June 24, 2018

June 19, 2018

My dear parishioners,

Well this is my last column as pastor of St. Sebastian’s parish here in Providence.  I cannot believe three years have passed so quickly.  I really enjoyed being pastor and part of this community.

When I received word from Bishop Evans that Bishop Tobin was assigning me as pastor of St. Sebastian’s parish I was more than a little intimidated. Every priest in the Diocese knows how well educated and engaged the parishioners of St. Sebastian’s are.  No other parish in the Diocese has as many professionals.  So being sent to pastor such a parish can be intimidating.

But my worrying was for naught.  I want to thank each and every St. Sebastian parishioner.  I have felt at home and welcomed into your parish from the first moments I arrived.  We as a parish are blessed to have many different types of parishioners. Some parishioners have been here for over 70 years and attended the parish school (when there was no physical school building).  Others parishioners moved into the area when their children, who are now parents, were young because of the schools in the area.  Due to a good economy we have many young families who moved into the area.  We have a great parish made up of people of every age group, cultural diversity and educational background.

Thank you all…..remember me in your prayers and I will pray for you at the altar.

Thank you and God bless you……

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

June 17, 2018

June 12, 2018

June 5, 2018

Dear Monsignor Montecalvo,

Congratulations to you and your parish community for surpassing your goal for the 2018 Catholic Charity Appeal. I thank you for your dedication and leadership to ensure a successful parish Appeal effort.

The Catholic Charity Appeal continues to help tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders who have nowhere else to turn. Because of your hard work, our diocesan ministries will be able to continue to care for the poor, feed the hungry, and comfort the sick. I ask that you extend my thanks and appreciation to your lay leadership and parishioners for their outstanding support of this most worthy cause.

The 2018 Catholic Charity Appeal will soon conclude. I kindly ask you to pray for the continued success of the 2018 Appeal within our parishes. Please be assured that I will keep you in my prayers that God will continue to bless you and your parish community.

Grateful for your devoted priestly ministry to your parishioners, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Thomas J. Tobin

Bishop of Providence

 

 

June 3, 2018

June 7, 2018

WELCOME TO OUR NEW PASTOR

FATHER JORDAN KELLY!!

Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Father Jordan Kelly, O.P., is a Dominican Friar of the Province of Saint Joseph.  A seasoned parish priest, Father Kelly has served as the Pastor of the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena, New York City; as Executive Director of the Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York; Chaplain to the Catholic Medical Association of Metropolitan New York; and most recently as the Catholic Chaplain of Chaplain of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Medical System.

Father Kelly has taught at all levels, having served as Vice President for Academics and Chair of the Theology Department of Fenwick High School, Oak Park, IL. Father Kelly has also served as the Director of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Chicago; Director of Worship for the Diocese of Wilmington; and the Associate Director of Music and Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Father has served as the Organist and Choir Master at the Shrine of Sacred Heart, Baltimore, MD; the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis; and founded Schola Dominicana – a highly regarded professional choir in New York City.

Father Kelly earned the Pontifical Degree in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC (with distinction); and the Master of Fine Arts in Sacred Music at Lindenwood University, St. Louis, Missouri (summa cum laude).

Father Kelly, better known as “Father Jordan” is excited to be coming to Saint Sebastian Parish and looks forward to meeting our wonderful parishioners.

 

 

 

 

June 10, 2018

June 6, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 A few house keeping items:

1) I spoke with Fr. Jordan concerning our elementary school students who attend a Catholic School. All of you who have students in Catholic Elementary Schools should know the parish has offered tuition assistance to your child (children). This has been my policy for the three years I served as pastor of St. Sebastian’s. Fr. Jordan has informed me he will continue this policy.

So, to this end I need to start to collect the names and which Catholic School your child or children attend. Please do not assume I know that your child goes to a Catholic School. I need everyone to send me an email MCFM1973@LIVE.COM with the name of your child, what school he or she will attend in September, and in what grade he or she will be enrolled.

Please everyone – I need this information by the 24th of June. Please pass this information to other Catholic School parishioners of St. Sebastian’s.

2) Fr. Jordan will be moving into the St. Sebastian’s rectory on Tuesday June 26th. I will be moving out of the pastor’s suite on the 20th of June and will move into Fr. Almonte’s former suite. I plan on moving out of the rectory on the 27th even though I will canonically be the pastor until June 30th.

Have a good week –

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

May 27, 2018

May 10, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

More on Pentecost:

 

The Liturgical celebration of Pentecost in Western churches is rich and varied. The main sign of Pentecost in the West is the color RED. It symbolizes the joy and the fire of the Holy Spirit.

 

Priests or ministers, and choirs wear red vestments, and in modern times the custom has extended to the lay people of the congregation wearing red clothing in celebration has well. Some churches hang red banners from the walls and ceiling to symbolize the blowing of the “mighty wind.’ and the free movement of the Spirit.

 

In Italy it was customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues and hence in Sicily, and elsewhere in Italy, Pentecost is also called, “Pasqua ROSATUM”. Of course the word ROSATUM refers to the red vestments worn by the priests. In France, trumpets were blown to recall the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the descent of the Holy Spirit.

 

Pentecost is a great celebration. The church uses many senses so we can experience its depth.

 

Have a good week…

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

May 20, 2018

May 10, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. The Feast of Pentecost, which is celebrated on the 9th Sunday (49 days) after Easter. Today’s Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ in the city of Jerusalem. The Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 2:1-31) describes the events of the First Pentecost.

