Letter from Our Seminarian: Holy Saturday 2019


Holy Saturday 2019
Dear Fr. Allen and Corpus Christi Family,
The Triduum is upon all of us and we have begun that walk to Calvary and the Sepulchre.  I am keeping all of you in my prayers during that time of Grand Silence for all of us here at the Abbey. Three days of silence prepares you for the Good Friday Reproaches as the cantor sings “My people what have I done unto you, in what way have I offended you, answer me.” Yet, our of sorrow due to our acknowledgement of our sins comes to a close as we remind ourselves of His Love through the Sacrifice so that we can then acclaim “The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia”.  I pray all of us have used this Lent to become silent to the world and shout to the joy of the Kingdom.
This semester brought much activity, from a mission trip to Ecuador in January to hosting the annual Youth Fest and then the "Come & See," when young men from around Louisiana come to discern a call to the priesthood.  I’m amazed at the faith that was found in remote villages in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. These people who have so little compared to what we take for granted each day still give thanks daily for God, their Lord & King for all their blessings.  Watching high schoolers offering up their profession of faith as witnesses to God’s glory makes me assured that the Church is alive & then to hear the stories of the early callings of discernment by young men as they seek to serve that Church gives me hope of the Father’s love for his Bride.  
On May 10th, I expect to graduate by God’s grace and my limited intelligence!  Right after graduation I will travel to Houston where two of my seminarian brothers, Armando and Nathan, will be ordained to the Diaconate. Then I will fly home the next day for Bishop Lopes’ visit to Corpus Christi and for my niece’s first holy communion.  After that I fly right back to Houston to interview at St Mary’s major seminary and then drive to the Archdiocese of Omaha for my summer assignment.  I'm sorry I won’t have much time with y’all this summer.  Regardless of where I am you are always in my prayers.  I want to thank all of you for your support these last two years and really since I began this journey so many years ago, even while still an Episcopalian who heard Him call and came home to His One True Church.  Thank you for your love.  It is the most encouraging gift anyone can receive.   
In Christ,
Robb Lester

Letter from Fr. Allen: Divine Mercy Sunday 2019



Dear Friends,

My family and I have been enjoying a few days of R&R in the North Carolina mountains (see the view from our cabin porch [below]) in this Easter octave, in which we continue to celebrate the Good News that Christ is risen. I hope you also are taking time each day to revel in the hope given to us in the resurrection, even in the midst of work and school.

I've booted up the old laptop, though, to remind you especially of a great day in the life of our parish which will soon be upon us. On Sunday, May 19, Bishop Lopes will be with us to celebrate Mass, at which there will also be First Communions and the Sacrament of Confirmation for our young people. Mass will be followed by an ample and festive reception. So please plan on being at Mass to welcome the bishop and to support those receiving the sacraments with your prayer and presence!

Another big day soon approaches for our seminarian, Robb Lester. Robb will graduate from St. Joseph's Abbey Seminary College on May 10th. Following graduation Robb will spend the summer working in a ministry assignment in Omaha (Omaha!?), and then begin his studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston in the Fall. [Here] there is a letter from Robb reporting on his semester. Congratulations, Robb!

God bless you,
Fr. Allen

Easter Duty

Easter Duty

What is Easter Duty? Is it about confession or Communion? Canon lawyer Cathy Caridi:

[W]hile the code [of canon law] does not mandate that we Catholics must receive the sacrament of penance at any particular time of year, it does specify that we receive Holy Communion during the Easter season. Canon 920 notes that once a Catholic has received his First Holy Communion, he is obliged to receive this sacrament at least once a year, during paschal time (i.e., between Easter and Pentecost). This, and not a perceived requirement to go to confession, is the actual origin of the term "Easter Duty."

Read her whole post where she discusses confusion around this term in great detail here.

Parish Penance Service and First Reconciliation

Parish Penance Service and First Reconciliation

Wednesday, 8 May, 6.00PM

Join those preparing for the Sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation by receiving the sacrament of Penance (Confession). 

“Every single confession is always a new and definitive step towards a more perfect sanctification; a tender embrace, full of mercy, which helps to expand the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of love, truth and peace." - Pope Francis

Note: Wednesday School does not meet on 8 May

Paschal Greeting


Paschal Greeting

In ancient tradition, Christians greet each other during Eastertide with the Paschal Greeting. There are myriad translations of this greeting into the languages of the world, but even within English there are several widely used versions. The wording we use in our Anglican Patrimony is

℣ Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
℟ The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia!

We'll say and respond to this greeting as a community before Sunday Masses in Eastertide; the words will be printed in the welcome section of the bulletin for easy reference. Don't be afraid to respond out loud! 

