Recent Blog Entries

Ordinary Synod of Bishops
Families of Faith
'Four Pillars' - Intellectural Formation
Celebration of Anniversaries!
The Growth of the Catholic Faith
Current State in the Roman Curia
Projects at St. John Neumann
‘Schnippel Construction’
Parish Family


By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, November 24, 2013

The novel and hit movie from earlier this year Life of Pi is the story of an Indian teenager’s odyssey drifting across the Pacific Ocean.  The teenager, named Pi, manages to make his way into a lifeboat when a storm batters the steamer taking his family to a new life in Canada.  Pi is the only one to survive the wreck.

Pi narrates the story of his 227 days drifting at sea and the despair and hopelessness he often felt, as the days and weeks drew on and on.  “Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift it back up.”

“At such moments I tried to elevate myself.  I would touch the turban I had made with the remnants of my shirt and I would say aloud, This is God’s hat!  I would pat my pants and say aloud, This is God’s attire!  I would point to the lifeboat and say aloud, This is God’s ark!  I would point at the sky and say aloud, This is God’s ear!  And in this way I would remind myself of creation and my place in it.”

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, November 17, 2013

There was once a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions.  The servant returned a short time later, white and trembling. 

“Master,” he cried, “just now when I was in the market place I was jostled by someone in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me!  Death looked at me and made a threatening gesture.  Please, lend me your horse, so that I can ride away from this place and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.”  The merchant lent him his horse and the terrified servant mounted the animal, dug his spurs into its flanks and galloped away as fast as he could.

The merchant then went into the market place and saw, standing in the crowd, the person who had terrified his servant, Death.  “Why did you make such a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” 

Death replied, “That was not a threatening gesture.  It was a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, November 10, 2013

She nervously makes her way into the lab.  It’s the first day of her college career and this is the first meeting of her advanced chemistry class.  She hopes to major in chemical engineering.  She has done well in her honors science courses, but that was high school.  What if she can’t keep up?  What if she’s not cut out for this?  What if her first answer is wrong and she’s immediately labeled a loser by the prof?

She finds a seat.  She is shaking.  The professor enters and begins with a demonstration.  She is fascinated by the chemical reaction he has created.  She takes in the lecture like a sponge.  Her fears quickly disappear.  Her dream of a career in chemistry is about to be realized.

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, November 3, 2013

Her parents were both scientists; her mother’s mind had a decidedly non-poetic bent.  Nonetheless, they read their young daughter’s poems from time-to-time because they paid attention to what gladdened their little girl’s spirit.

Near the end of her mother’s life such gladness was mostly a thing of the past as she struggled with the ravages of Parkinson’s disease.  Her conversations took strange turns.  While her brain took her on far-flung journeys from reality, she always came back and knew who her daughter and family members were.  She realized the stress her daughter was under; she knew that she had put her work as a writer on hold to care for her.

Enter Title

Deacon Ron answers your questions.


Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

Blog Tag Cloud

"Go in Peace" 40 days acceptance accomplish acknowledge act of kindness ACTS Adoration advent Advent season adventure All Saints All Souls almsgiving american dream angels anniversary anticipation anxiety anxious appointment ark artifacts Ashes assignment assistance attention attitude baby background bake bake-off baking banquet baptism baptisms baptize Barnabas barrage bartender bathrobe beautiful beauty behavior believe best man Bethlehem big birth bishop Bishops bitterness blessed Blessed Mother Blessed Sacrament blessing blessings blind Blood Blood of Christ Body Body of Christ bond booth boss bound brave bread breads breakfast burial burning bush business But first butler cake campaign campus Canadian candidates candle Canon Law care career careers caring carry cartoon catastrophic catch catch up catholic catholic schools catholics celebrate celebrating celebration cello chair challenge challenges challenging change changes chaplain check chemistry children Chili Sunday chocolate cake choices Christ-like Christmas Christmas Season church Church history circle civil rights classroom clothes pin collection college color come together comfort comforting command commandment commitment Communion Community community of faith commuters companion companionship compass compassion compassionate concentrate concern confess confession confident Confirmation connect connection console Constitution Corporal Works of Mercy Corpus Christi cotton fields council counsel counselors countries country couples covenant creation cremation Crock-Pot cross Crucified crucify crucify him Dad darkness deacons death Declaration of independence decorating dedicated dedicated souls dedication deeds degree depression desire determination development devoted devotion difference dignity dilbert dinner disciples discipleship Dismissal distress diversity divine Divine Mercy Divine Mercy Sunday Divinity divorce doctor document donate downtime dreams Dust duty earth Easter Easter Vigil economic education elect Emanuella embrace emphasize encounter encouragement end of life energy engage Epiphany equals equations escape estate Eucharist evangelization events examination excitement excitment expectations experience experiences expression eye fable facebook faces facility faith faithful families family family albums family life fast fasting Father favor favorites fear feast feast day feast days fellowship festival fifth grade financial institutions fire First Communion first-responders fiscal year fishers fishing flight attendant flood focus follow me followers forest forgive formation foundation of faith foundations Four Pillars fragile fragments freedom Freedom of Religion friends friendship frog frustrating frustration fulfillment funeral funerals garment gatherings generosity gentle Germany gift gift of time gifts giving global age glory goal God God's creation God's kingdom gold good example Good Friday good news Good Samaritan Good Shepherd goodness Gospel of Mark Grace graces gracious Graham Dashwood grandfather grateful gratitude grieving grow growth guidance guidelines gut feeling hard work healer healing heart Heaven heavenly kingdom Hell help heroics hidden passages hierarchy highlight history hobbies hodgkins lymphoma holiday holiness Holy Family Holy Father Holy Spirit Holy Trinity Holy Week home homeless honeybee honor honor roll of donors hope hopelessness hopes Hosanna hospice hospital hospitality hot coal Hugo human humble humility hurt husband ice ignore illness immigrants Immigration improvements infants innkeeper innocent inspiration inspires interactions interests internet intricate investing isolate job search Jordan journey journeys joy joyous joys judge Judgement justice kind king kings island kitchen kneelers knowledge labor day labyrinth Lance Armstrong language languages layers Lazarus leadership legacy Lent life lifestyles light Light is On lily pad Lit Liturgy living love loved loved ones loved ones prayer Loving Parent magi magnificat make straight Mardi Gras marriage marrige Mary Mass Mass Ending math quiz Matthew meal meaning meaningful medical student medicine medieval meetings Memorial Day memorials memories merciful mercy merida MetroCard military minister ministries ministry ministry program miracle mission trip missionaries missionary Mister Rogers Neighorhood modeled moments money monk mood Mortality Most Holy Body mother Mother Teresa motherhood mothers mother-to-be Mount of Ascension mountaineers mustard seed mysteries mystery nains narrow door needs neophytes NET nets new born king New Year nourishes November nurse nursing nurture Obiama obligation obligations October Old Testament olympic team opportunity ordained Ordinary Time outreach outsiding overstuffed bags owl pain painting Pakistan pall palm branches Palm Sunday parable parish parish family parish life parish priest parishes parishioners passion pastor pastoral pastoral care pastoral region patience peace penance Penitential Pennance Pentecost photographs Pi pilgrimage pilgrims Pittsurgh planning poet poor Pope Francis pornography poverty power powerful pray pray together prayer prayer of thanks prayers preach prepare presence President preteens priesthood prison privilege process proclaim professionalism professor Professor Liviu;Virginia Tech projects property prophet Protestant Reformation psychiatrists psychologist purpose purse question quiet quiver rabbi reality Reconciliation Red chair Red Sea re-evangelizing reflect reflection reflections refresh refugee region reinvest rejoice relationship repairs reports re-propose resolutions resources Respect Life responsibilities responsibility ressurrection rest Restoration Resurrection retain right rise up and walk risen Risen Christ risen Lord role model sabatical sabbath sabbatical Sackcloth sacraments sacred saints sales salt salvation Santa sarajevo Savior schedule schools scientists scotland scripture sea seeds self-image selflessness seminar seminarian seminarians seminary separation Sermon on the Mount servant serve service serving Seventeen share share gifts shepherd shopper short parables Sign of the Cross signs silence simplicity sinner Sister Joan sky small smile snow snowfall social media society Son song Soul special special services special time Spirit Spirit of God Spiritual Works of Mercy spouse Spring St. John Neumann St. Nicholas stabbed staff stewardship stone stones story stranger strangers strength structure struggling student students success suffer summer support surgeon surrender swimmer symbol sympathetic synagogue Synod Taize Prayer talen talents teach teaches teaching teamwork teenagers teens temples thank you thankful thanks Thanksgiving the Body of Christ The Sacred Meal theologian time toll plaza tomb tours train-wreck Transform transformed transforming transition travel light treasure treatment truly cares trust turtles unconditional martial love understand understanding unique united United States Unity values vibrant vigil vision vocation vocations volunteers walk warm warmth Watch List water weather weeping Welcome welcoming wife will willing wisdom witness wonders work world worship worship space worst neighbor worthy wrong year b Year of Mercy YNIA Yom Kippur young adults young American Yo-Yo Ma