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Posts Tagged ‘Mass’

Ash Wednesday POLL … take it!

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I know today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of 40 days of penitence and reflection, called Lent, to cleanse our soul by making atonement for the wrong things we have done and growing our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Since I’ve been in seminary the last 2 Ash Wednesday, I’m a little ignorant when I ask this, but … “Why are there so many people at Mass today?!?” Standing room only at the 6pm Mass I went to. Some churches even have 3 to 4+ different Mass times throughout the day.

Don’t get me wrong … it’s awesome to witness, but today isn’t even a holiday day of obligation. Why do so many Catholics feel the need to “get the ashes” today … what draws them today. Today, I even got a record number of 578 hits on this blog, with keywords like lent, fast, ashes, abstinence, & penance.

I’ve been debating possible reasons, from the supernatural movements of the soul toward God to practical whys.  Here is poll (in the sidebar of this page) with some possibilities that I hope people will be honest about.  — Please add more in comments.

What is the background on Ash Wednesday (in case you didn’t know)?

The ashes are made by burning the blessed palm fronds used on last year’s Palm Sunday and christened with Holy Water.

The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each of us that:

  1. Death comes to everyone
  2. We should be sad for their sins
  3. We must change ourselves for the better
  4. God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes.
  5. It’s also a reminder of the mark of the cross made at baptism
  6. The cross of ashes may symbolize the way Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin.

When marking the sign of the cross on each believer’s forehead, the celebrant says, “Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” When leaving the observance, we carry the cross out into the world.

During Lent, each Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. It invites us to undertake spiritual discipline, deliberate abstinence from indulgent behavior involving food or luxuries, or finding ways to be of service to society.

CCD hs: St Ignatius + BAPTiSM + PRAY + ARRR + journaling (day 8)

November 10, 2009 159 comments

In our high school Confirmation class, today was supposed to be a review of everything to day, but I couldn’t get my handouts run off in time, so I took the cue from the saint presented today and taught on next week’s topic, PRAYER.

St Ignatius of Loyola (16th century;  feast day July 31) injured in battle at age 30. During recovery, he read the life of the saints & responded strongly to a personal call by God.  He was convinced that God could be found in all things, and was guided by an inner peace (“consolation”) that comes from knowing one is doing the will of God.  Developed the “Spiritual Exercises,” a practical guide to live a truly Christian life with prayer & especially devoted to the name of Christ (IHS).  His companions were called the “Company of Jesus,” today called the “Society of Jesus,” or the Jesuits, one of the largest religious communities in the world. Besides the 3 vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, members take a 4th vow of obedience to the Pope.

Prayer of Self-Offering to God

by St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.  All that I am and all that I possess, You have given me.  I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your Will.  Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

  • Pro-create (open to children),
  • Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
  • Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven)

Types of prayersB.A.P.T.i.S.M.

  • BLESSING – invoke God’s power for a person, place or activity
  • ADORATION – the “created” before the Creator
  • PRAISE – glory God (for who He is)
  • THANKSGIVING – gratitude (for what He does)
  • i ASK for ME (petition) + OTHERS (intercession)
  • SORRY – ask of forgiveness
  • MEDITATION – tuning into God, reflection (through quiet prayer, Sacred Scripture, lectio divina, liturgy of the hours, Rosary, holy icons, imagery, books of daily devotion, lives of saints, works of spirituality, etc.)

The MASS includes ALL these types of prayer

CONTEMPLETIVE prayer“silent love” — a deep awareness of God’s presence by being alone with God who we know loves us (“centering prayer” helps develop skills)

Steps in prayer … P.R.A.Y.

  • PRAISE = God for who He is + thanksgiving
  • REPENT = confess + rec forgiveness + change
  • ASK = for others + me   (see A.R.R.R.)
  • YIELD = be open to God’s voice & His Will

[PRAYER] When your spending time in personal prayer with the Lord, here’s a good outline to follow  . . . . A.R.R.R.

Personal Prayer … A.R.R.R.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE –- How’s my life right now? Pay attention to your thought + feelings + desires (“the Big 3”).
  • RELATE -– Tell God about ALL “3” honestly.
  • RECEIVE -– Quiet your mind, focus on God, & listen to “the Big 3.”  (Discern spirits)
  • RESPOND -– do what you NEED to do

When you have something to talk to the Lord about, process your “Big 3” with this model.

