January 14, 2018
Dear Missionary Disciples,
There are currently a lot of exciting things beginning and occurring at Our Lady Catholic Church.
There will be a meeting for all Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers at 9:30 a.m. and all Lectors at 10:30
a.m. on Saturday January 27, 2018 in the church. If you are interested in serving our Lord and the parish,
this meeting is for you.
We are forming a team of Parish Missionary Disciples to begin meeting in March at the Cardinal Rigali
Center. This team will help our parish reawaken its mission to transform Catholic believers into
missionary disciples, and help us to meaningfully, joyfully and respectfully give witness to how Jesus
Christ lives in our hearts, influences our lives and calls us to wholeness and holiness. Please contact Fr.
Maassen if you are interested in this exciting opportunity
Men’s ACTS Retreat is coming up on February 8-11, 2018 at Kings House in Belleville, IL . This
Retreat has helped many men regain a much more fulfilling life, for some putting them back on the road
to salvation, giving them a renewed excitement and energy as they live their Catholic faith. The parish
will sponsor all men who wish to be a retreatant. For more information please call Bob Hoog at 636-262-
5789, Dave Smock at 314-650- 6503, Matt Surdyke at 314-401- 0687 or Andrew Andrescavage at 314-
All registered households will be sent a survey on the church remodel project. In addition we will have
two meetings where you may give your input on the specific issue of what you would like to see happen
in the church basement and any remodeling. The meetings will be held in the church basement on
Saturday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 4 at 12:00 noon.
Our Lady Auction and Dinner will happen on Saturday, February 3, 3018. Please don’t miss this event
and please support this very enjoyable Auction/Dinner event in any way you can. This is one of our
largest parish fundraisers to help us sustain our mission as disciples of Jesus Christ. See below for more
information on how you can help.
We will have an Open House at Our Lady School for Catholic Schools Week, on Sunday, January 28,
2018. Come and see our wonderful parish school which we all support on Sunday January 28 from
10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p. m.
January 1, 2018
I pray you have a blessed and joyful New Year. May you experience the love of
the Father, Son and Spirit in an ever deeper way this year. If you live your
Catholic faith, I am confident you will experience peace, love and joy in a greater
way. Essentially living your faith means giving praise and thanks to God by
worshipping every Sunday in the manner of worship Jesus Christ gave us, the
Mass. Living your faith means loving and serving your neighbor and developing a
daily prayer life. Living your faith means a continual turning away from sin,
receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, studying your faith and living as a
disciple of Jesus Christ.
Hopefully you have received our brochure for this Year of Service. Please read the
information and prayerfully reflect on how you will serve the Lord and one
another. How and in what way is the Holy Spirit calling you to serve? The benefits
to you and those you serve are so many.
Thank you to all who have served our parish as ministers over these Holy Days. I
also say thanks especially to the children and adult choirs and those who decorated
our church. Your help makes our parish the vibrant and wonderful parish it is.
Thank you for all the prayers, gifts, cards, food and well wishes. Our Ladians,
your generosity and thoughtfulness is most appreciated and humbling.
December 25, 2017
Please carve out some time, find a space, grab an empty room and contemplate this incredible fact, not a
myth, not a fairy tale, not an illusion. The God of the entire universe loved you so much, yes you, whose
eyes are reading this, who is known and loved by this same God, whose number of hairs are known,
became an infant, born poor, born in very humble and extreme conditions, so that as the first line of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church can be fulfilled. "God infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a
plan of sheer goodness, freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life." This line is the
first line of paragraph 1 in the Cat and basically states why we have meaning, why we are loved, what is
our destiny. God became a human so you could by joy, share in divine life. God became Jesus Christ.
Is this rational, does it make sense, is there evidence? Yes to all three. You just have to look. For those
who have doubts, those who are agnostic or atheists, I invite you to take a look, and for those who love
those who are doubting, agnostic or struggling, learn, read, find. There are several places to look, books &
CD’s, but I mention two: catholicanswers.com and magiscenter.com.
For those believers who do not practice your faith, i.e. who do not fulfill our Lord's command of love
every week ''Do this in memory of me”, please understand this is not the path, the way, the lifestyle, to
share in God’s own blessed life. The Father, Son and Spirit have created and called you to be holy and
joyful. There is more. There is first and foremost the summit of all Christian life, the Holy Mass, the
Liturgy of the Eucharist. I invite you to learn more, to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to grow in
love of Jesus Christ and His kingdom, that He established our Catholic Church. Fr Lukefahr has a book
called “We Worship.” Dr. Brant Pitre has written many books and has a CD on why did the first Jewish
Christians believe in the real presence of the Eucharist. Scott Hahn has books and CD’s as well.
Another great resource is Formed.org which, as a parishioner, you have free access. Embrace your
Catholic faith and be joyful here and inherit eternal life.
Merry Christmas and Happy, Holy Holidays
P.S. We have some great events coming up, our exciting Dinner Auction, our Men’s ACTS retreat or our
Women’s ACTS retreat.
December 17, 2017
Dear Partners in the Mission,
I have been thinking of crisis. Do we have a crisis in the Church? One definition of crisis is an unstable or crucial time. Maybe, maybe not. Certainly we have had many times of crisis in the history of our Lord’s Church. I believe it was Bishop Barron who said at the crucifixion the Church was down to about four people. Is this an unstable or crucial time in the Church? We have many who have left or do not practice our Catholic faith, and many non-Catholic brothers and sisters have left their churches as well. There are also many individuals becoming Catholic, many of whom were protestant ministers. Those who have become Catholic, especially the ministers, have done so after much reading, research, praying, thinking and struggling. Many have left because they have not done the above. As Catholics we know Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church upon and through the apostles. Do we have evidence of this, is this rational? The answer to both is yes.
Fr. Spitzer basically said we have great answers to the questions of the day, but those who ask them are not getting them. Many of our younger Catholics in high schools, on college campuses, and in our culture are getting easy, incorrect and incomplete answers to their questions. Why do we exist? Does science disprove the existence of God? Can you rationally conclude that God exists? Did Jesus rise from the dead? Is Jesus God, did he say he was? Do we believe the Eucharist is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ? Did Jesus establish a kingdom? Are all churches the same? There are good answers to all the above questions. Many of us probably didn’t ask these when we were in our younger years, but now we need to learn the answers. We are called to engage these questions with our family and friends. There are good answers to all the above, and there are several places to find them. Let’s help them find them.
December 10, 2017
Dear Disciples of Christ,
Welcome to Advent. This season is a time to reflect on the second coming of Jesus Christ and then the celebration of the birth of Our Savior. Stay awake, be ready is the message of our Lord. Simple and to the point.
You will notice that Christmas is the next day after the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Therefore the Fourth Sunday of Advent will have a different schedule and we will be having midnight Mass at 10 p. m., so really no midnight. I miss this custom, but it seems many of our parishioners prefer earlier.
In addition to the normal Reconciliation times, you can call for an appointment with any priest, and we will be hearing Confessions on Saturday, December 23rd from 9:00 a. m. until 12:00 noon.
There is so much happening and so much that will be happening in the parish. Please don’t forget our Auction coming up on Saturday, February 3, 2018. Please support that in any way you can.
Many of our 8th graders and parents will be heading to Washington D. C. for the Pro-Life March on January 19, 2018.
You will be contacted very soon regarding the remodel of the church basement, our Steering Committee would like to know your thoughts and opinions on what you would like to see in our church lower level and what activities you would like to see (meetings, etc.) there.
We are going to do some strategic planning for the parish, crystalize and focus on what Christ wants us to be accomplishing with a plan etc. If you are interested in serving on this team which will probably meet frequently for several months, please let me know.
We are also looking for some dedicated people to attend a ten Saturday once a month training on Missionary Disciples of Christ, who will then help all of us discuss our Catholic faith with joy and enthusiasm, to all be missionary disciples of Christ
July 16, 2017
Dear Partners in the mission,
Perhaps you are wondering what a priest does during the day. Does he only work on Sundays? The quick answer is no, most of our priests work six days of the week and some even seven. They work on holidays and Holydays. Some days just a short time, such as a holiday like July 4th, others a longer time.
My days are not the same in length and certainly some things I do remain the same (8:00 a.m. Mass) and some vary, such as a funeral. So for those of you who wonder, here was what I did on Thursday, June 29th. By the way this was much longer than most days. I woke up probably around 6 (some of these things I base on my routine as I don’t remember exactly). I got some coffee, headed over to church, probably spent a half hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I cleaned up, etc. and celebrated the 8:00 am Mass. After Mass I probably ate a light breakfast, I had an appointment at 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00 for various reasons and on various topics. I met with a few family members for an upcoming funeral at 1:30 pm. Somewhere in this day I prayed the office, morning prayer, daytime prayer and had some type of dinner. I also did administrative work, just don’t remember exactly what. I had another appointment at 5:30 and then we had a meeting at 7:00 pm at a parishioner’s house. The meeting was designed to brainstorm on what can we do to help our men live their Catholic faith i…e.. celebrate Mass every Sunday with their family, pray, live their Catholic faith, etc. There are some prayers I try to say daily and at that time I was praying a novena to the Holy Spirit and the Memorare. After that meeting I went to see my spiritual director, got home late that evening, and prayed liturgy of the hours, then retired for the evening.
July 2, 2017
Dear Partners in the mission,
Thy will be done. Simple phrase from the “Our Father” that perhaps we gloss over as we say the prayer rotely at times. The phrase given to us by Our Lord and Savior is simply understood but at times hard to discern. The phrase is a measure, a guide, a direction for all our actions. Should I take this job, should I volunteer here, should I pray this way, should I put the action figure in the microwave and see what happens (just seeing if your paying attention). Sometimes discerning the Father’s will is not always easy or cut and dry as we say. However, do not be dismayed, there are some certainties in the Father’s will. This would be in the area of faith and morals. We have a book for just that thing. What is the Father’s will in faith and morals? The book is the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated under the great St. Pope John Paul II. You can certainly leave home without it, but don’t leave life without it.
