Since her most ancient days, the Church has used the time after Easter to reflect on the sacraments. The links below are to the homilies we’ve heard in Church during the Easter season to help us unlock and fall in love with the sacraments that we’ve all received.
Some Q&A About Daily Mass
Over the last two weeks, I’ve gotten some questions from two parishioners about daily mass, and thought I might field some answers here in the Bulletin for everyone’s benefit.
“What is daily mass?” While the Lord commands us to observe the sabbath (Sunday mass), daily mass is more a matter of personal devotion, a smaller-scale chance during the week to hone one’s love for the Lord not out of necessity, but out of pure gift. Daily masses are also a great chance for people to offer up attendance at mass for a particular purpose, for example the journey of a loved one through purgatory to heaven… or the healing of a sick friend… etc. Personal acts of devotion and sacrifice find a wonderful setting at daily mass. Daily mass is also the Church’s way of marking all the various feasts/observances of the year in answer to St. Paul’s admonition, “Pray always.”(cf. I Thess. 5).
While most people can’t make it to daily mass on a regular basis because of work schedules, it’s certainly something I’d recommend whenever one can. Here at St. Francis Xavier daily mass is offered at 9am in the Rectory oratory (an oratory is a space with an altar but no tabernacle). We typically offer the rosary at 9 and begin daily mass by 9:15. You can enter the Rectory via the side door just opposite the church entry most of us use all the time.
“Why the Rectory?” Is another question that has come up lately. Up until November of last year we were celebrating daily mass in the church every day. When the boiler broke down for about two weeks, we moved into the Rectory so that attendees wouldn’t be worshipping in the cold. Once the boiler was fixed I decided to keep celebrating daily mass in the Rectory. I addressed this with the parish council at the time.
“Why stay in the Rectory?” A few reasons in no particular order: (1) From January until November 2017 we rarely had more than 4 people attend daily mass, and very frequently it would just be me and our parish sacristan Mr. Zappone. It requires a lot of work to open up the Church for so small a crowd. Also, the experience can be a bit cavernous as voices echo around the mostly empty space. I thought the Rectory would be a somewhat more intimate setting. (2) Bills – In fiscal year ’16-’17 it cost us about $10,000 to heat/cool the church 7 days/week on a timer that turned the HVAC on/off according to a schedule. If we’re going to use the church through the week those systems need to be on all week long because it takes so long to feel the effect of the heat/AC in so large a space. Holding mass in the Rectory means we can keep the heating/cooling systems off Mon-Fri. And turn them on just for weekend worship. As the finance council and parish council know from regular updates… and as you know from the updates we’ve been publishing every six months, our financial position is delicate at St. Francis Xavier. As of last Sunday we were maintaining a cash balance of only $3,000 in our operations account and approximately $40k in our savings account, which we’ve had to dip into from time to time to keep our operating balance securely positive. I’m proud to say that we pay all our bills on time and in full, but it’s not always easy.
“Can we consider moving back to the church?” I’m certainly open to celebrating daily mass in our beautiful church and I’ll bring up the subject at our May 6 Parish Council meeting to get the input of parishioners. I’m just trying to be as prudent as possible with our limited resources. I’m grateful to our entire community for any thoughts you may have at any time.
Until then, I remain,
Fr. De Rosa