JULY 23, 2017 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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JULY 23, 2017

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time


“Then the righteous will shine like the sun

in the kingdom of their Father.”




What to do during a time of prayer

There are many ways to pray.  We are probably most familiar with vocal prayers (like the Our Father and Hail Mary).  Other kinds of prayer include liturgical prayer (like the Mass), meditation (usually with Scripture), and contemplative prayer (just being present in God’s love).

Most of us probably find it easy to do vocal prayers, which we learned as children, and which we usually think of when we “say our prayers”.  The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, etc. are all very beautiful and wonderful prayers, and we should get in the habit of saying these prayers at least every morning and every evening.

In addition to vocal prayers, I want to encourage you to go deeper and try to spend some time daily, or at least weekly to begin with, in meditative prayer.  We can begin this kind of prayer very simply by reading a paragraph from Scripture (the daily readings for Mass are a great place to start).  We shouldn’t rush through reading it just to “get it done”, but with the thought “what is God trying to say to me in this passage?”  It is often helpful to read the passage two or three times slowly, and pay special attention to any words or phrases that stand out to us or catch our attention.  Then, just start talking to God about the passage.  Something like, “God, I want to do your will, what are you trying to say to me today through this reading?  How can this scripture passage help me love you more?”

It’s as simple as having a conversation with God while reading scripture.  We ask God to speak to us, and we listen to the small quiet promptings he puts on our hearts.

St. John Damascene said that prayer is as simple as the “raising of one’s mind and heart to God”.

Please take some time this week for meditative prayer.  If you don’t know where to begin, try Matthew 4:17-22, or Mark 4:35-41, or the readings for the daily Mass (which you can easily find online, just Google “daily readings”).

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

JULY 16, 2017 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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JULY 16, 2017

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time


“But  the seed sewn on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it…”




Making a “Holy Hour”

One of the most significant things I have done in my life is taking time every day to spend with Jesus in prayer.  Growing up, my family prayed together most nights before bed, and as I grew older, I began to take time by myself to pray, to have my own personal time with Jesus.

When I entered seminary 13 years ago, we were all required to make a “holy hour”.  A holy hour is, as it sounds, an hour of prayer, but more specifically, it is prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist, adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  This daily routine of prayer has transformed my life more than perhaps anything else, because it is an opportunity not only to talk to God, but more importantly, to listen to him, and to love him.  I have kept up my dedication to a daily holy hour almost every day for the past 13 years, and intend to continue for the rest of my life.

I want to encourage all of you to not only pray every day as a family and individually, but also to stop into the church for prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist when you are able.

This past week, I began exposing the Blessed Sacrament in adoration in the church before daily Mass.  So from 7am (actually I usually open the church by 6:45am) until Mass at 8am, Tuesday thru Friday, I invite you to stop in to adore Our Lord in the Eucharist.

I also encourage you to attend daily Mass if you are able, but even if you are not, please try to make time at least once a week to make a visit to the church, perhaps for just a couple of minutes on your way to work in the mornings.

There is a story about a man from Saint John Vianney’s parish in Ars, France, and how he used to just sit in the back of the church and look at the tabernacle.  He never seemed to be doing anything.  So one day St. John Vianney approached the man and asked him what he did or what he said as he sat there in the church.  The man simply replied, “I look at him and he looks at me”.

That man knew and loved the Lord deeply, and he would come into the church just to spend time with Jesus.  I want to invite all of you to come to the church to just spend time with Jesus.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


2017 Parish Bazaar – Sunday, August 6

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Our annual Church Bazaar will be held on Sunday, August 6, 2017
Everyone is welcome!

8:00am Mass

10:00am Polka Mass,
featuring the IC Church Choir

Many fun things to do:

  • Games for kids
  • Try your luck at the Chance Booth or Split the Pot!
  • Book of Prizes – drawing at 6:00pm
  • Bingo
  • Homemade Czech baking goods
  • Country Market and Crafts
  • Used-a-Bit stand
  • Knights of Columbus Raffle for a 2017 Polaris Sportsman 570
  • and more!!

Live Entertainment featuring the Jolly P’s and the Whitesidewalls
Bring your lawn chairs!

Many food choices (food stands open at 10:30am):

  • Pork and Dumplings
  • Brats and Hot Beef Sandwiches
  • Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
  • French Fries
  • Pie and Ice Cream
  • Nachos and Cheese
  • Ice cream stand

Please join us!

JULY 9, 2017 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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JULY 9, 2017

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time


“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”



I want to say a big Thank You to all here at Immaculate Conception who have helped make my first week very wonderful.  Thank you also to all who helped get the rectory ready for my arrival.  You have all been very kind and welcoming.  I look forward to meeting and getting to know you all soon.  Please keep reminding me of your names.

For those who were out of town for the holiday weekend last week, here are some things I shared as I introduced myself at Mass.

I go by Fr. VanDenBroeke, which you can easily remember by thinking, “I’d like a cookie…VanDenBroeke” because it rhymes!

My official title is “Parochial Administrator”, rather than “Pastor”.  As my letter of appointment states, this position assumes “the responsibilities for governance of the parish…this includes full pastoral responsibility for care of souls of the parish.  As parochial administrator, you are to have the rights and duties of a pastor”.  The biggest difference between “Pastor” and “Parochial Administrator” is that a pastor has more permanence at a parish.  The assumption is that after my first year, I will officially be named the pastor.  In short, for all practical purposes, you can simply consider me your pastor, though it won’t be official or permanent until likely next year.  In regular conversation, you can call me the pastor, but you will see my official title (such as in the bulletin) listed as Parochial Administrator.

