Unleash the Gospel and the RCIA
As Blessed Paul VI wrote,
“Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize.”(Evangelii Nuntiandi, #75)
“Evangelizing is therefore a responsibility not only of bishops, priests, and religious, but of every individual Christian.” It is the reason for initiation into the Church….. to proclaim “the good news of Jesus to those around us….in word and in deed…” (Unleash the Gospel #3.1.)
At the Easter Vigil God will invite those seeking initiation to become full members of the Church with the mission of proclaiming the good news of Jesus in word and in deed. God will strengthen them with the power and grace of the Holy Spirit and He will sustain them with the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist for the rest of their missionary lives.
We are already hearing and reading about elect who are remembering and telling their story of God’s action in their lives. (See Michigan Catholic, February 23, 2018) How do we as a community of missionary disciples support them in their new vocation? That is the question and the challenge.
In Unleash the Gospel Archbishop Vigneron tells each of us that we must fulfill our vocation, we must proclaim the good news in word and deed.
If we share the good news of Christ’s love in words only, not demonstrably living what we preach, people will rightly suspect us of hypocrisy, and we may even give Christianity a bad name. On the other hand, if we share the good news in deed only, people will not learn of the One who is the source of the joy and divine love we carry within us. Those around us are thirsting for the Gospel, the words of eternal life, even if they do not realize it. How can we fail to share generously what we have freely received?
It will be our living of the vocation of the initiated that will provide support and encouragement to those new missionary disciples.
Corpus Christi 2018
Once again, Archbishop Vigneron is inviting all who will be initiated this year to celebrate the Eucharist with him on June 3rd, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The RCIA coordinators at all parishes with Elect and/or Candidates will be receiving an invitation for each of these new Catholics. I will need the help of coordinators to distribute these invitations either after the Easter Vigil or at one of the sessions of the period of Mystagogia. Thank you.
Via Lucis – Stations of the Resurrection
The Office of Christian Worship is preparing a prayer booklet for new and seasoned Catholics called Via Lucis ~ The Stations of the Resurrection. The booklet includes 14 stations for reflection on Paschal Mystery – from the Resurrection to Pentecost. These will be on the Print Office website before the end March:
News from the Vatican
Prayer intention for March 2018
“Let us pray together that the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.”
The times in which we live demand that we develop a profound capacity of discernment… To discern, from among all the voices we hear, which is the Lord’s voice, which is the voice of Him who guides us to the Resurrection, to Life, and the voice that frees us from falling into the “culture of death”.
Pope Francis Creates a New Celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church
In a Decree dated February 11, 2018 Pope Francis has inserted the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church into the Roman calendar on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday.
Cardinal Sarah said: “the Holy Father wishes to promote this devotion in order to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety”.
The liturgical texts for this feast have been sent to Bishops’ Conferences for translation and approval before confirmation by Rome. Read the full Decree here.
Pope Francis addressed the meaning and purpose of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during the homily at Mass in early February. He urged pastors to teach people to adore…. “to learn to do now what we will do in heaven: ADORE!”
During Eucharistic Adoration, we “watch and wait”, we remain “silent” in His Presence and open ourselves to His graces which flow from the Eucharist. By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, the Lord draws us to himself and gently transforms us. Eucharistic Adoration is “God and man reaching out for each other, at the same time.”
Attached are some questions on Adoration
Eucharistic exposition and benediction a part of the Church's official liturgy. Whereas in the past benediction was frequently added on to the end of another service or devotion, this is no longer permitted.
Information from the USCCB about Eucharistic Adoration.
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.)
On May 24th the FDLC will sponsor a regional workshop at Sacred Heart Major Seminary on the Misal Romano. Please save the date. More information will follow next month.
For Pastors and Worship Commissions
Preparing for the Easter Vigil
The Office has been receiving many requests for help with the preparation of the celebrations of the Triduum. To assist pastors and worship commissions the following planning sheets that provide the Order of the Service for each day of the Triduum are attached:
Marriages on December 8th
Parishes have been asking whether a marriage can be scheduled 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
- Corpus Christi
- Holydays of 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.
To help parishes with their future plans the liturgical calendar for the remainder of 2018 is attached.
Q & A
1. May Eastern Catholics receive Eucharist in a Roman Catholic Church?
Yes, Eucharist may be received in either the Roman Catholic or the Eastern Catholic Church. However, families should be strongly encouraged to practice in their local Ritual Church. Members of Eastern Churches should not be registered as members in the Latin parish Church where the children may be attending school or religious education classes.
2. Is there a Diocesan Policy for Preparation of Eastern Catholic children for Penance and Holy Communion?
Yes. This is the official policy:
4. Why do some churches use a wooden cross for the Good Friday service? Shouldn’t a crucifix be used?
According the Office for Divine Worship, USCCB there is no definitive support for using either a large wooden cross or for a large cross with the Body of Christ attached. The important thing is that there is only ONE LARGE CROSS for the veneration of the Cross.
To understand why some parishes use one large wooden cross, we need to look at the prayers during the Adoration of the Cross.
- The title of this section of the service is: Adoration of the Holy Cross
- At the showing of the cross the deacon or priest sings:
Behold the WOOD OF THE CROSS, on which hung the salvation of the world.
- During the Adoration the antiphon to be sung is:
We adore your Cross, O Lord,
we praise and glorify your holy Resurrection,
for behold, because of the wood of a tree
joy has come to the whole world.
- The hymn suggested by the Missal to be sung during the adoration is:
Faithful Cross the Saints rely on,
Noble tree beyond compare!
Never leaf or flower so rare.
Sweet the timber, sweet the iron
Sweet the burden that they bear!
Some suggestions for meditation are attached that may help all understand more clearly the meaning of this service.(Attach Adoration of the Cross)
Fulfilled: Uncovering the Biblical Foundations of Catholicism, by Sonja Corbitt. This book helps one to explore the biblical roots of the Catholic Faith.
Relit: The Heart of Evangelization consists of 18 DVD-based sessions whose purpose is to equip your faithful parishioners to become active evangelists in their own parish.
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.