A sensitive ear can aid you in really listening and hearing the substance of matters going on in people's lives. I hope your conversations are meaningful enough to hear more than the contents which are presented on the surface. We really are living at a point in history when burdens can often seem like too much to handle. In the midst of all of the woes, I'm rather excited. Reason being: the Church has always prospered and grown in times of great distress and difficulties. In times of tremendous human suffering, saints have sprung up around the earth.READ MORE
The celebration of Confirmation will take place later today with Mass at 6 o'clock in the evening at the Church of the Holy Family, Arcadia, WI. Please continue to pray for the following young people who will present themselves for the Sacrament of Confirmation:READ MORE
The annual event which gathers priests, deacons, and diocesan Curia Staff was held on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in our Diocesan Center in La Crosse. Primarily, four major presentations were regarding the topic of Hispanic ministry. The work of ministering to a growing immigrating population is one which every one of us needs to be concerned about. The priest speaker is a pastor of a parish in Sioux City, Iowa where the Hispanic population is larger than the Anglo population. We all know that there are areas in our diocese, Abbotsford and Arcadia are two examples, where the Hispanic population in the community is equal to and nearly exceeding the Anglo population. There are other places in our region of the country where Anglos are the minority. Whether or not we are comfortable with current immigration, it is a reality which we must face. And, let's face it, some of us can remember relatives speaking about being educated or praying in their native language such as Polish or German. In time, in the great melting pot of America, we all figure out how to live together.READ MORE
Since returning from vacation, I've been fielding a consistent question, "What did you do on vacation?" My witty and often-perceived smart-mouthed answer sometimes is, "When you start paying for my vacation, I'll start telling you." Now, truth be told, those of you who practice stewardship of time, talent and treasure to our parish do pay for my vacation. My salary comes because of your generosity to the Church directly and through the countless volunteer hours of fundraising. The point I'm getting to is that during my time away I was able to finish reading three books I started months ago. Further, last Sunday, you remember how pleasant the weather was, I finished a fourth. Subjects: 2 on Catholic spirituality, 1 on physical well-being, 1 on personal money management.READ MORE
Each month every parish in the Diocese of La Crosse receives the Chancery Bulletin. The resource originates from our diocesan offices and reminds us of upcoming events, ideas we might promote in our parishes, and guidelines and directives from various offices about how to administrate our parishes and our faith. In the August edition, there were some reminders about Confirmation, including a letter from Bishop Callahan. While we have come to the beginning of a new academic year, and in turn, a new season for Religious Education, I thought it good to remind ourselves about where our Religious Education is to be headed under the direction of Bishop Callahan. Interestingly enough, the letter was shared with us during the Year of Faith in 2013. Somehow or another, the seriousness of the letter slipped by me and I was reminded about the content as I re-read the letter this week.READ MORE
There exists an organization called Twenty-Third Publications which supplies Catholic faith formation, spirituality and pastoral planning resources. The organization was formed in honor of Pope John the twenty-third who inspired the vision to open the doors and windows of the Church. The goal of Twenty-Third Publications is to produce products for lay people to help them take leadership roles in the Church and the world. For some reason or another, the title of the publisher is catchy to my eyes and ears. And, I seem to remember their goal annually on the 23 Sunday of Ordinary Time, which is today. Through these reminders, I typically offer some communication reminders on the 23rd Sunday to inspire our connection to the Church; and in turn, our connection to Jesus Christ.READ MORE
Sure, parents and families are hastily preparing for the upcoming academic year. Along with them are the students and staff members anxiously awaiting the return of students to the school buildings. Meanwhile, others are cramming in their final days of summer vacation before the Labor Day weekend. All the while, many others are living with the constant reminder that learning has no boundaries.
One of the great life lessons we embrace is to constantly learn something each day. A person with this type of attitude is naturally curious and open to new ideas. New ideas can often sound really exciting, until some of us realize that new ideas might mean change. Change in a personal way, or changes in the way different groupings of people live our normalcy. As believers, we enjoy constant reminders that the only thing which remains constant is change. So, rather than resist change, our call is to embrace change.READ MORE
Many of you know by now that Amber Newton was hired in June as the Office Administrator for our parish cluster and Catholic School. Her skills and talents have already been well-received by those with whom she interacts. We ask that you continue to help her feel welcome and supported as you find yourself interacting with her in whatever way that may be.READ MORE
JUSTICE! JUSTICE!! JUSTICE!!! People are gathering and protesting, chanting and yelling for justice. They demand justice. If "justice" is not delivered to them, they will inflict their own brand of it.
I've noticed that "justice" is very angry nowadays. It's furious, in fact. It is intense and explosive. Local crimes don't stay local any longer. Local tragedies become national, and all of our cries for justice go unanswered.
We ask for what we can't define and don't even want to understand. We demand what we cannot hold.READ MORE
Some of you know quite well that we have had turnover in our Office Staff in recent weeks. Jessica Wolfe, after some good years of service, resigned from her position as Administrative Assistant due to her recent marriage to Randy Dermody and new directions in their life together. We continue to pray for them and all married couples as well as thanking Jessica for her good service to our parishes.READ MORE
There are several readers of my bulletin article last weekend who commented on the content of the article in one way oranother. Those remarks reinforced the reality that some of you do read the article and pay attention to the points made. So, allow this article to be a sequel to last weekend. Let me begin by mentioning that spiritual getaways were not part of myfamily history, though I think members of my family would be different today if we added a spiritual element to our familytime together. Be that as it may, I have taken some journeys to spiritual sights and can continue to encourage and inviteyou, whatever age you may be, to consider a spiritual site as a vacation destination.READ MORE