April 7 My sisters and brothers in Christ, Today, as we make ready for the Triduum, I offer you this podcast from Jim Finley, Sink into the Taproot of Your Heart https://cac.org/podcasts/sink-into-the-taproot-of-your-heart/ Always, may God’s peace be yours, Fr. Leo Thank you to all those who have mailed your offertory to the church or used the diocese’s online link to make a donation. Your offertory is greatly appreciated! Mailing your offertory is easy, simply seal your offertory envelope and place a stamp on it. It is already addressed to the church. To donate online, please go to this link https://www.orlandodiocese.org/landing/ and click on the yellow button labeled “Donations to your Parish”. Then follow the prompts to make your donation. Thank you!
April 6 My sisters and brothers in Christ, It has begun! The most sacred time in the church’s year, Holy Week. This is the week in which is rooted all we do and say and believe as Catholic Christians. It is the most challenging week of the year as we are reminded that in this life there is great suffering and great love, as there was for Jesus. Yet our suffering cannot define us. It doesn’t have the power to. Although at times we may suffer deeply, suffering does not have the depth of love. (Believe me! Love always wins!) Suffering cannot define us. Only love has the power to define us. We are invited to hold our suffering lightly, with hands wide open, as we still love, as Jesus did. If we do so, then we can accept what is real, “friend do what you have come for…” Mt.26:50; and still be open. We can work for peace and reconciliation, “put your sword back in its place…” Mt.26:52, even when being attacked. We can be non-argumentative, “You say so…” Mt.27:11-14, even when we are right, and we can still cry out in lament, knowing and trusting the promise of God to deliver us, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Mt. 27:45-47. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me”, is only the first line of Psalm 21. Read Psalms 21 and 22 to get a clearer picture of what Jesus was saying/praying on the cross. Our human minds are not made to hold opposites together. Check out Baby Suggs sermon on YouTube from the movie/book “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. (Put into your browser “Baby Suggs sermon”.) Only the human heart is big enough to hold the tensions, as she invites laughter, tears, and dancing to a suffering and oppressed people. Peace to you and yours as we continue to hold each other and our world close to our hearts. Fr. Leo Thank you to all those who have mailed your offertory to the church or used the diocese’s online link to make a donation. Your offertory is greatly appreciated! Mailing your offertory is easy, simply seal your offertory envelope and place a stamp on it. It is already addressed to the church. To donate online, please go to this link https://www.orlandodiocese.org/landing/ and click on the yellow button labeled “Donations to your Parish”. Then follow the prompts to make your donation. Thank you!
April 5 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Palm Sunday has arrived as we begin the most important time of the year for our church. Please make time to participate in the Palm Sunday Mass by praying with us, in Spanish, English, or French at 10 a.m. today. You will find the links to these Masses on the church website: www.standrew-orlando.org, and our Facebook page. In the coming week we will post the times and links for the Bishop’s Holy Week liturgies. Let us continue to keep each other in prayer. Fr. Leo Thank you to all those who have mailed your offertory to the church or used the diocese’s online link to make a donation. Your offertory is greatly appreciated! Mailing your offertory is easy, simply seal your offertory envelope and place a stamp on it. It is already addressed to the church. To donate online, please go to this link https://www.orlandodiocese.org/landing/ and click on the yellow button labeled “Donations to your Parish”. Then follow the prompts to make your donation. Thank you!
