Come spend some fun and faith-filled time at St. John as we honor Jesus on His special Corpus Christi Feast day. We will have food, fellowship, a Eucharistic procession, an evening of family worship and praise, and quiet outdoor Adoration all night until 6:30a.m. Saturday. We invite your entire family and friends to bring honor to Jesus!
You don’t have to be an artist to create beauty for our Lord. Stop by the SJE parking lot anytime between 1:15 – 6:30 p.m., and decorate a parking spot along the Corpus Christi procession route. BYO chalk, or use ours. Bottled water will be available. Don’t forget sunscreen, hats, and chairs. It’s a great time to visit with friends. All are welcome!
Chesapeake Food Works Food Truck will be on campus 4:30-7p.m. Check out their delicious menu at https:// cfwfoodtruck.company.site/ including crab cakes, shrimp gumbo, falafel and cotton candy for the kids and young at heart. Bring your own food and chairs, too.
All First Communicants are invited to gather at 6:45p.m., dressed in their finery for the procession. Bring a basket from home filled with leaves, flowers, and flower petals of all sorts. The children will walk at the front of the procession and strew flowers before the Lord. Please contact Ruth Gorski with any questions, email@example.com, 410-647-4892.
7 p.m.—Solemn Eucharistic Procession from the Church to Larsen Field.
7:30 – 9p.m., Larsen Field—Community worship and adoration of Our Eucharistic Lord with beautiful music.
9p.m. Friday–8a.m. Saturday, June 5—Overnight outside Eucharistic Adoration. Stop by any time of the night or early morning and stay as long as you wish. BYO chair, blankets and dress for the weather!
Saint John Vianney, you were blessed with a loving and devout family who supported your desire to increase your faith and devote yourself fully towards imitating the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. In your quest to pursue your holy vocation, you were not deterred by the many obstacles that came your way. Your strong faith carried you through all of life’s trials to your place in God’s kingdom. Obtain for me the same courage and faith that allowed you to give all to God without counting the cost. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to the right decisions that will best serve God and my neighbor. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – July 28th, Day 2
Saint John Vianney, you dedicated your life towards saving souls for the greater glory of God. You were even blessed with an almost supernatural ability to obtain funds to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters in Christ. You freely gave of yourself in imitation of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. Teach me also to see God in each person regardless of their station in life, and despite any wrongs they may have done to me. Help me to see service to my fellow men as a responsibility that I need to fulfill, to gain a chance to live with you, with our Lord, and all the saints for all eternity. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – July 29th, Day 3
Saint John Vianney, your successful journey to the priesthood is a testament to your determination to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Your life as a priest is a shining example of what we should expect from the chosen leaders of God’s flock. Your perseverance in the face of many hardships has saved numerous souls. By contemplating on your life, may I be imbued with the same determination to be the best that I can be in the many roles I play in life. Let everything I think, say or do benefit my neighbor and lead me ever closer to our Heavenly Father. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – July 30th, Day 4
Saint John Vianney, when you saw social ills and sin in your parish, you sparked moral and spiritual renewal through your homilies and work in the confessional. Your unrelenting efforts to win back souls to God’s grace has caused many to repent. By your soft words you were able to convert many sinners like me. Pray for me that God may bless me with the same outrage for sin and for me to have the compassion for sinners as you did. Let me choose my words carefully, lest I cause injury to my brothers. Inspire me to regularly seek reconciliation with our Heavenly Father through the worthy reception of the sacraments, Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – July 31st, Day 5
Saint John Vianney, God’s grace saw you through all the trying moments of your life. Inspired by the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, you sacrificed your entire life in order to serve him fully. Your complete trust and surrender to His will allowed you to enter priesthood in spite of the many trials you had to endure. Obtain for me the same complete trust in the will of God, that will allow me to see hardships and trials as sacrifices I need to joyfully accept in His name. Let my anxieties and uncertainties be replaced by great faith in our Heavenly Father who is the source of all that is good. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – August 1st, Day 6
Saint John Vianney, you rejoiced at every opportunity to spend time in prayers and contemplation. Your dedication was such that, had it not been for practical considerations, your bishop would have granted your wish to be a monk. Teach me the power of prayer, that I may slowly understand God’s will for me. Obtain for me the conviction that through fervent prayer, nothing is impossible. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – August 2nd, Day 7
Saint John Vianney, in life you have shown your veneration of the Blessed Sacrament. To this end you spent long hours in the confessional to help the faithful become worthy to receive the holy sacraments. Obtain for me the fervent desire to always remain worthy to receive the holy sacraments that I may also one day be rewarded with God’s favor and spend life in His kingdom with all the saints for all eternity. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – August 3rd, Day 8
St. John Vianney, you lived a simple and austere life, preferring to store riches in heaven. You never turned your back to any of the poor people needing your assistance. Pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten me and remain with me always so that I too may learn to forego material possessions to earn God’s grace. May I always value my spiritual health over all the wealth in the world. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
St. John Vianney Novena – August 4th, Day 9
Feast of St. John-Marie Vianney
St. John Vianney, you never let an opportunity to enlighten people and save souls pass you by. Through your efforts, many people have experienced moral and spiritual renewal. Pray that God grant me the same zeal to make His love known to all my neighbors, so that all of us may learn to despise all forms of sin. Let all my actions reveal an awakened love of God by through my interactions with my fellow men. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.
