Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

A blessed and peace-filled Easter for you and your family!

Easter Sunday Masses: 7:30, 9 & 11am.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 3 of the Sacred Triduum

Holy Saturday - The Celebration of the Lord's Resurrection, The Easter Vigil - 7pm

Today we celebrate the culmination of our Lenten journey, the Sacred Triduum and the entirety of our Christian faith.

Beginning with 9 readings from Scripture we recount God's history with His people: we remember His promises and the path He prepared for the coming of Jesus, his Life and Death and Resurrection, and our own Salvation.

Through symbols of light, candles, incense, song, prayer, white garments, water, and many others, we are drawn into understanding the meaning and purpose of Jesus's Death and Resurrection. Likewise, we celebrate the Fruits of His Resurrection: the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.

In a mixture of ritual, prayer, song and symbols, we are taken to the depth and center of our Christian faith.

Come and be drawn up into the mystery that we re-present and in which we participate.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 2 of the Sacred Triduum

Good Friday - The Celebration of the Lord's Passion - 7pm

Tonight we focus on the Mystery and Meaning of Jesus's crucifixion.  It is in the Cross that we find the ultimate meaning of not only God's Plan for the Salvation of the human race, but we also find the ultimate meaning of our own human experience, our human condition, and the promises that God makes to us, promises that are fulfilled in the Death of Christ.

Pain, suffering, struggle- these experiences have meaning! We believe that they have the power to Redeem us because they flow from the great Pain, Suffering and Struggle that Christ willingly embraced on the Cross.  This act of Suffering is also an act of Service. Jesus willingly takes on the Cross to do for us that which we would not have to do for ourselves. Because He did, we don't have to.  Tonight we celebrate Jesus's great act of Self-Gift.

After reading John's account of the Passion, we offer 10 Petitions to Jesus, appealing to His generous Heart. We then make an act of Veneration to the Cross. In venerating it we acknowledge it's meaning and value both for Jesus and for us.  Following the Veneration we celebrate a Communion Service, markedly different from the Holy Mass.

You will notice a "stripped altar". As Jesus is embracing the Cross and His Death, the empty sanctuary represents Jesus being "away from us", if only for a time...

Come tonight and be drawn into the great Mystery and Triumph of the Cross of Christ.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 1 of the Sacred Triduum

Holy Thursday- The Mass of the Lord's Supper - 7pm

Tonight we celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist; given by Christ to the Church at the Last Supper. We also celebrate the Institution of the Priesthood; given by Christ to the Church for the service of his people and the perpetual re-presentation of the Last Supper at the Mass.

The priests will perform the Mandatum.  Mandatum is a Latin word that roughly means mandatory or commandment.  At the Last Supper (Gospel of John, chapter 13), after Jesus had washed the feet of his Apostles, he then said to them, "As I have washed your feet, so you know must now wash one another's feet." This is the mandatory action that Jesus commands.  At Mass, our parish priests will wash the feet of 12 parishioners: an act of humility that reminds both the priest and the congregation that the priesthood, and the Eucharist, is about service and about remembering what Jesus did for us.

Following the celebration of the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament will be removed from the Main Tabernacle and placed on the Altar of Repose, there to held in prayer until midnight. All are invited to pray infront of the Blessed Sacrament between 9-12pm. (There is also a tradition in which one can travel to 3, 5 or 7 churches before midnight and offer prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament in those churches. This, by the way, is a great time for families to be together and pray together.)

Finally, the Altar and Sanctuary are "stripped". All the appointments that adorn our sanctuary are removed: a symbolic act that reflects the reality of Jesus being falsely tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

I hope you will  consider "making" the Triduum with us.  I promise you that these three evenings spent in prayer will be inspiring and fruitful.

With Peace and Prayers for you this Triduum,
Fr Craig

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Sacred Triduum - the 3 Holy Days

Holy Thursday - 7pm - Celebration of the Eucharist; the Washing of Feet; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Good Friday - 7pm - Celebration of the Lord's Passion - Veneration of the Cross and Intercessory Prayer

Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil - 7pm - Celebration of Salvation History and the Sacrament of Initiation

Come and be drawn up into the very mystery of which we are a part!

Today at MQP

Wednesday, March 27

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Holy Hour - 8-9pm

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today at MQP

Tuesday, March 26th

Bible Study with Fr Bob, 1:15-2:30pm in the O'Toole Room (Parish Office)
Read, study and pray with the readings from Easter Sunday

Sacrament of Reconciliation from 4-7pm.

Celebration of the Sacred Triduum
Holy Thursday - Celebration of the Lord's Supper - 7pm
Good Friday - Celebration of the Lord's Passion - 7pm
Holy Saturday - Celebration of the Easter Vigil - 7pm

Easter Sunday Masses - 7:30, 9 and 11am

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Palm Sunday

Masses this weekend:
5pm Saturday
7:30, 9 and 11am on Sunday
5pm on Sunday - LifeTeen Mass and Life Night Kickoff - all 8th graders and high schoolers welcome.

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week leading up the Sacred Triduum (Three Days) of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

The celebrations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will begin at 7pm. Come and share in this deep prayer in preparation for Easter. By walking the Way of the Triduum, by entering deeply into that Prayer, one can enjoy and receive the graces of Easter at a deeper level.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happening Today at MQP

-Stations of the Cross - 2:15pm in the church
-Fish Fry in the Cafeteria - 5-7:30pm

Go Billikens!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happening Today at MQP

Wednesday, March 20

Sacrament of Reconciliation from 6:30pm-7:30pm.

Mass at 7:30pm

Holy Hour with Jesus, guided meditation by Father Craig from 8-9pm (Come for the whole hour or just for a few minutes).

Sacrament of Reconciliation from 8-9pm.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happening Today at MQP

Tuesday, March 19

Bible Study with Father Craig - 1:15-2:30pm in the O'Toole Room (Parish Office/Rectory).  Read, study and reflect on the Sunday Scripture readings.  Link to Sunday readings: Palm Sunday.

Training for Liturgical Ministers for Life Teen Mass 7pm in Church. 8th graders and high schoolers welcome to serve as Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and Ushers/Greeters

Monday, March 18, 2013

5th Sunday of Lent Homily

“Now nearly all those I loved and did not understand in my youth are dead. Even Jessie. But I still reach out to them.  Of course, now I'm too old to be much of a fisherman. And now I usually fish the big waters alone... although some friends think I shouldn't. But when I am alone in the half-light of the canyon... all existence seems to fade to a being with my soul and memories... and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm... and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one... and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood... and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops.                              Under the rocks are the words… and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

These words close one of my favorite pieces of writing.  It’s from a memoir called “A River Runs Through It”, written by Norman Maclean. If it sounds familiar, the memoir, written in 1976 was turned into a movie directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt in 1992. These words end the story; a story that is about fishing, family, and lost souls. The narrator of these lines is the autobiographical character of Norman Maclean. And you can sort of get the gist about how the story ends – it does not end happily or even neatly.

Notice the tone of Maclean’s writing: There is a clear tension between regret and hope; guilt and peace; our autobiographical narrator is yearning, yearning for the past, but faintly hopeful about the future. It’s the last sentence of the story that captivates the reader: “I am haunted by waters.”

Haunted, used in this instance, is a word of strong meaning. The speaker carries with him a certain degree of regret and perhaps even guilt. This regret, this guilt, will haunt him for rest of his life.

For the purposes of this homily, I would like to replace the word haunt, with another word: nostalgia. Nostalgia comes from a compound Greek word: nostos meaning return home and algos meaning pain. Nostalgia then, is a painful yearning to return home. In our common parlance, nostalgia is about returning to the past, to go back and do or say something differently.

I would like to offer for our prayer this week, a new understanding of nostalgia and give it a Christian meaning.

The woman in our Gospel reading today comes from a broken history. Whatever she did to end up where she ended it up is irrelevant. Whatever she’s been doing; wherever she came from is about to be turned on its head. Perhaps she longs for the days when she knew security and peace; when she knew love and kindness and gentleness. Perhaps she longs to return to those days- perhaps she suffers from nostalgia.

But she meets Jesus and he turns her life upside down. Encountering the mercy and forgiveness of the Savior her nostalgia is no longer a yearning for the home she knew. Now her nostalgia is a painful longing for the heavenly home that is her ultimate destiny. Jesus’s forgiveness wipes away her past and gives her a future full of hope and promise. My friends, this is Christian nostalgia- this is our prayer this week.

As we near the celebration of newness and second, third and hundredth chance that is Easter, we are confronted with an invitation from the Lord for him to fill us with Christian nostalgia. Our pasts are long gone and for Christ, there is no good reason to hang on to regret and guilt. Guilt and regret weigh us down and keep up focused on the past.

Jesus tells the woman to “Go, and from on, do not sin anymore.” Those words are about the future. Likewise, listen to St. Paul’s words from the second reading: “forgetting what lies behind, straining forward to what lies ahead…pursuing the goal…” These words are about the future, not the past. We are Christians- people of hope and hope is about the future- hope is Christian nostalgia- a painful longing to return home- our true home- Heaven- our ultimate destiny- that place that has been prepared for us.

This week my friends, and leading up to Easter, now just two weeks away, lets respond to the Lord’s invitation today and allow him to reignite and nourish this nostalgia. This week, we look forward with hope. We set aside guilt and regret for the past and focus on what the Lord is calling us to do right now, today and tomorrow.

In my love for you, I invite you, if it’s been a while since you have celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation, do so between now and Good Friday. There is no better way to lay aside our guilt, regret and nostalgia for the past than to receive the hope and Christian nostalgia for the future, than to celebrate this sacrament. The Lord is waiting to give us a future full of hope and ignite within us this ardent and unrelenting pain to return home to our Father in heaven where he is waiting to embrace us.

Norman Maclean is haunted by waters. My friends, our sin, our regret, our guilt, our nostalgia for the past is but a drop in the ocean of God’s mercy, his hope and his nostalgia for our future. He is waiting to drown us in that ocean of His Mercy, Forgiveness and Renewal. We are Catholic Christians, and we, need not be haunted by anything.

On Easter Sunday, we will celebrate the greatest sign of our Christian nostalgia. The priest will sprinkle clean, cool water on our heads. He will lead us in a prayer and ritual of renewal and hope- there is no room for regret; no room for guilt- there is only room for Him. Him with us.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Coming Soon...

Back at it, my friends. After a little writer's block, I'm back at it.

Coming Soon -

1. 7 Things You Should Know About God

And from there... well, we'll just have to see.

Peace my friends,
Fr Craig

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Leading up to Easter on March 31, we will have additional times available to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Wednesday, March 20 - 6:30 - 7:30pm

Saturday, March 23 - 8:30-9:30am

Tuesday, March 26 - 4-7pm

Wednesday, March 27 - 7:15am-7:45am

Or by appointment in the parish office before Holy Thursday.

The Lord waits with unbounded mercy, forgiveness and restoration- come, and receive!

Thanks be to God

For Pope Francis, our new Holy Father and Spiritual Leader and Teacher.

Peace and prayers for him.