Category Archives: Parish Life

Sleep

I had about a half-hour last night before rehearsing with one of the Easter Vigil cantors. A good time to pray, I thought. Opened the Bible and settled onto the couch in one of the rooms off the student lounge. … Continue reading

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Riot Aftermath

The university has cancelled the school’s festival. Some revelry continues. As our associate pastor was leaving the building shortly after this past midnight, an unconscious student was discovered in a closet. Unable to awaken the person, police were called and the … Continue reading

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Penance By Appointment: A Secretary’s View

I was glad to see the “Penance By Appointment” post get a little attention yesterday. It fell far behind the usual centers of attention here–readings for funerals and weddings. Even the reconciliation readings page got more views. I knew Liam … Continue reading

Posted in Parish Life, Rite of Penance | 4 Comments

Penance By Appointment

In my parish’s print bulletin, this semester’s hours for the Sacrament of Penance are listed: 3:30 PM Saturday 8:00 PM Thursday & by appointment I’ve heard the occasional fuss online (never really in a parish) about that last line, when … Continue reading

Posted in Parish Life, Rite of Penance | 2 Comments

Mercy, Wide and Late

The concluding hymn at the parish struck me today in a way it has never done before. Two things. First, wideness, wideness, and kindness: There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea. There’s a kindness in … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgical Music, Parish Life, spirituality | 3 Comments

Crown of Thorns Up

The Lenten crown of thorns got lofted up the west wall today. The view from the entrance and narthex: It seems massive compared to most church decorations, but it almost gets lost in the vast spaces of empty walls in … Continue reading

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Sub Zero But Clear

Anticipating I wasn’t going to be happy about shoveling out in below-zero temps this morning, I cleared the home driveway and walks last night after church. Sure enough, my car thought twice before igniting. Minus-nine Fahrenheit. It was another f-word … Continue reading

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Christmas Scheduling

My former parish in Kansas City had a grueling Christmas schedule. I inherited four Christmas Eve Masses (two simultaneously on our campus with a total of 1300-plus between them), a Midnight Mass, and three on Christmas morning. A few years … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, Liturgy, Parish Life | 6 Comments

Observing All Souls

In other parishes I’ve served, November 2nd was a big deal. Somewhat in our university parish, but surprisingly, not connected with Mass. Our noon Mass isn’t conducive to a wide participation. I had pushed gently for an evening Mass. That … Continue reading

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Book of the Deceased

We received our new book of the deceased today. We had been purchasing blank books from publishers. A bequest from a parishioner funded this initiative. The book came in a nice box from our bookbinder, Peggy Johnston: Unfold the box, … Continue reading

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War on Halloween

In the expression of military genius that we call the culturewar, the Christians strike back. Some of them, anyway. Commentary at First Things here, basically suggesting it’s time to chill, like a cold autumn night. Does the opposition to Halloween … Continue reading

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The Count of Catholic October

Count every head, the memo said. We’ve been fortunate (I think) at my parish because Parents’ Weekend always and Homecoming usually falls in the month we’re directed to count the people who come to weekend Masses. My wife said the … Continue reading

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Preaching on a Martyr’s Example

Deacon John Herman preached today’s Masses at the parish. He largely talked about his brother, our parish and diocese’s martyr, Ray Herman. I was reminded that a young man listened to Jesus and took it very, very seriously. He shifted … Continue reading

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Archbishop Visits

Our new archbishop visits the parish this weekend. Our Sunday 7pm Mass is often a stumbling block for visiting priests or homilists. I think Archbishop Jackels was given the option of when to leave, but to his credit, committed to … Continue reading

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Thoughts

I see in the news that my former colleague is facing a half-century in federal prison. This is a very long fall from the adulation of people for a freshly-minted priest. Some disconnected thoughts on this: It’s hard to tell … Continue reading

Posted in Parish Life, sex abuse | 2 Comments