June 25, 2017
I remember thinking negatively about him. He didn’t smile and seemed rather unfriendly, not personable much of the time. He didn’t interact the way I thought he should. I think about him on occasion, wondering how he is doing. This young man was a seminarian from another diocese. Later, I learned that he lived with chronic pain. When I discovered this, my thoughts about him changed and I felt guilty about the way I had been judging him. I became more understanding, more empathetic, more kind in my attitude toward him. He did not become a priest, but I learned a lesson that I revisit occasionally.
There is much in peoples lives we don’t see or know, and this is where kindness should win the day. I don’t believe people regret being kind, they do regret being _________. (You may fill in a word. This is participatory reading.) I was reminded of this again as I was talking to a parishioner about their spouse. The challenging life this spouse lives in taking care of the one who is sick. I was also thinking of a time recently when a Catholic was talking about their former pastor. I don’t believe they knew who he was and how he had been suffering as I did. Kindness is not underrated, it’s underused. Kindness starts in our thoughts and then carries over into our actions.
Kindness. It does a body good.
June 18, 2017
Dear partners in the mission,
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ often referred to as Corpus Christi. The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life”. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the Blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.
Those words from paragraph 1324 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which have a quote from one of the documents from Vatican 2 are incredible. I would recommend you read them over and over again to try to get a better understanding of the incredible meaning of those words concerning the Sacrament that is ours in the Eucharist. I am praying and encouraging all of us to learn more, so we may love and appreciate more this incredible gift, the Eucharist.
There are so many resources to help us in our love, appreciation and understanding of the Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, catechesis from Symbolon and other resources on formed.org, if you visit Word on Fire Bishop Barron has some really good resources on the Eucharist, one being a talk by Bishop Barron on his web site wordonfire.org. We have a book written by our own Missouri Vincentian priest Oscar Lukefahr called “We Worship” on the Mass and Eucharist. We have CD’s, Dr. Brant Pitre’s “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist”, also Dr. Scott Hahn, a convert to the Catholic faith, called “The Lambs Supper” plus books in the library with the same title as well.
In John Chapter 6 verse 53 Jesus says “Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” in Luke chapter 22 verse 19 after the words of institution Jesus gives us this command “Do this in memory of me“.
Before receiving the Eucharist, I encourage all to read page 231 in the Breaking of the Bread.
Eucharistic Adoration is held every Tuesday here at Our Lady from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. in church.
June 11, 2017
Thank you to all for your prayers, cards, gifts and well wishes for the 20th Anniversary of my Ordination. A special thank you to all those who were involved in planning and preparing the wonderful reception and to those who were able to attend and wish me well.
Thank you to all who chose to contribute to the Annual Catholic Appeal. Because of your generosity, our parish can continue to advance the mission of the universal Church.
Last but not least, thank you to all who helped to make our Picnic a success especially those who were in leadership roles. There are just too many jobs to mention but I am very grateful to everyone who volunteered their time, made donations or supported the Picnic by attending. It was a great day and there was a wonderful spirit of community. A special thank you to Our Lady Picnic Sponsors:
The Adams Home Team-Jim and Ruth Ann Adams
Strategic Mortgage Resources
First State Community Bank
Dr. Jane E. Breeze, DMD
K&K Car Repair, Inc.
Mercy Hospital Jefferson
ACE Storage – Charles and Darrel Hunt
Bauman Oil Distributors, Inc.
Craig R. Ruble MD, Orthopedic Surgery
Kidz Biz Pediatrics – Dr. Boldt & Dr. Rudolph
Knights of Columbus #14402 and Ladies Auxiliary
Lucas Smith Chrysler Centre
The Page Law Firm, LLC
Wells Fargo Advisors – Marc Parson & Rita Mahn
June 4, 2017
Dear partners in the mission,
Thank you to all of you for your attendance at the reception Sunday. I did not know of the gathering, the phone blast, etc. I did not plan or even know anything about the event. Thank you again for your well wishes and prayers and attendance.
This is a letter within a letter. I am asking you to prayerfully consider encouraging your husbands to attend the Men’s ACTS Retreat. I believe this can be a life changing experience for your husband and can affect your marriage in a positive way as well.
Dear men of the parish,
Let me be clear, the Men’s ACTS Retreat is open to all men 18 and over so please prayerfully consider attending. Your goal is eternal life, this retreat will help you achieve that goal.
We need you to spend time with the Lord. Every Tuesday we have Eucharistic Exposition and Adoration. Please sign up for an hour for some of the most peace filled time you will experience all week. I practically guarantee this for you.
May 14, 2017
Dear partners in the mission,
Welcome and congratulations to all who have entered into our Catholic family, the kingdom Jesus Christ established on earth, either through Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist or by entering into full communion through the Profession of Faith and the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. We are very excited and proud of our new Catholic members: Donna Ames, Ruth Ann Allen-Correa, Nancy Giger, Angela Hill-Mayes, Christopher Koch, D’antay Mayes, Stephen Partney, Madelyn Zych and Steven Zych.
Congratulations to all our grade school children who were recently confirmed and all who recently made their First Holy Communion. We are proud of you and excited for you as well
Elissa Bailey Gabriella Chirco Savannah Kraus Alexander Parson
Adam Bishop Jessica Follmer Chase Marnin Mackenzie Rarick
Brittany Bittick Allen Forrester Laura Menendez Colten Richey
Benjamin Boyer John Foy Rebeca Mertins James Rosenauer II
Austin Bustos Andrew Held Abigail Ohlau Hannah Schappe
Brenda Rebollo Cardelos Devon Hoppmann Hayden Oilar Cole Seek
Brittany Rebollo Cardelos Luke Laiben Devan Otec Ezekiel Surdyke
Austin Andrescavage Brody Ervin Aiden Kentch Ethan Parson
Claire Atzert Bryton Ferguson Lane Kohler Sophia Price
Jude Blattner Casey Follmer Logan Lewis Kayla Rousseau
Chase Buechting Emmerson Frimml Aidan Lowry Cooper Schilly
Anthony Colantuono Brayden Hancock Lane Lucas Hannah Schilly
Chase Colatruglio Boston Herbek Marley Mayes Kate Sherry
Sophie Dunn Ella Jo Jokerst Alex Meyer
Jackson Naeger Quinn Stucke Ryan Vernon
Well done! Congratulations partners in the mission or parishioners of our wonderful parish Our Lady Catholic Church for the very successful Beyond Sunday Campaign. The Archdiocese of Saint Louis, of which we are a most important part, is approaching the end of the Beyond Sunday Campaign. The Archdiocese has a goal of 100 million for Catholic education and we are an integral part of this campaign. We are currently $27, 611 away from reaching our goal of $700,000. Thanks to all who have prayerfully considered their donation and all who have worked the campaign.
I have been asked about bibles recently. Yes, there are different translations and bibles containing commentaries. I recommend a good Catholic bible. Remember the new testament came out of the Catholic Church and was decided by the Catholic Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Some bibles do not have good translations and or commentaries. They can even be contradictory to the teachings of Jesus Christ given through our Catholic faith, hence a Catholic Bible is needed. Currently we give our grade school children the Catholic Youth Bible by St Mary’s Press, I recommend this for adults as well. I also recommend The New American Bible, Saint Joseph edition. The readings in our Lectionary at Mass are from the New American Bible translation. I have the Catholic Study Bible which is a New American Bible translation and is published by Oxford University Press. I think Catholic Faith and Family Bible which has an NRSV translation from the Catholic Bible store seems to be pretty good as well.
May 7, 2017
Dear partners in the mission,
I feel like I haven’t written in a while. All kinds of activity has and continues to be going on in the parish. Last Sunday our eighth graders were confirmed at the Cathedral Basilica by Archbishop Carlson and Bishop Rivituso. Congratulations to our eighth graders, now go and announce the Gospel of the Lord. Later today at 1:00 pm our second graders will make their First Holy Communion. I encourage all of us to learn more about the incredible gift of the Eucharist. In the Gospel of John, Chapter 6, you will find one of the most important passages in the Bible and one of the most important on the Eucharist. I believe the more we know about the Eucharist, the more we will want to share about this incredible miracle and the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it.
Just a very few resources on the Eucharist and the Mass, some which may be found in our library: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Last Supper accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke and chapter 6 in the Gospel of John., We Worship by our own local late priest Fr. Lukefahr, The Lambs Supper CD or book by Dr. Scott Hahn, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist CD or book by Dr. Brant Pitre are all recommended.
We have the Picnic coming up quickly in June. We need your support in whatever way you can give it, volunteering, attending, buying and selling raffle tickets.
We have both the men’s and the women’s ACTS retreat coming up. If anyone goes and is disappointed I will make sure you get your money back. I absolutely believe this will be a very positive experience, possibly a life changing experience.
Peace and go announce the Gospel of the Lord.
April 23, 2017
Dear OLCC parishioners,
When you read this we will have entered the final day of the Easter octave, as the first eight days of the Easter season make up the octave of Easter. Easter is so big and important of a solemnity that we basically celebrate for eight days. The Easter Season lasts 50 days, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, notice that the Easter Season is longer than the Lenten Season of 40 days. Next to the pulpit we will continue to light the Paschal candle which is a symbol of the presence of the Risen Christ.
We congratulate and welcome: Donna Ames, Ruth Ann Correa, Nancy Giger, Chris Koch, Angela Hill – Mayes, D’Antay Mayes, Stephen Partney, Maddie Zych, Steve Zych as fully initiated Catholics. I am proud and happy that you are fully initiated and will be receiving the Eucharist with the one body of Christ.
