Vietnamese dancers, matachines and more

Father Nicholas Smith led the Kombey family — from left, Medard, Penouel and Felicity — as they offered the gifts at a multicultural Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on May 23. Bishop Mark S. Rivituso celebrated the Mass with readings, universal prayers and music in several languages and signed by an interpreter. The Kombeys are parishioners at Christ the King Parish in University City.

A multicultural Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on the Feast of St. Toribio Romo was right up the alley for two communities of women religious from Vietnam.

The communities, the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Hanoi and Our Lady of Unity of Bac Ninh, have sisters visiting and studying in St. Louis as guests of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in south St. Louis County. They participate in a formal English language immersion program the SSNDs designed for them.

Gymnasium becomes sacred space


For about five minutes on April 24, The Ray DeGreeff Gymnasium at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School sounded like, well, a gymnasium.

Similar to a sporting event, raucous cheering filled the gym as school president Father Kevin Schmittgens welcomed the region's elementary Catholic schools, whose students had taken up residence in the bleachers and floor seating. They whooped, hollered and otherwise celebrated at hearing their school's names.

After recognizing the schools, Father Schmittgens uttered the magic word – prayer.

Hearing assistance system at St. Patrick accommodates parishioners’ needs

Robert Noonan used a hearing assist device April 8 at Mass at St. Patrick Church in Wentzville. In December, the parish installed a system that includes a radio transmitter to broadcast the church’s sound system to people who need assistance hearing.

Tom Larouere was used to Mass being a mumble of words.

But thanks to a new hearing assistance system, listening to the Word of God now is much clearer.

In December, St. Patrick Parish in Wentzville installed a system that includes a transmitter that broadcasts the church's sound system. Users wear a small receiver on a lanyard, which can either be plugged directly into telecoil (t-coil) hearing aids or used with a small earpiece.

Leave Mass praising God, not gossiping about others, pope says

Pope Francis gestures during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 4.

VATICAN CITY — The final words at Mass — "Go in peace" — are an invitation to Christians to proclaim God's blessings through their lives, not an opportunity to go outside and speak ill of others, Pope Francis said.

Through the Eucharist, Jesus "enters in our hearts and in our flesh so that we may express in our lives the sacrament we received in faith," the pope said April 4 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Sacred language can lift worshippers

Upon hearing about the Latin Mass, the first response often is a question: Isn't the use of Latin in Catholic worship outdated — something Vatican Council II wanted the modern Church to leave behind?

In fact, the Council's Constitution on the Liturgy decreed, "The use of the Latin language is to be preserved, ... but since the use of the vernacular ... may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives, and in some prayers and chants" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36).

POPE’S MESSAGE | Readings at Mass offer God’s ‘real-time’ help

Pope Francis and Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, released doves at the end of the pope’s meeting with the Ukrainian Catholic community Jan. 28 at the Basilica of Santa Sophia in Rome. The pope offered a reflection on the theme of a multiyear renewal effort in Ukrainian Catholic parishes around the world.

VATICAN CITY — Listening to the Scripture readings at Mass is hearing God speak directly to His people, offering spiritual sustenance and needed guidance for life's difficult journey, Pope Francis said.

For that reason, the prescribed texts should never be skipped or substituted at Mass, lectors should read clearly and people should always listen with an open heart so that the words may eventually bear fruit in good deeds, the pope said at his weekly general audience Jan. 31.

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