17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

After President Harry Truman had retired, a reporter had asked him what was the one thing he wanted most while being office. Truman responded by saying and one-arm economist to which the startled reported asked why.

Truman said he was tired of economists saying to him that if he did something that affected the economy positively on one hand it would affect it negatively on the other. Today, I write to you as a two-arm economist on the fiscal year that ended June 30th.

You will find the end-of-the-year report in this bulletin. Please read it very carefully. The one figure that will glare at you is the bottom-line deficit of $281,557.00. Let me try my best to cushion the blow:

1. If you factor out these capital maintenance projects, the operating budget would be close to or might have reported a surplus;
2. Money to pay for these projects came from various sources but primarily from reserved funds accumulated over the years.

However, let me present the basic facts:

1. The Cathedral building will be 50 years next year which means repairs will be needed always for it and all property;
2. There is very little money in reserve. Money is going to be very tight at best for some time. Nobody has to tell you that times are tough and we’re not exempted. However, you have been most generous in so many ways to the parish and diocese. I am asking you to be so again this new fiscal year.

Please be faithful stewards to your parish family in all its aspects. Our ancestors did not look away when they had challenges. They always arose to the occasion, and we are reaping the fruits of their hard work. Let us do the same for those who will follow us. Perhaps they can look back on us years from now and see how we met the challenges of the day.

May God bless all that we do to love and serve him in this life. May the Lord give us strength through the intercession of St. Joseph the Workman.

Thank you,
Fr. Stoetzel

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

You might have asked yourself why the title of my article is “Riding the Rails of Life.” The answer has a very short history. Before I came to the Cathedral Parish on June 30th, Fr. Gorman had asked me what title did I want for my articles. I told him that I had no idea, and said he would be clever to come up with one. He chose this title because I have a passion for trains, especially passenger. At first, I didn’t like the title but it has grown on me.

When I was young, one of the things that I wanted to be was a train engineer. When someone suggested that I thing about being a priest, I detested the thought. As time went on, I considered and prayed about it. The rest is history. I guess you can say the Lord took me down a different track (no pun intended).

So the title will stay. You will come to know me better through my articles. Together, we will ride the rails of life hopefully to the final station stop which is heaven.

May the Good Lord bless us always.
Fr. Stoetzel

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Before time gets away from me, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Fr. Gorman who has completed his assignment as rector. He has done a yeoman’s task in serving you for the past eight years. He has worked unselfishly not only here but all the assignments he has had and will have. May the Good Lord continue to bless him as the bishop has asked him to be a vicar general and the moderator of the curia.

When the bishop had asked me to be the next rector (and I did so because he wanted me to do so), he told me to contact Fr. Gorman to get “the lay of the land.” I had emailed congratulating him on his new assignment. I stated that I was happy to see the diocese was into “recycling” (he becoming again the moderator of the curia). He thanked me, and wrote it was good to see that I was being recycled too!

I hope you do not mind this recycling. If you do, then you must continue to pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Once we have more priests and religious, we will see new faces to serve you and next generations.

May the Good Lord bless us always.
Fr. Stoetzel

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” How true it is for me as I return to the Cathedral not as the associate, but as rector. I was assigned here from 1980-1984 while teaching at Aquinas High School. Since that time I was an associate at St. James Parish while continuing at Aquinas from 1984 to 1986, principal at Regis High School in Eau Claire from 1986 to 1995, and pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Marshfield beginning in 1995 with Christ the King in Spencer added in 1996. My new assignment brings me back to where it all began for me as a priest, and I am happy to be with you.

I am most privileged to have had two great priests as mentors in taking on this assignment: Monsignor John Malik and Monsignor Floyd Dwyer. I learned from the best. I will try to fill the shoes the best I can of two priests who have served you very well since then: Fathers Robert Cook and Michael Gorman.

I look forward working with our pastor, Bishop Callahan, and you. You will be remembered in my Masses and prayers daily. Please pray for me, that I can be at least half the rector as the great ones who have served since the designation of this parish as the Cathedral for this diocese.

May the Good Lord bless you always.
Fr. Charles Stoetzel

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

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