A Message from Our Pastor

On Sunday, June 9th, 2019, on behalf of our staff and the entire parish community, I welcome you to come with family and friends and celebrate the Feast of Pentecost with us. When you enter our church, through the tall doors at our baptismal font, I invite you to look up towards the altar. As you are making the sign of the cross on your own body, you will see the new addition to our sanctuary.

The installation of the crucifix above our altar-table on the Feast of Pentecost and for the new Feast Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church the following day, is significant.

As you may already be aware, through Worship, Discipleship, and Service, our parish mission is to Live Jesus! We all may know from experience, we are unable to live more fully our new life in Christ if we do not first learn how to die to ourselves. Jesus invites us by His example, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Setting aside ourselves, the possibility of joy is given greater room within us. Room to ask questions like . . .

  • What are the special and unique gifts that God has entrusted to you to share?
  • Do you wish to live these gifts more fully for the greater Glory of God and for the good of our neighbor?
  • Have you come to realize that God has led you here to exercise your gifts and so give fuller expression of what it means for us to Live Jesus?

As we anticipate with renewed wonder and awe our celebration of the great Feast of God’s Holy Spirit this Pentecost, I invite you to affirm the special charisms and gifts that God has given to each one of us to share.

It is our hope that all who walk through the doors of Mary, Mother of the Church will also welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit in time. And just like our Mother Mary who said “Yes” to the coming of the Holy Spirit, may we too say “Yes” with her and so come to conceive Jesus more fully in our thoughts, words, actions, and way of life.

Will you say Yes with us and with the true joy of Mary, our Mother?

Let us all say . . .

+ Yes to Jesus’ Life.            + Yes to Jesus’ Death.                       + Yes to Jesus’ Resurrection.
+ Yes to the Holy Spirit.     + Yes to Loving Self-Surrender.     + Yes to God’s Will.
+ Yes to be a witness for the life of the world!

May God + bless our Yes and so fill us with even more of His Love to share!

In Christ, through Mary, Mother of the Church,

Fr. Jim Perkl, Pastor

Wood Cross & Processional Cross

New Location for Current Crosses

When the new crucifix is installed, our current wood cross (Fr. Burns) and processional cross (Fr. Zappa) will be moved to a new location between the doors to our reconciliation room. Passing through the “door” of the cross, we, the living body of Christ, find reconciliation.

Gilding on the Wood Cross

Standing at its new location in the church, one side of the wood cross will be receiving a new addition; gilding on the center square and the four inlaid areas of the cross. The gold is a symbol of the majesty, joy, and new life we find through the resurrection of Christ and our celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation.

Liturgical Use for Current Crosses

All of our liturgical uses for the current crosses will remain the same going forward. We will continue to use our processional cross in our celebrations with the option of bearing the crucified Christ or the resurrected Christ. Since there are two sides to our wood cross, we will continue to use it with the plain side facing forward for veneration on Good Friday.

Question & Answer Part 1: Church Teachings

Excerpts From Fr. Bob Schwartz’s Homily at Mary, Mother of the Church on October 27, 2018:

  • The church offers many images that help us to follow Jesus and one of the most important images is the crucifix. A plain cross shows us that Jesus has risen, but the crucifix with the body of Jesus on it shows us even more.
  • The crucifix shows us that the God of the universe, who made all things, so loves us, and values us so much that He sent His only Son to suffer and die for us.
  • The crucifix also shows us that we are so valuable in God’s eyes, even if we don’t always value ourselves. We need to see the cross with Jesus crucified to remind us how valuable we are in God’s eyes. So valuable that even when we sin, God still loves us more than we can ever imagine. God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to suffer and die for us.
  • Finally, the crucifix shows us a model for our lives. We are called as Christians to live the cross each day. We are called to lay down our lives for one another and for God, as Jesus laid down His life for us. To follow Jesus, we need to have His crucifix as a visible sign to lead us into a fuller life of the Spirit.

Spiritually speaking, the crucifix can help us better accept and live the words of Christ to “deny yourselves, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Mt 16:24). When some type of suffering comes our way, the image of the crucifix can give us spiritual strength and inspiration. When we gaze lovingly upon the image of Christ on the cross, we are reminded of the depth of Christ’s redeeming love for us. We see what Mary saw when she stood at the foot of the cross. While Christ’s Death is memorialized in the image of the crucifix, we also believe that our Risen Lord is with us, especially through His Sacramental Presence in the Holy Eucharist reserved in the tabernacle.

“Either on the altar or near it, there is to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, a cross clearly visible to the assembled people. It is desirable that such a cross should remain near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations, so as to call to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 308).

“The sanctuary is the place where the altar stands, the Word of God is proclaimed, and the Priest, the Deacon, and the other ministers exercise their functions. It should be appropriately marked off from the body of the church either by its being somewhat elevated or by a particular structure and ornamentation. It should, moreover, be large enough to allow the Eucharist to be easily celebrated and seen.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 295). The altar, centrally located within the sanctuary, is the structure upon which the Eucharist is celebrated.

Question & Answer Part 2: Crucifix Installation

  • Material of the corpus: fiberglass
  • Color of the corpus: bronze
  • Weight of the corpus: 78 pounds
  • Width of the corpus: 72 inches
  • Material of the cross: oak wood
  • Weight of the cross: 66 pounds

The crucifix will be installed during the week leading up to the weekend of June 8th & 9th, 2019 when we will be celebrating the Feast of Pentecost.

As simulated in the rendering images, the crucifix will be suspended from the ceiling with cables and installed in a position that is above and behind the altar. This will allow for both the seamless integration of the crucifix into our existing liturgical environments and the best view of the crucifix from all areas in the church.

The new cross will cost $2,940 and the new corpus will cost $8,390. Adding these two together equals a total cost of $11,330 for the completed crucifix. The entire project is currently 70% percent funded from donations that have been made for the new crucifix. If you would like to help us fund the remainder of the cost for this project with your own donation, please contact Nancy Arbogast at narbogast@mmotc.org or 952-890-0045 ext. 223.

Pastoral Questions – Fr. Jim Perkl at jperkl@mmotc.org or 952-890-0045 ext. 226

Administrative Questions – Nancy Arbogast at narbogast@mmotc.org or 952-890-0045 ext. 223

New Crucifix Rendering Images

To help us see the visual connection between the cross and us – the living body of Christ, the wood used to build the cross will match the color of the wood used to build our pews.

To create a sense of visual unity between the existing colors of both our stations of the cross and statue of Mary, the corpus, or figure of Jesus, on the new crucifix will be bronze in color.

Having completed His sacrifice, Jesus looks down towards the altar. He sees the altar stone which holds the relics of a saint and martyr who have gone before us. Most importantly, He sees the sacrifices we bring to the altar-table through our fully conscious and active participation in the liturgy.

This figure of Christ is one of surrender. His body is at rest and complete peace. This is a visual invitation for us to truly seek the peace the world cannot give and surrender our lives to God’s will.

The Gospel records that when Christ was dead, but still hung on the cross, a soldier came and pierced His side with a lance and immediately there poured out blood and water. The water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the Holy Eucharist.
Since the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist flow from His side, it is from His side that Christ fashioned the Church, as He had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam.
From the wound in Christ’s side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride.

3 Great Reasons to Have a Crucifix in Your Home

There are 3 main reasons we should have a crucifix in our homes. First, because the Saints have set this example for us. Prayer in front of a crucifix is encouraged as a means of focusing contemplation on Christ. Second, our home is a “domestic church,” and it is a holy place. It is a place where forgiveness is taught and sought, where our faith is passed on from one generation to the next and Christ’s love is exemplified. Finally, the crucifix is a constant reminder that Christ has conquered sin and death, and ultimately conquered evil. If you are interested in purchasing a crucifix for your home we recommend purchasing yours from one of these local stores:

Holy Cross Books & Gifts – www.holycrossinc.com | 952-953-6330
St. Patrick’s Guild – www.stpatricksguild.com | 800-652-9767
Leaflet Missal Company – www.leafletonline.com | 651-487-2818

Next Steps

Taking Up Our Cross at Mary, Mother of the Church
Over the next year, each of our three Ministry Area Commissions in Worship, Service, and Discipleship will be exploring more deeply, through prayer, discussion, and reflection, what the image of the crucifix means to their ministry and how they are called to take up the cross.

During this process, each ministry area will be selecting a specific version of a crucifix they feel uniquely represents their call to take up the cross through Worship, Service, and Discipleship. Prior to the Feast of Pentecost in 2020, the three Ministry Area Commissions will be sharing with us their selected crucifix and helping us live and exercise our gifts of the Holy Spirit in new ways here at Mary, Mother of the Church.

We encourage everyone to share this same call to prayer, discussion, and reflection throughout the next year in your own lives and families as you ask yourself:

  • What are the special and unique gifts that God has entrusted you to share?
  • Do you wish to live these gifts more fully for the greater Glory of God and for the good of your neighbor?
  • Have you come to realize that God has led you here to exercise your gifts and so give fuller expression of what it means for us to Live Jesus?

Ministry Area Commissions
If you are interested in learning more about how you can use your gifts of the Holy Spirit by volunteering in ministry here at Mary, Mother of the Church, please visit our website at www.mmotc.org or contact any of the staff leadership listed below:

Worship Commission – Roxanne Tozier | rtozier@mmotc.org | 952-890-0045 ext. 247
Service Commission – Sister Jancy | jnedumkallel@mmotc.org | 952-890-0045 ext. 234
Discipleship Commission – Duane Bauer | dbauer@mmotc.org | 952-890-0045 ext. 230