Weekly pastor’s post (November 26)

Dear friends,

Happy feast of Christ the King! Today we enter into the last week of Ordinary Time before gearing up for Advent. As we consider the end of the liturgical year, its worth reflecting on how all of its seasons serve a singular purpose: to prepare us for the coming of Christ and help us to welcome Him as our King.

This Sunday I mentioned one of my favorite quotes from the first book of The Chronicles of Narnia:

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)

And it’s true: Christ isn’t safe – and who would want Him to be ‘safe’ anyway?!? But He is good, and He is King. The only thing He is lacking is our invitation to demonstrate the goodness of His reign in our lives, here and in eternity.

Of course, looking down the road isn’t only about the Four Last Things! One of the preparations for Advent is transitioning to a new Mass setting. For this Advent (and later on, Lent), we will be using the Kyriale Mass XVII. Though it is more complex than the Mass setting we’ve used in the past (called the Missa Primitiva [Latin] in our Source & Summit missals), it’s not too difficult!

I’ve been doing some practice (the priest leads the Kyrie, so I’ve had some homework) and it definitely has some handy repetition and patterns, particularly in the last half of each ‘eléison’. I highly recommend the video above, along with the modern notation (which is what is in our missals). Rest assured that I’ll be pitching things a bit down – and keeping the pace up. Singability is just as much my priority as anyone else’s! I’m excited to learn this new setting with you all.

May the Lord bless you as we move into the new year. Rest assured of my prayers for you.

yours in Christ,
Father Maurer

P.S. Our December movie nights are coming up – if you’re planning on coming, visit our online poll to vote on or suggest which movies we should watch!

November 26 – Today is the final Sunday in Ordinary Time – the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The celebration is relatively new, established in the early 20th century by Pope Pius XI as a response against growing secularism. Read more at the Vatican News website.

November 30 – Today is the feast of the apostle Saint Andrew. We know relatively little about him: that he was Saint Peter’s brother, that they were called together, that he was the one who spoke up about the boy who had the loaves & fishes. Legend has it that he was crucified on an X-shaped cross, thus his depiction holding a X-shaped cross. Read more at Aleteia.

December 1 – Its our first movie night! We’ll be watching Last Holiday – one of my favorite Christmas movies – in Sullivan Hall at 6:30 pm. I hope you’ll join in the fun!

December 2 – Today is the Saint Mark Catholic Classical School Cookie Exchange & Bake Sale! If you the baking type, there are two ways you can take part – exchanging baked goods you’ve made for others and/or purchasing baked goods. It should be a tasty time 🙂

Weekly pastor’s post (November 19)

Dear friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! This week’s pastor’s post is more than a little late to the party, but at least it gives me the opportunity to wish you and your loved ones many blessings we celebrate this holiday. I hope that you’re reading this well after a day full of family, friends, and fellowship. I’m looking forward to the same with my family & friends.

Our music director (Greg Teeter) pointed out that Thanksgiving this year is a bit of a unicorn – it lands before Advent starts rather than after it has already begun! I guess I’d never paid close attention to it before, but I’m glad he highlighted the occasion – it just feels right to have Advent happen after Thanksgiving (and well after, at that)!

But before we just into Advent, we have the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! Colloquially referred to as ‘Christ the King’, this is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Church takes this last week to orient Herself towards the Four Last Things (death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell) – not in a fearful way, but in anticipation. The Lord is coming – and we hope to welcome Him, and help others to do the same.

Even as we enjoy the blessings of this life – especially its feasts! – let us ask God to help us to use them wisely, forging new bonds of friendship between mankind and building up Christ’s kingdom on earth and, one day, in heaven.

yours in Christ,
Father Maurer

P.S. December movie nights are coming! Check out the poll and vote for (or suggest!) the movies we should watch together.

November 21 – Today we celebrate the memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tradition tells us that Mary was presented to the Temple according to Jewish tradition to be offered to God. Read more at the Vatican News website.

November 22 – The memorial of Saint Cecilia is one that I particularly enjoy – not least because my mother is an organist! If you visit a parish with stained glass windows, you will often find one of Saint Cecilia near the choir loft – this is due to a legend about her appreciation of the organ and her love of singing. Aleteia has a brief article about lessons we can learn from Saint Cecilia’s life.

November 23 – Happy Thanksgiving! May we take this day to both enjoy the blessings of food, family, and fellowship but to praise God for His goodness!

November 24 – We celebrate today the memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc and companions. Though only one of them is named, there were a total of 117 Vietnamese faithful who gave their lives in witness to Jesus Christ – and those are only the 117 we know about! Thousands unnamed more were martyred during this time. Read about them and their witness at Franciscan Media.

November Advent/Christmas movie nights at Saint Mark!

During the Advent season, we’ll be having Friday night movie nights at Saint Mark parish! We will have three movie nights, starting at 6:30pm in Sullivan Hall.

  • December 1 (movie: The Last Holiday)
  • December 15 (to be determined)
  • December 22 (to be determined)

An online poll is live now to find out which movies would be best. For each category, we have several movie proposals – each with a linked review for your consideration. You can also suggest your own movie ideas. Please visit the poll (click this sentence), consider the options, and vote – and then let us come enjoy movies together!

(If you’d like to see the results – before or after you yourself vote – click here)

Partners in the Gospel update (November 2023)

Dear friends,

In late September we had two fruitful gatherings related to Partners in the Gospel – our Saturday Q&A session and the formal input session the following Thursday. Over one hundred parishioners spread across thirteen groups offered thoughtful feedback coming in at about twenty-one pages. Foremost, I want to share how proud I am of our community’s thoughtful and charitable feedback on the proposed family. Thank you for taking part in this process so far.

As you heard this weekend – and you can read in the archbishop’s letter (click here) – the feedback given by parishioners around the archdiocese has not only been received but carefully considered (click here to read the archdiocesan Feedback Report). The result has been significant changes in more than a third of the parish families, including ours. The new proposed configuration for parish family 12 (a new number!) is Saint Matthew, Saint Mark, and Saint Pius X parishes. The archdiocese has kindly provided a summary of their reasoning, available online (click here).

And our part in this discernment isn’t done; the archdiocese would like us to go through a round of feedback for this new proposal. To give the archbishop and his team time to consider the results, they must be submitted by the middle of December. Mindful of both that and upcoming events, we will hold our parish-wide feedback session on Saturday, December 9th from 11 am to 1 pm in the school gymnasium. Please plan on attending – as we have seen, your feedback matters!

You can prepare by reviewing the feedback questions & process from the archdiocese (click here):

  • Round one: What concerns do I have about the proposed family grouping? What challenges might this pose?
  • Round two: What hopes do I see in the proposed family grouping? What opportunities or possibilities might this offer?
  • Additional feedback: What does or doesn’t work with the proposed parish family configuration? What alternatives might the archdiocese consider (and why)?

The archdiocese will also have an online form available for those who can’t come to the in-person session. For those who so desire (especially if you can’t come on December 9), you may provide feedback directly to the archdiocese (click here). In the meantime, let us continue to pray for each other, the people of the archdiocese, and our archbishop – that we may together discern the call and will of the Lord.

yours in Christ,
Father Maurer