Finally, I enjoy being invited over to parishioners’ homes, so please take advantage of that in the coming weeks and months!  I eat pretty much anything, especially pizza, pasta, and anything on a grill.  I also enjoy fresh bread and chocolate chip cookies.  And I’m also very open to trying the Czech foods that I hear so much about!

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

June 25th, 2017 – 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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June 25th, 2017

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time


“So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”


Dear Parishioners,

My pastoral assignment at Immaculate Conception Parish is ending. It is hard to believe that one church season: Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter has gone by so fast with you all. Being here with you has been a wonderful honor and blessing in my priestly ministry. I thank you for your generous blessings, prayers, (and your singing at the 5:00 PM Mass 😉 while I served Immaculate Conception Parish.

I will continue to pray for the faith and vitality of this wonderful community and for your next parish pastor, Father VanDenBroeke. I want you all to know, you will always be in thoughts and prayers!

God bless,

Fr. Dennis





Everyone is Invited to a

Farewell Reception for Father Dennis

Today, Sunday, June 25

Coffee & Rolls will be served

in the Civic Center

after the 8:00am and 10:00am Masses

~Father Dennis has been our Pastor since August, 2016~

 “The Lord bless you and keep you,

the Lord make his face shine upon you

and be gracious to you,

the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.”

June 18, 2017 – The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

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 June 18th, 2017

The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

Father’s Day


“…whoever eats this bread will live forever.”




A Father’s Day Prayer


God our Father,

you govern and protect your people

and shepherd them with a father’s love.

You place a father in a family as a sign

of your love, care, and constant protection.

May fathers everywhere be faithful to the

example shown in the Scriptures: steadfast

in love, forgiving transgressions, sustaining

the family, caring for those in need.

Give your wisdom to fathers

that they may encourage and guide their children.

Keep them healthy so they may support a family.

Guide every father with the Spirit of your love

that they may grow in holiness

and draw their family ever closer to you.



June 11th, 2017 – The Most Holy Trinity

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June 11th, 2017

The Most Holy Trinity


“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”



Saint of the Month


Saint Anthony of Padua   When you lose something, who do you pray to? Yes, St. Anthony, patron saint of lost items.

What’s the prayer? “Tony, Tony, come around. Something’s lost and can’t be found.” Remember that! It really works.

So who was St. Anthony? He was born Fernando Martins in Lisbon, Portugal, and became a priest at the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, the then capital of Portugal.   Eventually, he left and joined a small hermitage outside Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt.

When he was admitted to this new Franciscan order, he changed his name to Anthony.

Anthony traveled to Morocco to spread God’s word, but he became ill and had to return to Portugal. Unfortunately, his ship was blown off course and he arrived in Sicily, making his way to Tuscany.   Here’s where his story gets really interesting.

While recuperating, he ends up spending time with some Dominican friars, eventually learning how to present an exquisite homily at their joint services.   News of this young orator reaches none other than Francis of Assisi, who becomes his best friend, convincing him to become a legitimate teacher.

Anthony had a book of psalms he gathered, and one day, the book was stolen!   Anthony prayed for its return, and the thief brought it back.   The book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna today.

Anthony’s Feast Day is June 13. He’s typically depicted carrying his book and the Infant Child Jesus. And now you know why he’s called the “finder of lost articles.”



June 4th, 2017 – Pentecost Sunday

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June 4th, 2017

Pentecost Sunday


“Receive the Holy Spirit. 

Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,

and whose sins you retain are retained.”

10 things you should know about Pentecost Sunday…

  1. Pentecost Sunday marks the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles.
  2. Pentecost Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter.
  3. The Bible records the Pentecost in Acts 2:1-13.
  4. Pentecost comes 10 days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
  5. Pentecost is also known as “the birthday of the Church”.
  6. Pentecost fulfills Jesus’ promise to send the “Counselor” and “Spirit of Truth” in John 16-5-15.
  7. Pentecost launches the large-scale spreading of the Gospel after Jesus’ Ascension. Acts 2:41 records that after Peter spoke to the crowd after receiving the Holy Spirit, some 3,000 people were baptized.
  8. The Pentecostal movement derives its name from the New Testament event in Acts 2.
  9. Jews also celebrate Pentecost, but not for the same reason as Christians. The celebration by Jews of Pentecost is to observe God giving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai 50 days after the Exodus. The Pentecost in Jewish tradition takes place 50 days after Passover.
  10. In Western Churches, Pentecost is usually represented with the color red, which symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.


Our New Priest – Father Nick VanDenBroeke

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Our new Pastor as of July 1, 2017 is Father Nick VanDenBroeke

Ordained: May 26, 2012 at the Cathedral of St. Paul

Home Parish: Guardian Angels, Chaska

Parents: Bob and Julie VanDenBroeke

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Catholic studies and philosophy from St. John Vianney College Seminary, St. Paul

You can read Fr. VanDenBroeke’s full bio here

Please pray for our Parish as we say goodbye to Fr. Dennis Thompson and welcome our new pastor Fr. VanDenBroeke.