Greetings Faithful Parishioners in Christ,
Fr. Simon's Happenings: As you can tell if you were in church here this weekend, my hunting plans have changed. My hunting friend from MN injured himself, so he needs time for healing. Fr. Ken Lulf plans to be here the weekend of October 30 – 31 to switch with me. I am available to be invited for pheasant hunting this week along with one K.C. friend from Webster who is salmon fishing with me through Tuesday. I will be on my canonical priest retreat at Broom Tree starting Sunday evening, October 24 and return Sunday evening, October 31.
Sacred Heart Parish (SHP) Missals for Mass: We restarted our subscription to Today's Missal which is the smaller missalette with Mass readings and prayers and some traditional, seasonal hymns. It will restart the first Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2021. We are still reviewing hymnal choices.
SHP Projection & Video Volunteers Needed: We will continue to use projections during Mass. I ask for volunteers to prepare them up to one month in advance and others to project them during Mass. We also need video controllers for Livestream.
COVID-19 Clergy Days Impact: A significant number of priests in the Sioux Falls Diocese tested positive for COVID-19 this past week (I heard of 18.), including Fr. Randy Phillips in Faulkton. (Welcome Faulkton area parishioners here the next couple weekends!) I tested negative last Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. Please do not hesitate to call me for Last Rites even if somebody has COVID-19. I have had two Moderna vaccine shots. As reasonably as possible, I have all the PPE I need to prevent transmission and exposure as follows: Hand sanitizer, N95 particulate respirators, protective face shields, isolation gowns, disposable gloves, LED UV-C disinfecting lights, and disinfectantsprays and wipes for all types of surfaces. I also use vinegar or bleach when washing clothes. I am not concerned about getting the coronavirus personally, but I do not want to spread it to others, and I definitely do not want to be knocked out of priestly ministry for two weeks. I have not had it previously as far as I know.
Youth Faith Formation (YFF) News: We continue to improve our new mission approach to forming young disciples of Christ. Since we are meeting for an hour and a half on Wednesday evening with the older grades, we are able to expand our formation opportunities. In SHP 6th – 8th grades will meet as a large group for one-half hour every Wednesday thanks to catechist volunteer presenters and the Formed.org website. (I hope to start this in St. Pius X Parish (SPXP).) When I am available in Gettysburg, I will have the 9th – 10th grade join in. Our SPXP older grades were able to join us by Livestream last Wednesday. You can watch and listen (if you have good computer speakers) to this video and audio recording by going to www.getshc.org and selecting the word "Livestream" or use the following link: https://livestream.com/accounts/7796382/events/9892288.
Introduction to Eucharistic Adoration: I do this presentation for adults in Sacred Heart Church this Monday starting at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Eucharistic Holy Hour at 7:00 p.m. and Mass at 8:00 p.m. To accommodate YFF high school disciples, I am offering Holy Hours and Masses every third and fourth Monday evening of the month whenever I am available.
YFF Lesson for All!: Our lesson this past Wednesday had our youth disciples to consider how they would want people to speak about them at their funeral or what type of person they want to be as a part of their life story. (Parents, please ask them about this and have a good follow-up talk with them.) Towards the end of this part of the lesson, I asked our 9th – 10th grade disciples during YFF, "What would it be like to all of a sudden die?" Immediately, the power went out in Gettysburg due to a wind storm. Everything went black except for the security lights. Hmm.... What a sign from God! Thank God for providing your immediate intervention by Divine Providence! God, you got my attention! We embarked on this YFF venture which is new to me and you in our parishes, not knowing what it would all entail. This made some parents nervous or be doubtful about it. Look what happens when you rely on God to provide! We had signs even from the beginning that we were headed down the right road, although rocky at times. "Walk by Faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)