Pastoral Care for Families at Home

Ver en español

Happy New Liturgical Year!

Advent begins next Sunday, November 29th.

During Advent we will have additional daily Masses
Monday, November 30 through Wednesday, December 23, 2020.
Confessions 20 minute before each weekday Mass.

Daily Mass: Monday – Friday
9:00 am, 12:10 pm and 7:00 pm
All Masses in the Church.

 Advent at SJV  Observing the Health Protocols 

It is highly recommended that those who are in “at risk” groups (adults 65 and older or with underlying health issues) and those with concerns about their health and safety refrain from Mass attendance at this time. This page will continue to provide pastoral and spiritual resources for our parishioners who remain at home.

The Adoration Chapel is open 24/7.


November 22, 2020: The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

King of majesty tremendous, Who does free salvation send us, Fount of pity, then befriend us!
~Dies Irae (Sequence and Hymn)

While it is no longer an essential component of Funeral Masses, the medieval sequence the Dies Irae still remains the most recognizable and most influential sequence of the Church’s liturgical patrimony.  The sequence is a type of hymn that originated from adding words to the melismas (many notes on the same syllable) that frequently ended the Alleluia before the Gospel.  During the Middle Ages, the sequence was quite popular and many hundreds were composed for the different feasts on the liturgical calendar.  Following the Council of Trent, the number of sequences was reduced in an effort to eliminate “recent” additions to the liturgy.  This left the Roman Rite with the following sequences: Victimae Paschali Laudes (Easter), Veni, Sancte Spiritu (Pentecost), Lauda Sion (Corpus Christi), and Dies Irae (Masses for the Dead).  In the 18th century the Stabat Mater was brought back for the Seven Sorrows of Mary (Our Lady of Sorrows) and following the Vatican II Council, the Dies Irae was removed from the funeral liturgy. 

This removal from the funeral liturgy did not mean, however, that it was removed entirely from the Church’s liturgy.  It is now an option as a hymn for the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer for the 34th Week of Ordinary Time, that is, this week following the Solemnity of the Christ the King of the Universe.  The reason for its removal is related to where it ended up being moved.  The text of the Dies Irae is a meditation on the Second Coming of Christ, the General Resurrection, The Last Judgment, and the eternal reward or punishment of all peoples.  Because of the emphasis which the hymn lays on judgment and the possibility of eternal loss, it was deemed as perhaps too distracting or discouraging for funerals, where hope in Christ’s conquest of Death and the pledge of Eternal Life are the central focus.  Nonetheless, these “Last Things” are an especially appropriate object of consideration here at the end of the liturgical year, as well as the beginning of Advent 2021.  I would encourage anyone to take the time and read through at least once this liturgical poem, as well as listen to the various ways certain composers have set the text to music.  Perhaps the most famous Requiem setting of the Dies Irae, is of course, the one by Mozart.  For a celebration like today’s, the movement Rex tremendae is particularly on point.  The chorus repeats the word rex (king) before moving along a score that seeks to musically paint a scene that is both awe-some as it is comforting: the king of tremendous majesty coming to save his people.  He is coming, Christ the King.  Long live the King!

Fr. Richard Hinkley

Your Sunday Resources:


Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
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.
Amen.


Daily Spirituality

In an effort to continue the practice of our beautiful Catholic faith at home during this time, we invite you to:

Pope Francis' Prayer to Mary during the Current Health Crisis

Join us in prayer:

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you,
Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.

You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection.

Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties
of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.


Previous Weeks’ Readings and Resources

We will keep up to 10 weeks of past resources accessible in this page. If the set of readings and resources you would like to revisit is not on the list below, please contact our web administrator to request it by email.

November 15, 2020: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us not sleep like the rest do. ~1 Thes 5:6

In Book IX of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus recounts how his crew arrived in the land of the lotus-eaters. The lotus-eaters were the region’s inhabitants who would feed upon a certain flower that grew there that not only was delicious but also had the effect of causing one to forget about one’s home, family, and general plan of life. Today, we would identify the mythical lotus-plant as a type of narcotic that had euphoric and soporific effects. When Odysseus discovered that some of his men had eaten of the lotus-plant, he was forced to have them dragged back to the ship while they protested, desiring to remain in the land of the lotus-eaters rather than continue their journey home.