April 4 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Tonight is the vigil of the most holy week in the church year and no one could have imagined that we would not be in church gathered together to celebrate this most Holy Week. There is sadness and grief at our sense of loss but Scripture reminds us that we do not grieve like the unbeliever, because the same God who called Jesus to new life calls us to newness of life. This newness of life takes effect now in how we gather in our homes to engage as deeply as we can in the mystery of God’s love for us poured out in the Eucharist. Without a doubt, for the majority of us, it will be a brand-new experience and something that will take some getting used to. But to engage in this Holy Week we have very little choice. Palm Sunday Mass at St. Andrew will be available on our church website: www.standrew-orlando.org on Sunday, April 5 at 10 a.m. I encourage you to take advantage of my suggestions on how we might be present during Mass, as we participate in our own homes. It might help to put on your Sunday clothing. Although I am not sure many of you will do that. LOL! See the list of suggestions on how to prepare to participate in any online version of Mass below. I pray for you. Please keep me in your prayers. Although my options are limited because of social distancing, if I can be of help to you in any way during this time do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Together. we will get through this! Always, may God’s peace, a peace the world cannot give, be yours. Fr Leo Guidelines for Preparing for Mass from Home First, prepare yourself for the Mass by being purposeful and being aware of your mass intention. Remember you have the keychain and the Gospel Reflection book. Use them. Second, do not just turn technology on and begin to watch Mass as you might a sporting event or the news. As much as possible, you do not want to be a spectator. Be mindful about the sacred mystery you are about to enter into. Third, if you can, and if it is safe to do so, light a candle and place it in your sight as a reminder of the presence of Christ. Make sure it is safe so you don’t have to think about it while it is burning. Fourth, if the technology you are using to view the Mass can be in your sacred space, that might help you. I mentioned in one of my previous emails about making sacred space, a prayer corner in your home. If you have not created sacred space, this is the time to do so. Fifth, picture yourself at church, in the pew where you normally sit. The people who normally sit behind you are behind you. The people who normally sit […]
April 3 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Thank you to all who participated in the Scavenger Hunt! I hope it was a fun and educational experience for you. The final answers are attached. Before we pray together the Palm Sunday Mass on April 5, I’d like to make a few comments to help us all better prepare for this new remote experience. Hopefully these suggestions will help us to situate ourselves in this unfamiliar space of participating in Mass on TV or other devices. I know for most of us it’s not the norm to watch Mass on a television, phone or computer screen. I realize that it’s a very different experience and I’ve been told it is difficult to engage and to stay focused, because you are not at church but at home. You are not in the same space. Even if you sit in the back of the church, you are still in church, so I understand the challenge this may be. Let me make a few suggestions that might help us worship together even while we are apart. First, prepare yourself for the Mass by being purposeful and being aware of your mass intention. Remember you have the keychain and the Gospel Reflection book. Use them. Second, do not just turn technology on and begin to watch Mass as you might a sporting event or the news. As much as possible, you do not want to be a spectator. Be mindful about the sacred mystery you are about to enter into. Third, if you can, and if it is safe to do so, light a candle and place it in your sight as a reminder of the presence of Christ. Make sure it is safe so you don’t have to think about it while it is burning. Fourth, if the technology you are using to view the Mass can be in your sacred space, that might help you. I mentioned in one of my previous emails about making a sacred space, a prayer corner in your home. If you have not created a sacred space, this is the time to do so. Fifth, picture yourself at church, in the pew where you normally sit. The people who normally sit behind you are behind you. The people who normally sit in front of you are in front of you. The people who normally sit next to you are next to you. See yourself in church as you normally are with the regular folks sitting near you. Now to keep yourself in church it might be helpful to close your eyes. I know that sounds very odd to close your eyes as you sit in front of a screen, but these are odd times. It might be helpful…maybe you want to alternate between having your eyes open or closed. Whatever is going to work for you will be fine. You know the responses to the Mass, so respond audibly. You also know the appropriate times to sit, stand and […]
April 2 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This is the last day for the scavenger hunt. Let us see who wins the grand prize! If you have been listening to the news you have heard the report about the number of people who may die in this pandemic. It is shocking and very sad. Butt only God knows the future, so we continue to trust and lay our burdens on God, especially as we move towards Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Pray for each other and for all those affected by this terrible pandemic. Stay safe. Do not travel. I pray the slowness of this pace provides the opportunity for each of us to cultivate a deeper relationship with God. Please tune in for mass at St. Andrew on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Check for the link on the church website www.standrew-orlando.org and in this Saturday’s email. May the peace that this world cannot give be yours. Fr. Leo Scavenger Hunt continued…. PART 4 What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) say in paragraph 608 about Jesus? Go to the Saint John’s Bible online http://www.saintjohnsbible.org/promotions/see/explore.htm. Find the following illuminations (picture) and take screenshots: The Creation story in Genesis. Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry bones The birth of Jesus in Luke The Transfiguration of Jesus in Mark The Lamb of God enthroned in John’s Revelation What do the following symbols represent for Christians? The Pelican The Fish Triangle Find examples of the following symbols and record it with a screenshot and write down its meaning. Jerusalem Cross Crosier Chi-Rho What is the significance of the number 8 in baptism? Which apostle replaced Judas Iscariot? Find an online liturgical calendar. Whose feast day is on this day, April 3 (or nearest to this day)? Take a screenshot of the prayer form that is on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral. *****CLUE #4***** Roman Catholics use the Gregorian Calendar (est. by Pope Gregory XIII in 1572); Eastern Orthodox Christians use the Julian Calendar (est. by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE) Using the 4 clues you received, can you solve the Final Question? FINAL QUESTION: The day that Our Lord arose from the grave, / Is an annual feast, a movable fete. / Alas, when to dye the hen’s eggs, I do not know, / For the Son’s rise is not set in stone. / Tell me dear friend, what can it be / That illuminates learned minds to solve this mystery? How is the date for Easter determined each year? PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Email your answers to Kathy at email@example.com and let her know if you have any questions.
