Last week I had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to England and Rome. The theme was the life of John Henry Newman. He was canonized last Sunday as a Catholic saint along with four other saints. We were a group of five men, Catholics as well as Lutherans interested in Catholicism.
The journey was important to me and my traveling companions in many ways, as Saint John Henry Newman was perhaps the first Protestant convert to Catholicism to be made a saint. St John Henry Newman was originally an Anglican priest who later converted to Catholicism, and was then ordained a Catholic priest. Later still he was created a cardinal. He strongly influenced the return of Catholic faith to Anglican England.
We first traveled to London, where we stayed in an Opus Dei center. We spent a day in Oxford, a day in Birmingham and a day in London. All the destinations we visited were related to Newman in one way or another. In Oxford we saw St Mary's Church, where he used to preach as an Anglican priest and filled the church hall, and Littlemore, where he was received into the Catholic Church.
The first Mass that I attended in Finland was in English, on a freezing dark winter evening. After I settled, I started remembering my “good days” of going to Mass daily. So I started attending Finnish Mass without knowing any Finnish. It was not easy at the beginning, when I used to pray in my own language (Spanish) as I listened to the Finnish. As a new academic year is starting, I decided to write this guide for all the people who are new in this country, to make it easier for you to follow the Mass in Finnish. And I seriously encourage you go to weekday Mass, because even if you do not know that much Finnish, you can always learn!
The Order of Mass. In most parishes in Finland, there are red* books called Cantemus available at the back of the church. At the beginning of the book there is a complete order of the Mass and the end, you'll find a simpler one in Finnish (as in the photo above).
However, Cantemus is not your only option. The order of Mass is also available at the beginning of the blue plastic-covered song books, and in that version you have handy little figures that show if you should be standing, sitting or kneeling during that part of the Mass.
Over the final weekend of August, from the 23rd through the 25th, around 35 young Catholics gathered for a camp on the theme of Christus Vivit in Nummela. Fr. Eze Charles and a group of youth from Turku and Helsinki organized the event. This was the second diocesan-level youth event this year. The first one was World Youth Day in Finland last January, when we gathered in Helsinki. This time, we got together in a rented cottage near Nummela.
Syrian Civil War: 470,000
The numbers above are estimated death toll of some wars.
When I was small, I thought that one day we would achieve World Peace. 20 years later, I can see that wars are still here.
The world peace utopia has been a topic for thinkers and philosophers since ancient time. A multitude of theories for achieving world peace have been proposed and debated, for instance, peace through strength (e.g. Pax Romana, Pax Americana), Marxism, democracy, globalization, economic reforms, and religious methods. Different parts (nations) of our world have adopted different philosophies towards ensuring peace, by means of internal or cooperative measures.
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.
St Mary's Youth Group on Jan 12:
Until yesterday, I did not know where I had learned the words I knew. But guess what?! A huge percentage of my Finnish vocabulary I have acquired in the Church! We were learning positioning words and furniture, for example oikealla puolella (which I read every Sunday in Creed: at the right [hand of the Father]). There are many more words, such as koska, siksi, jos, leipä, taivas, koti that I realized I had learned by reading the day's Gospel in Spanish while I was listening to it in Finnish, or through repeating prayers or songs.
My answer is: we do a little bit of everything.
To be clearer, I would classify the activities into three groups:
- Formation and spiritual activities, such as catechesis, adoration, prayers, etc.
- Community Service, helping the parish for the Christmas Bazaar or the church coffee for special events.
- Fun, hanging out together, sharing our experiences and sometimes being silly together.
To give you a better description, I will write down what we have been doing recently (or during this past year).
Anna Kristiina El-Khoury
Bishop Teemu Sippo SCJ
Bosnia And Herzegovina
Nordic Youth Meeting
One Body In Christ
Pilgrimage Of Trust
St John Henry Newman
Teemu Sippo SCJ
Turku Youth Group
World Youth Day
World Youth Festival
Youth Group Helsinki
Youth Group St Mary's
Youth Group Turku