Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Liturgy is cool!

So glad to see that The Seattle Times is now recognizing something I've known for a while now...that Corinna's job is cool (and so is she!)




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Anniversary

Seven years ago today, I began ministering in the Liturgy Office. Can't believe it has been seven years already! As one priest said as he soon concludes his second term as pastor, "time goes by so fast."

It has been and continues to be a blessing and a great joy to serve and minister the people in Western Washington. There have been lots of great memories and even more wonderful clergy and lay ministers who are now colleagues and friends. For them and for each of you, I recall Philippians 1:3-6:

"I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for you, because of your partnership of the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."

Here's to the start of a great eighth (fiscal) year!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

John Michael Talbot

Last night I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a John Michael Talbot concert at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Tacoma. My mom played CD's which included John Michael Talbot songs, so I vividly remember growing up to his songs and was looking forward to this concert.

However, the concert was more of a concert and presentation. It was a great presentation, but just not what I was expecting. I was looking forward to hearing Table of Plenty and The Cry of the Poor, none of which were part of his short song-list.

He did mentioned a concern of his (which is a concern of many) of the lack of engagement in our youth today, especially when it comes to the Mass. He said that if it were a denomination, a large number of people would consider themselves "non-practicing Catholics." He suggested the main way to bring folks back to the Church is through engaging (but not entertaining) liturgy through relatable and focused preaching and joy-filled music.

 
At the end of his concert and presentation, he invited the clergy present to come forward, and then the following happened, a moment which reminded me of Pope Francis' December interview where he prays for the gift of unity among all Christians:
 
 

 
(Video courtesy of the Northwest Catholic)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Priest Days

Last week was the annual gathering of priests from the Archdiocese, as they reflected on Forming Intentional Disciples with Sherry Weddell and Fr. Michael Fones, OP.

Pictures were posted to my Facebook page. Each day of the gathering was filled with various liturgies such as Morning Prayer, Office of the Dead for the Deceased Priests of the past year, Night Prayer with individual confessions, and of course Mass. A few highlights from this year's Priest Days include:

- a "Sing the Mass" optional session with ValLimar Jansen, which was attended by about 20+ priests, many of whom came out of the session more confident in their singing and chanting ability,



- a visit from Archbishop Brunett, currently in rehab from his stroke last September,


- and a great quote from the archbishop emeritus:

"When you have a stroke they tell you to 'look up' all the time to strengthen your core muscles again so you won't stay paralized. So I looked up, and right in my line of vision was a crucifix, and I realized that I could either join my suffering and pain to Christ... or become bitter."

Let us continue to pray for Archbishop Brunett in his recovery, that we too, may join our sufferings to Christ, and for all the priests of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Eternal Rest, grant unto them

Yesterday was the Funeral Mass for Fr. Michael J. Ryan a former pastor of St. Paul's in South Seattle during the 80's.

This picture was taken a few years ago at my grandfather's Funeral Mass at St. Paul's. Fr. Mike, on the right pictured behind my uncle who was a student at St. Paul's when Fr. Mike was pastor, returned many times to St. Paul's during his retirement for as many birthday celebrations and funerals as he could. I'll especially miss his sense of humor and joyous outlook on life. For example, he didn't want any incense at his Funeral Mass because he thought he would choke! On a more serious note, he encourage me as a lay minister in the Church. For all that he is and has done for me and my family, I am ever grateful.

A few months ago another former pastor of St. Paul returned to God, Fr. L. Jerry McCloskey, who was the pastor when I was in the parish grade school. Seeing many St. Paul parishioners attend both funerals reminded me of how many people love these two holy men of God.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

He is risen, Alleluia!

Lots have been going on since we began the Easter season, rejoicing with the praises of all God's faithful people:

two popes were canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday,

priest assignments for the archdiocese were made official (while we hopefully have a surge of prayers for vocations to the priesthood as we see the appointment of a pastor for five parishes and three missions, the vicar for clergy appointed pastor of a parish in Shoreline, and the auxiliary bishop assigned as parochial administrator for a parish to be assisted by the director of vocations who also serves as the chaplain of Kennedy Catholic High School),

seminarian Dean Mbuzi, a native of Zambia (pictured below with Kathleen, the president of the ACCW), was ordained to the diaconate at St. Michael's in Olympia on the Third Sunday of Easter and will be ordained to the priesthood with Deacon Brian Thompson on September 6th at St. James Cathedral.



publicity and preparation for the Cantor Intensive our office is co-sponsoring with the Seattle Chapter of NPM kicked off,

seminarians from the North American College in Rome did a fun tap dance number at last month's Rector's Dinner, video courtesy of a post from Fr. Jacob Maurer's blog,

"Confirmation season" began,



and so has the time in which many second graders (including Deacon Jeff Greer's grandson) receive Holy Communion for the first time,


and 30+ candidates for Confirmation from Our Lady of Mt. Virgin, St. Paul, St. Edward, and St. George in South Seattle made a retreat where Fr. Bob Kenny blessed them all as they soon receive the gift of the Holy Spirit next Wednesday, May 14th on the Feast of St. Matthias.



Let us pray for them and all candidates for Confirmation.

"All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by water and the Holy Spirit you freed
your sons and daughters from sin
and gave them new life.
Send your Holy Spirit upon them
to be their Helper and Guide.
Give them the spirit of wisdom
   and understanding,
the spirit of right judgment,
   and courage,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence.
Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe
   in your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord."
            (from the Rite of Confirmation, The Laying on of Hands)


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chrism Mass oil prep

Next week is the annual Chrism Mass, scheduled on Thursday, April 10th at St. James Cathedral. Which means, preparations for the distribution of the holy oils are in full swing. All of the bottles are labeled and thanks to two deacons, Roy Harrington and Sam Basta, all of the oils have been poured into the worthy vessels.



