July 21, 2019 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 21, 2019

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”


New Sign for Cemetery

I’m happy to announce that we are planning to buy a new sign for our cemetery, Calvary Cemetery.  This sign will have the cemetery name, the map of the burial plots and names, and also additional information about the cemetery.

The old display case we had with the cemetery map was made of wood, and has been deteriorating over the years.  It badly needed to be replaced.  We decided that a more permanent sign, made of aluminum and plexiglass would be a good long-term investment, as well as look very nice.

The new sign will cost approximately $8,000.  We have already begun collecting donations, and have raised about $2,000.

To complete this project, we (the Cemetery Committee) are reaching out not only to our parishioners, but also to any family or friends who have someone buried in our cemetery, and inviting you to consider making a donation toward the purchase of the new sign.

If we collect more than is needed to purchase the sign, additional donations will be used exclusively for cemetery maintenance.

We have a very beautiful cemetery that I am very proud of, and I am excited at this opportunity to purchase a new sign that will last for a very long time.


You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

July 14, 2019 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 14, 2019

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Go and do likewise.”

Landscaping at Church and Rectory

I wanted to update the community on some landscaping and tree work that has been happening at the parish.

Church – The dirt piles on the East side of the church will remain there until next spring as we wait for the ground to settle.  All of that dirt was dug out from that area, so most of it should settle back in over the next year, especially after next winter’s freeze and thaw.

Rectory – You may have noticed some changes around the rectory and parish office.  We’ve trimmed trees, removed bushes, placed sod, and seeded grass.  Eventually we also plan to clean up the rock bed in front of the rectory.  I’m so grateful to everyone who has given a hand with all this work.

And finally, the big news!  Many of you are already aware, but in case you haven’t heard, we lost one of our huge trees by the parish office entrance in one of the storms we had a few weeks ago.  I give humble thanks to God that it didn’t land on the building.  As it turns out, the tree was completely hollow, and just needed a little wind to blow it down.  When it fell, it took down another tree next to it, and half of a second tree (which we will be cutting down soon due to this damage).  I’m very grateful to the Knights of Columbus who showed up shortly after the storm and had the tree cut up and hauled away within a few hours.

Since we have lost these three trees, I would like to replace them.  I am interested in planting three Sugar Maple trees in their place.  I love Sugar Maples because of their beautiful orange leaves in the fall.  If anyone would like to buy one of these trees in memory of someone, please let me know.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke



July 7, 2019 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 7, 2019

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“…do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Help with Parish Projects

There are several projects I would like to accomplish here at the parish, and so I’m reaching out to ask for help.  If you would be able to assist with any of these, or for more information, please let me know.

  • Refinish church front doors (sand down, then re-stain and varnish wood doors).
  • Make front church doors fit better so they don’t stick (the humidity makes them bind and hard to open).
  • Drywall and paint door frames in parish office.
  • Install (and paint) new gutter downspouts on church and civic center.
  • Fix plaster wall and re-paint church sacristy sink room.
  • Paint walls near elevator in church.
  • Install new fan over stove in rectory kitchen.
  • Repair plaster wall in rectory.
  • Paint garage door.


This month’s Lighthouse CD is Winning the Game for Christ by Mike Sweeney.

In honor of the great season the Minnesota Twins are having, I thought it would be good to have this month’s Lighthouse CD be about baseball.  The speaker is All-star baseball player Mike Sweeney.

In this CD, Mike speaks to 5000 young adults about his own experience of living his Catholic Faith from when he was a high school jock, through his time in Major League baseball.  With humor and humility, he shares the circumstances that led him to completely center his life on God, and how the Lord wants to personally be involved in your life, too.  Mike relates how pivotal choices led to his amazing ride with Christ.

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. VanDenBroeke


June 16, 2016 – Most Holy Trinity – Father’s Day

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June 16, 2019

The Most Holy Trinity

Father’s Day 

“Everything that the Father has is mine;”


Trinity Sunday and Father’s Day CD’s


This week I want to share two new wonderful CD’s with you.


First, in honor of it being Trinity Sunday, I want to highlight the CD Abba or Allah by Dr. Scott Hahn.

In this informative talk, Dr. Scott Hahn explores some of the most important beliefs that distinguish Christianity from Islam.  He explains that while both religions trace themselves back to Abraham, the differences, including our understanding of God as Father, are not insignificant.  With charity, balance, and candor, Dr. Hahn shows us how Islam presents the most formidable challenge to Christianity in the Third millennium.

