October 27th, 2019 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended,
and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven”
(Preface I for the Dead, The Roman Missal)
I love being Catholic! I am sure you are thinking – nice job Captain Obvious, you are a priest, I would hope so. But really, I love being Catholic and the more I continue to grow in my faith as both a man and a priest, the more I continue to love being Catholic. One part of being Catholic I especially enjoy is the multitude of special feasts that we have in our liturgical calendar.
Each year I look forward to this week in which we celebrate All-Saints Day (Friday, Nov 1st) and All-Souls Day (Saturday, Nov 2nd). On All-Saints Day, we celebrate the lives of the holy men and women who have gone before us, and ask for their intercession. Saint John Chrysostom writes: “Let no one mourn that they have fallen again and again: for forgiveness has risen from the grave!” The saints, just like you and me, were redeemed sinners. All-Saints Day is a holy day of obligation; please see the Bulletin and parish website for the opportunities to attend Mass throughout the day.
On All-Souls Day, we follow an ancient tradition of praying for the dead which dates back to the 2nd century and Tertullian. We remember in prayer all of our deceased family members, friends, and parishioners. Please consider attending our annual All-Souls Day Vespers Service on Tuesday, November 5th at 6 PM at Three Holy Women Parish – St. Hedwig Church as we pray for all of our deceased parishioners. This year, we especially invite all those families who have experienced the great pain of a pregnancy loss or newborn death, and hope that this might be a small step in the journey of healing.
Have a great next few days, in this beautifully Catholic week!
Sincerely, with love,
October 20th, 2019 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss
of enthusiasm.” (Winston Churchill)
The story of the persistent widow in this Sunday’s Gospel always inspires me. She has chutzpah. That great Jewish word which describes any number of people who have inspired me throughout the years.
Just keep going no matter what, and make known your needs, and opinions, no matter what. Just keep trying.
Now mind you, people with chutzpah can be a pain. In my own journey, they have given me heart burn and headaches. But I appreciate their passion. And even if I don’t agree with them, I hope I have an open mind and heart to listen and absorb and perhaps even change.
Because in the long run, it is not all up to me in the first place. I believe we are all on the path and if we express our feelings and opinions with sincerity and persistence, eventually the truth will rise to the surface, and we will all be the better for it.
So let’s be patient this week with all the people who get on our nerves—perhaps maybe, just maybe, we’ll all move forward not because we will work it out. But God will.
Have a blessed week!
Know of my love, prayers, support.
October 13th, 2019 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thank you! How can I start this week’s bulletin article with any other word but this? Both Naaman in our First Reading and the Samaritan leper in our Gospel give us a beautiful example of our call (and duty!) to give thanks daily for all of the many blessings we receive. I hope I am thankful, but I know that sometimes when I’m stressed or busy, I don’t always do a very good job…so I decided to start here.
I would like to thank several of our staff members whose work is so important, yet often goes unnoticed. Jim Piotrowski (Director of Administrative Services) and Michele Bergemann (Finance Administrator) work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our parishes run well from a business-end of things. As Fr. Tim is known to say, “there is no mission without a margin”. Thanks Jim and Michele for helping to ensure we always can do our mission! I am very grateful for the work of our secretaries: Lee Ann Blackmer (Three Holy Women and Our Lady of Divine Providence), Daisy Rivera (Old Saint Mary), and Sandy Avery (Saints Peter and Paul). They patiently and joyfully do so much, from answering phone calls to managing sacramental records. Thanks also to Steve Altman our Director of Maintenance who keeps everything running and working – from light bulbs to boilers! Our entire staff works incredibly hard, but I wanted to thank this group in particular whose hidden labor of love is often only known to God.
As Fr. Tim announced last week, while he is away on sabbatical from January 1st – April 1st, 2020, I will become the temporary administrator. I am excited for this leadership opportunity and am so glad that Fr. Tim will have this time for some much-deserved prayer, rest, and continuing education.
Saint Therèse of Lisieux once wrote: “Jesus does not demand great action from us but simply surrender and gratitude.” To be saints this week we don’t need to get busier…just a little bit more grateful!
Sincerely, with love,
October 6th, 2019 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” (Gospel of St. Luke, 17)
I love this Sunday’s Gospel passage because it reminds me of a dear Spiritual Director who one time just plainly and bluntly told me to stop worrying so much about my motives and just do my job! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think and worry too much.
I worry about what other people think, and I worry about the impression I make. I worry about being loved and accepted and being approved. I worry about my motives. I worry. I worry. I worry.
And in the end, to be honest, I hope that at my funeral they just say he tried his best to love God and others. He just did his job!
For in the end who is worthy of God’s love, whose Eternal forgiveness and patience provide for a heck of a lot more mercy than we afford ourselves. So let’s all just do our jobs this week. Let’s give our worry to God.
Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim, your Pastor.
I would like to let all of you know that in order to do my job more effectively and prepare myself for the next 15 or so years of priestly ministry, I have asked and been granted the permission to take a sabbatical. I will be gone from the parishes from January 1- April 1, 2020. I will be living in Boston and hope to take courses at Harvard in world religions, concentrating on learning more about Islam and Judaism to hopefully add to important dialogues as we work for peace together in the world.
Plus I will take retreat time, and maybe just rest… Fr. John will be the temporary administrator, assuring all of us with his competent leadership that things will go on and flourish. Pray for your priests as we continue to faithfully and gratefully serve such wonderful communities!