Papa Z's Views and Comments

Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I would like to wish all 8 of my faithful readers a very blessed Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord.

Yes, I know, in most dioceses in the United States, the feast has been moved to Sunday; ostensibly because fewer people would actually come to Mass on a Thursday (same story with the Feast of the Epiphany) but I don't buy it!

Frankly, friends, with regard to Mass attendance, the Catholic Church does not demand a whole lot. Sundays, and a small handful of Holy Days of Obligation. Heck, if we were Baptists, it would be Sunday morning AND Sunday evening AND Wednesday evening! (And a much higher percentage of our income would be expected!)

I'd love to see the Feast observed on its correct day, and to hear sung those glorious Ascension Day hymns that so few people know anymore. Five years ago, prior to my conversion, I was doing some research in Oxford (yes, poor me! And the library was literally steps away from the Eagle and Child! But I digress). I was staying at St. Stephan's House, Oxford -- a rather "high church" Anglican seminary. On Ascension Day, I was invited by some of the students to accompany them up to the roof of the chapel (via a typical medieval castle-style winding staircase) where we gathered and sang an Ascension Day hymn. I believe it was "See the Conqueror Mount In Triumph" or "Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise". It was wonderful!

Besides the two hymns listed above, my other favorite Ascension Day hymn is "Hail Thee Festival Day".

Anyone else have a favorite?


Papa Z