Weekly Flocknote - 8/12/2021

Posted on August 12, 2021

Dear Friends,

This weekend we step away from Jesus' teaching about the Eucharist (in gospel readings from the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John) to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The last time this occurred on a Sunday was eleven years ago! The link of Sunday's Gospel, known as the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (LK1:39-56), has inspired many great works of classical music. One of the most famous is a 20-minute choral version by Antonio Vivaldi, written between 1717 and 1719.

Vivaldi was working as choirmaster at the Pieta, an orphanage in Venice. The orphanage funded its work with a fascinating and brilliant business model: it trained orphans to sing for their supper. Vivaldi's job was to compose pieces of music for the choir to sing before wealthy benefactors.

Mixed choirs were not tolerated in Catholic Europe in the 18th century, so at the Pieta, the boys left the orphanage and entered apprenticeships, while the girls stayed to constitute the choir. So Vivaldi composed a setting of Mary's canticle especially for female voices.

In his score of the Magnificat, Vivaldi pitched the vocal bass parts high enough to be sung bu an all-female choir. Vivaldi knew exactly what he was doing> he was taking lower-class young girls, with no hopes, prospects to protectors, and offered them, in singing this piece, a change to bring about their own redemption and the liberation of women and girls like them. They were truly singing Mary's song. Through them the Holy Spirit was exalting the humble and meek and sending the rich away a good deal emptier.

Vivaldi's young female voices were "incubating" the Gospel of transformation just as Mary, in her womb, was "incubating" the Word of God.


Some news to share...

Earlier this week, I contacted a local glass company to arrange the replacement of the Main Entrance window that was destroyed last Saturday. It was also brought to my attention that the Grotto behind the church was also vandalized. A couple parishioners chipped in to rearrange pots tossed, clean up broken vases and flowers ripped out of a nearby bed and put Mary's hand back into place.


If you are gluten-intolerant like I am, we now have a pyx that will hold several hosts. Simply inform the Presider. He will instruct you to receive last in his communion procession line. 


Best wishes to our parishioners who are on the move to start college careers! We will be praying for you at this weekend's Masses. Parents, if your son or daughter needs assistance finding a Catholic community on their campus, let me know and I'll help you with a contact.


At our Parish Picnic on Sunday, September 19, I have invited Fr. Vince Cushing, OFM to attend. For those who are not aware, Fr. Vince had been helping with the Mass schedule and made many Adult Religious Formation presentations at our parish for over 30 years! Since he is not able to minister at Seton due to mobility issues and needing assistance, I want to take an opportunity for us as a community to say "Thank You". I would also like to present him with a financial gift from the parish that will be given to his Franciscan community, since he cannot personally accept it. If you wish to make a donation, you may send us a check made to Seton Parish and put Fr. Vince on the memo line or you can go to this link on GiveCentral and contribute that way.


Our Music Ministry is leading the National Anthem at the Bowie Baysox game Saturday, September 4th at 6:35p.m. Stay for fireworks after the game! Tickets are $5 and are on sale now. Contact Brendan at 410-721-5770 x 213 or brendan.walls@seaseton.org


I want to alert you that on Sunday, August 22nd, the 9:30a.m. Mass will not be live-streamed. Mitzy Deras, our social media staff member, will be on vacation. As an alternative, you can view Sunday Mass at this website by clicking here.


Finally, I will be leaving on vacation this Tuesday, August 17th and return Saturday, August 28th. I'll be back for a couple days and then I'll be away on September 1-10, in lieu of morning Mass, we will have Communion Services. As a reminder, these weekday liturgies will not be live-streamed.


Ongoing Announcments:

St. Gregory's School Supply Drive- Donations are accepted after every weekend Mass in the Narthex bins, and down at the Parish Hall doors weekdays, Monday-Thursdays from 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m. We also ask that labels be cut and used for all donations. Last day to donate is August 19th! Please click here to download and print the supply list.

Elements of the Catholic Mass Video Series- We are beginning week 30 of our video series, Elements of the Catholic Mass. I would invite you to watch Episode 30 this week titled, The Liturgical Movement and reflect on how this might help you in your faith. Here is the link to the episodes pages.

The Parish Picnic is returning! SAVE THE DATE!! We need Volunteers! Our Parish Picnic returns on Sunday, September 19th from 12:30-4:00p.m. Please email the Picnic Team at setonparishpicnic@gmail.com if you can help or have questions. Also, each volunteer gets a free ticket to the picnic!


Here is this Sunday's Worship Aid


A reminder....

Don't forget to use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and now, when you enter the church through Food Pantry entrance. 


As usual, we continue to live-stream Mass (Mon-Thurs at 9:00a.m. and Sundays at 9:30a.m. except the 22nd of this month) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link) and our parish website. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.


Blessings on your week!
Fr. Paul