The Octave of Pentecost is one of my favorite times of the liturgical year. During the past week, the Church has been relishing the Gift of the Divine Holy Spirit. The Church has been reflecting on the marvel and power of this Gift, Who is our Consoler and Strength. Where I live, in Half Moon Bay, we even have the beautiful Portuguese Holy Ghost Festival to celebrate His descent upon Mary, the Apostles, the disciples, and the whole Church.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us immediately aware of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. St. Paul writes: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us one with God the Son in His Sacred Humanity, through which we have access in one Spirit to the Father!
Canon Jean Marie Moreau, former rector of the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (now rector at the St. Anthony of Padua Oratory in West Orange, NJ) celebrated a Low Mass last Wednesday (May 27, 2015). After Mass, Canon Moreau was warmly welcomed by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory faithful. Click on the photo for the picture gallery of the Low Mass.
St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confirmation by promising it: “If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you.” The Sending of the Spirit upon the Church at Pentecost is the Confirmation of the Apostles and disciples. They are filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit and empowered to preach and to witness to Jesus even in the midst of great danger. They are made soldiers of Jesus Christ!
As we open our hearts today to receive this new Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we can never forget that those who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation have likewise been clothed with Power from on high. We also have received the Spirit, Who empowers us to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, even in the face of persecution and suffering. With this fullness of the Holy Spirit, we have received a new sacramental character, a new sharing in the priesthood of Jesus, which gives us the power publicly to profess the faith so as to defend the faith and to bring others to Jesus.
As announced earlier, Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass) was celebrated at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi by the Rev. Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) to start the Archbishop Cordileone Support Day last May 16, 2015. Click on the photo for the complete photo gallery of the High Mass.
After mass, priests, religious, lay faithful and their families assembled at the Sue Bierman Park in San Francisco for a picnic-style gathering to give their public moral support for Archbishop Cordileone. Groups from different parishes in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, as well as dioceses near and far, were seen all over as some of them carried banners and posters identifying their parish. Click on the photo above for the photo gallery of the picnic.
Jesus has ascended into Heaven. In so doing, He has forever placed our hearts in Heaven: “Sursum corda!” He is our Treasure, and our faith, hope, and love are now directed entirely Heavenward. Where our Head has gone, the members hope to follow. With our hearts in Heaven with our Treasure, we obey St. Paul’s command to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand.” We approach Jesus now entirely with heavenly reverence, as in the Sacred Liturgy, rather than in the earthly familiarity of walking with Him on the shores of Galilee.
Our first act in this new way of life in Christ is to return to Jersualem, rejoicing with the Apostles (Luke 24:52), and to gather in the Upper Room, united in prayer with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today is our third day of prayer together, making with Our Mother the novena to the Holy Spirit, begging Jesus to clothe us with Power from on high. We somehow feel closer to Jesus because we are with His Mother. We know that, when He sends us His Holy Spirit, we will be closer to Him than we have ever been, even than those who ate and drank with Him.
As we beg for the Holy Spirit to possess us entirely and to unite us fully to Jesus, we think of those areas of our lives where we need most help. We think of our weakness and our ignorance and our coldhearted indifference. We see so clearly our need for a Savior and our need for His Spirit. We tell His Mother to pray especially for those areas of our lives. We tell her everything. She loves us and protects us and nurtures us.
This is the Church today. We are gathered in the Upper Room with Mary, the Queen of the Apostles. She is the Mother of the Church. When she merits congruously the Sending of the Spirit, we will be emboldened to preach the Gospel to all nations. The Church awaits the Spirit. The Bride says, Veni! Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Veni per Mariam!
In order to properly start this day in prayer, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated at The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi in San Francisco by Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
Mass is at 9:30 am. Confessions might be available.
It was a joyful occasion for 9 children and their parents last Sunday, May 10, as they received our Lord for the first time in Holy Communion. Each child was also given a brown scapular, rosary and red roses to offer up to Our Lady after mass. Click on the photo above to view the entire gallery. Video of the High Mass is currently being edited and will be available for viewing shortly.
Click on the photo above for a gallery of selected photos from the May Crowning and Rosary Procession held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory on Sunday, May 10, 2015. The Oratory is located at Five Wounds Portuguese National Church … Continue reading →