Bulletin – 25th Weekend in Ordinary Time

  • Mass on Saturday this week, September 18, 2021 at 4:30 P. M.
  • Wanted all to know that your board has agreed to a $500 gift from the parish to aid the Afghans coming into Fort McCoy, in Wisconsin. This is being done through Catholic Charities in Lacrosse.
  • In addition, because we understand that the needs are great, individuals who would like to give a gift individually can do so the next two weekends through the collection in the form of cash or checks made out to All Are One as usual and earmark it for the Afghan collection. Some of you asked and, yes, you may send contributions to me, Pastor Kathy at 24450 Gilmore Valley Road, Winona, MN 55987.
  • Brother Bede Baldry, Christian Brother, serving in our area has asked me to let you know about a group he is starting soon to share and discuss the meaning of dreams. The group is limited to 8 and begins on Tuesday evening, September 28 and continues for 5 consecutive Tuesdays after that. Details about what these classes/sharings will entail you can see in his description that follows:

DREAM CIRCLE

WHAT:  Dreams are gifts.  You are invited to look at your dreams and find out the gift they may be for you.  In the Dream Circle we’ll share dreams, look at dreams, wonder about dreams and think about what the dream might be for you.  Dreams have mystified, frightened, inspired, warned, and transformed us across the world.  For as long as we have been able to speak we have told each other our dreams.  Dreams are gifts.  

WHEN:  Tuesday evenings.  Sept. 28, Oct. 12,  26,  Nov. 9,   23  and Dec. 7 

WHERE:  Winona Catholic  Worker

                 832 W Broadway, Winona, MN 55987 

FACILItATOR:  Br. Bede Baldry, FSC 

FEE:  Donation       Mask required for now.  

If you have questions and are interested contact Bede at 773-332-4729

  • Kay Peterson from Winona Volunteer Services called this morning to update me on the services that WVS continues to offer to those in need locally. She said the best way to see what they have to offer is to check out their website at winonavs.org. She said that it is best to call if you actually want to stop in at 402 East Second Street as they no longer have a waiting area due to COVID and have made this original space into an office, so call before you would come, 507-452-5591. The Food Shelf and the Clothes Shop is still up and running!

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Dear Friends,

We continue in our walk with our brother Jesus this week–the readings for this weekend tell us that this won’t always be easy, but the challenge remains.

Come; be with us!

Peace and love,

Pastor Kathy

P.S. Now that we are back to in-person services as vaccinated and masked, I haven’t been making as many phone calls; but please be in contact with me if I can help you in any way, aaorcc2008@gmail.com or 507-429-3616.

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Readings:

  • Wisdom 2: 12, 17-20
  • James 3: 16–4: 3
  • Mark 9: 30-37

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Homily – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

   My friends, I wrote this on a morning after not sleeping well the night before, so you can imagine that my level of faith and hope might have been somewhat diminished, due to tiredness, yet that seemed not to be the case—I will let you decide.  Additionally, the Scriptures for this Sunday are full of challenge, which for someone without enough sleep, might feel off-putting, but remarkably, it seemed not so as I wrote.  Again, I will let you decide.

   The three readings today are all about “relationships,” with God, with others, with creation—relationships with each and all.

   Isaiah’s reading today is a foreshadowing of the Messiah—about how this long-awaited One will appear among us—then and now.  As we spoke of it last week, God choosing to be among us was not just a “nice story,” “once-upon-a-time,” but for us now, in our time too.  Our faith in God, as I said above, is about “relationship” with this entity that we can’t fully know in this life, or perhaps, ever, even in a “next life.” 

   Many of us have no doubt read in more recent years of the work of cosmologists, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and a host of others who spent their scientific careers advancing the work of their predecessors, Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, and others to let us know, very simply, that our universe is ever-expanding—that we can’t, in fact, know its ending.  That is why our ideas about God, formulated for most of us, as children must grow too, so as to encompass a God more worthy of who this entity truly is. 

   Theologians such as Ilia Delio, Richard Rohr, and Diarmuid O’Murchu, advancing the work of Teilhard de Chardin, are doing just that in our present time.  These theologians are tapping into the grand scope of our universe, presented by cosmologists and astrologists, to confirm the other—that in fact God is part of this grand scope that we can’t fully understand.  These theologians are really answering Jesus’ question in today’s gospel: “Who do you say that I am?”

   Jesus, our human and spiritual brother, part of a Trinity that we have come to know and believe, as much as that is possible, to be God—Creator, Savior, and Spirit, chose to come and be One-With-Us, so as to show us the intent of this Original One—that we might as spiritual beings too, have a human experience, living to our fullest.  Within all these words, I simply want you to hear that our God, whom we can’t fully know is yearning to be, “in relationship” with us—each of us.  If we seek to know how to do that, we should keep our eyes on Jesus— “listening to his words,” “watching” his actions.

