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What did you hear?

posted by awelborn

I have no idea what common hymn we all could have heard this week. Perhaps the question of the day will be – how did your parish mark the beginning of Catholic Schools Week, if it did so?

I doubt any of you can top Rich Leonardi

I can’t. Our music was, as usual, unmemorable, made all the more so because it was the 8AM Mass, we are all at some stage of illness, and I was exhausted. The homily was odd. It was about what we can learn from the Cross – learning, as in Catholic Schools Week, okay, and the Cross – well, there was this big old pilgrimage cross plunked right in front of the altar, so that was the reference point. But no reference to any of today’s Scripture readings at all, and very oddly, a quite pointed reference to the beginning of 1 John, and then – ba-bum. Nothing. Not a mention of Deus Caritas Est, which I thought for sure was the purpose of the build-up.

By the way, Fr. Philip Powell, OP, offers suggestions on "how to listen to a homily." Discussion ensues!

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American Papist

posted January 29, 2006 at 11:44 pm

Our parochial vicor (tastefully) described Deus Caritas Est as “Papa Razi’s Love letter to the Church.”
I’m sure someone at st. blogs has already called it that – but it was nice hearing the phrase from a pulpit.
A much better icebreaker IMO than the normal antedotes you normally get…

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posted January 29, 2006 at 11:49 pm

I went to a Tridentine Latin Mass for the first time this Sunday. I believe it was a Low Mass. I have to be honest and say I like the Novus Ordo better. Everything seemed rushed at this Mass, there was no incense and I couldn’t follow along in the Latin-English booklet. I have nothing against Latin. I sometimes attend the Latin Novus Ordo, which is very reverently celebrated.

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Anonymous Teacher Person

posted January 29, 2006 at 11:59 pm

This did not happen at Catholic Schools Week Mass this year, but last spring, when we attended the CSW service at my alma mater elementary school. The eighth graders did a lovely liturgical dance to…oh, some OCP treacle. The tune itself is obliterated by the memory of an entire class performing irrhythmic gymnastics, accessorized by pencils with ribbons tied to the ends. You could see the pencil erasers sticking out at the end and everything.
My husband turned to me in shock and said, “I always thought you were making it up when you said you had to do liturgical dance.”
How nice for him to have led a sheltered life.
As far as what we heard today, I really don’t know what the homily was about, since my four-year-old kept up a constant stage whisper about how Jonah was a prophet and he told the Ninevites to stop slapping with fish. (Veggie Tales reference). He was so excited last week to hear the story of Jonah read from the pulpit that it was a maaaajor letdown to not hear the continued adventures of The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.

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Old Zhou

posted January 30, 2006 at 12:06 am

Fr. played a CD for the communion music. It was some sort of simple “call and response” style with African drums gently in the background. The words were something like
“Listen to the voice of God
Liesten to the Spirit”
“God comes in a still small voice
God comes in a whisper”
with much African style drumming
I have no idea what this was.
Can anyone identify it?

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posted January 30, 2006 at 12:29 am

I went to the 10:00 A.M. mass, not realizing it used contemporary music. First “hymn” – such as it was – started out instrumentally, sounding very much like either “The In-Crowd” or “Take Five”; I couldn’t really distinguish which. Tried to keep a prayerful attitude despite the insipid music.
Became mildly attentive during the sermon. Father mentioned today’s gospel account of Jesus casting out a demon at the synagogue in Capernaum. Then he briefly segued over to a mention of the movie “The Exorcist” and how it was based on a case of demonic possession which took place in Maryland in the very late 1940’s. Said the possessed person ( a boy ) uttered curses in ancient languages. I’d like to know more about that. A reference, anyone ?

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posted January 30, 2006 at 12:51 am


posted January 30, 2006 at 12:57 am

I googled and found several articles from STRANGE MAGAZINE 20 entitled “Debunking the Myth of 3210 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier.”

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posted January 30, 2006 at 12:58 am

I think the book looks better!

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Marie Anonymous

posted January 30, 2006 at 1:12 am

We had a visiting priest who belongs to a charismatic order called Companions of the Cross. The homily was mostly a personal testimony, delivered in a style that would do a pentecostal televangelist proud. This priest told us about the material and situational advantages he’d had when growing up as the son of a prosperous real estate agent – why, it was like God gave him five tenants. (That is not a typo.) But then he came to know Jesus, was called to the priesthood, etc. We were exhorted to listen to God and respond to whatever God is calling us to be. “Let God have his way with you,” the priest said. Hmmm, unfortunate phrasing there, I think.
The pentecostal preaching style was overwhelming, and made me wish I had sat way at the back of the church, or that I’d been able to crawl right under the pew and curl up in a ball like a two year old. I have never been so profoundly uncomfortable in a Catholic church. I think liturgical danced would have been easier to bear.

