Holy Martyrs Friday January 13th 8:00AM – Chapel Mass
Celebrant: Pastor, Rev. Steve Dohner
Number of Attendees: 10 including me.
Gospel: Mark 2: 1-12
Homily Reflection: Father emphasized that we are all the friends in the Gospel, the friends who lower down the paralytic to be healed. But we are also the paralytic, in need of healing.
Holy Moments: The chalice. Sounds strange but I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was this beautiful gold embossed (am I using that word right? Whatever) with wheat imagery all around it. Like the wheat was wrapped around it. I want to go back there just to ask if I can get a photo of it.
At the end of the mass, one of the women turned around and as she was leaving she said, “Thank you for visiting with us today.” It’s nice to be noticed. Which was pretty easy since there were so few of us.
Our Father Orans Posture: Neither hands clasped Nor Orans posture – These folks went old school and we all HELD HANDS! I couldn’t help but laugh a little as I thought about sharing it on the blog. I’m sure some people would rather not touch one another, similar to the sign of peace where people literally make the peace sign and don’t shake hands. But I would almost prefer it to the Orans Posture.
St. Francis Xavier – Medina – Saturday January 14th 8:30am Mass
Celebrant: Rev. Tony Sejba
Gospel: Mark 2:13-17
Initial Thoughts: As I put in “St. Francis Xavier Medina” into Google Maps on my phone, it actually directed me to their old church on Liberty Street. So someone may want to inform Google Maps to fix that. Luckily, Medina isn’t too big so it was pretty easy to find the current St. Francis Xavier Church off of Washington.
Homily Reflection: Fr. Sejba started out by mentioning an unfortunate event that happened with our local Catholic Charities and a woman who had stolen almost 2 million dollars from it. Not a common way to begin a homily. He related it to the Gospel, which was about how Jesus came for the sinners. Specifically for those of us who are broken and in need of mercy. Especially those who are in need of forgiveness. No matter how many times someone may hurt us, no matter who causes us pain, we have to learn to forgive them, because God forgives us. How can we ask God to forgive us for the wrongs we have done and not expect the same in return? Fr. also mentioned the police officer in NYC, Steve McDonald, who passed away and was known for forgiving the man who shot him and caused his paralysis. What a story! I’m so glad I was there to hear him mention this story because it truly is a great example of forgiveness.
Holy Moments: We sung Marian hymns to open and close the mass and I noticed the prayers also mentioned Mary. I was confused because I knew it wasn’t a Marian feast day so after consulting with my super smart priest, I learned that every Saturday in Ordinary Time the priest has the option to do a memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since I rarely attend daily mass on Saturdays, I had no idea. Learn something new everyday!
St. Martin of Tours – Valley City – Sunday January 15th – 10:30am mass
Celebrant: Pastor, Rev. Thomas Dunphy
Gospel: John 1:29-34
Initial thoughts: One of my favorites so far. Immediately upon arriving I was met with a lovely woman who upon giving me a missal/hymnal, and I informed her I was a first timer to her parish. She was incredibly welcoming and told me to go visit the historic church first, which serves as their chapel for daily masses, weddings and funerals.
Here’s just a few pics I took while in there, but you would be wise to go visit it sometime.
The current “newer” church (below) is just as beautiful but has a great blend of old/traditional mixed with modern. The choir members wore traditional choir robes. The stations of the cross were just as stunning as the ones in the historic church. There was a good blend of families mixed with older folks and even a few singles such as myself.
Initial thoughts: Fr. Dunphy was just terrific. He spoke very eloquently but casually. Kind. Gentle. Heartfelt and sincere. His microphone wasn’t quite working so he went to fix it, accidentally turning it off after turning it on, and finally getting it to work. He looked over at the Deacon and said, “Where were you on that one? You’re supposed to be assisting me!” which got a lot of laughs from the folks in the pews. You could tell right away this was a close-knit community.
The whole homily had to be one of the best homilies I had heard in a long time. He spoke directly to the people, as if he was looking directly into their hearts. He was speaking to them as a friend. It was truly beautiful. I do think it had to be a 20 minute homily but I hung on every word. There was a time when he asked the congregation a question: “Were you baptized in the Holy Spirit?” to which everyone said Yes. He then asked, “How?” and pointed right to a young man by name in the front pew who proudly answered: “Because Jesus Christ is Lord.”
The initial message was simply: You need to get Jesus into your life. Jesus sent you here today. Simply ask Him: “Jesus, I want you to come into my life today.”
Holy Moments: I suppose the best moments were spent in the historic church and praying and just taking it all in. I had time to reflect on this project of mine and what it means and how grateful I am to be able to do it.
Heading to the D.C. March for Life this week but the Daily Mass Project continues. Expect a nice long post about the March; it’ll be my first one and I’m very much looking forward to writing about the experience, especially in comparison to the so-called “Women’s March” on Washington last weekend.
As for the DMP in the coming weeks: I keep it local and head to St. Albert the Great and St. Charles. And I finally make good on my promise to bring someone with me to a mass. Also reflections from masses at St Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Avon and St. Mary’s in Elyria.
As always, thanks for reading!