9 Days for Life 2017

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The U.S. bishops annual novena 9 Days for Life takes place Saturday, January 21 – Sunday, January 29. Pray for the respect and protection of all human life with new intentions, brief reflections, and more each day. Download the novena online, or participate through Facebook, email, text message or an app. Join at www.9daysforlife.com!

January 15, 2017 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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January 15, 2017

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

 

 

The Annual

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

begins this Wednesday, January 18,

and concludes next Wednesday, January 25.

Let us join with other Christian churches

as we remember the 2017 theme,

~ The Love of Christ Compels Us ~

(2 Corinthians 5:14-20)

 

 

 Prayer for Christian Unity

Eternal Father,

we praise you for sending your Son to be one of us and to save us.

Look upon your people with mercy, for we are divided in so many ways,

and give us the Spirit of Jesus to make us one in love.

We ask this gift, loving Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

 

 

January 8, 2017 – The Epiphany of the Lord

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January 8, 2017

The Epiphany of the Lord

Immigration Sunday

 

“And having being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”

 

 A letter from Archbishop Hebda to the Faithful

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Once again, the great feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, recalling the manifestation of God’s glory to the magi who left their homelands in pursuit of the Messiah, will be celebrated here in Minnesota as Immigration Sunday and as a kickoff to National Migration Week, which this year will focus on the theme: “Creating a Culture of Encounter.”

The week is intended to be an opportunity for stepping outside of our comfort zones to encounter our brothers and sisters who are different than we are. It is my hope that this would be advantageous for all of us, whether we were born here in the United States or abroad. It is only through such encounters that we can grow in our ability to see each other as children of God.

Immigration Sunday and National Migration Week are also ideal opportunities for informing and examining our conscience in this area, requiring that we take the time to learn what the Church teaches about immigration and its connection to our Catholic understanding of the dignity of each and every person created by God. The Catholic Church has a rich history of both protecting the vulnerable and ensuring that just laws and regulations are followed. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has repeatedly asserted that our immigration system is in need of reform but has been just as adamant in reminding our legislators that the reform must take place without compromising public safety. It is clear that there is no simple solution to this complicated issue, but our bishops have consistently taken the position that a fair and effective reform would be possible if people of goodwill work together honestly and in charity.

In his letter for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis has reiterated a passage from the Book of Exodus (22:21): “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” while reminding our immigrant brothers and sisters that they need “to cooperate ever more closely with the communities that welcome them, for the good of their own children.”

That same balance is reflected in the helpful resources that the Minnesota Catholic Conference has prepared for parishes, schools and families, including insights drawn from Catholic social teaching, frequently asked questions, and immigration studies and statistics. As we together strive to be better Catholics and better neighbors, I encourage you to prayerfully read through the Minnesota Catholic Conference materials that can be found at: mncatholic.org/advocacyarea/immigration-sunday-mn/.

May the longstanding principles of our Catholic teaching be the star that guides us to the Christ child so that we, like the magi, might catch a glimpse of His glory and adore Him.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda,

Archbishop of St. Paul & Minneapolis

 

Catholic Faith Study January 30 – April 3

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Symbolon is a 10-part series that explains the teachings of the Church in easy-to-understand short lectures by dynamic Catholic speakers. See how Scripture is so closely connected to the Catholic faith and how to better understand Scripture in light of Catholic doctrine.

We will study….

  1. The Journey of Faith
  2. Divine Revelation
  3. The Bible
  4. The Story of Salvation
  5. Who Is Jesus?
  6. The Paschal Mystery
  7. The Holy Spirit and the Life of Grace
  8. Why do I Need a Church?
  9. Mary & the Saints
  10. The Last Things

WHEN
Mondays 7pm – 8:30pm
January 30 – April 3

WHERE
Meeting Room, Civic Center

COST
$22 (Includes participant guide)

SIGN-UP DEADLINE
JANUARY 15th

To sign up or if you have questions, please contact: 

Ashlee Rickert via text at 952-292-6231 or email aarick13@gmail.com

Call the Parish Office at 507-744-2829 OR email icparish@lonstel.com

Sign-up dues can be mailed to the office or put in the collection basket

Sponsored by the Parish Pastoral Council

Parish Family Bingo – January 15, 2017

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Please join us for Parish Family Bingo on Sunday, January 15th! Bring the whole family for a Sunday afternoon of fun, food and prizes. Invite your family and neighbors – everyone is welcome!

Bingo will be held in the Crusader Civic Center.

11:00am – lunch is available for purchase

Bingo games start at 12:00pm. Play bingo all afternoon for a cover charge of $3.00. Extra cards are available for $0.50 each.

Sponsored by the IC-CCW.

All parish families are asked to donate two NEW $2.00 prizes for Bingo Sunday. There is a box in the back of church for your donations.

January 1, 2017 – Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God

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January 1, 2017

Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God

New Year’s Day

 

 “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”

 

 

An Act of Consecration for the United States

Most Holy Trinity,

we put the United States of America

in to the hands of Mary Immaculate

in order that she many present the country to you.

Through her we wish to thank you for the great resources of this land

and for the freedom which has been its heritage.

Through the intercession of Mary,

have mercy on the Catholic Church in America.

Grant us peace.

Have mercy on our President-elect

and on all the officers of our government.

Grant us a fruitful economy born of justice and charity. Have mercy on capital and industry and labor.

Protect the family life of the nation.

Guard the innocence of our children.

Grant the precious gift of many religious vocations. Through the intercession of our Mother,

have mercy on the sick, the poor, the tempted, sinners—on all who are in need.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Our Mother,

Patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you

and give ourselves to you.

