained several years ago for Steve Ray and Scott Hahn. Although I do not know the Holy Land as well as I know Rome, I did live in the Holy Land for one summer between my license and doctoral studies…. so I can be a bit of a help on the trip as well. English is a very strong second language (to Hebrew) for the Jewish people in the Holy Land. It will be very easy to communicate in English most of the time. Italian works well at all the holy sites, since all of the Franciscans caring for those sites have spent time in Italy, St. Francis’ home country. We will, of course, have Mass every day of the trip. We will get to pray the mysteries of the Rosary in those places where the mysteries occurred. A meeting to gather interest, and present the itinerary and initial estimated costs is planned for Sunday, November 20th at 7pm in the Paulding Ed Center. All interested are invited to attend. Please call the office to let us know you are coming, so that we can have enough handouts and snacks available for everybody. You won’t have to commit to anything that night!
This past week I presented sample pages of the Lumen Christi Pew Missal and Hymnal during the homily time. I am not sure that at each campus I pointed out the economic savings of this project (a side-benefit secondary to the improved worship and spiritual effect). If you imagine that we spend almost $6,000 each year on the throwaway missalettes, and then you realize that this new system should last easily for 20 years, you can calculate significant savings. The $25,000 project is being covered in the following ways: We received a $10,000 grant from the Auguste Shaefer Liturgical Endowment of the Diocese; then we already had $6,000 budgeted for new missalettes, which now we can put towards the new permanent missals; and finally, a group of parishioners has generously donated to cover the remaining cost. I am grateful for their added help! There will be a learning curve with these new missals: learning how to make our way around the books, getting comfortable with the new melodies, learning to present the new melodies as cantors and musicians as beautifully as possible, etc. Some patience is in order for all of us as we grow in our worship in Holy Mass. As I have said before, we are not losing all of the music we have been doing. We are mainly adding the antiphons. Choirs can still do their special meditation songs. We can still use the various settings of the Mass ordinary to which we are accustomed. We can still sing some of the songs from the missalettes. I would like us to become very familiar with the songs in the hymnal, however. They are time-tested and very fitting from a theological and aesthetic perspective.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,