Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weekly update from CCM

Happy Advent, everyone!  With the snow flurries in Cullowhee today, it really does feel like the end of the year is fast approaching.  I know you all are busy working on your end of semester projects and assignments, as well as preparing for your exams looming so near in the future.  Remember to pray for one another, and try not to be so busy that you miss the message of this Advent season. Are we preparing ourselves to meet God as fervently as we prepare for our exams?  In the end there is only one grade that matters, and it's strictly pass or fail!  

A reminder of our schedule this week...
WEDNESDAY:  Join us at 6:30pm for a yummy meal prepared this week by our two Vermonters, Julianna and Heather.  Stay afterwards for a short faith-filled program and some relaxing fellowship time together.
THURSDAY:  Our student discussion group takes a little break from serious topics and instead devotes itself this week to a "Dance Party 2" marathon on the Wii.  All are invited, at 7pm here at the Center.
SUNDAY:  We will resume our ministry to the high school youth at St. Mary's as they come to join us for fellowship Sunday evening at 5:00.  Then at 6:30, we will have half an hour of apologetics before praying the Rosary at 7:00 and finally celebrating Mass at 7:30.  It's a great night of faith, fellowship and worship, and we hope to see you there.  

Looking ahead...
SKI WEEKEND!  Jan 13-15, 2012, we are planning a fun Ski weekend in Boone.  We will crash the App State campus ministry house, take advantage of their wonderful hospitality, and spend the day on Saturday skiing and snowboarding to our heart's content.  If you plan on going, you must register by the end of the semester.  The registration fee is $20 and this covers the cost of your meals while we are there.  There will be additional costs for whatever activities you plan on participating in at Sugar Mountain.  We are also inviting students from other schools to join us, and hopefully will have enough to qualify for the group rates, which you can see on Sugar Mountain's web site:

To register for the weekend, please see Matt.

That was the theme of our Beach retreat this year, and no doubt it was what many people were feeling this past Sunday when they went to Mass and heard, for the first time, the words of the new English translation of our liturgy.  Hopefully you did not find yourself confused, but instead well prepared for the changes.  In my own experience, attending Mass both at St. Mary's and here on campus, things went rather smoothly.  People were well aware of the changes that were coming, and made good use of the pew cards and other resources to follow along.  No one seemed to have any problem with the longer responses, such as the Nicene Creed or the Penitential Rite, as they were ready to follow along on the pew cards.  What tended to throw people were the shorter responses that come many times during the Mass and which we don't tend to think about.  

"And also with you," is a response that just rolls off of our tongue without much consideration.  And that's not a good thing.  One advantage of having a new translation is that we will no longer be able to "go through the motions" at Mass.  We will be forced to pay attention and think about the words we say.  Every time we remind ourselves to say "and with your spirit" we bring ourselves back into the moment and make sure we are really present at the Mass, paying attention to what is going on.

Sure, there will be a lot of "And also with... your spirit!" in the next few weeks.  But that's ok, we will get there soon enough.  In the meantime, I thought it might be telling to look at what we are leaving behind, and what we have gained with the new revised translation.

This is the Preface from the First Sunday of Advent, which we just celebrated this past Sunday.  Back in 2010, this is what you would have heard:
When he humbled himself to come among us as a man, he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago and opened for us the way to salvation. Now we watch for the day, hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours when Christ our Lord will come again in his glory.

Now, in 2011, this is how we heard that same prayer:
For he assumed at his first coming the lowliness of human flesh, and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago, and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, that, when he comes again in glory and majesty and all is at last made manifest, we who watch for that day may inherit the great promise in which now we dare to hope. 

Try saying both of those prayers out loud, and hear the impact of the second one.  When you compare the two, the first seems lacking.  Look at what is missing there, which we find in the new translation.  Before, we mentioned Christ becoming man.  Now, he takes on "the lowliness of human flesh."  Before, we spoke of salvation.  Now, we speak of "eternal salvation."  The first translation has Christ coming in glory.  The new translation has Him coming "in glory and majesty."  Before, we simply hoped.  Now, we "dare to hope."  

