Homily for the Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time (August 23, 2015)

Full Text: Homily for the Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Bulletin Article for the Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time (August 23, 2015)

I went to Catholic elementary school and then to a public middle school and high school. During the 80’s and early 90’s we didn’t learn much about the Catholic faith. At least it didn’t seem that way. When I got to college and met some people who cared about Jesus and about their faith, I was at a loss on how to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church. In the process, I almost left the Catholic Church. We need to do all we can to teach and promote the Catholic faith to our young people. That is why St. Casimir’s school is so important. That is why our faith formation programs are so important. That is why getting our youth involved in local, diocesan, national, and international youth events are so important. Yes, the Truth can divide, but it can also unify.

We see this in today’s Gospel. Jesus had just said that in order to have eternal life, they had to eat Jesus’ body and drink His blood. For some this was too hard to believe. Jesus, love Himself, the One who loves each person perfectly, let people walk away from Him over this teaching, this teaching on the Eucharist. So many times I’m told Jesus just wants us to love each other. This is true. He wants us to love each other in and into the Truth. Jesus didn’t come to give us a false peace, a peace based on the idea that we agree to disagree. This is a peace in tension, a peace that could erupt at any time. No, Jesus came to give us true peace. A peace based on the common love and Truth of Jesus Christ. This is what we must pass on to the next generation. We must give them the Truth of Jesus Christ so that they can build a society based on virtue and truth and not on the fleeting opinions of the majority.

May the peace and truth of Jesus Christ rule in our hearts, minds, and souls,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (August 16, 2015)

Change is in the air! New beginnings! I know summer is ending. I’m sure the parents are looking forward to their children being back in school and not sitting around the house saying, “I’m bored.” Never mind. I’m sure that never happens around here. Just in Ames, where I grew up.

College kids are making important decisions like what refrigerator to buy for their dorm room. High school sports are beginning practices. Dreams of championships float in their minds. My golf season is past its apex. In more than one way.

This year is a year of change for our faith formation program. We are using the Faith and Life Catechetical Series. You can check it out at http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/faithandlife/index.htm. I believe not only will it teach them to love Jesus, but also the truths of Jesus that have been handed down and taught by the Catholic Church. Confirmation I (10th grade) will be going through a video series called Chosen put out by Ascension Press. (http://ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/chosen/confirmation-preparation) Confirmation II will be going through a five week course on the Mass called Altaration; also put out by Ascension Press. (http://ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/chosen/teen-mass) I am dually excited about these new programs. They have been using them in the tri-parish to the north and at St. Augustine’s in Austin. Fathers Kern and Steffes highly recommended these programs. Whenever you change something like this, there is a higher upfront cost, but actually for grades 1-8, the cost will be lower in the coming years as only the activity book needs to be replaced each year. So if God is calling you to be more generous, this would be a great time to do so.

It sounds like our first week of extended Eucharistic Adoration went well. Thanks again to those who stepped up to fill the extra hours of being with Jesus. I enjoyed having Monday as my day away again. So thank you for making this work. It is still a pipe dream of mine to someday start Perpetual Adoration in this area. So keep praying.

Thank you to all of you for making this transition a smooth one.

Peace of Christ,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (August 9, 2015)

What a great week!! Camp Summit was amazing! I wish some of our middle schoolers had gone. Maybe next year. Great talks. I didn’t die on the high ropes courses. Our young people love Jesus. All you have to do is give them Jesus and they fall in love. You would think they would say the high light would be the ropes course or the crazy night games, but no, they all talk about the transforming experience of Eucharistic Adoration and Confessions. Our young people don’t want the Faith watered down for them. The world offers them that. We must offer our people something radical: the Truth.

There is nothing more central to the Truth than Jesus and the Eucharist. This week Jesus proclaims Himself the Bread of Life. Jesus wants to give us life, life to the full. That is what Madicson Stenzel received this weekend when she was Baptized.

I will try sticking around for a while. I shouldn’t be going until late September. Again, remember, I will be away from the office on Mondays now…which means I will be around on Thursdays.

I hope all is well.

God bless,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (August 2, 2015)

Hello. In this weekend’s Gospel, we continue John, chapter 6. Here we begin the Bread of Life discourse. Jesus tells them they seek Him out not because of the healing and other such miracles, but because they ate and were satisfied. He goes on to say that God desires for them to believe in Him so that He can give them bread from heaven. How can they get this bread? Jesus declares He is the bread of life; whoever comes to Him will never hunger and whoever believes in Him will never thirst. May we come to Jesus in prayer and believe and trust in Him.

This weekend we have a presentation on the school. I know that Catholic schools are not cheap to maintain. Some churches go on mission trips, some even to other countries. For us, one of our mission field is right next door. The souls we are trying to save spiritually and bodily are the children of our community. Public schools, especially with the over zealous of separation of church and state, can only provide information. If a teacher tries to uphold a virtue or moral, he or she can only tell the student it is the right thing to do because he or she told them it is so in his or her classroom. In a Catholic school a teacher can base the virtues and morality he or she teachers in the classroom on the objective and eternal teachings of Jesus Christ and Catholic Church. A public school can prepare a child’s mind for a lifetime of success. A Catholic school can prepare a child’s soul for an eternity of success, for an eternity in heaven with God, our ultimate destiny and desire.

I know I’ve been gone a lot already, but I’ll be gone again this week from Sunday evening to Thursday evening. I will be with over 200 junior high kids at Eagle Bluff for Camp Summit. Please pray that I come back in one piece. Last year I did do the high ropes course, but left the rock climbing to others. I’m getting old.

Have a great and blessed week,

Father Vogel