Divine Mercy Sunday

This weekend members of our PCCW will take up the annual second collection for the support of our Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. There was an envelope for this collection in your envelope packets for April with the wrong date (April 17). You may use these and any cash received during the second collection will also go towards this cause. Because May 1 falls on Sunday this year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Worker, the principal patron saint of our parish and of our diocese, on Monday, May 2. On Saturday, May 7, we celebrate the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral. We began our Novena to Saint Joseph the Workman on Thursday, April 28, which we are praying at the end of each Mass through Friday, May 6. Certainly the Carpenter of Nazareth, who was chosen by God to be the guardian of the Redeemer and of Mary, his Mother, is a fitting patron for us, too. May his prayers obtain God’s blessing upon all our endeavors as individuals, as a parish and as a diocese.

This year we will observe the second weekend of May as our parish patronal weekend. Our Cathedral Men’s Club is putting on a steak and hamburger dinner on Saturday evening, May 7, serving from 5:00 to 7:00. This gives us an opportunity to spend some time together to celebrate our identity as a parish. Steak dinners will include a baked potato, coleslaw, roll, beverage and dessert. Hamburger dinners will include potato chips, beverage and dessert. The women of the PCCW are providing the dessert. The cost of the meals will be $8.00 for the steak dinner and $4.00 for the hamburger dinner. We look forward to seeing you there.

As part of this observance we will also have displays in the Gathering Area with information about various parish councils, committees, clubs and ministries, and invite you to indicate an interest in getting involved in any of them. We will also invite people who attend Mass here regularly but have not registered as parishioners to do so. Finally we will have a Habitat for Humanity “timber signing” after all the Masses–an appropriate event in honor of St. Joseph the Carpenter.

Pray the rosary this week for the young people of our parish receiving their First Holy Communion this Sunday, or the Sacrament of Confirmation on Wednesday. Pray for the needs of our parish and our diocese in honor of Saint Joseph. Saint Joseph the Workman, pray for us!

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! In the words of the hymn: “The strife is o’er, the battle done; Now is the Victor’s triumph won.” Having spent six weeks of Lent preparing for this feast, we now celebrate the Easter Octave, reveling in the gospel accounts of the discovery of the empty tomb and then the appearances of the Risen Lord to his disciples. Little by little, in the gospels of this week’s Masses, the Good News is proclaimed—not all at once, lest we be overwhelmed by it. The mystery is revealed in stages, so we can take it in. The Easter Season, in turn, is celebrated as one great feast of 50 days, concluding on Pentecost Sunday.

Like the Easter mystery itself, the Easter season is full of grace, especially the grace of the sacraments of initiation. At the Easter Vigil several adults were baptized or received into the full communion of the Catholic Church and confirmed. Our second graders will receive their First Holy Communion next Sunday, May 1, during the 10:30 Mass. Confirmation will be conferred upon young people from our parish and eight other parishes on Wednesday evening, May 4. The Church is enriched and renewed by the grace of these sacraments effective in the lives of her members. With the late date of Easter this year all these celebrations follow one upon the other very quickly.

I am grateful to all who have contributed so much time and talent to the celebration of the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter. These include Fred McGovern and William Moore, who work to keep the church clean and the mechanical systems working; Charlotte Nesseth, who works so hard behind the scenes changing decorations and lining up ministers; Dr. Brian Luckner, the Gallery Singers, cantors and instrumentalists, who do an outstanding job and who spend so much extra time practicing and performing; the readers, communion ministers and ushers; the priests from the city who joined us for various liturgies and helped with confessions; and Deacon Joseph Richards and the servers, who must practice for these special liturgies and then carry out their tasks with decorum. Thanks to Bishop William Callahan for being with us to celebrate the principal liturgies of the Easter Triduum for the first time as our diocesan bishop. Finally, thanks to all who came to participate in these liturgies. All that we do here we do for you, and for the praise and worship of God.

Next Sunday members of our PCCW will take up the annual second collection for the support of our Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. There is an envelope in your envelope packets for April with the wrong date (April 17). You may turn these in next Sunday. Any cash received during the second collection will also go towards this cause.

There is also an envelope in your April packet dated for today (April 24) for our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Times. You may use this envelope at any time to defray our cost of providing subscriptions of The Catholic Times to our parishioners. Thank you for all the ways in which you support our parish.

Pray the rosary this week for the needs of the Church in our diocese and for those throughout our diocese who have received the sacraments of initiation this Easter. As always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Palm Sunday

Our Holy Week has begun. Our Lenten pilgrimage is coming to a climactic conclusion with the celebration of the Sacred Triduum, beginning with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and concluding with the Mass of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Plan to participate in the solemn liturgies of the Easter Triduum. Each one celebrates a particular aspect of the paschal mystery—the mystery of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. These are the most beautiful liturgies of the church year. Yes, they are a little longer than most; but can we not spend some time in prayer and the worship of God who has redeemed us in Christ?

Bishop Callahan will preside at the principal liturgies of Holy Week. This is the unique privilege of being the Cathedral. He will celebrate the Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 19, at 11:00 a.m., when the oils to be used throughout our diocese in the administration of the sacraments this coming year will be blessed. He will celebrate the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 5:10 on Holy Thursday, the 12:10 Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, the Easter Vigil at 8:30 on Holy Saturday evening, and the 10:30 Mass on Easter Sunday morning. Make every effort to attend these liturgies and invite your friends and neighbors to come, too!

Traditionally the collection during the liturgy on Good Friday goes to support the shrines in the Holy Land. We continue to support those shrines through the Diocesan Annual Appeal. This year, however, like last year, the Good Friday collection will go to support the building of a new church for our mission parish of the Holy Cross in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This parish of 70,000 is in need of a larger church. A recent newsletter reports that fundraising has stalled and the parish is still $129,094.80 short in its $300,000 goal from the La Crosse Diocese. Please be generous. The parish web site is www.lasantacruz.org.

This Monday, April 18, we continue the tradition of confessions being heard continuously from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Take advantage of this opportunity to make your Easter confession, if you have not already done so. Thanks to the priests of the deanery for sharing their time and ministry.

Pray the Rosary this week for all who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation this Easter, and for the young people of our parish preparing for their First Holy Communion or Confirmation. Pray for people who have become estranged from the Church and desire reconciliation. Pray for protection from severe storms and floods, and for those who have sustained damage in recent storms. Pray for people experiencing turmoil in their lives, for whatever reason. Pray for all who are struggling with illness and for the people who care for them. Pray for peace in Northern Africa, the Holy Land and the Middle East.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Fifth Sunday of Lent

It was with a degree of sadness that I announced last weekend that Bishop Callahan has asked me again to assume the office of Moderator of the Curia, and that I will be leaving the Cathedral around July 1. I have certainly enjoyed my nearly eight years as rector. It has also given me valuable pastoral experience with which I will return to the office I left almost ten years ago. However if this is what the bishop wants, then this is what I should do. Once, in my earlier days in the curia, when then-Father Raymond Burke was Moderator of the Curia, I remarked that I had always imagined myself as a parish priest, where I would be doing “more priestly work.” He replied, “The work you are doing is priestly work.” I realized then and there that he was right and then I was satisfied to be working in the curia. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 St. Paul lists administration as one of the ministries God has given to the Church, so I am happy to do that. I know it was not easy for Bishop Callahan to ask me to leave the Cathedral, but this is where he believes he needs me more now.

Holy Week begins next weekend with the celebration of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Palms will be blessed and distributed at all the Masses next weekend. The 10:30 Mass will begin in the Gathering Area with the blessing of palms and procession. Plan also to participate in the solemn liturgies of the Easter Triduum, which commemorate the events from the Last Supper through the resurrection. A schedule for Holy Week is enclosed in this week’s bulletin. On Easter Sunday a chamber orchestra will perform three movements from Bach’s “Easter Oratorio” as a prelude to the Mass, beginning about 10:15. Those interested in hearing this should plan to come early for the Mass, which begins at 10:30. Bishop William Callahan will be the celebrant for the principal liturgies of Holy Week and Easter.

On Monday, April 18, priests from the deanery will be here to hear confessions continuously from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Hundreds of people from our area take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance in preparation for a worthy celebration of Easter. Plan to be among them, if you have not yet made your Lenten confession.

Pray the Rosary this week for all who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation this Easter, and for the young people of our parish preparing for their First Holy Communion or Confirmation. Pray for people experiencing turmoil in their lives, for whatever reason. Pray for all who are struggling with illness and for the people who care for them. Pray for peace in Northern Africa and in the Middle East.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Announcement

4-3-2011-3-34-58-PM-101596611LA CROSSE, April 2, 2011 - The Most Reverend William P. Callahan, Bishop of La Crosse, announced today the appointment of Father Michael J. Gorman as the moderator of the curia for the Diocese of La Crosse effective July 1. He steps into the position previously held by Monsignor Richard Gilles who left the office last fall when he was appointed pastor of St. Mary (Immaculate Conception) Parish in Tomah.

The moderator of the curia is a position designed to assist the bishop with the direction and supervision of the functions of the diocesan curia (staff). Father Gorman will serve as a consultant to Bishop Callahan on matters of canon law and the function of the various offices of the curia. He will serve on many councils and committees in the diocese.

Born in Richland Center, Wis., he graduated from Richland Center High School and attended St. Francis de Sales College, Milwaukee, where he received a BA in Theology. After attending St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., where he received a Master of Divinity degree, he was ordained on May 17, 1980 by Bishop Frederick W. Freking.

Following his ordination Father Gorman served as an associate pastor at St. John the Baptist in Marshfield and Blessed Sacrament Parish in La Crosse. In 1984 he was sent to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned his licentiate in canon law. Assignments since then have included bishop's secretary and master of ceremonies, diocesan chancellor, director of Catholic Cemeteries, moderator of the curia, acting director of the Office of Sacred Worship, parochial administrator of St. Leo Parish in West Salem and St. Mary Parish in Bangor, diocesan judge and defender of the bond, pastor of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Viroqua and his current position as the rector of St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, La Crosse. He also serves as a Latin instructor at Aquinas High School in La Crosse.

He has also served on the College of Consultors and Presbyteral Council, and currently serves on the St. Joseph's Priest Fund Board of Directors and as dean of the La Crosse Deanery.

The Catholic Times

Laetare Sunday

We are now over half way through the season of Lent and into the second quarter of the year. We had some beautiful spring days this past week, although some of those anticipated April showers may turn out to be snow showers. Nevertheless sunshine and warmer weather seem to be putting people into a better mood.

The news out of Japan about radiation contamination is disturbing. This compounds the devastation and suffering of the people there. Catholic Relief Services offers us an opportunity to give direct assistance to Japan and other hard-hit places worldwide. Continue to support their work by prayer, Operation Rice Bowl and other donations. A link to donate directly to Catholic Relief Services can be found on our diocesan web site.

This week, during the 10:30 Mass, we celebrate the second of the three Scrutinies with our one catechumen, Nicholas Gutierrez. This past Wednesday we celebrated the rite of the “Presentation of the Creed,” during which the participants in our RCIA program recited the Apostles’ Creed while Nick listened, having been exhorted to “listen carefully to the words of that faith by which you will be justified. The words are few, but the mysteries they contain are great. Receive them with a sincere heart and be faithful to them.” This is what tradition is: handing on the faith. For Nick, like the townspeople in last Sunday’s gospel, he can no longer rely on the testimony of others; he must believe for himself. For us, we need to take the profession of our faith seriously, contemplate the great mysteries it contains and live in such a way as to set an example for others.

Pray the Rosary this week for all who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation this Easter, and for the young people of our parish preparing for their First Holy Communion or Confirmation. Pray for people experiencing turmoil in their lives, for whatever reason. Pray for all who are struggling with illness and for the people who care for them. Pray for peace in Northern Africa and in the Middle East.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

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