How do I even find the words to thank God for all the grace bestowed upon our parish over this past weekend? With the ordination of our Fr. David Stavarz, we witnessed such love from our parish who helped bring him up in the faith from his parents’ hearts. Countless thanks to all those who The Father used to bring about such honor to the gift of ordained Priesthood. May God grant him many years!
Even though our diocese does not celebrate the 40th day of Easter/Ascension Thursday on the actual day (we move it to the following Sunday), we still have reason to celebrate. Our day school eighth graders will become the graduating class of 2019 on Thursday (May 30). It is such a blessing to celebrate their graduation on my twenty-first anniversary of Priesthood ordination (congratulations to my nephew Riley David—the first Bline-blood to become an alumni). As the school year closes this week, pray our children may hunger to learn about the joy of the Sacramental life all summer long. Pax, Fr. Bline
Since Fr. Stavarz had my column last week, here’s a note from Mother Gabriella to help us to appreciate our new parish poustinia house, Sacré-Cœur.
What is poustinia?
Poustinia is a Slavic word meaning ‘desert.’ The concept of poustinia became popular in the western world due to the influence of author Catherine Doherty’s book, “Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer.” A poustinia, as the word is used today in Eastern Christianity, refers to a room or small house where one goes for solitude and quiet, usually for 24 to 48 hours. Typically, the house is furnished simply, providing a place for prayer, especially with icons and scripture. Often, people will fast on poustinia, eating bread and water or other simple foods.
Why do we make a poustinia?
We live a distracted life. iPhones, iPads, emails, Instagram, Facebook, instant everything – what is not at our fingertips? Unlike any other time in human history, we live in inescapable noise – inside and out. Poustinia is a place where we can retreat from the external noise and distractions, in order to learn how to quiet the internal noise of our hearts “to pray to [our] Father who is in secret” (Mt 6:6), within us. We then take that internal quiet with us as we leave the poustinia, having centered ourselves in our relationship with the Father, living in peace “not as the world gives” (Jn 14:27) but as Jesus gives. Love, MG