HOMEWORK:

(1) 3 prayer journals — letters to God, (2) Chapter 3 Quiz, (3) Chapter 17 Quiz

CCD hs: Confirmation Commitment Mass (with Fr Whyte) (day 6)

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, our high school Confirmation class had a Mass in celebration of their Confirmation Commitment this year.  At one point during Mass, the teens presented Fr Whyte (pastor) with a contract involving their understanding and responsibilities in preparing this year for the sacrament of Confirmation.  It was signed & presented by both teen and parents.

In preparing for Confirmation, I will …

  • attend Mass on Sundays & holy days
  • attend & participate in class
  • pray regularly
  • –assume more responsibility for my own faith
  • –be involved & journal my Christian service
  • –attend any additional activities
  • ask for help from the Blessed Trinity, my family, my sponsor and my friends

St Max LIFE TEEN

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Went to Mass at St Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL for their evening LIFE TEEN Mass.

Here is a picture of the teens gathered in front of the alter during consecration.  I know the picture is dark.  During consecration, all the lights are dimmed except the lights over the alter.

Lively homilies and lively music.  — Too much drums … my ears are still ringing.

Brooklyn Bishop at St Mark’s Parish

090830-1207_Brooklyn-Auxiliary-Bishop-Octavio-Cisneros-at-St-Mark-ParishMASS — today at St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church (in Southwest Ranches, FL), a visiting friend of Fr Whyte presided the Mass.  Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated Mass.  Even though the Deacon did a good homily, I wish the Bishop shared his wisdom over the readings.  There was also a long announcement encouraging involvement in ministries, especially Religious Education.  The Bishop supplemented both talks with great insight into tapping into our Baptism to be instruments of the Holy Spirit evangelizing wherever we can.  Catechesis is a critical part of our faith that we should all be involved in … whether on the receiving end to grow in our intimacy of our faith or the giving end as catechists to our own families or to others.  He also shared gratitude for the parish to having the weekly tradition of families taking home a Vocation Cup to pray for the response to God call in all our lives, whether it be priesthood, the religious life, or marriage.  He’s a very personable and holy man.

explaining IPF to Grandma

Even though I was in my room with food poisoning, a brother seminarian recorded the class for me.  The first hour was Fr Jim Rafferty in the Hall, asking the question to all of us … “How do you explain IPF to your Grandmother (or any non-seminarian)?” Since we’re about half way through the summer program, today was a summary to remind us of what we’ve experienced so far and not to forget the essentials.  He received several good possible responses to the question, but he helped us see an even greater integration of all the different parts of IPF by speaking on “Liturgy.”

We’re beginning a new course titled, “IPF 504: The Mystery of the Liturgy: Receiving in Celebration and Life.” Since we’ll be discussing “Liturgy” in the “big picture” sense, we needed to remind ourselves that Liturgy is not limited to simply liturgical celebration and Mass, but “Liturgy” permeates our lives.  In the Mystery of Liturgy, we don’t just acknowledge the Trinity exists, but live in celebration of that mystery in the Mass and beyond it, encountering the Trinity in all things and responding in our own generosity.  God’s activity is outward toward us beyond our celebration of ritual — it spills out and over into all of life.

Fr Rafferty shared a recent experience stuck in Detroit on a connecting flight to Scranton.  There was a oil leak on the plane, an overbooked flight, a request for volunteers to give up seats, a group that prayed together for volunteers, and more.  Through the stressful situation, a series of people and events brought him to a realization that he “lost his expectation that God was doing things for me.”  That loss of consciousness of God’s Presence in all brought an opportunity to refocus on God instead of self.  Similarly, we come to the liturgy to experience God and receive all the love of the heart of Jesus for us.  My experience of liturgy is enriched by my integration of prayer to my whole life in growing in consciousness of God.

Goal #3 for the Liturgy course is “To equip the seminarian with practical personal skills for deepening the receptivity of that Trinitarian life (interpenetrating liturgical celebrations, personal prayer, and daily life and ministry).”  This is where we reviewed the more prominent “prayer tools” in our IPF Toolbox that we’ve been integrating all summer.

