Category Archives: Father Nicholas VanDenBroeke

MARCH 24, 2019 – 3rd Sunday in Lent

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MARCH 24, 2019

3rd Sunday in Lent

Global Solidarity Sunday

 “…it may bear fruit in the future.  If not you can cut it down.”

 

Tithing Time, Talent, and Treasure

Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously,

according to your means.” – Sirach 35:12

 

Tithing refers to giving back to God from the bounty he has given to us.  Everything we have is a gift from God, and so tithing is giving a portion of these blessings back to Him by giving to the Church, the poor, and others in need.  A “tithe” strictly speaking means a “tenth”.  Thus, “tithing” refers to giving a tenth of our income to the Church.

The bible talks a lot about tithing.  In Genesis, we hear Abraham saying to God: “Of everything you give me, I will return a tenth part to you without fail” (Genesis 28:22).  God also promises to bless those who give to him.  We hear the Lord say through the prophet Malachi: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, and see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you, and blessing without measure!” (Malachi 3:10).

Tithing traditionally refers to financial giving, but it is important to also consider how we give our entire lives.  Thus, we should consider how we tithe our Time, Talent, and Treasure.

Tithing our time – Giving God time in prayer.  Making time for God every day.

Tithing our talents – Serving the Church, the poor, and others in need.  Using our talents for God’s glory.

Tithing our treasure – Financial giving to support the needs of the Church.

Here are some ideas for giving of our talents in serving:

  • Mass ministries – Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Usher, Server, Sacristan, Greeter, Choir
  • Teach Religious Education classes on Wednesday nights
  • Bring Communion to the Villages on Sunday mornings
  • Organize and run a bible study or small group
  • Participate in the Knights of Columbus
  • Participate in the Council of Catholic Women
  • Volunteer at the Lonsdale Area Food Shelf
  • Volunteer at a Pregnancy Life Care Center
  • Clean the church
  • Assist with donut Sunday
  • Be part of a welcoming committee for new parishioners
  • Work at the Bazaar
  • Offer your skills of sewing, or building, or fixing things at the parish

Please talk to me if you can help serve in any of these ways.  I’m excited to think of the potential for our parish if we all step up in tithing our time, talent, and treasure.

Please also see the inserts in today’s bulletin about tithing financially.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

MARCH 17, 2019 – 2nd Sunday in Lent

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MARCH 17, 2019

2nd Sunday in Lent 

“This is my chosen Son; Listen to Him.”

New Stations of the Cross Display

As you come into church through the main doors, you will now notice a new addition to our narthex area: A beautiful Stations of the Cross display.

This was designed, built, and installed by Dave Malecha (brother of Adeline Malecha).

Here is a short history of these particular Stations, written by Betty Vosejpka:

“In 1912 when Immaculate Conception school was opened, three Sisters of the School Sisters of Notre Dame from the Mankato Province were the first teachers.  These Stations of the Cross were originally in the chapel in the school.  In 1959 when the convent was built and eight Sisters moved into it, these stations were put in the chapel there.  The convent was remodeled in 2003 after the last of the School Sisters of Notre Dame left.  The chapel was designated as a meeting room and the Stations were taken down and put into storage.”

For some time, Adeline had been thinking about what we could do with these old stations, and finally we decided it would be wonderful to be able to display them again.  I’m grateful for Adeline’s idea of creating a display case to put them in.

I hope you enjoy the new display, and perhaps it will even bring back a few memories for some of you who may have seen these stations hanging in the old school chapel or in the nuns’ convent chapel.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

 

 

 

MARCH 10, 2019 – 1st Sunday in Lent

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MARCH 10, 2019

1st Sunday in Lent

 “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

 

Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross consist of 14 moments of the life of Jesus during his passion and death.

Some people are able to make a pilgrimage at some point in their life to the Holy Land, and actually follow the path Jesus walked through his suffering and death.  In other words, they can make the Stations of the Cross in the actual place where they happened.  I’ve had this wonderful privilege, and it is very powerful to walk where Christ walked, and pray where Christ suffered and died.

Many, however, are never able to make this pilgrimage in person, and certainly not regularly.  For this reason, churches began creating 14 memorials to represent the locations where these events in Jesus’ life happened, and the faithful may walk along these memorials, or stations, in memory of walking along with Jesus.  Thus, when we pray the Stations of the Cross, we spiritually walk and pray with Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem.

