This weekend we celebrate the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. As we come close to the end of the Church Year many of the Gospel passages that are provided for us by Holy Mother Church concern themselves with the Last Judgment. Our worthiness for eternal life can be indicated by the way we treat each other and the way we handle our possessions. As we come together this weekend, may we reflect on whether we are using our wealth for the benefit of others or if our own pursuit of wealth is blinding us to the needs of our neighbor. “You cannot be the servant of God and the servant of money.”
Next weekend we will celebrate the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The days are growing shorter and (hopefully, soon!) the weather will be getting cooler. Soon it will be time for the harvest. As disciples of the Lord, we are called to assist in a special harvest. Next week- end we will hear Saint Paul call his disciple Timothy to “pursue righteousness, devotion, faith love, patience, and gentleness.” Wise words for us in 2019! May we pursue these virtues so that what we harvest will be good and holy.
Congratulations to all the parish: Once again our parish reached its “challenge goal” for the Archdiocese’s Annual Catholic Appeal. Many thanks to Mary Fran Pike and Davie Skaggs for chairing this successful campaign. Although only the 52nd largest parish in the Archdiocese our total pledged amount, $203,579, came in 19th in the Archdiocese. A thank you all for your generosity. We had a 46% participation rate, which is very good! On the heels of our successful “R.R.R.” Campaign, this speaks volumes of your support for the various charities that the Archdiocese supports. Thank you so much.
Missionary Plan of Cooperation: Each year each parish in the Archdiocese (and most of the country) hosts a Missionary to speak about their missions and take up a collection to assist the work of the church in their particular area. This year we have been assigned the Dominican Province of Nigeria. This weekend we welcome, Father John-Mark Igboalisi, OP, a priest for the Nigerian Dominican Province to make an appeal for the Dominicans in Nigeria. This past week Father Raymond Nwabueze, OP, wrote me and told me that the province currently has 113 ordained priests, 3 deacons, 2 cooperator brothers, 69 simply professed brothers (studying like our own Brother Ben Keller), and 8 novices (like our parishioner, Brother Fulton (Luke) Matthews, a novice for the Dominica Province of Saint Joseph). Very simply Father Raymond wrote, “Primarily we use funds from mission appeals to support our formation program. It typically costs over $5,475.00 to sustain one Dominican brother a year. So everything we get we commit to for- mation. We are having lots of vocations and the future is bright for Africa and the Church since we also do missions in different parts of the world.” We welcome Father John-Mark and we ask that you be very generous in responding to his appeal.
Adult Faith Formation: This new effort to help us all grow in the faith continues this week, after the 9:30 Mass until 11:15. We will meet in the Cry Room / Chapel until the Msgr. Schneider Hall renovation is completed (first meeting there tentatively planned for November 10th). 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. Deacon Dane Westhoff will be the presenter this week. Again, the next meeting (after today) will be on Sunday, October 13.
Confirmation for our 8th graders will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Robert Hermann on Wednesday, October 9, with a special celebration of Holy Mass at 7:00 P.M. Again this weekend there are the names of the candidates for the Sacrament in baskets by the exits. I ask that you take a candidate’s name and pray for him / her in a special way these next two-plus weeks. If you would like to drop him/her a note, that would be great! Please prayerfully consider doing that for these candidates! Thank you.
Construction Noise and Daily Masses: Our morning Weekday Masses will be back in Church beginning tomorrow. Regarding Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament: beginning this Wednesday, September 25, we will resume the “normal” times for Adoration, namely, following the 8:15 A.M. Mass until 9:00 P.M. I hope all of our “adorers” will be able to resume their former times. Thank you for your patience during the renovation project. Confessions will still be available from 3:30 – 4:30 on Wednesdays.
Building Updates: Most of the new kitchen equipment is in town and will be installed very soon. The partitions should be installed the week of October 11. The elevator installation will begin around October 13th. It should take up to five weeks to be completed. As you have seen from the pictures we are also going to “cover” the northwest entrance, aka “the choir entrance,” to the Church. That work should start in mid-October. The biggest change for us is that while that construction is taking place (on the weekdays), you will not be able to use that entrance for daily Mass. It should be fine for the weekend Masses. It looks like we will be able to have the All Souls Reception, following the 7:00 P.M. Mass on All Saints Day, Friday, November 1 (a Holyday of Obligation this year!) in the “new” hall.
We are planning on having our first Sunday Coffee and Donuts in the “new” hall on Sunday, November 3rd, Even though the elevator won’t be operational by then we will be able to use the hall. (I’m sorry that the Silver and Golden Anniversary dinner will have to be in the cafeteria this year. The construction is taking longer than originally anticipated.) All in all, I hope and pray that you will all be pleased with the renovations and improvements, especially the new elevator.
Changes coming: With Father Schumacher’s return to Rome, effective September 30, we will only have the 6:30 A.M. weekday Mass. On Wednesdays, during the school year, effective October 2, we will have an all school Mass at 8:15 A.M. (Please note that in addition to the daily 6:30 A.M. Mass, I will also have a Nursing Home Mass each Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 P.M.) Effective October 5, there will no longer be an 8:00 A.M. Mass on Saturday mornings. (There will be an 8:00 A.M. Mass on All Souls Day, November 2.) As for the weekend Mass schedule, I’m still trying to do all I can to get some help for the weekends. Also most likely there will be only one priest hearing confessions on Saturday, beginning next weekend, although I do have a commitment from a Religious Order that they will provide a priest “as often as possible,” so, when there is only one priest celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, on Saturdays, confessions will end promptly at 4:30, even if there are people in line.
I’m sorry that this has to be done, but there are simply no more priests available. Pray for vocations and that people being called would say “yes.” Next week I will have our neighboring parishes’ scheduled daily Masses.
Fr Joe Weber