Wednesday, December 28

Odd little Mass

I've been going to Daily Mass every day this week. It's been a nice break in the middle of the day, and it's always good to spend some time with the eucharist. The only problem is that there's two masses: 11:40a and 12:10p. I've been going to the earlier mass because the main Father of the chapel is the leader of the mass then. Bu today they had another father, Father Alex, and he did a couple of things that were a bit off kilter to me. First of all, after the homily, he did the Lord Hear Our Prayer part from the liturgy alter (instead of stepping off and reading from another area of the platform). Then after the sacrament ended, he left the cup and the eucharist dish up on the altar and finished the mass, then walked off with the dish and cup in hand, and left the little pitchers with the water and wine up on the altar as well as the book.

I found this to be rather unorthodox and discourteous to the reverence of the altar. As Fr. Celio said in RCIA class, the altar is not a table, and it is not a bookshelf. It is a sacred space to be used only as such.

It also didn't help that his accent was so thick that I had to watch other people during the mass to figure out when to stand up and sit down, because I could not tell what part of the mass he was preaching. I don't have a problem with priests who have an accent, but I get more out of the mass when I can understand it clearly. It really makes me appreciate Vatican II's stance of saying the Mass in the vernacular.

Monday, December 26

Christ Mass

Of the masses that were offered at St. Jude's, I went to 3 out of 4 of them. My husband and I (!) went to Vigil Mass at 6p, then I went to Midnight Mass at 10p. This afternoon I went to the 12:10p mass.

Each mass was quite interesting in its own way. The 6p mass was a bit harrowing. Fr. C looked like he was going to pass out. And when he held up the Blood of Christ, he was shaking so hard that he spilled a little. I thought maybe he was having a heart attack or something. But apparently he had strained his arm really bad the night before and was in some pain.

The midnight mass, he had lots of help from the Dominican Priory at the U of D (that I didn't even know was there!), and after the mass I got to chat with a couple of the novices that were there to help. So that was quite entertaining.

The 12:10p mass was very sparcely attended. But I was happy that it was there. A priest from the priory did the mass, and that was nice.

My Christmas was very nice. My husband got me a 2006 Liturgical calendar, and he also got me a cute little prayer book. So that's handy. I got him a video game and a microphone and some sudoku books. He seemed very happy.

Ok, I'm off to sleep. Merry Christmas all!

Thursday, December 22


I've been reading a lot about wearing a veil to church. It's apparently a sign of submission to God. It has something to do with covering your hair being respectful. I don't quite understand why I have to cover my head.

I can understand the symbolism of being submissive to God, but why is is a pious thing to do? I've been reading about it and commenting about it on the Catholic board I go to.

There are a couple of women who wear a veil at St. Jude's, including my friend L. She wears this gorgeous long mantilla. She also wears very conservative clothes and when I first saw her, I was sure she was some kind of nun. She's a very spiritual lady.

When I feel comfortable with it, I might consider it. But it still kind of rubs me the wrong way about the part that Paul says about veiling, where the man is the glory of God, and woman is the glory of Man. I don't understand that and I haven't found something online that gives me a reason that doesn't sound terribly sexist.

Wednesday, December 21

Private message on my board

I frequent a board, and was Private Messaged asking me why I wanted to convert to Catholocism. I gave a response and liked the answer, so I'm going to copy and paste it here:

Not nosy at all, I wouldn't have a blog if I didn't want to talk about it. Well, my conversion story is kind of long, but I'll give you the medium version. I have been looking for God for years. I grew up Mormon, but lost faith at 21. I mean completely - no faith in God, no faith in Christ, nothing. I tried being Mormon again my my late 20's, but just couldn't find a testimony and gave up at 30.

I've searched all over for a place where I felt I needed to be. I'm still not 100% confident in the existance of God or nature of God, and I am looking forward to spending a lifetime getting to know Christ. Right now, though that part is still kind of fuzzy.

But I had been searching so hard, for so long. Protestant religions never did anything for me. Sing, pray, sermon, give money, sing, go home - not my thing. I investigated so many churches, some pretty intense (Buddhism, Hare Krishna), some just Googling to see what the web had to say about them (Kaballah).

I went to a Catholic wedding a few weeks ago, and while I was sitting there, I was so jealous of people who got to go partake of the Eucharist. I wanted to experience that. I felt this ... warmth, this serenity sitting there in the chapel. And then in this big cascade, switches started getting flipped. I could do this. *I* could go to a Catholic church EVERY WEEK if I wanted! I could get baptized if I wanted! I could learn about the Catholic church! I could feel this good all the time. I could do this every week. I can be a part of this.

For me, finding God was two fold. First, I had to find a place where I felt serene and safe to do my searching. Second, I had to find an organization where I would be absorbed into it. I would be a part of something bigger than myself. To me, that's the biggest difference between being Protestant and being Catholic. Being Protestant, you get to know God, you get to have a personal relation with Christ, your guidebook is the Bible and your communication is with God and with Christ. Once you accept Christ, that's it. Everything else is gravy in a Protestant church. The preacher is gravy, the sacrament is gravy, none of that is "needed" in a Protestant church. And some Protestant churches, like the Church of Christ, say you have to be that denomination to get into heaven, and yet they still have no authority like the Catholic church claims to have.

