St. Dominic's Parish now has a blog called Praedicare. Our aim is to offer another platform to let our parish community know of the many events happening at our parish, including concerts, lectures and retreats. We also aim to offer theological reflections and insights from our clergy and staff. Please consider subscribing to receive all of the latest information via email.
Our Pastor's Corner, April 13, 2014, Palm Sunday
As followers of Christ, this is the most important week of the year. Beginning with the pageantry and processions of Palm Sunday and ending with the stark quiet of Holy Saturday, the Church gives us an opportunity, through a wide array of liturgical celebrations, to retrace the path that Christ himself traveled in his final days. All of our Lenten projects and penances have prepared us for this moment: for now we embark on a journey in which we encounter the power and presence of Christ’s unconditional love. As this week unfolds, we do well to reflect daily on the last events of Christ’s life, for it is by this reflection that we open ourselves to the graces of the season.
Palm Sunday. The feast of the Passover is near. Jerusalem is bursting with all those who have come from far and wide to celebrate the remembrance of their Exodus from Egypt and to look forward to the coming of the Messiah. Amid the bustling preparation, some wonder if the Teacher will come for the Passover. He does not disappoint. The crowds spot Jesus while he is still a way off, riding on a colt (as Isaiah prophesied Is 62:11), and they give him a royal welcome, They spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road (Mt 21:8). And all the while they cried, Hosanna! Blessed is the kingwho comes in the name of the Lord (Mt 21:9). As he enters Jerusalem, Jesus is acclaimed as the Son of David, the king who is to restore the prosperous kingdom that David enjoyed 1,000 years earlier. But not all share in this joyful proclamation, and they try to silence the crowd. Jesus responds, I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out! The King has entered the holy city. But Jesus is not the sort of king that the people expect: he does not liberate them from the hated Roman occupation. This king comes to conquer sin and death with the weapons of service, obedience and love, love unto death.
Holy Monday-Wednesday. After his royal entry, Jesus spends much of the next three days teaching and preaching in the Temple, and he enters the Temple with a splash. Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in buying and selling there. He overturned tables, seats and even fashioned a whip to aid in this cleansing. My house shall be a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves. It was a direct attack against the Sadducees, the priestly class, who had a monopoly on all liturgical transactions and dealings. For the Sadducees this effrontery was the final straw. The chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him. The crowds are spellbound by his teaching and he continues to teach them at length, to confound the traps of the Pharisees (the theologians), and even prophesy his death and resurrection. But on Wednesday, the chief priests get a break: Judas Iscariot, who was disillusioned with Christ, conspires with them to betray his teacher. The scene is set for the end of the week.
Holy Thursday-Saturday. Knowing that the hour of betrayal is near and as part of the Passover ceremonies, Jesus celebrates the Last Supper with his disciples. By washing the feet of the apostles, he reveals that his authority and his mission are rooted in the loving obedience of service. Further, in the institution of the Eucharist, he shows the depths of his love for he never abandons his followers but is always present to us in this Sacrament. It is with this same love that Jesus allows himself to go through his Passion and Death. Amid the betrayal of Judas and the denials of Peter, amid the brutal scourging and the mockery, amid the pain and suffering of humiliating crucifixion, we see the horrors of sin and the love that Christ has for us in offering His life so that he can then offer us forgiveness and mercy. His mission is clear: to make all things new whatever the cost. By entering into the events of this Holy Week our lives are transformed. For those who perseveringly trod shoulder–to-shoulder with Christ through the joys and sorrows, the love and agony of this Holy Week find themselves transformed with him by the power of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
~Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.
Our Pastor's Corner, April 20, 2014, Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
A sheath of sound shatters the silence: Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God’s throne! Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation! Huddled together with tapers lit, we delight in the Easter proclamation, the Exsultet, as it announces the mystery of our salvation. Uniquely chanted at the Easter Vigil, this great hymn lifts our minds and hearts to rejoice in Christ’s triumph over sin and death. Resurrection is astonishing. Easter begins with the Exsultet so that we might once again share the joyful surprise of the first disciples. Joy is the first fruit of Easter amazement.
I recently came across the Annual Gallup Poll report that surveys a wide swath of folks about daily life. One of the results which made me take notice was the response to the question: Do you find joy and satisfaction in your daily work? The result: only about 30% of people answered in the affirmative. Of the other 70%, some say that they are extremely unhappy in their life’s work, but most are simply indifferent, and “not actively engaged” in the work they do. These numbers made me reflect: Where do I find joy in my life? Certainly our first instincts reflected by our culture drive us to seek joy in pleasure, money, success and recognition. But deep down we know that these joys are fleeting. Real joy is precious, if not elusive, because it is not simply a feeling, but rather a delight in connecting with the One who created us and who knows what satisfies our deepest desires.
Pope Francis begins his most recent Apostolic Letter: “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.” This is the promise of Easter. Christ’s Resurrection is not simply the historical belief that Christ rose from the dead, but that we, too, will share in the life he now has. Easter proclaims that we have a future, and this proclamation is the source of our joy. In fact, Jesus summarizes his preaching and mission in terms of joy, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
If the Gallup Poll results show us that our lives are often full of burden and sorrow, the promise of Easter is joy. The JOYS of Easter is the recognition that Jesus Overcomes Your Sorrow. This is the good news which we need to hear, for sorrow slips into the fabric of our lives, sometimes even unawares. Consider the many daily sources of sorrow: difficulty forgiving, fearing the future, being stuck in a rut of selfish routine, the criticism of judgment and resentment, or the disappointment of failed hopes. Our life can be awash in silent and significant sorrows.
Christ’s Resurrection pierces the depths of these sorrows. It offers us the new life of Christ alive in our hearts. It is the invitation of a second chance at a fresh start. This does not mean that our lives are suddenly free from worry and fear. The JOYS of Easter encourage us to discover the wonder and blessings of the God who even in this moment loves you into existence.
I invite you this Easter season to renew your relationship with the Risen Lord. Be mindful of his presence, open your heart to his inspiration, and share the joys of his blessings with others. We all know well that the impressive crowds that pack our Easter Masses dwindle in the coming Sundays. If you’re among that Easter crowd, that’s ok. But know that you are welcome every Sunday. In fact, I guarantee that if you begin coming to Mass on a regular basis, you’ll begin to experience life in a more vibrant and spiritual way. When you embrace and begin to live your faith, you will know the joy of the Lord in your life. Too often, our faith is simply an idea and thus the joys of life are thin and meager. Though Easter begins with a blast of rejoicing, it will quickly fade to silence unless Christ’s joy fills our hearts. Living our faith awakens us to the joy of life.
Today we rejoice in Christ’s victory. Today we hear the glad refrain, “Christ is Risen.” And we respond, “Truly, He is Risen.” May His Resurrection be your joy. On behalf of the Dominicans brothers and staff at St Dominic’s, Happy Easter!
~Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.
Wednesday, April 02
Celebratethe joy of the Resurrection by donating to the purchase of Easter flowers to adorn our altars. Share the Good News of this glorious season with all who visit St. Dominic's. You may donate in honor of a person or an occasion, or in memory of a loved one. Click if you would like to dow...
Good Friday: Tenebrae(Latin for shadows or darkness) liturgy at 7:30 a.m. in the choir stalls. If you have not experienced this special liturgy, you are encouraged to make this a part of your journey to Easter. Sung lamentations, psalms and readings are all coordinated with the extin...(more)
Good Friday Confessions, April 18th, Church Nave, 1:00 - 2:00 pm. Good Friday one of the last opportunities for confession before Easter at St. Dominic's. There are no confessions on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
Good Friday Confessions, April 18th, Church Nave, 3:00 - 4:30 pm. Good Friday one of the last opportunities for confession before Easter at St. Dominic's. There are no confessions on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
Holy Saturday: Tenebrae(Latin for shadows or darkness) liturgy at 8:00 a.m. in the choir stalls. If you have not experienced this special liturgy, you are encouraged to make this a part of your journey to Easter. Sung lamentations, psalms and readings are all coordinated with the ext...(more)
The Vigil of Easter
The great Vigil of Easter starts at 8:30 p.m., hopefully on the Steiner Street plaza, with lighting of the New Fire; a procession into Church with chanted Exsultet; a service of readings and psalms, culminating in the resurrection Gospel; baptisms, confirmations and receptions into the Church and th...(more)
Registered parishioners are invited to have their children baptized at St. Dominic’s. Parents and Godparents must participate in our Baptismal Preparation Classes. Both parents and at least one of the godparents must attend...(more)