November 27, 2016 – 1st Sunday of Advent

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 November 27, 2016

1st Sunday of Advent

“Be watchful! Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come.”

 

*Lectio Divina for the First Week of Advent

We begin our prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Stir up your power, we pray, O Lord, and come, that with you to protect us, we may find rescue from the pressing dangers of our sins, and with you to set us free, we may be found worthy of salvation. 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:

Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Matthew 24:37-44

 

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?

How do my daily activities reflect my call to Christian discipleship?

Do I follow Christ willingly and wholeheartedly?

What aspects of my life allow me to be lulled into indifference?

What steps can I take this week to be more attentive to the needs of     others and more faithful to God’s call?

How am I preparing for the coming of the Lord?

 

 

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: On that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” (Isaiah 25:9)

 

 

*Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.

Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read; meditate; pray; contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Giving Tree

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lafs-christmas-gifts-2016-smallOnce again, we will be participating in the Lonsdale Area Food Shelf Christmas Gift Program by sponsoring 4 families. This provides us the opportunity to provide Christmas joy to several families most in need within our community!

✢Wish list gift “bulbs” will be hung on a tree in the back of Church.

✢Each “bulb” lists an item to buy, along with age, male/female, suggested price range, and clothing size (if appropriate).

✢Please take a bulb (or several)!

✢No time to shop? Take a bulb and donate the money instead. Or donate to the general program to offset costs for families that aren’t adopted

✢Return unwrapped gifts & gift bulb(s) by December 4

Questions? Please contact Parish Life Ministry

 

November 20, 2016 – Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

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 November 20, 2016

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

 

Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

 

 

Jesus Is the Face of the Father’s Mercy

“Jesus Christ,” Pope Francis writes, “is the face of the Father’s mercy…” Merciful like the Father, therefore, is the ‘motto’ of this Holy Year. In mercy, we find proof of how God loves us. He gives his entire self, always, freely, asking nothing in return. He comes to our aid whenever we call upon him… Day after day, touched by his compassion, we also can become compassionate towards others (Misericordiae Vultus, #1, 14).

This weekend, the Year of Mercy will come to an end and the doors opened in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome will close. “The Jubilee year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on 20 November 2016. On that day, as we seal the Holy Door, we shall be filled, above all, with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for having granted us an extraordinary time of grace. We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future. How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!” (Misericordiae Vultus, #5).

The scarred Christ is our saving King. It is difficult for us to understand the self-emptying love that we witness in Jesus Christ. The tough and powerful save themselves. Kings save themselves. It is a different mindset to see one pouring himself out for “another.” It is difficult irony to watch someone so filled with love that he will not fight back nor tease his way out of a rough spot.

Last year, the world was warmed by the little boy in the yellow striped shirt who wandered up where Pope Francis was speaking to tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Without fanfare the child hugged the pontiff and refused to be cajoled away. The Pope patted the boy’s head by his side as he continued to deliver his talk on family life. Many sighed at the endearing scene, perhaps because the one whom we have given power to showed himself to embrace a child, the powerless one. One with power does not grovel to the little ones, one with power saves himself from embarrassment, and one with power is guarded by those who give him power. Francis modeled something different. So did Jesus. Jesus loved children, the outcast, the marginal, the widow, and the orphan. He bothered to talk to them and touch them. It is what caused Jesus so much trouble in the end. The culture could not tolerate such love. It is why he went to the cross. It is how he saves, not himself, but us. It is why today we call him “King.”

-Liturgical Reflection by Mary K. Matestic, MTS

November 6, 2016 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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November 6, 2016

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Vocation Awareness Sunday

Collection For The Archdiocese For The Military Services

 

“It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;”

 

 

“Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good.” —Pope Francis

 

Prayer Before an Election

Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our country ,and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.

We ask for eyes that are free from blindness, so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of abuse, violence, deceit and poverty.

We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn & abandoned, men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.

We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.

We pray for discernment, so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word, live your love, and keep in the ways of your truth as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Prayer of the Archdiocese for the Military Services

Almighty God and Father,

look with love upon our men and women in uniform

and protect them in their time of need.

Give them health and stability and allow them to

return to their loved ones whole and unshaken.

Be with their families and sustain them in these uncertain times.

Grant strength and peace of mind to the Veterans

who have given their best for the country they love.

Support them in infirmity and in the fragility of old age.

Teach us to remember their sacrifices and to express our gratitude.

Manifest your tender care to those in the Military Academies

who prepare for future service

and to those who serve our Nation far from home.

Teach us to remember the sacrifices of those

whose efforts contribute to ensuring our way of life.

Bless and multiply the priests who minister

to the faithful of the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

Reward their generosity and keep them faithful.

Hear us as we present our prayers to You through Christ our Lord.

-Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Prayer For Vocations

God, our source creation and love,

You invite each of us to serve You through the life which is Your gift.

May your grace encourage men and women to holiness through

service to the church as Priests, Sisters, Brothers, and Lay Ministers.

Make me an instrument to encourage others to give of themselves

and challenge me to do the same. Amen

 

Nine Days for Our State and Nation

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As we approach Election Day, we ask for God’s guidance. By prayerfully turning to our Father, we are reminded that our state and nation are dependent upon His continued blessing, and acknowledge His sovereignty over all things, our political action included. After all, our vote isn’t to be frivolously cast; rather, it is to be used to build up a more just society where all can flourish.

Please pray the Novena, which starts on Sunday, October 30 and was written by the Minnesota Catholic Conference. The Novena, including videos and other resources can be found at MNCatholic.org/novena.

Daily Novena Prayer (Begin each day with this prayer)

Virgin Mary, patroness of America, Please prepare our hearts as we take part in this year’s elections. Help us to humbly receive the wisdom of the Church, and to accept the importance of Her teachings in our lives and voting decisions. Guide us as we choose leaders who will best uphold the common good and the dignity of all. In your Son’s name, Amen.

October 30, 2016 – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 30, 2016

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Priesthood Sunday

 

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

  

Ministry Appreciation Month

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

– Colossians 3:23

 

October is Ministry Appreciation Month. This is a special time to express our appreciation for the ministries God has placed in our churches to bless us. It will surely please our Lord, though, when we remember His faithful servants all year long. Let’s open our ears to hear His voice as we look for ways to bless those who serve us on God’s behalf.

Churches come in all sizes; however, all churches have one thing in common. In each there are hardworking people who are dedicated to keeping the wheels on the wagon. These servants of the Lord teach Religious Education, serve on committees, lead small groups, keep and maintain the building, serve at the Mass, work with the youth, lead worship, tally weekly collections, and so much more. Some of these amazing individuals cover several functions at the same time.

If asked, most church workers would say they do what they do to ensure that the message of Christ goes forward and the needs of the parishioners are met. But even though their work is “unto the Lord,” they richly deserve our gratitude and appreciation.

Thanking those who bring so much to our church experience can be simple and heartfelt…

…Use your words. You might be surprised how powerful a simple “thank you for all you do” can be. “A word spoken at the right time is like fruit of gold set in silver.” -Proverbs 25:11 There are individuals in our church body who assemble the bulletin each week, dust the pews, deliver the Word, sing in the choir, and take up the offering. Use your words to let them know how much you appreciate their work. A thank you might be just the encouragement they need!

…Be there in prayer. Praying for someone, asking God to bless and keep them and meet their needs is the most valuable gift you can give to those who labor for the Lord in your congregation. Prayer adds a supernatural element to your words and actions. It invokes God’s richest provision, protection, and blessings. Praying for our church leaders also makes us more sensitive when they are experiencing discouragement or difficult times.

On Priesthood Sunday, please pray for our priests, praising God for their courage and their generosity. Make your appreciation for your parish priest known. A simple note, a smile or a call to assure him of your care and gratitude for his presence in the life of your church will go a long way to serve the greater good of our wonderful and growing Catholic Church.

Encourage each other and build each other up.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Tour of Cursillo through a German Dinner

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Are you missing JOY in your life?
Looking for a way to reconnect with God?
Are you wondering if you are living the life God has called you to live?
Come learn on a …Tour of Cursillo Through a German Dinner!

ashleerickertcursilloFeaturing Guest Speaker Ashlee Rickert

Join us at St. Michael’s Archangel Hall
Sunday, November 13th

4:00pm – Social and appetizers
4:45pm – Dinner

Cursillo is open to anyone ages 18 and over.

St. Michael’s Catholic Church is located at 16311 Duluth Avenue SE in Prior Lake

RSVP to Bev Ostertag at 952-440-9152 by November 9th if you wish to attend.

October 23, 2016 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 23, 2016

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Mission Sunday

National World Youth Day

  

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

WORLD MISSION SUNDAY

Today is World Mission Sunday, and we focus on the theme, taken from the Jubilee Year of Mercy, “Mercy changes the world.” Pope Francis encourages and reminds us, “The mercy of God is His loving concern for each one of us…. As the Father loves, so do His children. Just as He is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to each other.”

Today’s Psalm helps us see how important each of us is to the Lord, especially when we are in need. “The Lord hears the cry of the poor…. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves” (Psalm 34:18-19). In our own families and neighborhoods, we can think of those who need our listening hearts, our kind compassion. Those in our mission family cry out also for the Lord’s caring and peace.

On this World Mission Sunday, we are given a unique opportunity to “be merciful to each other,” as Pope Francis asks. At the Eucharistic celebration today, we offer our prayers for communities in need around our world and for the missionaries who serve them. And we offer our help to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith to support that merciful outreach, and in support of the proclamation of the Good News of God’s great love to the ends of the earth.

Today is World Mission Sunday, a celebration which joins all Catholics of the world into one community of faith. At Mass today, we recommit ourselves to our common vocation, through Baptism, to be missionaries, through prayer, participation in the Eucharist, and by giving generously to the collection for World Mission Sunday. As we pray and respond in parish churches here at home, we share in those celebrations taking place in every parish, seminary, school and convent all over the world.

Our commitment in faith to the Church’s mission relates to the broader message of St. Paul to Timothy in today’s second reading. St. Paul discusses the importance of examining our relationship with God, the way we live our daily lives – and about life everlasting. “The time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6-7). Paul had been an avid persecutor of the first Christians. Yet after his conversion he wholeheartedly served Christ and spread the Good News as the greatest of the early missionaries. Paul opened himself to God’s will and became His loyal servant. He accepted many hardships on his journeys as he shared the message of salvation. Now it is our time to be people of faith and commitment. It is our time to serve our loving Lord, to be His missionaries every day, wherever we are.

Suggested missionary action: Let us make an effort to consider our life each day, including what we believe, say and do. On this World Mission Sunday, let us ask the Lord to help us grow in faith and in commitment to the Church’s missionary work, through our prayers and sacrifices.

Pray and give generously today on World Mission Sunday.

 

October 16, 2016 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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         October 16, 2016

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

 

 

2016 Respect Life Statement

“Moved by Mercy” Respect Life Month, October 2016



My dear friends in Christ:

This summer, I traveled to Poland for World Youth Day, where millions of young Catholics gathered. A theme chosen by Pope Francis that I addressed in a talk I gave to young people was, “Now is the time for mercy.” It’s timely, isn’t it? Yet, as in a story I shared about Pope Saint John Paul II, it’s also timeless.

For years, Poland had been oppressed, with no freedom of religion. Human rights had been trampled, and the sacredness of human life violated. Then Pope John Paul II visited in 1979 with a message that changed the world.

He spoke about God, about faith, about human dignity, truth, and the sacredness of human life. He spoke about Jesus and the Church. And what do you think happened? Over a million people responded, chanting over and over, “We want God! We want God!” Mikhail Gorbachev said it was Pope John Paul II’s nine-day visit that led to the fall of communism.

After my talk concluded, history repeated itself. Youth from all over the world chanted, “We want God! We want God!” The Lord was moving hearts with his mercy.

God offers his gift of mercy to each and every one of us, no matter what. But we have to decide to receive that gift—whether or not to turn away from sin and turn, instead, toward him. We have to decide whether we want God.

The theme of the 2016-17 Respect Life Program is “Moved by Mercy”. When we let our hearts be moved by God’s mercy, it shapes everything. As Pope Francis said, “We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us”.

God made each of us in his own image and likeness.  He desires to be united with us forever in a loving relationship.  God loves us, treats us with respect, and asks us to do the same with others.  Every person is sacred and must be treated with the dignity they deserve.  No one should ever be treated callously or carelessly—everyone should be cherished and protected!

From each tiny child waiting to be born, to individuals nearing death, all are precious and deserve our care and protection. Women and men suffering after abortion, individuals tempted to end their lives, couples longing to conceive a child, people pushed to the margins of society by a “throwaway culture,” expectant mothers facing challenging pregnancies, and every other person—each “has a place in God’s heart from all eternity”.

Let’s ask God to make us channels of his loving mercy: Lord, help us to receive your mercy and turn to you each moment. And please guide us in extending your mercy to others today. Now is the time for mercy.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Cardinal Timothy Dolan Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities

October 9, 2016 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 9, 2016

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Clergy Appreciation Sunday

 

 “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

CLERGY APPRECIATION SUNDAY

“Friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you,

who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience”.

~1 Thessalonians 5:12~

CALLED TO SERVE

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH

 

1905 – 1921   Reverend Francis Bouska

1921 – 1935   Reverend Joseph Tomek

1935 – 1936   Reverend Albert Ziskovsky

1936 – 1946   Reverend Robert Bastyr

1946 – 1947   Reverend Stanley Skluzacek

1947 – 1948   Reverend Michael Skoblik

1948 – 1965   Reverend Charles Jirik

1965 – 1968   Reverend Robert Dobihal

1968 – 1971   Reverend Otto Neudecker

1971 – 1977   Reverend Gerald Schunk

1977 – 1985   Reverend Henry Gessner

1985 – 1996   Reverend Stanley Kozlak

1996 – 2007   Reverend A. Michael Sauber

2007 – 2011   Reverend Troy Przybilla

2011   Reverend Kevin Magner

2011 – 2015   Reverend Thomas McCabe

2016- Reverend Dennis Thompson