April 1 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I hope you were successful in Part One and Two of the scavenger hunt. I hope it has given you a different focus than the virus. Part Three is today! It is good to change your focus from time to time so we are not overwhelmed with the news and our own fear. That is why I encourage you to have some fun with the scavenger hunt. The podcast is also helpful in maneuvering through this awkward space we are in now. We are not alone. The whole world is affected by Covid-19. Remember in your prayers not only this community of St. Andrew, but our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are enduring and suffering from this pandemic. Here is the podcast link again, in case you missed it yesterday: https://cac.org/podcasts/bonus-finding-presence-in-the-midst-of-a-pandemic/. The staff and I are preparing for Palm Sunday Mass. More information will be forthcoming regarding when to watch it. I wish your peace, Fr. Leo Also, please note our temporary church office hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., M-Th (not 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. as mistakenly posted yesterday). Scavenger Hunt continued…. Part 3 Visit the Catholic Relief Services virtual chapel https://prayers.crs.org/ Light a candle and add a genuine prayer intention. Take a screenshot of the prayer. Saints Who is the patron saint of cooking? What is the story that connects this saint to cooking? Whose feast day is on May 30? What is St. Fiacre known for? Find Pope Francis on Twitter (@pontifex) and retweet your favorite message (create a Twitter account if needed). Take a screenshot of the retweet. Find a YouTube video of Pope John XXIII. Play it for your youth ministry leader. Who was Dorothy Day? What organization did she start? How many books are in the Catholic bible? Visit www.SpiritandSong.com and find a song that is appropriate for use in the Easter season. Play the song for your youth leader. ******* CLUE #3: Paschal (see dictionary.com) ******* PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Email your answers to Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org and also let her know if you have any questions.
March 31 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Good morning! How did you do with the first part of the scavenger hunt? Part two is too easy… check it out!! Don’t forget to send your answers directly to Kathy Morgan. Keep the faith during these stressful times as we continue to pray for each other. Pray for all the health care workers. It is hard to imagine how this must affect them. Even though there is a certain stress or anxiety we all may experience, which is normal, the weather has been beautiful!!! Go outside if you can and walk! You will feel better. I would like to offer you this podcast. It is very good and will be helpful in dealing with this situation. It is entitled, “Finding peace in the midst of a pandemic.” https://cac.org/podcasts/bonus-finding-presence-in-the-midst-of-a-pandemic/ I wish you peace and every good! Fr. Leo You may be wondering how can you get your offertory to the church. Here’s how: Mail it in. Simply seal your offertory envelope and place a stamp on it. It is already addressed to the church. Stop by the church office. The church office is open with limited hours, Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 2 pm. Donate online at https://www.orlandodiocese.org/landing/. Click on the yellow “Donations to your parish” button in the lower right-hand portion of the screen and follow the prompts. Scavenger Hunt continued…. Part 1 Answers are attached. How’s it going so far? I hope you are having fun with this activity. Part 2 Visit the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, take a screenshot of Isaiah, Jacob, and St. Peter at the Last Judgment (www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/index_sistina_en.htm) View Busted Halo’s Catholic Vacation Destinations on YouTube. Where were Maria and Captain Von Trapp married? Visit the Catacombs of Pricilla in Rome and take a screenshot of a fresco of a woman. https://www.google.com/maps?ll=41.929305%2C12.509084&cbp=%2C109.0%2C%2C0%2C-0.0&layer=c&panoid=sfiLnF1scbgAAAQJOCH0Sw&spn=0.18000000000000152%2C0.30000000000000043&output=classic&cbll=41.929305%2C12.509084 Pope Francis’ favorite painting is “The White Crucifixion” by Marc Chagall. Find this painting and take a screenshot. How many Bishop Cardinals are there in the world? Visit the Vatican Museum online. Take a screenshot of an exhibit of ancient art. Visit the Holy Land and find the Dome of the Ascension http://p4panorama.com/panos/holyland/ (Screenshot) Who was Oscar Romero and where did he die? ******* CLUE #2: At the feet of the Patron Saint of the Americas. Revelation 12:1 ******* PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Email your answers to Kathy at email@example.com and let her know if you have any questions.
