May 2018

In This Issue:


News from the Vatican

News from the USCCB

For Pastors and Worship Commissions

Upcoming Events

We are Unleashed: LIving Acts 29
Black Catholic Women's Conference

May 5, 2018
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

School of Evangelization
May 11 and 12, 2018
Church of the Holy Family

New Leaven Discipleship Conference: A Model for Spirit-Led Transformation
May 12, 2018
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Blessed Are They Who Mounr: A Mass for Those Who Grieve on Mother's Day
May 13, 2018
Ste. Anne

Send Laborers Into the Harvest: A Symposium on Parish Vocation Ideas
May 16, 2018
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs
Beverly Hills

Pentecost Vigil
May 19, 2018
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Pentecost/Adult Confirmation
May 20, 2018
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament

May Crowning and Procession Through the Streets
May 21, 2018
Old St. Mary's

Welcoming the New Misal Romano
May 24
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Record-Keeping Workshops
Various Dates and Locations

Training for Parish Prayer and Intercession Teams
June 16, 2018
Our Lady of the Woods

Church Life Summer Institute Liturgy Symposia
June 18 - 22, 2018
University of Notre Dame

Diocesan Information Systems Conference
June 21, 2018

2nd Annual National Gathering on Christian Initiation: To Emmaus and Back: Liturgy and Catechesis
July 5 & 6, 2018
Chicago, IL

The Sistine Chapel Choir
July 11, 2018
Detroit Opera House

Visit the Worship Office events page


fuqngqox96k8c98y4zn7833cl27ypil4By the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, the eternal Word has taken on flesh: the invisible God is now able to be seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, even touched with our hands….”  Unleash the Gospel, Archbishop Vigneron. 

As I reflect on this mystery, often I find myself asking WHY…why would God become human….I imagine Mary holding the child she bore in her arms, feeling his head on her shoulder, listening to his breathing and wimpers...and with each experience of God made human in her arms what feeling this must have evoked.  Why did God become human….to teach us how to become holy.  Pope Francis teaches us that Christ “explained with the great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes”. (Gaudete et exsultate: 65 – 94)
  • Being poor of heart: that is holiness
  • Reacting with meekness and humility: that is holiness
  • Knowing how to mourn with others: that is holiness
  • Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: that is holiness
  • Seeing and acting with mercy: that is holiness
  • Keeping a heart free of all that tarnishes love: that is holiness
  • Sowing peace all around us: that is holiness
  • Accepting daily the path of the Gospel, even thought it may cause us problems: that is holiness
 Living as Christ taught us is not something we can do alone.  We always need the help of Mary, who learned these lessons of holiness from her son.  St. Padre Pio advises us:  “Abandon yourself into the hands of Mary.  She will take care of you”.

Corpus Christi 2018
bavfzy9h3g8attke0uqnuj7m3pdr1v6bOnce again, Archbishop Vigneron is inviting all who have been initiated this year to celebrate the Eucharist on June 3rd, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.  The RCIA coordinators at all parishes with Elect and/or Candidates have given an invitation to each of these new Catholics.  I am depending on you to remind these new Catholics about this celebration as you complete their initiation with the period of Mystagogia.  And I thank you sincerely for all the good work that you have done in preparing these new Catholics.
Bishop Fisher will be the celebrant for this celebration.

z6fynb6pdz53otuoksisry56gj1vr8q8Via Lucis – Stations of the Resurrection
The Office of Christian Worship has prepared a prayer booklet for new and seasoned Catholics called Via Lucis ~ The Stations of the Resurrection.  The booklet includes 14 stations for reflection on the Paschal Mystery – from the Resurrection to Pentecost.  These are available on the Print Office website: Once you open the website, click on Via Lucis and the cost of the booklet is $1.25.

Blessing of Neophytes on Pentecost
The RCIA #249 states that “…to close the period of post baptismal catechesis, some sort of celebration should be held at the end of the Easter season near Pentecost Sunday...”  The attached Blessing of Neophytes is a possible prayer to be included at this celebration.  The blessing can be given at:  the Vigil Mass, Mass on Pentecost Sunday, Evening Prayer or another gathering of the neophytes with the community. 

National Gathering in Chicago
hgksygttwp3s67zrt4thfs49y7a7tiexThe 2nd Annual National Gathering on Christian Initiation will be held in Chicago July 5 & 6, 2018.  It is titled: To Emmaus and Back: Liturgy and Catechesis.  If you remember from last year the group that attended from the Archdiocese of Detroit came back with a fuller understanding of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults which they shared with us and put into place in their parishes.  This year’s focus looks exciting as well. 
The RCIA was the first rite issued after Vatican II that captured a vision of the RCIA as a real conversion journey…a journey like that of those disciples on the way to Emmaus who were taught by Christ himself all that was contained in the scriptures about the promised messiah.  This would be a wonderful opportunity for our priests and RCIA teams to hone their own understanding of the RCIA and the importance of appropriate celebrations of the rites during the process.  To register:  www.NGCL.org

News from the Vatican

Pray for Peace
Pope Francis has urged, that during the month of May, Catholics pray the rosary for peace particularly in Syria, Korea, and the whole world.  “ I pray to the Lord that the hopes for a future of peace and more brotherly friendship will not be disappointed and that the collaboration may continue bringing good fruits for the beloved Korean people and the whole world,

News from the USCCB

Misal Romano
The FDLC (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions) has prepared the attached information about the Misal Romano.  It contains the dates of upcoming workshops designed for priests, deacons, musicians, music directors, diocesan Worship Commissions, as well as, resources that have been prepared to use with parishioners to introduce them to the Misal Romano.  

