Do Whatever He Tells You. Jn. 2 :5

At the Wedding Feast at Cana the guests were enjoying themselves when the wine ran out. As a result, the wedding couple would have been thought of as inhospitable until Jesus stepped in at the urging of his mother and performed his first miracle at this wedding feast by providing additional wine so the celebration would continue.

Years ago Terri and Bob Mackey decided it would be nice to celebrate the joy of their wedding anniversary with other parishioners.  So they secured a list of parishioners that were having milestone anniversaries and invited them to dinner at the Parish Center. They felt it was important to provide a way to remind parishioners that marriage is a vocation, a lifelong commitment and a way of life.

Mackeys

They invited couples who were celebrating milestone wedding anniversaries from their 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th, 25th and 40 or more to come and celebrate with them. Fifteen years later, the Anniversary Dinner is something married couples look forward to at St. Andrew.

This year, 40 couples gathered on May 7, 2017 for prayer led by Pastor, Fr. Michael Cordier followed by an Italian dinner, conversation and lots of fun. See photos below.

The meal of appetizers, salad, bread, lasagna and desserts were prepared and served by St. Andrew parishioners.

It is always fun recognizing the couple who have been married the longest and this year, Jack & Ruth Rugh were the longest married couple celebrating their 71st Wedding Anniversary!  RUGHS

Everyone has a great time, so when you get your invitation in the future…

                        be sure to mark your calendar and call the Parish Office! 

 

What It Means to Me to be in the Choir – Doreen Jackson

In 2001, my husband and I moved to Milford and I began attending Mass at St. Andrew. After telling the new pastor, Fr. Rob Waller, I had sung with the choir at my previous parish he asked me what I was waiting for? Then he escorted me to the choir loft to introduce me to the Music Director, Dovile Krempasky.  I have been a member of the choir at St. Andrew’s ever since.

I  have had many opportunities to share the gift of song through our Music Ministry including singing at Mass on Sunday, Holy Days and other liturgical celebrations.  Adding music to help comfort others during times of loss at funerals is another way this ministry provides service.

St.Augustine is quoted as saying, “He who sings, prays twice.

Expressing praise, giving thanks and asking for God’s mercy have been a way of praying for me since I was a child attending a Catholic School.  As an adult I continued to join others in choirs as I moved to different parishes.

Last year in October, we were fortunate to host a concert at St. Andrew to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fatima.  Our choir was joined by several choirs from other local churches in addition to the choir from the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe in Orlando, Florida.  The event was open to the public, well attended and truly inspirational. As a member of the choir here I felt blest to be able to participate in this event. 

Our relationship with Dr. William Picher, the Music Director for the Basilica continues.  We recently were honored to welcome back the Basilica Choir for a Veteran’s Day Concert.  Nearly 500 people attended, the church was full of Patriotic Music and we were able to thank the many veterans attending for their service.  It was a beautiful and joyful evening.  

Doreen Jackson

So I ask, what are you waiting for?

Maybe the Music Ministry at St. Andrew is another way you are being called to praise and worship God.  It is for me.


Doreen is a Cantor with the St. Andrew Choir at the 9:30 am Mass.

What It Means to Me to be an Usher – Tom Schutte

When I began as an usher I did it because at the mass I attended they were short-handedTom Schutte Picture .JPG
and I was asked to help. I have an immense gratitude for the gentleman that asked for my help. I realized that I enjoyed it. I liked meeting people I worship with and trying to help them enjoy the Mass and getting as much out of it as I do.

Thirty one  years later I still enjoy being an usher as much now as I did when I began.

God bless,
Tom Schutte

What Being an Usher/Greeter Means to Me – Joan Schulte

Shortly after coming to St. Andrew Church five years ago, I decided to become an usher/greeter at Sunday Mass. I thought it would help me feel more a part of the parish community and help me meet my fellow Sunday worshipers. It did all that and more. I really enjoy seeing all the familiar faces every week and making everyone feel welcome with a friendly greeting and a smile. I think all of us in the usher/greeter ministry try to help promote our parish slogan. “The doors of Saint Andrew open wide at the very thought of your coming.”

Joan Schulte
I hope some of you will consider joining our ministry. It doesn’t take much of your time and it rewards you with a stronger sense of belonging to our parish community.

Joan Schulte

What Being an Altar Server Means to Me – Harris Craycraft

Being an Altar Server for St. Andrew has a two-fold effect. First and foremost, it is a great opportunity to help out the St. Andrew community. There are many pieces to the puzzle to make the Mass run smoothly, and I am always grateful to be able to contribute to that through being an Altar Server.

Harris Craycraft

Secondly, it is a two-of-a-kind position on the altar that the congregation does not get to experience. Being closer to the Priest and eventually the Eucharist is another blessing that should not be overlooked. Being an Altar Server means serving the community, the Church, and God at the same time.