March 30 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Let’s have some fun! The following activity is a scavenger hunt. Thank you, Kathy Morgan, our Youth Minister. Take some time today to complete this activity. If you live with your family, do it together, perhaps dividing the parts. It will be a great way to learn about your parish and your faith. Whoever has the most correct answers wins! Always, may God’s peace be yours, Fr. Leo Scavenger Hunt There are four parts to this challenge. Each day for the next four days, you will receive another leg of the scavenger hunt and the answers to the previous part you completed. You will also be given a clue each day for one Final Question, which will be emailed on the fourth day. On Friday, you will receive the answer to the Final Question. PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Email your answers to Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know if you have any questions. This scavenger hunt can be played at your leisure and you may use all forms of technology. That includes calling or emailing others who might know the answers. This is a scavenger hunt with great meaning. The egg is a symbol of new life, and the activity of searching for hidden eggs at Easter reminds us that new life in Christ is offered to everyone, but we must do our part to seek after Christ. We are going to have some fun with this different kind of scavenger hunt! Rather than looking for eggs, we will be searching for connections to our faith online. Part 1 Visit your parish website and answer the following questions: Who is the Pastoral Associate for your parish? How many staff members are listed on the website? Take a screenshot of the online version of the bulletin. Take a selfie of yourself and share with your family. Find an article in the local newspaper that mentions your parish. (Screenshot or copy) Who was the first priest to serve in your parish? List in order the pastors who have served at St. Andrew List in order the principals who have served at St. Andrew School. In what year was our parish established What is the name of the religious order/congregation that first worked at St. Andrew Church? How many Catholics are there in the United States? How many Catholic churches are there in the United States? ******* CLUE #1: Psalm 81:3 *******
Sunday, March 29, 2020 – The Fifth Sunday of Lent Mass Intentions: Jerome (JJ) T. Wytrawl, Daniel Ryan, Thomas Scaria, Regine Romulus, Virginia Maio This is the fifth Sunday of Lent and the second Sunday the church has been closed! This has been difficult for me and I believe for all of us. The pandemic continues to cause havoc throughout the world, continues to take people’s lives and often robs us of our own sense of peace. The news can be overwhelming and dreadful images on TV can cause great fear and anxiety. This is a very difficult time. What are we supposed to do? We self-quarantine. We work remotely. We stay in our homes. We run in and out of the grocery store as quickly as we can and try not to watch too much of the news, just enough to know what is happening. It feels so helpless. Nonproductive, weary already, with days, if not weeks, to go. Weary of this space and time, maybe even depressed and anxious. There’s so much in our heads and in our hearts. How are we supposed to think about this pandemic? Have the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ. It is the way to maneuver through this pandemic. It is the only way to lament the reality of all those who have died and still be faithful to the gospel of life. The mind of Christ is the only mind that can hold together life and death, lament and hope, sickness and recovery. It is not a binary mind; it does not need to split into either/or thinking. The normal rational mind is necessary to function in life, to work, but the normal rational mind can’t hold opposites together. The mind of Christ can. And today’s gospel shows us. “Lord, if you had been here my brother never would have died”. That is the beginning of her lament as Martha runs towards the Lord in disbelief, anxious, and heavy with grief, because of the death of Lazarus her brother. Is that not the same question so many people have asked during this pandemic? Maybe not publicly, but certainly in our hearts. Italy is the most Catholic country in the world, with thousands of people sick and dying from this virus. Imagine the number of times the Italians, the priests and nuns, and other church leaders, in their pain and frustration have asked that question, “Where are you Lord?” We are different here in these United States. Like Martha, crying out before the Lord in her suffering and disbelief, our cry is similar… How could this happen here? No vaccine, no cure, not enough masks, not enough ventilators, not enough beds, where is the Lord? Lord, where are you? Are you with us? Most of us have cried out before, either individually or within our own families. Maybe not publicly, but have we not asked the question in our own disbelief and frustration: Where were you Lord when my spouse left, […]