Father Will answers some common questions about the Liturgy in the first of many articles in this new series.
It’s called a “biretta” and its origin dates back to the Middle Ages. It was originally used as an academic cap, but eventually made its way into liturgical use during the Renaissance. Since the 1960’s in the United Sates, it has fallen out of fashion and is rarely seen in Catholic liturgies in America. Yet, contrary to popular belief, its liturgical use was never abolished.READ MORE
Every year on Easter Sunday we hear the Gospel account of St. Mary Magdalene as the first person to experience the empty tomb and the Risen Christ. It is for this reason that she is considered to be "the Apostle to the Apostles." What a great honor the Lord bestowed upon her! What a great patron saint we have! As we celebrate the Easter sea- son, I think it would be a particular Penitent Mary Magdalene by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1640 blessing for us to contemplate the life of our patroness and discover how she can draw us deeper into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Recently, Bishop Olmsted gave me a beautiful book on our patroness titled, "Saint Mary Magdalene: Prophetess of Eucharistic Love," by Fr. Sean Davidson, a member of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist and currently serving at the Eucharistic Retreat Center in the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Long Island, New York. To reflect more deeply on the life and significance of St. Mary Magdalene, I would like to share with you some of the highlights of this beautiful book.READ MORE
What is The "New Evangelization?"
A new evangelization implies that there was an old evangelization. The old evangelization refers to the sharing of the gospel message with people and cultures who didn't know Jesus. This proclamation was undertaken by the apostles and missionaries who initially responded to the Lord's command to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Mt. 28:19). The New Evangelization, on the other hand, refers to the sharing of the gospel message with people and cultures who already know Jesus, but who have lost touch with Him - to whom Jesus has become irrelevant. Perhaps this describes the culture we live in today.
In this Sunday's gospel, we hear the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. We also see how this woman is agent of the New Evangelization - one who re-introduces God to people that have forgotten Him. This gospel calls us all to become "women at the well." To see how she models the New Evangelization for us, let's walk through the passage together…READ MORE
A few months ago I was concelebrating a Mass in which the song, "Set a Fire," by Will Reagan was played during the Communion Procession. This song is a very popular praise and worship piece of religious music currently played all over various Christian music stations.
As I was listening to it during the Mass I was struck by a particular line of the song repeated continuously and with overpowering emotion: "Set a fire down in my soul that I can't contain, that I can't control." As I reflected on this line and the uncontrollable emotion with which it was sung, I couldn't help but feel slightly disturbed. I asked myself, "Is this the kind of fire the Lord desires to light in our souls through the celebration of the Eucharist? One of uncontainable and uncontrollable emotion?"READ MORE
This past November I had the pleasure of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as a way of celebrating the end of the Year of Mercy. It was a wonderful experience to follow the footsteps of Jesus and to visit the many holy sites of our Lord. As a part of this pilgrimage, I was able to visit and celebrate Mass at many beautiful churches that have been constructed over these holy places. In particular, I was able to celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Nativity, which is constructed over the cave of our Lord's birth site in Bethlehem. As you can imagine, it was a humbling experience for me as a priest to celebrate the Mass at such a significant place.READ MORE
Every Sunday as the priest, deacon, and servers process down the main aisle toward the sanctuary, the music of the Mass begins with the chanting of an antiphon, first sung by a cantor and then by the choir and entire community. After the singing of the antiphon, a psalm, or a portion of a psalm, is sung in conjunction with the antiphon. This process of a sung antiphon/ psalm is then repeated at different moments throughout the Mass. The particular antiphons and psalms that we use each week are given to us by the Church and are known as the "propers" of the Mass - meaning they are the proper chants chosen by the Church for that particular Liturgy.READ MORE
Dear Saint Mary Magdalene Parishioners,
I would like to extend a special thanks to those who participated in the recent planning study conducted at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. We received a wonderful response from the parish, feedback that is extremely beneficial as we look to the future of Saint Mary Magdalene.READ MORE
Yes, the original plan developed in 2006 was to build a brand new 1800 seat church on the south side of the property facing Williams Field Road. The estimated cost of a new church of that size is approximately $10 million. In addition, the original plan was that the current hall would be renovated to include the official parish hall (smaller than the one we are proposing) and a very small basketball court/cafeteria for the future school. The cost of such renovations to the existing building would be between $1 and $2 million. Thus, if we were to follow the original plan, we would be looking at an overall $11-12 million campus expansion. What we are proposing is between $6 and $8 million. As mentioned in the 6 fact sheet, we believe our proposed plan is more feasible and fiscally responsible. To complete a $12 million campaign would likely involve borrowing a large sum of money, incurring a large debt for many decades and very likely requiring future monthly debt reduction collections, which are not typically all that successful.READ MORE
"How many uncertain and painful situations there are in the world today! How many are the wounds bourn by the flesh of those who have no voice because their cry is muffled and drowned out by the indifference of the rich!" - Pope Francis
Although the salvation of souls is the first and primary mission of the Church, there are many people whom the world has deemed wretched who are in need of experiencing the merciful love of Jesus Christ. These people are not necessarily sinners, but the world has exiled them as if they were. Thus, we are called by mercy to have a heart for them as well. In particular, there are three groups of people, declared wretched by the world, to whom we ought to show God's merciful love during this year of mercy: the poor, the elderly, and the unborn.READ MORE
Following the Edict of Milan (313), when Christianity was declared a legal religion by the Emperor Constantine, a unique spiritual movement began in the Church where Christians from various social classes traveled into the desert to lead lives of prayer and asceticism in solitude. They felt led by the Holy Spirit to make their vocational dwelling place a cell in the desert where they could devote their entire lives to prayer. These Christians were known as the “Desert Fathers.”
As you can imagine, the Desert Fathers engaged in serious spiritual warfare, fighting off all kinds of temptations of the mind. Several of these Desert Fathers recorded their spiritual battles with the Evil One in writing for others to read and analyze.READ MORE
A week after Easter, John Lowery reflects on the sacrifice Jesus willingly accepted and what it reveals about who exactly Jesus is.
How many times in our lives do we make the small, simple decision of which way to go, which way to turn our feet? On one night, a man made that same decision, and the fate of all of mankind rested on his choice. The man had lain on the ground and prayed, and now he pressed his fingers into the sandy soil of the garden, and stood up. We can be sure that he could hear the sounds of soldiers coming toward him. He knew what was about to happen to him, to his body: he was going to give himself over to others to do with as they will and there can be almost nothing more abhorrent to a human than that thought; they would put their hands on him to take him and torture him and kill him. Not only did he have that reality to face, but he had the fate and the weight of the entire 4 world on his shoulders. Who was this poor soul?READ MORE