Greetings my brothers and sisters in Christ. First and foremost, I pray that you all have a very blessed week. This will be my last “regular” column in the bulletin since beginning next weekend, the bulletin will be going back to the format prior to COVID. That means the parts of the mass and music will not be included in the bulletin and bulletins will be available after Mass and contain information related to the parish. I may at times write to you using that format but it will be occasional and not a regular weekly communication. The “Breaking Bread” hymnals will be back in the pews and should remain there. Please DO NOT take them home. They are to remain in the church. If you would like to have one of your own for home, please talk to Sue in the office and she can assist you in getting one. Also for those who attend weekday Mass, a number of the missalettes will be available in the back of the church for your use. You may pick one up there for use and please return them there after Mass. We ask that you not take them home or leave them in the pews. Understanding that change is never easy, I appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we move back to what was normal prior to COVID.
One additional change that will begin with the weekend Masses of October 23rd and 24th. Related to announcements at Mass, they will be done prior to Mass by the lector rather than at the end of Mass by me.
On another note, I can’t tell you how troubled I was at the masses this past weekend with the amount of noise/conversations that was occurring during and immediately after holy communion. My heart was very heavy and very sad to witness the irreverence that was shown to our Lord at this most solemn and holy part of the Mass. That must stop immediately and will not be tolerated. Our focus must be on the gift we about to receive and after we receive our Lord we should be in dialog with him and only him! Once you return to your seat, you should be meditating on our Lord whom you’ve just received and be giving thanks to Him for entering into us.
Socialization during Mass is not appropriate and should not be happening at any point in the Mass. From the entrance hymn to the concluding hymn our focus and devotion should be to the Lord. Actually, prior to the beginning and immediately following Mass should also be a time of quiet and reverence. Many people come to Mass early so that they can pray and likewise some people remain after Mass in prayer. Out of respect for them and the Lord I would ask that this also be a time of quiet in the church. If you want to socialize please do so outside and not inside while people are praying. Ordinarily the rosary is prayed prior to Mass so there is prayer going on. Additionally, confessions are available and believe it or not, I do hear a lot of conversations going on while I’m in the confessional. Please be respectful to those who are waiting to go to confession as well as those who are praying and preparing for Mass. Most of all show reverence and respect for our Lord who is present in the Tabernacle!
If you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share please see me in the office. Thank you and have a very blessed week!
“The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son, and he sent his servants to call them that were invited to the marriage; and they would not come.” The King of course is God our Father and the son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God invites all men to the great banquet of the divine nuptials at which they will find their salvation; but submerged in the materialism of the earthly things, they reject the invitation and the messengers.
God’s mercy is so great that it cannot be vanquished; He still invites all men to His feast, and even offers this divine Son whom they have killed, to be their Food in the most Holy Eucharist. The banquet is prepared; Jesus, the divine Lamb has been immolated for the redemption of mankind and, if many fail to accept the invitation, others will be invited. “The marriage indeed is ready, but they that were invited were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage.”
We too have been invited. How have we responded to the invitation? Have we not also shown more interest and concern for earthly matters than for the things of God? Have we not been like the men in the parable who neglected, and went their way, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise? (MT 22:1-14)
“O Lord, this is what you say to my soul: ‘Why are you so far away from Me, detained by useless pursuits? Why do you not hasten to prepare a beautiful wedding garment? I suffered death to take you from My spouse. I became man for you, to preserve your life from corruption, I preferred your salvation before all My works. I prepared a nuptial couch for you in heaven, and I commanded the angels to serve you. Would you despise Me, your heavenly Spouse? And whom would you prefer to Me, who in My mercy saved the whole human race? What father could give you life as I have? What father or what spouse can love you as much as I?”
“O my God, what shall I answer You?”
“Pardon me, save me, O patient, long-suffering Lord! Save me, O Christ, Son of God, who alone are without sin! Grant that my heart may have no desire but to respond to Your invitations, and that with the help of Your grace, I may always do Your will, and be prompt and willing to carry out Your orders, so that, with the talents I have received from You, I may be able to trade and acquire the good things of Your kingdom.”
- Divine Intimacy
A note about receiving communion. There are two acceptable ways in which to receive our Lord.
FIRST: You may receive on the tongue. Please open your mouth and stick your tongue out so that the Lord may be
placed on your tongue. Do not open your mouth and bite down, or simply open your mouth. Don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out so the Lord may be placed on your tongue.
SECOND: You may receive in the hand. Place one hand on top of the other. Your hands should be laying flat. Do NOT make a cup and do not move your hands. Your hands should be extended in front of your chest. Do not raise your hands up in the air. Do not attempt to put your thumb on top of the Lord. I’ve never seen Him jump
out of anyone’s hands. Do NOT attempt to grab the Lord out of the hands of the one offering communion.
Remember you are RECEIVING communion not taking it . . . allow them to place the Lord into your hands.
Following these simple guidelines will prevent an accident where the Lord is dropped on the floor during
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Have a very blessed week!
The invitation to Christian life which in the time of our Lord was rejected by the Jewish people, is offered to all! We can also see in it a special invitation to follow a particular vocation: a call to the priesthood, to consecration to God.
In order to respond to this vocation our assent must be more than normal. It must involve the sincere and profound commitment of our whole soul. This invitation must be embraced heart and soul and without striving, by our works to live in a manner worthy of the vocation. We must be clothed in a nuptial garment, that is, in the robe of grace and virtue befitting the vocation.
Without going to these extremes, we can still remain far from complete correspondence to the divine call. It is well to remember that the problem of corresponding to a vocation is not one that can be resolved once and for all on the day that we embrace a particular state of life; it is a question that arises every day, because each day of our vocation calls for a new response, a fresh adherence adapted to the circumstances and grace of the moment.
A vocation attains its full realization only by our continual fidelity to God’s invitations. These invitations follow one another without interruption and reveal to the attentive soul ever new horizons, presenting new duties, new opportunities for generosity, and new aspects of perfection and immolation. “Many are called but few are chosen.” Why are only a few chosen? Because they are the few who know how to correspond day by day with the grace of their vocation: because there are few who know how to accept all the consequences and demands of the divine call, and who always answer yes to the solicitation of grace.
“O Lord, this is what You say to my soul: ‘Why are you so far away from Me, detained by useless pursuits? Why do you not hasten to prepare a beautiful wedding garment? I suffered death to take you for My spouse. I became man for you, to preserve your life from corruption, I preferred your salvation before all My works. I prepared a nuptial couch for you in heaven, and I commanded the angels to serve you. Would you despise Me, your heavenly Spouse? And whom would you prefer to Me, who in My mercy saved the whole human race? What father could give you life as I have? What father or what spouse can love you as much as I?’
“O my God, what shall I answer you?
“Pardon me, save me, O patient, long suffering Lord! Save me, O Christ, Son of God, who alone are without sin! Grant that my heart may have no desire but to respond to Your invitations, and that with the help of Your grace, I may always do your will, and be prompt and willing to carry out Your orders, so that, with the talents I have received from You, I may be able to trade and acquire the good things of Your kingdom. Grant that I may praise You trustfully and tell You joyfully when I see You: ‘I am blessed because You have come to clothe me with the worthy nuptial garment which Your grace has purchased for me.’
"I shall light the lamp, O Christ, given to me by Your grace and bounty. I shall meet You joyfully, blessing, praising, and glorifying You, O my immortal Spouse” (St. Ephrem).
Please join me in praying for Vocations for our diocese and remember in prayer our Seminarians.
Have a very blessed week!
Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.