Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Nov 9, 2023

November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  Death is not something we like to think about too much and yet, it is something that we will all experience some day. Our Lord urges us to always be prepared for we know neither the day nor the hour when He will call us. We prepare ourselves best by striving to live a life in the imitation of Jesus, listening to His words and putting them into practice in our daily lives. This includes, of course, frequent Communion, frequent confession, and daily prayer. It also may do us some good to reflect on the funeral rites of the Church and how important it is that we understand the meaning of these rites and do not consider them a burden, or a bother. We may hear our elderly parents or grandparents saying that they don’t want anyone to bother with a big funeral and all the other arrangements.

The most important part of the funeral rite is, of course, the Mass itself. It is very important that the body of one who lies in death should be brought to the church for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is the best prayer that we can offer for our loved ones who have died. If cremation is to take place, it should take place after the funeral Mass and then the ashes should be properly buried. We should never allow the ashes of our loved ones to be scattered, even if this is what “grandpa” wanted. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and should be treated so in life and in death. The only reason a person should be cremated is for financial reasons. That is why the Church permits it in the first place.  So, when you are thinking about your funeral plans or those of your loved ones, please keep the teachings of the Church in mind.  I will share more thoughts on funeral arrangements in the following bulletins.

GIVING TUESDAY: This again is being conducted on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  We are again asking that you consider a donation to help with the renovation of the lower level of the church.  The Andes Room is complete, and I think it turned very nicely.  We redid the walls, the ceiling, the lighting, the carpeting, audio visual components and a few other details.  Thank you very much to Pat Boyert, who was the general contractor, and to Holly Linger who did the interior design.

Next, we will move on to the Conry Room which will be more involved since we must do some HVAC work there before we can begin the remodel.  I would like to make the room into two smaller meeting rooms with some added storage.  As always, when you start a project such as this it always ends up being more costly than what you thought.  Your generosity is needed and very much appreciated.  We hope to make these facilities as beautiful and as functional as we can.  Please consider donating to our improvement fund.  God bless you for your continued generosity.

RECEIVING OUR LORD IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT:  We are all aware of how vital the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is in the life of a Catholic.  The Eucharist is the source and the summit of our Faith.  We cannot truly live without the Lord Jesus in our lives.  We are now in the midst of a three-year Eucharistic Revival for the purpose of deepening our belief in, and our devotion to, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  We have been trying to enhance our Eucharistic devotion during Mass. As you may have noticed, we now have only four communion stations at the weekend Masses.  There are two in the main nave and one at each of the side naves.  The purpose of this is to slow down and enhance the Communion Rite allowing all to have more time for prayer and reflection during and after receiving Holy Communion.  The people who help the priest and deacon with administering the sacrament are EXTRA ORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION.  The priest and deacon are ordinary ministers of Holy Communion.  Extra ordinary ministers are only to be used when needed and they are not needed in order to speed up the Communion Rite.  The sacrifice of the Holy Mass is a timeless event, and we should not be overly concerned about a few minutes here or there.  We should spend that time reflecting on the greatest gift we have ever received, the gift of God Himself.

The extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are most appropriately used to take Holy Communion to the shut ins who cannot come to Mass.  This is a gift that is greatly treasured by those shut ins, as well as those who take Communion to them.  I hope that this will better clarify the recent adjustment we have made concerning the Communion Rite.  If you have difficulty with this line of thinking, please pray about it while visiting Jesus in the Chapel of Divine Mercy.  We must strive to do anything we can to deepen and enhance our devotion to the Real Presence of Our Lord in Holy Communion.  Please help one another to understand this, especially our children and young people.

Please remember our veterans in your prayers in thanksgiving for their service to our country and our freedom.

Fr. Joe Labak