O Almighty Eternal God our Father, look upon the face of Your Son, and for love of Him Who is the Eternal High Priest, have pity on your priests. Remember O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.
O Jesus, Our Eternal High Priest, we pray:
— for Your faithful and fervent PRIESTS;
— for Your unfaithful and tepid PRIESTS;
— for Your PRIESTS laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields;
— for Your tempted PRIESTS;
— for Your young PRIESTS;
— for Your dying PRIESTS;
— for the souls of Your PRIESTS in Purgatory.
But above all, we commend to You:
— the PRIESTS dearest to me;
— the PRIEST who baptized me;
— the PRIESTS who absolved me from my sins;
— the PRIESTS at whose MASSES I assist;
— the PRIESTS who taught and instructed me about You and Your Holy Scriptures;
— the PRIESTS who helped and encouraged me to accept You as my Lord and Savior;
— and all the PRIESTS whom You sent to touch my life and those of my loved ones.
Let Us Pray For:
The Holy Father: ……………………………………………………fill him with Your grace, Lord;
Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops: ………………….. give them your gifts, Lord;
Diocesan Priests: …………………………………………………………… never leave them, Lord;
Priests in seminary work: ………………………………. give them Your wisdom, Lord;
Priests in hospital work: ………………………………………….. give them constancy, Lord;
Priests who are ill: ……………………………………………………………………… heal them, Lord;
Priests in danger: ……………………………………………………………………deliver them, Lord;
Priests who are weak: …………………………………………………….. strengthen them, Lord;
Priests who are poor: ………………………………………………………… relieve them, Lord;
Priests who are zealous: ……………………………………………………………. help them, Lord;
Priests who want to love You: ………………………………. enkindle their hearts, Lord;
Priests who are sad: ……………………………………………………………. console them, Lord;
Priests who are worried: ………………………………………………… give them peace, Lord;
Priests who are old: ………………………………………………………………. sustain them, Lord;
Priests who are young: ………………………………… impel them for your glory, Lord;
Priests who are alone: …………………………………………………… accompany them, Lord;
Priests who are preachers: ……………………………………………….. enlighten them, Lord;
Priests who direct souls: …………………………………………………….. instruct them, Lord;
Parish priests: ………………………………………………………………make them perfect, Lord;
Priests and religious who have died: ………………….. bring them to Glory, Lord;
All the Church, militant and suffering: ……………………………….. Lord, have mercy.
For all Priests:
— Give them Your wisdom, Lord.
— Give them virtues.
— Give them patience and charity.
— Give them obedience and kindness.
— Give them a burning zeal for souls.
— Give them an intense love for the Eucharist.
— Give them loyalty to the Pope and their Bishops.
— Give them respect for their dignity.
— Give them a great love for Mary.
— Give them rectitude for justice.
— Give them the gift of counsel.
— Give them strength in their labors.
— Give them peace in their sufferings.
— Give them humility and generosity.
— Let them be the light of souls.
— Let them be the salt of the earth.
— Let them practice sacrifice and self denial.
— Let them enkindle hearts with the love of Mary.
— Let them be other Christs.
— Let them be holy in body and soul.
— May they be men of prayer.
— May faith shine forth in them.
— May they be faithful to their priestly vocation.
— May their hands know only how to bless.
— May they burn with love for You and for Mary.
— May all their steps be for the glory of God.
— May the Holy Spirit possess them, and give them His gifts and fruits in abundance.
Let us pray, O God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are the soul and the life of the Church. Hear the prayers we offer for priests. We ask this through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, their protector and guide. Amen.
St. John the Evangelist, Severna Park is offering overnight adoration again! We’ve lost some regular adorers. Parishioners who go regularly are the best advertisers, so some parish men have articulated why they go — and why YOU should go! (Here’s the link!)
These guys raise their families, go to work or college, help in the community, have favorite sports teams and are…imperfect. (Most of the lightly snarky comments are included):
“…I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament.” J.R.R. Tolkien
“When we go before the Blessed Sacrament, let us open our heart; our good God will open his. We shall go to Him; He will come to us; the one to ask, the Other to receive. It will be like a breath from one to another.” St. John Vianney
“For me, adoration is an opportunity to deepen my relationship with God. He is speaking to each of us all the time, but with our busy lives we often can’t hear him. Adoration affords me that silence that is necessary to open my heart and listen to his word. All relationships involve an amount of time spent together, and adoration is a perfect time to spend with our Lord. I truly feel his presence during that hour.”
I want a peace that the world can NOT give; I go to the One who can.
If you think nothing can overcome the world, come to the One who has.
I reflect (on everything) through adoration.
Real men KNEEL for the Lord.
Come pray for sports to return, you know you have nothing better to do!(Hmmm…)
Meet up with an old friend, maybe make a couple new ones too.
He died for you the least you could do is give him an hour of your attention.
Adoration – time away from kids, work, and wife! What more could you ask for? (Hmmmm…)
Come for the peace and quiet, stay for the praying!
This is truly a place for miracles.
This is a place to discern spirits.
I know He’s the truth, that’s where I go.
Finally, extra points for the young man who sent in a Bible verse:
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10
In 1978, I was 11 years old and living in West Germany with my family. In late spring, we traveled to the city of Munich, the historical heart of German Catholicism, and as we ambled down the central pedestrian zone we ran right into a Corpus Christi procession.
I was entranced! I remember columns and columns of people dressed in beautiful clothing, nuns in black habits, Dominicans men in white, Franciscans in sandals, flags, tapestries, statues of saints carried on platforms, bouquets and baskets of flowers everywhere – even being tossed in the air!
There were children dressed in their First Communion finery (and girls with beautiful floral crowns) – even people riding horses!
Finally, I recalled large embroidered canopy hovering over a bishop carrying a huge monstrance. Even now, I can remember breathing in the incense and marveling at the colorful scene.
“Corpus Christi” is Latin for “The Body (and Blood) of Christ”. It is a feast that was established in the year 1264 by Pope Urban IV a year after he declared that a Eucharistic miracle had happened. A German priest visiting Italy had a big problem: he wasn’t sure he believed that the bread and wine truly became the Body and Blood of Christ during the Consecration! He begged God to increase his faith.
“The next day, (the priest) celebrated Mass at the tomb of St. Christina, an early martyr of the church. As soon as he said the words of consecration, the host began to bleed. Blood fell onto his hands and onto the corporal on the altar. He was awestruck and began to cry. At first, he was not sure what to do and tried to hide the blood, but then interrupted the Mass and announced what had happened. The congregation, too, was awestruck. He asked to be taken to see Pope Urban IV who was residing at the neighboring town of Orvieto about 10 miles away.” (https://catholicstraightanswers.com/what-eucharistic-miracle-inspired-the-feast-of-corpus-christi/
Pope Urban IV asked his friend St. Thomas Aquinas to compose an entire Mass full of sacred music for a special feast to honor the Real Presence of Jesus. Even now, we sing “O Salutaris Hostia” and “Tantum Ergo” for adoration and Benediction, and many of his hymns have been set to beautiful music by composers for the past 800 years!
