Bulletin July 24
New Orleans has a particular culture, which involves Mardi Gras and spicy food. The Christian villages and people of the Middle East have a culture, which involves family, shared meals, and celebrations.
The American thinker, John Senior, had a passion for preserving culture, particularly Christian culture. He writes, "Whatever we do in the political or social order, the indispensable foundation is prayer, the heart of which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the perfect prayer of Christ Himself, Priest and Victim, recreating in an unbloody manner the bloody, selfsame Sacrifice of Calvary. What is Christian culture? It is essentially the Mass. That is not my or anyone’s opinion or theory or wish but the central fact of 2,000 years of history. Christendom, what secularists call Western Civilization, is the Mass and the paraphernalia which protect and facilitate it. All architecture, art, political and social forms, economics, the way people live and feel and think, music, literature ―all these things when they are right are ways of fostering and protecting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass."
John Senior's argument is that the core of Christian Culture is the mass or the liturgy. The foods of the Middle East and New Orleans have taken form and meaning around cycles of fasting and feasting which center on the liturgy. John Senior does not believe it is possible to pass on Christian culture when it is separated from its roots the liturgy. The liturgy is more important to the Christian culture of a place then the food or even the language. I am reminded of certain cultural aspects I encountered when I lived in Lebanon- cookies unique to Palm Sunday, Easter, or Christmas; names taken from churches, feast days, or patrons; and swathes of land set aside for prayer.
In the United States we have lost major cultural keys by preserving language- Santa Claus, would be better understood as St. Nicholas. Easter and Lent could be better understood as the Great Feast and the Great Fast. Mardi Gras can be better understood as say goodbye to Fat Tuesday or say goodbye to Alcohol Thursday.
Without the liturgy our culture becomes hollow, with no more significance than Black Friday and Superbowl Sunday. With the liturgy our culture is preserved and spread, because it takes its strength from Jesus the source of life.
-Fr. Alex Harb
Upcoming events: - All kids invited for water games, dinner, and a Bible lesson Tuesday June 26th 4-7pm.
-Join us this Sunday, June 24 after liturgy to help parishioner Will Barakat in landscapingour church.
-Last art class until school starts Saturday June 30th 12 noon.
-Initiatives- To what is God calling you? What are your hopes, dreams, and ideas for our parish? What do you want to do? Mission, charity, prayers, work, fundraisers, or maintenance? How can we support you?
- Veneration and welcome of the relics of the Blessed Massabki Brothers Sunday, July 8th.
- Veneration and welcome of the relics of St. Sharbel Sunday, July 22 and Monday, July 23.
- Maronite University a for college or graduate credit Syriac class July 16th-August 3rd
- Pilgrimage trip to Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine and Basilica August 15
- Summer camp for kids- we are considering the last week of July from 9:30-2:30 .
- Women's prayer group- no announcements
- High School and Middle School group (MYO)- dates to be announced
- We are exploring the idea of English classes. Anyone interested in teaching or taking the class please let Fr. Alex know.
- Please turn in your pledges. Fr. Alex will begin calling this week to ask for pledges. Design meetings will begin soon. The majority of votes have been for building a $600,000 to $700,000 project on the property to include new church, parking, and upgraded to kitchen and hall. However, we are still short on firm commitments of pledges.We are at $1085 in committed monthly pledges with an additional $500-$1000 in soft pledges, "Father, you know we will pledge." There is much reason for optimism.
POSTPONED Church-wide garage sale small fundraiser. POSTPONED. The event will be held in the next few months and we will collect furniture and household donations to sell to benefit the Church. Weekly events:
- Due to lack of interest liturgies will be rescheduled Wednesday 6pm and Saturday10am
- Bar Louis meet up Tuesday 8pm
- Children's Arabic class Saturday 10 am
- Adult Arabic class Saturday 11am
- Children's Dabke class Saturday 11 am
- Adult Dabke class Sunday 8 pm
- Children's Art class Saturday noon
- Bible Study Sunday 10am