From the Pastor: St. Jude Award time
The Traditional Latin Mass calendar had us celebrate Christ the King last month. But in the newer calendar it appears only now. Having two distinct liturgical calendars in play in the same Rite of Catholicism is a bit odd. Those who exclusively attend only one form of the Mass are usually blissfully unaware that there is any difference. But those who skip back and forth between the two are often perplexed. The first time people attend the Traditional Latin Sunday Mass, for instance, they usually pick up the pew missalette which they are used to, open to the current Sunday, which is listed by date, and are immediately lost. What up until then would have seemed to have been something even a child could figure out--finding the readings--becomes an act disbelief (“Certainly I can’t have the date wrong!”), then one of humiliation (“Nobody else seems to have trouble finding the right Mass. They must think I am a real blockhead.”), followed by desperation (flip, flip, flip, flip... “It’s got to be in here somewhere, and I’ll find it if it takes an hour!”), and ending in exasperation and defeat (“I give up. I’m never coming back to this Mass again!”).
Only those of you who got past that last stage without really giving up can find the humor in what you went through, but just about everybody has been there, including this priest! (By the way, it works both ways, and those used to the Traditional Latin Mass and it’s missal are just as lost at a Novus Ordo Mass.) Using this Sunday’s TLM as an example, the Missalette will state that for Sunday, November 22, 2015, the Mass being celebrated is that of Christ the King. But the bulletin cover shows that this is the 24th and Last Sunday after Pentecost...which first-timers have never heard of before and, to make matters worse, is nowhere to be found in the missalette! It is only once you realize that the two calendars are as different as the two forms of the Mass that you see the futility of using the familiar--but wrong!--missal or missalette for the “other” Mass. You may still be lost, but at least you will know why.
At a previous parish one man thought he was losing his mind while attending the Novus Ordo Mass on this feast day. Time goes by faster the older you get. But he was sure (absolutely positive, in fact) that a full year could not possibly have passed since the last time he attended a Mass for Christ the King. The reason he was absolutely sure it could not have been a year was that he was new to the parish yet he was certain that I was the one who had preached the last one he had been at as well as the one he had just attended! He was just utterly dumbfounded at this strange occurrence and had spent the whole of Mass racking his brain to figure it out. Imagine his relief in hearing that only one month had passed since he had unwittingly stumbled into the Traditional Latin Mass at his new parish on the Traditional feast of Christ the King!
Now, after this long introduction to the topic of today’s article, let me tell you that on the second Christ the King of the year Bishop Lynch bestows a special award, called the St. Jude Award, to somebody at every parish who has made a notable but usually little-recognized contribution to the parish. Most recipients, on hearing that they were nominated by the pastor, respond with a shocked and truly humble, “Why me? I do so little and so many other people do so much more.” That was the exact response from this year’s award recipient for Epiphany of Our Lord, Mary Dominquez. She has been a true servant at the Vigil Masses since long before I arrived at the parish. She dedicates herself to tirelessly taking care of the homebound parishioners. She neither looked for any reward for these faith-inspired works, nor did she think she deserved one. But the Bishop will give her one anyway! Congratulate her and even come join her if you are able, as she is handed her large medallion bearing the image of St. Jude. It takes place Sunday, 11/22 at 3:00 pm at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 - 5th Avenue North, St. Petersburg.
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka