This is a video worth watching…
Send your kids there!!
Once again, Holy Mother Church starts a new Liturgical Year through the Season of Advent. This new beginning has always been one of expectation, prayer, and penance. I intend to reproduce here the introduction to the Season of Advent found in The Roman Missal which encapsulates the whole beauty of this season.
The Liturgical texts used during the four weeks of the season of Advent remind the faithful of the “Absence of Christ.” The Collects of Advent do not end with, “through our Lord Jesus Christ,” as during the rest of the year. In a spirit of penance and prayer we await the Mediator, the God-Man, preparing for His coming in the flesh, and also for His second coming as our Judge. The Masses for Advent strike a note of preparation and repentance mingled with joy and hope; hence, although the penitential purple is worn and the Gloria is omitted, the joyous Alleluia is retained. The readings from the Old Testament contained in the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion of the Masses taken mostly from the prophecies of Isaias and from the Psalms, give eloquent expression to the longing of all nations for a Redeemer.
Every November, Holy Mother Church recognizes this month as the month when we commemorate all the Saints and all the Poor souls in Purgatory. With that in mind, permit me to reflect on Death, a silent and inevitable companion in our lives. As you read this, please do remember to always pray to St. Joseph and all the forgotten members of Christ’s faithful.
Death is always painful when it comes because it means that a person is cut off from the world of the living. It means that between the dead and the living there comes a distance much farther than the farthest point on this earth. When a person lives, one can always hope he will come back home sooner or later; but when a person is dead, one can only hope to join him someday.
There is something final in death which no one ever likes. When death comes, it’s all over for the person this side of life. No matter how miserable one’s life may have been, death appears always terrifying. Life is just too beautiful to end in death.
But our faith teaches us that death is the necessary passage to Eternal Life. Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24).
November 22nd, Friday at 6:30 PM
Mission Santa Clara (Santa Clara University)
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
Celebrant: Rev. Fr. William J. Stout, SJ
Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur; We praise Thee, O God; we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum; In Thee have I hoped, O Lord; let me not be confounded for ever.
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
All of us identify and fell good about the uniquely American celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Yet this year those over a certain age recall probably the saddest Thanksgiving Day in our American history. It was right after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, fifty years ago. After hearing the shocking news, slowly our country pulled together and moved on. I suppose that in some ways we have never been the same. There was a loss of innocence, trust, security. Yet we reached deep down into our souls and heard our Lord speak to us: “Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be consoled.”
One tends to feel rather patriotic as Thanksgiving Day approaches. It is, I think, the most American of holidays, in that religion, family, and material abundance are interwoven into the building of community and good cheer associated with the kickoff of the commercial Christmas season. We do these things well as Americans.
And then we always have G.K. Chesterton to recall for us the proper order of things. “The Americans have established a Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers reached America,” Chesterton quipped. “The English might very well establish another Thanksgiving Day; to celebrate the happy fact that the Pilgrim Fathers left England.”
Of course, we need not share Chesterton’s disdain for our dear Thanksgiving Day, even if we share his disdain for Puritanism. For Thanksgiving is actually and properly about the rendering of gratitude to Almighty God for all of His blessings upon us. “In all circumstances give thanks,” St. Paul wrote. This is precisely what we recall this Thursday: that, no matter what is happening in our lives, the proper posture of the creature before the Creator is the movement of the heart in gratitude.
Last Friday (November 15, 2013), we flew from San Francisco to San Diego to attend the 25th Anniversary Pontifical High Mass of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP), that was celebrated by our very own Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. It was also a blessing for the SF TLM Society to meet up with Fr John Berg, the Superior General of the Fraternity, as he expressed his full support for the things we do. Below are few photos taken from the event. More pictures can be viewed on our photo gallery. A high definition youtube video (HD) of the entire mass can be viewed here. Please pray for the success of our Society and growth of the TLM in San Francisco.