Reflecting Heaven Part 10: The Ambo and the Altar of Sacrifice

06-30-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Over the past nine weeks, we’ve been exploring the various aspects of our current renovation project. Ultimately, the purpose of this project is to facilitate a closer relationship for each of us with Jesus Christ and His Church. Perhaps nowhere in the church is that relationship with Christ more clearly expressed than in the Altar of Sacrifice.

Last week we explored the progression of the pilgrimage from Baptism in the font up the center aisle to the Holy of holies, the Sanctuary itself. You will recall that the Sanctuary is the “nerve center” of the church, the focal point at which heaven and earth meet at each and every Mass.


The Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

06-27-2021Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

You’re invited to pray for our Church and Country. On Tuesday, June 29th, we will celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. During this Mass it is appropriate for us to ask for the intercession of these two holy Saints, praying for our country as we approach Independence Day and also our beloved Church, that we may serve as a remedy and balm for the many wounds and divisions that we are currently experiencing in our country. As our Pledge of Allegiance bids us, may we remain “one nation under God.”


Reflecting Heaven Part 9: The Center Aisle

06-23-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

This week we turn our attention from the beautiful stained glass windows to the walls and the floor. Back in part 3 of this series, we learned that the nave is the main body of the church apart from the sanctuary. It is the area where the people, the liturgical assembly, sit, kneel, stand, process, listen, sing, and pray at Mass, and where they may come pray in adoration and devotion outside Mass. The word “nave” stems from the same Latin root as “navy” and “navigation,” and it recalls the ancient symbol of the “Ship of the Church” or “Barque of St. Peter,” the vessel that keeps us safe from the waters of chaos as we make our pilgrim way toward heaven.


Happy Father's Day

06-20-2021Letter from the PastorDeacon Peter Auriemma

Happy Father’s Day

As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, the Church gives us the Gospel account of the Storm on the Sea of Galilee. While Jesus and His Apostles were crossing the Sea, He was so exhausted from teaching, that He fell into a deep sleep in the stern of their boat. A bad storm suddenly arose and the Apostles, some of whom were seasoned fisherman, feared that they were all going to drown. They awakened Jesus, and He immediately calmed the winds and the waves, and then He reprimanded the Apostles for their fear and lack of trust in Him. Even though He was asleep in their boat, He was still with them, and they should have had no cause to be afraid.


Reflecting Heaven Part 8: Truth and Beauty

06-16-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

This week we take a short break before we begin our tour through the stained glass windows to recap some of the main points of our parish beautification project.

The main reason our church building, or any Catholic Church building for that matter would have strive to have beautiful architecture, inspiring art and colorful windows, is to enhance what is already happening in the Sacred Liturgy. Our renovation aims to renew our experience of Holy Mass, and leads us to encounter Jesus Christ and His Church through the Liturgy and liturgical art.


Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

06-13-2021Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During June, we celebrate not only the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 11th, 2021 but we honor His Most Glorious Heart all month long. Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary during the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi during the year 1675, during this apparition, he told her the following message:


Reflecting Heaven Part 7: Ceiling Murals (continued)

06-09-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Last week we looked at the first four of our new murals currently being painted for the ceiling, and we learned that the overall theme of the set of eight murals is finding Jesus through Mary. This is done through eights Biblical scenes from Mary’s life, portrayed in bright, rich color and shape. As with all the murals, they are meant help raise our minds to heaven in all its multicolored splendor, drawing us toward greater union with God and his Church.


The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

06-04-2021Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

According to Bishop Olmsted’s Apostolic Exhortation Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling, “We cannot speak of the Eucharist without being confronted by its awesome mystery… Whether your faith in the Eucharist is strong or weak, whether you consider the Church your Home or you have recently decided to disassociate, or even if you have no faith at all, my sincere hope is that a true “Eucharistic amazement” will be ignited within you.”


Reflecting Heaven Part 6: Ceiling Murals

05-30-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Sacred Art has a way of bringing the Sacred Scriptures to life. Often times I’ve found myself inspired by the art that makes the Word of God come alive. Sacred Art in churches often depicts scenes from Sacred Scripture which are meant to lift our hearts and minds to heaven. Sacred images have often helped me contemplate the readings and homilies on Our Lord and the faith of Mary, Joseph, and the people found throughout Sacred Scripture.


Trinity Sunday

05-28-2021Letter from the PastorDeacon Peter Auriemma

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity celebrates the great mystery of the Trinity, that there is only One God, in Three Divine Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This mystery has been revealed to us by Jesus Christ, Who is Himself the Son and the Second Person of the Trinity.