 

What It Means to Be an Altar Server – Jesse Hardin

Jesse HardinMy name is Jesse Hardin and I am a junior at Archbishop Moeller High School. I became Catholic in the first grade by choice and it was the greatest decision in my life. In the fourth grade I decided to become an Altar Server. It isn’t a requirement, but for me it was a choice that I love. It is a choice to serve the Lord. I feel more connected to the Lord while serving than any other time. I feel like I am directly helping the Lord while on the Altar. Servers are right there by the priest when the bread and wine are changed to the body and blood and I feel the power of the Lord working as I watch.

When you are serving at Mass or at a special liturgical service, you see things from a different viewpoint than the rest of the congregation. I was serving at the Easter Vigil and all the lights are turned off during the beginning of this service. The Deacon began to slowly raise the Bible at the Gospel. I was behind him with the thurible (a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services) and the other server was gradually turning the lights to full power. The lights are gaining in power and the Deacon is slowly raising the Book. The choir starts singing softly and then louder as the lights came up, I felt the power of the Lord working. This moved me enough that I smiled and I was filled with the Spirit.

I also am moved when I am using the thurible. I serve at many funerals and when we are sending the body from the church, the priest incenses the casket. Some priests put the incense right above the head of the casket. This is touching because you can almost see the soul rising to heaven. I love the experience of being a server, as I said, I feel so much closer to God when I do it. I am so glad I became a server. I love Sundays when I get to serve the Lord.

 

 

Bread From Heaven

LogoAlthough we often think of Jesus as a Christian he was a devote Jew who followed all the precepts of Judaism. He was born of a Jewish woman, in a Jewish town in Galilee, was circumcised, studied the Torah, celebrated Jewish feasts, took pilgrimages to Jerusalem, taught in Synagogues, and celebrated Passover with his apostles. So, why is this important to Catholics? It is simple; the origins of the Catholic Mass are rooted in Jewish customs, history and scripture.

Exodus 16:4-6  Then the Lord said to Moses; I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them to see whether they follow my instructions or not. On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in, let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days.

Scripture tells us that the Jewish people were waiting for a political messiah who would set them free, a new Exodus, if you will. As the Jews were fleeing Egypt, God took care of them every morning and night for forty years. Each morning in the desert the Jews found dew on the ground and when it dried, it was like flakes and they asked what it was. Moses said, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.” And, each evening, they were fed quail. The bread was called manna and in the desert, any manna that was not consumed was stored in a tabernacle. A candle was lit next to the tabernacle to indicate that there was manna stored within. The Lord fed the Israelites for 40 years, manna in the morning and quail in the evening. The manna was referred to as “bread from heaven.”

Source:  The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Brant Pitre

Tabernacle and Lamp

Today the unused consecrated hosts remain in our tabernacle for the sick and dying. When the candle next to it is lit; you know the tabernacle has consecrated hosts in it.

The Tabernacle at St. Andrew The Apostle Church

The Worship Commission

 

 

 

God Is Calling You, The Question Is

LogoGenesis implies that man from the very beginning was created for the sacred service of worship. It is no surprise then that public acts of worship appear in Scripture as early as primeval times. The instinct to serve God by the sacrifice of animals and the fruits of the ground is visible in the account of Cain and Abel in Genesis.

(Gen. 4:2-7) Abel became a herder of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the ground, while Abel, for his part, brought the fatty portion of the firstlings of the flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So, Cain was very angry and dejected. Then the LORD said to Cain: Why are you angry? Why are you dejected? If you act rightly, you will be accepted; but if not, sin lies in wait at the door; its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it.

During the next few months, we will be examining the history of our Worship, special liturgical services, as well as the liturgical ministries at St. Andrew Sunday Masses, and Eucharistic Adoration; including, Servers, Ushers/Greeters, Music Ministry (choir, cantors and musicians), Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and Adorers. We will look at how these ministries began, what is involved in these ministries, the gifts or talents needed, and finally what you need to do to participate. We hope to provide you with additional information to allow you to explore different ways of participating at Mass. We are all given different gifts and are called to serve the Lord in different ways. Watch for the God Is Calling You logo with open eyes and hearts.

Whether we join a liturgical ministry or not, we are all called to fully and actively participate in the liturgy by uniting our offerings (prayers, works, joys and sufferings) to the Lord as he offers himself to his Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. Then we can all go out and sanctify the world – as at the end of Mass the priest can say – Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.

. . . are You Listening?

The Worship Commission

God is Calling You

LogoLiturgy is the public worship of the people of God. The shape and substance of liturgy has evolved from primeval history to our current time. Indeed, liturgy is the principal means of renewing and maintaining the promises between God and his people in the history of salvation. The word “liturgy” comes from the Greek leitourgia, which means “public service.”

In ancient Greece, this meant not only fulfilling civic duties but also religious duties to the gods. The word appears only six times in the Greek New Testament but is used over forty times in the Greek Old Testament, where it most often translates to the Hebrew meaning “service” or “worship.” In early Christian writings, the term “liturgy” referred to the sacramental worship of the Church with all its actions and dimensions. Related terms in Greek include leitourgia, “to serve, worship,” and leitourgos, “servant, minister.”

