Bulletin Article for the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (January 29, 2017)

Hello,

How’s it going? What an exciting time! As I write this I’m gone on the March for Life in Washington, DC. What a great opportunity to stand up for all human life from conception to natural death.

Also, we have Catholic Schools’ Week this week. I remember Catholic Schools’ Week at St. Cecilia in Ames, Iowa with fond memories. Hopefully, we can help create some great memories for the kids of St. Casimir School. What great joy it is to be able to hand on the Christian faith, values, and morals to our kids every school day. Don’t forget to support the school through the book sale Sunday morning after the 8:00 AM Mass.

We also have KC Trivia Night on Saturday, February 4th at 7:00. I am kind of biased, but I’m praying that my team wins.

Friday, February 3rd, there is Blaze in Mankato. Blaze is for high school students. Blaze is at the Newman Center. There will be great Christian music, Adoration, a talk by Father Beerman, games, and spending time hearing college students talk about their Catholic faith journeys. This could be a great inspiration to live out your faith in school.

On Sunday, February 5, Chase Ottman, son of Scott and Michelle, will be baptized at St. Casimir. We welcome Chase to the Family of God and to the joy of having the stain of Original Sin removed. What a glorious event!

This Sunday we have the Beatitudes, part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In some ways we can think of the Ten Commandments as a bare minimum, what not to do. The Beatitudes are the maximum, what to do. They show us how to live not just a good life, but a great life, a life lived to others, and for something bigger than ourselves, namely the Kingdom of Heaven.

Have a blessed week and don’t forget to wish the kids from St. Casimir School a happy Catholic School’s Week.

Peace of Christ,

Father Vogel

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Bulletin Article for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (January 22, 2017)

Hello,

How are you doing? You probably have heard that last Thursday there was a meeting to determine the future of the school. The Pastoral Council based on recommendations from the Finance Council and the School Board decided to close the K-6, but try to keep open the pre-K. This recommendation was brought to Bishop Quinn since the final decision is his to make. Based on information and letters he has received, he has asked us to delay the decision. He wants to make sure that all information and possibilities were thoroughly discussed not just within the councils, but the parish at large. I know this is a hard and divisive issue, but we must stick to together, we must stick close to Christ. Part of doing that is following through on what our bishop asks of us. Also, please continue to pray. Pray for our community that God’s will is done.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him. Just like them, we are called to be fishers as well. We need to go and make disciples of all nations. We need to be willing to talk about Jesus in our workplaces, in our homes, at our sibling’s home, wherever. Now we also need to take discretion. We can’t just force our faith down other people’s throats. Just like Jesus, we need to invite them to a relationship, a relationship with Jesus. We must not force others to believe in our faith and morals. We must invite them. We must invite them to a life that is fuller. A life more full of joy and the Truth. A life free from the consequences of doing sinful things. Invite, invite. Never force or demand. I personally need to do a better job of this. Jesus has chosen us. Go and be fishers of men and women everywhere.

Peace of Christ,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (January 15, 2017)

Hello All,

We are officially back into Ordinary Time. We will remain so for an extended amount of time this year. Easter is late; thus Ash Wednesday is late. Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, isn’t until March 1st.

As you may or may not know, the readings at Mass for Sundays are on a three week cycle. We are currently in Year A, where we will predominately hear Gospel readings from Matthew. (We are also in Year 1 for the weekday readings. The weekday readings follow a two year cycle.) However, on this the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, we hear from the Gospel of John. We hear John teach the people that even though Jesus is about six months younger than him, Jesus has existed before him and ranks ahead of him. Jesus wasn’t just a nice person. Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Trinity.

We, at our Baptism, have been baptized by water and the Spirit (John 3:5) in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). We were given an indelible mark on our soul the day we were Baptized. Even if we become an atheist, that mark is not removed. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are still there waiting to be used. Just because a car has gas in it doesn’t mean it goes anywhere. You still have to get in, turn the car on, and hit the gas pedal. Our souls are similar. They are created to use the grace given to us by the Holy Spirit. But we have to turn it on. We have to say yes. We have to open the door. It is not hard. But a lot of things try to prevent us from doing so. God loves you. Say yes to God’s love and amazing things will happen. Guaranteed.

Pax,

Father Vogel

Are We Afraid of God?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man of an unclean spirit. Right before Jesus heals the man, the unclean spirit cries out, “Have you come to destroy us?” How often are we like the unclean spirit? How often do we resist change and healing? As St. Augustine said before his conversion, “Lord make me pure but not yet!” We say we trust God and believe that He loves us, but so often we act as if we believe He is going to destroy us. I see this resistance manifest itself way too often in my life. I need to let go and let God. God really does love us. He really does want what is best for us. He really does want to heal us. There may be some pain and discomfort involved, but that is a small price for holiness and joy. “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

Bulletin Article for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (January 8, 2017)

Dear People of God,

I wish you were here (in San Antonio for the Seek Conference). I am here with 13,000 college kids on fire for Christ. Again, when people ask me about the future of the Catholic Church, I say, the future is bright. There are a lot of young people who don’t have a relationship with Christ and live lives that are not in accord with the Truth, the teachings, of the Catholic Church. But there are a group of young people who do. These college kids here at Seek at such an inspiration to me.

One definition of Epiphany that Google gives is that it is a moment of sudden revelation or insight. Isn’t this exactly what the Three Magi must have felt, when after traveling miles and miles, they found the Christ child. All of their seeking for knowledge and truth was fulfilled in a little bundle of boy found in a manger.

And this is the radical thing about Christianity. At the center of Christianity lies not rules such as the Ten Commandments, but a Person, the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. A Person, a God, who loves us more than we can imagine. Love and Truth are really the same thing. They emanate from God.

God wants to give you a sudden revelation or insight. He wants to give you a sudden revelation or insight into His love for you. Do you seek out Jesus Christ as the Magi did 2000 years ago?

A fellow seeker,

Father Vogel