Friday, February 28, 2014

St. Francis Parish Magazine Ash Wednesday-Lent 2014


Shrove Tuesday: Mardi Gras
March 4th
Mass 6:15pm
Cajun Meal 7:00pm

Ash Wednesday
March 5th
Low Mass & Imposition of Ashes
Sung Mass & Imposition of Ashes

The Solemnity of St. Joseph
March 19th
Mass 9:30am

The Annunciation of Our Lady
March 25th
Mass 6:15pm

The program for Friday nights in Lent, after Stations and Benediction and Meal, will consist of watching Fr. Barron’s DVD “Untold Blessings: Three Paths to Holiness.” Sharon Thomas has produced this helpful review:

Review: Untold Blessings, Three Paths to Holiness by Fr. Robert E. Barron

            At St. Francis we are used to some of the best teachers the Catholic Faith has to offer. Last fall several of us experienced a teaching series, “Word on Fire” by the Rev. Robert Barron, an inspiring DVD interactive series. I am pleased Fr. Allen has chosen another series by Fr. Barron, Untold Blessings, Three Paths to Holiness, for us to study on Friday nights during Lent.
            This DVD is organized into three paths. Each path has two parts. As I began to listen to Part One, Finding the Center, Fr. Barron’s tone and powerful words were mesmerizing. I instantly made a mental list of people I know, churched and unchurched, that I want to listen to this compelling teaching of a path to Sainthood.
            Pardon me as I paraphrase his words. He tells of the mesmerizing effect of the North Rose Window in Notre Dame Cathedral. The center of the window is Mary with the Christ Child on her lap. The window is a wheel of medallions connected to each other creating an icon of a well ordered life. A Saint is one whose life is centered on that One, Jesus. “Jesus the Center of My Soul.” Anything else becomes disharmony.
            A wonderful story teller, he takes us to the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus is asleep in the boat with the disciples and a storm is raging. The disciples are fearful and distracted. “Where is your faith?” Then he speaks about our distractions — being scattered, stagnant or asleep. “Wake up the Christ within you.”
            I look forward to our study together on becoming Saints and Untold Blessings. I have invited a cousin and a neighbor to Stations of the Cross, Lenten Dinners and this series. We will see how that pans out but I watched this with my husband in the same room. He is not churched and resistant to religion, but as I was study/watching Tom was inadvertently listening to the DVD. He was moved to ask me questions about the piece.

Thank be to God.  Sharon Thomas

A few years back, we had the Telet Program at St. Francis but it was primarily the Vestry, which participated. This time we want to encourage has many parishioners, as possible to come. Bob Lea tells us both why we should come and what to expect.


Saturday: May 3rd

It is a sad but often true story that the mere mention of the word evangelism is enough to send chills up the spine of even the most committed Anglican or other Catholic Christian.  But it is probably not the act of evangelizing so much as the image most of us have in our minds of an evangelist that is so scary.  If your image of an evangelist is the TV preacher, or the street corner zealot, or the annoying stranger who invades your holy space with offensive rhetoric, then it may be time to unlearn your false notions of evangelism and then to discover the true meaning of evangelism.  The true evangelists are you and me.  Evangelism is something God does through us as we enter into casual conversations with people we know or are getting to know, friends we have and friends we are making.  All most of us lack is a little know-how, a little training in the basics, a little confidence that comes with knowledge and experience.

Whenever we encounter people in our environment who say that they don’t believe in God, or that God is not real or important to them, or they don’t understand why they should be a Christian, those people are not going to be interested in hearing us give an abstract dissertation on theology, no matter how accurate and profound it might be.  But we certainly can get their attention, and maybe capture their imaginations, if we open our hearts to them–and then open our mouths–and share our own story of faith.  Our testimony is personal and real.  And our testimony is undeniable.  An argumentative person may refute our theology, but he cannot refute our experience.

TELET (which stands for The Essential Lay Evangelism Training) is a program that was designed by Anglicans for Anglicans.  It teaches us that evangelism should be natural, sharing with someone what is most meaningful to us in a manner that is natural to us, using our own words and our own individual styles.  TELET teaches us how to become comfortable with sharing our faith, one on one, with those people we encounter in our everyday environments, sometimes a stranger, but more often than not with family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.  TELET helps us to develop skills and to gain confidence in telling our own faith stories, but also explaining the life-giving message of the Christian gospel in a clear and concise manner.

The TELET training program will be offered at St Francis’ one day onlySaturday, May 3.  Why not add this event to your Lenten discipline this year?  The day will begin with Mattins and Mass at 8:00 a.m.  A continental breakfast as well as lunch will be provided by the Parish.  The day’s activities will conclude not later than 4:00 p.m.  There is a charge of $10.00 per person to cover some of the cost of the materials to be provided.  Dress comfortably and bring your Bible and something to write with.  Beginning in April there will be a registration table in the Parish Hall so that you can sign up for this event.  We do ask that you register no later than April 27 so that we will know how much food to buy and materials to prepare. Bob Lea

Book Review: Megan Pierce: Matthew Kelly Rediscover Catholicism (Beacon Publishing; 2nd Revised & Expanded edition)

Rediscover Catholicism, is a call specifically for Roman Catholics but universally for all Christians to rediscover the truth, beauty, and genius of the traditions of the Catholic Church in an effort to become saints. After briefly discussing the positive contributions of the Catholic Church, Kelly points out what most of us have experienced: society’s negative option of Catholicism. He cites reasons for this disillusionment including our unwillingness to take seriously the truth of the Gospel and our ineffectiveness in trying to live holy and authentic lives.

In belonging to the Church we are under an obligation to strive for holiness, but often become trapped in the prevailing philosophies of our time, namely individualism, hedonism, and minimalism. He proposes a plan of action to return to our call which is ultimately a call to the sainthood. So how do we become holy? How do we become saints? We know that we must seek to imitate Christ and that we can use the example and stories of the saints as tools to further our Christian development, but Kelly makes clear the common threads that all saints have demonstrated: singleness of purpose and submission to the will of God, both of which require a life of discipline. In reading this book, he challenges us to examine our habits as they are the indications of where our lives are headed and where we have set our hearts. In order to foster Godly habits, we must seek to do so “intentionally through the effort of discipline,” as the past saints did and as the present saints do. He spends the last third of the book specifically discussing the seven pillars of Catholicism, which are designed to aid us in our journey to a holy and authentic life. Not only is this book inspiring and convicting, it contains a map and explanation of the disciplines we need to practice if we desire to be set apart for God, to be saints, and to answer the call of Christ as a blessed member of his Church.

Canon Charles Winfred Douglas

Charles Winfred Douglas, born at Oswego, N.Y., in 1867, received the Mus.B. at Syracuse University, and after local study at St. Andrew's Divinity School, was ordained deacon. Shortly thereafter, in 1894, he went west for his health to Denver, as minor canon at St. John's Cathedral, settling nearby at Evergreen, where he was priested in 1899. It was here, years later, that he founded the Evergreen Conference and its famed School of Church Music, where each summer participants had the benefit of his scholarly teaching, gentle humor and deep spirituality. He studied extensively in England, Germany and France, especially with the Benedictine monks of Solesmes.

From 1906 he was music director of the Community of St. Mary at Peekskill, N.Y. Here he carried on the adaptation of English texts to the plainsong  tunes, and the production of countless music editions, articles, and books. He had become canon in the Diocese of Fond du Lac in 1907, and later a trustee of Nashotah House, which gave him an honorary doctorate. An acclaimed musicologist and liturgist, he lectured widely, and headed numerous learned societies.

Over the years he edited many definitive works, notably The Choral Service, American Psalter, Plainsong Psalter, Monastic Diurnal. In 1933 he published the St. Dunstan Kyrial, his compilation of 12 plainsong masses, among which are the Missa Marialis and Penitentalis,which we sing at St. Francis. Canon Douglas was also one of the principal editors of The American Missal, which we use at the altar at St. Francis.

