A number of things of note this week:
Our Eucharistic Devotions (40 Hours) starts this weekend. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during the day and at 7:00 pm each evening we will conclude with Evening Prayer and Benediction. Sign-up sheets for adoration are available in the vestibule. I encourage you to come each night to hear Father Anthony Dill and Father Saied Louka speak to us about our Eucharistic Lord.
We are looking for a few parishioners to volunteer as part of our Baptism Mentor Program. This program helps prepare young parents for the baptism of their first child. We provide all the instructional material. Please consider this wonderful ministry.
In response to a lot of questions, I want you to know that any money contributed to Saint Joan of Arc Parish such as Sunday Collections (envelope or online giving) or as a gift to the parish funds (Memorials, Heart of the Parish, Mustard Seed, Capital Campaign, etc.,) belong to the parish and is OUR money to support our parish ministries. The same is true for our parish school. The only money that goes to the diocese is monies collected for the Bishop’s Annual Lenten Appeal. Any assessments such as to Bishop McDevitt High School or to support the Hospital Chaplains go directly to the high school and to the hospital chaplains. The Diocese of Harrisburg does NOT take OUR money. Our money pays the bills and salaries and benefits of employees and supports all the parish ministries here at Saint Joan’s! Please continue to be generous to our parish! Any questions, please give me a call.
*Note: The Diocese of Harrisburg issued a letter from the Bishop as well as a statement of financial accountability that was published in our September 30th parish bulletin. You can read those items .
Due to the Annual Diocesan Priests’ Workshop being held October 8 - 12, we will have a modified Mass schedule for that week. Masses will only be celebrated at the following times:
During the Communion Rite at Mass, we receive the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time for great reverence and a knowledge of what we are doing…and receiving! We are receiving not “some thing” but “Some One!”
A few reminders from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:
“Before receiving Holy Communion, the celebrant and assembly acknowledge their unworthiness to receive so great a gift. The celebrant receives Holy Communion first and then the people come forward.
Those who receive Holy Communion should be prepared to receive so great a gift. They should fast (except for medicines) for at least one hour before receiving the Eucharist and should not be conscious of having committed serious sin.
Because sharing at the Eucharistic Table is a sign of unity in the Body of Christ, only those in communion with the Catholic Church may receive Holy Communion. To invite others present to receive Holy Communion implies a unity which does not exist. Those who do not receive Holy Communion still participate in this rite by praying for unity with Christ and with each other.
The people approach the altar and, bowing with reverence, receive Holy Communion. People may receive the Body of Christ either on the tongue or in the hand. The priest or other minister offers the Eucharist to each person saying, "The Body of Christ." The person receiving responds by saying, "Amen," a Hebrew word meaning, "So be it" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2856).
As the people receive Holy Communion, the communion chant/song is sung. The unity of voices echoes the unity the Eucharist brings. All may spend some time in silent prayer of thanksgiving as well.”
NOTICE: Due to a power surge this morning our internet and phone services were temporarily out of service. Everything has now been restored and are now working as normal. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
There was an electronic tablet found in the church several months ago that still has not been claimed. If you are missing this item, please contact the Parish Office to answer a few questions and we will happily reunite you with your long lost tablet!
Parish Office Information:
Let me continue from last week* with some more liturgical guidelines.
Always remember to genuflect when you are entering the pew. Genuflect literally means “to bend the knee” and it is an act of reverence to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. If you really cannot genuflect because of physical issues, make a profound bow (from the waist) as a sign of reverence. Teach your children how to genuflect as well.
We have aids (hymnals) that lead us through the Mass and provide the readings from Sacred Scripture. These can always be helpful but it is also good to learn how to truly listen at Mass. If, for example, we are using a Common Psalm (as we did throughout the summer), it is better to listen to the cantor and concentrate than flip through the book trying to find it in print. Most of the time, we miss the whole Responsorial Psalm.
During the Creed, we are all called to make a profound bow at the words “and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.” (We genuflect on the Solemnity of the Annunciation and Christmas!)
Here at Saint Joan of Arc, we receive Holy Communion starting from the back. Start up for Communion as soon as the priest receives Holy Communion. Always be aware of people around you and show kindness!
Take time to pray after receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Do not leave immediately after receiving. While there may a real reason to leave Church occasionally before Mass is ended, try to stay until the final blessing (at least) and even for the final hymn.
Next week: Reminders on how to receive Communion!
*To read Father's column about Liturgical Guidelines, please click here
Father Al has placed an oil painting at each of the shrines located on either side of the main altar. These 19th century oil paintings are two of the three pieces of artwork he acquired at no cost from a Seminary in Philadelphia. They will be kept on display for you to view over the next few weeks. These painting will eventually grace our Parish Social Hall.
The painting to the left of the altar is of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother, and the painting on the right is of her Coronation.
We are so privileged to have these beautiful historical paintings!
With Labor Day behind us (and the traditional end of summer vacations), we settle back into the routine of work, school and parish life. I think this is a good time to remind all of us some liturgical guidelines regarding the Mass. Today, just a few basics:
Try to get to Mass before it starts in order to pray and become recollected in your heart.
Warmly welcome one another but keep small talk to a minimum so people can have a chance to pray and prepare for Mass.
Sing the hymns! Listen to the readings! Respond when appropriate! Try to be fully present to what is happening during the entire Mass.
Don’t slam the kneelers.
Move into the pew if latecomers arrive. I know you got there first but it really is an act of kindness.
After Mass, please take any conversation into the vestibule or outside. Often people are praying or a Baptism is going to take place and silence is important. (And, yes, I need to remember this one too!)
Be welcoming of visitors and be patient with your priests ( we each have gifts but we don’t have ALL of them!)
Next week we will go into a little more detail about other parts of the Mass!
We congratulate & rejoice with these couples of our
parish community whom recently united in marriage:
Adam Mathias & Jennifer Photiades
Brian Swoyer & Julianne Baloga
Taylor Kratz & Natalie Kadingo
Keith Needham & Kathryn Grap
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