Pastor's Letter October 1, 2017

It is a rare person who, once embracing the Faith, is then able to live a life totally and faithfully committed to the Lord. Our faith is for a time strong and vigorous - and then wanes as we struggle through difficulties. (That’s another good reason why Jesus gave us the Sacrament of Confession!) Since God is calling all of us to be saints we need to seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and the Grace of the Sacraments, in order to persevere in faith every day. And it is never too late to “turn it around” if one hasn’t been living a holy life. As the Lord says in today’s Gospel, it is the “tax collectors and prostitutes” (i.e., the public sinners of the day) who heard the call of repentance and reformed their lives. Lord, help us with Your Grace to reform our lives.

As I have mentioned in past bulletins, the Diocesan Annual Appeal provides funding for many local, diocesan, national, and universal Church efforts. All our parishioners should have received this past week their letter from Bishop Callahan, along with a brochure explaining the Appeal and a personalized pledge card. (Additional brochures and blank pledge cards are available in the Holy Family Cenacle, if you did not receive or misplaced your letter.) The target for SSPP is $48,640, but I am proposing for us a goal of $100,000. Every dollar that we exceed the official target will be returned to SSPP for our parish’s use. Exceeding our target will NOT cause the target to go up in the future, nor will it change the level of our support to Assumption Catholic Schools. I encourage all our parishioners to contribute to the DAA generously - according to your means. As the old saying goes: many hands make light work. I have placed a ‘thermometer’ poster in the Holy Family Cenacle (updated each Friday) which will mark our progress: both in numbers of parishioners who contribute, and the total dollars pledged. I’ve already made my gift to the Diocesan Annual Appeal - join me in helping us reach our goal. Please continue to pray for the success of the Diocesan Annual Appeal!

Frequently in the Gospel (and in today’s Gospel, too) the Lord presents the vineyard in His parables. The vineyard is the Lord’s, and so too is the fruit of the vineyard. Among the several meanings which could be drawn from these parables, certainly one of them is this: the whole world, including one’s very life, is truly a gift from the Lord. It is not “mine”, any more than the fruit of the vineyard belongs to the tenants, but rather belongs to the vineyard owner. It is good to reflect upon this truth, especially today which the Church observes as Respect Life Sunday. From the beginning of life at conception, to the end of natural death, our life is the Lord’s. Saint John Paul II recognized clearly the many ways that the “culture of death” continues to expand in its attack on the dignity of each human life. We need to pray – and act – in order to re-establish a stronger “Culture of Life”. One way to do that is to join the WI Rapids Life Chain today (Sunday) from 1:30pm to 2:30pm at the Riverview Expressway, beginning at the 1st Street Bridge (see the announcement in this bulletin). I’ll be there to pray and show my support, and I hope to see many of our SS Peter & Paul parishioners there as well.

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 I like to plant my neighbor’s favorite flowers in my flower boxes so that they can see and enjoy them.” (Age 50)
“I’ve learned that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.” (Age 50)
“I’ve learned that when I walk into my room at the end of the day, I always feel better if my bed is made.” (Age 21)