Multicultural Mass

On Friday, January 17, the Corpus Christi Cathedral held its annual multicultural Mass, which we joyfully celebrated with our diocesan church family.  Afterwards, we hurried downstairs to St. Joseph Hall for the festivities: An abundance of ethnic foods, lively entertainment provided by the youngsters, and delightful conversations with friends and acquaintances alike.

How funny to hear the bishop tease, “Are you still eating?” as he passed our table on his way out at evening’s end!

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Prayers for Christian unity (Sisters of the Holy Family; January 18-25, 2014)

Day 1…  Merciful God, together with all those who call on the name of the Lord in our brokenness, we hear your call to be saints.  Yet you have made us a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.  By the power of your Holy Spirit, draw us together in the communion of saints and strengthen us to do your will and to proclaim the mighty acts of Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Amen.

Day 2…  Most loving and gracious God, we give thanks for the gifts of your grace that we experience not only in our own tradition, but also in the traditions of other churches.  By the grace of your Holy Spirit, may our gratitude continue to grow as we encounter one another and experience your gift of unity in new ways.  This we pray through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Day 3…  Faithful, open-handed God, we bless you for giving us all the spiritual gifts we need to come to the measure of the full stature of Christ: for wisdom, for gifts of service, and for bread.  Help us be signs of your abundance gathered in unity to bring the gifts of your everlasting kingdom to every place of pain and lack.  Filled with the Spirit, we pray in the name of the One whose gift was the bread of his life broken for us now and forever.  Amen.

Day 4…  Faithful God, we give thanks for your steadfast love and your devotedness that extends to the clouds.  As we wait in joyful hope, working and praying together for the full visible unity of your church, fill us with confidence in your promises.  We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Day 5…  Father of love, you have called us into the fellowship of your son and appointed us to bear fruit in our witness to the gospel.  By the grace of your Spirit, enable us to love one another and to dwell together in unity so that our joy may be complete.  Amen.

Day 6…  Loving God, you give us prophetic witnesses in times of conflict and division.  When we seek you, Lord, send us your Holy Spirit to make us artisans of reconciliation united in the same mind and the same purpose.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray.  Amen.

Day 7…  We give you thanks, O God, that you bless each and every member of the body of Christ with the gifts of your Spirit.  Help us to be supportive of one another, to be respectful of our differences, and to work.  Amen.

Day 8…  Gracious God, you sent your son Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit to redeem your people.  Unite us in our diversity that we might affirm and proclaim together the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ for a world in need of his gospel.  Amen.


July 26, 2015

Treasure your families….  The future of your society, the future of humanity, pass by the way of the family (St. John Paul II).

September 15, 2016 (for Hispanic Heritage Month, 15 Sept – 15 Oct)

O God, you have made of one blood all the people of the earth; but you have also richly blessed us with a world of many languages, cultures, and traditions.  We thank you for the many contributions which Hispanic Americans have made— and continue to make— to our great country.  Enable us always to learn from and appreciate each other.  Make us even stronger as one nation because of our diverse gifts and experiences.  Enrich our minds, bodies, and spirits, we pray, as we celebrate together.  Amen.

O Dios, has hecho de una sangre todas las naciones de la tierra y también has ricamente bendecido un mundo de muchas lenguas, culturas, y tradiciones.  Te damos gracias por las muchas contribuciones que los hispanoamericanos han hecho— y siguen haciendo— a nuestro gran país.  Siempre permítenos aprender de y apreciar uno al otro.  Haznos fuerte como una sola nación a causa de nuestros diversos dones y experiencias.  Enriquezca nuestras mentes y nuestros cuerpos y espíritus, te rogamos, mientras celebramos juntos.  Amén (Friars of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, 2016: 1024; edited).

March 24, 2017 (composed by the late Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, MI)

A future not our own…  It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.  The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.  Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.  No statement says all that could be said.  No prayer fully expresses our faith.  No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.  No program accomplishes the church’s mission.  No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about.  We plant the seeds that one day will grow.  We water the seeds already planted knowing that they hold future promise.  We lay foundations that will need further development.  We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this.  This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.  It may be incomplete; but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.  We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.  We are prophets of a future not our own (Friars of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, 2017: 1094, p. 3; edited).

April 12. 2017

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea.  Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds (Martin Luther King Jr. in Letter from a Birmingham Jail).

