Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Figuring out how to live in faith can sometimes create a confusion of copious rules, regulations, practices, and prohibitions. The reality, however, is a rather simple “heart and soul” thing. Loving and responding to God cannot happen apart from loving one’s neighbor with deep compassion. This Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that the neighbor might not be the one we would choose to love. The Good Samaritan story is a cautionary tale that catches our atten- tion for good reason.

Next weekend we will celebrate the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. God’s presence is at the heart of our faith and our life as Christians, and today’s readings describe others’ responses to this presence. Openness to unexpected people or events and a willingness to believe are required for us to be changed by our experience. We might listen, wonder, serve, celebrate or share this with others. What really matters is believing that God will enter our lives — and that we will never be the same.

Worship Committee: This is a repeat from last two weekends, but it is worth putting in the bulletin again. Basically, I would like to reestablish the Worship Committee here at Saint Monica. I am asking that ALL interested parishioners to come to the Rectory Meeting Room on THURSDAY, JULY 25, at 7:00 p.m. for an initial meeting. Depending on the response we get we will then have various committees for all aspects of Worship here. Please note the change of day and date. The Archbishop has called for a meeting of all the Archdiocesan Priests on Wednesday, July 24, beginning at 5:00 p.m. While we were told it would be over by 7, there is no guarantee that would be the case … because discussion of the topic covered could take longer. So I will have to move the meeting of the Worship Committee to the next night. Begin- ning in August, however, it will ORDINARILY be on the Third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Thank you for the interest already shown by a number of people. Again, the meeting will be on Thursday, July 25, at 7:00 p.m.

 Monica Fest: I know that we mentioned this previously but Monica Fest will be on Friday, August 23rd. The original proposed date (September 6th) is during the Ladies ACTS retreat, and that won’t work. The previous weekend is Labor Day, hence the 23rd. Positive points about that include that it is very close to our Parish Feast and near the beginning of the school year. Please watch this space for further details. BUT, please mark your calendars now! Thank you!

Mass Stipends. This was in the bulletin a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to repeat it now. On June 10th, all the priests of the Archdiocese received a communication from the Archbishop. In it he wrote: “the Bishops of the Province of Missouri (the Archdiocese of Saint Louis and the Dioceses of Jefferson City, Kansas City – Saint Joseph, and Springfield Cape Girardeau), by a unanimous vote on April 14, 2019, have determined that the new established Mass offering, as of July 1, 2019, shall be ten dollars. This decision was considered and arrived at due to the different procedures utilized in assisting the priests, throughout the State of Missouri, in their everyday expenses.” The Bishops were also very clear in “reiterating and empha- sizing that well-honored practice is that Mass may continue to be celebrated even if no stipend is offered.” Of course any Mass that has been scheduled with a stipend less than $10 will be celebrated as requested. Thank you for your generosity to the priests by having “Masses said” for the deceased and for family celebrations.

We now have an additional time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation: For the past two Wednesdays, we have had a priest available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation each Wednesday from 3:30 until 4:30. Since we also have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at that time, I thought it would be a good time to schedule an additional time for Confessions. (If for some reason a priest would not be available at that time, we would announce it in the previous week’s bulletin, an “email blast” would be sent out, and our Facebook page, along with our website, would announce it. I foresee that happening only in the most exceptional times. But we would try to get notice out to all.) During the Fall I will evaluate whether or not this has been successful and a decision will be made to either continue it or not, or perhaps just have it several Wednes- days a month, rather than all.  However, for now, and throughout the summer, we will have the Sacrament of Reconciliation available from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. each Wednesday as well as each Saturday. The first Wednesday (July 3) we had four people come to Confession. Not a bad beginning.

Baptism Preparation Class is ordinarily on the Fourth Thursday of the month (except November!). Because of the rescheduled Worship Committee meeting I am moving it to the First Thursday of August, August 1st, at 7:00 p.m., in the Rectory Meeting Room. Again, a class is required before the baptism of the first child to a couple. Please call the Rectory if you would like to reserve a spot for the next class which will be on August 1st, not July 25th. When you call to schedule a baptism, for your second or subsequent children, a ceremony to be scheduled with the convenience of all involved, we will be sending you informa- tion for the godparents, including letters requesting the approval of the godparents’ proper pastor that he/she is a Catholic in Good Standing and may serve as a godparent. There will also be a couple of pamphlets for the godparents and a new pamphlet for the parents. As you know a godparent must be a practicing Catholic, 16 or over, confirmed, and wishing to serve as a godparent! Please remember that you must have one Catholic godparent who meets those requirements. Another “Christian Witness” may also serve at a Bap- tism. If you have questions, please call me or Father Schumacher. Thank you.

PLANNING AHEAD: On Sunday, August 11, at the 11:30 a.m. Mass, we will welcome all of the school families back to school. Our youth choir will be participating at the Mass. Our lectors will be chosen from the school families. At the end of the Mass there will be a “back pack and school supply” blessing. Follow- ing the Mass we will have the “back to school” open house. More details will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, have a blessed remainder of the summer.

Faithfully yours,

Fr Joe Weber