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Marie Anonymous

posted January 30, 2006 at 1:17 am

We had a visiting priest who belongs to a charismatic order called Companions of the Cross. The homily was mostly a personal testimony, delivered in a style that would do a pentecostal televangelist proud. This priest told us about the material and situational advantages he’d had when growing up as the son of a prosperous real estate agent – why, it was like God gave him five tenants. (That is not a typo.) But then he came to know Jesus, was called to the priesthood, etc. We were exhorted to listen to God and respond to whatever God is calling us to be. “Let God have his way with you,” the priest said. Hmmm, unfortunate phrasing there, I think.
The pentecostal preaching style was overwhelming, and made me wish I had sat way at the back of the church, or that I’d been able to crawl right under the pew and curl up in a ball like a two year old. I have never been so profoundly uncomfortable in a Catholic church. I think liturgical danced would have been easier to bear.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 1:52 am

Amy & Lyn,
Thanks for the references. I noticed that the book, as listed in Amazon, bears a date of 1993. In his sermon, our priest stated that he did not know if the victim, a boy in the 1940’s, was still alive in 2006. Most likely, the 52-year old priest who successfully performed the exorcism, is long dead.
Again, thanks. I have some creepily interesting reading in the very near future.

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Jimmy Mac

posted January 30, 2006 at 2:47 am

Our visiting celebrant represented Food for the Poor and talked about their missions in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Right after communion we had a riveting solo presentation of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” You could have heard a pin drop!
Before departing the visiting priest exclaimed that he had NEVER heard that hymn done so reverently in a Catholic Church, nor the hushed silence that followed. I think there were tears in his eyes!
I am PROUD of my parish …. Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 5:44 am

The hymns were all vintage 1972 (we had the bongo Gloria), the school children read the readings very clearly and well, the priest gave a one minute homilette then turned things over to the school principal for a fifteen minute speech on how well the school was instilling character and compassion into their students, followed by thunderous applause. Then the Mass started up again.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 5:49 am

We didn’t donything for Catholic schools week–if not for St. blogs would’ve never known of it. Likewise the Encyclical.
Music was happy-clappy with conga drums. Call and response type things, with the peoples parts unsigabl comples adaptations from Gather and OCP.
Homily was about our inner deamons with time to reflect on them, followed by a prayer for deliverance and the dismissal of the Chatecumens. St. Paul on the direability of Chastity wasn’t ignored–He was dismissed as “not knowing the couples of this community”.
Inclusive new speak during psalm 95 and the prayers.
‘Bout like any Sunday at St. Pauls Bloomington. Oh yes, as usual Fr. wore his (white) habit in lieu of an alb, with stole on the outside.

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charles R. Williams

posted January 30, 2006 at 6:25 am

Father Stein preached on the parallels between Moses and Jesus in the scriptures. This is unusual since he ususally is very strong on application and tries to engage the children.
There was an open house at our school and also everyone got a cute handwritten letter from a student in the bulletin.
Our parish, St. F de Sales in Akron, has a very good school and also a significant number of homeschooling families. We also have vocations.

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Mary Kay

posted January 30, 2006 at 6:44 am

The pastor used Mozart’s birthday and a 20 year old statement by Pope Benedict XVI on art to talk about the interior of the parish church, which indeed in lovely with stained glass windows and statues.
A bit surprising coming from one of the wreckovation dioceses, but nice.
Nothing about Catholic Schools Week, but I wonder how many parishes sang Ave Verum. (We did.)

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Dave Pawlak

posted January 30, 2006 at 6:44 am

Two items:
Anonymous Teacher Person: Were the eighth grade boys doing this as well? And if do, did they look like they wanted to be anywhere but there?
Ed: The song you heard was “Sing of the Lord’s Goodness”. Back in my “folk choir” days, we had a flutist who’d switch to saxophone for this song. I wonder if Dave Brubeck ever heard it…?

