What most people don’t see at the Easter Vigil…

…is the rehearsal that goes into it. Just got back from this year’s rehearsal with our DRE, Deacon Bill McNamara, and our pastor, Bishop Paul Sanchez. The church was being decorated. Cassocks were being mended. Catechumens were being pushed around. Robes were being measured. Tonight, of course, it will all look effortless. (Unless the deacon screws [Read More...]

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Holy Thursday

A few scenes from my parish tonight, from before and after our stunning Mass of the Lord’s Supper. [Read more...]

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Palm Sunday: the view from my parish in Queens

Weather: chilly. Liturgies: beautiful. Music: “All Glory, Laud and Honor,” “The Palms,” “Ride On! Ride On!,” “O Sacred Head Surrounded,” “Lift High the Cross.” Church: packed. [Read more...]

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O happy fault: living with a deacon at Easter time

It can’t be easy living with a deacon, especially now. Every year, for a few weeks before Easter, the deacon pulls out sheet music and starts practicing that Everest of liturgical song, the Exsultet:  a nine-minute a capella chant sung in near-darkness at the start of the Easter Vigil. Around our home, the Exsultet is [Read More...]

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Walking the way of the cross with Mary

Some images from Friday’s night’s Stations of the Cross, courtesy parishioner and friend Regina Faighes. My parish does “The Way of the Cross with Mary“ by Richard Furey—a stirring and deeply human interpretation, which follows the traditional stations, but seen through the eyes of the Blessed Mother. (You can order copies here.) Every stop includes a first [Read More...]

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The traveling deacon: to Erie and Chicago, on a wing and a prayer

So I did a little traveling last weekend—more than I expected, actually. I flew out to Erie, PA to give a talk to a couple dozen deacons and their wives. The first thing to know: it was brutally cold. I had been in St. Petersburg 48 hours earlier, where it was 79 degrees; Erie, with [Read More...]

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Thank you, St. Petersburg!

I just got back from a wonderful visit to Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I gave a parish mission for Lent. The pastor, Fr. Wayne Genereux, and his friendly staff treated me like royalty, and the two deacons, Bill Lovelace and Lionel Roberts, could not have been more welcoming. From the [Read More...]

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Hello, Florida!

I’m flying south Saturday morning: headed to sunny St. Petersburg, Florida, to give a parish mission at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church.  I’ll be speaking Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night at 7 pm so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. I’ll be easy to spot: just look for the pasty-faced northerner blinking [Read More...]

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Elevator evangelization

So this happened tonight, after I came home from the last Mass at the parish… I get into the elevator. Young Asian man joins me. Doors close. He glances at me. “May I ask something?,” he says. He points to his forehead. “Why the cross? I’ve been seeing that all day.” “It’s Ash Wednesday,” I [Read More...]

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Got ash?

I do. [Read more...]

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