Here is Bulletin_2015-05-31
No Comment Section: Just as Fox News – “We report, you decide.” Following are two items from this week’s bulletin. The first is:
HONORING REV. HOBSON
JUNE 7, 2015, SUNDAY, 3-6 pm
Washington Fire Hall
Celebrate and honor Reverend Jennings Hobsons’ 42 years of service to Rappahannock County. Join us in the afternoon after our Parish Picnic.
The second item is followed by some information from a facebook page. This tends to help in understanding where our Pastor is when he isn’t with us.
?? WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE SENIOR CENTER??
Come to Scrabble School senior Center this week for a little fun: Starting at 11am: Monday HORSESHOES; Tuesday STORY TELLING with Peter Hornbostel; Wednesday CORN-HOLE TOURNEY; Thursday MISSIONARY SINGERS. Lunch is free to all and delicious. Come and have fun. If you need to call: 540-987-3638
On May 23rd Vatican Radio reported the following in an article entitled Irish voters approve referendum allowing same-sex “marriage”:
The country’s Bishops had engaged in a relatively low-key campaign largely restricted to the reading of pastoral letters at Masses in parishes.
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, took to the airwaves pointing to the reasons why he was voting ‘no’, namely because of his belief that marriage is a unique institution involving one man and one woman.
The Archbishop, however, stopped short of telling Catholics how they should vote, pointedly saying “those days are gone” – a reference to a time when the Irish Catholic hierarchy frequently instructed Mass-goers on how they should vote.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.“142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
During recent times, the pastors of the flock in Ireland have shown that they are compromised by their corruption and that they are weak and spineless when it comes to protecting their sheep. And now the Irish flock is confused and without support – the sheep have been thrown to the wolves; many have been consumed by the wolves; and now many are the wolves. The remnants of flock of Ireland are scattered.
Here in America, we will not vote on this fundamental question of natural law. No, the question is now in the hands of the Supreme Court. The blog Constitution Daily summarizes the case as follows:
Obergefell v. Hodges (heard April 28, 2015) – The Supreme Court heard extended arguments last week about the legality of same-sex marriages in four states. Its eventual decision could be a landmark civil rights moment, or a move that would confuse a lot of people on both sides of the issue. Same-sex marriage supporters believe the unions are permitted nationally under the Constitution’s Due Process and Equal Protection provisions. But four states in this lawsuit – Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee – believe same-sex marriage eligibility should be determined by the states, through a political process that gives voters a role in the decision.
So, how will that case go? Will America become another Ireland? If Catholics in public office performed their duties in accordance with Catholic moral teaching, then orthodox Catholics would have nothing to fear in the coming ruling. As Wikipedia notes:
In May 2009, President Barrack Obama nominated a Catholic woman, Sonia Sotomayor, to replace retiring Justice David Souter. Her confirmation raised the number of Catholics on the Court to six, compared to three non-Catholics.
Yet, there is little consolation in those numbers. Catholics are conflicted and undereducated in their Faith. The Catholic Justices will make a show of seeking to interpret the Constitution based on the facts in Obergefell v. Hodges and not on their religious beliefs. Somehow, though, they will not leave their politics behind as easily as they do their religion.
The majority of American Catholics will not be dismayed should the Justices decide against Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. That is because recent polling shows that up to 54% of Catholics support so-called same-sex marriage.
How is it that Catholics are either unaware of the teaching of the Church or, if they are aware of it, they have decided to defy the teaching? The answer is rather complicated, of course. But you can be sure that Saul Alinsky-like tactics have been used to bring about changes in thinking throughout the land. For the Catholic Church, however, the real problem has been in our seminaries, where priestly vocations have been corrupted.
Have you ever heard of Sexual Attitude Restructuring (SAR)? Perhaps you should read The moral plague of SAR that appeared in Homiletic & Pastoral Review in June 1984. Once you have learned how “sexuality workshops, using pornographic films to desensitize students have been taking place on many Catholic college campuses and seminaries”, then you will have a better understanding of the corruption brought about by Bishop Kenneth Untener while he was still alive. According to James Likoudis, while Rector of St. John’s Seminary, Plymouth, MI, then Rev. Untener, had seminarians view pornographic films which were part of the Sexual Attitude Restructuring Program (SAR).
If a priest is malformed, you can only expect that the spiritual lives of the sheep assigned to these corrupted shepherds will be in jeopardy. As this process of radicalizing the priesthood goes on over decades, you will find that the sheep will become radicalized as well. Of course 54% of Catholics support so-called same-sex marriages. You have only to look at the members of the clergy that were either taught by Bishop Untener or who are sympathetic with the dissent spread by Bishop Untener to understand why 54% of the sheep might go astray.
Consider that Bishop Untener was author of or at least inspired what you will find in the The Little Burgundy Book that was placed in the vestibule of St. Peter’s Church this last weekend. No, The Little Burgundy Book does not mention SAR nor any other great evil. The Little Burgundy Book only helps you to think that it might be worthwhile to read more of Bishop Untener’s works. Now where do you suppose that will take you? Ask the 54% of Catholics who want what Ireland now has.
America – the pastors are leaving the sheep and now the sheep are leaving the fold.
Here is Bulletin_2015-05-24.
The Little Burgundy Book: Yup, we have another color(ing) book in the vestibule of St. Peters.
THE LITTLE BURGUNDY BOOK
REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP FROM ST. MARK
Many have liked the “little books” that have been available in Advent, Lent and Easter. Today, you can pick up a new little book that is focused on the Gospel of St. Mark. We begin “ordinary time” this week with the end of the Easter season. The readings of ordinary time are from the Gospel of st. Mark this year so these daily reflections will be of help for your prayer. Help yourself and share it with anyone you think would like one.
This new “Little Book” will inform you about “Green Burials.” (See “Thursday, third week” when you get your copy.) We wonder when the Parish Cemetery Committee will have the green burial option available for the parishioners of St. Peter’s. We also wonder whether the option will cost more than a traditional burial. Isn’t that the way it works with “green” and “organic” things these days?
As noted above, the main theme is “stewardship.” It’s unfortunate, however, that The Little Burgundy Book can’t focus on stewardship without revealing a bias against traditional interpretations of the Gospel of St. Mark. (See “Saturday, third week” for an example when you get your copy.)
Parish Pastoral Council Minutes: The minutes for the most recent Pastoral Council meeting have been posted. We will discuss some of the entries at a later time.
Yesterday, we noted in the celebration of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord that, “It was devoid of the very same thing that was absent from the bulletin – it was devoid of solemnity.” The bulletin did not reflect that it was even a solemnity. And, even though our Pastor celebrated the Ascension, it was lacking in many things that could have been there to provide nourishment to the sheep. There were no altar boys, no bells, and seemingly little preparation for the homily.
Today, we attended the 8:30 AM Mass at St. John the Baptist. Even though the Pastor had just returned from a week long pilgrimage to Rome, he presented a thoughtful and inspiring homily that revealed the depth and beauty to be found in the Ascension. He wore gold vestments and was served by eight altar boys. The music was appropriate and added to the Solemnity. It was a feast and my wife and I partook in that feast.
So, I asked myself why was our Pastor under prepared? We knew that he did not offer Mass at St. Peter’s on Thursday or Friday. Was part of his under preparation due to that absence? Where was he?
We did some research.
Thursday, May 14 – Sunday, May 17 was the Arlington Cursillo’s 144th Women’s Weekend. Our Pastor was the Spiritual Director. That’s where our Pastor was – he was taking care of other sheep. Meanwhile, the Sheep that are directly in his charge were without a Pastor. According to the144th Women’s Weekend Schedule, his preparation for this Cursillo weekend took several weeks, actually since March.
We need not belabor the point. The absence of solemnity for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord at St. Peter’s this weekend was in at least some ways the result of the absence of the Pastor, who was off taking care of his apparently higher priorities.
Yet, as the Pastor of St. John the Baptist was able to show, even though he was thousands of miles away, he was thinking of his flock. And, even though he was surely tired from the long journey, he was up early this morning, ready to provide nourishment and sustenance to the Sheep the Lord has directly entrusted to his care.
Here is Bulletin_2015-05-17.
Read the bulletin closely. Read it four or five times like my wife and I did.
What did you find?
Was there a glaring omission?
If you haven’t found it, try the first page.
Have you found it yet?
Well, here’s a clue. In fact, here’s the answer.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
7th Sunday of Easter
According to the USCCB, May 17, 2015 is officially – the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. It is a SOLEMNITY!!!! It is important!!!! Reading our bulletin you would never know. But, now comes the hard part – trying to get the most out of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord while attending the 5:00 PM Mass at St. Peter’s. Words were said (not always the right words, mind you), motions were made, and a homily was delivered. Yet, somehow, nothing really happened. It was devoid of the very same thing that was absent from the bulletin – it was devoid of solemnity.
I was a child of the 50’s and 60’s and I can recall how society and the Church began to turn on itself back then. We had songs with lyrics that expressed our discontent. Well, I am no longer a child, I am an adult Catholic of the 2010’s and I have seen what has happened to the Church because it turned on itself when I was young. So, when I think of this evening’s Mass at St. Peter’s, there is a recollection of these lyrics from a song by the Monkees:
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care
Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray, to places far away
I need a change of scenery
My wife and I continue to pray that Bishop Loverde will graciously grant us a change of scenery.
Aloha nui loa!
Over 30 years ago, the US Navy saw fit to move my family and me to Hawaii. You’re right, it was no hardship tour. My work was fulfilling, my family grew from four to five – our youngest is a Kamaʻāina – a child of the land (Hawaii). More importantly, that tour in Hawaii offered us the opportunity to grow in our spiritual lives in ways that were just not open to us while stationed in Japan.
Last week, I was “forced” to travel to Hawaii on business. While there, I had the opportunity to visit with one of our dear friends. It was a beautiful reunion, but it also was a poignant reminder of how we are aging. So many of our old friends are now with the Lord. I say they are with the Lord because I knew they were good people and they always were close to Him while they were alive.
I also had the opportunity to attend daily Mass at our old parish. Of course, many incidentals had changed. There were different pictures, banners, and decorations. In fact, there were far more pictures of saints than before. If anything, the overly modern theater-in-the-round layout of the church had been modified to be be more altar and tabernacle-centered. The pews had been replaced with a more traditional style.
In comparison to the Diocese of Arlington, Hawaii is far more “liberal.” Many liberties are taken with the liturgy. My wife and I know that to be a fact because we used to be on the Liturgy Committee for our parish there. Additionally, because of the dove-tailing of the Aloha spirit and the somewhat overly exuberant Cursillo-type touchy-feely expression of Christian joy, one could expect a Sign of Peace that might go on for five to ten minutes.
Thus, it was no surprise at Mass last week when I heard the pastor invite all in the Church to come up to the first step of the altar and stand there until after the distribution of Communion. I also was not surprised when he asked all to raise their hands during the Our Father. No, I didn’t go up to the altar, and no, I didn’t raise my hands. Interestingly, Father and the rest of the Mass attendees did not seem to mind. Father had introduced me earlier to all present and they knew I was from a different place. They still greeted me warmly after Mass.
I know Hawaii and I love Hawaii. I am thankful to God that my family and I have Hawaii as part of our Catholic background. Even if I don’t agree with what they do at Mass sometimes, I understand it. There is no doubt that they love Jesus Christ and the Church He established. I also know something else. I know that not a word, not a single word, of the Novus Ordo liturgy was changed during the Mass. I also know that the homily spoke to my spiritual life and and the salvation of souls that Jesus brought into this world. I know that Father asked me to love my neighbor – there was no beating of the social justicism drum.
In our Roman Catholic Church in America there are herds of dead horses that could be beaten. Yet, I have neither the energy nor the time to beat them all. Despite the departure from the norms of posture during that daily Mass in Hawaii, there were no departures from true Catholic doctrine. There were no deviations from the words that are given to the priest to pray on behalf of the Church and the Sheep. So, I will save the strength of my soul and my prayers to to beat the one dead horse that God has given me. My prayer while beating is that the dead horse will be renewed in spiritual life and grace and return to the work that it was originally called.
Here is Bulletin_2015-05-10
A three-day retreat, an eight-day business trip to Hawaii, Mother’s Day, more than a week’s worth of grass to mow, more Spring planting, a four-hour plus homeward commute on DC Metro – all of that and more has taken place over the last three weeks. So, this post is late. ごめんなさい – I’m sorry.
From the Pastor’s Piece:
FR. ROBERT A. LANGE DIED MAY 4
FORMER PASTOR OF ST. PETER CHURCH
Father Lange passed away early on May 4th at the Saint Joseph Home (Little Sisters of the Poor) in Richmond, Virginia, after a long illness. Many of you know that Fr. Lange had been battling cancer for a number of years. Please pray for him and his family. See inside of this bulletin for a short history of Father Lange.
My wife and I had the honor of meeting Fr. Lange. He stands out in our memory in many ways. Several of you sent us emails sharing your memories of him. The picture below is of his house in Fort Valley where the Eucharist was reserved. His love and respect for the Eucharist is explained in his book Windows Into the Life of a Priest, which can be purchased on Amazon.