As part of our ongoing engagement process, we have come to realize the importance of parishioners sharing their personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement as an important factor in their lives. As a feature twice a month, we share the stories and reflections of our engaged parishioners who are living a stewardship life of prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from Jack McCarthy.
In the first reading and Gospel this weekend, we hear of some incredible miracles that took place through the prophet Elijah and Jesus. In the first reading, Elijah calls out to the Lord in prayer, who returns the “life breath” back to a child who had stopped breathing. In the Gospel from Luke, Jesus demands a young man who had died to “arise,” and he in turn sits up and begins to speak. Pretty incredible stuff.
On May 6, the teens of God Squad and five leaders gathered for the culmination of a great year with a lock-in.We got together at Saint Clement School for a fun and spiritual night. We arrived at 6:00 p.m. and left at 12 a.m. Through the night we played many fun games like M.A.S.H. and the Egg Game. M.A.S.H.
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or perhaps known to you as The Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Latin for “Body of Christ.” In 1208, Saint Juliana of Liège, Belgium, reported her first vision of Christ in which she was instructed to plead for the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi. This vision was repeated to her for the next 20 years until eventually the Bishop of Liège was made aware of it. At that time, bishops could order feasts in their dioceses, so in 1246 the bishop ordered a celebration of Corpus Christi to be held in his diocese each year.
Back in graduate school, I had a theology professor who regularly stated that, “doctrines were the carrying cases (think suitcases) of mystery.” He went on to explain that, “all language is ultimately inadequate to the task of describing the One (God) who is Infinite Mystery.” As we approach the summer travel season, we’ve all had experiences where we’ve had to sit on a suitcase to get it to close.
On May 11 about 50 parishioners representing various ministries gathered for the All Ministries Meeting. This annual meeting convened by the Pastoral Council has had various agendas over its history appropriate to whatever is going on in the parish. This year the group took a first look at the initiative that the entire Archdiocese is undertaking called Renew My Church.
On Pentecost we insert a hymn into the Scripture readings of the day. After the second reading and before the Gospel, we sing “Veni, Sancte Spiritus,” or “Come, Holy Spirit, Come!” – the sequence for Pentecost Sunday.
A sequence is a hymn added to the Liturgy of the Word on special days throughout the year. Sequences are optional, except for those on Easter and Pentecost.
Two years ago I spent Pentecost Sunday in Nairobi, Kenya, at Christ the King Parish in Kibera, the largest informal settlement (a.k.a. “slum”) in the city. Attending Mass there on any Sunday of the year would have been a fascinating new experience, but doing so on Pentecost Sunday was truly unique! What made this particular celebration so special to me was the obvious presence of the Holy Spirit enlivening and animating this community – not unlike the original Pentecost event that we were celebrating that day.