August 23, 2017

Culture connects us to a history, not merely as an assortment of past facts, but as an evaluative means of remembering.  Culture enables us to remember and be remembered— to connect with the larger set of human wisdom through which we find a way to live in the truth.  In theological terms, this is called anamnesis, the recollection… in which we draw our own lives back into the tradition of faith and recognize that our worship in each particular service is continuous with the worship that has gone before us (Ragan Sutterfield in Wendell Berry and the Given Life).

September 13, 2017

Creator God, we thank you for our wondrous diversity; for our cultures, traditions, and languages; for all the ways we celebrate our humanity and praise your divinity.  We value all peoples; and in this time, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.  May we remember in our churches the leaders, teachers, and theologians who have been part of our Christian faith tradition.  May we continue to hear from diverse voices that speak the truth of God’s love, peace, and justice for all peoples.  Guide us in ways of new understandings to build a more inclusive church.  In the name of Christ Jesus, our savior, redeemer, and friend, we pray.  Amen.

Dios Creador, te agradecemos por nuestra maravillosa diversidad; por nuestras culturas, nuestras tradiciones, nuestras lenguas; por todas las formas en que celebramos nuestra humanidad y adoramos tu divinidad.  Valoramos a todas las gentes y es por esto que hoy celebramos el Mes de la Herencia Hispana.  Que siempre recordemos en nuestras congregaciones el liderato, los maestros, las maestras, los teólogos y las teólogas que han sido parte de nuestra fe cristiana.  Que siempre podamos escuchar las diversas voces que hablan de tu amor, de tu paz, y de tu justicia para todas las personas.  Guíanos en nuevos caminos de entendimiento para que podamos construir una iglesia más inclusiva.  En el nombre de Cristo Jesús, nuestro salvador, redentor, y amigo.  Amén (Friars of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, 2017: 1108, p. 3; edited).

November 22, 2017

Thanks to U.S. Catholic for the prayer for families by the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council for the Canadian National Day of Prayer in solidarity with indigenous peoples.

O Great Creator, we give praise and thanks to you for our lives and for our families.  Your gift to us of human community is one of your greatest blessings.

We thank you for our elders— our grandfathers and grandmothers— whose patience and wisdom guide our lives.  We thank you for our fathers and mothers, who by giving their love to each other bring us into the world, nurturing and leading us.  We thank you for our brothers and sisters with whom we come to know what sharing and caring really means.  We thank you for young people whose hope for a better world energizes and inspires us.  We thank you for the little ones— the children— whose innocence and promise bring gladness and joy.

O Creator, may our families always be that blessed and first community that we honor and cherish.  As you continue to make all things new, may we hear your invitation— in all creation— to receive and share all that is good and true with each other.

O God, we also face many challenges and crises in our lives and world.  May our families continue be the first and constant community that shows us how to live intimately and respectfully with all people, and all Creation.  Amen.

January 16, 2020

Show unusual kindness…  God of the orphan, the widow, and the stranger, place within our hearts a deep sense of hospitality and a spirit of kindness.  Open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts when you ask us to feed you, to clothe you, and to visit you.  May all people of faith take part in ending hunger, thirst, loneliness, and pain, and in breaking down barriers that keep others from being welcomed.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen (World Council of Churches).

March 28, 2020

O God, whose love for us is transforming and forever, help us to embrace and share it with all those who cross our paths as neighbors.  Help us also to contribute to peace, justice, and a love that has the power to transform the world and bring harmony and redemption to all, both near and far.  In the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.  Amen (Pittsburg Theological Seminary).

Pdf file…  Corpus Christi Cathedral (guide, six pages) / Multicultural Mass (booklet, twelve pages)

Links of interest…  Catholic Communications Network…  Corpus Christi Cathedral: aboutfacebook / home / landmark / marker / Mass times (TV) / TX State Historical Association / website…  Mother Cabrini: patron saint of immigrants…  Pope offers prayers for migrants (three prayers)…  Sisters of the Holy Family: about / blog / Christian unity / national migration week / prayer for migrants…  South Texas Catholic…  Tinikling (shown in the last five photos): about / dance / origin

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Heart of hearts…  Heart’s desire…  In the pink…  Letter to Santa…  Noon visit…  Sacred Heart Church (CCTX)…  Saturday evening Mass…  Soulful