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From the Pastor 11/19/17

New landscaping around the Parish Center

Lots of parishioners have been asking about the new landscaping that is being constructed around the Parish Center. I have mentioned this before in my past Pastor’s columns, but once again to let everyone know what is going on, and a little more information.

First of all I want our parishioners to know that the expense for these projects has been donated to the parish by generous benefactors.

The first project was the landscaping around the gym entrance. We installed a new retaining wall, seating, and a walkway. This was needed for added safety for our kids coming and going from gym class.

The second landscaping project is a seat retaining wall where the Children’s Garden used to be. This ‘serpentine” seat wall will be accompanied by a Jubilee Memorial marking the pastors from St. Gertrude’s who have celebrated their 25 and 50 Jubilees of Ordination.

The third landscaping project will be a new Pro-Life Knights of Columbus Plaza Entrance. The Knights of Columbus are known for their great work for the sanctity of life. This plaza will have a Pro-Life Monument reminding us to keep praying and working for the sacredness of life, new seating areas, and a new entrance for the Knights of Columbus.

I am grateful for the generosity of the Knights of Columbus and two other families who have generously given for all these projects. It should be very nice by the time it is finished. In the spring of 2018 the trees, shrubs, and plantings will be done in all three areas. There will be opportunities for you to donate in memoriam at that time.

Mass Offerings, Part II
What it means to have a Mass “offered” for someone.

The Church has always taught that the Mass brings about certain fruits. This includes effect upon the living members of the Church as well as the poor souls in purgatory. The special ministerial fruits of the Mass are applied to the particular intention of the Mass, often referred to as that “for whom the Mass is offered.” There are also special personal fruits from the Mass that benefit the celebrating priest who acts in the person of Christ, as well as the people who are in attendance and participate in the Mass.

A person may ask a priest to offer a Mass for a particular intention. Typically, a stipend is given to the priest for offering the Mass, which thereby in justice creates an obligation which must be satisfied. This particular intention is sometimes called a “stipended intention.” Whereas the intention normally goes to the priest, in the case of religious with vows of poverty, such as the Dominicans, the stipend goes to the community or the parish.

The Code of Canon Law clearly acknowledges that the offerings of the faithful for Mass intentions are a laudable practice. The Code revised in 1983 deliberately chose the term “offering” in preference to the traditional term “stipend.” This communicates that any offering given for the celebration of a Mass is to be freely given, as well as the fact that the poor and needy are never to be denied the celebration of a Mass for their intentions because of their inability to provide a customary offering (c. 945). Canon 946 states, “Christ’s faithful who make an offering so that Mass can be celebrated for their intention, contribute to the good of the Church, and by that offering they share in the Church’s concern for the support of its ministers and its activities.”

This practice dates back to the early Church and has clear pastoral value. When we face the death of someone, even a person who is not Catholic, to have a Mass offered for the repose of his soul and to offer our prayers are more beneficial and comforting than any other sympathy card or bouquet of flowers. To have a Mass offered on the occasion of a birthday, anniversary or special need is appropriate, beneficial and appreciated.

The priest always has the particular intention in mind, even if it is not announced. During formation, priests are instructed to form a habitual intention of always remembering the particular intention. Sometimes it is not even known to the priest, such as when someone asks for a Mass to be offered for “a special intention.”

A Blessed Week to All,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor