Thursday, August 28, 2014

Picnic and Press Check

How did it become Thursday already?

I made a business trip to Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday, then lots of catching up yesterday here at the office. Today was our annual J.S. Paluch/World Library Publications picnic in the parking lot. The senior managers of the company (I am included in that auspicious group) grill hamburgers, Italian sausage, chicken, and Polish sausage. My duties today including the grilling of those Polish sausages. Thank the Lord the weather cooperated, with the temps remaining in the 70s. But I reek of barbecue smoke and grilled sausage. But it was a wonderful day for all our employees here. We even arranged to have an ice cream truck in the parking lot, with that insipid ice cream truck music playing . . . and playing . . . and playing . . .

But I thought the ice cream truck's web site was interesting!



Believe it or not, no travel for me this weekend. I am going to try to enjoy a 45 mile bike ride on Saturday morning. I am training to bike a metric century later in September.

The real excitement for me happens next week when I will visit the printing plant that is printing WLP's new One in Faith hardbound hymnal. I am going for what is called a "press check," to make sure that all is well and that the quality of the printing is top notch. And it doesn't hurt that the printer is just a few miles from where my parents live in Massachusetts, so I hope to get some good family time in while in New England.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Daily Mass Intercessions 2015

Monday greetings from a sultry Midwest. Today will probably be one of the hottest and most humid days of the year. But it beats a foot of snow!

WLP publishes several annual resources to assist the singing and praying Church. One of those annuals, Daily Mass Intercessions 2015, arrived in our warehouse recently. This is a must-have resource for every parish. The intercessions for each weekday Mass of 2015 are simple, fresh, and timely.

http://www.wlp.jspaluch.com/14884.htm

 The book comes in a convenient spiral binding and the page layout is simple and readable.
 Thanks for listening to my Monday morning commercial!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wonderful Day in Youngstown and Becoming Brutally Honest About the Ways the RCIA Is Straying Off Course

Friday greetings from Chicago. I landed about an hour ago; took an early morning flight from Pittsburgh. I was in the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio yesterday, presenting a formation day on the RCIA, which began at 12:30 in the afternoon and ended last night at 8:30. I have done work in this diocese (one of my favorites!) for a number of years and always enjoy spending time there. Here's a photo of the attendees (who gave their verbal permission for inclusion here!)



The formation day was held at Saint Michael Parish in Canfield, Ohio. Here are a few shots of the interior of the church and their baptism font, which is located just to the left of the sanctuary.






I so enjoyed the engagement of those in attendance on the topics we discussed. I am finding myself becoming less and less wary of being much more brutally honest about the ways that the practice of the RCIA has strayed from the originating vision of the Second Vatican Council. Far too many parish RCIA "programs" in parishes (the vast majority, I fear) are nothing more than a six to eight month course in teaching Catholic dogmas and precepts. And I heard it again yesterday, "Where do you teach the RCIA?" "We hold our classes on Tuesday nights." I am beginning to wonder if we are ever going to break away from seeing the RCIA as solely a teaching endeavor. My hope, of course, is to help RCIA ministers see that there is a four-fold dimension to catechumenal formation in the faith; the four so-called "pillars" of Christian formation (found in paragraph 75 of the RCIA): Catechesis, Community, Prayer, and Apostolic Service. I hope I was able to nudge the wonderful people of the Diocese of Youngstown to seriously re-examine their practice and move toward a more wholistic approach, with apprenticeship as the operating principle.

Looking forward to the weekend here in Chicago; nothing on the schedule!

I hope that wherever you are, you enjoy your weekend as well.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jorge Rivera and Saint Bernard

Wednesday greetings from the Midwest, where the weather is warming up for a late summer heat wave.

Each year at the J.S. Paluch Vocations Conference, a WLP artist presents a one-hour concert to the participants. Last night, Jorge Rivera and his band were the performers.


Jorge is the director of Hispanic ministry for the Diocese of Joliet here in Illinois. He has three albums with WLP, Ha Llegado Tiempo, Entra, and Reinventando el Amor. I enjoyed the concert so much. Jorge told the story of his own faith journey as the concert unfolded. His work with Hispanic young people has been at the center of his ministry for years. He is engaging and genuine. Watch how some of the attendees at the conference were enjoying Jorge and his band last night.

video

Some of the musicians/editors here at WLP were the music ministers for the two morning Masses for the conference. This morning's Collect for the Memorial of Saint Bernard struck me as beautiful and so apt for a conference on vocations:

O God, who made of the Abbot Saint Bernard
a man consumed with zeal for your house
and a light shining and burning in your Church,
grant, through his intercession,
that we may be on fire with the same spirit
and walk always as children of light.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
 
Praying today that we will all be on fire with that same spirit and walk as children of the light.
 
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prayers for Strength for Pope Francis

Tuesday greetings from Chicago. I spent Thursday and Friday in southern California, delivering an RCIA workshop at Saint Pius V parish in Buena Park. I went to Mass for the Assumption there. Engaging music and a wonderful homily lifted my heart.

On Sunday, I completed the "Wright Ride," a fifty-mile bike ride, the longest of the season by far. My knees were begging for mercy, but it was fun and exhilarating!

The annual J.S. Paluch Vocations Seminar is taking place this week. Last night we were privileged to watch Salt and Light Television's production of The Francis Effect. You can watch a trailer. It was moving. I would suggest that all Catholics find a way to watch it.


And then this morningat the vocations seminar, right before Mass, celebrated by Salt and Light's Fr. Thomas Rosica, we heard the tragic news of the deaths of Pope Francis' two grand nephews and their mother in a horrible car accident in Argentina. I prayed so hard for the pope and for his nephew, who was critically injured in the crash. When tragedy befalls someone who preaches the cross and resurrection of Christ every single day, I wonder how his heart and faith is challenged by such a tragedy. I am reminded of the words from one of the old prefaces for funeral Masses, where the phrase, "the doubt that comes from grief" is mentioned. I felt this so strongly when my youngest sister died in 2001. I pray that the pope's faith will be strengthened, even in times of doubt.