Distraction from our primary goals in life is certainly obvious enough to be identified by not only St. Paul but others like Homer as well. The more difficult problem arises when even our primary or secondary goals in life are misidentified. I may readily admit that my primary goal in life is to reach eternal life in heaven, but when I begin inspecting my daily and monthly goals and objectives, I find that my priorities are indistinguishable from that of my neighbor who doesn’t practice any religion. I am mostly concerned about the political, social, medical, or financial situation. These are the issues that stimulate joy. These are the issues that provoke my anger. The reality is that by feeding on these lotus-plants, we become lulled into a distracted (either by apathy or anxiety) posture with regard to our chief priority: getting back home.

Marx famously quipped that religion was “the opiate of the masses.” The true opiate is rather that which distracts us from progressing toward our native land.

Fr. Richard Hinkley

Your Sunday Resources:

November 8, 2020: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters. 1 Thes 4:13

We recall from two weeks ago that we began reading from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians as the new and final sequence of Second Readings for Sunday Masses for this liturgical year.  With the intervention of All Saints last Sunday, there was an interruption to this sequence, but this weekend we pick it back up again.  Given the early nature of this letter among the many letters Paul composed, we find among the themes of the letter the theme of the priority of anticipating Christ’s second coming.

The Second Coming of Christ, his parousia (Greek for both “arrival” as well as “presence”), is a subject that is highlighted in the opening weeks of Advent, but which we find emphasized in the early preaching and writings of the Church in general.  There was an intense expectation by the apostles and the early Church that Christ would return in glory within their own lifetimes.  Christ was coming, and coming soon, perhaps today or tomorrow.  Hence, the intensity with which Paul and others preached and strove to spread the Gospel message to as many as possible before it was too late. 

When we believe that “the end” is near, we understandably tend to stop procrastinating, to sober up, and to focus on the things that really matter.  This passage from First Thessalonians was invariably used as the first reading at funeral Masses before the 1970s liturgical changes brought about the possibility of selecting other readings.  However, this reading still remains one of the several options of New Testament texts than can be used for funerals and for a good reason.  As Paul himself indicates at the end of the passage: “Therefore, console one another with these words.”  This November of 2020, a year that will surely live in infamy, as we pray daily for the dead, it is a prime opportunity while hearing Paul’s words to sober up and to reexamine our priorities.  Christ is still coming, we know not when, and it would be a tragedy (the only true tragedy) not to be ready.

Fr. Richard Hinkley

Your Sunday Resources:

November 1, 2020: Solemnity of All Saints

“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:11-12

Your Sunday Resources:

November 2, 2020: All Souls Day

Reflection for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

Eternal rest grant unto them, o Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  ~ Entrance Antiphon for All Souls’ Day

One day you will die. Remembering our mortality is not only a good “reality check” and a sober self-examination, but it is an opportunity to recall with the English priest and poet John Donne (†1631) that “No man is an island…Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” The bonds of love that are forged in this life are not undone by death (Sg 8:6); “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended.” (Mass for the Dead) One of the ways in which our solidarity with the dead is expressed is by praying for the souls in Purgatory during the month of November, especially by making a visit to a cemetery. In fact, this year the Holy See has extended the opportunity to obtain a plenary indulgence for the dead, which is normally restricted to the first week of November, to the entire month of November. Visiting cemeteries is a very beautiful, a very Catholic, a very compassionate exercise for us. It is a reminder of our own mortality, a reminder to repent of our sins and to use the time we have on earth wisely. It is an opportunity to pray for our family members and friends who have gone before us, and recall that though the pain of death remains, communion and eternal life are our hope. Finally it is an act of charity, a spiritual work of mercy, to pray for the dead, to assist them with our prayers as they are purified and prepared for the Beatific Vision and eternal life with all the Saints in glory.

Fr. Richard Hinkley

October 25, 2020: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord. ~1 Thes 1:6

The Second Reading from Mass this Sunday finds us beginning a new sequence of readings, namely, those from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians. This was likely the earliest of the epistles Paul wrote that are inspired and part of the canon of Sacred Scripture. Readings from this letter will constitute the second reading at Sunday Masses from now until the end of the liturgical year, with the exceptions of All Saints (November 1, next Sunday) as well as Christ the King (November 22).