Protect us from every harm.

Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the Will of your Divine Son,

we may live and die pleasing to God.

Amen.

Mary cradles the world. As the leadership of our country changes hands, it is reassuring to know that this woman who gave birth to Jesus continues to intercede for the very people her Son came to save.

Through Mary, the Holy Mother of God, the New Year begins. Her life is bent toward love, and a simple request to take hold of Jesus, her Son, whose life was given over for us all.

 

December 25, 2016 – The Nativity of the Lord

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December 25, 2016

The Nativity of the Lord

 

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 

 A Christmas Pledge, Prayer, and Promise

 You are the greatest gift of Christmas. As we move forward into the holiday season and prepare our hearts for Christmas and a New Year, I ask all of as parishioners of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church to consider in our 2017 New Year’s resolutions -how we can share the gift of our time, talent, and treasure in building up the life of our community. The greatest gift we can open this Christmas is our hearts and minds to know and live the grace of Jesus Christ each day of our life.  What a difference this would make in our world, our community, and in our life. The Lord is with us now!

All of us as parishioners of Immaculate Catholic Church are the greatest blessing and resource we have as a parish community. Each person has something to offer. Together as a parish we draw our strength, wisdom, and vision from the Lord and from each other as a faith community. The Holy Spirit empowers us to use our gifts for the good of all.

Let us all pledge ourselves in the New Year of 2017 to share what we have, to grow in the faith that gives us strength, the hope that lets us struggle for a better future, and a love that calls us to be of service to all. We believe that God is present with us as we endeavor to love as faithful disciples of Jesus.

You are the blessing of Christmas.

Together we have prayed,

Emmanuel – God is with us.                        

We have come to know that the Lord is here among us now.

 

Each one of you is such an important Gift of Christmas to our parish, and I want you to always remember that.

 May the blessing of Christmas be with you throughout this New Year of 2017!

 

Make it a blessed and Holy Christmas and a great New Year,

Fr. Dennis Thompson

December 18, 2016 – 4th Sunday of Advent

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December 18, 2016

4th Sunday of Advent

 

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.”

 

Lectio Divina for the Fourth Week of Advent

 We begin our prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, that those who trust in your compassion may find solace and relief in your coming. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Reading (Lectio)

Read the following Scripture two or three times.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce

her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. Matthew 1:18-24

 

Meditation (Meditatio)

After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence on one or more of the following questions:

  • What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
  • What in this passage comforted you?
  • What in this passage challenged you?


Contemplation (Contemplatio)

Read the scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:

How does this passage connect with the experience of your daily life?

Do not be afraid.

What fears and anxieties keep me from living my call to be a disciple? How can I help others live their calls without fear?

God is with us.

How am I aware of God’s presence in my daily life?

How do I make God present to others?

He did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.

How do I discern God’s plan for my life?

What steps can I take to help me follow the Lord more closely?

 

Prayer (Oratio)

Read the scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you.

Recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:

Closing Prayer: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals. Zephaniah 3:16b-18

 

December 11, 2016 -3rd Sunday of Advent

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December 11, 2016

3rd Sunday of Advent

Gaudete Sunday 

 

“Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.”

 

Lectio Divina for the Third Week of Advent

We begin our prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. May your grace, almighty God, always go before us and follow after, so that we, who await with heartfelt desire the coming of your Only Begotten Son,may receive your help both now and in the life to come. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Reading (Lectio)     Read the following Scripture two or three times.

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you. Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Matthew 11:2-11

Meditation (Meditatio)     After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence one or more of the following questions:

  • What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
  • What in this passage comforted you?
  • What in this passage challenged you? 

Contemplation (Contemplatio)     Read the scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:

How does this passage connect with the experience of your daily life?

Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?

What am I looking for in life? How can I turn my attention and effort to seeking the Lord more wholeheartedly?

Go and tell . . . what you hear and see.

Whose witness helps me grow in my faith? Why? How can I share the Good News of God’s love and mercy with those I meet?

What did you go out to the desert to see?

Where do I go to be in the presence of God? How do I encounter Christ in my daily life?

 

Prayer (Oratio)     Read the scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you. After all have had a chance to make their prayer, all recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:

Closing Prayer: Thus says the Lord: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. (Isaiah 56:1)

 

December 4, 2016 – 2nd Sunday of Advent

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December 4, 2016

2nd Sunday of Advent

 

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

 

Lectio Divina for the 2nd Week of Advent

We begin our prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Almighty God, who command us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord, grant in your kindness, we pray, that no infirmity may weary us as we long for the comforting presence of our heavenly physician. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Reading (Lectio)

Read the following Scripture two or three times.

Matthew 3:1-12 John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Meditation (Meditatio)

After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence on one or more of the following questions:

  • What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
  • What in this passage comforted you?
  • What in this passage challenged you?

Contemplation (Contemplatio)

Read the scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:

How does this passage connect with the experience of your daily life?

         Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

For what sins do I need to repent?

How can I avoid the people, places, and things that lead me to sin?

Prepare the way of the Lord, / make straight his paths.

What can I do to make the Lord more present in my family, workplace,

parish, or neighborhood?

How can I help draw others to an encounter with Christ?

Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.

How do I show God that I love him above all things?

What one thing will I do this week to live more fully my call to be a

disciple?

Prayer (Oratio)

Read the scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you. Recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:

Closing Prayer: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care. (Isaiah 40:10-11)