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When we envision how angels act in this world, we often think of them how modern movies and TV shows depict them. We think they generally look like humans and while we walk down a sidewalk, they are right at our side walking with us. If we walk faster, our angel is obliged to walk faster with us.
However, the truth is much more mysterious than that.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that, “As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness” (CCC 330).
In other words, angels do not possess a physical, material, body. This means that they are not restricted by the movement of their bodies as we are. The concept of a pure spirit that is not bound by space (or time) is difficult for our minds to process.
2019 Fall Festival News: Our sincere thanks to all who donated and participated at this years annual Fall Festival. Whether it was an item for the bakery, white ele- phant, or small raffle it was greatly appreciated. Also all those who brought pies and salads—what a great variety and such an added delight to our steak dinner. Many compliments on our delicious dinner and numerous awesome prizes. We are down in atten- dance but all in all it was a successful day. A full report will be printed in an upcoming bulletin.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the Lord!
When the ghost of Jacob Marley appeared to Ebenezer Scrooge at the beginning of the book “A Christmas Carol”, there was a long heavy chain wrapped around his body. The chain was "made of cash boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel.”
Scrooge asked Jacob why he was fettered (chained). The ghost replied “I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” The life of old Marley had been greedy to the end; now he is paying the price.
In our Gospel, the Lord exhorts his people to consider the use of their money and treasures. In the parable, a steward (administrator) has been caught squandering the goods of his master.
Seeing that his days were numbered, the steward uses his last hours as administrator to show mercy to others by relieving their debt. He was making sure that he would still have friends when he gets fired. Surprisingly, the master praises the steward for acting prudently.
The prudence of the steward is held up by the Lord as an example to us, the “children of the light.” Like the steward, who used his master’s wealth as if it were his own, we too must realize that all that we have, all that we gain, was never really and totally ours to begin with. It really and totally belongs to Our Master.
All the riches of the earth could never repay the debt we owe our Master. He paid it for us. Christ Jesus “gave himself as ransom for all” (1 Tim 2:6), we heard in the second reading.
God wills the salvation of all, even the lovers of money. But he warns them, and us “No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13)
Let us be “servants of the Lord,” (Resp. Psalm). Riches, talents, abilities, power must be used in such a way that they are not obstacles to eternal life. We must not be, like Jacob Marley, chained to them.
Do not use your wealth to “trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land” as the Prophet Amos warns in the first reading. Make friends with the lowly and poor who will be your friends in heaven. Let us serve the Lord and help him to “lift the lowly from the dust.” We do not get into heaven without the recommendation of the poor. Our Lord promises that we will gain what is ours be welcomed into “eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16: 9)
Thank you to all who worked and helped with the Fall Festival. May the work and effort we put into it help to build up this parish and advance the Kingdom of God.
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona
Build up Father/Son Bonds The 2019 Men of the Cross conference theme is The Father’s Way. A special rate is being offered for Father -Son attendees. Held in La Crosse on Sat., Oct. 26th, this year’s keynote speaker will be Steve Ray, a dynamic convert sure to engage men of all ages. To register, go to menofthecross.org.
In recent years it has been popular among many Christians to either name your Guardian Angel, or pray a novena to discover its name. This devotion often has miraculous stories attached to it, where people claim that they discovered the name of their Guardian Angel.
While the stories appear to confirm the legitimacy of such a practice, the Catholic Church has been very clear about its stance on naming angels.
In the Directory on popular piety the Church proclaims, “The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael, whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.”
Why does the Church discourage this practice?
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES FOR ST. JAMES & ST. MICHAELS
It is time to register for CCD for the 2019-20 school year. Please contact Deb Granger about registering your child(ren)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the first reading (Ex 32:7-11) Moses intercedes on behalf of the people who had turned away from the covenant. The Lord delights not in sin, but in our turning back to him (c.f. Luke 15:1-32). A contrite and humbled heart God will never spurn (Psalm 51). As St. Paul teaches in the second reading, God sent his Son into the world not to condemn sinners, but to save them (1 Timothy 1:12-17). By his Cross and Resurrection, he has set us free.
Letter to Parents on Religious Education:
“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children” (Catechism #2223).
Even in the best of situations, being a parent is a difficult task.
In today’s society, a parent has to deal with many challenges such as: consumerism, technology, the media, and many other issues. As parents we are responsible for the moral and faith formation of our children. Some parents are unaware of their duties as teachers and models of faith within their homes. Some parents seem to think that their role in the faith formation of their children is to take their children to church for the sacraments of initiation -- Baptism, Communion and Confirmation — and relinquish their responsibility to the priest, or the catechists who instruct their children on basic doctrine.
However, we know that nothing and no one can replace the influence of the example of a parent on the spiritual life of a child.
Many parents feel less than adequate to teach their children religion. Perhaps this is partly because of a misguided presupposition that “religion” is just a school subject. It is, of course, but it is so much more. It is true that what we call “catechesis” is a process of instructing people in the knowledge and practice of the faith including the creed that we profess, prayer, moral teaching and the sacraments.
Religion, however, is much more than a school subject. It is a way of living.
By taking the time to pray - both at home and in Church - families show their children the importance of a God-centered life. Prayer can take many forms: before and after sleep- ing, eating, traveling, playing, studying - even shopping or acquiring things! We can pray anywhere any time!
No prayer, however, surpasses the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, especially on Sundays.
The decision to bring the whole family to Church every Sunday, in addition to being an occasion to be fed by the Gospel and the Bread of Heaven, communicates to children that life is more than work or sports, important as both activities are.
Sunday Mass communicates the message that we are worth more than what we do, that there we have a Savior who wants to come to us and give us something we can get from nowhere else: total forgiving mercy and eternal life!
The essence of our Christian Faith, however, is really a Person: Jesus Christ. It is all about our relationship with him and his Church, which is his mystical body.
The experience of being a member of a family which has Jesus as its center - and lives this conviction each day - is something every parent can provide who wishes to, regard- less of their level of theological sophistication or book learning. Just turn to him, come home to Him, as Jesus invites us.
God Bless you all,
Father Robert Letona
From the Diocese
Father Brandon Guenther and Father Ethan Hokamp celebrate their vocations to the priesthood
On June 22, 2019, Bishop William Patrick Callahan ordained Deacons Brandon Guenther and Ethan Hokamp to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Years of discernment and their time as seminarians brought them to the sacrament of holy orders, which was joyfully shared with clergy, their family and friends.
Biblically speaking there is little written about angels. These spiritual messengers appear throughout its pages, but their origin is very mysterious.
Does the Bible mention when angels were created by God?
Strictly speaking, no, the Bible does not say, “God created angels at this point in history.” However, there are some clues that could point us in the right direction.
The first “angelic creature” to appear in the Bible is Satan. Called “the serpent” in the book of Genesis, Satan is later revealed to be a spiritual creature who disobeyed God in the beginning. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: ‘The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing'” (CCC 391).
It is clear from this statement that the fall of Satan and his demons occurred before the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This naturally places the creation of the angels before the sixth day of creation.
6:00 pm (St. James)
8:00 am (St. Michael)
10:00 am (St. Paul)
(St. Paul) 8:30 am: Tues. - Fri.
(St. Paul) 8:00 am: First Friday
(Extraordinary Form Latin Mass)
Friday: (St. Paul) 7:30 am
Saturday: (St. James) 5:30 pm
Sunday: (St. Michael) 7:30 am
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