Slow growing fruit: Holy Week 2016


Molasses.  That’s how I described most of this year’s Holy Week.  Things sometimes dragged on.  Liturgical preparation and a vocation visit occupied much of my time.  Plus, the days off from classes provided a chance to ease up on the intense studying.  Maybe too much easing up for me as I needed more naps.

Meanwhile, nine men visited to check out the Oblates and discern further in their vocation journey.  Father Mark Yavarone, OMV commented that this Come and See was the most blessed because he could see the various spiritual fruits in the visitors’ journeys.  Dan, a visitor, later said how he gleaned insights and a concrete plan during the trip.  Another visitor, Miggo, created this video of the visit.

I organized this year’s Holy Thursday liturgy.  It was stressful in the last hour as I scrambled to prepare.  But once, the entrance procession started, everything went smoothly with a few tweaks.  It reminded me of working at the newspapers: intense bouts of stress with smooth execution.   I never spent so much time looking at weather forecasts as I worried about rain.  But a light mist greeted the Eucharistic procession.

The two powerful moments greeted during the Triduum.  During the Easter Vigil, the darkness of the chapel gave way to brightness as the Gloria was sung.  During morning Easter Mass, Father Peter Grover, OMV in his homily linked the Resurrection to the need to love and forgive loved ones now while there is still time.

risen jesus
The altar at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston is decorated with Easter flowers and a statue of the Risen Jesus on Sunday, March 27, 2016.

I achieved most of my Lenten goals.  My favorite was tweeting pictures of the Virgin Mary with words about her on Wednesdays.  I missed only one Wednesday because of spring break.  I would like to do more, but that would have to wait after the semester.  Here are a slideshow of my creations so far.

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Unfortunately, I had to adjust the last one: Lenten reflections from Pope Francis’ Misericordiae Vultus on Sundays.  I thought the USCCB website would provide such reflections.  But those were only monthly.  On Sundays, I reflected on documents on my formation as an Oblate seminarian and some of the mercy psalms such as Psalm 6 and 32.

After the Easter Vigil, the seminarians and the visitors ate and drank downstairs.  The vocations director, Father Jeremy Paulin, OMV sang and played Irish tunes on his accordion.  I captured this short clip of one of his performances.

In that moment, the long slog of that week melted away.  We all must allow ourselves to celebrate every once and a while.

I have a few more days to catch up on studies before the next wave of midterms.

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