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Learn about the Mass: what is going on?


From the earliest days of the Church, Christians have understood that being a Christian isn’t a private matter. We are called to be Christians together. We should be talking with God privately throughout our days and weeks, but our primary form of worshipping God—Sunday Mass—is both public and communal.

The Archdiocesan Offices of Liturgy and Catechesis presented a series of six talks on the Mass in 2012. You can learn how the four parts of Mass matter to our lives. You can also learn what—in plain language—is taking place during the Sacred Liturgy that we call "Mass.".

Archived webcasts of each of the six talks are available below. Discussion questions to use for personal reflection, or for discussion with a small group, are also available for download.

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Give us your feedback about these webcasts by sending an email to catechesis(at)


1. Dialogue with God through Christ – Rev. Paul Kavanagh, Director of Liturgy

Edited version of the webcast from January 18, 2012.

In this talk, Fr. Paul Kavanagh, Director of Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Edmonton speaks about the Mass as a means by which we communicate with Our Lord. He talks about some of the changes to our liturgical prayers and responses since Advent 2011. He also tells why the introductory rites are not to be missed.


2. The Mass: Two Tables – Rev. Paul Moret

Edited version of the webcast from February 16, 2012.

In this session, Fr. Paul Moret talks about the two tables at which the people of God are nourished during the Mass:

  • the table of God's word through proclamation of the Scriptures, and

  • the table of the altar, where the Holy Eucharist is consecrated.

 The following documents can be downloaded to help you follow from home or with your group:

Read the Western Catholic Reporter article.


3. Real Presence – Rev. Stephen Hero, Rector – St. Joseph's Seminary

Edited version of the webcast from March 14, 2012.

In this session, Fr. Stephen Hero, rector of St. Joseph Seminary, and a professor at Newman Theological College, focuses on our Catholic belief that Christ himself – his real, true body and blood, soul and divinity – is present in the Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine.

Read the Western Catholic Reporter article


4. Glorify the Lord with Your Life – Rev. Huy Nguyen, Diocese of Calgary

Edited version of the webcast from April 18, 2012.

In this session, Fr. Huy Nguyen, a former member of the formation team at St. Joseph Seminary, speaks about the signifigance of the closing rite of the Mass. He talks about how we are sent forth from Mass to carry out the mission given to us in baptism and renewed in the Eucharist. We are each given a mission at Mass, and we are sent to carry it out in our daily lives... to be renewed agin when we gather the next Sunday.


Read the Western Catholic Reporter article

5. Source and Summit – Rev. Stefano Penna, Newman Theological Ciollege

Edited version of the webcast from May 16, 2012.

In this session, Fr. Stefano Penna, VP of College Development and Advancement at Newman Theological College, talks about the importance of keeping the Lord's Day. Sunday is the day set apart by Christians since the first Easter. The day of the Lord is a day of rest, reorientation, and re-rooting Christians in their identity as members of the Body of Christ, the Church. Setting aside Sunday to participate in Mass and gather as God's family anchors Christians in the life-giving rhythm where God's heartbeat connects with ours. God gives us Himself—body, blood, soul, and divinity—to reaffirm His everlasting love for us and our value and dignity as His beloved children.

Read the Western Catholic Reporter article

6. Become What We Receive – Rev. John Reddy

Edited version of the webcast from June 6, 2012.

In this session, Fr. John Reddy, Pastor of Good Shepherd Parish talks about how, by participating at Mass, we become what we receive. Christians believe that God has chosen to reveal God's self in the person of Jesus Christ. From the beginning of his human life, Jesus chose to know the will of God and to do it. Jesus said to the disciples, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work." When we gather at Mass, we gather to celebrate the sacrifice of the Cross, the self-giving obedience and love of Jesus Christ to the will of the Father. We who are invited to the Mass must also become a sign of love and service (Mark 10:43-45).

Read the Western Catholic Reporter article


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