As a member of the Joint Commission on Hymnal Revision his work on The New Hymnal of 1916 led to the transition from the heavily Victorian content of its predecessor. The Hymnal 1940, with Canon Douglas as music editor, contained his many translations or arrangements of German chorales, Latin office hymns, all the plainsong tunes, and the Missa Marialis

In 1943 he started work on The 1940 Hymnal Companion, but did not live to see its completion. A year later he began composing an organ prelude one day, finished it the next, and died that evening, January 18, at the age of 77.


THE high name of Catholic cannot be truly appropriated by merely reciting it in the liturgical use of the ancient Creeds, which nevertheless embody its full significance; nor yet by its etymological use emptied of its historic content: still less as a shibboleth of partisanship in the Church of God, or as the insufficient coda of a hyphenated title. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church requires of its members an effort for Unity in a charity which flows from the heart of Jesus Christ, and in a love of truth founded on faith in the Holy Spirit, who can guide us into all truth. She requires an effort for Holiness which must both underlie and transcend all forms of external worship. She requires an effort for Apostolicity which may not rest in any policy of a mere convenient "historic Episcopate," but rather in a divinely constituted order and authority in her organic being, of whose very essence is the Apostolic Commission, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." The universality of the Catholic name must include each of these elements and efforts. Everyman, rightly to assume it, must be becoming

“the catholic man who hath mightily won
God out of knowl
edge and good out of infinite pain
And sight out of blindness and purity out of a stain" (Sidney Lanier, The Marshes of Glynn)

through Jesus Christ, the Maker and Ruler of men, the Head of his living Mystical Body the Church: of which, pray God, all who praise him may be Catholic members indeed. No mere being a high Churchman or a low Churchman or a broad Churchman: an Episcopalian or a Roman Catholic or a Baptist or a Methodist or a Presbyterian, can give us a right to that lofty name. "It is for us to live, not an incomplete, but a Catholic life, claiming for ourselves and our day all the noble characteristics, the mystic beauty, the irresistible power, which have adorned the individual Christian centuries or epochs, but which we would gather into one galaxy of glory for all the people and for all time. . . . The vicious habit of referring everything to the Reformation of the sixteenth century is the antithesis of Catholicity.” (Bishop Charles H. Brent in The Return of Christendom, Macmillan, 1922). 

Church Music in History and Practice; Studies in the Praise of God. New York, 1937. p. 311 (The Hale Lectures)

Lent: A Call to Holiness

Fili, dura, et aspera sunt, per quae itur ad Deum. Oportet te relinquere mundum et sequi christum crucifixum.

‘Son, rough and painful is the road which leads to God: it is right that you abandon the world and follow Christ Crucified.’

Canon Winfred Douglas was fond of quoting these words from St. Benedict’s Rule. He did so usually in Latin rather than English, perhaps to soften the demand of the words. But the words remind us of the importance of knowing who we are, which is very much the point of Lent. We are Catholic Christians but what does this mean? “That high name” is certainly not merely a matter of the externals of our worship, however important they may be. Nor is it simply a matter of dogmatic orthodoxy, even though that is indispensable. It means that we know that we are called to Holiness, that Holiness is possible, and that Holiness is what we must strive for, fight for and live for against all the odds.

“Effort” is the word that Canon Douglas uses in reference to the marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. But it is ‘effort’ which is our response to God’s grace and ‘effort’ which will be brought to completion only by His grace.

Everything that happens around here in Lent has or should have this end:as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16).

What is holiness? Saints have come in all sizes and dimensions but what we see in every one of them is the perfection of love. It takes an overthrow of our emotional habits and a triumph of the Divine Will to order, direct and deepen our love. This will not happen in a Lent or two. But the terms of engagement can be laid down in the Forty Days so that we will be better able to fight the good fight which is the fight of our whole life. What is true is that Lent, this Lent, every Lent, can make a difference, can change you, allow you see that you can change. But it does require effort. Without God we cannot, without us He will not.

Fr. Allen

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