Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Saint Monica, our Parish’s Patron.  While the feast of Saint Monica was last Tuesday (with an all school Mass on Tuesday, not on Wednesday of last week), during Ordinary Time Parishes may have an “external celebration of the Solemnity” of its Patronal Feast. The readings this weekend will speak of Saint Monica’s role as a wife, mother, and widow.

I’m sure that you aware of the “highlights” of Saint Monica’s life, but here is a brief summary of our Parish Patron. She was born around 332 to a Christian Family in North Africa, then part of the Roman Empire. She was a young girl when she married Patricius, a non-Christian older man. They had four children. Through her prayer and influence, her husband eventually became a Christian. Monica poured out tears and prayers to God for the conversion of her oldest son, Augustine. She went from place to place throughout the Roman Empire trying to find him. Finally she found him in Milan where he had met the Bishop, Ambrose. Following Augustine’s Baptism, they were going to return to their home near Hippo, now in Algeria, but she died around the year 387 in Ostia, the port of Rome. Most of what we know about Saint Monica is found in Saint Augustine’s great work, The Confessions.

Next weekend we will celebrate the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings next weekend (as we return to the “normal” Sunday readings after observing the Feasts of Saint Louis and Saint Monica) will ask us: “What does it take to be a disciple of Jesus?” As students, and we are all students, even those out of formal school for decades, we need to be eager to learn what it takes to follow the Lord. May we listen to His teachings!

Next Sunday is also “grandparents day,” as “decreed” by Hallmark Cards. Regardless of how this “holiday” came about, we want to thank all of the grandparents here in our parish for the special role that you play in the lives of your grandchildren. It’s sad to say but sometimes it is the grandparents who take a more active role in the Christian education and formation of their grandchildren, than the parents do.

ACTS Retreat: The Women’s ACTS Retreat will be this coming weekend, Thursday evening until after Mass at Saint Richard’s on Sunday. Please pray for the retreatants, and all the team members. Thank you.

WELCOME “HOME”: Deacon Dane Westhoff, now a First Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves, will be back with us next weekend. He will be preaching a couple of the Masses next weekend, so he can get his feet “wet” again after not being able to preach much during the summer while at Fort Jackson, SC. During the school year he will ordinarily only be able to be with us on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. BUT, he will be back (as far as most of you are concerned) all the time!

A NEW WELCOME: For a number of years Kenrick-Glennon Seminary has sent their theologians and second year pre-Theology students out to parishes to experience some aspects of parish life and, for the theologians, to do some “supervised” pastoral work. This year we have been assigned

Mr. Jacob Connealy, who is in his second year of pre-Theology. He will be here most SUNDAYS, assisting at Mass, and being “around,” getting to know some of the things about parish life. Jacob is a student for the Archdiocese of Omaha and is a 2015 graduate of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. (His degree is in accounting!) I want to welcome Jacob and I hope you do, too, as he will have his first Sunday with us next week.

Labor Day: This used to be the end of the summer with the beginning of school the next day. That is still the case in many areas of our nation, although not here. However, let’s thank God for the gift of labor and all of the activities that are involved. What a great day to attend Holy Mass and thank God for the job(s) you have and/or ask Him for a better position to help you and your family! Mass on Labor Day, tomorrow, Monday, September 2, will be at 9:00 A.M. in Church.

Adult Faith Formation: This new effort to help us all grow in the faith will begin next Sunday, September 8, after 9:30 Mass, and will run until 11:15. We will meet in the Cry Room/Chapel until the Msgr. Schneider Hall renovation is completed (sometime next month). We will meet on the Second and Fourth Sundays.  I hope that some of you will be able to attend and learn more about our faith.  Father Stephen Schumacher will be the presenter for this first session.  In addition  Deacon Dane Westhoff, Deacon Carl Sommer, Seminarian Jacob Connealy, and I will be presenters. We might have some of the young adult group also make presentations as time goes on. All are welcome!

Construction Noise and Daily Masses: Our morning Weekday Masses were moved from Church to the gym on August 5th, and will continue to be there for several more weeks. Hopefully we can be back in Church for the weekday Masses beginning September 23. (The Saturday morning 8:00 A.M. Mass will be in Church as will, of course, all of the weekend Masses.) I have an agreement with the contractor that if there is a funeral they will suspend work during the Funeral. Regarding Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament: Because of the construction,

Adoration, until further notice, will be from 3:30 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. on Wednesdays. Thank you for your patience with the building of the new elevator and the renovation of the Msgr. Schneider Hall and serving kitchen. Confessions will still be available from 3:30 – 4:30 on Wednesdays.

Changes coming: With Fr Schumacher heading back to Rome for school on Thursday, September 19, and with no guarantee of any other Archdiocesan priest help, there will be changes coming regarding our Masses and the number of priests hearing confessions, beginning on September 30. If we don’t get another priest, and it looks bleak that we will, there will no longer be an 8:00 A.M. Mass on Saturday mornings. Most likely there will not be any 8:15 A.M. Masses, except for an all School Mass on Wednesdays. As for the weekends, I’m still trying to do all I can to get some help for the weekends. More about that next week, after I see what I can try to arrange this week. Also most likely there will only be one priest hearing confessions on Saturday, and confessions will end promptly at 4:30, even if there are people in line.

May God bless us all as we celebrate our Parish Patronal Feast this weekend!

Have a Happy and safe Labor Day weekend.

Faithfully yours, Fr Joe Weber