Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Rite of Election - 2005

To: Pastors, Catechumenate Directors (adult and children), Liturgy Coordinators
From: Diana Macalintal
Date: December 21, 2004
Re: Rite of Election 2005 – names of catechumens and rehearsal

Bishop Patrick McGrath welcomes to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph the catechumens for Election from all parishes, institutions, and missions of the diocese who are to be chosen for the Easter Sacraments. All the liturgies will be multilingual.

Rite of Election - 2005
Monday, February 14, 2005, 7:30p
Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 7:30p
Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 7:30p

Please note there is no Sunday Rite of Election this year.

So that enough seats can be reserved for your catechumens and their sponsors, please return the form below no later than January 12 to Diana Macalintal at Macalintal@dsj.org or by fax: 408-983-0121. The final schedule for the three celebrations will be announced in the Daily Bulletin on January 14.

There will be two rehearsals for the Rite of Election. At least two people from your parish must attend one of the rehearsal (the catechumenate director may be one of the following persons):
  • one person to carry your Book of the Elect,
  • one (or two) people to read your names of the Elect.

Rehearsals for Rite of Election
Monday, February 7, 2005, 7p – 8p
or Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 7p – 8p

Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
80 South Market Street

After 6p, there is free parking on the street or in the parking lots on San Fernando Street between First and Third Streets. For more information, contact Diana Macalintal, 408-983-0136 or macalintal@dsj.org.

Click the graphic above for a Rite of Election reservation form for your Catechumens.

Vino & Vespers - January 28, 2005

Spend an evening with three of God’s best gifts. We’ll begin with Evening Prayer followed by an intimate conversation with our guest speaker about faith and daily life as we savor delicious desserts and fine wine.

Our guest speaker for this evening is Tom Beaudoin. Tom is a theologian, faculty member at Santa Clara University, and the author of Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X and Consuming Faith: Integrating Who We Are with What We Buy.

These “Theology on Tap” style evenings feature prominent Catholics talking about how they live their faith through the real events of contemporary life in the Silicon Valley. Young adults over 21 are especially invited.

Vino & Vespers

Friday, January 28, 2005, 7:30 pm
Villa Holy Names Spirituality Center

82 Prospect Avenue, Los Gatos, 95030
Free will donation
Please RSVP at Macalintal@dsj.org or 408-983-0136

Desserts by Sugar Butter Flour of Santa Clara.

Vino & Vespers flyerClick the graphic to the left for a flyer you can print. Or click here for a PDF version.

Monday, November 29, 2004

First Week of Advent

Jesus Christ: Redeemer Holy SilenceWaiting isn’t always easy. And I’m not talking about the “waiting for the copy machine to warm up” kind of waiting.

In college, my friend was tested for HIV, and we waited together a week for her results. During that week, we prayed and we talked about “what if.” She told me about her dreams, her fears, the people she cared about, the things she’s always wanted to do, and she confessed to me her regrets. That week, she began to see life differently, more clearly. All the things she had thought were important weren’t so important anymore. Slowly, the falseness was being stripped away, and what was left behind at the end of that week was a truer person—one who wanted to plunge into every moment of life, no matter what, instead of sleepwalk through it.

At its best, Advent waiting transforms us in the same way. We aren’t confronted with the possibility of a life-altering disease, but we are shown a glimpse of “what if.” What if swords really became plow-shares, dead stumps grew into fertile trees, wolves and lambs, lions and children play together, and deserts bloom? What if the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute sing, and the virgin conceive? What if, just what if God became like you and me? When the world gets turned upside down like this, where death is life and where the divine is as close as breath, you can’t take anything for granted anymore.

When we approach our Advent waiting as a radical time of transformation—like the cold turkey days of an alcoholic who’s sworn off drink, and this time means it—instead of just a reason to change colors in the church, then Advent becomes more than just a liturgical hiatus until Christmas. If we let it, our Advent sobriety has the power to strip us of everything that we really don’t need. It calls us to slough off all the excess of our lives that keeps us from seeing who we really are underneath—an image of God in human skin. Advent commands us to take only what is necessary on the ark and jolts us awake from our sleepwalk so that we don’t ever again miss recognizing God-With-Us every day of our lives.

But unlike that week of waiting with my friend, Advent transformation isn’t born out of fear. It comes from joy because the promise has already been given. For those with the eyes of faith, “what if” has already happened. God is already with us. The reign is at hand. Heaven is already here. And nothing will break God’s promise.

Our Advent mission then is to make the world look more like the heaven that we already see by faith. We do this by focusing on the essentials—the basic things every human needs in order to reflect the divine. The poor have to be cared for, the hungry have to be fed, the homeless have to be sheltered, and the sick need to be healed. Forgiveness has to be offered, those at war must stop, and peace must be our legacy.

And so during Advent, we abstain from the flurry of Christmas not as a penitential punishment, but as a way to train our eyes to see God even without the angels and trees, crèches and stars. We focus instead on the basics of light in the darkness, silence in the chaos, and stillness in the turmoil. It’s almost as if Advent calls us to faith in the Real Absence of Christ—to believe in Emmanuel even in our darkness, in God-With-Us even when we hear no answer, and in the Incarnation even when we feel nothing at all.

My friend turned out to be negative on her test for HIV. She felt like she got her life back. But she had already begun to recover her life—her true life—when she first confronted “what if.” Christ has already shown us “what if” when he rose from the dead, and ever since his ascension, we have been living in a continuous season of Advent, waiting for Christ to come again to complete God’s “what if.” Until then, let us live each day awake and faithful to God’s promise, so that we can make this world of war and hatred, poverty and horror, unemployment, divorce, abuse, and apathy a truer reflection of God with us and heaven already here.

In this week’s DSJ Liturgy Notes, you’ll find:

I know you’ve waited a long while for this edition of Work of the People. Thanks for checking in during your wait and for letting me know that you miss it. During this Advent, let us all wake up to all our “what ifs” and encourage each other as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior Jesus Christ.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy

World AIDS Day - December 1, 2004

World AIDS DayEvery year throughout the world since 1988, December 1st is set aside as a time to remember those who have died from AIDS, to keep in mind those who live with HIV, and to re-commit our efforts to finding a cure. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS:

  • 37.2 million adults and 2.2 million children living with HIV at the end of 2004;
  • during the year 4.9 million new people became infected with the virus;
  • half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25;
  • half of all people infected with HIV are killed by AIDS before they are 35;
  • 95% of the total number of people with HIV/AIDS live in the developing world;
  • in Africa, 25.4 million people are infected with HIV;
  • 2 million children in Africa under 15 are infected with HIV;
  • 12 million children in Africa have been orphaned by this disease.