The thing that really stood out to me when I listened to this CD was how much we take for granted the fact that God is a Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We simply believe that as Christians, but perhaps we don’t think much about it.  However, no other religion in the history of the world has considered God in this way.  By comparing Christianity to Islam, Dr. Scott Hahn helps us understand and appreciate why we believe in one God but as a trinity of persons.


The second CD I want to highlight this weekend, in honor of Father’s Day, is Pure Fatherhood by Devin Schadt.

This CD is a wonderful inspiration for men to step up and be the wonderful fathers they were created to be.  Devin Schadt explains how dads are the link between children and their Heavenly Father.  He gives many great examples from the life of St. Joseph to help human fathers understand their mission from God the Father.

Devin Schadt is a very inspirational speaker who brings together great insights, deep faith, and humor to explain the topic of fatherhood.

Happy Father’s Day to all the men of Immaculate Conception!


You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

June 9, 2019 – Pentecost Sunday

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June 9, 2019

Pentecost Sunday


“Receive the Holy Spirit.

Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,

and those whose sins you retain are retained.”


Mass Intentions

Every Mass can be offered for a particular intention (or intentions).  This is simply referred to as a “Mass intention”, or “offering a Mass up for a person or intention”.  A Mass is generally offered for a person, but can also be offered for another specific intention as well.

In order to understand the value of Mass intentions, we need to first understand the great importance of the Mass itself.  The one, perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ was his passion and death on the cross as he offered himself with perfect love and obedience to the Father.  The Mass is the perpetual memorial of that sacrifice.  This is why the sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest prayer, because it is our participation in the perfect sacrifice and prayer of Jesus.  In other words, the Mass has the same value as Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

(I very much encourage you to read a book called The Weight of a Mass, which is a very inspiring book, based on a true story, about the importance of the Mass.  It is a children’s book, but has a powerful message for all of us.)

During the Mass we are invited to spiritually unite ourselves to Jesus by lifting up our hearts to the Lord.  Additionally, we can “offer” the Mass for someone, which means we ask Jesus to give special graces that flow from his crucifixion to that particular person.

There is infinite grace that Jesus gives to us through his death on the cross, and thus Mass has this same infinite value.  In every Mass, the grace of Christ continues to be poured out upon us and upon those for who we offer the Mass.

Masses can be said for the living and the deceased.  Masses for the dead are noted in the bulletin by a + next to the name.  It is especially important for us to offer Masses for those who have died, for the repose of their soul.  In fact, whenever a priest of our Archdiocese dies, all the other priests are asked to offer three Masses for the repose of his soul.  Similarly, I very much encourage you to have Masses said for loved ones who have died.  I recommend three Masses shortly after their death, and then a Mass every year near their birthday or date of death.

To request a Mass intention, call or visit the parish office.  It is also requested to give a stipend of $7 for a Mass intention.  While a stipend is not mandatory, it is recommended as a way of supporting the church.

Sometimes people will say something like “this is my Mass” when the Mass is offered for their intention, however, this is not a proper way to talk about the Mass.  The Mass is never “ours”.  It is Christ’s sacrifice, offered through the Church by the hands of the priest, for the sake a particular intention.

Finally, I have decided to make some changes regarding requesting Mass intentions.  Going forward, an individual will only be allowed to request a maximum of 12 Mass intentions per year.  I apologize to those who desire to request more Masses than this, however, since we have such a limited number of Masses at IC each year, and over 400 families, I want to make sure everyone will have the opportunity to request Masses.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


June 2, 2019 – Ascension Sunday

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June 2, 2019

Ascension Sunday

“And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you”


Our Faith Is Increased by The Lord’s Ascension

From a sermon by St. Leo the Great, Pope

At Easter, beloved brethren, it was the Lord’s resurrection which was the cause of our joy; our present rejoicing is on account of his ascension into heaven. With all due solemnity we are commemorating that day on which our poor human nature was carried up, in Christ, above all the hosts of heaven, above all the ranks of angels, beyond the highest heavenly powers to the very throne of God the Father.

And so our Redeemer’s visible presence has passed into the sacraments. Our faith is nobler and stronger because sight has been replaced by a doctrine whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high. This faith was increased by the Lord’s ascension and strengthened by the gift of the Spirit; it would remain unshaken by fetters and imprisonment, exile and hunger, fire and ravening beasts, and the most refined tortures ever devised by brutal persecutors. Throughout the world women no less than men, tender girls as well as boys, have given their life’s blood in the struggle for this faith. It is a faith that has driven out devils, healed the sick and raised the dead.

Even the blessed apostles, though they had been strengthened by so many miracles and instructed by so much teaching, took fright at the cruel suffering of the Lord’s passion and could not accept his resurrection without hesitation. Yet they made such progress through his ascension that they now found joy in what had terrified them before. They were able to fix their minds on Christ’s divinity as he sat at the right hand of his Father, since what was presented to their bodily eyes no longer hindered them from turning all their attention to the realization that he had not left his Father when he came down to earth, nor had he abandoned his disciples when he ascended into heaven.

After Easter, I invited you to pray this prayer to the Holy Spirit.  As we approach Pentecost next weekend, I again ask that you please pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our parish.

Come, Holy Spirit,

fill the hearts of your faithful

and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created,

and you shall renew the face of the earth.

 Let us pray.

O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,

did instruct the hearts of the faithful,

grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise

and ever to rejoice in His consolation.

Through Christ our Lord.



You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

MAY 26th, 2019 – 6th Sunday of Easter

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MAY 26th, 2019

6th Sunday of Easter

“I am going away and I will come back to you.”


Invitation for our youth to become Sacristans of St. Therese or Altar Boys

We have an exciting opportunity at Immaculate Conception to have mother & daughter teams serve as sacristans for our church.  They have been given the name Sacristans of St. Therese and are in charge of opening the church before Mass, preparing the sacred vessels, and cleaning the linens used at Mass.

Named after its patron, St. Therese of Lisieux, the teams are inspired to love Jesus and the Mass in a deep and connected way as was so important to St. Therese.  One of her roles in the convent was to be the sacristan—to prepare and care for all the things used for Mass.  St. Therese served in this ministry with great love, knowing that she was serving Jesus.

Girls who have made their first communion and older are eligible to become Sacristans of St. Therese.  Please note that since they will be opening the church and sometimes alone at church it is required that her mother be present and assist her daughter in this beautiful ministry.

Similarly, boys who have made their first communion and older are eligible to become Altar Boys.

Altar boys are an extension of the priest’s ministry of ministering at the altar for Mass.  This is the reason that altar boys traditionally wear the cassock, showing their connection with the priest.

If your child would like to join one of these wonderful ministries for Mass, please let me know and we will schedule a time for training.

In addition to the ministry during Mass, my hope is to offer other opportunities for those who participate in these groups.  For example, last year we organized some Airsoft games for the altar boys, and we will be continuing to organize Airsoft events over the summer.  I also began a girls group last year which was a gathering for prayer, music, and great conversations.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

May 19, 2019 – 5th Sunday of Easter

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MAY 19th, 2019

5th Sunday of Easter

“This is how I will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”



We are honoring and celebrating our Immaculate Conception
Parish 2019 High School Graduates at our 5:00 PM Mass.

We wish them well, & offer our prayers for success in the future.

Andrew Cienciwa

Son of Michael & Allison Cienciwa

Johnny Carson

Son of John & Rosalind Carson

Annabelle Daleiden

Daughter of Michael Daleiden & Lynnea Daleiden

Samuel Goblirsch

Son of Craig & Nichol Goblirsch

Ryuka Jurgens

Daughter of Tim & Mikako Jurgens

Theresia Miller

Daughter of Joseph & Carrie Miller

Jenna Novak

Daughter of Anthony & Patricia Novak

Amber Simon

Daughter of Ron & Bonnie Simon

Allison Sticha

Daughter of Allan Sticha and Kari Sticha

Faith is not knowing what the future holds, but knowing Who holds the future.


We offer our special prayers and Congratulations

to the following students, who will graduate from

Holy Cross Catholic School on Thursday, May 23, 2019

Quinn Benolkin, daughter of Jake and Sara Benolkin

Tommy McCabe, son of Thomas and Barbara McCabe

Luke Meger, son of Leon & Rachel Meger

Paul Moening, son of Mike and Sherry Moening

Kellen Mohr, son of Brian Mohr and Stacy Mohr

Damon Nicolai, son of Dirk and Angie Nicolai

Jordan Simones, son of Jonathan and Jessica Simones

Bobbie Smisek, son of Bob and Laura Smisek


Dear God, We pray for our graduates today

and thank you for the work you are continuing to do in their lives.

We ask that you would remind them every day

how very much you love them.

We ask that you would teach them your ways

and fill them with an unquenchable desire to learn your word.

We ask for your peace to cover them.

We ask that you would raise up greatness in their lives,

greatness in this generation.

Be a lamp for their feet, and a light to their path.

Fill them with your spirit. Bless them with your favor and peace. Amen.


Waterproofing and Steps Projects

I wanted to give you all a heads up about some projects we will be doing at church this summer.  We will be waterproofing the basement wall and installing drain tile on the South and East sides of the church, and also replacing the front church steps.  The East side waterproofing will begin very soon, so that’s what’s happening when you see that side of the church all dug up.  The steps will be replaced in August after the parish Bazaar.  More information on this project will be coming out the first week of June.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

MAY 12th, 2019 – 4th Sunday of Easter

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MAY 12th, 2019

4th Sunday of Easter

Mother’s Day

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.”


Bible Quizzing

This past Fall I began a new activity called Bible Quizzing.  This is an activity for youth to study the bible and have fun doing it.

Every month one or more chapters of the bible are studied, and then the kids have a “Quiz”, which is like a game-show style contest where they compete against one another to try to answer questions about the bible verses they have studied.

When I was growing up, I participated in Bible Quizzing from 6th grade through 11th grade.  Although it was challenging to dedicate myself to studying the assigned bible verses every day, it was also very rewarding since it is studying God’s word.  Participating in Bible Quizzing gave me a great knowledge and appreciation of the bible.  I still today have many bible verses memorized because of my involvement in Quizzing.

I wanted to organize a Bible Quizzing team here in Lonsdale and so I began this year by inviting our homeschool families to participate, and I have been very happy with their effort and the fun we have had.  Next year, I would like to be able to expand this to include other children from the parish.

I want to invite you all to attend our final Bible Quiz of the year, next Saturday, May 18th, at 10am in the church basement.

I would especially like to invite families with children in grades 3-12 who would like more information about possibly joining the team next year to come and watch this final Quiz to get a sense of what it is all about.  Or, please talk to me if you would like more information.


Lighthouse CD for May

This month’s Lighthouse CD is The Virgin Mary Revealed Through Scripture by Dr. Scott Hahn.

Drawing on his roots as a Protestant minister, Dr. Scott Hahn responds to key misunderstandings about the Virgin Mary. This captivating presentation explains the biblical and historical basis for the Church’s teachings that the Virgin Mary is the New Eve and the Queen of Heaven.

Scott Hahn is one of my favorite speakers and teachers.  His insights never cease to amaze and impress me.  If you want to grow in your love and appreciation for Mary, then I highly encourage you to listen to this wonderful CD.

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

MAY 5th, 2019 – 3rd Sunday of Easter

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MAY 5th, 2019

________3rd Sunday of Easter_______

Welcome To The Table of the Lord


To the following children who are receiving their


Today, Sunday, May 5, 2019 at the 10:00 AM Mass

Brynna Barzee

Daughter of Joel & Elizabeth Barzee

Chloe Barzee

Daughter of Joel & Elizabeth Barzee

Savanna Duban

Daughter of Brian & Patricia Duban

Brody Durbin

Son of Robert & Pamela Durbin

Vanessa Lynch

Daughter of Jeffrey Lynch and Mandy Montanye

Stella Simon

Daughter of Paul & Cassy Simon

Kale Tisdel

Son of Phillip & Julie Tisdel

Sonia Vinge

Daughter of Trent & Paula Vinge




All Catholic parishes have a board of directors composed of five members: The Archbishop, the Vicar General, the Pastor, and two lay trustees.

While the pastor manages all day-to-day and pastoral operations, the board of directors is important for making significant decisions for the parish such as financial or construction decisions.

Here at IC we have been blessed to have excellent trustees.  Our current trustees are Joe Simon and Mark Sibenaller.  At the end of this fiscal year (which ends June 30th), our current trustees will be handing off their duties to two new trustees.

I am very happy to announce that our two new trustees for Immaculate Conception will be: Dave Stepka and Allen Rynda.

Please join me in supporting them as they begin their service to our parish.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke