First Sunday in Lent – February 22, 2015

Our beautiful desert floral arrangment for the First Sunday in Lent was done by Lisa Switzer  Antiquarian / Florabunda  PO Box 190 Duncans Mills, CA  95430 707 865-9897
Our beautiful desert floral arrangment for the First Sunday in Lent was done by Lisa Switzer
Antiquarian / Florabunda
PO Box 190
Duncans Mills, CA 95430
707 865-9897

Due to Fr. Luis’ illness, we offer Pope Francis’ homily from Ash Wednesday in lieu of the Pastor’s Desk. Thank Fr. John Boetcher for saying masses on Saturday and Fr. Bob Benjamin for saying Sunday masses.

POPE FRANCIS calls for reconciliation with God, Who knows no hypocrisy

Vatican City, 19 February 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father presided at the traditional penitential procession from the church of St. Anselm on the Aventine Hill to the Basilica of St. Sabina, located on the same Roman hill. A number of cardinals, archbishops and bishops also took part, along with the Benedictine monks of St. Anselm, the Dominican fathers of Santa Sabina, and the faithful.

George Weigel has written a wonderful book about the tradition of the Roman church pilgrimages.
George Weigel has written a wonderful book about the tradition of the Roman church pilgrimages.

After the procession, Pope Francis presided at the Eucharistic celebration with the rite of the blessing and imposition of the ashes. The Pope received them from the hands of Cardinal Josef Tomko, the titular of the Basilica, and subsequently imposed them upon the cardinals and several monks, consecrated persons and faithful.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the Gospel readings of the Mass, beginning with the passage from the Prophet Joel, sent by God to call the population to penance and conversion following the plague of locusts that devastated Judah. “Only the Lord can save from the scourge, and it is therefore necessary to plead through prayer and fasting, confessing one’s own sin”. The prophet insists on inner conversion, begging the population to return to God with all their hearts, which means “undertaking a path of conversion that is not superficial or transitory, but rather a spiritual itinerary that involves the most intimate part of our person. The heart, indeed, is the seat of our sentiments, the center where our decisions and attitudes mature”.

Joel’s call is not directed solely at individuals: it is extended to the entire community, and is a convocation to all, paying special attention to the prayer of priests, and reiterating that this must be accompanied by tears. “It does good to all, but especially to priests, at the beginning of this Lenten time, to ask for the gift of ears, so as to make our prayer and our path of conversion ever more authentic and free of hypocrisy”, continued the Pope. “It is good for us to ask: ‘Do I weep? Does the Pope weep? Do the cardinals weep? Do the bishops weep? Do priests weep? Do we weep in our prayers?”

This is the message, he emphasized, of today’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus rereads the three works of mercy prescribed by the Mosaic Law – almsgiving, prayer and fasting – “which over time have been attacked by the rust of external formalism, or have even mutated into signs of social superiority”. He continued, “Jesus highlights a common temptation in these three works, that can be summarized in hypocrisy (mentioned three times): ‘Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them … Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do … And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites … For they love to stand and pray … that they may be seen by others’. Be aware, brothers, that hypocrites do not know how to weep, they have forgotten how, they do not ask for the gift of tears”.

“When we do something good, almost instinctively there arises in us the desire to be esteemed and admired for this good action, to receive satisfaction from it. Jesus invites us to carry out these works without any ostentation, and to trust solely in the Father’s reward”.

“The Lord never ceases to have mercy on us, or to offer his forgiveness once again, whenever we are in need of it, inviting us to turn to him with a renewed heart, purified of evil, purified by tears, in order to participate in His joy. How can we accept this invitation? St. Paul suggests to us: ‘We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God’. This effort of conversion is not simply a human task: it is allowing oneself to be reconciled. The reconciliation between us and God is possible thanks to the mercy of the Father Who, out of love for us, did not hesitate to sacrifice His only Son. … In Him, we can become righteous, in Him we can change, if we welcome God’s grace and do not allow the ‘favorable time’ to pass by in vain. Please, let us stop for a moment and let ourselves be reconciled with God”, exclaimed the Holy Father.

As a sign of our will to be reconciled with God, “aside from the tears that are shed in secret, we make the public gesture of the imposition of the ashes on the forehead. The celebrant pronounces these words: ‘For you are dust, and to dust you shall return’, or repeats Jesus’ exhortation: ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel’. Both formulas constitute a reminder of the truth of human existence: we are limited creatures, sinners always in need of penance and conversion. How important it is to hear and heed this call in our time! The invitation to convert thus inspires us to return, like the son in the parable, into the arms of God, tender and merciful Father, to weep in that embrace, to trust in Him and entrust ourselves to Him”.

—from Vatican Information Service

Bulletin22Feb2015

Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 NOTE: No week day masses this week due to illness. Any changes will be posted on this website.

Also, the series CATHOLICISM has been suspended during Lent. We will pick up with Episode 8 later in the year.

Feb. 22, First Sunday of Lent

“When he calls on me, I will answer him; I will deliver him and give him glory, I will grant him length of days.”

 

God made a covenant with His people: “There shall not be another flood to devastate the earth”. The Great Flood of 40 days was symbolic of baptism; the 40 years in the desert was God purifying His chosen people; Jesus, our God, lived out His covenant with us, fasting for 40 days and night in the desert; and the 40 days of Lent is a time of preparation and purification for those joining the church. When we receive Christ in the Eucharist we get the strength to resist the temptations that He faced and that we face.  Amen!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Processional Hymn:  Led By the Spirit  (BB # 124)

Lord Have Mercy

Psalm 25: Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

Gospel Acclamation:  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Preparation of Gifts:  God of Creation  (SS)

Sanctus

Save Us Savior of the World

Lamb of God

Communion Song:  With the Lord, There is Mercy  (BB # 672)

Recessional Song: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy (BB #  493)

 

The Gloria is omitted during the Lenten season, as is the “Alleluia”, both of which will be brought back in all their glory during the Holy Thursday liturgy.

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Ash Wednesday – February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday Mass 5:00 PM

Thank you Fr. John for saying mass and administering the ashes in the absence of Fr. Luis, who is ill. Thank you to our choir for a beautiful musical liturgy.

Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Fr. John’s homily suggested that in the 6 week Lenten period we have the opportunity to develop better new habits and to get rid of bad ones. He urged a very thoughtful use of fasting, abstinence and penance, to seek the real purpose of these traditions rather than just doing them – perhaps with a sense of futility. He told us that in other cultures people eat one meal a day and suggested some of us might try fasting and discover that our bodies are actually happier and healthier, and benefit from a lower plane of nutrition. He also urged us to be less busy, to make time for friends, especially friends whom we have neglected over time. With sincere prayer and a deeper understanding of penance, we can achieve change for the better in our lives.

Pope Francis http://bcove.me/7b2eae8w begins Lent with the traditional station church walk, processing to St. Sabina on the Aventine Hill, an early 5th century church. Fox also carried the story. George Weigel has written a wonderful book on this tradition: “ROMAN PILGRIMAGE – The Station Churches.”

From the Vatican Information Service:

Lent: call for reconciliation with God, Who knows no hypocrisy

Vatican City, 19 February 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father presided at the traditional penitential procession from the church of St. Anselm on the Aventine Hill to the Basilica of St. Sabina, located on the same Roman hill. A number of cardinals, archbishops and bishops also took part, along with the Benedictine monks of St. Anselm, the Dominican fathers of Santa Sabina, and the faithful.

After the procession, Pope Francis presided at the Eucharistic celebration with the rite of the blessing and imposition of the ashes. The Pope received them from the hands of Cardinal Josef Tomko, the titular of the Basilica, and subsequently imposed them upon the cardinals and several monks, consecrated persons and faithful.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the Gospel readings of the Mass, beginning with the passage from the Prophet Joel, sent by God to call the population to penance and conversion following the plague of locusts that devastated Judah. “Only the Lord can save from the scourge, and it is therefore necessary to plead through prayer and fasting, confessing one’s own sin”. The prophet insists on inner conversion, begging the population to return to God with all their hearts, which means “undertaking a path of conversion that is not superficial or transitory, but rather a spiritual itinerary that involves the most intimate part of our person. The heart, indeed, is the seat of our sentiments, the centre where our decisions and attitudes mature”.

