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By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 9/30/2018 12:00 AM
In the Rite of Baptism, the parents of the child or children being baptized are commissioned as the ‘first teachers of their children in the ways of faith, may they be also the best of teachers,’ witnessing to the faith by their words and actions. It is a beautiful and tender prayer, as these (typically) small children are welcomed into the family of faith and called Children of God for the first time.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 9/9/2018 12:00 AM

September has now turned and the fun events of the Summer have slowly faded into the rearview mirror, alas. School is back in session with full force and many of the adult faith formation opportunities are back in swing. Both parishes have returned to that hub of activity that helps them to continue to grow and thrive.

The regular rhythm of life around the parishes seems to be good indicators of growth. Events happen as we continue to explore the richness, depth, and beauty of our Catholic faith. Maybe that is one of the greater lessons of the quiet of the summer months returning to the beehive of the fall and winter months: we must never stop growing, in our intellectual understanding of the faith as well as our experiential understanding of the faith.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 8/5/2018 12:00 AM
As the son of business owners, I learned from very early on that Catholic principals of life are applicable not only to one’s personal life, but also can be just as informative to one’s business career as well. I remember well the care and concern that my parents showed to their employees and their clients, for they knew they had to constantly cultivate these relationships in order to continue to grow their business.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 5/20/2018 12:00 AM

The ‘Daily Mass Crowd’ seem to laugh at me at least once a week as I quip at the start of a homily, ‘This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture/Saints/Feast Days, etc.’ Recently, someone came up and replied, ‘You can’t have a favorite every week, Father!’ Alas, I’ll try to back it down a little bit!

But anyway, Pentecost is a favorite for so many reasons. It is the birthday of the Church, it is an outpouring of the Spirit in a new and powerful way, it is an unraveling of the effects of sin in the world; and all together it is a sign of what awaits us in the glory of heaven, too!

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 1/28/2018 12:00 AM

I’m not sure why, but I continue to be surprised by the awesomeness of the Lord. I’m writing this later than I normally do because of the preparations I had to make for the Fortieth Anniversary Celebrations that happened over the past weekend for St. John Neumann. When Fr. Leo reached out to me and suggested coming here and being a part of the celebrations, I had no idea what to expect. I knew he was high energy, but wowzers, he even stunned me!

His joy for life in infectious, and his cooking skills are terrific! Yet, he could tie it all back to the beauty and power and truth of the Gospel. A little ingredient step as simple as adding salt to a dish becomes a great reflection on how Jesus desires to spice our life! 

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 10/29/2017 12:00 AM
This week, we celebrate two of the most important feast days for the Church and for us as disciples of Christ: The Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (commonly called All Souls’ Day.) These two great feast days celebrate where we hope to go once we complete our journey on earth, but they also unite the three great ‘levels’ of the Church in one great hymn of praise before God the Father.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 10/1/2017 12:00 AM

About a year ago now, I was given an opportunity to contribute to a new effort at evangelization by several friends who are all organized around twitter and other social media platforms. What started as a website run by Tommy Tighe blossomed into a full-grown book: “The Catholic Hipster Handbook: Rediscovering Cool Saints, Forgotten Prayers, and Other Weird But Sacred Stuff,” which was just published by Ave Maria Press out of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Admittedly, the term ‘Catholic Hipster’ needs a bit of an explanation, eh? From the book blurb: ‘Being a Catholic Hipster is all about an attitude--an attitude grounded in being part of a countercultural community of believers dedicated to something bigger than themselves in a world dominated by self-centeredness. It's about yearning to learn more about the faith by seeking out "Catholic cool"--overlooked saints, forgotten prayers and feast days, and traditional practices long set aside by mainstream believers.’

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 8/13/2017 12:00 AM

Last week, we walked through the history of the Early Church up to about the year 600 AD. By that time, the Roman Empire in the west was experiencing major challenges from the barbarian hordes, but there was another looming threat to Christianity that took everyone by surprise: the rise of Islam across northern Africa and into modern day Spain.