Thank you so much to all who volunteered and participated in our fabulous Fish Frys. I want to especially thank those who were in charge and definitely the chief.
This weekend we start our Annual Catholic Appeal. The ACA has and continues to help so many people in need across our Archdiocese. Please pray about your participation.
There is still room for the Women’s Acts retreat, I highly encourage you to prayerfully consider attending. The retreat is May 11-14 and the contact number is 314-605-6273 or 314-308-5815.
April 16, 2017
Greetings! Happy Easter to all! May you know the peace and joy which the Risen Lord brings!
To all of you whom we only see once or twice a year, welcome, it’s great to have you here. You are always welcome at Our Lady. I have a favor to ask of you, especially those who come to the celebration of the Eucharist only once or twice a year. Please come back next week and be a part of Jesus’ kingdom on earth. Jesus certainly died for our salvation, but he lived to establish his kingdom on earth, our Catholic Church. Jesus established our Catholic Church to continue his mission of salvation. Salvation comes to us through the Church.
Why should you come back next week? In a nutshell – because you want to share in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You and I are called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s life. You and I were created for communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus in the Gospel of John says “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” John 6: 53-4. I wish I knew exactly the right thing to write so you would change your lives for the better, so you could inherit eternal life, be peaceful, more joy filled. In my years of interacting with people from all walks of life, from vastly different socio-economic conditions, the most joyful people I have encountered are those who really live their Catholic faith. Worshipping God every Sunday has always been part of that.
Perhaps you believe that since Christ won the victory over sin and death you can live your life any way you want. Well, you can (all of us have free will) but where will your current life lead you? Choosing a life without Jesus Christ is eternal death. Choosing to follow Christ leads to life “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my heavenly Father” Matt 7:21.
Choosing a life in Christ gives you joy and peace now and through God’s grace a share in the Resurrection. The choice for Christ at a minimum level requires Sunday worship. For two thousand years we have been celebrating Mass in the kingdom of God. It is one of the most intimate ways we enter into communion with our God, whether we feel intimacy or not. As a reminder, if you have missed Mass without a serious reason the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is needed before receiving the Eucharist. Jesus present at every Mass said this in the Gospel of Luke: “Do this in memory of me” Luke 22:19.
Habits can be changed, life can be better, regardless of your situation, there is hope. Hope in our Risen Lord who loves you.
Hope to see you next week. If you would like to talk to me I’m available at 636-937-5513
April 9, 2017
So we begin Holy Week. I encourage all to attend as much of the Sacred Triduum as possible. Triduum is defined as a period of three days of prayer usually preceding a Roman Catholic feast. The Easter Triduum consists of the liturgies from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday. It is a chance to enter into the passion, death, and resurrection in a unique way. “During Holy Week, we walk with Jesus, we suffer with him, we die with him and finally, we rise again; new creatures, brought deeply into the joy of reception and new life now and, we pray, forever.” How to Celebrate Holy Week – Our Sunday Visitor – Amy Welborn. This quote seems to succinctly put Holy week in perspective.
On Holy Thursday the Chrism Mass will be held at the Cathedral Basilica at 10:00 a. m. The priests will concelebrate with the Archbishop and renew their dedication to priestly service. Holy Chrism, the sacred oil used for Holy Orders, Baptism, and Confirmation is consecrated.
On Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper will be celebrated at 7:00 p. m. “After his entrance into Jerusalem, Jesus instructed his apostles to make preparation for the Passover meal. It was at that meal, the Last Supper, that Jesus gave us the Eucharist: the sacrament in which we receive his Body and Blood, and thereby are joined to his sacrifice.” How to Celebrate Holy Week.
On Good Friday we will have a moving experience of the Stations of the Cross at 12 noon . The service of the Lord’s Passion will begin at 7:00 p. m. Jesus told his disciples several times that he would suffer and die. “The suffering and death of Jesus has been a focus of intense prayer for Christians, since the earliest centuries; this is a day to die to oneself so that we might rise anew with Christ.” How to Celebrate Holy Week.
On Holy Saturday the celebration of the Easter Vigil will begin at 8:00 p. m. “The Easter Vigil is a rich moment in time in which we are drawn into Jesus’ timeless victory over sin and death that is now ours as well. It begins in darkness, as we confront the reality of sin and the coldness of death.” How to Celebrate Holy Week. A single candle is lit from the fire as we process into a dark church. In partial darkness we listen to Sacred Scripture, illustrating God’s offer of love and salvation through history. Then we have Jesus’ victory over sin and death proclaimed in the Gospel. It is in this Sacred Liturgy that we fully initiate our newest Catholic brothers and sisters, joining them to Christ and us, through Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.
The Holy Week schedule is as follows:
HOLY THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2017
7:00 p. m. – Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper
GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 2017
12:00 noon – Stations of the Cross
7:00 p.m. – The Passion of Our Lord
HOLY SATURDAY – APRIL 15, 2017
8:00 p.m. – Easter Vigil
EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2017
Masses at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a. m.
April 2, 2017
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Have you received the sacrament of Reconciliation yet? During the season of Lent we focus on changing our lives for the better, becoming more and more the missionary disciples of Christ, the saints, the sons and daughters of the Father. One of the themes of Lent is repentance. During Lent through repentance we walk away from our sinful lives and walk in the light of Christ. One of our seven sacraments is Reconciliation, sometimes referred to as Confession or Penance. This is one of the two sacraments of healing, the other one being the Anointing of the Sick. “The spiritual effect of the sacrament of Penance are:
- Reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
- Reconciliation with the Church;
- Remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
- Remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
- Peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
- An increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle” (Catechism paragraph 1496).
During Lent there has been a priest in the confessional from 4pm until 5pm before the 5:30 Mass every Saturday. In addition directly behind the Liguori Publishing House is the Liguori Mission House Chapel and the Redemptorists are available for the sacrament of Reconciliation every Saturday from 10 am until 12 noon during Lent. This Wednesday hopefully there will be more priests available than just me in the Church beginning at 7 pm. In addition on Holy Saturday I will be available for Reconciliation in the church at noon. There won’t be anybody at the usual Saturday time of 4 pm on Holy Saturday. “Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remain the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church” (Catechism paragraph 1497).
March 26, 2017
On March 16th we had a full church. This was a little out of the ordinary for a Thursday morning Mass at 8:00 am. Several times each week we celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist with our children from Our Lady School. On this particular day we had invited the fathers of our children to worship and praise with their children, which is why the church was full with our fathers and their children. This is the third year we have had this wonderful celebration.
Fathers are so important to the spiritual development of their children. I am convinced that one of the most significant factors of whether children will practice their faith as adults is if their fathers bring them to church every Sunday. This is based on what I have experienced, heard and read. I encourage all fathers to live their faith fully and share our Catholic faith with their children by their words and actions. I encourage fathers to talk about their faith with their children. I am convinced the more this happens in families the more Catholics we will have living their faith fully alive in Christ.
March 19, 2017
Dear Mystical Body of Christ,
It’s not too late. You can still decide how you will spend this Lenten season. What you will do to allow God’s grace to transform you into a more loving person through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. How much time do you spend in prayer on a daily basis? I think the more we meditate on and experience the love of God it becomes easier to love others. Prayer is one significant way to be loved by God, as well as to love God. All relationships need time and effort. I think we can say the same thing about our relationship with our Father. God always loves us but from our side we need to nourish that relationship. Imagine what your relationship with your spouse, friend or child would be if you didn’t talk to or communicate with them. Would the relationship suffer . . relationships need to be sustained by interaction and communication or else they seem to wither. Prayer is a way to sustain and strengthen our relationship with God. There are many books that can help you meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. The rosary is a beautiful way to help us pray meditatively, to think about and imagine the mysteries of our Lord’s love and life. Praying with Sacred Scripture is always a wonderful way to pray. Another way to pray is to take a passage of Scripture and read it over and over slowly. Imagine the scene and imagine what Jesus Christ is saying to you. Come to Eucharistic Adoration on Tuesdays during Lent. Sit with our Lord. Listen to Him, talk to Him. Be loved by our Lord. These are just a few ways to pray.
February 12, 2017
Come to the parish Mission,
- possibly to learn, enrich and deepen your faith and relationship with Jesus Christ
- go back in time
- support our parish and fellow parishioners
- great kickoff before Lent
- enjoy your evenings in a very wholesome and spiritual way
- the parish paid for this for you
Powerful and prayerful…People were spiritually moved.” –The Most Rev. Francis J. Christian, Auxiliary Bishop of Manchester, NH
“Dynamite! …a very engaging presentation that captures the attention of youth and adults alike.” St. Catherine Church, Morgan Hill, CA
Our Lady Catholic Church
February 16, 17, 18, 2017
Featuring speaker Frank Runyeon
February 16: Gospel of John 7:00 p. m.
SIGNS is a one-man play, staged with dramatic lighting and entertaining audience interaction. Its text is the first eleven chapters of the Gospel of John, translated into contemporary American speech.
February 17: Sermon on the Mount 7:00 p. m.
Runyeon sets the famous Sermon in a revealing new setting: as told by the apostle Matthew to the church in Antioch, shortly after the Roman army has burned Jerusalem to the ground.
February 18: Hollywood vs Faith 7:00 p. m.
Frank Runyeon admits he has always felt torn between the world of the media and the world of faith. He thinks much of America is. We go from our TV to church, and then back to our TV. We want to live in both worlds. But is that really possible?