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posted January 30, 2006 at 7:36 am

We began with Gather Us In. Luckily things went up from there. The homily was about the progress of the church restoration (not a wreckovation, thank God). We had a short talk from a teacher and a student to mark Catholic Schools Week.
In the evening, I went to a Eucharistic Holy Hour at the Fathers of Mercy. Lovely, quiet and prayerful.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 7:55 am

Location: Ft. Wayne
Our priest talked about how at his home parish, growing up, his priest was at his parish for 35 years. That priest saw him grow from a baby to a priest in his own right. He talked about celebacy and giving up biological fatherhood and family, but gaining so much by being able to give direction to all of the kids in Catholic School.
We recognized all our teachers, they stood and we clapped. We had a hot dog and chili lunch and an open house at the school.
All around a pretty decent event.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 7:56 am

Our processional hymn was “Love Divine, all loves excelling” (Hyrfrydol) with the organ. Very dignified. Fr. has been preaching on the Incarnation since Christmas and using the Sunday readings to hammer in the point. He used the first reading to do that yesterday. He closed with an appeal to friendship with Jesus who knows our feeble frame. It moved me to tears because several parishioners are critically ill.
Our diocese launched the BAA so no CSW antics, just an Open House tonight. The BAA parish chair tied in Deus Caritas Est with his talk. Nicely done.
Then we had to ruin all of that by the closing hymn–“Shout to the Lord”. It’s such a treat to hear everyone’s Whitney Houston impression while singing this. Not! The carillon played “On Eagle’s Wings”. Sigh!

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posted January 30, 2006 at 7:58 am

I never want to hear “Gift of Finest Wheat” again, and the other circa 1972 songs were so bad that I completely blocked them out of my memory – which wasn’t hard, because they were completely unmemorable.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 8:35 am

11:30 this week at St. Matt’s. Mass began with the introduction of new catechumans and a blessing. Right into the liturgy of the word. Father also did not seem to directly tie in his sermon to the readings, or at least it was sort of a leap. He preached about anxiety and the need to let go of it and needless worries. Referenced the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”
On the Fr. Powell link, I do read along with the readings simply because it helps me focus on them. I also use the Missal for Latin Masses, but am almost getting to the point where it’s not necessary.
Speaking of Latin Masses, Jonathan I suggest that you reserve judgement until you go to a High Mass. It’s much more spiritual. Also, the Tridentine does take some getting used to.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 8:37 am

It’s Catholic Schools Week here in Chicago, and the sermon was built around that. No “liturgical dancing” thank God, but an opening hymn with such an infectious old-Hebraic melody (those Jews really know how to syncopate,don’t they?) that my first reaction was, “What a great bellydance this would make.” So instead of listening to lyrics (which were unintelligible anyway) I was sitting there wondering – veil or finger cymbals? Undulations or snake arms?
Shoulder shimmies or…
Oops. Bless me Father, for I have sinned; I committed Mental Choreography at Mass yesterday.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 8:54 am

At our Mass we had three school children read compositions about why they like attending Catholic Schools before the beginning of Mass. After Mass a two hour Open House at the School for prospective families. We are so blessed to have a good Catholic School.

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Cheeky Lawyer

posted January 30, 2006 at 9:17 am

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. 10:30 am Mass. Beautiful Music, decent homily explaining what it meant for Jesus to speak with authority, and a beautiful setting. We wish we could make this our parish.

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Maureen O'Brien

posted January 30, 2006 at 9:21 am

Re: “Sing to the Lord’s Goodness”
Other way round. Dave Brubeck permitted part of “Take Five” to be used for the hymn, which was worked up by a member of his band. I like it.
Re: old Hebraic melody
I know the one you mean. Actually, those lyrics should be very understandable. It’s sad when people don’t enunciate.
9:30 AM
St. Albert’s, Kettering OH
We had a short homily by Fr. Gearhart followed by a few words about Catholic Schools. No liturgical dancing whatsoever, mwahaha!
I don’t remember the opening song (it was an old one). Choir did the offertory, “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me”. (Good one, btw.) Communion: “Blessed Are They” with all the harmony. Closing: “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”.
Unfortunately, once again I managed to have trouble cantoring. I managed to screw up a psalm setting I’ve known since I was nine and had just practiced. Extensively. Twice.
I also had a gunk attack in my lungs about as soon as I hit church, which was about as helpful as you’d imagine, and made opening my mouth a veritable crapshoot. Well, I guess it all gives glory to God, but it was a gunky, squeaky, angsty kind of glory.
Honestly, this isn’t brain surgery. And I practiced, dang it. No doubt this is all some kind of mortification for the parish, and God was just using me for the purpose. But I really thought I was over my three week cold!
Still, I suppose I should see a message in that my voice came back in strength just in time for “Blessed Are They”….

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posted January 30, 2006 at 9:27 am

Church of the Holy Spirt
Charismatic Episcopal Church
Stephens City, VA
Opening hymn was “The Church’s One Foundation,” chosen because of the feast day of Cornelius the Centurion coming up on Saturday. Closing hymn, “Praise the Lord! Ye Heavens, Adore Him!” Good stuff.
Homily focused on the Gospel reading, how Jesus called imperfect men and made them apostles. Theme: “God uses the imperfect to reveal the perfect.”

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posted January 30, 2006 at 9:30 am

Homily by fill-in priest since Monsignor was on travel. Included making an excuse for Saint Paul’s discussion of how married women are concerned with wanting to please their husbands. Said St. Paul would’ve written it differently if he wrote it today. Hmmm. Does this imply that the Scriptures are in error? That they’re not applicable today, at least partially? No mention of the line about married men wanting to please their wives.
Music: first week without the “contemporary music” group. Monsignor replaced them — the instruments — with a hired organist, who happens to be Protestant (military-base chapel, so both congregations use the same building). Same people sing in the group, but the music is selected by the organist. Fairly significant change.

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John J. Simmins

posted January 30, 2006 at 9:34 am

St. Peter’s Waldorf, MD.
Sunday – 8am mass
Father Flume did an excellant homily on the call to the priesthood/religious life and how we should be open and unafraid of the call. No mention of Catholic Schools week however there is an all-school mass going on right now (Monday). My wife is attending.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 9:35 am

To all those commenting on liturgical music, I will refer you to my blog on this issue. With regards to Catholic Schools Week, our parish just asked the Catholic school children to wear their uniforms to Mass. A school family brought the gifts forward at the offertory. To be quite honest, I have a tough time working up a lot of support for the Catholic school attached to our parish. It has become an elite academy rather than a parish school.Children who live within the parish boundaries are refused admission because there is “no room” while current students who have moved outside the parish boundaries are retained. The students are very visible when the school is fund raising, but otherwise have little to do with the non-school parishioners. The CCD program educates more children in the faith than does the school, yet the school treats the CCD program as the unwanted stepchild and and certainly treats the catechists as if they have no right to the use of the classrooms. In truth, the responsibility of the parish is to educate all the children in the faith. I think elevating the school with Catholic Schools Week is divisive to the parish when there is no similar support for the majority of parish children who are in public schools. I went to a Catholic high school and have tried to put my children in Catholic schools as we have moved around the country whenever it was feasible. I support Catholic education. However, a parish can’t only support the school and treat the CCD program as an afterthought.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 9:38 am

No Catholic Schools Week references.
The parish where we “commute” to closed its school ca. 1979. Holy Rosary, in Gary, IN, my wife’s old ‘hood. The CCD program is hanging on. This is the See City of the diocese where the … habits … of certain suburban parishes’ priests were mentioned on this here blog, last week.
The priest blessed mothers and fathers at the end of Mass, as was promised at a prior “Generations of Faith” session on the Sacrament of Matrimony. It was a nice follow-up to St. Paul’s 2nd reading. Homily touched on modern-day demons such as alcoholism, how AA/Twelve Step programs were founded, etc. Also mentioned was that before Jesus, worshippers kicked out the (possessed) person from the temple, but Jesus let the person stay, just kicked the demon out.
The kids’ school, St. John Bosco, gets a bonus this year: Catholic Schools Week all-school Mass takes place tomorrow, on the the feast day of the parish / school patron.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 10:11 am

“the movie “The Exorcist” and how it was based on a case of demonic possession which took place in Maryland in the very late 1940’s. Said the possessed person ( a boy ) uttered curses in ancient languages. I’d like to know more about that. A reference, anyone ?”
It happened in St Louis in an upper room of the rectory of the St. Louis U. college church. It involved a boy and a number of Jesuits were either involved or knew the folks involved. I got a lot of my info from my Jebbie cousin who was at SLU at the time. Supposedly everything you see in the movie happeneing with the girl (except her head swivelling) actually happened with the boy. My cousin told me that the boy & his mother arrived in a car that parked in front of the Melbourne Hotel across the street from the college church and when people were trying to get him out of the car, an electrical current coursed through the boy that bound him to the car and made it difficult to get him out. Don’t know if that’s in the book. My cousin, a physicist, believed it really happened.
You can get into the archives of the St. Louis Post Dispatch for interviews with some of the people involved. One appeared just a few years ago. Fr. Bowdern is no longer with us. I think it was his then-young assistant who did the interview in the paper.

