Bulletin Article for the Second Sunday of Advent (December 8, 2019)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. The liturgical color remains violet/purple. Purple was originally associated with royalty. As usual for these types of things, it was because purple cloth was very rare and outrageously expensive. Purple dye initially came from the Phoenician trading city of Tyre, which is in modern-day Lebanon. (Tyre is mentioned in the Bible several times.) Fabric traders obtained the dye from a small mollusk that was only found in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean Sea. Over 9000 mollusks were needed to produce just one gram of Tyrian purple. Pound for pound, purple cloth was worth more than gold. This all ended when an 18 year old English chemist (William Henry) in 1856 accidentally created a synthetic purple compound. The color soon because widely available and William made a fortune in the process. So it only makes sense to use purple as we prepare to celebrate the entry of the King of kings into the world. Over time though, in the Church, purple also became associated with penance, preparation, and sacrifice. Thus it makes sense that we use purple during Advent and Lent.

This past Wednesday was the Snowflake Dazzle. What a fun evening? We had way more people come to the spaghetti dinner than we did last year. Betsy estimates we had around 250 people come down to the basement for food. I also went over to the fire station and had a great bowl of chicken noodle soup. The parade was short but fun. I’m disappointed though. For some reason someone told me they did NOT throw candy at the parade. I was lied to. There was indeed candy at the parade. There I was with no sack. Oh, well. (Just kidding; I’m really not disappointed.) It was just fun to see the kids enjoying them outside.

Today (December 8) is usually the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Since December 8 falls on a Sunday, it is superseded by the Second Sunday of Advent. Thus, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, December 9. Because it is moved, it is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation. However, on Monday (December 9) we will still have Eucharistic Adoration at 7:30 AM and Mass at 8:30 at St. Teresa’s. There will also be Mass at the Newman Center in Mankato at noon. 

Also, Thursday, December 12, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of the Americas. It is an especially important feast to our Mexican brothers and sisters in Christ for it was in Mexico that Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego on this day in 1531. So remember to pray for our Hispanic brothers and sisters on this day.

Next Saturday (December 14) is First Reconciliation for our young kids. Please keep them in prayer as they ask for forgiveness of their sins from Jesus.

In the Gospel, Matthew sees in John the Baptist the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. John tells the Pharisees and Sadducees that he is baptizing for the forgiveness of sins, but One is coming of which he is not worthy to carry His sandals. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John pointed to Jesus. May we in our lives not point others to ourselves, but to Jesus Christ.

Peace and love,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the First Sunday of Advent (December 1, 2019)

Hello,

I pray you had a Happy Thanksgiving celebrating with family and friends. Today we begin a new year. So Happy New Year…at least liturgically. As you may have noticed on your way into church, the hymnals are new. 

However, the Church doesn’t really bring in the new (liturgical) year with a celebration and fanfare. Rather, it begins the year low key. It begins with preparation for a big celebration. The Church begins the new year with Advent, a time of preparing for the celebration of the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. Advent is also a reminder to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of world.

It is in this light that we have the Gospel today. Jesus warns us to stay awake. We do not know when the Son of Man (Jesus) will come back to earth from Heaven. Jesus warns that He will come back again at the time we least expect. After two thousand years it is easy to assume the Second Coming is not going to be today, or this hour, or this minute, or this second. However, this is not a good assumption to make. If the end of time happened today, or your personal life ended today, would you be ready? Are there things you need to say, things you need to do, friendships you need to repair, family members you need to reconcile with? Is your soul in a state of grace with no mortal sins attached to it? Are you prepared?

Peace of Christ,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Solemnity of Christ the King (November 24, 2019)

Hello,

Thanksgiving is upon us. We have a lot to be thankful for this year. We are very blessed to live in the nation we live in. The first Thanksgiving was about two cultures coming together for the mutual benefit of both groups. The holidays, even Thanksgiving, can sometimes be times of stress on families and extended families. We pray for patience and understanding with everyone. 

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Some philosophers have said the best form of government is a benevolent dictator. I know this sounds bad, but hear me out. What if there was a dictator or a king that always did what was best for his or her citizens. He didn’t have to wait to take action by asking a committee or having to take the time to convince a majority. If something needed to be done for the welfare of his or her citizens, he could just take action. Unfortunately, fallen human nature prevents such a human leader from existing. However, when it comes to the Kingdom of God, this is kind of what Jesus is. He is King of the Kingdom of God. He didn’t ask us if He could become the King of the Kingdom of God. However, He often does not force things on us. He respects our free will. We can choose not to do what our King asks of us. However, everything He does ask of us is for our good. He does not do anything that is bad for us. He may allow bad things to happen to us at the hands of others or ourselves, but He, if we allow Him, can bring an even greater good out of the bad.

Jesus wants to be King of your life. He is already King of the Universe. He created it. Allow Him to guide you life. This is easier said than done, but we must strive to do so if we are to call ourselves Christians.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 17, 2019)

Hello,

What a crazy fall, or lack there of. We continue to pray for the farmers. I think there are a few fields left to harvest. 

This Sunday (November 17) is a busy day. First Katherine May Kenne (daughter of Kasandra and Nathaniel) is being Baptized. Katherine will be have her original sin washed away. She will become a daughter of God, our sister in Christ. She will receive saving grace. This means she will receive the grace necessary to begin the journey towards heaven. So we keep Katherine and her parents, Kasandra and Nathaniel, in our prayers.

Then later that morning Kole Wenner, Tanner Wooldridge, and Landon Sohre are being Confirmed by Bishop Quinn in Wells. With this Confirmation, they will have completed the Sacraments of Initiation. They will have extra graces to boldly live and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is not the end of their faith journey, but just the beginning. So keep Kole, Tanner, and Landon in your prayers as well.

This week Jesus speaks about the end times. Jesus says we will not be surprised. So don’t listen to the false prophets. It is true, in the last 2000 years, many a people have tried to predict the end of the world. Jesus says when the end of the world happens, we’ll know. However, in the meantime, we need to fight the good fight. We need to fight for what is right. We need to fight against the evil in the world and in ourselves. If we are branded and denounced for being a Christian, we should rejoice for our salvation draws near.

May God bless and keep you,

Father Vogel