A Word from Father
Słowo od Pastora
FEBRUARY 5, 2023
"This world is a very little thing to give up for the next. Let us aim at the consistent habit of mind of looking toward God and rejoicing in the glory which shall be revealed. In that case, whether we eat or drink, or abstain, or whatever we do, we shall do all for Him. Let us aim at being true heirs of the promise. Let us aspire to be holy and undefiled."
— St. John Newman
Just a friendly reminder to use our SCRIP program. It is an excellent way for you to purchase many things for everyday use and it assists the parish as well. SCRIP is available during the week at the parish office and frequently after Mass.
Fr. Mark Miller
JANUARY 29, 2023
"If there was something better than meekness, God would have told us.
But he exhorts us to above all be meek and humble of heart.'
- St. Francis de Sales
I want to once again thank everyone for your support of our 'Heart Speaks to Heart' Campaign. Pledges to date for this campaign total $977,365. The diocesan share has been satisfied and funds available for parish immediate use are $247,638 (as of 1/23/2023). The parish is doing quite well with pledge redemption thus far, therefore the necessary funding to move forward with the church renovation will continue to grow. Thank you! If you were previously not able to make a pledge or donation to the campaign, you can still do so by contacting the parish office or by simply mailing a donation payable to "Heart Speaks to Heart" to the parish office.
Since early December, I've met twice with the Beautification Committee members (Mike Bigalke, Veronica Bruske, Theresa Glavin, Mark Strojny, and Wendy Tritz) to review updated quotes, designs, and issues related to the (3) areas that the campaign funds will be used for: interior church painting, a new sound system, and new church flooring. While I could safely assume that we would all like to have the entire project completed at once, given the projected cash flow from pledge redemptions, it is clear that the (3) areas of the project must be prioritized if we want to begin now. We do not want to wait 3-5 years to see progress. Initially, the committee focused on interior painting. However, after further discussions with potential vendors, it was determined the proper order for the renovation should be: 1) flooring 2) sound 3) painting. Why? The flooring must be done before the sound system as the flooring selection will affect acoustics within the church. Flooring should also be done before the painting as removal and installation of the flooring (and movement of the pews) will create a fair amount of dust - which we obviously would not want on our newly painted church walls and ceilings. The sound system has second priority as it will not only require acoustical adjustments after the flooring but will require drilling into both the wall and floor surfaces and running significant cabling along the floors/walls (wireless technology is not advised in a church setting). Again, it was advised this be done before any new painting and in part, simultaneously with the flooring installation.
The committee members will now be working diligently with multiple vendors to secure quotes and hopefully a 2023 installation timeline for the new flooring and sound system.
There is much more involved in this project than meets the eye, but it is exciting and I hope you are as excited about the upcoming changes as I am! I will continue to keep you posted as we continue to move forward and receive definitive information to share.
JANUARY 8, 2023
JANUARY 1, 2023
"God created Adam in the beginning, not because he needs the human race, but so that he might have a recipient of his generosity. Moreover, God commanded us to follow Christ, not because he needs our service, but because he wants to give us salvation. To follow the Savior is to share in salvation, just as to follow the light is to gain the light."
- St. Irenaeus
I hope all of you had a blessed Christmastide and that we used this time of grace to allow the Infant Christ to work in our lives. Whenever things in our life become rough, and sooner or later they will, remember that Christ was born for us! God bless you and take courage.
"What shall we offer You, O Christ in that you have appeared on earth as man for our sake? For every creature fashioned by You offers You thanksgiving: "the angels, hymnody; the heavens, a star; the Magi, gifts; the shepherds, their wonder; the earth, a cave; the wilderness, a manger; and we, the Virgin Mother."
O God Who has existed from before time, have mercy on us!"
(Idiomelon from the Synaxis of the All-Holy Theotokos)
As we complete the Christmas Octave (remember Christmas Day is 8 days!), I hope that all of us have been resting in the birth of the Lord. Resting is important! That's why the Sabbath rest has been given to us by God. It's not a suggestion.
