This Week at St. Mark's

Meet Our New Seminarian: William Mobley

William is from McKinney, TX and his home parish is St. Gabriel the Archangel. His family was very involved in the parish growing up. He attended Trinity University in San Antonio, TX where he graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry. He planned to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry and become a professor, but the Lord had other plans. During his last year in college, William began discerning a calling to the priesthood. Over a period of much prayer and discernment, it became clear that God was calling him to enter the seminary. He spent two years at Holy Trinity Seminary studying philosophy at the University of Dallas. 

For the last two years, he has attended Theological College in Washington, D.C. pursuing a Master’s Degree in Theology. He hopes to get involved in parish life this year, especially with youth, young adults, and the school where our future vocations are just beginning to grow. He looks forward to practicing Spanish and meeting parishioners. His hobbies include crocheting, baking, and reading. If you see him around, say hi!

This Week at St. Mark's

Why use incense during Mass?

By: Father William Saunders

Why do priests use incense at Mass? Where does it come from?—A reader in Alexandria

The use of incense in the ancient world was common, especially in religious rites where it was used to keep demons away. Herodotus, the Greek historian, recorded that it was popular among the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians. In Judaism, incense was included in the thanksgiving offerings of oil, rain, fruits, wine (cf. Numbers 7:13-17). The Lord instructed Moses to build a golden altar for the burning of incense (cf. Exodus 30:1-10), which was placed in front of the veil to the entrance of the meeting tent where the ark of the covenant was kept.

We do not know exactly when the use of incense was introduced into our Mass or other liturgical rites. At the time of the early Church, the Jews continued to use incense in their own Temple rituals, so it would be safe to conclude that the Christians would have adapted its usage for their own rituals.

In the liturgies of Ss. James and Mark, which in their present form originate in the fifth century, the use of incense is mentioned. A Roman Ritual of the seventh century marks it usage in the procession of a Bishop to the altar and on Good Friday. Moreover, in the Mass, an incensation at the Gospel appears very early; at the offertory, in the 11th century; and at the Introit, in the 12th century. Incense was also used at the Benedictus and Magnificat during Lauds and Vespers about the 13th century, and for the exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament about the 14th century. Gradually, its usage was extended to the incensing of the celebrant and assisting clergy.

The purpose of incensing and the symbolic value of the smoke is that of purification and sanctification. For example, in the Eastern Rites at the beginning of Mass, the altar and sanctuary area were incensed while Psalm 50, the “Miserere,” was chanted invoking the mercy of God. The smoke symbolizes the prayers of the faithful drifting up to heaven: the Psalmist prays, “Let my prayer come like incense before you; the lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141). Incense also creates the ambiance of heaven: The Book of Revelation describes the heavenly worship as follows: “Another angel came in holding a censer of gold. He took his place at the altar of incense and was given large amounts of incense to deposit on the altar of gold in front of the throne, together with the prayers of all God’s holy ones. From the angel’s hand, the smoke of the incense went up before God, and with it the prayers of God’s people.”

In the General Instruction of the Roman Missal incense may be used during the entrance procession; at the beginning of Mass, to incense the altar; at the procession and proclamation of the Gospel; at the offertory, to incense the offerings, altar, priest and people; and at the elevation of the Sacred Host and chalice of Precious Blood after the consecration. The priest may also incense the Crucifix and the Paschal Candle. During funeral Masses, the priest at the final commendation may incense the coffin, both as a sign of honor to the body of the deceased which became the temple of the Holy Spirit at Baptism and as a sign of the faithful’s prayers for the deceased rising to God.

The usage of incense adds a sense of solemnity and mystery to the Mass. The visual imagery of the smoke and the smell remind us of the transcendence of the Mass which links heaven with earth, and allow us to enter into the presence of God.

This Week at St. Mark's

Fertility Awareness – Natural Family Planning Course

We will be hosting an introductory course to Natural Family Planning at St. Mark this weekend! All engaged couples, married couples, and women over the age of 17 are welcome to attend!

English Course: 11:45am in the Great Hall of the Parish Center

Spanish Course: 1:45pm in the Great Hall of the Parish Center

If you have any questions, please contact Suzelle Sulak via email at

This Week at St. Mark's

New Bible Study! Hebrews: The New and Eternal Covenant

Embark on a guided tour of the “Holy of Holies” of biblical theology. The book of Hebrews is like a little Catechism. It is steeped in rich truths that are foundational to our Catholic Faith, but its highly refined theological concepts can be difficult for even the most seasoned Bible scholars to unpack.

Presented by Andrew Swafford and Jeff Cavins, Hebrews: The New and Eternal Covenant draws out the riches of this sublime book in a way that makes them easier to understand. It draws connections between the Old and New Testaments, the Liturgy, the Eucharist, the priesthood, and so much more. Most importantly, Hebrews will help Catholics appreciate the astounding generosity of God as they see the wonders he has given us in the Church.

WHEN: Sundays at 10AM beginning with August 8th

WHERE: In-Person and via Zoom

HOW MUCH: $31 for the Workbook

HOW: Fill out the for below or contact Dean Wurtz to sign up!


Point of Contact:

(972) 742-1653

This Week at St. Mark's

Married Couples Brunch

Join us as we celebrate the beautiful vocation of marriage!

On Saturday, August 7th 2021 at 10am in the Great Hall, we will be hosting a Married Couples Brunch!

This Week at St. Mark's

Plano Public Library: Adult Education Programs

Please download the flyer below to see information in English and Spanish about the courses offered in Plano Public Libraries.

This Week at St. Mark's

We’re Hiring!

UPDATE 7/12/21: This position has been filled!

General Summary of the Position

To provide skilled administrative service and to help maintain accurate parish records.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of the Position

  • Provides clerical services to the office manager, ministries and parish organizations 
  • Provides receptionist services for the parish office including the handling routine questions about policies, events, etc. and greeting visitors.
  • Distributes mail and other related material.
  • Maintains Mass Intentions software
  • Monitors key control for parish ministry use of facilities.
  • Obtains Clergy for anointing/sick calls
  • Handles cash/credit card donations
  • Answers & transfers calls or takes messages when staff is unavailable
  • Assist in additional duties per request of the pastor.

Position Requirements

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Individual must be bilingual English and Spanish.
  • Individual must have well developed “people skills” in interacting with all who come to the parish office.
  • Individual must have the ability to maintain confidentiality in all matters.
  • Ability to solve practical problems while dealing with a variety of concrete variables 
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • Individual must be computer literate.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Individual must have knowledge of and experience in using a personal computer, must have proficient typing skills
  • Three to five years working in a general office setting with the public is desired.     

Please contact Mike Zeleski if you are interested in this position.
Phone: (972) 423-5600 ext. 221

This Week at St. Mark's

Pictures: Father Henry’s Farewell Potluck

This Week at St. Mark's

Fullness of Truth Conference : Pictures

The “Fullness of Truth” Conference this weekend was a great success! We hosted Steve Ray, Trent Horn, and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers at our parish who shared their insights into the beauty of the Catholic Church.

Below are some pictures of the event!

This Week at St. Mark's

Friday, June 11th Updated Mass Schedule

Although it was previously communicated that Mass today had been cancelled, our parish will celebrate Mass today for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Updated Schedule:

  • 5:00 PM English Mass
  • 10:00 PM Spanish Mass
  • 10:30 PM Overnight Eucharistic Adoration

Confessions remain cancelled. The Saturday 8:00AM Mass for the Immaculate Heart of Mary will proceed as scheduled.

Thank you for your patience!