Becoming Catholic means becoming part of the larger Body of Christ. Being Catholic means submitting to the authority of the priesthood which has been around since the time of Christ. I cannot simply say, I believe in Christ and become baptized and I'm a member. I have to learn about Christ, and learn about the Church and its traditions. I have to have a sponsor during my RCIA program to help guide me on this journey. I get to learn about the history of the Catholic church - both good and bad. Everything in a Mass, from the mannerisms of the laity as they walk into the church (crossing in Holy Water, genuflecting at the pew) to every single piece of clothing on the priest, is dictated by hundreds and thousands of years of tradition.

But with all this beauty and tradition and history, I still have a personal relationship with Christ. I can also form a relationship with Mother Mary, which was kind of hard at first. Yes, she was simply a woman, but she was also the mother of God. I mean, can you even imagine??? Mother of GOD! When she died, the traditions of the Catholic church said that she was exalted and made Queen of Heaven. Can you fathom how much that Christ loved his mother? My favorite part of the Rosary is the mystery at the end of the Glorious mysteries where it is the Assumption of Mary. Christ loved his mother so much that when she was ready to die, he could not bear of her going through that, so he used his power and had her assumed into heaven. When I pray that part of the Rosary, I can see her seeing her son again, healed with a resurrected heavenly body, and his arms holding his beautiful, beloved mother. And if he loves her that much, I know it can't be a bad thing to get to know her and believe in her through prayers like the Rosary.

If you become Protestant, any church is interchangeable, and each church has its own ways of doing things. The sacrament is a remembrance. But the Catholic church makes a miraculous claim. Through the priests and authority of the Catholic church, the Eucharist and Wine of mass actually *become* Christ. I truly believe that being in the presence of the Eucharist brings me closer to Christ. At first I had a hard time figuring out how this happened, but then an analogy popped into my head. Have you ever seen that picture with two faces, and then all of a sudden you look at it slightly different and it's a white goblet? It's the same with the Eucharist. It's still the same - it's still bread. But at that moment when the Priest says the prayer, the two faces become a goblet, and the bread becomes Christ.

I hope this answers your questions without being too rambling. :) Feel free to ask away.

Monday, December 19

New Template

So I changed my template. I wish they had more selection for Blogger templates, but they don't, so here I am.

I'm adding links to other Catholic blogs, so feel free to check them out.

Sunday, December 18

Disturbance in the Force

The priest at the little church I go to on Saturday and Sunday had an "invitation" to speak with the Bishop and Chancellor of our area this past week. Apparently now we can have no Latin in our masses except for our Saturday Novus Ordo mass in Latin. And apparently he hasn't been as successful with his fundraising as he should.

None of this is a secret - he mentioned them during Mass today after his Homily sermon, as kind of a Post Script. He was very honest with the congregation of what is going on with him and the parish.

I'm very sad, because his ministry has been one of the main reasons for my conversion. And his use of Latin in the Mass and his orthodox ways of doing the Mass is one of the main reasons that he has such high attendance during his Sunday masses. People travel from all over the area, including over an hour away, to attend his conservative, traditional masses.

I am not sure why the fundraising efforts are not meeting the diocese goal except that maybe the weekday masses (for the workers downtown) are not being supported financially as well as they should by the parishioners because the people attending the mass do not consider themselves part of the actual congregation since they go to "their" Parish on Sundays, and aren't contributing much.

I am sure that if/when we get another priest, the priest will be good, and that I will continue to have a safe and spiritual church home. But I am so worried for my sweet little priest. He means well, he really does. He loves the liturgy, and being a Dominican priest, loves the use of Latin in mass as much as possible. He in no way seemed upset with the diocese or the Bishop, only sad that he would have to leave his home and his ministry that he's grown to love.

Today they did the mass all in English (even the Kyrie), and it was kind of "off" - just a little. I will miss the Latin in the mass, and I would definitely miss the Latin mass if they cancelled it on Saturday.

Anyway, I just wanted to vent a bit. I've been praying for him in my heart all day today.

Letter to the Bishop

Dear Bishop G.:

I wanted to take the time to express to you how incredibly blessed I feel to have the opportunity of attending the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin every week at St. Jude’s Chapel in downtown Dallas. I am an RCIA catechumenate who attends classes every Wednesday evening with Deacon Larry at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Being a downtown resident, I reside in the Parish of the Cathedral, but St. Jude’s is less than one block from my downtown loft so I attend Mass there often as well. Having St. Jude’s so convenient to my home has definitely been one of the strongest reasons for my new desire to attend Mass as often as possible. However, I cannot deny the strong influence that attending the Mass in Latin each Saturday afternoon at St. Jude’s has had on my desire to actually be baptized and confirmed into the Catholic church. I have attended the Mass in Latin on a weekly basis since I first became interested in learning about the Catholic church.

Being new to the church, one of the things that I truly love about the catechumenate process is learning about the traditions of the church. The use of Latin in Mass is one of the oldest traditions of the church. Hearing and reading the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin on Saturdays each week helps me feel connected to the long and rich history of the church. I feel a special connection to the Mass when I hear the words in the sacred language that has been used by the Catholic church for thousands of years.