We can pray the Stations of the Cross during any time of the year, but it is particularly appropriate for the season of Lent when we meditate more specifically on our sinfulness which led Christ to undergo his passion and death.  We are familiar with praying the Stations of the Cross at church as a community, but we can also meditate on the stations of the cross anytime during our prayer time.  You can easily lookup the Stations of the Cross online.

Catholics are familiar with the idea of “giving something up” for Lent.  Giving up things like chocolate are good for us because it helps us grow in virtue and offer this small penance to Jesus as a sacrifice.  I encourage not only “giving something up”, but also “doing something extra” for Jesus during Lent.  It could be praying more, saying the rosary, going to daily Mass once a week, etc.  For the last several years, I have made a commitment during Lent to do the Stations of the Cross every day.  It is powerful to meditate daily during Lent on Jesus’ suffering and death, and to think of how he did that for me.

Whether or not you also try to pray the stations of the cross daily, I do hope you attend the Stations of the Cross here at church on the Fridays of Lent.

During the Stations of the Cross on Fridays, we will have a time of Eucharistic Adoration.  I will expose the Eucharist, then proceed to do the Stations as usual, and then conclude with Benediction.

I’ll conclude with the prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori for the Stations of the Cross (which I love and pray daily in my own prayer time).

I love you Jesus my love.  I love you more than myself.  I repent with my whole heart from ever having offended you.  Never let me offend you again, grant that I may love you always, and then do with me as you will.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

 

MARCH 3, 2019 – 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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MARCH 3, 2019

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.”

Midnight Watch

I want to invite all the men of Immaculate Conception to a special night of prayer for our parish and families.  The event is called the Midnight Watch.  It is an hour of prayer once a month from midnight to 1:00 am on a Friday night into Saturday morning.

The idea of the Midnight Watch is to invite the men of the parish to set aside one hour of prayer every month for their family and our parish.  The reason it is held at midnight is

1) because there are generally no scheduling conflicts at this time (except sleeping), and

2) to give men an opportunity to sacrifice this time of sleep for the sake of their family and our parish.

I have done this event at a couple of my previous parishes as well, and it is very rewarding to gather at church once a month with a good group of men who want to spend an hour in prayer for their family and parish.

I encourage all the men of Immaculate Conception to attend the Midnight Watch, even if only once or a few times a year.

It is usually the 2nd Friday night of the month, here is the schedule:

March 8th

April 5th   (1st Friday)

May 10th

June 14th

Let me know if you would like more info or would like to be on the email notification list.

 

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

FEBRUARY 17, 2019 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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FEBRUARY 17, 2019

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

  “Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! …Your reward will be great in heaven.”

 

 Congratulations and God Bless 

the Newly Confirmed Members of Our Parish Family

 

Joseph Daniel Cienciwa

Son of Michael & Allison Cienciwa

~~~

Olivia Helen Gergen

Daughter of Bradley & Jaime Gergen

