Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Are We Still Required to Genuflect?

Picture courtesy of Conception Abbey

Not that we should be monitoring how others behave in church but have you noticed that some folks walk right passed the Blessed Sacrament without genuflecting? Maybe some feel that the Church has done away with the rules on genuflecting.

My friend NASCAR enthusiast and writer
Becca shared this one.

Q: Are we no longer required to genuflect toward the tabernacle when
we enter and leave the church? My priest doesn't even genuflect during Mass anymore. Is genuflection a thing of the past, a pre-Vatican II
pious superstition?

A: If you can find the tabernacle (not always easy these days), you are
expected to genuflect (reverently touching one knee to the floor)
toward it upon entering and leaving the church and whenever you pass in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Some incorrectly bow toward the tabernacle instead of genuflecting. A profound bow, a bow of the body from the waist, is made toward the altar if there is no tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament.

As to the priest's actions during Mass, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (n. 233) states, "Three genuflections are made during Mass: after the showing of the Eucharistic bread, after the showing of the chalice, and before Communion. If there is a tabernacle with the
Blessed Sacrament in the sanctuary, a genuflection is made before and after Mass and whenever anyone passes in front of the Blessed Sacrament." Someone needs to let your priest know that at least three genuflections are required during Mass.

The failure of many to genuflect is a reflection of the loss of belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. If one doesn't believe Jesus is truly present, why make a sign of reverence? But we do, so its but proper to genuflect, as to the presence of Royalty. Did you know that people are "required" to do this in the presence of present day Queen Elizabeth? What more for God?

-adapted from
Catholic Answers

Monday, October 16, 2006

105-year-old priest credits God’s presence for his positive outlook

H/T to

By Sue Schulzetenberg
Catholic News Service

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (CNS) – With a twinkle in his eyes, a spring in his gestures and a cheerful, calming smile, Benedictine Father Angelo Zankl shines with his sunny perspective on life.

105-YEAR-OLD PRIEST IN RETIREMENT CENTER – Benedictine Father Angelo Zankl, a 105-year-old resident of St. John's Abbey Retirement Center in Collegeville, Minn., sits inside the facility in late July. Father Zankl has seen many changes in his 105 years, but says "he likes what he sees," and views life as a great thing. He says a positive attitude is one of the secrets to living a long and happy life. (CNS/St. Cloud Visitor)
"It is a great, great thing!" said the monk of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville about his long life in an interview with the St. Cloud Visitor, newspaper of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

He turned 105 in April, so his perspective comes with much experience.

In his lifetime there have been many changes. For example, he was 20 months old when Wilbur and Orville Wright made their historic Kitty Hawk, N.C., airplane flight.

And through life's changes, he has kept going with great energy. He celebrated the 80th jubilee of his ordination as a priest in June.

One object of his enthusiasm is God, whom Father Zankl credits as the one who provides a positive outlook on life.

God has "everything" to do with being a priest, he said. "He is all important."

Father Zankl's priestly assignments included being a pastor in Duluth, teacher and chaplain at a junior college in Crookston, chaplain of a nursing home in Cold Spring and chaplain to the Benedictine nuns in Duluth.

For the most part, Father Zankl has been blessed with good health and has bounced back from the bad.

"Like other people, I get sick and I get well again and just keep right on going," he said.

To keep going, he eats healthy foods. "I don't eat junk," he said.

He smoked a pipe until he was around 100 or 101 years old, but then gave it up, saying he didn't take a particular delight in it anymore.

As a pastime he enjoys reading "anything that comes along." If it's not good, he stops reading it. He especially enjoys reading newspapers.

"The important thing is you do what you like," he said. "When you can do what you like," a whole world of options opens up, he added.

One of Father Zankl's favorite things was teaching.

Educating children is important, he said. He taught everything about religion, which he described as a "wonderfully satisfying subject."

Along with teaching, he loved learning. After all, school was the place he learned what has carried him through many great years.

"That's where you learn life," he said.

In Thanksgiving

Yesterday we had an earthquake hit the islands of Hawaii. It is by no small miracle that no one was reported killed or seriously injured as a result of the earthquake.

I think the fact that we were safe from any catastrophic loss is due to God's protection, and to the protection of His Holy Mother and that of our our angels and saints. It is no by coincidence that a place that has so many devout and prayerful people, and that was consecrated to God's Divine Mercy, was spared.

Like my dear mom reminded me, we have to remember to thank Blessed Father Damien, Blessed Marianne Cope, our guardian angels, God's Divine Mercy and our Blessed Mother for the protection they offered us yesterday.


Father of mercy,
You always answer Your people in their sufferings.
We thank You for Your kindness
and ask You to free us from all evil,
that we may serve You in happiness all our days. Amen.


We Give You thanks,
O Christ, our God;
in Your goodness
You have given us Your Body in this Sacrament
to enable us to live holy lives.
Through Your grace
keep us pure and without stain.
Remain in us to protect us.
Direct our steps in the way
of Your holy and benevolent will.

Strengthen our souls
against the seduction of the devil
so that we may heed only Your voice and follow You alone,
O ommipotent and truthful Shepherd,
and attain the place prepared for us
in the kindgom of heaven:
O our God and Lord,
Redeemer Jesus Chrsit,
who are blessed
with the Father and the spirt
now and forever. Amen.

Prayers are from The New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book