Monthly Archives: May 2015

Eucharistic Procession in honor of the Solemnity of the Body & Blood of Christ: June 7, 2015

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“We bring Christ, present under the sign of bread, onto the streets of our city. We entrust these streets, these homes, our daily life, to his goodness. May our streets be streets of Jesus! May our homes be homes of him and with him! May our life of every day be penetrated by his presence.” – Pope Benedict XVI Corpus Christi 2005

What is a Eucharistic Procession?
It is a liturgical procession of the Church by which we take our Lord’s Body and Blood truly present in the Blessed Sacrament and place it in a monstrance (a special gold holder that displays the Blessed Sacrament) and carry it into the streets of the city, as a sign of our belief in the Eucharist. In the tradition of the Church, a Eucharistic Procession is recommended by the Church’s liturgical law for the feast day of the Body and Blood of Christ or Corpus Christi. Most may be familiar with another form of the Eucharistic Procession at the Holy Thursday Mass when we transfer the Blessed Sacrament to special place as a symbol of Christ leaving the room of the Last Supper to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane with the Apostles.

What is the significance of a Eucharistic Procession?
In the Eucharistic Procession, the movement by the people symbolizes our entire lives and our destiny, which is to be a movement towards eternal union with God. Therefore, the procession is an image of our pilgrimage to God.

What will we do in a Eucharistic Procession?
In a procession, as in life, everyone has their particular roles to play. The priest, being the representative of Jesus, will carry the Blessed Sacrament. A special canopy is held above the Blessed Sacrament during the procession. This canopy is symbolic of the Holy Spirit who hovered above Christ at His Baptism in the Jordan. And it also symbolizes that the True Presence of Christ is travelling with us. In the Old Testament, a cloud would settle above the Ark of the Covenant to indicate that God was dwelling with His people. The canopy is like the cloud. Altar servers will lead the procession with the customary processional cross and candles. An altar server with burning censer will incense the Blessed Sacrament all throughout the procession as a sign of our worship. Additional altar servers will accompany the Blessed Sacrament with lighted candles and ringing bells as during the consecration to draw attention to the Eucharist. The parish community will join in singing the praises of our Eucharistic Lord during the procession led by a choir. At the conclusion of the procession, the Rite of Eucharistic Benediction will be celebrated back in the church.

What is the Rite of Eucharistic Benediction or simply Benediction?
The word “benediction” simply means blessing. In the Rite of Eucharistic Benediction the priest blesses all the people with the Blessed Sacrament. He wears a humeral veil over his shoulders to cover his hands as a sign that this blessing does not come from him, but comes directly from the Lord who is present in the Eucharist.

When is the Eucharistic Procession?
The Eucharistic Procession will be on Sunday, June 7, beginning in the church immediately following the 10 a.m. Mass we will process outside for the procession.

Who should attend?
ALL CATHOLICS: young and old who wish to witness to our Eucharistic faith should plan to participate in this procession! Invite friends and family to join us even if they are not parishioners of our church. Make this a family event. What better way could you spend a Sunday morning, which is the Lord’s day, than for your family to pray together and then “take a walk” with the Lord in this Eucharistic Procession? Recall that Sundays still belong to the Lord and we need to witness to that fact.

What if I can’t walk that far?
For those who are not capable of walking are invited to remain in the Church and pray. When the procession returns, the Rite of Benediction will be celebrated.

What about after the Eucharistic Procession?
A light cover dish dinner will be held in Neglia Hall for all who participate in the Eucharistic Procession. You are invited to bring a dish to share. You may drop it off in Neglia Hall prior to Mass. This is a time for our parish family to gather together to extend the celebration of our Eucharistic faith from the church into our “regular” lives. Please plan to stay to enjoy each other’s company!

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Pentecost Sunday: May 24th: Draw strength from the gifts of the Holy Spirit

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Everyone who has been confirmed has received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Too often these gifts lie dormant. Can we even imagine what the world would look like if we shook off our stupor and awoke to the reality of these gifts? Take a moment to reflect on each of them. Every one of us, at some time or another, needs to put into practice one of these gifts.

