Farewell

Let me offer a final word of thanks for your expressions of congratulations and gratitude these past few weeks, and for the farewell reception last weekend. Our bishop has chosen a fine priest to serve as rector; welcome him warmly. Keep us both in your prayers and pray for the needs of our diocese, especially for our seminarians and for vocations to the priesthood.

May God bless us all.
Father Gorman

Corpus Christi

This is my last weekend as rector of the Cathedral. Next weekend you will welcome Father Charles Stoetzel as your new rector. I bade farewell last Saturday evening to those attending the 5:10 Mass because the parish pilgrimage prevents me from attending that Mass this weekend, but I look forward to greeting as many of you as possible after the Sunday Masses.

Just as I was beginning to write this letter, Sue Gilbert brought me a very special farewell gift. It was a scrapbook which she and Jean McDonnell assembled containing the cards and greetings they had secretly solicited from you. I was overwhelmed and will enjoy looking through it many times over, recalling these nearly eight years as your parish priest. It is for the service of the people of God that I was ordained. My greatest joy has been the celebration of the sacraments, preaching the word of God and teaching the faith in our parish. In the midst of it all we have gotten to know each other pretty well and have begun good friends. There is no reason why these friendships should not endure.

I have to thank all who contribute so much to the life of the parish. I am not going to mention any names because we all know who they are. I am referring to our parish staff, all of whom faithfully and generously carry out their responsibilities and make it possible for the daily life of the parish to go on so smoothly. I thank all who have served on the various councils and committees; the many liturgical ministers, musicians and ushers who enhance the celebration of the sacred liturgy; and all who care for the buildings and grounds. Thanks to the PCCW and all they do for the rummage sales, funeral lunches, bake and craft sales, Sunday hospitality, and support of ministries in the deanery and diocese. Thanks to the Cathedral Men’s Club for their wonderful pancake breakfasts, steak dinners and work with the Christmas trees. Finally thanks to all who come to Mass, support the parish financially and pray for the needs of the Church in our city, diocese and world. May God reward you all.

Pray the Rosary this week for Pope Benedict XVI, who celebrates the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination on June 29. Pray for Bishop William Callahan and the needs of the Church in our diocese, especially vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. Pray for Father Stoetzel and me during this transition and, as always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Holy Trinity Sunday

Thanks to all who responded last week to Father Robert Flock’s mission coop appeal on behalf of La Santa Cruz Parish in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Contributions are welcome this weekend, too. Please use the envelopes provided for this purpose or put “Mission Appeal” on the memo line of your check. Checks should be made payable to the Cathedral.

Come along next Saturday on our parish pilgrimage to some interesting holy sites in Iowa. Jack White, a native of Iowa, together with Dr. Art Barbier, are organizing the pilgrimage. This time we will have to stop somewhere to buy lunch, so please keep that in mind. We will also celebrate Mass together at one of the churches. Further details are elsewhere in the bulletin; but please let us know early this week, if you want to join us.

The month of June is quickly passing by and the year will soon be half spent. Our parish’s fiscal year ends on June 30. Pledges to the Diocesan Annual Appeal must be received at the bank in Milwaukee by that date to be credited for this fiscal year. Please honor your pledges.

Pray the Rosary this week for fathers, living and deceased. Pray also for couples who are preparing for marriage. Pray for the needs of our mission parish in Bolivia. Pray for our fellow countrymen dealing with or recovering from tornados, fires or floods and, as always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Solemnity of Pentecost

The celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost brings the Easter season to an end. However the first two Sundays after Pentecost are solemn feasts: the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. These celebrate two fundamental mysteries of our faith: that the one God is a Trinity of persons; and the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of the Church’s life.

This weekend we welcome Father Robert Flock for this year’s mission coop appeal. Father Flock is a priest of our diocese serving as pastor of Holy Cross (La Santa Cruz) Parish in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. As you know the parish is in need of a new church, a model of which is on display in the Gathering Area. Please welcome him and respond with your characteristic generosity to his appeal. A second collection will be taken up at this weekend’s Masses for those who wish to make a contribution today. Envelopes are available in the pews and can also be returned next weekend. Checks should be made payable to the Cathedral.

At this Saturday’s 5:10 Mass our parish’s Family Life Committee is sponsoring a special celebration in honor of the couples in our parish celebrating 25, 40, 50, 60 and 65 years of marriage this year. The names of the couples are listed elsewhere in the bulletin. We will also bestow our second annual Married Couple of the Year Award to Bob and Clara Topinka. We honor the witness these couples give to the loving fidelity that is at the heart of the marriage covenant, which also enriches our community and the whole Church. May God continue to bless them. Some highlights from this celebration will appear in the July issue of The Worker.

The month of June is quickly passing by and the year will soon be half spent. Our parish’s fiscal year ends on June 30. Pledges to the Diocesan Annual Appeal must be received at the bank in Milwaukee by that date to be credited for this year. Please honor your pledges.

Pray the Rosary this week for the needs of our mission parish in Bolivia. Pray also for those in our parish who are celebrating special wedding anniversaries this year, and for all married couples. Pray also for those who are preparing for marriage. Pray for the safety of those who are serving in the armed forces and, as always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Ascension Sunday

This week, from Monday through Wednesday, the priests of our diocese will gather at Holy Cross Diocesan Center for our annual Priest Unity Days. The topic of the formal presentations is, “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.” This was the topic of the last World Synod of Bishops held in the Vatican October 5-26, 2008. However I am sure the topic of conversations among the priests attending will be the recently-announced transfers of 45 priests, myself included, effective July 1. The full list appears in this week’s Catholic Times along with Bishop Callahan’s article explaining the reasons for so many transfers.

As I announced last weekend, the next Cathedral rector will be Father Charles Stoetzel, currently pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Marshfield and Christ the King Parish in Spencer. Father Stoetzel is no stranger to the Cathedral. Ordained in 1980, his first assignment was as associate pastor of the Cathedral and religion instructor at Aquinas High School. After four years here he transferred to St. James the Less Parish while continuing to teach at Aquinas. From 1986 to 1995 he served as principal of Regis High School in Eau Claire. Father Stoetzel has been pastor of St. John’s since 1995 and of Christ the King since 1996. I am confident that he will serve this parish well with his pastoral experience. His degree and experience in school administration will also be an asset in his support of our Aquinas Catholic Schools.

Next weekend we will welcome Father Robert Flock, pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for this year’s mission coop appeal. As you know the parish is in need of a new church, a model of which is on display in the Gathering Area. I am sure you will find his message inspiring.

At next Saturday’s 5:10 Mass we will honor and pray for the couples in our parish celebrating 25, 40, 50, 60 and 65 years of marriage this year. We will also bestow our second annual Married Couple of the Year Award.

Please pray the rosary this week for the safety of children on summer vacation and for families who are traveling. Pray for people who are unemployed, that they may find jobs. Pray for all who are working to help people recover from damaging storms both here and throughout our country. Pray for the safety of those who are serving in the armed forces and, as always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Sixth Sunday of Easter

I wish to congratulate all students graduating from universities and colleges, from high schools and middle schools, and moving up from elementary to middle schools. “Graduation,” from the Latin gradus, meaning “step,” is literally taking another step on life’s path. May God bless all, both in their achievements and in what lies ahead.

This week we celebrate Memorial Day. It is kind of a national All Souls’ Day. Originally a day to remember those who died during the Civil War, the holiday eventually included a remembrance of all who died in service to our country and later all deceased veterans. By extension it has become a day to visit cemeteries and remember all deceased relatives and friends. There is no better way for American Catholics to do this than by participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and praying for the departed. Masses here at the Cathedral will be offered at 6:30 and 8:00 on Monday morning. Weather permitting, an outdoor Mass will also be celebrated in the veterans’ section of the Catholic Cemetery at 11:15 a.m.

Last Sunday afternoon we had a large crowd for the final dedicatory organ recital with James Christie. Aside from the excellent performances–which I am not qualified to judge–I have to say the series could not have been better. Thanks to Dr. Brian Luckner for organizing it and to Jean McDonnell, Pat Perlock and Colleen Nugent, assisted by members of our PCCW, for the fine receptions afterwards. Our corps of ushers also did a fine job of welcoming and guiding our guests.

Many of us emerged from the reception in the Undercroft to a driving rainstorm. Little did we know that a tornado was tearing through our city. Fortunately there were no injuries and the scale of destruction was nothing like that in Joplin, Missouri. For the past few weeks I have indicated ways to donate to the Red Cross and Catholic Charities to support their efforts to assist people far away. Now these organizations have been called to action here at home, too. The generosity of the people in our community helping neighbors near and far has been outstanding. May God reward all who are helping in any way.

Pray the rosary this week for students who are graduating from any level of schooling, that they may always put to good use what they have learned. Pray for all who are working to help people recover from damaging storms both here and throughout our country. Pray also for good weather for the spring planting and growing season. As always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

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