In this Season of Christmastide, I suggest to all of us (including me!) to just be with the Infant Jesus. He wants us to spend time with him. We will still have the troubles and anxieties of the world, but now how about we just be with him and enjoy his presence!
DECEMBER 25, 2022
"Take these thoughts with you, my brethren, to your homes on this festive day. It is a day of joy: it is good to be joyful - it is wrong to be otherwise. For one day we may put off the burden of our polluted consciences, and rejoice in the perfections of our Savior Christ, without thinking of ourselves; but contemplating His glory, His righteousness, His purity, His overflowing love."
- St. John Newman
Thank you for your beautiful Christmas cards, and generous gifts! I appreciate that very much.
I hope for all of us as we enter these days of Christmastide that we allow the mystery of the birth of God the Son to enter into our lives. As I said in my sermons for Advent that the birth of Christ has already happened in time. That is true, yet the effects of that day are meant for us! Even though we are living in this mystery "after the fact", it is just as real for us in 2022 as it was when it occurred. The Lord came into the lives of Mary, Joseph, his family, and town. He wants to come into your life and mine today
DECEMBER 4, 2022
O God, You looked on man when he had fallen down into death, and resolved to redeem him by the advent of Your only begotten Son; grant, we implore You, that they who confess His glorious Incarnation may also be admitted to the fellowship of Him their Redeemer; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(An Advent prayer of St. Ambrose of Milan)
As you saw this past Sunday (and throughout the week) we are celebrating Mass during the Advent Season Ad Orientem (to the East). I mentioned this in a prior bulletin. This as I said has been a constant form of worship in the Latin Rite as well as the various Eastern Rites of the Church (which is still the normative form). While the priest "facing the people" is one permitted form, ad Orientem (where the priest leads the congregation and hence everyone is facing the same way) is also permitted.
"Ad Orientem worship is simply all about the priest orienting the sacrifice of the Mass toward Jesus Christ in the re-presentation of the Crucifixion, facing the Lord. God initiated the Passover sacrifice of the spotless lamb for the Jews, which spared the firstborn sons of the Jews. Then God led the Jews out of Egypt and bondage to the Promised Land. At the Mass, Catholics for over a thousand years faced east, toward Jerusalem, and toward the Lord. Catholics faced Jerusalem, which is translated (The City of Peace) because the earthly City of Peace represents the Heavenly City of Peace and God resides in the Heavenly Jerusalem. (The Eternal Promised Land). The Catholic priest, Ad Orientem, (Facing East toward Jerusalem) in persona Christi (the High Priest Jesus Christ) during Mass, in the re-presentation of the sacrifice of the crucifixion, leads us out of our earthly bondage of sin and death to the Heavenly Jerusalem. Everything harkens back to God’s conventual promises. The Old Covenant is fulfilled in the New Covenant. The ancient Jewish sacrifice of the lamb is fulfilled in the New Covenant sacrifice of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." (https://reverentcatholicmass.com/blog/ what-everyone-should-know-about-ad-orientem-worship)
As we continue in this holy time of preparation, please continue to pray for me and for each other. I will be praying for you
NOVEMBER 20, 2022
"Be mindful of God, so that in every moment he may be mindful of you.
If he is mindful of you, he will give you salvation.
Do not forget him, letting yourselves be seduced by vain distractions.
Do you want him to forget you in times of temptation.
Stay near him and obey him in the days of your prosperity.
You will be able to rely on his word in difficult days, because prayer will keep you safe in his continual presence."
- Isaac of Ninevah
I wanted to share an update on the drainage project as well as to let you know that the planning process for the church painting has begun. First, the drainage project. The engineers were on site November 10th for a walk-through inspection to ensure that the entire project was installed to our contracted specifications. They have prepared and submitted a 'punch-list' report of items that need correction which they will address with the contractors. Therefore, you may continue to see activity related to this project. Second, the church painting project. A few weeks ago I had a phone conference with Conrad Schmidt's design team to discuss the process moving forward and a possible timeline. Although our Heart Speaks to Heart Campaign is still in process (we are always accepting pledges and donations), we do need to start the planning process now in order to get on their schedule for hopefully, next fall (2023). They have since submitted updated renderings which take into account our revised budget. In addition, one of their plasterers was onsite this past Monday to inspect the walls and ceilings to identify the extent of repair which will be needed. I will very soon begin meeting with our committee members for their assistance and input so that we can finalize the design (which will also include the flooring), budget, and ultimately the timeline. I will keep you updated as additional information is available.
NOVEMBER 13, 2022
"It is very easy for us to find fault with others.
But it is very hard for us to isolate and correct our own faults."
— St. Francis de Sales
I hope you are doing well, enjoying the Autumn days, and are living in the grace of the Lord.
For the Season of Advent we will, for daily and Sunday Mass, be worshipping ad Orientem (towards the East). This means that everyone - priest, deacon, and laity all face the same direction for worship. This way of worshipping was common for the Latin Rite for centuries, and is still used by Eastern Rite Catholics today. I know that my predecessors have done this from time to time, so it shouldn't be new. For some, you may not have experienced this before. While this may "feel" different, it is a beautiful way for all of us to keep focused and to adore the Lord in his holy court.
Continue to pray for each other, and take courage!
NOVEMBER 5, 2022
“A ray of light enables us to see the dust that is in the air. In the same way, the lives of the saints show up our defects. If we fail to see our faults, it is because we have not looked at the lives of holy men and women." -St. Anthony of Padua
I want to say a final thank you to everyone who assisted in the capital campaign. Thank you to Ms. Kate Gapp who was our director. She did a great job. Also, thank you to Joe Burant and Arleen Gross as the co-chairpeople, and to all of the volunteers who called and met with parishioners. You all helped me tremendously. Thank you as well to all of our generous donors! While the campaign officially ended on Nov. 4, I am asking those who haven't yet made a commitment to take this to prayer and make a donation. We will gladly accept them at any time!
The next step will be to move forward with the projects. I will give you updates as needed.
Parking lot project update. As can happen with any project, the asphalt company encountered some scheduling conflicts and the installation of the final layer of blacktopping was delayed. However, as I write this update I see they have arrived; therefore an end to the project is finally in sight. Again, this was a complicated project, much more so than what may appear on the surface. As with any major project, there will always be varying opinions and '"the should haves". I expect that as a parish, Sacred Heart can appreciate the work that has been done and can trust that the decisions recommended by engineers and contractors during the planning (and implementation) stages were made in the best, current and future, interest of the parish.. There will undoubtedly be minor adjustments that will come up that need, and will, be addressed. Thank you all again for your patience and most of all your continued prayers.
I also want to thank in a special way, the Tom & Kim Glodowski family of Green Meadow Turf for their extremely generous donation of sod used in the primary areas of this project. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for your willingness to assist where and when needed. May God bless you and your family.
OCTOBER 30, 2022
"Because we are composed of a dual nature - soul and body - we need a dual birth and dual nourishment. We receive our birth by means of water and Spirit, that is, by Holy Baptism. We find our nourishment in the Bread of LIfe, that is in Jesus Christ himself. When the moment arrived for him to undergo death for us of his own free will, in the night which he was to be handed over to his enemies, he established a new covenant, with his disciples, and through them with all those who believe in him. If sky, earth, water, iron and air have been created by the Word of God, so much more certainly this noble being called humanity has been formed by him. And if the Word Himself became flesh by the pure blood of the Virgin, will he not be able to make the bread his body and the wine his blood."
