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Ordinary Time

What is Ordinary Time?

Ordinary Time is a liturgical season, just like any other. And just like any other season in the liturgical calendar, this season celebrates a very specific time in the life of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

When we think of liturgical seasons we typically think of the major seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. These seasons celebrate what could be thought of as “The Main Event.” Namely, the incarnation, birth, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.

Seems like there isn’t much to celebrate after that, right?


The 33 (or 34 depending on how the feasts fall – more on that in a minute) weeks of Ordinary Time contain the rest of Jesus’ earthly ministry and some of the major events of the Gospels we have come to know and love.

The miracles, the parables, the calling of the twelve, the sermon on the mount, the bread of life discourse. . . we get all that and more during this season. Truly, there is much to celebrate.

Why the word Ordinary?

The term ‘ordinary’ in our common use typically refers to something being plain, unimpressive, or unexciting. A kind of ‘it is what it is’ mentality. For that reason, many people hear ‘Ordinary Time’ and they immediately think of the season as such. But that understanding doesn’t reflect the true meaning of the season.

Ordinary, in this context, comes from the Latin term ordinalis, meaning ‘numbered’ or ‘ruled’. This title simply refers to the ongoing and rhythmical nature of the season. Just like everyday life, there is a rhythm to the days and the weeks. Sure, we have holidays and special occasions that we look forward to that change the pace, just like we have holy days and feasts in the Church year. But those special occasions aren’t the whole picture, just like there is more to the life of Christ than what we celebrate in other liturgical seasons.

When is the season?

Technically, Ordinary Time has two parts, but it remains one season. The first part begins right after the feast of the Epiphany and runs until Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday (when Lent begins).

The second part begins the Monday after Pentecost and runs until the First Sunday of Advent. This part is typically about twice the length of the first.

Ordinary Time typically contains about 33 or 34 weeks, depending on how other Catholic Church feast days fall. Each of these weeks is denoted by the passing of time:

The First Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

What’s the color?

The liturgical color for Ordinary Time is green. This is to represent the time of growth and expansion of the Church following the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Green is a very natural color, and is often a symbol for growth and new life.

What are we supposed to do?

Like all liturgical seasons, Ordinary Time is meant to be lived! We aren’t passive receptors of the liturgy – or at least we shouldn’t be. We are called to be active participants! Participating in Ordinary Time means participating in the everyday life of Jesus.

According to the USCCB, “The Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time, on the other hand, take us through the life of Christ. This is the time of conversion. This is living the life of Christ. Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ.”
Think about that last phrase for a moment.

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World Day of Prayer

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What You Need to Know about our Church Reopening

Nini unahitaji kujua juu ya ufunguzi wa Kanisa

Lo que necesita saber sobre nuestra reapertura de la iglesia

Click here to watch Fr. Jim's video explaining the new guidelines for attending Mass.

Mass    Saturday    6:00 pm, Spanish

  Sunday   10:30 am, Multilingual
    Wed.   11:30 am, English/Bilingual
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Mass at St. Boniface:             
     Monday     7:30 am   English
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     Wednesday     7:30 am   English
     Friday     7:30 am   English
     Saturday     4:00 pm    English
          6:00 pm   Spanish
     Sunday     9:00 am   Spanish
        11:00 am   English
        12:30 pm   Spanish

The Strangers We Meet

Painting in the vestibule of St. Leo's

The work of the late Fr. Jim Hasse, SJ, “The Strangers We Meet” depicts Christ breaking bread at Emmaus. Instead of more traditional representations, it depicts Christt as a man of African descent, sitting with people of various ages and from various ethnic heritages. All the models were St. Leo parishioners.

“Fr. Jim captured spiritual life in his works, revealing the sacredness in everyday people and everyday actions,“ says Fr. Josephh Folzenlogen, SJ, who lived and worked with the priest painter at Claver Jesuit Ministries in South Cumminsville (OH). “Jim’s paintings were mirrors in which people could see their own beauty.”

Models for the 2004 painting were Timaya Smith (the child in the foreground), Amy Egan, Darnell Edwards, Ivy Peppers, and Rick Nohle.

“Since Jim used people from the parishes and neighborhoods where he worked as his models, the paintings were not just images,” says Fr. Joe. “They were connections with people he loved. Those people were also his children.”

St. Leo parishioner Stephanie Sepate describes the painting as “a beautiful remembrance of purpose” in every life.

“In the upper left of our painting is the figure of the angel by the tomb of the Risen Lord, and the women running to share the news,” she says. “What a beautiful remembrance of purpose in each of our lives — we are not really strangers to each other but we are all one universal family in our life’s journey.”

