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From the Pastor's Desk - October 1, 2010

Dear Parishioners,

October 2nd is the feast of the Guardian Angels. Since it falls on Sunday this year, we do not use the prayers for this feast but the ones for Sunday. Nevertheless, let us call to mind the great gift that God provides us in giving each one of us a guardian angel to watch over us to help us spiritually, especially in avoiding sin, and even helping us many times in physical ways by protecting us from harm. We should all have devotion to our guardian angels, especially praying to them each day. The prayer, “My guardian angel dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day/night be at my side to light, to guard, to rule, and to guide,” is not merely a prayer for children but all of us no matter what our age is, so I encourage that all of us pray this prayer daily to our guardian angels.

Last Saturday at the Cathedral Candy Connery and I attended the Archbishop’s convocation on the new Roman Missal, the new English translation of the Latin text of the prayers of the Mass, which we will begin to use in Advent of 2011. Archbishop Lucas in his keynote address emphasized that as we prepare to use the new missal that this be a time for a renewal in our appreciation of and celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, namely the celebration of Holy Mass. There will be the external changes that we will come to experience, obviously the most notable one being the new English translation, but there is also the encouragement for parishes to assess the other external elements of the Liturgy that are meant to help us to better enter into the prayer of the Mass in order to truly lift up our hearts to the Lord in worship, adoration, and thanksgiving.

One very important element is the use of music in the Mass (be it the Mass parts that we sing, such as the Gloria and the Holy, Holy, or the chanting of the various prayers of the Mass by the priest and even by everyone when we can chant together such a prayer as the Lord’s Prayer) about which the Archbishop offered the challenge that there might be, according to the day of the week and feast day, a progressive solemnity to the celebration of the Holy Mass. Hence, as we begin the use of the new Missal, on Sundays you might observe such a thing as my chanting of the opening prayer, the prayer over the gifts, and the prayer after communion. Candy and I will also be working with our various musicians and choir members to help them in their ministry of leading us in song. Candy has already attended another workshop, that will be repeated several times, that the Archdiocese is offering on the use of music
in the Mass and is encouraging our various choir members and musicians to attend these workshops as well, which I hope to be able to attend too.

Also, something I already have mentioned is that the parish council and I have been discussing what we can do to enhance the
physical space of the church to update the sanctuary so that it is in accordance with current liturgical norms of the Church and that will visually be inspiring. Presently, with the support of the parish council, I have initiated contact with an architect to come up with a couple of possibilities of what we could do to achieve this objective. I am having him look at the total environment of the church building to assess what we might do overall to be sure that we do things in a coherent whole and not in a piece mill fashion. Once the architect is able to provide me and the parish council with these possibilities, then we will provide a presentation to the parish of what these are and, then, I and the parish council will arrive at a decision as to what will be the best course to take in doing a
necessary renovation of the sanctuary and any other aspects of the utilization of the space of our church building. One other space that I have especially recognized as needing attention is that of the configuration of the Reconciliation Room (the Confessional) which right now needs to be made into a space that does not have the distraction of hearing what is going on in the sacristy while I am hearing confessions. Those involved in music have also expressed various needs that they have for the configuration of the
choir area, which is being assessed as well.
Whatever we end up doing, I am holding out before all involved not only the objective to update things according to Church directives, but also that we end up with changes that create a truly beautiful space for our worship of the Lord and that moves our hearts to recognize his holy presence. Of course, in relation to the practical reality of things, what the extent is to which we end up making any renovations will be according to the financial support that all of us are willing to provide and I want this decision to be one that will not place the parish into debt.

Finally, in the midst of any renewal that we undertake in the external elements of our celebration of the Liturgy, the more important
renewal is our interior renewal, the renovation of our hearts. If we do a renovation of the sanctuary and the church building, then we need to be interiorly renovated in our souls to become even more worthy dwelling places for the presence of the Holy Trinity whom we received in Baptism. Whatever we might be able to do to make such things as the music at Mass to be pleasing to our ears and our worship space to be beautiful for our eyes to behold would be hollow if there is not at the same time interior growth
in holiness for each of us, a coming to be more pure in heart and more deeply in love with our Lord. To this end of spiritual renewal, I am currently praying about and pondering what we can do to assist this interior renewal of our souls and hearts. So, look forward to some things that I will be doing as your spiritual leader and shepherd in this regard.

As always, I invite your questions and input in regards to these matters of renewal as we seize upon this opportunity at this time in the history of the Church to renew the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in both its external liturgical elements and internally in our hearts.

May our Lord’s blessings be with you this week and always.

God bless,
Father Gutowski


This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green,  Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Tues., Oct. 17, Ladies Guild, 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 18, RE, 6:15 p.m.