Pastor's Letter - August 25, 2019

In the Creed which we recite together every Sunday we profess our belief in the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.” These “four marks of the Church” are a shorthand way of describing a rich reality. One of those marks of the Church – her catholicity – is alluded to in today’s readings. (By the way, we traditionally refer to the Church in the feminine because the Church is the “Bride of Christ”.) The word “catholic” comes from a Greek word meaning “universal”. The Church is universal in two fundamental senses. She is universal because Christ is present in her: everything necessary for salvation is found in her. And secondly, she is universal because the Church has been sent out by Christ in a mission to the whole human race. Everyone is eligible for salvation, by the Grace of God, through the Church which Jesus Christ founded upon the Apostles. This truth is present already in the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah says in today’s first reading that God will “come to gather nations of every language.” And the Lord Himself says: “And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at the table in the Kingdom of God.” The Catholic Church is not only American (we Americans make up less than 6% of all Catholics). She is truly universal – Catholic! Even though we come from many places and speak many languages, we still worship at the one altar of the Lord when we celebrate the Mass. This is one reason the Church preserves Latin as her “official” language. It is the universal language of our worship. While our primary language is English, it is still good for us to understand and have the ability to sing Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), or Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) with the whole Catholic – Universal – Church. When we sing (or say) some of the Mass in Latin, it assists us to connect more with our tradition and to express more fully the universal character of the Church.

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller

Volunteer Request - Parish Display Boards

Volunteer Request - Parish Display Boards
Would you be willing to help? We are looking for a parishioner to update and maintain the display boards in the Holy Family Cenacle. If you are interested, please contact the parish office at 715-423-1351 or kaitlyn@ssppwisrapids.org. Thank you!

Join us on FORMED and view great content each month!


Join us on FORMED and view great content each month!

As a parish, you are encouraged to take advantage of the following movies, studies and eBooks during the Month of August 2019:

Study: Symbolon
Movie: Love is Faith
eBook: Because God is Real


NEW TO FORMED?

Access FORMED, 24/7 on your smartphone, computer, iPad, or Kindle, you can:
  • Prepare for Mass each week by watching an insightful five-minute video on the Sunday Readings; 
  • Enjoy movies as a family that are both nourishing and entertaining; 
  • Enrich your marriage with the award-winning video program Beloved; and 
  • Help your children grow in faith and character with engaging children’s materials.

Go to: http://ssppwisrapids.formed.org/ and enter in code below to sign-up:

Pastor's Letter - August 18, 2019

I don’t go to the movies very often – maybe one or two a year. Some years ago I went to see “Planet of the Apes”. (And I was reminded why I don’t go to the movies very often – it was a waste of money.) There are several lines in the movie that are borrowed from other movies and from actual history. At one point in the film, one of the apes says: “Why can’t we all just get along?” (A line from Rodney King during the L.A. riots in 1991.) It sounds like a reasonable question. And there is an answer: Sin. Our human nature, created good by God, has been wounded by sin. This makes it difficult for us to live peaceful, holy, good lives. It also helps us understand the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51) It is not that Jesus brought strife and division into the world, but that the sin in the world cannot accept the Truth which He teaches, and revolts against that Truth. It is not that the Lord desires that there be strife, but rather that He sees that His Truth will bring strife. The same was true for the prophets in the Old Testament (for instance, Jeremiah in today’s first reading) and for John the Baptist. They all proclaimed the Truth from God and were opposed by those who resisted the message. They hated the message, and so they persecuted the messenger. That is why through history many Christians have been persecuted (and still are today!). Now, it is true that we often bring troubles upon ourselves because of our own wrongdoing. But we ought not to be surprised when we experience discord and opposition precisely when we are following the Lord most closely.

Fall is the time for us to start our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) formation classes. These classes are for any person who is not baptized or who is baptized in another Christian church and is interested in becoming a full member of the Catholic Church. Our first class is this Wednesday, August 21. Call the parish office for more info or to register.

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller

Volunteers Requested!

Volunteers Requested!

We need help with maintenance around the parish grounds. If you have half an hour to an hour per week to spend weeding, watering, or dead-heading flowers, we could use your help. Adopt a small area. More hands make lighter work. 
For more info or to donate some time, call the parish office.

The Catholic Faith Explained on FORMED!!




Join us on FORMED and view great content each month!

As a parish, you are encouraged to take advantage of the following movies, studies and eBooks during the Month of August 2019:

Study: Symbolon
Movie: Love is Faith
eBook: Because God is Real


NEW TO FORMED?

Access FORMED, 24/7 on your smartphone, computer, iPad, or Kindle, you can:
  • Prepare for Mass each week by watching an insightful five-minute video on the Sunday Readings; 
  • Enjoy movies as a family that are both nourishing and entertaining; 
  • Enrich your marriage with the award-winning video program Beloved; and 
  • Help your children grow in faith and character with engaging children’s materials.

Go to: http://ssppwisrapids.formed.org/ and enter in code below to sign-up:

Pastor's Letter - August 11, 2019

“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” This short explanation of faith is taken from the second reading – the Letter to the Hebrews – from today’s Mass. The glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) gives an expanded definition. Faith is described as “both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. It is this revelation of God which the Church proposes for our belief, and which we profess in the Creed, celebrate in the sacraments, live by right conduct that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity (as specified in the Ten Commandments), and respond to in our prayer of faith. Faith is both a theological virtue given by God as grace, and an obligation which flows from the first commandment of God.” (CCC, 2nd Ed., pp. 878,879; see also paragraph #26, 142, 150, 1814, and 2087). To demonstrate that faith is a gift from God that demands our response, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews recounts how Abraham was called by God and responded in faith. Do you see your faith as a great gift from God? How have you responded to this gift which God has entrusted to you? Recall the Lord’s words in today’s Gospel: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:48)

I am grateful for the parishioners who have shared their talents and labors to assist in the cleanup around our beautiful church. We have experienced some damage: several patches of shingles and other damage on the church roof; broken fence by the rectory; a broken window and some water damage in the school. It could have been worse! Insurance will cover much of the cost of repairs.

Calvary Cemetery experienced substantial damage with downed trees. I expect we will be working through the Fall to get things in shape. Many people have been spending time during the week and on Saturdays cutting up fallen trees, hauling away the cut wood, and cleaning up branches strewn about. We could not take care of our Catholic cemetery without your generous help. Thank you!

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller