28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

At my previous assignment, I would write an article every year that parishioners looked forward to read. It became not only the most anticipated article for parishioners but even non-parishioners as well. I wish it was something spiritual or relating to the parish that they should know. It is rather the prediction on the weather for the next year from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Somehow people thought I was given the ability to predict the weather. I instructed them very carefully that I was not given the gift when ordained. People in both communities believed it was my prediction; it wasn’t. So, if you are interested in knowing what we will be facing from November 1st – October 31st, here it is: Winter will be colder than normal, especially in February. Other cold periods will occur in mid and late December and mid and late January. Precipitation and snowfall will be below normal in the east (our area) and above normal in the west (the Dakotas). The snowiest periods will be in early and mid-December, early to mid-February, and mid-March. April and May will be much cooler and a bit drier than normal. Summer will be cooler and drier than normal. The hottest periods will occur in mid-July and early August. September and October will be cooler and drier than normal in most of the region. Last frost in spring: May 13. First frost in fall: September 24. There you have it. The Almanac claims 60% accuracy but it is more like 80%.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

The intercession this week is pray for those who suffer the most from the harsh winter especially the homeless and those who cannot afford the proper winter apparel.

Cathedral Men’s Club to Hold Breakfasts Sunday Oct. 9

The Cathedral Men’s Club on Sunday, Oct. 9, will put on the first of its four Pancake/Omelet Breakfasts for the coming year. The public is invited to the breakfasts, which raise money for parish projects. The other breakfasts will be Nov. 6, Feb. 19 and March 18. The Men’s Club also will hold a steak fry May 5, in conjunction with the celebration of the parish’s 150th anniversary. Each breakfast typically draws about 100 people, club President Geoff Wilhelmy said. And each usually requires 10 club members, who cook and serve food and clean up afterward. The club meets monthly, from September through May, the first Wednesday of the month. Club meetings are at 7 pm. and usually last an hour. Club members do much more than put on meals at the Cathedral. For example, shortly before Christmas, members with help from Aquinas High School students go get about seven Christmas trees and put them up in the Cathedral. And they take them down after the holidays.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Two priests and I will be on vacation from Tuesday, Oct. 4th – Thursday, Oct. 13th. I usually don’t like to make it public when I go but I have learned that people will want to know so they don’t have to wonder why I haven’t return phone calls or emails. The three of us will be taking the train to western Montana. From there, we will be driving to Yellowstone National Park. I had no desire to go there until I saw the park, the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole on one of the PBS episodes entitled, “National Parks”. I said to myself that I had to see them with my own eyes. We will go back to western Montana for several days before heading back. Please pray for a safe trip and no snow. There will be plenty of opportunity to see snow with winter just around the corner!

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

The intercession this week is to pray that all people will be faithful stewards of God’s creation. He has given humanity the world to take care of it. We want all people to respect creation especially human life.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Church dedicates the month of October as Respect for Life Month. Our attention is focused on the respect for human life from the moment of conception to the last natural breath. Even though we must focus our attention on this every day, the Church wants us to reflect upon this most sacred gift especially this month.

In so many ways this sacred gift is cheapen by our world. At times, it is so contradictory to know that the Church upholds so highly human life yet the world demeans it. The Church has taken just one stance throughout history: to respect human life made in the image and likeness of God. All of humanity should take the same position.

Please continue to pray for the world that it will one day hold sacred human life. We must hold it sacred, know the issues, take a firm stance, and pray that all people will respect it. When human life is respected from the moment of conception to the last natural breath, then the dignity of every person is held in high regard never to be diminished.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

The intercession for this week is to pray for those who do not respect the gift of human life from the moment of conception to the last natural breath that they will have a conversion of mind and heart.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When I began my assignment on July 1st, this was the number one question asked me: why is the Cathedral so cold? Some people complained it was too cold; others said it was just right. My immediate reaction was this: since it was about half and half, it must be set where it should be. After further questioning of the people-in-the-know, I found out the cooling system is set not according to temperature but humidity. Some of the mechanical systems in the building need lesser humidity to function properly. When the humidity is higher, more air conditioning (AC) units are called to be on which means the building is cooler in temperature. As an aside, state law mandates the tampers have to be open some to bring in fresh air from the outside. When the humidity is high, the AC units are working to take out the humidity but the tampers are open a bit to bring fresh air. It sounds strange but we have to be compliant to the law.

I know certainly this does not please those who say it is too cold. I, myself, have to suffer along with you because I have arthritis and I feel the effects in a cold building. However, I would rather have the hot and humid weather any day than cold and snowy. That weather will be here before you know it!

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Several weeks ago, I read an article that disturbs me relating to medical ethics which has to do with reproduction. The article reported that more people are deciding to terminate one or more fetuses in the womb in order to have only one child at birth. This is happening more and more to people who are taking fertility drugs to increase the chances of getting pregnant. Once they become pregnant and there are more than one child conceived, they will terminate the rest. The greatest reason is they wanted to become pregnant by taking various means to do it but then decide they only want one child at a time. The decision to terminate the one is based on several factors.

It is just one more reason why humanity is getting into area that it shouldn’t. It was very interesting to hear one woman who had the procedure done saying she felt she was playing God and was guilty for making such a decision but did it anyway. Her answer is so loaded. She felt she was playing God. God wouldn’t have made a decision to end life. She said she felt guilty which she should. She knew it was wrong but she went ahead with it.

Sometime ago, someone told me there is an old Native American saying that when man tries to control nature the less control he has over himself. How wise and how true!

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

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