Pope John Paul II has asked the Catholic Church to be in solidarity with those living with this disease.

“What too of the tragedy of AIDS and its devastating consequence in Africa? It is said that millions of persons are now afflicted by this scourge, many of whom were infected from birth. Humanity cannot close its eyes in the face of so appalling a tragedy!” (Lenten Message, 2004)

As Catholics, we must learn more about HIV/AIDS and do what we can to ease the suffering and find a cure.

HIV/AIDS Prayer from the United States Bishops
Prayer Changes Things!!!

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears
O Good and gracious God,
You are the God of health and wholeness
In the plan of Your creation,
You call us to struggle in our sickness
and to cling always to the cross of Your Son.

Father, we are Your servants.
Many of us are now suffering with HIV or AIDS.
We come before You and ask You,
if it is Your holy will,
to take this suffering away from us,
restore us to health and lead us to know You
and Your powerful healing love
of body and spirit.
We ask you also,
to be with those of us who nurse Your sick ones.
We are the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers,
children and friends of Your suffering people.

It is so hard for us to see those whom we love suffer.
You know what it is to suffer.
Help us to minister in loving care, support, and
patience for your people who suffer with HIV and AIDS.
Lead us to do whatever it will take to
eradicate this illness from the lives of those
who are touched by it,
both directly and indirectly.
Trusting in You and the strength of Your Spirit,
we pray these things in the Name of Jesus.
Amen .

Prayer by the National African American Catholic HIV/AIDS Task Force

Evening Prayer for Peace - December 7, 2004

Peace: Spread the WordBishop Patrick McGrath invites all people of faith to gather together for a diocesan Evening Prayer for Peace. In this bilingual evening prayer, we will give thanks for Christ’s gift of peace and pray that there will be peace in our day especially in places of war. We will also offer prayers for those who have died, especially those who served as military, aid, and service workers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places of conflict. For more information, contact Diana Macalintal at Macalintal@dsj.org or (408) 983-0136.

Diocesan Evening Prayer for Peace
Tuesday, December 7, 2004, 7:00 pm
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

Get a flyer in English or Spanish that you can print by clicking on the images below.
English flyer
Spanish flyer

Immaculate Conception – December 8, 2004, Holy Day of Obligation

Giotto: Anna and Joachim meet at the Golden Gate2004 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. This teaching professes that from the moment of Mary’s conception, she was free from original sin, preparing her to become the Mother of God, the “God-Bearer” or Theotokos. (Don't forget that the Immaculate Conception is about Mary being conceived from the union of her parents, Anna and Joachim.)

What this dogma teaches us is that all of God’s children are destined to be free from sin and bearers of the divine, for everything that happens to Mary is our destiny as well. Mary is the first of all disciples and the first to taste the fullness of what Jesus’ incarnation, resurrection, and ascension promise us. In a way, Mary shows us what our Advent waiting will transform us into—persons fully alive and open to God.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offer four announcements to be used in parish bulletins in this anniversary year of the Immaculate Conception. You can find them here.

Diocesan Vespers in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe - December 10, 2004

Our Lady of Guadalupe sewingEvery year, the diocese celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with processions and evening prayer in Spanish. This year's celebration takes place on Friday, December 10, 2004 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (2020 East San Antonio Street, San Jose). The procession of parishes begin at 6p and the vespers at 7p. This year, we will be honoring the life and work of Jim McEntee who served the multicultural communities of San Jose.

Here's an article in Spanish by Lupita Vital, the Associate for Hispanic Catechesis for the diocese, about celebrating Advent with Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Parishes are invited to participate in the procession to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Parishes near and far have walked the distance between their parish home and Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. Some parishes also gather at a closer location and begin their procession from there. However way you do it, it's always a wonderful sight to see people of faith walking together. Parishes should plan to arrive at the church between 6p and 7p.

Evening Prayer in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Friday, December 10, 2004
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Processions: 6:00p
Evening Prayer: 7:00p

Get a flyer in English or Spanish, in black and white or in color, that you can print by clicking on the images below.
Spanish black & white flyerSpanish color flyer

English black & white flyerEnglish color flyer

What is Advent?

According to the Church’s General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar:

#39. Advent has a twofold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ’s firth coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart ot await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period of devout and joyful expectation.

#40. Advent begins with evening prayer I of the Sunday falling on or closest to 30 November and ends before evening prayer I of Christmas.

#41. The Sundays of this season are named the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Sundays of Advent.

#42. The weekdays from 17 December to 24 December inclusive serve to prepare more directly for the Lord’s birth.

Advent: Season of Anticipation

By Brother John Samaha, S.M.

The Season of Advent has a twofold character, a double meaning. Advent prepares us for Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s first coming to us, and it also reminds us to direct our minds and hearts to be prepared for Christ’s second coming at the end of time. In Christian usage the word “advent” (adventus) has a special liturgical significance, but the origin of the word is pagan.

At the time of Jesus’ birth, the pagans observed a manifestation of their divinity that came to dwell in its temple at a certain time each year. This feast was called advent, and it marked an anniversary of the return of their god to the temple. During this special time, the temple was open. Ordinarily the temple was closed.

In the days of the Roman Empire, advent also celebrated the coming of the emperor.

The word “advent” was suitable to describe the coming of the Son of God in the temple of his human flesh. Gradually the use of this word was limited to describe the coming of the Lord. This advent, the coming of the Lord and the anniversary of his birth, replaced the advent and birth of the unvanquished sun of the winter solstice. This use of the word “advent” gained prominence during the reign of the Emperor Constantine (306-337). To grant tolerance to all religions and to allow the open practice of Christianity, he issued the Edict of Milan in 313. Soon Christianity and its celebrations overshadowed pagan symbolism of advent.

The ancient idea of advent underlies the prayers of the season of Advent that call forth the coming of the Lord, often with the same image of the temple.

Generally Advent signals a time to prepare for Christmas, the celebration of the first coming of the Lord. But the prayer texts and Scripture readings of the Sunday Masses and the Liturgy of the Hours give ample attention to the second coming of the Lord to which we look forward.

In reality the three distinct accents of the liturgy of the Advent season are defined by the three comings of the Lord: yesterday, at Bethlehem, when the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary; today, in our world, where he is incarnate in the Church, in the Sacraments, and in the faithful baptized into grace; tomorrow, when he returns in glory.

This, then, is the rich meaning of Advent. From the beginning of the liturgical year we celebrate the whole panorama of the mystery of salvation history.

The variety of this season is not only desirable, it is truly appropriate because Advent is oriented toward the one who has come once and for all, who is coming, and who will come.

