Sacraments, witness paved vocation paths for Loreto parishioners

Through persistent prayer and dedication to Sacred Scripture, Our Lady of Loreto parish in Foxfield has had a hand in four recent religious vocations.

Over the next several months, two women who attended Our Lady of Loreto are taking vows with religious orders and becoming sisters, while one young man will be ordained to the transitional diaconate before becoming a priest. Additionally, Father Matthew Magee, who was just ordained in May, was a longtime parishioner of Our Lady of Loreto.

Monsignor Ed Buelt, pastor of Notre Dame parish in Denver, previously served as pastor of Our Lady of Loreto for 18 years, during which he came to know these four parishioners and their families very well.

Monsignor Buelt insisted that he didn’t do anything special during his time as pastor at Our Lady of Loreto to encourage people to discern religious life. What he did do, though, was begin the majority of his homilies with three simple words.

The Word convicts people of its truth and they want to give their lives over to it.”

“Open your bibles,” Monsignor Buelt told Denver Catholic. “I encouraged everyone to bring their bibles, to write in their bibles, to open their bibles. I didn’t do anything special other than that.

“We were just faithful to the Eucharist and especially to the breaking open of the Word as a homily in the Eucharist. The Word convicts people of its truth and they want to give their lives over to it.”

The Word, and a whole lot of prayer, he said. During his time at Our Lady of Loreto, Monsignor Buelt celebrated one votive Mass a week specifically for religious vocations, and another specifically for priestly vocations. He has since carried this tradition over to Notre Dame parish.

“The whole parish is praying a Eucharist for vocations, and the church offers those two Masses to pray for vocations,” he said.

The first of the vocations, Father Matthew Magee, was ordained a priest May 14 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. He is now serving as Parochial Vicar at in Northwest Colorado at a cluster of parishes: St. Michael in Craig, Holy Family in Meeker and St. Ignatius in Rangely.

 Deacon Matthew Magee receives his vestments during his priest ordination at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on May 14, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Deacon Matthew Magee receives his vestments during his priest ordination at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on May 14, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Father Magee said he is the first “homegrown” vocation from Our Lady of Loreto, having attended the parish for the past 18 years since its founding, and even being the very first communicant to receive Holy Communion there. The constant prayers and encouragement from Monsignor Buelt and the parishioners were instrumental in his vocation.

“I owe Our Lady of Loreto so much for my vocation,” Father Magee said. “What gave me strength over the eight years of seminary was knowing that people had been praying for me and supporting me in my vocation.”

Sister Mary Brigid, took her first vows as a Religious Sister of Mercy Aug. 14. Her baptismal name was Neely Meeks, and she served as the youth minister at Our Lady of Loreto from 2011 to 2013.

“At some point, she was convicted of the mercy of the Lord and of a religious vocation,” Monsignor Buelt said. “She somehow wanted to bring those together in a religious order dedicated to the mercy of the Lord, and that search led he to the Religious Sisters of Mercy.”

SR. BRIGID AND MOTHER MARY_WEB

Sister Mary Brigid, right, poses with Mother Mary, superior of the Religious Sisters of Mercy convent in Alma, Mich., after her taking her first vows Aug. 14. (Photo provided)

Sister Mary Alexandra, known previously as Allie Moffit, will take her final vows as a Little Sister of the Poor in Rennes, France on Aug. 28.

“Something inspired her on her own to contact and then begin to volunteer at Mullen Home for the Aged,” Monsignor Buelt said. “She made the trek there quite often, and she was convicted in her service there.”

Daniel Eusterman will be ordained to the diaconate in Rome on Sept. 29. He’s been studying in Rome for the past three years at the same seminary Monsignor Buelt studied at, and said Monsignor Buelt has invested in him greatly since he entered seminary in 2008.

“He’s been a big support,” Eusterman said of Monsignor Buelt. “[He’s] definitely been a huge role of support and walking along with on as a solid fatherly presence.”

Featured image by Daniel Petty

COMING UP: Rosary mysteries stun in abstract windows

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Ten new stained glass windows installed at Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Foxfield depict the mysteries of the rosary in dazzling pieces of abstract art.

The windows mark yet another addition to Our Lady of Loreto’s already-impressive collection of stained glass windows that adorn their enormous chapel. The windows, which were made possible by an anonymous donor, were designed by artist and Littleton native Scott Parsons, who designed the 16 stained glass windows that were installed at the parish in February 2014.

Monsignor Edward Buelt, pastor of Our Lady of Loreto, and the anonymous donor worked with Parsons to conceptualize the windows, which trace the mysteries of the rosary. In addition to sacred Scripture, they drew from theological works of St. Ephrem of Syria, St. John Paul II and Romano Guardini as guiding principles for their design, which depict the mysteries in brilliant color and an artistic style known as abstract realism.

“[They’re] not the usual depictions of the mysteries,” said Monsignor Buelt. “They are abstract realism because the mysteries of our faith are abstract. Abstract art, by its very nature, requires that you put yourself into it in order to draw yourself out of it, and not simply stand before it.”

Monsignor Buelt said the response to the windows from Our Lady of Loreto parishioners has been nothing but positive.

“They love them. They cry when they see them. They speak of them as stunning, exquisite, miraculous, marvelous,” he said. “You can be engaged by them from anywhere, which is what stained glass windows are supposed to do, to teach, to engage, to call us into those mysteries through which light shines to us.”

The Joyful Rosary: The Annunciation the Virgin Mary can be seen in the center of the window, and the bright light at the top represents the Holy Spirt coming down upon Mary at the Annunciation, an allusion to the book of Isaiah when it says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:2). The lilies in the foreground symbolize Mary (white) and Elizabeth (red).

The Joyful Rosary: The Annunciation
the Virgin Mary can be seen in the center of the window, and the bright light at the top represents the Holy Spirt coming down upon Mary at the Annunciation, an allusion to the book of Isaiah when it says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:2). The lilies in the foreground symbolize Mary (white) and Elizabeth (red).

The Joyful Rosary: The Nativity, Presentation and Finding in the Temple Mary and Joseph are shown at the bottom, admiring the baby Jesus in their arms. The presentation of the child Jesus is represented by the two turtledoves. The Hebrew script at the top says the ancient prophecy written in the book of Isaiah, “They name him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6).

The Joyful Rosary: The Nativity, Presentation and Finding in the Temple
Mary and Joseph are shown at the bottom, admiring the baby Jesus in their arms. The presentation of the child Jesus is represented by the two turtledoves. The Hebrew script at the top says the ancient prophecy written in the book of Isaiah, “They name him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6).

The Luminous Rosary: The Baptism in the Jordan The inspiration for this depiction of Jesus setting the Jordan river ablaze at his Baptism comes from St. Ephram’s Hymns of Faith, where he wrote, “Fire and Spirit are in the womb of her who bore you, Fire and Spirit are in the river in which you were baptized, Fire and Spirit are in our baptism, and in the Bread and Cup is Fire and Holy Spirit.

The Luminous Rosary: The Baptism in the Jordan
The inspiration for this depiction of Jesus setting the Jordan river ablaze at his Baptism comes from St. Ephram’s Hymns of Faith, where he wrote, “Fire and Spirit are in the womb of her who bore you, Fire and Spirit are in the river in which you were baptized, Fire and Spirit are in our baptism, and in the Bread and Cup is Fire and Holy Spirit.”

 

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The Luminous Rosary: The Wedding at Cana and the Proclamation of the Kingdom The grapes and chalices of wine represent Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. At the top of this window, the Proclamation of the Kingdom is shown in an untraditional depiction that fuses an image of Jesus with a Reuters photograph of Christians fleeing from ISIS in the Middle East.

The Luminous Rosary: The Transfiguration and the Institution of the Eucharist Jesus is shown as emitting a glowing light from within at the Transfiguration. In the foreground, the institution of the Eucharist is represented by the chalice and the host.

The Luminous Rosary: The Transfiguration and the Institution of the Eucharist
Jesus is shown as emitting a glowing light from within at the Transfiguration. In the foreground, the institution of the Eucharist is represented by the chalice and the host.

The Sorrowful Rosary: The Agony in the Garden A red wing can be seen reaching down behind the profile of Jesus, symbolizing the archangel who comforted Christ during his agony in the garden. Above, cobwebs are formed, representing the death that Christ will soon conquer, as written in the Book of Isaiah: “On this mountain he will destroy…the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever” (Is 25:7).