When speaking of the Trinity, mystery means that the Trinity is a reality which is just too deep to be fully grasped by our minds, but is one that slowly continues to unfold the more we get to know God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Reflecting Heaven Part 5: Apse Mural and the Stained Glass

05-25-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

“In the Christian community’s place of prayer, art evokes and glorifies ‘the transcendent mystery of God—the surpassing invisible beauty of truth and love visible in Christ.’ Therefore the ‘Church entrusts art with a mediating role, analogous, we might say, to the role of the priest or, perhaps better, to that of Jacob’s ladder descending and ascending. Art is meant to bring the divine to the human world, to the level of the senses, then, from the spiritual insight gained through the senses and the stirring of the emotions, to raise the human world to God, to his inexpressible kingdom of mystery, beauty, and life.’”

– Built of Living Stones §142


The Solemnity of Pentecost

05-23-2021Letter from the PastorDeacon Peter Auriemma

The Solemnity of Pentecost This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, the most important feast of the Church after Easter and Christmas. It is called Pentecost from the Greek word for fifty because we celebrate it fifty days after Easter. What many Christians don’t know is that it was, and still is, a very important Jewish holy day called the festival of Shavuot, which is celebrated fifty days after Passover. It was one of the three great feasts that required all Jewish men to come to Jerusalem to celebrate it. That is why at the first Pentecost, Jerusalem was filled with Jews from all over the Roman Empire who spoke many different languages.


Reflecting Heaven Part 4: Summer Edition Overview

05-19-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

A blessed welcome to all, whether visitor, newcomer, or daily Mass participant at St. Bernadette! Christmas is coming early!! The great Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord, perhaps beyond all other feasts of the year, is one of beauty and mystery. In the cold of a winter’s night (which is nice to think about in the summer in Arizona), we reflect on a heavenly star beaming upon a tiny stable in an obscure village called Bethlehem, drawing worshipers from foreign lands. We wonder at the story of humble shepherds keeping watch over their flocks, startled into awe and action by the “multitude of the heavenly host.” And most of all, the beauty of the Christmas season helps us ponder the mystery of all mysteries and wonder of all wonders: the God of heaven and earth takes on the flesh of the frailest humanity, the infant of a poor couple reduced to sheltering in a place so humble it is fit only for animals.


Reflecting Heaven Part 3: The Narthex & Nave

05-16-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Last week we looked at the idea of the church building being a reflection of Heaven on earth. That “form within a Form” begins on the outside, with the roof peak reaching to heaven, bells ringing out joy (and sometimes tolling sorrow) in the community, and all topped off by the ultimate Christian symbol of Christ’s victory, the cross. But the image of Heaven on earth reaches its fullest expression on the inside, where the Church (the living people of God, the “living stones” of St. Peter’s letter) gathers in the church building.


Reflecting Heaven Part 2: The Church as Heaven on Earth

05-12-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

As set out in last week’s article, the upcoming renovation at St. Bernadette is not a renovation of the entire building, but only the worship space itself – that is, the sanctuary and the nave. Next week we’ll look at exactly what the sanctuary and the nave are, but first let’s look at why they are the focus of this project.

At the turn of the millennium, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and Worship (BLS), giving guidance and direction to designers and builders of Catholic churches. BLS draws heavily on previous Church documents, including those of the Vatican Council II.


Happy Mother's Day

05-09-2021Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are blessed with so many wonderful parishioners. The many young people and families breathe new life into our already vibrant community. I am always amazed at the incredible sacrifices I see parents make at each and every Mass. As I see moms and dads bring their little ones to religious education classes, I am so grateful for their dedication and desire to share God's love with their children. I am reminded of the love my own mother and father have shown me throughout my life and I give thanks to God for blessing me with wonderful parents. Parents have the awesome privilege and blessing to form the future of the world IN GOD'S IMAGE! That is something we should all give thanks for as well as pray for families who are struggling and children who suffer without loving and caring parents.


Reflecting Heaven: Notes on the St. Bernadette Sanctuary Renovation

05-02-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

What’s happening? And why?

Spring time each year brings new beginnings – this is a perfect time to reflect upon and celebrate the great mysteries of our life in Christ. This year at St. Bernadette, Spring brings with it signs of physical change, as well. You may have heard about the murals, the windows, the organ, and the grotto. Over the next several weeks, through this series of reflections, you will learn the what and the why this is incredible blessing is happening in our parish.