Fr. Jim Lee
Pastor

Pastor’s Notebook

I am grateful to Ralph Shawver our bulletin editor for his continued patience with me. I’m notoriously late in getting my column to him as our deadline is Monday afternoon. As I sit here Thursday afternoon, February 11, it is snowing heavily. We canceled the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation for this evening as well as for Friday. The prediction is for even heavier snow Friday and Saturday. We will be rescheduling Confirmation for some time in the Easter season. Less chance of snow then.

We began our Lenten journey with an unusual practice of having the ashes sprinkled on our heads rather than the sign of the cross traced on our foreheads. Both symbolize our desire to enter into this season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Each year holy mother Church gives us the opportunity to refocus and re-center ourselves on what is most important.

This year I am asking that we keep in mind the first line of Saint Michael Parish’s mission statement: “Place God first in all things.” 

To place God first means that God’s relationship with us and our response to that relationship comes first before all else. It is in this relationship that we realize that we are loved by God, beloved daughters and sons of God and called to be love for others.

To place God first in all things means that all of our thoughts, words and actions flow from this intimate relationship with God.

To place God first in all things is to realize that all is a gift from God and we are called to be good stewards of those abundant gifts.

To place God first in all things is to be sent forth to share those gifts with others, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news, to “Go, make disciples.”

To place God first in all things is to be rooted in this relationship with God through prayer, sacraments (the privileged encounters with God given to the Church by Jesus Christ), and service to others (the spiritual and corporal Works of Mercy.

To help us place God first we need to be intentional about time for prayer and reflection. We make this journey one day at a time. If you are following the 40-Day Ignatian Spiritual Workout for Lent, each exercise is more than enough for one day. If you are praying with the Rice Bowl, follow along with their app for more resources and beautiful video introductions to each week. If you are in a small group, be especially attentive to the call to discipleship and the sharing of your faith with others beyond your group. If you are praying the Liturgy of the Hours with the Church, I especially encourage you to pray the Office of Readings. There are many beautiful reflections throughout Lent. If you are able, try to attend Mass during the week. This is a wonderful way to deepen your relationship with God by taking time to place God first ahead of a busy schedule.

Lastly, I invite you to share your Lenten journey with others, especially with those who may have no church home or no faith. During this time of Covid fears, you can be a sign and an instrument of hope, peace and purpose. You may be the instrument the Lord wants to use to bring others to Him. Do not be afraid to simply ask others, “For what can I pray for you? What do you need prayer for?” Then pray right there and then. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It simply needs to be genuine, rooted in your faith. Then, you may want to say to them, “Would you please pray for me for…” This is a wonderful invitation for them to pray for you right there and then or maybe later. What an easy way to invite God into the midst of our everyday interactions.

Please let me know how such moments unfold for you. Please send me an email. I would love to be able to share them in my pastor’s notebook.

Altar servers

On this first Sunday of Lent, we are reintroducing altar servers following archdiocesan guidelines. We are grateful for their willingness to return and to help us to worship God as we celebrate Mass. They will assist in the procession and recession as well as assist in preparing the altar. If you have been an altar server in the past and would like to be trained, please call our Steward for Liturgy, Nicole Nussel at the parish office.

Blessings to you all as we enter into this first week of Lent.

Pastor’s Notebook

I am grateful to Ralph Shawver our bulletin editor for his continued patience with me. I’m notoriously late in getting my column to him as our deadline is Monday afternoon. As I sit here Thursday afternoon, February 11, it is snowing heavily. We canceled the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation for this evening as well as for Friday. The prediction is for even heavier snow Friday and Saturday. We will be rescheduling Confirmation for some time in the Easter season. Less chance of snow then.

We began our Lenten journey with an unusual practice of having the ashes sprinkled on our heads rather than the sign of the cross traced on our foreheads. Both symbolize our desire to enter into this season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Each year holy mother Church gives us the opportunity to refocus and re-center ourselves on what is most important.

This year I am asking that we keep in mind the first line of Saint Michael Parish’s mission statement: “Place God first in all things.”

To place God first means that God’s relationship with us and our response to that relationship comes first before all else. It is in this relationship that we realize that we are loved by God, beloved daughters and sons of God and called to be love for others.

To place God first in all things means that all of our thoughts, words and actions flow from this intimate relationship with God.

To place God first in all things is to realize that all is a gift from God and we are called to be good stewards of those abundant gifts.

To place God first in all things is to be sent forth to share those gifts with others, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news, to “Go, make disciples.”

