Back on the early newsletter streak.

February is here and we will quickly transition from Pre-Lent to Lent. As we begin this journey we naturally ask, why increase prayer, sacrifice more, be in church more, extend myself to others more? What will come out of this? Won’t I just end up grumpy? God has a game plan, an end game in mind for us. Lent helps us to reconnect to that plan, to wash ourselves clean of everything that clouds our vision of the Paradise He has promised us and has provided to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. Lent is about recapturing Eden.

February – we do Lentopoly and celebrate some really special events. There’s a Confirmation, the Bishop’s attendance at out annual parish meeting on February 14th (want to ask a question, here’s your chance). There is an invitation to a Polish Mardis Gras celebration. Lots of other great stuff too. Also, important news on CONVO 2016 and this Special Year Reverence Across our Holy Church.

You may view and download a copy of our February 2016 Newsletter right here.

The on-time (sorry, but not early) newsletter streak continues.

January – a time of new beginnings. What better way to start the new year than with circumcision? St. Paul told us that works like circumcision in the flesh are meaningless. What is required is a true dedication – a circumcision of the heart. We get there by faith. We cannot do things for God or achieve heaven by works, but we can dedicate ourselves by faith, and from that flows great deeds born out of joy and heaven.

January – the midst of the Christmas season. Tons of events and a real quick turn-around into the pre-Lenten season. It is going to fly by. Get updates on the work of the Church’s Future Direction Committee. Read about a new year dedicated to reverence, and a local theme focused on joy. Important information on our Church’s democratic process (yes, we really do need your help to keep it alive) is included too. Read up and remember – be joy filled in Jesus.

You may view and download a copy of our January 2016 Newsletter right here.

Let’s hurry
up – part 2

The shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

Last week we heard that Mary had hastened to care for her kinswoman, Elizabeth. This hastened journey was part of a long line of journeying that had occurred throughout salvific history.
Like Mary, we are urged to faithfully journey toward Christ. We were asked, as part of our Advent preparation, to show forth our acceptance of God’s will and the great joy that comes from His service.

Now the Christ child is among us – with Christmas joy – reborn in our hearts. We are now asked to show forth a new perspective and a refreshed sense of happiness and peace.

Today we hear that the shepherds were the first to hear of Jesus’ coming. They had a choice. They could remain where they were or they could take up the journey. They immediately responded by setting out on a journey to Bethlehem. “Let us go over to Bethlehem…

The coming of Jesus was not the end of journeying, but the start of a new journey – the most important and magnificent one of all – to true joy.

These humble shepherds had the first opportunity to respond. They were extraordinarily humble people who had been extraordinarily blessed. They could have focused on the place where they were, where they existed, but instead they got up to go – to take the journey to Jesus – the source of all that is extraordinary.

Like these humble shepherds we have an opportunity. We can maintain our ordinary lives and get by. We can stay where we are and attend to the shepherding of our work, laundry, child rearing, shopping and so on, or become extraordinary shepherds. To become extraordinary shepherds, we like the humble shepherds must set out on the journey to make known the saying which had been told concerning this child.

That does not mean that we get out of our work, laundry, child rearing, shopping and so on but that it in all those things we have the opportunity to spread the joy of the Great Shepherd. Each task and each trip will be a new opportunity to live joyfully in Jesus.

It has been said that we idealize the past and dream of a perfect future. If we take up the journey, each day will be extraordinarily joyful.

A schedule of our Holy Masses and other services during the Christmas season:

  • December 24: Vigil of the Nativity. Children’s Vigil Holy Mass at 4pm.
  • December 25: Nativity of the Lord, Holy Mass at Midnight and 10am
  • December 27: Solemnity of the Humble Shepherds/Feast – St. John, Apostle & Evangelist. Holy Mass at 9:30 and 11:30am with Blessing of Wine (bring a bottle or two to be blessed)

Happy 2016

  • January 1: Solemnity of the Circumcision, Holy Mass at 9:30am. Happy 2016!
  • January 2: Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus – Holy Mass at 4pm
  • January 3: Feast of the Holy Family. Holy Mass at 9:30 and 11:30am.
  • January 6: Solemnity of the Epiphany of our Lord. Holy Mass with blessing of chalk, charcoal, and incense at 7pm.
  • January 10: Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. Holy Mass at 9:30 and 11:30am.

The on-time/early newsletter record goes on… Well sort of, posted here a few days later but delivered in church on the 29th.

December – that time for going to church for Christmas. St. Paul told us that through the Church something amazing will happen in our lives. Going to church is great,but becoming through Church is so much more. Check it out.

December continues our Advent journey of preparation and expectation. Tons of news on so many great events (2 dinners, Christmas preparation, St. Nicholas, Parish Committee nominations – get your name in. Get clued in by reading through the newsletter.

You may view and download a copy of our December 2015 Newsletter right here.

We do have a
King.

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, ” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”

We have a bit of a problem as Christians.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is before Pilate. Jesus stands His ground and tells Pilate about His kingdom. He tells Pilate the purpose of His coming – “to testify to the truth.

Our “bit of a problem” is that when we describe Jesus as our King we often times, both in words and visually, describe Him as a humble King. His head is bowed, He looks meek and frankly – weak.

This image can be compounded further because our Church has a democratic tradition in its management. We also live in a democratic society and take our liberties seriously. We tend to prefer our King to be meek and weak.

To help us fully appreciate the Kingship of Jesus – His formal and official Office as our King – the Holy Church gives us this Solemnity. We need to take this opportunity to fix our perspective, to adjust our vision to see Jesus as the One who has absolute authority to rule and reign over us. The Magi and Pilate called Him King. Jesus comes to Jerusalem as the gentle and humble King riding on a donkey – a symbol of a king arriving in peace. In the days to come, with the arrival of the fullness of His Kingdom, He will come astride a white horse. The King astride a horse is a symbol of a king arriving in power to judge and wage war.

The “Kingdom of God” is noted at least sixty-six times in the New Testament, most of the references are in the Gospels. Jesus proclaims: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come . . .

We should have no doubt, Jesus is our King and we owe Him total loyalty, obedience, worship, and adoration. While the time is here we need to greet Him as the King who came in peace to free us and accept His forgiveness and His Lordship. We need to receive Him in awe and reverence for LORD! We are not worthy. It is time for us to recognize that we need to give Him the Lordship and power over our lives – for “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!”

The on-time/early newsletter record goes on…

In November we offer up prayers for all of our dearly departed, those who have proceeded us in holy death. This process of praying in holy memory of our beloved must serve some purpose, correct? It is right to ask, what are we praying for? If everyone goes straight to heaven (as so many think today) there really is no purpose in praying for them. They certainly don’t need our prayers – we need their’s. If we are praying just to keep them in memory, we should pray for ourselves. If, however, our loved ones journey goes on, prayer for them is necessary. Read more about prayer for our departed in our newsletter. Remember, The Lord is patient toward us, and does not wish that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

November also brings Thanksgiving, a continuation of our Holy Masses for Healing and our Bible study, and lots of other news.

You may view and download a copy of our November 2015 Newsletter right here.

What if things aren’t
so great?

And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.

Today our Holy Church celebrates another of its unique Solemnities – that of the Christian Family. Many pastors will speak today about the unique and beautiful ideal that is the Christian family. This is certainly the model we should be pursuing. We have the example of the Holy Family as our model – Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.

In the gospels we read of all the wonderful things that emerge from the blessings of family. Mary came to the assistance of her kinswoman Elizabeth when she was expecting. Joseph protected his family when Herod sent his army to kill them. John proclaimed the coming of His cousin, Jesus. This is certainly the kind of mutual support and overall family goodness we strive for, we hope to find in our lives. But what happens when things go wrong, when our lives don’t exactly match up to the ideal?

The Holy Family faced one of those moments. Jesus went missing. Things weren’t going according to plan. He couldn’t be found. He wasn’t with family and friends. Some Biblical scholars and historians estimate the festival crowds in Jerusalem at about 3 million people. A boy of twelve was somewhere among 3 million people… Scary stuff.

Our lives are filled with scary stuff. When those moments come – abuse, divorce, addiction, poverty, homelessness, infertility, infidelity, and so many other struggles – and we think about the Christian family – we feel that God must have turned His back on us. We are abandoned and alone. We can’t possibly live up to the ideal.

God didn’t abandon Mary and Joseph in their moment of fear. He didn’t abandon His Son in the midst of 3 million people. God has not and will not abandon us. Remember, we are worth so much that He offered up His Son’s life for us. When problems center down on us we have one stronghold we can rely on. It is one stronghold with two aspects. The first aspect is that the Father has adopted us all. We are brothers and sisters to Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit with us to strengthen and uphold us – God who gives us life and complete love. The other aspect of our Father’s provision is the Holy Church and each local parish. This is the Body of Christ in all its reality – brokenness striving to heavenly glory. Mutual love and support so that we may assist each other as one family when things aren’t great.

An on-time newsletter again. The record is unbroken…

Fall is here and we take a look at prayer. For whom and for what do we pray? Do we dare to pray big? We are encouraged to trust in God’s promises and to lay before Him more than our most immediate needs. We should be praying big – for all the saints, for the Church, and for the wealth of blessings God offers to His elect. Let’s trust in Him.

This month we will celebrate another one of our Holy Church’s great Solemnities – the Solemnity of the Christian Family. October also brings our Seasonal Craft Fair and Polish Food Kitchen, our Rummage Sale, a continuation of our Holy Masses for Healing and our Bible study, and many other events.

Also in our newsletter – congratulations to our young people who made their First Holy Communion.

You may view and download a copy of our October 2015 Newsletter right here.