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.


Too Much Going On?

10-30-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

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.


Confirmation Weekend

10-23-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

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:


10-16-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

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.


Harvesting Beyond the Tangible

10-09-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

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.


Good Reminder

09-11-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

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.



09-04-2016Weekly ReflectionFr. Brian Jazdzewski

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.