by Susan Adamek

I recently attended a glorious choral concert at St Mary’s College. It was an anniversary event featuring the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir and the South Bend Chamber Singers. Each piece of the program was special on to itself, and the entire concert transported the audience into another mind zone. At the time, with the long winter still chasing and harassing us, I was really touched by the words from “Mundi Renovatio” written by Gyorgy Orban born in 1947.

“The fire is flaming freely
The air is spreading out
The water is flooding lively
The earth remains safe and secure;
What is light, comes to the top
What is heavy goes to the bottom
Everything is renewed.

The sky is not so cloudy, sad
The seas are tranquil
The winds are not wild and cold
Our valley begins to blossom
What was gray is green again
(What was cold is warm again)
Because the spring appears
Everything is renewed.

The whole world is renewed
New joys are born
As the Lord has risen from the dead
Everything is rising
All the elements serve their creator,
Who is great and strong.”

—trans. Agnes C. Szalai

The next concert will be on Sunday, May 18th at 7:30 PM, when the group performs “The Beauty of Brahms” Ein Deutsches Requiem in Brahms’ original transcription for 4-Hand Piano, plus Brahms’ solo songs and motet. You won’t want to miss this event!

This Week With Holy Trinity Lent IV

Sunday, March 30 (Lent IV)

  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel—Fr. Brian Preacher/Celebrant
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar—Fr. Brian Preacher/Celebrant

Tuesday, April 1Stations of the Cross, Soup and Scripture

  • 5:45-6:15pm Confessions in the St. Joseph Chapel*
  • 6:30pm Stations of the Cross
  • 7-8:30pm Soup Supper & Bible Study: How do We Hear God? —Fools speak folly (Isaiah 32:1-8)


Saturday, April 5—Healing Our History

  • 10am-5pm Sharing the Stories of our Parish’s Joy and Pain (Potluck Lunch) that we might join in a day of reflection, repentance and renewal.


Sunday, April 6 (Lent V)

  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel—Mtr. Terri Preacher/Celebrant
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar—Mtr. Terri Preacher/Celebrant


* Those wishing to make their confessions should gather in the chapel and then go with the priest in turn to another part of the church for greater privacy

Healing our History

In every human history, there are times of success and times of failure. For a Christian community, those times of failure provide opportunities to offer our reflection, our repentance and our commitment to renewal as a sacrifice to God, who is both merciful and just. As the culmination of our centennial year, therefore, the Church of the Holy Trinity invites all whose lives or whose family members’ lives have been touched by the parish—with joy and with pain—to join with us on Saturday, April 5 for Healing our History, a day of healing and prayer.

At the beginning of our time together, we will invite participants to share their stories and to place them on a timeline of memories. Others will then be invited to fill in detail and context around those stories. From our stories of pain we will create a litany of repentance and reconciliation, which we will prayerfully offer in procession around the inside (and, weather permitting, outside) of the church.


Parched, courtesy of Flickr user Diane Cordell

This will take as long as it needs to. Sometime in the midst of our timeline creation, we will break for lunch. Because we have no way of knowing in advance how many will attend, we ask that each participant bring a dish to share. Coffee, Tea, Water and Lemonade will be provided.

From our stories of joy we will harvest the seeds of renewal. Gathering in small groups after the litany, we will explore ways in which we might use what God has given us to redress the harm we have done both individually and in our life together as a community. These explorations will inform our later conversations with community stakeholders as we seek a deeper involvement in the community that surrounds us on the West Side of South Bend.

We would like as many people as possible to share their stories in person. If, however, you are unable to attend and have a story to share, please contact me by phone at 574-850-5722 or by email at tbays1@gmail.com. Be sure to indicate whether you are willing to have your story shared at the gathering.

Schedule (flexible):

  • 10am Creation of a timeline of memories
  • 12pm Break for Lunch (potluck)
  • 1pm Continuation of timeline creation (as needed), culminating in litany of repentance & reconciliation
  • 3pm Harvesting the seeds of Renewal
  • 4:30pm Evening Prayer

If you know of someone who you think has reason to participate in this event, we urge you to pass word of it along to them and assist them, if necessary, in joining us.

