“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” This acclamation by Simon Peter (from today’s Gospel) was not simply a conclusion he had come to after careful consideration using human logic. Rather, it was an insight given to him by the Father. It is yet another example of how God chooses us, rather than the other way around. Simon Peter then receives from the Lord authority “to bind and to loose”. The Church has always seen this event as key to understanding the authority that Peter and the other Apostles (and their successors) exercise in the Church. It is not mere human authority. They do not derive it from any human consent. We have the Lord’s promise that no human power, nor “the gates of the netherworld” shall prevail against the Church which He establishes upon the authority of Peter.
The late Pope John Paul II said that the new millennium is a time for renewed evangelization. In addition to the formation in faith which our Catholic schools, religious education programs, confirmation program, and adult faith classes provide, our parish also provides opportunities for those interested in becoming Catholic to learn more about our Faith. The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is designed for those who have never been baptized, and for baptized Christians from other churches, who are interested in becoming full members in the Catholic Church. Please call Deacon Jerry Ruesch at the parish office (423-1351) to register.
Over twenty years ago the Diocese of La Crosse instituted the Diocesan Annual Appeal which reduced the annual collections from fourteen to just two (Mission Sunday and Retired Religious). The Diocesan Appeal also benefits our parish by reducing by over two thirds the assessment to the Diocese. Most importantly, it is a means by which we participate in all the works that the Diocese supports in the local, national, and universal Church. The people of SSPP have a great track record for generously supporting the DAA. You will be receiving more info on the Diocesan Appeal in the weeks ahead. Pray for its success!
May God bless you!