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Muslim Heritage ~ Northern Africa
I am with you always...
Our Next Journey...
ACTS
Prayer
Good Example or Role Model
General Instruction on the Roman Missal
The Ordinary Season ~ By Isaiah Callan
Reflect ~ Reinvest
The Most Holy Trinity

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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 8/6/2017 12:25 AM

At the very end of Matthew’s account of the Gospel, Jesus gives the Great Commission to the Eleven, with the following words:

 

“Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:18-20)

 

That commission has been passed down through the ages and continues to be at the heart of missionary efforts of the Church, which can easily be summarized as to bring Jesus Christ and His message of Salvation to all areas of our world.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 7/30/2017 12:07 AM
As I write this, I have just come back to the parish office after my fifth funeral in the last two weeks, and there was an additional one celebrated by a visiting priest as well. Four of the funerals were parishioners, two were brother priests (Fr. Bob Buening and Fr. Chris Coleman). To say it has been a difficult two weeks is a bit of an understatement!
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 7/23/2017 12:20 AM
Last week in this space, I looked at ACTS as an acronym for our prayer to God: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication should mark our humble approach to God in prayer as we seek to grow in relationship with Him. I indicated in that column that it also applies, to some extent, to our relationships with one another, as well; but in slightly different ways. Particularly for married couples, this model is designed to help any two people communicate with one another better.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 7/16/2017 12:20 AM

With a prayer group that I moderate, we recently went through the fourth pillar of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, on Prayer. If you have never read through that section of the Catechism, it is a great read on how to grow in prayer before the Lord, thereby strengthening our lived relationship with Jesus; something which we could all improve, I think, me first among everyone!

In the classic approach to prayer, the Church Fathers and great spiritual writers summarized our prayer before God with the acronym: ACTS, standing for Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication. For the column this weekend, I wanted to take a bit of a look at each of these types of prayer; and I will revisit them next week to see how they apply to our relationships with each other, too.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 7/9/2017 12:30 AM
The longer I have worked with Courage, the more I have realized that the Five Goals of Courage are a model of how to grow in virtue and holiness. In particular, for this week, I would like to look at the last of the five goals: to be a good example and/or a role model for others to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Every week as we meet, I think the same thing as we all sometimes struggle to come up with a good example from the last few days: We are all probably better role models than we think we are, but we could also always be a better example than we actually are! There is always room for growth.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 7/2/2017 12:00 AM
First, a work of thanks to Isaiah for stepping in to cover last week’s bulletin article. He has been a great joy to have around and I am looking forward to Scott Morgan joining the rectory team as he will shortly be returning to the US from a stay in Rome. He will cover this space in a few weeks to describe what he experienced while in the Eternal City.

As I write this, I have just returned from our ‘once every five years multi-day priest convocation.’ (Whew! It is a mouthful to even just type that!) This year, we met in Dublin, Ohio, for a few days of brotherhood and reflection around the Church’s Sacramental ministry, specifically looking at what the introductions of the various ritual books outline as expectations of priests in the celebrations of those particular rites.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 6/25/2017 12:00 AM
As we enter back into Ordinary Time, we leave behind us the Easter Season. Where does that leave us? We just finished the liturgical season whose profession of joy and hope, by the Resurrection of Christ, finds its meaning properly in light of the suffering and sorrow of the Passion. So does this mean that every season besides Easter, is a moment to be accepted grudgingly, merely as an unavoidable fact of life? Intuition tells us, No. Christmas time is also a time of joy and love. But Ordinary Time seems to pale in comparison to the immense power, love, and life found in Christ’s Resurrection. Even the title of the liturgical season seems to communicate a sense of the mundane. Even as a seminarian, I sometimes have to ask, what is its meaning again? Where, in Ordinary Time, is the excitement and virility of life that Easter professed with its start during “The Mother of all Vigils”? Even within St. John Neumann and Corpus Christi, the colorfully bright banners and flowers that once adorned the altar and the walls of the church, during Easter, are gone. It seems that after such a decorated time we now must embrace a period of sorrow, ambiguity and mundanity. What is the distinction to be made here?
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 6/18/2017 12:00 AM
The summer has officially hit, I think. A week of 90 degree temperatures seems to be the best indication of that, I suppose! As with so many things, there is a routine and rhythm of the summer months that stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For the two parishes, we both had an evening at Stricker’s Grove to enjoy fellowship and another great year. Schools have been closed down for the summer and vacations are planned, etc.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 6/11/2017 12:00 AM
This is one of the hardest weekends to write about and to preach about. There are many things that can be said of the Holy Trinity, yet nearly all of them have some aspect of ‘not quite right’ about them, too! Among priests, we often joke that this weekend should be called ‘Heresy Sunday,’ because it is the weekend that the most heresies (false teachings) are delivered from the pulpit than any other weekend of the year.

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Deacon Ron answers your questions.

Comments

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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