May 6, 2018
Today we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter. As the community of Jesus’ first followers grew, they also grew in their understanding of how boundless God’s love is, and how boundless is the call to live in that love. We hear Jesus tell His disciples to remain in His love by keeping His command to “love one another.” This is an inclusive love. We see this confirmed when the Holy Spirit is seen in Peter’s Gentile hearers. Pope Francis often calls us beyond our partialities and to soften our rigidity. In a homily in February 2017, he said, “Instead of opening their hearts to the gift, (the Pharisees) sought refuge in the rigidity of the Commandments, which they had multiplied and added to. They did not know how to receive the gift – and the gift is only received with freedom – and these rigid characters were afraid of the freedom God gives us: they were afraid to love.” Loving like Jesus commands will free us to find the Spirit where we least expect.
Today I am announcing something you may have caught wind of this past week. Today I want to give you the full details. The Archbishop, through the Priests’ Personnel Director, has been working on a plan to ensure the viability of St. Luke and Immaculate Conception. With the help of Msgr. Morris, we have been able to return to our old Mass schedule and also minister to the community at IC. Msgr. Morris was originally assigned to St. Luke until this coming June, when He was to be receive a new assignment. Many of you know that Msgr. Morris is adept at celebrating the Extraordinary Form of Mass, (the Tridentine Latin Mass). He has been regularly assisting at the Oratory of Sts. Gregory & Augustine, currently at All Saints in University City. I was approached by the Personnel Director about possibly moving the Oratory to St. Luke, which is more conducive to celebrating the Latin Mass. After discussing the matter with Msgr., we both thought this would be a good move for many reasons. The Oratory moved from the Priory Church a year ago, after almost a decade of worshipping there. Moving to St. Luke’s will give them a permanent Church and Msgr. Morris will be appointed their full-time Rector (Pastor). He will celebrate two masses on Sundays in Latin. The Oratory held a “State of the Oratory” meeting last Sunday where there was overwhelming support to move to St. Luke. With their move to St. Luke, I was asked to work on a Mass schedule to accommodate all three communities; St. Luke, Immaculate Conception, and the Oratory. Again, after discussion, Msgr. and I proposed that we continue Mass on Saturdays at IC and here at our current times, 4pm at IC, and 5:00pm here, with confessions beforehand. Sundays, however would need to be adjusted to accommodate all three communities. The current plan is to offer two masses at each community; 5:00pm & 10:00am here at St. Luke, 8:00am & Noon for the Oratory according to the Tridentine Mass, and 4pm & 8:30am at IC. All three communities will need to make sacrifices to accommodate this arrangement, but it is a way to maintain the viability of all three. When Fr. Hopping and both Parish Councils from St. Luke & IC met a few years ago, a schedule of five masses was put into place that didn’t seem to work for us and left the priest at St. Luke responsible for all five masses. Msgr.’s move this past November was a Godsend. Now we are being asked to make changes for the good of three communities.
Weekday Mass will remain Monday – Friday at 8:00am here at St. Luke. With Msgr. being full-time Rector of the Oratory, he will begin offering Masses in Latin at another time. With both of us responsible for our two main communities, we will not be able to provide masses at IC, but IC parishioners will be welcomed to join us here for daily mass. I know that for us, the loss of the 8:00am Mass on Sundays will be a sacrifice for some, but perhaps a Latin Mass at that time could enrich our spiritualities. There are accommodations that St. Luke will work out with the Oratory, such as moving the Altar back about two feet, removal of the concrete where the presider’s chair used to be, and storage for the vestments and vessels used by the Oratory. The Oratory will be responsible for these adjustments and will also be making monthly financial contributions to St. Luke. So, there you have it. There are still some irons in the fire to work out, but the plan is to begin a new schedule for all three communities July 1, 2018. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me, or Monsignor Morris, and share these (questions or concerns) personally.
God Bless! Happy Eastertide!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)