So, we must at this juncture call a "finis".
The Institute of Christ the King's website has a Kansas City/Old St. Patrick page. Click here to access that information.
"There are not exactly too many books that could be described as an "ecclesiastical thriller". The new book by Piers Paul Read called "The Death of a Pope" is certainly part of that small genre, but not limited by that.
The novel starts with a trial for a laicized priest who had been working for an international Catholic charity and had been arrested for trying to buy nerve agent. The plot builds from there in the last weeks of Pope John Paul II's life and it follows a serious threat as you might expect from the thriller genre. The main characters follow a range mainly along a faithful Catholic and lapsed/liberal Catholic divide that includes a Cardinal, priests, a reporter, and various personnel from security agencies.
The split between faithful and less than faithful Catholics is part of the plot of the book and some of the dialogue concerns hot issues of the day such as condom use, women priests, etc. Though the book never lapses into just a vehicle for apologetics that is artificial and the issues raised are totally consistent with the plot. One thing I liked though is that the more liberal or fallen away Catholic characters were not described as unlikable stereotypes. They were treated as real people as where all the characters in the book. As you would expect from a novel published by Ignatius Press the sympathy of the book is certainly in an Orthodox Catholic direction - but again I liked it focusing on plot and characters and not making the novel a soapbox which is always a disastrous decision.
"The Death of a Pope" was a thoroughly satisfying read from the start to the end and totally satisfying how the plot resolves. While it is an enjoyable read for Catholics, the novel is quite well written and should see a large audience."
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love.
"To the truly penitent priests who, in any day, pray at least the morning Lauds or Vespers before the Most Holy Sacrament, exposed in public Adoration or in the Tabernacle, and, following the example of Saint John Mary Vianney, offer themselves with prompt and generous will in the celebration of the Sacraments, above all of Confession, a Plenary Indulgence is mercifully granted in God, which they may also apply to their deceased brothers in suffrage if, in conformity with the current norms, they go to sacramental confession and Eucharist, and pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
"A partial Indulgence is also granted to the priests, also applicable to their deceased brothers, every time they devoutly pray duly approved prayers to lead a holy life and to fulfill in a holy manner the duties assigned to them.
"To all the penitent faithful who, in a Church or Oratory, devoutly assist at the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ, Supreme and Eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, as well as any good work accomplished in that day, so that He may sanctify them and conform them to His Heart, is granted a Plenary Indulgence, if they have sanctified their own sins in sacramental penance and raised prayers for the intention of the Supreme Pontiff: on the days in which the Priestly Year is opened and closed, on the day of the 150th anniversary of the pious death of Saint John Mary Vianney, on the first Thursday of every month, or on any other day established by the Ordinary of the place for the use of the faithful. ...
"To the aged, the infirm, and all those who, for legitimate reason, cannot leave their house, with the rejection of every sin and the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three conditions, will also be granted in their own house, or wherever their condition retains them, a plenary indulgence if, on the aforementioned days, they recite prayers for the sanctification of priests and offer the infirmities and discomforts of their lives faithfully to God through Mary, Queen of the Apostles.
"Partial indulgence is also granted to all the faithful every time they devoutly recite five times the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory be, or other appropriately approved prayer, in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, to obtain that the priests may keep themselves in purity and sanctity of life."
"Thine Eyes is politically conscious without being partisan. It is factual without being preachy. It is sobering but very joyful. I would like all Catholic adults to see Thine Eyes; but it is also perfectly appropriate for high school or even middle school students. It tells a simple but profound story which has been largely pushed to the side by the commercial press: how hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children make a challenging spiritual pilgrimage to our nation’s capitol - year after year - out of love for human life, and come back home more committed than ever to change our country. Prayerfully watch Thine Eyes. Find a way to support this movement, and join the great March for life."
A Prayer for Good Weather
Good Saint Medard, humble and loyal servant, you trusted God's providence in all things and at all times. You knew that God provides for the needs of His children. Inspire us with your faith, so that we may weather the storms that surround us and trust that the sun will shine again. Amen.
We beseech Thee, O Almighty God, through the intercession of Holy Mary, the Mother of God, of the holy angels, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, widows, and of all They saints that Thou show us Thy continuing protection, permit tranquil winds, and also pour out to us, They unworthy servant, Thy safety from heaven above against lightning strikes and violent storms, and that Thou remain always protective of the human race and crush down the aerial powers by the right hand of Thy power. Through the same Christ the Lord....
We tried replying to the post with a "huzzaah!", but got this message: "Sorry, but the craigslist user address you recently mailed (firstname.lastname@example.org) does not seem to be valid. It could be you're trying to respond to a very old posting, or that the user has not requested anonymous email forwarding. Please check the address and try again."
'The Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always obliged to maintain communion with the Church", or of Canon 225.2 "According to each one's own condition, [laity] are also bound by a particular duty to imbue and perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the gospel and thus to give witness to Christ, especially in carrying out these same affairs and in exercising secular functions.'"The evil that ND President Jenkins and his Board of Trustees committed has, Deus laudetur, occasioned one of the most striking displays of episcopal fortitude I can remember, mobilized hundreds of thousands of American Catholics against another quiet surrender to the Culture of Death, and effected notice to several once great Catholic institutions that it's time, finally, to decide where they stand.
"We are, of course, disappointed that Professor Glendon has made this decision. It is our intention to award the Laetare Medal to another deserving recipient, and we will make that announcement as soon as possible."
"He’s one of the most gentle, humble and devoted priests I have had the pleasure to know." Kansas City area businessman Joe Farris speaks for many who know Fr. Francis Kriski, pastor since Advent of 2005 of Our Lady of Peace church on Kansas City's northeast side.
Francis Kriski was born in 1936 into a farming family in Elba, Nebraska, northwest of Grand Island. He's the only priest from his home town so far. A middle child, he grew up with four older sisters, three younger brothers and one younger sister. But he was threatened with a serious ear infection at once, and a kind of omen attended his Baptism.
"Our pastor was away for some reason, and the bishop himself was substituting in this little country parish," Fr. Kriski says. "But he was a Polish bishop." Francis' Baptism was quickly arranged, and Bishop Stanislaus Bona baptized him personally. Then he said to Francis' uncle and godfather, "Now it's up to you to make him a priest."
It was a close, religious family and Francis enjoyed pretending to say Mass for his brothers and sisters, using a colorful old rug as a chasuble. A great-uncle was a prominent Franciscan friar, and in 1950 Francis left home for a Franciscan minor seminary in Chicago. But he was 13 years old, and soon he was homesick. He came home that Christmas to stay until 1954, when he began formation as a Redemptorist after high school. "My uncle had talked for years about how much he liked the Redemptorists in Omaha, and my father wanted me to be a priest," he says. "I got a lot of support from my family."
He became a professed Redemptorist in 1958 - "It turned out the Redemptorists didn't go home for Christmas!" - and was ordained a priest six years later, taking parish assignments in Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Kansas City and Indiana. He also served as an Army chaplain and a hospital chaplain. "Denver's General Hospital a big place with a big emergency room. You get calls at midnight, calls at 3 a.m. You do what you can do for people in ten minutes. The good thing is, if you make a mistake you can start over with the next person. In parish work, you have to live with your goof-ups."
Our Lady of Peace is in a diverse neighborhood with diverse issues, and pastoring a bilingual parish has a set of challenges all its own. "I learned Spanish in the seminary and I try to do as much in Spanish as I can, but I'm not really that fluent," he says. "Usually if I ask enough questions I can find out what someone is saying."
A less experienced priest might find fertile goof-up ground everywhere in this parish and neighborhood. But "Father Kriski's done a good job of balancing the needs of the two communities," says Deacon Don McCandless. "He did it by listening to people and soliciting ideas.
"He has a pastoral approach to people. I would describe him as being a very humble man."
"Our parish has always been Polish, Mexican, German, a real melting pot," says lifelong parishioner Mrs. Bernadine Ohmes. "But Fr. Kriski didn't come in like gangbusters wanting to change everything. He is so kind, and very easy to work with."
A truly green thumb is a gift, but a modest man might not mention it. "When he came to the parish he converted a small area in the back into a grotto," Mrs. Ohmes says. "He planted tulips and hostas and a rosebush for a statue of the Blessed Mother he put in. "He really takes pride in the grounds and we were happy to see that."
"I once brought him the Epistle and Gospel texts for that week's Latin Mass, and found him tending a small flower garden at Redemptorist church," says Michall Holmes of Lee's Summit. "He explained with great joy that tending the flowers was one of his responsibilities at Redemptorist.
"I've often thought his love for tending flowers was like his love for tending souls."
Fr. Kriski was ordained for the Tridentine (Latin) Mass, and over the years would sometimes say a private Tridentine Mass for friends - or even perform a small wedding in the old liturgy.
Thus he didn't start completely from scratch when he began serving Kansas City's Latin Mass community as chaplain and de facto pastor in Advent 2002.
"Vatican II has certainly had an impact on my life as a priest and it was positive, but I still hanker for the old days," he says. "Something important from the pre-Vatican II church seems to be missing. It's hard to put your finger on. Perhaps a kind of conviction is missing."
"There's something kind of missing from the English Mass too," he says. "It seems so plain. "There's no soul in it. The Latin Mass has soul. I enjoyed saying it."
He served the Latin Mass community for exactly three years, inheriting the community from Fr. Ambrose Karels and passing it on to priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
"Father Kriski was one of the finest priests to serve our community and we owe him much. Many thanks, Father," says community member John Quastler.
Perhaps many changes inside the Church since the 1960s were hardest on priests of all. "The priesthood was looked up to then, but I'd say it's different now," Father Kriski says. Yet the Catholic Church cannot function without priests.
Then where do vocations come from, especially in a changed environment? Prayer, meditation and family and community support are indispensable. “Altar boy service is probably one of the most important experiences in the formation of a young boy who feels he might have a vocation,” he says.
"Appreciation is a great thing. If you're doing something and people care, it adds a lot." Father Francis Kriski fought a recent, successful bout with cancer and might retire someday, to the extent that any dedicated priest retires. He looks forward to the Church's future with optimism.
"Sometimes it seems like nobody listens to anything the Church says," he says. "But if there's something beautiful, people are attracted to that and maybe that will help some people to stay with the Church.
"So my advice is to look to the future," he says. "As long as there's a future, there's hope."
"The "Rituale Romanum" (tit. iv, cap. ii, n. I) prescribes that a clean white cloth be extended before those who receive Holy Communion. This cloth is to be of fine linen, as it is solely intended as a sort of corporal to receive the particles which may by chance fall from the hands of the priest. It is usually fastened on the sanctuary side and when in use is drawn over the top of the rail. It should extend the full length of the rail, and be about two feet wide, so that the communicant, taking it in both hands, may hold it under his chin. Its very purpose suggests that it is not to be made of lace or netting, although there is nothing to forbid its having a border of fine lace or embroidery."
1) Just being in our own church and being our own self-contained parish has been very attractive to many of the new attendees and new registrants, and2) Canon Avis has truly been the spark-plug that our membership had needed. Since he arrived in September of last year he has shown just the right level of friendliness and personality in addition to his formidable gifts as a priest. Also he has shown great expertise in managing the community so everyone feels fully part of it.
"Since I made my move to OSP, I can not tell you how often I thank God for leading me to this community. Events such as the bake sale, and the St. Joseph table are truly moments when we know God has blessed us all. Love abounds in our little community. Deo Gratias."
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7:00 p.m. - High Mass, Procession andAdoration until midnight
Noon - Stations of the Cross6:30 p.m. - Liturgy of the Lord's Passion
8:30 p.m. - Easter Vigil
8:00 a.m. - Low Mass10:15 a.m. - High Mass