I have to be honest with you as well – one of the reasons that I love going to St. Jude’s church is because of the deep sense of tradition and knowledge of the mass that Father C. has. He understands the symbolism and meaning of every aspect of the mass, and his homilies are clear and passionate. Listening to Father C. every week and experiencing the elements of the Liturgy of the Word have helped to me closer to God and Christ than at any point in my life before now.

I pray that through your guidance and love, and through the love of Christ, St. Jude’s will continue to be an oasis of traditional teachings for all who seek the word of God in downtown Dallas. Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, December 13


I'm blue today. Maybe I need a nap, or maybe I need some healthy food in me. I'm not sure. I have felt so happy and light for so long, and today I feel thick.

Friday, December 9

My introduction to Our Lady of Guadelupe

On Wednesday, our normal day for RCIA, there was supposed to be a group reading at a Novena for Our Lady of Guadalupe at the big Cathedral. But on Wednesday there was an ice storm, and in Texas, no one drives when there's an ice storm. I got to the church early, about 7p, as I was asked to do by the RCIA leader. There was NO ONE there from my class! The service was supposed to be bilingual, but they decided to just have it in Spanish like a normal 7p mass. First they did a novena rosary in Spanish. I could at least figure out what prayers they were saying and say the English verision along with everyone else who was speaking Spanish. When I heard "Santa Maria", I knew it was time to say, "Holy Mary, mother of God ....".

Then the service started. Because the service was about Our Lady of Guadalupe, they had "native American" dancers, I imagine as representatives of the original Incan and Mayan cultures of Mexico that were converted because of the love of Juan Diego and his building of the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was really crazy - like a step dance, but with Indians. The service was rather usual, but since I had never been to a Spanish service before, the songs were different for me. It sounded like they were playing a phonograph of the music.

At the end of the service was a really neat tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. They sang a song, called Adios, Reina del Cielo, which as close as I could tell, was a traditional song sung at the services dedicated to Our Lady. It almost sounded like a lullaby. As we sang, the lights slowly went out, until the song was completely over, and the only light in the Cathedral was luminating the portrait of Our Lady. It was so quiet and peaceful and, well, neat basically.

Then the Indians danced again, and we all left. While I didn't understand much of anything during that entire service, I feel really blessed to be able to have shared the culture of the Spanish-speaking members of the Cathedral. I'd love to come early and be able to experience the final day of Our Lady of Guadalupe's novena, but from what I hear it's Standing Room Only on the last day. Maybe it's worth it to cram in there a bit. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 6


(I know, three posts in one day! I just like to keep specific topics separate. That's just the kind of blogger I am.)

I was finally able to find my Book of Rememberance last night. Or, more specifically, my husband found it for me. Mormons are encouraged to keep Book of Rememberances, basically a journal for special achievments, like baptismal certificates and other big accomplishments. Mormons are also encouraged to keep their geneology records in one.

Mine contains both my baptismal certificate as well as my wedding license. I need my baptismal certificate so that I can bring a copy of it to my RCIA teachers, so they can know that I was truly baptized LDS, and I need to be rebaptized. I need to have a copy of my wedding license so that I can prove that I'm legally married so that my wedding can be convalidated (blessed) through the church.

So it looks like I have all the paperwork I need. I knew that being Mormon would come in handy at some point - I have mad recordkeeping skillz, yo.

Busy Week for church

It's going to be a busy week for church this week. Tomorrow, during our RCIA time, our class is going to participate in the Cathedra's novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. We're going to say a partial rosary from what I understand and there's going to be a bilingual mass (normally 7p mass is Spanish-speaking).

Then on Thursday, at 5:10p, at St. Jude's, they're having a mass for the Holy Day of Obligation for the Immaculate Conception. Then Saturday, I have my usual Latin Mass at St. Jude's, then Sunday I have church at St. Jude's for the Third Sunday of Advent, and then my RCIA church and Breaking of the Word.

Although I know I'm spending a lot of time in church, I also am really enjoying it.


So I was listening to my Chant CD, as I love Gregorian chant. For some reason I was inspired to look up the title of the first song, and I found a translation of the song and the Latin lyrics. Who knew - it's a Christmas song!

There's a Gregorian Chant choir at the cathedral where I'm taking my RCIA classes. Once I get baptized, I think I'm going to get involved in the choir. I love singing, and I love Gregorian chant, I can't imagine a better way to celebrate Sundays.

Of course, right now I'm on a Latin kick. I'd love to learn the Rosary in Latin. I found a web site with audio versions of all of the Latin rosary prayers, and I've been listening to it this morning as well. I need to cut and paste the prayers so that it basically has the full rosary in Latin instead of only the individual prayers. That would be SOOOO awesome!

I've really been enjoying the Latin Mass on Saturdays at St. Jude's. My friend L is going to type up all the different prayers that are said during the mass so I can keep up. I am usually OK until the Eucharist part, then I get totally lost. Then again, I'm kind of that way in the regular Mass as well.