We will have Mass at 8 am on Saturday, Feb. 22, followed by a chapel work day to finish projects and prepare for Holy Week ceremonies. Fr. Sandquist is bringing four seminarians to help. We are so grateful! Our chapel will not have Mass on Ash Wednesday. Fr. Sandquist will be going to Sacred Heart in Topeka that day for Mass at 6 pm.
On Friday night, Fr. Sandquist brought down six first and second-year seminarians from CMRI’s recently-acquired Iowa location to help us prepare for Candlemas and a High Mass for the Feast of the Purification, as well as lend their muscles to a chapel workday: Joe (Nebraska), Dominic (MN), Adam (MI), William (MI), Caleb (Scotland), and Frederic (France).
Saturday morning was dedicated to removing the Christmas decorations and Nativity, followed by server and choir practice. Then sheetrock projects began as the ladies boxed up the large Nativity figures. That complete, the women organized an assembly line to pull nails from salvaged oak baseboards. After the de-nailed boards were stained, seminarians whisked them off to be cut and then nailed in place while others taped so that a second coat could be applied. Fr. Sandquist took to his hands and knees to finish the staining–the baseboards and, he ruefully noted afterward, his hands. Between all the sheetrock dust, the blue tape, and everything being pulled away from the walls, including the altar, it looked like we couldn’t possibly be ready for mass on Sunday, but of course it all came back together with many hands making light work.
Sunday’s Candlemas ceremony and high mass were simply glorious. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day for our procession either. It was 69 degrees with sunny, blue skies. The seminarians were thrilled with the fantastic weather after enduring a tough winter in Iowa. All the practice paid off, and everything went smoothly. The choir finished with a stunning Stella Matutina. Afterward Adam asked if it was too loud, and I assured him that it was exquisite, and the volume was perfect. Truly, we congregants zoomed heavenward in a musical chariot powered by their strong male voices, sonorous with Marian devotion.
Below is a photo gallery from the Asperges, Candlemas ceremony, and procession:
Below is a photo gallery from the Mass for the Purification, with the final two photos depicting the new location of the statues of Sts. Peter and Paul and a zoomed-in look at the altar with the newly-acquired Jesus and Mary statues.
Since Fr. Sandquist will be at our chapel with four seminarians for a work day, we will have mass on Saturday, Feb. 1st, at 8 am.
Afterward we will eat breakfast, take down Christmas decorations, and have choir and server practice.
Then the work projects will begin, which will include installing double doors on the chapel entrance from the hallway so that we may have the Blessed Sacrament reserved on our altar and finishing sheetrock projects in the confessional, priest’s office, and cry room.
On this First Friday of the new year, we look forward to the installation of our Sacred Heart statue. He is 50 inches tall and arrived in Omaha on the First Friday of December, new and unpainted. The CMD Sisters finished painting him this week.
Slowly, but surely, we are transforming our plain box of a building into a Catholic chapel. Soon Fr. Geckle will start saying Mass on First Fridays for us. Deo gratias!
In this 20-minute sermon, Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI, explains the history of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Last Sunday two Congregation Mater Dei Sisters traveled to us from Omaha to teach catechism before mass. They brought two lovely young ladies from Mater Dei Academy with them who joined the sisters in choir. Such sweet pure voices! We were blessed once again also with the presence of seminarian Carlos Zepeda, who served at the altar.
Afterward we had cake and socializing to celebrate our one-year anniversary as Our Lady of Fatima Mission Chapel, under the pastoral care of the CMRI. Our chapel blossomed from the former St. John Fisher chapel in Tulsa when it was abandoned without warning by the SSPX last year.
There is much to celebrate! Not only have we procured our own property, Fr. Geckle told us that the Sisters are planning to come to us every third Sunday to teach catechism! Deo gratias! And Bishop Pivarunas has twice generously sent us seminarians to help remodel our church. In those two visits, they helped put down the flooring, modify the pews, and put up new sheetrock. We feel so loved and cared for. Thank you, Bishop Pivarunas!