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

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

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