Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Training Available!
Level 1a July 23-25 & Aug 20-22 $235
(All dates are 1 course)
Level 1 training courses will be offered at SS Peter & Paul this summer. Class size is limited to 20 people, so register early.
Registration forms may found in the SSPP Holy Family Cenacle & the SSPP parish office or on the CGS website, cgsusa.org.
The second reading today is taken from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (and we’ll continue reading through Romans for the next two months). In this Sunday’s passage, Saint Paul makes a contrast between flesh and spirit. This should not be understood as a condemnation of the material or physical world. In fact, our Catholic Faith teaches us that to consider the material world as evil and only spiritual reality as good would be a heresy. We need only recall the creation story from Genesis to remind us that after God had finished His work He looked upon all His creation and found it very good. Consider also that the Lord Himself took on a human form, became flesh and blood. And the Church continues to make use of the Sacraments given to us by the Lord: material signs of His invisible Grace. Saint Paul is not teaching that the flesh is evil; he is, rather, saying that to live apart from the Spirit of Christ - that is, His Grace - we have no true life in us. We are, in a sense, lifeless flesh. “If you live according to the flesh, you will die”, says Saint Paul. So, how do we get the Spirit of the Lord to dwell in us? By prayer, the frequent and fruitful reception of the Sacraments, and by the pursuit of holiness. Then you will truly live!
We celebrated our nation’s Independence Day yesterday, July 4. This is an opportune time for us to reflect upon the great gift which freedom is, and the obligation that it places upon us. As Christians we should remember that God made us with a mind to know and a will to choose. Freedom is an inalienable right. God gave it to us – made it part of our very nature. It is not granted to us by any state or human power. It is, rather, the obligation of the state to protect and defend human freedom. This is the purpose of law enforcement and defensive armies. Freedom is a gift from God which enables us to choose the good. As we celebrate our nation’s birth, pray that God will preserve us from tyranny and evil. Pray that He will preserve us in freedom: freedom to choose the good, freedom to live for God.
May God bless you!
Free Information Session
6:30pm, Thu, Jul. 9 @ SSPP
For those of you experiencing a significant financial change from a job change or loss, SS Peter & Paul is offering a free informational session for anyone in our parish or community who is impacted. Teri Jaeger, a parish member & financial adviser with Thrivent, will provide thoughts on maintaining financial clarity.
Seating is limited; please call the church at 715-423-1351 to reserve your place.
No products will be sold at this presentation
The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul has been celebrated in the Church as early as 258AD. In Rome, the joint feast of these two great apostles seems to have always been kept on June 29. There are a few theories as to why this solemnity which honors both saints is celebrated on the 29th of June. One theory is that Peter and Paul were both martyred on the same day but in different locations in Rome. Another theory is that Peter was martyred on June 29 between the years 65-67AD and Paul was martyred on the same day but a year later.
One aspect of this feast which is relatively unknown is its connection with the conferral of the Pallium to new archbishops by the pope on this day. The Pallium, which is made with the wool of a lamb, is worn by archbishops. It speaks to us of the catholicity of the Church, of the universal communion of the Pastor and flock and refers us to apostolic succession: to communion with the faith of the Apostles on which the Church is founded. Pastors who succeed St. Peter are Pastors like him, they are together with him, they belong to the common ministry of the Pastors of the Church of Jesus Christ, a ministry that continues in them. It is this faith which Jesus called Peter and Paul to live and die for, and it is this faith that Jesus continues to call all to live and die for so that they may be with Him forever.
The ordination of Frs. Samuel McCarty, Joseph Richards, Levi Schmitt, and Daniel Williams yesterday (Saturday), June 27, was a great celebration for the Church in the Diocese of La Crosse! Fr. Levi Schmitt will be the new Chaplain at Assumption High & Middle Schools. Please join me in praying for our newest priests of the Diocese of La Crosse, that God will strengthen them to be faithful priests, according to the Heart of Christ!
May God bless you!
Diocesan Priestly Ordinations
Please join us in praying for our five new permanent deacons & one new transitional deacon as they are ordained to the diaconate on Tuesday, June 23, and for our four new priests as they are ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 27, at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The Church has provided for us a rich variety of the Sacred Scriptures in the three-year cycle of Sunday readings which we read at Mass. As I’ve mentioned before, through the rest of this liturgical year (which ends with the Feast of Christ the King at the end of November) we read from the Gospel of Matthew. But there is also a pattern with the other readings. For example, today and for the next 12 Sundays, the second reading at Mass is from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. In this letter St. Paul covers a wide range of doctrinal issues, mostly related to sin, grace, redemption, and salvation. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand his writings. And there are many instances in history when people have misinterpreted his teaching and the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church. A good Catholic Scripture study can be of immeasurable help to avoid these errors. For the past two years we have had a parish subscription to Formed.org, which has a variety of excellent videos, including many Catholic Scripture studies. Also, I intend to offer some Scripture study classes this coming fall for any interested parishioners. Stay tuned!
As we near the end of our fiscal year on June 30, I want to thank again all our parishioners for your financial stewardship. When the Wuhan virus ‘shutdown’ occurred you continued to generously support our parish. Indeed, we are very close to meeting our annual budgeted income. We are also very close to matching last year’s total for the Diocesan Annual Appeal.