To place God first in all things is to be rooted in this relationship with God through prayer, sacraments (the privileged encounters with God given to the Church by Jesus Christ), and service to others (the spiritual and corporal Works of Mercy.

To help us place God first we need to be intentional about time for prayer and reflection. We make this journey one day at a time. If you are following the 40-Day Ignatian Spiritual Workout for Lent, each exercise is more than enough for one day. If you are praying with the Rice Bowl, follow along with their app for more resources and beautiful video introductions to each week. If you are in a small group, be especially attentive to the call to discipleship and the sharing of your faith with others beyond your group. If you are praying the Liturgy of the Hours with the Church, I especially encourage you to pray the Office of Readings. There are many beautiful reflections throughout Lent. If you are able, try to attend Mass during the week. This is a wonderful way to deepen your relationship with God by taking time to place God first ahead of a busy schedule.

Lastly, I invite you to share your Lenten journey with others, especially with those who may have no church home or no faith. During this time of Covid fears, you can be a sign and an instrument of hope, peace and purpose. You may be the instrument the Lord wants to use to bring others to Him. Do not be afraid to simply ask others, “For what can I pray for you? What do you need prayer for?” Then pray right there and then. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It simply needs to be genuine, rooted in your faith. Then, you may want to say to them, “Would you please pray for me for…” This is a wonderful invitation for them to pray for you right there and then or maybe later. What an easy way to invite God into the midst of our everyday interactions.

Please let me know how such moments unfold for you. Please send me an email. I would love to be able to share them in my pastor’s notebook.

Altar servers

On this first Sunday of Lent, we are reintroducing altar servers following archdiocesan guidelines. We are grateful for their willingness to return and to help us to worship God as we celebrate Mass. They will assist in the procession and recession as well as assist in preparing the altar. If you have been an altar server in the past and would like to be trained, please call our Steward for Liturgy, Nicole Nussel at the parish office.

Blessings to you all as we enter into this first week of Lent.

From Fr. Lou

The Eucharistic Prayer: The Specifics

The earliest manuscripts we have of Catholic liturgical books (from the mid 600s) include the entirety of what we consider now “Eucharistic Prayer I” and is also known as the “Roman Canon.” There are minor variations across these Missals (including a line of prayer for the Emperor!), but they are essentially as we have it today. In the late 1960s and early 1970s additional Eucharistic Prayers were introduced into the Latin Rite. These Eucharistic Prayers are the work of a Vatican Committee formed in the 1960s and 1970s and are based on some historical texts and/or inspired by a particular biblical theme. In each of the Eucharistic Prayers there are some major sequences, as outlined in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal as follows:

Thanksgiving (expressed especially in the Preface): In which the priest, in the name of the entire holy people, glorifies God the Father and gives thanks for the whole work of salvation or for some special aspect of it that corresponds to the day, festivity, or season.

Acclamation: In which the whole congregation, joining with the heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus. This acclamation, which is part of the Eucharistic Prayer itself, is sung or said by all the people with the priest.

Epiclesis: In which, by means of particular invocations, the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ’s Body and Blood, and that the spotless Victim to be received in Communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.

Institution narrative and consecration: In which, by means of words and actions of Christ, the Sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper, when he offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine, gave them to his Apostles to eat and drink, and left them the command to perpetuate this same mystery.

Anamnesis: In which the Church, fulfilling the command that she received from Christ the Lord through the Apostles, keeps the memorial of Christ, recalling especially his blessed Passion, glorious Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.

Offering: By which, in this very memorial, the Church and in particular the Church here and now gathered, offers in the Holy Spirit the spotless Victim to the Father. The Church’s intention, however, is that the faithful not only offer this spotless Victim but also learn to offer themselves, and so day by day to be consummated, through Christ the Mediator, into unity with God and with each other, so that at last God may be all in all.

Intercessions: By which expression is given to the fact that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the entire Church, of heaven as well as of earth, and that the offering is made for her and for all her members, living and dead, who have been called to participate in the redemption and the salvation purchased by Christ’s Body and Blood.

Final doxology: By which the glorification of God is expressed and which is confirmed and concluded by the people’s acclamation, Amen.

As we move forward, I will be looking at different aspects of the Eucharistic Prayer in particular, moving chronologically, and cursorily, through them. All in all, it is most important that, during this time we unite ourselves to the prayer of Christ and the Church and so that we might offer ourselves as Christ does every time the Mass is celebrated.

For Further Study See:

The Canon of the Mass

St. Ambrose of Milan, de Mysteriis, chapter 8ff

Bobbio Missal. World Digital Library

Gelasian Sacramentary. Manuscript Reg.Lat.316

Missale Gothicum. Manuscript Reg.Lat 317

From Fr. Lou

The Eucharistic Prayer: The Specifics

The earliest manuscripts we have of Catholic liturgical books (from the mid 600s) include the entirety of what we consider now “Eucharistic Prayer I” and is also known as the “Roman Canon.” There are minor variations across these Missals (including a line of prayer for the Emperor!), but they are essentially as we have it today. In the late 1960s and early 1970s additional Eucharistic Prayers were introduced into the Latin Rite. These Eucharistic Prayers are the work of a Vatican Committee formed in the 1960s and 1970s and are based on some historical texts and/or inspired by a particular biblical theme. In each of the Eucharistic Prayers there are some major sequences, as outlined in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal as follows:

Thanksgiving (expressed especially in the Preface): In which the priest, in the name of the entire holy people, glorifies God the Father and gives thanks for the whole work of salvation or for some special aspect of it that corresponds to the day, festivity, or season.

Acclamation: In which the whole congregation, joining with the heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus. This acclamation, which is part of the Eucharistic Prayer itself, is sung or said by all the people with the priest.

Epiclesis: In which, by means of particular invocations, the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ’s Body and Blood, and that the spotless Victim to be received in Communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.

Institution narrative and consecration: In which, by means of words and actions of Christ, the Sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper, when he offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine, gave them to his Apostles to eat and drink, and left them the command to perpetuate this same mystery.

Anamnesis: In which the Church, fulfilling the command that she received from Christ the Lord through the Apostles, keeps the memorial of Christ, recalling especially his blessed Passion, glorious Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.

Offering: By which, in this very memorial, the Church and in particular the Church here and now gathered, offers in the Holy Spirit the spotless Victim to the Father. The Church’s intention, however, is that the faithful not only offer this spotless Victim but also learn to offer themselves, and so day by day to be consummated, through Christ the Mediator, into unity with God and with each other, so that at last God may be all in all.

Intercessions: By which expression is given to the fact that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the entire Church, of heaven as well as of earth, and that the offering is made for her and for all her members, living and dead, who have been called to participate in the redemption and the salvation purchased by Christ’s Body and Blood.

Final doxology: By which the glorification of God is expressed and which is confirmed and concluded by the people’s acclamation, Amen.

As we move forward, I will be looking at different aspects of the Eucharistic Prayer in particular, moving chronologically, and cursorily, through them. All in all, it is most important that, during this time we unite ourselves to the prayer of Christ and the Church and so that we might offer ourselves as Christ does every time the Mass is celebrated.

For Further Study See:

The Canon of the Mass

St. Ambrose of Milan, de Mysteriis, chapter 8ff

Bobbio Missal. World Digital Library

Gelasian Sacramentary. Manuscript Reg.Lat.316

Missale Gothicum. Manuscript Reg.Lat 317

Lenten Small Groups

Week 2 ~ The Transfiguration

This week Fr. Jim talks about the voice that comes from the heavens at the Transfiguration, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.” He asks us to listen to the one who speaks the truth into our very souls and asks us to live that truth and speak that truth to others. He is working to bring about the kingdom of God through our words and our actions by diving deeper into scripture and by following the teachings of the Church. He then shares a video clip that makes this clearer and shares some questions to reflect on:

Jesus chooses Peter, James and John to go with Him up the mountain. Jesus also chooses you personally to encounter him in His glory. How does this impact your daily life?

The Father commands them to listen to His Son. In what ways (prayer, scripture, service, being attentive to your family) do you listen to Jesus?

Jesus commanded His disciples to follow Him and then to go make disciples. In your daily life how can you fulfill this command of Jesus, this invitation to others?

Some groups with openings:

  • Holy Oly Small Group: meets Thursday mornings at the Olympia Center and welcomes non-Catholics and those who’ve been away from the faith
  • Parents of School Aged Kids: meets Monday mornings
  • St. Joseph Small Group: meets Saturday mornings at 10am
  • Fraternity of St. Michael Men’s Small Group: meets Thursday evenings
  • Widows & Widowers Small Group: meets Thursday mornings
  • The Word is Near Small Group: meets Friday evenings
  • Catholic Enthusiast Small Group: meets Wednesday evenings

If you are unable to join the 430+ parishioners journeying through Lent in small groups, you can follow along by using the reflection sheets and videos posted here.

Contact 

Michaela Moreau at (360) 292-7104 or mmoreau@saintmichaelparish.org