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motto and logo for Pope’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land

27 Mar

 

our andrew

Motto and logo for Pope’s pilgrimage

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS) decided on the motto and logo for the Pope’s upcoming pilgrimage to the Holy Land at the meeting of the Assembly on March 11 and 12, 2014 in Tiberias.

So that they may be one

The motto for the pilgrimage is “So that they may be one”.  The Holy Father has insisted that at the center of his pilgrimage will be the meeting with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the heads of the Churches in Jerusalem. This is to commemorate and renew the commitment to unity expressed by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople 50 years ago in Jerusalem.

This gives expression to the desire of the Lord at the Last Supper: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.  As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23).

The logo also expresses this desire for unity, representing the embrace of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew, the first two disciples called by Jesus in Galilee. Saint Peter is the patron of the Church in Rome and Saint Andrew is the patron of the Church in Constantinople.  In Jerusalem, in the Mother Church, they embrace. The two apostles are in a boat that represents the Church, whose mast is the Cross of the Lord. The sails of the boat are full of wind, the Holy Spirit, which directs the boat as it sails across the waters of this world.

The unity of Christians is a message of unity for all humanity, called to overcome the divisions of the past and march forward together towards a future of justice, peace, reconciliation, pardon and fraternal love.

This article, information about the Holy Land, and everything about the Pope’s visit to the Holy Land, 24-26 May 2014 can be found on the official web site: Pope Francis in the Holy Land 2014.

 

Have an Andrew day!

30 Nov

November 30 is the feast of St. Andrew.

I have heard someone say – Father James Martin in his “My Life with the Saints” book – that the saints are “companions” for us. But how do they become our companions?

Father Martin wonders if this might be true: that we are attracted to a particular saint for two reasons: (1) something in the saint’s life that is so similar to that same something in our own life draws us to him/her, and (2) this REALLY fascinates me, that we are drawn to a particular saint because that saint had already been praying for us long before we have paid any notice to him/her. The saint’s life itself – and, particularly, the saint’s previous, unsolicited and continuing prayers for us – draw us to pay attention to a particular saint.

Makes me wonder why I feel so attracted to St. Andrew!

Andrew’s saltire cross

30 Nov

In almost every piece of art of Andrew

as in our Andrew window

00 01 Andrew Stained Glass Szaz BEST

in our Andrew statue

00 01 Andrew Statue

and in the “heavenly” window in our choir loft

00 01 Choir Stained Glass

Andrew is pictured with an X-frame or saltire cross.

our “not enough” on the altar

28 Jul

When we put our “not enough” on the altar, we are ready for Eucharist.

On either side of the front doors of our church is an empty niche.

The earliest photos we have of the church, from 1923 when it was dedicated

and from 1948 when the school was built next door,

 do not show anything in those spaces.

Our oldest parishioners, one of whom was the last baby baptized in the old church in 1923, do not remember anything ever having been in those niches and do not remember ever hearing any conversation through the years about why there wasn’t anything in them.

If I win the lottery and could personally fund the project, I would propose to the people for their approval that there be a statue of St. Andrew in one of niches, and in the other one, a statue of a boy with four loaves and two fish. No, that is not a typo. Four loaves.

Seeing those statutes, everyone would come through those front doors, and could enter personally into the story of this weekend’s Gospel. Andrew and the boy with the loaves would lead the procession to the altar. Standing before Jesus, Andrew would speak for himself and the boy, and for all of us, “But what good are these for so many?” We would hear Andrew acknowledge that he and the boy were not up to the task of feeding the thousands. They would admit that they did not have what they needed, that they did not have enough. We would listen as Jesus calmly and reassuringly said, “What you have, give it to me.” We would watch, as he took their “not enough,” blessed it, broke it, and gave it back to them, to give to others. We would be amazed that there was more than enough!

When we come to Mass on any given Sunday, we come with our own “not enough” of some sort. We acknowledge that we are not up to some task or some situation or some personal issue. We are not strong enough. We are not smart enough or resourceful enough. We do not have enough faith, enough trust. We do not have what we need. We simply do not have enough. As we stand before Jesus with our “not enough,” he asks us to put it on the altar.