On Tuesday, June 9, Verso announced the closing of the paper mill at the end of July. About 900 people will lose their jobs. This is a great blow to the workers, their families, and the whole community. Please join me in praying for all who have lost their jobs because of the response to covid-19. Pray for a quick rebound of the economy, and for gainful employment for all seeking to support themselves and their families. Saint Joseph the Workman, Pray for Us!
May God bless you!
The Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) is an opportunity for the Church to reflect more deeply on the mystery of the Gift which the Lord left us in the Mass. At every Mass our offerings of bread and wine are brought to the Altar of Sacrifice and, by the words and actions of the priest who stands in persona Christi (in the person of Christ), they become the Body and Blood of Christ. Though the appearances of bread and wine remain, by faith (in the promise the Lord Himself gave at the Last Supper) we know that we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Savior Jesus Christ. According to the constant teaching of the Church, we receive the “whole Lord” whether we receive Him under the “form of bread” or the “form of wine”. Therefore, when we receive the Sacred Host or the Precious Blood alone, we do not lack the full Gift of the Lord in the Eucharist. Lord, we thank You for giving us Your very Self in the Holy Eucharist! “Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore! Oh, make us love Thee, more and more! Oh, make us love Thee, more and more!”
The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is a true Sacrifice and a Sacred Banquet. It is our highest expression of worship to our God. It is for this reason that all who participate in the Mass should prepare themselves properly – interiorly and exteriorly. It is most fitting that the priest wears special vestments in order to indicate the special and sacred character of the Liturgy. A similar principle applies to all the faithful who participate in the Mass. Though styles may change depending on a number of variables (culture, place, climate, time) there still remains the necessity for all to dress in such a way as to express our love and reverence for the Lord and respect for each other. The argument that “God doesn’t care what I wear in church” indicates a careless attitude towards God and others. The careful manner with which we groom and dress our body always demonstrates our respect for others. I hope these few guidelines may help: don’t wear shorts, t-shirts, beach wear, clothing with advertising, or any clothing which is immodest. Many people still recall the meaning of a phrase which was commonly used in past years: wear your Sunday Best! God deserves it!
May God bless you!
Don't forget to take advantage of all the video and audio resources on FORMED!!
Click here for instructions on how to access FORMED as a parishioner of SSPP
Here are our picks for June 2020.
Movie: St. Anthony of Padua
Book: Heart of the Redeemer
Study: Lectio: Mary
Having closed the Easter season last Sunday with the Solemnity of Pentecost commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, the Mother of the Lord, and all His disciples, the Church now enters Ordinary Time, during which the many teachings of the Lord are presented and the different mysteries of the Faith explored. One such mystery – in fact, the fundamental mystery of our Faith – is the Holy Trinity. God has revealed Himself as one God, yet three Divine Persons: the Father is made known through His creation, the Son in the Incarnation, and the Holy Spirit is manifested in a startling fashion at Pentecost. This is not some trivia about God that we can easily dismiss. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity expresses Who God is in Himself, as a community of Persons, yet remaining one God. The identity of the family and the nature of the Church – communities of love – find their model in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, which is the first community of love. We should always be mindful what it means to call this a mystery. It shouldn’t be confused with the contemporary use of the word — for instance, a murder mystery, where persistent investigation reveals facts not known before. Rather, the mysteries of Faith refer to realities that can be known by us, but only in a limited way since our capacity to know is limited. Of all mysteries of Faith, the Holy Trinity is the most “mysterious”, since our finite understanding of an infinite God will always be incomplete. That is one more reason why our Catholic Faith will always be a journey and an adventure: we can always grow in our knowledge, understanding, and love of God.
It seems that we are witnessing (among other things) some of the social effects of the shut-down which our country has endured for nearly 3 months. The violent riots which have taken place the last couple weeks around the country (ostensibly a response to the killing of a man in Minneapolis by a policeman), reveal a nation that is fractured and fearful. We need the peace and unity that only God can bring. Pray for a true renewal and return to the One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in each of our hearts, in our families, in our state, and in our country.
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller
The Solemnity of Pentecost marks the end of the Church’s observance of the Easter Season. This celebration commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, the Blessed Mother, and the whole Church. The coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost also fulfills God’s revelation of Himself in three divine persons. Though existing eternally, the Father is made known through His creation, the Son in the Incarnation, and now the Holy Spirit is revealed as “the Lord and giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son” (Nicene Creed). Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, promised to send to His Church the Comforter, the Advocate, Who would strengthen and confirm us in our faith. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love!
The period of time between the Lord’s Ascension into heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday has always been observed as a special time of prayer. Scripture tells us that Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after Easter and Pentecost occurred 50 days after Easter. The Lord instructed His disciples to spend the nine days between those events praying. This is the origin of the Catholic practice of the “novena” (from the Latin word for “nine”.) A novena consists of praying for some particular intention for nine consecutive days. Sometimes this is expressed in prayers or practices which are observed over nine weeks or nine months (such as the custom of attending Mass for nine consecutive First Fridays). It’s just another example of one of the those “Catholic things” that we didn’t just make up, but comes from the scriptures and the practice of the early Church.
What a joy to be back in our church for Holy Mass! We’ve been enduring plenty of hardships and inconveniences throughout this coronavirus shut-down, and we’ll have to accept further restrictions in our church for some time ahead. Pray God will bring a swift end to the coronavirus pestilence, for the good health of all, and for the full restoration of the worship of God in all our churches around the world!
May God bless you!