Seattle, WA | FSSP
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As the Baltimore catechism says, a Sacrament is the outward sign instituted by Christ in order to confer grace. In these sacred signs we receive what they signify and the seven Sacraments are the ordinary means of our sanctification. Ordinary means, which is to say that all of us who are able to receive them are sanctified by our worthy reception of them.
Now there are some who are unable to receive the Sacraments due to certain circumstances, such as no priest, lack of catechesis, or physical immobility. This can be frustrating to those, whose hearts God has placed the desire to receive them. And it is the desire that God wants, not only those who are deprived of the Sacraments because of circumstances which prevent them from receiving, but He also wants those who are able to receive the Sacraments to have the pious desire to receive them.
There is an expression “separation makes the heart grow fonder”. There is a certain truth to this in our relationships with family and friends and in our day, it is well to apply this saying to our current situation for the majority of those who unable to receive the Holy Eucharist at Holy Mass.
As if he were prophesying, Fr Heffernan reminded us of the possibility of not receiving Holy Communion for months. “Imagine” he said “today was the last time you got to attend Mass for a year. Imagine this was your last confession for 6 months” Etc. Now that his imagination has become a reality, it is good for us to reflect on our personal disposition of receiving the Holy Eucharist.
Have we been receiving the Holy Eucharist lukewarmly up to this day? Do I approach the Communion rail out of habit? Do I really believe that Christ is there truly and substantially in the form of bread? If I believe this, how much attention should I be putting into receiving this sublime Mystery!
It seems to me, that God is allowing this restriction of receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in order to stir in us a greater desire to receive Him more worthily in the future. I have mentioned from the pulpit in the past that the more difficult something is to attain, the more attached we become when we possess it. The desire for Holy Communion is made more fervent by the frequent thought of it. Since what we love occupies our minds, we ought to make a daily spiritual communion. Spend a little more time in prayer to stir up not just a desire, but a burning desire to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. At the Last Supper, Christ told His disciples, “with a desire, I have desired to eat this with you”. LK 22;15
Christ showed us His desire and love in action. His love for us brought Him down from heaven, His love for us gave Him strength to carry the Cross. This divine love has an infinite desire to have souls receive Himself in the Holy Sacrament of the altar. As God is omnipresent, so is His love.
His omnipresence is the reason for us to pray anywhere and everywhere. And as His presence is everywhere, so is His love. Consequently, speaking of the Sacraments, God is not limited to conferring grace only through the Sacraments. He has simply made them the Ordinary means of our sanctification.
In his treatise on Baptism, St Thomas Aquinas quotes St Augustine on the necessity of Baptism “Augustine says that some have received the invisible sanctification without visible sacraments, and to their profit; but though it is possible to have the visible sanctification, consisting in a visible sacrament, without the invisible sanctification, it will be to no profit." IIIQ68a2 Summa Theologica
What these doctors of the Church are saying is that if there is no desire to receive the sacraments in person, then the physical contact of the Sacraments are of no avail. So even those who are not restricted to receive Holy Communion in other places where public Mass is still offered, they may receive the Sacrament but if there is no desire then the graces that are connected are little to no avail for their sanctification. I think the words of St Augustine can lead us to the conclusion that a devout and holy spiritual communion may be more pleasing to our Lord than a mere reception of the Eucharist on Sunday morning.
At every Mass there has to be a spiritual communion connected to the actual reception of the Eucharist if we want to grow in a deeper love of God. This spiritual communion at Mass is aided by the movements and gestures as a community. Kneeling and standing at certain times, with music and the double consecration and the actual reception of Holy Communion make the memory of our Lord’s redemptive work memorable.
Since the Mass has been restricted publicly, the faithful are left to do the best they can to receive the graces of our Lord spiritually. I would recommend that everyone take time to read the Mass of the day and at the time you would receive the Holy Eucharist, you can say the following prayer :
My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. ... I adore Thee in the Sacrament of Thy love, the ineffable Eucharist. Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
In closing, I am quoting St Thomas Aquinas in his treatise of the Eucharist. The question is “whether the Eucharist is necessary for salvation” IIIQ73a3 Summa Theologica
The difference between corporeal and spiritual food lies in this, that the former is changed into the substance of the person nourished, and consequently it cannot avail for supporting life except it be partaken of; but spiritual food changes man into itself, according to that saying of Augustine (Confess. vii), that he heard the voice of Christ as it were saying to him: "Nor shalt thou change Me into thyself, as food of thy flesh, but thou shalt be changed into Me." But one can be changed into Christ, and be incorporated in Him by mental desire, even without receiving this sacrament.