About 100 years later, people began to have processions throughout their towns with the priest or bishop carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a Monstrance, blessing people along the route. At some point, some thought about carrying baskets of flowers and petals to throw in front of the priest, to make a beautiful carpet for the priest to carry Our King – just as servants strewed flowers in front of earthly queens and kings. Later, people started making beautiful flower petal carpets ahead of time, and only the priest with the monstrance would be allowed to walk on those special decorations.
At some point in the 16th century, the custom of “Madonnari” began in Italy. These were vagabond artists who moved from town to town to decorate for special feast days.
Interestingly, the flowerand chalk carpets don’t last very long after the procession, do they? The petals fade quickly in the heat, the winds blow, the rain washes out the color. In fact, even a beautiful St. Thomas Aquinas hymn can be sung, but unless it’s recorded – swish! The sound waves disappear into the air and we don’t hear them anymore. But, taking the time to glorify the King of the Universe in His Eucharistic Body and Blood with the best beauty we can offer is worth a lot of effort, and even the disappointment of watching our beautiful offering to him fade away.
Here are photos of St. John parishioners and friends decorating the procession route in past years:
We have been decorating the Corpus Christi procession route at St. John for about 6 years. We will do it again on June 12th, 2020! We will chalk the parking spots and Father Erik will carry Jesus in the Monstrance to a beautiful altar on Larsen Field. A parishioner and college art student, Owen Zaleski, will construct a beautiful flower carpet in front of the altar. It will be wonderful!
“But my family and I can’t chalk like those Madonnari artists! It’s not good enough!” Not true! Recall how pleased we as parents are when our children create “treasures” for us. How much more is God our loving FATHER delighted in us honoring His Son! We are acting with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and He is beholding our efforts to honor him with love and affection. And that is a great truth to pass on to our children.
All of it — the Eternal Moment. Our good and glorious God creating everything — every sub-particle, every dust mote in the vast universe, every platypus, every thread of saffron and lavender, all elephants and great whales, each unique and unrepeatable person viewed sipping cappucino in a crowded city, Time, Space, Matter — all created EFFORTLESSLY, from NOTHING. HIs mysterious gift of Free Will, given along with abundant and preternatural gifts overflowing with abundant love and mercy to His first children, who didn’t trust Him and chose death over life. His plan of salvation, on a long and meandering timeline (to Him the Eternal Now) of our trust, betrayal, hesitation, stubbornness, evil, hope, suffering, but joy. The immense reverberation of His entry into our time and space, pitching his tent and dwelling intimately among us, His Incarnation, Life, Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and the Holy Spirit pouring down upon us, waiting for us to open our arms and accept his endless mercy and love — the Sacraments, Scriptures, His Holy Church — all of it. It’s true! “Who shall stand when He appeareth?”
There’s a fantastic and intense spiritual diary written by an anonymous Irish Benedictine monk (presumably still alive) who has been called to an intense relationship in adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Called In Sinu Jesu, it reads as an immense call of God for priests to adore Him and enter deeply into their vocation, with amazing passages calling to mind the Reality of His Presence!
Here’s a great one from page 169:
From In Sinu Jesu, p. 169 :
“Where there is faith in My real presence, there will be adoration; and where there is adoration, there will also be an efficacious radiance of My presence, drawing souls to My Eucharistic Heart and surrounding them, even at a distance, with the healing influence of My Eucharistic Face. …. When I am adored in a place, My hidden action upon souls is wonderfully increased. The place where I am adored becomes a radiant center from which love, life and light are diffused in a world in the grip of hatred, darkness and death.”
“Chapels of adorationare not mere refuges for the devout. They are the radiant, pulsating centres of an intense divine activity that goes beyond the walls of the place where I amadored to penetrate homes, and schools, and hospitals; to reach even those dark and cold places wherein souls are enslaved to Satan; to penetrate hearts, heal the infirm, and call home those who have wandered far from Me.”
