Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We return to “green” this weekend as we return to “Ordinary Time.” As said many times “Ordinary Time” isn’t “blah” time … it is a time when we “count” the weeks leading up to Christ the King and Advent. As we celebrate the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time this weekend, we reflect that we are all called to follow Jesus. That is no sur- prise. This sacramentally-sealed call is operative for as long as we live. We also know that accepting it has implications we will only discover as we go. This weekend’s readings remind us that calls can be unex- pected, demanding, even dangerous. But Saint Paul assures us that freedom, love and the Spirit’s guidance are all part of it.

Next weekend we will celebrate the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Journeys dominate next weekend’s readings — from the return of the exiled to a destroyed Jerusalem, to the disciples setting out to preach the Gospel to the world. Both will be fraught with peril, hardship, and pain. Even Saint Paul’s mis- sionary work is centered in Christ’s crucifixion. We, too, are called to be people moving into the world to live the Gospel. Like our ancestors, we rely on love, peace and mercy to sustain us.

Father Mike Donald: A BIG thank you for ALL who helped plan and execute the wonderful reception for Father Mike last Sunday. It was a very good celebration and many, many people were present. Thanks to all who came to extend their greetings and best wishes. May God be with Father Mike as he begins his ministry at Saint Joseph Parish in Clayton.

The future: Father Stephen Schumacher is scheduled to celebrate the 8:15 a.m. Mass this week. Even though the assignment doesn’t actually start until Tuesday, he is going to help us out and do the 8:15 Mass on Monday. I’ve asked him to be the celebrant for the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Independence Day. Beginning next weekend he will be “plugged into” the schedule for the summer until the middle of September when he returns to Rome. Please welcome him and make him feel at home here at Saint Monica. Thank you!

My apologies: When the thunderstorms hit on Friday, June 21st, the parish lost its land phone lines, its internet connection, and the controls for the Air Conditioning in the Church. I’m sorry that it was so hot last weekend in Church (although I think the hottest it got was only 78). The Internet in the Rectory was reestablished on Monday, June 24th. Land phone lines, including voice mail, and the air conditioning was reestablished on Tuesday, June 25th. We are SO dependent on the Internet now, that when it isn’t available, things “shut down.” The same is of course true with phones. Happily things (as of this writing!) are almost “back to normal.” Pray that we have temperate weather and no storms during the rest of the summer!

Rev. Mr. Dane Westhoff has a brief article on the next page in this week’s bulletin about his summer min- istry as a Chaplain Candidate in the United States Army. He will be here this week and next weekend, then off to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and the U S Army Chaplain’s School.

Additional time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation: Beginning this Wednesday afternoon, July 3, there will be 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 sev-eral Wednesdays 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 and each Saturday.

Worship Committee: 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 Wednesday, July 24, 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.

Baptisms: One of the essential aspects of Worship is the Sacrament of Baptism. We don’t have that many, unfortunately, so I’m changing the “first and third Sunday after 11:30 Mass” routine to “Baptisms will be scheduled according to the convenience of all, including, if the family wishes, during a Sunday Mass.” (It is the desire of the church that ORDINARILY Baptisms NOT take place during Lent, waiting, rather, for the Easter Season. It is my desire that baptisms ORDINARLY don’t take place during Advent, waiting, rather, for the Feast of the Holy Family, the Sunday after Christmas. That is what I’ve done at other parishes, and there generally have been no problems. The key word is “ORDINARILY.” If there is a good reason of course a Baptism can take place during Advent or Lent.)

The “new” Rite of Baptism, issued in Latin in 1969 and approved for use in the United States in 1970 (so hardly “new”) recommends having baptisms at Mass periodically so that the connection between the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist might be made more evident. Just to give you PLENTY of advance notice, a family has asked that their new born son be baptized during the 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, August 18. (I’m giving you seven weeks’ notice!) Since these aren’t scheduled “on the spur of a moment,” you will have several weeks’ notice before a Baptism takes place at a Mass.

Act of Consecration: Please remember that this is the weekend that we are asking you to consecrate your families to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We hope that you read the prayer card, prayed about it, and will be ready to make this pledge as we strive to grow in faith and entrust our families to them!

I hope that you have an enjoyable Fourth of July celebration. Be safe. Thank God for the freedoms that we all have as Americans. Please pray that we could continue to have Religious Freedom in all places and at all times! Remember our Mass here on Thursday is at 9:00 a.m.

Faithfully yours,

Fr Joe Weber