Plenary Indulgences available during Holy Week

BLOGS | APR. 16, 2019

Here are the Plenary Indulgences Available During Holy Week

We all have the opportunity for receiving a plenary indulgence each day of Holy Week. Then Easter Octave. Here’s how to gain them for ourselves and loved ones in purgatory.

Joseph Pronechen for National Catholic Register

The plenary indulgences that we can receive on every day of Holy Week actually are of two kinds. Certain ones are specific to Holy Week itself. Certain ones we can actually gain anytime.

They’re listed in the Norms and Grants in the official Manual of Indulgences, fourth edition (1999), the latest and most up-to-date edition of the Manual, or Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, the one that replaces all others.

First, let’s look at the plenary indulgences specific to Holy Week. Next, we’ll look at those also available during Holy Week plus any time of the year. Then we’ll review the basic mandatory conditions that must be fulfilled for any plenary indulgence. Then we’ll check on “extras.”


[continue reading]


Sacred Triduum Preview and Schedule

The Maundy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper (4/18, 7PM) begins the Paschal Triduum, which is properly understood and experienced as one event. The Maundy Thursday institution of the Holy Eucharist, which is the sacrament of love, and the Lord's offering of himself in love on the Cross, and the triumph of that love in the Resurrection are one thing: the Lord's Passover, and so also ours, from death to life. We encourage you and your family to attend as many of the liturgies as possible. As Fr Allen said last week, "bring the children to Jesus, and let them feel absolutely at home in the Church's worship. And please, invite your friends and family, and share the announcements of these liturgies widely."

Maundy Thursday Mass at 7.00PM*
Good Friday Liturgy at 3.00PM
Easter Eve Mass at 8.00PM
Easter Day Mass at 9.00AM* & 11.00AM
St Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church, 89 Hasell Street

*Roman Missal

On Maundy Thursday (7PM) we celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper and our Lord's abiding Presence with us in the Holy Eucharist, a Mass which ends with the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose, where we may take our place with the Apostles to watch and pray in the garden. The Altar is stripped, our Lord is betrayed and given into the hands of sinners.

This Mass will be celebrated from the Roman Missal. For reference at home as you prepare for Mass, in the Divine Worship Sunday Missal, the Propers and Lessons may be found on page 396, or you may read the Lessons online:

Exodus 12.1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11.23-26
John 13.1-15

The Collect: O God, who in a wonderful Sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy Passion: grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood; that we may ever know within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption; who livest and reignest with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.   Amen.

On Good Friday (3PM) we offer the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion and venerate his Cross, and then receive the precious fruit of that Cross in the Holy Communion: our Lord's own Body broken for us.

In the Divine Worship Sunday Missal, the Propers and Lessons may be found on page 412, or you may read the Lessons online:

Isaiah 52.13-53.12
Hebrews 4.14-16; 5.7-9
John 18.1-19.42

The Collect: Almighty God: we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the Cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.   Amen.

On Easter Eve (8PM) we light the new fire in church yard and process together with the Light of Christ into the darkened church, and keep the Solemn Vigil of Easter, hearing God's promises of old, and seeing them fulfilled in the Lord's Resurrection, our sacramental life - which is our participation in Jesus' Death and Resurrection - renewed again. 

In the Divine Worship Sunday Missal, the Propers and Lessons may be found on page 445, or you may read the Lessons online:

Genesis 1.1-2.2
Genesis 22.1-18
Exodus 14.15-15.1
Isaiah 54.5-14
Isaiah 55.1-11
Baruch 3.9-15, 32-4.4
Ezekiel 36.16-17a, 18-28
Romans 6.3-11
Luke 24.1-12

One of the Collects: O God who dost illumine this most holy night with the glory of the Resurrection of the Lord: stir up, we pray thee, in thy Church, the spirit of adoption which thou hast given; that we, being regenerate both in body and soul, may render unto thee a pure service; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.   Amen.

* Only three of the seven Old Testament readings will be proclaimed at our Easter Vigil Mass for pastoral reasons.

image: Resurrection of Jesus, Raphael, 1502

image: Resurrection of Jesus, Raphael, 1502

On Easter Day, Masses will be celebrated at 9AM (Roman Missal) & 11AM (Divine Worship).

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.  So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”  Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb.  They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.  Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.  Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

In the Divine Worship Sunday Missal, the Propers and Lessons may be found on page 488, or you may read the Lessons online:

Acts 10.34a, 37-43
Colossians 3.1-4
John 20.1-9

The Collect: Almighty God, who through thine Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: we humbly beseech thee; that as by thy special grace thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.   Amen.