October 20th, 2013

Dear Parish Family,

As many of you are already aware, Deacon Mark Nash is moving to Florida.  This October is the final month he will be with us.  His affection and dedication to our parish has been a special gift for which we are all grateful.  Please join us as for a reception Sunday, October 27 between the 9:30 am and 11:30 am Masses after he assists one last time before his assignment at St. Thomas is concluded.  I know I speak for everyone when I say, thank you good Deacon for the gift of your vocation and service to our parish family.  You will be missed.

A few weeks ago I mentioned my desire to begin an evening series entitled Finding Liturgical Peace and Unity.  After some prayerful consideration I think it best to begin by cursorily addressing each of the topics through bulletin letters, such as these, and upon completion begin the evening series. 

It is important to open with a basic and broad understanding of the Catholic liturgical landscape in order to better understand where we at St. Thomas fit in.  Like the faith itself that is passed down from one generation to the next, so too is the liturgy of the Church.  This means that we are part of a much larger liturgical picture than that of a parish or even a diocese.  Simply put, the liturgy that we celebrate at St. Thomas has a very large historical context.  To use an image, one could rightly say that it is set within a liturgical landscape.  To understand our liturgical heritage, we must first inquire of our liturgy’s location within this larger landscape.  Like finding one’s position on a map, it is important to begin from something of an aerial point of view.  This broad perspective enables one to get his/her bearings after which one can then zoom in. 

Broadly, fully zoomed-out so to speak, the Christian liturgical landscape is divided into two hemispheres, East and West.  The eastern liturgical traditions are the spiritual patrimonies (heritage) of the Oriental (eastern) Churches and are so called Oriental Liturgies.  The Western liturgical traditions are the spiritual patrimonies (heritage) of the Latin (western) Church and are so called Latin liturgies.  St. Thomas Aquinas, like all the parishes belonging to the Diocese of Charlotte, is situated in the Latin (western) Church.  This becomes our first and most basic point of reference. 

We will resume next week where we have just left off.

Fr. Winslow


Letters from the Pastor

Each week Father Winslow writes a letter to the parishioners, you can find each one archived in this blog.

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