Reception of the Eucharist by Deacon Dan

The greatest gift God ever gave us is Himself in the Eucharist. It is through the Eucharist that we are not only united to God, but united to each other through our relationship with God. At every Mass, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the consecrated hands of the priest, the bread and the wine offered by the community become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Both the Host and the Chalice, both ‘species’ of the Eucharist, contain the fullness of Christ. You receive the fullness of the Eucharist even by just receiving one of the species. People with gluten allergies can receive just from the chalice and they aren’t missing out on anything. Vatican II recommends receiving both species on special occasions like weddings, baptisms, anniversaries, first communion, etc.

Jesus is our friend and companion. But He is also the King of Kings, Lord of the Universe. Utmost respect should be given to the Eucharist, as it is indeed Jesus. Bowing before the Host and the Chalice is always appropriate. When receiving the host, one can receive on the hands (palms up in the shape of a cross) or on the tongue (mouth open, tongue extended). If receiving on the tongue, one can be standing or kneeling. It is important that we receive; we do not take. Let the Jesus be given to us; we don’t take Jesus. When receiving from the Chalice, we don’t gulp, we sip, letting the Blood of the Lamb coat the door frame that leads into our house, “under my roof,” just like the Jews at Passover.

Your Obedient Servant,

Rev. Mr. Dan Weger

Spiritual Warfare is Real by Deacon Dan

This is not intended to scare anyone or cause you to fear. Noli timere. Be not afraid. But the reality must be faced. Demons are real. Satan is real. Hell is real. As the adage goes, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing others he didn’t exist, but I’m here to foil those claims. He is real and the angels are fighting against them for your very soul, which is most precious to God.

Devils don’t tend to appear to you in all their horribleness and try to convince you to do evil. That’s been found to be pretty in effective. Rather, he speaks to us with little innocent suggestions and appeals to our lesser desires. “You don’t have to go to church this weekend, you’re away at the lake. God will understand.” “You don’t need to help that homeless man. Any money you give him, he’ll probably spend on booze and smokes.” “Don’t think about your prayers as you say them. Think about all the things you must do this afternoon and how stressful that will be if you don’t get them done. In fact, why don’t you stop praying and go do them now, so you can finish them and then pray.”

Don’t give into these thoughts. Satan has no power over us as we are children of God. The only power Satan has, God has given him. And the only power Satan has over us is what we give him. When these thoughts and desires, that we know will lead us from God, start cropping up in our minds, we need to vigilantly rid ourselves of them, just like weeds in a garden. If we brood on these bad thoughts, we are only nurturing their growth in our minds. Uproot them with prayer. Ask the Lord to protect you. Pray the Our Father or Hail Mary. Don’t rely on your own strength but on God’s, and He’ll provide.

Your Obedient Servant,  Rev. Mr. Dan Weger

Basic Church Design by Deacon Dan

There are two major sections in any Church: the Nave and the Sanctuary.

The Nave is the main portion of the Church were you sit. Coming from the same root word as navy, the idea of the nave is that of a ship on which we are all passengers. We are pilgrims on a journey through the waters of chaos, the world, on a ship that is the Church, captained by Jesus. Being inside the ship, in the Church, we are being safely ferried to Heaven’s distant shores. On our journey, we throw lifelines out to those outside the Church that they might join us on board, if they wish.

The Sanctuary, meaning ‘holy place’, is the front of the Church. While the Nave symbolizes the ship still on earth, headed toward heaven, the Sanctuary is Heaven. While it is often called the altar, the altar is just a major component of the Sanctuary. God resides there, in the tabernacle. In some churches there are images of saints in heaven adoring Christ. Sometimes, there is angelic imagery. Others have flowers adorning them, representing life and beauty. But they all have an ambo and an altar, from which the Word of God is proclaimed and the sacrifice of the Lamb is represented (it’s always present in Heaven).