In short, there is much more "meat on the bones" of the payers in our liturgy now.  A lot more for us to chew on!  Let's not let it go to waste but take advantage of each morsel.

God bless!
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gospel for Today

(A brief reminder that we WILL have Mass tonight at 7:30pm.  We WILL NOT host the high school youth tonight, nor will have have our normal Apologetics session at 6:30pm.  Those activities will resume next week.  We will pray the rosary at 7pm for those who would like to come to Mass early).


Watch!  This is the message for today, the first Sunday of Advent.  The word advent comes to us from the Latin for "to come to," and it is a season of preparation for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  As we come closer to the end of the Advent season, our preparations will focus on remembering His first coming, as a newborn babe in Bethlehem.  But for now, at the beginning of Advent, our focus is more on His second coming at the end of time.  It is then that Christ will come, not as a helpless infant, born into this frail human condition to suffer and to die for the sake of our redemption, but rather as our King and our Judge, perfectly just but also perfectly merciful, to whom we must give an account of our lives.

It is this second coming that today's Gospel reading is preparing us for (Mk 13:33-37).  These are the words of Jesus which we hear today: 
Be watchful!  Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come.  It is like a man traveling abroad.  He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gate keeper to be on the watch.  Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening , or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.  May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'

Jesus is telling us three things:
1) He will be returning to us.
2) No one knows when.
3) Be ready!

So much for all those modern-day prophets of doom who claim to know when the end will come.  Today's fad is the Mayan calendar, which supposedly predicts the end of time in December next year.  Tomorrow it will be something different.  Jesus tells us quite plainly that no one knows when that day will be, but in reality it matters not.  For we face two judgments; one is the general judgment at the end of time, but the other is our particular judgment which we will face the moment after we die.  With that in mind, it does not really matter if the end of all time comes in 2012 or a million years from now.  We each will face our personal end sooner or later; it may be many decades from now in a hospital bed surrounded by our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, or it may be tomorrow as we cross the street.  Who knows?  

No one knows, but sooner or later we will all meet Christ face-to-face and we will know our eternal destiny.  There are only two options, heaven for those who have accepted the mercy of Christ, or hell for those who reject it.   And that is precisely why Jesus's message is so important.  Watch!  Be ready!  

This means living each day as one committed to Christ, because any day could be your last.  Decide to be Christ-like today.  Decide to live as Christ would have you live.  Decide to love as He loves.  And renew that decision each and every day.  If you do so, then you will be like the Corinthians in today's second reading (1 Cor. 1:3-9), who were waiting "for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."  St. Paul told them that "He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."  

This is how we want Christ to find us upon His return -- resolute and faithful to the end.  We do not want to be found sleeping.  So stay awake.  Stay true to the faith.  Stay vigilant.  And watch!

WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weekly update from CCM

Good afternoon, students!  I pray for safe travels for everyone returning home to visit family and friends this week for the Thanksgiving holiday.  May you have a relaxing and enjoyable break from school and come back refreshed and ready to tackle the last couple of weeks of the semester.  

Just a reminder that our normal activities this week are cancelled because of the holiday.  No "Supper @ the Center" Wednesday night, and no student discussion group on Thursday night.

We WILL HAVE MASS this Sunday, Nov. 27, at 7:30pm (regular time).  We are, however, taking a break this week from our high school youth ministry program for those of you volunteering for that.

When we next meet, it will be a new liturgical year, and the beginning of Advent.  Advent is one of the major liturgical seasons in the year, and its name comes from the Latin word for "to come to."  The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ's second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord's birth on Christmas.  So while we remember that Christ came to us 2000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem, we also look ahead for when He will come again in all His glory.  

Special Advent devotions include the lighting of the Advent wreath and the keeping of an Advent calendar which helps remind us of the season with daily thoughts and activities.  Like Lent, the season of preparation before Easter, Advent is also a penitential season, which is why both Advent and Lent use the same liturgical color - purple.  One thing that is challenging for today's Catholics is to remember that Advent is a season of penance and preparation, a season of reflection where we are asked to look within ourselves and ask the tough question - "Am I prepared for the coming of the Lord?"  It is far too easy to get caught up in the commercial madness of today when the stores have Christmas decorations up the day after Halloween, and you start seeing Christmas trees and hearing Christmas carols as early as Thanksgiving.  By the time December 25 rolls around many people are tired of "the holidays," when in fact the Christmas season has just begun.  

So let's not lose Advent this year.  Let's keep it as a time of preparation for the coming of our Lord and look forward to Christmas with all the excitement and joy and reverence that this Holy Day deserves.  

And of course this year Advent is doubly special, as the first Sunday of Advent is when we will officially begin using the third edition of the Roman Missal, with its revised English translation.  We have discussed many of the coming changes this semester, and even more information is available on line.  You can begin by visiting our own web site:

There you will find links to our blog where you can review the many topics we discussed this semester in my "Matt's Missal Moments."  You will also find a link to the USCCB web site (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) where they have a host of good articles and other information about the new Roman Missal.  There are a couple I'd like to point out to you in particular.  One is an article that gives the definitions of many of the more unfamiliar words we will be hearing in this new translation; words such as chalice, consubstantial, godhead, and oblation which we don't use in our everyday speech.  This handy glossary will help you navigate your way through these terms.

The second article I'd like to point out is entitled "Praying with Mind, Body and Voice" and deals with why we do things such as bow, genuflect, kneel and sing during Mass - and why there are times when we are silent, as well.  

When you enter our chapel this coming Sunday, you will notice a few more articles and information guides posted on our bulletin board.  You will also find a basket by the door containing copies of a little green booklet called "The Order of the Mass."  Please pick one up as you enter the chapel; there you will find the entire Order of the Mass which you can use to follow along as we worship.  In many ways it will be like coming to Mass for the first time.  Old familiar prayers and responses we will have to relearn.  It will take a while to get used to, but it's a good thing to be shaken up from time to time so that we can look at the liturgy with new eyes and take nothing for granted.  These booklets are intended as an aid to your worship.  Please return them to the basket after Mass so others can use them.

You will also find in your pews handy reference cards that contain just the people's responses, with the changed parts in bold, for quick reference.  These are to remain in the pews and we'll use them for some time, until everyone is comfortable with the new translation.

Lastly, if anyone has any questions about the new Mass translation, I will remind you that I am here as a resource, as well.  Just ask!  You can either come to me in private or bring up your questions as a topic for discussion at any of our gatherings.  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, a safe journey, and a relaxing break.   God bless all of you!

WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Bringing out the scripture...

As we prepare for the Third Edition of the Roman Missal beginning this Advent, we will continue examining some of the changes to the people’s parts of the Mass in the new English translation. We will look now at the Preface Dialog.

This is the part of the Mass where the priest says “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God,” and the people reply, “It is right to give him thanks and praise.” From now on, in the new translation, we will be replying, “It is right and just.” Period.

Why the change? Let’s go back to the Latin. In the official Latin text, the people reply, “Dignum et iustum est.” Even if you don’t know what dignum and iustum mean, you see the et “and” and the est “is.” It is “this” and “that.” Period. Very simple and very to the point. Once more, the new translation is simply remaining faithful to the text of the original liturgical document.

