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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward a doctorate in liturgical theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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“Although the mass contains great instruction for the faithful people, nevertheless, it has not seemed expedient to the Fathers, that it should be every where celebrated in the vulgar tongue. Wherefore, the ancient usage of each church, and the rite approved of by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being in each place retained; and, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, nor the little ones ask for bread, and there be none to break it unto them, the holy Synod charges pastors, and all who have the cure of souls, that they frequently, during the celebration of mass, expound either by themselves, or others, some portion of those things which are read at mass, and that, amongst the rest, they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on the Lord's days and festivals.”
— Council of Trent (17 September 1562)

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Feeling the Absence
published 29 March 2013 by Fr. David Friel

LL THROUGHOUT THE DAY TODAY, my mind and heart have been preoccupied with a sense of absence. Even upon waking, there seemed to be something monumental missing. I realized during the course of this morning what was the cause of this uncomfortable sense: no Mass today.

Every day of my priesthood, I have exercised my sacred duty to offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass—except for Good Friday. This is the only day of the year when no Mass is celebrated.

Our Mother, the Church, calls us each year to go beyond the sense of absence on this day so as to enter into contemplation of the very first Mass (and the only true Mass), which is the sacrifice of Christ on Mount Calvary. On Holy Thursday, we memorialize the institution of the Mass, and the next day we refrain from offering the Mass so that we can focus on its incredible reality.

I’m grateful to have felt the absence, because it assures me that the Lord has placed a longing in my heart for the Mass. This is a wonderful gift for a priest to receive.