Pastoral Letter for April 12, 2015

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This weekend we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter.  It is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.  This special understanding evolves from the writings of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska.  She spoke of the heart of Jesus which brings mercy to the whole world.  We are invited to participate in this experience of redemption by seeking the forgiveness of our sins and receiving the wonder of God’s mercy.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed on this special day.  With the use of a normal rosary, a special prayer is prayed on the 10 beads which traditionally have the Hail Mary and a second special prayer is offered on the Our Father beads.  These prayers are:  10 times – “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”  Once (Our Father bead) –  “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”  A concluding prayer is offered after the five decades:  “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”  This is prayed three times.

The chaplet is often prayed at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon.  This time connects with the death of Jesus on the cross.  With his death and resurrection came the forgiveness of our sins.  We are celebrating the mercy won for us and receiving it through the gift of Divine Mercy Sunday.  If you are looking for more information, there are a number of websites, pamphlets and opportunities to join celebrations within our Diocese.

Sharing news about the parish . . .

Hope everyone had a Blessed Easter!  Thank you to all the volunteers who helped staff the many ministries of our church and helped to do the decorating for our environment.  As always, we could use more help!  Consider offering your gifts and time to St. Anne!

Please pray for our children and young adults who are preparing for First Communion and Confirmation.  They are approaching the time of further initiation into their faith; support them through encouraging words and prayer!

Diocesan Annual Appeal – Steady progress is inching our way to our Appeal target.  We have $70,223 in cash, pledges of $76,686.  To reach our target, we still need over $22,000.  Please consider helping us to reach our target; we have about two months to raise the remaining dollars!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for April 12, 2015

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Pastoral Letter for April 5, 2015

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Time of Resurrection … Alleluia – He is Risen!

The disciples arrive at the tomb and find the tomb is empty!  They look around and note the burial cloths.  Their hearts begin to fill with excitement.  There is something new in the midst of the cross!  Their friend is alive and they begin to recognize everything that Jesus had shared with them to help them understand this moment.

What is the excitement of Easter for us?  What have we discovered?  How is Jesus present in the midst of what is now known?  Our contemplation has led to trust in a new idea, habit, or connection with God.  Do we have a clear vision of this newness?  If we continue the story of the disciples, they were so excited that they wanted to share what they had learned.  What do we want to share at Easter?  What have we learned and how are we excited to have new life?

Sharing news about the parish . . .

Diocesan Annual Appeal – Steady progress is inching our way to our Appeal target.  We have $56,598 in cash, pledges of $64,063.  To reach our target, we still need over $35,000.  April 1 will pass soon – if we have not met our target, the amount of the rebate for parishes who support Catholic Schools will be reduced.  These monies have helped us to replace a set of fire doors in the school.  Please consider helping us to reach a larger rebate.

Welcome to our catechumens and candidates who are Baptized or Professed their Faith at Easter Vigil!  We are excited to have them join our faith community!

Fr. Matt and I will be on the Priest Retreat from April 13-17.  We will not be available in office nor able to check phone messages or e-mail.  Please plan accordingly – thanks!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for April 5, 2015

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Pastoral Letter for March 29, 2015

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Time of Endurance … With the conclusion of Lent upon us, are we ready to endure the time of change?

Contemplation has led to some new perspective or insight.  We have made a commitment to try and live this new perspective or insight.  Are we ready for the challenges that might give us reason to revert to our old way of thinking?

Jesus undertook the commitment of the cross.  In the midst of the journey, any moment could have been a reason to abandon the commitment rather than endure.  Consider the options.  What if Jesus decided to leave the Garden of Gethsemane before being arrested?  (Another flight into Egypt?)  What if Jesus decided that he would answer Pilate and take a “plea deal”?  After being flogged, what if he asked to see Pilate because he wanted to change his “plea”?  What if after each fall, Jesus simply was unwilling to get up?  Each moment holds an opportunity to make a choice which would stop the possibility of resurrection.  The change would not actually take place because Jesus was unable to endure the difficulties connected with the cross.

As we have been contemplating our own cross, what are we going to have to endure to keep living a new perspective or attitude?  Is there anything arising that would “force” us to change our mind?  Resurrection looms in the future, but the process of change brings a need to endure the passion happening on route.

Can we endure till the new life is real for us?

Sharing news about the parish . . .

Lenten Fish Fries are drawing to a close!  Thank you to the many who shared a meal!  While repairs delayed our start, we give thanks to God for the publicity and response which made our Fish Fry time a success!  One more week remains – join in the fun!

Holy Thursday Collection:   To assist payment of the repairs to kitchen drain.

Diocesan Annual Appeal – Steady progress is inching our way to our Appeal target.  We have $56,018 in cash, pledges of $64,038.  To reach our target, we still need over $35,000.  April 1 will pass soon – if we have not met our target, the amount of the rebate for parishes who support Catholic Schools will be reduced.  These monies have helped us to replace a set of fire doors in the school.  Please consider helping us to reach a larger rebate.

