A Word from Father
Słowo od Pastora
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!
Fr. Mark Miller
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
JULY 31, 2022
"Faith is in no way a burden to human beings. Far from it! Faith is an immense benefit because it commences life in us even on this earth."
- St. Thomas Aquinas
I hope that you're well and that these summer months are restful for you. In a few weeks, we will be having our picnic. Things seem to be progressing nicely. I want to again thank Arleen Gross and the committee chairmen/women for all of their hard work. I also invite you to PLEASE consider assisting in some way, even if for a few hours. You will greatly help those around you! Also, if you have not taken your envelope with the raffle tickets, please get them; that will be a great help to Donna Zaborowski.
There is an insert in this week’s bulletin that has August’s calendar which has the names of the priests of the Diocese of La Crosse, as well as Bp. Callahan and Pope Francis. Please pray some kind of prayer for the priest listed each day.
JULY 24, 2022
"Our true worth does not consist in what human beings think of us.
What we really are consists in what God knows us to be."
- St. John Berchmans
We're now a month into summer. I hope that all of you are well and enjoying the summer months. For those in school, enjoy your break! Make sure that you take time to rest and relax in some way. Visit friends, do something fun, read a good book, listen to some good music, go for a walk. It's important that we all get the re-energizing that we need. But, we have to have balance - there is time for work, and time for leisure. How are we doing? Am I doing too much and need to rest? Or are there responsibilities that perhaps I've ignored?
JULY 17, 2022
"Remain at peace regarding whatever is said or done in conversations. If it is good, you have something for which to praise God. If it is bad, you have something in which to serve God by turning your heart away from it."
—St. Francis de Sales
JULY 10, 2022
"God has promised to lead us safely heavenward in spite of all things being against us. But the infirmities which beset us, these He still ordains should try us and humble us and should bring us day by day to the foot of His cross for pardon. Let us simply obey God's will whatever may befall us. He can turn all things to our eternal good. He can bless us and sanctify even our infirmities."
— St. John Newman
Each year the Diocese of La Crosse has a Mission Appeal. This is used to help mission work that our Diocese sponsors, as well as to help visiting priests provide for their parishes in their home country. The Mission Appeal for Sacred Heart and Immaculate Conception will be held during the weekend of July 30th and 31st. Between now and then, please take this time to prayer and ask the Lord to show you how you may help financially. Thank you so much!
JULY 3, 2022
"The Father made God visible to human beings through numerous mysteries to prevent them from losing everything - even their very lives. For the glory of God is the living person, and the life of a person is the vision of God."
- St. Irenaeus of Lyons
As I'm sure all of you are aware, our parish picnic will soon be upon us. And such an undertaking requires a lot of effort. I want to thank Arleen Gross as well as all of the committee chairmen/women for their hard work. What's also important is that the parish as a whole try to assist in these efforts. There is help needed for setting up, taking down, as well as helping at the numerous activities that will be taking place. I am encouraging all of you, especially those who in the past may not have helped, to take this to prayer and help in some way
I believe there are (or will be) sign-up sheets available. Or contact Arleen and she can direct you to whomever the right contact is.
One thing that I would like to address because this has been brought up to me, is some people's hesitation because they don't want to work on Sundays. That is noble, and Sunday IS a day of rest, and fundamentally it is directed towards worshiping God. That is the preeminent purpose. But, as it is rest, it's meant for our renewal. And this picnic can be a means of that. Obviously just because a picnic is going on it DOES NOT mean the Sunday Mass duty goes away. But after attending Mass PLEASE consider helping.
This does not violate the Sabbath. "Work" on the Sabbath means heavily, servile work (at least when agronomy was the primary means of people's labor and sustenance). But, with the modern economy, work would mean "the PAID work that I normally do for supporting myself or family") So that type of work should be avoided on Sunday. CHARITY - helping the other in need is very much behind the part of the Sabbath rest. If you have helped in the past - thank you, and please consider it again this year. If you haven't, consider it, even if it's just for a few hours. Thanks, everybody!
