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Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem Mass on Friday, August 16 at 8 p.m.

News coming out of the Holy Land is often overwhelming for people of faith who take the biblical call to pray for the peace of Jerusalem seriously. The issues involved cannot be reduced to black and white, and there is more involved than taking sides. The Oratory will celebrate an inclusive Mass for the conflict on Friday night at 8 p.m. No matter what your views on the issues, you are invited to cry out with the Oratory for peace, justice security, and prosperity in the land that gave birth to our faith. Believing as I do in the power of light over darkness, the Chaplain will lit a candle at the service for everyone who comments on this post, likes it on Facebook, or contacts the Chaplain directly

A note: While I would be more than happy to carry on a conversation offline about the issues involved, this Mass is a place for obeying God’s instructions to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, not fighting among ourselves.

Mass in the Middle of the Night: August 7 at 11 p.m.

The middle of the night can be the loneliest time for many, who are facing their own personal forms of darkness in addition to the physical darkness of the night. Mass will be said on Wednesday, August 7 at 11 p.m (EST) for all those who are struggling. If you would like to be included by name in the prayers of this service, comment below, like this on Facebook, or email me at beguine2@yahoo.com. A candle will be lit in the Oratory for everyone prayed for.

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Changes in the Oratory

The Oratory of St. Catherine of Siena is undergoing some basic changes in its form and ministry. Originally, the purpose of the Oratory was to meld the sacraments with intercession for the world, and for individuals. This charism continues to be the Oratory’s purpose, although the details of how it is lived out seems to be changing.

The first change is a simple one of time. The Sunday celebration of the Eucharist will be celebrated at 4 p.m. on Sundays. If you are interested in attending, contact the Chaplain at beguine2@yahoo.com.

There will be additional Eucharists that are focused on specific prayer concerns. Masses for the Peace of Jerusalem will be held at least monthly on Friday nights. Masses in the Middle of Night will be held monthly on Wednesday nights at 11 p.m. for those who struggle personally with various forms of darkness. And Masses for America will be held on a monthly regular basis.  A schedule will be posted shortly.

In addition, the Chaplain will celebrate masses for individuals with special needs and concerns. If you would like a mass said for you, please contact the Chaplain.

If you live in the Greater Boston area, the chaplain is available for the sacraments and for conversation. The Oratory of St. Catherine of Siena is a constituent ministry of the Independent Catholic Christian Church (inclusivecatholics.com), and we are radically inclusive in our sacraments.  All are welcome,

Winter/Spring Mass Schedule

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.

Fall/Winter Mass Schedule

Mass will be celebrated every Sunday IMG_7860during 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 (beguine2@yahoo.com) 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

 

Vigil Mass Before Election Day

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 beguine2@yahoo.com.

And, if you are a United States citizen, please VOTE!

Fall Mass Schedule

The mass schedule for the Oratory for the fall is as follows:
 
September 18, 25
October 2, 16, 30
November 6, 27
 
All services are at 10 AM and all are welcome.
 
Part of the reason for the gap in November is a very joyous one: the ordination of Deacon Lyngine Calizo to the priesthood on November 13th. Your prayers are asked for her as she prepares for this blessed (and long-awaited) day.IMG_1937

Summer Mass Schedule

The Mass schedule for the Oratory has been slightly revised. There WILL be a service on June 12 and another on July 31. And July 24th will be a celebration in honor of St. Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles.
The revised schedule is as follows:
All services are at 10IMG_2212 am.
Additional services may be announced. Please contact the chaplain at beguine2@yahoo.com for more information or directions. All are welcome.
June 5, 12, 19
July 10, 24, 31
August 7, 21, 28
Mother Sandra will be away for the first two weeks in September, so the September schedule is:
September 18, 25.
Please Join us.

Fontebranda: Getting water in Siena

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

St. Catherine of the Night

 

IMG_1975(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.