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

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Information is now being made public from the 2010 census. The most starling item is married people are now the minority in this country since the first census was taken. Who would have ever thought this would ever happen; now it has.

There are people who might ask what the big deal is, and what ramifications does it have on our country. As far as I am concerned, it has a tremendous impact on our Church and nation. Firstly, children do not know the commitment from their parents to make a strong family unity to be loved and grow. Secondly, a weak family life weakens the foundation of a nation. It has been written many centuries ago that if a person wanted to destroy a nation, down-play religion and destroy family life. Lastly, it doesn’t fulfill God’s will from the start that man and woman become one (Genesis chapters 1 and 2).

This statistic has a major impact for the worse. We can only hope and pray that all Americans will realize what is happening to family life. If we want a strong Church and nation, marriage and family life are the foundations. There is nothing other than these.

Thank you and God bless you.
Fr. Stoetzel

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

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