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Fr Martin Fox (Septimus)

posted January 30, 2006 at 10:23 am

At my parish, everyone heard me and the retired priest make a pitch for folks to help at bingo. Say what you want about that, but that is what keeps our Catholic school open. As I told folks, if we want to make Jesus’ fame spread through our region, we have to do some practical things to make that happen.
I didn’t post the homily on my blog, but I will if anyone wants to see it. (I did post another homily, however; I filled in for a priest at the neighboring parish, and whipped something together quickly on Saturday; I thought that would have more general interest. Click on my name below to go there.)
Musically, I was happy: we had “All Creatures of our God and King” as the opening — my only regret is we didn’t sing more of it. I like to sing, and I think its fine if we do more than two verses of a hymn. That one has about eight, so probably no need to sing every one. The closing was “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” set to a less familiar melody (to me, at least), but which stuck with me all day.
The other music I recall is the psalm, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart,” which I believe was by Haugen.
Like many of the psalm settings in Gather, it went rather long; however, at 4 pm, we had a girl of 12 (!) who provided music, on our piano, and she is extraordinarily talented! She played this, I’d say, as it is meant to be played, and I found myself lost in meditation during it.
Folks heard me use the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer, which I like very much, and can only use during ordinary time.
Because it is the longest, and it has the m-word (“man”) and the h-word (“he”) sprinkled throughout, I suspect relatively few Catholics are familiar with it. So I try to use it repeatedly during Ordinary Time, as I think it has many fine qualities, and hearing such a prayer, over and over, has great teaching value.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 10:41 am

The children attending the parish school were encouraged to attend the 9:30 Mass (in uniform, of course) before the school’s Open House (10:30-1:30 with classes “in session”). During the announcements after communion, those of us at the 11 a.m. Mass were invited to the Open House.
The homilist walked us through Deus Caritas Est with his focus on The Cross, The Eucharist, and Charity.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 10:43 am

At Prep: “I Would See Jesus” one of the Five Hymns from “The Sacred Harp” , arr. Martha Shiffer. I just love this piece which is from the shape-note tradition you saw in “Cold Mountain”.
At Communion: English version of “Adoro Te Devote”. Our director had the choir do the 4 part verses in our sheet music and used the first verse in “Breaking Bread” as the Response so the people could participate. It turned out really well.
Homily was not memorable – can’t remember what it was about.

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Jennifer E

posted January 30, 2006 at 10:57 am

Hi maureen! – We’re neighbors!
If you want liturgical dance in the area go to St Francis – we had to leave the day they had dance and a nun give a half homily and half give me money pitch (no the pastor did not break open the word at all or the asking for money wouldn’t have bothered me – I didn’t know they were in such hard times)
We no longer go there. Beautiful music, people, and the priest I thought was wonderful but my girls were starting to dance in the pews too and for now I need that distance.
Emmanuel has a lot of homeschoolers so perhaps that’s why we did’t get any Catholic schools week stuff but got a dose of Satan being alive and well, he can control our bodies but not our will so we always have a choice to make, and a good deal on what is conscience and proper formation of it in order to make the right choices. So you can say it was education week for us all to form our consciences correctly.
I noticed all the choices of songs I was not familiar with – from 1400’s to 1600’s – the recessional was the one by Martin Luther which a friend said is the beloved of the Lutheran church – sorry I don’t remember the name – our friend loves this hymn – sounded lovely but I can’t remember the words! – My kids didn’t want to wait the last few minutes to start playing so there were alot of last minute interventions for the sake of those around us!
I reverted back to the church over 6 years ago now and I know a lot of the contemporary stuff but not what I heard yesterday!

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Elizabeth M

posted January 30, 2006 at 11:05 am

St. Maria Goretti
New Orleans
No mention of schools. Part of the homily consisted of a “pep talk” by the priest, telling us not to despair, that God hears us and will answer our prayers.
The music was forgettable, although we did sing “Holy God We Praise Thy Name.”
Met a couple I hadn’t seen since the storm – found out that they had to be rescued from their rooftop. I’ve lost count of the number of people I know who were rescued from their attics or rooftops.

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Sandra Miesel

posted January 30, 2006 at 11:12 am

Mt. Carmel IN
Opening song was “Gather Us In” which I will not sing, closing “To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King” which I will–and heartily.
The homily was a good pitch by the vocations director of the diocese.
Nobody better pry my missalette out of my cold dead hand. I’m one of the many who comprehend better when I both see and hear. This comes in handy when one is stuck in a parish as I was years ago where the priest–since suspended from ministry after his arrest for public indecency–would read the Gospel as his own ex temp paraphrase, carefully plugging in “inclusive” language and editing out bad words like “virgin”.

