Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

This past week I attended our diocese June Priest Retreat at Abbey of the Hills. It was a joy to have Fr. Marty Schaefer from the Diocese of Winona directing the retreat. He is the Vice Rector and Dean of Formation at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, MN. (Our diocese sends some college seminarians there.) He was in my priest support group about fifteen years ago.

I give thanks to God the Father that he spent one day focused on the spiritual fatherhood of priests, at times analogous to biological fatherhood. The timing of this was wonderful too since this Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day. I was expecting to have difficulty in my homily this weekend to relate Father’s Day to also celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). It turns out to be quite straight forward. It was surprising to me to find out that in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition Jesus was not only seen as the Son of the Father, but also, being the new Adam who gives new life to the humanity He redeems by giving us His Body & Blood, means He secondarily is “Father Christ” as prayed to in the Eastern Churches. (This, of course, reaffirms that we can and should call Roman Catholic priests “father.”)

We have to be careful as to how we understand Jesus and priests as fathers. Jesus warned in the Gospel of Matthew 23:9 (RSV): “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” Obviously, this is not to be taken literally, as if no one on earth can be called “father.” Only in as much as we priests are extensions of “Father Christ” and God the Father, can we be called “father.” This same point applies to biological fathers this Father’s Day who are also called to be spiritual fathers. We celebrate their fatherhood, to the extent that they are extensions of God the Father in giving life, protecting life, and providing for their children’s natural and supernatural lives as God the Father provides for His children through them. On Father’s Day we celebrate our father’s helping their children through example, affirmation and affection realize their true identity, human and religious rights, and right to life; ability to receive unconditional love, and the goal of heaven by fostering their supernatural lives. Happy Father’s Day!

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday

Health Note: At last weekend Masses, I had some difficulty due to allergy symptoms. Sunday afternoon I developed a 102 deg. temperature. The temp. came down over the next couple days, but I still decided to have tests done. I tested negative for COVID-19, cold, and flus. I had an ear infection. After meds are done in a couple days, I should be doing well. I did not have daily Masses until First Friday. I also missed Memorial Day activities. Sorry!

Priest Retreat: It’s my standard practice as it was Fr. Kopel’s to attend our diocese June Priest Retreat. I plan on being gone to the Abbey of the Hills June 13-17, 2022.

Pentecost Sunday Mission of Christ, the Church and Our Parishes YFF: On this Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the birthday of the Church. Upon receiving Jesus’ promised gift of the Holy Spirit, the Church immediately proclaimed the Good News of salvation to all the nations represented in Jerusalem at the Jewish feast of Pentecost. Jesus continued His Mission from the Right Hand of God the Father by sending the “power of God” to his disciples as he promised. This equipped them to do their part in Jesus’ Mission without hesitation. We in our parish and our Pastoral Council’s in particular, need to discern the direction we are being called to do our part in our parish assigned regions.

The first year of our Youth Faith Formation Parish Missions in both of our parishes demonstrated a great start in implementing Bishop DeGrood’s vision for our diocese “Lifelong Catholic Missionary Discipleship through God’s Love.” Fr. Scott Traynor gave our catechists in St. Pius X Parish confimation that we had a great start in implementing Bishop DeGrood’s vision and encouraged us to continue on.

In Sacred Heart Parish we capped off our YFF Parish Mission year wonderfully with Summer YFF and Youth Nights this past week. Thank you to Neva & Olivia Mikkelsen and Reagan Brown for their leadership and all other volunteers with the support of the Altar Society and Knights of Columbus. We are hoping that Youth Nights may be an added feature to our YFF Parish Mission this fall. Are there any adults who may be interested in either parish to help with youth group type activities periodically?

In St. Pius X Parish we had review meetings and a parents survey to decide next year’s schedule, catechist assignments, and improvements. We settled on grades 1-4 & 6 meeting Wednesdays 5-6:15 pm. Grades 7-9 meeting 5:00 - 6:15 pm and Confirmation grades 10-12 meeting 6:30-8:00 pm. Grade 5 catechists and parents will continue to discuss their options. The next YFF year will be August 24, 2022 - May 3, 2023.

YFF Conclusion for 2021-22 Academic Year

Youth Faith Formation (YFF) Big Thank You!: We have finished out our first YFF Parish Missions for this school year! We had a rough start of it, but we had to make some quick decisions and changes in Sacred Heart Parish with a restart, and so, for some consistency between parishes and my messaging, we made some changes in St. Pius X Parish also. Some people said they didn’t need any changes, but based on my experience in several parishes, if I make some changes in one parish that parishioners from other linked parishes like, they will complain that their other parish is neglected. This all was a challenge, but overall, our YFF Missions were a greatsuccess. We eventually filled all of our catechist and other volunteer positions. Also, we had over 80 percent attendance in both parishes with many compliments. Of course, we have more time for better planning now and based on requests for changes, more time to work on making some adjustments. With all of this, I owe a very big thank you to ourstaff, our volunteer catechists and theirsubstitutes, YFF coordinators and other volunteers, parents, grandparents, and young disciples for making the adjustments or at least trying to. It really was a great year. We look forward to an even better one next year. Please consider your involvement for next year as an opportunity to serve our Lord by serving His children! Our YFF Parish Missions continue with Summer YFF (formerly VBS) May 31st - June 3 rd . Sacred Heart Parish volunteers are taking the lead while welcoming volunteers and children from St. Pius X Parish. New this year will be Youth Nights on the same dates! See our parish pages in this bulletin for more information.

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Published on  August 29th, 2023

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