“For these reasons, the work of perpetual adoration, or even of prolonged daily adoration, is intensely apostolic and supernaturally efficacious. …”
We visited the St John Paul II Shrine in DC today. It is interesting and beautiful. Chapel murals are stunning. Smaller chapel has all 5 Luminous Mysteries (Jesus’ Baptism, Wedding at Cana, Jesus’ Public Ministry, Transfiguration, and Institution of Holy Eucharist) in mosaics, with smaller New Testament scenes above the large ones. The docent said that the artist did not name the smaller scenes, and left it up to viewers’ interpretations.
Anyway, this one caught my eye — it is right above a larger one of Jesus being baptized in the Jordan. The docent was fairly sure it was the Prodigal Son — Prodigal is in the home with their Father, with the familial ring on his finger, and elder son is choosing to walk away in the darkness.
I am not so sure. I think it might be almost- Apostle/Bishop Judas walking away during the Last Supper. Jesus is in the Upper Room with Simon Peter — wearing the ring of papal authority, yet he’s soon- to- be- betrayer — and Judas stomps off, destined for the potters’ field — and the deep sorrow of Jesus and Peter is evident. “Friend, you will betray me with a kiss? And, Peter, after you betray and then repent, you must love my lambs, and behold my sorrow over those who choose to leave.” (Our Lord Jesus present in time and also in the Eternal Moment — can we ever wonder enough about that?!)
I immediately thought about our Church in these days — priests (and us laypersons!) sorrowfully witnessing our brothers and sisters walk away in disgust (perhaps for just a time, and times, and half a time), yet we are also struggling with their own betrayals. I wish I could find a photo of the Baptism just below. St John with awe beholding Jesus submitting to baptism, with an angel with an equally awed look holding a towel for him.
I bet there’s a whole lot connecting these two images with the terrible headlines that keep pouring in: Divine Mercy offered to the betrayals, a Loving Father and Sacrificial Redeemer-Shepherd who has given us the awe-full gift of Free Will, and wow that angel — he’s part of it too. The loving Lord won’t force us into the water, he won’t tie us up as a prisoner in the house, won’t give up on us until we irrevocably and totally reject Him.
These men are some of the best seminarians in the country. (We are totally biased as we know several of them!) Four of them will become priests in several weeks, and the rest of them will be joined by potentially many more next year to complete their discernment/formation over the next several years. These are the men who are willing to run back into the burning building.
We are running back in to save and rebuild, too, when we spend the time with Our Lord in adoration. It is a mostly hidden act of love, of the will, to commit to a regular time before the Lord (or in our homes, if we are unable to get to church or chapel) and then DO IT, week in and week out. Most times I am ready and willing to venture out and keep my appointment with the Dearest One. Sometimes, though, it is difficult, especially a night hour. But — we need diocesan priests and religious sisters, brothers and priests. Most of us are not called to such a radical vocation — one of the deepest ways to support them, and encourage them, is to commit to regular prayer before the Blessed Sacrament if we are able.
Our Lady, Queen and Mother of Priests, Religious, and Seminarians, pray for us! Draw many more of us into a deeper relationship with your Son in the Blessed Sacrament, on behalf of our brothers and sisters who are discerning the priesthood and religious life!
What an amazing reality that the immensity of eternal joy in heaven will include deep and unimaginable friendships with beloveds of God such as Father Willie Doyle, SJ, Irish front-line WW I chaplain-hero. Read about him here.
This is part of a letter (to his father?) included in To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers, and Spiritual Writings of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J. , written soon after the Battle of Messines Ridge, France, June 7, 1917, two months before his death:
“As I knew there was no chance of saying Mass the next morning, I had taken the precaution of bringing several consecrated particles with me, so that I should not be deprived of Holy Communion. It was the Feast of Corpus Christi, and I thought of the many processions of the Blessed Sacrament which were being held at that moment all over the world. Surely there was never a stranger one than mine that day, as I carried the God of Consolation in my unworthy arms over the bloodstained field. There was no music to welcome his coming save the scream of a passing shell; the flowers that strewed his path were the broken, bleeding bodies of those for whom he had once died; and the only altar of repose he could find was the heart of one who was working for him alone, striving in a feeble way to make him some return for all his love and goodness. “ p. 78
Præstet fides supplementum Sensuum defectui.
Father Willie Doyle, pray for us and increase our love for the Most Holy Eucharist!