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Gregg the obscure

posted January 30, 2006 at 11:14 am

Big crowd at the anticipated Mass. Themes of the week: Syncopation and the seventies!
Gathering song – “Now as We Gather” (not much syncopation, but a general sense of us bringing our holiness to the Church and that great line “wine of our sorrow, bread of our joy” – is the hymnodist from Mars or something?);
Psalm setting – Didn’t catch the name of the composer, but it had gospel-style open chords, the beat of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and the final verse rapped by the cantor over a chorus of “ooh, ooh”;
Offertory – “As a Fire is Meant for Burning” (the most seventies moment of all: “not to preach our creed” – what a perfect epitaph for that generation!);
Communion – a first: I successfully blocked out whatever the choir did; and
Recessional – “Lead me Lord”. (Musicians: if you’re going to do a heavily syncopated piece, please at least get the beat right. Chances are that, while most parishioners who sing will end up singing it in straight time, some parishioners have rhythm and will reflexively keep the beat as written. At least having the choir and all instrumentalists get it right should keep the number of competing beats down to two.)
Homily was a real surprise. The homilist was our frequent visitor, a (I thought) very well-educated older priest from a religious order. He started by saying that the day’s texts were self-explanatory. I really wondered what would come next. What came was a very seventies-style overview of the Gospel according to St. Mark in which we learned that St. Mark was most closely associated with St. Paul (no mention of St. Peter, contra long-standing tradition), that he probably didn’t write down the text himself, and that this gospel was finally written down by someone in Rome in 70 A.D. (though it went unmentioned, this would be a couple of years after St. Mark died in Egypt). Mention was made of St. Mark’s unique rhetorical techniques, particularly that of the “messianic secret”.
The intercessions included mention of Catholic schools as did a lengthy announcement and a bulletin insert. Some student artwork was displayed in the vestibule, but no students were on display during Mass.

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Ray Marshall

posted January 30, 2006 at 11:16 am

At the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis, where we have an excellent choir and music director, the processional hymn, in keeping with the Gospel, was “Silence, Frenzied, Unclean Spirit.”
That’s the problem when you have really talented people. They love to sing music nobody in the congregation has ever heard of. Similarly, the music for the Gloria and Sanctus was different from the various versions regularly encountered.
The recessional was “When Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God.”

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carrie ryckman

posted January 30, 2006 at 11:20 am

We had a missionary priest from CROSS. He was great and spoke in his homily about faith from the gospel and his missionary work. He said that he had a conversion experience when he went from a parish priest in Idaho to working with the poor. He also said that in the U.S., even if you are poor, there are still options for help. In other third world countries, there are few possibilites of elevating oneself from living in a sewer to going to college. He also spoke directly to the teen-agers and told them not to fall into society’s trap of overemphasizing clothes and other outward appearances. Fr. Len even made a slight jab at the “gospel of wealth” folks who say they “love Jesus” because they’re rich and they’ve made it.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 11:27 am

I managed to miss the Catholic Schools Week Mass as that is the Saturday evening one, and I went to the latest morning service. Our homily was more or less about the coming ADA, and the priest cleverly worked in CSW by talking about how the ADA funds are used in the local Newman Centers to help young Catholics who were just getting to the hard questions when they went to college, and even though the schools are good you need adult formation too.
Songs the usual OCP stuff. Not very memorable. The Eucharistic Prayer was not the usual shortest one – #2 I think? – but the 3rd one. I was glad to hear it. When they always use the shortest, it makes me feel as if everyone just wants to get through this and go home.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 11:37 am

Our retired pastor gave the homily: cited statistics about how successful Catholic schools are in educating children, talked about how in some parts of the world parents are forbidden by the govt to educate their children in the faith, how lucky we are to have this option. As American Catholics our only obstacle to Catholic education is economics. Talked about how we should support school vouchers. I agree, but I know this is a touchy subject which tends to tick off a lot of people, both conservative and liberal. A man in front actually loudly protested! Oops. I would love to hear the many different versions of this incident that are circulating. I love this priest; he grew up very poor in Ireland and he never fails to remind us how wonderful America is and how grateful we should be, etc, etc. Unabashed patriotism.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 12:01 pm

St Lawrence Martyr, Jessup, MD
Our pastor gave the same homily about Jesus’ authority that other posts have mentioned; no mention of Catholic Schools week, although plenty of press about a closure of a Catholic school in Baltimore on Friday.
Most of the time, what passes for a choir sings mostly those sappy 70′ songs from the infamous “Glory and Praise” hymn books and sing them ad nauseum throughout the year (although they sing some the older hymns once in a while. By the way, the “gathering” should be the processional (as it is sung as the priest enters)-isn’t everyone supposed to be gathered inside already.

