Bulletin Article for Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 16, 2014)

Wow! What happened? That was an abrupt end to the fall. I know everyone is thinking it, so I’ll just say it: “What global warming?” Hopefully you all have your crops in.

Hopefully you have shot what you wanted to shoot. I was traveling on Highway 62 and some guy pulled over onto the shoulder in front of me. When I passed by, I looked in my rear view mirror. As I looked, I saw a deer jump out of the south ditch and across the road. The guy jumped out of his truck gun in hand, and pursed the deer into the north ditch. My first thought was I was glad the deer didn’t jump out earlier and in front of my car. Is this a common occurrence because I had never seen such an event before happen right on the highway?

This week was a slow week as far as St. Gabriel’s is concerned. The way I look at it, there are three major things yet to be done: the high altar and the side altars, the stained glass windows, and the pipe organ being put back. The high altar and the side altars I thought was going to happen at the end of October. They are now scheduled to be put in this week. The windows at this point are scheduled for the first half of December. And the organ is still scheduled for early January. So keep praying so that it gets done beautifully and safely.

This week in the Gospel we hear Jesus tell us that we need to be good stewards of the gifts He gives us. So we need to grow in holiness by strengthening the gifts He gives us and shore up the weaknesses we have in our fallen human nature. Pray and ask God for these gifts.

Have a blessed week,
Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (November 9, 2014)

Wow! Awesome! As I expressed on Facebook, thank you to all who came to Mass last weekend at St. Gabriel’s. It was a great blessing to be able to celebrate with so many of you the fruit of God’s generosity. I was smiling the whole time. It was just so great to be back and have the church filled with people again. I am truly blessed to be the pastor of this cluster. I invite those from St. Anthony and IHM to come check out St. Gabriel’s. And from other places. It is looking great. However, we still have a ways to go. We found out a couple of weeks ago that the pipe organ won’t be back until January; so this restoration is still going to take some time to complete. In order to stay out of the workers’ hair during the week, we will continue to have St. Gabriel’s daily Mass over at the school. Plus, we ask you to refrain from going inside during the week. We would feel horrible if something were to happen to you.

This past week we had Confirmation orientation for those who are going to be Confirmed next fall. I urge you to pray for these young men and women that they not only learn and embrace the truth of the teachings of Christ and His Church, but more importantly that they fall in love with their Savior.

I forgot to mention it last week. This past week was Vocations week. I would not be a priest today if annoying people hadn’t kept pestering me to think about the priesthood. I managed to resist them for years, but finally I had to start thinking about the priesthood seriously and praying about it because even if I didn’t see anything, obviously others saw something in me. From the time the priesthood was first mentioned to me to the time I entered seminary, seven years had elapsed. I did held out a good long time, but finally God got to me. But it would never have happened if people didn’t have the courage to say something to me, if they hadn’t asked if I had considered the priesthood. So I encourage you to be annoying, to pester. I encourage you to just ask the simple question of a young man that you see something special in, if he has ever considered the priesthood. That’s all you have to say, to ask. Also, I encourage you to ask young women if they have ever considered religious life. Yes, we need to pray for vocations, but we also need to encourage the young men and women around us to consider it, especially our own sons and daughters.

Have an awesome blessed week,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for All Souls Day (November 2, 2014)

April 9th. I was sitting in the Confessional in Westbrook when the fire happened. Thus began an amazing journey. Unfortunately it is not over. There is still a lot of work to be done. But the Fulda community is back home. It may not seem so, but when have been blessed since the beginning. The fact the fire happened at 4 PM instead of 4 AM is a huge blessing. If it had happened at 4 AM, I’m sure we would have woken up to ashes. And even though it has been hard to not have a place to call home (If you see anyone from St. Columba in Iona, say thank you as many times as you can.), the fire has been an impetus, an opportunity to make our beautiful church an even greater house of worship and fellowship. We will rise from the ashes.

OK. That was sort of cheesy, but today we celebrate all souls day. We pray for all the people who have died that haven’t been named saints by the Catholic Church. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, names people, who have lived holy lives, who are already in heaven. Now we assume there are other souls in heaven that haven’t been named by the Catholic Church. They too are saints. All the people in heaven are saints. They do not need our prayers. Neither do the people in hell. No amount of prayers will get anyone out of hell. However, at every Mass, we pray for the dead. These prayers are for the souls in Purgatory. The people in Purgatory cannot pray for themselves. They depend on God’s purifying grace working through our prayers for their purification and eventual entrance into heaven. (All the souls in Purgatory eventually make it to heaven. So I always say that even though purification is never fun or easy, the souls in Purgatory are joyful in that they know they will eventually go to heaven.) So today, but also throughout the month of November we pray for all the souls in Purgatory, especially our own loved ones. If the one we are praying for is already in heaven and doesn’t need our prayers, those prayers are “transferred” to another soul in Purgatory that does need them. At the end of time, we will be made complete again and we will be rejoined with our bodies (however, they will be glorified bodies) and we will go body and soul to either heaven or hell. Purgatory will no longer be needed so it will cease to exist. But until then, we need to pray for the souls in Purgatory, especially during this month of November so that they can be in heaven with our Lord sooner rather than later. (See 2 Maccabees 12:46)

Pax,

Father Vogel