~~~

Alexis Ann Gramley

Daughter of Todd & Bernadette Gramley

~~~

Adam Michael Malecha

Son of Steven & Heather Malecha

These students received the Sacrament of Confirmation

from Archbishop Bernard Hebda

on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Cathedral of St. Paul


5 Things Women Need to Know About Men

This month’s Lighthouse CD is 5 Things Women Need to Know about Men by Dr. Allen Hunt.

While in the Valentine’s Day mood, I wanted to offer a CD for couples this month.

What in the world is your husband thinking?  What really makes him tick?  In this talk, Dr. Allen Hunt shares the five things women most need to know about men.  Simple, helpful, and inspiring wisdom to enrich your marriage and relationships.

Dr. Allen Hunt is a nationally known speaker and bestselling author.  He leads a powerful marriage seminar titled: Passion and Purpose for Marriage, and this talk is part of that conference.

If it would be easier for you to listen to this (or any other Lighthouse CD talk) as an MP3, rather than on CD, please talk to me.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are in my daily prayers.

May God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

 

 

 

Please see the Bulletin insert from the LNMV CEC this weekend!

Feb 16-17  CSA Video/flyer

 

Baptism Congratulations

 

to Jacob & Jennifer (Mike) Rhein

on the Baptism of their daughter, Nora Rose

on Sunday, February 17, 2019

 

Love is patient, love is kind.

 It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,

 it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,

 it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing

but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

 

Prayer for Married Couples

Almighty and eternal God,

You blessed the union of husband and wife
So that we might reflect the union of Christ with his Church:
look with kindness on us. Renew our marriage covenant.
Increase your love in us, and strengthen our bond of peace
so that we may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

THE PRAYER OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

Grant me, O Lord my God,
A mind to know you, A heart to seek you,
Wisdom to find you, Conduct pleasing to you,
Faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
And a hope of finally embracing you.

Amen.

 

“Eternal Father,

I offer you the most precious blood of the Divine Son, Jesus,

in union with the Masses said throughout the world today,

for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere,

for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my home

and in my family. Amen”

-St. Gertrude the Great

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial;

we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up

and enrich others by our own poverty.” –Pope Francis

 

SAVE YOUR CARDBOARD!

Please note that our IC-CCW will be receiving funds from the CARDBOARD RECYCLING at Mackenthun’s during the months of February and March!

 

SAVE THE DATE – Totus Tuus is coming to our 3 parishes

the week of June 23 through 29

– More information will follow…

TOTUS TUUS is a fun and energetic parish based summer catechetical program, for both grade school age children & junior & senior high school youth.

 

Teaching Parish Seminarian

Mitchell McLaughlin

December 8-9

January – NONE

February 16-17

April 14-15 also Triduum

May 11-12

 

 

LENT

 

FAST AND ABSTINENCE is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. These are days of fast, and abstinence from meat. Fasting is having only one full meal, with the option of also having two smaller meals that do not equal a full meal, for all Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59, inclusive.

 

All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat for all who have reached their 14th birthday.

 

We are once again participating in the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) program “Operation Rice Bowl”. The www.CRSRiceBowl.org website is full of stories and tips! During Lent, we are asked to occasionally eat the sort of meal people in poor countries have, and place the money saved in the rice bowl (available in the back of church). You may also use the envelope included in your giving packet. At the end of Lent, this money will be sent to CRS for its work in helping the poor in mission lands.

 

This Lent, join the Walk with Jesus Lenten Challenge. The walk is a twice-weekly

reflection program (beginning March 5th) that places a special emphasis on the

Way of the Cross. It is designed to help people focus on their spirituality so they

can grow in faith during these 40 days of Lent.

Join the challenge by visiting www.4lpi.com/LentReflections today.

 

 

~~Franciscan Retreats & Spirituality Center-Prior Lake~~

To register or for more info: www.franciscanretreats.net or 952-447-2182.

~~Christ the King Retreat Center~~

621 First Ave. South, Buffalo, MN (763) 682-1394 –www.kingshouse.com

~~Relevant Radio 1330AM~~                     

Program your dial to Catholic radio-Listen online at www.relevantradio.com

~~Retrouvaille ~~

Call (651) 464-5855, or visit www.helpourmarriage.com, or www.tcr-mn.org

~~Faribault Area Hospice ~~

Groups meet at District One Hospital lower level. Call 507-332-4837 for info

~~Area Regional Bereavement Support Group~~

St. Wenceslaus Church, 215 East Main St, in New Prague.

For more information call Deacon Bob Wagner at 952-758-0463.

~ Parkinson’s Support Group ~

4th Tuesday of every month from 1:00-2:30 PM at the New Prague Public Library.

For more information contact Betty Tupy 952-758-3924.

 

PARISH BAZAAR COMMITTEE 

Dave & Mary McFadden 744-5341

 

 

 

Pope Francis’ 2019 Monthly Intentions

MARCH

Evangelization – Christian

FEBRUARY 3, 2019 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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FEBRUARY 3, 2019