February 5, 2017
You can’t handle the truth. This line may be recognizable to many of you. It came from . . . well I’ll let the few readers of this letter search their memory. It comes to mind as I write this letter after having returned from the Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C. Notice I wrote Pro-Life, much of the little news coverage on this longest running (I believe, and most certainly the most numerous in participants throughout the years) march we have ever had in the United States, doesn’t get much press. Why is that? When there is a little bit of coverage in the news it is often referred to as the anti-abortion march. Why is that? Slavery was a divisive issue in the United States for decades until the truth of the horror of slavery, the truth that all are human beings regardless of the pigment in their skin, was recognized. My hope is one day the holocaust that is abortion will be recognized. The pro-lifers will not stop speaking and marching for the most vulnerable, the voiceless, the most marginalized, the poorest, those most discriminated against in our country, the unborn babies. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness — that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed -that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it “.……..Declaration of Independence.
As we were in D.C., we went to a lot of memorials. We went to the Holocaust Museum, to the Vietnam Wall, the Korean Memorial, drove by the more recent World War II Memorial. I tried to do some research on deaths of American service members (not including civilians) during wartime. In the Civil War around 498,000, in World War II 405,399, Korea 54,226, Vietnam 90,220 American service members lost their lives. These numbers are taken from Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. The numbers change a bit depending on where you look. Even after adding all the soldiers lives that were lost in the aforementioned wars, it pales compared to the estimate of how many unborn Americans were killed in the womb. Currently the estimates are over 50,000,000. The number is almost unbelievable, but not untrue. During the March there are always some horrific pictures of an aborted baby. It is the truth. We will continue to pray and march and vote and speak until laws protect the most vulnerable. We will continue to speak the truth to those who believe a woman has a right to kill the unborn baby within her. In the last several years there are women at the march who are part of a group called Silent No More. I am thankful that they are there to speak the truth. For anyone who has had an abortion, know that there is forgiveness and love. The Archdiocese has a program called Project Rachel which serves men and women who have had an abortion. You can call at 314-792-7565. There is no charge for their help and it is confidential. .
January 29, 2017
Dear Our Lady,
In front of the church you have seen our Beyond Sunday campaign signs. We are in the midst of the Archdiocesan campaign called Beyond Sunday, hence the reason for the signs. Many parishes have already concluded their campaign, while many are still in the midst of their respective campaigns. This campaign is designed to help our middle income families with tuition for Catholic schools. The goal of the campaign is 100 million dollars. This is by far the largest campaign we have ever conducted in the Archdiocese. We began our campaign last year. If you haven’t been contacted yet, you will be in the near future. However, you are free to talk to me about it on any given Sunday. Currently over 90 million dollars have been pledged. In our current school year about 4.7 million dollars have been distributed, and some of our school families have been recipients. Next year the plan is to distribute about 5 million dollars. The priests of the Archdiocese have pledged about 1.4 million at this time. We all have an opportunity to be part of something historic and beneficial to families in our parish and throughout the Archdiocese. Our parish goal is $700,000.00 with 40% returning to the parish.
January 22, 2017
Once again I will be traveling to Washington, D. C. for the Pro-life March on January 27th. This March has been going on for decades and continues to be one of the largest and in some years the largest March in D. C. Sometimes I think we get weary of hearing people talk about abortion. We can never remain silent about this American holocaust. Hopefully some day, as with slavery and the abolitionists, our country will rise up and change our laws so that justice may prevail for the unborn Americans.
Unlike many issues of our time, where there is a great division in the scientific community, physicians, biologists and scientists overwhelmingly agree that conception marks the beginning of life. There is overwhelming agreement on this fact, and it is reflected in countless medical, biological and scientific writings. This issue will never go away as long as our laws allow this holocaust to continue and unless we decide to speak for those with no voice. People with common sense (whether they be religious or not) recognize that innocent human life should have the right to live. Sound reasoning and logic will prevail.
In closing, I want to encourage anyone who has been involved in an abortion to seek healing and forgiveness. I have encountered many women who suffer from abortion. There is healing and help. You can confidentially call Project Rachel at 314-792-7565 to help you heal. Our Lord, who loves us, has given us the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation. In addition, if you know of anyone who needs help with an unplanned pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to call me or Birthright of Hillsboro. Birthright Hillsboro’s number is 636-789-3518.
Edited and reprinted from a previous bulletin.
January 15, 2017
As we begin the process of registration for next school year, let us give thanks to Our Father for all He has given us and will continue to give to us through Our Lady Catholic School. Our parish school is immersed in Jesus Christ and provides a high quality education for our children. It provides a safe environment and a place to grow in community and support for all involved. We are thankful for the parish families and supporting community which support Our Lady School.
Our school is a ministry of both Sacred Heart and Our Lady parishes and is substantially subsidized by both. The actual cost to educate each child is much higher than the tuition charged. As we don’t yet know what the tuition rates will be next year, be assured that it will not increase more than 3%. This current year Sacred Heart is subsidizing over $100,000 while Our Lady is subsidizing over $300,000. These subsidies are possible due to the generosity of our fellow parishioners. As we continue to provide a quality Catholic faith based education with great implementation of technology and security, our financial needs must be addressed.
January 8, 2017
Marriage is a holy way of life, a lived sacrament. Marriage is a vocation for each spouse. A call to share in the Father’s plan, helping each other be the best person they can be. Marriage is a sign of God’s way of being, a sign of the Father’s love. What I write here is not exhaustive of the wonderful sacrament of Marriage. Jesus gave us seven sacraments (outward signs instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace) so we may inherit eternal life, share in God’s life, live out our mission as disciples of Christ.
The sacraments were given to us through our Catholic Church by Jesus Christ. The Church gives us the way to celebrate and administer these sacraments. There is a way we baptize, confirm and celebrate the Mass. We use water for Baptism, wheat for the bread to become Jesus in the Eucharist, wine from grapes, olive oil for chrism….etc. The Church also has a way in which we celebrate Marriage. The purpose of marriage is for the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children. In the sacrament of Marriage a man and a woman are called to this deep intimacy by God not just for the benefit of each spouse but for God’s purposes.
As we reflect on the above it is a good time to recall that for Catholics to get married outside of the Catholic Church is a grave sin. Marriage is meant to be so much more than a social arrangement.
Further from catholic answers: Catholics are required to be married in the Church; if one marries outside the Church, whether in or out of the United States, then one’s marriage will not be valid unless it is later convalidated. To deliberately marry outside of the Church and live as husband and wife is not a minor irregularity that one can always plan to straighten out later; it is a grave betrayal of our obligation as Catholics to live by the law of the Church and a sin against God, in whose eyes the marriage is nonexistent.”
January 1, 2017
I pray you have a blessed and joyful New Year. May you experience the love of the Father, Son and Spirit in an ever deeper way this year. If you live your Catholic faith, I am confident you will experience peace, love and joy in a greater way. Essentially living your faith means giving praise and thanks to God by worshipping every Sunday in the manner of worship Jesus Christ gave us, the Mass. Living your faith means loving and serving your neighbor and developing a daily prayer life. Living your faith means a continual turning away from sin, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, studying your faith and living as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Hopefully you have received our brochure for this Year of Service. Please read the information and prayerfully reflect on how you will serve the Lord and one another. How and in what way is the Holy Spirit calling you to serve? The benefits to you and those you serve are so many.
Thank you to all who have served our parish as ministers over these Holy Days. I also say thanks especially to the children and adult choirs and those who decorated our church. Your help makes our parish the vibrant and wonderful parish it is. Thank you for all the prayers, gifts, cards, food and well wishes. Our Ladians, your generosity and thoughtfulness is most appreciated and humbling.
December 25, 2016
Dear Mystical Body of Christ,
Feliz Navidad. I have that song in my head today, but don’t worry, the rest of the letter is in English. Let’s start with a question. What is the meaning of Christmas? Good question I think.
Back in 1978 when I was 16, I took on a little project which ties in with the above, but for now let’s return to the questions. Certainly, Christmas had to do with God’s love for us, His sons and daughters. God loves us more than words can convey. However, the question we should ask ourselves is “Do we love God?” Love is a divine activity. We, who are created to share in God’s life through knowledge and love, are able to imitate God by loving others. We are created in the image and likeness of God. We are able to love. So let’s get back to the question,
“Do we love God?” it is certainly easy to say the words “I love God”, without really meaning them.
At Christmas, we often spend a lot of time searching for gifts for loved ones. In earlier times people would spend their time and energy creating gifts. Many of us still do. Putting in long hours, sometimes late hours in order to create and put together gifts. This was and is an act of love. When I was a teenager, my sisters and I gave my mother and father a Nativity set for Christmas. I put in a lot of time and effort on the manger. I used plywood, paneling, scraps of wood, a protractor (obviously not a carpenter) and some moss. I did it as a surprise for my mother and father. Why do we put all this time and effort in gift giving? Because we love. Which leads me back to that question, do we love God? In the Gospel of John we hear, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish, but might have eternal life.
Belief doesn’t only mean that we know Jesus exists. Even evil spirits know this. “Belief” means much more. We need to try to experience and think about God’s love for us and then respond to that love. So how do we love God? How do we respond to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’s infinite love for us. You could also ask, how do we inherit everlasting life? These are similar ways of saying “how do we love God?” In the Gospel of John, Jesus also says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven.” What is one of the most important ways we love God, or keep his commandments, or do the will of the Father in Heaven? Answer: The Mass. We do those things by participating in the celebration of the Eucharist every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. We give our time, our lives to our Father as we participate in the Eucharist. Why should we go to Mass? Reread the above.
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of Christian life.” (Catechism paragraph 1324). The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states, in paragraph 16, “The celebration of Mass, as the action of Christ and the people of God . . . .is the center of the whole Christian life for the Church both universally local as well for each of the faithful individually.” This states how incredibly important is the Mass. It is the preeminent way we love God and our neighbor. What do you give the God who has everything? Love. Again, how do we love God?” Well there are many ways, but the preeminent way to love God . . . the Mass.
December 11, 2016
In Advent of 2014 we started a multi-year plan for discipleship. Just as a reminder, we started with a Year of Prayer, then a Year of Study and now we begin a Year of Service. If you are currently active in one of our parish ministries, thank you very much. Your service is greatly appreciated. If you are not currently active, I am asking you to prayerfully discern joining one of our parish ministries.
BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING
Benefits of Participating in Parish Ministry Mental Benefits of Volunteering
-Strengthens one’s relationship with God -Reduces loneliness
-Makes a difference in someone else’s life -Reduces depression
-Provides personal growth -Reduces anxiety
-Sets a good example for others to follow
Physical Benefits of Volunteering
-Lowers blood pressure
-Increases life span
-Increases brain function
-65% of Americans volunteer for something
-Those that attend church regularly are more likely to volunteer (72%)
-“Giving back” is a stronger motivator than “we have so much”
-38% of current volunteers would like to do more
-71% of those personally asked to volunteer will do so
-The growing number of non-profit organizations is making it more difficult to attract and retain volunteers
-Volunteers have a better chance of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers
-Adults who began volunteering as a youth are twice as likely to volunteer as an adult than those who did not volunteer when they were younger.
-Non-volunteers are more likely to volunteer if asked by a trusted friend.
November 27, 2016
Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit for everything. Brothers and sisters of Our Lady Catholic Church, I thank you for your kindness, prayers and support for me. From a little research I have done it seems Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays, not necessarily the favorite but one. There are probably several reasons for this, I am convinced that we are happier people when we are grateful. I believe this because of what I have read and seen and experienced. How often do we say “thanks” to God?
Every Mass which contains the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (by the way the word Eucharist comes from a Greek word eukharistia which means thanksgiving ), we say in the Preface “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just. It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father “. Part of this preface is said at every Mass we celebrate. The last two sentences I believe only change in the Easter prefaces but otherwise are always used as well. I encourage you to give those words some thought. Again I ask how often do we say prayers of thanksgiving to God?
November 20, 2016
In the month of November we remember in a special way those who have died. Recently we received instructions on cremation from the Vatican and thought it might be helpful to visit the ever increasing choice of cremation of our deceased loved ones.
First it is always preferable that we bury the body of the deceased, but cremation is allowed as long as the choice is not being made as a denial of the belief in the resurrection of the dead or any reason contrary to our faith. “By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul.” (Ad resurgendum cum Christo). “Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places.” (ARCC). “Burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2300). “By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity” (Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 14). “Furthermore, burial in a cemetery adequately corresponds to the respect owed to the bodies of the faithful departed who through Baptism have become temples of the Holy Spirit” (ARCC) “and the Church considers the burial dead one of the corporal works of mercy.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2300).
“In circumstances when cremation is chosen because of sanitary, economic or social considerations, this choice must never violate the explicitly-stated or the reasonably inferable wishes of the deceased faithful.” (ARCC). “Cremation is not prohibited, unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine” (ARCC).
“When the choice has been made to cremate a body, it is recommended that the cremation take place after the Funeral Liturgy” (Order for Christian Funerals page 392). The ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. “The ashes may not be divided among various family members and due respect must be maintained.” (ARCC). “It is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other ways, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects.” (ARCC).
It has been my experience that many of our faithful church goers have died without a Funeral Liturgy at church but rather had a service at a funeral home. If you wish to have a funeral Mass I recommend you let your family know of your desire.
November 6, 2016
Dear Saints INTM,
Let’s just say there is a candidate out there who will do everything you want. The candidate is in absolute agreement with you on every issue; war, unemployment, the environment, healthcare, social security, you name it. She or He is in absolute agreement with you and will do everything legislatively that you want. However, there is this one thing . . . this politician believes that a mother should have the legal right to kill her infant up to two years of age. What? “There is no way I would vote for this candidate.” you say, “This is horrific.” Absolutely! This is just one issue, correct? Yes, and even though this is one issue, you would not vote for this candidate. “I don’t care,” you say, “I absolutely could not support this politician.”
What’s the difference between this and someone who supports the torturing and murder of the unborn (abortion)? The unborn baby is a human life. Human life begins at conception. If you want to look to science, you will find that there is a tremendous consensus in the scientific community that human life begins at conception. Both the unborn and the infant are humans. Both the infant and the unborn are not at their potential, they both need food, water and shelter. One may say the unborn is physically dependent upon the mother. Yes, and the infant is also absolutely on another (could be one or more persons) for food, water and shelter. The difference? The unborn’s dependence is more particular. The unborn depends upon one human, the mother, while an infant absolutely depends upon another to provide the necessities for life as well.
I equated abortion with torture and murder. Again, if we look to the scientific community the experts tell us that unborn babies can feel pain at twenty weeks, some experts, even earlier. In Minnesota there is a law which informs the mothers that this is true. If you look up the definition of torture and murder, abortion fits. I have tried to present this issue from a common sense, rational approach. Morally, abortion is gravely evil.
Please pray for hearts to be changed, for people to be advocates for the unborn, and for those who had an abortion. Let them know there is healing and forgiveness. Please help them help themselves. I highly recommend Project Rachel at 314-792-7565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited and reprinted from a previous bulletin
October 30, 2016
I wonder if this has ever happened to you. . . you left a place, got into your car, started driving, and when you arrived at your destination, you had no idea how you got there. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but perhaps you have experienced this yourself. I also wonder if some of us are saying this about our country, especially the laws which have been passed. Abortion at any stage is legal, the federal government is trying to force Catholic institutions to violate their conscience by providing abortifacients, marriage between a man and a woman is under assault. If I went back in time and explained to Christians what was going on in the future, I believe, to put it mildly, most of them would be shocked, and probably many would think I was lying.
It’s time to wake up, it’s time to act, it’s time to vote. We got here because as the old adage goes “bad things happen when good people do nothing”. I would also add, bad things happen when Catholics fail to follow Christ. “Both opposing evil and doing good are essential obligations” Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship 24. We arrived here because many good people did nothing and many others did the wrong thing. I am convinced that if Catholics followed Jesus Christ, not their party, their organization, or their union, we would not be here, we would not have arrived. We absolutely have a responsibility in the public sector, in our country, in how we vote. Doing nothing is not following Christ. Doing nothing is not supporting life, religious liberty, or the sanctity of marriage. How do we follow Christ?
The following quote is from Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: “Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere feeling about what we should or should not do. Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments based on the truth of our faith.” FC 17
“There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with Love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called “intrinsically evil” actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation “abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others” Living the Gospel of Life no. 5. “It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates that basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.” FC 22.
Pope John Paul II explained the importance of being true to fundamental Church teachings “Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights – for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture – is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.” Christifideles Laici, no. 38.
“The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.” FC 28
Please follow Christ and educate yourself, learn, pray, act.
Edited and reprinted from a previous bulletin article.
October 23, 2016
Dear Partners in the mission,
“In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions.” This is from the USCCB “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” paragraph 37. Please educate yourself on the issues and what the candidates stand for on these issues. What is the platform of the political parties on the issues, as this is extremely important as well. In addition, the appointment of Supreme Court Justices is an extremely important consideration, as our next President will be appointing probably two if not more Justices. Many legal issues are now decided by the Supreme Court, as opposed to legislatures where they should be decided. By far the most important issue in all of our decisions is the protection of the unborn Americans, who because of where they live, can be murdered indiscriminately. Fr. M
“Catholics are called to participate in promoting the common good and, as far as possible, to take an active part in public life. Indeed, “by fulfilling their civic duties, guided by a Christian conscience, in conformity with its values, the lay faithful exercise their proper task of infusing the temporal order with Christian values.” (Gaudium et Spes, #36)
“The consequence of this fundamental teaching of the Second Vatican Council is that the lay faithful are never to relinquish their participation in public life.” (Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, #1)
To fulfill this calling, Catholics must be informed, active, and responsible participants in the political process. They must be knowledgeable about the political process and have a grasp of the moral dimensions of issues facing society. To do so, they need to understand the role of government in society, to be aware of their political rights as citizens, and to know how to influence public policy so that they may work within the political structure to effect change. They need to know about current social issues, to understand the Church’s teachings about their moral dimensions, to form their consciences in light of their faith, and to act out of their moral convictions.”
For more information please visit Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility – Catholic Bishops of the United States (Nov. 2015) at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/ Also check out the St. Louis Review’s election Guide “Lens of Faith” at http://stlouisreview.com/lens-of-faith for more information on forming consciences for faithful citizenship. Catholic Care. Catholics Vote.
October 2, 2016
Partners in the mission,
This past weekend our 8th graders slept on or in cardboard boxes by the pavilion. We had 6 or 7 chaperones (thank you) who were with them all night. They prayed, engaged in discussion and other activities which were supplied by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. By the way, the USCCB web site is most helpful with all kinds of information. Our 8th graders experienced discomfort, they thought it was harder than expected, they were hungry and a little scared. They realized how blessed they are to have their basic needs met on a daily basis and the lifestyle that they have as well. They also realized how blessed they are to have parents who love them. They thought it was a night they will never forget. This experience resonated with them, more deeply than had they just read about adults and children who are homeless or refugees or living in poverty. Certainly the reasons for why people fall into the above categories can be complex or simple, some because of choices they made, some are truly victims, some a combination of both, certainly the children are always victims in all the above categories. But the question remains, what can we do as disciples of Jesus Christ to help those in need? Jesus Christ clearly identified himself with the poor.
We had a wonderful attendance for Theater of the Word’s presentation Friday night at the church of “Adam and Eve Go to Marriage Counseling”. If you or someone you know is struggling with their marriage, please call me and let’s try to honestly address the issues so we can have healthy and happy marriages. Jesus said in Mark with parallels in other Gospels. “God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together no human being must separate.” MK 10:6-9
September 11, 2016
Dear Partners in the mission,
I need help. I am continually battling to proclaim Jesus Christ in a world that has gone partially deaf. We have brought in the ACTS retreats for the benefit of you and me. You benefit because it can put you on the road to salvation, help you live a happier, more fulfilling and peaceful life. You benefit because you meet with people who will support, encourage and challenge you to be disciples of Christ in our world. I benefit because my parishioners become missionary disciples of Christ.