   Jesus lived for others—his whole coming into humanity was about others.  If we would follow in his footsteps, we must be “for others” too.  And the most present and immediate example of this is the need for all of us in this country to get vaccinated as our president implored us to do this past week.  This is a time to get beyond political parties, personal wishes for freedom and comfort—this present need is what will eventually, sooner rather than later, truly free us from an enemy we can’t even see—this action is about others, not just ourselves.  And the wonderful thing is that when we act for the good of others, we are helped too, in ways we can’t always imagine. 

   Isaiah speaks today of a long-awaited Messiah, one who will confront us, as we must “confront” others, to be our best selves.  This Messiah, the people of old would need to realize, was not coming to help them vanquish their enemies, but to help them to, one day, be “in relationship” with them.  It is always easier “to fight” than to make peace. 

   Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the day here, in our country, that planes became bombs on 9-11-2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.  Newscasters have sought out survivors of that horrible event that took place in New York City, at the Pentagon and surrounds and the overriding thought in all the interviews was of “relationships” to loved ones who survived, to the thousands who didn’t, to the need of our nation to reach out and in some way try to help in a situation that initially made us feel so helpless. 

   And while not only one war, but two would follow, this wasn’t what was on the minds of any of the people who remembered this date, 20 years ago.  What they spoke about was where they were that day, and where the people who they were in relationship with, were on that day. 

   Last week, we ended the last of the two wars, the 20-year long war in Afghanistan.  Our president’s overriding message, in my mind, was about “relationships” —we all, on both sides, have lost enough, he said—it’s time to stop doing something that clearly isn’t working.  He has been ridiculed by some, but as the prophet Isaiah says today, and I paraphrase, all our adversaries will wear out like a piece of clothing.  This same prophet says that “God awakens my ear to listen,” and I would add, to see—see beyond our small world—to understand that we are to see how we are called to be in “relationship” with the wider world—each group of people and each nation given the chance of life and to live it to the fullest. 

   As we study more and more, and learn more about the fantastic cosmos that is, minute by minute, hour by hour, stretching out further, we must realize how insignificant we are and rather than puff up with pride over whatever we may have accomplished, rather, stand in awe, of all we are, “in relationship” with—all we are called to stand in solidarity with, to love and protect, rather than, conquer. 

   James tells us today that “faith” and action go hand in hand –you can’t really say you have “faith” if no action follows.  And that certainly brings us to our present day—so many needs—so much that calls for big-hearted people, each striving for our own good, yes, but for the good of all as well. 

   Jesus came among us to show us how much we are capable of as human beings—how flexible we can be, and of how, like the cosmologists who see a bigger universe than they ever imagined and the theologians who see a God even bigger and more inclusive than ever expressed by our small-minded churches—we can too.

   We are now, in our time, being called to see not only a God who lives in a building, or in a piece of bread—but in all created life, and when we can do that, we will have solved many, if not most of our problems and perhaps truly answered Jesus’ question in today’s gospel, “who do you say that I am?”  Amen? Amen!

Bulletin – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • Mass on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 10:00 A.M.
  • Vaccinations and masks are required to be in attendance.
  • Other precautions are in place to protect us all.

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Dear Friends,

We are called today–this week, to break out of our “small boxes” and do away with the God we have likewise put in a “small box” too, to follow our brother Jesus, who did not, “live in a box,” –but moved out to be in relationship with all who wanted that.

Come; ponder all this with us this week!

Peace and love,

Pastor Kathy

P.S. Always know that I am here to help if you need me–call, 507-429-3616, or email, aaorcc2008@gmail.com.

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Readings:

  • Isaiah 50: 4-9
  • James 2: 14-18
  • Mark 8: 27-35

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Homily – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

   My friends, each week when I come to writing my homily; I first go to the Scriptures of the day to see what the prophets of the past, which of course includes our brother, Jesus, are saying to the people of their time—messages that we must examine and then of course bring to our time to find the meaning for us.  Because if the Scriptures we read each week, are just, “nice stories,” that don’t have any meaning in our time—for us—here—in 2021, then we are missing the point! So, let’s examine. 

   The prophet, Isaiah is foreshadowing a time when the long-awaited Messiah will come and how they will know this One: “When the blind see, and the deaf hear, and the lame walk, you will know that God is in your midst.”  And we all know that people experience the inability to see, hear, and walk in more than physical ways. 

   As we look around our country and our beloved Church; we see this inability in physical, emotional, and within our Church—spiritual ways, as well—to see, hear, and act in ways that can unite us and help us to do what must be done for the good of us all. 

   Three years ago, at this time, we were grieving from the reporting that over 1,000 of our children in Philadelphia had suffered the loss of their innocence through sexual abuse by their priests over the years.  And to this day, many of the systems, mainly, clericalism, that make this kind of abuse possible, are still in place.

