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By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/25/2018 12:15 AM
Palm Sunday is one of the days of the year that always strike me, in particular as we approach the great feasts of later in this week; but also just as a stand-alone day, as the juxtaposition between the entrance at Mass (as we chant ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’) so quickly becomes the crowd yelling out ‘Crucify Him!’ How do we so quickly go from one to the other?

In his great trilogy ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI picks up this juxtaposition. He posits that these were not necessarily the same two crowds. The ones throwing their cloaks down and chanting ‘Hosanna!’ were the fellow pilgrims who also made their way from Galilee up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. They knew Jesus. They knew what He could do. They were familiar with His preaching and His presence; for they had spent time with Him as He walked and talked along with them. Not just on this journey towards Jerusalem, but during the years of his public ministry.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/18/2018 12:00 AM

Over the door to my office at St. John Neumann is a sign that says, ‘Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.’ I don’t often see it, as it is literally above the door and, honestly, who looks up that high, anyway? But as I struggled to write this column today, I glanced up there and that sign hit me as a particularly apt reminder for the two weeks that are coming up. And how much we can struggle with silence.

During this past Advent, I unplugged my TV. And it was a very fruitful and beneficial advent for me, spiritually. I found I was less agitated, more focused and the prayer came a little easier to me, as well.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/11/2018 12:00 AM

As I think back to the time that Jesus walked on this earth and we approach the time when He gave His life for our salvation, a thought struck me: the importance the Jewish people at the time of Jesus placed on the worship of the Passover in the Temple. It was one of the classical ‘Pilgrimage Feasts’ of ancient Judaism in which the Jews in the Diaspora (those who were living outside of Jerusalem) would make a journey to Jerusalem in order to worship in the Temple. Granted, those who lived as far as Rome or modern day Spain or Britain would not make that journey every year, but they would make it a priority to go and visit at least once in their lifetime; if not on a regular basis.

Those who lived in or nearer to Jerusalem, however, would make the Feast of Passover and the concurrent Feasts of Unleavened Bread a particular time of celebration and worship before the Lord. Everything else in Jerusalem stopped during these High Holy Days as the Temple took center stage for them all.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/4/2018 12:00 AM
One of the signs of health of a parish is the participation in the RCIA program in which we welcome new members into the fold of the Catholic Church, either through Baptism or through reception into the faith for those who have already been Baptized in another Christian denomination. Lent is a time to highlight the journey of RCIA as the participants prepare to receive the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil. This year, in our pastoral region between Corpus Christi and St. John Neumann, we are preparing to welcome 16 new members into our fold at the Vigil, which is by far the largest group that I have ever welcomed and is a sign of the health and growth of these two parishes, praise God!

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Comments

Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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