Sam I Am: A Biography

02-26-2017Weekly ReflectionSeminarian Sam McCarty

Born in Cleveland, OH, I have lived in Wausau since I was five. I was homeschooled through 7th grade and then went to Catholic School through high school. I applied and was accepted into the seminary in my senior year, and began at St. John Vianney College Seminary (at the University of St. Thomas) in fall of 2011, where I studied philosophy, Catholic studies, and classical languages. I'm now in my second year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, and am one year away from my transitional diaconate ordination and two from priesthood. I'm the oldest of five - three of my siblings are still in Wausau and one is in Ohio for school. What I like to do: nearly anything outdoors, camping and canoeing in particular, sports - especially basketball and frisbee, reading, watching movies, and I'm a big fan of road trips. My favorite saints form a list too long for today, but St. Therese, Pope St. John Paul II, and St. Peter are near the top. I like neither piña coladas nor getting caught in the rain.

Paradigm of Perfection: St. Peter and Everyday Holiness

02-19-2017Weekly ReflectionSeminarian Sam McCarty

Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.
—Leviticus 19

Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
—Matthew 5

The Scriptures for this weekend are bold. “Be holy, be perfect,” they say – a weighty demand. I want topropose that this holiness and perfection looks like something in our daily lives, and that it is something entirelyaccessible with the help of God’s grace.


The Rite of Election and the Rite of Reception

02-12-2017Weekly ReflectionDeacon Wendt

On March 5, Thomas Burrow and Dale Mc Donough, who are currently in the RCIA program, will present themselves along with others from around our diocese to Bishop Callaghan at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workmen in La Crosse. This is called the Rite of Election. At the heart of our Christian life is the understanding that each of us is called by God. We recall the words of Christ who said "You did not choose me, no I chose you". Not only does Christ choose, he calls us and knows us by name. Both of these are encapsulated in the Rite of Election which is celebrated in Catholic cathedrals throughout the world at the beginning of Lent each year.


Love and Healing

02-05-2017Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Now that we have turned the page into February, we once again understand that time clicks along whether we like it or not. Transitioning into this month will mark countless events for us personally and collectively. We also need to become more aware that Lent is less than 30 days away: are you preparing to make the best Lent ever? Afford yourself some intentional prayer time asking the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer, fasting and almsgiving.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

01-29-2017Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

There are some circles of thought which directed us to honor January 22 through 29 as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. As I compose this article, its Tuesday morning. I'm awaiting my trip to the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL to receive training for Samuel's arrival. I'm also unfortunately missing out on the opportunity to participate in snow clearing following the "snowstorm of the week." I also am getting ready to celebrate Mass with the Staff and students at Saint Boniface Catholic School on this Memorial Feast Day of Saint Francis de Sales. In the midst of it all, I'm joining millions of people around the world observing President Trump's transition into leadership.


March for Life in Fact and in Spirit

01-22-2017Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Each year we hear various amounts of news regarding the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on 21 & 22 January. The concept has taken on an interesting progression as seen in Pro-Life marches which take place in local, state and regional government facilities throughout the nation. Many people, of all ages, religions, social status and the like come together on these days to stand for LIFE. The marches typically take on a very peaceful and prayerful demonstration to heighten awareness that life matters. We are talking about ALL lives matter! By way of reminder, the March for Life began in D.C. on the anniversary which legalized abortion in our nation. The date the Supreme Court legalized abortion was 21 January 1973. Since then, people of good will have been praying, speaking, writing and working to emphasize the dignity of human life from the moment of conception through natural death. No matter the language, human life will always be human life and needs to be treated as such.


Merry Christmas

12-25-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Emmanuel, God is with us! We rejoice with fellow Christians around the world that our God has chosen to become one of us; the beautiful miraculous gift of the Incarnation. God taken on human flesh never happened before and has not happened since in any other world religion. We truly believe in a miracle.


Christ Needs You for Christmas

12-18-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

I suppose many of us are finding some respite from political campaign ads, conversations and phone calls duringthis post-election time. Meanwhile, we continue to hear about the latest decisions about our president-elect andthe media commentary which accompanies those decisions. Furthermore, in the midst of politics, we continue tofind ourselves immersed in the activities which surround this time of year, secularly known as “the Holidays.” So, aquestion, are you making a good Advent? After all, Advent 2016 is almost the longest it can ever be and you stillhave time to immerse yourself in the graces of the season.


Seeking the Face of Jesus

12-11-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Here is a thought from a contemporary author, found on the internet on a site called The Federalist. Her article iscalled, “Why Santa Claus Without Jesus Is Cultural Appropriation At Its Stupidest”:

It’s high time to stop searching for ways to be religious and inspire belief in the magical without actually havingGod in your life. Wanting the celebrations, the joy, and especially the presents without the faith misses thewhole point. Christmas isn’t about deals and the joy of giving and receiving gifts, it’s about God humblinghimself to be born as a baby for the benefit of all people. Saint Nick didn’t help the poor in his communitybecause he had some random desire to, he did it because of his faith in Christ. Santa, and his presents, are areminder of the love we show others because God loves us, and no amount of erasure will turn him into asecular figure. Holly Scheer is a writer and editor.


Our Blessed Mother is Honored on Thursday; and Everyday

12-04-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

We have the honor of honoring the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary each year on December eighth, this year it's on Thursday. Some of you are aware of the Novena for Our Nation which is underway; more details will follow my portion of this article. Some of you are aware that 2017 will be the 100 Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, who encouraged the pilgrim children to pray the Rosary daily. In the spirit of these Marian realities, consider renewing your love and devotion to Our Lady, who always leads us to Jesus.


Resolutions to Consider

11-27-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

We are promised that the more we link our lives to Christ, the better off we become here and in the hereafter. Remembering the faithful departed this month helps us understand that living more Christ-like prepares us for a quicker path to unity with Him. And, the more we practice unifying with Him now, the more we hunger for eternal unity with Him. Part of linking our lives to be more Christ-like is to become ever more aware of the rhythm of His life. His life is outlined in many ways, including in the life of the Church He has entrusted to us. And, the Church we are called to be part of, has a unique calendar of events to help us reflect upon the mysteries of our faith.


Remaining Faithful

11-20-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Oh, Boy! A tremendous amount of chatter has revolved around the weather, politics and the holidays. The ultra super moon and the unseasonably mild weather has helped our attitudes remain just a little more optimistic about life in general. Some of us will be reminiscing about this autumn for years to come; recalling the seasonal characteristics to our neighbors, friends children and grandchildren. I think many of us will need just a little more time to catch our breath regarding the super-historic elections just a week and a half ago. Many of us have become re-inspired to keep up on current events at all levels as a consequence. And, some of us are more aware, and maybe even a little irritated, about the encroachment of Christmas decorations earlier and earlier into the calendar year. We wonder the real motives for the early Christmas décor, along with the pre-Black Friday sales. Some might suggest consumerism and greed are at the root of these changing cultural trends.


Summary of New Vatican Guidelines for Burial and Cremation

11-06-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

In the wake of observing both All Saints and All Souls Days, we continue to observe honoring all the faithful departed this, and each November. Part of our local observance will be using the Book of the Dead along with the Prayer of Saint Gertrude the Great. In late October, I heard of the Vatican Office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith putting out a document reminding us about acceptable Catholic practices when tending to our faithful departed. Rather than reprinting the entire article, I thought this summary by Gretchen Filz was quite helpful.