Brick by Brick in Sugar Land, TX

For your “Brick by Brick” file comes this from a reader:

St Theresa’s in Sugar Land had it’s annual youth winter retreat, but with a few notable changes.  Adoration included 30 minutes of silence (rare for youth gatherings.). Mass was celebrated Ad Orientem by the pastor, Fr. Stephan B. Reynolds.  During communion kneelers were set out.  The Homily included catechesis and the history of these practices and their recent dissipation.  The young people were extremely receptive, they noted that they were better able to sense the sacredness of the Mass and it’s mystery.

A mixture of chants and Jesus I love you music were used.  Definitely a beautiful step in the right direction.  We must build from the bottom up.  The youth are hungry for the faith and it’s reason.  God bless the priests who are willing to teach and lead by example!

WDTPRS KUDOS to Fr. Reynolds.



coffeeWhen you are wondering what it is going to take to restore a sense of the sacred and reestablish continuity in our liturgical worship, why not cogitate over a piping hot WDTPRS mug filled to the brim with Mystic Monk Coffee?

With each bean you grind or each sip you take of that Jingle Bell Java goodness, or that Cowboy Blend or even one of those froo froo flavored coffees I never buy… but you should if you like that sort of thing…  you advance, I am not making this up, you advance the cause of liturgical excellence.  How, you might ask, do you do that?  Well, I’ll tell you!

It’s like this…. By helping the traditional Carmelites in Wyoming, who are traditional in their liturgical life, you support a community whose prayers support and sustain the whole Church.  They also set a good example for other religious communities and those who aspire to the religious life of the evangelical counsels.  You also, by getting their coffee through my link, help to keep the undersigned online and feisty.

You need coffee anyway, so buy it from them.  And it makes good gifts as well.

Mystic Monk Coffee!

It’s liturgically swell!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. gc5341 says:

    I visited a friend in Sugarland a few months ago and attended this wonderful church for Mass. The architecture and the attitude of the priest is traditional. I was pleased by this.

  2. benedetta says:

    How beautiful for the youth of St. Theresa’s of Sugar Land!

  3. TJerome says:

    fabulous news. The old, liturgical “progressive” establishment will be grieved, no “kumbaya.” Thanks Father Z for sharing this.

  4. tobiasmurphy says:

    I once interviewed for a position to teach Latin at the school there. A priest friend of mine knows Fr. Reynolds and told me he is fantastic.

    Good for them!

  5. RichR says:

    Texas is a thriving center of Catholicism, and one of the greatest vehicles of grace has been the Catholic Student Center at Texas A&M University. Solid catechesis and a deep spirituality have formed many years of students who then take that zeal wherever they go after graduation. It is very contagious, and the youth are seeing this.

  6. Ben Yanke says:

    This is wonderful! I hope this trend continues (minus the other 50% of the “I love Jesus” music…)!

    Almost every year, I attend a Youth 2000 retreat, and besides the above said music, it’s wonderful spending almost an entire weekend in Our Lord’s Eucharistic presence. Last year, we implemented the “Benedictine arrangement”, but I hope we go all the way next time!

  7. AnAmericanMother says:

    Q: What do you send for Christmas to your Methodist sister-in-law who has everything?

    A: Mystic Monk Coffee!!! :-D

    It’s still swell. I took sample packs to work, we’ve started a Coffee Fund because the cafeteria coffee has progressed from dishwater to bilgewater. Mystic Monk has been voted “best coffee ever” by the office — next big decision: Hazelnut or Royal Rum Pecan?

  8. lucy says:

    Fabulous !! Kudos to Fr. Reynolds !

    And, yes, you are at your best when you are feisty. I have 8 packages of Mystic Monk Coffee on my table now ready for shipping to family and friends who love good coffee. And kept one for myself – Jingle Bell Java – can’t wait to open it on Christmas morning !

  9. lucy says:

    An American Mother –

    By all means, buy Royal Rum Pecan – it’s SWELL !

  10. AnAmericanMother says:

    I’m all for the Royal Rum Pecan . . . but the Hazelnut is awfully good too. And then I also like the French Vanilla. It’s even better than Waffle House coffee (WH coffee is quite good if kind of middle-of-the-road.)

    We’ll probably have to take a vote . . . or go on buying sample packs!

  11. And you know how to buy it, too!

  12. Elizabeth D says:

    “They also set a good example for other religious communities and those who aspire to the religious life of the evangelical counsels.”

    Well this is true. There are those among the true heirs of the charism of St Teresa and St John of the Cross in need of having a good example shown to them of living the evangelical counsels deeply. And this is not at all to say they are not good men, because in my experience they really are and I have a great deal to be grateful to them for. As for liturgy, the Carmelite Rite liturgy of the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance (this was the origin of the founder of the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming) was never the liturgy of the Discalced Carmelites, rather St John of the Cross adopted for them the standard Latin Rite liturgy, and their liturgical style relatively plain and simple. It is a spirituality of interior prayer rather than a very liturgical spirituality, though there is great devotion to the Eucharist. I DO think it would be nice of the OCD friars would have more interest in the Tridentine liturgy, not for liturgy’s sake but because of the value of the spirituality of it.