Pray for our catechumens and candidates who will be Baptized or Profess their Faith at Easter Vigil.  We are excited to have them join our faith community!

Fr. Matt and I will be on the Priest Retreat from April 13-17.  We will not be available in office nor able to check phone messages or e-mail.  Please plan accordingly – thanks!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for March 29, 2015

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Pastoral Letter for March 22, 2015

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Time of Commitment . . .  We have been on vacation with Jesus contemplating how we might look to create something new for our lives.  If the contemplation is fruitful, we should have an idea that we can be transformed.  Are we ready to commit?  Are we ready to start living what we have come to understand through our contemplation?

In the gospel, Jesus is sharing the type of commitment necessary for fruit to be realized.  Unless we are willing to die to an old thought, pattern, or sin – we are not able to have new life.  Death is the moment of letting go of what we have known so that we might know something new.  Lent is the opportunity to contemplate a new way of being, but we will need a commitment to the new.  If we are too easily swayed, we will fall back quickly into old patterns.  Strength and courage are necessary in order to live in a new way.

Thus Jesus makes a commitment to the cross.  The road is going to be brutal.  Much about that journey is not going to be fun.  While he understands this, he remains firm in His commitment to take up the cross.  He will not abandon the cross; rather He will allow the new life which God plans to be born as His death leads to resurrection.  Without the resolution to endure all that will come with the cross, the resurrection would be out of reach.

Jesus understands His purpose.  He invites God to bring glory to the cross.  Do we understand now our purpose?  Are we committed to it?  Are we able to carry the hardship of transformation?  Will we allow new life to emerge through the commitment born out of our contemplation?

Sharing news about the parish . . .

Thank you to the many volunteers and helpers during this time of Lenten Fish Fries!  Thank you to the many who shared a meal!  While repairs delayed our start, we give thanks to God for the publicity and response which made our Fish Fry time a success!  Two more weeks remain – join in the fun!

Stations of the Cross are concluded for this season of Lent.  Thank you to all who participated!  The numbers were positive and gave us time to pray and appreciate the re-installation of the Stations within our worship space!

Diocesan Annual Appeal – Steady progress is inching our way to our Appeal target.  We have $54,914 in cash, pledges of $63,964.  To reach our target, we still need over $35,000.  April 1 is coming quickly and we need many more families who are willing to donate.  Who is willing to respond to our need?  We have made it 2/3 of the way – help us raise the final 1/3!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for March 22, 2015

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Pastoral Letter for March 15, 2015

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Time of Trust . . . In the gospel, Nicodemus is invited by Jesus to believe.  A belief is not a proven fact; it is something that we trust is true even though we cannot prove it.  In order for Nicodemus to have new life, he must trust that Jesus is the Son of God.  Nicodemus must accept that Jesus died for his sins and thus mercy might be bestowed on him.  In the instruction that Jesus gives, Nicodemus is being asked to consider – What has he pondered?  Does the words of Jesus fit with what he has been pondering?  How is it new insight?  Does he accept this truth?

Each of us is Nicodemus as we plod the Stations of life.  In the midst of our review, we chose something in our lives to ponder.  As we have contemplated, we have been led to consider new insight.  If we are beginning to accept this insight, the words of Jesus are bringing a transformation.  We are willing to detach ourselves from thoughts and actions that keep us from seeing the truth.  If we are able to detach ourselves, then perhaps we can trust in a new truth.  As Nicodemus is asked to have light to dispel the darkness, we are invited to have a new truth by which we will live.

With Lent moving closer to Easter, has the light started to shine for us?  Has the pondering brought a new truth to our lives?  Are we experiencing salvation?  In the words of Paul, this is the grace that is being poured forth on us.  Grace leads us to salvation.  Mercy is poured forth on us so that we might have salvation as won for us by Jesus.  How is grace at work?  Trust in where God is leading each of us this Lent!

Sharing news about the parish . . .

One more opportunity remains to pray the Stations of the Cross.  Enjoy a fish fry and plan to join the praying of the Stations of the Cross on March 20 at 6:15 p.m.!

Since the re-installation of the Stations of the Cross, did anyone take time to look at the symbolism?  Each station seeks to depict a moment in the Journey from the Garden of Gethsemane until the Resurrection of Jesus.  What are the symbols present?  Are the symbols understood?  Let me know if any need clarification!

Diocesan Annual Appeal – Steady progress is inching our way to our Appeal target.  We have $53,910 in cash, pledges of $63,080.  To reach our target, we still need over $36,000.  April 1 is coming quickly and we need many more families who are willing to donate.  Who is willing to respond to our need?  We have made it 2/3 of the way – help us raise the final 1/3!

May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!

-Fr. Al

Sunday Bulletin for March 15, 2015

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