When faced with a difficult decision, draw strength from the gifts of wisdom, understanding, and counsel.
When striving to overcome addictive behavior or when working through a difficult marriage issue, draw strength from the gift of fortitude.
When asked about your faith, don’t be afraid to turn to the Spirit’s gift of knowledge.
Draw strength from the gifts of piety and fear of the Lord as you nurture your faith life through prayer.

Pentecost gives us the opportunity to recognize the fact that God has generously poured forth the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Let’s not forget the tremendous potential of the gifts of God’s Spirit. Pentecost is our BIRTHDAY! So let’s use the “gifts” that the Spirit has given us.

 

Faith and Fellowship for the whole family

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On May 28th, join us for the Kick OFF Celebration of our new ministry!

Saint Peter’s is launching a new ministry for families with young children. Our goal is to provide a platform that encourages spiritual, social, and marital growth for spouses and their children under our pastor’s leadership.
We want to encourage couple and family friendships that will strengthen the faith of our parishioner’s as we grow all in knowledge. We also wish to be sources of mutual
encouragement as, together, we raise these blessings we call children to know the Lord.

If you have children living at home of any age, we welcome you to join us for a fun social hour to determine if this ministry is one you can benefit from or contribute to.
We will meet once or twice a month at the Church and in our homes as well as gather for occasional community service projects to get ourselves and our children involved in giving
back to our church and community.

Come to Neglia Hall at 6 p.m. for a pot luck dinner!
SEE YOU THERE!

Children are welcome or Child care will be available

For Questions Contact:
Artie & Malorie White
804-414-8001
malrw1221@gmail.com

Chris & Angela
Ascherman
256-541-1967
a.ascherman@gmail.com

May Crowning

On Monday May 4th, Saint Peter’s Catholic school hosted their traditional May Crowning and international rosary.  May is the month of Mary and the school honors Our Blessed Mother each year especially by offering flowers and prayers.  Parishioners, Alumni, and parents joined in for this beautiful event.

 
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Father Renaurd West: New Parochial Vicar for St. Peter’s!

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I’m thrilled to tell you that His Excellency, the Most Reverend Robert Guglielmone, Thirteenth Bishop of Charleston has announced that Father Renaurd West (currently Parochial Vicar at Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Bluffton) will be assigned to Saint Peter’s effective June 8th. He will be our first Parochial Vicar in over 15 years.

Father West, a priest of the Diocese of Charleston and a native son of South Carolina was ordained only two years ago and is a young 30 years old. With faith in you and awareness of our growing vitality, I asked the Bishop several months ago to consider sending more help. I believe the assignment of Father West is a strong indication of the Bishop’s recognition of the many good things happening here and reflect his desire that we continue to strengthen and extend our historic ministry in this, the mother church of the midlands.

Now, having an additional priest does not come free. It will actually increase our expenses by about 6% per year. But I believe the blessings of his youthful enthusiasm and many gifts are well worth it! Hence, I ask you to prayerfully consider increasing your giving accordingly. For together, we can and will do great things for God!

In Christ’s Love,

The Very Rev’d Canon Gary S. Linsky, V.F., Pastor

Hoy, me complace mucho informarles que el Excelentisimo Robert Guglielmone, Obispo de Charleston, ha anunciado que el Padre Renaurd West, actual vicario parroquial de la iglesia San Gregorio el Grande en Bluffton, ha sido asignado a St. Peter’s a partir del 8 de junio. El sera nuestro primer vicario parroquial en 15 anos.

El Padre West, sacerdote de la diocesis de Charleston y nativo de Carolina del Sur, fue ordenado hace solo dos anos y tienes 30 anos de edad. Con fe en ustedes y consciente de nuestra vitalidad, yo le habia pedido al Senor Obispo hace unos meses por mas ayuda. Creo que el nombramiento del padre West es una fuerte indicacion de que el Obispo reconoce todas las buenas cosas que se estamos haciendo aqui, y refleja su deseo de que continuemos fortaleciendonos y expandiendo nuestro historico ministerio en la Iglesia madre de Midlands.

Claro, tener un sacerdote adicional no viene gratis. Esto incrementara nuestros gastos un seis por ciento al ano. Pero yo creo que con las bendiciones de su entusiasmo y sus muchos dones, vale la pena. Por lo tanto, les pido que consideren en oracion un incremento en su ofrenda. Porque juntos, todos podemos hacer grandes cosas por Dios.

