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

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Here it is the beginning of September and the celebration of Labor Day.  Where did the summer go when it came so late?  School is back in session, football games are being played, and the leaves are turning color.  These are all signs that fall is here too fast, too soon.

This weekend marks the end of summer.  However, we should not let it go by without remembering why we have this celebration.  It is to give thanks to God for the blessings he has given by sharing in his creation with the work of our minds and hands.  We all have a share in the  work of God.  Whatever we do is to glorify God with our  work.  We have a stake in our work.  So, this day is to give thanks for human labor.

It is very appropriate that we remember the un- and underemployed.  We pray the economy will get better so  they will find meaningful work.  Also, we pray that all will get a just wage for their labor.  It is only fitting that one get paid a just wage so support their family and loved ones. God bless always the work of our minds and hands through the intercession St. Joseph the Workman.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is the time for a great contradiction.  Children are saddened but parents are delighted!  The new school  year begins this week.  Children go back to school to expand their crania with knowledge and grow in wisdom.  Parents do odd things such as smile and have a sense of humor.  Whoever you are, schooling and a good education  is most important.  Others can take away all you have but they can’t take away a good education.

We pray for a successful new school for everyone  especially the Aquinas Catholic Schools.  We want all  teachers to teach as Jesus taught.  His teachings are to be  seen in the manner of living as a Catholic Christian.  That is  when teaching has become learning which lasts a lifetime. God bless all those a part of our schools.  We hope it will be a happy and blessed year.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

I was a student in Rome, Italy for four years.  One of the  things that I liked to do was to visit my relatives in Germany and France whenever I could.  It was always a pleasure to see and visit with them.  One thing I did learn  the hard way was to be punctual for it is very important to  them in their culture.  It is considered rude to be late.  So, after the first time I was late, I made sure I would arrive on  time for everything unless it was an act of God.

I have noticed how we, as Americans, have become very nonchalant on punctuality.  I noticed here whenever we  have Mass the number of people who walk in late and leave  early.  When we do so, we are not preparing well to celebrate the Mass.  The Mass is one prayer from the starting of the opening hymn to the last chord of the closing  hymn.  Being late and leaving early is rude to God and others.  For some people, it becomes so routine they are not even embarrassed.

Please come early and stay after the closing hymn is  done.  The last person in and the last one out is the celebrant.  Don’t lessen the dignity of this great prayer.   Prepare and enjoy the celebration of the Mass by coming  early and staying until it is finished.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Monday is the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We believe, as Catholics, that Mary  was assumed into heaven both body and soul.  Members of  the early Church believed that Mary was born without sin in  order to bring for the Son of God into the world.  Since He  (Jesus) was without sin, it would be only natural that Mary  was born too without sin.  It is unknown whether or not Mary was alive or deceased at the time she was assumed.   Another understanding is Mary was asleep.  It could be taken that Mary could have been deceased at the time.

Traditionally, this solemnity is the blessings of crops and  gardens.  I remember daily in my prayers those who farm  and garden.  I pray especially for good weather for growing  and harvesting.  I do not have a garden because I could not  devote the time to weed and harvest it.  So I follow this old  saying: If you don’t have time to cultivate a garden, cultivate friends who have a garden.

Thank you and God bless you.

Fr. Stoetzel

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This past Sunday, we had the annual celebration of a  Mass with the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.  This  sacrament is given to Catholics having a serious illness,  preparing for major surgery, aging and dying.  As one gets  into his/her senior years, the Church encourages the person  to be anointed annually.  I will do my best to make sure  those in the nursing homes and assisted living facilities will  be anointed if a parishioner wishes.  If the person wants to  receive it before major surgery, please contact me as soon  as possible in advance so the anointing can be given.  Sue Gilbert and I will be visiting parishioners at Lutheran Hospital weekly.  She will go on Thursdays and I on     Mondays.  Unfortunately, the Mayo Clinic Regional Hospital  (formerly known as St. Francis) will not release  the names of parishioners to us.  If a parishioner wants to  have one or both of us visit, the person or the family will  have to call the parish directly.   The hospital is taking the  HEPPA law to the extreme.  When I visit and the parishioner is asleep, I will call out the patient’s name  twice.  If the person does not wake up, I will leave a note  that I stopped and the parish is praying for him/her.  I believe if someone is sound asleep, he/she needed the sleep  more than the visit.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

Additional information