In the opening of his letter, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of how he, along with other early missionaries, were models of the love of Christ for the Thessalonians, and how in turn the Thessalonians became models worthy of imitation for others throughout the surrounding regions. The theme of imitation is a basic Christian one, and certainly one that comes up from time to time in the letters of Paul. Perhaps the most famous presentation of this theme is the devotional book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. This late medieval work is perhaps, after the Bible, one of the most frequently read, printed, and translated works of Christian devotion. It was written by à Kempis in the late Middle Ages, just a few decades before Luther and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The Imitation of Christ belongs to a pre-Reformation movement, the Devotio Moderna movement. This movement, which was based largely in north-central Europe, was a response to the dissatisfaction with much of the corruption in the Church, with a celebration of the liturgy that could often times feel very distant and merely the domain of the clergy, and an exercise of popular piety that was largely focused on externals and at times superstitious practices. The Modern Devotion movement placed emphasis on sanctification through an interior configuration to Christ, above all in our moral life. As Erasmus of Rotterdam, another figure of the Devotio Moderna movement, once observed: we worship Christ and honor the saints more through our imitation of them, than by merely praying to them.

Disappointment with members in the Church can be a frequent source of discouragement and even a temptation to quit our efforts to be holy. Rather than worrying so much about the shortcomings and sins of others, we would do well to heed the example of the Thessalonians: to become imitators of Christ and the saints.

Fr. Richard Hinkley

Your Sunday Resources:

October 18, 2020: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Remember the story of Jesus turning over the tables at the Temple? Well, those money changers Jesus had disrupted were quickly back in business, because they had to be there for the Temple to function. It was forbidden to use Roman coins for the offerings needed for the rituals. They had to change the money into a coin without that image of Caesar. There was in that issue, two conflicts: that Israel’s law allowed no images, and that Caesar claimed to be divine. Those within hearing distance and the Jewish/Christian community for whom Matthew writes must have smiled or maybe even laughed over the way Jesus traps the trappers. Jesus has no coin. When one of them pulls out the forbidden coin, without a word spoken, Jesus has them cornered.

Many look at this as a precursor to separation of church and state, but that is not the point at all. This is not about being able to compartmentalize what is worldly and what is holy. Rendering to Caesar is a partial fulfillment of a much more basic duty which is rendering to God what is God’s. In other words, the two are not equal. The two renderings are not separate but equal, or two halves of a responsibility. Jesus recognizes that everyone must have a certain concern for the political and social well-being of one’s country, but that well-being is just one part of a responsibility for what is God’s. That loyalty or concern for Caesar or one’s country is rooted in the greater and more important concern and fidelity to God because everything is God’s. There is no intention on the part of Jesus to make them equal. Today, Jesus appeals to us all to look beyond the simplistic politics and black and white legalisms that are represented by Caesar’s coin and realize that we are called to embrace the values centered in a faith that sees the hand of God in all things.

Deacon Jeff Willard

Your Sunday Resources:

October 11, 2020: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. ~Phil 4:12

The Second Reading from Mass this Sunday recalled for me the following passage from the beginning of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, identified as the Principle and Foundation:

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.

There is no set of circumstances in life that can ultimately frustrate for us the Divine Plan. Often times when we “imagine” how we want our life to be, and the expectation goes unmet, we become sad, angry, discouraged. The lesson from St. Ignatius is the same as that from St. Paul: whether we have wealth or poverty, health or sickness, the only thing we should want is that God be the principle and foundation to all my thoughts, words, and actions. All else is ancillary.

Fr. Richard Hinkley

Your Sunday Resources:

October 4, 2020: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have no anxiety at all.  ~Phil 4:6 

Is this even possible?  Is St. Paul asking us to assume an attitude that is possible in this life?  The Greek word for anxiety is the same verb that our Lord uses in the context of his visit to the house of Sts. Martha and Mary, when Martha is anxious about many things in contrast to Mary who remains at the feet of Christ.  The context, too, in which Paul asks us to relinquish worry is similar since it is connected to our entreating God with our requests and petitions. 

Fear is the belief that we will be sad or harmed or disappointed in the future.  Undoubtedly, Paul is encouraging the Philippians to make an act of faith, recognizing that with which God has already blessed them and using these things as the basis for their confidence that God will not abandon them now.  Such faith is obviously a grace; left to our own efforts we are unable to produce such a degree of confidence and detachment from our own expectations so as to leave us “free from all anxiety.”  However, such a peace is indeed possible.  By focusing on all that is “true… honorable… just… etc.” we dispose ourselves to the peace that dispels anxiety and unites us with those goods that no one can take from us. 

Fr. Richard Hinkley

Your Sunday Resources:

September 27, 2020: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus. ~Phil 2:5

Following his initial salutation of the Church in Philippi and his updating them on the Church’s missionary work, St. Paul delivers in Chapter Two both a series of moral exhortations as well as the striking “Christ Hymn” which is contained in the longer version of the second reading for this Sunday. Scholars are divided as to the origin and nature of the poem. Most would agree that it represents a piece of early Christian poetry. Consequently, Paul is presenting us with a glimpse of a form of Christology which predates even his own letters, perhaps from even the mid-30s A.D. Being such an early textual witness to the Church’s faith in the identity of Christ and of the nature of salvation, it provides yet another assurance that what we believe about Christ is not the concoction of later eras, but represents a continuous deposit of faith.

This hymn’s structure traces out for us the itinerary of Christ, an itinerary that theologians have described as a “going out” (exitus) and a “return” (reditus). Part of the mystery of the Incarnation is that though Christ never ceases to be God the Son, he “goes out” from the realm of divine transcendence and through our human nature assumes the lowest place: a slave’s death on the Cross. By this perfect act of humility and obedience, God is perfectly glorified and Christ is exalted over all.

This itinerary of Christ is not meant to be merely descriptive, however. Paul is not just reminding the Philippians of what God has done and how they are saved. No, in light of the preceding passages exhorting the Philippians to charity and unanimity, Paul is offering the content of this “Christ Hymn” as the archetype and the sole means by which such profound and lasting communion between people can be achieved.

If you want world peace, the itinerary of Christ is the only route.

Fr. Richard Hinkley

Your Sunday Resources:

September 20, 2020: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I once heard a quotation, and I’m sorry I don’t remember its source. It went: “To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises.” Today’s Scripture readings seem to turn such a saying upside down, or at least make us re-think “what’s fair.”

The prophet Isaiah quotes God: “My thoughts are not your thoughts…your ways are not my ways.” In the Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about a boss who insisted on paying everyone a full day’s wage, including those who didn’t work a full day. The response from some of the workers: “It’s not fair!” In terms of Jesus’ story, God’s fairness is different from theirs.

Life often isn’t fair, and people frequently blame God for that. The death of loved ones; God’s seeming silence in response to prayers; the flaws in nature that give rise to disasters—all raise questions about God’s “fairness.” And yet there is also the amazing surprise ending to the parable, the generosity of the employer. Is Jesus trying to tell us something about God’s fairness?

Today’s responsorial psalm hints at it: It speaks of God’s graciousness, mercy and kindness. Perhaps we’re meant to delve deeper into what “fairness” means in human terms, so that we can understand it in God’s terms—and to be open to God’s “wonderful surprises.”

Sunday reflection by Father Greg Friedman, from St. Anthony Messenger Press, find it on the web at Franciscanmedia.org.

Your Sunday Resources:


Notes from Music Ministry

Our Music Ministry has recorded beautiful Hymns and Musical Meditations to accompany our families at home. We are delighted to share their recordings on our podcast: 


Additional Resources

For our latest updates and communications, please visit our Coronavirus Updates Blog, and Follow Us on Facebook.

To help our SJV families to stay safe and healthy during these trying times, our Social Service Ministries have compiled these Important Resources for Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis.

Find more resources at US Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB website.

Read the full Transcript of Pope Francis “Urbi et orbi” on Friday, March 27, 2020.  The Pope meditates on the calming of the storm from the Gospel of Mark 4:35

Find more resources at US Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB website.

With firm purpose you maintain peace;
in peace, because of our trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever!
For the Lord is an eternal Rock.

~Isaiah 26:3-4