Our next Men’s ACTS retreat is November 3-6, 2016. There are registration forms in the vestibule at the information center. If finances are challenging, please come talk to me and we will keep it confidential.
Our upcoming events are:
- Saturday, September 17 – Our Lady Parish Leadership Meeting at St. Pius X High School cafeteria from 9:00 a. m. until 12:00 noon
- Sunday, September 18 – Young Catholic Musicians at 11:00 a.m. Mass
- Sunday, September 18 – Parish Breakfast after the 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Masses
- Friday, September 23 – Our Speaker Series resumes with Kevin O’Brien and the Theater of the Word in church at 7:00 p. m.
- Friday, September 30 – Our Lady School Golf Tournament at Union Hills Golf Course in Pevely, MO.
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2016 – OUR LADY’S MASQUERADE DINNER & AUCTION
More information about these events can be found on our parish website at www.ourladyfestus.org.
September 4, 2016
- Go to Mass every Sunday
- Pray as a family, not individually
- Share our faith with one another, talk about our faith
- Help guide me through this journey
Dear Partners in the Mission,
You might be a little surprised at where the above list came from. Although I support the list 100%, it did not come from me. As a pastor in a parish today there are many things happening or not happening that can be disheartening. At the Masses on the weekend there are only about one third of our families there for worship. The Mass is the source and summit of what we do as Catholics, as disciples of Christ, as the body of Christ. Jesus’ command “Do this in memory of me” is rejected and ignored by most Catholics on a weekly basis. As I said, this is very disheartening. What is very edifying and encouraging is the list above. Our 8th graders who are preparing for Confirmation were basically asked: “What do you want from your parents as you prepare for Confirmation?” These were the top four responses from our eighth graders. Wonderful and thanks be to God! The above four responses are what all our families are called to do as sons and daughters of the Father, as the primary building block of our Church.
P.S upcoming events are:
- Monday, September 5 – Labor Day Mass at 9:00 a m.
- Saturday, September 17 – Our Lady Parish Leadership Meeting at St. Pius X High School cafeteria from 9:00 a. m. until 12:00 noon.
- Sunday, September 18 – Young Catholic Musicians at 11:00 a.m. Mass
- Sunday, September 18 – Parish Breakfast after the 9:00 a.m and 11:00 a.m. Masses
- Friday, September 23 – Our Speaker Series resumes with Kevin O’Brien and the Theater of the Word in church at 7:00 p.m.
- Friday, September 30 – Our Lady School Golf Tournament
August 28, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
As disciples of Jesus Christ, our responsibility is to proclaim Jesus Christ by our lives. If we do this, amazing things will happen. One of the amazing things that will happen is people will want to know about our Savior, Jesus Christ. This will lead them to the church Jesus Christ founded on the apostles, our Catholic Church. We will be starting RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) on Thursday, September 8 at 7:00 p. m. in the rectory basement. If you know of anyone or you yourself are interested in the Catholic faith, this is your invitation, this message is for you. Please call Tracy Darian at 636-937-3550 or Father Maassen at 636-937-5513. You are most welcome to call and refer someone as well. Our adventure in joining the Catholic Faith will start in September and basically last the school year.
August 21, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
Thank you to all the volunteers and those who came to eat at the Fried Chicken Dinner. It was another wonderful event at Our Lady Catholic Church.
We have a lot of events coming up:
- The Young at Heart will be presenting a live show in the cafeteria on Tuesday, September 13. That’s right, “I Love Lucy” is coming to Our Lady’s. All adult parishioners age 21 plus are invited. Sounds like it is going to be a great time for everyone! If interested, please see the article on the next page for more information.
- Our Speaker Series will resume on Friday, September 23 in church at 7:00 p.m. Kevin O’Brien & Theater of the Word will present “Adam & Eve Go to Counseling”. Theater of the Word is a Christian theater company which evangelizes across the country. The founder of this theater company Kevin O’Brien, was an atheist who wonderfully found his way to Catholicism. He also hosts a television series on EWTN. There will be suggested donation, but no tickets will be sold. Please come, this will be time well spent.
- Our Lady’s Masquerade Dinner & Auction will be held Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 4 Elks Club, Festus, MO. Please watch your mailboxes for more information which will be coming soon.
- Our Lady Parish Leadership Meeting on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 9:00 a. m. at St. Pius X High School cafeteria. Two representatives from each parish organization are asked to be in attendance. The purpose of this Leadership meeting is threefold – to further the mission of Jesus Christ, strengthen the parish and build community.
If you know anyone interested in our wonderful Catholic faith, keep posted for the beginning of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation).
August 14, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
Thank you for your generosity this past fiscal year to help us continue the mission of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your generous response to the letter sent in May asking all to increase their offertory. Although there will be a much more detailed report on the 2015-2016 fiscal year coming soon, we ended up $608 in the black or as net profit. Also you will see the financial report for the picnic included.
Sincerely in Christ,
August 8, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
As you may or may not know, the GPS (Guiding Parishioners to Salvation) established a Speaker Series which began last year. We have had some really interesting topics and exciting speakers throughout our Year of Study. This summer we brought in outdoor movies, the third and last one, Jumanji, will be coming to an outdoor screen on Friday the 12th of August. We are again trying something unique on Friday, September 23. We will be bringing in Theater of the Word, a Christian theater company which evangelizes across the country. The founder of this theater company was an atheist who wonderfully found his way to Catholicism. The founder also hosts a television series on EWTN. Their mission is to evangelize through drama. We are excited to bring this theater company to Our Lady on Friday, September 23. Their production, Adam and Eve Go to Counseling, is an action thriller. Perhaps more like a comedy. There will be a suggested donation, but no tickets sold. Please come, I am confident your time will be well spent.
Our Chicken Fry is Sunday, August 14th after the 11 am Mass from 12:00-4:00 p. m.
Our end of summer gathering featuring food and drink and live entertainment will be on Saturday, August 20th as well. All our welcome. There is a price for admission.
July 31, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
There is so much violence and bloodshed in our world today, there was yesterday, and will be tomorrow. The news seems to thrive on telling us all the various tales of murder. What can we do? We can certainly pray, but there is more. Often we forget of the lives violently taken every day through abortion. Thousands of innocent babies killed every day, every day, in our country. The news doesn’t really want to report this violence. One of the things we can do to try to stop the violence we call abortion, is vote for pro-life candidates. Life is the most fundamental right, everything else is not even a close second. As always we are called to do the will of the Father, it is very clear, vote pro-life.
July 24, 2016
Dear Partners in the mission,
Exciting things are happening in the Parish. However, before we get to some of that, a few reminders may be appropriate/necessary. We are in a Year of Study at Our Lady. The GPS team (Guiding Parishioners to Salvation) has been meeting regularly for over a year trying to help us in the endeavor which their title indicates. Our first year was a Year of Prayer. Start praying, enrich your prayer life, deepen your prayer life, etc. The Year of Prayer was designed to increase our intimacy with the Father, with Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit and everything that goes along with greater intimacy with God. The second year of which we are still in, is a Year of Study. Hopefully you have noticed the library in the vestibule. Everything in the book shelves and the rack in between is for all of us partners in the mission. You may borrow whatever you see. There is also a kiosk for Lighthouse Catholic Media. Donations are asked for if you take a CD from the kiosk. We have purchased access to a website formed.org which has wonderful resources. One of which is Symbolon. I recently listened to over half of their series on a long drive. We have a parish access code which is seen on the sign heading out of church and in the vestibule. One website that I recommend is Catholic Answers; it is chuck full of information. I recently received a book called “A Handbook of Catholic Apologetics” which looks very promising indeed.
Our faith is reasonable and coherent. There is good evidence for the existence of God, Jesus who is God, the resurrection, logical reasons why we believe what we do, etc. etc. We all thirst for the knowledge of truth, which is our faith, but while we watch the television show of our modern life, we don’t feel like getting up to get that drink. We are too comfortable, and getting up takes time and effort, its easier to just sit in the lounge chair, watch the show of our life, and eat our popcorn. Hopefully we realize the only way to quench that thirst is to do just that, get up and get that drink of living water which Jesus Christ provides by the deepening of our knowledge. Jesus is the way the truth and the life, let’s continue to learn more about the way, the truth and the life through our study.
In addition, in the worldwide church we are in the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The year started on December 8th of 2015 and ends on the Feast of Christ the King, November 20, 2016. For more resources on the what and the why of this year visit the archstl.org website.
July 17, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
“If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Fathers commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” John 15:10-11. In the Navarre bible commentary it states, “The certainty that God loves us is the source of Christian joy”.
I would add that our joy would also come from living the life of love that Jesus commands us, and the hope for eternal life. In my life I have witnessed joy on many occasions. I have witnessed the joy in our fellow parishioners who have experienced the ACTS Retreat. There is room for you on the upcoming ACTS retreat on August 18-21 for the women and on November 3-6 for the men. I encourage you to go, to experience, to change your life for the better.
June 19, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
What is the record of the Saint Louis Cardinals? Which division are they in? Can you name 12 Cardinal players? Where is spring training held? When is the Superbowl? Who are the two presidential candidates? When was the last time the Cardinals won the World Series? What are the names of the characters or actual names of the people in three television shows you watch? Where is the closest QT? Who has the best pizza in town?
How many Popes have we had? Who was the first Pope? Where was our first Ecumenical Council?. What was the main topic of discussion at that Council? Did Jesus claim he was God? What is the Liturgy of the Word? How many sacraments do we have? What is the purpose of marriage? How do we become inheritors of eternal life?
