What beautiful weather we are having…at least at the time I am writing this. Thank the Lord. Saturday, May 7th, we buried Jim Hessing. Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the comfort of his family. Also, this weekend Maxwell Stevemer is being baptized and so is Louis Owen Willette.
I know I have said this before, but It is so great to have young life at Mass. Even if they are wailing away, we are still so blessed to have them at Mass. I might have already told this story, but one time my niece and nephew were both under the age of 5. My sister-in-law started to get them ready for our 10 minute drive to the train station like an hour and half before we had to leave. So I have some idea of the immense work you put in to get your children to Mass. So thank you. And yes, we should teach our kids discipline and how to behave at Mass, but if they don’t learn right away, that’s okay. Children can be unpredictable. The bread and wine turn into the Body and Blood of Christ even if you can’t hear me. JetBlue airlines, in honor of Mother’s Day, recently rewarded all the passengers 25% off each time a baby cried. So if four babies cried, everyone’s flight was free. So people were cheering every time a baby cried. (If you want to read the whole story, just search for “25 percent off JetBlue babies crying.” Maybe we shouldn’t cheer out loud when a baby cries at Mass, but we should cheer in our hearts. We should cheer that the parents took the time and energy to bring their little ones to Mass and show them how important it is that we give back to God an hour of our time in thanksgiving for all that God has given us. Our little ones aren’t just the future of the Catholic Church, but they are part of the Catholic Church of today due to their baptism. They are a part of the family of God, the Body of Christ, just as much as we are.
Just a reminder, there is a Ministries’ Training and Mini Retreat this coming Wednesday for St. Casimir. We will take time to pray and reflect on the Mass and refresh our minds and hearts about how our service brings glory to God in the Mass. This will take place at 6 PM.
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. I’m sure my predecessor spoke to this, but traditionally this was celebrated on Thursday and was a Holy Day of Obligation. However, many bishops have transferred this Holy Day of Obligation to the following Sunday so that less people commit a mortal sin by missing Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation. Sorry. Enough of my lessons. The Ascension of the Lord is a beautiful event. Christ returns to God the Father so that He can send us the Holy Spirit. We have received the gift of Holy Spirit at our baptism. We are called to live a life full of living in the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus will be back…He will return in glory at the end of time. Praise be Jesus Christ!
Another glorious week of the Easter season. Jesus has risen! Alleluia!
I’ve been told that we don’t need any more rain. I will adjust my prayers accordingly. We continue to pray for the safety of our farmers.
Religious education wraps up this week at St. Casimir’s with a closing Mass. We thank God for the opportunity to learn more about Him so that we can love Him ever more deeply.
This past week we said goodbye to Marlin Harvey Fendrich. His funeral Mass was Saturday morning. We pray for the repose of Marlin’s soul and we pray for the comfort and peace of his family as they move through this tough time.
In the first reading we hear from the Acts of the Apostles. The Acts of the Apostles, written by St. Luke, the same guy who wrote the Gospel of Luke, tells us the happenings of the early Church. The first Christians were Jews who celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday at the Synagogue and then celebrated Mass on Sunday. However, the Gospel soon reached the Gentiles, the non-Jews. The question arose if the Gentiles had to first practice the Jews laws in order to be Christian. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles decide that no, Christians did not first have to follow the Jewish laws. Here in the early Church, we see Peter, the first pope, we see his leadership in making this all-important decision.
Speaking of leadership. We need to pray for our pope, our bishop, and our priests. There are so many aspects of modern parish leadership. Please pray that we make decisions not based on selfish desires, but on what will bring about the salvation of souls.
We are fast approaching, if not in, what I consider the craziest time of year. We have graduations, graduation parties, band concerts, choir concerts, spring sports championships, college applications, summer planning, prom, and many more things. However, in the midst of all these things, we must take care of our soul, our spiritual needs. Getting to Mass on the weekends, but also taking a couple of minutes each day in silence to just decompress and let the Holy Spirit wash over you with His love.
I am so excited about the summer activities we are doing. There is a planning meeting on Wednesday at 8 PM in Wells. Please come if you are planning to participate in one of the activities.
This week, Jesus exhorts his disciples to love one another as He has loved them. And what did Jesus do for them? He died on the Cross for them. Love is about giving and receiving, but in a way, it is first about giving. Love is first about sacrificing for the beloved. Vatican II said, Christ shows man to himself. It is in giving and sacrificing that we are most human. Parents sacrifice for their children all the time, especially when they are little. We need to have that sacrificial spirit with one another. Love is not about gooey feelings. Love is first about sacrifices. When a man buys flowers, sacrifices his budget (flowers can be expensive) for the one he loves, then those gooey feelings may arise. If we sacrifice for one another, then we will be loving each other as Jesus loves us.
First Communion in Wells went splendidly. It brings such joy to my heart to see the young people excited about receiving Jesus Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. Also the joy on the faces of the parents and extended family is quite evident.
In this week’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say that His sheep know His voice. Do you know the voice of Jesus? I know I often tell you to pray. Prayer is the answer to almost everything. However, how does one pray in a deep and meaningful way? How can I pray and not feel like I’m just bringing a grocery list to God of the things I want or need? Formed.org has a six part series on a specific type of prayer that uses the Bible. If you want to learn more about praying well and learn more about the Bible, this is a great way of doing both at once. Lisa Bute, our faith formation director, is leading a viewing and discussion on each of the six videos. She is viewing one video each week. The times are Tuesday, after daily Mass, approximately 9:15 AM, Wednesday after religions ed, approximately 8:10, and Saturday mornings at 10 AM. All viewings are downstairs in the basement of St. Casimir’s Church. Or you can watch them yourself. Just create a login for yourself at formed.org. The parish code is: PYY2RM. If you need help setting up your account and getting going on formed.org, just give us a call and we’ll walk you through the process. Then you can watch hours and hours of awesome presentations on different aspects of the truths of the Catholic Christian faith.
This weekend Bryanna Schroeder and Troy Sonnek are getting married. Pray for the grace of a long healthy marriage centered on God. Families are under attack. Holiness in families is under attack. Pray for Bryanna and Troy, but also for all marriages. Marriage is not easy. That is why couples needs the Holy Spirit. Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our marriages.