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Loudon is a Fool

posted January 30, 2006 at 1:57 pm

Plano, TX
In his homily Msgr. noted that St. Paul is not to be taken seriously when he talks about anxieties and marriage, because when St. Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians he thought that the end was near. But later he figured that maybe the end wasn’t near so maybe marriage is pretty cool. Sort of a “he voted for it after he voted against it” sort of thing, I guess. Why the Church would have us read this evidently erroneous piece of Divine inspiration was not explained, because the meat of the homily was about the Gospel. Well, not really the Gospel, but about how cool Christ is and how he always says nice things about other people, and how everyone likes to have nice things said about them, so we should all say nice things about people. Because it’s nice. I guess. An excellent, profound and life-altering homily.

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St. Elizabeth of Cayce

posted January 30, 2006 at 1:58 pm

Newman Center Parish, SC; 9 AM Mass.
No mention of Catholic Schools by our visiting priest.
Unexpected point from the Gospel reading: Fr. talked about how readers like us might have wanted to know WHAT it was that Jesus preached that so strongly affected the crowds and the evil spirits. Mark chose to focus on Jesus’ actions, on the way He taught, not on the words He used. Fr.’s point was that our lives are what people see, not our words. He didn’t make the explicit connection, but there is something to be said from Deuteronomy about presuming to speak for God–we’d best have both our message and our lives straight.
Good message, no dancing.

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posted January 30, 2006 at 2:12 pm

I agree that the cheerleaders and the pom poms in Rich’s post are very inappropriate during the elevation. But as I read it,I could not help but think about the Knights of Columbus I once saw standing before the altar and raising their swords during the elevation. Is there really a difference? The Knights and swords seemed inappropriate during the consecration as well. Do we really all believe that one is appropriate and the other is not?

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posted January 30, 2006 at 3:16 pm

Victor, NY
St. Patrick’s Church
We went to the vigil Mass on Saturday and I can’t really remember anything special about the music or the homily. Our homilist was, at least, ordained. He is our Deacon and he preaches every 4 weeks, but his delivery style is so…bland and monotone and uninspiring. I honestly can’t remember what he talked about except that it had something to do with accepting or rejecting authority.
After Communion, a son of one of our long-time parishioners, got up to sing “Ave Maria” to said parishioner for her birthday. He actually did a wonderful job (I wish the choir would recruit him), but after he concluded there was thunderous applause. I thought he was going to receive a standing ovation. We then went on, encouraged by our priest, with a “Happy Birthday to You…” to this parishioner. Followed up with a large round of applause again. Now, I think it is a very nice sentiment but I wonder if it is really appropriate within the confines of the Mass.
Thankfully, no liturgical dance at this Mass. We usually save that for Christmas Eve and Pentecost.

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Rich Leonardi

posted January 30, 2006 at 4:30 pm

FYI, I spoke with my pastor about yesterday’s liturgical dance/cheerleading routine. He told me it took him by surprise (come to think of it, he did have his head buried in one of his hands during most of it) and that it won’t happen again.

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Amy G.

posted January 30, 2006 at 5:06 pm

St. John the Apostle, Linden, NJ
Went to Catholic Schools week opening Mass at 9:00 yesterday. No dancing. We don’t dance in our parish:)Kids sat in the front in uniform. The children’s choir sang only one truly cringe-worthy song: “Hi God!” at the offertory. Otherwise, it was a good Mass. Homily was on Christ’s authority coming from obedience to the father and how all of us ought o live in obedience to the father’s will. Don’t know if we’ll ever hear about Deus Caritas Est since next week it is the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.

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Res et Rationes

posted January 30, 2006 at 5:16 pm

What I Heard X

St. Mary, Mt. Vernon, IL
8:00 Mass
Processional: Gather Us In
Penitential Rite: C (Spoken)
Gloria: Unsure of setting name
Responsorial Psalm: Alstott
Alleluia: Alstott
Offertory: Be Not Afraid
Sanctus, Memorial Acc., Great Amen, Agnus Dei: Ma…

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posted January 30, 2006 at 5:33 pm

Actually, we had a steaming good sermon on addictions as related to the “unclean spirit” that Jesus drove out of the possessed man. And for the FIRST TIME EVER (in my 1.5 year memory at this parish) a petition to cleanse our country of the “unclean spirit of abortion” was made! Wow! I swear our pastor has been taking “Baptist pills” or something else lately. He almost always used to seem unprepared and ineffective in making a point during his homily. Or he’d try and cram too many of them without direction. Thank you to whoever is helping him or giving him the time to obviously prepare better!
Music was mostly contemporary and not my favorites, but nothing terrible at least. I do wish they could cut some of the sung parts of the Mass or the communion hymn down a bit because it always runs over and all the kids get a late start going to RE class.