Source: The Catholic Bible Dictionary, Scott Hahn

In the months that follow, several times during the month, you will find information in the Bulletin, or on the Through the Open Doors Blog on the St. Andrew Church website, or on the St. Andrew Facebook Page, there will be information for you to read and maybe even some videos to watch to help you understand how God may be calling you to participate in our liturgy more fully. We will have information on the history of the Mass including where some the rituals and symbols originated, as well as information on the various ministries. While we are each called to worship in different ways, God may be calling you to serve your community in a particular ministry.

. . . are you listening?

 

The Worship Commission

The 50th Anniversary of the Permanent Restoration of Deacons

Procession of Deacons.pngOn Saturday, August 11 at the cathedral of Saint Peter in chains, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr celebrated Mass surrounded by the permanent deacons of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Along with our wives there were over 80 in attendance marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the permanent diaconate at the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. At this special liturgy Archbishop Schnurr led the assembled deacons in a rededication of their ministry.  All deacons were asked to vest in alb. The archdiocese gifted all present with a commemorative stole marking this special event. The entire event was an affirmation of the church’s commitment for diaconal ministry. The diaconate is part of the church’s hierarchy tracing its humble beginning in sacred scripture with the call of the first 7 deacons;

 Acts 6:1-4. At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists    complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.  So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.  Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word”

The ordination of these 7 men was brought about through the laying of hands by the 12 apostles.

So who and what is a deacon? He is a fully initiated Catholic man who through the laying on of hands by the local (arch)bishop is ordained to serve the church in three particular ways.

First, he is servant of the Word of God. He is proper minister of the Word, and proclaims the Gospel during Sunday Mass. As proper minister of the Word of God the deacon always leads the general intercession. The deacon is given faculties to preach at weddings, funerals and baptisms and at the request of the local pastor may preach Sunday Mass. As servant of the Word of God he is to exhort the faithful, (teach) how God’s Word is present in and through the lives we lead.

Second, he is the servant of the sacrifice, (worship). It is the proper role of the deacon to be of service whenever the bishop presides at mass. The deacon is  the proper minister of the chalice and distributes Holy Communion (the Precious Blood of Christ) when he serves at Mass. It is his responsibility to teach and maintain
reverence of the sacrifice.

Third, the deacon is the servant of the people of God, especially the poor and forgotten. The deacon is the voice of God’s people to the church community promoting a renewed awareness of justice where there is injustice.

Conferred on the deacon is Christ the Servant, who came to serve not to be served.

Tim Singing

Deacon Tim singing

The order of “permanent deacon” (not transitional deacons) was dropped around 500 A.D. The order of was restored by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The gathering of Vatican II, like all councils, is the work of the Holy Spirit that promoted the restoration of this sacred order in the church. Pope Paul VI expressed, “permanent deacons present the face of the church, which likes to be close to the people and their daily realities, to root in their lives the proclamation of Christ’s message.”

For 14 years and 4 months I have served you as your deacon. For that I am grateful. But I am most grateful to God for the support and encouragement I have received over the years by the good people I serve. May God continue to bless our Saint Andrew Family, deacon and all.

“Saint Andrew, pray for us.”

Men that are interested in the diaconate and want more information may call my
office, 513-831-3353 or email me at deacontim@standrew-milford.org.

Deacons.png

Deacon Tim with 7 of his 15 classmates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus and You – Living a Single Life With an Open Heart

Recently, St. Andrew Church hosted an evening program entitled, “Jesus and You – Living a Single Life With an Open Heart” for divorced, widowed, never married or otherwise single people from both St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parishes. This is the first program of its kind in our Pastoral Region and hopefully, from the feedback received, not the last.

Silhouette People Man Guy Sad Alone Trees

Over 30 men and women were present, as well as, the Holy Spirit.  Fr. Chris began the evening with prayer and a short talk, sharing his humor, family stories, and kind heart; drawing people in and putting them at ease. He opened the door wide to a wonderful evening of discussion.

Following his words, each person was assigned to a small group and each group received 2 different scripture passages related to leading a single life.  These passages were used as a basis for discussion on how these words related to their lives.  Many people shared stories  of the joys of single life, some pain and suffering, and even the aloneness of their lives and how they attempted to deal with this, using these scripture readings to help focus the discussion. Many others talked how adjusting to being single takes time and lots of prayer.

While we all knew we were in the same boat, many came to the boat for very different reasons, and we all had to learn how to live in silence, by ourselves.  As Fr. Chris said, “we all have the capacity to love and that is what we are called to do.  Living alone provides us with the time and availability to do just that.”

While sharing a personal story of pain and grief with strangers is never easy, there was a certain comfort when you realize that on this path, you are never really alone.  While the discussions from each of the 6 groups was very different, there was clearly a common thread – whatever your situation, you have to trust that God will care for you and if you do trust in his wisdom, you will live in peace.

I am with you always, even to the end of time. Lk. 24:29

Cathy O’Toole