Our Passover Seder

Make Holy Week unforgettable.

The Cathedral Parish will celebrate the Passover Seder this year on Sunday, April 2 at 6:00 pm. 

To participate in the Seder, you must attend the Preparatory Session on Sunday, March 26 at 5:00 pm in the Cathedral Center.

Passover, the longest continually-celebrated feast in human history, begins this year at sunset on April 5, which means it falls one day before Holy Thursday. But in eternal time, Passover is always on Holy Thursday, because they are the same event: the last supper of Jesus was the Passover on Thursday evening, the fourteenth day of Nisan, in 33 AD. 

Our parish will celebrate Passover on Sunday, April 2, which is three days early and not at all kosher! But since we’re observing the feast as Christians, we can take liberties. 

The date of Passover is governed by the law given in Exodus 12: “Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of the month of Nisan, they shall take, every man, a lamb… and they shall keep it until the fourteenth day, when the whole assembly shall kill their lambs in the evening.” The month Nisan is “Abib” in Hebrew, which means “green ears of grain,” an obvious reference to Spring.

So Passover is always on the first full moon of Spring. It had to be a full moon; God would not have sent the whole nation of Israel on a night march with no light. Spring begins at the equinox, March 21, the day on which day and night are equal in duration. After the Equinox, the days get longer… and that is Spring! The first full moon after the Spring Equinox falls on April 5 this year.

Have you wondered why the date of Easter changes from year to year? Easter is set as the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon (Passover). It’s what is called in the Church a “moveable feast” and the dates of those feasts for the coming year are read every year at the Mass of the Epiphany.

The three pilgrim feasts of Israel are each associated with an agricultural season: the barley harvest around Passover; the wheat harvest around Pentecost; and grapes in the fall around the feast of Tabernacles. Yahweh required that the men of Israel should journey to worship at the Jerusalem Temple on those three days. 

That’s why Jerusalem was so packed with people on Palm Sunday in 33 AD, when Jesus rode into the city on a donkey; it was the tenth day of Nisan. Jews from all over the world had to be in the Holy City for the pilgrimage feast, to procure a lamb without blemish for the Passover sacrifice four days later, on the fourteenth day of Nisan.

In essence, Passover is the memorial of that miracle by which God saved the people of Israel from bitter slavery in Egypt. He brought them through the ten plagues which struck Egypt, but left Israel unharmed, then led them through the Red Sea on dry land, toward the land that had been promised to their fathers. Miracle upon miracle upon miracle!

Despite the cartoon movies that have been made about the Exodus, the plagues were truly frightful. The food crops of the Egyptians were completely destroyed, their animals covered with boils and infection, the waters of the great Nile river turned to blood, the light of the sun was extinguished, and finally, every Egyptian first-born was found dead in his bed. 

Try to imagine the complete contamination of our water, all our wealth destroyed, no food to be had, and the sun withdrawing its warmth and light. Wouldn’t you pretty much agree to anything at that point? But no, Pharoah continues to hoard his power over his slaves, until finally the death of the Egyptian children breaks him down. He practically begs the Israelites to leave his country. But after they’ve left, he changes his mind again and goes after them. It is a drama about evil and its persistence; evil will risk even its own destruction to stay in power.

At churches all over the country this spring, Christians will celebrate the Passover. It has become a popular “living Bible study.” But for Catholics, it has the most poignant meaning because we have been celebrating the Passover our entire Catholic lives, mostly without realizing it. 

All our lives, we have heard the “Paschal Mystery” proclaimed: the suffering, death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus. “Pascha” is Greek for Passover. We’re about to hear that word much more often, throughout the Easter season. In the Sequence on Easter Sunday, we will hear proclaimed, “Christians, to the Paschal Victim offer your thankful praises!” The Alleluia verse will be, “Christ, our Paschal Lamb has been sacrificed.” All the Easter prefaces will refer to “Christ, our Passover.” He is the Paschal lamb, the Passover sacrifice.

And so to learn more about Passover is to enter more deeply, more consciously into the Passover sacrifice of Jesus that we celebrate at every Mass. 

When Catholics encounter the Jewish celebration of Passover for the first time, there are flashes of recognition, gasps of wonder. Because what Yahweh commanded to Moses 3000 years ago is what we say and do at every Mass. 

It’s like discovering ancestral stories that give you a clue about how you came to be the way you are. My grandmother grew up at switching stations on the Santa Fe railway, and now my heart goes thump whenever I hear a train whistle. My grandfather was Irish, and the sound of Celtic flutes makes me cry.

When Catholics celebrate the ancient Passover rite, with words and actions that are part of the fabric of us, we are suddenly whooshed into the 3000-year river of salvation history. We encounter the proof of God’s eternal plan, set into motion in antiquity, still alive today.

As the Cathedral Parish celebrates Passover this year, watch and listen for all the prayers and gestures that you are so familiar with.

In the Old Testament, God is very particular about the way in which He desires to be worshipped. He is very specific. The lamb must be a year-old male, spotless, with no broken bones. The bread must have no leavening agents. The herbs must be bitter. The celebrants must tuck up their tunics, and be ready to travel. 

And the blood of the spotless lamb must be sprinkled on the doorposts of the houses of Israel. Skepticism or disregard of this command resulted in the death of the oldest child of the household, and even the first-born of the animals. There were no innovations, no nods to the spirit of the times. The people must do precisely as God commanded.

It’s part of God’s divine pedagogy, that is, His way of teaching. His ways are incomprehensibly glorious; we can’t understand them at first glance. So God has to prepare His people to receive His plan.

All the steps God took with Israel were “teaching moments,” no matter how bizarre they seemed. The unbelievable command for Abraham to slaughter his long-awaited, only beloved son? It was a teaching on the radical nature of the sacrifice that would be required to save us. That strange and not-so-appetizing manna that fed the Israelites in the desert? Preparation for the day that Jesus would tell his disciples they had to eat His flesh to have eternal life.

You could practically trace the whole story of salvation through bread. Melchizedek, the primordial priest, brought out bread and wine to bless Abram, the chosen of God and patriarch of Israel. When God issued His precise commands for the building of the temple, He commanded that “the bread of the face” must be before the Holy of Holies at all times.  The Savior was born in Bethlehem, the “house of bread” in Hebrew; Jesus multiplied bread for the crowds following Him. He delivered a difficult-to-swallow teaching on the bread of life, and He blessed the bread of the Passover to show exactly what He meant by those words. 

An even richer history could be taken through the figure of the lamb, from Abraham’s substitutionary sacrifice, to the daily sacrifice at the Jerusalem Temple, and the entire symbolism of the Lamb of God, the Lamb that was slain but not dead, who appears at the Throne of God in Heaven. 

And consider wine: commanded by God for the joyful feast days, Jesus’ miraculous changing of water to wine at the beginning of his ministry, the four cups at wine at the Passover supper, the chalice of the New Covenant consecrated by Jesus.  

Passover brings all those threads, bread, wine and the lamb, together in one grand event, commanded by God as an everlasting ordinance. The long millennia of celebrating Passover was the key that allowed the apostles to, finally, understand Jesus’s enigmatic words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. 

Passover plays the central role in God’s divine schooling, preparing us for the sacrifice of the Eucharist. At every seminal moment in Israel’s history, the Passover was front and center. The original Passover was the evening before Israel was delivered from slavery. When Israel finally entered the holy land, they celebrated Passover. When the exiles returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, they celebrated Passover. When Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem for three days, to the consternation of his parents, it was Passover. When He multiplied the bread, it was Passover. Passover is the key. 

The central place of the Passover in the life of Israel has flowered into the central place of the Mass in the life of the new Israel. So much preparation, so many millennia of teaching, all so that we would understand Jesus’ gift to us at the last Passover of his earthly life. God has been preparing us for the moment of Communion for thousands of years. Passover is that preparation.

This year, make your Holy Week unforgettable with the Passover Seder.

Join us this year on Sunday March 26 at 5:00 for the preparatory session and on Palm Sunday, April 2 at 6:00 pm for the celebration.

Prayer on the Square One Year Anniversary

A group of us have been praying the Holy Rosary every week on the Square in Downtown Tyler. We gather as Mary’s Army to fight evil and seek the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart! We pray the rosary for our county, community, and Church. We pray for all souls to know the true love of our Savior Jesus Christ!

To document this year in history and our dedication to prayer,
our dear friend Sheryl has created this video. Enjoy the show!

To learn more about Prayer on the Square, Click Here!

Novena for Bishop Joseph E. Strickland

Join us, the faithful sheepfold of the Diocese of Tyler, and become a Prayer Warrior for our Good Shepherd. Let’s unite to pray, from wherever you call home, in or outside the Diocese of Tyler, and show our love and support for his Excellency Bishop Joseph E. Strickland, Bishop for the World!

Beginning on Tuesday, November 29th & Ending on December 7th

Novena to the Immaculate Conception

During the nine days of prayer, you are invited to make a Holy Hour for Bishop Strickland at the Chapel of Sts. Peter & Paul or wherever you can adore Jesus in the Eucharist. The intentions of Bishop Strickland’s Novena will be submitted at the tomb of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois.


Reminders by Text:

We have created a group on Signal to send reminders by text. You must have the Signal App to receive these reminders. Follow the link(s) below to select this option.

