Chaplain’s Corner | Ember Days (September 21, 2014)

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On Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week, the Church commemorates the “Ember Days” of autumn, which are held traditionally each year after the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Ember Days, called “The Four Times” in Latin, are ancient liturgical commemorations of the changing of the seasons. They are penitential days, in which the Christian does extra penance like fasting and abstaining from meat.

Ember Days are a wonderful synecdoche of the Church’s nuanced relationship to creation. On the one hand, these celebrations affirm deeply the goodness of creation. The presence of these celebrations of the changing seasons in the Roman Liturgy from ancient times witnesses to the deep connection of the Christian soul to the cosmos and the marvels of nature. Together with the direction of liturgical prayer “ad orientem,” facing the rising sun, the Church’s Ember Days tell us that nature is good and is part of our connection to God’s Uncreated Goodness.

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Few photos from last Sunday’s Pontifical Mass!

Here are few photos from last Sunday’s Pontifical Mass at the Throne celebrated by His Grace, The Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, on the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and 7th Anniversary of the implementation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” at Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Parish in San Francisco, California, USA. More photos and video of this special event will be posted shortly!

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Chaplain’s Corner | Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14, 2014)

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Today we celebrate the great Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We raise our eyes in faith and love to Christ Crucified and worship Him and His Holy Cross, singing with the Church, adoring the Cross: “Dear Cross, best hope o’er all beside,/That cheers the solemn passion-tide:/Give to the just increase of grace,/Give to each contrite sinner peace.”

There is a profound intimacy between Jesus Christ and His Holy Cross. St. Thomas Aquinas helps us understand why and how we worship the Cross of Christ. He explains that something can be worshipped as an image of the One worshipped (like an icon of Jesus) or as belonging to the One worshipped (like the Sacred Heart of Jesus). The True Cross of Christ, he says, “is to be venerated by us in both ways–namely, in one way in so far as it represents to us the figure of Christ extended thereon; in the other way, from its contact with the limbs of Christ, and from its being saturated with His blood.”

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Update: Change of time for Canon Estrada’s First Mass at the IHM Oratory this Saturday, Sept. 13 (1PM)

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Update as of 9/9/14 — Canon Estrada’s First Mass at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory  / Five Wounds Church in San Jose is at 1PM.

Reverend Canon Joel Estrada was one of the 4 deacons ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, on August 5, 2014, at the St. Francis de Sales Oratory, St. Louis, MO.

Canon Estrada is scheduled to celebrate his first principal mass at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory / Five Wounds Church (San Jose, CA) on Sept. 13 (1 PM. Saturday) and on St. Margaret Mary (Oakland, CA) on Sept. 14 (12:30 PM Sunday). Canon will impart his first blessings after the Mass. A plenary indulgence is attached to this devotion. Please contact Diana Henriksson (dhenriksson@comcast.net) to help out for the special reception at Oakland or Jerry and Emy Nilsen (nilsenpiano@aol.com) at San Jose.

A spiritual bouquet for Canon Estrada is currently available online.

Chaplain’s Corner | Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8, 2014)

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On September 8, the Church celebrates the wonderful feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this day, we receive into the arms of our Christian hearts the little baby who is our Blessed Mother. At this feast, God’s masterpiece of human personhood is born for us and we are present at the birth of our own Mother.

There is something special about the birth of a baby, distinct from his beginning to exist in the womb of his mother. When a baby is born, even though he already existed in himself in the womb, he now begins to exist in a new way, in that he is present to the world around him. This is how St. Thomas explains the fact that the Church celebrates the Birth of Christ more solemnly than His Conception. We have something of this logic in the solemnity with which we keep the feast of Mary’s birth from St. Anne.

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Reminder – Canon Estrada’s First Mass in California (Sept. 13/14)

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Reverend Canon Joel Estrada was one of the 4 deacons ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, on August 5, 2014, at the St. Francis de Sales Oratory, St. Louis, MO.

Canon Estrada is scheduled to celebrate his first principal mass at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory / Five Wounds Church (San Jose, CA) on Sept. 13 (1 PM. Saturday) and on St. Margaret Mary (Oakland, CA) on Sept. 14 (12:30 PM Sunday). Canon will impart his first blessings after the Mass. A plenary indulgence is attached to this devotion. Please contact Diana Henriksson (dhenriksson@comcast.net) to help out for the special reception at Oakland or Jerry and Emy Nilsen (nilsenpiano@aol.com) at San Jose.

A spiritual bouquet for Canon Estrada is currently available online.

Bringing the Inspiration of the London Oratory to the San Francisco Oratory

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Jeffrey Morse with the CMAA Men’s Schola

Bringing the Inspiration of the London Oratory to the San Francisco Oratory
by Roseanne Sullivan

Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco has a new Director of Music, Jeffrey Morse. Morse’s first Sunday on the job was August 24.

From 2001 to 2014, Morse was Precentor[i] and Master of the Choristers at St. Stephen The First Martyr Church in Sacramento, CA, which is run by the Fraternity of St. Peter. Morse has also been active for a number of years in the Church Music Association of America, and most recently, in July of this year, he led the training for one of the men’s chant scholas at the CMAA’s Sacred Music Colloquium in Indianapolis.

On August 7, Morse wrote: “I have accepted the position of Director of Music at Star of the Sea. This is the new home of the Oratory of St Phillip Neri (in formation). I am very lucky that the parish already has a fine and well known musician there, Sven Oblash, who is doing great things and has provided the music for the principle Sunday Mass since the last choir director left. I look forward to working with him. The church also has an elementary school attached, and my main goal will be to start a chorister program there to eventually sing for the parish liturgies. I will also be off to England in late September spending time at the London Oratory there … making sure the new San Francisco Oratory has a good and solid Oratory musical spirit and traditions. Thank you to all my friends and family for your prayers and good thoughts, and please continue them as I take on this new and slightly daunting new position!

Morse had already made arrangements for the trip to England when he received the job offer. He will continue to work at Star of the Sea until he leaves for England September 20, and he plans to be back in late November. Continue reading