Pastor's Letter, August 20, 2017

We celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven this past Tuesday, August 15. This solemnity is always observed on August 15, and is a Holy Day of Obligation (except when it falls on Saturday or Monday in the Dioceses of the U.S.). Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, is rightfully honored by the Church because she was first honored by God. She was preserved from the stain of original sin (which we commemorate on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8). By the power of the Holy Spirit she conceived the Savior of the world within her womb. She was the first and most perfect disciple of the Lord. She stood at the foot of the Cross at His crucifixion. The Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption acknowledges and celebrates the fitting end of her life on this earth: namely, that at the end of her life on earth she was assumed body and soul into heaven by the power of God. Eastern Rite Catholics and Orthodox Christians refer to this feast as the Dormition of Mary, that is, her “falling asleep”. The belief of the Catholic Church is that Mary never suffered the corruption of her body, but that she was taken to heaven while still alive (or perhaps, at the very moment of death). This feast of Mary, like all the Marian feasts, is another way of recognizing the saving work which God has brought about through His (and Mary’s) Son, Jesus Christ. Mary, as the best disciple – as the one who cooperated most perfectly with God’s Grace – fittingly should be the first to enjoy everlasting life in heaven.

On the evening of Tuesday, August 8 I met with the Parish Pastoral and Finance Council members. It was good for me, just a little over a month since arriving as your new pastor, to be introduced to the parishioners who are my principle advisors. A pastor is bound to seek the counsel of the Pastoral and Finance Councils in order to better understand the needs of the parish, and to better equip him to make wise decisions. Please pray for them and for me, that by their good counsel I may shepherd the flock of SS Peter and Paul Parish wisely.

I was able to review with the councils some material, staff, and pastoral needs which need immediate attention. After consulting with them I have decided on the following actions: Before fall arrives I will ensure that the church parking lot is sealed and striped, and that the roof on the parish office entrance (east side of school) is replaced; install a new phone system (which will provide individual/private voicemail for me and other staff, and emergency call forwarding to my cell phone), and extend parish office hours Monday through Friday (will require hiring another part-time secretary); move the CCD class times to 6:15-7:30pm (was at 6:30-7:45pm in past years), and Holy Day Mass times to 6:30pm when they fall on CCD nights.

I will, of course, meet with both Councils on a regular basis in the future. Effective immediately, I will meet with the Pastoral Council 5 times each year (Sept., Nov., Jan., Mar., May) on the second Thursday of the month at 4:30pm. I will meet with the Finance Council at 4:30pm on the third Thursday of every month, beginning in September. I will be working with the Finance Council to prepare a financial report to the Parish this fall, as well as establishing a more effective weekly ‘financial progress’ report in the parish bulletin. I wish to welcome Fr. Antony Arokiyam who is presenting his Mission Appeal for his home diocese in India. Please be generous in your support, by which we manifest our solidarity in a practical way. While Fr. Antony is here at SSPP, I will be celebrating the Masses at his three parishes in Auburndale, Hewitt, and Blenker.

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller

From Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (A compilation of wisdom from people of all ages and walks of life.)
“I’ve learned that mileage wears out an automobile while walking three miles a day keeps the body in shape.” (Age 70)
 “I’ve learned that if you pray for your enemies, you will stop hating them.” (Age 74)
“I’ve learned that nothing beats the taste of a slab of your own homemade bread fresh from the oven, slathered with a spoonful of your own homemade jam.” (Age 67)