Category Archives: Liturgical Year

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

(Reproduced from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish Bulletin for January 3, 2016)

The Epistle for today’s Mass, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, contains a section of St. Peter’s speech before the Sanhedrin, wherein he gives a stirring proclamation of the Gospel.   St. Peter’s sermon places the central message of the Gospel (the kerygma) in the foreground: Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is Lord and God.   When deciding for or against the Catholic Christian Faith, a person is faced with one ultimate decision: either to deny that Jesus is Lord, or to adore and love Him, like St. Thomas in the Upper Room (cf. Jn. 20:28)

Reading today’s passage from Acts slowly and prayerfully, one can discern the presence and power of the risen Christ.   Indeed, St. Luke likewise indicates the presence and power of the Holy Spirit behind St. Peter’s words by describing him as being “filled with the Holy Ghost,” (v. 8).   This is a common motif in Acts, and it is linked to the original descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost.  It underlines the fact that the grace of Pentecost never leaves the Apostles, but is continually active in and through them and their successors.   As believers, we know that Christ is truly risen, and that He is at work in His Church through his Holy Spirit.   From the Church’s beginning, Jesus’ presence can be discerned in what His apostles say and do, because He is the Church’s living Lord.   Consequently, the invocation of His living and Holy Name is instrumental in bestowing grace to men.

The Holy Name of Jesus is not magic.   Rather, in the theology of Israel, a person’s name reveals something of their identity.   Furthermore, to call upon their name implies a certain “claim” on that person’s attention.   The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this well in paragraph no. 432, quoting today’s passage from Acts:

The name ‘Jesus’ signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of His Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins.   It is the divine name that alone brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke His name, for Jesus united himself to all men through His Incarnation, so that ‘there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

In the Gospels, we see that Jesus graciously responds to many who call upon His Name.   He responds to their pleas for help and salvation, provided that they are made in humility and faith.   St. Matthew tells us that the Holy Name of Jesus means “God saves” (cf. Mt. 1:21).   As the conqueror of death, Jesus continues to save, for this is essentially who He is as the Son of God made man.

In today’s passage, we can sense the presence of the Lord in St. Peter’s words: “by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ…by Him…this man stands.”   The One “whom God hath raisedraises up the crippled man.   It is as if there is a direct transfer of healing grace from the Resurrection, bestowing healing and life, and it is through the invocation of Jesus’ Name.   As with all of the signs of Jesus in the Gospels (healings, exorcisms, control over nature, etc.), so too, the healing of this beggar by St. Peter is a sign that points to the greater reality of the salvation of souls, and the resurrection of the body.   In our prayers, let us cling to Jesus and his grace, and most especially when we invoke His Holy Name in the prayers of the Rosary.   May His presence in our lives console and strengthen us as we carry our daily cross.

David Allen
(David Allen)

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary


(From ecclesiastical documents, Divine Office for feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1962 Breviary.  Reproduced from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for August 22, 2010)

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Apostolic See first approved the liturgical worship by which the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary is given due honor.  The way was prepared for this cult by many holy men and women.  Pope Pius VII instituted the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, to be celebrated in a devout and holy way by all the dioceses and religious congregations which had requested it.  Later, Pope Pius IX added the proper Office and Mass.  But the ardent zeal and hope which had arisen even in the seventeenth century and had grown day by day, that this feast should be given greater solemnity and be extended to the whole Church, was graciously fulfilled by Pope Pius XII in the year 1942, when a terrible war was spreading through almost the whole world.  He had pity on the limitless hardships of the people, and because of his devotion and trust in the heavenly Mother, he solemnly commended the whole human race to her most gentle Heart and appointed that a feast with its own Office and Mass be celebrated forever and everywhere in honor of her Immaculate Heart.

Mary Queen of Heaven

Advent Customs: St. Nicholas Day


The von Trapp children
In 1926, Maria Kutschera, a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria was sent to the home of a retired navy Captain Von Trapp, a widower with seven children—pictured here in the photo—to teach one of his daughters Maria, who was recuperating from an illness. Here Maria describes her first Advent at the Villa Trapp.

Saint Nikolaus was a saintly bishop of the fourth century, and being always very kind and helpful to children and young people, God granted every year that on his feastday he might come down to the children.  He comes dressed in bishop’s vestments, with a mitre on his head and his bishop’s staff in his hand…The excitement was great on [December] the fifth.

Soon after dark we assembled in the hall, looking out through the large window into the driveway…Suddenly one could see the little flicker of candlelight through the bare bushes. A tall figure bearing a lantern and high staff turned into our driveway, followed by a little black fellow [the “Krampus”].

The heavy double-door opened wide, and in came the Holy Bishop, reverently greeted by young and old.  The white beard which cascaded down below his waist showed his old age.  Nobody could see that half an hour before, it had been plastered on Hans’s face with the help of the white of a raw egg…After he had sat down, he gave the Captain his lantern to hold, and then he produced from under his white cloak a large package with a big golden Cross…In this magic book were written down all the many crimes, big and little, which had been committed by the children of this house.  It was quite incredible how well-informed Saint Nikolaus was…

Saint Nikolaus shook his finger and frowned at the sinners as they were called to his feet.  They all felt very uncomfortable, and promised fervently to reform.  The Holy Bishop rose and waved his hand towards the door; a big sack was pushed in, which Saint Nikolaus opened.  There was a bag with fruit and candies for everybody…

(Maria Augusta Trapp: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, A.D. 1949.  Reproduced from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for June 12, 2009)

N.B.  The von Trapp family sang at Holy Trinity, the former home of the Boston area Latin Mass Community.

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Article reproduced from here.

Even before its universal promotion in 1314, Corpus Christi was one of the grandest feasts of the Roman rite. By request of Pope Urban IV, the hymns, Mass propers, and divine office were composed by St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), whose teaching on the Real Presence was so profound that the figure of Jesus Christ once descended from a crucifix and declared to him, “Thou hast written well of me, Thomas.” The mastery with which Aquinas weaves together the scriptural, poetic, and theological texts of this feast amply corroborates this conclusion.

Though Maundy Thursday is in a sense the primary feast of the Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi allows the faithful to specially reflect on and give thanks for the Eucharist. Hence there arose a number of observances centered on Eucharistic adoration. The most conspicuous of these is the Corpus Christi procession, for which Holy Mother the Church grants a plenary indulgence to all those who take part in it.

This public profession of the Catholic teaching on the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, which was solemnly encouraged by the Council of Trent, is traditionally accompanied by ornate pageantry. One of the most popular processional customs is having children dress as angels to represent the heavenly hosts who ever adore the Panis Angelicus. So too is having the various parish groups march together in a body. (Both of these customs are mentioned, significantly enough, in an eyewitness account of Holy Trinity German Church’s elaborate Corpus Christi procession of 1851 (A Way of Life, p. 49)).

Another part of the Roman tradition is the recitation of the Divine Office. Required for the clergy and encouraged for the laity, the “liturgical hours” are part of the Church’s way of sanctifying time. Of these hours, Solemn Vespers of Sundays and Feast days are a well-known feature of Catholic piety, so much so that in Europe the Sunday dinner was in some places called the “Vesper meal.” With its heart felt prayer and symbolic use of incense, Solemn Vespers offers the “evening sacrifice” of Psalm 140.2.

To piously and joyously pay tribute to the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Traditional Latin Mass community at Holy Trinity German Church celebrated a High Mass, which was followed by Benediction, a procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Boston’s South-end, the recitation of the Divine Office in Latin including None, Sext, and Vespers, and ended with Benediction. Pictures are below.

Feast of Corpus Christi, Holy Trinity Church, 2000 A. D.

Introibo ad altare Dei


The Epistle


The Holy Gospel


Feast of Corpus Christi, Holy Trinity Church, 2000 A. D.
Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum


Eucharistic Procession


Members of the Societas Sancti Nominis


Procession through the South-end of Boston


Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament


Fr. Higgins
Our Visiting Celebrant Rev. Father Charles J. Higgins of St. Theresa of Avila Parish West Roxbury, Massachusetts