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  • 4/07 Update
    Holy Thursday

     “Give us this day our daily bread.” These words of Christ, which he taught his apostles when they didn’t know how to pray, seem particularly important this Holy Thursday. The evening of Thursday during the Holy Week is the time when we remember and celebrate the establishment of the Eucharist and the beginning of priesthood in the Catholic Church. Two sacramental gifts offered to the Church by Jesus Christ on his way to the cross.
     
    “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s a beggar’s plea for food. It’s a request for a gift that is so basic, so fundamental and so powerful, that it gives life. Since the first Holy Thursday, Christians realized that this plea for bread is a human plea for the true Bread of Life, the Body of Christ. This begging becomes even more desperate this year.
     
    The paradox hidden in this prayer from the beginning is also even more visible this year. The paradox is this: we are begging for bread of life, but it is not God who refuses to offer it to us. It is our decision not to receive it, because we are sick. We recognize our deep and dangerous sickness that makes us afraid of God, of each other, and often of ourselves. That’s the moment when we don’t receive God’s bread of life. We are learning this year, in a very painful way, that coming back to receive our daily food will not be just an administrative decision of any authority. It will not be a simple matter of re-opening restaurants and grocery stores. It will require healing. Firstly, it must be the internal, personal healing of every one of us. Secondly, it must be the healing of trust in each other and in the things that we are to eat. The unexpected metaphor of Lent of 2020 becomes a powerful catechesis about the nature and the goodness of God who offers Himself always and who goes out of his way to make us capable to receive his gift. This necessary healing can be offered only by Christ.
     
    Holy Thursday provides a particularly good opportunity to celebrate in your home. The liturgy of this evening reminds us of the upper room that was chosen by Christ to celebrate Passover with His disciples. Passover is a family feast. During this traditional and predictable annual meal, the disciples realize that instead of the customary lamb consumed, to commemorate ancient liberation of Israel, they are really receiving Jesus, the True Lamb, who liberates every one of them. Only made free from the slavery of sin can they love God, trust Him and receive his gifts.
     
    As usual, I would like to propose a model of celebration that we borrowed from the great resources of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. [Click here.]
     
    Now a word about the priesthood. The gift of the sacrament of priesthood offered to the Church is particularly generous on the part of God. Even if, sometimes, it is hard to see because of the people who carry it. The meaning of the gift is powerful: God sends his Spirit to celebrate the mysteries of Christ through human gestures and words. He wants that celebration to last forever among his people. Every aspect of this celebration, every part of it, is a symbol. It builds mysterious connection between God and man. It remains, however, the mystery to every one of us, ordained or not. I was made aware of it by a simple poem by Polish poet-priest, Fr. Jan Twardowski. It sounds more or less like this (in my personal translation):
     
    I am afraid of my priesthood,
    my priesthood scares me deeply,
    before my priesthood I fall in the dust
    and before my priesthood I kneel.
     
    On the July morning of my ordination,
    for others probably gray,
    Some overwhelming power
    was suddenly born in me.
     
    And whenever I ride on a crowded bus,
    or run with a crowd on the streets,
     
    I still cannot stop wondering
    over my soul’s mystery.

  • Update Good Friday

    The crucifixion is a very familiar image, known probably to everybody on the planet. A contour of some sort of an arid ground, maybe rock. On the contour are two large beams connected together creating a shape of a cross, and a person hanging on this cross. Depending on the artist and time period, either very realistic with every vein, every drop of blood precisely marked; or very symbolic, suggesting only shapes and colors of the human body. 
     
    Jesus is alone on the cross. Every artist makes sure that the proportions of the painting and the position of the bodies never deny this one fact: Jesus is alone on the cross. Even if the scene of the crucifixion is enriched by the outline of two thieves crucified on each side of Jesus, or much more often, by the shapes of Mary, John and other saints standing at the foot of the cross. Of all the paradoxes in the history of God becoming man for our salvation, this one is probably the most striking. How can God be alone? After all, He is never-dying life. He is eternal movement both of the stars and of the souls. He is the beginning of everything that lives. He is in every heartbeat. He is the beginning and the end. “He is the Alpha and the Omega.” He is the one who unites the universe, who gives glory and life to the angels and all the creatures of the heavens. He is the one always wrapped in the never-ending embrace of the Trinity – the mystery of constant gift and acceptance of the gift. The mystery of God. How can He be alone? 
     
    The celebration of Good Friday, the day of crucifixion of the Lord, is striking for this very reason. It depicts very faithfully the loneliness of Jesus Christ. The mother is standing next to him paralyzed by pain in the great mystery of compassion. The disciples are gone except for one who doesn’t know what to do. All of the crowds who greeted him a couple days ago are nowhere to be seen. Now, the anger of the crowd emphasizes his loneliness. And then the pain. Pain has this strange ability of locking us in ourselves, of making itself the very center of everything, of pushing away everybody. And he was in constant, excruciating pain. This is how far God is ready to go to meet us. His mystery of incarnation reaches the climax of freedom here. He freely enters the darkest space of humanity. He dies alone in the middle of the big city, mocked by spectators. Not to shock us by the brutality of that scene, but to reveal the love of the Father.
     
    This is not all. If we keep looking closely at Jesus crucified, we will see that even the utmost rejection, pain, and loneliness cannot disarm God’s love. In the last seconds of his earthly life, he uses the words: “God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This last utterance of Jesus sounds like a final rejection and surrender. It is not. These are the words of prayer: Psalm 22.  This is the psalm that begins prayer at the celebration of a Jewish funeral. God who is alone – Christ alone on the cross in the last breath of his life on earth - still offers himself to the Father in prayer. Christ already knows that his complete gift of self was completely received by the Father. The power and the totality of this gift breaks completely the logic of death. The logic that has been defining humanity until now. This is why the cross becomes a sign of victory and redemption.  It opens the darkest and the most shameful parts of humanity with the brightest and most tender gift of the Father. 
     
    We adore you O Christ and we bless you. 
    Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
     
    It doesn’t cease to surprise me how this unexpected Lent of 2020 helps us to penetrate the mystery of Christ’s loneliness. When you are in your home in isolation from your friends, your family, tired of small spaces and broken routines, you can discover strong connection to Christ in the mystery of Good Friday. The liturgy of Good Friday consists of two steps. The first is the stations of the cross, celebrated during the day, very often at 3pm. I have attached one of my favorite texts of the stations, written by Pope Benedict the XVI in 2005. [Click here.] You can find many more great reflections on the websites of different dioceses and also the Vatican. The second step of Good Friday is the liturgy of the cross. We read the passion for the second time this week. And then we simply unveil and adore the cross. As usual, I am attaching for you the link to the Home Prayer Service proposed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. [Click here.] The liturgy ends in silence, and this silence remains in the Church until Saturday evening.
     
    I will know you Lord one day. No cloud will be covering your light. No lies will be blurring your
    truth. No confusion will be dimming your wisdom.
     
    I will meet you Lord one day. My insecurity and selfishness will not distance us from each other.
    My misguided zeal and my wounds will not lead me astray anymore.
     
    I will love you Lord one day. With the same love but calmer and stronger. With the same hope
    but firmer. And you will be present, and you will be attentive, and you will be real.
    As you have always been.
     
    Nothing can stop your mercy.

  • Adoration & Confession Canceled

    Due to the 3/29 order issued by the Salt Lake County Department of Health, the Newman Center will be closed to the public for the duration of the order.

  • Confession Times

    M̶o̶n̶d̶a̶y̶-̶T̶h̶u̶r̶s̶d̶a̶y̶:̶ ̶ ̶6̶:̶3̶0̶ ̶P̶M̶ ̶
    S̶a̶t̶u̶r̶d̶a̶y̶:̶ ̶ ̶4̶ ̶P̶M̶ ̶
    S̶u̶n̶d̶a̶y̶:̶ ̶ ̶5̶:̶3̶0̶ ̶P̶M̶

  • Weekday Prayer

    L̶a̶u̶d̶s̶:̶ ̶ ̶7̶:̶3̶0̶ ̶A̶M̶ ̶ ̶
    M̶i̶d̶d̶a̶y̶ ̶P̶r̶a̶y̶e̶r̶:̶ ̶ ̶1̶1̶:̶5̶0̶ ̶A̶M̶ ̶ ̶
    R̶o̶s̶a̶r̶y̶:̶ ̶ ̶F̶o̶l̶l̶o̶w̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶1̶2̶:̶1̶0̶ ̶P̶M̶ ̶M̶a̶s̶s̶ ̶ ̶
    V̶e̶s̶p̶e̶r̶s̶:̶ ̶ ̶6̶ ̶P̶M̶ ̶ ̶
    A̶d̶o̶r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶:̶ ̶6̶:̶1̶5̶ ̶P̶M̶ ̶-̶ ̶7̶ ̶P̶M̶ ̶M̶o̶n̶ ̶-̶ ̶T̶h̶u̶r̶ ̶ ̶
    S̶t̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶C̶r̶o̶s̶s̶:̶ ̶6̶:̶3̶0̶ ̶P̶M̶ ̶F̶r̶i̶d̶a̶y̶
  • Map

  • Parking

    We have limited parking available in a garage beneath our building. On weekends and evenings, parking also is available in our surface lot. Both areas are accessed from the alley west of our building (from 200 S).

    Our parking lots are free, as available, for those visiting the church or attending church events. Violators will be towed at owner's expense. Local on-street parking is metered M-F until 8pm.

    Please contact the office if you would like to purchase a weekday pass for the surface lot.