Pastor's Letter - September 8, 2019

Jesus often uses hyperbole to stress an important principle. The passage from today’s Gospel is an excellent case in point. “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” A similar type of hyperbole is used by a mother to her son when she says, “I’ve told you a million times to clean this room!” So, Jesus doesn’t want us to literally hate our family members; after all He also told us to “love one another.” He uses this type of exaggeration in order to make clear that being His disciple comes first. If no other person comes before Jesus, certainly no other thing should come before Him. That is why Jesus also says, “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”

To renounce possessions does not mean we should all live as beggars. If we did, from whom would we beg? No, it means that we use our possessions for the good of others (and our families and ourselves, too), and for the Glory of God. And not only our material possessions, but our time and our talents, too. This mandate of service to others must necessarily take on a concrete form. In two weeks we kickoff the 2019 Diocesan Annual Appeal. Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5) Pray for the success of the Diocesan Annual Appeal. Pray also that God will give each of us a generous heart as we seek to meet the many needs of our parish, the Diocese of La Crosse, and throughout the world.

The kickoff of the Diocesan Annual Appeal provides the suitable occasion to publish the SSPP Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. A copy of the report will be included in the parish bulletin on September 22. I am also scheduling a parish “Town Hall Meeting” at 6:30 P.M. on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, in the Church hall (basement). This provides a good forum to discuss our parish’s finances, and other parish concerns. All parishioners are invited to attend.

May God bless you!
Fr. Schaller