A.R.R.R. …… (a structure for personal prayer) Acknowledge (thoughts, feelings & desires), Relate (to God), Receive (from God), Respond

Lectio Divina …… reflecting on daily readings, Pope and church documents, events of the day, etc.

Spiritual Senses …… the way we are aware of the invisible reality of the spiritual life.  Many times related in the language of poetry.

Repetition …… returning to a place of deep affective movement weather consolation or desolation to receive more.

Discernment of Spirits …… assisting of our interior movements, recognizing their origin — from God, ourselves, or the evil spirit.  Remembering our principle foundation is “I want to be as close to God as possible” so I cooperate with that which is from God and reject that not from God.

Colloquy …… personal conversation with God (may be written in journal), reflecting on today’s journey in receiving the continuous Liturgy

Walk for Life @ SJVC seminary

February 7, 2009 1 comment

Today is the annual “Walk for Life” done throughout the US with multiple locations around the Archdiocese of Miami.  Our seminary was one of the locations.  The day began with Mass with Miami Auxiliary Bishop Noonan with a full Chapel.
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don’t be a loser … commit

February 6, 2009 Leave a comment

090206_sjvcs-mass-fr-santosMASS – (Fr Santos) — Gospel about the beheading of John the Baptist.

There are 3 kinds of people in this world: (1) Runners avoid their problems, (2) Watchers sit on the fence; both avoid pain, hurt and becoming vulnerable when dealing with difficulties of life.  They lose out on triumph, victory and joy that (3) Those that Commit have as their reward.

new semester Mass

We just got back to seminary yesterday afternoon.  Today is a the first day of classes for the Spring Semester.  A great Mass with most of the seminary priests.
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Liga Orante

December 6, 2008 Leave a comment

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MASS — Fr Manny Alvarez, our Miami Vocations Director, celebrated Mass with a Spanish diocesen ministry called “Liga Orante,” who prays for vocations everyday.  We only get to see them a couple times a year, but it’s always a joy to see our spiritual support team face to face.  — Thank you and God bless!

 

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Christmas Mass + dinner

December 5, 2008 1 comment

081205_sjvcs-christmas-massCELEBRATION — tonight was our Christmas Mass & dinner with faculty and staff. 
Great time with great people! 
The ham was great, too.
And the desserts were good.
And some of the centerpieces caught fire.
And there was wine.
Did I mention the ham was great?
I sat with “Sammy Davis Jr.”
Great time with great people!

[homily started with “Picture comparison” magazine game]

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Syro-Malabar Qurbana Mass

December 2, 2008 Leave a comment

081202_sjvcs-mass-syro-malabar-qurbana-3MASS — in our appreciation of other Catholic Rites, today we celebrated Qurbana (Mass) in the tradition of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, which our own Fr Joseph was ordained in.  The servers have more reading parts, the priest face away from the people during consecration, we stand through most of Mass, and shaking hands is different (two hands together, like prayer, with a bow).  A great experience in appreciation of our diverse yet universal Catholic Church.

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Qurbana practice

December 1, 2008 Leave a comment

081201_sjvcs-mass-practice-syro-malabar-qurbana-2WORLD RELIGION — tomorrow we’re celebrating Mass in the Syro-Malabar tradition that Fr Joseph was ordained in.  In order for all of us to better appreciate the rite, our World Religion class practiced with him to help the rest of the seminary house to be ready tomorrow.  — It’d be different, but it’s exciting!

tap water + faith

October 29, 2008 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Vallee) — today’s homily was a dream about all of us seminarians getting Baptized in our Reflection Pond (it’s pretty cold today) … healing all our vices and imperfections.  However, the Archangel Raphael (upper right side of our chapel mural) came to life to say: “with enough faith, even tap water can heal.”  — Great message … inspired … Fr Vallee 🙂 … a permanent holy memory!

Fr Richard Vigoa Mass

October 23, 2008 1 comment

MASS — today we had another visiting celebrant for Mass.  Fr Richard Vigoa is a newly ordained priest of the Archdiocese of Miami in residence at St Michael the Archangel Catholic Church here in Miami.  He was also a graduate of St John Vianney College Seminary.  It was great to see his joy for the priesthood and some shared experiences when he discerned here.  — a great visit!

