Tag Archives: Catholic Mass

“expectant Father” Solomon

2 Apr

Deacon Suleiman ordination 07

Yes, that is genuine. He is that prayerful and sincere.

We met “Deacon” Sleiman Hassan when we came to Beit Jala to prepare to celebrate Mass in Cremisan Valley. He had packed up everything we needed for Mass, led us to the spot where he set everything up for us, explained the significance of praying in this spot where we were, assisted me at the altar for the entire Mass, packed everything up and took us back to the parish church. He won our hearts, our admiration and our affection. He is a good-looking fellow, a prayerful man, a worthy representative of our Catholic Church and an engaging spokesperson for Annunciation parish and the Palestinian people of Beit Jala.

On March 19, 2013, the feast of St. Joseph (and his birthday), he was ordained a deacon during a Mass at Annunciation Church in Beit Jala.

lying prostrate during the Litany of Saints

Deacon Suleiman ordination 01

laying on of hands by the bishop

Deacon Suleiman ordination 04

vested in the liturgical robes of the deacon

Deacon Suleiman ordination 08

under the eyes of an admiring little girl

Deacon Suleiman ordination 06

Deacon Sleiman (Solomon) will be ordained a priest on June 20, 2013 (my birthday) at his parish church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in his home village of Fuheis, Jordan.

And I will be there. I am flying to the Middle East to be among the priests who will lay hands on his head during the ordination ceremony. What a treat and an honor it will be for me!

(most) enjoyed and concerned

5 Feb

Someone asked me what I most enjoyed recently about being Catholic – and – what concerned me most about the future of the Church. This is how I responded? How would you respond?

Suhail 03 D3S_2081

Most enjoyed being Catholic? Being in the Middle East at Catholic Mass and having pilgrims tell me how much they appreciated the ritual of the Catholic Church and how comfortable they felt at Sunday Mass when the vernacular was not their own language. Because of the ritual, they could tell where they were in Mass and what was happening and was being said, even though they understood not a word of Arabic. One even noted that the priest, speaking Arabic, had the same inflection and cadence in his voice that his priest back home used when celebrating Mass in English.

Most concerned about the future? That people and priests will become more and more imbedded in opposing camps, and will fail to take the humble stance and maintain the humble attitude to listen, to learn and to realize that the church does not belong to any of them. I fear that believers will feel so strongly about what they believe that they will always see things as simple and clear, that their first thought will be to try to control and convince the others, and that thus all conversation and growth will be stifled.

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