As we look to northern Africa now (the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea), it is all predominantly Muslim in heritage. But it was not always so. Some of the great Early Church fathers who were staunch and strong defenders of the Faith were also from Northern Africa: St. Augustine is from Hippo, St. Anthony of the Desert lived in Egypt, St. Cyprian was from Carthage; among many others. They were some of the best and brightest thinkers in the Early Church and laid the theological foundations for so many who would come after them.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 12/11/2016 12:00 AM
If you have heard of any of the controversy over Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, it is probably centered around chapter 8. This chapter, entitled ‘Accompany, Discerning and Integrating Weakness,’ focuses on the sometime sticky and difficult situations that arise when the Church presents an ideal to the world, yet recognizes the reality that is present in certainly pastoral situations. It does not take a long career in ministry to know that the gulf between those two concepts can often be very far apart! When we look at this chasm, Pope Francis reminds ‘that the Church’s task is often that of a field hospital.’ (AL 291)
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 9/11/2016 12:00 AM

Growing up, I can remember my parents talking about where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. To my young mind, it was remarkable that they could remember all the details of that day, even down to what they were wearing to school.

The closest thing I could liken it to was the Challenger explosion in 1986. I was in third grade and we were all watching because the teacher Christa McAuliffe was on board and was to be the first teacher in space. But my memories of that day are vague and I do not remember all of the specifics.

However, today, as we gather, I can remember so many exact details of where I was and what I was doing fifteen years ago, as my parents can of that fateful November day in 1963.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 5/8/2016 12:00 AM
After my sister Tania had her first child, I was back home and had the opportunity to take our grandmother over to visit her newborn great-grandchild. When we arrived, Tania was upstairs sleeping, but her husband was around and both grandma and I were able to hold the baby while she slept as well. After about fifteen minutes, Taylor gave a little whimper as she stirred awake and my sister came flying down the steps shortly thereafter, ‘What’s wrong?!?!?!?’ Then she turned and saw me and our grandmother and looked perplexed, ‘When did you get here?’
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 10/25/2015 12:00 AM

Parenting:  What did I do right, what could I have done better?

My work and my ministry includes support for the Formation Ministry, helping parents in forming their children in our faith.  Often, this causes me to reflect on my own parenting, specifically in the area of faith formation.  The truth is, I could have done better.  In our home, we prayed together – grace and evening prayers when the children were small.  Most other prayer was reserved for church.  We attended Mass weekly and the children attended weekly CCD, as well as preparation for sacraments.  I am very sad to have to say that I provided my children with only the basics and, I now realize, an immature faith formation

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 5/31/2015 3:22 PM

The Pastoral Region Coordinating Committee (PRCC) is close to finishing their work and the proposed plan is nearly ready to be sent to Archbishop Schnurr for his final approval of the plan as well. As such, Fr. Jim and I felt it would be good to recap a few items here in this space for those who were not able to be present for the final Town Hall meeting that was held on May 11. (Notes from the Town Hall Meeting are included as an insert to the bulletin this weekend.)

To begin these remarks and on behalf of Fr. Jim, I would like to thank the members of the PRCC for their work in this matter. Fr. Jim and I both are edified by the obvious manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the work of this committee. From the first meeting, the goal remained the same: what is best for both parishes, together, as we move forward as one pastoral region. It was a true blessing to work with them in this process. The Vision Statement included at the top of this column guided our efforts and was the central focus of our goal to move forward together as one region with two vibrant parishes.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 11/30/2014 3:16 PM

A common motif that the Church upholds is one of pilgrimage, a sense of movement, journeying from one location to another.

In the Old Covenant, Abraham is called from his homeland of Ur to move towards the Promised Land of Canaan. Moses leads the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt back to freedom as they return to the Promised Land. Joshua and the judges conquer the land and ultimately David settles the people in the place God had provided for them. There is this constant journey forward from where we are to where God desires us to be.

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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.

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