- St. John Damascene
I want to say "thanks" again to EVERYONE who is helping our Capital Campaign succeed! I'm proud of all of you! Thank you to those who are volunteering, I appreciate your time. Thank you to those who have pledged, and for those who have not, please take it to prayer. We can do great things!
OCTOBER 16, 2022
"You ask what you might offer to God. Offer yourself!
What does God expect from you - except yourself?"
- St. Augustine
We are doing quite well with our campaign! I want to sincerely thank all of you for your generosity thus far, and ask that you pray for a successful campaign. Please take to careful prayer your own commitment to this project.
There have been some questions about monies that may have already been raised for the beautification project. Although the original Beautification Committee was not able to proceed with an official campaign due to COVID as well as a moratorium until the Cathedral campaign ended, there were 'word of mouth' and memorial donations
made for the church renovation in the amount of $157,675. These funds were transferred to our savings account held at St. Ambrose for this purpose. If the donor did not place any restrictions for the specific use of the monies, then the funds can be applied to the case items for
the Heart Speaks to Heart Campaign.
OCTOBER 2, 2022
"It is folly not to think of death.
It is greater folly to think of it, and not prepare for it."
- St. Alphonsus Ligouri
Recently there has been violent storms across the w0rld that have wreaked havoc and destruction, affecting many lives - a violent hurricane in Puerto Rico, the typhoon in The Philippines, and heavy monsoonal rains that caused flooding in Pakistan. As we're called to try and relieve the sufferings of others, I'm asking all of us (and that includes me!) to prayerfully consider making a donation to a charitable organization to assist them. There are a variety of good organizations out there (and others not so much, so please do your research), so if one particularly "speaks" to you, please consider making a donation.
The drainage project is moving right along. Thank you again for your patience and understanding for any inconvenience. Praise God the weather has been cooperating. If all continues to go as planned, the concrete work is scheduled to be completed Monday and the asphalt will follow afterward. Asphalt installation should take 2-3 days for completion, and then the remaining work will be the fine finishing of the landscape and site. As can happen with major projects, additional areas of concern were discovered that need to be addressed. Once the pavement was pulled away, brick was found to be deteriorating in a couple of areas and will need to be repaired. In addition to the mold issues and safety concerns with ice build-up, this is yet another example of why it was important to first address water drainage before any interior needs. Again, I will continue to keep you updated.
Thank you for your continued patience and prayers.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2022
"Let us not forget, that, as we are called to be saints, so we are, by that very calling, called to suffer; and if we suffer, we must not think it strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try us. We should not be puffed up by our privilege of suffering nor bring suffering needlessly upon us nor be eager to make out we have suffered for Christ, when we have but suffered for our faults, or not at all."
-St. John Newman
Most of you, by now, are aware we are in the midst of our Heart Speaks to Heart campaign. This is an important endeavor. This is an opportunity to get the church building where it needs to be! I want to again thank Kate Gapp for her hard work, and for all of our parish volunteers. Thank you as well to those who have already made pledges/donations.
Take to prayer this process, and what the Lord may be asking of you!
SEPTEMBER 18, 2022
"Never separate yourself from the Church.
No institution has the power of the Church.
The Church is your hope.
The Church is your salvation.
The Church is your refuge."
— St. John Chrysostom
As you can see we are making progress with our drainage project! As things progress further, there will be limited access to some of the doors for a while. Please keep that in mind.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2022
"We think that the harmonious development of the world through the centuries is the work of the divine Word, believing that what is seen is derived from the Invisible. In the same faith, we accept also the Word of God according to which inevitably all things will have an end. On the question of "how", we ought not to yield to curiosity. We believe rather that the visible world will find its conclusive
harmony in the world that has not yet been revealed, and we refuse to investigate what transcends our understanding. Because the divine power is sufficient to
bring creation out of nothing into existence, we are convinced that the same power will complete the restoration of all things."
