With all my heart I pray that Christ’s living presence come into the midst of your community, bringing it the peace and joy that overflows in your hearts like the springtime sun. Then with the apostle Thomas you too may greet his presence with that joyful shout:
My Lord and my God!
The Easter egg symbolizes not only the coming of Spring, but more importantly Christ’s resurrection. Like his tomb, the egg is the hard, cold casket from which new life finally and triumphantly breaks forth. The old Roman proverb Omne vivum ex ovo….All life comes from an egg…takes on a new religious significance.
Corpus Christi 2018
Once 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.
Via 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
The 2nd Annual National Gathering on Christian Initiation will be held in Chicago from 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 the 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 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
Gaudete et Exsultate
On Monday, April 9th, Pope Francis released this Apostolic Exhortation on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World. He describes his goal as modest, namely: “to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph 1:4)
The “universal call to holiness” is an ancient idea that was resurrected in Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" #40: “The Lord Jesus preached holiness of life to each and every one of his disciples…” Francis then goes on to describe the great cloud of witnesses including …our own mothers, grandmothers and other loved ones, parents who raise their children with immense love, men and women who work hard to support their families, the sick, the elderly religious who never lose their smile, our next-door neighbors, those living in our midst who reflect God’s presence…who constitute the Body of Christ and with whom we journey to the kingdom.”
Pope Francis uses all these examples of the holiness around us to emphasize that we grow in the holiness to which we are called through small gestures:
But there are enemies of holiness which Francis cites as false forms of holiness the one “Gnosticism” which “judges a person based on the ability to understand complex doctrines…they think of the intellect as separate from the flesh, and thus incapable of touching Christ’s suffering flesh in others…in the end, disembodying the mystery, they prefer “a God without Christ, a Christ without the Church, a Church without her people….”
- a woman tempted to gossip says in her heart: “No, I will not speak badly of anyone..”
- deciding to “accomplish ordinary actions in an extraordinary way…”
The other enemy of holiness is “Pelagianism” which believes “that everything depends on human effort as channeled by ecclesial rules and structures…leaving little room for the initiative of God….and allowing him to mold us like a potter….”
Using the Beatitudes which he calls “a Christian’s identity card” Pope Francis goes on to explain what it means to be holy.I highly recommend this exhortation for your prayer and study as we as an Archdiocese continue to “Unleash the Gospel” and become missionary disciples.
Synod on Youth…what do young people want
From March 19 – 25, 2018 over three hundred young adults from all over world were invited to Rome to be part of the Pre-Synod meeting and share their thoughts, questions and opinions with Pope Francis and the cardinals who will meet in October for the Synod on Young People. These are some of their thoughts:
With all the years we have spent in the U.S. separating people into like aged, like minded groups it is so interesting to me that these young adults are craving the interaction with other age groups than themselves.
- Young people desire “to find companions on the journey, to look for people to walk with them”
- They want to “have personal relationships with people who are vibrantly living their faith,”… so that they will able to live the faith also
- “Here’s a book; believe it”…doesn’t work…You have to talk to (young people), walk with them, love them and really spend time with them…”
- They want “faith mentors”…but these faith mentors have to be “not afraid to acknowledge they are human and make mistakes”….the characteristics that young people look for are “authenticity” and “vulnerability” because these make the mentor both trustworthy and approachable
- Young people want to be integrated into parish life and voiced their desire for meetings such as this at the parish level
You can read the full report of this Pre-Synod Meeting at the Vatican website:
Pope Paul VI will be canonized at the end of the Synod on Youth in October. Pope Francis has said that Pope Paul VI wrote “the greatest pastoral document that has ever been written”, namely “Evangelii Nuntiandi”, the 1975 exhortation on Evangelization in the Modern World, which focuses on the obligation of every Christian to “go out,” joyfully sharing the faith with others.
Pope Francis has recognized a miracle through the intercession of Blessed Oscar Romero. This clears the way for him to be canonized a saint. Blessed Oscar, an outspoken advocate for the poor, was killed by soldiers as he was celebrating Mass in 1980, at the beginning of El Salvador’s civil war. The date of his canonization has not been announced yet.
|Fr. Franceso Spinelli, founder of Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament
||Fr. Vincenzo Romano (left) who with Mother Maria Katharina Kaspera (right) founded the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.
||Anna Kolesarova, a 16-year-old laywoman who was murdered by the Soviet Army during WWII for refusing sexual favors to a Russian soldier.
News from the USCCB
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.
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 to be celebrated each year on the Monday after Pentecost. The new Memorial supersedes the rubric at the end of the Pentecost Mass that suggests that a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit be celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost. Click here for information about the prayers to be used and a pdf of the readings for the celebration.
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 24th 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.
For Pastors and Worship Commissions
The Flu Season and the Liturgy
Recently, the news announced that the flu season may remain with us longer this year. Attached is a copy of the suggestions that parishes can include in their bulletins that encourage each parishioner to take responsibility for caution while this season remains with us.
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?
- 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
Holydays of Obligation
2. Does attendance at the 4pm Mass on December 8th, the holy day of obligation, fulfill the Sunday obligation?
- 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.
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.
3. We will be receiving a candidate into full communion on a Sunday during Easter time. Do we use the prayer for Laying of Hands from the RCIA or from the Order of Confirmation?
Since the Order of Confirmation has been revised it will be necessary to use the prayer for the Laying on of Hands from #25 of the revised text not the text that is in the RCIA ritual book.
It might be helpful to the presider if the prayer for the Laying of Hands is prepared and inserted into the RCIA ritual book.
4. May Eastern Catholic children receive First Communion in a Roman Catholic Church?
Yes.Please see the policy for further directions.
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.