Pastor's Letter - October 27, 2019

“Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.” This opening sentence from today’s Gospel introduces the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. In a startling contrast in the attitude of the two men, our Lord presents us with a simple truth: we must always approach God with a humble attitude. It will do us no good to attempt to justify ourselves before God, for He knows us as we truly are. Although we can sometimes fool others, we can never fool God. The necessity of humbly acknowledging our sins is especially important when we approach God in the Sacrament of Penance. As a minister of that Sacrament, I am often overwhelmed by the expressions of contrition made by penitents – many times accompanied with tears. One of the reasons why this Sacrament is celebrated privately is so that such an encounter with the merciful Lord might not be hindered by the presence of others. Again, St. Luke presents the profound teachings and parables of Jesus which express the mercy of our God. What a great moment of grace to be able to open ourselves to the Father through His Son; for each one of us to say, as the repentant tax collector said, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

Last year we exceeded the Diocesan Annual Appeal by $46,311, which we received back in rebate to benefit SSPP. Your gift to the DAA benefits not only the Church in our Diocese and beyond, it benefits our parish, too. A big “Thank You!” to those who have already returned their pledge cards. Our goal is to have 100% response. Have you returned your pledge card yet? This is a simple, yet important, way that we can express our solidarity as a parish. Naturally, I hope that you can make a generous, sacrificial gift to the Appeal. But, even if you are unable to make a financial gift, I request that you still 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.

Friday, November 1, is observed as the Solemnity of All Saints – a Holy Day of Obligation. Throughout the year we honor particular saints by name. On this day we honor all those (known to God) who by the Grace of God are enjoying eternal life with Him in heaven. November is also a time for us to pray for our beloved dead with special devotion. We offer our prayers for the faithful departed confident in God’s mercy and love. Please note the Mass schedule in this bulletin for All Saints, and for All Souls’ Day on Saturday, November 2, in which we will pray in particular for those who died during this past year.

May God bless you! Fr. Schaller