Join the Community-in-Formation for a Solemn Traditional Mass for Bl. John Henry Newman, CO. Bl. John Newman brought the person of St. Philip and the idea of the Oratory to England, where it has had much success in reclaiming England to the Faith. Join us as we celebrate this Blessed of the Congregation, and invoke his intercession for similar blessing upon the Cincinnati Community, and all Oratorian Communities in the United States.
When: October 9th at 7pm
Where: Old St. Mary’s Church
123 E. 13th St.
Over-the-Rhine – Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Who: Fr. Lawrence Juarez, Celebrant
Fr. Jon-Paul Bevak, Deacon
Br. Adrian Hilton, Subdeacon
Check out the latest article from our friend Gail over the Catholic Beat… Please share with family and friends to get the message out. Also, please note the new time for Vespers starting this Sunday, 3pm… No Vespers next Sunday, October 13, because of the closing of 40 Hours.
Join the Community-in-Formation and the Latin Mass Schola for weekly Sunday Vespers. Vespers is a Solemn Public Liturgy of the Church, ranking in importance only after Holy Mass. The Office of Vespers finds its origins in the Book of Psalms, primarily composed by King David. The Office of Vespers follows the ritual books from 1962 and is chanted in Latin. It is comprised of five Psalms, a Scripture Reading (the Chapter), a hymn, the Magnificat (Mary’s words of praise during the visit to Elizabeth), and concludes with the Marian Antiphon appropriate to the time of year. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament occurs before Vespers. Booklets are provided. Please join us!
When: Every Sunday at 3:00pm
Where: Old St. Mary’s Church – 123 E. 13th St. – Over-the-Rhine – Cincinnati, Ohio
Demolition and construction finally began at 118 E. 12th Street this week, the site of the future Cincinnati Oratory. Crews began demoing the building on Tuesday, with full construction set to begin in early November. A lot of work has happened in this past week and here are a few pictures of what the place looks like now. We are still in need of raising another $350,000 to complete the whole pious house. Right now we have enough to complete two floors, but by the grace of God, we are already out of space with the acceptance of a new postulant last month and need to keep working on additional floors. This is a good problem to have for the Community and the entire Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Please be generous and please tell others about us who may be interested in the work we are doing in Over-the-Rhine. More pictures and information to follow in the coming weeks as progress continues, and more information about our new postulant (who comes to us from the State of Kansas, we are attracting vocations to the Archdiocese…) will be forthcoming… God Bless you all.
In the beginning when God created the world and all we see, He did this because He was all-good. All that is good by its nature seeks to give of itself and be pro-creative. This is why we see in Genesis God saying that he saw what he had created was good, and said that it should be fruitful and multiply. Goodness by nature exists for others.
This natural order, however, was disturbed by our first parents’ choice to turn away from God. In turning away from God, they decided to choose themselves. They embraced selfishness and not unconditional love. Others therefore exist for our demands and pleasures. Jealousy filled the heart of Cain that led him to kill his brother. Passions filled the sons of Cain that led them to polygamy. They did not seek to have more than one wife because of how much they loved others, but because of how much they loved themselves and how many others they could control. From what we were created to be, we were grossly deformed and our hearts divided.
Each of us has been affected by this self-centeredness in some way. By this contraceptive mentality. There is no aspect of our lives and society that has not been touched by Original Sin. The natural world itself was deformed by the introduction of disease and death. And from that time, our self-love has only grown.
In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued his watershed Encyclical Humane Vitae. In this document, the Pope condemns the use of artificial contraception. Artificial contraception is wrong because it is another symptom of the bigger problem of self-love. Contraception takes another step further and radicalizes the idea that we are just animals. Living not based on others, but on our passions. Rather than liberating humanity from the so-called ‘scourge’ of our own fertility, it turned the sexual act into merely an act of pleasure with no consequences. Artificial contraception is wrong because we were attempting to remove the idea of fertility, the rearing of children, and their education from the sexual act. The logical conclusion from this is to then say that children are in no way essential to marriage.
In effect, on that day in which artificial contraception was invented, and we attempted to alter our biology and human nature, we redefined marriage. No longer was the sexual act and marriage about having children. One could have children if chosen, but this wasn’t essential. Marriage was about this vague idea of love, and spending one’s life with someone else forever.
We saw in a very short time what followed. Over 50% of all marriages in this country now end in divorce. It is clear that artificial contraception has not helped in bringing spouses together, but has rather driven them further apart than ever. If children, and their education, are not an essential aspect of any marital relationship, then the institution of marriage can be defined any way society deems appropriate.
Based on this, the decisions of the Supreme Court this past week, we should not be a surprise. If marriage is simply about a ‘loving’ commitment to another person, which is what the contraceptive mentality tells us, than one can be with anyone. One can commit or divorce as many people as one wants. In the end, we are the center of our own universes, and everyone exists for me.
