Monday, August 28, 2006

the other

Well, I have tons to post about and a camera full of pics from the summer: my younger brother's wedding, my thoughts on my summer assignment, etc.

I'm back to seminary... which is awesome... and I'm very impressed by the new guys (wow... I'm not a new guy anymore...)

Anyway, tomorrow starts the opening retreat for the community here at St. Mary's. It's gonna be a good one, the itinerary is below. I'll be in monk-mode till Thursday. Please pray for me that this retreat bears much fruit for a holy and productive First Theology year.


August 29-August 31, 2006
“Deus Caritas Est: Priestly Formation in Charity”
Given by the Rector and Faculty

Retreat Schedule
(All conferences will be in the Main Chapel)

Tuesday, August 29

11:30 a.m. Eucharistic Liturgy: Mass of the Holy Spirit
Presider and Homilist: Father Robert Leavitt, S.S.
12:15 p.m. Lunch (Refectory)
2:00 p.m. Conference 1: Father Robert Leavitt, S.S. “God is Love and Life Together”
4:30 p.m. Evening Prayer, Conference 2: Father Michael Barre, S.S. “I Have Loved You with An Everlasting Love”
5:30 p.m. Dinner (Refectory)
7:30 p.m. Meditative Rosary on the Joyful Mysteries Led by Father Hy Nguyen, S.S.
Strict Silence Begins

Wednesday, August 30

Breakfast (Refectory—In Silence)
9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer, Conference 3: Father Gladstone Stevens, S.S. “The Love of God and Divine Wisdom”
11:30 a.m. Eucharist Presider: Father Stevens, S.S.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until Evening Prayer
12:15 p.m. Lunch (Refectory – In Silence)
2:00 p.m. Extraordinary Confessors available for Sacrament of Reconciliation (Locations posted)
4:30 p.m. Evening Prayer, Conference 4: Father Corbin Eddy “Liturgy as the Sign of Love”
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
6:00 p.m. Dinner (Refectory—In Silence)
8:00 p.m. Taize Meditative Prayer Led by Fr. Tony Perez, S.S.
Strict Silence continues through the Night

Thursday, August 31

Breakfast in silence (Refectory)
9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer, Conference 5: Father Philip Keane, S.S. “Love as the Foundation of Moral Life”
11:30 a.m. Conference 6: Father David Couturier, OFM Cap. “God’s Love, Human Resistance, and Priestly Service”
Strict Silence Ends
12:15 p.m. Lunch (Refectory)
2:00 p.m. Conference 7: Father Robert Leavitt, S.S. “Love and the Paschal Mystery”
Quiet Time for Prayer and Reflection
4:00 p.m. Covenant Liturgy Presider and Homilist: Robert F. Leavitt, S.S.
5:00 p.m. Social (Laubacher Hall)
5:30 p.m. Dinner (Refectory)

Guidelines for Quiet Time for Prayer and Reflection

I. A serene and quiet atmosphere pervades the whole house during the retreat, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in each individual, and respecting the Spirit’s work in others.
II. Spiritual conversations and shared prayer with others in small groups may take place.
III. Meal times are the appropriate place for fraternal interactions.
IV. During the retreat seminarians should avoid the use of electronic or digital devices (TV, computers, phones, game systems). Soft music facilitating reflection should not disturb others.
V. During the retreat normal business activity and external communications should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Guidelines for Strict Silence

I. During strict silence, seminarians avoid all noise and distractions completely to allow for deeper prayer and reflection in silence.
II. During strict silence, seminarians avoid even spiritual conversations and shared prayer with others. Brief and urgent communication should be done discreetly.
III. During strict silence, meal times become an opportunity for reflection and deeper communion with God.
IV. During strict silence, seminarians completely avoid the use of electronic, digital, or sound devices.

Pablo's Ordination

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure and privilege of serving the Ordination to the Holy Priesthood of Pablo Hernandez for the Archdiocese of Louisville. (I served his Diaconate Ordination also)

Here is a collection of articles on the Ordination with some excerpts from each and my favorite pics.

First, the Press Release

From an article in The Record, "Deacon Hernandez’ vocation born at young age":

He was raised in a “very Catholic” family in his hometown of San Vicente, and he often went to Mass with them. But sometimes, as young as age 7, he would dress up, shine his shoes and go to church by himself. And he would always sit near the altar. It was “a sense of the sacred, the sense of being close to the altar,” he said in an interview last week in his office at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown. “I loved to see the seminarians vested and the bishop processing in and processing out of church.” (read the rest here)

Another article in the Record, "Deacon Hernandez reflects on priesthood":

“The Lamb of God ... will be my logo, the distinctiveness of my priesthood, my theme,” he said in an interview before his ordination at 11 a.m. Aug. 12 at St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky.
He said his “image of the priesthood” is “sometimes being the good shepherd, sometimes being the lamb, being sacrificed.”
But the image he prefers is that of the “sacrificial lamb, (to) give your life for the sake of others. In that sacrificial act, there is joy.”
He explained: “I want to do (this) because Jesus is our prototype. He is the Lamb. When he sacrificed for us, he suffered because he loved us, and (there) was joy in his action.” (read the rest here)

From an article in the Courier-Journal, "Journey of faith began in El Salvador":
Hernandez was ordained a deacon in his native San Vincente in December, a festive event attended by some representatives from the Louisville archdiocese. But shortly thereafter, he suffered serious burns on his legs in a fireworks accident, and underwent skin grafts. The injury delayed his graduation and ordination, originally scheduled in May.
"I learned suffering" from that experience, Hernandez said. "For me, suffering is a blessing, a redeeming experience," enabling him to relate both to Jesus and the sufferings of the people to whom he'll minister. (read the rest here)

Here is a link to a Photo Gallery of the Ordination from the C-J. My favorite pics:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

At my parish assignment this summer, with Fr. Bob Ray at St. Jerome in Fairdale and St. Mary in Hillview, I was given the opportunity to plan the liturgy for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was my first time planning a liturgy so the task was a little daunting. Plus, I wanted it to be perfect because this particular solemnity means a great deal to me. I consecrated myself to Jesus, through Mary when I first entered seminary and this solemnity is also the patronal "feast" of the Archdiocese and one of the parishes to which I was assigned. I wanted it to be solemn and reverent and expose the two congregations to the richness of traditional Catholic liturgy that they normally don't experience throughout the year. But, alas, this isn't my liturgy per se, it's not mine to do with as I please. It's the heavenly liturgy in which we participate. At the same time though, we are given the task of doing are part in the celebration to ensure that it parallels the heavenly liturgy as closely as our feeble minds can imagine it while keeping the needs and the faith of the people in mind. At least that's what I think the Mass should be... that was the task I gave myself. And Fr. Ray was very open to my suggestions... actually he indulged me quite a bit! I must admit I was in hog-heaven... excuse the bad pun.

Anyway, here's how the Mass was planned:

First I enlisted Sarah Nettleton, a professional cantor and one of the head cantors at St. Marin of Tours. This is the only parish in the Archdiocese with the indult to say the Tridentine Mass and they have a truly angelic choir. She was very instrumental (excuse another bad pun) in helping me plan the music for the Mass and construct the participation aid so that the faithful could more easily follow along.

Processional Hymn: "Immaculate Mary"
Introit (Latin Chant)
Confiteor (English, recited)
Kyrie (Greek Chant)
Gloria (English, recited)
First Reading
Responsorial Psalm (sung)
Second Reading
Gradual (Latin Chant)
Gospel Acclamation
Nicene Creed
Prayers for the Faithful
Offertory (Latin Chant)
Preparation of the Gifts: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"
Sanctus (Latin Chant)
Great Amen
Memorial Acclamation (sung)
Agnus Dei (Latin Chant)
Communion Chant (Latin)
Communion Hymn: "O Thou, Who at Thy Eucharist Didst Pray"
Communion Meditation: "Ave Maria" (Gregorian Chant)
Recessional Hymn: "Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above"

I wore a cassock and surplice I had borrowed from a friend at seminary (to wear to serve my younger brother's wedding) and enlisted four children from the Philipines who were parishioners and used to traditional liturgy. We had incense at the procession, blessing of the altar and crucifix, the gospel, and the blessing of the gifts and people. And we had torch-bearers for the gospel as well. The only things we didn't have were incense and bells at the consecration (which Father and I agreed wouldn't have worked logistically). In my humble opinion, it was a beautiful liturgy and both parishes seemed to enjoy the experience. My hope is that it maybe enkindled or rekindled an appreciation for Latin, the treasury of Catholic hymnody, and solemn liturgy.

"Sursum corda"
"Habemus ad Dominum"

"Lift up your hearts"
"We have lifted them up to the Lord"

St. John Vianney, pray for us