Today we celebrate the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. I hope that we have all had some time to “relax” this summer, perhaps with a good book, or at least some “short stories” that we enjoy. Jesus was a master “story teller” especially through the parables. The crowds in the Gospel loved listening to Jesus teach them by telling parables. Parables made his lessons about the kingdom of heaven memora- ble, in ways in which straightforward narration would fail. Now is OUR turn to listen to Jesus’s teach- ings. May we savor them, ruminating on their rich images, and considering their meaning in our lives.
Next weekend we will celebrate the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next weekend we will hear a young King Solomon asking God for wisdom and understanding so that he might properly distin- guish right from wrong, and so judge with kindness and compassion. We often find ourselves mislead- ing ourselves about right and wrong or judging others hastily and unfairly. Next weekend let’s take the opportunity to pray that we may emulate Solomon and welcome God’s wisdom and mercy into our lives so that we can be guided in using right judgment.
Vacation Bible School is this week. It is a VIRTUAL event this year, with several evening prayer services and activities. The entire schedule is listed elsewhere in the bulletin. Thanks to ALL who put together this Vacation Bible School in a very unusual year! Between Father Westhoff and myself we hope to be present for many of the evening events.
As a CLOSE to the VBS I have been asked to have the 9:30 A.M. Mass next Sunday, July 26, “in the grass,” namely on our Soccer Field. IF the weather cooperates we will have it there. One of the reasons suggested was that there are more opportunities for social distancing and more people to participate in the Mass. Now, and I’m 70 years old, if it is too hot, too humid, or raining, it will NOT be on the Soccer Field. I’m asking all to bring appropriate chairs for the Mass and umbrellas or other things for shade.
If the Mass is moved to church, and the Msgr. Schneider Hall will be available for the overflow, I will send out a Constant Contact e-mail BLAST on Saturday. We won’t know about rain then, most likely, but we do need to be proactive.
Another change will be forthcoming regarding Masses. With both the departure of Father Westhoff and me the last 8:00 A.M. Saturday morning Mass will be on Saturday July 25, next Saturday. When we had Father Schumacher, Father Westhoff, and me here it was very simple to schedule an 8:00 A.M. Mass. However, once Father Wyrsch arrives he will be by himself. So it will be impossible to have the 8:00 A.M. Mass on Saturday morning. So we will have it next Saturday, but that will be it. Pray for vocations!
Young Adult Holy Hour will be held this coming Friday from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 P.M. Confessions will also be available. (There is a VBS event at 7:00 p.m., so we won’t tarry!)
Masses last weekend: I, for one, was pleasantly surprised with the large number (around 75) who were at the 7:30 A.M. Mass last Sunday morning. It opened up a lot of space for the 9:30 a.m. Mass. In addition the 11:30 A.M. Mass was “smaller” than in previous weeks. So we will be keeping those same Masses: 5:00 P.M. on Saturday, 7:30 A.M., 9:30 a.m., and 11:30 A.M. Masses on Sunday morning. I have only had two parishioners inquire about the “start up” of the 5:00 P.M. Sunday evening Mass. I will leave that to Father Wyrsch to make that decision!
Annual Catholic Appeal: I realize that this is a very different year, but we are running far behind of those who have donated in the past. I ask you, perhaps as a “farewell” gift to me and a “welcome” gift to Father Wyrsch, to reflect on your gift to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal.
I found this among my “things” as I was packing this week. It is my prayer for Saint Monica Parish and also for Saint John Bosco Parish:
My parish is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am friendly. It will be holy, if I am holy.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them. It will do great work, if I do great work. It will be prayerful, if I am prayerful.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver. It will bring others into its worship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a parish of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, of compassion, charity, and mercy, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with the help of God, I now dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my parish to be.
I hope that you have a great week! Faithfully yours,
Fr Joe Weber