In a blog post dated about six years ago, when he was still a seminarian, Father Jacob Maurer describes the Chrism Mass in great detail on his blog, Followers of the Way.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Anointing of the Sick

As promised in my last post, here is one of the published pictures, courtesy of Patti Fersch, of Archbishop Emeritus Alex J. Brunett's visit to Christ Our Hope last Sunday for the Anointing of the Sick. Please continue to hold him in prayer!



The bulletin for this Third Sunday of Lent at Christ Our Hope includes a column from Fr. Paul of Archbishop Brunett's visit and on receiving God's mercy and going to confession (plus their schedule for the remainder of Lent).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Joyful service

In the words from Luke 12:42, today's Entrance Antiphon, "Behold, a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over his household."

These past few months have kept me in a daily routine of going into the office, a visit to grandma's house before a Zumba home workout and crashing on the couch at home eating my dinner by myself, since mom and Val work fairly late into the evening. Andrew describes these past few months in the office in his recent blog post. However, with all the happenings in the office, a couple of personal experiences helped remind me that it is in serving others that we will find deep joy.

Last Saturday was the last Rite of Election that I was scheduled to go to, which was at St. Charles Borromeo in Tacoma. As I was packing the worship aids into the van, I noticed a man sleeping outside the Chancery offices underneath two blankets, and next to him was a baby stroller of items. I remembered the scarf, hat and gloves I wore when I went to the Seahawks Super Bowl victory parade about a month ago which was still in a cabinet in my desk that I had tucked away. Taking just a few extra minutes, I went back to my desk to grab the scarf, hat and gloves and, not wanting to wake him up (mostly from fear), I set them on the cement ledge next to his stroller. Nothing could stop that joy I felt as I began the drive to Tacoma.

Just a day earlier, Fr. Paul had asked me to come to Christ our Hope to assist in their liturgy the following Sunday, as Archbishop Brunett was invited to come to their 9:30am Mass with Anointing of the Sick and Fr. Paul was hoping I could assist him as needed. Both Fr. Paul and I greeted him at the entrance, and he looked at me and kept saying my name. It was a joy to be of service to him as I helped put on his stole, held his hymnal as he followed along to everyone singing, and was present to him as needed during the Mass. It was a moving experience to stay with him and remain with him. I was almost in tears as he was being anointed by Fr. Paul. (Patti took some pictures, which I'll post once they are published online in Northwest Catholic along with an article on the Sacrament of the Anointing.)

After Mass, once Archbishop Brunett was in the cabulance and off to his new residence on Madison St & 22nd, a man selling Real Change came up to me and we engaged in a conversation about faith. Michael is his name. One thing I'll remember that summarizes my 15 minute conversation with Michael, is a question he asked me. "When you put Jesus first before others and then yourself last, what does that spell?" After a second thought, I told him it spells joy. We both continued to fill the narthex of the Josephinum with laughter and story-telling. After reflecting on this experience, I came to the realization that Michael's joy-filled laughter and personality reminds me a lot of my late father.

As we celebrate the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may we continue to look to the intercession of St. Joseph to be faithful and prudent stewards, whom the Lord has set over his household to serve others with loving care.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rally and Great Music

Last Saturday I was blessed to have had the opportunity to assist with the Taize prayer experience as part of the Junior High Rally, held at Archbishop Murphy High School, which gathered hundreds of grade school children from around the Archdiocese. We were expecting only about 40 of them at Taize, but that number quickly doubled at the last minute when the Stations of the Cross prayer experience was cancelled. We also had a San Damiano cross, a number of icons, and tons more tea lights and candles of all sizes that I didn't take a picture of.

 
Before the kids came into the theater, I asked for volunteers to say the intercessions. We had prayers for the Pope, the clergy, all gathered at Rally, youth ministers, all who teach and pass along the Catholic Faith, etc. which they just said from their place, and after each prayer when they said "We pray to the Lord" we all sang "O Lord Hear our Prayer". After we went through the prepared list of intercessions and we invited others to name the prayers they wished to pray for, the kids started raising their hands as if they were back in the classroom, instead of simply saying their petition they would like to pray for. I forgot that these were grade school children. They did find the repetitive chanting prayerful.

Mass followed. After making sure folks had everything they needed and such, I had to leave for Seattle.

John Michael and I went to St. James Cathedral for "Great Music for Great Cathedrals". For lack of a better word, it was a great experience of sound and color.


And just for fun, here's what happened at Rally during a break before lunch. I quickly took a picture before the stack of U-Haul boxes came tumbling down.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lector Installation at Mundelein

Congratulations to two seminarians of the Archdiocese of Seattle, Jeff Moore and Colin Parrish, who were installed to the ministry of lector at Mundelein Seminary earlier today. Colin is known for almost always making weird faces in pictures, so this is what some would call a "normal" face for him.


From Left to Right: Jeff, Fr. Bryan Dolejsi, Colin Parrish

Two other seminarians studying at Mundelein Seminary, Patrick Sherrard and Grant Boggs are currently on pastoral internship; Patrick at St. Charles Borromeo in Tacoma and Grant at St. Anthony in Renton. Let us continue to keep all seminarians and those discerning a call to the priesthood and religious life in our prayers.