September 9, 2018
The Parish Picnic is next Sunday, September 16th. We will begin serving food at 11:30 a.m. and continue until everyone has been served. The parish provides the meat and simply asks you to bring a side dish or dessert. Come celebrate with good food, games, inflatables, bingo and time for conversation with other parishioners. Volunteers are always needed. Call the office if you can help. We look forward to seeing everyone in the parish and feel free to bring a friend.
Sign-ups for small groups are this weekend, September 8-9 and next weekend, September 15-16. Small groups provide an opportunity to grow in faith and community.
The new handicapped family restroom by the Gathering Space is under construction. The walls you see are construction barriers. The actual restroom will be less than half that size. We hope it will be finished in about 6 or 7 weeks. Your support of the Annual Fund made this project possible. Thank you.
Why is St. Vincent’s Church shaped so differently? Many older Catholic Churches reflect a hierarchical mindset with the important action happening in front on an elevated platform. The sanctuary used to be considered the holy space where only the priest and servers were allowed. Vatican II reminded us Christ is present in the assembly of people and insisted we give special emphasis to the participation of all the people. This emphasis on the participation of the people at Vatican II was an effort to return to the practice of the early Church. However, it is easier to change ideas than buildings. Most newer Catholic Churches have some sense of people gathering around the altar and sanctuary, although that sanctuary is usually raised simply so everyone can see. St. Vincent’s returns to an older shape for the Church that was usually found in monasteries where the monks would face each other as they recited psalms. Our worship space puts the altar, ambo and all the action in the center of the Church with the people gathered around. It emphasizes the Eucharist is not just the action of the priest, but also of the people. The Eucharistic prayer is shaped as a dialogue between the priest and people with responses and acclamations. We pray the Eucharist together. We offer ourselves with the bread and wine, so that we too might be transformed. Our Church encourages us to be active participants rather than spectators. Our Church also challenges each person to see Christ in others and to be a witness of Christ to others through your prayer and singing.
The Bishops at Vatican II felt that active participation in the liturgy by all the people would lead to more active lives of faith in the world. St. Vincent’s is remarkable in how engaged the people of the parish are in serving the local community, at the Lord’s Diner and beyond. I can’t help but wonder if this active service in the world is connected to liturgies that encourage active participation.