Fr. Jim Hasse, whose paintings appeared in several publications and are held in private collections, including the art museum at St. Louis University, died in 2011. Most of his paintings are of biblical subjects and feature African-American people he worked with. To see several galleries of his works with associated reflections, click here.

A New Life

Michelangelo sculpted the Pietà in 1498–1499,    taking less than two years to complete. His depiction of the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion on the rock of Golgatha is one of the most famous pieces of sculpture known by so many across the world.

Showing the "religious vision of abandonment and a serene face of the Son", Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather a representation of the communion between man and God through Christ’s gift of life.

For the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Vatican loaned the Pietà for installation in the Vatican pavilion. A conveyor belt moved people, who stood in line for hours, past the sculpture. It is housed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

Several decades ago, St. Leo was gifted with a beautiful representation of the Pietà in memory of the Schuchart Family. Over the years, the wear and tear, fragments of the more fragile areas of the statue cracked or missing, and chipping paint called a friend of the parish to totally refurbish our Pietà. To repaint it with its former colors would have shown the flaws; it was decided to paint it all one color, especially in keeping with the make-up of our parish—all one people. After months and months of prayerful restoration, our Pietà finally came home, quite appropriately, the day before Ash Wednesday.

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we are grateful for Michelangelo’s reminder of the ultimate gift in our midst. The St. Leo Pietà has been given a new life; let us all celebrate a season of renewal in our own lives as Lent ends and as we rejoice in the hope and joy of Easter’s Alleluias!

- Stephanie Sepate

13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

From Fr. Jim:  
June 26, 2022

Bivuye kwa Padiri Jim:  
Juni 26, 2022
(African translation)

Padre Jim . . .
26 de Junio de 2022

Dearest parishioners of St. Boniface and St. Leo,

Friday, July 1st, it is official. I am retired. Two weeks ago, we gathered at St. Boniface on the Feast of the Holy Trinity to celebrate and thank God for bringing us together and teaching us all how to dance with the Trinity to the love and grace of God. Thank you for such a wonderful celebration and profound expression of love, faith, and trust in God and in each other. I am humbled, honored, and deeply grateful for all the ways you so generously gifted me and showered me with kindness, encouragement, support, friendship, and love, not just at the Mass and celebration but all through the years.

I thank all of you for being partners with me in ministry, serving God’s people and building God’s kingdom. These last couple of months, you have given me additional joy and blessing as I watched you accept delegation for tasks, service, and ministry.  It is an incredible joy to see the faith being passed on through you and I thank God for you every time I see you yielding to the Spirit to guide you to the truth.

I especially thank the past and present staff in our parishes with whom I have had the privilege to share ministry. God has blessed us tremendously by bringing us together in work, ministry, and prayer. Especially in times of disagreement, I value and respect your endless passion to do what is right and just for the people of God and those entrusted to your care. Your dedication, experience, expertise, willingness to go the extra mile, putting others’ needs before your own give profound witness to your love for God and neighbor. We are all partners and collaborators together with the Spirit in the ways of grace for all of God’s people. Again, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve God’s people with all of you. Let’s continue to pray for each other to stay passionate to serve the Lord and follow his will.

In retirement, I will be assisting Fr. Rudy with weekend help for Sunday Mass. I will be the presider at the 4pm Mass at St. Boniface on Saturday, the 6pm Saturday Mass at St. Leo and the 10:30 Sunday Mass at St. Leo. When school is in session, I will continue to help with school liturgies at St. Boniface. I will also have the two weekday Masses at St. Leo 11:30am on Wednesdays and7pm on Thursdays.

July 1st, Fr. Rudy is your pastor and eventually he will have two Comboni priests to assist him. One is not expected to be available until December. He and they need and want your help. First, to keep the parishes functioning and operating and second, to collaborate and consult with them in developing a plan for when over time our five parishes in our family will function fully as one parish. Help them shape it and design it to become a functioning parish fully alive to continue the work and mission the Lord has entrusted to us.

Beacons of Light is designed to be a collaborative and consultative effort with parish leaders, staff, parish councils, parishioners, and the Archdiocese. Our family of parishes is wonderfully diverse. With such diversity comes the unity that defines the universal church and the talents and gifts of the Spirit to build, renew, restore, heal, forgive, and love in the Lord’s name.

Please welcome your new pastor and parochial vicars as well as each other and all others as you have welcomed me – with the hospitality of the Eucharist. Keep learning to pray the Eucharist well and together and being the Body of Christ who sacrifices for the common good and respects and treats everyone as brothers and sisters in the Lord. I retire with a joyful heart having been blessed by your hospitality and welcome to journey the paschal mystery together. May you continue to welcome others on the journey with you and may God’s blessings abound for you as you follow his will and bring much needed renewal to parish life. Thanks for everything. Union in prayer always.

In his love,

Fr. Jim