The Oratory will be celebrating the Eucharist at 10 am:
February 12, 19, 26
(The service on February 19th will be the annual Bishop’s Visitation. More information will be posted.)
March 12, 19, 26
April 2, 9, 16, 23
There will be additional services during Holy Week, and as posted.
All are welcome.
Mass will be celebrated every Sunday during Advent. However, there will NOT be a Mass on either Christmas Eve or Day.
During Advent, we will be celebrating using the Tridentine Rite, in English. This is a form rich in history and symbolism, but our use is accessible to everyone. Come and experience it for yourself!
Additional weekday services may be celebrated, especially during Epiphany. Events will be posted here, or check with the Mother Sandra (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
Service will be held on:
December 4, 11, 28
(No service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day)
January 22, 29
Feb. 5, 12, 19
This year, the election in the United States is a particularly troubling one. A vigil Mass will be offered on the night before the election, November 7th, for wisdom, guidance and peace. A candle will be lit at the service for anyone who likes or comments on this post. If you would like to attend, please contact the chaplain at email@example.com.
And, if you are a United States citizen, please VOTE!
Reminders that St. Catherine once lived in Siena are everywhere. It is tempting to see only the places where exceptional signs of holiness occurred, or where her relics are now glorified. However, to do so is to miss something important. When you see only those places, you risk building a wall of separation between yourself and the holy. The thought “She was a saint,” may be quickly followed by, “and I’m not.” In so doing, you might forget that you too are a child of God, called by him to grace and holiness.
Sometimes it is easier to remember that in humbler places, like the Fontebranda fountain, where Catherine went to draw water for her family. (Side note: It also has some literary significance, being cited by Dante in the Inferno.) You might not be able to imagine yourself caught up in a heavenly vision, but I suspect that you can imagine going down a steep hill each day to get water, and then trudging back up the steps.
God is present in the miraculous, in the visions, and in visible ministry; but God is also present in the daily necessities and faithfulness.
(This is the first in a series of reflections on St. Catherine of Siena, and the Oratory that bears her name. They were inspired by my visit to Siena in September, and the photographs were taken then. The season of Lent is a good time to reflect on those who have gone before us in the faith. )
Sometimes, saints (and other people) are portrayed sleeping as a metaphor for death. This statue of St. Catherine asleep, however, can be found in the Night Chapel of St. Maria Della Scala, and it commemorates a place where the saint often found rest. St. Maria Della Scala in her day was a massive hospital complex, and St. Catherine ministered there to the sick, injured, and dying at all hours.
On a stone slab there in the Night Chapel, it is recorded that St. Catherine slept, recovering strength and energy to go on with her work.
Now St. Maria Della Scala is a remarkable art museum, which preserves and displays its history, as well as art that spans the centuries. One of the places preserved is that very chapel where St. Catherine rested. Dark and quiet, the chapel attracts few of the tourists that come to see the exhibits on the upper floors. The sense of sanctity still lingers however, and it is easy to visualize the saint and those who followed her praying for those that they ministered to.
The Night Chapel is very much a part of the hospital, almost at its very heart, and yet it is separate enough that one can find a restorative solitude and a place for silent prayer. And so there is a cycle of ministry and prayer, action and rest that we should all take to heart.
I pray that the Oratory that bears her name here can be a similar place of refreshment, worship, rest, and prayer, to equip those who attend with the strength and resolution to carry on their ministries in the world.