Weekly pastor’s post (December 3)

Dear friends,

With the beginning of Advent, I have only one thing to say: Here. We. Go! And what a start it was this weekend – the blessing of the Advent (not Easter, as I mistakenly proclaimed on Saturday evening 🙄) wreath, the launch of our Christmas Giving Tree, the beginning of the Saint John Vianney vocation prayer project, and (of course) the liturgical changes that come with the season. What a way to start!

One thing that kicked off this weekend was the change in the Mass setting we are using for the ordinary parts of the Mass. We moved from English chant (ICEL) setting to the Latin Kyriale XVII setting. I’ve been nervous about this all week – because I have to lead the Kyrie (‘Lord, have mercy’)! Especially for a new setting at our parish, I think it went very well. Nonetheless, I will be reviewing the Kyrie (‘Lord, have mercy’), the Sanctus (‘Holy, holy, holy’) and the Agnus Dei (‘Lamb of God’) over the coming weeks to get a handle on them.

Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed, I’ve found some resources that you may find helpful too! Below are YouTube videos and sheet music for the Kyriale Mass XVII:

May the Lord bless you as we enter into this season of preparation, anticipating the birthday of Jesus!

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!

Saint Nicholas, Jaroslav Čermák

December 3 – In addition to the beginning of Advent, today is the memorial of Saint Francis Xavier. A missionary to India, he dreamed of a life spent in academia and scholarship serving the Church. But after striking up a friendship with Ignatius of Loyola, he eventually became one of the original founders of the Jesuits. Read more at the Jesuits’ website.

December 6 – Today we celebrate the memorial of Saint Nicholas. There are a lot of neat stories about him, but it is his faithfulness and generosity that defined his life & ministry! Read more at the Saint Nicholas Center.

H. Ambrosius Als Kerkvader, Jacob Matham

December 7 – Saint Ambrose, whose memorial we celebrate today, is known for his sermons – and his willingness to direct his oratory at those who set themselves against the Church, even up to the emperor himself. Read more at Franciscan Media.

December 8 – Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On this day we honor the role of the Blessed Mother in God’s plan for salvation and ask her to intercede on our behalf. We also praise God for His invitation to Mary and to all of us to participate in His work; we are not only recipients but co-workers with the Lord! Read more at Word on Fire.

December 9At 11 am at the school gymnasium, Saint Mark parish will be holding a feedback session about the new iteration of its proposed parish family configuration for Partners in the Gospel. I hope to see you there!

Learn the Kyriale XVII Mass setting

Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed, we are pleased to offer some resources that you may find helpful too! Below are YouTube videos and sheet music for the Kyriale Mass XVII, the setting composed for Advent & Lent – and the setting we’ll be using throughout the Advent season at our parish:

2023 Christmas Giving Tree

Thanks to some dedicated volunteers, the 2023 Christmas Giving Tree is underway! You’ll notice that we have a tree with donation stars set up in the church narthex for the next few weeks. This year we are collecting for three different groups:

You can click on the links above or, if you prefer, scan one (or more!) of the QR codes below to donate via the OSVhub donation portal:

Carmelite Monastery
Next Step Pregnancy
St. Vincent de Paul

As always, thank you for your generosity. Your kindness benefits many in need and helps make the Advent & Christmas season a little brighter!

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.