May 22, 2015
Dear St. Joseph Parishioners,
Greetings and peace. It is the season of graduation and new begininngs.
- "Solace in our woe." The sequence for Pentecost is one of only two that remained obligatory after the changes in the liturgy after the Council of Trent in the 1500s (the one constant of Catholic liturgy is change, not always a lot and not always all at once but always changes). Its authorship has been assigned to a Pope (Innocent III) and/or Archbishop of Canterbury (Stephen Landgon) or maybe a monk. It captures beautifully the work of the Spirit is solace in our woe, dew in our dryness and healing balm. My latest favorite commentator on Paul, NT Wright (retired Anglican Bishop of Durham), offered that Paul was no Epicurian with atarxia--no problems--or Stoic/Cynic apatheia--no feeling. Paul knew plenty of problems and his share of suffering and difficulty. The work of the Spirit in us was not indifference but working through these life challenges in the power of the Risen Lord--whom himself suffered, died and rose for us.
- I have all our weekend Masses: Saturday 5pm and Sunday 9:30am (English) and 12noon (Spanish)
- The color for the weekend is red (or orange for the flames)
- Please remember we are now in a summer Mass schedule: Saturdays at 5pm, Sunday at 9:30am English and 12noon in Spanish.
- St. Joseph School Graduation has gone really well this week. Kindergarteners were very happy on Thursday morning and our 8th grade ceremony on Thursday night was just great. 7 families represented 78 years of continuous presence at our parish school! How deep are the ties? 10 years was a tie for 2nd place! And, 18 years qualified for a 3way tie for the most years (Ha, Humphrey and Skulich). Best of all from a pastor’s perspective, the Catholic families are all very faithful to Sunday Mass, Choir and service and Youth Group. Concretely, they are how we build a Church and School community. 6/7 returned for today’s end-of-the-year Mass. How many other middle schools could ever say the same?
- Students remain on campus until 3pm, although parents can request early departure anytime after Mass and the Awards Assembly.
- St. Joseph offers open enrollment and tours remain available by appointment through the summer.
- Congratulations to the many area schools that graduate this week. I was at the Muskogee Baccalaureate on Sunday where Chris Gilmartin offered a great Senior Response and the Hilldale Graduation last night at the Civic Center (congrats Adry, Fernando, and Long). We will hold a good thought that the weather cooperates with Muskogee’s ceremony tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll be at BKHS’ graduation in Tulsa.
- Congratulations to Adriana Salinas who celebrates a XV Años Mass this Saturday.
- Memorial Day is one more moment to be grateful for our veterans, those who have served and those who serve now.
- Fr. Robert left Tuesday for Tennessee where his father Everett is critically ill following a stroke. Please pray both for Fr. Robert and his siblings and their father. Also, with the absence of Fr. Rob—and we are uncertain when he will return—there will be some adjustments day-by-day with our Daily Masses. For instance, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week will be Communion Services—unless Fr. Robert returns early.
FYI A year ago I shared a NY Times article on why people are drawn to (or repelled from) Church communities. First and foremost: radical hospitality--which pretty much sums up Jesus' personal style. Radical hospitality is being patient with one another, for example single Moms with a toddler. Every culture has its expectations and I joke that our Hispanic community is patient with rambunctious toddlers because so many young families have 4 and more and every Mom there thinks "there but for the grace of God go I ..." or more likely, they're immune to all the commotion. Anyway, respect for Mass and the liturgy includes respect for the baptized--and especially the little ones among us. Imagine the warmth of acceptance and radical hospitality--or the cold chill of rejection to stay with images from the sequence.
May God bless you and all you love (and all you should),
St. Joseph Church and School