For reprint permission of this article, please contact the editor at Macalintal@dsj.org.

Advent Basics: Getting Back to Liturgical Essentials

De-Clutter your church to let its primary purpose shine through

Clean up the vestibule area of your church.
Remove old flyers, bulletins, and pamphlets. Organize the area so that the first thing people feel when they walk in is welcome. The primary purpose of this area is for gathering and welcoming people. Make sure there is enough room for this purpose. Move extraneous things like tables of books and leaflets away from gathering and walking spaces to another area where people can browse and learn more about the community through pictures and announcements. Organize these materials neatly.

Clean up the choir area.
Avoid storing books and equipment here because the primary purpose of this area is first of all worship. Even if the choir is in the loft where no one can see them, the place where the choir exercises its ministry should look like a place that enables reverent worship. It’s hard for choir members to genuinely pray at Mass if the place where they pray looks more like a storage area.

Clean up the sanctuary area.
The primary purpose of the sanctuary area is for the presidency of the assembly’s worship, the proclamation of God’s Word, and the celebration of the Eucharist. Therefore, the primary objects that should be prominent in this area are the altar, the ambo, and the presider’s chair. Everything else is secondary. Remove extraneous tables and chairs. Put only the altar cloth, corporal, bread and wine, and Sacramentary on the altar. Do not put water glasses for the presider, papers with Mass announcements or intentions, candles or flowers, or envelopes with Mass stipends or prayers on the altar. If the presider needs water, use a side table. Mass announcements or intentions should be in the bulletin or in the presider’s or commentator’s binder. Candles and flowers should be freestanding, placed away from the altar so that the celebrant, deacon, and other ministers can easily prepare the cups and plates for Communion without twisting around candle and flower stands. Also, be careful that the placement of decorations does not act as an altar rail, dividing the “holy space” from the “not holy space.” Envelopes with Mass intentions are seen most visibly during November when the dead are remembered. It is good to remember the dead, but do not place these envelopes, no matter how nicely decorated with ribbon, on top of the altar. This looks too much like our medieval practice of purchasing indulgences. If you want to display these envelopes, put them with the Book of the Dead, or at the baptismal font, on in the shrine of your parish patron saint.

For Your Reading: To Crown the Year

To Crown the YearTo Crown the Year: Decorating the Church Through the Seasons
By Peter Mazar, Art by Evelyn Grala
Liturgy Training Publications, 1995

This is a classic workbook for all who prepare the church building for prayer. Each chapter looks at a different liturgical season and gives creative ideas and suggestions for capturing the unique quality of each season while connecting the whole year together. As a music director, I used this book a lot to help me get a sense for the mood of each season so that the music I chose could complement the visual environment of the assembly. There are many drawings to inspire and guide your environment teams. Peter’s #1 tip in his Advent chapter: “Clean and simplify the whole place.”

The Liturgy Office Will Never Be the Same

After 14 years as the administrative assistant for the liturgy office of the diocese (and many other offices in the chancery), Rebeca Aldaz is giving up her 80 mile daily commute between Gilroy and Santa Clara to serve her parish of St. Mary in Gilroy.

If you've ever called the chancery with any question about liturgy, you've probably talked with Rebeca. During her time with the chancery, she has served three associates for liturgy and seven associates for youth and young adults. She knows where every file goes, exactly how many gallons it takes to make enough Chrism oil, and who hasn't RSVP'd yet for Rite of Election. Not only was she the keeper of so much history, she was a great co-worker who also knew how to enjoy life. Some of the other admistrative assistants and I prayed the other day that whoever takes over Rebeca's job would be just as fun to be with as Rebeca.

So if you're in Gilroy, stop by St. Mary and say hi and thanks to Rebeca. I know that I couldn't have survived my first couple of years in this office without her help. Thanks, Rebeca!

Classifieds: Seek and Ye Shall Find

Seeking: Full-time Administrative Assistant
The Office of Pastoral Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose has an immediate opening for an administrative assistant to support the Liturgy and Youth and Young Adult Ministry programs.
Minimum of 3 years secretarial experience, good organizational and telephone skills, ability to meet deadlines.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and Publisher.
  • Some knowledge of parish and Church structures and procedures.
  • Bi-lingual Spanish preferred.

For more information call Terrie Iacino at (408) 983-0120. Fax resume to (408) 983-0203 or email to personnel@dsj.org.

Seeking: Christmas Nativity Scene
The Newman Center of San Jose State University is looking for a large sized crèche or nativity scene. If you are willing to donate one, please contact Sr. Marcia Krause, OP, at 408-938-1610 or director@sjsuccm.org.

Sample Intercessions for December 5, 2004

2nd Sunday of Advent, Year A
December 5, 2004

Things, events, and news items to keep in mind:

  • Click here for this Sunday's readings.
  • December 1 is World AIDS Day.
  • December 2 commemorates the 24th anniversary of the death of the American martyrs in El Salvador: Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel, and Jean Donovan in El Salvador.
  • December 4 commemorates the 41st anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
  • December 7 commemorates the 63rd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
  • December 8 is the 150th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and is a holy day of obligation.
  • November marks one of the bloodiest months in the war in Iraq.
  • Local Bay Area soldiers die in combat.
  • Severe cold weather continues in the Bay Area.
  • Jury begins deciding the fate of Scott Peterson.

The following are just samples meant to inspire your work. Use them as ideas for your own assembly's intercessions. Read 10 Principles for Writing Intercessions and Step by Step Guide to help you write your own.

Up, Jerusalem! Stand upon the heights.
Let us cry out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”

For the Church (pause):
for faithfulness to the word of God,
for endurance and encouragement.
We pray to the Lord.

For all nations (pause):
for the end to harm and ruin,
for hope and harmony with one another.
We pray to the Lord.

For all in need of comfort (pause):
for those oppressed by war,
for those stigmatized by disease,
for those homeless in the cold.
We pray to the Lord.

For enemies and rivals (pause):
for those being judged for their crimes;
for those killed because of hatred;
for wisdom and peace to cover the earth.
We pray to the Lord.

For those who wait in hope (pause):
for pregnant women and the forgotten elderly;
for prisoners and the dying;
for all the dead who with hope for the resurrection.
We pray to the Lord.

To you, O Lord, we lift up our souls.
Answer us, come to us, be with us.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

29th Week in Ordinary Time

Canadian SnowbirdsDriving up the coast to San Francisco a couple of Saturdays ago, I saw a dark geometric formation streak across the sky. I shrieked in delighted surprise when I realized it was a formation of military planes on its way to perform at Fleet Week. I wasn’t expecting to see them so far south of the Golden Gate, but there they were, shooting across the view of my car window. The week before, I stood on the beach watching a similar formation, this time a quartet of stunt kites. Four men on the beach pulled strings and weaved around each other creating an aerial ballet for anyone who looked up and a ground-level dance for strollers passing by. At sunset I stood at the edge of Pier 39 and saw a familiar formation of geese, not quite streaking across the sky like the planes I saw earlier, but in the same geometric shape nonetheless.

All these mysterious formations evoked a multitude of feelings and memories. Seeing the jets above, I reveled in awe and wonder at the creativity and boldness of the human mind while also dreading and grieving their witness to war. The kites made visible the invisible beauty and grace of wind as they also testified to its destructive power in hurricane and tornado. The flight path of geese, unrehearsed yet perfect, both humbled my sense of human superiority and refashioned me to that one perfect pattern that all creation reflects—Christ the Logos.

Hidden in the patterns and surprises of human achievement and natural creation were signs and reminders that God has fashioned all things to be in right relationship, forming us to be a dance, ordering us out of chaos, transfiguring our weapons of war into plowshares of delight and wonder. The patterns of God’s beauty, God’s creative Word spoken in Christ, are all around us. We need only look, reflect, and remember.

I relearned this lesson with about 200 high school students a couple of weeks before. We sat in the church of St. Lawrence the Martyr in Santa Clara searching for the signs of God’s presence. First we remembered that we were already in the holy presence of God. Then we asked ourselves, “How do we remember that? What reminds us of God’s presence?” This led to a discussion about symbols.

Our daily lives are filled with signs and symbols—birthday cakes and candles, wedding rings and baby’s first shoes, grave markers and memorials. These symbols don’t just remind us of things past but teach us about present things and challenge us to strive for future things hoped for. Because when we speak of symbols, we are not talking about “fake” things, as when we say “it’s just a symbol.” Rather, we are talking about a reality that is so immense that every time we encounter that symbol, we learn something new about ourselves, about our God, and about our relationship with each other and all of God’s creation.

Our worship is filled with symbols. Next time you celebrate Eucharist, seek the more “hidden” symbols—those objects, gestures, people, and places clothed in ordinariness that we often ignore, take for granted, or pass by without thought. Ask yourself: What does this symbol remind me of? What does it teach me about God? What does it teach me about myself as a Christian? What does it challenge me to do so that God’s presence is seen more clearly in my life and in the world?

If we look deeply, enter fully, and reflect prayerfully upon the signs and symbols that surround us, we’ll see that…

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware….
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, Book Seven

Three years ago, All Saints Day, I was at San Quentin. I joined their music ministry made up of inmates for their Mass. Some of these men had been there only a few years; others had been there longer than I had been alive. I had gone there a few times before at the invitation of a Franciscan brother to sing for the inmates, and I was confronted by the hidden presence of God in these men. We sang “Blest are They” during Communion, and as their voices filled the small chapel, I was voiceless when we got to the refrain: “Rejoice and be glad! Blessed are you, holy are you. Yours is the kingdom of God.” These men—condemned, put away, forgotten, hated by society, and some ultimately killed by society—are nonetheless loved and blessed by God. God surprises us with his presence not only in delightful things but also in the dark places of human life.

In this week’s DSJ Liturgy Notes, you’ll find:

This week, look up and look around and search for all the signs that we are in the holy presence of God.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy

Creating a Liturgical Environment: Planting Spring Bulbs

spring hopeI am the worst gardener. Over the years, I’ve killed two cacti, a jasmine bush, and several potted plants. But I have had some success with bulbs. A few weekends ago, I planted a few dozen purple and blue hyacinths, anemones, tulips, and crocus. If all goes well, and the squirrels don’t steal them away during the winter, the bulbs should bloom in the spring, right in time for Lent.

Contrary to our typical desert-dry liturgical image of the season, Lent coincides with spring when the daffodils and other bulbs planted before the winter frost begin to bloom. In the Bay Area, the shift to spring isn’t so dramatic. But in other geographical areas, spring is the most turbulent, wettest time of the year. Winter snows persist and spring storms attack the tender buds and shoots of young plants and bare trees. In this hostile environment, calves, lambs, and other newborns fight to make it to the more gentle days of early summer.

crocusIn a similar way, the church’s most vulnerable—the Elect—are fighting their own spring battle. During Lent, the Elect, their godparents, and the church community begin an intense discipline to prepare for the Easter celebration at which the Elect will be baptized. This discipline includes intensified prayer, fasting, and works of charity and justice.

The church sees itself as a participant in the great drama and struggle between good and evil, between God and the devil. From this perspective, this period of Lent and this intense preparation by the Elect is somewhat like the final moments before a great battle, and it may be when the Elect and the church are at their most vulnerable. When faced with the awesome invitation to baptism in the midst of so much pain and suffering in one’s life and in the world, it can be easy to lose heart and lose faith. In a way, it is like an engaged couple with cold feet before their wedding day: Will I be worthy enough for this person? Can I stay faithful when society makes it so easy to not be? Am I making the right choice? Is this really what I want? Thus, it is no accident that Lent takes place in spring.

spring crocusFor this reason, the church prays fervently for the Elect in rites called Scrutinies. Through these rites on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, the church prays that God will strengthen the good things that have been growing in the Elect’s faith life and will remove the barriers that keep the Elect from trusting completely in God. During this period, there are also other prayers, blessings, and anointings for the Elect to give them the courage they need to profess their faith in God and make it through to the other side of those baptismal waters.

Planting purple and blue spring bulbs might not reflect the deeper struggle that Lent evokes. But preparing soil, planting seeds, paying attention, and waiting in joyful hope is a very eucharistic act. Plant your purple and blue bulbs now, at home and around the church, so that when spring comes, your environment might also participate in Lenten spring with all the Elect and the church.

Upcoming Events and Workshops

Trick or Treat!There are no tricks in this full bag of treats!
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events and workshops and give yourself a treat this season.

