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From the Pastor 11/19/17

New landscaping around the Parish Center

Lots of parishioners have been asking about the new landscaping that is being constructed around the Parish Center. I have mentioned this before in my past Pastor’s columns, but once again to let everyone know what is going on, and a little more information.

First of all I want our parishioners to know that the expense for these projects has been donated to the parish by generous benefactors.

The first project was the landscaping around the gym entrance. We installed a new retaining wall, seating, and a walkway. This was needed for added safety for our kids coming and going from gym class.

The second landscaping project is a seat retaining wall where the Children’s Garden used to be. This ‘serpentine” seat wall will be accompanied by a Jubilee Memorial marking the pastors from St. Gertrude’s who have celebrated their 25 and 50 Jubilees of Ordination.

The third landscaping project will be a new Pro-Life Knights of Columbus Plaza Entrance. The Knights of Columbus are known for their great work for the sanctity of life. This plaza will have a Pro-Life Monument reminding us to keep praying and working for the sacredness of life, new seating areas, and a new entrance for the Knights of Columbus.

I am grateful for the generosity of the Knights of Columbus and two other families who have generously given for all these projects. It should be very nice by the time it is finished. In the spring of 2018 the trees, shrubs, and plantings will be done in all three areas. There will be opportunities for you to donate in memoriam at that time.

From the Pastor 11/12/17

Archdiocesan Capital Campaign: One Faith, One Hope, One Love. As I write this Pastor’s column I am now engaged in the Silent Phase of this campaign. I beg your prayers as I meet with our generous donators in the next few weeks. Starting in January of 2018, I will be working with chairpersons of this campaign to recruit generous workers for the campaign. And finally pray that when we begin the public phase of this campaign in March of 2018, all will be generous as we ask you to prayerfully consider a five-year commitment to raise $2.6M for this campaign. More information will be coming about all the good that is being done throughout the archdiocese through this campaign.

Mass Offerings: Part I

What it means to have a Mass “offered” for someone.

An individual may ask a priest to offer a Mass for a particular intention for several reasons: in thanksgiving, for the intentions of another person (such as an anniversary), or for the repose of the soul of someone who has died. This is the particular intention the priest brings to the Mass, but he brings other intentions as well, including those of everyone in attendance.

From the Pastor 11/05/17

"Father, what about Cremation?”

During the month of November when we are remembering our deceased loved ones, it is appropriate to reprint my bulletin piece on cremation. The Church has always taught that both in life and in death the body must be treated with respect as a temple of the Holy Spirit. From her beginning the Church prohibited cremation because it was a pagan ritual contrary to the Church’s teaching about the sanctity of the body. In 1963 the Church removed its prohibition of cremation assuming that the danger of the previous concern was now minimal. The Church still strongly recommended bodily burial in the 1983 Code of Canon Law:

“The Church earnestly recommends the pious custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed.” (Canon 1176.3.) The Code adds that cremation is still forbidden if a person has chosen it to deny Catholic teaching, such as the resurrection of the body and life eternal.

From the Pastor 10/28/17

During the month of November we remember those who have gone before us in death. And in a special way we especially remember our loved ones who have passed away this past year.

But we do not just remember our loved ones; we also commend them to God. To “commend” someone is to present or mention a person as worthy of notice or kindness. This entire month we commend the dead, those who we have known and loved, to God. In our prayer for the dead we tell God that the person we pray for was loved, and therefore we hope that God will find our love a worthy commendation for God’s ultimate gift of salvation. Fr. Bede Jarret, O.P. an English Dominican spiritual writer, expresses well this prayer of commendation that we express as well:

We seem to give back to you, O God, those whom you gave to us. Yet as you did not lose them in giving, So we do not lose them by their return. Not as the world gives, do you give, O Lover of souls. What you gave, you take not away, but What is yours is ours also if we belong to you.

From the Pastor 10/22/17

Please help us in any way to keep current on our financial needs. We experience a deficit in our weekly envelope giving almost every week. If you can help in any way, possibly by increasing your weekly giving by $5/$10 per week, that would be a great blessing to the parish. Please pray about this and ask yourselves, “Can I increase my weekly giving in any way?” Thank you so much.

I wanted to take a moment, as I do on occasion, to provide you news about developments within our wonderful parish ministries.

After many years of service participating in, then leading, our Baptism Ministry, Marla and Steve Spaeth have decided to step away from this ministry when the current schedule they manage ends in the winter. It has been a blessing to have them commit so much of their time to help other families and their babies celebrate this most precious Sacrament. Steve and Marla, on behalf of the entire parish, the staff, and all the couples who you’ve touched in this ministry, we say THANK YOU!

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