Weekly Spiritual Newsletter
The Ascension of the Lord
This Sunday we can look at it as either the Seventh Sunday of Easter, or the Ascension of the Lord. The actual readings for the Ascension of the Lord will be read on Thursday, May 21,
which is the fortieth day after Easte
r, but we also celebrate it on
I think this Sunday comes, or maybe this funeral request from my husband comes, at an appropriate time, but either way, Jesus’ ascension into Heaven and the
famous Ghana dancing pallbearers
brings some extra joy this Sunday.
In the first reading this weekend, we will hear how after Jesus ascended up into Heaven, that the disciples and his Mother went into the upper room and began to pray. It sounds very solemn and sad, even though we know the following weekend is Pentecost when the Holy Spirit will engulf each of them and send them on their way sharing Jesus’ message, but for this weekend we sit in prayer and we remember Jesus’ time on earth.
One of the reasons why I love the timing of Jesus’ ascension and my husband requesting the Ghana pallbearer dancers is because
“it is important to understand that the Ascension does not mean that Jesus has departed from us. He has not abandoned us or left us orphans. Otherwise, after the Ascension, the disciples would not have returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
as Saint Luke tells us (24:52)
Jesus’ ascension was the final part to the ultimate sacrifice and even in the Gospel Jesus acknowledges that.
I think Jesus’ whole point in the Gospel is this weekend is to remind us of the joy that was here on earth while Jesus walked among us, but to also let us know that joy does not stop just because he is gone, it continues because we all got to know him and he is in all of us.
“I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. ‘I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.”
Jesus is ready to go, he is ready to be welcomed by his Father into Heaven and he is ready to turn all of us over to God and the disciples that will walk the world teaching as Jesus did.
Now, with my husband’s middle of the day funeral request and the dancing pallbearers!
began this new tradition of celebrating the dead and dancing with the coffins because he wanted people to celebrate their loved ones rather than be so distraught that their mom or dad were no longer here on earth. I think that is fair. I don't know many funerals that are such a celebration of life where the pallbearers are dancing with coffins, but watching the minute video, I couldn’t help but smile and have respect for the person and their life they were dancing and carrying through the streets. In all honesty my reply back to my husband was I was surprised that this didn’t exist in New Orleans!
Jesus wanted the same for us. He is the
dancing his way to heaven so excited to join his Father and those before him, that he is not sad to leave his mother and friends behind. Jesus knows the triumphs and the joys that will come to us all, but he knows the exciting time that is about to come to him in heaven that there is no reason that he shouldn’t be doing a little dance as he ascends into heaven.
So, as we are mourning the loss of so many who have passed during this time, and as the disciples sit in the upper room praying solemnly, know that there are pallbearers ready to dance with the bodies of the ones who have gone before us and Jesus will be waiting at the gates of heaven to welcome them continuing the song and dance!
Calling all Saints!
Calling all Saints! Please help St. Austin prep for Pentecost by submitting a picture of you, your name, your Saint name, and why your Saint is important to you to Rachel Vaughn at
. Please submit these no later than Tuesday, May 26 for a Parish wide video of St. Austin parade of Saints!
St. Austin School, we would LOVE to see current and past Second Graders dressed up and their reports from All Saints Day Mass!
Mass Readings Explained
Here are the background to this upcoming Mass readings. Here is the
and attached are the readings, with historical background and study guide questions to the readings
. These are great tools to use with older grades to talk about the readings and give them more historical context to the readings.
Here are some family backgrounds on the readings:
Alive in Christ Family
Connecting with the Gospel with Family Dinner Question
Background Readings for Families and Grades 1-8
Resources from Fr. Chuck, Fr. Rich and the Paulist Fathers
Fr. Chuck's Blog
Fr. Rich's Blog
St. Austin Catholic Church Children's Liturgy of the Word Resources
Michael Evernden, CSP Podcast on the daily Gospel's
Paulist Novice and Seminarians HomeBound YouTube Program
Teaching Catholic Kids
Mass booklet for home
Daily Prayer from Liturgy Training Publication
Solidarity during Social Distancing
Catholic Women Preach:
This feast speaks so directly to each one of us amid these uncertain and frightening times - WE are called like the Apostles, WE are being sent, to open our hearts to Jesus
From Beyond our walls
As we get closer to Pentecost, reignite your love for your Patron Saint as well as all the Saints that you call upon during your life. Join me on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30pm with St. Catherine of Siena's Family Ministry Director, Kendall Antosh, for a webinar on
Finding Inspiration from the Saints during COVID-19
with Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, Christian Writer & Journalist.
María Ruiz Scaperlanda is a Christian writer and journalist. She was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba, and grew up in Puerto Rico. She has an M.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. A freelance writer since 1981, she is the author of several books and has been published regularly in numerous national and regional periodicals and newspapers, including
The New York Times, Catholic Digest, U.S. Catholic, Our Sunday Visitor, The Oklahoman, 'Columbia," 'St. Anthony Messenger
. She and her husband Michael live in Norman, Oklahoma. They have four adult children. She blogs at
Day by Day with María
7:30pm Saint Webinar
This month's prayer is the
Join us in Virtual Prayer!
Wednesday, May 20 3:30pm Virtual Rosary
(NOTE NEW DAY AND TIME)
Sunday, May 24 8:45am Facebook live St. Austin Mass
Prayer for a Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart … I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
St. Austin YouTube Masses
on Monday, May 18 at 10:31AM