Hopefully I am making some kind of point. We sometimes know a lot about various topics of interest more than we know about what matters most, our Catholic faith. How much time do you spend in spiritual reading or learning about your faith compared to the time spent reading or watching the news? Last year we started a Year of Study at our parish. We established a library in the vestibule which has CDs and books. We are members of Formed.org (see signs on the way out). Formed is like a Catholic Netflix and every one of our parishioners can use this wonderful website for resources and entertainment. We have had various informative and inspirational speakers. Let’s grow in faith and knowledge together.
June 12, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission,
So Jimmy Stewart says, “Well it comes in pretty handy down here”. This may not be the exact line but it’s pretty close. This line is from one of my favorite movies. A little trivia on the movie. It was filmed in the summer, possibly July or August and the summer heat is noticeable if you look closely at the actors. I digress. Perhaps some of you have noticed the change in the Weekly Offertory Report. As it’s interesting to see the numbers of the offertory from week to week, it does not give an adequate financial picture of the parish. For instance, if you have a family with a double income, and a few part time jobs, you would need to know all the income and all the expenses for an adequate understanding. As we only printed the offertory, you were only getting the income of one wage earner and none of the expenses. We are improving upon this information.
We have been in the positive two of the last three fiscal years. However, it should be noted that we have not replaced our Pastoral Associate for three years, and this will change for the upcoming fiscal year. At one time there were two full time priests here, with I believe, a smaller number of households. I grew up in a parish with less households and two priests assigned there as well. We have also made many capital improvements and finished many repairs. As I said we were in the black the first two fiscal years but this year we will be in the red. Our fiscal year runs from July 1 until June 30th of the following year. A significant reason for the deficit this year, is due to the rectification of a situation in our school which used to start in September but now starts in August. This affected salaries, which affected our expenses…etc.
Although this is not close to exhaustive or detailed, we are trying to give you a better understanding of the financial situation of the parish. If you have any questions you can certainly call me or talk to our Finance Council members. Our Finance Council members are: Charlie Hunt, Debbie Geringer, Paul Flynn and Cliff Sansouicie.
Peace Fr M
May 1, 2016
Dear Partners in the Mission of Jesus Christ,
Since 1956 when Our Lady was founded we have maintained a steadfast commitment to the mission of Jesus Christ, bringing salvation to all. Our parish continues to flourish today because of the generosity of past and current members under the guidance and support of the Holy Spirit. We have sacrificed and persevered in the name of Jesus Christ. We are continuing to encounter Jesus Christ through the sacraments, study, prayer and our various ministries. We are continuing to bring Jesus Christ to a broken world. We are helping each other be authentic disciples of Christ, so that we too, may inherit eternal life. I am writing today with an important request.
We have initiated many new and exciting programs and endeavors to enliven and strengthen our Catholic faith, to help each of us be dynamic Catholics. We have repaired and updated many aspects of our physical plant. We have improved our excellent parish school which continues to form our children as disciples of Christ. It is inspiring to be a member of Our Lady parish and we need everyone’s help to be partners in the mission.
Your past generosity is most appreciated. In order to continue our ministry and achieve even greater accomplishments, I am asking you to prayerfully consider increasing the amount of money that you regularly give to Our Lady parish. For those of you who don’t give at all, please consider being a part of the mission of Jesus Christ by giving 5 dollars a week or any amount you can afford. For those of you who already give, please consider increasing your donation by at least 5 dollars a week or any other dollar amount that is possible.
Thank you for your past generosity and willingness to be partners in the mission.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev Jeffrey Maassen
Dear Partners in the Mission,
I could have written dear disciples of Christ. How are you furthering the mission of Jesus Christ? After the Resurrection Jesus gave these instructions to the apostles: “Then Jesus approached and said to them, ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matt. 28:18. Am I learning more about our faith, Sacred Scriptures, reading inspirational literature to help me be a disciple of Christ?
Am I praying daily, in the morning, throughout the day, at night? Am I spending time in adoration, taking quiet time for reflection and meditation, spending time with Sacred Scripture?
Am I talking to my family about my faith, sharing with others Catholic books and CDs, using social media to make references to my Catholic faith, inviting friends to parish functions, especially Mass?
Just some questions and thoughts on being a disciple of the Savior or Messiah, Jesus the Christ.
Peace Partners in the mission.
“The word euthanasia derives from the Greek roots ‘eu’ (good) and ‘thanatos’ (death). The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines euthanasia as ‘an act or an omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering.’ (Catechism 2277) Such an act or omission constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.” (Our Sunday Visitor Page 8, Volume 104, No. 47)
Sadly to say euthanasia and/or physician assisted suicide is legal in some European countries and in five states in the US. “If a priest cannot persuade a person against physician-assisted suicide, then the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should not be administered. This would be a most painful decision on the part of the priest, but such an individual would seem to be persisting in the manifest grave sin of suicide”. (OSV page 8, Vol 104, No. 47)
In a related topic, we need nutrition and hydration to live therefore “thus, from both universal and particular authorities, there is a well-founded presumption to provide assisted nutrition and hydration unless there is no reasonable hope of sustaining life.” In other words, nutrition and hydration is normal care even if medically assisted and cannot be withheld to cause death.
April 10, 2016
Dear men of the parish,
You were created for communion with God and the saints. You were created to be saints. I believe attending our first ACTS retreat will help you toward this end. The ACTS retreat may help you be a better husband, father and friend. I am asking each one of you to spend just a few minutes in prayer about attending our first Men’s ACTS retreat, which takes place on May 19th through the 22nd, with a check-in on Thursday evening.
When is the last time you went on a retreat? In our world today fathers are so very important to the spiritual well being of our families. Fathers have such a significant role in the spiritual well being of their children. Our Lady parish is now accepting applications for this upcoming ACTS retreat. They are in the vestibule on the bulletin board. This retreat can be a life changing experience for some and certainly enriching for many.
Several men of our parish have attended an ACTS retreat in another parish with good reviews. The reviews for the women’s retreat were very good as well. If the financial obligation is a challenge, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It is a great investment. This is a parish based retreat. One of my neighbors/parishioners at a prior parish went on an ACTS retreat. I have witnessed a change in him. He is married, has a blue collar job, and highly recommends the ACTS retreat. Same story for many men who have attended the retreat. He now plays in a band that performs for ACTS retreats throughout the Archdiocese. Hundreds of men throughout our Archdiocese have attended ACTS retreats. Some of those men have been meeting for weeks to give our first retreat to the men of our parish. Please prayerfully consider attending.
March 27, 2016
Greetings! Happy Easter to all! May you know the peace and joy which the Risen Lord brings!
To all of you whom we see only once or twice a year, welcome, it’s great to have you here. You are always welcome at Our Lady. I have a favor to ask of you, especially those who come to the celebration of the Eucharist only once or twice a year. Please come back next week. The parish family is inviting you as well. Our Lady parish is filled with some talented, gifted and wonderful parishioners. We are a welcoming parish family who support, pray for and love one another.
Why should you come back next week? In a nutshell – because we want to rise from the dead and share in the resurrection. I wish I knew exactly what would motivate you to do so. I wish I knew exactly the right thing to write so you would change your lives for the better, so you could inherit eternal life, be peaceful, more joy filled. In my years of interacting with people from all walks of life, from vastly different socio-economic conditions, the most joyful people I have encountered are those who really live their Catholic faith. Worshipping God every Sunday has always been a part of that. Ask your Father where you belong. Ask Jesus Christ what His will is for you on Sundays. “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my heavenly Father.”
Perhaps you believe that since Christ won the victory over sin and death you can live your life any way you want. Well, you can (all of us have free will) but where will your current life lead you? Choosing a life without Jesus Christ is death. Choosing a life with Christ gives you joy and peace now and supreme happiness forever. The choice for Christ at a minimum level requires Sunday worship. For two thousand years we have been celebrating Mass. It is one of the most intimate ways we enter into communion with our God, whether we feel intimacy or not. As a reminder, if you have missed Mass without a serious reason the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is needed before receiving the Eucharist. Remember the words of Jesus at the first Mass, “Do this in memory of me”.
Sometimes people equate holiness with boring. I must tell you that I have met so many people whom I consider holy who laugh often and have a whole lot of fun. They are more peace filled, more selfless. Why not try being the best version of yourself? You can have a great relationship with Christ and the people whom you love by following Him and being holy.
I could tell you I am concerned for your salvation, your joy. I could tell you that habits can be changed, that life can be better, that regardless of your situation there is hope. Hope in our Risen Lord who loves you. I could tell you whatever wrong you have done can be forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I could tell you all this, because it’s all true.
Hope to see you next week. If you would like to talk to me I’m available at 636-937-5513.
March 20, 2016
The Catholic faith, based on the Revelation of God, of Jesus Christ, is wonderful. I still continue to learn and deepen my understanding of our faith. I have noticed that many Catholics have misconceptions and/or misunderstandings concerning our faith. What is our purpose in life, what do we believe about marriage, why the sacraments, how are we to live our life, what did Vatican II really have to say to us and the world? Sometimes we may know the teachings of Jesus Christ given through His Church, but we might not know the why. I recently discovered the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults and of course there is the Catechism of the Catholic Church that has been around for a couple of decades. A simple visit to the USCCB website can help you with these and other great resources to help one grow in knowledge and love of Christ and our faith.