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Day for Consecrated Life

  

“Amen I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”

New Rectory Chapel

I’m so delighted to announce that the chapel in the rectory has been completed!  Shortly after I arrived at IC, we began construction in one of the spare bedrooms of the parish house to turn it into a chapel.  The project is now complete, and the result is wonderful.

As many of you know, when the nuns lived in the parish house there was a chapel in the room that is now our Lourdes meeting room.  And since that space is now an important part of the parish office, I decided to put in a new chapel using a different room in the house.

So many people helped work on the chapel.  In particular I want to thank:

  • Jake Tupy – heading up construction projects
  • Jake Simones for construction, painting, and staining assistance
  • My dad for help with drywall mudding
  • Paul Simon for donating the wood for the altar from trees he had personally milled
  • Dave Stepka for constructing the altar and re-finishing the cabinet

If I missed anyone, I apologize.  So many people helped over this past year that it’s hard to remember.

It is a great privilege to have the Blessed Sacrament in the rectory, where I pray daily.  Receiving permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a chapel like this actually requires asking permission from the Archbishop, which I received.

My daily prayer time with Jesus in the Eucharist is the core of my life.  Know of my constant prayers for you.  And thank you for your prayers for me.

May God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

 

JANUARY 27th, 2019 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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JANUARY 27th, 2019

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

“Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Catholic Schools

 

The purpose of our Catholic School is to form saints and citizens in partnership with families.

Saints: Individuals who know and love Jesus and his Church.  Our goal in life is to get to heaven.  But we don’t get to heaven by accident, nor by just being a “good person”.  We get to heaven by God’s grace living in us and sanctifying us, in other words, by being a saint.

Good Citizens: Individuals who have virtue, can think critically, and seek truth.  Modern education is rare that teaches the young morality and virtue.  However, without these, we have nothing to guide us and lead us in the right direction; rather, we are directed simply by our own passions and desires, and strive solely for what we think we want, rather than what God wants and what is best for the good of all society.  The development of virtue and critical thinking that teaches us how to seek the truth and find it is essential to being a good citizen.

In Partnership with Families: Education of children is essentially a partnership between the Church and the parents of the child.  Neither one nor the other alone can fulfill this responsibility.  The Church has always taught that “Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators”.  In addition, “in a special way, the duty of educating belongs to the Church, …[especially by] communicating the life of Christ to those who believe”.

This partnership between the parents and the Church is essential if the faith will be taught and strongly take root in the child’s life.

I believe Catholic Education is the best option for most families who truly want to pass on the faith to their children, because the Catholic School tirelessly works in partnership with the parents, re-enforcing the faith and the virtues that parents seek to teach.

Why I love Holy Cross:

  • Weekly Mass (in school)
  • Daily prayer (in school)
  • Learn about Jesus (in school)
  • Incorporate a Catholic worldview into every area of study, and teach our students how to integrate their faith into their daily lives, not separate them.

For these reasons, in addition to an excellent education in all subject matters, I personally encourage all parishioners of Immaculate Conception to consider sending your children to our wonderful school: Holy Cross.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

 

JANUARY 20th, 2019 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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JANUARY 20th, 2019

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Everyone serves the good wine first…but you have kept the good wine until now.”

Why I Left Planned Parenthood

I decided to add a bonus Lighthouse CD this month because of its relevance to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal throughout the entire United States.  This week’s CD is Why I Left Planned Parenthood by Abby Johnson.

Abby Johnson used to run a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas until she experienced a dramatic conversion on the understanding of human life in the womb.  She shares an insider’s perspective about the true motivations of the abortion industry, and her courageous journey away from it and towards life.

In this CD, Abby gives her personal testimony and also gives many helpful thoughts about why it is so important to be pro-life.  Her story is a testament to God’s grace and mercy, and the joy that comes from being an advocate for life.

If it would be easier for you to listen to this (or any other Lighthouse CD talk) as an MP3, rather than on CD, please talk to me.

There is also a new movie being made about Abby Johnson’s story, called Unplanned, which will be released in March of this year.  As it turns out, there is a very powerful story connected with the lead actress in the movie, Ashley Bratcher.