We are faced with many temptations because of this issue. Whether it is the temptation to demonize homosexuals or feel the need to retreat from society and lose all hope. These are also ‘contraceptive’ reactions. Saint Paul today urges us onto charity, and part of that is to love those we may not understand or agree with. Charity demands that we not retreat into our own ghettos, and further the idea that the life of faith must be divorced from public life. We can’t given into this modern idea. Charity demands that rather simply write homosexuality off as something disgusting, that we actually educate ourselves on these matters to be able to address them in a charitable and educated matter. The work of evangelization and sanctity require hard work, and aren’t accomplished by taking the easy way out. Saints aren’t made over night and they weren’t made by divorcing faith and public life. They rose to the challenges of their day, with the help of God, and we must also do the same.
In order for us to be able to continue to engage society, and to be able to influence society, we have to actually know what we are talking about and what we believe in. The root of society’s ills today, and of all sin, goes back to Original Sin. When we turned love from being about another, into being about us. We as a Church have to continue to grow in true love, in order to show society what love is. We have to be witnesses of sanctity to society, because in the end, it was the example of the early martyrs that won the hearts and minds of the people of Rome.
If we have any hope of winning society and culture back to Christ and His Church, we must let go of those things that drive wedges between God and us. We each need to be saints. Not for our own sake, but because Christ has called us to be so. We need to allow Christ live in each of us, so that His light may shine in the world. Our Church is ill and has become self-referential, as Pope Francis has reminded us often. But with the Lord, we can do truly great things and win over hearts and minds. If each of us strives to become saints, and end the idea that sanctity is only for a select few, then God can use each of us for great things. Today the Lord asks each of us to follow after him and him alone. May our prayer this week be to cast off the contraceptive mentality that we each have as a result of original sin, and follow after the Lord and Him alone. Because if we don’t live the Gospel that Christ preached, we can’t expect anyone else to. – Fr. Jon-Paul, 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time
It is certainly no surprise to anyone, but the summer season is now upon us. And if the heat of the past few days is any indicator, it is here with a vengeance. But there is another interesting fact about the summer season that hits us with a vengeance, but we rarely notice. From Christmas until now, the days have been slowly getting longer. All the way to the point that the sunrises around around 6 AM and sets around 9 PM. However, from now until Christmas, each day will lose a little light. Slowly we will be back to the time when the sun is finally up by 8 AM and back down already by 6 PM.
Typically, we only celebrate a saint on the date when he or she was born into the Kingdom of Heaven, in other words on the of their death. But two saints, in addition to Our Lord himself, have had their births added to the Universal Calendar, the Mother of God on September 8th, and today, Saint John the Baptist. The Church certainly had wisdom, and perhaps a little sense of humor, when she determined the dates for the Feast of Christmas and the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Saint John the Baptist famously declared in the Gospels that he must decrease, while Our Lord must increase. From this date, the birth of St. John the Baptist, the days get a little shorter, a little darker. In other words, they decrease. This continues until Christmas, at the coming of our Savior and Redeemer, when the days get longer and brighter. In other words, they increase.
This trick of nature, and the deliberate assignment of these Feast Days, sums up for us the entire life of Saint John the Baptist. He lived for Christ, he died for Christ. He proclaimed the truth, and he went into the dark places of the world to preach the light of the truth. He never preached his own word, but he preached the word of one who was greater than he. He would not even allow the threat of governments and kings swerve him from this word, because he knew this word was not only truth, but was a person. This Word was Jesus Christ. He believed so much in the Word that he was willing to sacrifice his very life for it. Our Lord once said of Saint John the Baptist that of women no man greater than he was born. And the reason is not because he claimed greatness for Himself, but because he lived for Christ alone.
Saint John the Baptist is a model for each of us. A model because he recognized the face of the Lord from the womb, and his soul leaped for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice. Do our souls leap for joy at the mere thought of receiving the Eucharist? Our Lord merely came into the presence of Saint John and he was overjoyed. Do our emotions even rival those of Saint John when we can not only enter into the presence of our God, but receive Him in the Eucharist?
Saint John the Baptist is a model for us because he fearlessly proclaimed the truth to everyone, and sought out those who needed it preached to them the most. He realized that it wasn’t his word that he spoke, but that it was God’s Word. He knew that it wasn’t His word to hold onto selfishly, but was God’s word to be preached to the entire world. Do we even so much as preach Christ in our actions, much less our words? Are we embarrassed by our Faith in someway, because society tells us it isn’t the ‘in’ thing? In the end, we truly must contemplate what it is that makes Christians different from the rest of society. Society knew Saint John was different, because he lived the Gospel, he preached the Gospel, and most importantly he loved the Gospel. He knew it was hard. He knew he would lose his life over what he preached. But yet he still went from corner to corner, even into the midst of sinners, to preach repentance and the coming of God. Even to the extent that he was the first to point out the long awaited Messiah when he told his disciples to ‘Behold the Lamb of God.’
He knew if something wasn’t worth dying for, it wasn’t worth living for. He couldn’t waffle on the truth, because it wasn’t his word, but Christ’s. Where in our life can we be better Catholics, following after the humility, fearlessness, and missionary activity of Saint John the Baptist? Who was himself ultimately only following after Christ.
Saint John is certainly an example for us all, and especially me, as I begin my ministry as the Parochial Administrator of Old St. Mary’s. For those who may not know what a Parochial Administrator is, it is more or less the same role as Pastor, without some of the rights that pastors enjoy. For example, a pastor enjoys the right of permanence in his office. This means, for him to be removed from the office of pastor, the Bishop needs a very good reason. An Administrator, however, can be reassigned at will, depending upon the needs of the Archdiocese. Otherwise, and Administrator has all of the rights and obligations of a pastor. Including the obligation to offer Mass weekly for those that are entrusted to my care. Be assured that each week, I will offer a Mass for the people of Old St. Mary’s, as well as the students, faculty, and staff of LaSalle High School, where I continue on as Chaplain. Bishop Binzer asked that I explain all of this to the people of Old St. Mary’s so that you would understand why you were given an administrator and not a pastor, and that you understood the difference. He said that this gave the Archbishop flexibility at the moment with the new foundation of the future Cincinnati Oratory, and future regionalization of the downtown and surrounding parishes. In other words, it is possible we may be entrusted with the care of other parishes in the future. But rest assured, you do have, and always will have, shepherds to care after your spiritual needs.
Saint John is a model for me in this office of shepherding because he always pointed people to Christ. He never claimed anything as his own. And that is my hope in the priesthood of Jesus Christ that has been shared with me, that all that I do is for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel. I am not perfect, I will make mistakes, I will make decisions you may not like or understand, but I ask you to always be patient with me and most importantly to pray for me. I promise to always be honest and transparent with you. I promise to try to explain changes and the state of the parish to you. Old St. Mary’s is a wonderful parish and we are all very proud to be members of the oldest standing Church within the City of Cincinnati. It has a very Catholic liturgical and spiritual life. It offers sound teachings. It is a beacon for Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati. And moving into the future, with your help, we will make this known as the best parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Not for our glory, not for our honor, but for glory and love of Christ.
And so, on this Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, I dedicate my pastoral ministry as the shepherd of Old St. Mary’s to the intercession of the Mother of God, Mary most holy. And it is my prayer that she intercede with her son for me, to make my heart more like his. And I ask that you join me in this prayer everyday. So that in the end, it is Christ who increases, while we all decrease. – Fr. Jon-Paul’s Homily at a 7 PM Sung Mass offered in English, Latin, German (the three languages Mass is offered at Old St. Mary’s).
More pictures in our photo gallery…
to those who are devoted to the Sacred Heart.
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will establish peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
- I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
- The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
“Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.”
In order that the Church might be taken out of the side of Christ, in his deep sleep on the Cross, and that the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced: it was divinely ordained that one of the soldiers should pierce his sacred side with a spear, and open it. Then forthwith there came flowing out blood and water, which was the price of our salvation, pouring forth from its mountain-source, in sooth, from the secret places of his Heart, to give power to the Sacraments of the Church, to bestow the life of grace, and to be as a saving drink of living waters, flowing up to life eternal for those who were already quickened in Christ. Arise, then, O soul beloved of Christ. Cease not thy vigilance, place there thy lips, and drink the waters from the fount of salvation.
Because we are now come to the Sweet Heart of Jesus, and because it is good for us to be here, let us not too soon turn away therefrom. O how good and joyful a thing it is to dwell in this Heart. What a good treasure, what a precious pearl, is thy Heart, O most excellent Jesus, which we have found hidden in the pit which hath been dug in this field, namely, in thy body. Who would cast away such a pearl? Nay, rather, for this same I would give all my pearls. I will sell all my thoughts and affections, and buy the same for myself, turning all my thoughts to the Heart of the good Jesus, and without fail it will support me. Therefore, o most sweet Jesus, finding this Heart that is thine and mine, I will pray to thee, my God: admit my prayers into the shrine of hearkening: and draw me even more altogether into thy Heart.
For to this end was thy side pierced, that an entry might be open unto us. To this end was thy Heart wounded, that in it we might be able to dwell secure from alarms from without. And it was wounded none the less on this account that, because of the visible wound, we may perceive the wound of love which is invisible. How could this fire of love better shine forth than for him to permit that not only his body, but that even his Heart, should be wounded with the spear? Who would not love that Heart so wounded? Who would not, in return, love one who is so loving? Who would not embrace one so chaste? Wherefore let us who are in the flesh love in return, as much as we can, him who so loveth, embrace our wounded one, whose hands and feet, side and Heart, have been pierced by wicked husbandmen ; and let us pray that he may deign to bind our hearts, still hard and impenitent, with the chain of his love, and wound them with the dart thereof. – Sermon of Saint Bonaventure