Why do we belong to this church?

09-30-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Our world is a challenging world and in this world we are all called to be prophets of God. We are invited to announce the good news of God's deep love for each one of us. It is indeed important that we manifest this call in our behavior and daily activities and more importantly through our words. A prophet is one who stands for the values of God against the values of the world.

There are two words that have featured very strongly in the study of religion since the 1990's: 'Believing' and 'Belonging'. In 1994, a British sociologist of religion (Grace Davie) published a book on the rise of secularism in Britain since 1945. She called her book, Believing without Belonging. There have been other books and articles on the same theme using the words, 'Believing' and 'Belonging'. More recently, another British scholar (Abby Day) in her book, Believing in Belonging, suggests that actually people believe because they want to belong to a group that gives them identity.


Endurance in Hope

09-23-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

As this weekend we are in the first kickoff of our Diocesan Annual Appeal (DAA), let me remind you about the theme for this year "Endurance in Hope". Let us share our time, talent and treasure generously towards this year Appeal.

When St. Bernard was asked what the four cardinal virtues were, he replied: "Humility, humility, humility and humility." In today's gospel, the disciples of Jesus on their way to Capernaum, they discussed among themselves who is the greatest. The disciples were still clueless about Jesus and His mission. Even as he predicts for the second time the betrayal and death await Him in Jerusalem, they continued to dream of sharing His glory when He declares Himself as the Messiah in the holy city.


Who do you say I am?

09-16-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

n today's Gospel Mark gives us two incidents in the public life of Jesus which are closely connected. His mission was given by the Father to proclaim the kingdom and be with them as the messiah. Here we have the first of the three predictions of Jesus about his imminent sufferings, death and resurrection. As such it makes a turning point in this Gospel. Here we have Mark's carefully constructed theology of the cross which will evolve around his three passion predictions.


The Gift of Hearing

09-09-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

The Liturgy of the Word today suggests: Yes, the Messiah is here! The Lord has visited his people! But it is also that the Lord invites us to a personal encounter with him and to a spontaneous attraction towards him.

In the first reading we have the Prophet who is a chosen servant of God reflecting on his mission. Nothing could break his trust and confidence in God. He knows that God is coming. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and ears of the deaf will be unsealed. In the second reading we hear that faith without work is dead. Living faith will perform works of charity. James tells us that God has chosen the poor of the world to inherit the Kingdom.


The Nature of True Religion

09-02-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

The theme of today’s readings is the nature of true religion. Generally in a human society the laws are a necessary component. They are necessary for an ordered living and manifesting the best of relationships in society.

In the first Reading Moses draws the attention of the Israelites to all the good things God does for them. One such thing is the Law itself. It is not surely a burden but a gift from God offering them every advantage to remain in right relationship with God. The land was also a gift of God.


Eternal Life is Here and Now

08-26-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

With today's gospel reading we conclude the five weeks of reflection on the Bread of Life from John 6. I would like to focus on two very important related concepts that are mentioned in the gospel text of today, which are very dear to Evangelist John: the contrast between spirit and flesh, and the expression, "Eternal Life".

Spirit and Flesh: Layers of Desires

St Augustine famously prayed, "Oh Master, give me chastity and continence, but not yet." What we see in this prayer is a tension between spirit and flesh. What St. Augustine is expressing is a desire to be chaste (which perhaps is at a deeper level), but there is also a desire to be wayward. That is why Jesus says, "It is the spirit that gives life, t he flesh has nothing to offer" (Jn 6:63).


Feed Your Soul

08-19-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Jesus invites the people in the gospel– as he invites us today – to go beyond the fulfillment of our physical needs to the appreciation of the possibility that exists in Jesus for the fulfillment of the hunger of our souls.

Feeding the Soul: "Being filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18b)

The first reading of today from the Book of Proverbs suggests that one who feeds the soul has embraced wisdom. The reading goes on to elaborate what is wisdom. "Wisdom has built her House; she has set up her seven columns" (Prov 9:1-2).


The Mystery of the Eucharist

08-12-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

These five Sundays in the ordinary time (from 17th Sunday to the 21st ) we continue to listen and meditate on John 6. Thus, the Liturgy of the Word invites us to contemplate the mystery of the Eucharist. "I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51). I would like to invite you to reflect on this verse…


I am the Bread of Life

08-05-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Today's liturgy and the Word of God present us with Jesus as the Bread of Life. Bread is a substance known and used by every society on the face of the earth. It is a gift of God to humanity adapted by the nature in order to be a source of nourishment. In the Old Testament God took care of his people by giving them food for their survival. He gave them Manna in the desert which was the type of divine bread placed before his chosen people.


Feeding the Five Thousand

07-29-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Hello this is Fr. Prince Raja, I had a great welcome potluck by St. Lawrence Parish people at Alma Rod and Gun club on 23rd Monday Evening. Thanks for your delicious food and warm welcome. I had an opportunity to see how our VBS happening in Fountain City, appreciation and prayers for all the volunteers who helped VBS. Last weekend I had visiting priests' friends I took them around our parishes, it's a prayerful experience to take them to our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in La Crosse.


Jesus the Good Shepherd

07-22-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

The gospel narration is the continuation of that of last Sunday. So too is our reflection. Last Sunday, we heard how Jesus “summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs, giving them authority over unclean spirits” and “to proclaim repentance” (Mk 6: 7, 12). Today, we hear how “the apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught,” and he would take them to “a lonely place where they could be by themselves” (Mk 6:30-32).


The New Evangelization

07-15-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

My first weekend in all our three parishes went really well, you all gave me a warm welcome. Special thanks to the PCCW ladies in Waumandee who served a welcome cake and ice cream after Saturday Mass. I really appreciate and thank all the volunteers who cleaned the rectory. Thanks to our office administrator Connie Sweno and Deacon Edward Wendt who walked me to all the new features of our parish administration.


A Brief Introduction

07-08-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Hello to you all! I am Father Prince Amala Jesuraja, (people call me Prince Raja) a Catholic Priest belonging to the Archdiocese of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Southern India. I was ordained as a priest on April 19, 2009. Let me give you a brief explanation about my name: of course some of you know the pop singer Prince from Minnesota; my mom didn't name me after him. 'Amala' means "Immaculate Mary" in my Tamil language, 'Jesuraja' means "Christ the King". In my six years of priestly life in India, I have served in different parishes as an associate pastor and in social service society.


Thoughts for Now

07-01-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

I have spent some time reflecting back upon these last nineteen years of my life. My ordination anniversary was Tuesday. I continue to be reminded by the Lord about the abundance of graces we have as Catholics; and particularly the graces I have been given through the vocation of the priesthood. Most especially are the Sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Eucharist which are provided through the lives of priests.

Beyond that, I have spent some time reflecting back upon these last seven years of my life. Today (1 July) marks my seven year anniversary as Pastor of the parishes and school in this cluster. Among the countless experiences upon which I could reflect, I continue to return to a grateful disposition. Particularly the gratitude directed to the Staff members over the years who have supported our accomplishments as parish cluster. We always hear about surrounding yourself with good people; well God was instrumental in providing good people. I want to highlight Carrie Adams who is my longest term employee who began as limited DRE, then DRE for the cluster, then DRE and Head Teacher, and currently Head Teacher and Teacher at Saint Boniface Catholic School. I also want to highlight Deacon Wendt who has provided brother clergy support in and around the broad ministry which God has entrusted to us here.