April Trumpet Letter to Parishioners

Dear Friends in Christ,
What a blessed time of year. I hope you are having fruitful Lent. I know it is hard to change our lives, even for a little bit, but I encourage you not to slack on the Lenten penance. Let God bear the fruit He desires in HIs time. Do not be anxious about results. Just be faithful.

We are very blessed to have some Baptisms in the next couple of weeks. We have Noah Shreier (IHM), Cassidy Sandhurst (St. Gabriel), and Keegan Jenniges (St. Anthony). We also want to welcome Emma and Lincoln Arnold (IHM) who were Baptized by Father David at the hospital. They are still in the hospital so keep them, and all of our new borns in prayer. Looking at them, I don’t understand how they can be seen as a “choice.” They are human beings who deserve the chance to live just like everyone else. Even during this penitential season of Lent, we celebrate the gift of life. Throughout the whole Bible children are always seen as a gift from God, a blessing; never a burden or an expectation. Married couples are called to participate in God’s on-going creation of eternal souls, of human persons.

All of this new human life reminds of the new spiritual life we have in Christ. No other time of the year do we celebrate that more than at Easter. To get there we have to go through Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. The Passion of Christ is very much a shadow of our own lives. One moment we are celebrating Jesus as King of our lives. Then the next moment we don’t want anything to do with Him. We reject Him and then crucify Him with our sins, especially our mortal sins. Venial sins can be forgiven through prayer, through the Mass, through receiving the Eucharist. However, mortal sins can only be forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This year, instead of having one communal Reconciliation Service, I am going to offer Reconciliation throughout the day on a certain day at a certain place. So the schedule is St. Anthony on Wednesday, April 9th: 6:30-8:20 AM, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, 4:30-6:30 PM, and 7:00-8:30 PM; IHM on Tuesday, April 15th: 6:30-8:30 AM, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, 4:30-6:30 PM, and 7:00-8:30 PM; and St. Gabriel on Wednesday, April 16th: 6:30-8:00 AM, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, 4:30-7:00 PM, (7:00 Rosary and Stations,) and <Finish of Stations>-8:30 PM. My inspiration comes from St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests who is said to have spent 16 hours or more hearing Confessions every day. I hope to see/hear you there. Come, clean your soul. If you have forgotten how to go to Confession, don’t worry; the priest will walk you through the steps. Don’t let fear keep you from receiving God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.

I pray and hope for continued blessings upon your Lenten transformations. Stay strong. Then come Easter, we can celebrate all the more the new spiritual life we have received in Jesus’ resurrection.

May God bless and keep you,
Father Vogel

Second Sunday of Lent Bulletin Article (March 16, 2014)

Hopefully, you have had a fruitful first week of Lent. Remember we are called to abstain from meat on Friday. We do this to teach ourselves to that a full life is lived not by grabbing all that we can for ourselves, but by sacrificing for the good of others. We also do this in solidarity with the poor. I know for a lot of you farmers it is hard to imagine, but growing up in town, meat was considered a luxury. Growing up we never had steaks. Instead, we had a lot of soup. Meat goes a long way in soup.

We continue to look for new youth minister. There have been a couple of people who have expressed interest. Please pray for them and our cluster that the right person for our youth be found. Also pray for a new maintenance person in Fulda and a new bookkeeper in Westbrook.

This Friday is Stations and bullhead feed in Currie. Come and support our community. Saturday (March 22) is Intermission in Adrian. It starts with Mass at 4 PM. Supper is then at 5 PM. Then there will be an awesome talk by our very own Father Will Thompson. The cost is a whopping $0 dollars. It will be a time of some great music, worship, and lifting up of souls. This is for those in grades 8-12 (and their families).

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus is transfigured before James, John, and Peter. Day in and day out, Jesus looked like an other human person. However, on this occasion, they get to see Jesus for who He truly is, God Himself, the Second Person of the Trinity. Do we recognize Jesus in our lives? Do we recognize Him in the Eucharist? Do we recognize Him in our family members? Do we recognize Him in our co-workers? Do we recognize Him others around us? Do we recognize Him in the natural beauty of our surroundings?

Peace of Christ,
Father Vogel

First Sunday of Lent Bulletin Article (March 9, 2014)

This weekend we hear about Jesus being tempted in the desert. First Satan tempts with the simple pleasure of quenching His hunger. Next Satan tempts Him with His relationship to God the Father. Third Satan tempts Him with His relationship to humanity, to have power over everyone.

We too are constantly being tempted. The temptation is not a sin. So when a thought enters your mind, that is the temptation. When we start dwelling on that thought, when we have given in to the thought, when our will has assented to the temptation, then we have sinned.

Notice how Jesus combats Satan. Jesus uses Scripture. I know we are Catholic, but this is all the more reason to take time to memorize Scripture. In some ways we know more than we realize. We know Scripture, the Bible, but we don’t know the book, chapter, and verse. So take time this Lent to memorize Scripture. Then you always have it with you. You will always be able to hear the Word of God speaking to you no matter where you are.

Have a blessed and fruitful Lent,
Father Vogel

Eight Sunday of Ordinary Time Bulletin Article (March 2, 2014)

Dear People of God,
Are you sick of doing the ordinary? No fear. Lent is here to cure you. After Tuesday, we won’t have another day of Ordinary Time until Monday, June 16th. We’ll skip from the Eighth week in Ordinary Time to the Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time. So now we get to concentrate on the seasons of Lent and Easter.

But that is the question: Are we going to let this Lent be normal or abnormal? Our movies are full of persons who do extraordinary things, not for themselves, but for others. This is especially true of the superhero genre. A superhero uses his super powers for the good of others. He or she also calls for the best of those around them. Christ is the true and real superhero. He made the ultimate supernatural sacrifice for the good of all on the Cross. He desires to share this supernatural grace with us. The more we realize we are not superheroes on our own, the more we realize we need Christ’s supernatural grace, the more Christ will infuse us with His supernatural grace, the stuff true superheroes are made of.

If you want to see what a true life superhero looks like, one infused with the supernatural grace of Christ, just look at the photos of our Holy Father, Pope Francis. But don’t stop there. Look at the mother or father who gets up for a 2 AM feeding. Look at the fireman who races into a burning building to save a person. Look at the doctor or nurse that spends that extra time with their patient. Look at the person pulling a person out of the ditch. Look at the single mother who chooses not to have an abortion. The world doesn’t need more of Father Vogel. The world does not need more of Pope Francis. It doesn’t need more of you. It needs more of Christ; for God is love. (1 John 4:8) The world need more of God’s love and grace. If we are going to be the interments of God’s love, we need to draw closer to that love ourselves.

This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent calls to us to a greater realization that we are sinners. The ashes put on our foreheads remind us of this. This Wednesday, we’ll hear the priest, deacon, or lay person say, “Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19) or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15) It is in this realization, contrition of one’s transgressions, and helplessness to fix the situation on our own; it is in this realization of dependency that we realize that our original suspicions are true. That we are created for greatness; that we are created to be superheroes. But we realize the only way become who we were created to be is humbly submitting our broken souls to the healing power of God’s supernatural grace.

For those between ages 18 and 60, the Church asks us to fast and abstain on Wednesday. This means to abstain from eating meat and having only one large meal. (The other two meals combined must not be larger than the one large meal.) This depriving of our earthly desires and needs also remind us that our true fulfillment as unique individuals is only found in losing our individual selves in the identity, the love and grace, of Christ. It is only is losing ourselves in Christ that we truly find ourselves. True power is found in humility. Superheroes are made through sacrifice. Christ showed us by the example of the Cross.

Jesus spent forty days preparing to be a superhero by submitting Himself to the harshness of the desert. If we spend these forty days of Lent with Jesus in the desert, with Him in the tomb, we will be ready to emerge with Him on Easter morning.

Remember our true journey is not towards (vain) beauty, wealth, power, or strength. Our true journey is towards holiness. Our true journey is to Christ. Journey this Lent to Christ.

A sinner in need of Christ,
Father Vogel