Bulletin Article for the Nativity Of The Lord (Christmas) (December 25, 2016)

Marry Christmas and a Blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. And a Happy New Year as well. January 1, as it always is, is a Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation. But this year it falls on a Sunday. So we will have our normal weekend schedule next weekend. That also means we will have a 5:00 PM Mass at St. Casimir’s Sunday evening. So even if you party too hard New Years Eve (not that I’m condoning such things – being drunk is a sin), you have until 5:00 PM to pull yourself together. So no excuses! 🙂

Also, this coming Sunday, since it is the first Sunday of the month, we will be having our Alive in Faith. (We are having them the first and third Sundays of each month through the school year.) Alive in the Faith entails a nice dinner at six o’clock (after the 5:00 PM Mass), some fun and games, learning about our faith for all ages (the adults are doing a study on how to pray better), and then ending with Night Prayer together. So please come. The more people we have, the more fun it will be.

I also want to bring your attention to smile.amazon. This is a program that when you purchase things on Amazon (as I’m sure many of you do), Amazon will make a small donation to the charity of your choice. You can now choose St. Casimir school as one of the schools to donate to. The instructions on how to set this up are found in this bulletin.

Christmas. Christ’s Mass. Jesus’ birthday. The Nativity. God, the Creator of the universe, Creator of everything we can observe, Creator of you and me. This God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son, became one of us. Why? To fulfill a promise God made right after the Fall of Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:16) God promises that there will be a woman and her offspring who are completely separated from Satan, from sin. At the beginning, right after the Fall, God promises to send Mary and Jesus, who will crush Satan’s head. Jesus became one of us to defeat Satan. If we choose Christ, we can be set free. If Salvation history were a movie, the Nativity, the birth of Jesus, would be that point in the movie where you first understand how the movie is going to resolve the problem presented at the beginning, right before the climax happens. Christmas reminds us that God is good and God wants to give us hope and joy.

Merry Christmas,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 18, 2016)

The End is Near!

The end of Advent that is. Just one more full week until Christmas. If you missed the chance to clean your soul before celebrating Christmas this past Wednesday, you have a couple more chances. This Sunday, December 18, there will be Advent Reconciliation available from 4:00 to 4:45 before the 5:00 PM Mass. Also, there will be Advent Reconciliation in Mapleton at 7:00 on Wednesday, December 21.

What a glorious time of year! As I’m writing this, we are expecting a lot of snow. The kids are getting out of school two hours early. The chance to be with family and create memories that will last for years is such a gift. We need to realize what a gift time and family are in the moment and not just afterwards, years later.

Christ is the reason for the season. As we spend this final week preparing, make sure to prepare your hearts. Like Jospeh in today’s Gospel, we can be afraid to take Mary and Jesus into our hearts. But this is what we are called to do. We need to make room for God. What things are cluttering your heart? What do we need to get rid of, to let go of?

See you next weekend. I can’t wait to celebrate the birth of our Savior with you.

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Third Sunday of Advent (December 11, 2016)

Peace be with you…

I pray that the Advent season continues to bear much fruit, even in these last days before Christmas. Hopefully the stress hasn’t gotten to you.

This week we have St. Casimir’s School Christmas program at 7:00 PM on Tuesday. On Wednesday, at 5:15, Father Gene Stenzel will have Confessions for the St. John the Baptist kids. In Wells, we will have the Tri-parish Confessions at 6:30 PM. On Thursday, we have the St. Casimir’s All Council Meeting beginning with Adoration at 6:30 PM.

In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist asks Jesus if He is the One, or should we look for another? Is Jesus the One for you, or are you looking for another? Jesus tells John’s disciples about the miracles He is performing. What miracles has God performed in your life? I think so often we are scared of telling others about Jesus. In our hyper sensitive culture, we don’t want to offend anyone. However, you don’t have to have all the theological answers. All you have to do is give witness to the things God has done in your life, what miracles He has done for you. No one can deny that these things happened to you. God working in your life may inspire others to seek God in their own lives.

Sometimes, especially with our own family, our own children, we want them to embrace Christ right now. However, St. James in the second reading instructs us to be patient. We must be patient with one another and with God.

Blessed Advent,

Father Vogel