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Volume 16 – June 2017
Dear Havurim (friends),
By now you have already celebrated Lent, Passover, Easter, Ascension, and Shavout/Pente- cost. We hope that you have been blessed through this most fruitful time in the Church and filled to overflowing with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)
We have an update on our Missionary travels this past Lent. We were invited to lead 2 Passover Seders in the Light of Messiah in the Louisville, KY area. Deacon Franco and Ellie Cottrell, dear friends we met during our time in the Louisville area from 2012 to 2014, coordinated these events so that we could be there. Between the 2 Seders, we had over 150 people who had a chance to participate in the Seders, and what a joyful time that was. We spent time on the Army Base of Fort Knox to celebrate with the Catholic Parish of Fort Knox on base, and we also met with St. Christopher Parish in Radcliffe, KY, just off base. At St. Christopher, we met a veteran who grew up in Brooklyn, NY who has a Jewish mother and an Italian father. He came with his kippah already on, and he loved the experience.
In both Seders, the Pastors of the parishes were with us and helped us through the Haggadah. We had lots of good feedback from those in attendance. Many commented that this was their first Passover Seder, but they also realized how connected the Seder is to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
We also gave away lots of materials on the AHC. Both parishes asked us to come back again next year, which we are very happy to do.
These Passover Seders are easy to do either at your Parish or in your homes, since we follow the Haggadah that the AHC put together. The Seder can be done anytime during Lent, since it leads right into the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. It is very easy to follow, and we hope that more of you can celebrate Passover next year in your home parishes.
Thanks to everyone who sent us some updates and reports from your havurah groups. We have received several inquiries from around the world from those who want to start groups. We have lots of materials online at www.hebrewdatholic.net, and we are available by email and phone to assist you as well.
In the coming months, we are going to add to these resources and do our best to make it even easier to start and develop more groups around the world. We have been working with David and Kathleen to come up with ideas on how to organize a template for your meetings. We have noticed that we have many different styles of groups, which is good, but this also makes it more difficult to start new groups.
Since we have personally started 2 groups in 2 different cities, we have a good sense of the task at hand. We understand it takes some chutzpah, and we hope that when we provide a template for your meetings, this will allow more of you out there to get your havurah up and run- ning quickly. Gathering the people and finding a place to meet should be the only two things to consider when starting your new havurah. Please feel free to reach out to us personally by email or by phone to assist you.
On a separate note, we are hoping that sometime in the next year or so we can set up the first One-Day AHC conference. We had 2 tentatively planned this Spring and Summer, but we had to reschedule. If you are interested in organizing a One-Day Conference for inviting David Moss, Ken Wilsker, and Dr. Lawrence Feingold as speakers, please contact us, or contact David and Kathleen Moss. We can help you get organized, and we have many ideas on how to pro- mote this important event. This could be a perfect way to build enough interest to start and to energize the havurah in your area.
We wish you a restful and rejuvenating summer (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), and we will get back to you as we get closer to the High Holidays.
Our Lady of the Miracle and St. Edith Stein, pray for us!
Ken and Flora Wilsker
ahc.havurah @yahoo.com 314-649-5648
On Earth as it is in Heaven
I don’t know about you, but I have a deep longing for community. I mean the type of community where people rely on one another, trusting God and loving each other as best they know how at the time. Kenny and I experienced this for a short time in our lives as part of a Messianic Jewish community while living in NY, and we have yet to see that occur again as Catholics. Maybe I will never see this longing fulfilled this side of heaven, but the prayer Yeshua gave us compels me to believe, ”thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So somehow I be- lieve it could exist. How to do it is the biggest question.
Building a community starts by establishing trusting relationships and relying on one another. I am sure this is why Yeshua asks us to trust in Him because that close relationship can only be strongest when we depend or rely on Him. Relying on one another is one way to begin the process of building a community of being one in Him. For a simple example, in our havurah, we rely on one another to bring a dish for our dinner that results in a mystery meal which becomes more joyful, delicious, and creative. We rely on the participants to take part in the process of the evening, clearing the table, serving dessert, helping with dishes, and sharing our thoughts dur- ing the discussions. We are refreshed by the coming together, the process of giving to one an- other a part of ourselves. So then how do we begin to build a community scattered all over the world? How do we begin to rely on one another, giving a part of ourselves to others, trusting one another as we grow this Hebrew Catholic Community? How do we accomplish a sense of com- munity online?
I pose these questions because I don’t have the answers and hope that by asking, we can all ask ourselves these questions as we journey forward. I believe a part of the equation and a valuable start is relying on one another for prayer. I don’t just mean the shoot-a-prayer-occa- sionally-toward-God type of prayer, but a regular knocking-on-the-door type of prayer. Commit to praying for the havurot, or even for an individual when and if they come to mind. God placed them there for a reason.
So I ask you, is there a longing in your heart for a greater sense of community? How do we ac- complish this? How do we grow together and in Him online and in separate locations? You are the havurah leaders that God has placed in your area….how do you see this flourishing? Do you have a sense, as I do, that God is calling us to step up to something more? I sense a new simplicity but a change in what we are currently doing. What is God saying to you? Please pray and share what you have been given. We’re ready to hear what you have to share and thank you, in advance, for your prayer and input.
May Our Lord bless and keep you close to HIs Sacred Heart.
Flora Salvatore Wilsker
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us!