When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus comes from heaven (the Sanctuary) to earth (the Nave) to give us himself. Some churches have an altar rail, a physical representation of the infinite gap created by our sin which keeps us from approaching heaven, and a reminder of why we needed God to come to us. As you look around your church, what other aspects of the architecture lead us to contemplate heaven and God?

Your Obedient Servant,

Rev. Mr. Dan Weger

Genuflecting: Why do we do it?

It is habit for Catholics before entering a pew to go down on one knee, making the sign of the cross. This genuflection is fairly unique to the Catholic experience, and the absent minded Catholic (myself included) has on the occasion found themselves genuflecting out of habit before entering a row of seats, like at the movie theater. But why, and how, do we genuflect?

Genuflection comes from the Latin genuflectere meaning “to bend the knee.” It was common in the Medieval period to genuflect on the left knee before the king of the realm, as a sign of respect for his office as ruler. Because Jesus is the King of Kings, it quickly became the practice in the Church to do the same before a tabernacle in which the Eucharist, Jesus, is currently housed. Because genuflecting on the left knee was meant for the earthly king, Catholics genuflect with their right knee to distinguish our Heavenly King from earthly ones.

So when genuflecting before entering a pew or approaching the sanctuary, we still today bend our knee before the Lord. We don’t genuflect to the front of the Church, but to the tabernacle containing Jesus. So if the tabernacle is empty (i.e., Good Friday), we don’t genuflect, but bow to the altar. If the tabernacle is not up front, but on the side or elsewhere, genuflect to the tabernacle. It’ll become second nature upon entering a church to find where Jesus is, and greet him by genuflecting.

Your Obedient Servant,

Rev. Mr. Dan Weger

Message from Deacon Dan

As some of you may have noticed, during Mass, Father and myself will occasionally bow are heads, just for a second, almost like a nod. We are not simultaneously nodding off to sleep, nor are we so “into” the prayer that we can’t help but nod in assent.

Rather, this is the remnant of a very ancient tradition in the Church, starting in Scripture. “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow.” (Phil 2:10) For a long time, it was just customary. It was formalized in the 13th century at the 2nd Council of Lyons “Everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head.” So whenever the name of Jesus is said, all began bowing their heads as an outward sign of their internal humility and reverence at the mention of the King of Kings.

The current General Instruction for the Roman Missal (GIRM), which instructs us how to celebrate the liturgy, says “a bow of the head is made when (1) the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names (2) of Jesus, (3) of the Blessed Virgin Mary and (4) of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.” (GIRM 275). We also bow, more profoundly, during the Creed at the mention of the Incarnation of Christ. That’s 5 triggers for bowing, and they can happen multiple times per liturgy.

And this practice of humility isn’t just for clerics, it's for you too! Try actively listening during the Mass for those 5 occurrences, and bow your head in reverence. I think you’ll find you pay closer attention to what is being prayed and will foster a greater reverence for the King of Kings.

Your Obedient Servant,

Rev. Mr. Dan Weger

The Devotional Life by Deacon Dan

As you may or may not have noticed, I constantly wear two bracelets, one on each wrist. This is a devotion that has been germinating my whole life but really flowered in seminary. I have consecrated my life and my priesthood to the Lord Jesus through His Queen Mother, Mary. On my left wrist is a decade of the Rosary, reminding me to pray a set of mysteries each day. Not too uncommon. My right wrist, however, has the more peculiar adornment. It is an iron chain with no clasp. I cannot take it off. I've worn it on my wrist for 4 years now, never removing it. It is an outward sign of my interior devotion, to be a slave to Mary.

“But Deacon,” I hear you say, “Christ freed us so that we are no longer slaves. And why would you be a slave to Mary, and not Christ.” This is a devotion I have lived for years now, so if you want stories, feel free to ask me. But simply, you are absolutely right. I've been saved from sin by Jesus and, as no man can serve two masters, I have chosen to serve the Lord and be his slave. “But Deacon, you said you're a slave to Mary, not Jesus.” Well, if you refer to who I am consecrated to in the first paragraph, it IS Jesus, just through Mary. If we all are loyal servants of Christ, could you imagine if Christ, in all His generosity, didn't give any for His Mama?

In my prayer, I felt called to serve Our Lady in a more specific way, so I became consecrated and have served Her since. In your own prayer, where is God calling you to focus your prayers? Maybe a certain virtue or through a specific saint. I'd love to discuss it with you and hear from you your own devotions.

Your obedient servant, Rev. Mr. Dan Weger

Welcome Deacon Dan Weger!

Please welcome Deacon Dan to our parishes!

Rev. Mr. Dan Weger comes to us from Lenexa, KS where he was born and raised. His home parish is Holy Trinity. After attending public elementary and middle school, he enrolled at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where he played in the band, was a goalie for soccer, and starred in a few plays.

Upon graduation, he moved out to Manhattan, KS and got his degree in Electrical Engineering from KSU. He played in the KSU Marching Band for 5 years. Through his fraternity and time at their Newnan Center, Deacon Dan decided to enter seminary immediately following his time at KSU.

Deacon Dan has been at University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary for the past 5 years, with one more year to go until priesthood. He was ordained a deacon on May 19th with Deacon Nicholas Ashmore. He's excited to be here for the summer.

Blessed Holy Trinity & Thank You

Blessed Holy Trinity Sunday!!

and  THANK YOU

to all who have served our country in the military and all who have helped us to

 live in a country with so many freedoms.  May Christ reward you for your sacrifices. 

May God Bless you.

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday is the day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to each of us. The promise Jesus gave that we would not be left orphaned or alone by God. What a blessed gift! The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and brings us the love God has poured into our hearts.  With the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are called to live and walk in the Spirit of God - to grow in His love and share that love with everyone we meet.

Our scripture readings today stress our unity in the Holy Spirit. Do we care about others? Do we seek to see the Holy Spirit in all those we encounter daily? How about with our families and friends?

It is easy to be concerned with ourselves and our own needs are usually at the front of our thoughts.  The image given in the second reading this Pentecost reveals to us that we really need to be concerned with each other. We all make up the body of Christ and in order for the body to flourish we depend on the holiness of each and every part.

Today, take the time to recognize the Holy Spirit in your life. Pray for the courage to allow the Spirit to move in and through your life and draw you closer to the Lord. We pray for God to enliven the Holy Spirit in each of us so that the Body of Christ is strengthened.

May God Bless us.

Pray for a rekindling of the Holy Spirit

“When they entered the city they went into the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” Acts 1:13-14

This is the group gathered in prayer awaiting the power of the Holy Spirit promised by the Lord. The Lord promises that were 2 or 3 are gathered there he is in the midst of them.

I would invite everyone to gather with me in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament as we pray for a rekindling of the Holy Spirit in our parishes and archdiocese. Here are some times I will be in the churches praying if you would like to join me in this.

Saturday       May 12     7:30pm - 8:30pm St Patrick

Sunday         May 13     7:00am - 8:00am St. Joseph

Monday        May 14     7:00pm - 8:00pm St. Francis Xavier

Tuesday       May 15     6:30am - 7:30am St. Teresa

Wednesday   May 16     4:30pm - 5:30pm St. Joseph

Thursday      May 17    12:00pm - 1:00pm St. Francis Xavier

Friday           May 18     7:00pm - 8:00pm St Patrick

Saturday       May 19     3:30pm - 4:30pm St. Teresa

 

Hope is Jesus Christ our Lord

"Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence..."

1 Peter 3:15-16

Hope is a virtue in Christians that stands out. Only in our faith can we have hope that transcends anything, no matter how difficult or earth shattering it may be, that comes up in our lives or the lives of anyone else around us.

We can all react differently and express emotions differently when it comes to experiencing the death of a loved one. There is a difference in a person who has deep faith and hope in that situation. They are able to maintain a calm or peace even in the midst of many tears being shed. It has much to do with being able to live out the passage above from St. Peter.

We can tell others the reason for our hope is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

May God Bless us.