Some Stuff Surrounding (p)Salms

I’m awfully apologetic for the author’s audacity to use an alliterative title.

Ok, ok, I’ll stop, I promise.

Anyway, some time back, I was asked to return to Ss. Martha & Mary Parish and give a talk as part of their Upper Room program. The program is their way of doing faith formation for 7th and 8th grade students to help prepare them for Confirmation, but also to help transition them from a traditional classroom model of faith formation into more of a youth group model. The idea behind it is that it gets them ready and engaged to be part of the youth group when the time comes, and if we can keep them active in youth group, we keep them active in the church, and we form them as better Catholics.

The topic I was given was: The Psalms: Who, What, Why, When & Where? I may or may not have actually answered all of those questions, but I certainly did talk long enough. I’ll leave it here for you to enjoy.

November 21: Christ the King

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about my move has been that my day off has changed. it only moved from Wednesday to Thursday, but that’s enough to throw off my weekly routine. Now that I see that in writing, that seems to be a fairly ridiculous statement. But it has disrupted my routine, and what’s suffering lately is my homily preparation. I feel like I’m rushing it and I’ve not been pleased with the results lately (not that I ever am, of course.) This weekend was no exception. I had an idea worked out, more or less, in my head, and ran with it on Saturday night. It was ok, I suppose; no one walked out and no one complained about it after, but it just didn’t feel right. I tried again with it at the early Mass Sunday morning; that was even worse. (I was also in a terrible mood Sunday morning, so that could have something to do with it.) I retreated to my office between Masses, made a cup of coffee, and decided to throw out what I had and start over. And I think it went…better. If I had more time to work with this one, it could have been something. Anyway, the Gospel starts somewhere around the 12 minute mark, I think. Enjoy.

November 7: Installation Mass

For once, I’m going to be pro-active and get something up ahead of time. Don’t get used to this.

As you know, I was recently named pastor of Christ the Divine Shepherd Parish. While I started on October 15th, I have not yet been formally installed by the bishop. You don’t need to be formally installed to assume the office; the decree of the bishop is enough. That said, the formality of the installation can serve as a teaching moment for the parish, and hopefully as a means of building up both unity and mission. If you’re in the area, feel free to join us! And if you’re not in the area, watch us on the diocesan YouTube stream:

October 17, 2021: On synodality

The bishop asked all the priests of the diocese to celebrate one of the votive Masses of the Holy Spirit this weekend. That, by itself, would be no big deal; in fact, given that this was my first weekend at the parish, I welcomed the idea. It certainly seemed like a good way to start.

But then we were told that we still had to use the readings for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Kind of a rough way to start, but I would have found a way to make it work, I think…

But then we were told to try to preach about the Synod that was recently opened in Rome. That’s just kind of a strange thing to have to preach about – I mean, the synod’s just starting, so there’s not much yet to say about it. I must admit, though, that the preparatory document did have some interesting things to say. It may garner it’s own post later on; we’ll see. I’m still settling in here, and there are a couple funerals coming in this week.

So, all that said, here’s this week’s Mass. Again, no idea on timestamps for the beginning and end of the homily, but you’ll find it.

New Adventure

I’m announcing this at all my Masses this weekend, so I might as well make it super-official and publish it here:

Bishop Zubik has named me as pastor of Christ the Divine Shepherd Parish, Monroeville/Penn Hills, effective Friday, October 15.

Not that I was posting much anyway, but you can expect even fewer posts (is that even possible?) between now and then as I pack, move, and unpack. My hope, though, is that in the future, I’ll have more time to write and/or record stuff for this blog. It’s a big parish and there’s plenty of work to do, but the Mass schedule is much easier to handle, and I won’t be running between 8 different churches, either. So, hopefully, I’ll find more time for this. Hopefully.