Guest column from Fr. Joshua Allen (Interim Administrator):
Come, Holy Spirit!
Today, we end a glorious Easter Season. After today’s Masses, we put away the Paschal Candle, and after a few more special Masses, it’s back to the reen…the ordinary season of grace in the Church. But first, Pentecost, the coming if the Holy Spirit. Then Trinity Sunday, the celebration of the central mystery of the faith. And then finally, the solemnity of Corpus Christi—the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Why does the Church make such a big deal about Pentecost? Pentecost is about the coming of the Holy Spirit—the very Spirit of Jesus Christ—into the world. Jesus taught the disciples many things, but he knew they would not understand until the Spirit filled their souls and opened their hearts to the fullness of the truth. We ask for that same outpouring today: that each of us can be filled with the Spirit of Truth, so that we might know the will of God in our lives and do it joyfully.
Next weekend (May 26) we celebrate Trinity Sunday. Once the Holy Spirit has come into the world, the full revelation of the Trinity is complete. Jesus spoke of the Father and promised the Spirit. To commemorate the fullness of revelation, we celebrate the central mystery of the faith—the Holy Trinity—with a special Mass.
And then the following week we have the feast of Corpus Christi. Once the Church has received the Spirit and meditates on the Trinity, we take a special moment to ponder the mystery of the Eucharist—the enduring presence of Christ in the world. Corpus Christi weekend is also the weekend of the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress. Events will be held on Friday night May 31 and all day Saturday, June 1. Check the bulletin for details.
This year, for Corpus Christi, we are going to try something new at Saint Brigid. We’re planning, weather permitting, a Eucharistic procession. Some of you may remember processions with the Holy Eucharist from your childhood. It’s truly a wonderful event…and I hope all of you can attend. We especially invite all of our First Communicants this year to come dressed in their First Communion dresses and suits. They can walk in a special place, right behind Jesus.
Why processions? What’s that all about, anyway?
A procession is a powerful symbol. As we follow the Eucharist exposed in the monstrance, we are forming an image of the pilgrim Church—following our Lord to the Promised Land. When we process behind Jesus, we are showing to ourselves, our fellow Catholics, and even to the folks driving by, that we are people oriented fundamentally to Christ, to holiness, and that we are walking in the way of our Lord Jesus. The procession is a symbol of the Christian life and the life of the Church: Christ as the head, followed by his body.
Our plan is to begin the procession at the conclusion of the 7:30 AM Mass on June 2nd… about 8:20 AM. We will then process out of our entrance to Old Alabama and around to our second entrance (I wanted the new entrance, but God won’t give us enough days without rain!). We then conclude with Benediction on our steps, and then folks can head home or into the 9:00 AM Mass. The Saint Brigid Choir will be providing music along the way. The 4th Degree Knights of Columbus will be there. I’d love to have a thousand people!
There is another advantage to the procession: to be a strong Catholic witness. People on Old Alabama are going to wonder what in the world we are doing. And you know what? Some of them will ask. That will present an opportunity to evangelize and to share some of the richness of our faith…something we need to be doing frequently.
And finally, don’t forget: next Saturday is Brian Baker’s Diaconate Ordination. Brian has been a seminarian for six years in preparation for this wonderful moment. He is planning to unlock all of the untold mysteries of the Holy Trinity in his first Homily. My first Mass as a priest was on Trinity Sunday, so it will be doubly special for me. I encourage you to attend the 10:45 Mass and witness his service at the altar for the first time as an ordained cleric.
God Bless you and your families in this season of grace!