2019 FALL FESTIVAL: Our Annual Fall Celebration will take place on Sunday, September 15th—approximately 3 months away. Please mark your calendars and set aside this weekend to volunteer where ever needed. If you would like to help with organizing this event please contact the Parish Office
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“For freedom Christ set us free...” Second Reading (Gal 5:1). With the 4th of July fast approaching, we look at the question “What is Freedom?”
The readings this weekend demonstrate what freedom looks like.
Elisha is chosen to succeed Elijah the prophet, whereupon Elisha, who had been plowing a field, slaughtered his oxen, used the wooden plow for fuel to cook the meat, fed his people, kissed his mother and father good bye, and followed Elijah (cf 1 Kings 19:16-21). Elisha was not attached to his “things.” He willingly gave them up to follow the call of the Lord. His material “things” had no mastery over him. This is an image of complete and total freedom.
In the Gospel there is an urgency in the Lord’s invitation: “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62). Why is that? Those who respond to the call of the Lord can’t be looking over their shoulders all of the time thinking “Look at what I gave up!” To do so is to be bound in the past, to be bound by “things,” or to be bound by a former way of life, a life of sin.
“For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1) The plow and field are images of those bound by sin, while the leaving of them is an image of being set free, no longer under a yoke.
Thus the Church teaches us what freedom truly is and what it isn’t. St. John Paul II gives this definition: “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
“Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.” (CCC 1731)
“As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfec- tion or of failing and sinning...” (1732)
“The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin.’” (1733)
“Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recog- nized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalien- able requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order. “(1738)
“By deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth.” (1740) ‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’ (1741)
God bless you all, Father Robert Letona
Message from the past:
“Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to pre- serve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.” John Adams, Founding Father of the United States
PS: I will be away from July 1st - July 9th. For emergencies please contact one of the neighboring parishes.
Men of the Cross 2019
Sat, Oct. 26 in La Crosse
The Men of the Cross Men’s Conference exists to empower and motivate men to live out God’s view of manhood and be the best husbands, fathers, and leaders God has called them to be. You will not want to miss out on October 26, 2019 conference, which will be taking place at Aquinas Catholic High School, located in La Crosse, WI.
Our keynote speaker will be Steve Ray, a dynamic convert sure to engage men of all ages.
Register at: https://menofthecross.org/
For many of us, Ordinary Time can feel “ordinary,” and not particularly special. While we thoroughly enjoy the beautiful seasons of Easter and Christmas, Ordinary Time does not elicit the same feelings.
As a result, Ordinary Time is often overlooked and not given its chance to shine.
However, this time of the Church’s year has great potential and can give us a profound insight into our own lives.
One topic for meditation during this season is to focus on the “unknown years” of Jesus’ life. The Gospel accounts focus almost exclusively on the final 3 years of Jesus’ ministry and give us hardly any details of his first 30 years.
On Sunday May 19, 2019 the Parish Board & Finance Committee of St. Michael’s submitted a $95,000.00 interior remodeling project to the parish members. The parish members in attendance at Mass voted overwhelmingly to proceed with the project and conduct the necessary fund raisers. Each member of the parish has receive a pledge packet. The packet contains information about the project and a pledge sheet. Please return you pledge in the near future.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, a.k.a. Corpus Christi!
How is this feast different from Holy Thursday? On Holy Thursday we celebrated and recalled the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, and thereby, the inauguration of the Holy Priesthood. On Corpus Christi, we celebrate the fulfillment of Christ's promise on the feast of the Ascension “behold I am with you always!” (Matthew 28:20).
"Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us, is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church's prayer, 'where two or three are gathered in my name,' in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But 'he is present ... most especially in the Eucharistic species." (CCC #1373)
Why is Jesus most especially present to us in the Eucharist? Because in the blessed Eucharist “is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.” (CCC #1324) The Eucharist contains Jesus himself! It is the Lord himself in the Tabernacle, on the altar, and given to us in Holy Communion.
Our demeanor at Mass and as we approach the altar should reflect our devotion and faith in Jesus' words that “This is my body." We fast from food one hour before the reception of Holy Communion, our gestures, clothing, and comportment should reflect a respect for the sacred. (So no gum chewing and the like at Mass). We do not depart the Church immediately after Communion as if we have just finished some task and clock out. This is what Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, did at the Last Supper, he received and then left immediately. Take time to pray after receiving Holy Communion. Remember, this is the Lord who freely chooses to give Himself to you in Holy Communion.
What does Communion mean? "Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: 'He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." CCC 1391)
O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine! All praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment Thine!
God bless you all, Father Robert Letona
From the Church
Pope Francis has recognized the heroic virtue of Father Augustus Tolton, a man born into slavery who eventually became a priest in the United States.
With the decree, Father Tolton (1854-1897) is now recognized as venerable, a step along the path of canonization.
Read Father Tolton’s story below.
Many Catholics are familiar with invoking St. Anthony of Padua to find an item that was lost. The reason why St. Anthony is invoked during someone’s time of need is because of a precious book he lost during his life.
While staying at a Franciscan monastery at Montpellier, St. Anthony was teaching and preaching to his fellow Franciscans. St. Anthony kept with him a book of Psalms that he copied by hand, which had his notes and commentary that he used while teaching theology to his students.
St. Michael: Please join our parish family in celebrating Corpus Christi on Sunday, June 23. There will be a procession around the church, weather permitting.
From the Pope
Pope Francis releases a video message accompanying his prayer intention for June, which is that priests may commit themselves to "solidarity with those who are most poor."
In his prayer intention for the month of June 2019, Pope Francis calls us to pray that priests, "through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor."
It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.
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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