Please note Detroit will be hosting one of these workshops on May 24 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
In addition the USCCB Website has added a Spanish version of the “Prayer and Worship” section on their website with resources to help parishioners understand the celebration of the Eucharist more fully.  You can find it here.  

Obtaining Low Gluten Hosts
In the dioceses of the United States, there are four approved distributors of low-gluten hosts and two of mustum known to the Secretariat of Divine Worship. See attached for contact information.


For Pastors and Worship Commissions

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
The USCCB has shared the proper liturgical texts for the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. Click here for information about the prayers to be used and a pdf of the readings for the celebration.

The Office for Christian Worship is in the process of preparing cards with these readings that can be inserted into the Lectionary.  They will be sent to each priest well before Pentecost.

Record Keeping Workshops
All pastors, deacons, parish secretaries, DRE’s, RCIA coordinators, and others who have responsibility for maintaining sacramental records are invited to join with the staff from the Tribunal and Archives Office for an informative presentation on the guidelines for accurately recording information into sacramental registers.  Come with your questions….ample time will be provided to provide answers. 

Calendar Alert
To help parishes with their future plans the liturgical calendar for the remainder of 2018 is attached.
Q & A

1. Is it possible to schedule a wedding for December 8th, 2018?
December 8th is always a holy day of obligation.  A couple can get married on most days of the liturgical year with the celebration of Mass, however on our most holy days (holy days of obligation) there are restrictions.

What are the restrictions?

  1. The Ritual Mass for Matrimony may not be used….the Mass prayers and readings of the day must be used without change :
from Holy Thursday to Easter
Corpus Christi
Holydays of Obligation
  1. When the Ritual Mass is celebrated during Advent or Lent the special nature of these liturgical seasons needs to be taken into consideration by the couple.  The couple should refrain from too much pomp or display.
2. Does attendance at the 4pm Mass on December 8th, the holy day of obligation, fulfill the Sunday obligation? (clarification)
As Catholics we have an obligation to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist on a  holy day of obligation and we have an obligation to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday.  If a person has attended a morning celebration on December 8thand then participates in the evening Mass on December 8, the evening Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation.

3. For years I have been wondering whether the Church teaches abstinence from meat on all Fridays, or only Fridays during Lent.
When the Vatican eased the law of abstinence from meat on Fridays it did so in a document (Paenitemini of Paul VI on Fast and Abstinence) that placed the focus on the meaning of penance as a necessary part of every Catholic’s life.  This is how Pope Paul explains the meaning of penance:
Penance….is a religious, personal act which has as its aim love and surrender to  God:  fasting for the sake of God, not for one’s own self.
…external penitential practices are accompanied by an inner attitude of “conversion” that is to say of condemnation of and detachment from sin and of striving toward God.
  ...One fasts or applies physical discipline to “chastise one’s own soul,” to “humble oneself in the sight of his own God,”…..“to prepare oneself for the encounter with God.”
In the past there were some Catholics for whom abstaining from meat was not a real penance…they enjoyed fish, etc. or they were vegetarians etc.  The question for these people becomes ‘is abstaining from meat a way of doing penance’.  If not, how are they doing penance in their lives?  In chapter 3 of Pope Paul’s document he “reaffirms the value of penitence and invites everyone to accompany the inner conversion of the spirit with the voluntary exercise of external acts of penitence".  He then asks the Bishops to provide guidance and formation for the people.
In 1983 the Bishops of the United States published a Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence to remind Catholics of the obligation to do Penance.  In this statement once again they emphasize the obligation to do Penance.  But, instead of telling people what penance to do, the church asks each person to examine his/her conscience and determine what would be a real penance … something that will help in their process of conversion…metanoia.  I am attaching both documents so that you can take time to read them and share what you learn with others.

4. Who is supposed to purify the vessels after distribution of Holy Communion at Mass?
According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal #53:
  • The sacred vessels are to be purified by the Priest, the Deacon or an instituted acolyte.(#56).  This is not …doing the dishes… but rather a way of showing the utmost respect for the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Provided the remaining consecrated bread has been consumed or reserved and the remaining Precious Blood has been consumed, “it is also permitted to leave vessels needing to be purified on a corporal, suitably covered, on the credence table, and to purify them immediately after Mass, following the Dismissal of the people".
  • If a deacon purifies the vessels, he would not do this at the altar but rather at the credence table….to avoid any confusion of his ministry with that of the priest.
(Click here for a full document from the USCCB)

5. I am an Extraordinary Minister of Communion. I am not an instituted acolyte. May I assist in the purification of sacred vessels at Mass?
In 2002 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments gave permission (indult) which allowed EMHC’s to assist in the purification of sacred vessels for a period of three years.  When that time limit expired the permission was not renewed.

When the indult expired in March 2005, the U.S. bishops' conference requested an extension, but no immediate action was taken due to the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI. Finally, in 2006 the prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship informed the president of the U.S. episcopal conference that the Holy Father had deemed it opportune to deny request for renewal.(Prot. n. 468/05/L Rome, 12 October 2006)
Thus the purification must be carried out by the deacon or, in his absence, by an instituted acolyte or eventually by the priest himself.

6. Is it possible to have Mass celebrated at the gravesite?
No. The celebration of the Eucharist normally takes place in a church, or if there is not church or if it is too small, then in another respectable place that is nonetheless worthy of so great a mystery. (GIRM # 288)

Parishes around the Archdiocese are offering workshops and other experiences for adults who are interested in growing their faith. These are advertised in Parish Mail. You may request to be placed on the list of those receiving the news at aod.org/parishmail.

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