Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"Christ redeemed humankind and gave perfect glory to God principally through his paschal mystery: by dying he destroyed our death and by rising he restored our life. The Easter triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ is thus the culmination of the entire liturgical year. What Sunday is to the week, the solemnity of Easter is to the liturgical year.
The Easter triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, reaches its hight point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday.
On Good Friday and, if possible, also on Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil, the Easter fast is observed everywhere.
The celebration of the Lord's passion takes place on Friday during the afternoon hours.
The Easter Vigil, in the night when Christ rose from the dead, is considered the mother of all vigils. During it the church keeps watch, awaiting the resurrection of Christ and celebrating it in the sacraments. The entire celebration of this vigil should take place at night, beginning after nightfall and ending with dawn."
GENERAL NORMS FOR THE LITURGICAL YEAR
"Even though we are baptized, what we constantly lose and betray is precisely that which we received at baptism. Therefore Easter is our return every year to our own baptism, whereas Lent is our preparation for that return--the slow and sustained effort to perform, at the end, our own "passage" or "pascha" into the new life in Christ....Each year Lent and Easter are, once again, the rediscovery and the recovery by us of what we were made through our own baptismal death and resurrection."
REV. ALEXANDER SCHMEMANN
This is the Pasch:
holy the feast we celebrate today.
New and holy is the Pasch,
and Christ, who redeemed us,
is the paschal victim.
The Pasch breathes balm,
was made for the faithful;
the Pasch opens to us
the gates of paradise.
O Pasch, sanctify all believers.
EARLY GREEK HYMN
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 11:05 PM
"The doom-sayers who complain that Roman Catholic worship has lost its mystery have forgotten, perhaps, that symbols are not tidy museum exhibits but messy transactions that involve the fundamental stuff of human exitence: earth, air, fire, water; eggs, seed, fluid and meat; marriage, sex, birth, death. The merit of our recent reforms lies precisely in a re-ordering of the relationship between ritual symbols and human life. By "shortening the distance" between liturgical rites and the ordinary rituals of daily living (through use of the vernacular, for example), a more powerful confrontation between the two can occur. In a word, the reforms move us closer to the raw nerve-center of Christian symbols. We are invited to inch our way toward the edge of the raft, without the benefit of comforting buffers provided by such things as a dead language (such languages are easy to control and manipulate), silent prayers (which are readily ignored or replaced by our own pieties), and cushiony "background" music. Shortening the distance between ourselves and our ritual symbols allows those symbols to sift, critique, shape and judge the quality of our lives. In the reformed rites we find fewer hiding places."
Nathan Mitchell, Ph.D.
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 10:05 PM
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
"The Christian liturgy has never hesitated to speak, simultaneously, a language of sin and a language of healing...The simultaneous presence of both languages creates a tension that makes festivity possible. For unless festivity can deal with the unavoidable ambiguity of real life---its scabs and its successes--it becomes escapist. By insisting that we acknowledge our pain--our failure and finitude--the festivity of worship offers us the possibility of moving beyond it toward a vision of humanity healed and reconciled."
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 10:13 PM
We had a full cathedral, despite terrible weather. People from all over the diocese came for the celebration. We had more priests show up this year than any in recent memory!
We had a dinner at a nearby parish gym with all of our seminarians, and we celebrated some of the fathers celebrating 25 and 50 years of service.
But serving as a Master of Ceremonies, I had an experience of dealing with our seminarians, our future priests, that left me definitely worried. Some of the seminarians openly rejected our requests that they assist as Ministers of Hospitality....they seemed to indicate that they were "too good for that job." Then I had the experience of asking two transitional deacons to assist with the transporting of the baskets with the Sacred Chrism at the end of Mass, and they both balked, saying, "It is too heavy!"
First reaction: "Gimme a break!"
Second reaction: "We're ordaining these guys priests in June?????"
Third reaction: We must be really desperate if we're going to ordain these Prima-donnas"
Well, it's late, I'm tired and cranky, and I need to pray and become more positive. I hope that they were just having a bad day.
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 12:19 AM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tomorrow evening, our diocesan priests will gather at the cathedral in Trenton for the celebration of the Chrism Mass. The oils of the sick, the catechumens, and the Sacred Chrism will be blessed by the Bishop. As a volunteer in the Office of Worship, I'll be helping behind the scenes at the liturgy.
Lots of people ask me where the oils come from...it's pretty simple: a couple of us go buy about 40 gallons of olive oil, we take some of the oil, and add Chrism Essence (a spicy perfume) to the oil of the Sacred Chrism, and we divide the oils of the sick and catechumens insto separate containers.
