27th Sunday Ordinary Time | October 3, 2021

27th Sunday Ordinary Time | October 3, 2021

Greetings Faithful Parishioners in Christ,

I recently received an invitation to attend the 150th anniversary celebration of St. Wenseslaus Parish in Tabor that is on this Saturday evening. I was there substituting on weekends for their pastor Fr. Dan Moris for over one year after he suffered a tramatic car crash. It triggered his PTSD. As far as I know, he is a senior (medical retirement) due to this condition. Please pray for him. Since then, I have had a close parish family bond with the faithful people in Tabor, Lesterville, and Sigel. We welcome and thank Fr. David Axtmann forsubstituting for me this weekend on short notice.

I have a busy October. Unfortunately, I need to be gone for three weeks this month.

  • I will be gone for our diocese’s annual Clergy Days Monday, October 4 th through Thursday, October 7th .
  • I will be on vacation pheasant hunting in the Eden area October 16 - 21. Fr. Ken Lulf requested to pulpit switch with me so he will be here the weekend of October 16-17.
  • I will have my annual priest retreat at Broom Tree October 25 - 28. I usually do this in June to decrease my time away in October, but I was too busy with the process of moving.
  • I can be available on an emergency basis by you contacting Beverly Thomas while I am away.

At Clergy Days every year we celebrate clerical anniversaries in our diocese. This year they will be celebrating my 25th priesthood ordination anniversary. You might say a prayer for me this Wednesday, October 6, 2021. I will be preaching in front of Bishop DeGrood and almost all of the priest and deacons in our diocese! High school youth disciples have asked me to have a Holy Hour open to all faithful people that fitstheirschedule and my schedule. We will have Holy Hours on the third and fourth Mondays of the month whenever I am here. It will be at 7:00 p.m. followed by a daily Mass at 8:00 p.m. The first dates that will work are November 15 & 22. I will offer confession opportunities during these Holy Hours as usual.

We are launching Formed.org as an online resource that offers the very best Catholic content from more than 60 organizations to help parishes, families and individuals of all ages to explore their faith anywhere. Supporting thousands of movies, children’s programs, ebooks, audio, parish programs and studies direct to your browser, mobile or connected device (laptops, tablets, smart TV's, etc.). Check it out now by going to Formed.org, select “sign up,” select sign up as a parishioner,” find our parish by typing “57442” or use either parish name (our parish names had to be combined so that we could save money by having just one account), create a new account and start roaming around! Formed.org has thousands of movies for you to stream, but if you prefer the old fashioned way, you can go see the new movie “Show Me the Father” at the Lyric Theatre in Faulkton this Sunday evening October 3 in Faulkton. This movie is produced by the film makers of Courageous, Fireproof, War Room, and more. Another way of expanding you Faith horizons is to attend Days of Recollection, retreats, etc. More on this later. Consider seeing Archbishop Robert Carlson November 3rd 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Broom Tree (broom-tree.org)!

September 26, 2021

September 26, 2021

Greetings Faithful Parishioners in Christ,

Catholic News Agency Friday, September 17th released an article with the following title: “Pope Francis hopes new ministry of catechist will ‘awaken this vocation’.” The pope established the new ministry through the apostolic letter Antiquum ministerium (“Ancient ministry”) on May 11th , 2021. The following link will take you to the article: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/247613/what-is -the-new-ministry-of-catechist-a-cna-explainer.

Pope Francis calls the role of catechist an “ancient ministry” in the Church. He has now made it a formal ministry in the Church with a new rite (ritual). I have been teaching and preaching since July about how instead of needing religion teachers, we need catechists, and they have to be people who are not just deciding for themselves to be one, but rather, prayerfully reflecting and listening to the call of God to properly discern if God is calling them to this vocation. (God often calls individuals through others who recognize that gift and ask them to consider this vocation.) I did this without any foreknowledge of what Pope Francis had done on May 11th . I found out about it on Friday, September 17th . Obviously, Pope Francis and I independently recognized this need in a similar time frame to promote the role and need for catechists. I say this is another confirmation that we have been on the right track.

One of the most popular articlesin recent Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) newspapers is “Do you doubt the Real Presence? Learn about these Eucharistic miracles” which appeared in the September 12-18, 2021 edition. It does a good, succinct job of presenting Eucharistic Miracles in their proper context. If you are interested in this four page article, you can pick up one of the few remaining newspapers in the Sacred Heart Church lobby or go to https://www.osvnews.com/2021/0 9/10/do-you-doubt-the-real-presence-learn-about-these-eucharisticmiracles/. For what is probably the most comprehensive website on Eucharistic miracles go to http://www.miracolieucaristici.org/en/Liste/list.html. Priesthood Sunday is a special day set aside to honor priesthood in the United States. It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the Church as a central one. This nationwide event is coordinated and sponsored by the US Council of Serra International. Priesthood Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday of September which is this Sunday.

I will be gone for our diocese’s annual Clergy Days Monday, October 4th through Thursday, October 7th .

September 19, 2021

September 19, 2021

Greetings Faithful Parishioners in Christ,

After I arrived in our two parishes and got introduced to how our parishes have been operating, I focused on our parish religious education programs. This was necessary since they had to quickly get started, and the Director of Religious Education in Sacred Heart Parish decided to resign her position. I have always wanted my parishes to be missionary focused with evangelization (bringing people personally to Christ), making Christian disciples, and developingChristian disciplesto become local parish missionaries who evangelize in thanksgiving for the gift of salvation and want to share the Gift of the Holy Spirit with others. This meant our parish religious education programs had to be reworked to become Youth Faith Formation (YFF) parish missions.

I knew I was taking a big risk in making some big changes quickly, but it had to be done for the sake of our parish children. I tried my best in the limited time I had to explain many things through homilies, bulletin and parent letter writings, teaching at missionary team meetings, Parish Council meetings, etc. As expected, our parishioners had the whole range of reactions and responses. Some people caught the vision and understood what I was trying to do the more they looked into my communications; others, took a wait and see approach, others had difficulties with me, etc. I certainly made mistakes along the way. I apologize, but I also hope more and more parishioners have patience with me and answer the Call of Christ to engage.

I have had some very encouraging indications and confirmations that we are definitely on the right track. One example is the following: Early on, I referred to St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter with the Latin title Redemptoris Missio (in English “The Mission of Christ the Redeemer) and the English title “On the Permanent Validity of the Church’s Missionary Mandate.” I said the mission of our parishes has to be the Mission of Christ and His Church. I insisted that we need to keep this focus.

After this, I received a phone call request from a couple touring through Onida. They asked if they could park their camper overnight in the St. Pius X Church parking lot. I approved of it. On Tuesday, August 24 th , 2021 I started our first meeting in the church with parishioners who were interested in being involved in this new YFF initiative. This couple came into the back of the church to pray, wondering what we were doing.

After we had a prayer service where I preached on the need for our religion teachers to become catechists and I dismissed them to the parish hall, I briefly talked to this couple to explain to them what I was trying to do in our parishes. The retired deacon said that is exactly the problem, we have been having religion teachers in parishes instead of catechists. The following Sunday morning, I arrived at St. Pius X Church. The camper was gone, and I found a copy of Redemptoris Missio on the sacristy counter with the following note: Fr., My most recent re-read. May help with your dream for missionary catechesis. Thanks for sharing your parking lot and allowing us to pray in the church. Deacon Jim Black.

I shared this Divine Providence confirmation in my homily immediately at that Sunday Mass on August 29 th , 2021, the Sunday after our first Wednesday YFF missionary session. One thing is clear in our Sacred Scripture readings for this Sunday. As we hear in the Gospel of Mark (9:30-37) Jesus told

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Published on  November 27th, 2021

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