There is an insert in this week’s bulletin that has July’s calendar which has the names of the priests of the Diocese of La Crosse, as well as Bp. Callahan and Pope Francis. Please pray some kind of prayer for the priest listed each day.
June 26, 2022
"Sometimes God leaves us for a long time unable to effect any good, that we may learn to humble ourselves, and never to glory in our efforts."
- St. Vincent Ferrer
June 19, 2022
"The nature of water is soft, and the nature of stone is hard; but if a bottle is hung above the stone, allowing the water to fall down drop by drop, it wears away the stone. So it is with the Word of God: it is soft and our heart is hard, but the man who hears the Word of God often, opens his heart to the fear of God."
- St. Poemen
Today the United States celebrates Father's Day. I wish all of our fathers, whether they be physical fathers or our spiritual fathers, a good, happy, and restful day. For our fathers who have gone before us, may the Lord have mercy upon them, and may they soon see the Lord face to face.
Friday, June 24th is the Solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart Of Jesus, our parish's Patron. I hope all of you on that day rest in the Sacred Heart, and enjoy the day! It is a day of great celebration for the Universal Church, and for us! Have a special meal, or do something fun to celebrate the day.
June 12, 2022
In order to purify a soul, Jesus uses whatever instruments He likes. My soul underwent a complete abandonment on the part of creatures; often my best intentions were misinterpreted by the sisters, a type of suffering which is most painful; but God allows it, and we must accept it because in this way we become more like Jesus."
- St. Faustina Kowalaska
Next Saturday (June 18) some of our young parishioners will be receiving the Lord for the first time in Holy Communion. First of all, please pray for them in these last days of preparation before they receive this Most Holy Sacrament. Pray that their minds, hearts, and souls are well prepared and that they have the desire to receive the Lord worthily and well. Also, as a "heads up" we will have many guests that day (family members, friends, etc.) so be aware that there will be more people than usual at Mass that day, and show good, Christian hospitality to those who are visiting.
There have been some questions/comments concerning the sanctuary lights and the candles on the high altar. The sanctuary can get extremely warm (80°+) and the spotlights generate a significant amount of heat on their own. So, during the Summer months they will not be on in order to try and keep the temperature as reasonable as possible.
Regarding candles, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal #307 dictates that for the celebration of Mass, candles are to be placed "...either on the altar, or around it.". The altar in this reference is the altar of sacrifice, that is the altar that will actually be used for Mass. Since the high altar isn't used for Mass (not that it can't be, but that's a separate issue), it would not be appropriate for candles on that altar to be lit. Thus the candles around the central altar are the ones that should be lit for Mass.
Hopefully this answers the questions!
Finally in the next few months I'm sure many of you will have a vacation. I hope that wherever you go it is restful, and enjoyable. Be sure to go to masstimes.org while you are on vacation so you can be with the Lord on Sunday.
June 5, 2022
"Love in its nature makes a human being like God, as far as is possible for a human being. The soul is intoxicated by the effects of it. Its characteristics are a fountain of faith, an abyss of patience, an ocean of humility. Love, unchangeable tranquility and our adoption as children of God are different from each other only in name. As light, fire, and flame are present in the selfsame operation, so are these three manifestations of the Spirit. When someone is completely permeated with the love of God, the brightness of his soul is reflected by his whole personality as if in a mirror. Therefore, the one who loves God also loves his neighbor. Indeed, the second love is proof of the first."
- St. John Climacus
With today's great Solemnity of Pentecost, the season of Eastertide comes to a close, and Ordered Time begins. While Eastertide will no longer be celebrated liturgically, we have to remember that we are LIVING each day in a Post-Resurrection Christendom. Of course, that applies to ALL of the events of Christ's time on earth - his Incarnation, his birth, the Paschal Mystery. While those events happened IN TIME, we live in the fruits of those events. It's important that we allow these past fifty days to become real. We have to invite the Lord into those areas of our lives that need a "resurrection." Will we? We have to allow the Mystery of the Ascension, which was recently celebrated into our lives, and rest in the virtue of hope that it gives us. Will we? With Pentecost, can we open our hearts to the cleansing, renewing fire of the Holy Spirit?
MAY 29, 2022
"The Lord says: 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken away from her.' We too ought to be eager to possess what no one can take away from us, namely the gift of earnest, attentive listening to the Word of God. We know even from the parable of the Sower that the seeds of the heavenly Word are taken away if they are sown along the path. So let the longing for wisdom inspire you as it did Mary, and never think those people idle who are seeking it."
- St. Ambrose
With this great solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, we are entering the last week of Eastertide. In this coming week we should all ask, "How have I been living out this season of Easter?" Was Easter just Easter Sunday, and that's it, or have we immersed ourselves in the Resurrection, being with the early Church as we have been reading from the Acts of the Apostles at Mass, and allowing the risen Christ to transform us? There is still a week left. Let's use it wisely!
Monday, in the United States we celebrate Memorial Day. May the Lord bless our soldiers - those who have died, and those still living. Thank you for your service!
Lastly, there is an insert in this week’s bulletin that has June’s calendar which has the names of the priests of the Diocese of La Crosse, as well as Bp. Callahan and Pope Francis. Please pray some kind of prayer for the priest listed each day. ~ Thank you so much!
MAY 22, 2022
"Those who possess riches outwardly must take care not to possess them inwardly, that is with desire. They must eliminate everything earthly from their desires."
- St. Catherine of Sienna
Last Sunday, as you may remember, Christ, in the Gospel exhorts us with his new commandment: we are to love the other as Christ has loved us. Christ, as I mentioned in the sermon, loves you and me with a sacrificial love. It was a love that proceeded from his will not his feelings. I also mentioned that sometimes it is difficult to love the other as Christ commanded.
Since last Sunday, have you and I taken time to truly reflect and think about for ourselves, this commandment? Have we thought about whom in our lives we need to love, but don't? Have we thought about what needs to be healed in our lives so that we CAN love those people? If it's a need for reconciliation, have we asked for it, or given it? If it's the healing of memories, are we working on that? If it’s egoism or pride, can we set that aside?
Part of the fruits of the Easter Mystery is renewal. What relationships need renewal so that we can be faithful to this new commandment
MAY 15, 2022
"Engrave on your heart the words of God that you hear.
For the word of God is the food of the soul and should remain in our memory."
- St. Gregory the Great
Again I hope all of you are resting in the Resurrection! We need to let the transformative power of Christ into our hearts and minds, as we all are in need of transformation in some way.
I would like to congratulate Dcn. Jim Sniadajewski, who was ordained on May 7. I am happy and honored to have Dcn. Sniadajewski at Sacred Heart and Immaculate Conception. I have full confidence that he will be faithful to his Diaconal ministry in the various ways that he will serve. Continue to pray for him, and his wife Deb.
Also, I would like to remind all of you about our SCRIP program. In addition to everyone's regular, consistent financial contributions, which is important to the parish’s and school’s functioning, SCRIP is a good way to supplement that. With SCRIP, the school and the parish receives a portion of each sale. So, by using SCRIP for the various vendors that are available, you meet your needs, and the school and the parish gets extra income. Consider this option.
MAY 8, 2022
"It is right that you should begin again
every day. There is no better way to
complete the spiritual life than to be ever
beginning it over again."
- St. Francis de Sales
We've completed three weeks of Eastertide. How has the Lord spoken to us during this time? In last Sunday's Gospel we heard how Christ appeared at that point three times to the disciples after the Resurrection. Have we allowed him to appear to us? Have we allowed him to enter our minds and hearts? Have we allowed this mystery to change us? Or, are we still in the upper room with the doors locked?