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B, April 19, 2015

This homily is from two weeks ago, especially requested by parishioners because it touched something in them.  We will have this week’s homily up in recorded form as soon as it becomes available.

Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B, April 19, 2015
By the Very Reverend Canon Gary S. Linsky, V.F.
Pastor of Saint Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Columbia, South Carolina

 

This week I had lunch following daily Mass with a non-Catholic.  The woman asked me many questions about our Catholic faith.  One question was especially interesting given what we hear in our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles.  You see she was originally Jewish and although now a Christian, wondered how the Jews could remain God’s chosen people after they had been guilty of crucifying Christ.

We might wonder about that, too, as we hear the Apostle Peter, several times, mention the Jews common guilt in our Lord’s crucifixion in these words:

“…the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death…”

This idea of common guilt is not uncommon throughout history especially when religion is considered.  We might recall Jonah’s appeal to the Ninevites to repent.  In the not too distant past, common guilt was attributed to Germans following the Holocaust, Cambodians following its internal genocide near the end of the 1970s, and in 1994, the genocide of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda.
Currently, various news outlets are reporting a massive up-tick in anti-Semitism.  Attacks have become especially virulent in France and in other parts of Europe causing many Jews to consider immigrating to Israel.  Attacks on Christians in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Libya and Egypt have sadly become the norm.  Indeed only on Friday reports surfaced of Christians having been thrown overboard by Moslems sharing a boat traveling from Libya to Italy because they would not deny their faith in Christ.  Such attacks in virtue of the faith have become common and led our Holy Father to denounce the absence of a fair, active response by western governments to address this growing evil.

If that’s not enough, the President and Prime Minister of Turkey attacked the Holy Father and the European Union for labelling the mass extermination of nearly 1.5 million Christian Armenians in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire as genocide.  And the Middle East is awash in a titanic clash between Sunni and Shia Muslims, with a virtual proxy war between them being played out in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon at the behest of Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Sin has been held in common by man since God evicted Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.  King David tells us he was conceived in sin…..a condition we all share and, Saint Paul, in the letter to the Romans reminds us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!”

Given all of this, should we hold the Jewish people corporately guilty for the murder of Christ?  Saint Peter gives us some insight.  While the Apostle indicates the common guilt of the Jews for rejecting the Messiah, he points out that they acted out of ignorance.  This is important because as Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, that great Catholic Moral Theologian teaches, knowledge that something is gravely immoral is necessary for someone to be guilty of committing a mortal sin.  And further, Saint Peter concludes with a remedy for this fault saying, “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”
Saint Peter also states “God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets that his Christ would suffer.” In essence, the Apostle is saying God took the evil of Christ’s suffering and death and turned it into the definitive victory over evil, suffering and death. When Saint Peter states: “God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses,” he was invariably thinking of those times, as we heard in today’s Gospel, when Jesus appeared to them, letting them see and touch his wounds, proving that he was no ghost or illusion stemming from wishful thinking.
Christ’s resurrection has made all the difference.  It dissolved the bonds of original sin and opened the door to a new life, a life in which each of us can truly leave behind the chains of sin and selfishness in all their forms.  The Resurrection opens the treasure of hope for each of us, no matter how mediocre, hypocritical, or self-absorbed we have been and tend to be.  The Resurrection puts all good things within reach: wisdom, patience, joy, fortitude, self-control – in short, it makes holiness and lasting happiness possible for us.

In this day, we tend to be afraid of groups of people who are different from us.  We might label all the homeless as dangerous or blame all the followers of Islam for the actions of a small minority.  As the Good News challenges us not to blame the Jews for Christ’s Passion and Death, we must restrain ourselves from ascribing corporate guilt in a manner that blocks us from seeing the good in our brothers and sisters.
The Good News for every person who chooses to believe is that the Resurrection of Jesus is stronger than our sin and has power over death.  This is what Saint Peter is telling the crowds, what the Church is telling the world and what the Holy Father desires for the upcoming Jubilee year of Mercy to achieve!  May Christ help us to share his love, a love that is devoid of prejudice, to all peoples in need!