Thursday, February 28, 2013

'Nuff Said

We Catholics are something, aren't we?

Closing the doors and the "transfer."

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Home at Last

Wednesday greetings from the Midwest. I was surprised that the plane actually took off for Chicago from California yesterday, given the fact that the snow was coming down pretty hard here in Chicago. But we landed safely.

My apologies for missing posts over the past few days; the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress is an exhilarating and exhausting event all at the same time. Here is a photo of the exhibit hall taken from the "exhibitors' lounge."

And here's another. In this one, if you look hard enough in the upper right, you will see World Library Publications' green sign hanging from the rafters.

Just to give you an idea of how many people come to the Congress, here's a video I took of one of the many escalators at the Anaheim Convention Center. These are all people on their way to one of the various workshops. Enjoy "The Ascension of Catholics!"

It was a good weekend for us in Anaheim. We were so pleased to share our resources and to sponsor many of our composers and artists as clinicians.

I will do my best to post more about Congress in the coming days.

I am surely praying hard for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church these days. I feel that I am part of a hurting Church right now, a Church in need of renewal and a sign of hope.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Greetings from Anaheim: Just Getting Started

Greetings from Anaheim, California. Just snapped this picture from my hotel balcony of the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

The WLP staff spent the morning setting up our booth here at the Anaheim Convention Center. I work with some wonderful people; their hard work and dedication to serving the Church makes me so proud to be their colleague and their leader.

After arriving yesterday, I was able to spend some time along the coast. Here is a short video I took at Dana Point, one of my favorite spots in the United States.

We are prepared for the immense Catholic event that is the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, which began today with Youth Day. WLP artists and composers, the Jacob and Matthew Band, helped inspire the thousands and thousands of youth who were in attendance today. Here is just a quick little video taken in the Convention Center Arena.

This evening, members of the WLP and J.S. Paluch staffs and family are hosting a reception to mark the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the J.S. Paluch Company. Should be lots of fun. A very busy time for all of us.

I will try to post as often as I can. Please pray for all the people from around the world gathered here in Anaheim for the next several days. And please pray for the people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles during these troubled times for their diocese.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Translation Tuesday: Anaheim-bound

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings from Chicago.

We are gearing up for the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress that will take place later this week in Anaheim, California. Several members of the staff here will be leaving tomorrow and heading west.

I will be presenting two workshops at Congress: "Apprenticeship and Catechesis" and "RCIA: What Happens after the Easter Vigil." The second talk uses some of my doctoral work to help people take a hard look at why so many leave the active Catholic life shortly after going through many RCIA processes in parishes.

It is always a delight to be with thousands and thousands of other Catholics at the Congress. WLP sponsors many speakers and concert events during the three-day Congress. It will be a very, very busy time for us in Anaheim.

I will do my best to post throughout the event and I hope to share some video with you as the week unfolds.

A personal request. Please keep Bishop Norbert Dorsey, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Orlando, in your prayers. He is reportedly nearing the end of his earthly life.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI: In Gratitude

Friday greetings from the home office here in Franklin Park, Illinois.

When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on Monday, we flew into high gear here at World Library Publications and the J.S. Paluch Paluch Company. As you know, WLP is the music and liturgy division of J.S. Paluch, the largest parish bulletin printer in the United States. We decided to print a commemorative flyer honoring the papacy of Benedict XVI, with a photo on one side and a biography (in English and in Spanish) on the other side. We are currently printing these and they will be sent to every J.S. Paluch bulletin parish throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The total number of complimentary flyers we are printing is 2,527,225.

I just spent some time in our printing plant here in Franklin Park, one of three J.S. Paluch printing plants in the United States. Our plants in Florida and California are hard at work printing these flyers for millions of Catholics throuhgout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Here is a close-up of the flyer itself:

Here is a video of the printing process. We print these "four-over-one," which means four color (photograph) on one side of the sheet (with four images printed on the sheet) over one color (black) for the text printed four times on the back of the sheet. I find this stuff fascinating. I apologize that the Youtube process includes a frame (not of my choosing, obviously) at the end of each video that offers other Youtube videos that include ones that are in very poor taste; I will try to figure out how to get rid of these in the future.

Coming off the printing press:

Here are the four images stacked up, they will then be cut by a huge knife and then stacked again individually.

Here they are coming off another of our presses:

And here's a view of part of the printing plant, with the stacks of ready-to-cut- flyers in the foreground:

And here are the flyers boxed up and on the shipping line:

And then labeled and placed on pallets ready for shipping:

I am so proud to be working for the J.S. Paluch Company at times like this. Our plant personnel work so hard to serve the Church. And the creative team here at WLP works in partnership with the entire company to ensure the best quality and the best customer service.

Thanks for taking this tour with me today.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Translation Thursday: Prayers from the USCCB and The Rush to the Ashes

"New Translation Thursday" greetings from Chicago.

Just caught this on one of the Catholic wire services.. The USCCB's Secretariat for Divine Worship has published "Pastoral Notes and Resource Materials for Use upon the Resignation of the Pope."

It includes liturgical resources for three moments:

1. Upon the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
2. During the Time of Election of a New Pope
3. Upon the Election of a New Pope

and a "Limited Listing of Musical Resources Available for the Election of the New Pope," which includes music suggestions in resources published by GIA, OCP, and WLP.

