Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Holy Week Reflections

The Third Week of Easter has come and gone, yet I still wish to share the good news of our First Holy Week. 

Our Holy Week at Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was awesome.  God is awesome, so that most likely is why.
Blessing of Palms at JP II

Many people came out at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Mission in Maynardville, TN on Palm Sunday.  Through it was drizzingly,   our procession around our store front church for Blessed John Paul II and Pizza Plus was a wonderful moment.  It is a simply, but clear statement that we are here and proud to be Catholic.
Procession for Palm Sunday

Holy Thursday was celebrated in both churches in a very humble way.  The footwashing during Mass and adoration after Mass were highlights in both places for me.  This simply way to serve the people of these new missions and affirm Christ's love for them was moving.
Holy Thursday Altar of Repose before the Mass

Good Friday and Holy Saturdy in Maynardville was celebrated by Fr. Neil Pezzulo, the First Vice-President of Glenmary.  I was most grateful for his assitance.

Fr. Neil
In Rutledge, the living way of the Cross at the trailor park drew 125 or more followers to remember the suffering and love Christ has shown us. The actors did a great job in helping us meditate of the tremondous cost of our salvation.  Later in the day, the service in the church was celebrated.

The highlight for me, however, was recieving Sara into the Church as our first convert at Blessed John Paul II Catholic Mission.  Both language groups were present at the Mass and for the party that followed.  However beautiful to witness the transformation of Christ through the sacraments in the eyes of a person recieving the Body and Blood for the first time.

Confirmation of Sara
Our New Catholic
Of course, Easter Sunday filled the church at both Masses at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.  The joy of knowing Jesus is beautiful.

For many parishioners, this was the first time they celebrated all three days of the Tridium.  Yet, the best testimony came from a craddle Catholic who is now 80 years old.  She said, "This was the most profound experience of Holy Week ever in my life.  I do not care if we ever have a church building.  Jesus lived a simply life and the simplicity of our church is more like Jesus."

What more can I say?  Sorry for the delay in updating my faithful friends and readers.  I will aim to update you more often as we continue to celebrate this Easter Season.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Over the last two weeks our small communities have engaged in a number of activities and liturgies that have helped strengthen our bonds with one another.
Altar of Remembrance for Mrs. Opal

The last Saturday in March, we had a memorial Mass for Mrs. Opal Taylor, whose daughter-in-law is a member of our church.  Many of Maria's friends from neighboring parishes came to support the family.  A wonderful Philipino style meal followed and was enjoyed by everyone.  Our prayers remain with Brian and Maria during their time of grief.
Enjoying the food

First Place display board
At. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Mission on that same weekend, our boy and girl scout troops participated in the annual Boy and Girl Scout picnic with Bishop Stika.  For a new mission, we did very well.  The troop took second for their cupcakes and first place for their display board.  They also had a chance to meet the Bishop and interact with him.  We are proud of them and their leaders.

Anyone have the answer?
Finally, March 31 was our first youth retreat.  Our theme was "The Way, the Truth and the Life or La Via, la Verdad, y La Vida".  Two gentlemen from Lenior City, TN came to provide a meal and share their faith.  One of them was a NFL legend who played from 1960 - 61 for the Washington Redskins.  The kids enjoyed listening to his stories.  Most importantly through activities and skits the twelve young people who attended bonded more deeply with each other and with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Listening hard
Forming a new community is about becoming a family of faith.  This happens by a long range of events and prayer experiences.  Yet, in all of this the Holy Spirit is what unites us and binds us.  May we continue to grow as a family of faith bonded to one another and Jesus Christ.

Blessed John Paul II 1st Youth Retreat