Who Are These People?

The Mass can sometimes feel like this: a few readings from the Bible, a sermon, a collection, the priest saying a bunch of stuff while we kneel down, the Our Father, Communion, announcements, dismissal. If this is our experience of Mass, it might surprise us that the most fascinating part of it actually takes place during the part where the priest saysContinue reading “Who Are These People?”

Learning Our Prayers

Priests have the privilege of being with people as they near the ends of their lives.  Some of the people I’ve helped prepare for death spent their whole lives active in the Church, some were less active, and a few were resistant to the idea of seeing a priest and receiving the sacraments.  I remember one gentlemanContinue reading “Learning Our Prayers”

Singing Our Prayers

Music matters in liturgy. Ever since the resumption of public Masses last summer, however, we have been using a different style of music in the parish than what we were accustomed to hear prior to the COVID shutdowns.  We can’t use the popular hymns that we’d otherwise hear at Mass because the current health protocols prohibit congregational singing during liturgies in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.  Because the musicContinue reading “Singing Our Prayers”

Holy Smoke

A priest friend of mine once shared with me his take on the secret to a life well-lived: “Moderation in all things,” he said, “except incense and orthodoxy.”  I have always found his advice compelling.  You certainly can’t be too orthodox in matters of the faith, with orthodoxy being openness and adherence to all that is true and good as solid ground on which to stand, and solidContinue reading “Holy Smoke”

Entrusting Ourselves to Him

Yesterday I came across an article by Msgr. Charles Pope, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.  In it, he gives a summary of the Letter to the Hebrews, which we have been reading over the past week or so at Mass.  The Letter to the Hebrews, as its name indicates, was addressed toContinue reading “Entrusting Ourselves to Him”

Expanding the Circle

In today’s gospel (Mk 10:1-9), Jesus sends out 72 of His followers to prepare the way for His visits to local towns, telling them to proclaim that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  They are sent out “like lambs among wolves,” with no money or extra gear.  It almost seems irresponsible of Jesus to send them out that way,Continue reading “Expanding the Circle”