On another note, yesterday I attended a Word Service at 12:10 P.M. for the distribution of ashes at a local parish. The priest, a native of Poland, speaks with a very heavy Polish accent. The prayers for Ash Wednesday, I believe, are among the most challenging to proclaim well from the new translation of The Roman Missal. He did his best, but it struck me that much of it was lost at least on my ears as I struggled to listen attentively to the prayers. He preached beautifully and pastorally, touching my heart and calling me to conversion.

There was a very large crowd, probably around 250 people. One woman, who arrived toward the end of the distribution of ashes and apprently thought she might miss receiving her ashes, nearly knocked an elderly woman down who had just received her ashes and was being helped back to her pew by a younger woman. The violence of the rush to the ashes struck me; so much was wrong with the picture. Also, during the praying of the Responsorial Psalm, with its refrain, "Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned," an elderly woman's cell phone rang loudly behind me. She answered it and in un-hushed tones, carried on a phone conversation during the psalm. Ah, these Catholics!

Be sure to watch the video of Pope Benedict XVI that I posted late last night.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Celebrating and Honoring the Bridge to . . .

Was quite moved when I watched

I believe in my heart that this papacy and what occurred yesterday in Vatican City was the celebration of a bridge.

None of us knows where that bridge will lead us. I trust in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Veni Sancte Spiritus.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

A Prayer for Noone?

Ash Wednesday greetings to all.

Interesting question posed by a follower of this blog yesterday. The follower commented on the prayer for the pope that we pray on Good Friday, which I posted yesterday.

What is your answer to this question:

As I was reading this post and reread the intercession from Good Friday, it left me wondering if, by chance, a Pope has not been elected by that time, how do we legitimately adapt this prayer?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Translation Tuesday: "His" Prayer

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings from Chicago.

Quite a week for the 1.2 billion of us around this tiny planet, no?

There is so much talk about "the legacy of this pope" on all the news outlets. I, for one, love all of this positioning and rhetoric; all of the "who will be the next pope?" banter.

One "legacy," of course is the fact that during this pontificate we received the new translation of The Roman Missal. On Good Friday, March 29, we probably will have a new pope and during the praying of the solemn intercessions during the celebration of the Passion, these are the words we will pray:

Let us pray also for our most Holy Father Pope N.,

that our God and Lord,
who chose him for the Order of Bishops,
may keep him safe and unharmed for the Lord’s holy Church,
to govern the holy People of God.
  Almighty ever-living God,
by whose decree all things are founded,
look with favor on our prayers
and in your kindness protect the Pope chosen for us,
that, under him, the Christian people,
governed by you their maker,
may grow in merit by reason of their faith.
Through Christ our Lord.

This is a good prayer for us as we pray for Benedict in these last days of his pontificate.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

Early Monday greetings from Chicago. Just saw the news report that Pope Benedict will resign at the end of the month. Quite a Monday surprise, don't you think?

Should be an interesting time for the Church. Listening now to CNN and they are rolling out all of the Catholic commentators now.

Here is the announcement by the pope.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Blizzard of Prayer and Concern

Very early Saturday morning greetings to all.
Uneasy night's sleep, thinking of my family and friends in New York and New England. I followed images from a web cam most of the day and night. It is positioned above the order window at Kelly's Roast Beef, along the beach front at Revere Beach, just a few miles north of downtown Boston. Swam at the beach here as a kid and had late night fried clams from Kelly's many a crazy night.

Here is the photo from 6:53 A.M. (EST) yesterday (Friday) morning (2-8-13):

And. amazingly, the same shot taken at 6:53 A.M. (EST) this morning (Saturday 2-9-13):

Praying for all of you on the East Coast.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Blizzard and an Impending Demolition

Friday greetings from Chicago, where the sidewalks are loaded with ice, the trees are laden with fresh snow, and most noses are sniffling.

Many of you know that I am originally from Massachusetts. Fortunately, my parents spend the winter in Florida, but my four siblings all live just north of Boston, where this blizzard apparently will be focused. I will be keeping their safety in mind and in prayer today and tomorrow. For all of you on the East Coast, please be safe.

I have the sad distinction of being on the "demolition committee" for my parish, Saint James, here on the near South Side of Chicago. We have received word that the church building must be demolished and probably will be in the early part of April. We have received bids for the removal and storage of the historic Roosevelt pipe organ and for the removal and storage of the bells in our bell tower. Moving through this committee work is so bittersweet. Yesterday it hit me that this is really going to happen; that spire that has signalled a Catholic presence in the Bronzeville neighborhood for over a century will soon be no more.

But we remain hopeful that the new Saint James church, which will hopefully be built in the same neighborhood, will continue to be a place of refuge and outreach for the poor, as well as a place where God is given thanks and praise.

Please, let's pray for our friends and family on the East Coast, as well as for the people of Saint James Parish.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Translation Tuesday: Occasional Worshippers

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings.

A colleague here at WLP recently attended funeral Masses both here in the Midwest and on the East Coast, as recently as yesterday. He told me that something odd and disturbing occurred at these Masses. While the parishes did provide a Mass booklet, with the new translation included in the booklet, the "occasional" Catholic worshippers who attended responded to the various prayers and dialogues using the old translation. And he noticed that these people eventually just stopped responding at all as the Mass continued, despite the fact that they were given a worship aid.

Just wanted to put this report out there and ask you if this has been your experience.

Thanks for any and all responses to this question.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Let It Snow

Monday greetings from a very snowy and beautiful Chicago.

Here's the view out my office window (following my two-hour commute in):

Snowed most of the weekend here. Must say that I enjoy it very much, especially when watching from the inside of the house!

Gota sing. Gotta pray.