   Our country seems so divided in its ability to come together to face certain issues—global warming being one.  There are some, but less now, who are still in denial that this is even happening, but with fiercer storms and wilder fires plaguing us at present, more are connecting the dots—and some, never will, until it is too late.

   Storms like Ida, that did so much damage in Louisiana and along the eastern coast, “are the new normal,” we are told.  But, the prophet Isaiah, foreshadowing our brother Jesus, says, “Take courage, do not be afraid.”  I place my hope in that friends, and I hope you can as well—because what Jesus is really saying here is, “I will not leave you.” 

   Our Church too, from its most conservative end, is joining others in preaching misinformation about vaccinations that is keeping people from being inoculated not only from a virulent virus that has killed well over 600,000 of our people, just in this country, but continues to then mutate into ever stronger variants. This is something that we should be united on, yet, we are not, and it has divided families and friends.   

   And then there are those on the other end of the continuum in both Church and State who seem to see clearly what needs to be done for the good of the many where climate, vaccinations, immigration, racism, sexism, and the list continues, who are simply moving on—some, leaving the Churches of their youth because they see no one leading to bring about the needed change, or speaking a relevant message for their lives, or acting upon the message of Jesus, that should truly, include us all. 

   At present, our country too, is so divided—unfortunately, in my mind, recent leadership gave voice to an element in our country that felt unheard and manifested itself in a rather, selfish, me-centered philosophy that touted, “Make America Great Again!”  Indeed, we should do just that, but in ways that the group chanting this slogan, haven’t yet considered. 

   As followers of our brother, Jesus, we must always hold that image against his words, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  In today’s gospel, we have a truly beautiful image of this:  A blind and deaf man is brought to Jesus, who compassionately takes him aside—touches him, speaking words of comfort, showing us what the coming of God, in our midst, looks like—as the prophet, Isaiah foretold— “when the blind see, and the deaf hear—then, then….”  The gospel continues—”the one healed began to speak plainly” and, in my mind, he no doubt, “walked” as he never had before!

   Friends, the impasses we see in both Church and State, fueled often by misinformation begs for truth-telling, for compassion, coupled with strength that allows everyone to truly, “walk” in ways that are good for all—it’s a “seeing the forest” kind of thing, instead of getting, “lost in the trees.” 

   Being a Christian and even a citizen calls each of us to get beyond the needs of the one to see the needs of all.  This is a tricky thing because it calls for balance—we are called to see the needs of each one amidst the needs of all and come down in a place where no one is slighted at the expense of the other. Friends and acquaintances of mine have, in the recent past been forced from jobs because the powers-that-be have the need to, “control the message,” that fails to include us all and sadly, these are jobs within institutions run by religious orders, and more broadly, the hierarchical Church.  

   In this life we can’t have all that we want because then some, may have little, or none.  We need a Church and a State where all are considered and a system set up where no one, “falls through the cracks.” 

   To make this just a bit more plain,  if you have a friend or family member who believes the conspiracy theories where vaccinations are concerned, or believes a theology that is basically, “black and white,”—right and wrong, no in-between, or gray area with which to view life, then you have probably understood most of what I have said here today.   Usually those with a very narrow view of life, be it in Church or State, won’t allow any discussion unless it affirms their beliefs, which makes moving ahead in meaningful ways in our world that includes many who think and feel differently, to say nothing of cultural differences, most difficult.

   My best advice is to then, as always, keep our eyes on Jesus—who said to the deaf man today, “Be opened.”  We must walk into this world with hearts and minds engaged, as we need both—speaking truth as we come to know it by the Spirit and asking for the strength to do what is right, as much as possible, for all.  And this is how the Eucharist, which we all will receive in a bit, truly becomes, “bread” for our world. And this is what, amid all the suffering in our country, Church and world gives me hope, because I believe that there is the will for many of us, to be that “bread” that so many need. Amen? Amen!

Bulletin – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • Mass on Sunday, September 4, 2021 at 10 A.M.
  • We will continue to meet in person until it can be determined that it really is not safe for us to do that as a group. Some have decided to refrain from in-person for now due to their own health concerns and that is perfectly fine–please let me know of any thing you might need by way of pastoral support. In addition to being vaccinated and masked, we will keep in place additional practices at mass to keep us safe and always abide by CDC recommendations.
  • Please be in touch for any needs–507-429-3616 or aaorcc2008@gmail.com.

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Dear Friends,

We read prophetic words today from Isaiah and Jesus and if we are truly Jesus’ followers, we will be challenged by them too.

Come; ponder these mysteries with us this week!

Peace and love,

Pastor Kathy

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Readings:

  • Isaiah 35: 3-7
  • James 2: 1-5
  • Mark 7: 31-37

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