Monthly Archives: February 2016

Period of Purification and Enlightenment and the Scrutinies


Individuals who have been in preparation and have asked to come into the Catholic Church have entered into the Period of Purification and Enlightenment. This period customarily coincides with Lent. In the liturgy and the catechesis sessions the reminder of baptism already received or the preparation for its reception, as well as the theme of repentance, renew the entire community along with those being prepared to celebrate the paschal mystery, in which each of the elect (individuals not baptized) will share through the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil.

This is a period of more intense spiritual preparation, consisting more in interior reflection than in instruction, and is intended to purify the minds and hearts of the elect as they search their own consciences and do penance. This period is intended as well to enlighten the minds and hearts of the elect and those already baptized who are asking for full initiation into the faith through the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, with a deeper knowledge of Christ the Savior. The celebration of certain rites, particularly the scrutinies and the presentations brings about this process of purification and enlightenment and extends it over the course of the entire Lenten season.
The scrutinies, which are solemnly celebrated on Sundays, are rites for self-searching and repentance and have a spiritual purpose. The scrutinies are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good. The scrutinies are celebrated in order to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan; to protect them against temptation; and to give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

While rites should complete the conversion of the elect and deepen their resolve to hold fast to Christ and to carry out their decision to love God above all; they are also an opportunity for all the baptized to reflect on their commitment to serve Christ and love God above all. Three scrutinies are celebrated. First, the elect are gradually instructed about the mystery of sin, from which the whole world and every person longs to be delivered. Second, their spirit is filled with Christ the Redeemer, who is the living water, the light of the world, and the resurrection and the life. From the first to the final scrutiny the elect will progress in their perception of sin and their desire for salvation.

On February 28 at the 11 a.m. Mass we will celebrate the First Scrutiny. Please keep our Elect and Candidates for full Communion in your prayers throughout this Lenten season.

An Update from Father Linsky



An Update From Father Linsky:

It’s been quite a ride! Last Saturday I wrote to tell you of my accident as a pedestrian crossing the street in front of the Church the day before Ash Wednesday. On this first Friday of Lent, I am writing to tell you I feel as if I’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death and yet can see light emerging on the other side. Was the past week hard? As “they” say in the upper Midwest, you betchya! I don’t think there was any real clarityas to what the orthopedic doctors had to deal with until they opened me up on the operating table this past Tuesday at Providence Northeast. On Wednesday, Dr. O’Leary told me, “your shoulder wasn’t just fractured, it was shattered!” And if a picture is worth a thousand words, seeing my right humeral head being held together by eleven or so screws and a plate brings it all together.

I’ll admit the night following surgery was the worst I remember. The pain was excruciating and unrelenting. Frankly, I’m not sure which was worse, that or how I felt when I had my kidney stone 15 months ago. Also, having a woman screaming in pain across the hall from a broken pelvis certainly didn’t make the ambiance of a hospital stay all that pleasant!

It’s amazing, though, what a good night’s sleep can do for one’s disposition and that I got on Wednesday after my discharge. For now, I’m recuperating with friends and trying to do basic exercises until officially beginning physical/occupational therapy on Monday. This will be a slow process. What I really have a hard time answering though, is that well-intentioned question everyone asks, “How are you feeling, Father?” Let’s just say I’m not “fine” yet, but hope to get closer to that state of being in a couple of weeks or at least around Easter!

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank many of you and especially our students at Saint Peter’s Parochial School and our Religious Education program for your wonderful cards. I was also touched by the many mentions of prayer I noted from people throughout the world who responded to my last update via our parish Facebook page. A student from our 6th Grade, impressed me when she wrote, “I am also praying for the person who hit you.” So often an accident can happen in the blink of an eye as mine did without any intentionality. So I ask you to pray for that man, too. I can only imagine how I would feel if I were in his circumstances. Oh, by the way, Deacon Ron was able to find the accident on our security cameras and tells me from the impact and my distance in the air, the outcome could have been far worse. God is always looking out for us!

Thank you as well for the offers of food, rides, etc. Once I go home, hopefully in next couple of days, I’ll be better able to gauge my needs and take up your offers of kindness. Until then, I pray that the Lord will bless all of us with a Holy Lent.


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


Update on Father Linsky



Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Peter’s,

By now I expect most of you have heard that I was hit by a car on Tuesday around 12:30 p.m. while crossing Assembly Street. I was on foot and the driver of the SUV was making a right on red. The impact was, to say the least, quite jarring. I was thrown to the ground in searing pain and had difficulty breathing. The driver immediately stopped his vehicle and came to my assistance, helping me move out of the road. He wanted to take me immediately to the hospital, but instead I had him drive me to the office. It was then as my adrenalin wore off and reality set in that I realized something was seriously wrong and had Lesley take me to the Providence ER.

X-Rays indicated I had fractures to my right humeral head. Having received the Anointing of the Sick from Fr. Bernard and the prayers of Sr. Nancy, Deacon Ron transported me to see Dr. James O’Leary, an orthopedic surgeon and a parishioner of Saint Peter’s. While initially optimistic a conservative approach might work, Dr. O’Leary ordered a CT scan and wrote the by now all-important prescription for pain meds.

I was so blessed that Dr. Brendan Dougherty, a parishioner of Saint Peter’s and Chief of Radiology at Moncrief Army Medical Center, personally reviewed my CT scan on Ash Wednesday. Dr. O’Leary reviewed the results and conferred with several of his colleagues and determined Thursday evening that surgery is the best way forward. Today, I went through the hoops to have an EKG and extensive blood work, and obtained the required medical clearance and will have the surgery on Tuesday.

Lent is a penitential season the Church gives us as an opportunity to slow down a bit in order to draw closer to the sufferings of Christ. I just wasn’t planning to experience those sufferings with such realism and believe me, the bruising and pain have been intense. Hopefully, armed with your prayers and my physicians’ skill, all will go well on Tuesday and I will be back in front of you after a brief convalescence.

Given the various stories going around, I thought this personal clarification might be of help. I so appreciate Fr. West and Fr. Bernard’s assistance as well as that of Deacons David, Ron and Michael. I understand our Ash Wednesday Masses were deeply spiritual. May God accompany us all on our Lenten journey and may we pray for each other on the way.

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

From the Pastor’s Desk

2015-06-23 10.09.46-2
2015-06-23 10.09.46-2Father West, Deacon Ron, and I, together with family, friends and fellow parishioners of Saint Peter’s, were blessed to be witnesses of Michael Younginers’ Diaconal Ordination on January 30. The Church was filled to overflowing as Bishop Guglielmone presided at the first Permanent Diaconal Ordination in over nine years. We were again blessed to have Deacon Michael preach at our English Masses this past Sunday, January 31, and to welcome Monsignor Lehocky who concelebrated our 11:00 AM Mass and visited with many of you at Deacon Michael’s reception. My thanks to all who brought goodies and made the day so special for our new deacon and his family!

This past Monday, in contrast, I had the sad duty and honor by virtue of my position as Vicar Forane (Dean) of the Columbia Deanery, of presiding at and preaching the Wake Service for Father Andrew Vollkommer, the pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church. The church was packed as was the Funeral on Tuesday. Father Andrew’s untimely death at the young age of 60, underscore the responsibility we all share to pray for our priests for vocations to the priesthood. Just as our Holy Father continuously asks for prayers, I , too, humbly ask that you remember both Father West and me daily, as the burdens of ministry are challenging and sometimes, overwhelming.
I also ask for your prayers for the parish of Our Lady of the Lake, for our Priests’ Personnel Committee and our Bishop as we seek to find this grieving parish a new pastor.

For the past month, we at Saint Peter’s have been blessed to have Mr. Franklyn Deese step up to serve as our interim Organist and Choirmaster. Mr. Deese has proven to be very adaptable and a blessing for us following Mr. Husey’s departure in late December. That being said, I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Andrew Kotylo who auditioned for us the weekend of January 10 and 11, has accepted our offer of employment and will officially succeed Mr. Husey in June. We are especially appreciative that Mr. Deese will see us through until Dr. Kotylo and his wife and young daughter arrive.

Lastly, it is with great sadness that I write to tell you our Parochial Vicar, Father Renuard West, will leave us on Sunday, April 23, to pursue graduate studies in Patristics in Rome. While I am thrilled for him, his departure will leave a void for us that I do not anticipate will be filled at any point in the near future. I hope, over the next few months, you will personally share your appreciation of Father West’s ministry and offer encouragement to him in his future studies.

Fraternally, Fr. Gary S. Linsky The Very Reverend Canon Gary S. Linsky Pastor