News from San Antonio Church – May 28, 2023

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Weekly Bulletin May 28, 2023

by Terrie Evans

This Sunday, 50 days after Easter, we honor the Liturgical Feast of Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit.    The term Pentecost originates from the Greek Pentekoste which means 50th is considered one of the Great Feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church and is a Solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. In some European countries, on the vigil of Pentecost, there is a long-standing traditional custom to bless flowers, fields and fruit trees.  In the early days of Western Christianity, Pentecost became a day to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism.    This Sunday is also known as White Sunday in Ireland and the United Kingdom for the white robes worn by those newly Baptized on Pentecost.  A poplar practice in those towns and villages is to ascend hilltops in the early dawn to pray and “catch” the Holy Spirit.  Afterwards, families will take carved painted wooden doves and suspend them over their dining tables to venerate the Holy Spirit.  This significant feast celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus when the Holy Spirit was poured out onto the Apostles and the Disciples in the form of tongues of fire.  The events of this day are foretold by Jesus in the 1st chapter of the Acts of the Apostles just before His Ascension.  When His followers were with the Risen Christ, he told them, “John Baptized with water but, you will be Baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  He then continued, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. “

            In the Middle Ages churches and cathedrals were outfitted with a small circular opening in the roof as an entrance for the Holy Spirit to descend on the faithful.  At Pentecost, these holes would be decorated with flowers, or a dove figure may be lowered into the church or cathedral during the reading of the narrative of the Pentecost.  In Italy, rose petals are thrown from the church gallery over the parishioners to recall the tongues of fire.  This practice is still used along with paper origami doves suspended from the ceiling.  On Pentecost Sunday, a red color will be used by Priests, Ministers and Choirs and may also be worn by lay people to symbolize joy and the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Red flowers such as roses are used (Festa Rosalia) to adorn altars and to welcome the start of warm weather to also celebrate the renewed season of life.  Some congregations will display banners hung from their rafters to recall the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit while other denominations will display red balloons to remember Pentecost as the Birthday of the Church.  At other church services, trumpets and brass ensembles will provide special music to resemble the Sound made by the mighty wind, especially in the Moravian Church.  While we honor Mary during the month of May, remember the presence of the Blessed Virgin reflects the main role she had in the divine concession of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles.  In Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the Mother of God is accorded a special form of veneration called hyperdulia, the extended praise or respect reserved for the Blessed Mother. This refers to the special power of intercessory prayers dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary over those of all saints.  Pope John Paul II at his General Audience May 28, 1997, spoke of the Blessed Mother in this way: “In contemplating Mary’s powerful intercession as she waits for the Holy Spirit, Christians of every age have frequently had recourse to her intercession on the long and tiring journey to salvation, to receive the gifts of the Paraclete (The Holy Spirit) in greater abundance.  In the Church and for the Church, mindful of Jesus’ promise, she waits for Pentecost and implores a multiplicity of gifts for everyone, in accordance with each ones personality and mission.   Pentecost is an opportunity for Christians to honor the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives and to celebrate the birth of the Christian Church.   In the Roman Catholic Church, Pentecost Sunday closes the Easter Season with the Paschal Candle now moved from the Sanctuary.      

On Saturday, May 20th San Antonio Church held the funeral Mass for Christine (Stath) Wong Glenn who passed away suddenly on Thursday, May 11, 2023, in Michigan.  She was the daughter of Arthur Stath (1919-1991) and Christine Grace (Delseno) Stath (1918-2012) and leaves many   friends and cousins within our church community.  Christie attended our Lunch on the House and worked at our Bruschetta Booth at the St. Catharine Parish CincItalia Fest in the past with her close friend Alana (Murvine) Rudemiller.  She leaves her beloved husband Thom Glenn, sons Brad and Brent Wong and close cousins Linda (Delseno) Panaro and Phyliss (Delseno) Spade.  Fr. Bill Farris officiated at her Mass.  Please keep all her family members in your daily prayers.  

The CincItalia Fest (The Cincinnati Italian Festival) will take place on June 2-3-4 at Harvest Home Park at 3961 North Bend Road to benefit St. Catharine of Siena parish and School.  A big part of the scheduled events is the Big Italian Raffle.  Tickets are $100 each with limited tickets available for the drawing on Sunday, June 4, 2023.  The 1st and every 100th ticket that is drawn wins $300.  The Grand Prize is $10,000 to be awarded to the last ticket drawn.  To buy the BIG ITALIAN RAFFLE TICKETS online go to before the deadline on June 1, 2023.

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