Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In whom do you trust? Abraham and Sarah were an elderly, childless couple living in a foreign land, but Abraham trusted God’s promise that one day he would have descendants “as numerous as the stars.” How could he believe this? The Letter to the Hebrews says it was because “the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.” In a challenging and uncertain world, this week we will be asked to put our trust in our loving God.

This Thursday we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

When her early life had ended, Mary was taken up body and soul to heaven to be with God forever.

Her Son had opened the way. Because Mary said “yes” to God, because Jesus was born into this world, because He suffered and died to redeem us, and because He was raised in glory to the Father, God was able to provide a special place for all eternity for her. May we always strive to follow Mary. As you know it is a HOLYDAY of OBLIGATION. Our Mass times will be at 5:00 P.M. Wednesday, August 14, then, on the day itself, Thursday, 6:30 A.M., 8:15 a.m. (an ALL SCHOOL Mass and the Opening of the School Year), 12:10 P.M., and 7:00 P.M.

Next weekend we will celebrate the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Summer can be a diffi- cult time for many, especially, as we experienced in July, with extreme heat, heat-related illnesses, and difficulty breathing. It can also lead to wild fires, as we have heard about those in Europe this summer. It is, perhaps, disturbing to hear Jesus say in next week’s Gospel, “I have come to set the earth on fire!” Jesus’s mission was as much to challenge as to comfort. As disciples we are challenged to remain faithful, no matter the weather or what is going on around us! Have we been set on fire in our commit- ment to the faith?

In a commentary on the readings for Mass last week the commentator quoted C. S. Lewis from his essay Mere Christianity. Lewis, a great Anglican author of the 20th Century, wrote: If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you; you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all. But, fortunately, it works the other way around. Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.

I think that over the past several years we have had our faith “put to the test.” I hope and pray that, with the beginning of the school year, we may redouble our efforts to be faithful Catholic Christians, realizing that “Christianity is an education itself.”

Welcome back to our students, faculty, and staff. Special welcome to Mrs. Tammi Rohman, our new Principal. We are hoping, praying, and expecting great things this year … and in the future. As you know during the 11:30 A.M. Mass this weekend we will have a special “back pack blessing,” including all the school supplies that our children will be using this year. In a sense these will become “sacramentals,” as they use them to further not only their knowledge in “Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmatic,” or in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), but also STREAM, the same as before, but with RELIGION and ART being the other two letters.

We all have a lot of work to do in order to have our faith really believed. There was a “Pew Poll,” from the Pew Research Center that only about one-third (31%) of self-described Catholics believe that the bread and wine at Mass truly become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, via “transubstantiation.” That means that 69% (over two-thirds) of “Catholics” do not believe one of the most important points of our Catholic Faith.

They believe that the bread and wine are “symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ,” just like many Protestants do. As I said we all have a lot of work to do so that our faith may truly be taught and believed. Just looking at the numbers of people who approach Communion without Sacramental Confession, despite the fact that they admit they hadn’t been to Mass “in months,” is another cause

for concern. As our children head back to school, we are working on helping our adults to receive more religious education so that they will know what the Church really teaches. It isn’t your fault! Between 1970 and 2000 (or so) Religious Education in the United States (and other parts of the world) was lack- ing. So we will try to help “fix” what was missed. Something will be starting in September to help all of us grow in the faith. “Stay tuned.”

Construction Noise, Daily Masses, Confessions, the Assumption, and Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament: Our morning Weekday Masses have been moved from Church to the gym. (The Saturday morning 8:00 A.M. Mass will be in Church.) The noise level from the construction will be too much for a prayerful celebration of Mass, since the contractor wants to begin work at 6:00 A.M. I have an agreement with the contractor that if there is a funeral they will suspend work during the Funeral. In addition ALL the Masses for the HOLYDAY OF OBLIGATION, THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, AUGUST 14-15, WILL BE IN CHURCH. Again, as mentioned previously, on Wednesday, August 14, we will have a Vigil Mass at 5:00 P.M. On Thursday, August 15, we will have our “normal” Holyday schedule: 6:30 A.M., 8:15 A.M., which will be an all school Mass on the first day of school, 12:10 P.M., and 7:00 P.M. On August 14th, we will also have our regular Wednesday afternoon confessions (3:30-4:30) in church.    Regarding Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament: On Wednesday August 14th, because of the Holyday Vigil Mass at 5:00 P.M., we will begin Adoration AFTER the Vigil Mass … so those who normally come from 6:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. on Wednesdays, we will need you that evening. The other Wednesdays, until we are finished with MOST of the construction in the hall, we will begin Adoration, as we did this past week, at 3:30 P.M.., until 9:00 P.M. Thank you for your patience with the building of the new elevator and the renovation of the Msgr. Schneider Hall and serving kitchen. Again, to repeat, the 6:30 A.M. and 8:15

A.M. Masses, Monday – Friday, until further notice, except for the Assumption, August 15th, will be in the gym..

PLANNING AHEAD:  Next Sunday, August 18, at the 9:30 A.M. Mass, there will be a Baptism. It shouldn’t unduly prolong Mass, but I wanted to be sure that you knew. Thank you for welcoming our newest member and congratulating his family! Also, I would like to remind everyone (again), that we pray the Rosary each Wednesday morning at 7:45 A.M. specifically for the School, the Students, Faculty, and Staff. All are welcome, especially our parents. Finally, please remember that we have an additional time for Confessions from 3:30 to 4:30 P.M. Wednesday afternoons.

May God bless us all as we more deeply seek the Lord’s presence in our lives! Faithfully yours,

Fr Joe Weber