The Mass: Our One Great Act of Worship
St. V’s Annual Summer Series goes on this month. This year instead of exploring books of the Bible or writings of the Pope, we will delve into the special nature of the Mass. Each week we will examine the Mass from a different angle.
The Special Nature of the Mass
The story is told that some people decided to use the empty cathedrals of Europe to offer an experience to the city’s spiritually hungry people. They thought it would be important to include something inspirational, to have some music, something social, and some kind of food. Then it dawned on them that they had re-created the Mass. They called it the Thomas Mass because it was designed for those who had doubts but craved meaning.
The Mass, as they discovered, meets human needs on many levels. But it is infinitely more. In the bustle and grind of daily life, it is easy for us to fall into a pattern of Mass attendance and miss the meaning of what we are invited to do and to be when we come together. The 2016 Summer Series will look in depth at three aspects of this invitation.
The first week we explored Community in the homily, Call to Worship, Prayers of the Faithful and with this PowerPoint presentation by Audrey Rogers. The next weekend (July 16-17), we explored Transcendence with a presentation by Anne Maura English. The last weekend of our series will by July 30-31 (note we skip a weekend), and we will delve into Solidarity.
- July 18-22 – Vacation Bible School
- July 23 – St V’s Pool Party
- July 30-31 – Summer Series – Solidarity
- August 5-7 – Annual St. V Camping Trip – Codorus State Park in Hanover, PA
St. V’s Annual Summer Series goes on this month. This year instead of exploring books of the Bible or writings of the Pope, we will delve into the special nature of the Mass. Each week we will examine the Mass from a different angle: community, transcendence and solidarity.
Vacation Bible School is July 18-22, 9:30 AM – 3 PM for children in pre-K to 8th grade. Children will learn through scripture, song, activities and crafts about God’s wonder, water. Field trip is to Masonville Cove. Before/after-care available. Registration forms in the Gathering Space. More info at email@example.com.
Say goodbye to this old, worn look.
Starting Monday (June 20) our exterior restoration continues. We have been so pleased with the renewal of the west and south sides of the church, and now work will begin on the front side. It will conclude in July.
Be assured that on Sundays the accessibility ramp door and another will always be open. Weekday Mass entrance will be through the rectory (Ring the bell). After the façade is complete, the steps will be refurbished with new mortar and a good cleaning. All work will be finished summer’s end in time for our 175th anniversary celebration in the fall.
Special thanks to the Baltimore National Heritage Area which awarded us $14,000 toward the project.
In his pastoral letter, A Light Brightly Visible, Archbishop Lori invites us to “be missionary disciples” and to consider what being a “missionary disciple” calls you to do personally and what it calls our parish to do.
Last fall each parish in the Archdioceses was asked to reach out to those who come to its services, including those who attend occasionally with a survey. The survey was not a demographic one but one that seeks to understand the spiritual needs of Catholics. We had a great response rate and now have the results of this survey for St. Vincent. In addition to the survey data the Archdiocese sent an executive summary of St. V demographic data compared to other parishes in our region and to the Archdiocese as a whole.
Every Friday for more than a decade, St. V in partnership with Our Lady of the Fields (OLF) parish has hosted a huge dinner for all comers in our undercroft. Usually aroud 200-300 people show up. OLF organizes the food, and St. V provides the space.
While all involved would agree this ministry has been a wonderful success, there has been little agreement on its name. People have called it everything from the undignified “Friday Night Feeding” to the undescriptive “Friday Night Ministry.”
This month the organizers have officially named it “Breaking Bread With the Hungry.” This reflects the true nature of the event. As Deacon Ed Stoops of OLF says:
The term breaking bread is used in Acts to refer to the Eucharist. Our mission statement explicitly says our mission flows from the Eucharist.
The term the hungry excludes no one. We are all hungry. We are born hungry. In addition to hunger for food, we all hunger for acceptance and love. The term also includes Jesus who said, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat.” Whether we prepare the food, serve it or eat it, we are all the hungry.
Father Ronchi in his retreat for the Pope and others in the Vatican, recently said “Some people are so hungry that for them God cannot but have the form of a loaf of bread.”
For both volunteers and diners, the meal is typically a joyful commotion, where the ups and downs of the lives of our guests surface as they enjoy dinner out after a long week. Every week has a little different vibe. OLF has produced a video for its website that captures the essence of Breaking Bread With the Hungry. Check it out.
This week Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation, which draws on the Synod of the Family in 2015. The document is intended as “an aid to reflection, dialogue and pastoral practice, and as a help and encouragement to families in their daily commitments and challenges.”
Though the exhortation is aimed at the clergy, lay people will certainly find much of interest in the Pope’s words. Here at St. Vincent will have hard copies when they become available. In the meantime, you can find it online here.