Some people involved in ministry to the sick and dying have asked us to add some sort of perfume to the oil of the Sick....but unfortunately, that's not really in our Catholic tradition.
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 8:46 PM
"The Church does not pretend, as it were, that it does not know what will happen with the crucified Jesus. It does not sorrow and mourn over the Lord as if the Church itself were not the very creation which has been produced from his wounded side and from the depths of his tomb. All through the services the victory of Christ is contemplated and the resurrection is proclaimed."
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 8:23 PM
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Well, if you missed tonight's concert with David Haas here at St. Anselm's....you missed one great, prayerful, uplifting, and joyful experience!
David's concert included old favorites, and some beautiful new compositions....soon to become as beloved as his "classics." As always, his stories, and his insights into the Liturgical Seasons were right on the mark.
Lot's of people thanked me for hosting this wonderful event at our parish church. As always, it was great to see David again.
If you were on the fence, and decided not to come tonight, I'm afraid that I have bad news for you....."Sorry, you loose!"
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 11:56 PM
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"The justice of God presented in the liturgy is anything but an abstraction, for the liturgy of the church sacramentalizes the presence of Christ, the Just One. For that reason, and for that reason alone, we can say that the liturgy not only proclaims the justice of the kingdom of God as something to be done but actually renders it present, not as an achievement of ours but as a gift of God. In its presence we are confronted with that which we are called to be, with that which God would make us be, if we permit it. Thus the liturgy not only provides us with a moral ideal but confronts us with an ontological reality in the light of which the ambivalence of our own lives is revealed for what it is.
Like the word of God in history, the liturgy is the revelation of God's justice in both event and word, cutting into human life both as good news and as denunciation. It proclaims and realizes the saving presence of the Spirit in the worlld, brings the presence of the kingdom, and enables us to realize where this is happening even outside the liturgy. Celebrating the liturgy shouls train us to recognize justice and injustice when we see it. It serves as a basis for social criticism by giving us a criterion by which to evaluate the events and structures of the world. But it is not just the world "out there" that stands under the judgment of God's justice, sacramentally realized in the liturgy. The first accused is the church itself, which, to the degree that it fails to recognize what it is about, eats and drinks condemnation to itself (1 Corinthians 11:29).
In saying "Amen" to the justice of God proclaimed in the liturgy, we are implicitly saying "Anathema" to all that fails to measure up to that justice."
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 10:00 PM
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
All of Lent is a preparation for Easter. One way of keeping a holy Lent, especially this late in the season, is to plan to participate in the liturgies of Holy Week.
I'm offering this post to give you an overview of the liturgies of Holy Week. If you have a question about Holy Week, please feel free to submit it as a comment.
For Christians, our every year has its origin and its climax at a time determined by the earth and the sun and the moon and the human-made cycle of a seven-day week. The marvelous accidents of earth's place and sun's place, of axis and orbit make cycles within human cycles so that days can be named and remembered and rhythms established. First, we wait for the angle of the earth's axis to make day and night equal (going toward longer days in the "top" half of earth, longer nights in the lower half).Then we wait for the moon to be full. Then we wait for the Lord's Day and call that particular Lord's Day "Easter" in English, but in most other Western languages some word that is closer to an old name, "Pesach" or "Pascha," made into English as "Passover."
In these generations, we are finding out how, on the night between Saturday and that Sunday, the church ends and begins not just its year but its very self.
We do not come to this night unaware. The church has spent the time since Thursday evening in intense preparation. Even more, we have had the 40 days of Lent to dear down and to build up toward this night.
And the night needs a week of weeks, 50 days, afterward to unfold. The 50 days are Eastertime; only after Pentecost does life return to normal.
The church came very early to keep something of the spring festival known to Jesus and the first followers. They were Jews and that first full moon of spring was Passover. For those who followed Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, this was the time when the story of the deliverance they proclaimed in the death and resurrection of Christ was placed beside the story already told at this festival, the deliverance of the captive people from Pharaoh. Very early, that proclamation came to be made not in words alone but in the waters where those who were ready to stake everything on such a deliverance, on this Christ and this church, passed over in God's saving deed.
- Gabe Huck in The Three Days: Parish Prayer in the Paschal Triduum
In the week we call holy, the Church celebrates the most ancient and beautiful rites in its spiritual heritage. These are the most important days of the whole church year, even though they don’t get tagged as “holy days of obligation.”
