September 9, 2018

The Parish Picnic is next Sunday, September 16th. We will begin serving food at 11:30 a.m. and continue until everyone has been served. The parish provides the meat and simply asks you to bring a side dish or dessert. Come celebrate with good food, games, inflatables, bingo and time for conversation with other parishioners. Volunteers are always needed. Call the office if you can help. We look forward to seeing everyone in the parish and feel free to bring a friend.

Sign-ups for small groups are this weekend, September 8-9 and next weekend, September 15-16. Small groups provide an opportunity to grow in faith and community.

The new handicapped family restroom by the Gathering Space is under construction. The walls you see are construction barriers. The actual restroom will be less than half that size. We hope it will be finished in about 6 or 7 weeks. Your support of the Annual Fund made this project possible. Thank you.

Why is St. Vincent’s Church shaped so differently?  Many older Catholic Churches reflect a hierarchical mindset with the important action happening in front on an elevated platform. The sanctuary used to be considered the holy space where only the priest and servers were allowed. Vatican II reminded us Christ is present in the assembly of people and insisted we give special emphasis to the participation of all the people. This emphasis on the participation of the people at Vatican II was an effort to return to the practice of the early Church. However, it is easier to change ideas than buildings. Most newer Catholic Churches have some sense of people gathering around the altar and sanctuary, although that sanctuary is usually raised simply so everyone can see. St. Vincent’s returns to an older shape for the Church that was usually found in monasteries where the monks would face each other as they recited psalms. Our worship space puts the altar, ambo and all the action in the center of the Church with the people gathered around. It emphasizes the Eucharist is not just the action of the priest, but also of the people. The Eucharistic prayer is shaped as a dialogue between the priest and people with responses and acclamations. We pray the Eucharist together. We offer ourselves with the bread and wine, so that we too might be transformed. Our Church encourages us to be active participants rather than spectators. Our Church also challenges each person to see Christ in others and to be a witness of Christ to others through your prayer and singing.

The Bishops at Vatican II felt that active participation in the liturgy by all the people would lead to more active lives of faith in the world. St. Vincent’s is remarkable in how engaged the people of the parish are in serving the local community, at the Lord’s Diner and beyond. I can’t help but wonder if this active service in the world is connected to liturgies that encourage active participation.

September 2, 2018

More reflections on the sexual abuse crisis:  The Catholic Church is in the midst of a crisis. I am horrified by the abuse that has happened in the past and the failure of leadership that allowed it to happen. I feel sorrow for the victims and apologize for the Church. We must support and pray for the victims. However, prayers are not enough.

Much has already been done through VIRTUS programs and lay review boards that have been in place in most dioceses since 2002. More still needs to be done to not only hold priests accountable, but also bishops who fail to protect children. Finally, there needs to be more transparency about the membership of the review boards and the process they use while protecting the good name of the innocent.

History tells us the Catholic Church has responded to crisis in the past. At its best the Catholic Church has not only met the immediate challenge of the crisis, but also used these times for spiritual renewal and missionary outreach. We need to be at our best today, not only protecting children, but also for each member to seek spiritual renewal. Ultimately, we are the Catholic Church and it will be as holy and healthy as we are holy and healthy in our relationships. So rather than wring our hands in frustration and anger at the Pope or bishops, we can actively grow in our relationship with God and each other. We also can actively live and witness to God’s love in our lives. We must be the fertile ground that allows God’s grace to work in us.

Sign-ups for small groups will be next weekend, September 8-9 and the following weekend, September 15-16. Check out the groups to grow in faith and community.

The office and building is closed for Labor Day. Enjoy the holiday.

The Parish Picnic is September 16th. Come celebrate with good food, games and time for conversation with other parishioners. Volunteers are always needed. Call the office if you can help.

August 26, 2018

The Financial Report for last fiscal year ending in June 2018 is included in this bulletin. We had a balanced budget and completely paid off the debt with $80,903.32 in debt payments. We had a very small surplus of $7,453.97, but that will be quickly used up doing Annual Fund projects. Those upcoming Annual Fund projects for the year are the Handicapped Family Restroom off the Gathering Space and some updates to old heating and air controls for the south side of the building.


There were two areas where expenses were significantly increased. The first area was salaries and benefits. The increase came from a combination of small increases in salaries, additional money for music especially at the 11:00 Mass, and increased health care insurance rates and personnel covered. The second area of increase was utilities, which primarily came from a colder winter and higher natural gas prices.


In the coming year, I expect expenses to remain about the same. I hope for your continued support. I also ask you to make your tithe a real percent of your income so as God blesses you, that blessing can be share back to God. Your gifts will allow us expand our efforts to bring people to Christ and build God’s kingdom.


Why do we stand during the consecration? Standing is the primary position of Christian prayer in community. We stand at Mass when the priest says, “Let us pray.” The beginning of the Eucharist prayer even says, “Lift up your hearts.” Standing is the older Christian tradition, which we see in the oldest Eucharistic prayer that literally says, “you have held us worthy to stand in your presence and minister to you.” This prayer reminds us standing is a position of service. It is the servant who stands at table. We offer ourselves to God as servants along with the bread and the wine on the altar. So traditionally standing is both a position of prayer and readiness for service and is most appropriate during the Eucharistic prayer.

August 19, 2018

Melissa Seiler will be our new director of music beginning in September. She has taught vocal music at Bishop Carroll for the past 11 years. She directs the choirs at Bishop Carroll High School both for concerts and to provide music for school liturgies. She also has served as an adjunct professor and private voice instructor at Newman University. Finally, she directed an adult choir at St. Peter Schulte years ago before her girls were born. She is now wanting to get involved in parish liturgical music again. She will be here part time as she continues to work at Bishop Carroll just as Nick was part time.


Both VIRTUS and a Food Handlers classes are set up to train volunteers in the next week. The VIRTUS training this Sunday, August 19 from 1- 4 p.m. is for all volunteers that will be working with or at events for children and youth. Lord’s Diner volunteers also must attend a VIRTUS training. We also will have a Food Handlers class this Saturday, August 25 from 10-12 noon. Lord’s Diner Volunteers are required to update their Food Handlers certification every few years.


Thanks to you the Blood Drive was a great success last week. A total of 36 units of blood were donate after deferments when the goal was 24 units. Thanks to the generosity of parishioners and especially extra walk-ins we far exceeded the goal that was set.


We completed the project to redo the heating and air ducts for the Daily Mass Chapel. The old ducts below ground had become flooded. Fortunately, we were able to rework the ducts and blow air in from the adjoining wall. Also fortunately we had plenty of space overhead and in the closet next to the Chapel to do the work. Thanks also to your generosity through the Annual Fund, which allowed us to take care of this project in a timely manner. The next project that we will be doing is the family restroom next to the Gathering Space.

July 22, 2018

Retreats:  I am going on retreat this week. Retreats are wonderful part of our Catholic tradition. Retreats allow us to take a few days away to pray, reflect on life and focus on God. In today’s Gospel, Jesus even invites his disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Retreats are considered so important by the Church that they are mandatory for priests and religious.


For me personally, retreats have been an essential part of my spiritual journey. They have allowed me to go beyond maintenance of my relationship with God, to real growth. Often issues that have been lingering under the surface are revealed and God shows me the way forward. At other times roadblocks in prayer are removed. I cannot say that every retreat has marked a milestone in my relationship with God. However, retreats over the years have been an essential part of growing in my relationship with God. I personally like silent retreats, but I respect how different types of retreats can touch many different people.


So I encourage you to consider going on a retreat whether that is for a weekend or a few days. The Spiritual Life Center has a variety of retreats. Check it out at . Finally, I ask for your prayers this week while I am on retreat. I will be back next weekend.


Thank you to Be Our Guest ministry for buying a new and larger commercial refrigerator for the kitchen. Our old refrigerator was on its last leg and was over 25 years old. So a new refrigerator was the only sensible option. Hopefully, this new refrigerator will last as long as the old one. This gift from Be Our Guest is most appreciated and will be heavily used.