Reflections on the Mass

In my homily for the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, I spent quite a bit of time talking about the “orientation” of Catholic worship, and the influence of the way we pray on what we believe. The Latin principle is lex orandi, lex credendi (the law—or rule—of prayer is the law—or rule—of belief). That means that the way we treat the altar, the sanctuary, the tabernacle, the Book of the Gospels, etc., reveal our beliefs. So too with the orientation of the priest and people during the holiest part of the Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer. Out of a desire to help us all enter more fully into the sacred mysteries, beginning the First Sunday of Advent (November 30), I will begin celebrating the Eucharistic Prayer ad orientem, that is, celebrating facing (liturgical) east with you.

Please note that the Liturgy of the Word will continue to be celebrated as usual, but at the time when we “turn to the Lord,” worshiping God the Father “through, with, and in” the Son, we will pray in our hearts and with our bodies facing (liturgical) east together, instead of versus populum (me facing you, the people). For those who are interested, in my bulletin article, I included an excerpt from a blog of a priest in Rhode Island who has made this change at his parish. 

A Parish of Formation

Consider "Coming Home"

The Church of the Resurrection and Resurrection School exist to help families fulfill their God-given responsibilities to their children. In many cases, the men and women who are parents never received a deep and strong understanding of the faith. We want to help parents grow in their own faith so that they will be able to live in ways that their children will be able to learn the faith naturally, like learning our native language. The Catholic Church provides opportunities in parishes and schools to help parents fulfill their responsibilities to feed their children spiritually. One priority for me as pastor is to create opportunities for parents to get to know Jesus personally, and to grow in their understanding of our beautiful Catholic faith. That's why we provide opportunities such as retreats, the Alpha Course, Bible Studies, and other faith formation activities. Please pray for wisdom as we make plans for further opportu- nities to have fellowship together and grow in our knowledge and practice of our faith.

Catholic Schools

As both superintendent and pastor, I am pleased that parishes like Resurrection invest heavily to make Catholic schools available and affordable to members of our community. I rejoice that we have a school and that Lansing Catholic is within our parish boundaries. As pastor, I believe strongly in the importance of parishes partnering with parents to help them grow in wisdom and knowledge. As I've said before, some families choose to educate their children at home, which is an admirable choice for those called to do so. As a pastor, I support those families and pray that the Lord would continue to lead them as they discern how the Lord would have them form their children as disciples of Christ. For those who feel overwhelmed by the challenges of home-schooling (which can be quite common), I want Resurrection School to provide a faithful option for them to consider.