When we put our “not enough” on the altar, we are ready for Eucharist. 

Oh, yes, the boy in the statue outside with the four loaves.  Why four, when in the story he has five? Imagine the fun we would have when we bring someone to church or we meet a visitor, and point out the statue. Calling attention to the fact that there are four loaves, we would say that it helps us remember the story of the five loaves. “Why are there just four loaves?” we would inevitably be asked. 

“The fifth loaf is inside on the altar.”

“Stay with me”

15 Jan

The “Invitation to Communion” has previously been the topic of a homily in church and a post on this blog. But its beauty astounded us again today, as we heard an extraordinary scripture passage at Mass. 

“Behold, the Lamb of God.”

“What are you looking for?”

“Where do you stay?

“Come, and you will see.” 

As Jesus walks by, there is an acclamation by John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Two of John’s disciples follow Jesus.  One is Andrew. The other is not named, which leaves room for you to be the other disciple.  

There is an acclamation: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Something stirs within them. They approach Jesus. He asks them a question. They ask their own, “Where do you stay?” In response Jesus offers them an invitation – “Come …” – and gives them a promise – “… and you will see.”  And they stay with him that day.  

Acclamation, question, invitation, promise – and communion. 

At Mass we hear the acclamation, “Behold the Lamb of God.”  When you hear that, something stirs within you. As you walk up the aisle toward the altar for communion, Jesus asks you what you are looking for. You approach him with your question or your wonderment, whatever question or wonderment you have about yourself or about life. Jesus gives you an invitation, “Come. Come to me in the consecrated bread and wine.” And he makes you a promise, “You will see.” You will get an answer. It might not be clear now. It may take some time. But he does promise, “Stay with me. You will see. There will come the time when all your questions are answered, when you will wonder no more. Stay with me. You will see.” Then the most extraordinary of things happens. We receive communion, or better, we are received into communion.  

He asks us to stay with him, and he asks to stay with us. It is communion – “holy” communion.

“We are at the Sea of Galilee”

31 Dec

Father James Martin, S.J., takes us on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The title of this video on YouTube is: “Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Part 1.” That means there must be at least one more. Yes!

I can’t help myself, being pastor of St. Andrew. I must mention that “St. Peter’s house” is also “St. Andrew’s house.”

The Cure of Simon’s Mother-in-Law in Mark 1:29-31 — “On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.”

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. He is “our” Andrew, after all.

We got what it takes!

1 Dec

What does it take to begin a partnership between St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Milford and the Latin Patriarchate School in Beit Jala?

passion for learning

love of children

hope and gratitude

desire and longing

talent and faith

… and …

SASEAS principal, Tom

Beit Jala teacher, Eman          Beit Jala teacher, Waseim

… and …

the “techies” – Waseim (LPSBJ) … George (SASEAS) 

… and …

the “teachers” – Sue (America) … Eman (Palestine)

What does it take to build and continue a partnership between our SASEAS and their LPSBJ?

passion for learning

love of children

hope and gratitude

desire and longing

talent and faith

Eman … Tom … Waseim … George … Sue

We got what it takes!

the “Great Introducer” – and the “First Called”

30 Nov

Today is the feast of Saint Andrew. For us at St. Andrew this is big! On this day we remember Andrew – and Andrew remembers us.

Entrance Antiphon (Matthew 4: 18-19)

Beside the Sea of Galilee, the Lord saw two brothers, Peter and Andrew, and he said to them: Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.

Collect

We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your  church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you.  

Prayer over the Offerings

Grant us, almighty God, that through these offerings, which we bring on the feast day of Saint Andrew, we may please you by what we have brought and be given life by what you have accepted.

Communion Antiphon (John 1: 41-42)

Andrew told his brother Simon: We have found the Messiah, the Christ, and he brought him to Jesus.

Prayer after Communion  

May communion in your Sacrament strengthen us, O Lord, so that by the example of the blessed  Apostle Andrew we, who carry in our body the Death of Christ, may merit to live with him in glory.