Chair of St. Peter – February 22nd

This feast commemorates Christ’s choosing Peter to sit in his place as the servant-authority of the whole Church. After the “lost weekend” of pain, doubt, and self-torment, Peter hears the Good News. Angels at the tomb say to Magdalene, “The Lord has risen! Go, tell his disciples and Peter.” John relates that when he and Peter ran to the tomb, the younger outraced the older, then waited for him. Peter entered, saw the wrappings on the ground, the headpiece rolled up in a place by itself. John saw and believed. The Pentecost event completed Peter’s experience of the risen Christ. Only then can Peter fulfill the task Jesus had given him. He at once becomes the spokesman for the Twelve about their experience of the Holy Spirit—before the civil authorities who wished to quash their preaching, before the Council of Jerusalem, for the community in the problem of Ananias and Sapphira. He is the first to preach the Good News to the Gentiles. The healing power of Jesus in him is well attested: the raising of Tabitha from the dead, the cure of the crippled beggar. People carry the sick into the streets so that when Peter passed his shadow might fall on them. At the end of John’s Gospel, Jesus says to Peter, …when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go”. What Jesus said indicated the sort of death by which Peter was to glorify God. On Vatican Hill, in Rome, during the reign of Nero, Peter did glorify his Lord with a martyr’s death. Second-century Christians built a small memorial over his burial spot. In the fourth century, the Emperor Constantine built a basilica, which was replaced in the 16th century.

From the Pastor – February 19, 2017

frmnicks_mug_smallLast week we saw, yet again, what might be a surprising teaching for many regarding participation for the faithful in the Mass. The Second Vatican Council insists that a principle way of encouraging participation is by ensuring that the faithful are able to say and sing their parts in Latin. This allows for a degree of unity amongst people of every place and time.

This week we encounter a couple of different ideas in paragraph 55 of the document, both of which are symbolic in nature. First we read this short line: “That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest’s communion, receive the Lord’s body from the same sacrifice, is strongly commended.” Here we encounter the Church’s preference that the faithful receive from the Eucharist that was consecrated in the Mass which they are attending, as opposed to the Eucharist from the tabernacle. The Church sees a greater symbolic value in this, though it becomes more or less realistic depending on the size of the congregation, the frequency of the Mass, and other considerations.

The second and larger part of paragraph 55 has to do with receiving communion under both ‘species’ or kinds. “The dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council of Trent remaining intact, communion under both kinds may be granted when the bishops think fit, not only to clerics and religious, but also to the laity, in cases to be determined by the Apostolic See, as, for instance, to the newly ordained in the Mass of their sacred ordination, to the newly professed in the Mass of their religious profession, and to the newly baptized in the Mass which follows their baptism.”

The reference to the Council of Trent has to do with the fact that, whether we receive just the chalice or just the host, we receive Jesus Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, completely in either one. Someone who receives just under the appearance of bread receives Christ just as fully as someone who receives under the appearance of both bread and wine. The Church encouraged the practice of using both species with more frequency only for its symbolic value (i.e. it was what happened at the Last Supper).

It is interesting to note that this document does not give permission to use both forms of communion at Sunday Mass (or daily Mass for that matter). What began at Vatican II, however, was broadened in subsequent documents. That being said, giving communion under both species is still considered to be exceptional and not preferred at Sunday Mass; in many place in the world, this is not done. For example, communion under both species is never offered by Pope Francis when he celebrates Mass.

The reason why communion under both species is not recommended for all Masses is twofold. First, it is a practical consideration. The Most Precious Blood is more likely to be spilled, harder to clean, more likely to be an occasion for sharing germs, and requires many more people to distribute. Second, the Church is always concerned that people may fall into the error of thinking that one has not fully received Jesus if he or she has only received Him under the appearance of bread. This occurred in a previous assignment when there was insufficient Precious Blood for everyone at a particular Mass. A man was very upset and said, “because there was not enough Precious Blood, I have not fully received Jesus.” He would not be convinced otherwise. For both these reasons, the Church is hesitant to have communion under both species at every celebration of the Mass.

Next week we will se how Vatican II emphasizes the dual importance of both the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Word.

