Bulletin Article for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (June 15, 2014)

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. That means we celebrate that there are Three Persons in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The word Trinity doesn’t appear in the Bible. Yet, it is one of the most central dogmas of the Catholic faith. That is why we can’t depend on the Bible alone. Yes, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God (when it comes to matters of faith and morals and truth about God), but we also need the Magisterium and the Pope to help us understand the Bible and Tradition. The Trinity is eluded to in the Bible, but never explicitly formulated. That is why faith and our relationship with God can’t be just involve me, God, and the Bible. We need the Catholic Church and her teachings and traditions to help us know and receive God in the better, more knowledgeable. It is through the Catholic Church that we receive God’s grace in the sacraments. It is through the Catholic Church that we given the grace for our salvations. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Pop Quiz: There is one God. There are three divine persons in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, is one divine Person with two natures: fully human and fully divine. (So it is incorrect to say that Jesus is a human person. He is not. He is a divine Person with a human nature.)

As some of you have heard, St. Columba has Mass Saturday evenings starting July 1st, not August 1st. So starting on Saturday, July 5th, IHM will have the 5 PM Mass (with Confessions at 4:30 PM), St. Gabriel will have the 8:30 AM Sunday Mass (with Confessions at 8:00) in Iona, and St. Anthony will have Mass at 10:30 (as usual).

The St. Gabriel recovery from the fire is moving forward. If you have any thoughts or input, feel free to call the office or talk to me. You can always call me directly at 507.295.1030. (Gossiping and complaining doesn’t help.)

One last thing. Please remember that Mass next weekend for St. Gabriel is at 4 PM (instead of 5 PM) in Iona so that we can enjoy the Wood Duck Festival parade.

Peace out,
Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for Pentecost Sunday (June 8, 2014)

How many languages do you speak? I remember sitting in Greek class in seminary thinking, “Why am I doing this? I barely speak English. Why am I studying Greek?” It is true that Greek was the language that the New Testament was written in. However, languages just aren’t my thing. I marvel at the people who can speak two or more languages. One of the options for the first reading on the Vigil of Pentecost is to read the story of the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis. In Babel, the people decided they were going to build a tower to heaven. This isn’t really a sin in and of itself, but when we start to think bigger than God, when we think we don’t need God, then we have committed a sin, the sin of pride and hubris. So God made them speak different languages so they couldn’t understand each other. Thus, the building of the tower didn’t take place.

However, with the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Christians, the effects of the Tower of Babel are reversed. Even though there are many people from many different countries in Jerusalem, they could all understand the Christians proclaim the Gospel. And they did this without Google Translate. The Holy Spirit came to unify all people, no matter what our background, no matter what our language. We are called to be one, one in Christ.

As you know, we had a parish “town” meeting this past Wednesday. The finance council discussed what was said and the vote that was taken. It has been decided not to pursue the restoration of any part of the mural or anything else. The church will be painted and adored (almost) the way it was before the fire. Thank you for those who came. Your input and your presence helped make this decision easier. Thank you also to the finance council who has been amazing during this time of rebuilding.

May we continue to be bold for Christ. May we let the Holy Spirit challenge us to be great for Christ.

Father Vogel

Reflection for June 6, 2014

In today’s Gospel (John 21:15-19), we see Jesus give Peter a do-over. Even worse than hating someone is denying their existence. That’s why when people tell me they are mad at God, that’s a good start. If you are mad at someone, then you are acknowledging that he or she exists. During the Passion, Peter had denied that he even knew Jesus three times. Now after the Resurrection, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Peter got annoyed the third time someone asked him if he knew Jesus. Now Peter gets annoyed when Jesus asks him a third time if he loves Him. “Lord you know everything; you know that I love you.” And does love ask of us? Everything. Sacrificing our lives. That is the cost of true love. “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” “He said this signifying by what kind of death he (Peter) would glorify God.” Jesus invites us too to “follow him.” For us too, the invitation is to sacrifice. For it is in sacrifice that we truly love God back and love others.

Bulletin Article for the Ascension (June 1, 2014)

Hello again.I’m back. Sorry I forgot to write a bulletin article before I left on retreat last week. I had a great retreat last week. Thank you so much for your prayers. God is good. God loves us more than we can imagine. He desires our good and for us to love Him back. There is nothing more important to God than our salvation. This should be our highest priority too.

We continue to pray for the workers at St. Gabriel. We pray for their safety and we pray for God to direct their hands and feet to give them the skills to make St. Gabriel’s beautiful again.

We are meeting on Wednesday at 7 PM at the Legion to have a parish “town” meeting to discuss if we want to restore any of the old art work. So please come and voice your opinion. Again, we are meeting at the Legion in Fulda at 7 PM.

The project is moving along. They have both of the high altar and the two side altars out. They will be cleaned, fixed, and painted. The timeline has gotten slightly longer. They are projecting October or November now for our move in date. September is still on the table, but that is a very optimistic projection. Whenever we get back in, Bishop Quinn would like to come out a celebrate Mass with us. So we will have a big celebration when that happens. In the meantime, continue to pray for all those involved.

This weekend we celebrate Ascension Thursday. The bishops in our area have decided to move a holy day of obligation from Thursday to Sunday. So that means we celebrate Jesus going back to the Father. He left His disciples. This may have been even more scary then when they thought they lost Him to death, death on the Cross. However, Jesus promises them that the Holy Spirit will come and direct them in holiness and truth. We know this is true. We will celebrate that event on Pentecost. However, we already have the power of Pentecost. We received it at Baptism and furtherance of it at our Confirmation. We too are called to open our souls to the Holy Spirit. Once loved and inspired, we are called to share with others the Good News of Jesus Christ. As sad as it is to see Jesus go to Heaven, we know the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, remains with us.

Take care and God bless,
Father Vogel