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Feast of Divine Mercy
Resurrection of Our Lord
Define "holy"...
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Gospels of St. John
Feast of St. Joseph
The Light Is On For You
Taizé Prayer
Journey through the Season of Lent
The Chair of St. Peter

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By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/23/2017 12:00 AM
This past December, we concluded the ‘Year for Mercy’ in the Church. Pope Francis called this year to focus on the mercy of God, the generous Father, who always calls us to Himself and never ceases to seek each one of us out and welcome us home. It was an interesting year to look at all those images of mercy that come to us from the Scriptures, from the history of the Church and in the prayers that are presented for our reflections.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/16/2017 12:00 AM
In certain circles in the world today, it is vogue to offer various denials of the fact of Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the dead. The arguments range in scale from the Apostles stealing the body, to some elaborate hoax to questions as to whether Jesus was actually dead in the first place or not. In many ways, these objections are not new; after all, we see some of them raised in the Gospels themselves! Yet the ‘New Atheism’ that is growing in popularity today has returned to these ancient heresies in a search to discredit the Christian community of today. Yet, turning back to the Gospels, we can discern how to respond to the charges leveled in such a way.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/9/2017 12:00 AM

Dictionary.com defines the word ‘holy’ in 8 ways:

1)    Specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated.

2)    Dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion.

3)    Saintly, godly, pious, devout.

4)    Having a spiritually pure quality.

5)    Entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred.

6)    Religious.

7)    Inspiriting fear, awe, or grave distress.

8)    A place of worship; sacred place; sanctuary.

As we enter into the mysteries that we celebrate during this week that is called ‘Holy,’ we can see by these various definitions this week is called to be set apart from all other weeks of the year, in particular for service to God and to allow us to enter into a deeper worship and veneration of the living God.






By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/2/2017 12:05 AM
As we gather for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, the tone and tenor of the Church’s liturgical life takes a change. In the past, this was the weekend where statues in church buildings would be covered through until the Easter Vigil, the musical selections are more somber, and the readings start to take a much more direct look towards the upcoming Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/26/2017 12:00 AM
As you have noticed, during the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent, we have a series of long readings from St. John’s account of the Holy Gospel, as we accompany the Elect and Candidates for Full Communion on their journey towards Baptism and Reception into the Church at the Easter Vigil. The readings have central themes of Water, Light, and Life, respectively, each week.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/19/2017 12:00 AM
March 19 is the day we traditional celebrate St. Joseph in the liturgical calendar. This year, because he falls on a Sunday, he gets moved to tomorrow, March 20, since Sundays of Lent have a priority on the liturgical calendar. Typically, if a saint’s feast day falls on a Sunday, that saint just gets elided over for the year. But St. Joseph, because of his importance in the Church, gets to have his feast transferred. (It is a perk of being patron of the universal Church!)

But as important as St. Joseph is in the life of the Church, we know so very little about him. We do not have a date of birth. We do not have a date of death. There are no quotes directly attributed to him. We have no idea where he is buried. We have no other details about his live other than the few scant aspects that are in the Infancy Narrative in Matthew’s account of the Gospel.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/12/2017 12:00 AM

One of the items we do not hear about as much today as was once discussed are the precepts of the Church. While over the years there have been more, currently we have five obligations that the Church lays out for us in order to assist with our discipleship towards the Lord:

1)    You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.

2)    You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

3)    You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.

4)    You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.

5)    You shall help provide for the needs of the Church.

While all of these are important in the life of the faithful, I would like to focus on numbers two and three for the column today, in particular as we host The Light is On for You this Tuesday.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/5/2017 12:00 AM
One of the experiences that we offer with the Pastoral Area every Advent and Lent is an opportunity to gather for Taizé Prayer, which we are offering this Tuesday at St. John the Baptist. For many, this style of prayer is unfamiliar, mainly because it is just… different. But yet, it is a wonderful and meditative way to pray with song and scripture, so I would like to take the time here to describe the history of the Community where this prayer arises and what this style of prayer is about
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 2/26/2017 12:00 AM
This week, we begin our great journey through the season of Lent. As we enter Lent, the focus always seems to be on what we are giving up, sacrificing, for the next forty days. Yet, there is much more to this season than just that. In the Pastoral Region, we have a variety of ways to enter the spirit of this great season so that when we arrive at the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter, we can experience it anew!
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 2/19/2017 12:00 AM
This week, we celebrate one of the stranger feasts that we have in the Church: the Chair of St. Peter. (Insert joke here: you Catholics will celebrate anything!) While it may seem a strange thing to celebrate, it is also an important teaching moment to celebrate as well, because the Chair of Peter is the visible reminder of the unity that exists in the Church, a unity that is guaranteed by staying in communion with that very same chair: the teaching office of the Holy Father.

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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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