Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

This weekend begins the celebration of Catholic Schools Week. Schools plan various activities with students to mark the week. However, it is more important to celebrate and show appreciation for the purpose of Catholic schools, and the many sacrifices of those who support them including the Catholic parishes.

The original intent of Catholic schools in the United States was to educate Catholic children who immigrated here with their parents. Catholic children were not allowed to attend public schools. Many religious orders were founded with the purpose to start Catholic schools for the education of the youth in all academics including teaching the Catholic faith. The original intent is no longer true but the need to educate Catholic children of the faith is. That is one thing that no one can take from a person.

This diocese has had a rich history supporting Catholic schools in the past and present, and looking to the future with great optimism. Many thanks go to our parents, parishioners and benefactors who support the mission of Catholic schools today. We pray for God’s blessings to bless the work of our Catholic schools.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday marks the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to make abortion legal in this country. It is estimated there are about 1,000,000 abortions performed every year since 1973. Depending on which side of the issue a person supports, there has been much talk and heated debate. Passions run high by both groups.

The one aspect that seems under-estimated is science. It holds that a new, distinct being is created at the moment of conception which is human. Since I believe that no one wants to refute science, then there should be no question on the validity of abortion. However, those who are pro-choice muddle the fact by saying that the being isn’t fully human. The question is: Who makes that determination? If it is left to humanity, imagine how imperfect that is going to be. Who wants to take on the awesome task to say who lives and dies?

We must continue to pray, read and support pro-life causes. Let us ask the source of all life, God, to help us in our need to protect human life from the moment of conception to the last natural breath.

Monday, Jan. 23rd is a penitential day. Please attend Mass, say an extra rosary, and do some sort of penance to end all forms of evil that is destructive against human life.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

Holy Hour for Life: Sunday Jan 22

Immediately following the 10:30 am, Mass at the Cathedral on Sunday, January 22, we will again celebrate a Holy Hour for Life, presented by the deacons of the diocese as requested by Bishop William Callahan. Please make every effort to be present at this event, the Vigil of the National Day of Penance and Prayer for Life, established by the Bishops of the United States. Reparation does need to be made, while this battle against the forces of darkness can only be won by turning in prayer to Christ whose light gives meaning to our humanity. We will remember that the quickest way to get His attention is through His mother!74880 469019646157 191049586157 5764106 6439678 n1

Photos from last year on Facebook.

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Last Tuesday, we began Ordinary Time in the Church calendar. If we thought Advent went by quickly, so did the Christmas Season. We will be in Ordinary Time until the Lenten Season which begins on February 22nd with Ash Wednesday. It seems odd to call this Ordinary Time. The reason it is so called is the time before and after the great solemnities of Christmas and Easter can’t compare to them. However, there is nothing ordinary about it. The Church continues to celebrate the mysteries of our faith throughout the year. The Church has selected wisely the passages from sacred scripture so that we can hear and reflect upon the Word of God. Themes are found in the readings which help us to understand better our Catholic faith.

So, there is nothing so-so about Ordinary Time. The time we are in now and will resume after the celebration of Pentecost is really extraordinary. Anytime we have the celebration of the Mass is most extraordinary, and should have a profound effect upon us.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

The Solemnity of the Epiphany

You have heard me give an update at the weekend Mass on how we are doing on the Diocesan Annual Appeal for this year. As of December 13th, we are doing fairly well. The parish target amount decreased slightly over last year which was helpful. Any money given over and above the amount comes back to the parish. That money is used to support our parish operational budget. So we depend on the overage to help meet our financial obligations.

Presently, only 21% of the members of our parish have responded in pledges. We need to have everyone respond no matter how great or little that one can give. It is only you that can determine how much you can but we all should be able to give to support our parish family and diocese.

This is the feast of the Epiphany when the three wise men found the Christ-child who is king of all. They brought him symbolic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh which represented respectively the kingship, divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. What do we have to offer to the Lord? I hope we can all say, in part, our financial giving to show our gratitude for his love and kindness.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

One of the things that older people have told me when I was younger is the years go by faster as you get older; they are right. Where did the 2011 go? Here it is another calendar year, and I was just getting use to writing 2011. Now it is like starting all over again writing 2012.

Every New Year brings hope that it will be better than the last, and we hope we will not be disappointed. For some, the year was good but for many it was not. We are given another year which we look to positively, and pray that it will be a better year for us all.

I extend my best wishes and prayers that the New Year of 2012 will be positive, good and peaceful to us and the world. It can only be if we ask for God’s direction and help. When we place all our trust and confidence him, what shall we fear? Good things can only come when we humbly put ourselves before God and ask him to bless us again with every good gift.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

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