 

In the Christian tradition, Pentecost is an important event that marks the shifting of God’s Redemptive purpose from the “descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” to all peoples. This important event in the life of the early Church enables the rapid spread of Christianity. Within a few decades important Christian congregations had been established in all major cities of the Roman Empire.

 

Tradition holds that the Feast of Pentecost, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, took place in the Upper Room or Cenacle. The Upper Room was mentioned in Luke’s Gospel 22:11-12 where Jesus says:

“say to the owner of the house” the Teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where may I eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.”

 

The Upper Room is also mentioned in Acts 1:13-14:

“When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter and John, and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, Simon the Zealot and Judas, son of James . All of these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the Mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.”

 

More next week –

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

May 13, 2018

May 8, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

Like many traditions and festivities, Mothering Sunday began with a religious purpose. Held on the fourth Sunday in Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday, it was a originally a day to honor and give thanks to the Virgin Mary, also known as Mother Mary. Such celebrations required people to visit their ‘mother’ church – the main church or cathedral in a family’s area. The spread of Christianity throughout Europe in the 16th century increased the celebrations and firmly put Mothering Sunday on the calendar. It was believed to be essential for people to return to their home ‘mother’ church to make it a true family honored occasion.

 

While the day had a firm following for many centuries since the 16th century, by 1935 it started to decrease in popularity and was celebrated less and less in Europe, until WWII. The Americans and Canadians celebrated Mother’s Day during the war, feeling a crucial need to give thanks to their mothers while away at war. The Brits and other Europeans followed their comrades and they too gave thanks to their mothers; since then it earns pride of place on the UK calendar.

 

The US celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. The holiday was formed much later than Mothering Sunday, and was created in 1908 by a lady named Anna Jarvis from Grafton, West Virginia, in honor of her late mother. Jarvis pushed hard for a holiday to celebrate all mothers after the death of her own, and after lots of hard work, determination and promotion President Woodrow Wilson finally made it an official holiday for the US in 1914.

 

Have a good week…

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

May 6, 2018

May 1, 2018

My dear parishioners,

While the Church gave much attention to the solemnity of the first week following Easter, it established a fifty-day period during which it continuously witnessed to the paschal mystery of the suffering, dying, and rising of Jesus Christ. It is from this fifty-day period that the title Pentecost is derived. The period is also marked by the gospels for each Sunday being taken from that of the evangelist John.  Another special mark of the season is the use of the sprinkling rite during the liturgy on the Sundays of Easter, another reminder of our baptism. Another distinction of the season is that each Sunday during the period is denoted in the liturgical calendar as the Sunday of Easter, not a Sunday after Easter, indicative of its special relationship to the Easter feast.

The crowning close of the season is the feast we now know as Pentecost which for many centuries was considered the glorious close to the Easter season, especially in the churches of the Easter rite. While recalling the specific connection to the Easter feast, Pentecost became uniquely devoted to the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus gathered in the upper room, praised in hymn by the sequence “Veni Spiritu Sancte.” While historically white was the color of the vestments used on this feast recalling Easter, red soon became the color to mark this feast, interpreted by Pope Innocent III in the 12th century to symbolize the tongues of fire descending upon the disciples

In some European countries, customs developed to honor the feast of Pentecost, such as scattered rose leaves from church roofs (Italy), the blowing of trumpets to recall the sound of mighty wind (France), reading of poetic prayers at vespers (Eastern Europe), processions with flowers and green branches (Russia). None of these traditions have carried over to the American church, although the sacrament of confirmation is frequently celebrated on this day.

Have a good week…

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

April 29, 2018

April 25, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

I would like to speak with you about the Easter Season of Pentecost..

 

The great liturgical season of the church begins with the great octave week that solemnities the Feast of Easter by prolonging the celebration over the next eight days, ending on the next Sunday. This Sunday following Easter is of equal liturgical solemnity to Easter Sunday and became known in the first century as “Whitsunday” in reference to the white vestments used during the liturgy. The solemnity is marked in several ways,  one of which is the double “alleluia” in the dismissal rite of the Mass during each day of the week. In the ancient Church, this solemn week was devoted to giving great attention to those newly baptized at the Easter Vigil. In many cultures, this was the week in which many parents brought their children to church to celebrate and remind them of their own baptism.

 

The genesis of the fifty-day Easter Period and the feast of Pentecost, particularly in the first centaury of the Church’s existence, derives from the Jewish celebration of the Old Testament “feast of weeks” (or Shahuothin in Hebrew). Much was debated and written by Early Church scholars about the calculation of the Easter Season’s fifty days and its theological significance and symbolology. The same is true for the Feast of the Ascension and its “forty day” event in the Easter /Pentecost scheme of things.

 

More next weekend.

 

Have a good week…               Monsignor Montecalvo

 

April 22, 2018

April 17, 2018

My dear parishioners,

 

This Sunday the Church celebrates the ‘World Day of Prayer for Vocations.’ 2018 marks the 55th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfill the Lord Jesus’ instruction “to pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest.” (Mathew 9:38, Luke 10:2.)

 

The Church appreciates and values all vocations. So the sacrament of marriage is very important in the life of the church. But today the Church asks all of her members to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. While appreciating all vocations, the church concentrates its attention  on this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious  Life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutions in their diversity of service and membership, and to missionary life.

 

Pope Francis reminds us that ’becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our decision… rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.

 

Not only this Sunday but every day we are called to pray that many more people respond to God’s call that God’s church might be better served.

 

Have a good week…

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

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