A Retreat for Initiation Ministers
Saturday, October 23, 9a - 4p
Villa Holy Names Spirituality Center for Life and Learning, Los Gatos
$35 registration includes lunch
To register: 408-354-2312 or jmvillalg@yahoo.com

Lector Workshop
Tuesday, October 26, 7p - 9:30p
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, San Jose
$5 registration
To register: 408-983-0126 or Aldaz@dsj.org

Faith Formation Conference
Friday-Saturday, October 29-30
San Francisco Civic Auditorium, San Francisco
$30 registration
To register: 408-983-0127 or Gurbiel@dsj.org

John Michael Talbot Concert
Saturday, October 30, 7p
Mission San Jose, Fremont
Free but reservations are required
To register: 510-657-1797 x106

Catholic and Lutheran Joint Declaration Evening Prayer
Sunday, October 31, 4p
Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, San Jose
For information: Rubio@dsj.org

Liturgists and Clergy Study Day with Fr. Ed Foley
Friday, November 5, 9:30a
Santa Teresa Church, San Jose
Free for clergy and liturgists of San Jose; $5 for other participants
To register: 408-983-0126 or Aldaz@dsj.org

Music Ministers Workshop with Fr. Ed Foley
Friday, November 5, 7:30p
St. Lawrence the Martyr Church, Santa Clara
$5 registration
To register: 408-983-0126 or Aldaz@dsj.org

Liturgical Ministers Study Day with Fr. Ed Foley
Saturday, November 6, 9:30a
Santa Teresa Church, San Jose
$5 registration
To register: 408-983-0126 or Aldaz@dsj.org

Respect Life: Seeing the Whole Picture

What is it?
The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are more precious, but this one is fundamental - the condition of all the others. Hence it must be protected above all others. It does not belong to society, nor does it belong to public authority in any form to recognize this right for some and not for others: all discrimination is evil, whether it be founded on race, sex, color or religion. It is not recognition by another that constitutes this right. This right is antecedent to its recognition; it demands recognition and it is strictly unjust to refuse it.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974), no. 11

During October, the Church has been asking all people of faith and good will to recall that life and death are not “earned” as if we hold the power to create and negate life. Creation and being born into that creation is God’s gift, and God is attentive to every second of our existence, from beginning to end, no matter what. We acknowledge this when we pray, “In you we live and move and have our being. Each day you show us a Father’s love” (Sunday Ordinary Time Preface VI, P34).

Our first priority then is protecting innocent life and the lives of those who are weak and defenseless. For this reason, abortion and euthanasia are the Church’s overriding concern.

Yet our concern for life cannot end there. One of the most difficult threads of this seamless fabric of life is concern for the lives of those who have wronged us. We experienced this most deeply as a nation in the days and months after September 11. Even now, the two leading presidential candidates have sworn to kill those who attacked our country that day.

But our faith teaches us a different response.

But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you,what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.
- Luke 6:27-36

The whole picture

See the whole picture of life and every human’s right to that life. Find an issue about life that you usually bypass and learn more about what our church teaches about that issue.

Some of these interrelated issues of life are:

Respect Life: A Self Reflection

Reflection questions based on the following quote from Sharing Catholic Social Teaching by the US Bishops

In a world warped by materialism and declining respect for human life, the Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.

In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and assisted suicide.
  • How can I assist pregnant teenagers, expectant single mothers, and young parents?
  • How can I assist those who are depressed and alone, especially teenagers?
  • How can I be a companion for those discerning difficult decisions?
  • Can I empathize with those who are fearful about the future?

The value of human life is being threatened by increasing use of the death penalty.

  • What hatreds do I harbor? What hurts have I allowed to fester? How have those changed me?
  • How can I live the Christian discipline of visiting the prisoner?
  • Pope John Paul II’s World Day of Peace message for 2002 was titled “No Peace Without Justice, No Justice Without Forgiveness.” What does this title mean to me?

The dignity of life is undermined when the creation of human life is reduced to the manufacture of a product, as in human cloning or proposals for genetic engineering to create "perfect" human beings.

  • How do I appreciate others’ and my own flaws?
  • How do I help others, especially young girls, recognize their natural beauty and dignity?
  • How do I contribute to the de-humanizing of persons in my work practices, in what I buy, in the TV shows I watch, and what I support with my money (or withholding of money) and with my vote (or decision not to vote)?

We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

  • In my prayer life, do I reverence things more than people?
  • What “isms” do I hold?
  • How can my work and business practices enhance the life and dignity of the human person?
  • How do my driving habits reflect the preciousness of every life?

Respect Life: Resources for Abolishing the Death Penalty

This weekend is the National Weekend of Faith in Action on the Death Penalty. Here are some resources for putting your faith into action on this issue of life for all people.

From the US Bishops’ office of Social Development and World Peace

From Amnesty International

From the Death Penalty Information Center

Intercessions for the End of the Death Penalty
For the victims of crime and for their families:
May they be comforted by your healing presence as they grieve.
We pray.

For the victims of capital punishment and for their families:
May the be comforted by your healing presence,
as they seek forgiveness and reconciliation,
We pray.

For all those who have committed violent acts
and for all those who are at risk of acting violently:
May they find the help they need to transform their lives.
We pray.

For all nations and local governments as we struggle with the issue of capital punishment:
May we be guided by God's word and the Holy Spirit.
We pray.

A Prayer to Abolish the Death Penalty by Sr. Helen Prejean
God of Compassion,
you let your rain fall on the just and unjust.
Expand our hearts
so that we may love as you love
even those among us
who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.
For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance
as we fill up death rows and kill the killers
in the name of justice, in the name of peace.
Jesus, our brother,
you suffered execution at the hands of the state
but you did not let hatred overcome you.
Help us to reach out to victims of violence
so that our enduring love may help them heal.
Holy Spirit of God,
you strengthen us in the struggle for justice.
Help us to work tirelessly
for the abolition of state-sanctioned death
and to renew our society in its very heart
so that violence will be no more.

Weekend of Faith in Action on the Death Penalty Sample Homily
by Reverend Mark Carson, San Jose State University Newman Center for October 22-24, 2004

  1. First, I have a question for you. If your daughter, son, mother or father were killed by someone, how would you react? What would you do about it? Think about this for a few seconds.
  2. Second, I have one more question. What would you do if your son, or father were on Death Row, San Quentin?
  3. In today's parable from the Gospel two men have different attitudes both on how they view God and how they view their fellow human beings. Both of their attitudes are shaped by experience.
  4. I would think that most people could have an answer for the first question. I have heard it said often enough, “That is why I am in favor of the death penalty because if my family member were hurt, I would pull the switch myself.” Like the Pharisee's experience, the everyday world seems very cut and dry, black or white, good or evil, clean or unclean.
  5. The invitation of the Gospel is to try to look at the world from a different perspective, from a different point of view. In the view of the tax collector the world is not cut and dry, good or evil, clean or unclean. The world is a very messed up place. The world is a world of shame, guilt and ultimately being humbled before God.
  6. Once we can break out of our experiences then the world seems more uncertain. There are very few people who want their father, brother, sister, or mother put to death. I think when it comes to our own family members we would try to exhaust every possible means to transform their lives. We do that out of love. There are so many family members who have love ones on Death Row who did not think in their wildest dreams that this would happen to them.
  7. In our Catholic Church, October is pro-life month. It is a month to celebrate life beyond any circumstances. More importantly it is a reminder of the invitation from God that all life is family life, it is part of our human family. Like the tax collector, we experience the human race, with all of its problems, violence, horrors and terrible crimes against our brothers and sisters but also by our brothers and sisters. We are faced with great problems of how to deal with consequences of horrible acts of brutality and violence. The Gospel reminds us that justification comes when we feel with different hearts outside of our own perspective.

