Tag : spirituality

By osp@stpaultheapostle.org

OSP Advent Reflection Series 2017

Join us this Advent as we embark on a journey to deepen our Catholic faith and more fully realize and understand the joy of LGBTQ and Catholic identities. Each day we will send a brief reflection and link to that day’s readings right to your inbox. In these busy days leading up to Christmas, we hope that these thoughtful and personal words will facilitate prayer and a growing connection with God in our daily lives. The theme for this year’s reflections are gifts the LGBTQ community brings to the Church. READ MORE

By osp@stpaultheapostle.org

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, we pause to give thanks for our community and the countless gifts you bring to OSP, St. Paul the Apostle Parish, and the whole body of Catholic faith. The ministry you share in is a light for the entire church and a sign of hope for God’s Kingdom yet to come.

Our hearts are drawn to the words of St. Paul, who in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 writes, “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” In a world where homophobia tears many down, your faith builds a community of safety and hospitality. In a church that is often hostile to LGBT people, your witness to love calls Christians to follow Christ more faithfully. You endure in spite of all the obstacles, contributing in hope to God’s in-breaking renewal of life in the world.

This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for the OSP community. We value your many gifts and the countless ways that you share in OSP’s ministry. We remember your faith, love, and hope that continue to build up the Kingdom of God in a world and church that desperately need you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

In faith, love, and hope,

The OSP Ministry Team

By osp@stpaultheapostle.org

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Aug 15

Celebrated every year on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay—a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin’s passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts and a Holy Day of Obligation.

Quick Facts

Date: August 15
Type of Feast: Solemnity; Holy Day of Obligation. (For more details, see Is Assumption a Holy Day of Obligation?
Readings: Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab; Psalm 45:10, 11, 12, 16; 1 Corinthians 15:20-27; Luke 1:39-56 (full text here)
Prayers: The Hail Mary
Other Names for the Feast: The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; The Assumption of Mary Into Heaven; The Dormition of the Theotokos; The Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary

History of the Assumption

The Feast of the Assumption is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century.

The feast was originally celebrated in the East, where it is known as the Feast of the Dormition, a word which means “the falling asleep.” The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven dates from the fourth century, in a document entitled “The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.” The document is written in the voice of the Apostle John, to whom Christ on the Cross had entrusted the care of His mother, and recounts the death, laying in the tomb, and assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Tradition variously places Mary’s death at Jerusalem or at Ephesus, where John was living.

Eastern Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, continue to refer to the Feast of the Assumption as the Dormition of the Theotokos today.

A Required Belief

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, exercising papal infallibility, declared in Munificentissimus Deus that it is a dogma of the Church “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” As a dogma, the Assumption is a required belief of all Catholics; anyone who publicly dissents from the dogma, Pope Pius declared, “has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.”

While the Eastern Orthodox believe in the Dormition, they object to the papal definition of the dogma, seeing it as unnecessary, since belief in Mary’s bodily assumption, tradition holds, goes back to apostolic times.

Pope Pius XII, in the text explaining his definition of the dogma of the Assumption, refers repeatedly to the Blessed Virgin’s death before her Assumption, and the consistent tradition in both the East and the West holds that Mary did die before she was assumed into Heaven. However, since the definition of the Assumption is silent on this question, Catholics can legitimately believe that Mary did not die before the Assumption.


By osp@stpaultheapostle.org

Times Photographer Bill Cunningham Lived His Faith, Says Priest

He was a fashion photographer who worked in Manhattan and regularly went to Paris runway shows, yet he used duct tape to repair his own inexpensive clothes.

Bill Cunningham, who was responsible for both a street fashion and society spread in The New York Times Style section every Sunday, chose a life of simplicity. For years he slept on a cot in a cramped single room. No kitchen, no bathroom. He got around the city on a bicycle. He didn’t own a television and never went to the movies.

Seeing Miley Cyrus at an event, he asked his assistant if she was Madonna. After taking a photo of Katy Perry he asked him: “Is she one of those Kardashian kind of people?” It wasn’t just that he was indifferent to celebrity. To him, anyone who was dressed well — old or young, male or female, gay or straight, rich or poor — was a celebrity.

Father Kevin Madigan, pastor of Manhattan’s Church of St. Thomas More, said: “When deciding which galas to cover for the Times, what mattered more to Bill was the nature of the charity, than the celebrity guest list. Bill would always be respectful and appreciative of the person whose picture he was taking, whether it was some street kid or a society grand-dame.”
He described Cunningham as “clean of heart.”

Since his death June 25 at 87, there has been a constant stream of admirers who remembered how hard he worked and what he accomplished. More importantly, they remembered him for his kindness, modesty and integrity. But while most people remembered him taking photos at 57th and Fifth Avenue, few commented on where he was every Sunday morning — at Mass.

Cunningham didn’t talk about it, either. In a 2010 documentary, he responds with a cheerful laugh, a joke or a story to every question, except one. When asked about his weekly Mass attendance, he falls quiet and looks at the floor for a long time before answering. Finally he recalls with a smile that as a child his main interest in church was looking at the hats women wore. Then, after another long pause, all he really says is that his religion is important to him.

But although he wasn’t articulate about his faith, he lived it. “Those closest to him would attest that he was a spiritual person,” said Father Madigan told the Catholic Star Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Camden.

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“From Sunday to Sunday Bill could be found in one of the rear pews, as unobtrusive here as he would be at some gala at the Met or the Pierre or at a fashion runway,” the priest said in his homily at the private funeral Mass he celebrated for Cunningham June 30.

“Bill’s Boston Irish upbringing might have inclined him to be reticent about announcing his religious beliefs, but no doubt it was that foundation in his faith that enabled him to be the unique individual we have known him to be,” he continued.

And with his work, Father Madigan said, the photographer found his vocation.

“A vocation is seen as a kind of call from God, pairing a person’s interests, talents and passion in some noble pursuit, with the promise that following that path will be of service to others and bring to the one who answers that call genuine fulfillment and happiness,” the priest said. “It was the mission of Bill Cunningham to capture and celebrate beauty wherever he found it. His whole life was dedicated to that single pursuit.

“Like any true artist,” the priest said, Cunningham “helped people see in a new way, see what might otherwise have gone unnoticed in the hurried pace of city life. And the delight, the pleasure, the joy Bill found in pursuing his vocation was undeniable.”

Cunningham’s death was announced on the front page of the Times, and the following week the paper devoted five pages of editorial space to his memory. Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s all took out full-page ads in his memory.

Cunningham, it seems, not only managed to live a Christian life but to be respected and admired for it.

“He made a tremendous impression upon people who are easily jaded in the fashion industry,” Father Madigan said. He quoted Dostoevsky’s belief that “beauty will save the world,” but added, “in fact, it will be people like Bill Cunningham who will save the world.”

“May the qualities he exhibited — his transparent goodness, his simplicity, his integrity, his sense of joy, his enthusiasm for his life’s work, his thoughtfulness — not be forgotten, but emulated to whatever degree in our own lives.”


By osp@stpaultheapostle.org

Time with Scripture – Prayer and Contemplation

Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 p.m.
Join us as we continue to pray and reflect on our faith. Craig, a member of OSP, will lead us in reflecting on Scripture and how it affects our personal relationship with God. Spend some time with the Word and escape from the hectic pace of life in NYC, even if only for a brief moment. Please enter through the Parish Center on 59th/9th.
OSP Advent Reflection Series 2017
Happy Thanksgiving!
Mother Teresa is made a saint
Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Aug 15
Times Photographer Bill Cunningham Lived His Faith, Says Priest