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Pastor's Weekly Update: Sunday, 10 December, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The season of Advent is a particularly Marian time. There is, of course, our contemplation of the mystery of Mary’s pregnancy. The nine days of the posadas, leading up to Christmas, invite us to reflect on Her nine months of pregnancy. We also have beautiful Marian feasts during this time. After celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Friday, this week we look forward to celebrating the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, the Empress of the Americas. At Guadalupe, Mary appeared for the first time as visibly pregnant (shown not by Her physical size but by the band around Her waist in conformity with typical Aztec ways of dressing). She was thus also named the Proctress of the Unborn by St. John Paul II. May She intercede for all pregnant mothers and pre-born children!

The music at our parish is different and sometimes more difficult than at many other Catholic parishes. We try to make it easier to participate by providing as many resources as possible, but at the same time, having so many worship aids and pew cards can make it difficult to figure out which resource you should be looking it. I can’t help but be amused, though, when the same people fumbling between these resources looking confused and frustrated were reading the bulletin before Mass as if it were a magazine in the doctor’s office waiting room. I would humbly suggest that you use your pre-Mass time to familiarize yourself with the day’s worship aid, which indicates the parts for which you will need the pew cards as well. Doing so can be an act of prayer as we prepare ourselves to receive the sacred liturgy as a gift from God.

A few months ago, we began concluding the Prayers of the Faithful (or Universal Prayer – also known as “the petitions”) with our parish vocations prayer. You can find the text of this prayer at the back of the red readings books (missals). If you don’t have it memorized yet, you can open up your book during the Prayers of the Faithful to be ready to join along. Praying for holy vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and marriage from our family is so important, and will bear fruit for our parish and for the universal Church!

Recent read: The Roman Mass: From early Christian origins to Tridentine reform by Uwe Michael Lang. When the liturgy currently known as the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite was being drafted in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the members of the drafting commission were informed by many new advances in liturgical scholarship that brought a greater understanding about the life of the early Church. However, historical science can be an unreliable thing, and suppositions that seemed rock solid in one generation turn out to crumble as new texts are discovered and scholarly consensus shifts. In this groundbreaking and excellent book, Uwe Michael Lang shows patiently, carefully, and in a remarkably non-polemical way, that almost all of the scholarly consensuses that informed the changes to the Roman Rite in the 1960s have been overthrown by the next generation of liturgical scholars. The implications of basing the worship of the Church on trendy scholarship are left to the reader.

St. John the Evangelist, pray for us!

Yours in Christ,

Father Royce Gregerson

Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,

La temporada de Adviento es un tiempo particularmente mariano. Está, por supuesto, nuestra contemplación del misterio del embarazo de María. Los nueve días de las posadas, previos a la Navidad, nos invitan a reflexionar sobre sus nueve meses de embarazo. También tenemos hermosas fiestas marianas durante este tiempo. Después de celebrar la solemnidad de la Inmaculada Concepción el viernes, esta semana esperamos celebrar a la Santísima Virgen de Guadalupe, la Emperatriz de las Américas. En Guadalupe, María apareció por primera vez visiblemente embarazada (no por su tamaño físico, sino por el listón alrededor de su cintura de acuerdo con las formas típicas aztecas de vestirse). Por lo tanto, también fue nombrada la Protectora de los niños no nacidos por San Juan Pablo II ¡Que ella interceda por todas las madres embarazadas y los niños pre nacidos!

Hace unos meses, comenzamos a concluir las Oraciones de los Fieles (u Oración Universal – también conocida como “las peticiones”) con la oración de nuestras vocaciones parroquiales. Puedes encontrar el texto de esta oración en la parte posterior de los libros de lecturas rojas (misales). Si aún no lo tienes memorizado, puedes abrir tu libro durante las oraciones de los fieles para estar listo para unirte. ¡Orar por las vocaciones santas al sacerdocio, la vida religiosa y el matrimonio de nuestra familia es muy importante, y dará fruto para nuestra parroquia y para la Iglesia universal!

Suyo en Cristo,

P. Royce Gregerson


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