April 8, 2012 – Happy Easter!

So what does a webmaster do on Easter morning?  He gets up, says a prayer of thanksgiving, eats a little breakfast, fires up his computer, and thanks God that he went to the Easter Vigil Mass and doesn’t have to fight the crowd at the Easter Sunday Mass.  I looked back to see what I had written about in Easters past, and I typically have not posted a blog on Easter weekend, so this is new territory for me.  Again this week, I was thrown off of my blogging schedule due to various activities, including cake decorating yesterday with my niece, and of course church-related activities, but I’m certainly not complaining.  All of the Masses and services this past week were beautiful.  An added touch to the Holy Triduum was the presence of our Confirmation Class for each of the three days.  I’m sure it was probably more church than they had ever experienced in a three-day period, and I commend them, their teachers and their parents for their guidance.

Though Holy Week has so many wonderful aspects to it, it certainly is a test of one’s stamina, especially for our priests.  Thank you Fr. Gene for your planning and your devout celebrations this past week.  Thank you also to everyone who helped with the different ministries during Masses and services, and of course to those who helped set up things in church.  It made for a memorable and spiritually fulfilling week.

Speaking of a test of stamina, our 85-year old pontiff was certainly busy this past week.  You can go to www.news.va to see the various ceremonies the Pope was celebrant at this past week, including texts of each of his homilies.  In particular, his homily at the Chrism Mass caught my interest.  At all of the Chrism Masses around the world, besides the bishops blessing the oils to be used in the next year, priests also renew their vows of obedience to God and the church.  There is a group of priests in Austria attempting to form an international Priests’ Initiative.  This “initiative” includes a  “Call to Disobedience”, which calls for among other things changes such as removing the required vow of celebacy, allowing priests to marry, ordaining women, sharing the Eucharist with Protestants, etc.  Without naming this group specifically, Pope Benedict denounced this movement in a rare public criticism of a group of priests.  Here is part of the text of his homily:

“Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination, for which Blessed Pope John Paul II stated irrevocably that the Church has received no authority from the Lord. Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church? We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the Church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date. But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?”

As he continued his homily, the Pope acknowledged that Jesus had defied conventions and prompted radical changes. But the Lord did so, he pointed out, in fulfillment of his Father’s will:

“He lived out his task with obedience and humility all the way to the Cross, and so gave credibility to his mission. Not my will, but thine be done: these words reveal to us the Son, in his humility and his divinity, and they show us the true path.

So why is this important to all Catholics, and not just to priests?  Because we all share in a common priesthood, and though we may have differences in what the church teaches and in our own beliefs, we share in the obligation to be witnesses for Christ and to pass our faith on to the future generations.  That is why it was so important for our Confirmation Class to join us in our celebrations this past week – so they could share in the journey that Christ took.

This of course will be an important week for our Confirmation class.  They will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00PM at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belleville with our other cluster parishes.  We will also recognize them at the 9:00AM Mass next Sunday, April 15, and we will have a reception for them following Mass at the KC Hall.  You are invited to attend any or all of these activities.  We of course also invite you prayers for them as they receive the Holy Spirit in a special way into their lives.

Well I’m going to end here and go enjoy the rest of the day.  May you have a wonderful Easter celebration with your family and friends, and may the risen Lord provide you with His abundant blessings throughout this season.  If you do not read these wishes on Easter Sunday, remember that the Easter season is 50 days long, so this applies for the next 7 weeks.  Have a great Easter week.  Peace.

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