Fr David Zirilli Mass

October 7, 2008 2 comments

MASS — today, at morning Mass, we had visiting priest Fr David Zirilli.  He is a newly ordained (5 months ago) priest here in the Archdiocese of Miami in residence at St Louis Catholic Church nearby.  He celebrated Mass as an alumni from here at St John Vianney College Seminary.  It was great to hear how joyful he was to finally be ordained and finally finishing seminary.  His reflection on his initial experiences give hope to what the Lord may have in store for me.  — Thanks for stopping by.

—————

David Zirilli, 36, is a native of Melbourne, Florida born on April 26, 1971 and is the eldest of two sons. His parents, Tony and Susan, are both Certified Public Accountants practicing in South Florida. His brother, Danny, is a civil engineer and lives in Houston with his wife and daughter. David is a graduate of the University of Florida, where in 1993 he earned a Baccalaureate degree in Accounting. He later attended the University of North Florida where he obtained his Master’s degree, also in Accounting. Like his parents, he began a career as a Certified Public Accountant, opening his own practice in the Key Largo area. During this time, he was active in several ministries at San Pedro and St.Justin Martyr parishes in the upper keys. After eight years of public practice, David sold his firm and entered St. John Vianney College Seminary, where he completed the pre-theology program before entering St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, where he is currently finishing his final year of theology. Pastoral Assignments: David has worked in a number of ministries throughout his seminary career including the Greenbrier assisted living facility in Miami; Holy Cross Daycare and Center in Palm Beach; and the Hanley Center, also in Palm Beach, where he worked with those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. He spent a summer at Good Shepherd parish in Miami and was sent for his pastoral internship year to St. Joseph’s parish in Miami Beach. Since his ordination to the diaconate last April, David has been ministering at St. Gregory the Great parish in Plantation.

Following ordination to the priesthood, David celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at St.Gregory the Great Parish on Sunday, May 11 at 12:00 p.m.David will serve as priest after his ordination at St. Louis Catholic Church in Miami. Lazarus Govin, 39 was born in Havana, Cuba on November 20, 1968 to Melanio Govin and Lourdes Garcia. He has a younger sister. He left Cuba in 1993 to the Dominican Republic, and settled in Miami in 1994. He graduated from Miami Dade College with an Associate in Arts degree in 1998. He entered St. John Vianney College Seminary and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2000. He has been trained and certified in Spiritual Direction at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, from which he received a Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality. He finished his studies in St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary completing a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Theology. Pastoral Assignments: Little Flower, Coral Gables Cathedral of St. Mary Corpus Christi Lazarus will serve as priest after his ordination at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Coral Springs.

Mass @ St Agnes

Tonight we were invited to the evening Youth Mass at St Agnes Catholic Church in Key Biscayne, FL nearby.  A beautiful parish with a loving faith community.  We lectored, ushered the collection and spoke to several parishoners after Mass.  — afterward, Doral Ale House  : )

 
     

Parent Day Mass + lion tattoo

September 27, 2008 1 comment

On Parent (visiting) Day, we had a beautiful Mass with all our families.  Our Rector, Fr Michael, had a great homily about the formation of Men here at St John Vianney College Seminary using a story of a wuss getting a tattoo of a lion on his back.  You can’t pick and choose areas that are easy to change.  If you’re getting a tattoo, you can’t leave off some parts … it needs to be complete in order to claim the real thing.  Any real formation requires some level of sacrifice and pain in order for true growth.  It’s not just a Catholic idea, either.  —powerful

be a “good” finder

September 2, 2008 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Michael) — We need to be transformed and renewed to have the mind of Christ.  Seminary life can get frustrating, especially living here with 60+ guys.  We can get caught up in the complaint and “tearing down” our brothers in Christ.  Instead … we need to diligently “build up” our brothers and be “good finders” to encourage others, sometimes even to acknowledge the blessings and graces we see with words of encouragement.  — assignment: each day this week, be a “good finder” to my brothers

mumbo jumbo + find myself

September 1, 2008 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Santos) — in seminary, sometime our discernment process can be challenging enough to even “feel formation.”  Studying philosophy can seem like a lot of mumbo jumbo.  But … Consider this is something God wants you to do, leading us to the person God wants us to become.  — the growing pains of formation while discerning my vocation