Jesus said, “Do your plans include me?”

05-29-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Recent celebrations of Easter, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and today's celebration of Corpus Christi ought to get us excited about our faith. Our faith, of course, has to do with bringing Jesus deeper into our lives. As a consequence, we choose to deepen our relationship with Him. That ongoing relationship began at our baptism and is enriched each time we pause to pray. While we celebrate Corpus Christi this weekend, we might spend some time pondering the title of this article. Let me explain.


Year of Mercy Clergy

05-22-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

During these days of the Year of Mercy we have ample opportunity to reflect upon mercy: God toward us… ustoward others. Among the countless ways to be agents of mercy, there are two sacraments of the Churchwhich are direct channels of mercy. Those two sacraments include the Sacrament of Penance (Confession)and the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Holy Communion). We are all well aware that the priesthood is thesacrament most closely linked to these two sacraments. However, we are privileged to have a permanentDeacon on our parish Staff. Deacon Wendt’s presence is a constant reminder of one of the many functions ofdeacons, including being an Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion.


Form of the Sacrament

05-15-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Often we move toward and through the Sacraments of the Church with a relatively casual and sometimes passive approach. An attitude toward the sacraments like that can create a lack of awareness of what is really happening during the sacramental celebration. Consequently, we become dull to the power of the Holy Spirit who we grandly celebrate today on Pentecost. Technically speaking in the Church world, we teach the fact that sacraments need to follow a certain form. The Catholic sense of form is worth reflecting on to get a greater sense of the mystical. Additionally, with the recent communication from Pope Francis, even marriage, remarriage and divorce can quickly become misunderstood if we have an incomplete sense of the form of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.


Mother Church

05-08-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

I hope each and every one of us take some time today and pray for our mothers, whether she is living or deceased. Our mom has chosen to make months, then years, then the rest of her life making sacrifices for us. I continue to admire the moms who can hold a growing child in their arms, often for hours, and not complain about how their back, arms, nor legs get sore. The connection and affection moms have to their children reap great dividends in the lives of those who claim to have good moms.


Holy Communion

05-01-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

The obvious topic for this week's article is Holy Communion as we celebrate First Holy Communion for our Second Grade parish members. I hope that sometime today, if you are blessed to have one of the first communicants in your family, that you sit down with them and share the memory of your first communion. Otherwise, there is likely to be a young person in your life today, or this week and it will be beneficial to share your memory of first communion with them. These opportunities to reflect upon significant moments from our Catholic past will indeed remind our young people that holy communion means something to us since we've retained those memories for years. We need to do what we can to maintain our faith, and these seemingly insignificant ways can create a memory for our young people which will last a lifetime.



04-24-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

The recent document from Pope Francis regarding the Joy of Love has created a lot of attention to his remarks, the content of the document and the Catholic Church in general. There are a number of topics in the document which are worth commenting on and some which are creating some puzzling dialogue. In Pope Francis' teachings, and in this document in particular, he continues to remind people about being attentive to their conscience. As a consequence of conscience gaining so much attention from the pope, I thought it good to brush up on our definition of conscience. In order for us to understand what God and the pope expect, we ought to gain a clearer picture of those expectations.


Spring Fever

04-10-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

There any number of educators in our region who are delighted in the recent weather and forecasts. Reason being, they do not have to battle with students as much since young people are more content with classroom work when the weather is icky outside. And, as far as work attitude goes, some others of us are also quite comfortable with the weather which allows fewer distractions as we go about our business of getting ready for spring and summer before spring and summer arrive. On the other hand, there are a good many of us who are chomping at the bit to get going outdoors. Those activities may include countless types of recreation. Additionally, those outdoor activities might include some necessary agricultural work. All things considered, we are still in the first half of April and there is potential for harmful weather which could hinder our early growing temptations. So it's our part to calm ourselves down, fight spring fever and do what Divine Mercy commands us… Trust in Jesus!


Some Thoughts

04-03-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Happy Easter! He is Risen, Indeed He is Risen! I hope you've had a chance to browse the pages of the most recent issue of Catholic Life. Even if you cracked the cover open, you were able to see Bishop Callahan's article reflecting upon a local to global view of Divine Mercy. The article is not academic; rather it's quite reachable and puts today's Divine Mercy Sunday and the Year of Mercy into common terms. I encourage you to read it, or read it again. Also, on the outside of the back cover of the same issue, you'll find a simple explanation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. If you are unable to attend the devotions at St. Lawrence this weekend, perhaps you'll take some time to pray the chaplet today. Or, you may consider making the Divine Mercy Chaplet part of your weekly or daily devotions. Then, if you want to get a little deeper into the issue, there is a lengthy article about Divine Mercy near the center of the magazine. Happy reading and happy praying.


He is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

03-27-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

While I was preparing for the bulletin article this week, I was longing for my old computer. As it aged and became problematic, I never took the time to save old files. Now, however, I was tempted to look back at some of my former Easter messages and simply reprint one for 2016. Also, looking back at some of my messages helps put things into perspective as we approach these major liturgical celebrations. On the other hand, there is so much fresh about Easter that reusing something seemed like a bit of a copout. Further, there is perspective from both pastoral and life experience which make this like any other Easter in history; for both you and I.



03-13-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

I've fielded several comments about my homily last weekend when I reference 66.66% of the parishes in our cluster will be discussing volunteerism. Now, its seems, is as good a time as any to offer a few remarks about volunteerism on the parish level and on a personal level. For some of us, our first inclination is to provide explanations as to why some people are not volunteering within our parish context. We might cite things like: busy lives, different priorities, other volunteers were too critical, don't feel qualified, too long of a commitment, someone else will do it; and the list goes on and on. I'm sure you've heard your share of excuses. On another angle, there might be some effect of cultural influences. Consider your family of origin and how its members did or did not volunteer at your church.


Which End and How Near?

03-06-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Sure, we are now working our way toward the conclusion of Lent. How are you doing on your Lenten commitments? There is still ample time to enhance your prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for a good mindset for the celebration of Easter. As for your action during this Lent during the Year of Mercy. Have you made a good confession or preparing to find your way to the Sacrament of Penance soon? Further, there are a lot of other conclusions or ends to work toward. The end of winter or the end of a school year; and other more significant ends like the end of life or the end of time.


What Priests Want

02-28-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

At the outset here, I'm going to ask you to think beyond your current Pastor. Think about what priests want in a very general way. Priests who you know and those you don't. Old priests and young priests. Priests in our diocese and those outside our diocese. Priests of the United States and international priests. And, the comparisons can go on and on. Continue to ask yourself the question about what priests want. Now that the question is planted in your thoughts, you need to know my inspiration.


Something to Watch

02-21-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Residents of our area of the country, and in particular, our area of the state, have the benefit of being quite familiar with small-town existence. Along with that familiarity comes a tremendous amount of benefits and, unfortunately, some drawbacks. And, since we are unable to enjoy the fullness of heaven on earth, there are drawbacks to wherever we choose to live. So, for some people, they weigh out the benefits and drawbacks to wherever they choose to reside. Some of those people realize the benefits of living in a small town outweigh the drawbacks and so they establish roots and call their place their home.


When is Generous Too Generous?

02-14-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Having been born in March of 1973, my life becomes what it is according to God’s master plan. Part of His plan is the formation I’ve received, whether directly or indirectly, from my family, my education, my experiences and a whole lot of other things which continue to make me who I am. Now that we have embarked on the observance of Lent, I continue to remember, as a cradle Catholic, the time-tested disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. And, I remember each year, including the present one, praying about and pondering the choices I’ll make to have a good observance of Lent in preparation of the Easter season.