The same is true of the last part of the Mass I want to look at specifically, the Ecce Agnus Dei. The way the new translation is rendered not only more closely follows the Latin, it also alludes much more to Sacred Scripture (which the original Latin also does). Here is the Latin with the old and new translation.
ORIGINAL LATINPriest: Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccáta mundi. Beáti qui ad cenam Agni vocáti sunt.All: Dómine, non sum dignus, ut inter sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo et sanábitur anima mea. 
FORMER TRANSLATIONPriest: This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.
All: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. 
NEW TRANSLATIONPriest: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.
All: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
This part of the Mass is full of allusions to Sacred Scripture. The first is from John 1:29. John the Baptist sees Jesus coming toward him and says, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Next, the priest says, “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” Note that we now hear the word “blessed” where before it was “happy.” In Latin, blessed is beati, which is what we see in the original. Happy would be felix or leatus (joyful), neither of which are present in the text. In any case, this is a reference to Rev. 5:19 and John’s vision of the heavenly banquet.

The third Scriptural reference here is in our response. This comes from the story found in Mat. 8:5-13.
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed.
This Scripture reference was hidden somewhat in our previous English translation, or at least it was not made apparent. The words we will be saying in the new translation, come Advent, may at first sound strange coming out of our mouths, but this is probably just because we are so used to the other. Change is never easy for anyone. But it will help us to remember that this new translation has our words more closely following the words of the centurion, confessing his unworthiness before the Lord, and at the same time acknowledging his authority and his power, and asking him humbly for healing. What an awesome time for us to remind ourselves of that, as we prepare to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

I know that some people have received the news of these changes in the Mass with trepidation. I know that others have looked forward to them with great joy and anticipation. Regardless, my prayer for us all is that we take this opportunity to truly think about the words we say in the liturgy, to catechize ourselves, or perhaps re-catechize ourselves as to the mystery and the meaning of the Mass, so that we can approach this sacrifice with prayer, humility, thanksgiving and reverence for this wonderful gift which God has given us and which the Church has so carefully handed down to us.
God bless!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gospel for Today


Today is the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (usually referred to simply as "Christ the King").  This feast was instituted by Pope Pius XI to be celebrated on the last Sunday of Ordinary Time, at the very end of the Church year.  As we prepare to begin the liturgical cycle once more with the season of Advent, where we joyfully await the coming of Our Lord, it is fitting to mark the end of the year by looking forward to the end of time, when our King shall come in glory.  We recognize, however, that Christ reigns today even now in His Church.

What type of king we have in Christ is made evident in today's readings.  Christ is described not as a tyrant ruling from on high, but as a shepherd, lovingly tending his flock.  The Psalm today is the well known Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want..."  The first reading from the book of Ezekiel has God telling us, "I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest... The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal..."

This is the kind of King we have; one who looks not on his subjects with disdain, but who looks upon them as sheep to be tended and cared for.  This is why from time immemorial the leaders of the Church have been referred to as shepherds.  One of the signs of a bishop's rank is a shepherd's crook.  We still today call our priests "pastors."  They model for us the loving care of Christ, the Good Shepherd.

But Ezekiel does leave us with a warning in this passage.  "As for you, my sheep, says the Lord God, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats."  And so even while recalling the loving relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep, we are reminded of the end times, and that our Shepherd is also our Judge.  

The Gospel today is from Matthew 25:31-46.  This is a passage all Christians should make themselves familiar with.  Jesus is speaking of the end of time, when His kingdom will come to fulfillment.  "He will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.  And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats."  

The sheep are those who gave Christ food when He was hungry, who fed Him when He was naked, who cared for Him when He was ill, and who visited Him in prison.  The goats did none of those things.  The sheep are to inherit the kingdom "prepared for you from the foundation of the world."  The goats are cast into "the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."  

Both the sheep and the goats in Christ's parable are confused because they did not recall feeding Our Lord, or clothing Him, or visiting Him in prison (or not doing those things, as the case may be).  But Jesus explains: "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for the least brothers of mine, you did for me."

This should be a humbling thought for all of us.  Have we done those things?  Have we had the opportunity to feed, clothe, care for, or visit our Lord, in the person of one of the "least brothers" of His?  And did we let that opportunity pass by? 

We have a King.  He is a just and merciful King, a loving Shepherd who would do anything - even give His own life - to return even one of his stray sheep to the fold.  We can rejoice in that!  But that is no excuse to be lazy and presumptuous.  We cannot simply sit back and say, "I don't have to do anything, God loves me no matter what."  God does love you no matter what.  He loves you too much to force you to be with Him if you choose not to.  He has prepared a place for his sheep, in His kingdom.  But He has also prepared a place for the goats, those who choose to reject Him, as Lucifer did.  Which place will you inherit?

As baptized Christians, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.  We should act like it.  Christ today tells us what that means.  We are to clothe the naked.  We are to feed the hungry.  We are to tend to the injured and sick.  We are to visit the prisoners.  In short, we are to love one another.  Christ's Kingdom is for those who love.  He has prepared it for us.  Have we prepared ourselves for Him?

WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekly update from CCM

Dear Students,

Did you know that we have only one more Sunday remaining in ordinary time?  The following Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent, and also the first time we will be celebrating Mass with the new third edition of the Roman Missal, including the revised English translation.  Are you prepared for the changes?

If you've been paying attention this semester you'll note this has been a reoccurring theme of mine.  We've been trying to prepare students as much as possible in Catholic Campus Ministry for this coming change in the way we worship.  If you've been a regular at our Wednesday night dinners you'll have enjoyed my little "Matt's Missal Moments" before our post-supper program each week.  (Ok, so maybe "enjoy" is too strong a word....)  :-)

I've also been updating our campus ministry blog with articles about the coming changes.  If you've missed those, now is a great time to catch up.  You can see a link to each article at the bottom of this page:

You'll now find pew sheets in our chapel for your use as a quick reference to the different people's responses at Mass.  In addition I will be making available Order of the Mass booklets for people to use who want to follow along more closely.  St. Mary's also now has in their bookstore little St. Joseph missalettes for the coming year for only $3, as well as the full hard cover Daily Roman Missals for $48 if you want all the scripture readings, as well as the order of the Mass in all its glory!

Wednesday:  Please join us for dinner at our regular time at 6:30pm.  Sarah and James are sharing kitchen duty, with hamburgers on the menu (we'll have some veggie burgers, too).  My "Missal Moment" after dinner will focus on our response to "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world..."  Finally, we will enjoy a student program led by Ali to round off the evening.

Thursday: Our St. Thomas Aquinas student discussion group will meet at 7:00pm, with the topic being "S'mores & S'aints."  We'll be eating treats and talking about our favorite saints, so please join us.

Saturday:  Our final football game is this Saturday at 2pm.  We need two volunteers to help with parking money between noon and 2 that day.  If you can help us raise money for our campus ministry with this event parking fundraiser, please let me know!

Sunday: At 6:30pm we will continue our apologetics series.  This week the topic is "The Bible Alone?" and we will look at the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura.  At 7:00pm please join us for the Rosary in our chapel, followed at 7:30pm with Holy Mass.  

Because of the Thanksgiving break, we will not have dinner on Wednesday.  We will, however, still have Mass on Sunday at the usual 7:30pm time.

It's not too soon to look ahead to next semester!  On Jan 14-16 (MLK weekend) we are planning a trip to Boone to crash at App State's campus ministry house and take in some skiing adventure.  Costs are still being worked out, but part of the cost will depend on how many are signed up (we may qualify for a group discount).  We are inviting students from other campuses in our diocese, so this will be a great chance to connect with Catholics from other campuses.  I'll be posting more information as I have it, but I am asking people to register for the trip by the end of this semester; the registration fee is $20 and will cover your food for the entire weekend.  Please see me if you would like to register.

God bless, and have a great week!

WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gospel for Today


Today's Gospel is from Matthew 25:14-30.  As in the past several weeks, this week's reading has Jesus relating another parable.  This parable has a man who, while he travels on a journey, entrusts three of his servants with a certain amount of talents.  (A "talent" is a unit of currency).  To one servant he gives five talents, to another two, and to the last servant one.  When he returns he finds that the servants to whom he gave five and two talents have invested their money and returned to their master double what they were entrusted with, ten and four talents respectively.  The third servant whom was given a single talent buried it in the ground, and returned the same to his master.  

The master was furious.  "Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?" he asks.  He then takes the talent and gives it to the servants who had wisely invested his money.  "For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

At first glance, today's gospel reading might seem like a sermon on financial investment.  Or it might seem like a condemnation of the whole "I am the 99%" movement.  We complain because the rich grow richer while the poor grow more poor; yet isn't that exactly what Jesus says will happen in today's gospel?

Not quite.  For only on the surface is today's parable about money.  I'm convinced that Jesus had more in mind.  We get clues as to what from the other readings today.  This first reading is from Proverbs 31.  It is about a worthy wife, one who "fears the Lord."  It speaks of such a wife as an "unfailing prize" and her value as "far beyond pearls."  "Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates."  

The Psalm has a similar message.  Psalm 128 tells us "Blessed are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways!  For you shall eat the fruits of your handiwork..."  It concludes, "Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.  The Lord bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life."

The rewards and prosperity spoken of in these two readings have nothing to do with investing money in a bank.  Rather they have to do with living lives in fear of the Lord.  Now, this does not mean being afraid of God!  When the Bible speaks of "fear of the Lord," it means having respect and awe for the Almighty.  It means proper reverence and admiration -- and yes, this may mean a little trembling on our part.  

What it all boils down to is investing what God has given us, so that we may yield an increase, as the two wise servants in today's gospel parable.  What has God given us?  A sum of money?  Or something else?

In truth God has given us everything.  Our lives, our bodies, our souls, every breath we take is a gift from the Lord.  What are we doing with these treasures he has entrusted us with?  Are we investing our lives in such a way as to see an increase in that investment?  What would such an increase look like?

The answer, I believe, is found in the closing prayer from today's Mass:
We have partaken of the gifts of this sacred mystery, humbly imploring, O Lord, that what your Son commanded us to do in memory of him may bring us growth in charity.  Through Christ our Lord.

We pray for growth in charity, which is to say an increase in love.  This is how you should be investing your talents.  God has invested in your life.  He wants to be paid back, with increase, in love.

God bless!

WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekly update from CCM

Dear Students,

What a wonderful time we had this past weekend at Folly Beach!  The theme of our beach retreat was "Mass Confusion!" and despite the title I feel I can say with confidence that we all left LESS confused about the Mass, and more in awe and wonder at the miracles we are allowed to participate in each Sunday at the liturgy.  I am so proud of all the students who researched the various talks and presentations on the different parts of the Mass, and very glad to have had the opportunity to share this experience with those who went on the retreat.  We could not have had a better ending to the retreat than the beautifully celebrated Mass on Sunday morning at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in downtown Charleston.

I've gathered some photos of the retreat and put them online for any who would like to see them:

Coming up this week...
WEDNESDAY:  Please join us for dinner at 6:30pm.  After we will have another of my 'Missal Moments.'  We are only a few weeks away from when the new translation goes into effect.  Are you ready?  We have received our new copy of the Roman Missal for our chapel, so I'll have that on hand for show and tell.  Our program afterward will be led by Alex Cassell.

THURSDAY:  The St. Thomas Aquinas student discussion group meets at 7pm.  The topic this week is "The Human Experience."  If you have never seen this film, it is the story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? Their journey brings them into the middle of the lives of the homeless on the streets of New York City, the orphans and disabled children of Peru, and the abandoned lepers in the forests of Ghana, Africa. What the young men discover changes them forever. Through one on one interviews and real life encounters, the brothers are awakened to the beauty of the human person and the resilience of the human spirit.

SATURDAY:  "Preaching to the Choir" is a workshop led by Fr. Ken Whittington, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo church in Morganton, NC.  He's coming to St. Mary's in Sylva to teach us about the meaning and role of liturgical music in our worship.  Why do we sing what we sing at Mass?  Does it matter what we sing?  Why do we sing, anyway?  If you sing in the choir I strongly encourage you to attend this workshop.  Anyone with any interest at all in liturgical music is most welcome.  It will run from 9:30am till 3:00pm, with lunch provided.  Prior registration is required, so if you'd like to attend, please let me know.

Looking ahead...
For those of you interested in taking part of the March for Life trip to DC this coming January 21-24, I have the registration forms in my office.  The cost to take part in the trip with St. Mary's ranges from $420 for a single room, down to $200 if you share a room.  A $100 deposit is due no later than Dec. 2.  Special Note:  There is a possibility that the group will get to go on a special tour of the White House led by Heath Shuler.  If you want to be a part of that tour, a background check is required and the information needed for that is due in no later than Nov. 16, so act now.  For more information, please see me, or contact Celeste Franzen at ccsfpdp@aol.com or 828-226-1512.

God bless!
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Glory to God in the Highest!

Moving along in our study of the new English translation of the Mass, we will look next at the Gloria. Again, we will compare the current English translation with the Latin original, followed by the new English translation.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. 
Glória in excélsis Deo et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis. Laudáumus te, benedícimus te, adorámus te, glorificámus te, grátias ágimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam,Dómine Deus, Rex caeléstis, Deus Pater omnípotens. Dómine Fili unigénite, Iesu Christe, Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris, Qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserere nobis; Qui tollis peccáta mundi, súscipe deprecatiónem nostrum. Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, miserere nobis. Quóniam tu solus Sanctus, Tu solus Dóminus, Tu solus Altíssimus, Iesu Christe, cum Sancto Spíritu: In glória Dei Patris. Amen. 
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

We notice right at the beginning the addition of the phrase “of good will.” This is a direct translation of the Latin bonae voluntátis, which is entirely missing from our current translation. It hearkens back to Luke’s Gospel, when the Angel of the Lord announces the birth of Christ with those words, and so this new, more accurate translation brings back the Scriptural reference more accurately.

My favorite part of the new Gloria translation is “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you…” This rhythmic structure more closely follows the cadence of the Latin. Laudáumus te, benedícimus te, adorámus te, glorificámus te… It is poetry; it has a special cadence to it which ought to be respected as much as possible in the translation. That’s not always possible, so I am glad that they have recaptured it here.

Notice, too the repetition of the phrase “you take away the sins of the world.” It is repeated twice in the Latin – qui tollis peccáta mundi. And now it is repeated in the English, as well. As I mentioned in the last installment, when words or phrases are repeated it is for emphasis. If we are going to emphasize our own culpability and sinfulness, as we did in the Penitential Rite, we cannot neglect to also emphasize the saving power of our Lord.

One cause for concern that many have expressed has to do with the music we sing at Mass. In most parishes, the Gloria is sung rather than recited. As it should be! If you attend a Mass where the Gloria is sung in Latin, then you have nothing to be concerned with, as the Latin text will not be changing with the new edition of the Missal.

However, if you sing the Gloria in English, as most US parishes do, then you will indeed be learning a new musical setting for the Gloria. And having to learn new music as well as new words may seem to some to be twice the challenge! (Although one can make the argument that setting the words to music actually makes them easier to remember.)

Nevertheless having to learn a new sung part of the Mass will definitely be a major transition for many, and so to help smooth the process along many bishops in the US, our own included, have granted permission for the sung parts of the new Missal to be used as early as September of this year.

The US Bishop’s Conference and the International Commission of English in the Liturgy (ICEL), as well as other groups dedicated to liturgical music, such as the Church Music Association of America, have made available for free download musical settings for the sung parts of the new Mass translation. And many other liturgical musicians are working on composing new scores.

It is not only the Gloria that is changing. In the Sanctus, instead of singing “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of power and might,” we will now instead sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.” And the Mystery of Faith will also change somewhat. Now instead of four options there are three, which are slightly different from what we sing now.

So if you attend a Mass where some or all of the above is sung in English, get ready for something a bit different. And don’t be afraid to sing along!