Thursday, July 25, 2019

Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask, Seek, Knock

In today’s gospel Luke presents three episodes concerned with prayer.

The first (Lk 11:1–4) recounts Jesus teaching his disciples the Christian communal prayer, the “Our Father”; the second (Lk 11:5–8), the importance of persistence in prayer; the third (Lk 11:9–13), the effectiveness of prayer.  Taken from U.S.C.B Website

Our offertory song “Seek Ye First” (#435) highlights Jesus command to “ask, seek and knock”.  Here is an interesting back-story from Karen Lafferty, the composer.

It was back in 1971. I had quit my entertainment job and was trying to support myself with teaching guitar lessons. I had three students! When my savings were all gone and I had no money to make my car payments, I became very discouraged and confused. One evening I went to a Bible study at church, and we talked about Matthew 6:33.1 was tremendously encouraged and challenged by the words about Christ's kingdom. So I went home, wrote the tune, recorded it on a tape recorder, and then sang this little descant part.  I taught the song at church the next week, and it caught on right away. The Lord really paved the way for me with that song. "Seek Ye First" has opened doors for me all over the world. And because it's in so many hymnbooks, about 40 percent of my (income to run my) mission…..comes from that song!

This is Bruce, again:

In keeping with Jesus’ command to ask, seek and knock, I’d like to do the same.

It’s not really for me.  It’s for St.
Mary’s.  To be more exact, it’s for a small but mighty group of parishioners who started and sustain our monthly “We Are St. Mary’s” coffee hours.  (See the pictures and articles in this bulletin.)

The group is energized and excited about the turnout of parishioners who have stayed, chatted and gotten to know each after mass.

Here’s my concern:  If we don’t find additional people to help, our volunteers will burn-out and the group will be unable to sustain its efforts.

You can help by joining us!  So, I’m asking for your help.

·     If you come to the 7:30 mass:
I’m seeking people to stay ½ hour after mass to help set up.
·     If you come to the 9 a.m.
I’m seeking people to come serve after mass.
·     If you come to the 10:30 mass:
I’m seeking people to either come early (10 a.m.) or stay after mass to help.
·     If you come to the 12 noon mass:
I’m seeking people to stay after mass and help us break down.  (Our St. Mary’s staff will do the rest on Monday).
·     If you come to the 5:30 mass:
I’m seeking people to stop back on Sunday morning.  Just come either at 9:40, 10:15 or 12:40 to help.  Stay as long as is convenient.
Knock, knock, knock….
We are St. Mary’s is calling.
Please answer the call by leaving your name and phone number on the piano or e-mailing me at
Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,

Saturday, July 20, 2019

O God, You Give Us Neighbors

Happy ordinary time!  Happy Summer! 

I hope you will find much of today’s music familiar, prayerful and easy to sing.

We last sang our processional song: “Table of Plenty” (#310) at the first communion celebrations during the Easter season.

For the third week we will use Psalm 19 as a seasonal psalm.  Please be reminded that the words do not match what is printed in the hymnal.  The refrain is as follows:

“Lord, you have the words of everlasting life”.

At offertory we will sing a new composition by Carol Winfrey Gillette “O God, You Give Us Neighbors.” You will recognize the music reprinted in today’s bulletin as “The Church’s One Foundation”.   

The text was written specifically for last week’s gospel. (The Parable of the Good Samaritan).

The question that prompts Jesus to share the parable (“Who is my neighbor?”) is echoed in today’s first reading and recent news reports.

(The text is written below)

Thank you for your efforts to learn and sing our new mass setting at the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation and Amen.

Finally, our recessional hymn will be Amazing Grace (#432).  

Blest to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,


Music selections and hymnal numbers are listed on the inside back cover of the bulletin.

AURELIA D (“The Church’s One Foundation”)
O God, you give us neighbors for whom your love abounds.
They’ve come here seeking refuge; they work here in our towns.
Their children go to school here; they come to church and pray.
O Lord, we grieve when neighbors are being sent away.
O God, you give us neighbors in this world that divides.
We see them at the border; they’re struggling for their lives.
They’re hurting by the roadside, and by the river, too.
You call us to show mercy to neighbors loved by you.
O God, you give us neighbors and call us all to see
our common fears and longings, our shared humanity.
You call us all to listen to burdens they have known,
to hear the truth they tell us, to see the love they’ve shown.
O God, you give us neighbors; and now, what must we do?
This question asked of Jesus is one we ask anew.
May we not make excuses and choose to walk on by
these neighbors fleeing violence— some sent back now to die.
God, may we work for justice for those who live in fear;
may we show Christ’s compassion, and pray and persevere—
and by your Holy Spirit, in all we do and say,
may we stand up for neighbors now being sent away.
Biblical References: Luke 10:25-46; Leviticus 19:33-34; 24:22; Matthew 25:31-46
Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864 (“The Church’s One Foundation”)
Text: Copyright © 2019 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Permission is given for free use of this hymn for congregations

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sunday 7-14-19

If you read last week’s bulletin you would have found an excellent article titled “A Not So Ordinary Time” followed by “The Significance of the Liturgical Colors.” 

Today is part of the second group of Sundays of Ordinary Time: the Sundays following Easter. 

BTW You can find past bulletins at the parish website.  Go to and put your cursor on the word “Bulletin” in the blue ribbon and click on the words “bulletin archive” in the dropdown.  You will also find last week’s Liturgical notes which offers information about our new Mass Setting composed by William Gokelman and David Kaufman.  We’ve added the Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation (When we eat this bread….) and Amen.

One of my goals for summer is repertoire building. Some of you will remember today’s communion song “Litany For The Earth” (#514) from last week.  (We sang it at offertory on the weekend of 7/7).

Two simple responses are interspersed throughout the petitions:

1.   Pour out your mercy, our out your love.
2.   Heal our common home.

You can find an explanation of litanies as well as well as the songs inspiration; Pope Francis’ encyclical:  “Laudato Si’!” on page 6 of last week’s bulletin.

Finally, we begin the first of four week’s where we will replace the responsorial psalm of the day with a seasonal or “common” psalm.  That means:  the sung response will be DIFFERENT FROM what is printed in the hymnal.                     

Our first seasonal psalm will be David Haas’ setting of psalm 19.  Here is the refrain:  “Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.”

Wishing you a blessed and restful summer,


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