Archive for January, 2016

January 18th through 25th: The Chair of Unity Octave – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Traditional-Prayers-for-Chair-of-Unity-Octave

Beginning tomorrow, the Chair of Unity Octave, also known as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, is one of the most important periods of devotional prayer in the Church year.  It has accomplished an immense good in awakening Catholics to a mission consciousness and to the need of interesting themselves in the conversion of those without the Fold.  In these days of darkness and confusion, when the enemies of Christ seem to be triumphing as never before, how great is our obligation to pour forth fervent prayer for the souls of the millions of Christians who are isolated from the fullness of the truth, that God in his Mercy will grant them the grace of conversion.  Let us take very seriously our responsibility with regard to the souls of our brethren, and make this yearly Octave truly a week of grace!

“In every age it has been the concern of the Roman Pontiffs, Our predecessors, and likewise it concerns Us greatly, that Christians who have, unfortunately, withdrawn from the Catholic Religion should at length be recalled to us as a forsaken Mother.  For in the Unity of the Faith the foremost characteristic of the truth of the Church shines forth, and it is thus that the Apostle Paul exhorts the Ephesians to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, by proclaiming that there is One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism (Ephes. 4:5).  With a glad mind, therefore, We have heard that prayers have been proposed to be recited from the Feast of the Chair of the Blessed Peter at Rome to the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, in order that this aim of Unity might be obtained from the Lord.  We mercifully grant and bestow in the Lord a Plenary Indulgence and remission of their sins to each and all the faithful of Christ who from the eighteenth day of the month of January, the Festival of the Chair of Blessed Peter of Rome, until the twenty-fifth day of the same month, on which the Conversion of St. Paul is commemorated, shall recite once a day the prayers appointed.”  ―Pope Benedict XV (who sat upon the Chair of St. Peter from 1914-1922)

The Chair of Unity Octave begins on January 18th, the old Feast of St. Peter’s Chair in Rome and concludes on January 25th, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle.  It was founded in 1908 by Father Paul of Graymoor, N.Y. (born Lewis Thomas Wattson), Founder of the Society of the Atonement, and Mother Lurana White, Foundress of the Sisters of the Atonement, while they were still Anglicans.  After their conversion to Catholicism, the Chair of Unity Octave was approved by Pope St. Pius X.

January 6th: The Feast of the Epiphany

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

On Wednesday evening, January 6th, a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated at St. Mary Church.  Father DeWayne Kayser, Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison, SD, served as Deacon of the Mass and our seminarian, Mr. John Streff, F.S.S.P., served as Subdeacon.  Mr. Landon Frederes was Master of Ceremonies.

“As you kneel at the feet of the child Jesus on the day of his Epiphany and see him a king bearing none of the outward signs of royalty, you can tell him:  Lord, take away my pride; crush my self love, my desire to affirm myself and impose myself on others. Make the foundation of my personality my identification with you.

If our vocation comes first, if the star shines ahead to start us along the path of God’s love, it is illogical that we should begin to doubt if it chances to disappear from view. It might happen at certain moments in our interior life — and we are nearly always to blame — that the star disappears, just as it did to the wise kings on their journey. We have already realized the divine splendour of our vocation, and we are convinced about its definitive character, but perhaps the dust we stir up as we walk our miseries — forms an opaque cloud that cuts off the light from above. What should we do if this happens?  Follow the example of those wise men and ask. Herod made use of knowledge to act unjustly. The Magi use it to do good. But we Christians have no need to go to Herod nor to the wise men of this world. Christ has given his Church sureness in doctrine and a flow of grace in the sacraments. He has arranged things so that there will always be people to guide and lead us, to remind us constantly of our way. There is an infinite treasure of knowledge available to us: the word of God kept safe by the Church, the grace of Christ administered in the sacraments and also the witness and example of those who live by our side and have known how to build with their good lives a road of faithfulness to God.”

-St. Josemaria Escriva, Homily for the Feast of the Epiphany, 1956

 

Church Interior: Christmas Eve Afternoon

Sunday, January 17th, 2016
Detail of one of the Altar Religuaries

Detail of one of the Altar Religuaries

The ladies moved the location of the Crib from the Holy Family Altar to the Gospel Side of the Sanctuary, to the right of the pulpit

The ladies moved the location of the Crib from the Holy Family Altar to the Gospel Side of the Sanctuary, to the right of the pulpit

The niche over the tabernacle is covered until the Gloria of the First Mass of Christmas, when the large image of the Infant Jesus is revealed

The niche over the tabernacle is covered until the Gloria of the First Mass of Christmas, when the large image of the Infant Jesus is revealed

View of the side Altar dedicated to St. Aloysius

View of the side Altar dedicated to St. Aloysius

View of the Holy Family Altar

View of the Holy Family Altar