This Week with Holy Trinity—Lent III

Sunday, March 16 (Lent III)

  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel—Mtr. Terri Preacher/Celebrant
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar—Mtr. Terri Preacher/Celebrant

Wednesday, March 25AnnunciationDetail

6:30pm Feast of the Annunciation: Joint Service at Cathedral of St James

Saturday, March 29

9am-5pm Vestry Retreat at the Cathedral of St, James

Sunday, March 30 (Lent IV)

  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel—Fr. Brian Preacher/Celebrant
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar—Fr. Brian Preacher/Celebrant

Feast of Saint Joseph

St Joseph, by Gerrit van Honhorst, 1620

St Joseph, by Gerrit van Honhorst, 1620

Have you ever felt like you made your reservation in advance, but suddenly there was no room for you at the inn? Like something was being asked of you that defied what you thought you knew of righteousness? Then Joseph might be the saint for you. Scripture depicts him as a guy who tries to do right by everybody. He gets engaged to the Virgin Mary, and when he learns that she’s pregnant, he struggles to find a way to set her aside without exposing her to shame and punishment.

In the midst of his struggle, God comes to him in a dream and says, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Suddenly, what looks very much like sin—condoning apparent adultery—is what will take away sin.

How’s that for confusing? And that’s just a preview of the trouble Joseph finds himself in. He tries to go and be counted, like a good imperial subject, only to have his young wife go into labor when there are no lodgings available. Here he is, a carpenter, reduced to laying his foster child in a feed trough because there’s no place to put a cradle even if he had time and space to build one! Even the amazing visit from the Magi brings with it the wrath of Herod, forcing Joseph to flee with his young family into a strange land. I could go on.

How often do we feel like Joseph, struggling to follow our best intentions, struggling to maintain our traditions, even as the circumstances around us seem to change all the rules? Joseph heard the voice of God calling to him in the night of his uncertainty, and because he believed in the faithfulness of God, he placed all that he was and all that he had into God’s care. Because God is faithful, Joseph was able to follow God’s voice and guide his young family safely through a shifting landscape.

We, too, face a shifting landscape. But the God who made the universe calls us through that landscape, teaching us to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God, even when the way forward is unclear to us.

A blessed St. Joseph’s Day to you. We will celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph at 6:30 this evening with mass in the St. Joseph Chapel.

Stations of the Cross

Third Station—Jesus Falls

Entrance to a Polish Catholic Chapel at the 3rd Station in Jerusalem. Photo by Remi Jouan.

From the earliest years of Christianity, the faithful have made their way to the holy places in Jerusalem where Jesus suffered his passion and death. Although we have no set list of places those first pilgrims visited, over time there emerged a pattern, not only of places, but of special devotions practiced in those places. This pattern came to be known as the Via dolorosa (Way of sorrows) or Via crucis (Way of the cross).  As Christianity spread, the number of pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem grew.

Almost since the first recorded pilgrimages to Jerusalem, we find also the recording of the longing experienced by those who were unable to make the trip.  Those left at home while their neighbors traveled to the holy land, as well as those who could make the trip only once in a lifetime, sought a way to make a pilgrimage of the spirit along the way of the cross. Some achieved this by visiting a series of chapels, others wayside shrines, others by arranging artwork around the walls of a church or a cloister. For each, however, the aim was to make a series of “stations,” (stopping points) in order to pray and to meditate on some part of the passion narrative.

While the number and type of stations varied, by the seventeenth century a relatively standard list of stations had emerged:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death;
  2. Jesus takes up his cross;
  3. Jesus falls the first time;
  4. Jesus meets His afflicted Mother;
  5. The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene;
  6. A woman wipes the face of Jesus;
  7. Jesus falls a second time;
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem;
  9. Jesus falls a third time;
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments;
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross;
  12. Jesus dies on the cross;
  13. The body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother;
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.

Devotions might be made at these stations privately or in groups, praying silently or aloud, with or without music. While the Episcopal Church has devised a set of devotions for the Book of Occasional Services, any number of different devotions are appropriate.

At 6:30pm on Tuesday evenings during Lent*, we invite you to join us at the Church of the Holy Trinity for Stations of the Cross. We will gather at the front of the front of the church.

*Except for March 25th, when we will join our sister parishes at the Cathedral of St. James for the Feast of the Annunciation.

How do We Hear God Calling to Us?

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, )

Lent is a time when we focus on our obedience (or lack thereof) to the will of God. The word obey comes from the Latin word ob-audire, literally, to act upon what one hears. This is what the Epistle of James is getting at when he bids us to “be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (James 1:22). Before we can act upon what we hear, however, we must first hear what God is saying.Ear trumpet

We humans are ingenious at finding ways to avoid hearing God’s call. Lucky for us, God is persistent! If one way of getting through to us doesn’t work, He tries another, and another, and another.  Sometimes he uses words, sometimes he uses . . . other means.

Join us this Lent for a bible study that explores a few of the ways in which we do or do not hear God’s voice when He calls to us. Our goal will be to improve our hearing, so that we may be prepared to follow where the Shepherd is leading us.

Soup and Scripture at Seven

(Tuesday Evenings in Lent, after Confessions and Stations of the Cross)

March 11—Playing in the Dirt (Matthew 13: 1-23)

March 18—Anywhere but that! (Jonah 1:1-16)

March 25—No Study (Celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation at the Cathedral)

April 1—Fools speak folly (Isaiah 32:1-8)

April 8—Mirror, mirror (James 1:17-35)

April 15—Listening for His Voice in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46)

This Week with Holy Trinity—Lent I

Sunday, March 9 (Lent I)

  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel—Mtr. Terri Preacher/Celebrant
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar with Great Litany—Mtr. Terri Preacher/Celebrant

Tuesday, March 11StationsSoupScripture

  • 5:45-6:15pm Confessions in the St. Joseph Chapel*
  • 6:30pm Stations of the Cross
  • 7-8:30pm Soup Supper & Bible Study: How do We Hear God?

Thursday, March 13

Sunday, March 16 (Lent II)

  • 8am Low Mass in St. Joseph Chapel—Fr. Stewart Preacher/Celebrant
  • 10am Sung Mass at High Altar—Fr. Stewart Preacher/Celebrant

* Those wishing to make their confessions should gather in the chapel and then go with the priest in turn to another part of the church for greater privacy.

Giving it up for Lent

The following is adapted from the a letter to the parish in the March, 2014 Holy Trinity Newsletter.

As we enter the first days of Lent, many of us are belatedly thinking about what we will give up for Lent.  I remember several years ago, just after our first child had been born, when Tim and I decided that we would give up sleep for Lent. Given how much sleep we had already given up during Epiphanytide, we didn’t think we could manage giving up anything else!

Some of us may be feeling just like that. Epiphany was hard on us this year, what with the weather and with the inevitable bumps and bruises of a transition period. We are hanging on, but our reserves are low—financially and otherwise. How, in the name of God, can we possibly give up anything else?

The key, of course, is giving it up in the name of God. In the Ash Wednesday service, we are reminded that even the earliest Christians used Lent as a time when “the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior.” In other words, Lent is a time when what we give up are our burdens of sin and shame. Unless you are giving up a sinful habit—say, the chocolate you have been stealing out of someone else’s candy bowl—the habits you change during Lent serve as a reminder of the spiritual habits you are trying, in the name of God, to change.

Giving Hands

Giving Hands, by Flickr user Artotem

So, what are you giving up for Lent?

Do you bear a burden of anger or resentment that you are ready to lay down? Try setting it down for a moment or two at a time, not denying the burden, but allowing God to carry both it and you and that other person or situation. This is not an easy thing. Just as we have to practice realizing that we can live without chocolate, so also do we have to practice realizing what it is like to live without our resentments.

Do you bear a burden of anxiety? Try setting that down for a moment or two! Worrying about things is a way in which we try to control outcomes that are beyond our authority. Try returning the situation to its proper authority, pausing to praise the God in whose love all things work for good. Practice, just as you practice a new way of eating, attending primarily to the outcomes that are within your own authority to control.

Some burdens are harder to put down than others. For these, the church has long offered the sacrament of Confession as a way of formally enlisting the help of God and of the church as we engage the difficult practices of self-examination, repentance and reconciliation. Sacramental confession is available to you at any time by appointment. During Lent, sacramental confession will also be available regularly in the St. Joseph chapel on Tuesdays between 5:30 and 6:15pm. If you have any questions about which form might be right for you, do not hesitate to ask. The rule about confession in the Episcopal church is: all may, none must, some should.

With blessings and warm wishes for the observance of a holy Lent,

Mother Terri+