Joel’s call is not directed solely at individuals: it is extended to the entire community, and is a convocation to all, paying special attention to the prayer of priests, and reiterating that this must be accompanied by tears. “It does good to all, but especially to priests, at the beginning of this Lenten time, to ask for the gift of ears, so as to make our prayer and our path of conversion ever more authentic and free of hypocrisy”, continued the Pope. “It is good for us to ask: ‘Do I weep? Does the Pope weep? Do the cardinals weep? Do the bishops weep? Do priests weep? Do we weep in our prayers?”.

This is the message, he emphasised, of today’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus rereads the three works of mercy prescribed by the Mosaic Law – almsgiving, prayer and fasting – “which over time have been attacked by the rust of external formalism, or have even mutated into signs of social superiority”. He continued, “Jesus highlights a common temptation in these three works, that can be summarised in hypocrisy (mentioned three times): ‘Beware of practising your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them … Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do … And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites … For they love to stand and pray … that they may be seen by others’. Be aware, brothers, that hypocrites do not know how to weep, they have forgotten how, they do not ask for the gift of tears”.

“When we do something good, almost instinctively there arises in us the desire to be esteemed and admired for this good action, to receive satisfaction from it. Jesus invites us to carry out these works without any ostentation, and to trust solely in the Father’s reward”.

“The Lord never ceases to have mercy on us, or to offer his forgiveness once again, whenever we are in need of it, inviting us to turn to him with a renewed heart, purified of evil, purified by tears, in order to participate in His joy. How can we accept this invitation? St. Paul suggests to us: ‘We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God’. This effort of conversion is not simply a human task: it is allowing oneself to be reconciled. The reconciliation between us and God is possible thanks to the mercy of the Father Who, out of love for us, did not hesitate to sacrifice His only Son. … In Him, we can become righteous, in Him we can change, if we welcome God’s grace and do not allow the ‘favourable time’ to pass by in vain. Please, let us stop for a moment and let ourselves be reconciled with God”, exclaimed the Holy Father.

As a sign of our will to be reconciled with God, “aside from the tears that are shed in secret, we make the public gesture of the imposition of the ashes on the forehead. The celebrant pronounces these words: ‘For you are dust, and to dust you shall return’, or repeats Jesus’ exhortation: ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel’. Both formulas constitute a reminder of the truth of human existence: we are limited creatures, sinners always in need of penance and conversion. How important it is to hear and heed this call in our time! The invitation to convert thus inspires us to return, like the son in the parable, into the arms of God, tender and merciful Father, to weep in that embrace, to trust in Him and entrust ourselves to Him”.

RomanPilgrimage

Fr. Robert Barron

LENT DAY 1 – BACK TO BASICS
At the beginning of baseball season, the coach has to bring his players back to basics. He has to remind them of the three-point stance, the mechanics of throwing, the timing of a swing, the importance of keeping your eye on the ball, etc. It doesn’t matter how great of a season a player had the year before. He has to begin spring training with the basics because before he can do spectacular things in a sport, he must make sure he is doing the simple and elemental things well.

The same is true in the spiritual life. Lent is a time to get tuned up, to get back to basics, to remember the fundamentals. This is why the Church asks us to look at the beginning of the book of Genesis, the story of the creation and the fall.

We’ve heard it often; it’s probably emblazoned in our minds-but we need to hear it again: “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” On Ash Wednesday, we hear echoes of this in the words, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

Today we are reminded that our lives come from God. Our very existence comes from God. We are owed nothing. We have nothing coming to us. Every breath we take is a reminder of our dependency upon God; every beat of our heart is a reminder that God is the Lord.

As we begin our Lenten journey, let us take a few minutes to reflect on the reality that without God we are nothing and to give thanks that God loved us into being.

Sign up for daily Lenten reflections from Fr. Barron at http://www.lentreflections.com/

From MAGNIFICAT:

Marked for Salvation

At the beginning of Dante’s Purgatorio, the Pilgrim discovers seven Ps scratched across his brow─one for each of the seven deadly sins (peccati). Through his laborious climb up the seven-storied mountain, one by one, the P’s are wiped away. It is the image of a soul saved, but still struggling free of sin’s sevenfold lack of love.

Lent charts us on a laborious course up a similar Mount Purgatory. And at the base today we too find our faces begrimed. Our ashes make public confession that we stand stained by our wicked deeds. We have earned the dusty death wage of sin. Yet, like the guilty Cain, who received a mysterious mark from the hand of the Lord, this sign we wear is also God’s seal of protection (cf. Gn 4:15). We are branded today with the sign of the cross, as sheep of the Lord’s own pasture, so that the devil (who would make on us his own mark of the beast) will know to keep his thieving hands off. The sign of the death due for our sins thus becomes the emblem of hope─if we believe in the cross and repent in dust and ashes. Ezekiel foresaw this mystery in vision when he saw the saved, who grieve over the sins of Jerusalem, having an X written upon their brow (Ez 9:4).

Reflection based on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

  Father Anthony Giambrone, O.P.

Heavenly Father, may the indelible mark of the cross sealed

upon me at Baptism be engraved more deeply upon my heart.

May my penance this Lent help put my sin to death

and wash away its stains.

Today’s suggested penance:
Spend fifteen minutes or more praying the holy name of Jesus.


May God fill your Lent with his presence

and lead you to a renewed experience of his love.

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 15, 2015

PASTOR’S DESK

Several years ago, a well-known British pop singer and philanthropist visited a Bihar refugee camp in Bangladesh.  When he returned home, he described this moving incident:  The first morning I was there I must have washed my hands a dozen times.  I didn’t want to touch anything, least of all the people.  Everyone in those camps was covered in sores and scabs.  I was bending down to one little girl, mainly for the photographer’s benefit, and trying hard not to have too close a contact.  Just then someone accidentally stood on the child’s fingers.  She screamed and, as a reflex, I grabbed her, forgetting her dirt and her sores.  I remember that warm little body clinging to me and the crying instantly stopping.  In that moment I knew I had much to learn about practical Christian loving, but that at least I’d started. [Carnegie Mellon News, December 2014]

The greatest challenges to Christian compassion are to find Jesus where He always waits for us; among the outcasts.  The Book of Hebrews reminds us, “Jesus too suffered outside the gate to sanctify the people with His own blood.  Let us go to Him, then, outside the camp, and share his degradation.  For there is no eternal city for us in this life but we look for one in the life to come” [Hebrew 13:12-14] The Christian who remains safely within the camp, refusing to reach out to the least of Jesus’ brothers and sister, has missed the whole point of the Gospel proclaimed by Him “who is to come.”

I’m not sure whether I’m imagining this but last week was the worst church attendance ever.  I had four people at Cazadero and a handful people at the 5 p.m. and 9 am mass at St. Elizabeth.   Maybe because of the weather and I’m sure others have caught the virus, as I have now while I’m typing this letter.  Maybe we should reconsider consolidating some of the masses during the winter time.

Peace and blessings!

Fr. Luis

Bulletin15Feb2015

LITURGICA­L MUSIC CORNER by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

Feb. 15, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“A great prophet has arisen in our midst, God has visited his people.”

 

Although there were many prophets before Him, Jesus, God’s Son, is that great prophet who came to speak the Good News and set His people free.  We are those people, whom He touches, forgives, heals, and saves, and He calls us to speak the Good News to others.

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Processional Hymn:  God Has Chosen Me (BB #379)

Psalm 32:  I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Preparation of the Gifts:  In Every Age (BB # 469 )

Communion Song:  You Are Mine  (BB # 460 )

Recessional Song: Glory and Praise to Our God (BB #  547)

Feb. 18, Ash Wednesday  5 pm Mass

Antiphon 1: Let us change our garments to sackcloth and ashes, let us fast and weep before the Lord, that our God, rich in mercy, might forgive us our sins.

 

Today, Ash Wednesday, begins the solemn penitential season of Lent, which lasts for 40 days.  In the early church, this was a period of preparation for the catechumens who would be received into the church on Easter Vigil.  It was also a time of public confession and repentance for those who had committed serious sins! Thank God we no longer have public confessions, but rather can receive God’s forgiveness and mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation, a powerful source of grace for those who partake of it.

Scripture tells us to “rend your hearts, not your garments”!  God wants our hearts, all of us, not just the outward fulfillment of His commandments, but our whole hearts, minds, souls and beings.  He wants us to obey Him, not out of fear, but because we love Him.

