Canonization Mass live

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Saints John XXII and John Paul II are more alive than we are right now – we’re watching the canonization Mass live, through bleary eyes. But it’s all worth it to be a part of this incredible moment in history. I think one of the commentators pointed out that there are four popes present: Pope Emeritus Benedict, Pope Francis, and they just placed the relics of our two new saints near the altar a few minutes ago. What a way to begin Divine Mercy Sunday!

The end is nigh!

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The end is nigh! That’s right, in just a few hours, the end of 2013 will be upon us, and a new year will begin.

Our community tradition has been to close the year by chanting two of the penitential psalms.  After Mass on December 31st we chant the Miserere (Psalm 50) and the De Profundis (Psalm 129), in reparation for the sins of the past year.  Then after Mass on January 1st, we chant the Te Deum, in thanksgiving to God for the blessings and hope of the new year.

It has also been our tradition to ring in the new year with an 11pm Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  There is no better way to close out the old year and welcome the new than by offering God the best we can give him, the highest prayer and most perfect form of worship.  For many of us, this was quite a change from the usual way to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  Most memorable of all are the times when the Consecration coincided with the midnight bell chime.  While so many were focused on watching the big ball in Times Square drop, God, who is outside of time, was coming to us silently and humbly under the form of Bread and Wine, even as the old year closed and the new one began.  Either Fr. Joseph was an expert with timing, or God arranged that blessing perfectly.  Whichever it was, we are grateful!

Below are some videos of Psalm 50 and Psalm 129, sung most beautifully by the choir of King’s College.

The Holy Family

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On this feast of the Holy Family, take a minute to journey to St. Peter’s and enjoy the unveiling of the Vatican Nativity. This celebration took place on Christmas Eve, but it seems fitting to revisit it on today’s feast. The theme for this year’s creche is Francis 1223-Francis 2013, paying honor to the 790th anniversary of the very first Nativity Scene (complete with live actors and animals) created by St. Francis of Assisi.

Father Pablo Straub, CSSR

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We just got word that Fr. Pablo Straub passed away this morning. He spoke to us many times at the monastery, and we always picture him holding the large crucifix which was ever-present when he preached. Please pray for the repose of the soul of this holy priest who touched many, many souls in his lifetime.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.