Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Jun 28, 2023

ANNUAL MISSIONARY APPEAL – JULY 8 & 9: As part of the Diocese Missionary Cooperation Plan, Reverend Lazarus Langbiir, CSSp, will visit Sacred Heart Church next weekend, to speak about the missionary work of the Church and in particular that of the Spiritans (officially Congregation of the Holy Spirit).  To learn more about the Spiritans, please visit their website at  This visit is part of a national program in which annually a representative of one of the missionary groups visits parishes of the Diocese to invite parishioners to share in the mission work of the universal Church.  The Spiritans are an international community engaged in a wide range of missionary activity in over sixty countries throughout the world.  This year’s visiting missionary, Fr. Lazarus, is from Ghana.  He is studying at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You will find an insert in the bulletin today with more information about the Congregation of the Holy Spirit of which Fr. Lazarus is a member.  Check it out.  When Jesus said: “You shall witness to me in Jerusalem and in Samaria and to the ends of the earth,” He made the spread of the Gospel an essential part of our Catholic life.  If you are able, please place your donation in the second collection basket or use one of the Spiritan collection envelopes.

This Tuesday is the Fourth of July, and we will celebrate 246 years of independence. As we celebrate Independence Day, it is good to reflect on the great freedom we enjoy in the United States of America. There has never been a country like ours in the history of the world. We live in a genuinely great country and as citizens of the United States of America we have every reason to be proud of what this country stands for and the principles on which it was founded.  So many brave men and women have done so much to make this a great country, many going even so far as to sacrifice their lives for the freedom we enjoy. We should be humbled by the sacrifice that so many have made for us and future generations. If we are to pass the same heritage on to our children and grandchildren, we must make certain that America remains faithful to the principles on which she was founded.

Let us remember that our freedom is given to us by God and that we are all His children no matter where we come from. Every human being should enjoy the God-given freedom that is ours from the moment of conception to natural death. This is God’s plan and His will. The great men and women who founded this country knew and believed in God. They looked to Him for guidance and strength and so must we today. If we turn away from God as a nation and no longer trust in Him, then we cannot expect to continue to enjoy the freedom we have for the past 246 years.

Unfortunately, we do not have to look very far to see how our religious freedom is not all that it should be.  It is still very obvious that making fun of and belittling the Catholic Faith seems to be very much accepted, especially in the media.  Look at the attention that was given to the group of blasphemous “nuns” who were then “honored” by the Los Angelis Dodgers by their so called “charitable” work, all the while mocking the religious women who gave so much to this country in the establishment of so many schools and hospitals, as well as various other institutions that have helped so many people in this great land of ours.  They not only mocked these religious women they also mocked our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is so sad that many of our bishops sat on their hands and said nothing in defense of these holy women and our Catholic Faith.

This is a land where so many have given so much so that people can worship God and witness to His love and mercy and not pervert it and mock it.  St. Paul tells us that our freedom is not about doing whatever we want, it is about the freedom to do what is right.

Let us pray for this great country of ours and for our leaders so that they may guide us in the way of God and be true to all that He has revealed to us. Let us pray that God will raise up leaders for us that truly know Him and believe in His Word. This is the only way that we can truly preserve this great land of ours. Mass will be at 9 AM in the church on Tuesday. What better way to celebrate this day than by worshipping God who gave us our freedom.

I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July celebrating our freedom and spending time with family and friends!


The culmination of the Eucharistic prayer is the elevation of the host and chalice by the priest and deacon, accompanied by the chanting of the Doxology:

“Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, O God, Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours for ever and ever.” 

What is happening at this moment?  We are present again at Calvary when Christ the priest and the lamb sacrifice mounted the wood of the cross willingly, like Isaac willingly laying down his life before his father Abraham.  Jesus offered himself to the Father in the bloody sacrifice of the cross.  Here in the mass, mystically, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Christ and Lord offers himself again to the Father in an unbloody manner, under the veil of sacramental signs.  The Son is giving himself as a blameless, willing victim of love to the Father.  And the Father, receiving the Son’s offering, gives him back to us to receive.  If we could see with the eyes of the angels this moment in the mass, we would die of joy.  The Bride, the Church, responds to the Bridegroom’s self offering by declaring boldly: “AMEN!”

The Great Amen is the Church’s response to all that the Lord has done for us – “I believe it…” “It is so.”  How often the Great Amen is proclaimed in rote, half-hearted singing voices.  During mass today, let Hell tremble as we raise our voices and cry out AMEN!

Fr. Joe Labak