Processional Hymn:  Return to God  (SS)

Psalm 51: Be merciful, O Lord, be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Gospel Acclamation:  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Distribution of Ashes:  Signed by Ashes (BB # 118)

Preparation of Gifts:  God of Creation  (SS)

Communion Song:  With the Lord, There is Mercy  (BB # 672)

Recessional Song: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy (BB #  493)

 

There is no Penitential Rite today, as noted on p. 4 of your missalette. The blessing and receiving of ashes is penitential by its very nature. The Gloria is omitted during the Lenten season, as is the “Alleluia”, both of which will be brought back in all their glory during the Holy Thursday liturgy.

 

 

 

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 8, 2015

PASTOR’S DESK
Billy Sunday, the Chicago Cub baseball player turned evangelist, made it a practice to pray for specific people in a city where he was going to conduct a campaign. Before going to Columbus, Ohio, he wrote his customary letter to the mayor requesting list of the names of people in that city who were in need of special prayers. The mayor responded by sending him the city telephone book. The mayor perceived rightly that everybody needs prayer.
We know that prayer is important, but many times we go through the motions of praying and nothing important seems to happen. And we tend to get discouraged —or we give up altogether.
Repeatedly in the gospel we find references to the Lord Jesus at prayer. Often, after a long account of something Jesus did or said, the Gospel writer inserts a note about how He withdrew from the crowds so that He might pray. Before He chose the disciples, Jesus needed to be alone at prayer. In the upper-room with His disciples, on the last night of His life, Jesus needed to be at prayer. In the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross —from the first day of His ministry to the last —Jesus needed to be at prayer.
I notice when I visit or attend any ministry in the church, whether it’s Knights of Columbus, Eucharistic ministry, pastoral meeting etc., I often ask to pray the start of the meeting, but when the meeting starts and there are big decisions or there is a heated conversation no one pauses to pray for clarification or wisdom. Each of the members tends to solve the issue in his own self-centered way — his own selfish way that would benefit him. And the meeting becomes a whining session. Most of you know this if you have been to any meetings whether in church or civic meetings. What did Jesus do in any situation when there are big issues or clarification needed to be addressed? Yes, he prayed! Why don’t the disciples of Christ in church do that as a habit?
Peace and Blessings!
Fr. Luis

Bulletin8Feb2015

Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Feb. 8, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The book of Job is difficult to get through. After all, I don’t know if I would have the same faith as Job if I were tested in the same way! Still, Job continued to trust in God through it all. In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus healing many people and exorcising possessed people. He shows his power over demons and thus all creation. No matter what happens, let us remember that God is in charge: “In every age, O God, you have been our refuge”; and He will come to our aid with healing, wholeness, joy, and ultimately eternal life, if we only believe in Him!
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Processional Hymn: All the Ends of the Earth (BB #554)

The new Gloria:

Psalm 147: Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.


Preparation of the Gifts: In Every Age (BB # 469 )


Communion Song: In This Place (BB # 308 )
Recessional Song: Come Let Us Sing With Joy to the Lord (SS) The Feast of St. Blaise was Feb 3 but we had the ritual today after the 9:00 AM mass.


BB = Breaking Bread SS = Song sheets
Today we are introducing the beautiful song, “In Every Age”, which speaks of the constancy of God and eternal life promised in the Bible.
Ordinary Time continues until Ash Wednesday, which falls on Feb. 18th.

Note from volunteer Irene Deem: The series CATHOLICISM continues at St. Hubert’s Hall on Thursdays at 10:30 AM. Please RSVP at (707) 486-9683. The DVD also has Spanish audio. Episode 4 is about Mary and features extensive coverage of Our Lady of Guadalupe.   A light lunch is served. 

Thank you to our choir for the beautiful music at 9:00 AM mass today.

For our online visitors, here are the words to “In Every Age” (taken from BREAKING BREAD, #469)

Long before the mountains came to be

and the land and sea and stars of the night

through the endless seasons of all time,

you have always been.

Refrain:

In every age, O God, you have been our refuge.

In every age, O God, you have been our hope.

Destiny is cast, and at your silent  word

we return to dust and scatter to the wind.

A thosand years are like  single moment gone,

as the light that fades at the end of the day.

(Refrain)

Teach us to make use of the time we have

Teach us to be patient even as we wait.

Teach us to embrace our every joy and pain.

To sleep peacefully, and to rise up strong.

Wishing everyone  a peaceful, blessed Sunday! Stay dry!