Dear People of St. Mary’s, Holy Family and St. Anthony’s:
“Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whoever looked upon it lived.”
When something is brought to light, lifted up out of the darkness, it may be painful, but it brings healing. Jesus lifted up on the cross what lay hidden in the human heart. On the cross he brought to light the ignorance, the fearful violence, the sin of human kind. And in facing what we truly were, we were healed. Our Mission Co-op speaker today comes to lift to light a wounded part of our human family that we might be healed.
Each year parishes in the Diocese of Lacrosse invite someone from the mission field to come and share with us how the work of spreading the Gospel is progressing and to give us a chance to participate in their ministry. Usually our Mission Co-op speakers have been priests. This year our speaker will be Hannah Abbot who just took on the role of Development Director for the Casa Hogar orphanage our diocese sponsors in Lima Peru. She and a resident of Casa Hogar are pictured above with the orphanage in the background. The kind gentlemen on the cover of the bulletin today is Fr. Joe, the deceased founder of Casa Hogar. Often called the “Mother Theresa of South America,” his many amazing deeds of love have given rise to a movement for his canonization.
Hannah comes at the perfect time, just ten days before Rural Life Day, when we will present Bishop Callahan with our contributions to Project Milk. Once she brings to light the needs of the children of Casa Hogar, I am confident healing power will flow from our hearts to them. Thank you to all who have and to all who will contribute a bag or a part of a bag of powdered milk. There are Project Milk envelopes in the Church entrance area but you can make out your check to your parish and put it in any envelope and mark it: Project Milk. To fill and ship one 50lb bag of powdered milk costs $85.00.
Hannah will be speaking at our second Mass for the Hispanic community this afternoon as well. She will have the advantage of speaking in Spanish. In earlier conversations our new Mexican friends have shown keen interest in Rural Life day and Project Milk.
Tonight (Sunday) and next Sunday singers will be gathering from around the deanery at St. Anthony’s Church to practice the music for the Eucharist we will celebrate on Rural Life Day. This Sunday and next we are collecting non-perishable food items to bring up with the bread and wine. Co-chairs Allan Walters and Chuck Rueth are planning on 500 people for the event. Set up day is next Saturday. Please contact Chuck or Allan if you’d like to help. Rural Life Day is held to lift up into awareness the many blessings of family farm life and the many challenges to their continued existence. Please plan on coming. It begins with Mass at 10:00am.
Next Sunday we will also be lifting up our Catechists, all those who help parents form the hearts and souls of our children. Catholic School teachers and Religious Education (CCD) teachers will be called forward and blessed.
I also lift up the joint meeting of our Parish Councils this Thursday at which the Ad Hoc Pastoral Planning Committee will present their recommendation for structuring Catholic Education beginning next fall. Everyone agrees that this decision can’t simply be made by even a Council sitting together in a room. We are going to need to build a broad consensus with school parents and all parish members. Thus the Ad Hoc Committee will be asking the Parish Councils for permission to bring their recommendation to meetings of school parents and parish wide town hall meetings to explain how they’ve come to their conclusion. After everyone has all the information there will be another survey taken to assess the consensus in our parishes.
Phew! No wonder Fr. Joe Follmar is going on retreat this week in Utah from the 17
th to the 21
st! I am very pleased and excited by the many important and good things coming to light among us.