Gantt 6/16/19

I want to talk a little bit about Vacation Bible School (VBS).  This is a wonderful summer program for the children of our parish and community.  Each year, we pick a theme, and we decorate the classrooms according to the theme.  ROAR was the theme for this year.  We challenge children from Pre-K through 4th grade to go on an adventure to learn about Bible stories and Jesus, to relate these to our daily lives, to make crafts, eat snacks, and sing.

This year, we had around 130 children that participated.  What is really amazing are the children that participated in VBS in previous years that are now back as guides to those 130 children!  They helped their teams plunge into projects that took them out of their comfort zones and closer to the heart of Jesus.  I love seeing God in action at VBS!

We had awesome parents helping in different activities like crafts, snacks, teachers, etc.  Anybody can be part of VBS, so I would love to see more people involved!

Thank you to all those that helped with this amazing program.  It was a lot of fun for everyone!

~ Josefina Gantt, K-6 Coordinator

Talbot 6/9/19

I ran across a piece in the office of readings for Liturgy of Hours a couple of weeks ago that really made me think.  It is a letter that was sent in the second century, and it talked about how Christians relate to the world.  I thought I’d share a little bit of it and pray that it helps you pause and reflect on if this is true of Christians today.

Christians are indistinguishable from others either by nationality, language, or customs.  They do not inhabit separate cities of their own or speak a strange dialect or follow some outlandish way of life.  Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men.  Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine.  With regard to dress, food, and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet, there is something extraordinary about their lives.  They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through.  They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens.  Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country.  Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them.  They share their meals, but not their wives.  They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh.  They pass their days upon the earth, but they are citizens of heaven.  Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.

Christians love all, but all persecute them.  Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to live again.  They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything.  They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory.  They are defamed, but vindicated.  A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult.  For the good they do, they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body.  As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world.  As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen.  The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places upon its pleasures.  Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred.  It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together.  The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven.  Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.

~ Dcn Wayne Talbot

Pentecost Novena

Pentecost Novena

Click above for a "Novena to the Holy Spirit" Guide
from the St. Louis Catholic Charismatic Renewal
to use in preparation for Pentecost.

Coady 6/2/19

The readings in the Easter Season continue to talk about dying, even though it is the season of resurrection, because death and resurrection are one moment, one occurrence, two sides of the same coin.

At the Sea of Tiberius, the Risen Lord asks Peter if he “loves” him. The Greek word here is “agape,” which means willingness to die for another. Peter eventually gave his life for the Lord, but long before that he found joy and freedom in giving his life to witnessing to the resurrection. Just as Jesus’ death on the cross was the sacrament of an eternity of giving as the eternal Son, so Peter’s crucifixion was just the liturgy of a life already handed over for many years.

The time to die to ourselves and give ourselves over to Christ is now. Physical death will not be scary if we have already experienced the joy of losing ourselves. This happens in many ways, but the Church had identified stewardship as one description of the journey. We lose ourselves by loving (agape) God’s creation, by being good stewards of the created world, even at personal cost. It costs us time and money to recycle. Limiting our consumption is sacrificial.

Stewardship also includes generosity in giving of our time, talent, and treasure. “Time” refers not to volunteer work, but to the time spent with God in prayer. This includes our morning and evening prayers, time spent in the adoration chapel or in other private prayer, as well as Sunday Mass and other liturgical prayers. “Talent” includes our volunteer work in the parish or in the community, as well as time spent in caring for others. “Treasure” refers to money donated. To check our generosity, a good measure is 10% of our gross income: 5% to the parish, 1% to the diocese, and 4% to other charities. When we first begin this level of giving, it is a bit of a shock. But, after awhile, it becomes a way of life that actually frees us, makes us more Christ-like. It becomes part of that present experience of the life to come.

Becoming givers instead of takers is a holy enterprise. It is a way of laying down our lives. But this dying is also rising; they are one motion. We can only discover the joy and freedom that dying brings by first becoming generous people. It is a leap of faith, but we eventually discover that what we give comes back to us a hundred fold, in one form or another.

~ Fr. Frank Coady

Smith, R 5/26/19

Fr. Coady made me smile about a month ago. He was in our break room and had just peeled the foil top from a yogurt cup; then he licked the yogurt off the top! A newsworthy occurrence? Hardly. But it made me wish that more people could see that side of him. Fr. Coady can unintentionally seem very intimidating. The man is highly-educated, well-traveled, experienced, sophisticated, a gifted author, a skilled orator, a gourmet cook, and connoisseur (I had to look that word up) of fine food, art, music, and all things that “classy” people understand that I pretty much don’t. HOWEVER, Fr. Coady is also a humble farm kid from Russell. He is kind, gentle, generous, does not take himself too seriously, and appreciates a corny joke or a greasy cheeseburger. He is the first to admit when he makes a mistake and quick to point out when his homilies aren’t up to par. (His words, not mine!) He knows which utensil to use when dining with dignitaries, yet he is not too proud to lick yogurt from a foil top when snacking with coworkers. I encourage you to spend some informal time with Fr. Coady. Invite him to dinner with your family. You can serve filet mignon or greasy burgers; it won’t matter to him…as long as you have yogurt cups for dessert. :P

~ Rick Smith, Youth Minister

Gantt 5/19/19

At this time, I want to give a BIG THANKS to all the people that were involved, in one way or another, with First Communion, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, etc. You have no idea how many people helped and all the time they volunteered to make these things happen. For example, in order for the choir to sing beautifully, they spent many hours rehearsing on top of the actual Masses. Many people, from staff members to parishioners, worked hard to make all of these celebrations beautiful. I am so thankful to be part of this parish and pastoral team. So, let’s be thankful that we have a wonderful parish community.

~ Josefina Gantt, K-6 Coordinator

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