Already have Signal: Click Here To Join The Group

Need to get Signal: Click Here To Get The Signal App

Reminders by Email:

“Please assure all those who join in this Novena that I will offer Mass for them.”

~ Bishop Joseph Strickland~

Go to Novena

What Time Is It?

Something we all need to consider. Especially with Thanksgiving this week and Lent starting on Sunday. May our eyes be lifted up to Jesus who holds us in His Sacred Heart. And, may we take Our Mother’s hand and ask her to make our hearts like hers. Blessed Mother, help us to trust in your direction and lead us back to your Son during these dark days.

Newcomers ~ November Event

Register Here

We will have our November Newcomers event at the Young’s beautiful ranch. Everyone is welcome. Newcomers and those who have led the way! Come enjoy a day in the country with family and make some new friends.

Enjoy fishing at the lake, playing games on the lawn or taking a hike around the property. Kids can enjoy bobbing for apples and we will have a big bonfire in the evening!

First Annual Chili Cook Off!

    • Bring your best and compete for the Title: Chili Champion!
    • Only 5 Entries will be allowed so register now if you want to participate.
    • Make your chili at home and bring enough for 20 cups!
    • Sunday, November 13, 2022
    • Starting at 2pm until after the sun goes down!
    • Location: Lindale TX ~ Address will be provided to those who register.

What to bring:

    • Camp chairs
    • Beverages to share
    • Dish to share
    • Musical instrument if you play
    • If you have kids (or just want to act like one) a couple of apples for bobbing
    • Dress for the weather

Register Here

CORAC Field Day

Saturday, November 5 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Register here: https://coracregion8.ticketleap.com/field-day/

Homesteading skills are pure gold, allowing us to live more independently and closer to the land, but these skills are no longer being passed from parent to child. If we don’t make the effort to reclaim them now, we might become the first generation of Americans who don’t know how to bring in a crop, dress and prepare game for dinner, and preserve summer’s bounty for the winter.

Join us in recovering some of these simple living practices. CORAC (Corps of Renewal and Charity) will present a Field Day of homesteading skills and inspiration on Saturday, November 5 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. 

The day will include keynote speakers Charlie Johnston, founder of CORAC, and Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, as well as experts in the areas of radio, fish and game, gardening, food preservation, water sourcing, foraging, raising poultry, home defense and more. There will be demonstrations and availability of experts for questions.


Event goes on, rain or shine. All talks and demos will be outside, under tents. The ground is unpaved so wear appropriate footwear. Since preparedness is the objective, you will be practicing self-sufficiency by bringing your own chair, refillable water bottle, snacks and layered clothing. Lunch and dinner will be provided, but anyone with dietary concerns should consider brown-bagging. Mass will be celebrated during the day.

Location is a family farm in Lindale, TX. Specific address and further details, as well as a schedule of presentations, will be sent to registrants by October 23.

Registration is $20 for CORAC members, $30 for non-members and $40 for all registrants after October 20. We respectfully request that you not bring children under the age of 12. It’s going to be a long day, and there are hazards for children on the property. Children over age 12 register at the same price as adults. 

If you’re not yet a CORAC member, consider joining. There are many benefits, and it costs nothing but your goodwill and readiness to embrace the mission of acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope to others. Read more about CORAC membership here: https://truthforsouls.com/2022/06/10/what-is-corac/ or visit the CORAC website at: https://corac.co

Registration for Field Day is open to all, whether or not a member of CORAC, but we’d love to have you join us. In any storm, the stronger the community, the better.

Sheryl Collmer is the regional coordinator for CORAC East Texas. You can reach her at: sherylc@coracusa.com.

Milestone at Veritatis

Masses Begin at Veritatis Splendor

First Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Family

With the debut of daily and Sunday Masses at Veritatis Splendor, the idealistic community up in Winona has sprung back onto the radar screens of east Texas Catholics. For a while, people wondered if the intentional Catholic community would die a quiet death from having bitten off too big a bite. Neighborhoods, schools, recreational facilities, a High Italian Gothic-style church… I mean, really! Somewhere north of nowhere?

But a steady tide of building activity has been going on all year, and there are some days that the property looks like a giant anthill, trucks and flatbeds plying back and forth as pipe is laid, foundations poured and building materials delivered. Infrastructure to support the first phase of neighborhoods is near completion, and lot owners have begun constructing and living on their properties. And now, the opening of the Chapel for public Mass is a major milestone in the life of Veritatis Splendor.

