Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
I begin this week by asking for prayers for the Oratory-in-Formation this week as we enter into our triennium exercises. These exercises will occur in the afternoon, March 24, just before First Vespers of the Annunciation (which I hope you can all attend). These exercises include elections of a new superior and the revision of our house rule. St. Philip established the Oratory with democratic principles. First of all, the supreme governance of the House falls to the General Congregation. The Congregation composed of all members who have spent at least three years in the House. Only those members who have passed six years have the right to vote; however, it is here that all major decisions are decided.
For the Oratory, the Superior’s will does not become the law of the House, as it would for an Abbey, which has an Abbott who serves for life. The Father of the House, or the Superior, has supreme charge of the House, only in ensuring that the rule is followed and that the decisions of the General Congregation are carried out. Thus, this is still an important role, a role that is voted upon every three years, along with the Vicar, who holds second place in the governance of the House. These roles are roles of service, since no member holds anything in terms of privilege, which no other member has. The Superior is only differentiated from the others by way of a reserved spot at table and in the Sanctuary when attending Sacred Liturgies in Choir.
Once the Oratory is established in Cincinnati, the Father Visitator and Apostolic Delegate of the Oratory will visit. He will confirm the rule that we have adopted, and then confirm who will become the first Provost of the newly established Cincinnati Oratory. We ask for your continued prayers as we go through this process in working toward the establishment of the Cincinnati Oratory.
Also, I continue to encourage everyone in your Lenten Penances and practices. Please, especially take time for prayer. We are especially in need of more adorers. I invite everyone to please look at our new Adoration Board near the side door to see where we may need adorers. In particular, we need adorers for the 7:00 p.m. hour on both, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please consider adopting an hour to spend in prayer with our Lord. You can take a look at the schedule and sign up at adoration.oldstmarys.org.
Also, please consider attending Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings at 6:00 p.m. here at Old St. Mary’s, or on Saturday mornings after 9:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart. This is a great way to join in meditation with our Lord, as we reflect upon His way of the Cross.
Beyond these two recommendations, I continue to encourage each of you in your fasts and almsgiving, as well. These are the three important activities of Lent which allow us to unite more closely to the suffering Christ and attach ourselves more to Heaven. Remain strong in these activities as we suffer; but be assured that just as our Lord rose on Easter Sunday, so shall we rise with Him in Paradise, if we embrace and love the Cross as He did!