Holy Week begins with Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday). With different degrees of solemnity and procession, parishes will commemorate the Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem and at this Mass each year, the story of the suffering of death of Jesus is recounted in the gospel. This year we will hear the Passion according to St. Luke. This story is proclaimed on only two days of the year: Passion Sunday and Good Friday. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week are the final days of Lent and most dioceses will celebrate the Chrism Mass early in Holy Week. At this Mass at the cathedral, the bishop blesses and consecrates the holy oils that will be used beginning at Easter.
Lent ends at sundown on Thursday of this week and we enter the Paschal Triduum (pronounced 'trid-oo-um, it means 3 days). The Triduum is one feast, celebrated over three days.
The “three days” are numbered from sundown Holy Thursday to sundown Good Friday; from sundown Good Friday to sundown Holy Saturday; and from sundown Holy Saturday to sundown Easter Sunday. The liturgical moments of that one feast are:
- The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday night, including the presentation of the holy oils; the Washing of Feet and the procession with the Eucharist to the altar of reservation; prayer before the reserved sacrament continues until midnight.
- The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Friday afternoon, including the Word liturgy, the Solemn Intercessions, the Veneration of the Cross and communion from the reserved sacrament.
- The Easter Vigil (the first and greatest Mass of Easter) on Holy Saturday night, including the lighting of the fire and the lighting of and procession with the Paschal Candle, leading to the sung Easter Proclamation (the Exsultet); the Liturgy of the Word which, in full, includes 9 scripture readings; the liturgy of baptism and/or, if no one is to be baptized, the renewal of baptismal promises; and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Paschal joy overflows in the celebration of the Eucharist on Easter Sunday morning.
The Triduum closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday night.
Yes, these liturgies are lengthy but they are also rich and beautiful in symbol, ritual, prayer, and song. It is a shame that many Catholics go to their graves without ever having celebrated the most important feasts of their faith!
Know that you are invited to celebrate this great Paschal feast! Set aside these hours to give thanks and praise to the One who set aside his life for us that we might have forgiveness of our sins and the gift of God's peace.
We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for he is our salvation, our life and resurrection;
through him we are saved and made free!
- Galatians 6:14
Entrance Song for Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 9:37 PM
Friday, March 19, 2010
This weekend's Gospel is the dramatic story of the raising of Lazarus.
It is a story of friendship, and affection, and human relationships. It's also a story which gives us the best hint of our future in Christ....resurrection life!
Because we have 5 Elect in our midst, preparing for baptism at the Easter Vigil, we reflect upon this Gospel passage as we enter the last days of Lent. Let's all take some time to reflect upon the promise of resurrection that is ours in our own baptism!
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 11:28 PM
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Folks, as we enter into the last days of Lent, I have to share with you a wonderful video, that was gifted to me. As I watched, I thought it a proper and very appropriate meditation for all of us as we enter the last days of Lent 2010. It's a video of a presentation by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, TX. He's doing a Keynote Address and I think it's wonderful! I really think Cardinal DiNardo is a true gift to the church in the United States: he's willing to dialogue with other Christian tradtions; he's episcopal moderator of the Catholic Pastoral Musicians; and his personal Episcopal Mottos is one dear to my own heart: "Ave, Crux Spes Unica"...."Hail the Cross our only Hope"....the motto of the Congregation of Holy Cross throughout the world.
Enjoy this End of Lent meditation:
Enjoy this End of Lent meditation:
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 9:42 PM
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick of Ireland.
At it's heart, this is a celebration of Evangelization!
Patrick, while young and vigorous, was called to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus. And he was called to spread the Good News in lands far away, with different languages.
Do we know anybody like St. Patrick who is called TODAY to spread the Good News in far-away lands and in new languages? Hmmm.................
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 12:14 AM
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
In the 1980's, as a seminarian at Notre Dame, I had the great good fortune of travelling into Chicago to meet Richard Proulx, the musician at Holy Name Cathedral.
His talent was already legendary, and my meeting with him that day will be forever etched into my mind. Richard had been battling failing health for a number of years, and recently died a few weeks ago. The American Catholic church has lost one of its best and most talented pastoral musicians. Enjoy the clip!
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 11:16 PM
100 traditionalist Anglican parishes seek to join Catholic Church
ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- About 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes in the United States have decided to join the Catholic Church as a group. Meeting in Orlando, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America voted to seek entry into the Catholic Church under the guidelines established in Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus" ("Groups of Anglicans"), said a March 3 statement. The Anglican Church in America is part of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a group of churches which separated from the worldwide Anglican Communion in 1991. The Traditional Anglican Communion claims 400,000 members worldwide. The request means the 100 Anglican Church in America parishes will ask for group reception into the Catholic Church in a "personal ordinariate," a structure similar to dioceses for former Anglicans who become Catholic. Churches under the personal ordinariate can retain their Anglican character and much of their liturgy and practices -- including married priests -- while being in communion with the Catholic Church. Archbishop John Hepworth of Australia, primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, and Father Christopher Phillips of Our Lady of the Atonement Parish, an Anglican-use Catholic church in San Antonio, attended the meeting, according to the statement. The Anglican Church in America is the third group of Anglican churches to respond positively to the Vatican's invitation.