Fr. Stephen Thompson, main celebrant and homilist at the opening Mass

The Holy Family Chapel was completed last month, and the first Mass was celebrated on September 29, the feast of the Holy Archangels, with Bishop Strickland present. The chapel is small, to tide over the worshipping community until the magnificent Oratory on the Hill can be built, still some years in the future. The chapel seats around 50, with overflow seating for another 50. It’s a church-shaped building, constructed within a larger metal barn. It reminds me of the Holy House of Loreto, the tiny cottage where the Virgin Mary was said to have conceived of the Holy Spirit, which is now enclosed within a much larger basilica.

The Chapel is very much a “country church” with stained pine walls and aged wooden pews, with elegant highlights in the trim of the roof beams, the lovely fixtures reclaimed from older churches, and of course, the tabernacle of the Blessed Sacrament. It is a humble and amiable atmosphere in which to celebrate the Mass, including the Ordinariate Use of the Roman Rite.

The Ordinariate has captured my imagination. Ever since Pope Benedict’s expansion of the use of the Latin Mass in the 2007 Summorum Pontificumand especially the constriction of it by Pope Francis in Traditionis Custodes of 2021interest in the Latin Mass has blossomed. What is this rite by which nearly all our saints and ancestors were saved? What drove the process that changed it? Have we lost something we ought to preserve? 

More and more people want to find out for themselves, but the Latin Mass can be intimidating for those who came of age after the 1960s. It is differentand requires a bit of orientation and practice to feel confident in its celebration. 

The Ordinariate Rite is like a stepping stone to the Latin Mass. It is a beautiful liturgy with its own rich history, whose roots in the Catholic past have not been disturbed. I sometimes explain it to people as “the traditional Mass rendered in English.” The Fathers of the Pious House, who make their home at Veritatis, readily agreed to train and offer the Ordinariate. It is a new leaf in the folio of Catholic worship opportunities in east Texas.

Generically, “ordinariate” refers to an ecclesiastic organization led by someone other than the local bishop. When Anglicans began to embrace the Catholic Church in large numbers several decades ago, dialogue began between Pope Benedict and Anglican clergy. Whole Anglican congregations and dioceses wanted to become Catholic, without losing the rich patrimony of the Anglican church. They had preserved beautiful architecture, music and liturgy for their worship, and many could not bear that it be lost, to be replaced with stick-figure art, singsong music and modernistic architecture, the puerile aesthetic that had taken over many Catholic parish churches. 

Then Pope Benedict issued the exhortation Anglicanorum Coetibus in 2009, which allowed for the full communion of Anglicans with Rome, while retaining their own hymns, art and liturgy. These formerly-Anglican congregations were known as “ordinariates” and their liturgy, as the Ordinariate Use. 

The Anglican and Roman rites have a common ancestor, of course: the traditional Mass which was largely unchanged from the 3rd century until the 1960s. The Novus Ordo created some new things and jettisoned some old ones when it was promulgated in 1969, but of course, didn’t affect the Anglican Church at all. So the liturgy permitted to the Anglican Ordinariates, even after full communion with Rome, is essentially the Traditional Mass, rendered in English. 

The Mass schedule of the Holy Family Chapel gives us ample opportunity to explore our heritage in the Mass, both in Latin and in English. The Ordinariate is celebrated on Sundays at 8:30 am. Other Masses available during the week are Sundays at 10:30 am, Monday – Friday at 12:05 pm, and Saturdays at 9:00 am.

The drive from the Cathedral in downtown Tyler to the Veritatis chapel is 25 minutes into beautiful rolling hills and stands of pine. When you’re there for Mass, take a look around at the vision-becoming-reality of the Veritatis project. Remind yourself that, with perseverance and God’s grace, even dreams that people scoff at, that stumble on obstacles, that seem too good to be true, can indeed be realized, bringing something new and fresh into our lives.

Holy Family Chapel 

16711 County Road 356, Winona

The neighborhood at Veritatis Splendor is growing.

Newcomers September Event

Welcome Reception and Dinner
for All Newcomers to the Diocese of Tyler!

Saturday, September 24th at 6:30 pm
Cathedral Center of the Immaculate Conception Parish

423 S. Broadway, Tyler Tx

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Tyler

All New Families Are Welcome to Join Us!

Saturday, September 24 at 6:30 pm, directly after the 5:30 Mass, we will be welcoming all those who have moved to Tyler in the last year. The Parish Council will greet newcomers in the lobby of the Cathedral Center, then dinner will follow in the main room, hosted by the “oldcomers.”

If you’re a recent arrival,
you get to be the honorees!

If you attended the first Newcomer Reception last year or have been in Tyler for over a year… you are on the reception committee. We will be providing the food and drinks for dinner.

Bring a dish according to your last name:
A-G    Main courses
H-M   Salads, vegetables or bread
N-S   Desserts
T-Z    Wine, beer or sodas

Please email Sheryl what you plan
to bring so we can fill in any gaps!