Saint Maximilian Kolbe
This photograph was recently featured in the Ocean City Sentinel.
It appears to show Father Pete attending an event, but we think he may have misplaced his speech or showed up on the wrong day…
What do you think? What is he saying?
We invite the parish to submit their own thoughts in the form of a caption to firstname.lastname@example.org or on the parish FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/StMaximilianKolbeParishMarmoraNj?ref=hl
The parish office will select their favorite, and feature it in an upcoming bulletin.
HAVE FUN!!! BE CREATIVE!!
Pentecost, Memorial Day Weekend, the ‘unofficial’ beginning of summer. I believe the observance of these holidays (holydays) can become an opportunity for our Church to recognize its identity and reflect its greater influence in the broader community. For example, consider how, without pastoral guidance, people are often left on their own to find a meaningful way to commemorate this national holiday.
But the Church, born on Pentecost, is not a group of individuals who are left to their own. The Church is not a closed community, but a community thrown wide open — to all the nations “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Those who enter this community through Baptism become, by virtue of the Holy Spirit of truth, witnesses of the Good News and are ready to pass it on to others. It is therefore a dynamic, apostolic community, the Church “in a state of mission.”
This weekend, I ask us to consider our mission as a Church to be intentional about the way we approach Memorial Day in order to make this national holiday as meaningful and as it ought to be. Prayer, service, sacrifice, “In remembrance of Him” is the Church’s mission that honors the service and sacrifice of others.
“And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20)
Back in the seminary, there was a magnificent wooden stairway which went up four stories. As you have heard in my homilies, I don’t like heights. One night, a friend of mine, who had a very playful sense of humor, was up on the third floor near the library with me, right next to that stairway. He knew I didn’t like heights, and he suddenly went over to the railing, where you could look way down.
As he did so, he said, “Pete, imagine if this railing wasn’t here!” And he began waving his arms as he leaned way over! Well, he didn’t fall, but I was paralyzed with fear that he would!
The description of the Ascension of Jesus in the Acts of the Apostles, which we read this past Thursday, shows the disciples looking up to heaven, watching Jesus depart. It reminds me of that moment at the railing of that high stairwell. There once was a time when the railing wasn’t there. And there once was a time when the Church wasn’t the large, worldwide institution it is today. No parishes, not much of a hierarchy, no written – out liturgical books, no bible, no catechism. Just the disciples, looking up to heaven, perhaps wondering, “What next?”
Maybe some were paralyzed by fear at the thought of doing it without Jesus! The heavenly messengers urged them not to stand there, looking up. Jesus would come again. Meanwhile, there was a mission. They were to go and wait for the Spirit, who would help them take the next steps.
The Feast of the Ascension recalls not only the Lord’s ascension into heaven, but also His assurance of security to remain with His Church always through the Holy Spirit. When I see people polarized over religious opinion, I wonder if they have forgotten His promise to be with us always, until the end of time. For we can be confident, that in the very reality of the Church, He is still present and known.
As Pope Francis said, people cannot be Christians without the Church, explaining that Christian identity is rooted in it and that believers cannot stand alone. “Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church. Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians,” Francis said during Mass on Thursday,
Vatican Radio reported.
“A Christian without a church is something purely idealistic, it is not real,” the Roman Catholic Church leader argued. He said that one cannot “understand a Christian alone” any more than “Jesus Christ alone” can be understood. “Jesus Christ did not fall from the sky like a superhero who comes to save us. No. Jesus Christ has a history. And we can say, and it is true, that God has a history because He wanted to walk with us. And you cannot understand Jesus Christ without His history. So a Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life,” Francis said.
As the Mass intention book opens this week, many will be lined up outside the rectory window with intentions and questions. In this matter, I present to you some of the frequently asked questions presented to the staff:
If Mass is for everyone, why do we schedule Mass intentions? Whenever the Mass is celebrated, it embraces the entire human family, both living and dead. It is not limited to one person or one intention. The benefits of each Eucharist are infinite and include the whole world.
Nevertheless, we believe that there is inestimable value in “having a Mass celebrated” for a particular intention. This refers to holding up to the Lord a special intention in addition to the intentions that are included in the celebration of every Eucharist.
Why doesn’t the parish take more than one intention per Mass? The Church allows only one intention per Mass in order to avoid giving the appearance that the sacraments, and in particular the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, can be earned or purchased.
The idea of making an offering for a special intention comes from the long standing tradition in the early Church of the faithful participating in the Eucharist by providing the gifts necessary for the celebration (especially the bread and wine) as well as other gifts meant to support the clergy and to feed those most in need.
The Church has deliberately chosen the term “offering”, to clearly show that any offering given for the celebration of a Massis to be freely given – and that the poor and needy are never to be denied the celebration of a Mass for their intentions because of their inability to provide a customary offering.
Why can we take five intentions for the Mass on Friday? Due to the shortage of priests and therefore daily Masses, it is not possible to have Masses said for everyone’s chosen intentions. For this reason, the Holy See authorized bishops to allow the celebration of Masses with several intentions at once under the direction of the local bishop. In our diocese, we are allowed to celebrate one Mass per week with “cumulative” intentions.
Why can’t I always have the same Mass dates for my loved ones that I have been requesting for years? The Church is not merely an historical institution, but also a living reality. The teaching of the Church is clear that no one be denied the celebration of their intention because of their inability to provide a customary offering. In a similar manner, the Church recognizes that the life of the Christian Faithful is constantly being renewed and revealed and no one should be denied the celebration of their intention because some members of the Body of Christ might be granted an historical privilege.
Why can’t I schedule Mass intentions several years in advance? Again, because the Church is a living reality and no one can foresee the needs of the Christian Faithful, Mass intentions are scheduled to follow the rhythm of the liturgical year.
How can we schedule healing intentions promptly? In an effort to keep open the possibility of having the intention for healing, which obviously cannot be forecast, we attempt to leave open as long as possible one of the Friday ‘cumulative’ intentions at the Church of the Resurrection. It is noteworthy that in our parish we are fortunate to celebrate Mass daily at both the Church of the Resurrection and Saint Casimir. Hence, the possibility of having a prompt healing intention provided during Mass is often possible in our parish.
Additionally, at the entrance to each of our parish churches there are books to record intentions that will be brought to the altar at every Mass.