Palm Burning - Bring in your old palms!
Sun, Feb. 23 after 10am Mass...
Fr. Schaller will be burning palms. A basket for your old palms is located in the Holy Family Cenacle.
The Church ‘interrupts’ the normal observance today of the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time in order to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In the Liturgy of the Church, where it is possible to do so, the events of the life of the Lord are sometimes observed with attention to ‘chronological’ precision. For example, we celebrate the Lord’s birth (Christmas) nine months after His conception (Annunciation by the Angel to Mary). Today’s Feast is another instance of that ‘chronological’ precision. It was customary among the Jews, in order to fulfill the Old Testament Law, to present the first born male at the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth. The firstborn son had special significance as the primary heir to the family. Specially dedicating the firstborn son to the Lord also was an acknowledgment of what God had done for the Jews by sparing their firstborn children when the firstborn of the Egyptians died at the time of the Exodus. In addition, whereas many of the pagans offered their firstborn as literal sacrifices to their gods, the Jews offered a sacrifice of animals (the poor offered two pigeons) in the place of the child, as a ransom for his life. It is in this context that Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the Temple. And it is here that the righteous man Simeon and the prophetess Anna bless God and give witness to all present that Jesus is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” This reference to light at His Presentation is the source of the Church’s practice of blessing candles on this Feast. We shall observe this long custom here at Saints Peter & Paul. Blessed candles will be available in the Holy Family Cenacle for those who would like them for their home.
It is good to be back home after a wonderful pilgrimage to the Holy Land! My thanks again to Msgr. Hundt, and Frs. Menzel and Becker for providing their priestly service while I was gone.
May God bless you!
Born in Canada, Fr. Stephen Eckert joined the Capuchin order, was ordained in 1896 and sent to New York for his first assignment. While there he fell in love with African Americans and felt a desire to minister to their spiritual needs, something that was rarely heard of in America at the time.
This calling was further cemented after a visit to the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Philadelphia, a religious community founded by St. Katherine Drexel, who served various African American communities. He was convinced that God was calling him to this apostolate and wrote to his superior in 1903.
“I humbly ask you for the privilege of devoting my life to missionary work alone, in conformity with God’s holy will. I must point out that since last year I have been thinking of going south to work with the Blacks; so if you think that this might redound to the greater glory of God, I would be glad to do so…”
His dream wasn’t fulfilled until he was appointed pastor at St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
SSPP Donut Sunday!
Everyone is invited to the “SSPP Donut Sunday” social after the 10:00am Mass Sunday, February 2 in the church basement social hall.
Sponsored by the Glacier Lake Federation of North American Explorers
On our coins is inscribed the motto E Pluribus Unum, which means, “out of many, one”. This is a shorthand way of recognizing that, though we are made of many different peoples from around the world, we are one nation. In a more profound way, St. Paul has expressed a similar thought in today's second reading (from 1 Corinthians). And he is only restating – in a different way – what the Lord Himself prayed for: that we might all be one. Factions within the Church are not a new phenomenon. Right from the beginning there were squabbles and disputes. But we must never allow disagreements, which are frequently over petty things, distract us from the unity which Christ desires for us. That unity of faith and practice is preserved when we submit ourselves humbly to Christ and to His Church. Christ established His Church upon Peter and the Apostles, whose successors are Pope Francis and the bishops in union with him. It is good to recall that Bishop William Callahan is also a successor to the Apostles. Pray that he might continue to be a good and holy shepherd; and that we might humbly follow his lead.
As you read this I am in the Holy Land with a group of 24 pilgrims. I am most privileged to be making my seventh journey to visit the places made holy by our Lord: to Nazareth, where He was conceived by the Holy Spirit within the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; to Bethlehem, where He was born; to Capernaum, Cana, Mount Tabor and other places where He revealed his Glory, taught, healed the sick, multiplied the loaves and fish, and raised the dead to life; and to Jerusalem where He suffered, died, and was raised gloriously from the dead. Please pray for our Holy Land Pilgrims, both for their safe travels and for their spiritual renewal. And be assured of my prayers for all the people of Saints Peter & Paul Parish while I visit the Land where our Savior Jesus Christ procured our salvation.
My thanks again to Msgr. Robert Hundt, who is filling in for me this weekend, and to Frs. Menzel and Becker who are celebrating the weekday Masses while I am in Israel.
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller
From the Church
The list of canonized saints from the United States might soon be notably lengthier, with the bishop of Lafayette, Louisiana, set to advance three causes.
Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel is advancing the causes for Charlene Richard and Auguste “Nonco” Pelafigue.
A third cause, for Lieutenant Father J. Verbis Lafleur, requires collaboration from two other bishops since he was in the military, but is also moving forward.
Souper Bowl Weekend
Please bring your donation of cans of soup or boxes of crackers to the church now until the weekend of Feb. 1/2. This will help restock the
shelves of our local food pantry. Boxes will be provided in which to put the food at each entrance. The donations will be taken to the food pantry on February 2nd. For questions, call Steve Janowiak
While he held the office of President, Ronald Reagan once remarked that all those who were in favor of abortion were already born. Although the issue of the dignity of every human life is especially important for us Christians, it is not simply a “religious” issue. People of every religious perspective – and some with no religious convictions – will observe January 22, the 47th anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, as a day to recommit themselves to restoring the right to life to the most innocent persons, the unborn.
The Catholic Church has proven to be one of the most effective voices in defense of the unborn. And by no means is this restricted to only Bishops and Priests! From prominent Catholics serving in elected office, to famous entertainers, to the “ordinary” Catholics who assist or support the thousands of local pro-life organizations to be found throughout our country, we Catholics are instrumental in preserving a “Culture of Life”.
The many practical efforts made to support and protect life do not negate the need to participate in the political arena to ensure that just laws are enacted to extend that protection throughout our society. Among the many issues which we consider when judging which candidate to support in elected office, the protection of the most defenseless – the unborn – must certainly take precedence; since every other human right is rendered meaningless without the right to life!
Early today (Sunday), our group of 24 people departed for our pilgrimage to the Holy Land from January 19- 29. I am grateful for Msgr. Robert Hundt who will be celebrating the Masses this weekend and next, and for Frs. Menzel and Becker for all the weekday Masses during my absence. I will be praying for all the people of Saints Peter & Paul Parish while we visit the Holy Land!
May God bless you!
From the Pope
Pope Francis asked for everyone “to pray to the Lord to help the people [of Australia] in this difficult time" as major fires rage across the nation. Addressing Australian speaking pilgrims at the General Audience, the Holy Father said “I am close to the Australian people”.
Major bushfires have broken out around Australia, with more than 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres) of land burned in recent weeks. More than twenty people have lost their lives in the fires.
House for Sale!
Calvary Cemetery is preparing to expand.
The house on the NE end of the cemetery property is for sale for $1 to a buyer who will move the house from its current site. If interested or for more details, call the SS Peter & Paul parish office at 715-423-1351.