The Roman Catholic Parish of
A Word from Father
Słowo od Pastora
MAY 28, 2023
"In her magnanimity and generosity in suffering, Mary is, as compared with the Apostles, fitly imaged as a tower. But towers are huge, rough graceless structures with nothing of the beautifulness, refinement, and finish which are conspicuous in Mary. Therefore, she is called the "Tower of Ivory", to suggest to us, by the purity and exquisiteness of that material, how transcendent is the loveliness of the Mother of God."
- St. John Newman
The third Commandment - "You shall keep holy the Sabbath Day", is a serious one for us as Catholics. We are bound under pain of mortal sin to attend Mass on Sundays and other days as the Church dictates to us. While there are legitimate circumstances such that the obligation would be lifted (e.g. confined to home or hospital), too often other activities take its place. It's important that we give the worship that is due to him. It's important that we be faithful to the Lord even while on vacation. As summer quickly approaches, remember to attend Mass even while away. A good website to look at is: masstimes.org. Simply type in the zip code of where you will be going, and it will give you all of the parishes along with addresses and Mass times. Vacations are good and necessary, but we also have to remember the Lord. Whatever your vacation plans are, I hope you find rest, and to remember to spend time with the Lord on Sundays!
Fr. Mark Miller
MAY 21, 2023
"The value of our life does not depend upon the place we occupy. It depends on the way we occupy the place."
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux
I'm sure most, if not all of you, are familiar with Bl. Solanus Casey and Bl. James Miller. Recently the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments has given permission to the Diocese of La Crosse to publicly venerate Bl. Casey and Bl. Miller within the context of Mass. Their feast days are July 30 and February 13, respectively. Please note however, this applies only to the Diocese of La Crosse. Other dioceses may not publicly venerate them until they are canonized and are on the Universal Calendar. Also, like other blesseds or saints, if another liturgical feast that happens to fall on those dates is of a higher rank (e.g. Sunday), their feast is omitted that year. We continue to ask for their intercession!
APRIL 23, 2023
"Love is the bond of life, the mother of the poor, and the teacher of the rich. It is the nurse of orphans, the attendant of the elderly, the treasure of the intelligent, and the common port of all the afflicted."
— St. Gregory of Nyssa
We are entering the third week of the Easter Season. Yes! It is STILL Easter. Remember, Easter is NOT just Easter Sunday. For a number of weeks we will be celebrating liturgically the mystery of the Resurrection. This is a special time. We need to be living it!
APRIL 9, 2023
"Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For He
whom you did merit to bear, alleluia, has
risen, as he said, alleluia. Pray for us to God,
alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary,
alleluia, for the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
O God, who gave joy to the world through the
resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus
Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession
of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of
everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord.
APRIL 2, 2023
"Devout souls cling wholeheartedly to the cross with Christ. They thus acquire the most abundant fruits of the redemption for themselves and for others."
- Pius XI
We are now in the holiest time of the year. In the upcoming days, remember what is happening. Remember all that Christ will undergo. We should all make good efforts this week to pray, and to allow the fruits of this week to be effective in our live
MARCH 26, 2023
Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures – I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. Amen.
(Prayer of abandonment - Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
I wanted to give you an update as far as our capital campaign is concerned. As of March 20, 2023 we have available for our use $320,981! Thank you to all who have been contributing to our campaign. I have been meeting regularly with the committee and you have seen periodic bulletin updates with the progress. You will continue to be informed when we reach the next step.
MARCH 19, 2023
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus while before Your face I humbly kneel and, with burning soul, pray and beseech You to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity; true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment. While I contemplate, with great love and tender pity, Your five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me and calling to mind the words which David, Your prophet, said to You, my Jesus: “They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones.” Amen.
(Prayer before a crucifix)
MARCH 12, 2023
Dear Jesus, in the Sacrament of the Altar, be forever thanked and praised. Love, worthy of all celestial and terrestrial love! Who, out of infinite love for me, ungrateful sinner, assumed our human nature, shed Your most Precious Blood in the cruel scourging, and expired on a shameful Cross for our eternal welfare! Now illumined with lively faith, with the outpouring of my whole soul and the fervor of my heart, I humbly beseech You, through the infinite merits of Your painful sufferings, give me strength and courage to destroy every evil passion which sways my heart, to bless You by the exact fulfillment of my duties, supremely to hate all sin, and thus to become a Saint. Amen.
(Prayer to overcome sinful passions)
MARCH 5, 2023
O Lord and Master of my life, keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement, lust of power, and idle chatter. Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love. O Lord and King, grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge my brother and sister, for You are blessed, now and ever and forever. Amen.
(Lenten prayer of St. Ephraim)
FEBRUARY 26, 2023
My precious and crucified Lord, I offer You this Lent. I offer it to You with total abandonment and trust. I offer You my prayers, sacrifices and my very life this day. Do with me, Lord, as You will. I pray that this Lent will be fruitful. I know You have much to say to me and much to do in my life. May this Lent be a time through which Your mercy is poured in abundance into my soul, and into the souls of all Your faithful. Dearest Lord, help me to especially see my sin, this Lent. Humble me so that I may see clearly. Give me courage and strength to confess my sins, and to turn from them with all my heart. Enlighten me with Your Holy Word, dear Lord. Help me to come to know You and to deepen the gift of faith in my life. Show me the plan You have for me, and place my feet upon the path You have chosen. My suffering Lord, I thank You for the fullness of Your perfect Sacrifice. I thank You for holding nothing back, giving Your life to the last drop of blood. May I offer You my very life as a sacrifice, trusting in Your mercy with every offering. Keep me faithful to my Lenten promises, and bring forth new life through these sacrifices of love. Amen.
-Prayer for a fruitful Lent
FEBRUARY 12, 2023
“All holy creatures are praising God continually - we hear them not, still they are praising Him. All the angels, the glorious company of the apostles, the Holy Church Universal, all the spirits and souls of the righteous, all are praising and praying to God. We come to church to join them. We do not deserve to come - consider what a great favor it is to be allowed to join in the praises and prayers of the City of God."
—St. John Newman
Recently there was a destructive earthquake that is affecting Syria and Turkey. There has been property damage, and over 11,700 people perished. We need to pray for them, that the Lord have mercy upon them. But also too, we are called to assist those whose lives have been disrupted. This is an opportunity for us to give a donation to a charitable organization to assist those in need. I encourage all of us to take this to prayer and assist those who need our help. There are various organizations that are assisting, so, do some research and consider giving a contribution in the coming week.
Some of you have brought to my attention questions and concerns regarding the stormwater basins, so I wanted to briefly share what we know. Because the overall project did not disturb over 1 acre, the DNR did not have to get involved and soil boring was not required. The USDA soil information was used which indicated the soil type as "Loamy Sand and Hydrologic Soil Group A", having a high infiltration rate. While the basins do hold water longer than they should, the engineers continue to believe this is due either to construction sediments which washed in and sealed the surface slightly or that the soil was inadvertently compacted during construction, or a combination of the two. The plan is to have the excavator back here in the spring to investigate the situation. Once the cause is determined, the contractor will remedy the issue. Partial payments have been made to the contractors, but final payments are being held until the basins are functioning as they are supposed to be, and all of the punch list items have been addressed, which unfortunately cannot happen until spring. I hope this helps to clarify some of the concerns.
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.
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!