Thank God for Thanksgiving and Threads
Published on November 20-21, 2010 in the Parish Bulletin of Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY
Thank God on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is the day when our whole nation pauses to look back at the year that we have had and give thanks for the manifold blessings that we have enjoyed. It seems to me that no matter what has transpired in the past months—be it good or ill—the opportunity to come together as a family for a meal reminds us that there is still bounty to be had if only it were shared.
Our nation celebrates Thanksgiving once a year; but we Catholics celebrate Thanksgiving every Sunday. (Some of us in the parish even come to celebrate it every day!) The Eucharist is our Thanksgiving feast; it is the banquet of Heaven and earth celebrated by the Church in gratitude for the graces given by our God. The word “eucharist” comes from the Greek word εὐχαριστία which literally means thanksgiving. In fact, the Greeks say εὐχαριστῶ (eucharisto) when they want to say “Thank you!” When we celebrate the Eucharist, we are saying grace, giving a huge “thank you” to our God for His work of creation, redemption, and sanctification.
For all the graces we have received, let us take time to say grace before sharing our feast this Thanksgiving. Come to Mass on Thanksgiving Day at Saint Andrew’s. We will celebrate the Eucharist at 9:30AM. If you are unable to make our Mass, here is the schedule for the Thanksgiving Day Masses for the Catholic Churches close to our county: Saints Peter and Paul Church in Danville will celebrate their Mass at 9:00AM and Saint Lawrence Church in Lawrenceburg will celebrate their Mass at 9:30AM.
New Vestments for St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s has a new set of vestments: priest’s stoles and chasubles and matching deacon’s stoles and dalmatics in the four liturgical colors: violet, white, green, and red. These vestments were made in the Philippines by Talleres de Nazaret, a non-profit organization founded by the Siervas de San Jose (SSJ sisters) to provide “socially challenged young women at risk”—single or unwed mothers or poor university students—the skills and the place to sew and embroider liturgical vestments and Church apparel. I was first introduced to Talleres by my friend, Fr. Sunny Castillo of the Diocese of Joliet IL, and since then I have been impressed by their craftsmanship and their commitment to prayer. I remember being so edified by these women who, while attending to their needlework, prayed the rosary and listened to spiritual readings.
Aside from the exquisite embroidery and handiwork of its vestments, Talleres also offers us an affordable alternative to the other vestment companies. If we perused most Church supply catalogues, we would find that a priest’s chasuble is priced from $124 (the cheapest and simplest) to $304 (the average price for woven chasubles) to a staggering $2449 (made from the finest damask by the Holy Rood Guild of the Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer MA) and to an eye-popping $5300 (hand embroidered with an Our Lady of Guadalupe appliqué by Granda Liturgical Arts in Chicago). Each chasuble from Talleres only cost us $68.18, for a total of $272.73 for the four that we now have. We paid $31.82 for each of the priest’s stoles, a total of $127.27 for the set of four. The cheapest stoles that I have seen on catalogues go for $64; the most expensive for $423.
We also were able to save money with the deacon’s vestments. In the United States, the cost of a deacon’s stole could go from $84 to $423; the cost of his dalmatic from $124 to $2685. We paid $31.82 for each of the deacon’s stoles from Talleres (a total of $127.27 for the set of four) and $102.27 for each dalmatic (a total of $409.09).
St. Mary’s paid for these vestments through the disbursements received from the One in Faith and Mission Diocesan Capital Campaign, disbursements that were partially earmarked for this purchase. All of these vestments were blessed after the 730AM Mass at St. Mary’s on Sunday, November 14. In the words of the prayer of blessing, we implore our God that every deacon, priest, and bishop “clothed in these sacred vestments…[will] perform and celebrate [His] mysteries reverently and well…[and] always carry out their ministry in a devout and pleasing manner”(cf. The Roman Ritual by Philip T. Weller, p. 542).