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 10:31 PM
"When we cross ourselves, let it be with a real sign of the cross. Instead of a small cramped gesture that gives no nothion of its meaning, let us make a large unhurried sign, from forehead to breast, from shoulder to shoulder, consciously feeling how it includes the whole of us, our thoughts, our attitudes, our body and soul, every part of us at once, how it consecrates and sanctifies us.
It does so beacause it is the sign of the universe and the sign of our redemption. On the cross Christ redeemed humankind. By the cross he sanctifies us to the last shred and fiber of our being. We make the sign of the cross before we pray to collect and compose ourselves and to fix our minds and hearts and wills upon God. We make it when we finish praying in order that we may hold fast the gift we have received from God. In temptations we sign ourselves to be strengthened; in dangers, to be protected. The cross is signed upon us in blessings in order that the fullness of God's life may flow into the soul and fructify and sanctify us wholly.
Think of these things when you make the sign of the cross. It is the holiest of all signs. Make a large cross, taking time, thinking what you do. Let it take in your whole being--body,soul, mind, will, thoughts, feelings, your doing and not-doing--and by signing yourself with the cross strengthen and consecrate the whole in the strength of Christ, in the name of the triune God."
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 12:15 AM
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Recently, some friends and acquaintances of mine have been ribbing me about my support of President Obama, and progressive Catholic journals such as "America" magazine, the "National Catholic Reporter" and others. My friends have been urging me to follow instead, commentators like Glen Beck. I must confess that I don't have much time for, and even less patience for Mr. Beck's views.
Attached is a link to a recent article published in "America" magazine that I think, respectfully, and definitively, responds to viewpoints such as Mr. Beck's.
Glenn Beck to Jesus: Drop Dead
Posted at: 2010-03-08 16:23:19.0
Author: James Martin, S.J.
Glenn Beck said last week on his eponymous radio and television shows that Christians should leave churches that preach “social justice.” Mr. Beck equated the desire for a just society with—wait for it—Nazism and Communism.
I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes.
Of course this means that you would have to leave the Catholic Church, which has long championed that particular aspect of the Gospel. The term “social justice” originated way back in the 1800s (and probably predates even that) and has been continually underlined by the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the church) and popes since Leo XIII, who began the modern tradition of Catholic social teaching with his encyclical on capital and labor, Rerum Novarum in 1891. Subsequent popes have built on Leo’s work, continuing the church’s meditation on a variety of social justice issues, in such landmark documents as Pope Pius XI’s encyclical on "the reconstruction of the social order," Quadregismo Anno (1931), Paul VI’s encyclical "on the development of peoples," Populorum Progressio (1967), and John Paul II’s encyclical "on the social concerns of the church" Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1987). Social justice also undergirds much of Catholic social teaching on peace. “If you want peace,” said Pope Paul VI, “work for justice.”
The Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church, published by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, says this:
The Church's social Magisterium constantly calls for the most classical forms of justice to be respected: commutative, distributive and legal justice. Ever greater importance has been given to social justice, which represents a real development in general justice, the justice that regulates social relationships according to the criterion of observance of the law. Social justice, a requirement related to the social question which today is worldwide in scope, concerns the social, political and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their respective solutions....
Justice is particularly important in the present-day context, where the individual value of the person, his dignity and his rights — despite proclaimed intentions — are seriously threatened by the widespread tendency to make exclusive use of criteria of utility and ownership.
Oh, and social justice is not just some silly foreign idea. American Catholics know that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have an Office of Justice, Peace and Human Development. On that website the U.S. bishops say: “At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.” I.e., social justice.
Okay, you get it, right? Social justice is an essential part of Catholic teaching. It's part of being a Catholic. So Glenn Beck is, in essence, saying “Leave the Catholic church.” Or, if you like, the Catholic church is a Nazi church. (Which would have surprised Alfred Delp, Rupert Mayer and Maximilian Kolbe.) Or a Communist one. (Which would have suprised Jerzy Popieluszko and Karol Wojtyla).
But Glenn Beck is saying something else, which might get lost in the translation: Leave Christianity. Again and again in the Gospels, Jesus points to our responsibility to care for the poor, to work on their behalf, to stand with them. In fact, when asked how his followers would be judged, Jesus doesn’t say that it will be based on where you worship, or how you pray, or how often you go to church, or even what political party you believe in. He says something quite different: It depends on how you treat the poor.