- St. Gregory of Nyssa
For most of our students, they have started a new academic year. I want to wish all of you well. For those who haven't started yet, enjoy the remainder of your vacation time! I hope this is a good school year for you. Remember to have balance in your life. Eat well, rest well, and study well. Take care of your body and your soul!
AUGUST 28, 2022
"If only we would learn how great it is to possess divine grace and how many riches it has within itself, how many joys and delights.
We would devote all of our concern to winning for ourselves pains and afflictions in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace."
- St. Rose of Lima
The parish drainage project is underway and proceeding as planned. The contractors have begun working first around the school building to complete as much work as necessary in that area before school begins this Tuesday. There are large pieces of equipment being used, and the safety of the school children is obviously important. They will move to the west driveway area afterwards. Again, I will try to give you as much of a 'heads up' as possible as to when areas (and doors) will not be accessible, but please understand that may not always be possible.
In case you missed this information in previous bulletins, I wanted to be sure everyone was aware of the 'why' and the 'who' is involved. Properly correcting the parish drainage issues, as well as enhancing the handi-cap parking area is a major, surprisingly complicated, and costly project. One 'fix' brought to light other issues that needed to be corrected. It became apparent that it was necessary to move the school playground area as this space has always been in the direct path of the natural water drain-off and water issues with the food stand also needed to be corrected. Multiple contractors had submitted bids for this project. Ultimately Stuczynski Trucking and Excavating Inc was selected to perform the excavation and site preparation, installation of the storm/drainage piping, etc. They will be working closely with the engineers from Point of Beginning to ensure accurate line, level, and slope. American Asphalt has been contracted for the blacktopping. Because of the liability surrounding proper playground equipment installation, Boland Recreation has been contracted to relocate the playground equipment.
The costs associated with this project include $163k for the excavation, site prep, piping, etc., $48k for the asphalt, $18k for the playground equipment move (and yes, this is much more cost effective than purchasing new equipment). All total, approximately $230k. Thankfully the parish is able to move forward financially with this project using existing funds held in our parish savings accounts at St. Ambrose Financial Services. We will use the entire $137k from our 'We Belong to Christ' fund (which has never been used and all funds still available), the Home & School Association is contributing their playground raffle profits, and the balance will be drawn out of the parish Beautification savings funds (which still includes all of Mary Stanchik's generous donation which was to be used for the maintenance of the church.)
One last thing to mention. There has been concern expressed regarding the electrical service in the back of the church which is used to provide power for the picnic. I am aware of the concerns and the electrical will be addressed. Again, I thank you for your continued patience as we move forward. I will continue to keep you posted!
AUGUST 14, 2022
"Who could ever understand fully that eternal weight of glory which a single moment spent in cheerfully carrying a cross obtains for us? Who could understand the glory gained in Heaven by a year, and sometimes a whole lifetime, of crosses and suffering."
- St. Louis de Montfort
The picnic will soon be here! Again I want to thank Arleen Gross, and all those who are in charge of the various committees for all of their efforts. Please continue to pray for its success and that it be enjoyable. Also if you're available to help in some way, please do so.
Thank you to everyone!
AUGUST 7, 2022
"Friendship constitutes a country for those in exile, a fortune for the poor, a remedy for the sick, and a life for the dead. It provides pleasure for those who are well, strength for the weak, and a reward for the strong."
- St. Augustine
Last Sunday Christ talked about the man who built barns to store his things. Then God said that his life will be demanded that very day. Christ ends the parable by giving all a warning about focusing on the wealth of the earth and not on the riches from God. We don't know when the Lord will call us. For some, their life on earth is quite short, for others they can live ninety or more years. But our time is limited. The important thing that Christ is telling us, is that while we all have needs while on this earth, including physical needs, even if they are legitimate, do we recognize the richness of God? Do you and I appreciate God for himself? Do we thank the Lord simply because He is God? All of our good things come from him. Do we focus more on the gifts, but forget about the Giver? Lord, thank you for your gifts, but thank you also, for YOU