My Dear Parishioners,
I hope that you have a spiritually satisfying and beneficial Lent. Masses on Ash Wednesday are at 8:00 a.m. and also 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. The experience of giving something up for Lent is an experience of penance and it is one type of fasting, but the goal is not to punish us, but rather to make us more aware. It should help us experience our tremendous need for God. While some amount of suffering does tend to bring our minds to what Jesus himself endured, we also know that His suffering has brought about a monumental transformation; so we do not endure any suffering in vain, or alone. Lent is also a good time to add something to our spiritual life. For example you might consider coming to our daily Mass at 8:00 a.m. If not every weekday, how about 2 or 3 days a week? Or perhaps you might pray the rosary or the prayer to St. Joseph. In addition to our regular Saturday Confessions from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., we will have opportunities for the Sacrament of Confession every Wednesday in Lent from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Church is open during the day, so you can just stop in and make a Holy Hour (by the way, the Sanctuary of the Altar is still alarmed with motion detectors so please do not approach the altar or the statues), or come on Mondays when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar (after the 8:00 a.m. Mass until the evening Rosary at 7:30 p.m.). We also pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays in Lent at 7:30 p.m. and then conclude with Benediction (which is a blessing from Jesus himself in the Consecrated Eucharist). It is a moving way to help the entire family prepare for our celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection. We also have put out our Rice Bowls at the church exits. Please take one home for your family (some assembly required). The idea behind the rice bowl is that you forgo a larger meal on one or more days of the week, opting to have a simpler meal like soup and/or sandwich, or fast altogether, and then the money that you saved on that meal goes into the Rice Bowl. At the end of Lent you then bring in the bowl and make a donation which goes to Catholic Relief Services to help provide for those most seriously in need.
The Bishops of the United States prescribe, as minimal obligation, that all persons who are fourteen years of age and older are bound to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, on all the Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday. Further, all persons eighteen years of age and older, up to and including their fifty-ninth birthday, are bound to fast by limiting themselves to a single full meal on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, while the other two meals on those days are to be light. All the faithful are encouraged, when possible, to participate at Mass and to receive the Holy Eucharist daily, to celebrate frequently the Sacrament of Penance, to undertake spiritual reading, especially the study of the Sacred Scriptures, and to participate in parish Lenten devotions. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is especially recommended.
All are encouraged to participate in Operation Rice Bowl which has aided countless hungry persons here in the Archdiocese as well as throughout our nation and our world.
Finally, as part of our 100th Anniversary celebration St. Joseph will offer a Sunday Mass celebrated in Latin, as it was celebrated for many years of our existence. In preparation for this, Fr. Matthew Biedzrycki has written some catechesis. I am attaching his letter below.
May God Bless you,
What is the “Traditional Latin Mass?”
In 2007, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI’s broadened access to what has come to be known as the “Traditional Latin Mass” by issuing a piece of Papal Legislation entitled Summorum Pontificum. This documented priests to celebrate the Mass according to the Missal of 1962. This is the Mass which was celebrated prior to the reforms following the Second Vatican Council. One of its distinguishing characteristics is that it is almost entirely in Latin.
The Roman Missal issued by Pope Paul VI in 1970 which is used most commonly throughout the world today is the fruit of those reforms. This is the form in which Mass is celebrated in the majority of parishes each Sunday throughout the world. With the introduction of the Missal of Paul VI, while preference was to be given to the Latin language as the official language of the Church, permission was granted for the Liturgy to be celebrated in the vernacular, that is, in the common tongue of the people.
Following the introduction of the Missal of Paul VI, the celebration of the Mass according to the “ancient use” (usus antiquior) was restricted so as to encourage a more uniform celebration of Mass throughout the world and allay confusion that may develop. Over time, many expressed desire to continue celebrating Mass in the usus antiquior and permission was given in certain cases to do so regularly. To distinguish this celebration of Holy Mass from that celebrated according to the common use throughout the world, adherents began to refer to this way of celebrating as the “Traditional Latin Mass”, or “TLM” for short, in acknowledgment of the Latin which predominates the celebration.
While there are many subtle differences between the ancient use and that which is commonly used today the Mass remains the same. When Pope Benedict made the ancient use more readily available he hoped that the wider familiarity with it might lead to a mutual enrichment of both ways of celebrating. Familiarity with the ancient use can lead the average Catholic to a deeper appreciation for the celebration of Holy Mass and understanding how and why many of the reforms introduced in the Missal of Paul VI took place.
As part of the celebrations here at St. Joseph’s over the coming months, we will have opportunity to participate in the “Traditional Latin Mass” on Sunday 3/20/2022 at 2:00PM.
One does not need to know Latin or have any great familiarity with the language to appreciate the celebration of the Mass. Worship aids will be available in Latin & English to help all participate fully in the celebration. Over the next few weeks we will consider some of the key distinctions between the ancient use and the more common celebration we see today. We will also consider how one might actively participate in the Holy Mass regardless of which form they attend. God bless you!
Fr. Matthew Biedrzycki