Through the years I have met a few people who have left their Catholic faith. I have also found that these people misunderstood, didn’t believe and/or didn’t really live their Catholic faith. We pray that they return to our Catholic Church, established and guided by Jesus Christ. However, I also am gratified that there are many, many ministers of different faiths who have become Catholic. Scott Hahn, a militant anti-Catholic evangelical minister, and Alex Jones, pastor/preacher at a Pentecostal church, are just a few of the more famous ministers to become Catholic. These men and women of faith and prayer, people seeking the will of God, the truth of what Christ has revealed, often leave occupations, livelihoods to become Catholic. There is a website created to help these people who have been ministers in other faiths to help them enter into our Catholic faith. It is the Coming Home Network, also another place to grow in understanding our faith.
Happy trails to you.
March 13, 2016
Dear Mystical Body of Christ,
There’s no slight of hand here, but we are going to start at one place and end up where you would not have expected.
Here we go, today I got a haircut, had my automobile washed and waxed, and shined my shoes? Well haven’t shined them yet, but it is on the agenda. Yes, I did work as well, Anyway these three things please my parents, Ray and Marylou. Parents are also pleased when their children treat each other well and when they share what they have. In fact, a father basically told me this today. In God the Father’s eyes we are all his children. I believe it really pleases our Heavenly Father when we share what we have with one another. Almsgiving is sharing our blessings with our brothers and sisters who have less than us and this certainly pleases God Father. (No slight of hand here) Here’s definition of Alms: “Material or financial assistance given to a needy person or cause, prompted by Christian charity. Almsgiving is recognized…as one of the principal forms of penance, especially since the mitigation of the laws on fast and abstinence.” (John Hardon, Pocket Catholic Dictionary). We are still in the Lenten season and its never too late to give alms. If you gave up something for Lent that costs money the next step would be to donate the amount of money saved to the poor. I recommend you read something about those in the world who have no food, clothing, etc. There are so many in the world who have nothing. We are the richest citizens of the world and have so much. Thank you Heavenly Father for so many blessings. Giving alms is a great way to engage in Lent and great lifestyle. Peace.
P.S. Please, Please come to the Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
February 21, 2016
In the Universal Church it is the Year of Mercy. At Our Lady in Festus it is also the Year of Study. As we continue this Lenten season I invite you to incorporate some form of study in your Lenten practices. If you give up a half hour or hour of TV or playing games or reading a novel you could use that time to listen to a CD or read something beneficial to your Catholic faith. Growing in your faith leads to a greater spiritual life as well as a closer relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit which leads to greater peace and happiness and eternal life. CD’s are also easy to listen to while you are driving. The library in the vestibule is open to all parishioners to borrow a book or a CD and return it when you are finished. We also have a parish subscription to Formed. org and the password is on the bulletin board. The Formed. org website has all kinds of resources. I recently was on Catholic Answers at www.catholic.com and I recommend that web site as a good resource.
We had a very good response to our Parish Mission. If you missed an evening there are DVD’s available. You can call Judy Simon at 636-937-5008 for more information. We have so many opportunities at the parish for Lent. Mass is celebrated at 8:00 a. m. Monday through Friday. We have Eucharistic Adoration on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. until 11 p. m. and you can come to church even for just a few minutes any time. Please see me for information on how to get into the church. We have the Sacrament of Reconciliation available every Saturday starting at 4:00 p. m. during Lent. Also you can call any priest and set up a time for this beautiful gift from Jesus Christ. We will have a Parish Penance Service on Sat. March 19 at 10:00 a.m. with several additional priests. We have the Fish Fries every Friday for the rest of Lent except on March 4. We have Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 5 p. m. and 7 p. m. most Fridays. On Good Friday there will be Stations of the Cross at 12:00 noon and on Friday, March 18th Zip Rzeppa will return to do a presentation on “Joy and Sorrow at 7 p. m. in church.
We have many opportunities to engage in almsgiving. See the rest of the bulletin for more information.
February 7, 2016
So Lent is about to commence. Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas? Well one of my favorite and not so favorite church seasons is arriving shortly. Fish Fries. Fish Fries and more Fish Fries. I like the Fish Fry for several reasons. At the fry our parish comes together. We gather to work together and to eat together, to laugh and spend time with one another. Our fish is good, the food is good and most of us still very much like to eat and do it on a daily basis. We make some money so that our parish can continue to help all of us know and experience Jesus Christ, help us get to heaven while living a happier life on earth. Mission. What is a mission? One meaning of the word is “the work of preaching renewal to the Christian people”. We will be having an exciting mission beginning on Sunday, February 14th and continuing until February 17th. We haven’t had a mission in years. Invite your friends and foes alike, and get energized and enthused about our faith. Both of these things are very good Lenten practices, while supporting our wonderful parish.
Remember Lent has three primary practices – exercises for spiritual health and well being. Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. I encourage you to increase your prayer life, maybe just a few minutes a day. Come to the Stations of the Cross we will have on Friday at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm with a few exceptions and at different times with our parish day school. Several diets say you can eat all the things you desire. Well, I say great, other than abiding by the mandatory fasting and abstaining days in the Season of Lent, I say eat chocolate, custard, candy and cake. Fast by giving up TV time or video game time or reading novels. Use that time for more prayer and study. Spend less time watching TV, more time reading a spiritual book or listening to a Catholic CD or learning about our Catholic faith. Check out our library. Visit Formed.org. Watch Catholic uplifting and informational content. Fast from negative, immoral or anti-Christ/Catholic information and/or entertainment. Concentrate on improving your virtues, giving up sin and near occasions of such.
We have many opportunities for almsgiving as always. We will have the Rice Bowl opportunities, the Kotido water supply opportunity, always St. Vincent De Paul, the Archdiocesan missions and much more etc.
January 24, 2016
Dear Men of the Parish,
We have a men’s Acts Retreat coming up on May 19th through the 22nd. Please prayerfully consider attending. I am confident that it will be a powerful experience and you will be glad you attended.
Lent is coming upon us very quickly as Ash Wednesday is on February 10th. Yes, Fish Fry Fridays will be back. On February 14th we will begin our Parish Mission for four nights. We are excited to have Richard Lane give this mission and I hope you plan on attending. You can visit his website at www.RichardLaneMinistries.com.
On Friday January 15th we had a most excellent speaker. Many people said the presentation by Steve Rupp was good to very good. The worst comment I heard was “it was interesting”. There will be the Mission in February and we will continue to have speakers in the following year.
We at Our Lady are in our Year of Study as well as the Year of Mercy for the worldwide church. We have subscribed to Formed. org. which has all sorts of stuff for the Year of Study plus some movies, etc. You will need to enter a password at first, which can be found on the bulletin board. Our library is up and running in the vestibule. You are not only welcome, but encouraged to take a book or a C.D. and return it when you are finished. If you have a book or C.D. which is absolutely in conformity with our wonderful Catholic faith, you may drop it in the basket by the bookshelves for pending approval. Please put them there. Thank you.
We will be printing reviews of the books and C.D.’s below my letter this year.
Recently I listened to Tim Staples C.D. “The Bible Made Me Do It”. I highly recommend this C.D. Tim was brought up Baptist, I believe a little anti-Catholic as well. In his last year as an active Marine he met a Catholic, Matt Dula, who, when confronted by Tim, actually engaged him in discussions of our Catholic faith. He knew his faith fairly well and what he didn’t know he found out. Great example for all of us Catholics, learn your faith, be ready to defend it, when questioned. Tim Staples had confronted Catholics before and tried to draw people away from the Catholic faith, now to his great regret! The arguments lasted over a year according to Tim Staples. Many things are interesting in this C.D. and again I highly recommend a listen. I was also fascinated, encouraged and inspired, that this one Catholic who loved his faith helped bring Tim Staples into the faith. Tim Staples eventually became Catholic and Matt Dula was incredibly influential in his conversion. I think Tim Staples helped or did found Catholic Answers. There is much more in this C.D. Tim Staples has influenced thousands in deepening and knowing their Catholic faith and helped bring many into our wonderful Catholic faith.
January 10, 2016
Our Pro-life trip to Washington D.C. will leave Wednesday, January 20th. We will join the tens of thousands gathering for the March for Life on January 22nd. We have youth and adults on the trip. There is still room for this pilgrimage, which also entails some exciting visits to historical sites like Gettysburg and monuments, etc. in Washington D.C. If you would like to go or give a donation for this trip, please call myself at the rectory or Amy Atzert at 314-443-9516.
The Pope has declared this the Year of Mercy. For more information on this please go to the archdiocesan website at archstl.org I hope to have something on our parish website at ourladyfestus.org about this as well
We have also begun a Year of Study at our parish. Last year was our Year of Prayer. I am encouraging all of us to learn more about our faith so we can be happier people on our journey as disciples to eternal life. Towards this end, we have a library in the vestibule. Please feel free to borrow any book or CD. Please do not add to any of the books from your own library unless they have been approved. All books, etc. need to be in conformity with our faith. We also have a parish wide subscription to formed.org Please see the bulleting board for the code. This is free for all parishioners. You will be enriched if you spend more time studying our wonderful Catholic faith.
Our Speaker Series continues this Friday, January 15th. I have known this speaker, Steve Rupp, for years. He has an inspiring story about his faith, his journey to be the vice-president of Missouri Right to Life, his work at St. Vincent De Paul and has some interesting insights on relating to different people. Please come and enjoy the evening with fellow parishioners.
Yes, even though we have just ended the Christmas Season, I am already thinking of Lent. In February we have brought in a national Catholic lay evangelist, Richard Lane, for a mission He has been across the country giving missions and has been featured on “Catholic Answers Live”, the National Catholic Reporter as well as Eternal Word Television Network’s (EWTN) the “Journey Home” with Marcus Grodi and is the Co-Founder of Catholic Men for Christ Men’s Conference in St. Louis which continues to draw thousand of men each year to hear the powerful message of the Gospel. As someone told me he will light it up. The mission is four days so please mark your calendars. The mission will run from February 14 – 17.
Once again thank you for all your generous gifts of prayers, gifts, food and money this Christmas. Thank you.