MAY 1, 2022
APRIL 24, 2022
"The Kingdom of Heaven is certainly worth a great deal.
Yet you can obtain it by giving what you are.
Give yourself and it is enough - for the merciful Lord is satisfied with that."
There is an insert in this week’s bulletin that has May’s calendar which has the names of the priests of the Diocese of La Crosse, as well as Bp. Callahan and Pope Francis. Please pray some kind of prayer for the priest listed each day. ~ Thank you so much!
As some of you may have heard already (and I did mention this previously), there will be a Synod in Vatican City State this coming Fall. To prepare for that all dioceses around the world were asked to compile data to be sent to the national conference which will be forwarded to the Synod. In our diocese each parish is being asked to participate. What I would like all of you to think about (and please if you would like to respond, do so - young or old, man or woman, boy or girl), and forward your comments to the office. I will compile the comments and send them on. I would like these by May 28th.
Here are some questions for your consideration (this is by no means exhaustive; it's just some starting points):
In our diocese and parish, who are those who “walk together”?
Who are those who seem further apart?
How are we called to grow as companions?
What groups or individuals are left on the margins?
What facilitates or inhibits our listening?
How well do we listen to those on the peripheries?
How is the contribution of consecrated men and women integrated?
What are some limitations in our ability to listen, especially to those who have different views than our own?
What enables or hinders speaking up courageously, candidly, and responsibly in our diocese, our parish, and in society?
When and how do we manage to say what is important to us?
How does the relationship with the local media work (not only Catholic media)?
Who speaks on behalf of the Christian community, and how are they chosen?
"Our redeemer lives; He has been on earth and will come again. On Him we venture our all; we can bear thankfully to put ourselves into His hands, our interests present and eternal."
- St. John Newman
We are now two weeks into the Easter Season. Eastertide lasts seven weeks. For seven weeks, liturgically, we enter into the happenings and experiences of the apostles after Christ's resurrection. The resurrection, the most important event since creation, is a renewal of creation. The creation of the universe was an unique event. The Resurrection, which undid the damage done by our first parents, opened the gates of heaven. The Resurrection was a profound event, and the apostles, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and any one else, had to come to terms with it. It was a new thing to them, and it wasn't until Pentecost, that everything came into place. We are living in a post-Resurrection world. But even for us, the mystery of the Resurrection is something that we grow into, and constantly must think about. Death is experienced every day, all over the world. And yet we believe that through Christ's Resurrection, that is conquered. We have to try and live in the reality of our earthly deaths, but also trust in the resurrection. Sometimes that might not be easy, but we ask for the grace to do so. Happy Easter!
I will be on retreat Monday, May 2nd—Friday, May 6th. If there are any emergencies, Father Ed Shuttleworth will be available to handle any emergencies while I am gone. Please call the parish office number at 715-600-6942, and Susanna will contact Father Shuttleworth for you. After hour emergency calls during those days will be forwarded to Susanna.
APRIL 17, 2022
"The Angel cried out to Her that is full of grace: ‘Hail, o holy Virgin, and again will I say “Hail!” Thy Son is risen from the tomb on the third day. Be enlightened, be enlightened, o new Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Rejoice and be glad, o Sion; and Thou, o Holy Mother of God, exult in the resurrection of Thy Son!’"
(Byzantine Easter Hymn to the Virgin Mary)
I want to extend my thoughts to all of you as we celebrate Eastertide! I hope that this past Lent was one of grace, and that you were able to sincerely enter into the meaning of that sacred time of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer. Now, however, the Lamb that was slain is victorious! These next fifty days should be days of rejoicing, days of resting in that most important of liturgical seasons. Easter is that time of resting in the risen Lord. We need to understand that with the Easter solemnity, Satan is defeated, death is defeated. Are we willing to rest in this mystery?