Sunday, March 30, 2008

Divine Mercy Sunday

I went to St Bonaventure in Bloomington instead of the Cathedral for the Divine Mercy devotions. I didn't realize they had Franciscan priests there. So I wanted to check them out. But their Deacon substituted and did a nice job on the service today. There must have been upwards of 300 people there (mostly older).

The Deacon mentioned in his sermon that over 43 parishes in the Archdiocese scheduled Divine Mercy devotions yesterday or today. That's out of 220 parishes (20%), many of them small and rural. Only one parish in Minneapolis scheduled Divine Mercy devotions. Maybe there is something to what they say. Other than Holy Cross, I don't think there are many Minneapolis parishes that have perpetual adoration, either. And there are something like 35 parishes in the diocese that have it, plus maybe a dozen or more that are too small or logistically poorly designed for "perpetual" adoration.

We said the "Divine Mercy Praises." The Deacon blessed a DM image and then we all venerated it individually. Then we said the chaplet and ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and then a social hour.

Modern church structure, built in 1967. But quite large and nice. Not enough stained glass and statuary, of course. And Stations of the Cross that you can't distinguish from more than six feet away.

One adult server! How do people expect that boys will become interested in the priesthood if they don't use them at Mass and devotions in the parish, giving them important things to do?

One thing that I kind of liked. They passed around a sheet during the social hour so people could make suggestions as to how to improve the devotions next year. I like that kind of participation.

It would have been nice if they had kneelers (prie-dieux) in front of the Divine Mercy image during the veneration. Some folks (suffering from "arthur-itis") have a difficult time getting down on their knees (the easy part) and then standing up without something to grab on to.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Divine Mercy devotion service at St. Bonaventure's went well, and I'm glad to hear that.
I'm not a big fan of modern church architecture either, my favorite church in the Twin Cities is the Cathedral of St. Paul, and I also like Nativity here in St. Paul. The Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas here at UST looks nice, too, but the renovation design they did here clashes with the traditional style of the chapel, it makes me sad to see that.
I agree that encouraging boys to serve as altar servers is a good thing, but even if they never serve as altar servers, they'll still hear the call to the priesthood if they're open to it. I never served as an altar server when I was a boy, but God found a way to make himself present in my life and show me the vocation I was called to. I did, however, look up to John Paul II and Mother Teresa as role models as a teenager, and I still do now as a young man.
Please keep me in your prayers, as I am discerning whether I'm called to the Jesuits, the Holy Cross Fathers, or some other order I haven't encountered yet. I could see myself as either a Jesuit or a Holy Cross Father, so we'll just have to see where Our Lord is leading me.
I'm optimistic for the future, I think my generation will truly impact the Church for the better. Priestly and religious vocations are on the rise, and a lot of people my age are getting involved with Campus Ministry here at St. Thomas. We also have between 30 and 50 people at Daily Mass each day here in the Chapel, and the Catholic Studies Department is thriving, with 235 majors!
I think these may be signs of a revival in the Catholic Church in the United States, and I'm excited to be living in a time like this in the Church.
May God bless you abundantly in all you do, now and eternally.
In Christ,

Unknown said...

Thank you, Michael.

I will place you on my permanent prayer list and ask the Blessed Mother to place you in the enclosed garden of her Immaculate Heart and to guide and protect you with all the graces at her disposal.

And May God Bless You Always!