Weekly Musings from the Priest Administrator
Saint James Church, St. Augustine, FL
A Catholic Community of the Personal Ordinariate
of the Chair of Saint Peter
St. Maximilian Kolbe
Vigil, Solemnity of the Dormition and Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary
This special edition of the Musings comes to you amidst considerable lightning and thunder activity in the area, and I do pray that our local members and friends will be safe from all manner of mayhem that such conditions can bring to us here in "sunny" Florida. Especially poor drivers who ought to simply stay off the road! Ah, but I won't get into that. God keep you all in His care.
You will notice I have elected to utilize the dual designations of the Solemnity just about upon us such as is utilized by the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, respectively. There's really no conflict or contradiction. One very good way to think of it is that while our Blessed Mother did indeed "breathe her last" and die like anyone else, she was also immediately assumed, body and soul, into the Heavenly realm. Or as our Evangelical/Fundamentalist Protestant friends might say, she was "raptured" shortly after death. One thing's for sure. In a time that GREATLY coveted relics and such of the saints, NO ONE has EVER come up with any sort of physical remains from the Blessed Mother of God. No one! Same deal as with the Lord Jesus. No forensic evidence of either His, or His Mother's, body has ever been produced, or will be. Both received a very profound "translation", to use that heady word, of their bodies, souls, and spirits into Glory. Like Son, like Mother. And while Mary did not experience the exact same kind of Resurrection that Jesus did (the Shroud of Turin proves that!), she nonetheless reigns as a fully intact human being as Queen of Angels and Men and Women everywhere, whether or not they acknowledge it at the moment. Rest assured, everyone will - someday! Wow!
That's why I so love this feast, and that's why the Church insists that her children attend Mass, the Divine Liturgy, whatever you want to call it. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, and St. James will celebrate the occasion tomorrow, Wednesday August 15th, at NOON, and as always graciously hosted by the good people of St. Benedict the Moor and the Cathedral Basilica, of which it is the mission church in Lincolnville. This is the first time, by my recollection, St. James has been able to celebrate its own liturgy for a weekday Holy Day of Obligation, and I hope and trust that many of us will take the opportunity to attend this mid-day Mass. Many thanks to Fr. Tom Willis and his staff for granting us the opportunity to observe this special day using our Divine Worship Missal. I only wish we had instrumental musical accompaniment for the service, but hey, the human voice is a marvelous instrument in its own right. Anyone for a cappella tomorrow?
One last item, and I'll close. Next Sunday, immediately after Mass, we're going to "tarry" a bit, to use another good Protestant word, and have a time of prayer and discernment right in church as regards what the Lord is asking of us, tangibly and practically, as regards one or two mission foci, going forward, for our church. It's time to re-engage that process in this period when I'm preparing to hand over St. James to a new priest early next year. We started to do this earlier this year, but somehow we got diverted. If you have some sense as to where the Lord is specifically leading us as regards that vast mission field out there known as St. Augustine, please come out and contribute your insights, they will be much appreciated. Thank you so much!
May the Lord bless and love you all!
Fr. Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr., D.Min.
P.S. Please also pray for Mr. Philip Mayer and his wife Melissa. Philip will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in Houston by Bishop Lopes next Wednesday, August 22nd, and Melissa will be delivering their third child on or about August 30th. Lots going on in that family, and they very much need and deserve our prayers. Thank you.