eNEWS ~ Pax Christi Catholic Community
A Note from Fr. Michael Byron ~ For the week of Sunday, August 16, 2020
Dear Friends ~
If you have been following our Live Stream Masses lately, then you will have noticed that we are starting to inch back toward long-delayed sacramental celebrations. I won't call it a "normal" situation, because these sacraments are taking place in a mostly empty church. We will be making up for the missed spring rituals of First Eucharist and Confirmation during the next couple of months, and you will be able to view them online as they occur.
But perhaps the most significant change in our sacramental routine has involved marriages. Several have been postponed because we cannot accommodate large crowds in our sanctuary right now. Others have taken place with a minimum of guests present, sometimes with plans for a bigger party/celebration to follow whenever the COVID thing goes away...perhaps next year. It's a very different way of experiencing this moment of new life in our church; subdued, small, and intimate. It's not all bad, but it is surely unfamiliar.
But the dynamics of Catholic marriage were already shifting quite a bit long before the virus came upon us. Lots of young Catholic couples had already decided that a church wedding was not for them. When I began my work in parish ministry, the big issue was whether or not to preside over weddings for couples who already were living together. Today that seems like an ancient tale. I am so grateful for those couples who choose to live apart prior to their wedding day (and there are some!), but it is no longer the typical situation. Rather than submit to the regulations of the Catholic Church in matters of marital intimacy, very many young couples simply choose to ignore the Church completely and to marry in other places on their own terms with fewer accountabilities. In my opinion that is lamentable on both sides of the equation.
On the side of the couple, there seems to have been a loss of the understanding that Christian marriage is not just a matter of two people and a civil contract. It's a public symbol of Christ's love for the community that He has gathered together, and a source of encouragement for those of us who surround them with our prayer and love. That involves a public responsibility for how they live together. And on the side of the Church, there seems to have been little structural attention to the fact that young adults are choosing to move away from the constrictions of canon law when it comes to how they wish to celebrate their union. We can hop up and down all we want in order to insist upon what couples "ought" to think and do, but they also are part of the Church, and when they are ignored they often just go away—in a way that they did not do a generation or two ago. This should be of concern to the whole community, but I sense that it frequently is not.
So many things to ponder during an exceptional season of our lives, but one that can be productive of new ways of thinking about our sacraments, if we are open to that.
Fr. Mike Byron
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Fr. Mike will hear confessions at 4:00pm each Saturday on the patio outside of door #1. Those who wish to celebrate this sacrament can park near door #1, wait for the person who is celebrating the sacrament to be finished, and then come forward to receive the sacrament. Again, please wear a mask.
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Thank you for your continued generosity!
Week of August 2:
Online Giving 39,633
Mailed Contributions 15,517
Total Week #5
YTD Actual 199,941
YTD Budget 217,000
YTD Variance (17,059)
Please continue supporting Pax Christi through online giving or by mailing your contributions to the parish office. Each and every gift makes a difference, and all are appreciated.
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FAITH FORMATION REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
Join us for another great year of Pax Christi Faith Formation!
To ensure the safety of both participants and volunteers, our faith formation program will be based online. Families are invited to participate when and where it works best for them! There will be different program offerings that are tailored to the age group of the participants. More information on these program offerings are available at
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THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The Assumption of Mary, the liturgical feast that celebrates the belief that Mary was taken up or "assumed" body and soul into heavenly glory, is not a holy day of obligation this year, as it falls on a Saturday and during a pandemic, in which Archbishop Hebda has released the obligation to attend Mass for all the faithful. This feast was celebrated by the early Christians as the anniversary of Mary's "falling asleep in Christ," or "dormition." May we remember in our prayers and reflections on the Assumption of Mary her saintly life as she not only gave birth to the Savior, but taught by her example of faithfulness to God’s will in her life what it means to journey in discipleship.
VIRTUAL PANDEMIC PRAYER
Wednesday, August 26, 5:00pm
Please join us for the monthly virtual prayer service “A Time to Lament, a Time to Hope.” These half-hour services will “Premier” on our YouTube channel. After the premier, the prayer service will be available on our YouTube channel or our “Mass and Prayer Service Archive” page. You are welcome to join us!
Opening Virtual Retreat: Saturday, August 29, 9:00am–4:00pm
Wednesdays, September 2–October 21, 1:00–3:30pm OR 6:00–8:30pm
As with all
Faith programs, participants will explore how their faith should inform their response to their learning, as well as discern action steps for working toward racial equity in their own communities. Complete details and registration at this link -
INTRODUCTION TO CENTERING PRAYER
A Virtual Experience Using Zoom
Wednesday, September 16, 9:30–11:00am OR 6:30–8:00pm
Centering Prayer is a receptive, deep method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. There is no cost to participate.
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MOMS ROCK: GROWING FAITH AT HOME
Presented by Laura Kelly Fanucci
Monday, September 21, 8:00–9:30pm, Via Zoom
A quick glance at your calendar likely tells the story: Life right now looks nothing like we expected. The pandemic has transformed church, school, work, and family activities. Many parents are struggling to navigate the changes and wonder how to keep children growing in faith. Laura will share ideas for building your “domestic church” during the pandemic and offer inspiration for nourishing your own faith, too. Bring your questions, and let’s chat and pray online together. There is no fee.
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LITURGICAL MINISTRY RETREAT
Participation of the Heart: Serving and Building the Community of the Beloved
Guest Speakers Fr. Michael Joncas and Vicki Klima
Saturday, September 19, 9:00am–12:00pm
This online virtual retreat will give participants time to listen, learn, and discern God’s call to be ambassadors of Christ to one another in worship and in the ordinary places of our lives. As the assembly in worship, we welcome as hospitality ministers, we proclaim the word as lectors, we share Holy Eucharist as communion ministers. As liturgical ministers we are present sacramentally. As people of faith we continue our sacramental call as parents, students, spouses, mentors, workers, and citizens. When God calls us to service, God calls us to integrate our spiritual lives with our daily lives. Our goal is to expand and deepen the relationship between Liturgy and Life.
There is no cost to participate in this online virtual retreat. You will receive instructions for how to access links and materials after we have processed your registration.
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on Tuesday, August 11 at 11:48AM