Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pescado Frito

"YES, we have a fish fry." This was the constant refrain of those answering our English-language 'phone lines during the past week. I should have asked the staff to keep a count of phone calls so that we might know whether calls about getting Ashes on Wednesday outnumbered calls about getting fish on Friday. It would be a close race, I think, among the English-language calls, but not contest on the Spanish line. The Spanish-speaking world loves them ashes. They may not come to Mass -- ever --- they may have abandoned the faith of their Baptism and joined Reverend Jose's storefront chapel (Primera Iglesia Hispana del West Side de Columbus or something like that), but by cracky they are gonna get their ashes, and it's the responsibility of Holy Mother to apply them to a a non-practicing forehead. Which we did. There are no videos of this from Wednesday night as my camera phone has no wide-screen capability and we don't want to frighten the children anyway.
The Fish Fry was almost as noisy and chaotic as the Spanish Mass Wednesday night but had more of a festive atmosphere...Everyone who came gave the fish high marks. In all 220lbs of perch was sacrificed to facilitate Lenten penitence. In addition to the fish classic (fried) we also offered baked fish and and third option, of which I am especially fond: Perch Francese. White wine + Lemon + homemade crumbing = fish heaven. To those who eat fish, no explanation is necessary. To those who do not eat fish, no explanation is possible.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Work, work, work

4 p.m. on Mardi Gras. Another grueling meeting. This time to taste-test possible menu items for the fund-raising dinner to be held Tuesday, May 5 -- Cinco de Mayo, get it? -- to build up our convent fund. Bucking the trend, we will be opening a convent in August to house the Missionary Servants of the Word Sisters from Mexico. To make this happen, I'm going to have to eat a lot of Mexican food. This is a tough job but somebody's gotta do it. We tested several possible appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The only problem was that everybody liked everything! Hmmmmmm......flannnnn.....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Our Aspirants

One of the responsibilities of every priest is to provide his own replacement by encouraging young men who are preparing to be ordained priests, or just thinking about it. While I can't take a lot of credit for the good news I am relating here (the Holy Spirit gets the credit), I am very pleased and proud that two members of our parish set off this morning for Washington, D.C., to try their vocation. William Pacheco and Samuel Castro will be living at the seminary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, a very dynamic and fast-growing congregation of priests. As we go to press, word reaches us that they may soon be joined by a third young man from our parish. Pray for them!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sator princepsque temporum

From deep down in the file cabinet, another breviary hymn translation. This hymn is prescribed for Vespers on Tuesday, Weeks Two and Four of the Psalter. You will note that I came up with two different ways to translate "mens," the meaning of which goes beyond the usual English sense of the word "mind" to include the inner, spiritual part of man, the seat not only of the intellect but of the will, virtues, spiritual relationships, etc.

Sator princepsque temporum,
clarum diem laboribus
noctemque qui soporibus
fixo distinguis ordine.

Mentem tu castam dirige,
obscura ne silentia
ad dira cordis vulnera
telis patescant invidi.

Vacent ardore pectora,
faces nec ullas perferant,
quae nostro haerentes sensui
mentis vigorem saucient.

Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum.
Creator, Lord of time and tide
The hours in order you divide:
For work, you give us daytime bright;
For rest, the quiet sleep of night.

The inner self keep pure from sin,
Lest silent darkness deep within
Expose the heart to wound and woe
From deadly arrows of the foe.

Let passion’s fire from us depart,
Lest, burning hotly in the heart,
Its flames around our feelings bind,
And wound the vigor of the mind.

O grant it, Father, only Son,
And Holy Spirit with them one:
The God whom all things must obey,
Reigning in everlasting day.

translation copyright 2005, Fr. Thomas Buffer