Monday, April 10, 2006

Notes on Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

This past weekend saw a Loyola House mini-reunion as Drew Marquard, Mike Singhurse and Eric Styles were visiting from Detroit. The weekend gave us an opportunity to catch up and to compare notes on our Long Experiments; Drew and Mike are both teaching at U of D Jesuit High School and Eric is at Loyola High School in Detroit. Yesterday Mike, Eric and I celebrated Palm Sunday at St. Benedict the African (East) Church in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. A parishioner and employee of St. Benedict the African before he entered the novitiate, Eric was invited to preach at the Palm Sunday Mass and gave an excellent homily that integrated strong exegesis as well as elements of his own experience in the novitiate and the experiences of the parish community and the local church. After a lively morning liturgy in Englewood, I concluded my observance of Palm Sunday in the evening with fairly subdued Vespers at the Monastery of the Holy Cross, a small Benedictine priory in Bridgeport. At the moment, I'm still a little on the fence about where I'll celebrate the Paschal Triduum this year. I'll probably go to the old Italian parish around the corner from St. Ignatius, Our Lady of Pompeii, a church that combines a intimate and neighborly atmosphere with good liturgy and excellent preaching. However, there's still an outside chance I'll pass part of the Triduum with the Benedictines at the Monastery of the Holy Cross, with my brother Jesuits at St. Procopius in Pilsen or with any number of other communities. For spiritual reading during Holy Week, I have two books by Japanese Catholic novelist Shusaku Endo: A Life of Jesus and Silence, the latter about Portuguese Jesuits and persecuted underground Christians in 17th-century Japan. I've never read anything by Endo before, but a number of fellow Jesuits recommended him highly. I'll post some thoughts on the two books when I've finished them. AMDG.


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