The following Masses, Divine Office, and Devotions will be livestreamed via Vimeo, accessible here at our website and at https://vimeo.com/northamericanmartyrs
Introibo ad altare Dei...
Within the first month of birth. Please contact the rectory. (Must be a registered and attending parishioner.)
Please arrange six months in advance. Pre-Cana instruction with a priest. (At least one party must be a registered and attending parishioner.)
Holy Hour on Fridays at 6:30 PM (during Lent, rescheduled to follow Mass)
Rosary before Sunday 10:30 Mass, and on First Friday and First Saturday.
Compline customarily follows Mass.
Evenings of Recollection as scheduled.
Instruction on a rolling basis. Please contact the rectory for an interview.
Marie Emmanuel Lyon, Director
For information, please call (253) 848-6925.
As a canonical parish within the Archdiocese of Seattle, North American Martyrs is required to participate in the Safe Environment Program. Please see the below instructions and links to assist you in being compliant with our policies.
Volunteers Who Have Contact with Minors or Vulnerable Adults
All volunteers who have contact with minors or vulnerable adults in their volunteer capacity are required to be in compliance with Safe Environment Policies. There are three elements to the Safe Environment Program.1) Criminal Background Check, 2) Signing of Abuse Prevention Policies, and 3) Safe Environment Training.
You will be required to register for a Virtus account to complete the background check and electronically sign the policies. You will also be prompted to register for the Safe Environment Training Class. (Please allow 3 hours for this class.) Recording of these requirements will be done in your Virtus account and sent to the parish’s Safe Environment Coordinator, so there is no need to print any verification certificates. For instructions on creating a Virtus account, completing the online requirements, and registering for a class, click here.
Background checks and an online training must be renewed every three years while in your volunteer capacity. Virtus will prompt you when these are due.
Volunteer Drivers/Volunteers with Access to Cash, Checks and Negotiables
Volunteers who drive others in the course of their service as well as Volunteers with access to cash, checks, and other negotiables (ushers and money counters) are required to complete a Background Check every three years. For instructions to create your Virtus account, click here.
For more information regarding Safe Environment, please click here to go to the Archdiocesan Safe Environment webpage. If you are unsure of your registration status, need log-on credentials for Virtus, or have other questions, please contact the Safe Environment Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
To register as a parishioner, please contact the pastor.
Te igitur, clementissime Pater...
Hoc est enim Corpus meum...
Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum....
SS. Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Noel Chabanel, Isaac Jogues, John Lalande, John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, & Rene Goupil
In the 1600's, Jesuits of French origin did considerable missionary work among the natives of North America, chiefly in what is now Quebec, Ontario, and upper New York State. Eight of them were killed and would come to be known as the North American Martyrs.
Antony Daniel was born at Dieppe, France, in 1601. He joined the Jesuits, and was sent to Canada. From 1637 to 1648 he taught in the Georgian Bay area. He was stationed in the Huron village of Teanaustaye, near Hillsdale, Ontario, when it was attacked by the Iroquois, and he chose to stay with his flock. He was shot, and his body burned with his church on 4 July 1648.
Charles Garnier was born in Paris in 1606. He joined the Jesuits and was sent to Canada in 1636. In 1649 the Huron village of Saint Jean, Quebec, where he was stationed, was attacked by the Iroquois. He was shot down while assisting his flock to escape. He struggled to his feet and attempted to reach a dying Huron to give him absolution, but an Iroquois struck him dead with a tomahawk. He died 7 December 1649.
Noel Chabanel was born in France in 1613. He joined the Jesuits and was sent to Quebec in 1643 to work with Charles Garnier. He found the Huron language difficult to learn, the Huron way of life distasteful, and he suffered from depression. As a precaution against temptation, he took a vow not to leave his post. At the time when Garnier was killed, he had just gone to another village to preach, and was never seen again. Later, a Huron who had been baptized but returned to paganism revealed that he had ambushed Chabanel and killed him out of hostility for the Christian religion. He also died around 7 December 1649.
Isaac Jogues was born in Orleans in 1607, became a Jesuit in 1624 and was sent to Canada in 1636, where he worked among the Mohawks, traveling as far inland as Lake Superior. Assisting him were two laymen, Rene Goupil and John Lalande (the latter, like Daniel, a native of Dieppe). Goupil, who had studied surgery, had been unable to enroll as a Jesuit because of bad health, so he came to Canada at his own expense and there volunteered to help with the Indian mission. In 1642 Jogues and Goupil were captured by the Iroquois and kept prisoners at Ossernenon (now Auriesville, New York), during which time they were tortured; Jogues would have his thumbs and index fingers cut off to prevent him from saying Mass. On 29 September 1642, Goupil was tomahawked for making the sign of the Cross over the head of an Indian child. After a year of captivity, Jogues escaped, with the help of some Dutchmen from Fort Orange, but three years later returned to Ossernenon as a missionary. When there was an outbreak of sickness, and a failure of the crops, Jogues was accused of witchcraft. He and Lalande were seized, beaten and slashed with knives. Later that evening (18 October 1646), Jogues was tomahawked, and Lalande was tomahawked the next day.
John de Brebeuf was born in Normandy in 1593. He was one of the first three Jesuits assigned to the Canadian mission. He preached among the Hurons, beginning in 1625, at first with no success. In 1633, he made another attempt, which lasted for nearly sixteen years, and was slightly more successful. In 1648 he was joined by Gabriel Lalemant. Lalemant had been born in Paris in 1610, and joined the Jesuits in 1630, but because of bad health was not sent to Canada until 1646. After two years in Quebec, he joined de Brebeuf on the Huron Mission in 1648. The following spring, the two priests were captured in an Iroquois raid and taken to what is now the village of Saint-Ignace in Ontario, where they were horribly tortured. De Brebeuf survived only a few hours, and died 16 March 1649. His frailer companion, Lalemont, lived through the night and died the following day. A contemporary wrote, "There was no part of his body that was not burnt, even his eyes, for the villains had forced burning embers into the sockets."
Two remarks by way of historical background would be of interest. First, many of the Indian tribes were hereditary enemies of one another. An early French expedition, headed by Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec City, "Father of New France," was with a group of Huron Indians when they were attacked by an Iroquois war party. Champlain and his men, using their muskets, drove off the Iroquois, killing many, and from that time on the Iroquois were anti-French (and therefore, when the occasion arose, pro-British), while most other tribes of the area became pro-French and anti-British. This was relevant in subsequent struggles between the British and the French, and later between the British crown and the American colonists. Second, many of the Indian tribes placed extreme value on courage and fortitude, as demonstrated by the ability to endure pain without flinching; and so the practice of torturing prisoners taken from other tribes was a kind of competition, in which a prisoner upheld his tribal honor by showing no sign of pain, deriding the tortures that he was undergoing, scorning his captors for a lack of imagination, and assuring them that his discomforts were mere fleabites compared with the tortures which his tribe had invented, and stood ready to inflict on his captors once the tables were turned. Such were the conditions these martyrs for the Faith heroically labored under to make known the name of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.
The ceremonies used by the Church in the traditional administration of Baptism are very ancient. St. Basil mentions many of them, which, he says, are of Apostolic tradition: the consecration of the water, and of the oil used in the anointings, the renunciation of Satan and his works, and the profession of faith. St. Augustine mentions the sign of the Cross, the imposition of hands, and the custom of giving salt to the catechumens. St. Ambrose speaks of the ceremony of touching the ears and nostrils with spittle with the words “Be opened.”
These ceremonies have a twofold significance. They are outward signs of the Holy Ghost’s inward operation in the soul of the one who is baptized; and they also remind the baptized of that which he ought to do, and place before him the obligations he assumes.
The Priest is vested in a white surplice, as denoting innocence, and successively uses two stoles, one violet, the other white. The violet color signifies the unhappy state to which sin has reduced mankind. After the exorcisms the Priest puts on the white stole, as the symbol of the innocence conferred by the Sacrament.
Addressing himself to the godfather and godmother, he asks the name by which the child is to be called. A name is given, says St. Charles Borromeo, to show that the person is dedicated to the service of Jesus Christ. This name, the Council of Trent teaches, should be that of some Saint, in order that the person may be excited to imitate his virtues and sanctity; and that, while endeavoring to imitate him, he may invoke him and pray to him, in the confident hope that he will be his patron and advocate for the safety of his body and the salvation of his soul.
The wretched state to which sin has reduced the human race is still further intimated by the priest's breathing three times on the person to be baptized, which is done to drive away the devil, as by the Holy Ghost, who is the Spirit or breath of God. It also expresses the contempt which Christians have of the devil, and the ease with which he may be put to flight, like a straw with a puff of wind.
After having put to flight the tyrant who holds in captivity every one that comes into the world, the priest imprints on the person to be baptized the seal of another Master, Christ Himself. He signs him with the sign of the Cross on the forehead and on the breast, that Christ, who was crucified for our sins, may take possession of him — on the forehead, to signify that a Christian must never be ashamed to make open profession of the faith of his crucified Savior; and on the breast, to signify that the love of Jesus Christ, and a readiness to obey all His divine commandments and share in His sufferings, ought constantly to stay in his heart.
