Friday, November 29, 2013

A Catholic Thanksgiving

Lately, I have been watching Michael Voris' Thanksgiving specials, which have focused on what Thanksgiving means for Catholics. I was shocked to learn many things that I didn't know before, so, I have taken some notes, or, more like direct quotes from Michael Voris that I would like to share with everyone.

1. For Catholics, Thanksgiving has a deep meaning, and is very different from the American meaning of Thanksgiving.

  • Catholics celebrate Thanksgiving every day of the year because Thanksgiving has more than one meaning; the popular sense, and the spiritual sense. 
  • The word Eucharist literally means 'Thanksgiving.' 
  • For Catholics, there is a spiritual warfare surrounding the deeper sense of Thanksgiving.  Long before any Pilgrims or Puritans began the custom of a Thanksgiving meal, Catholics were already far out in front by close to 1,600 years. 

2. Who was the first disciple to receive the Eucharist?

  • A: The first disciple, Mary, the Mother of God. Mary received the Eucharist before it had even been instituted. She received the Eucharist in her womb. That was 33 years before it was instituted by Christ.
So, always be thankful every time you receive Christ's precious gift to us all, his real presence in the Eucharist; instituted so that he could remain with us after his ascension into Heaven.

Thanks to Michael Voris, S.T.B., for reminding me about this precious gift we can receive every day of our lives as Catholics.

God Bless you all,


P.S. The photos reflect a little of what comes to my mind when I think of the word Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blessed Junipero Serra's 300th Birthday!!!

American Founding Father
Blessed Junipero Serra
November 24, 1713 – Petra, Majorica, Spain
August 28, 1784 -- Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in California
  • Father President of the California Mission Chain from 1768-1784
  • Celebrated more than 6,000 baptisms and 5,000 confirmations
  • Traveled thousands of miles on foot
  • Founder of nine missions in Alta California:
  1. Mission San Diego de Alcalá founded in 1769
  2. Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo founded in 1770
  3. Mission San Antonio de Padua founded in 1771
  4. Mission San Gabriel founded in 1771
  5. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa founded in 1772
  6. Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) founded in 1776
  7. Mission San Juan Capistrano founded in 1776
  8. Mission Santa Clara de Asís founded in 1777
  9. Mission San Buenaventura founded in 1782
He traveled through Santa Barbara several times, first in 1769. Although he did not found Old Mission Santa Barbara, he raised the cross at El Presidio de Santa Barbara in 1782, and celebrated Mass.

Blessed Fray Junipero Serra, Happy 300th Birthday!!!
Pray for us!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Inaugural Mass - Friday, November 15th, 2013

Friday, November 15th 2013 at 6:10pm, was a historic date and time for the city and county of St. Barbara. We, the Sodality of Garcia Diego, held our first Mass in the Casa Loyola Chapel in downtown Santa Barbara. The Mass was presided by Father Andrew B. Garcia, S.J., the Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church.

We began, singing to our God, whose help in ages past and whose hope for years to come, shepherds us in our journey. We chanted the Kyrie, Santus/Benedictus, & Agnus Dei. In between, Father Andrew gave a great homily beginning with St. Albert the Great (1193/1206 – November 15, 1280), the educator of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was a unique and special bishop, very smart and humble. Father continued his homily on the idea of apocalypse. As we come closer to the season of Advent, and the birth of Christ, the readings become more apocalyptic and urgent. Apocalypse at its meaning is knowledge, the unveiling of that which is hidden. Hidden knowledge is unveiling God in his glory of triumph of good over evil. Finally, wisdom and knowledge are two different things. To be knowledgeable is not necessarily to be wise. Wisdom is part of active faith. I have barely dipped my toe into Father's homily, but I must stop here!

During communion, we chanted the Ave Verum as we received the body and blood of our Lord, and Father Andrew concluded the Mass with a solemn blessing. During the closing hymn, With Thy Holy Benediction, we continued to pray to Christ that he guide us in our journey, pour blessings upon us, that we may be pure, and to never cease in gladness, to glorify the Lord. The closing hymn held what could be some of the most perfect prayer through lyrics:

1. We pray thee, heav'nly Father, to hear us in thy love, and pour upon thy children the unction from above; That so in love abiding, from all defilement free, we may in pureness offer a sacrifice to thee. With thy holy benediction upon our souls outpoured, may we never cease, in gladness, to glorify the Lord. 
2. Be thou our guide and helper, O Jesus Christ, we pray; So may we well approach thee, if thou wilt be the way: Thou, very truth, hast promised to help us in our strife, food of the weary pilgrim, eternal source of life. With thy holy benediction upon our souls outpoured, may we never cease, in gladness, to glorify the Lord. 

I was incredibly impressed at our level of singing/chanting. Never hold back when it comes to proclaiming God's truth through music. May we keep it up, as it keeps up the spirit of the group as we move forward together. 

A good time was had by all at Harry's Plaza Cafe after the Mass. 

God Bless you all,

Director of Liturgy and Music