It all started in January 2007, when two upstate ladies (Lisa and Renee)
had the idea of getting together in New York City to attend Mass and
then have brunch together afterwards. It sounded like a good idea
and ten others joined them.
This turned out to be the beginning of the Tri-State Mass/Brunch apostolate. The group joked that perhaps the
number of attendees (12) had some significance.
At the end of the day, in between gulps of cappucino and bites of
tiramisu, the group pondered what we should do next. We decided to
keep things simple–spiritual nourishment followed by physical
nourishment. We would pick a beautiful church with a faithful liturgy and then
afterwards break bread with each other as an act of Catholic
fellowship. The most important thing was to get people out, have
some fun, and get fellow Catholics together and be witnesses to our
faith and the four marks of the Church.
In February, our second Mass/Brunch was a solemn novus ordo Mass held
at Father George Rutler's Church of Our Saviour. Father Rutler is known
to many by his appearances on EWTN and his interest in "reform of the
reform" and Catholic renewal. Church of Our Saviour is
beautiful. Upon entering, one is struck by a 28-foot tall
Christos Pantokrator at the back of the Church Sanctuary. To the
left and right within the sanctuary are numerous icons of the
Saints . All of these were painted by a Catholic convert who
studied iconography in Florence. Nearly thirty people showed up for
this event with one person coming as far as Rhode Island.
Further, the apostolate can take credit for at least one wedding.
In March, we moved on to St. Jean Baptiste for another solemn novus
ordo Mass. This is a beautiful church with a stunning high
altar. There is a shrine to St. Anne, along with a relic of
Saint Peter Julian Eymard. The church is administered by the
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, a community dedicated to the
Eucharist. This church was worth a visit just to see the the
incredible Eucharist monstrance. Once again, the turn out for
this event was great with people coming from Rhode Island and
Pennsylvania. An added treat was a spontaneous post-brunch visit
to St. Vincent Ferrer, a beautiful gothic style church administered by
the Dominicans, one of the most beautiful churches in
New York City.
In April, we moved from Sacred Spaces to the world of Sacred Art with a
Sacred Art Tour/High Tea at the Metropolitan Museum graciously
organized by Heather-NY. In May, we had
another Mass/Brunch in Rockville Centre, Long Island at St. Agnes
Cathedral wonderfully organized by Diane-LI. We move
on to Queens next month with an event organized by Heidi-NY .
Where do we move on from here? Prayer (perpetual adoration) and
paella in Newark. And more Mass/Brunch events, including a
Traditional Latin Mass event, as we continue to explore beautiful
sacred spaces and bring people together for Catholic fellowship. Our
latest idea is Theology on Tap- 4 Marks style, as we try to bring in
speakers to give people solid catechesis on Catholic doctrine and the
single and married life. The hope is that fellowship will
continue even if at times we disagree, as we all do our best to be
witnesses to our faith.
One thing to keep in mind. It is better to meet people in real life, if
you can. Forum personalites can be misleading at times. The
great thing about these events is that real friendships can develop and
our faith can deepen as we meet other Catholics.
Editor's Note: Thanks to Heidi-101750 for the photo, taken at a previous Mass & Brunch event.
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