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Jason Cone

posted January 30, 2006 at 5:41 pm

We didn’t hear anything about Catholic schools, but our parish is not associated with one, so I’m not terribly surprised. Our pastor gave the homily, which was on the gospel reading/Christ’s authority/giving Him authority over the sinful areas in our lives and letting him rule, there. It was a good homily.
The music during the Liturgy of the Word was better than usual; we had a childrens’ choir. Our preparation hymns were both of the “I am Jesus” variety (the one with “I will raise you up” and the one starting “I, myself, am the Bread of Life”).

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Karen in Canada

posted January 30, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
No mention whatever of Catholic Schools Week; I suspect we may not celebrate it in Canada.
The Companions of the Cross are a new Canadian order of priests; we have a community of them here in Halifax and they are very good, orthodox and inspiring. There was one (transferred elsewhere last year) who was very charismatic and, reading Marie Anonymous’ description, I wonder if he was visiting her parish last Sunday. He could be quite overwhelming for one who, like myself, is not into the charismatic movement. But that is his individual personality. I’ve encountered five or six other priests of that order, and they are uniformly outstanding. Please don’t judge the whole order by this one example!
Meanwhile, back at our regular 11:30 Mass, Father (and yes, he is a Companion of the Cross) contnued his series of teachings on the Mass, this week on the Mass as Sacrifice. I’ve had too many encounters with the Mass as a communal meal and all the silliness that flows from the current over-emphasis of that aspect. It was very good to hear the pre-eminent importance of the Sacrifice of the Mass stated clearly and unequivocably.
Music at this Mass was, as usual 70’s type forgettable stuff. Only drawback, really. But the 9:30 am Mass is a guitar-type group, and, since Saturdays are so busy with other things, I’ve never made it to the Vigil Mass to find out if they do better hymns. I suspect they might.

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posted January 31, 2006 at 1:01 am

Our pastor noted that due to the “High Holy Day” next week there would be no 5:30pm mass on Sunday…yep, we’ve cancelled a normal mass time due to the Super Bowl.
Also a brief homily on Jesus teaching with authority, meaning that he didn’t reference any of ancient scripture, just taught his own new thing.
Then we were subjected to 15 minutes of how to fill out your CDA pledge card…seriously.

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posted January 31, 2006 at 12:05 pm

What did I hear today, Tues. the Feast of St. John Bosco??
We heard the Gospel about the woman touching the hem of Christ’s garment and He feeling the power go out of him. Nick our acolyte on the way to being a married deacon said that many scripture scholars say that Christ didn’t know he was God until that happenened. My husband said, in a little louder than a whisper, ” Great, just who we need to hear from. Scholars!!” This reflection was given before Mass and after Mass the pastor asked how Nick had done as he has to evaluate him. (He was in the sacristy during Nick’s reflection.)
I’ve heard from the altar that Christ always knew he was God – which I believe – but also the opposite, that he came to an awareness at some point, which doesn’t seem to fit with the hypostatic union.
I want to believe what the Church, Catachism and magesterium teaches about this. Does anybody know what that is? I’d try to look it up but I’m heading out to get three of my homeschooled grandsons for the afternoon. This not knowing He’s God theory troubles me greatly.

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posted January 31, 2006 at 7:41 pm

Hi Judy,
I got this explanation from a Q&A column in Envoy Magazine:
” The Church teaches — most recently in Novo Millennio Ineunte (Pope John Paul II, 6 January 2001) — that “there is no doubt that already in His historical existence Jesus was aware of His identity as the Son of God.” He explains it. Here’s the text:
[Jesus’] divine-human identity emerges forcefully from the Gospels, which offer us a range of elements that make it possible for us to enter that “frontier zone” of the mystery, represented by Christ’s self-awareness. The Church has no doubt that the Evangelists in their accounts, and inspired from on high, have correctly understood in the words which Jesus spoke the truth about His person and His awareness of it. Is this not what Luke wishes to tell us when he recounts Jesus’ first recorded words, spoken in the Temple in Jerusalem when he was barely twelve years old? Already at that time He shows that He is aware of a unique relationship with God, a relationship which properly belongs to a “son.” When His mother tells him how anxiously she and Joseph had been searching for Him, Jesus replies without hesitation: “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s affairs?” (Lk 2:49). It is no wonder therefore that later as a grown man His language authoritatively expresses the depth of His own mystery, as is abundantly clear both in the Synoptic Gospels (see Mt 11:27; Lk 10:22) and above all in the Gospel of John. In His self-awareness, Jesus has no doubts: “The Father is in me and I am in the Father” (Jn 10:38).”

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posted February 1, 2006 at 8:14 am

Oh, thank you so much, Nernina – will print it and give to Nick.

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