The extracts from Fr. David Ousley’s newsletter this month give us an insight into some of the day-to-day activities of the US Ordinariate’s newest gathered parish in the Philadelphia suburbs:
Last month, I mentioned the opportunity of helping out with the Dollar and More Store, the thrift shop run by Sacred Heart folk (and potentially a joint venture with us) from the school building at St John’s. Here is another service opportunity, in cooperation with Sacred Heart. Once a month, volunteers gather at the parish hall of Sacred Heart to package meals for Aid for Friends, which are then frozen, and then delivered by other volunteers to home-bound folk in the Philadelphia area. This ministry focuses on those who have no family, and the volunteers who deliver the meals usually stop and visit for a while to offer some companionship as well as meals.
This month it’s soup. You can bring a pot (or two) of your favorite homemade soup, or else 10-12 cans of the same kind of soup. Please also bring: a soup ladle, dish towel apron, can opener. Meet at Sacred Heart (the parish hall is on the lower level of the school building across the street from the large church parking lot) on Wednesday, May 12th, 6:30 p.m.
Our cyber-presence has been significantly enhanced, thanks to the efforts of several of the faithful. Bruno Dantas, our web-master, did some serious sleuthing in order to repair some earlier damage to our site which kept us from showing up in Internet searches. That is now fixed – as you will find if you do a Google search for St John the Baptist or similar. Bruno has also set us up on Google businesses, so that photos, web address, Mass times and other information shows up if you put the address into Google maps. Tom Bako succeeded in getting Google to understand that 502 Ford Street is now St John the Baptist rather than Our Lady of Mount Carmel. And Chelsea Nunziato has gotten the St John the Baptist Facebook page going. She has also volunteered to look after the sign on the front of the church. This now has our weekday Mass times, confessions, and Bible Study listed.
The third greatest feast of the Church’s year, Pentecost, comes on May 15th this year. It marks the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples in Jerusalem, and thus the beginning of the Church. Liturgically, it is also the end of Paschaltide. We expect to receive Steven and Dawn Lybrand into the Communion of the Church on Pentecost. As usual, the Sunday Mass is at 10.
We will observe the Solemnity of Christ’s Body and Blood, Corpus Christi, on Thursday, May 26th, in accordance with the Ordinariate Missal. (The Latin Rite in America generally transfers it to the following Sunday.) There will be a Sung Mass at 6:30.
We ended our recent Rogation procession at the outdoor grotto in front of the school with the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The grotto and statue are soon to be moved to Sacred Heart. As you know, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish merged with Sacred Heart (and with St Augustine’s) to from the current Sacred Heart parish. As a tangible and substantive sign of Mount Carmel’s part in the merged parish, the grotto and statue are to be disassembled and moved to Sacred Heart. The work is to begin later in May, so that it may be completed before the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th. We have begun thinking about what we should put in that space, but have no definitive plans as yet. Suggestions welcome.
The choir’s last Sunday with us is May 29th before they break for the summer. We owe the choir a considerable debt of thanks for their successful efforts to enhance our worship week by week. The music is an offering to the glory of God. While its primary purpose is to glorify Him, it also raises our hearts to God, and is effective in exciting greater devotion in the faithful. We are fortunate to be able to manifest this splendid part of the Anglican Patrimony, especially for those who have never experienced it.
May 30th is Memorial Day. There will be a Requiem for our country’s war dead at 10 a.m.
I have extended the Sunday morning confessions time from 9 to 9:45. This is in part to provide for other Catholics in Bridgeport. When the choir is practicing on Sunday morning, confessions are heard in the lower church. During the summer when the choir is off, we’ll use the confessional at the back of the upper church.
You may have noticed that we remember at the altar the faithful departed from the parish annually at the anniversary of death. I have a fairly complete list from St Michael’s, and very incomplete list from St James the Less, and none from Good Shepherd or Newman. If you can help with these significant gaps, please supply me with names and dates so I can add them to the chantry list. Thanks.
Special thanks goes to those who made the outdoor work day so productive. Much weeding and mulching was accomplished; pruning; removal of several bushes with the digging out of the stumps.
Fr David Ousley