Announcing the Movable Feasts in a Liturgical Year

The proclamation of the date of Easter and the other moveable feasts on Epiphany dates from a time when calendars were not readily available. It was necessary to make known the date of Easter in advance, since many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on its date. The number of Sundays that follow Epiphany, the date of Ash Wednesday, and the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost are all computed in relation to Easter.

Although calendars now give the date of Easter and the other feasts in the liturgical year for many years in advance, the Epiphany proclamation still has value. It is a reminder of the centrality of the resurrection of the Lord in the liturgical year and the importance of the great mysteries of faith which are celebrated each year.

Each year the proper dates for Ash Wednesday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and the First Sunday of Advent must be inserted into the text. Those dates are found in the table which is included with the introductory documents of the Roman Missal. The form to be used for announcing each dates is: the date of month, e.g., “the seventh day of April.”

On the Epiphany of the Lord, after the singing of the Gospel, a Deacon or cantor, in keeping with an ancient practice of Holy Church, announces from the ambo the moveable feasts of the current year according to the following text.

Know, dear brethren,(brothers and sisters,) that, as we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, so by leave of God’s mercy we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection, who is our Saviour.

Here are the dates for this year 2022 :

On the 2nd day of March will fall Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season. 

On the 17th day of April you will celebrate with joy Easter Day, the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

On the 26th day [or, where applicable, the 29th day] of May will be the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

On the 5th day of June, the feast of Pentecost. 

On the 19th day of June, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. 

On the 27th day of November, the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Pope’s Intention for February

As we begin this month, just after the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, we settle into the cold winter nights with the days beginning to be just a little longer each day.

This month we look to just how counter cultural religious life is to a secular society that reduces women to objects to be used; instead of a child of God to be loved.

Here is his intention as printed in this month’s issue of ‘the Word Among Us’:

The Special Intention of Pope Francis
Lord Jesus,
Throughout February, we lift up all religious sisters and consecrated women.
We pray for every one of these women.
We thank them for their mission and their courage.
May they continue to find new responses to the challenges of our times.

Pope’s Intention for January

With all the excitement of the Christmas and New Years celebrations, it is easy to overlook the Pope’s intention for the month of January.

This month it is an important one, it affects the foundation of our society, the rights and dignity of each and everyone.

Here is his intention as printed in this month’s issue of ‘the Word Among Us’:

The Special Intention of Pope Francis
Dear Father,
As we start a new year, we ask you to bless us with true human fraternity. We pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution. May their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family.

Receiving the Holy Eucharist

Over the past few years, You Tube and Facebook have blown up this issue, and as a result, has divided families, local parishes and the Catholic Church.

Bottom line: We need to receive the Holy Eucharist in a State of Grace.

Fr. Allen Alexander explains what Catholics need to consider when receiving the Eucharist on either the hand or the tongue.

Do not be afraid…

The readings of today are very timely as we entering a new period wth some additional restrictions and government measures to manage the spread of the omicron virus.

Even in the storm that we are experiencing, Jesus us looking to walk to us and get in our boats. He wants to me us where we are and take us where he needs us to be.

All we need is courage to not be afraid. DG

MARK 6:45-52

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

What a start to 2022…

Yes… it has been a while since my last post. Full disclosure it has been a busy few months and it is easy to get lost in the routine of Family, work, and ministry. I am excited to start another calendar year, of course this is typically the time when you look to make some resolutions and changes. This is the last that you will hear me speak of this, because it is not about the changes or resolutions that I want to make that are important.

There is only one resolution to make… it is to ‘surrender’, to say ‘yes’ to God. after that we need to enter into that intimate relationship that he wants to have with us.

So here goes … God – 2022 is for you

So how would you describe a Catholic Deacon?

Pope: “Deacons are the guardians of service in the Church”

Pope Francis on Saturday met a group of permanent deacons from Rome Diocese and spoke to them about their role, which he said is not a substitution for a priest or a bishop.

By Robin Gomes

“The generosity of a deacon who spends himself without seeking the front lines smells of the Gospel and tells of the greatness of God’s humility that takes the first step to meet even those who have turned their backs on Him.” This is how Pope Francis envisages the role of a permanent deacon among the People of God in the Church. He made the comment on Saturday during a meeting with some 500 people, including permanent deacons from his Diocese of Rome, along with their families. 

In the Catholic Church, the diaconate is the first of three ranks in ordained ministry – bishops, priests and deacons. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Latin-rite Church has restored the diaconate “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy”.  Deacons preparing for the priesthood are transitional deacons, while those not planning to be ordained priests are permanent deacons. Permanent diaconate can be conferred on a single or married man.  If he is married, he must be so before receiving the diaconate.

Logic of lowering and service

In his address to the group, Pope Francis explained that the main path of the ministry of the deacon is indicated in Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, which says that the diaconate is “not for the priesthood but for service.” The Pope explained that this difference, which in the previous conception reduced the diaconate to a passage to the priesthood, “helps to overcome the scourge of clericalism, which places a caste of priests ‘above’ the People of God”. And if this is not overcome, clericalism will continue in the Church.

Precisely because deacons are dedicated to the service of the People of God, they remind us that in the ecclesial body no one can elevate himself above others. In the Church, the logic of lowering must be applied. “We are all called to lower ourselves because Jesus lowered Himself” making “Himself the smallest and the servant of all.” The Holy Father said, “Please let us remember that for the disciples of Jesus, to love is to serve and to serve is to reign. Power lies in service, not in anything else.” Since deacons are the guardians of service in the Church, the Pope said, they are the guardians of true “power” in the Church, so that no one goes beyond the power of service.

Speaking about what he called a “constitutively diaconal Church,” the Pope told his permanent deacons that if they don’t live this dimension of service, their ministry will become sterile and will not produce fruit, but will slowly become worldly. Deacons remind the Church that it should have “a heart that burns with love and serves with humility and joy.” “The generosity of a deacon who spends himself without seeking the front lines,” Pope Francis said, “smells of the Gospel and tells of the greatness of God’s humility that takes the first step to meet even those who have turned their backs on Him.”

Charity and administration

Even though the decreasing number of vocations to the priesthood demands the commitment of deacons to tasks of substitution, the Holy Father said, that does not constitute the specific nature of the diaconate. The Vatican Council emphasizes that permanent deacons are above all “devoted to the offices of charity and administration,” as in the early Christian centuries. He noted that in the great imperial metropolis of Rome seven places were organized, distinct from the parishes and distributed throughout the city’s municipalities, in which deacons carried out widespread work on behalf of the entire Christian community, especially the “least of these,” so that, as the Acts of the Apostles says, no one among them would be in need.  

Not “half priests”

Pope Francis said that Rome Diocese is trying to recover this ancient tradition with the diakonia (‘service’ in Greek) in the church of San Stanislaus, in Caritas and in other areas in the service of the poor. This way, he said, deacons will never lose their bearings, becoming “half- or second-category priests” and “fancy altar boys,” but will be caring servants, excluding no one, ensuring that the love of the Lord touches people’s lives in a concrete way.

Hence, the spirituality of deacons could be briefly summed up as “availability inside and openness outside.” “Available inside, from the heart, ready to say ‘yes’, docile, without making one’s life revolve around one’s own agenda; and open outside, looking at everyone, especially those who are left out, those who feel excluded.”

Profile of a deacon

Pope Francis said he expects three things from his deacons. They should be humble, without showing off like a peacock or putting themselves at the centre. Secondly, by being good spouses and fathers or grandfathers, they will give hope and consolation to couples in difficulties who will find in their “genuine simplicity an outstretched hand.” Finally, the Pope urged them to be “sentinels” who know not only how to spot those far away and the poor but who also to help the Christian community spot Jesus in the poor and the distant, as He knocks on our doors through them.

COVID-19 Vaccines … are they the Mark of the Beast?

This post is a copy and paste from the Catholic Answers website.

There’s a sea of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, such as the claim that they are the mark of the beast discussed in Revelation 15. Jimmy Akin explains why this can’t be true.


Caller: My family has been telling me in the last month or so that I should beware of the COVID vaccine, that it’s the mark of the beast, and they know this from priests and/or Catholic mystics that have received this message from above. So my question is about the mark of the beast; is that something that is explicit, or is it something that could be disguised?

Jimmy Akin: The Church does not have a teaching on exactly what the mark of the beast is, so I’m gonna have to go into the realm of opinion here. I can give you my opinion, and the evidence that it’s based on, but I can’t simply point you to a Church teaching that tells us exactly what the mark of the beast is. In Revelation chapter 13, we read that the beast from the sea has a number, which is 666, and we’re told it’s a human number, or the number of a man. And we’re also told that people in Revelation have to either receive this mark on their right hand or on their forehead if they want to engage in commerce, if they want to buy and sell.

Now Revelation is a book that contains a lot of symbols, and in order to understand these symbols we need to look at how Revelation and at how other books in scripture use symbolism. Now the idea of a mark on the forehead, you would have that sometimes happening literally in the ancient world. Sometimes a slave would have a mark put on his forehead to symbolize who owns him. Or sometimes—it’s claimed, or at least I’ve read—that sometimes the devotee of a particular god might literally have a mark put on his forehead.

If you look at how the Bible talks about marks on foreheads, though, it’s a little bit different. If you go to the book of Ezekiel, there is a passage where God is having an angel mark people in Jerusalem on their foreheads with a tau. “Tau” is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In paleo-Hebrew, the type of alphabet that would have been in use in Ezekiel’s day, a tau was shaped like a cross, like an X, like the letter X, so a kind of cross. And Christians could not fail to look at that passage and see a messianic significance, a significance connected with Jesus, to God’s people being marked with a cross on their foreheads.

