St. Joseph University Parish invites everyone to celebrate Holy Week in a rather unusual, yet timely manner. After the recent success of a virtual Palm Sunday Mass, the parish decided that it would be prudent to continue on with the online offerings.
In order to provide for its congregation, and anyone else that would like to virtually attend these holy gatherings and prayers, we have listed all of the upcoming service events. All services will be posted online at the times indicated and can then be viewed at anytime. The videos will be posted on Facebook and stjosephbuffalo.org, as they occur.
- Holy Thursday Thursday April 9 Video highlights from 2019 Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 8 AM
- Good Friday Friday, April 10, 2020 @ 12 pm
- Holy Saturday Saturday, April 11, 2020
- Virtual Blessing of Easter Foods and Baskets @ 11:00 am
- Video of highlights of 2019 Easter Vigil at St. Joseph University Parish @ 5 pm
- Easter Sunday Mass Sunday, April 12, 2020 @ 8:00 am
^ The countdown begins: Videos (including the above Youtube link) will feature Video Stations of the Cross, showcasing Catherine Parker’s contemporary watercolors and traditional stations from the church. The 14 Stations of the Cross at St. Joseph University Church in Buffalo, NY were created with plaster in 1924 and adorn the side isles of the Gothic church. In this video, the beautiful traditional Stations are intertwined with contemporary watercolors by renown artist Catherine Burchfield Parker. Catherine donate the art pieces to the church.
Along with the online viewings, Fr. Jack Ledwon has provided us with some holy words of wisdom, during a time when we could all use some comforting to ease our minds.
“This Easter is different from every other Easter we have ever celebrated. Our families, our nuclear family, our extended family, and our family of faith, all have our customs, our rituals, our traditions for celebrating Easter, but most of them seem unavailable to us this year. We might be able to share some semblance of an Easter dinner with a few of our immediate family members, or perhaps we can even plan a small Easter egg hunt for the children around us, but as a family of faith we will not be able to gather to celebrate Mass or the other sacraments.
“This Easter will truly be different from anything we have ever experienced. Now we have had other disasters before but nothing on the scale of this global pandemic. There are wars, and terrorist attacks, and natural disasters, but they are localized in one place. This virus crisis is affecting the entire globe. It seems as if the entire world is coming apart at the seams. Never before have we been in such desperate need of hope. Never before have we been in such desperate need of words of hope.
“Thinking about this brought to mind one of the strongest proclamations of hope I can remember. It is by the British Jesuit poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, from his poem ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland.’ Sometime between midnight and the morning of December 4 1875, the German steamship ‘Deutschland’ ran aground on a shoal 25 miles off the English coast. Tragically, 78 lives were lost, among them 5 Franciscan nuns who were fleeing persecution in Germany. Hopkins dedicated the poem to their memory, and near the end of it he writes the line: ‘Let him [Christ] easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness in us.’
“In her commentary on this poem Gail Johnsen writes: ‘Hopkins uses the noun easter as a verb – an explosive and empowering action that happens in us… Easter is something that keeps happening in us. The power of the resurrection is not something that simply awaits us after death, but something that comes to us now, that comes to us always, that proclaims the good news that new life is possible here, now, today. In other words, Easter is not just about what Christ did… it’s also about what He is doing… At its core, the poem is a desperate cry to give our brokenness over to the hope and arrival of resurrection. It is a written prayer in response to the hardships, trauma, and pain-filled realities of our lives. It extends an invitation to allow resurrection to have its way in us, and entering into God’s work of shaping us through our adversity and pain.’
“Have we ever felt a greater need for hope than we do now? Have we ever felt a greater need for Easter than we do now? Have we ever felt a greater need for Resurrection than we do now? Today we celebrate God’s promise that new life can be breathed into the very places and spaces that seem dead and over. We celebrate that death never has the final say, because Christ easters in us, and is the dayspring to the dimness in us. Believe this! Trust in this! Celebrate this! Have the most profound experience of Easter you have ever had! Have the most profound experience of Easter you are called to be!”