The priest, as God's representative, then lays his hand on the head of the person to be baptized, to denote possession in the name of the Almighty.
He blesses the salt, to purify it from the malignant influences of the evil spirit; and puts a few grains of this blessed salt into the mouth of the person to be baptized. The salt is the symbol of wisdom, as when St. Paul says (Col. iv. 6): Let your speech be always with grace seasoned with salt. Salt is also a preservative against corruption. This ceremony, then, signifies that the person baptized must make known to the world the sweet savor of the law of God, by the good example of a virtuous and holy conversation; and show by all his works that it is the doctrine of Christ that preserves the soul from corruption, and establishes a firm hope of the resurrection of the body.
Having thus imparted to the person to be baptized the wisdom of Christ and the relish for divine things, the priest peremptorily commands the wicked spirit to depart, and never attempt to deprive him of this precious gift, in the solemn words of a very ancient exorcism; then making the sign of the Cross, he says: And this sign of the holy Cross which we place upon his forehead, do thou, accursed devil, never dare to violate.
After this the priest lays the end of his stole, the symbol of his authority, upon the person to be baptized, and introduces him into the church. Stopping at the threshold, the priest, jointly with the person to be baptized, or, if it be an infant, with the godfather and godmother, recites aloud the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's Prayer. He then again exorcises the unclean spirit, and commands him to depart in the name and by the power of the most blessed Trinity.
The next is a very expressive ceremony. We read in the Gospel (Mark vii. 32-35) that our Lord cured one that was deaf and dumb by touching his tongue and his ears with spittle, saying: Ephpheta — "Be opened." Man, in his natural state, is spiritually both deaf and dumb. Therefore the Church, the Spouse of Jesus Christ and the depository of His power, follows His example; and the priest, taking spittle from his lips, touches therewith the ears and the nostrils of the person to be baptized, repeating the same miraculous word, as if to signify the necessity of having the senses of the soul open to the truth and grace of God.
Then follows the solemn renunciation of Satan and of his works and pomps. After which the priest anoints the person to be baptized on the breast and between the shoulders, making the sign of the Cross. This outward unction represents the inward anointing of the soul by divine grace, which, like a sacred oil, penetrates our hearts, heals the wounds of our souls, and strengthens them against our passions. The anointing of the breast signifies the necessity of strengthening the heart with heavenly courage, that we may act manfully and do our duty in all things. The anointing between the shoulders signifies the necessity of the like grace, in order to bear and support all the adversities and crosses of this mortal life. The oil is also a symbol of the sweetness of the yoke of Christ.
The time has come when another human being is to become the child of God and a member of the mystical body of Christ; the priest, to denote that sorrow is about to be changed into joy, changes his stole, and instead of the violet puts on a white one.
Then follows the Profession of Faith, after which the Sacrament of regeneration is administered: While the godfather and godmother hold or touch their godchild, the priest pours the baptismal water on the child's head three times, in the form of a cross, repeating the sacramental words in such manner that the three pourings of the water are done at the same time as the names of the three Divine Persons are pronounced. Although the water is poured three times, the words are pronounced but once, to show that the Three Persons unite in the regeneration of man in holy Baptism. The godparents hold or touch their godchild, to signify that they answer for him, or that they engage to put him in mind of his vow and promise.
Then the Priest anoints the person baptized on the crown of the head, in the form of a Cross, with holy chrism, made up of oil and balsam. This ceremony is of Apostolic tradition, and signifies, firstly, that the person baptized is solemnly consecrated to the service of God, and made a living temple of the Holy Ghost; secondly, that by Baptism he is made partaker with Christ, the great Anointed of God, and has a share in His unction and grace; thirdly, that he is anointed to be king, priest, and prophet, and therefore that, as king, he must have dominion over his passions; as priest, he must offer himself unceasingly to God as a living sacrifice for an odor of sweetness; as prophet, he must declare by his life the rewards of the world to come.
After the anointing, the Priest puts upon the head of the baptized a white linen cloth, now used instead of the white garment with which the new Christian used anciently to be clothed in Baptism, to signify the purity and innocence which we receive in Baptism, and which we must take care to preserve till death.