The Sorrowful Rosary: The Agony in the Garden
A red wing can be seen reaching down behind the profile of Jesus, symbolizing the archangel who comforted Christ during his agony in the garden. Above, cobwebs are formed, representing the death that Christ will soon conquer, as written in the Book of Isaiah: “On this mountain he will destroy…the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever” (Is 25:7).

The Sorrowful Rosary: The Scourging at the Pillar and Crowning with a Crown of Thorns This window might seem a bit out of place at first, as it features perhaps the least abstract image of all the other windows: a rooster. However, Monsignor Buelt explained that the rooster alludes to Peter and his betrayal and denial of Christ before the crucifixion. “What greater scourging is there than we who continue to sin, to deny Christ even in the midst of his agony,” Monsignor Buelt said. The rooster also one has one leg, repressing the crippling effect that sin has on us. “All we can do is hop. We can’t follow Christ if we’re facing him in our sin as opposed to following behind him,” Monsignor Buelt said.

The Sorrowful Rosary: The Scourging at the Pillar and Crowning with a Crown of Thorns
This window might seem a bit out of place at first, as it features perhaps the least abstract image of all the other windows: a rooster. However, Monsignor Buelt explained that the rooster alludes to Peter and his betrayal and denial of Christ before the crucifixion. “What greater scourging is there than we who continue to sin, to deny Christ even in the midst of his agony,” Monsignor Buelt said. The rooster also one has one leg, repressing the crippling effect that sin has on us. “All we can do is hop. We can’t follow Christ if we’re facing him in our sin as opposed to following behind him,” Monsignor Buelt said.

The Sorrowful and Glorious Rosary: The Crucifixion and the Resurrection The Crucifixion of Christ is viscerally depicted in this window. The bottom of the window features a photograph taken at the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut in December 2012, and Christ’s presence above it represents his conquering of the evil of sin through his crucifixion. “The great evil that is what our society has become is nonetheless redeemed and resurrected by Christ,” Monsignor Buelt explained.

The Sorrowful and Glorious Rosary: The Crucifixion and the Resurrection
The Crucifixion of Christ is viscerally depicted in this window. The bottom of the window features a photograph taken at the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut in December 2012, and Christ’s presence above it represents his conquering of the evil of sin through his crucifixion. “The great evil that is what our society has become is nonetheless redeemed and resurrected by Christ,” Monsignor Buelt explained.

The Glorious Rosary: The Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost The same spirit that appeared at the Annunciation engulfs Christ at his Ascension, who is represented here in a glowing blue color. St. Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians that we understand Christ differently after his death, and Monsignor Buelt explained that if before his death Christ was represented as an orange wood flame, he is now shown as a natural, blue carbon flame. The lattices below him are an allusion to the Song of Songs.

The Glorious Rosary: The Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
The same spirit that appeared at the Annunciation engulfs Christ at his Ascension, who is represented here in a glowing blue color. St. Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians that we understand Christ differently after his death, and Monsignor Buelt explained that if before his death Christ was represented as an orange wood flame, he is now shown as a natural, blue carbon flame. The lattices below him are an allusion to the Song of Songs.

The Glorious Rosary: The Second Coming and the Consummation of All Things in Christ Though the final two mysteries of the Rosary are traditionally the Assumption and Crowning of Mary, Monsignor Buelt drew inspiration for this last window from the theologian Romano Guardini, who argued that the final two mysteries are the Second Coming of Christ and the consummation of all things in him. The swirling halo of wildflowers surrounding Christ and the facade of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception symbolize him coming to Colorado. Additionally, Christ is depicted as a young, athletic, beardless man, according to how the early Church described Christ in his Second Coming. The candle flame at the bottom reminds us to “keep your lamps burning brightly, for you do not know when the Son of Man is coming” (Mt 25:13).

The Glorious Rosary: The Second Coming and the Consummation of All Things in Christ
Though the final two mysteries of the Rosary are traditionally the Assumption and Crowning of Mary, Monsignor Buelt drew inspiration for this last window from the theologian Romano Guardini, who argued that the final two mysteries are the Second Coming of Christ and the consummation of all things in him. The swirling halo of wildflowers surrounding Christ and the facade of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception symbolize him coming to Colorado. Additionally, Christ is depicted as a young, athletic, beardless man, according to how the early Church described Christ in his Second Coming. The candle flame at the bottom reminds us to “keep your lamps burning brightly, for you do not know when the Son of Man is coming” (Mt 25:13).