Bulletin Article for the Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (July 13, 2014)

What an awesome Gospel this week! The parable of the sower is a powerful one. The seed is the Word of God. Jesus is thee Word of God. Also, God has transmitted His Word through the Bible and the Catholic Church. So in order to even hear the Word of God, or as Jesus calls it in the parable, the Word of the Kingdom, one must hear read the Bible, spend time in prayer, or read the teachings of the Catholic Church.

As I have mentioned before, I was a fallen away Christian. Then someone challenged me to read two chapters of the Bible a day. It changed my life, literally overnight. I even stopped swearing, a habit I had been trying to get rid of for years. It took me three years, but I finally read the Bible from cover to cover. The Word of God, the Word of the Kingdom, can change your life as well.

Before you read the Bible, before you study the teachings of Christ and the Church, say a small prayer that your soul will be the rich soil, the soil that produces a thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold increase of spiritual fruit.

As I mentioned last weekend, I’m gone this weekend at the Steubenville North Youth Conference in Rochester, MN. Pray the soul of the 1600+ youth, that their souls are the rich soil that the Word of the Kingdom falls upon. Pray that their lives are transformed, that their souls take the shape of the Heart of Christ.

I will be around from Monday to Friday. However, again, as I mentioned before, I will be leaving again on Friday (July 18) to go to Ames to spend some time with my family. Some of them I haven’t seen for over a year. So I’m looking forward to the chance to see everyone. I will return on Friday, July 25th. Over the weekend of July 19-20, Father Pick will again preside at the Masses.

You will be in my prayers.

God bless,
Father Vogel

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Bulletin Article for the Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (July 6, 2014)

Hopefully you are enjoying your long weekend. Thank you again for being understanding as we switch Mass times. Since St. Columba in Iona has been so very gracious to let us hold Mass at their place, St. Gabriel’s Mass time is based on their schedule.

I know summer is a time full of not just rest and relaxation, but sports and lessons. If you give a schedule of your games or concerts, if it is near by, I might stop by.

Please keep me, Noah Salentiny, and Isaiah Olsem in prayer. Next weekend (July 11-13), we will be in Rochester for the Steubenville North Youth Conference. This conference is amazing. With over 1600 youth there, it will show young people that they are not alone in their Catholic faith. Plus the weekend is focused on Christ, especially in the Eucharist. They also learn about modesty and chastity. So pray for our young people. Pray that they become not just the future of the church, but fervent followers of Christ and members of the church even in their youth. In St. Paul’s first letter to the evangelist St. Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12), St. Paul writes, “Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.”

Father Anthony Pick will have the Masses the next two weekends. The following week (July 18 through July 25) I’ll be in Ames, IA for a little family reunion. We can’t quite match the 100+ family reunions around here. Even my sisters from Berlin, Germany and from Jordan (the country in the Middle East) will be there. I haven’t seen some of my nieces and nephews in over a year. So I’m looking forward to it.

The St. Gabriel church is coming along. They are continuing to paint all of the stencil work and highlights. As of now, the schedule is still for it to be done sometime in October. We continue to pray for the skill and safety of those who are working hard to make the church beautiful again.

Peace of Christ,
Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29, 2014)

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Apostles Peter and Paul. What two great saints! What great evangelists! Peter is the one who declares Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. In return, Jesus names Peter the first pope. “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but y heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” There is so much theology packed into these couple of verses. In Aramaic, the language Jesus was speaking, the word for rock and Peter was the same word, Cephas. So it would have been very clear to all those listening that Jesus was building His Church on Peter. Why would Jesus build His Church on a fallible human being and his fallible successors? Because Jesus knew that in their weakness, the Holy Spirit would shine all the brighter. If the Catholic Church was not divinely guided by the Holy Spirit, it would have disintegrated and disappeared into the annals of history. We also see that evil will not prevail over the Church. Yes, there are people who have done much evil in high positions in the Church, even some popes that were shady. We know this all too well these days. There is much the Catholic Church needs to ask forgiveness for. There is much evil the leaders and others have done while they were suppose to be showing the love of Christ to others. However, Jesus promises Peter that the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it, that the Catholic Church when it comes to matters of faith and morals, will not teach error, will only teach the truth.

St. Paul is the ultimate evangelist. After Christ appeared to him and knocked him off his horse, St. Paul tirelessly tells everyone he sees about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. When something good happens to us, we want to share that goodness with others. This should be true of our faith, our relationship with Christ.

Again, I remind you that next weekend, we switch times. IHM will have the 5 PM Mass on Saturday and St. Gabriel will have the 8:30 AM Mass on Sunday in Iona.

Peace of Christ,
Father Vogel

July Trumpet Letter to Parishioners

Happy Corpus Christi Sunday! Corpus Christi is Latin for Body of Christ. Today we celebrate that Jesus loves us. Jesus doesn’t want to be with us in spirit. Yes, Jesus is with us through the the Holy Spirit, through the Trinity. But He also choose to be with us body and blood. Every time we receive the Eucharist, we receive Jesus body, blood, soul, and divinity. For 15 minutes (the time it takes for the body to completely break down the consecrated host) Jesus exists inside of us not just spiritually, but physically. The Creator of the universe comes to us in this intimate way. What a blessing!

I just read they found the car used in the movie Back to the Future. However, you don’t need to find a Delorean to travel back in time. Some Protestants accuse Catholics of trying to re-sacrifice Jesus over and over again; that Jesus died once and for all on the Cross two thousand years ago. However, as Catholics we don’t re-sacrifice Jesus over and over again. Instead, at every Mass we are transported out of time back to the Last Supper. We participate in the one sacrifice Jesus made two thousand years ago. The Mass, the Eucharist is the world’s only time machine…that we know of.

Again, just a reminder. We are switching the IHM and St. Gabriel Mass times the weekend of July 5-6. So Saturday will be in IHM: Confessions at 4:30 and Mass at 5:00. Sunday morning will begin with Confessions at 8:00 in Iona and Mass at 8:30. Then at 10:30, as usual, Mass will be at St. Anthony.

As of June 28th, I will have been here two years. Thanks again for all of your support, but even more so, your patience, as I learn and grow as a pastor.

May Eucharist, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus inspire you to greatness.
Father Vogel