News from the Diaspora
From the St. Edith Stein Havurah of Saint Louis
The St. Edith Stein Havurah had been meeting sporadically over the previous 6 months due to David Moss’s disability from October to December. Just when he began to walk again in Jan- uary during a two-month healing process, his youngest sister Susan was hospitalized in January for leukemia in La Crosse, Wisconsin. David and Kathleen spent almost a month away, between visiting Susan and attending her funeral. She died on March 9. Her funeral Mass took place on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, one day short of her first anniversary of entering the Church in La Crosse. May she rest in peace.
As has become our tradition, we held our Passover Seder in the Light of Christ on April 8, the Saturday evening preceding Palm Sunday. It was a wonderful celebration of God’s liberation of the People Israel from bondage to slavery in Egypt, a figure anticipating Easter Triduum when we celebrate God’s liberation of all people from the bondage to sin through our Lord Jesus Christ. As always, we invited new people to our Seder, this year including the rector of our Cathedral Basilica.
On April 28, we began a two-session study of a little booklet imported from England entitled, The Name of God. Written by Canon Michael Lewis, a Hebrew Catholic priest in England, it covered the meaning and significance of the name of God through both the Old and New Tes- taments. We completed the study on Friday, May 19.
On Friday, May 26, we began watching the 4-part DVD series, The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah and the Fulfillment of the Old Testament by Brant Pitre. At its completion in June, we will take our summer break.
When we resume in the fall, we are considering beginning a weekly meeting studying Scripture, with both Jewish and Catholic commentaries to help us along the way.
Our publishing arm, The Miriam Press, just brought back into print Msgr. Eugene Kevane’s small book, The Lord of History: Christocentrism and the Philosophy of History. Msgr. Kevane collabo- rated with Fr. Friedman, and both agreed that we had entered that phase of salvation history in which the apostasy was in full bloom. This book explores that theme and is available in our web store.
Also, as a reminder, if you wish to purchase any media for your ongoing havurah study, you can order whatever we have in our webstore at a discount of 50% for items produced by the AHC or The Miriam Press, and 25% for all other material.
The Hebrew Catholic, issue #101, has been published and sent out. If you do not already re- ceive our publication, you are welcome to read it online, or request a sample issue by sending your request to email@example.com.
Finally, and most importantly, we are happy to announce that Ken Wilsker was nominated and approved by the AHC Board of Directors to be the next AHC Chairman of the Board. He as- sumed his new responsibilities on May 13, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the first of the Fatima apparitions. Ken and Flora will remain as AHC Havurah Coordinators. Please remember Ken and Flora, along with the work of the AHC, in your prayers.
David and Kathleen Moss
From the Light of Prayer Havurah, Winona
Hi Ken and Flora,
I hope all is going well with you. Spring is finally coming to Minnesota, and it s good to see the trees budding.
We have been unable to meet many times this past Winter due to bad weather and much ill- ness. But we are looking forward to meeting May 20th.
We are still working on Jewish Identity along with a portion of the DVD, The Story of the Jews. We hope to be done with the book by Fall. We have not decided on what to pursue next, so if there are any recommendations, it would be appreciated.
Thank you and God’s Blessings,
Light of Prayer Havurah
From the Bnei Miriam Havurah, Tasmania
I hope this is not too late.
Our havurah as usual held a Pesach Seder here at our Beit Achim (House of Brothers) at St Joseph’s Hidden Place in the very south of Tasmania. This year, there were 14 of us celebrating the Seder. We bought our Passover wine and matzah and other items such as horseradish and chocolate-covered matzah from the Rabbi at the beautiful old Synagogue in Hobart which is built in the Egyptian style of the 1840’s. It is used by both the orthodox Jews and the Reform Jews for their services. The prayer for the Queen and Royal Family have never been updated, and it still has the prayer for Queen Victoria rather than Elizabeth II.
We spent some time talking with our 33 year-old Rabbi and his little son whom we call “the little Rabbi,” and he got us to don tefillin while we were there. We spent all day on Monday preparing and cooking, and miraculously that morning, some Passover supplies such as kippot, the Seder plate, and Miriam’s cup arrived in the mail just in time.
The group included us three consecrated brothers, plus two families and another lady who is our dear friend Dinah, a Catholic of Jewish ancestry. Samantha, a practicing Catholic, and James, a lapsed Anglican who sometimes attends the Catholic church with his family, are a couple in their late 40’s, and their 13 year-old daughter Hannah and 16 year-old son Louis attended with them. The second family were the Kay family which included Tanya who is a practicing Catholic of Jewish ancestry and her husband Des who is an occasional Catholic. They are in their late 40’s, and their son Ryan and his wife Amy (a young married couple), and Tanya and Des’ two other sons Joseph (16) and Daniel (20) attended. So I worked it out that 7 of us were Hebrew Catholics, and 7 were not. However, we have just found out that Amy is pregnant with her first child, so if we count the baby in the womb, there were 8 of Jewish ancestry.
It was Tanya’s ancestor Joseph Solomon’s family that built and provided the land for the beautiful Egyptian-style Synagogue in Hobart where we bought our Seder supplies from the Rabbi. As usual, we used the traditional orthodox Jewish family Haggadah which we read mostly in English with bits of Hebrew for the blessings and some of the singing such as Dayenu. The men all wore a kippa, and everyone participated joyfully.
This was the first time that the others had attended a Seder except for us brothers and Dinah. They all said they learnt a lot, and James thoroughly enjoyed himself and loved the mix of the eating, drinking, praying, and talking. We had plenty of kosher wine and grape juice, so all were happy. Next year, we may hold the Seder at our parish church so that we can invite a lot more people, but it is a lot of work, so we will have to seriously discern whether that is God’s Will.
As usual, we hold our weekly traditional orthodox-Jewish-style Sabbath meal which is a weekly activity of our small Bnei Miriam Havurah.