In Christ,
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Fr. Nicks

Carta del Parroco – 19 de Febrero 2017

frmnicks_mug_smallHoy cambiamos ligeramente mientras nos movemos al capitulo 11 del Sacrosanctum Concillium el cual se enfoca completamente en la Eucaristia. Sin embargo, aqui vemos, otra vez, conceptos previos presentados por el Concilio los cuales se mantienen unidos con cierta tension. En los párrafos 48 y 50 escuchamos el repetido énfasis que la Misa sea accesible al pueblo de Dios: “por medio de un buen entendimiento de los ritos y oraciones ellos {el pueblo de Dios} deben de tomar parte en la acción sagrada conscientes de lo que están haciendo.” Y todavia en el párrafo 54, vemos la presunción que la mayoria de la liturgia podria ser celebrada en Latin: “en las Misas que son celebradas con la gente, un lugar adecuado puede ser designado para su lengua materna.” Y todavia insiste que, aunque la lengua materna sea usada regularmente, “se deben tomar algunos pasos para que los fieles puedan decir o cantar juntos en Latin esas partes Ordinarias de la Misa que les pertenecen a ellos.”

Como se puede estar activos y conscientes reconciliados con la liturgia con esta insistencia tenaz de usar el Latin? La única manera de reconciliar estos dos conceptos es de entender claramente lo que el Vaticano II quiere decir cuando llama a la participación de los fieles. La participación no consiste en entender cada palabra perfectamente, sino en entender el misterio de lo que está pasando. Entendiendo lo que está ocurriendo, el pueblo de Dios puede formarse una disposición interior por la cual ellos ofrecen, en union con la Eucaristia, sus propias vidas. Podemos entender esta participación por analogia. Considere el Rosario por ejemplo. Aunque uno pueda decir las oraciones con sus labios, el Padre Nuestro y el Ave Maria, las palabras no son el enfoque, y hasta se pueden olvidar.

Toda la atención de uno y el enfoque está en el misterio de la vida de Jesús. Otro ejemplo podria ser el de la opera. Seguido la gente escucha opera en lenguages queno le son familiares. Ellos disfrutan de la música, no porque entiendan cada palabra, sino porque están familiarizados con el significado de la opera de antemano. O otra vez, podemos considerar algo como el balet, que no usa palabras, pero en el cual la gente puede entrar y entender lo que está siendo comunicado—forma, belleza, y hasta una historia. Yo mismo experimenté esto recientemente en una Presentación local de balet de Blanca Nieves. Finalmente, aún dada la situación en la cual las palabras son completamente entendibles y accesibles para todos los que la escuchan, en esto cae otro peligro. Le da a la gente una falsa impresión que ellos lo entienden completamente, no solamente las palabras, sino el misterio que las palabras describen. Y eso no es posible.

El misterio que celebramos en la Misa es Dios mismo y su actividad en nuestras vidaAs. Siempre será misterioso y nunca se puede percibir plenamente. Entonces, el uso del language con el cual estamos familiariza dos puede tener una consecuencia involuntary de dirigir a la gente a un entendimiento defectuoso de la Misa misma. Entonces encontramos, en la enseñanza explicita del Vaticano II, una tension: un reconocimiento que la lengua materna puede ayudar, pero también, que no debe obscurecer el misterio natural de la Misa—que el Español puede ayudar con la participación de individuos, pero el Latin no hace daño a la participación, si la participación se entiende correctamente—que el language único de cada persona debe encontrar expression en la liturgia, pero la lengua universal de la Iglesia debe ser usada como una fuente de unidad ambas en todas las naciones, y a través del tiempo. En esta tension encontramos un principio fundamental en el trabajo—la universalidad de la Iglesia. La Iglesia no se acerca a las cosas con un ya sea/o mentalidad, sino con un ambos/y enfoque. Y encontramos una variedad de expresiones religiosas, lenguages, costumbres y prácticas abrazados dentro de la liturgia—dentro de nuestra celebració de la Misa.

En Cristo,

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Padre Nicks

In Remembrance of Our Faithful Departed

Please remember the soul of Doug Magnaghi, who recently passed away, in your prayers.

“Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.”

Our love and prayers go out to the Magnaghi and Lesko families.

FORMED: Revelation

What is the book of Revelation about? End-times? Did you know the Book of Revelation is in two parts? The first part is like the liturgy of the word, and the 2nd part is like the liturgy of the Eucharist. The key to understanding the book of Revelation…is the Mass. Find out more at FORMED. Click on audio, find The Lamb’s Supper, and…become informed. Our parish code is CE6DCX.

Young Adult Ministry (YAM)

yamYoung Adult Ministry (YAM) is a group of Catholic young adults, (18-30s) from the Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater area. Join us as we strive to live fully alive through encounter with Christ!

*Monday Nights: from 7:30 to 9:00pm

Please come to these upcoming YAM events!

February 20 Scripture Night @ Martha & Mollie’s house
Bible study- Bring your bible & notebooks!

February 27 Prayer Night @ St. Francis, Walla Walla
Rosary with Petitions, Applebee’s to follow

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Like us on Facebook! (YAM of Walla-Milton)
More info: YAMofWallaMilton@gmail.com

Following Christ


Tonight’s Topic:
The Spirit-Empowered Life

There is a deep desire within all of us to become noble and virtuous – it is a God-given desire. This is the purpose of the Holy Spirit – God within us. He just needs our permission.

Childcare available at no charge. Donations are welcome to offset the cost. Bring children to Assumption School gym.

Upcoming School Events

Kindergarten Information Night: Monday, February 27th at 6:30pm at Assumption School gym. Please call the Assumption office at 525-9283 if you are interested in learning more about an Education for Life.

Assumption Book Fair: February 28th-March 5th. Please plan to stop by the Assumption Gym during our Book Fair to add to your library and support our library!

Building Bridges

The week of February 20-24 is Engineers Week culminating in students participating in the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Model Bridge Strength Competition at DeSales on February 24th at 8:00 AM. The purpose of this competition is to promote interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in a fun and competitive setting. Teams of 2-4 students will construct bridges prior to the competition, then compete on Friday.

Catholic Social Concerns Ministry


US Conference of Bishops:
This spring the Conference is focusing on three important issues: 1. Improving Health & Health Care 2. Standing in Solidarity with Refugees 3. Poverty-Reducing International Assistance. Catholics across the nation will be approaching their Congressional Representatives in their own districts to advocate for these issues this April, date not yet determined. If you would like to participate, contact Scott Cooper of Catholic Charities, scooper@ccspokane.org

Pope Francis on health care: “ Health is not a consumer good but a universal right, so access to health care cannot be a privilege.” Catholic News Service, 5/8/16

On immigrants: “Each person is precious; persons are more important than things, and the worth of an institution is measured by the way it treats the life and dignity of human beings, particularly when they are vulnerable,as in the case of child migrants…We need to work towards protection,integration, and long term solutions.” Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2017

Diocese of Spokane, Immigration & Refugee Legal Services: “We believe in the dignity & rights of all people. Our primary goals are to promote the reunification of families & to assist the integration of newcomers successfully into our community.” Call 509-455-4961 to make an appointment. At this time those wishing to meet with Diocesan immigration lawyers will need to go to Spokane or Pasco.

Guatemala Mission: Please remember to contribute to the life changing programs of the Diocesan Guatemala Mission. St. Patrick’s & St. Francis are especially focused on supporting Our Lady of the Highways Preschool, religious education, and the radio station which helps family members & friends stay in touch over the miles and provides news of important community issues. St. Patrick’s parishioners recently received a special Guatemala envelope. But you may also write a check to your parish designating Guatemala Mission.

Homeless Tent Camp: Walla Walla City Council recently voted to continue support of the homeless tent camp behind Borleske Stadium on a long term basis. What a blessing for folks waiting for more permanent housing to have a place to stay! Hopefully it will be possible to provide shelter sturdier than tents, though portable, for next winter. The WW Alliance for the Homeless will continue to support the camp. Cash donations, LED lanterns, large tarps, propane tanks & bottles, gas for the generator, fire wood, are most welcome. Please send cash donations to WW Alliance for the Homeless, PO Box 3431, Walla Walla, WA. Needed items may be taken to the camp from noon-5 pm, M-F. Thank you for your support!

Claude de la Colombière – February 15th

Claude de la Colombière promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus along with his friend and spiritual companion, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. The emphasis on God’s love for all was an antidote to the heresy of the Jansenists, who were prevalent at the time.

Claude showed remarkable preaching skills long before his ordination in 1675. Two months later, he was made superior of a small Jesuit residence in Burgundy. It was there he first encountered Margaret Mary Alacoque. For many years after he served as her confessor. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1992.

Prayer of Saint Claude de la Colombiere
Lord, I am in this world to show Your mercy to others. Other people will glorify You by making visible the power of Your grace by their fidelity and constancy to You. For my part I will glorify You by making known how good You are to sinners, that Your mercy is boundless and that no sinner no matter how great his offences should have reason to despair of pardon. If I have grievously offended You, My Redeemer, let me not offend You even more by thinking that You are not kind enough to pardon Me. Amen.

Reminder: Tri-Parish Women’s Valentine Luncheon

The Tri-Parish Women’s Valentine Luncheon is Tuesday, February 14th 11:30am-1pm at St Francis Parish Hall.
All women in our Tri-Parish Community
(Assumption, St. Francis & St Patrick) are invited!
Hosted by: St. Ann’s Altar society of St. Francis Parish
For questions call: Marguerite at 525-1112 or Kathy at 529-1020.