Ashley got the part to play Abby in the movie, and it wasn’t until she was on the set getting ready to film the movie when she talked to her mom about having the role.  Suddenly her mom began to cry and explained to Ashley that she herself was in an abortion clinic preparing to abort her (Ashley), when she decided she couldn’t go through with it.  And so, the actor playing Abby Johnson in this movie is herself only alive today because her mom left the abortion clinic and didn’t abort her.

(You can watch Ashley explain this powerful moment between she and her mom in an interview she did on Fox News.  Just do an online search for “Ashley Bratcher Fox interview”, and the video should pop up.)

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

 

January 6th, 2019 – The Epiphany of the Lord

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JANUARY 6th, 2019

The Epiphany of the Lord

“They opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

 

Blessings of Technology

Last weekend I wrote about the blessing of a home.  This weekend I’d like to focus again on blessings, and this time talk about blessing technology.

Technology is amazing in what it can do and how quickly it keeps advancing.  And with access to the internet, these devices help us find information quickly and stay connected with family and friends.  However, phones, tablets, and computers can also be used in ways that are gravely immoral by accessing pictures and videos that become occasions of “adultery of the heart”, as Jesus explained in Matthew 5:27-28.

I will be the first to say that technology is wonderful and a great benefit.  So, we do not need to reject technology, but we do need to take great care that it is used in a way that does not offend God, but rather glorifies Him.

For this reason, next weekend (January 12th & 13th), I will be offering a special blessing on all electronic devices.  I invite you to bring your phones, tablets, laptops, Kindles, iPods, etc., to Mass next weekend for a special technology blessing.  We will bless them as a way of dedicating them to God’s service and glory, and a reminder to have moral uprightness whenever we use these devices.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER 23, 2018 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

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DECEMBER 23, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled”

Blessing of the Christmas Tree and Nativity Scene

Christmas trees are a lovely tradition and have great symbolism.  The evergreen tree is a symbol of life, since it keeps its green color year-round (even through Minnesota winters!).  The Christmas lights remind us of Christ, the light of the world.  Christmas trees used to be decorated with apples, in addition to other ornaments, to remind us of the original sin of Adam and Eve, and of the redemption of Christ which frees us from sin.  Christmas is an important time to remember our redemption, for it was out of God’s desire to redeem us that He sent his son Jesus to be born for us at Christmas.

I encourage you to keep your Christmas tree up for at least the 12 days of Christmas (through the feast of Epiphany), or even until February 2nd (the feast of the Presentation of the Lord) which is 40 days after Christmas and concludes the Christmas season.

The nativity scene is another wonderful thing to display for the Christmas season.  The nativity scene was made popular by St. Francis of Assisi and is an excellent visible reminder to us of the humble birth of our Savior.

Here are some blessings you can use in your own home to ask for God’s blessing upon your Christmas tree and nativity scene.

Christmas Tree Blessing

Leader: My brothers and sisters, amidst signs and wonders Christ Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea: his birth brings joy to our hearts and enlightenment to our minds.  With this tree, decorated and adorned, may we welcome Christ among us; may its lights guide us to the perfect light.

Read: Titus 3:4-7

Leader: Let us ask God to send his blessing upon us and upon this sign of our faith in the Lord.

R/. Lord, give light to our hearts.

L: That this tree of lights may remind us of the tree of glory on which Christ accomplished our salvation; let us pray to the Lord.  R/.

L: That the joy of Christmas may always be in our homes, let us pray to the Lord.  R/.

L: That the peace of Christ may dwell in our hearts and in the world, let us pray to the Lord.  R/.

Leader: Lord our God, we praise you for the light of creation: the sun, the moon, and the stars of the night.  We praise you for the light of Israel: the Law, the prophets, and the wisdom of the Scriptures.  We praise you for Jesus Christ, your Son: he is Emmanuel, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace, who fills us with the wonder of your love.  Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we illumine this tree.  May the light and cheer it gives be a sign of the joy that fills our hearts.  May all who delight in this tree come to the knowledge and joy of salvation.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

 

Nativity Scene Blessing

Read: Isaiah 7:10-15 and Luke 2:1-8

Leader: God of every nation and people, from the very beginning of creation you have made manifest your love: when our need for a Savior was great you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.  To our lives he brings joy and peace, justice, mercy, and love.  Lord, bless all who look upon this manger; may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus, and raise our thoughts to him, who is God-with-us and Savior of all, and who lives and reigns forever and ever.  R/. Amen.

 

I wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas.  May Jesus Christ, who is the reason for the season, fill your hearts with great hope and joy this wonderful time of year!

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke