The main inspiration for Fr. Bob's last sermon:
Nativity's Pastoral Council met on January 9, 2014. We hereby invoke a Nativity Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. - that is, after the 5:00 Mass - in the Parish Hall. This will serve as our general assembly or annual meeting.
The Parish Town Hall Meeting is a chance for the whole parish to hear what's going on, to contribute ideas, to make constructive criticism and to ask critical questions. The 5 central committees of the parish (Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Liturgical Commission, Building Committee and Catechist Group) will account for their stewardship in 2013. Future plans will be revealed and several big proposals will be laid on the table. You definitely do not want to miss this! (The agenda will be published at this link)
Here are some other highlights from the January meeting:
“When he saw Jesus coming toward him John said:
'Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.'”
>> No longer does he say: "Prepare!" That would be out of place now that at last He who was prepared for is seen, is before our very eyes. The reality now calls for a different type of proclamation from The Baptist. He must tell the people who is present, and why he has come down to us from heaven. ...
One Lamb died for all to restore the whole flock on earth to God the Father; one died for all to make all subject to God; one died for all to gain all so that all “might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.” (Cf. Eucharistic Prayer 4)
Henceforth we will no longer use our breath to denounce sinners for their weakness, for God is the one who acquits us. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for our sake,” (Galations 3:13) so that we might escape the curse brought down on us by sin. <<
Cyril of Alexandria (+444)
Commentary on St. John's Gospel, cap. 2 (PG 73,191f)
NINE DAYS OF PRAYER, PENANCE AND PILGRIMAGE
Churches in the United States observe Respect Life Sunday this Sunday, January 19, 2014, marking the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973. Roman Catholic and Orthodox bishops in the United States ask the faithful to join in Nine days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to end abortion. This Novena can be observed privately or collectively. It is also a spiritual support for the March for Life on Washington, held this year on January 22.
The bishops have published a Novena Booklet, which can be downloaded from http://is.gd/egotof
You can also ask Rita Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fr. Bob (email@example.com, 952-290-6767) for a copy.
Here is more information from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
PRAYER SERVICE ON JANUARY 26 AT 1:00 P.M.
St. Francis Xavier and Nativity of Our Lady will hold a PRAYER SERVICE FOR LIFE on Sunday, January 26 at 1:00 p.m. in SFX church. Please join us as we ask the God of Life to help us nurture a culture based on a true respect for life.
(The prayer service is organized by the St. Francis Xavier/Nativity of Our Lady Culture of Life Group in keeping with the guidelines set by the U.S. Bishops Conference.)
The Diocese of Savannah is trying to improve its stewardship of resources. As part of this, several parishes and Catholic schools will be audited each year. Nativity of Our Lady was one of the first to be looked at by the new diocesan team, together with St. Francis Xavier Parish and St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Brunswick.
The auditing team spent three days in August in Darien, looking over everything. They spent several weeks in Brunswick, where most of Nativity's records are stored. This was a "structural and procedural audit", looking at how we do things. The Draft Report was sent to the Finance Council on December 18. The Council held an initial meeting on December 19 with Mr. Jon Bokina, Diocesan Audit Manager. We have held several meetings since.
Here are some highlights from the report.
Among our strengths:
Among our weaknesses:
The audit made many concrete suggestions. The diocese suggests, among other things, that:
In the coming weeks, the Finance Council volunteers will be working extra hard to digest the audit report, write our response and implement any improvements. We will present a much better picture of things at the Nativity Town Hall Meeting on February 15.
The Finance Council
It is an ancient and well known theme in the preaching of the Church Fathers to talk about "the three epiphanies": the Epiphany of the Magi at Bethlehem, the Epiphany of the Baptism at the Jordan, and the Epiphany of the Marriage Feast at Cana. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
My own approach to the three feasts has been influenced by taking part in many a Three Kings Pilgrimage in different parts of the world. Started by the Boy Scouts in Europe after the Second World War, the Three Kings Pilgrimage is based on the texts of St. Sophronius. There are three stations: the adoration of the magi, the baptism at the Jordan, and the wedding feast of Cana.
In recent years, it has become the new custom to recite the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. See how these mysteries begin with our feast of today, and follow closely the liturgical year of the Catholic Church:
My understanding of these events has been changed recently by the book by Phil Booth, Crisis of Empire: Doctrine and Dissent at the End of Late Antiquity (Transformation of the Classical Heritage Series, Univ. of California Press 2013). Booth looks at three pivotal figures: St. Sophronius of Jerusalem, St. Maximus Confessor and John Moschus. He explores how these great thinkers had to stop thinking of Christianity as a part of "the Roman Empire", as a part of the Classical World, indeed, as a part of "civilization". Especially Sophroniuys explicated a vision of the Catholic Church that was truly universal, transcending all local (and therefore limited) cultures and nations even while subsisting in those local cultures. "In the world but not of it ..."
I love ketchup! A meditation on ketchup takes us from Imperial China of the 6th century to the Papal Court of the 13th to American commercial kitchens of the 19th. Ketchup roots us in the local as it invites us to the global.
"If you want to act globally, you must be rooted locally."
(Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig)
Last Sunday, I mentioned three Franciscan Friars who were early Roman Catholic Missionaries to China. They were the first of about 1000 Franciscans who have journeyed to China over the centuries.
Our main sources for these early missionaries are the Reports (Littera) of John da Montecorvino and the Travel Diary (Itinerarium) of William of Rubruck. Both were disseminated by that great Franciscan publisher Luke Wadding in his monumental work Annales Minorum (1625-1654).
Finally - here is an important article about ketchup and world politics! Enjoy your meal!
The online parish bulletin and message board of Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church, Darien, Georgia, USA