A Gift for You: Daylight Savings

Wow!Because God loves you so much,
you get a free gift of one extra hour on October 31.

Turn your clocks backward

before you go to bed on October 30!

Celiac Sprue Disease - FAQ

The following are excerpts from the United States Bishops A Short Introduction to Holy Communion and Celiac Sprue Disease.

What is Celiac Sprue disease?
In recent years, many have worked to foster an increasing awareness of the significant effects of Celiac Sprue disease on people’s lives. The digestive system of those with this condition is considerably compromised by the consumption of gluten, one of the major ingredients in wheat flour. It is estimated that as many as fifteen percent of all persons of northern European origin are affected by this disease to some degree.

How does this affect those who go to Holy Communion?
This is a particular challenge to Catholics, who believe that the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the reception of Holy Communion are the very source and summit of the Christian life. Priests should show great pastoral sensitivity and compassion to anyone afflicted with this disease, but especially to the parents of children with a gluten intolerance at the time of their first Holy Communion.

Can low gluten hosts be used at Mass?
The Secretariat for the Liturgy of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference has devoted considerable resources to this question for the last seven years. Within the past year, the Secretariat has successfully assisted the Congregation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde Missouri in the production of a very low-gluten host which has been favorably reviewed by the publication Gluten-Free Living as “perfectly safe” for sufferers of Celiac Sprue disease. (See Ann Whelan’s “Make Your Own Decision” in Gluten-Free Living [vol. 9, no. 1], p. 4. In this same issue, see also Sr. Jeanne Crowe’s extensive review article on the low gluten host, “Catholic Celiacs Can Now Receive Communion”, pp. 3ff.)

Where can I buy these low gluten hosts?
Low gluten altar hosts are available from: the Congregation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Altar Breads Department, 31970 State Highway P, Clyde, Missouri 64432 (Phone:1-800-223-2772, online order form, or e-mail: altarbreads@benedictinesisters.org).

What if a person cannot consume low gluten hosts?
Such communicants may still receive the Precious Blood. Catholics believe that whoever receives Holy Communion only under the form of bread or only under the form of wine still receives the whole Christ, in his Body and Blood, soul and divinity.

Committee on the Liturgy. 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington DC 20017-1194. (202) 541-3000. © USCCB. All rights reserved.

66.4 Million Catholics

According to the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches for 2004, there are 66.4 million members of the Catholic Church in the United States. The next largest church membership is 16.24 million with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Catholics make up the largest voting block in the United States.

Earlier this year, a small group of young adults with a passion for the church, knowledge of advocacy as well as theology, and a good website designer, realized that Catholics have a huge voice in US politics simply by the exercise of their vote. They also saw that campaigning rhetoric was focusing on only a couple of Catholic issues while the whole spectrum of Gospel issues was being ignored.

So they began the Catholic Voting Project and created a non-partisan website that looks at all of Catholic social teaching and presents an unbiased look at where each candidate stands on all these issues.


They also tackle some of the recent press on statements by some US bishops about voting and sin and address the question of voting for pro-choice candidates.

Check out votingcatholic.org, a resource for faith, politics, and democracy, and read up.

If you’re tired of reading, just check out their humorous cartoon, Catholic Dining with Bush and Kerry.

Seek and Ye Shall Find: Parish Classifieds

Seeking: Substitute Liturgical Musicians
My office often gets phone calls from parishes asking for help when their usual music directors and cantors are unavailable for funerals, weddings, and other liturgies. If you would like to be placed on a list of liturgical musicians available for substitute help, please send your name, parish, phone number, email, and your musical skill areas (e.g., organ, piano, guitar, cantor, choral conducting) to Diana Macalintal or 408-983-0136.

Available: Altar Table
San Jose State University Newman Center has a large altar table available. It is the altar table that was used by the previous occupants (Christian denomination) of the chapel. If interested, please contact Sr. Marcia Krause, OP, or Fr. Michael Carson or 408-938-1610.

Sample Intercessions October 24, 2004

30th Sunday Ordinary Time, Year C
October 24, 2004

Things, events, and news items to keep in mind:

The following are just samples meant to inspire your work. Use them as ideas for your own assembly's intercessions. Read 10 Principles for Writing Intercessions and Step by Step Guide to help you write your own.

Trusting all things to God, let us lift up the needs of the world.

For the Church (pause):
for ears to hear the cry of the oppressed,
for eyes focused on the crown of righteousness,
for hands lifted in humble prayer.
We pray to the Lord.

For leaders and all seeking positions of leadership (pause):
for honest campaigning and civil discourse;
for strength to make difficult decisions;
for commitment to serve the weak and oppressed, the widowed and orphaned.
We pray to the Lord.

For all affected by violence and war (pause):
for those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan;
for troops and workers serving in places of conflict;
for their families and friends who await their return.
We pray to the Lord.

For victims of crime and those who suffer silently (pause):
for swift attention to their cries for help;
for their attackers and all who have wronged them;
for compassion, wisdom, healing, and forgiveness.
We pray to the Lord.

For prisoners and those condemned to death (pause):
for just judgment and consistent affirmation of life;
for mercy to the sinner and compassion for the guilty;
for justice without vengance and punishment without cruelty.
We pray to the Lord.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of perfect justice,
for you hear the wail of the orphan and answer the prayers of the lowly.
Make us a humble people of mercy and compassion
and a persistent voice for all who struggle for life,
so that lasting peace may embrace the earth.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Cantor Workshop - October 21

don't cantor like thisDon't be chicken! You can become a better cantor! Learn the basics that will improve your singing technique and your leadership skills, and practice the habits that will make you a better leader of musical prayer. Some participants will have the opportunity to cantor and receive immediate feedback. This free master-class style workshop will be led by Diana Macalintal.

Cantor Workshop
Thursday, October 21, 7p to 9:30p

To register, send your name, phone, email, and parish name to Rebeca Aldaz or 408-983-0126. Please indicate if you want to be one of the individual cantors to sing before your peers.

Sign up now for the Cantor Workshop by clicking here.