In the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 25) he tells his surprised disciples, that when you are meeting the poor, you are meeting him. They protest: “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
But our responsibility to care for “the least of these” does not end with simple charity. Giving someone some money, or clothes, or shelter, is an important part of the Christian message. But so is advocating for them. It is not enough simply to help the poor, one must address the structures that keep them poor. Standing up for the rights of the poor is not being a Nazi, it’s being a Christian. And a Communist? It’s hard not to think of the retort of the great apostle of social justice, Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."
The attack on social justice is the tack of those who wish to ignore the concerns of the poor and ignore the social structures that foster poverty. It's not hard to see why people are tempted to do so. How much easier life would be if we didn’t have to worry about the poor! How bothersome--or to use John Paul's felicitous word on this topic--"irksome," they are! How much more comfortable it woud be if we could focus only on our personal piety! How much easier life would be if we didn’t have to worry about unjust social structures!
But ignoring the poor, and ignoring what keeps them poor, is, quite simply, unchristian. Indeed, the poor are the church in many ways. When St. Lawrence, in the fourth century, was ordered by the prefect of Rome to turn over the wealth of the church, Lawrence presented to him the poor.
Glenn Beck's desire to detach social justice from the Gospel is a subtle move to detach care for the poor from the Gospel. But a church without the poor, and a church without a desire for a just social world for all, is not the church. At least not the church of Jesus Christ.
Who was, by the way, poor.
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 1:30 AM
Sunday, March 7, 2010
"Faith grows when it is well expressed in celebration. Good celebrations foster and nourish faith. Poor celebrations may weaken and destroy it.
To celebrate the liturgy means to do the action or perform the sign in such a way that its full meaning and impact shine forth in clear and compelling fashion. Since liturgical signs are vehicles of communication and instruments of faith, they must be simple and comprehensible. Since they are directed to fellow human beings, they must be humanly attractive."
Music in Catholic Worship
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 11:14 PM
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Many people have been asking about where to find "official" information about the new translation of the upcoming new Roman Missal. Well, here's the link to the U.S. Bishop's Committee on Divine Worship page on the New Roman Missal:
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 12:31 AM
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This is a message from Bishop Arthur Serratelli, of Paterson, NJ, who is the current chair of the Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. For many years, Bishop Serratelli was a profesor of Scripture at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University. Before being named Bishop of Paerson, he served as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Newark.
Bishop Serratelli's message is full of hope and encouragement.
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 10:32 PM
This well-done video was sent to me by some friends in the Archdiocese of Cincinatti, Ohio. It features their two archbishops! The outgoing archbishop...Archbishop Daniel Pilarcyzk, and their new archbishop, Archbishop Dennis Schnur.
They present some of the important issues facing our American Church as we prepare to receive the new translations of the Missale Romanum. As the archbishops point out, "change is never easy." Very true.
This past week, I helped to host liturgists from across Region 3, Pennsylvania and New Jersey for our annual meeting. The hot topic, was, of course, how best to implement the new Missal, and to catechize our clergy, religious, and the lay faithful about this next step in the development of the Roman Liturgy.
In light of our recent meeting, I thought this video was very helpful. I'm grateful to my friends who sent this to me, and I look forward to working with the administration of the Diocese of Trenton in producing something similar to aid our efforts here.
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 10:24 PM
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Yesterday started the annual meeting of the representatives of Liturgical Commissions from the Dioceses of Region III: Pennsylvania and New Jersey (FDLC: Federation of Liturgical Commissions). We're meeting at the Marriot hotel in nearby Wall township. We began our meeting with Evening Prayer, in which Bishop John M. Smith, the bishop of Trenton, joined us for prayer and then a great dinner.
Our first session was a report on the FDLC Board meeting in January, and other reports on the state of the Federation: financial, projects we're working on, and our publications currently available.
We have representatives from the following dioceses joining us for our discussion in these days: Erie, PA, Scranton, PA, Philadelphia, PA, Camden, NJ, Metuchen, NJ, Newark, NJ, and of course, Trenton, NJ. Pray for us, as we struggle with the huge issue of how best to catechize people for the upcoming edition of the new Missale Romanum. There are many different positions: some people are Cheerleaders, and think that this is the greatest thing from heaven. Some have serious questions about this new Missale...and struggle to try to make sense of it, and where to go with it. All positions are represented at a Regional meeting like this. Pray that the Lord will lead us to where He wants us to go!
Posted by Fr. Gene Vavrick at 12:50 AM