Monday, December 29, 2014

A Glorious and Erudite Chronicle of the History of the Sodality of Garcia Diego: Year 2

Composed by scovich.
Last year, I wrote a narrative of the Sodality’s beginnings. In this past year, all of the core members of the Sodality have prospered. Some have moved away, while others have joined. Many truly transformational events have happened to some of us, including discernment of vocations. Some of this will not be revealed because of varying levels of comfort with sharing personal information. However, I will attempt to chronicle some of the great moments of the Sodality this year.

Sodalitiers celebrate the ratification & signing of the Charter at La Morada
In last year’s post, I had stated that we were working on recruiting women to the group and had met with some success. TMR joined in time to be involved in the charter and become blog editor. Liz, a core member of previous young adult groups that preceded the Sodality, moved back to Santa Barbara this summer and is now part of our sodality leadership. With these and several other women added to the group (along with more men), we are achieving our original sodality goal for men and women to meet together in virtue and love. The Mission Men’s Group, which brought some of us together, continued through the spring and returned in November.

Sodality Masses & Devotions. Almost every month from January to June, we had Sodality masses celebrated by our chaplain, Father Andrew Garcia SJ, from Our Lady of Sorrows Church, who regrettably moved away in July after the Jesuits left Our Lady of Sorrows. Sometimes we had dinner and drinks afterward at Harry’s. On Sunday afternoons, we also began a tradition of attending Benediction at the Monastery of Poor Clares at 4 PM. Most of us cannot make it every week, but almost every week at least one or two sodalitiers has been there; sometimes, when there are several of us gathered together in His name, we go for a walk afterward (Editor's note: the record distance for such an afternoon stroll is 5.7 miles).

Wedding. 2014 began with the wedding of Anthony and Nikki, including a beautiful Tridentine Latin Mass and a highly enjoyable reception. All of the core sodality members (including TMR and Liz) were in attendance. Soon after, Anthony and Nikki moved away from the area. I had just found out that this was going to happen before I wrote last year’s Chronicle post, but did not think it should yet be revealed publicly.

Bible Study. Also in January, many of us became involved in a Bible Study with a St Mark’s FOCUS missionary and other UCSB graduate students. After launching with a survey of salvation history, we have plumbed greater depths in our studies and inimitable discussion of the beginning of Proverbs, the entire books of James and 1 Peter, Advent-themed readings (mostly Isaiah and the infancy narratives in Luke). Next year, we will begin reading the Apocalypse of John, also known as the Book of Revelation.

Valentinian Festival: Sodality Organization and Farewell to the Royal Couple. In February, we held two gatherings, on consecutive nights. One was an elegant dinner party hosted by Sean, in which we invited TMR to become a leader within our group and editrix of this blog. Sean, Matt, Michael, TMR and I (G-5) also examined and revised our draft of our Charter. The following night we had a dinner party at Anthony’s parents’ house, to say farewell to our royal couple. Sitting around the campfire, we expressed thanksgiving for our friendship and the great adventures to come.

Lent and Easter. We prayed the Stations of the Cross together in the garden near the Mission. One of the next great events of our group was a pilgrimage to seven Santa Barbara churches on Holy Thursday. Various combinations of our group attended the Tridentine Latin Mass at Mary Magdalen Chapel in Camarillo on one Sunday in Lent, on Palm Sunday, on Easter Sunday, and other later occasions throughout the year. The Paschal season was a glorious one indeed, alleluia.

We also observed the Rogation days. We dined and prayed together (and attended the Bach by Candlelight concert) and continued editing the Charter. On behalf of the sodality, at least two members prayed the Litany of the Saints each of the Rogation days.

Charter. The much discussed and long awaited draft of the Charter was completed in June and presented with pomp and circumstance to Anthony on his birthday before a dinner party at his parents’ house when he and Nikki were visiting. Sodality members signed and ratified the charter after a Sodality Mass as we were saying goodbye to Father Andrew.

October Devotions. On October 3rd, we celebrated Michael’s birthday and attended the Transitus service at Poor Clares. On October 7th, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, we gathered at Goleta Beach to pray a rosary together.

The Liturgical Year Ends: The Second Return of the Royal Couple. Anthony and Nikki returned again for Thanksgiving. Nearly all Sodality members attended Sean’s birthday party at Harry’s and the Mozart by Candlelight concert afterward.

Looking Forward. Our goals for next year include resuming Sodality masses, recruiting new members, continuing the blog, continuing our enjoyable and edifying socializing, growing in prayer and holiness, and each discerning our own vocations.

Blessings for the Christmas season!

Editor's note: please send any photos you have of Sodality events through the year, so we can include them here. I will also attend to the lost images on earlier posts. Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

St. Barbara, pray for us.

Today, December 4th, we celebrated the patroness of our city, county, and university, Saint Barbara. Old Mission Santa Barbara was founded on this date in 1786.

We are delighted, privileged, and honored to exclusively feature Michael Aberle's painting of this holy martyr. Michael's painting includes not only her iconic tower but also the familiar Santa Barbara coastline.

Barbara the beautiful
Had praise of lute and pen:
Her hair was like a summer night
Dark and desired of men.

Her feet like birds from far away
That linger and light in doubt;
And her face was like a window
Where a man’s first love looked out.
Her sire was master of many slaves
A hard man of his hands;
They built a tower about her
In the desolate golden lands,
Sealed as the tyrants sealed their tombs,
Planned with an ancient plan,
And set two windows in the tower
Like the two eyes of a man.
--excerpt from G. K. Chesterton's "The Ballad of St. Barbara"
To read more click here.

Chesterton's poem relates the story of Barbara's adding a third window to her tower as a proclamation of her belief in the Holy Trinity, but he embeds this in lively verse narrative of twentieth-century warfare, because Barbara is the patron saint of field artillerymen.