Bulletin Article for the Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 4, 2015)

It has been chilly the last couple of mornings. Fall is for sure upon us. What a fun busy time of year. Speaking of busy, I will be gone Sunday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon. I know I was just gone, but this if our annual priest convocation. So (almost) all the priests in the diocese gather at Okoboji for a couple of days to discuss things and for fellowship. I think we are still going to be discussing the merging of parishes that is suppose to happen next summer, summer of 2016. So pray for us. Pray for us priests to have a heart of obedience to our bishop. Pray that it is a prayerful and renewing time.

This past Wednesday, the junior high and high school faith formation kids (and some adults) went to see Chris Stefanick speak in Mankato. What a great and blessed time! He showed the kids how rational it is to believe in God. He told them that God loves and them and desires their holiness not to make life unfun, but so that they can live life to the full.

By the time you read this, we will have had our first Catholic Youth Night. Again, we are meeting with the junior high and high schoolers every Saturday evening (at 7 PM) for some upbeat Christian music, some praising of our God, Reconciliation, and much more. Please pray for our youth and that we are able to instill in them the love of Christ and the Church.

Next Sunday, October 11, we will welcome Danica Marie Boyes and Quen Michael Meyering, son and daughter of Matthew Boyes, into the family of God. Also next Sunday, October 11, our community has taken an hour in the 40 Days for Life campaign to demonstrate peacefully outside the Planned Parenthood in Mankato. Our hour is at 1 PM.

We hear in today’s Gospel, Jesus’ lesson on divorce. Please pray for the strength of our marriages.

Peace of Christ,
Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (September 27, 2015)

I had a great week off. I even got to see a friend I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years. God is good.

We have some great opportunities for the youth this week. First of all on Wednesday we will be going to Mankato to see Chris Stefanick. He is a nationally known youth speaker. We are very blessed to have him in the area. He is going to speak to our youth about living life to the full; how living a holy life best provides the foundation for living life to the full. I cannot encourage you enough to get a ticket and come.

Then on Saturday, October 3rd, in the evening at 7 PM, we are having our first Catholic Youth Night. Come and bring your friends, Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise. We are going to praise the Lord in song and prayer. Then we will have fellowship and pizza afterwards. We are having some special guests to do the music. It is my hope and dream that we can provide this opportunity for the youth to grow in their love of Jesus every week. I am hoping that this can grow into a youth council, a group of high schoolers who help plan things for their peers. Parents, please encourage your children to be involved. (If anything, it would look good on a college application.) I know they are busy. However, their eternal life may depend on the foundation we establish now.

This is appropriate to talk about. I think small children, if given just a little encouragement, have a natural faith in God. This is what Jesus is saying in today’s Gospel. He says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great milestone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Children have a disposition to believe the supernatural, to believe in God. All we need to do is to be good stewards of this natural faith. We need to help them grow in their knowledge and love of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and Christ’s Bride, the Catholic Church. We must pray and do all we can to save the souls of all people, but especially our children.

May God bless and keep you,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (September 20, 2015)

The fall sports seasons are well underway. Seasons are being made or broken right now. I’ve got my USC sports pass so high schoolers, invite me to some games, plays, concerts, etc. Those of you at Maple River, invite me to games as well. Maybe Father Kern and I could do some serious cheering together.

I will be gone next week. As you may remember, I went to Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Every September they have a golf fund raiser. So I and some classmates are going to play. It is a chance for me to spend some time with some great guys that I don’t see but once a year. I am also going to spend some time with the Winona Seminarians we have there in Detroit. Please continue to pray for their holiness and discernment. The seminarians we have in Detroit are The Hong, Brian Mulligan, Daniel Ward, and Matt Wagner. I will be leaving after Mass on Sunday and driving out to Detroit. I should get there around midnight. On the way home I will also be visiting my brother in the Chicago area. I will get back Saturday afternoon before Mass.

Next weekend, on Saturday we get to welcome Bentley Seedorf into the family of God at St. Casimir’s. Bentley is the son of ???? and ????. I’m loving this. I have done more baptisms since I got here than I’ve done funerals. Thank you for being open to the great gift of human life. If you see ???? or ????, please congratulate them.

Next weekend we have Blessed Art here. They will be selling carvings made from olive wood from the Holy Land, from Israel. As you may or may not know, ISIS is killing a lot of the Christians in the Holy Land. Pretty soon there may not be any Christians left to care for the holy sites, the places where Jesus lived, died, and rose again. I think sometimes we forget that Jesus actually walked on the same planet we did. Sometimes the Gospels can seem more like a story than history. The holy sites are places where Jesus actually physically present. But now more and more of these important sites will be falling into disrepair or even destroyed. So buying these carvings helps support the Christians there financially.

I hope you have a blessed week,
Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Twenty-fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (September 13, 2015)

What a great week! St. Casimir School opened this week as did the public school. Things are going great. Joanne seems happy and she reports the teachers and students are superb.

We had a great all St. Casimir’s Councils meeting here on Thursday. What great blessings the Lord is doing for us and going to do for us. We need to keep praying though.

Next weekend is Catechetical Sunday. We will have a blessing for teachers and students. Also we get to welcome Georgia Rae Guanella to our faith community. Her parents are new members of St. Casimir’s.

In this weekend’s Gospel Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” So ask yourself, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” Who is Jesus to you? Is a tyrant? Is He a friend? Is He someone who punishes you when you do something bad? What is your understanding and image of who Jesus is? Peter responds by saying, “You are the Christ.” Peter correctly identified Jesus as the Christ or messiah. Just as we learn from John chapter 1, Christ means word. Jesus is the Word, the full revelation of God. If we want to know God, we can get to know Jesus. Jesus is the fullness of truth. Therefore we look to Jesus to teach us the realities, the realities of life.

Thanks again for being such great people of God.

Father Vogel