  13. Christo et Ecclesiae says:

    From someone who loves Gregorian Chant AND “I love Jesus” music, I want to say that they are both powerful forms of worship as is silence. I really enjoy leading prayer with the contemporary music, no kumbaya, I assure you. They key in everything is PROPER CATECHESIS and an appropriate forum!

    And as a college student, I want to attest to the youth’s attraction to our Eucharistic Lord. In high school, many of us were drawn to a very sacramental Catholic life and had very proper formation. My high school not only provided me with wonderful retreats centered around Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (complete with yay Jesus music!). But my school also provided firm instruction in the faith (especially from our Senior apologetics class). The liturgies were regarded highly, celebrated with sobriety, and showed the richness of the Church’s tradition (for instance, incensing and a full regiment of altar servers at every school mass!). Many of us even spent many a lunch period in contemplative prayer in our school’s chapel in His Presence.

    Let’s pray that today’s youth continue to be drawn to the Lord in the Eucharist, and whatever the vehicles, that proper catechesis occurs!

  14. bgeorge77 says:

    A few great things that also happened at that retreat:

    1. Rosary every morning.
    2. Angelus at noon.
    3. Compline (LoTH Night Prayer) each night.
    4. Confession was offered for HOURS.

  15. Christo et Ecclesiae says:

    Beautiful pictures! Quite inspiring. :)

    I was so pleased that when they built a new chapel at my high school they put the Tabernacle at focus behind the altar. Our president/chaplain was sure to put an altar cross there as well!

  16. JohnW says:

    Father Reynolds is in deed a very holy priest. Father was assigned to the parish of my youth and did many wonders for the church. My coffee just arrived and my wife and I think it is the best we have ever had.

  17. dad29 says:

    It continually amazes me that some adults treat youth (and children) as though they are utterly incapable of understanding, devoid of competitiveness, and perfectly happy with pablum.

    Strikes me as psychological projection. I have taught, coached, and raised a LOT of chilluns. A few, yes, did not want to excel.

    The rest? Get out of their way! They know …..ahhhh…..bovine excrement……when that’s what they’re fed.

  18. sugarlandsteve says:

    I’m involved at the other parish (St. Laurence) in Sugar Land. I occasionally attended holy day Masses at St. Theresa’s when it was in the “before” configuration shown in the pictures in the link from r.j.sciurus–I think it was worse than the pictures show. It’s great to see the new architecture.

    While our parish church is not quite as architecturally pleasing as St. Theresa’s, even after our recent renovation, there’s a lot of good going on there as well. My daughter’s First Communion retreat about 9 months ago also included 20-30 minutes of adoration, though not all of it was silent–some of the time was spent by one of our priests explaining why adoration matters. With maybe 150 second-graders and at least one parent attending with each (required by the parish), a lot of people were exposed to, or reminded of, the key facet of our Faith: He is there, Son of God and Son of Mary, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Eucharist.

    We also had an Advent penance service a couple weeks ago, with a total of 15 priests available for Confession; the service started at 7 pm, and I didn’t get to the head of the line until almost 9:00. I’d guess that 400+ people attended. Confession is regularly available with two priests for an hour before the Saturday Mass, as well as available after daily Mass each morning and another hour Wednesday evening. Each of the 6 Sunday Masses are packed to fire-hazard levels (well, maybe not the 7:30 am) in a church that seats about 1500. Perpetual adoration has been in place for a number of years, and the fruits seem to be obvious. A parishioner, son of one of our permanent deacons, was ordained to the priesthood a couple of years ago, and another parish son will be ordained in the spring. God willing, may there be many more.

    RichR is right: not that it can’t be better still, but Catholicism in Texas is thriving. God has blessed us with good bishops of late, and the priests and people are responding.

  19. kolbe1019 says:

    I actually work for Fr. Reynolds and we all need to pray for him and all of our priests. One thing all parishes can learn from St. Theresa’s is REGULAR confession. Confession is offered at St Theresa’s 17 times a week! They start after every Mass (3 times a day) and they don’t end at a specific time. If you have ever needed confession and have not had a priest who believes in sin and the power of confession you would appreciate Fr. Reynolds. Many of us owe our souls to Fr. Reynolds, because he didn’t compromise and say xyz isn’t a mortal sin or to not worry about it. Please pray for him as you can see how the Devil must hate him. I pray that God inspires many vocations because of his example!

  20. kolbe1019 says:

    For a parishes with almost 15,000 parishioners one hour on Saturday doesn’t cut it. Not with the wide spread addictions to pornography and masturbation that plagues suburbia. Morning confessions are good, but that is useless to most working people and teenagers…

    St. John Vianney, Pray for us!

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