The Second Sunday of Advent always includes the Gospel account with John the Baptist. The prophets in the Old Testament served an indispensable service on behalf of God: they were His messengers who brought comforting words to the suffering, but stern words for the rebellious. John the Baptist is the last, and the greatest, of the prophets. What would Advent be without him? He is the one who announces the arrival of the Messiah. Although, strictly speaking, John announces the public ministry of the (now) thirty-years-old Jesus, the Church has always seen the words of the Baptist as also applying to us and to our preparation for the Lord’s birth. The Baptist’s call for repentance certainly applies to us, as it applied to the contemporaries of Jesus. It is good that the Church observes the different seasons of the liturgical year so that we might use these opportunities to be renewed in faith. The Advent season - if we take our cue from John the Baptist - is a most proper time to reform our lives, to repent from sin, and to seek the Lord’s forgiveness. Each of us was cleansed of sin at the time of our Baptism. For sins committed after Baptism we have recourse to the Sacrament of Penance. The Sacrament of Penance (also referred to as Confession or Reconciliation) is a beautiful expression of God’s love for us. He does not want us to remain in our sins. He desires our salvation and not our condemnation. Has it been a long time since you went to Confession? Maybe even many years? Don’t allow fear or any other thing keep you from experiencing the forgiving Grace of the Lord in the Sacrament of Penance. Now is the time to be reconciled to the Lord through this beautiful sacrament of mercy. You will find the schedule of confessions in this bulletin and in the parish Advent Calendar all our parishioners received several weeks ago (copies available in the Cenacle).
In our preparations for the Christmas Feast, I have thought it prudent to provide our parishioners the opportunity to “pre-register” for the specific Mass they plan on attending. Next Sunday we will have 3 diagrammed charts of the church interior (one for each Mass) on which parishioners may specify the number of family members and the pew in which they will sit. Since we have limited seating, this will ensure our parishioners are seated first. We will also provide seating in the basement of the church (with livestreaming on the large screen TV) to accommodate any overflow. All Masses will continue to be broadcast on radio as well. This is not a perfect solution, but nothing has been perfect lately!
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller
Today, the First Sunday of Advent, inaugurates the new Church year. The Church, in her liturgy, expresses what we believe. So, it makes good sense that we begin with preparations for the coming of the Lord. The problem with observing this season of Advent is that the rest of the culture is celebrating Christmas already! There are even Christian churches that begin decorating their churches for Christmas and singing Christmas hymns by the beginning of December. I suppose some of this is understandable - we just can’t wait for Christmas! We want to start celebrating now. But the Church wisely observes Advent with a spirit of watchfulness and anticipation. In our church you will notice it by the presence of subdued decorations and the Advent wreath (the four candles marking the four weeks of Advent). The music will be the familiar Advent hymns, which help us prepare for Christ’s coming. I strongly encourage you to observe the Advent season in your own homes. Don’t put up the Christmas decorations yet! Or, perhaps you may mark the passage of Advent by putting up the Christmas decorations gradually - one every day until your home is completely decorated by Christmas Eve. Put a small Advent wreath in your home where it can be seen by the whole family (on the dining room table, perhaps). You can mark the progress of Advent in your home as you light an additional candle each Sunday of the season. And, most importantly, you can use this Advent season to deepen your spiritual life by more fruitful participation in the Liturgy of the Church. (Please check the Advent Calendar included with my Advent Pastoral Letter for the complete Mass, Evening Prayer, and Penance schedule.) Advent is a season of grace, and an opportunity to grow in your faith. Make good use of it!
May God bless you!
Marian Center for Peace Needs Your Help!!!
We have 12 open hours and are in desperate need of substitute adorers. Please visit mariancenterforpeace.org & click Adoration or call Dan McCarville at 715-451-3180 or Marion Young at 715-316-1285.
Sundays @ 12am, 2am, 3am, 8am, & 1pm weekly. Sundays @ 2pm every other week. Mondays @ 3am. Thursdays @ 11pm. Fridays @ 12am, 1am, & 2am. Saturdays @ 3am every other week.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration
Sat, Dec. 12 @ OLQH 11:30am - Confessions in English & Spanish
12:30pm - Las Mañanitas Serenade / Procession w/ Ven- eration of Sacred Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe 1:00pm - Spanish Mass
An ethnic box lunch will be provided for each attendant to take home by the supporters of this event: Olympic II Family Restaurant, Grace’s Restaurant, & the Segovia family. COVID precautions are in place.
For more info, contact 715-424-6279 or visit mariancenterforpeace.org,
“Man is saved by faith alone.” How many of you are familiar with that passage from the Bible? Actually, that’s a trick question. That statement is not in the Bible. Frequently one hears some Christians claim that St. Paul wrote that. St. Paul did write that “a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28). St. Paul did not write that we are saved by faith alone. On the other hand, St. James wrote: “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). How do we reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements? They are brought together by the Catholic teaching that one is saved by the Grace of God, by faith working through charity. This is expressed in the Gospel for today’s Mass, in which Jesus gives His teaching on the judgment which takes place at the end of the world. When the King (Jesus) comes again, he will reward those who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick, etc. Authentic faith, then, is not divorced from charity in action (the corporal works of mercy). Both our faith and the ability to persevere in charity are gifts from God. That is what we mean when we say we are saved by God’s Grace. We should never see faith and works of charity as being opposed to each other. Ask God to strengthen your faith. And ask Him to help you persevere in doing good by acts of charity.
Next Sunday begins the season of Advent and a new liturgical year. On Friday, I mailed my Advent Pastoral letter to each parishioner, so you should receive it during this week. Along with this letter is included a calendar of parish liturgical events for Advent, including the Advent Penance schedule throughout the WI Rapids Deanery. In addition, you will find available a number of Advent resources in the Holy Family Cenacle. Please feel free to take one, or several, items for yourself and for friends or family members. Come, Lord Jesus!
May God bless you!
SSPP Advent Virtual Parish Mission
7pm, Tue, Dec. 1 - 22 @ home or the SSPP basement
Our parish will be participating in an Advent Virtual Mission. There will be 4 presentations, 1 for each week of Advent, each roughly 30-40 min. long with discussion to follow. You may participate by gathering in the church basement or by watching at home. Each presentation will be available at diolc.org/advent. The focus will be...
“Preparing for the Birth of the Christ Child through the Eyes of St. Joseph”
Food Basket Item Collection - 53rd Annual!
We are collecting non-perishable food items for area families that could use a little help this holiday season. Collection boxes are located at the church entrances Nov. 28-Dec. 6. We are also accepting monetary donations
at the parish office for perishable items.
If you know someone who could use a little help this Christmas, please contact the parish at 715-423-1351.
One of the hallmarks of the teaching of Jesus is the mercy of God. One only needs to recall the parable of the Prodigal Son to confirm that the Father is a loving and merciful God. And yet, He is a just God. Though always ready to forgive the repentant, God still expects us to be accountable. The parable in today’s Gospel (the parable of the Talents) indicates that a response from us is expected and is necessary. Though God is merciful, He is not indulgent. Like any good Father, He expects something from His children. And our response to Him should not be based on fear (like the lazy servant in the parable), but familial love - like that of a devoted child towards his loving father.
The First Sunday of Advent, and the beginning of a new Liturgical Year, is just two weeks away. Nearly the whole of this past year has been a time of upheaval, disruption, unrest, and fearfulness. The temporal order - things of this world - will always be a challenge. It is both a spiritual and psychological relief to start the new Church year. I expect we will continue to experience the difficulties of this world. But it is a great consolation to draw our attention to Our Lord’s first coming, and the preparation we annually make to celebrate the birth of Him Who makes all things new.
May God bless you!
SSPP Family Pre-Advent Social!
Everyone is invited to the SSPP Family Pre-Advent Social after the 10:00am Mass Sunday, November 15 in the church basement social hall. Enjoy delicious donuts, juice, & coffee Family Advent resources & calendars available Small ornament for the first 100 kids Kid Advent poster coloring table & video area Chance to win small prizes
50/50 Raffle (must be present to win) Sponsored by the St. Gianna PCCW unit.