Sanctification in Daily Work
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Mass in Olds, Alberta, Canda at St. Stephen’s

St. Stephen's, Olds, Alberta, CanadaI recently returned from a 9 day trip to back to back conferences in Calgary and Olds, Alberta, Canada. The first one was primarily in Olds at the university there. So, I have added to my collection of churches I have been blessed to visit for Mass. This one is St. Stephen’s. I got a cab ride to Mass and found one of the attendees at the conference there at the end of Mass. We shared a ride back to the conference venue. I wish we could have had more attending but I am so glad for that opportunity. I couldn’t go to daily Mass but was able to do so for Sunday vigil Mass.

Annual Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Assumption Catholic ChurchLast week I spent 4 days working in Chicago. On Thursday, the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I used Uber to and from Assumption Catholic Church. Which, of course, was well worth it. It was cold and I really don’t have any desire to walk around the streets of a city like Chicago has become. I overheard attendees asking the hotel staff if it was safe to walk even just a couple blocks.

But all was well and we had a wonderful Mass where I renewed my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary prayer. It’s actually several weeks of meditation and prayer and I highly recommend it.

The next trip I have to make for work isn’t until January 10 in New Orleans. It is shaping up to be a busy 1st quarter of 2023, just like it was this year. I don’t really relish the travel anymore but it is work and I offer it all up to God. I am hoping to see some family members before then, especially my Mother. In six weeks it will be the anniversary of my Dad’s funeral and I’d like to see her before then.

Mass Can Be Celebrated Publicly Now

Ascension MassIn Florida our Bishops decided to allow public Mass a couple weeks ago. We had our first one last Sunday but I was out of town. On this Ascension Sunday I was once again able to live stream Mass. I had to take this photo to show the renovation in the background. We have a massive project taking place probably through July. The impact of it has reduced the number of pews available for now. Parish members can go online and register for one of the three weekend Masses we have now, one on Saturday afternoon and two on Sunday. We also have a list of rules which include assigned pew seating after registration and other things. It is still “different” in that we can’t gather in a group and talk inside the church for example.

But, for now we can finally go to Mass in our churches. Thank God for that!

Live Streaming Easter Sunday Mass

Easter MassIt has been my privilege to assist with the live streaming of our liturgies at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel for several weeks now. I did so again yesterday for our Easter Mass. Before that we did the full Easter Triduum.

This Mass was special because my wife, Cindy, came with me to do one of the readings. For the most part it has been just Father, me and Michael our music leader. Cindy and I have long tried to attend Mass every day that we can. This isolation situation has been a hardship that way. But putting my work skills to good use has allowed me to still participate and at the same time bring the Mass to many other people locally and from around the world. I think that right now we have about 1,400 views of the Mass and that doesn’t count where more than one person was watching.

I hope and pray that the quarantine will be lifted soon and we see an end of this pandemic situation. I pray also for all the people who have been impacted in some terrible ways that include loss of life, loss of jobs/businesses, loneliness and depression.

Live Streaming Sunday Mass on Facebook

Live Streaming Sunday MassThis past 4th Sunday of Lent I had the honor to help Fr. Callipare live stream Mass via the parish Facebook page. In case you would like to watch please click on the image or the embed below.

This was very successful with almost 1,000 views as of this morning and almost 100 comments. Father says he has received very positive feedback. So, this Wednesday, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, we will live stream Mass again at 9am Central. We’ll start about 5 minutes early with a view of the Altar and some music. Then on Friday evening at 7pm we’re planning to live stream the Stations of the Cross with me following Father through the stations.

I do this kind of work in my business so I am thrilled to be able to put those skills to use in this way at such a crazy and unusual time. May God bless you and I pray for a rapid end to this virus pandemic.

Public Mass Suspended – More Prayer Needed

Weekday MassBy now just about everywhere in the U.S. public Masses have been suspended during this pandemic virus situation. This photo is from the last public Mass at my church, Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, Pensacola, last Thursday. To say it was emotional would be an understatement. Bishops have granted a dispensation from attending Sunday Mass while this suspension is in effect.

During this time of change, challenge, fear for many, worry, anxiety, stress, the Mass with our Lord Jesus Christ offered a haven of quiet, prayer and meditation for many, many people. Hopefully this will be a very short situation.

It is good to keep in mind that Masses will still be said every day throughout the world. In fact, I am going to be helping our pastor set up the ability to livestream the Sunday Mass this weekend at 9am central on Facebook.

This also presents us with an opportunity for additional personal reflection and prayer. So many people are now out of work or required to stay home. We need to pray for them and their need to care for their families.

You can find the statement from Most Reverend William Wack, Bishop, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, here. Also included is a 14th century prayer to the Blessed Mother for protection from the Plague. This is in all our church missals and we started saying after each Mass just recently.

Here is that prayer, just to make it easier:

Star of Heaven,
who nourished the Lord
and rooted up the plague of death
which our first parents planted:
May that star now deign
to hold in check the constellations
whose strife causes in people
the sores of a terrible death.
O glorious star of the sea,
save us from infection.
Hear us: for your Son,
who honors you, denies you nothing.
Jesus, save us, for whom
the Virgin Mother prays to you.

V. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. God of mercy and forgiveness, moved to pity at the affliction of your people, you commanded the destroying Angel to stay his arm for the love of that glorious Star, at whose precious breast you sweetly drank the remedy for the poison of our sins: come to our help with your divine grace so that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary your Mother and Blessed Bartholomew your beloved Apostle, preserve us from all contagion and untimely death, and mercifully save us from the danger of perdition. Through Jesus Christ, King of glory and Savior of the World, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

A Bishop, 3 Priests & a Deacon

Weekday MassThis week after getting home from hunting camp I attended noon Mass at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel here in Pensacola. I was pleasantly surprised to see our Bishop Gregory Parkes celebrating along with three priests and a deacon! That’s pretty cool.

After Mass they all came outside to shake hands and chat. The Bishop was glad I made it. He is a such an easy person to speak to and I think we’re very blessed to have him here in Florida!

One Hundred Fifty Three Fish

The Gospel reading for today is Jn 21:1-14. In it there is a very specific mention of 153 fish being caught in a net that did not tear. I’ve always wondered what the meaning of the number of fish is. Today our our Pastor told us what he had found from his own research.

Here’s a segment from the reading:

So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.

Apparently at the time of the Gospel what we would now call zoologists had categorized 153 species of fish. Therefore the subjective meaning of the number would be the bringing to Jesus all the people of the world. There is also significance to the fact that the net was not torn, meaning that Jesus’ love is large enough and strong enough to encompass everyone.

I’m sure there are other interpretations of what this number means but it’s the first time I can remember hearing this explanation and it not only makes sense but it really helped bring the meaning of this particular Gospel passage home to me in today’s Mass.

Welcome To New Mass Translations

As my spiritual director said on Friday of the new Mass translations that go into effect today, “I can’t wait!” I have my new Daily Roman Missal and I’m ready.

One of our local Catholic school principals made up a printable sheet with the new responses for students attending weekday Mass. You can open it by clicking on the image (pdf) or with this link (pdf) or this one (.doc).

Feel free to open and print if you’d like.

New Daily Roman Missal

Only a week until we start the new Mass translation from the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal! Are you ready? If not, get on the horn to Scepter Publishers and order your Daily Roman Missal. I have mine and look forward to using it next week.

The new Daily Roman Missal (according to the Roman Missal, Third Edition with the new English translation that goes into effect Advent 2011) includes prayers and readings to all Sunday and daily Masses in one volume. It also includes Masses for the Dead, and many Ritual, Votive and other Masses. It is a complete source for following the Mass, and reflecting on its profound beauty and grace. Available in hardbound—the Daily Roman Missal is an ideal size to carry, at just 4.75″ x 6.75,” it easily fits in a briefcase, backpack, or carry-on when traveling.

Independence Day Mass

Cindy and I are thinking of going to our local Independence Day activities this evening that includes the Little River Band playing on the Missouri Capitol steps before the fireworks. That’s a great way to celebrate. But so is attending Mass!

This is a photo from our morning Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Our new Associate Pastor, Fr. Nicholas Reed, celebrated. I would give up a hundred fireworks displays and free concerts to go to just one Mass as a way to celebrate this day.

I hope everyone has a very safe and blessed celebration wherever you are.

Mass At IndyCar Race In Iowa

Last weekend I was working at the Iowa Corn Indy 250 race once again. Although it was a Saturday night race we had a Mass in the afternoon. Like last year, the Mass was held in the press conference room of the media center at Iowa Speedway.

Special thanks to the IndyCar Ministry for making this possible at race tracks everywhere.

IndyCar Ministry is a 501c3 not-for-profit, non-denominational organization, which was developed to help the racing community. We exist because of the donations we receive from the racing community and great partners that join with us to reach out to the people that are part of this great sport. Our financial records are available for review by contacting our office. We desire to be good stewards of the blessings we are given.

Masses for Feast of Saint Josemaria

June 26th, the anniversary of Saint Josemaría’s death in 1975, is now his feast day. Masses will be celebrated in many cities around the U.S. You can find a list of them here. Here’s the invite from St. Louis. Unfortunately I’ll be in Iowa and won’t be able to attend.

Remembering Heroes On Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day Holiday. Many churches have a holiday Mass schedule. Hopefully you checked yours. This morning I attended an early Mass at Immaculate Conception in Jefferson City, MO. Normally I would go to the Cathedral but the Mass there isn’t until 9am this morning.

Today we honor, remember and pray for the souls of our deceased men and women who have died in service to our country. At 3pm today you may want to take a moment to say a prayer and remember these heroes.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

More Churches on the Road

I’ve done a little road work the past week or so. Week before last I was in Arlington, VA and was able to attend Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More. I’ve been there before but not since when I worked for the Vitae Foundation. That’s been over seven years ago. It’s hard to believe my company is now over seven years old.

This past week I was in Des Moines, IA and attempted to go to a morning Mass downtown before an 8am mtg. I tried St. Ambrose Cathedral first but there is only a noon Mass. Next I tried St. John’s Basilica. Same schedule. I don’t know why I find that hard to believe. A Cathedral and a Basilica and neither one has a morning Mass on a weekday? I wound up saying my morning prayers outside the Basilica in front of this little grotto with Mary.

I also traveled to Albany, NY at the end of the week and attended Mass at Christ Our Light in Loudonville. It used to be St. Francis de Sales. I didn’t bother taking a photo. It was the first Mass I’ve ever been to where at least half the people walked directly out from receiving communion. I was attending a 4pm Saturday Mass. People just left in droves. But if you had been there and seen the scarcity of reverence for the church and loose interpretation of the norms you might understand.