And thus, in the book of Revelation, we see the 144,000 faithful—those who are faithful to God—being marked on their foreheads, and that seems to be an allusion to Ezekiel. And now that Christ has come we’d better understand the significance of the cross, and so it’s a sign that these people are faithful to Jesus, they’re faithful to Jesus and his cross.

But the thing is, angels are doing this invisibly. These are not outward, objective, literal tattoos or brands or scars. Instead, they represent an invisible spiritual reality that signifies who your allegiance is to. And given that background, that would seem to be the case with the mark of the beast as well. If the mark that Jesus’ followers get represents an invisible spiritual allegiance, then the mark of the beast would seem to not literally be a tattoo or a scar or a brand, but instead a symbol of who your ultimate allegiance is to.

And there’s a lot of good evidence—and I won’t go through it all now, but if you Google “Jimmy Akin” and “book of Revelation,” some of it will come up—there’s good reason to think that the book of Revelation primarily dealt with the first century, and that the beast represents the first-century line of Roman emperors. And in particular, the beast was connected in a special way with the emperor Nero who persecuted Christians, just like the beast does in Revelation. And it so happens that if you take the name “NERO CAESAR” in Hebrew, and add it up—because their letters also served as numbers, if you add up the number value of the letters in “NERO CAESAR”—it turns out to be 666.

And so my take on what the literal meaning of the mark of the beast would be, in a first century context, is that it’s a symbol of your ultimate allegiance not being to God, but to Rome, and your willingness to participate in the cult of emperor worship. And in fact, Nero was worshiped as a God, as were some other Roman emperors. And so I would say that the mark of the beast in Revelation is a symbol of putting your hand to work for the service of the empire and putting your mind to work for the service of the empire, so the Roman empire and its cult of emperor worship is your ultimate loyalty, rather than loyalty to God and to his Christ.

Now prophecy works on different levels, though, and so there can be a future echo, that is still in our future, of what the mark of the beast would be. We can’t really predict very well in advance what it could be, but given what it meant in a first-century context, it would presumably mean something similar. It would be a symbol of greater loyalty to some totalitarian, anti-Christian dictator rather than to God and to Christ. Would it take a physical form, like a scar or a brand or a tattoo? Well, it didn’t in the first century, so we wouldn’t have reason to suppose it would in the future.

What about the COVID vaccine? How does that relate to this? Well, the COVID vaccine, so far as I can tell, has nothing to do with anybody whose number is 666, so it fails on that point.

Secondly, people are not gonna be given the COVID vaccine in their right hand. In fact, you don’t get vaccines in your hand, because it’ll mess up your hand. If you want to get a vaccine, an intermuscular injection, they’re gonna give it in your upper arm or your butt or somewhere like that, where there’s a lot of fleshy muscle and not a lot of nerves and tendons like in your hand. So people are not gonna be getting it in their right hand.

Also, they’re not gonna be getting it in their forehead. Ramming an intermuscular injection needle into someone’s forehead would be painful and not deliver the vaccine where it needs to be, and that’s where they don’t give vaccines. So the idea that the COVID vaccine would be the mark of the beast also fails on the location of the body where it’s given. And that would give us reason—the fact it has nothing to do with 666, and the fact it’s not given in these two locations, would be signs that this really is not the mark of the beast.

And if you want further confirmation for that, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in Rome, has issued a document that indicates it is legitimate to take different forms of the COVID vaccine—not necessarily every form, but it’s legitimate to take some forms, and which forms are appropriate will depend on your circumstances. But that’s consistent with other teachings the Church has held down through the years, now they’ve simply applied them to this vaccine, and the Pope, the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ, has approved it. And so any mystic who’s saying something else is going up directly against the teaching of the Church and is not to be trusted.

Furthermore, God loves his people, and he’s not going to let his people receive the mark of the beast without their knowing what they’re doing. Whatever the mark of the beast may be in the future—if there is a future fulfillment of it—it’s gonna be something that his people will be able to look at and say “Based on established Catholic teachings, we need to avoid this,” and that is not the case with this vaccine. So I would say that your relatives have been unfortunately misinformed.

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

We are now officially into Holy Week. We have entered the city and are rejoicing that our King has arrive. ***Spoiler Alert*** things take a different turn, but the Good News is that by the same time next Sunday we will be rejoicing again.

This Palm Sunday was a first for me, as a Deacon, as well as taking on the role of narrator for the reading of the Passion of our Lord. I must say that reading through the Passion within the celebration of Holy Mass, four times in a short amount of time, became a meditation. It was like entering into a Lectio Divina with hundreds of people looking at you.

It was a beautiful experience and I am looking forward to next year.

Wishing you all a blessed Holy Week.

Palm Sunday 2021