Lenten Pilgrimage Was Eye Opening
Dear Editor: Regarding the end of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Lenten Pilgrimage (“Sojourners Report Transformative Joy at the End of 2023 Diocesan Lenten Pilgrimage,” pages 20-21), this was a wonderful opportunity to visit parishes we would never have before.
There are some magnificently stunning churches in Brooklyn and Queens. The beauty leaves me speechless.
Franklin Square, N.Y.
Father Gibino Is a Blessing
Dear Editor: Recently, the Faith Community of Holy Trinity Parish in Whitestone received the news that parishioners dread: our pastor, Father Joseph Gibino, has been transferred to another parish and will be leaving Holy Trinity at the end of June.
Several years ago, while attending an evening event during Lent, a young, special needs child walked into the church, saw Father Joe, ran up to him, closed his eyes, and gave him a big hug, which Father Joe returned. I sat there and thought, “I just saw love.”
That short moment is just one example of the love between Father Joe and the People of Holy Trinity. Father Joe is as loving a person as I have ever met — I believe his love for God, his parish, and its parishioners will be in our hearts forever.
I wish to express my gratitude for being blessed to have Fr. Joe in my life for the past fifteen years as he helped heal some of my pain and illuminated my path. Now it is his time to brighten the lives of others. May God bless him in his journey.
The Rite of the Mass
Dear Editor: I am writing in response to Maria Mastromarino’s letter on Latin Mass (“What’s the Fascination With Latin Mass,” April 1).
The Mass (either traditional or Novus Ordo) is a representation of the Passion of the Lord, the ultimate Passover, which began at the Last Supper with the sacrifice of the lamb (lamb of God), continued in the death of the Lord on Good Friday to save us from the result of sin, and culminated in the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The meaning of any rite of the Mass is the same. To focus on the Last Supper is an incomplete interpretation of what we are actually doing. In the letter, she states, “He gives them His body and blood and tells them to do this in remembrance of Him.” What He is doing is becoming the lamb of God, the ultimate Passover lamb of sacrifice, which must be consumed for the sacrifice to be complete.
When the Lord commands that we do this in remembrance of Him, He is charging us with the responsibility of making this sacrifice the center of our lives and faith.
Even in the Novus Ordo, there is an option for the priest to celebrate the Mass ad orientem, that is, facing the altar with his back to the congregation, to remind those present that it is the sacrifice of the Lord that we are to focus on.
At times, there appears to be conflict in the two rites of the Mass, where there is no contradiction. The Mass is the same regardless of language or whether the priest is facing the congregation or not.