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01/17/2024 Wednesday Message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your life is a testament to God’s goodness and His love for the world He created! There’s a song, Counting My Blessings, where they sing “The more that I look in the details, the more of God’s goodness I find”. Let other people see those details, don’t just keep them to yourself! Discover those details in other people and let yourself be awed by the love that God has for His children!

One of the Share the Joy suggestions this month is to find an opportunity to introduce yourself or your family to other parishioners. I am pretty sure there will be someone you don’t know at Mass this weekend. Introduce yourself and show that person that they are seen, that they are known and worthy of being known, and that they are loved, by the Father and His children. Be willing to let others see you! Be willing to show others how God has given you joy in your life. Be willing to hear the words, “Yes, oui si ja!”.

 

In Christ,

Kate Zweber

715-705-2240

Dear parishioners,

Bear with me, I’ve found a little joke for you!

An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard, and a German are all standing watching a street performer do some excellent juggling. The juggler notices that the four gentlemen have a very poor view, so he stands up on a large wooden box and calls out, “Can you all see me now?”

“Yes,”

“Oui,”

“Si,”

“Ja,”

Are you willing to let people see you? One of the biggest things that holds people back from trying to meet someone new is that it’s hard to let others see you sometimes.

6/9/2022 Wednesday Message

At about this time last year, in response to June being designated “Pride Month,” I made it a point to preach on homosexuality/same-sex attraction and transgenderism on a couple of occasions. I had not made any decision to address it again specifically this year until someone made the point to me that the secular culture “preaches” these issues quite loudly all the time. I observed this firsthand in recent publicity for “Pride in the Park” on June 10th at Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park, an event that includes, among other things, a drag story time… for children!

 

On the one hand I’m angered that there is such a strong, almost militant push to culturally normalize behavior that is contrary to the way God created us and will only lead to the further degradation of our society and culture. On the other hand, I have great compassion for those individuals who really struggle with these issues and experience great confusion and internal conflict. Obviously, this is a very complex issue for us as Catholics to respond to. The Catholic response, articulated most simply in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 2357-2359) is ultimately a pastoral one rooted in truth and love. For those of us facing these issues personally, perhaps through family members or friends, I thought I would offer a couple video/podcast links you may find helpful.

The REAL Pastoral Approach to LGBT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDisuf3AHFE
 

LGBT: The Catholic Response – The EDIFY Podcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5JJGJX8wqY
 

In prayer,

Fr. Jesse Burish

6/9/2022 Wednesday Message

At about this time last year, in response to June being designated “Pride Month,” I made it a point to preach on homosexuality/same-sex attraction and transgenderism on a couple of occasions. I had not made any decision to address it again specifically this year until someone made the point to me that the secular culture “preaches” these issues quite loudly all the time. I observed this firsthand in recent publicity for “Pride in the Park” on June 10th at Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park, an event that includes, among other things, a drag story time… for children!

On the one hand I’m angered that there is such a strong, almost militant push to culturally normalize behavior that is contrary to the way God created us and will only lead to the further degradation of our society and culture. On the other hand, I have great compassion for those individuals who really struggle with these issues and experience great confusion and internal conflict. Obviously, this is a very complex issue for us as Catholics to respond to. The Catholic response, articulated most simply in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 2357-2359) is ultimately a pastoral one rooted in truth and love. For those of us facing these issues personally, perhaps through family members or friends, I thought I would offer a couple video/podcast links you may find helpful.

The REAL Pastoral Approach to LGBT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDisuf3AHFE
 

LGBT: The Catholic Response – The EDIFY Podcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5JJGJX8wqY
 

In prayer,

Fr. Jesse Burish

10/26/2022 Wednesday Message

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Good morning! My name is Mike Renneke, and I write to you today as the music director at Notre Dame Parish. I’ve used my previous messages to talk about music and the Mass, and being the self-proclaimed “music guy” this certainly made some sense. Today, though, I’d like to reflect with you on the opposite of my professional work. We need to talk about silence.

Now, as the guy who is constantly putting notices in the bulletin to “join the choir”, talking about silence might seem a bit self-defeating. Silence also suffers from a bit of a public relations problem; too often we view it as a negative, or as the absence of something. If you turn on the TV and there's no sound, that is a problem. When the birds and bugs stop chirping at night, you know a storm is coming. Ask any parent with kids playing in the next room - silence is a bad thing!

 

Robert Cardinal Sarah wrote a book in 2016 called The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise. In this book he calls for a redefinition of what silence in our lives means:

 

"Silence is not an absence.  On the contrary, it is the manifestation of a presence, the most intense of all presences.  In modern society, silence has come into disrepute; this is the symptom of a serious, worrisome illness.  The real questions of life are posed in silence.  Our blood flows through our veins without making any noise, and we can hear our heartbeats only in silence."

 

It is in the quiet stillness of our hearts where we are able to begin to process the rhythm of our life; where we can begin to determine what is music and what is noise.

 

So, here comes the challenge for the week: can you embrace the moments of silence as opportunities to listen? Can you create more silence in your life? What is God saying to you in the silence? 

 

The irony is not lost on me as I challenge you to be silent while my two kids are in the front pews making joyful noise. I also don’t want you to click away from this email thinking I’m suggesting you stop singing at Mass. God speaks in silence, as he did to Elijah in the Book of Kings (1 Kings 19:11-13). The noise of our modern culture suggests we say “Listen Lord, your servant is speaking”. Instead let us be like Samuel - “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

9/28/2022 Wednesday Message

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Dear Parishioners,

 

I hope this message finds you well and abundantly blessed in our Lord, Jesus Christ! Just a few weeks ago I was blessed to take a trip to Colorado to hunt Elk. Though I’m not a particularly good hunter, I love being outside in some beautiful areas both in our own state and, in this case, elsewhere. I remember, in particular, one long day. We began hiking up the mountain before the sun was up and spent nearly all day sitting behind our binoculars searching for elk. As the hours wore on without any action, I noticed I was just restless; I wanted to get an elk so bad! However, I was soon surprised by another thought: “What if I desired holiness this much?” What a humbling thought. Certainly I do desire holiness, but it is so easy to be distracted with so many things, even good things like hunting. 

 

That being said the fall season is a great opportunity to re-center our desire for holiness. There are many opportunities at our parishes to help us on our journey to holiness: Religious Education, DTS, EPIC families gatherings, First Friday visits, and so much more. All of this along with our normal schedule of Masses, confessions, and adoration. Even in the midst of so many opportunities, we know that our Lord is always calling us to Himself ever more deeply in our daily prayer. We pray that the Lord would ever increase our desire for holiness! 

 

Know of my prayers for you all!

 

In Christ,

 

Fr. Brandon Guenther

7/20/2022 Wednesday Message

Hello!

I have a question for all of you! Do you have a patron saint?

In my work here as Volunteer and Hospitality Coordinator, I have chosen two patron saints. I chose St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta because of her magnificent example of service and of lifting people up (I’m sure I will have more to say about her in the future). I chose St Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, because of her model of hospitality and for the joy and humility she had in welcoming Mary and our unborn savior.

It is with that same joy and humility that I hope to be able to greet those coming to Our Lady of the Falls’ New Parishioner Event on August 14th.

Our three parishes have close to 100 new families from the last 3 years who are invited! Look at those in the pews around you. Christ is living among us, wanting us to see Him in each other. I invite you to look for Him in your fellow parishioners. Consider connecting with someone you have never spoken to before. Attend Hospitality Sunday, it’s on the first Sunday of every month after the morning Masses, say hello to someone after Mass, or go to the Festival of the Falls on September 9th, 10th, and 11th! Some of us may not be ready to leap up to see Him, as St. John the Baptist did in his mother’s womb. We might not be willing to stretch out our arms as wide as St. Elizabeth, but what we should be ready for is to recognize Him; He is ever present in our tabernacles and in the faces of others. Let us be ready to great Him there!

 

In Christ,

Kate Zweber

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