Lastly, the Priest puts a lighted candle into the hand of the person baptized, or of the godfather. This ceremony is derived from the parable of the virgins (Matt. xxv.), who taking their lamps went forth to meet the bridegroom; it is intended to remind the person baptized that, being now a child of light, he must walk as a child of light, and keep the lamp of faith ever burning with the oil of charity and good works, for the glory of God and the edification of his neighbor; so that whenever the Lord shall come he may be found prepared, and may go in with Him into the eternal life of His heavenly kingdom.
Penance is a Sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ, in which, by the ministry of the priest, actual sins are forgiven, and the conscience is released from the bonds by which it may be bound. In this Sacrament, also, the eternal punishment due to sin is remitted, and a part or the whole of the temporal punishment, according to the disposition of the penitent.
This holy and salutary institution is grounded on the words of Jesus Christ: Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven (Matt. xviii. 18), and, As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When He had said this, He breathed on them, and He said to them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained (John xx. 21). In these words Jesus Christ gave to His Apostles, and to their lawful successors, power and authority to absolve from all sin those who sincerely repent of their offences. Hence we see the great necessity of this Sacrament; and the Council of Trent has decreed that it is not less necessary for salvation to those who have fallen into mortal sin after Baptism, than Baptism to those who have never been baptized. And although Penance may, at first sight, and in itself, seem to be a bitter and painful thing, yet, viewed in its fruits and consequences, it is full of consolation; and every Christian, as soon as he is conscious that he has fallen into a mortal sin, ought at once to have recourse to this fount of divine mercy.
The evil consequences of delay are manifold. Firstly, in the state of mortal sin, every other mortal sin committed renders our hearts still more hardened. Secondly, the commission of one mortal sin makes a second easier, and this leads to a third, and so on. Thirdly, in the state of mortal sin we lose the value of all the good works that we may do. They avail nothing for everlasting life. Neither alms, nor prayers, nor fasts, nor even martyrdom itself, can profit us, if we have not repented of our sins. Next, persistence in sin shuts by degrees the door of divine mercy. Lastly, just as the longer a stain remains upon a garment, the more difficult it is to remove, so the longer the soul neglects to purify itself by Confession, the more difficult and intricate the work becomes on account of the number of sins and anxiety of mind.
After Confession, as soon as you conveniently can, perform your penance and renew your resolutions of avoiding all sin and of taking all the means for so doing, by avoiding the occasions and temptations of sin, and then you may have a perfect confidence, with devout thankfulness, that all your sins, through the mercy of God, are forgiven.
Consider also how you can amend your life. This will be best done by fixing your attention on one or two of your more prominent defects of character, and directing your chief efforts to overcome these by such means as the following: 1. Conceive a strong desire to overcome these faults, frequently renew your resolution, and examine yourself particularly upon them. 2. When you commit them, hold yourself accountable in some way for it by performing an appropriate penance. 3. Endeavor always to have the thought of Christ present in your mind, and direct short prayers to Him, especially when you are attacked by temptation, or when you are necessarily exposed to the dangers of sinning. 4. Meditate frequently on those subjects most calculated to excite your fears, hopes, and affections, as Death and Judgment, the Love of God, His kindnesses to you, His promises, etc. Be earnest and persevere with a good hope of victory, through the grace of Jesus Christ.
The Viaticum is the Holy Eucharist administered with the intention of preparing the sick for death. This Blessed Sacrament is indeed the Bread of Life, of which every good Christian frequently partakes during health; but when the soul is about to pass from the body there arises a new and peculiar obligation of receiving it. This obligation is founded on the abundant graces which this holy Sacrament, above all the rest, is capable of imparting, and which are at that time so necessary. It is the safeguard that must preserve the soul on its journey to heaven; it is the pledge of immortal glory. He who eateth this bread shall live for ever (St. John vi. 59). The sick person will therefore make his best endeavor for a worthy preparation for this reception.
But even if the sick person is not near death, it is salutary for the priest to visit the homebound with Holy Communion, hear their confession, and anoint them, if necessary. The fifteen minutes before the priest arrives should be spent in prayer and recollection to the degree possible. Before he arrives, the following things should be made ready in the sick-room: (1) a table, covered with a clean, white cloth; and upon it (2) at least one candlestick, holding a blessed candle lighted; (3) a Crucifix; and (4) a small glass with fresh water (for the ablution after Communion).
The priest bearing the Blessed Sacrament should be met at the door by some one holding a lighted candle, who should go before him to the place prepared. All should then retire, while the confession of the sick person is being heard, and return immediately thereafter to assist at the giving of the Holy Communion, remaining kneeling and spending the time in prayer.
Ite, missa est...
North American Martyrs Church
9924 232nd St SW
Edmonds, WA 98020