From Father Mead: Growing Up
My son, Liam, is growing up fast; we celebrated his first birthday on Tuesday, November 13, 2007. We had Cookie-Monster Cake because he likes Sesame Street. When I was a boy I remember watching Cookie Monster eat cookies on Sesame Street. I remember counting numbers with the Count. I remember Ernie singing about the joys of bathing. Overall, Sesame Street hasn’t changed all that much. The only big difference is Elmo. When I was a boy Elmo was a friendly red monster who hung out with Grover (a friendly blue monster) and said very little. Now he has his own fifteen-minute segment each morning that educates kids on everything from running and jumping to digital cameras.
My wife, Nicole, and I are trying to do what we can to make sure Liam gets exposed to as many good things as possible (what parent doesn’t try to do that?). One thing that most parents can agree on is sound education. I think Sesame Street is a great tool for children of a certain age, but at some point we all grow up and go to school, leaving Elmo and friends behind for teachers and coaches and other mentors, the memory of whom – just like Cookie Monster, the Count and Ernie – will bring smiles to our faces years later. They were all a part of shaping us and educating us.
I have always been convinced that many people learn about Christianity through the liturgy. If you had asked me as a boy what Easter meant I probably would have sung a verse from a hymn or the Easter Acclamation: Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! The prayers that are said each day or each season have certainly shaped my understanding of the Faith. As I grow older, I get more and more from the sermon: there is no substitute for hearing how the Good News of Christ has changed someone else. Books read, classes taken in seminary and classes that I have taught have educated me further still. Since the dawn of time, I think, parents have been saying the same thing to their children: “You have a lot to learn.” As a father and a son, I believe that’s true for all of us. There is a great deal that we can all learn about many things, not the least of which is the faith in Jesus Christ that we share with each other and all the saints throughout history.
It is fun to imagine the future. Someday Liam will probably be assigned the task of drawing a picture of Jesus or playing the role of shepherd in a nativity scene just like his dad did. He will someday learn the words of the Lord’s Prayer and get confused between the various Creeds like his dad still does. He will learn about the Church just by being part of it on Sunday mornings. I hope that someday he’ll find himself in a Bible Study or a class on the Sacraments as part of some adult Christian Education program. We outgrow certain forms of education, but does that mean we stop learning? I don’t think so.
Since I arrived at Saint Mary’s as the Curate for Liturgy and Education I have tried different approaches to offering Christian Education so that it can become part of the regular life of the parish. I think the current approach seems to be working. Christian Education on Sundays, either before or after Solemn Mass, has proven to be popular, so popular that we have grown out of the space we have been using for the last three years – there wasn’t enough room to close the door of Saint Benedict’s last week. Beginning this Sunday, November 18, all Christian Education classes will take place in the newly renovated Mission House on the Second Floor.
If you haven’t been to a class yet this fall, its not too late! Robert McCormick is offering a class on Liturgical Music following Solemn Mass this Sunday. On the four Sundays of Advent, at 10:00 AM, the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein will lead a series exploring the parables told by Jesus in the Gospels. Also, the Spring 2008 schedule is nearly complete, and I am very excited about the future of Christian Education at Saint Mary’s. The classes are growing because people love to learn. Matthew Mead
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Lois, who is hospitalized, and Terry, Mary, Wayne, Frederick, Jack, Fred, Gert, Ana, Kevin, Gloria, William, Gilbert, Rick, Seamus, Mary, RELIGIOUS, Carl, PRIEST, Thomas, PRIEST, and Charles, PRIEST; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Steven, Andrew, Patrick, Brenden, Christopher, Marc and Steve . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 19: 1990 Beryl Ermine Whittle; November 20: 1986 Richard Johnson; November 23: 1976 Calvin R. Gray, 1985 Gary R. Grubb; November 24: 1950 Harlan S. Perrigo, 1957 Frederick Delius, 1989 Aurora Emralda Van Heyningen.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Elvin Fuentes, a member of the community of San Juan Evangelista, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, died last week after a long and courageous struggle with leukemia. He was not yet twenty years old. Please pray for Elvin, for his family, for his friends here at Saint Mary’s and for all who mourn. J.R.S.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The celebration of Thanksgiving Day begins with Sung Mass at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, November 21 and continue with Said Mass at 12:10 PM on Thursday, November 22 . . . Thanks to Dick Leitsch for his excellent presentation this past Sunday on the life of Father Thomas McKee Brown, founding rector of Saint Mary’s . . . This Friday, November 16, Robert McCormick will play a recital at 7:30 PM at Trinity Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma. On Saturday morning, November 17, he will lead a workshop on organ improvisation for members of the Tulsa chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He will return to the parish in time for Sunday morning, November 18. Last month, Mr. McCormick presented a recital for the Northern Virginia chapter of the AGO . . . All members of the Saint Vincent’s Guild: please mark your calendars. We will meet immediately after the Solemn Mass on Sunday, December 2, the First Sunday of Advent, for detailing and a tune-up! We will go over every aspect of Said, Sung, and Solemn Masses, Processions and Evensong & Benediction. If you are interested in serving at the altar, please speak to Father Mead. This will be a wonderful time to learn the ropes . . . We have received Letters of Transfer for Daniel and Ethelyn Bader and for Valerie Komor. We are very happy to be able to welcome them to the parish . . . Fr. Mead was elected to Diocesan Council at the 231st Convention of the Diocese of New York, on Saturday, November 10, 2007 . . . Father Mead will hear confessions on Saturday, November 17, and on Saturday, November 24 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 315.