May eternal rest come upon the pope's grand nephews Jose Bergoglio, 8 months old, Antonio Bergoglio, 2 years old, and their mother, Valeria Carmona, 36 years old.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Beach, then Chicago Sings the Seasons

Well, folks, it has been a week since I last posted. It's been a whirlwind of activity over the past week for me.

I spent this past weekend in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was a peaceful place that I would often frequent when I lived in the Orlando area back in the 1980's and early 1990's. It was good to have a few days of rest and peace there, enjoying the warmth and the ocean.

On Sunday, I went to Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea in New Smyrna Beach. Rick Shaw is the music director there; he was one of the students in the Liturgical Music Institute at Immaculate Conception Seminary on Long Island last month. It was great to see WLP's We Celebrate worship resource in the pews and to sing with this congregation. Some photos for you. Here is the font, which is located in the gathering space.



And some shots of the interior. I was captivated by the stained glass window in the sanctuary, an image of Mary, Star of the Sea.




It was good to be away. It was "mission weekend" at the parish and the homily was simply superb. The pastor there, a TOR Franciscan, was warm and friendly. The music was inviting and well done.

I came back to Chicago very early Monday morning to two days filled with meetings.

And then came last night. The 2014 Chicago "Sing the Seasons" choral reading session took place at Saint Mary of Gostyn Parish in Downer's Grove, Illinois, where more than 90 musicians gathered to sing through a wonderful assortment of WLP ritual and choral music. One word: Wow! These were excellent music readers and each piece really came alive, which is so gratifying for us here at WLP.

Here are some photos of the church. First, the substantial baptism font.






And here are some shots of the interior.



And finally, some of the crowd that had gathered; this as during our break.

 
 
It was a thrilling evening, certainly for our staff, and hopefully for all in attendance.
 
Headed back to California tomorrow for an RCIA talk in Buena Park, in the Diocese of Orange.
 
 
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WLP Sing the Seasons and a Visitor to Chicago

Wednesday greetings from the beautiful Midwest.

Well, folks, this is indeed a special day here at World Library Publications. Tonight we begin our tour of the United States, presenting our WLP 2014 Sing the Seasons choral music reading sessions. Capably led tonight by Mary Beth Kunde-Anderson, our director of publications (and a great musician, to boot!), the musicians from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are in for quite a treat!


Here are the locations (again) and the links for you to RSVP.

MILWAUKEE, WI
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
7:00-9:00 PM
Presenter: Mary Beth Kunde-Anderson
St. Anthony the Hermit Parish
N74 W13604 Appleton Ave.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
RSVP

CHICAGO, IL
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

7:30-9:30 PM
Presenter: WLP Team
St . Mary of Gostyn Church
445 Prairie Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
RSVP

CINCINNATI, OH
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1:30-3:30 PM
Presenter: Christine Krzystofczyk
St John the Evangelist Church
9080 Cincinnati-Dayton Road
West Chester, OH 45069
RSVP

CINCINNATI, OH
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

7:00-9:00 PM
Presenter: Christine Krzystofczyk
Incarnation Parish
55 Williamsburg Lane
Dayton, OH 45459
RSVP

WASHINGTON, DC
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

7:30 - 9:30 PM
Presenter: Mary Beth Kunde-Anderson
The Cathedral of St. Thomas More
3901 Cathedral Lane
Arlington, VA 22203
RSVP

GALVESTON-HOUSTON, TX
Monday, August 25, 2014

7:00-9:00 PM
Presenter: Christine Krzystofczyk
St. Ignatius Loyola Church
7810 Cypruswood Drive
Spring, TX 77379
RSVP

GALVESTON-HOUSTON, TX
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

7:00-9:00 PM
Presenter: Christine Krzystofczyk
St Helen Catholic Church
2209 Old Alvin Road
Pearland, TX 77581
RSVP

MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
7:30-9:30 PM
Presenter: Alan Hommerding
Pax Christi
12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
RSVP

NEW YORK, NY
Monday, September 8, 2014
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Presenter: Jerry Galipeau
Church of St. Francis of Assisi
135 West 31st Street between 6th/7th Avenues
New York, NY 10001
Accessible via 1-2-3-A-C-E-Q-N-R-D-B-F trains
RSVP

GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Monday, September 8, 2014
7:30-9:30 PM
Presenter: Alan Hommerding
Catholic Central High School
319 Sheldon Avenue, SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
RSVP

DALLAS, TX
Friday, September 12, 2014
7:00-9:00 PM
Presenter: Peter Kolar
St. Pius X Catholic Church
3030 Gus Thomasson
Dallas, TX 75228
RSVP

PHILADELPHIA, PA
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
7:30-9:30 PM
Presenter: Alan Hommerding
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
RSVP

LOS ANGELES, CA
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
8:00 - 10:00 PM
Presenter: Jerry Galipeau
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive, Suite 210
Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659
Park in Lot L or Lot H Campus Map
RSVP

ATLANTA, GA
Thursday, October 9, 2014
7:30-9:30 PM
Presenter: Jerry Galipeau
St. Ann Catholic Church
4905 Roswell Road NE
Marietta, GA 30062-6518
RSVP


And, now for something completely different . . .

Many of you know that I live in the city of Chicago. My small balcony becomes a refuge and really the only outdoor space I have to cultivate flowers and greenery in the summers. Well, a special guest arrived late one afternoon last week and I miraculously caught this short video.

video

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.