February 7, 2016
Dear Parish Community,
Allow me to share today a letter written by Father Jonathan Bakkelund from the Diocesan Office of Divine Worship. It reads,
“The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a decree at the express wish of His Holiness, Pope Francis. The Holy Father has made a change to the rubrics of the Roman Missal. Formerly, the Missal specified that at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, it would be most fitting that those to have their feet washed would be males, a theological expression of the Institution of the Priesthood.
“Pope Francis has clarified the Church’s understanding of this gesture, namely, that it is an act of service reminding us all that Christ came to serve, not to be served, and that this gesture is not explicitly linked to the Institution of the Priesthood. Therefore, men and women may be chosen.
"The text specifically reads, ‘pastors may choose a group of faithful representing the variety and unity of every part of the People of God. This group may consist of men and women, and ideally of the young and the old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated persons and laypeople.’
Father Jonathan Bakkelund. “
Brothers and sisters, I am looking forward to Holy Thursday on March 24th, to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper along with the washing of feet. That liturgical moment is indeed very symbolic and with a profound meaning. It expresses the fact that I, as your pastor, came to St. Patrick to serve the entire community; men, women, children, the youth, the adult and the elder.
May God bless us all,
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Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.