Stewardship Mailing . . . Confused about your mailing? You may have gotten an envelope with your address but with a different name. We have sent out a corrected mailing and apologize for the inconvenience . . . Sunday, November 25, is Commitment Sunday. Please contact MaryJane Boland or Steven Heffner if you have questions or if you would like to talk about your pledge.
From the Stewardship Committee . . . In the first week after pledge cards were mailed out, the finance office has received almost $97,000 in commitments--or about 18% of our goal. Watch this space for further updates.
OUTREACH PROJECTS . . . AIDS Action International: Many parishioners and friends of the parish have already brought gift donations and have placed them in the box in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Thanks very much for your generosity! There is a sign in front of the box that explains the project in some detail. However, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Father Smith. We will continue to collect gift items for people of all ages who are living with HIV and AIDS until Sunday, November 25. Gift ideas are: new clothing for men, women and children of all ages, games, basic cosmetics, disposable cameras, phone cards, dolls and toys of all kinds, scarves, gloves and hats . . . Honduras Mission Trip 2008 . . . A group from Saint Mary’s has joined other parishes in the diocese for a week-long mission trip to the Church of San Juan Evangelista, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for the last few years. This year’s trip is scheduled for January 14-20, 2008. Please contact Rebecca Weiner Tompkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION . . . On Sunday, November 18, 2007, at 12:45 PM, Mr. Robert McCormick will lead a class on Liturgical Music in the Mission House. This class offers an introduction to the music used in church worship: hymns, psalms, minor propers, chants, anthems, the ordinary of the Mass, and of course the organ . . . We are honored to welcome the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, to lead a series on Sundays throughout Advent exploring the parables of Jesus. . . Sister Deborah Francis and Sister Laura Katharine will lead an Advent Quiet Day on Saturday, December 15. M.M.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Antiphon III (Nigra sum sed formosa) from Les vêpres de la Vierge, Opus 18, by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971). The postlude, from the same collection by Dupré, is Antiphon I (Dum esset rex). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa ‘Simile est regnum coelorum’ by Alonso Lobo (c. 1555-1617). Lobo was an important Spanish composer of the generation following Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599), whom he served as assistant at Seville Cathedral. Many years later he was Guerrero’s successor there. This setting, published in a 1602 book of masses, is based upon a motet of Guerrero. Lobo’s music is often favorably compared to that of Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), the best-known Spanish composer of the late Renaissance. The motet at Communion is Terra tremuit by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) . . . The Postcommunion hymn, Jesus came, adored by angels (tune: Lowry), is a beautiful and harmonically adventurous twentieth-century tune by American composer Gerald Near, paired with a nineteenth-century text by Godfrey Thring, first published in 1862 . . . The recital at 4:40 PM is by David S. Macfarlane. Robert McCormick
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, 1231
Tuesday Edmund, King of East Anglia, 870
Eve of Thanksgiving Day
Thursday Thanksgiving Day
Friday Clement, Bishop of Rome, c. 100 Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
Sunday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 5:00 PM Solemn Evensong and Benediction. Childcare from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 6:00 PM Evening Prayer, 6:20 PM Mass.
Saturday: 11:30 AM Confessions, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 4:00 PM Confessions, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass.