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This Page Last Updated:

November 26, 2003
Episcopal Motto and Coat of Arms A Pastoral Letter...

Reflections on the Holiest Week of the Year...

Mater Dolorosa

The Most Reverend Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria

My Dear Beloved in Christ,

Praised be Jesus, Our Redeemer, and Mary, our Co-Redemptrix!

If there is one week of the year which is "most sacred" to faithful Catholics, it is that week of the liturgical year designated as HOLY WEEK. Beginning with the special ceremonies of Palm Sunday, the solemn reading or chanting of the Passion on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as the somber rites of Tenebrae--all these remind every Catholic of the holiness of this week and why they must observe it in a spirit of deep prayer, meditation on the incredible events of this week, and silent reflection, being careful to avoid all worldly tumult and disturbance, and all unnecessary servile work. In countries formerly Catholic it was unthinkable that worldly affairs should continue "as usual" during this sacred week of the Passion. The thoughts of the faithful were centered upon these sacred events and the significance which they should hold in the life of every true Christian. Most shops were closed and commerce shut down in order that everyone might spend this week in prayer, penance, and striving for union with Jesus Crucified. Every church was filled to overflowing for each day's liturgical ceremonies and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Holy Thursday presents to our minds the incredible events of this sacred day on which Our Divine Lord, at the Last Supper, instituted the holy priesthood and the great Sacrament of His love C the Holy Eucharist, that "Bread of Life" which nourishes our souls, and without which we suffer spiritual starvation. This holy night, in the Gospel of St. John, we hear Christ's mandates to charity ("Love one another as I have loved you!"), and unity (that we all must be of one mind in Christ). He then sheds tears of blood for us in His Agony in the Garden and looks upon us with an expression of such sorrow that the hardest heart must surely melt and feel moved by such desolation. Finally, one of His beloved Twelve betrays Him with a kiss, and the Son of God is "sold" for dirty silver.

On the "most sacred" of all days, Good Friday--the day of our very Redemption--all men and women of piety spent the entire day in union with our Crucified Savior and our Sorrowful Mother. A mournful silence fell over every city and town and no Christian would even think of participating in worldly affairs of any kind. Faithful Christians would dress in black, fast on bread and water, and spend much of the day in church or meditating upon the Passion of Our Lord. Unhappily, in modern times, our secular society is permeated with the spiritual cancer of materialism, and worships at the Luciferian altar of Mammon. With the capitulation of the Vatican II church to the secular empire, most "Catholics" today sinfully and disgracefully have abandoned the devout observance of Holy Week, and some do not even properly observe the most sacred days of all: Holy Thursday and Good Friday. It is unthinkable that any faithful Catholic would permit anything to come before God on these most sacred days! It is shameful that while an orthodox Jew would not dream of allowing an employer to force him to work on a Jewish holy day, yet some "Catholic" Judases have so little zeal for the Faith and so little fortitude, that while Christ is instituting the Bread of Life for them on Holy Thursday, enduring His Agony in the Garden on Thursday night, and is painfully dying for them on the Cross on Good Friday, they are involved in worldly affairs (or, God forbid, working for dirty pieces of silver!), allowing themselves to join the worldly rabble who cry out, "Away with Him! We have no king but Caesar (the World). Crucify Him!" Such gutless worldly "Catholics" who would fail to demand that their worldly employers release them from all work on the MOST SACRED DAY OF THEIR REDEMPTION AND SALVATION - GOOD FRIDAY, are reprobates not worthy of the name of Catholic! Regardless of what any liberal priest or religious says to the contrary!

As we behold the Innocent Victim of our sins brutally scourged, accused of every crime and blasphemously insulted, made to carry a heavy Cross to Calvary, and then cruelly nailed thereto, we realize with horror that only one of His beloved apostles remains faithful at the foot of the Cross with Mary! Let then our fervent prayer be that we shall always steadfastly carry our Cross after Him, and remain faithfully with Our Sorrowful Mother in the company of our Beloved Crucified Savior. And let us at every moment of our lives strive to live the words of the apostle: "With Christ I am nailed to the Cross; I live now not I, but Christ liveth in me."

Finally, in commemoration of the redemptive death of the Son of God, during the Watches of the Passion we come together for the somber chanting of the Office of Tenebrae, a sort of "funeral service" for Our Lord, with the black-draped catafalque in the center of the main aisle.

As the week comes to a close, all of the Catholic faithful participate in the glorious Feast of the Resurrection of Our Divine Lord. The heart-felt joy with which we celebrate Easter will be directly proportionate to the devout and prayerful manner in which we spend the penitential Season of Lent and, especially, these last seven days, the Holiest Week of the year...

In eager anticipation of that glorious eternity of which the Resurrection of Our Divine Lord is a pledge to those who serve Him, may we remain ever united in this life to the pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, that we may rejoice with Them in the life to come.

The Most Reverend Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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