Fourth Sunday of Easter

Thanks to the Men’s Club and PCCW for serving up a wonderful steak dinner last Saturday evening. Everyone who came enjoyed the food and camaraderie.

Last year our pastoral council inaugurated a “Parishioner of the Year” Award to be given on our patronal weekend. This year the council decided to honor two parishioners, a man and a woman. The “Woman of the Year” is Lilly Lecheler and the “Man of the Year” is Bernard “Ned” Noelke. Both awards were given last weekend. More about these recipients will be given in the July issue of The Worker.

On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that we all must pray for vocations. Little green prayer cards in the pews this weekend are yours for the taking. Say the prayer alone anytime or together with your family. Pray especially that the young people of our parish will ask whether God may be calling them to a church vocation.

Two members of our parish are in the process of vocational formation and discernment. Leslie Gonia, daughter of Gene and Sandy Gonia, is currently a postulant with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Tom Skemp is in the permanent diaconate formation program for our diocese. Please keep their intentions in your prayers as well.

Many people in the southern part of our country have experienced devastation resulting from severe tornadoes, storms and floods. I know many of us are wondering how we can help in their recovery. The Red Cross is one reputable agency which is receiving donations of various kinds.

Catholic Charities USA is also accepting donations for disaster relief. Donations can be made online through our diocesan web site www.dioceseoflacrosse.com or by mailing a check to Catholic Charities of La Crosse, P. O. Box 266, La Crosse, WI 54602-0266. Put “Disaster Relief” on the memo line. All funds donated go completely for disaster relief.

Pray the rosary this week for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, for our diocesan seminarians and for all who are in the process of formation and discernment. Pray also for good weather for the spring planting and growing season. As always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Third Sunday of Easter

In 2005 we began observing the first weekend of May–the weekend between our May 1 patronal feast day and the May 7 anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral–as our parish patronal weekend. This year, because of the late date of Easter and the need to celebrate First Holy Communion last Sunday, we delayed this observance one week. The Saturday-evening steak and hamburger dinner by our Cathedral Men’s Club gives us a chance to spend some time together enjoying a meal and one another’s company. We also want to invite parishioners to become more involved in parish life. For this purpose we have displays in the Gathering Area with information about various parish councils, committees, clubs and ministries, and invite you to indicate an interest in getting involved in any of them. We also invite people who attend Mass here regularly but have not registered as parishioners to do so. Finally we have a Habitat for Humanity “timber signing” after all the Masses–an appropriate event in honor of Saint Joseph the Carpenter.

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day roses are being sold after the Masses this weekend for a suggested offering of $2.00 apiece. Proceeds go to Wisconsin Right to Life.

In case you haven’t noticed, a “May Altar” has been set up in the Holy Family Shrine of the Cathedral. A beautiful statue of Our Lady has been placed there for Mary’s month. Stop by there alone or with your family to offer a prayer seeking our Blessed Mother’s intercession for your intentions.

Many people in the southeastern part of our country have experienced devastation resulting from severe tornadoes and storms. I know many of us are wondering how we can help in their recovery. The Red Cross is one reputable agency which is receiving donations of various kinds. Catholic Charities USA is also accepting donations for disaster relief. Donations can be made online through our diocesan web site www.dioceseoflacrosse.com or by mailing a check to Catholic Charities of La Crosse, P. O. Box 266, La Crosse, WI 54602-0266. Put “Tornado Relief” on the memo line. All funds donated go completely for disaster relief.

Pray the rosary this week for mothers, living and deceased. Pray for Holy Mother Church, for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and for those from our parish who have recently received their first communion or confirmation. Pray also for good weather for the spring planting and growing season. As always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Final Organ Concert

Two new organs built by the highly distinguished Noack Organ Company of Georgetown, Massachusetts were delivered to the Cathedral during the summer of 2010. The installation and voicing of the instruments took place over a period of several months. The small organ (14 stops, two manuals), located in the chancel (sanctuary), became operational just in time for the Installation of Bishop William P. Callahan on August 11. The voicing of the main organ (58 stops, four manuals), located in the recently extended choir loft, was completed in October. The magnificent main organ was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Callahan at the 10:30 Mass on Sunday, November 7, 2010. That afternoon at 2:00, the first of four dedicatory recitals was performed by Olivier Latry, principal organist at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory.

Divine Mercy Sunday

This weekend members of our PCCW will take up the annual second collection for the support of our Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. There was an envelope for this collection in your envelope packets for April with the wrong date (April 17). You may use these and any cash received during the second collection will also go towards this cause. Because May 1 falls on Sunday this year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Worker, the principal patron saint of our parish and of our diocese, on Monday, May 2. On Saturday, May 7, we celebrate the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral. We began our Novena to Saint Joseph the Workman on Thursday, April 28, which we are praying at the end of each Mass through Friday, May 6. Certainly the Carpenter of Nazareth, who was chosen by God to be the guardian of the Redeemer and of Mary, his Mother, is a fitting patron for us, too. May his prayers obtain God’s blessing upon all our endeavors as individuals, as a parish and as a diocese.

This year we will observe the second weekend of May as our parish patronal weekend. Our Cathedral Men’s Club is putting on a steak and hamburger dinner on Saturday evening, May 7, serving from 5:00 to 7:00. This gives us an opportunity to spend some time together to celebrate our identity as a parish. Steak dinners will include a baked potato, coleslaw, roll, beverage and dessert. Hamburger dinners will include potato chips, beverage and dessert. The women of the PCCW are providing the dessert. The cost of the meals will be $8.00 for the steak dinner and $4.00 for the hamburger dinner. We look forward to seeing you there.

As part of this observance we will also have displays in the Gathering Area with information about various parish councils, committees, clubs and ministries, and invite you to indicate an interest in getting involved in any of them. We will also invite people who attend Mass here regularly but have not registered as parishioners to do so. Finally we will have a Habitat for Humanity “timber signing” after all the Masses–an appropriate event in honor of St. Joseph the Carpenter.

Pray the rosary this week for the young people of our parish receiving their First Holy Communion this Sunday, or the Sacrament of Confirmation on Wednesday. Pray for the needs of our parish and our diocese in honor of Saint Joseph. Saint Joseph the Workman, pray for us!

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! In the words of the hymn: “The strife is o’er, the battle done; Now is the Victor’s triumph won.” Having spent six weeks of Lent preparing for this feast, we now celebrate the Easter Octave, reveling in the gospel accounts of the discovery of the empty tomb and then the appearances of the Risen Lord to his disciples. Little by little, in the gospels of this week’s Masses, the Good News is proclaimed—not all at once, lest we be overwhelmed by it. The mystery is revealed in stages, so we can take it in. The Easter Season, in turn, is celebrated as one great feast of 50 days, concluding on Pentecost Sunday.

Like the Easter mystery itself, the Easter season is full of grace, especially the grace of the sacraments of initiation. At the Easter Vigil several adults were baptized or received into the full communion of the Catholic Church and confirmed. Our second graders will receive their First Holy Communion next Sunday, May 1, during the 10:30 Mass. Confirmation will be conferred upon young people from our parish and eight other parishes on Wednesday evening, May 4. The Church is enriched and renewed by the grace of these sacraments effective in the lives of her members. With the late date of Easter this year all these celebrations follow one upon the other very quickly.

I am grateful to all who have contributed so much time and talent to the celebration of the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter. These include Fred McGovern and William Moore, who work to keep the church clean and the mechanical systems working; Charlotte Nesseth, who works so hard behind the scenes changing decorations and lining up ministers; Dr. Brian Luckner, the Gallery Singers, cantors and instrumentalists, who do an outstanding job and who spend so much extra time practicing and performing; the readers, communion ministers and ushers; the priests from the city who joined us for various liturgies and helped with confessions; and Deacon Joseph Richards and the servers, who must practice for these special liturgies and then carry out their tasks with decorum. Thanks to Bishop William Callahan for being with us to celebrate the principal liturgies of the Easter Triduum for the first time as our diocesan bishop. Finally, thanks to all who came to participate in these liturgies. All that we do here we do for you, and for the praise and worship of God.

Next Sunday members of our PCCW will take up the annual second collection for the support of our Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. There is an envelope in your envelope packets for April with the wrong date (April 17). You may turn these in next Sunday. Any cash received during the second collection will also go towards this cause.

There is also an envelope in your April packet dated for today (April 24) for our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Times. You may use this envelope at any time to defray our cost of providing subscriptions of The Catholic Times to our parishioners. Thank you for all the ways in which you support our parish.

Pray the rosary this week for the needs of the Church in our diocese and for those throughout our diocese who have received the sacraments of initiation this Easter. As always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

Palm Sunday

Our Holy Week has begun. Our Lenten pilgrimage is coming to a climactic conclusion with the celebration of the Sacred Triduum, beginning with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and concluding with the Mass of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Plan to participate in the solemn liturgies of the Easter Triduum. Each one celebrates a particular aspect of the paschal mystery—the mystery of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. These are the most beautiful liturgies of the church year. Yes, they are a little longer than most; but can we not spend some time in prayer and the worship of God who has redeemed us in Christ?

Bishop Callahan will preside at the principal liturgies of Holy Week. This is the unique privilege of being the Cathedral. He will celebrate the Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 19, at 11:00 a.m., when the oils to be used throughout our diocese in the administration of the sacraments this coming year will be blessed. He will celebrate the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 5:10 on Holy Thursday, the 12:10 Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, the Easter Vigil at 8:30 on Holy Saturday evening, and the 10:30 Mass on Easter Sunday morning. Make every effort to attend these liturgies and invite your friends and neighbors to come, too!

Traditionally the collection during the liturgy on Good Friday goes to support the shrines in the Holy Land. We continue to support those shrines through the Diocesan Annual Appeal. This year, however, like last year, the Good Friday collection will go to support the building of a new church for our mission parish of the Holy Cross in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This parish of 70,000 is in need of a larger church. A recent newsletter reports that fundraising has stalled and the parish is still $129,094.80 short in its $300,000 goal from the La Crosse Diocese. Please be generous. The parish web site is www.lasantacruz.org.

This Monday, April 18, we continue the tradition of confessions being heard continuously from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Take advantage of this opportunity to make your Easter confession, if you have not already done so. Thanks to the priests of the deanery for sharing their time and ministry.

Pray the Rosary this week for all who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation this Easter, and for the young people of our parish preparing for their First Holy Communion or Confirmation. Pray for people who have become estranged from the Church and desire reconciliation. Pray for protection from severe storms and floods, and for those who have sustained damage in recent storms. Pray for people experiencing turmoil in their lives, for whatever reason. Pray for all who are struggling with illness and for the people who care for them. Pray for peace in Northern Africa, the Holy Land and the Middle East.

May God bless his people with peace.
Father Gorman

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