Our Sunday focus on discipleship continues in today’s readings. We who were called to live the Beatitudes last week are now encouraged to let our light shine. Let us ask God to strengthen our faith so that we can truly believe that the presence of Christ in each of us has the power to bring light to the darkness of racism, fear, hunger, oppression, and all the other evils in our world.
This is Announcement Weekend for our Annual Diocesan Appeal. You should have received in the mail a letter from Bishop Kettler. I pray that you are discerning what the Good Lord is inviting you to donate as stewards (pledge cards will also be in pews next weekend). The sixteen counties of our St Cloud Diocese will be invited to do their part as Bishop Kettler’s frequent plea rings often in my ears and heart: “I need your help so I can do my job.” He works so hard to be around and available throughout the diocese. Next weekend, we will hear a message from Bishop speaking about this Appeal along with the role that you play: “One of my greatest joys of being your bishop is visiting parishes around our diocese for confirmations, festivals and other special events. I am so grateful to see your faithful witness of the Church, and for all you do to build up the Body of Christ.”
Thanks so much for considering V Encuentro (ways to discern ways our Church can better respond to the Latino/Hispanic presence), and to strengthen the ways we all can respond to the call of New Evangelization as missionary disciples serving the entire Church. We will be meeting this Tues, Feb 7 th at 7pm in St Joseph’s in Waite Park (please check the bulletin insert for other meeting times). This initial gathering is simply informational as it will speak about the goals and objectives of V Encuentro. The small group gatherings will be taking place during Lent as it is similar to a program which our diocese had a few years back called ‘Why Catholic’ and even more years back anther one called ‘Renew’.
Thanks to the many people who purchased dinner and quilt tickets for our ‘St Michael’s High Rollers Casino Night/Silent Auction Dinner Social!’ To date, however we have sold only 92 dinner tickets J and last year we sold nearly 200 J ! Please, please consider joining us as I am also praying to see many parishioners from St Joseph’s taking part in this fundraiser. If you cannot come, please, please give an item for our Silent Auction and/or purchase quilt tickets. One of the many challenges in this assignment as your pastor are the sheer number of parishioners as well as so many activities taking place and sometimes at the same time. Case in point, St Joseph’s will be hosting a Valentine’s Dinner that evening. Our Latino brothers and sisters will be gathering in our parish center as I will be also joining them as well that evening. Our seminarian, Brady Keller will be here Feb 17- 19 as well!
Healings services on the horizon with the World Day of the Sick/Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb 11. The Fraternity of priests will be hosting a Charismatic Mass for Healing Feb 13 th with Mass at 7pm. Confessions will be heard from 6- 7pm and following the Mass. Individual prayers following the Mass will be available as priests will be ’praying over’ people. There will also be priests who speak Spanish, thus, we are hoping that a number of our Latino brothers and sisters will join us. Also, you may have noticed in the St Cloud Visitor that Bishop Kettler will preside at a diocesan-wide healing service at 7pm Thur, Feb 16, at Holy Angels Per- forming Arts Center. The service is an opportunity for the people of the diocese to gather together and pray for heal- ing for those who have been harmed by representatives of the Catholic Church. Finally, the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be offered: Feb 21 st at our 8am Mass. The sacrament is for those who are seriously ill as well as all el- ders as your body continues to weaken under the burden of years.
Speaking of healing, we were recently informed that Fr Ubald from Rwanda will be returning to our parish Mon, Feb 27 for Mass at 7pm with Confessions beginning at 5pm. He joined us Oct 22 this past year for Mass/healing prayers. He speaks about the Rwanda genocide and by the grace of God how he miraculously escaped. He speaks how the only way to free people and heal them of their inner wounds is through reconciliation and forgiveness or pardon. He has seen such fruit in thousands of people!