St. Peter’s Will Host A Deacon For The Summer

This article originally appeared in the parish bulletin on May 26, 2013

I have terrific news! The Saint Paul Seminary has asked St. Peter’s to host one of the transitional deacons this summer. Deacon Kavuma PicTwo weeks ago I was able tell you that much, but now I can introduce the Rev. Mr. Joseph Kavuma, who is studying in St. Paul and who will be ordained to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Kampala in Uganda. It is a wonderful coincidence that the seminary staff assigned him to our parish without knowing that St. Peter’s has a connection to a parish in another part of Uganda. Deacon Joseph attended college seminary in his own country, and has already been at the Saint Paul Seminary for three academic years. On May 4 he was ordained to the diaconate, and he will serve our parish as a deacon from June 4 through August 15 while continuing to live in the seminary residence, which is about 15 minutes away.

You will have a chance to meet Deacon Joseph personally once he arrives, and you will see him whenever you come to Mass. He will always assist liturgically as deacon, and will preach every other Sunday and on two weekdays each week. I am sure that Deacon Joseph will happily accept invitations to the homes of St. Peter’s parishioners if you would be kind enough to invite him. Please do keep that in mind as we welcome him to our parish.


 

This month I passed the 20-year mark since my graduation from the University of Notre Dame. I haven’t been back to my alma mater since my 10-year reunion, so I really want to go back now. The reunion is next weekend, so I will miss the Sunday Masses here on June 2 and its vigil. In fact, I am going to extend my trip by a day and so I will be away from Friday, May 31 until late on Monday, June 3. I hope I remember my way around campus!

Next Sunday (when I will be in Indiana) is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, a feast often called Corpus Christi.  It is an important day for Catholics, as we celebrate in a heightened way the wonder of the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Jesus.  One way in which we do that is through Eucharistic processions. Every year since 1997, a procession has been held in either St. Paul or Minneapolis.  This year on Corpus Christi the procession will begin at the Little Sisters of the Poor Holy Family Residence at 330 South Exchange Street and will go up the hill to the Cathedral of St. Paul.  The procession will begin at 2:00, and at the conclusion of the procession, a special Holy Hour in honor of the Year of Faith will take place in the Cathedral, a Holy Hour called for by the Holy See as a way to commemorate this great Year of Faith. You are warmly invited to attend!  To walk behind the Eucharist carried in procession is to give expression to our love for God.  It is an act of exuberance for our faith, and we can all use opportunities to show a little of that, especially on Corpus Christi.


We have come to Memorial Day weekend.  Many of us associate Memorial Day with the beginning of summer – a happy time that might well lead people to forget the reason for its existence.  It is a day for honoring people who have died.  But whom do we honor?  Which people who have died?  All Souls Day on November 2 is a day of prayer for all the dead.  I once thought Memorial Day was pretty much the same. While it certainly is a good thing to remember all who have died, that is not the purpose of Memorial Day.

This is what the website (http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp) of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs says about Memorial Day:

“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. … It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day.”

It was then moved, as you might know, to the last Monday in May.  So on that day we honor those who died serving the country.

I would like to invite you, if you will be in town, to come to morning Mass in the Historic church at 10:00 on Memorial Day. It will feature music – both sung acclamations and the songs you might expect on a national holiday. Later we can meet at the parish cemetery between 11:00 and noon and be ready to welcome the VFW honor guard who will be arriving at our cemetery after having led the honors at several others that morning. It only lasts a few minutes. I hope you will find some way to keep the meaning in this particular national holiday, and I wish you a happy Memorial Day!


 

As this bulletin goes to print we are still uncertain about how many people were killed in Monday’s tornado near Oklahoma City. Please do pray for the souls of those who died so unexpectedly, and for all of those whose lives have been changed by the violence of that storm.

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