Changes to Mass Schedule in June

Changes to Mass Schedule in June

Changes to Mass Schedule in June

We’ve Heard You…

For several years now, our parish community has been participating in a lengthy process of planning and discernment, with a goal of directing our future parish life with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Divine guidance is bountiful and infinite, of that we are assured! And, from the earliest days of examining our parish life, our resources – both human and capital – through the recent days of Synodal listening sessions, you’ve told us your goals. You’ve
shared your hopes and dreams for the broader Church, and for our parish community.

Among other goals, you’ve told us repeatedly that you want Our Lady of Hope to be a welcoming parish which is known for living out the Gospel message through our vibrant ministries and visible sense of community. You’ve missed seeing each other at Mass – we’ve all missed seeing each other. And, you’d like to find more ways to share your Faith in community.

After listening to you, the architectural planners, and in alignment with Church teaching on celebrating weekend Masses to a full Assembly, we are shifting our Sunday Mass schedules to enhance our parish liturgical experience starting on June 5th . This will also allow greater scheduling flexibility for our dedicated Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Greeters, and offer creative opportunities for our Music Ministry.

Weekend Mass Schedule Our Lady of Hope Parish, effective June 5, 2022
Saturday, 4:30 PM St. Pius X, 492 Ocean Avenue
Sunday, 7:30 AM St. Joseph, 673 Stevens Avenue
Sunday, 9:30 AM St. Pius X, 492 Ocean Avenue (Family Mass)
Sunday, 5:00 PM St. Joseph, 673 Stevens Avenue

Thank you for your continued support as we make our way forward in our Spirit-guided efforts to grow our Parish.

An Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

An Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Pope Francis plans to consecrate humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, March 25th, which is the Solemnity of the Annunication. The Pope has called on the bishops of the world to join him in consecrating themselves and all humanity. One of the meanings of the word consecrate is to “devote or dedicate to some purpose.” On Friday, the Church will dedicate humanity to the purpose of peace – with a special emphasis on peace in Ukraine and Russia.

We make this consecration through the Immaculate Heart of Mary because of the unique and indispensable role that Mary played in salvation by respondiing with a profound “yes” to God’s invitation to become Jesus’ mother.  We understand Jesus as consecrating humanity when Jesus says to Mary “behold your son” and to John “behold your mother” as he approaches the end of His life on the cross. Through the centuries, we have come to understand that Mary is given as mother to every single individual – and to humanity as a whole.

Locally, Bishop Robert Deeley will join Pope Franics and bishops around the world in making an Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, March 25 at 11:45 am at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress Street in Portland. The service will include all five decades of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Fatima Prayer, The  Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Angelus Prayer, and more. All are invited and welcome to attend. If you are unable to attend in person, you are encouraged to participate via livestream at http://www.portlandcatholic.org/livestreamed-liturgies 

The Vatican website has an informative post here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-03/pope-francis-letter-bishops-consecration-russia-ukraine.html

What Makes a “Good” Mass?

What Makes a “Good” Mass?

What Makes a “Good” Mass?

What makes for a “good” Mass?  After our Catholic Schools Week celebration Mass at 5 PM on Sunday, Jan 30th,  many people expressed their feelings of joy and enthusiasm about the presence of such joy and enthusiasm at that Mass. 

What makes for this kind of experience?  It is, really a gift of the Holy Spirit and can’t be “made to happen” but there are some “ingredients” that make it more likely we have such a positive experience. What are they?

I think this is part of the recipe:

A sense that people are there. The Assembly is present.

There’s a joyful energy that grows as each person is greeted and finds a seat.

The church need not be full (it wasn’t on Jan 30) but a half- or three-quarter empty church takes away from the experience that everyone enjoys. This is why Church documents teach that we shouldn’t be celebrating weekend Masses that are regularly less than half-full.

A full use of liturgical ministers, including servers (who can be adults as well as children), well-prepared readers, possibly several of them, greeters, Eucharistic Ministers. Having a number of people involved in the action of the liturgy makes a difference that you can feel.  We can get by with fewer people serving as liturgical ministers, yes, but that’s a missed opportunity.

Attention given to the surroundings, decorations, etc.  Use of the banners at that Mass in the procession and on the altar, for example, made it feel more festive and special.

Well-prepared presentations, reflections or homilies.

A willingness on the part of those attending to take part in the liturgy by responding to the prayers with enthusiasm, by joining in the singing.

Good music.  This includes both the music that is being sung and the willingness of those present to sing (as we often say at Mass to everyone “you are the choir.”)

A visible expectation by those attending that this will be a good experience. 

In a real sense, every Mass is “special.”  This was certainly the case at that Mass.   How might we repeat this recipe?  A question for us to consider is this: what is important for us to do as a parish to invite these kind of positive experiences at Mass to happen as often as possible?  The congregation (the “Assembly”) is a very important part of this picture.  It is from the congregation that the readers, greeters, servers, etc. come.  We minister to each other in the liturgy. The whole Mass is a responsive prayer between the presider and the assembly.  When people respond or sing with energy and enthusiasm, the energy level grows, and that is what you feel at a “good”  liturgy.   If the response is weak or absent or other parts are missing, then the energy is just not there.     When we all do our part as we come together to celebrate the Mass, when we have the resources and people there in the necessary numbers, then we give that important opening for the Holy Spirit to light a fire of excitement, energy and love.  This is a good goal to have and to work toward.  Let’s do that!    

Fr. Paul SJ   .

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