Bulletin Article for the Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 8, 2017)

Dear People of God,

The Turkey Dinner was a success. Thank you for all who made it possible. I even won a fifty dollar gift card to Target.

It was great fun to check in on some of classrooms this past Wednesday. We have a great group of catechists for faith formation. We thank all of the volunteer teachers and also Julia. We pray that they are able to not just give information about God to our kids, but also to position them to say yes to a relationship with God. However, the Catholic Church says over and over again, even in the Baptism rite, that the parents are the first teachers of the faith. At their baptism, you, their parents, promised God that you would teach your children the Catholic faith. Faith formation classes are to assist in teaching the youth about Jesus Christ, but the primary teachers are still you, the parents. So thank you parents for all you do to pass on the faith to your children.

This week Jesus tells us the parable about the landowner and the tenants. At vintage time, the landowner sends his servants out to obtain the produce from the tenants. However, the tenants treat the servants badly, even killing some of them. Jesus is reiterating to the chief priests and the elders that they had repeatedly treated badly God’s messengers in the past. And the son in the parable, Jesus the Son of God the Father in reality, is going to be treated badly.

So what about us? So what kind of fruit does our relationship with God, or the lack of, produce? Does our relationship with God produce good fruit? Do we act differently because we know Jesus? As someone once said, if we were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict us?

Thanks again for you prayers and support.

Peace of Christ,

Father Vogel

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Bulletin Article for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 1, 2017)

Hello,

Things are going great. We had a good time at the Why Be Catholic event. We heard that some people that it was only for those families who had youth in religious education. It was meant to be for all. So sorry about that. We will try to be more clear in the future. We still have some wonderful opportunities for you.

Today Jesus reminds us that actions are more important than words. It would be ideal that we get both our words and our actions in line with God’s will. However, of the two, it is better to get our actions in line. As I have said before, the more important thing is where we are going in our relationships with Jesus than where we are. No matter where we are in our relationship with Jesus, we should always be striving to grow, to grow deeper with Jesus. God says in Revelations (3:16) that he will spit out the lukewarm.

I am excited to kickoff the religious education year. I’m excited to see our youth learn more about God and more importantly, to grow close to Jesus. I think we have a great team of teachers, a great coordinator in Julia. It is going to be an awesome year!

God bless,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (September 24, 2017)

Hello from Michigan,

Things are going well. My team played pretty well in the tournament. We were 8 under par. The winning team was 16 under par. So not even close to winning. However, I’m happy with how we played. It was great to see my old classmates. They are amazing priests doing amazing things. I feel blessed to know them. As I write this, I have not yet traveled to Oak Park, IL where my brother lives. That will happen on Thursday. I’m looking forward to see my brother, his wife, and his two kids. Zachary is the first teenager amongst the nieces and nephews.

I will be gone this week from Monday to Tuesday at a workshop in Winona. Please pray the workshop goes well.

We have a couple of cool things happening this week. On Wednesday, September 27, we have our Alive in Christ Family Event. The title is Why be Catholic? If you ever had any questions about the Catholic faith, come. If you have ever wondered if their was something special to being Catholic, come find out. If you have ever wondered why Catholics do this or that, come and ask. If you have ever wondered where that Catholics teaching is in the Bible, come. If you just want to come and see if you can stump your pastor, come for that. I pray and hope to see you all there. It is at St. Teresa’s at 6:30 PM.

Also, next Sunday, October 1st, we have our Turkey Dinner. Please come for food and fellowship.

This week we hear about the parable of the vineyard laborers. This parable should be a cause of hope, not of downfall. By that I mean, I know many parents who lament that their children are not coming to Mass and/or practicing their Catholic faith. We must pray for them, encourage them, but not nag them to come back to Christ. In today’s Gospel, Jesus provides hope that it is never too late to receive the reward of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is never too late to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Just think of the criminal crucified with Jesus. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) However, this does not mean that we slack off until the end of our life. First of all, we never know when the end of our life will be. Second, we should be constantly striving for holiness. Not just because of our salvation, but because being holy makes us more happy. Despite what the world will tell us, living a life of holiness and discipline will make us most happy. So we should never give up hope. We are never beyond the grace of God to turn our lives around and love God. However, if we want to live happy fulfilling lives, we should seek holiness now; right now.

Pax (Latin for “peace”),

Father Vogel