Pastor Letter – First Mass of Father Joe Menkhaus at IHM – Emailed May 20, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend will be the Ordination to the Priesthood for Deacon Joseph Menkhaus and the celebration of his first Mass at his home parish church, Saint Monica in Garfield Heights on late Sunday morning. These are always beautiful events for the one to be ordained, his family, and his parish families. I know you are all grateful for his presence this past year with us at IHM.

On Sunday, June 5th, 2022, the Feast of Pentecost, at the 10:00am Mass Father Joseph Menkhaus will celebrate our Mass. He is so excited to do this, to thank everyone for being so kind and loving to him, and sadly to say goodbye.

The Parish Pastoral Council will invite all those attending to join Father Menkhaus after the Mass in the Parish Community Center to receive a priests first blessing.

When a priest celebrates his First Mass after ordination, it is an opportunity for the faithful in attendance to gain a plenary indulgence if all the usual conditions are met.

An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. (1983 Catechism ¶ 1471)

The usual conditions to acquire a plenary indulgence are:
detachment from sin; which is a true sorrow for, and repudiation of, all one’s sin, mortal and venial;
reception of Holy Communion on the day the indulgence is sought;
prayer for the intention of the Holy Father on the day the indulgence is sought (one Our Father and one Hail Mary suffice, or any other suitable prayer);
sacramental confession within twenty days of completion of the prescribed work.

There is no set prayer for first blessings in the Rituále Románum, the official book of blessings for the Extraordinary Form.

One common form of blessing is as follows:
May, through the imposition of my hands and upon the intercession of Holy Mary Mother of God, St. Joseph, Sts. N. (patron saint) and N. (of the priest’s choosing), the blessing of the Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, come upon thee and remain with thee forever. Amen.

The faithful kneel to receive the blessing. Upon receiving it, the faithful kiss the palms of the newly ordained priest in recognition of the sacred character of his priesthood and of the hands that now hold the Eucharist and confer the sacraments.

There will be light refreshments served.

Many blessings,
Father Jim

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