Lector Workshop - October 26

You can proclaim the word of God more powerfully, more profoundly, and more keenly by following nine simple steps. Nick Wagner, a nationally-known author and trainer, will teach you how to find the most important phrase in the reading and make it ring in people's hearts. You will learn how to accurately convey the meaning of the reading every time. The practical suggestions you will take away from this workshop will give you the tools you need to be a better lector by next Sunday. Whether you're a new lector or have been a lector for years, you will learn something new to make you an even better lector.

Lector Workshop
Tuesday, October 26, 7p to 9:30p
80 S. Market Street, San Jose
Registration: $5

To register, send your name, phone, email, and parish name to Rebeca Aldaz or 408-983-0126.

Bring your lector workbook or a copy of the readings for Sunday, October 31, 2004 (31st Sunday in Ordinary Time).

Nine Steps

Click here to purchase Nick Wagner's book, Nine Steps to Becoming a Better Lector.

Friday, October 08, 2004

27th Week of Ordinary Time

CD Monk. Copyright © 1995-2004, joe-ks.com.

Last Saturday at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, I was part of the choir for the archdiocese’s Jazz Mass celebrating the feast of St. Francis. The choir was made up of the gospel choir from the parish of St. Paul the Shipwreck and students from Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory high school in San Francisco. On Wednesday, I shared faith with the students of the Institute for Leadership in Ministry. And on Thursday and Friday, I spent six class periods with the teens from St. Lawrence Academy High School in Santa Clara, teaching them about liturgy and symbols.

What all these groups did this week is remind me that the Gospel is only “the Good News” if it actually sounds like “good news” for the people who hear it. A gospel choir knows that worship that is lifeless is not good news for people who feel depressed, alone, numb, or dead. Lay leaders of the church who grapple daily with raising children, keeping marriages together, paying the bills, coming out, falling in love, finding a job, being overworked and overstressed, don’t need purified preaching devoid of their stories. They yearn to hear the Church name and claim the Good News at work in their messy, broken, imperfect yet holy lives. And teens who have their own unique lifestyle, culture, and language constantly challenge us to let go of our “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” and “when-I-was-your-age” attitudes so that we can speak the Gospel in new ways that make sense for their generation.

Look at how Jesus preached the gospel. To the hungry, good news was food, so he fed them. To the sick, good news was healing, so he touched them and made them whole. To the outcast, good news was companionship, so he ate with them. To the lowly, good news was recognition and respect, so he welcomed them and named them holy and blessed. Jesus didn’t force-feed these people a pre-made message conformed to his standards of what he thought was good news. He entered into a relationship with them, asked them what they were looking for, gave it to them in a way that looked and sounded like good news for them, and that he named the “reign of God.”

Seeking new ways to preach the Gospel is not a new thing in the Church. The Gospel writers themselves knew their audiences and wrote the narrative of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection in ways that made sense for their hearers. When North American Indians were being persecuted and enslaved by European armies in the 16th century for not accepting the Gospel, Dominican friars questioned if the Europeans were even preaching the Gospel in a language that the Indians understood. They were not, and so it was not the Indians but the Church that was at fault because they merely talked without really trying to communicate. And in the 20th century, Vatican II understood that “when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observance of the laws governing valid and lawful celebration; it is also [the] duty [of pastors] to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 11). Thus, the Word of God must look like, sound like, smell like, feel like, and taste like good news for a 20th century world.

Yet even now, the world has changed since 1962 and the opening of Vatican II, and so must the ways we preach the Gospel change. For example, it is simply a reality in our 21st century American society that if you are not somehow connected to the Internet, if you don’t have email, or if you don’t know how to navigate the world wide web, you cannot really be in tune with the world that most people under 30 occupy. If the only place we try to connect with this internet generation is in church, while most of them are hanging out at Starbucks, IM’ing their friends on their computer, and text messaging on their cells, then we’re just talking but not communicating.

Especially here in the Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the personal computer, if we are to preach the Gospel so that it sounds like good news for the younger generation, the church must be where they are. We must learn their ways of communicating, understand the unique struggles they encounter, and be an interconnected web that bridges their real-life stories with the Gospel story.

This week in DSJ Liturgy Notes, you’ll find:

During this long weekend when we remember Columbus' search for a new land, let us continue the search for new ways and places that the good news can be heard and understood.

Diana Macalintal
Associate for Liturgy

The Pope and the Internet

Computer Monk“The Internet causes billions of images to appear on millions of computer monitors around the planet. From this galaxy of sight and sound will the face of Christ emerge and the voice of Christ be heard? For it is only when His face is seen and His voice heard that the world will know the glad tidings of our redemption….Therefore,…I dare to summon the whole Church bravely to cross this new threshold, to put out into the deep of the Net, so that now as in the past the great engagement of the Gospel and culture may show to the world ‘the glory of God on the face of Christ.’” – Pope John Paul II

Liturgists and Clergy Study Day with Fr. Ed Foley

Fr. Edward Foley, CapuchinBishop Patrick McGrath and the Associate for Liturgy invite all liturgists and clergy of the diocese to participate in the 3rd annual morning of study and reflection on the Eucharist. This year, Reverend Edward Foley, Capuchin, will guide us through the ministries of preaching and presiding and will give special focus on the Eucharistic Prayer. Fr. Foley is a professor of liturgy and music and the chair of the Department of Word and Worship at the Chicago Theological Union. He has been a priest for almost 30 years and is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and theologian. His presentation will include input and discussion on current liturgical praxis and a mystagogical and musical reflection on the Eucharistic Prayer.

Becoming What We Pray:
Reflection on Preaching and Presiding at the Sunday Eucharist

Reverend Edward Foley, Capuchin

Friday, November 5, 2004, 9:30a to 12p
Santa Teresa Church - 794 Calero Avenue, San Jose

This workshop is free for liturgists and clergy of the San Jose Diocese.

Liturgists and clergy from other dioceses are welcomed but are asked to contribute a $5 registration fee at the door payable by cash or check to "Diocese of San Jose."

Please RSVP to Rebeca Aldaz or (408) 983-0126.

Fr. Foley is a dynamic speaker and will be able to intelligently and passionately address your questions and engage your imagination. I know that he can lift all our spirits and help us feel re-energized for the work we do.

For more information, contact Diana Macalintal or call (408) 983-0136.

Music Ministers Workshop with Fr. Ed Foley

If you are a music minister in the Catholic Church today, you are often right in the middle of “liturgy wars” and heated debates over musical styles and preferences. But if you're like me, you became a music minister because you love music just as much as you love the liturgy and the church that celebrates it.

We music ministers—directors, singers, cantors, accompanists, instrumentalists—have a great opportunity and an equally-great responsibility to serve the liturgy by enabling the faithful to participate in it, give thanks to God through it, be united in it, and go into the world commissioned by it through the art of music. If we are to make our work ministry and not just another “gig,” we need to understand in our bones the power of music to foster and nourish faith and even its power to weaken and destroy it.

Fr. Edward Foley, CapuchinSpend an evening in musical prayer, reflection, formation, and challenge with Reverend Edward Foley, Capuchin, who will guide us through the Rite of Communion, highlighting how our musical choices and habits can serve or hinder the action of the Eucharist. Fr. Foley's presentation will be musical, mystagogical, and meaningful for all who sing the liturgy.

Becoming What We Eat:
An Evening Reflection on Music,
Communion, and Eucharist
Reverend Edward Foley, Capuchin

Friday, November 5, 2004, 7:30p to 9p
$5 registration fee

Music ministers from other dioceses welcomed.

Please RSVP to
Rebeca Aldaz or (408) 983-0126.
Registration may be paid at the door in cash
or check to “Diocese of San Jose.”

Fr. Foley is a professor of liturgy and music and the chair of the Department of Word and Worship at the Chicago Theological Union. He has been a priest for almost 30 years and is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and theologian. He has been a frequent keynote speaker and presenter for the gatherings of the National Pastoral Musician and many other liturgical and musical conferences.

For more information, contact Diana Macalintal or call (408) 983-0136.

Liturgical Ministers Study Day with Fr. Ed Foley

Fr. Edward Foley, CapuchinRemember why you do what you do for the liturgy. Remember why you put in the extra hours preparing, creating, practicing, getting up early and staying late. Remember why we gather on Sunday in the first place.

All liturgical ministers and those who care for the liturgy in any way are invited to a morning of study and reflection on the Eucharist. Reverend Edward Foley, Capuchin, will guide us through an examination of why we gather to celebrate the Eucharist by calling us to reflect on why we are sent at the end of Mass. Fr. Foley’s presentation will include input and discussion on liturgical principles and methods for remembering, reflecting on, and evaluating our liturgical practice.

Go in Peace:
Reflection on Why We Gather
and For What We are Sent
Reverend Edward Foley, Capuchin

Saturday, November 6, 2004, 9:30a to 12p
Santa Teresa Church - 794 Calero Avenue, San Jose
$5 registration fee

Liturgical ministers from other dioceses welcomed.

Please RVSP to Rebeca Aldaz or (408) 983-0126.
Registration fee may be paid at the door by cash
or check to “Diocese of San Jose.”

Fr. Foley is a professor of liturgy and music and the chair of the Department of Word and Worship at the Chicago Theological Union. He has been a priest for almost 30 years and is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and theologian.

For more information, contact Diana Macalintal or call (408) 983-0136.

The Opening of Vatican II, 42 Years Ago

Vatican II
On October 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council with this prayer:

God grant that your labors and your work,
toward which the eyes of all peoples
and the hopes of the entire world are turned,
may abundantly fulfill the aspirations of all.
Almighty God!
In Thee we place all our confidence, not trusting in our own strength.
Look down benignly upon these pastors of Thy Church.
May the light of Thy supernal grace aid us
in taking decisions and in making laws.
Graciously hear the prayers which we pour forth to Thee
in unanimity of faith, of voice and of mind.
O Mary, Help of Christians, Help of Bishops,
of whose love we have recently had particular proof
in thy temple of Loreto,
where we venerated the mystery of the Incarnation,
dispose all things for a happy and propitious outcome and,
with thy spouse, St. Joseph, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul,
St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist,
intercede for us to God.
To Jesus Christ, our most amiable Redeemer,
immortal King of peoples and of times,
be love, power and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

On his deathbed, John XXIII said:
It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better. Those who have lived as long as I have…were enabled to compare different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity and to look far ahead.
Pope John XXIII died on June 3, 1963. Pope Paul VI continued the work of the council until its closing in 1966. Click here to read excerpts from John XXIII's opening address at Vatican II and some key dates from this historic council.

A 500-Year Divide Between Catholics and Lutherans

Wittenberg doorsOn October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a Catholic Augustinian priest in Germany, nailed to the doors of Wittenberg Castle Church (essentially the bulletin board of this university town) an invitation to discuss and debate the pastoral practices of the church. His 95 theses raised the question of justification (salvation). He argued that if scripture taught that by God’s grace alone are we saved, why then did the church encourage the practice of selling indulgences—certificates that shortened one’s time in purgatory. He argued that salvation is God’s work alone, and no amount of human effort or money could manipulate the mind of God. His argument was solidly Catholic and in line with one of the church’s greatest teachers—St. Augustine. Yet, over the centuries, the church had developed practices, such as private Masses and payment for these Masses to be said for private intentions, that took on the appearance and eventually endorsed that salvation could be bought or bartered. Luther’s action was not meant to divide the church but rather to reform it and remind it of its roots. But in part because of an attitude of defensiveness and a bit of stubbornness on both sides, the church excommunicated Luther and Luther and his supporters condemned many of the church’s teachings and practices. Since then, Lutherans and Catholics have been divided.

Vatican II issued a Decree on Ecumenism titled Unitatis Redintegratio (1964), calling for “the restoration of unity among all the followers of Christ” (1). Since then, leaders of both the Catholic and Lutheran churches have been dialoguing with each other, re-examining what each church truly teaches, and searching for common ground. A major reconciliation occurred on October 31, 1999, when the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. After almost 500 years, Martin Luther’s invitation to discuss and debate the issue of justification was finally answered.

This turning point document basically states that both Catholics and Lutherans “hold the conviction that justification is the work of the triune God” (15). The major common ground points of this document state:
  • Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works (15).
  • All people are called by God to salvation in Christ. Through Christ alone are we justified, when we receive this salvation in faith (16).
  • We also share the conviction that the message of justification directs us in a special way towards the heart of the New Testament witness to God's saving action in Christ: it tells us that as sinners our new life is solely due to the forgiving and renewing mercy that God imparts as a gift and we receive in faith, and never can merit in any way (17).
  • We confess together that all persons depend completely on the saving grace of God for their salvation (19).
  • We confess together that God forgives sin by grace and at the same time frees human beings from sin's enslaving power and imparts the gift of new life in Christ (22).
  • We confess together that sinners are justified by faith in the saving action of God in Christ (25).
  • We confess together that in baptism the Holy Spirit unites one with Christ, justifies, and truly renews the person (28).
  • We confess together that persons are justified by faith in the gospel “apart from works prescribed by the law” (Rom 3:28) (31).
  • We confess together that the faithful can rely on the mercy and promises of God (34).
  • We confess together that good works – a Christian life lived in faith, hope and love – follow justification and are its fruits (37).

Read the whole text of the Joint Declaration here.