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MABLETON–St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church began sending daily email messages this week with meditations on the liturgical year. The meditations were written by Dom Prosper Guéranger, the Benedictine abbot who re-founded the Solesmes monastery in France in 1833. Dom Guéranger wrote a 15-volume series that covers the whole liturgical year with many details of the history of the celebrations and explanations of the significance of many ceremonies.

For example, he begins his chapter on the First Sunday of Advent this way:

This Sunday, the first of the ecclesiastical year, is called, in the chronicles and charts of the middle ages, Ad te levavi Sunday, from the first words of the Introit; or, Aspiciens a longe, from the first words of one of the responsories of Matins.

The Station[1] is at St. Mary Major’s. It is under the auspices of Mary—in the splendid basilica which possesses the crib of Bethlehem, and is therefore called, in ancient documents, St. Mary’s ad Præsepe—that the Roman Church recommences, each year, the sacred cycle. It would have been impossible to select a place more suitable than this for saluting the approach of the divine birth, which is to gladden heaven and earth, and manifest the sublime portent of a Virgin Mother. Let us go in spirit to this august temple, and unite in the prayers which are there being offered up: they are the very ones we also use, and which we will now explain.

The parish has undertaken the task of digitizing some of this work so that it can be read on its website by visiting https://fsspatl.com/liturgical-year, but it is also being distributed via email every day, beginning in Advent. Depending upon the speed of digitization, there could be pauses at different times of the year as more material is processed.

Those who would like to receive daily email messages during Advent and beyond can put their names on the mailing list here.

Photo gallery:

MABLETON—St. Francis de Sales and many other parishes of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) across North America have recorded major growth over the past year, a recent article reported. The FSSP published a story Thursday reporting that St. Francis de Sales had grown from 460 to 600 in the last 12 months, a 30-percent increase.

SMYRNA—Hundreds of parishioners gathered at Tolleson State Park on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 6, for the annual parish picnic. The Knights of Columbus organized the food, while families ate together and children and adults alike played volleyball, frisbee, and soccer. The picnic was blessed with beautiful weather, and people lingered well into the evening enjoying each other's company. Be sure to join us for our next parish event, our All Saints Party on Sunday, Nov. 3.

MABLETON—Today the parish celebrates the 19th anniversary of the consecration of its church, which was done solemnly by Archbishop John F. Donoghue, the former archbishop of Atlanta who in 1994 invited the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) to say the traditional Mass in his archdiocese, created St. Francis de Sales Parish in 1999, and then consecrated the church in an epic five-and-a-half-hour ceremony in 2000.

The pastor, Fr. Joseph DeGuzman, FSSP, will offer a sung Mass at 7:30 pm tonight in thanksgiving to almighty God for the many blessings He has bestowed on this community over the last 25 years, and especially for granting the parish this sacred place of worship.

At the start of Mass, the choir will sing the words of Jacob from Genesis 28:

Terribilis est locus iste: hic domus Dei est et porta cœli: et vocabitur aula Dei.

How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven; and it shall be called the court of God.

The church was consecrated by the archbishop on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2000. The ministers included the founding pastor, Fr. Mark Fischer, FSSP, as deacon of the Mass, and Fr. Christopher Blust, FSSP, as subdeacon.

Photos from Oct. 8, 2000: