Homily – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Fifteen of us met this morning for liturgy and as in the previous few weeks, it has been wonderful to be in person again! If this didn’t include you today, we hope you can join us soon!

Remember to continue signing up for our July 25th gathering on the farm, which is a Sunday to celebrate Mary of Magdala and all women as chosen, and found worthy by our loving God, in Jesus.

We will follow the 10 A.M. Mass with a pot-luck picnic, so write soon to let us know that you can join in and what you can bring.

We are putting some things in place for those who experience difficulty with walking and I will share more on that in the next two weeks. Have peace all and share your love with others in extraordinary ways! Be in touch with me if I can ever help in any way–aaorcc2008@gmail.com or 507-429-3616. –Love to you all–Pastor Kathy



   My friends, last week I gave up, for the time being, using “extra” with Ordinary Time to suggest that calling ourselves “Christian” carries with it, already, the challenge, to do more, standing up, standing out, from the crowd.  That having been said, with the challenges we have had the past few weeks and today to be prophets—where we live, in our seemingly, ordinary lives, with the realization that it is part and parcel of what it means to be Christian, you can see why my emphasis on this time, being, “extra,” so as not to miss the point.  But we will keep to our thinking for now that Ordinary Time always calls us to be more.

   We will probably always struggle though, as do the main players in today’s first two readings, that, truly they are—Amos and Paul, called to be prophets—it goes with the territory, when we say, we have faith, or claim our Christian heritage.

   Now, our “Catholic” heritage—well, that is another issue.  There was a time when we could say, with more pride than at present, that we are Catholic Christians.  The hierarchy of our Church has sadly, sullied this heritage by forgetting, too often, who it is that they follow and remaining true to that memory. 

   We only need think of the attempt to use the Eucharist as a weapon to keep high profile people in line, or the despicable uncovering of mass grave sites in Canada of First Native children, “incarcerated” in mostly Catholic-run schools to obliterate their cultures and languages, making them into “acceptable” human beings.  And when they died, which far too many did, from illness and abuse, they were buried on the school grounds, never returning them to their families.  My, the need for prophets was huge here!

   Being a prophet has never been an attractive, nor desired position, but a needed one, just the same.  Jesus knew that and often prayed for the strength of his Abba to do what he knew he must. 

   Amos, in today’s first reading did not want the role and when he is rejected, he says, [Look,] “I did not want to be a prophet, but God said, go,” so I went!  We get the sense here, that when God asks, the faithful one responds in the affirmative. 

   In the selection from the Ephesians today, Paul spends most of the reading speaking about how Jesus came to redeem us of our sins.  Most reparable theologians today deny that this was Jesus’ mission, so what Paul has to say here regarding this issue, I will simply let lie.  The end result though, that we would become “heirs” in the family of God is closer, I believe, to the truth.

   The wider, grander view—is that Jesus is our hope, yes, and the “salvation” he truly offers us, is “the way, the truth, and the life”—that is, how to live—our one precious life—being the best people we are capable of being.

   The Gospel passage from Mark gives us a view of the compassionate brother that Jesus was to those first followers.  Knowing that being a prophet can often be a lonely task, “he sent them out in twos.”  The purpose, no doubt, was for support and strength—a reminder to us as well—that at times we may have to stand alone, but, when at all possible, a companion for the journey, is best.

   That is why our community here, All Are One, becomes so important, as we struggle to faithfully, and courageously, carry out our part of Jesus’ mission on earth.  Through our prayer, listening to the Word and sharing the Eucharistic meal, sign, symbol, and reality of Jesus with us, we acknowledge our deep need for companions and our call to be “companion” to others.  We stand for something different in the Catholic community of this area—we go against the grain—some say, we cause “confusion” for others, and therefore, we do need the support of each other to be the prophets that Jesus calls us to be.   

    Additionally, Jesus asks his followers to, “go out simply,” and they were supposed to be prepared to “shake off the dust!”  In Jesus’ day it was common practice to, “shake off the dust” when leaving a foreign place as a sign that their views were not the same.  In our present day, I think we struggle with knowing when to be accepting of others’ stands and when to stand our own ground for the perceived right. After all, most of us, brought up with religious backgrounds, learned well not to question, but accept, and then of course, there is “Minnesota Nice” to contend with!  Perhaps there is a place in the middle, a balance between listening-hearing, and acceptance.  

   The other piece of their task was, “to proclaim repentance as they went.”  I think we sometimes don’t proclaim the message of our loving God in its fullest sense when we look at this line too narrowly.  Was Jesus simply telling these first followers to “forgive sins,” or was there more?

   I read this to mean, our loving God forgives all that has been, in order that, putting the wrongdoing aside, we might have the strength to pursue our best once again.

 If we simply stop at the wrongdoing and concentrate on that, (Jesus died for our sins), there is no movement forward to something better.  In this regard, I think of the compassion of Jesus with the woman caught in adultery, (presumably an action she did by herself) who received Jesus’ pardon, but not without his encouragement to go forward in a better way.

   So, this brings us full circle—our call as Jesus’ followers, just like to the first ones, to the task of prophesying.  Why is it, do you think, that people of old and people in present times find that so difficult?  Do we lack the faith to know and believe that we can do anything to make a difference? Perhaps.  I think sometimes we are of the misconception that to be a prophet means we have to travel or be someone important, more than educated, of some means, and the list goes on to discount ourselves from even considering such a “lofty” task.

   But let’s look at who God has chosen:  fisher people, shepherds, tentmakers, the poor, the afflicted, women—no less, to speak truth to power in a way that because of their ordinariness, ALL people will know that the power unleashed through them—through us, is really the power of God.

   All the readings today confirm for us that God chooses ordinary Christians and gives them extraordinary responsibilities! Really, this is another sign of how we are loved and trusted by our God. When you think about it—don’t we mere humans give the tasks that take the greatest responsibility to those we love and trust most? Our loving God will not be outdone by us. 

   All of us are simple people too, educators, grandparents, electricians, farmers, in the social and human sciences, nurses, moms and dads, pastors, children—and it is within these ordinary professions and stages of life that we are called to make a difference by the way we live our lives—it is where we touch hearts and minds and souls with the tenderness of our God—it is there that we heal people with our touch, our words.  It is there that we help to drive out the “demons” that have strangleholds on people—just as those first apostles did.  In very ordinary ways, ordinary people are called to do extraordinary tasks for the kindom.

    In the first decade after the Second Vatican Council, we used to sing a hymn— “They Will Know We Are Christians by our Love” and that wasn’t just a catchy tune!  Amen? Amen!

Bulletin – Ascension/7th Sunday of Easter in an Almost Time of Safety


Next Zoom Mass is May 30, 2021 at 10 A.M. SAVE THE DATE!

Dear Friends,

Again, as in other years, I have combined two feasts, that of the Ascension and the 7th and last Sunday of Easter Season, using the 1st reading from the Ascension liturgy and the other two from the 7th Sunday of Easter.

With each ending comes a beginning. The time of Easter rejoicing calls us now, to being Christ’s hands, feet and hearts for our world.

Peace and love as we strive to do so!

Pastor Kathy

P.S. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch by phone, 507-429-3616 or by email, aaorcc2008@gmail.com if there is anything I can do–or even if you just want to chat!



  • Acts 1: 1-11
  • 1 John 4: 11-16
  • John 17: 11-19


Bulletin – 4th Sunday of Easter in an Almost Time of Safety

ZOOM MASS THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2021 AT 10 A.M. CDT–Watch for the Mass link on Saturday. We hope many of you can join us!


Dear Friends,

This 4th Sunday of Easter is also, Good Shepherd Sunday! The reminder is certainly there that in this relationship with our God, God is always near–always watching out for us.

This Sunday we will also “zoom” together–hope to see many of you!

Peace and love,

Pastor Kathy

P. S. If I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to email, aaorcc2008@gmail.com or phone, 507-429-3616.



  • Acts 4: 8-12
  • 1 John 3: 1-2
  • John 10: 11-18


Homily – 2nd Sunday of Easter in an Almost Safe Time Again!

Dear Friends,

Jesus asks us this week in the Gospel, just what do we believe?–perhaps a good question to ponder this week. We continue to be in this time of pandemic that doesn’t allow us to live as we might like to–we have had to be creative in how we reach out to others. Perhaps this time has made us appreciate others more–not a bad outcome if in fact true. Maybe this time has encouraged us to look again at how we live in our world and protect it, helping, not harming, the environment. Maybe these times have caused us to realize in a new way how everyone’s life, day in and day out, is not always on a level playing field. Friends, Easter calls us to these questions and more–may we each be blessed as we ponder and search for the best ways to be in our world that so needs people who can live from their hearts. Peace and love, Pastor Kathy

P.S. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if I can help in any way. Email-aaorcc2008@gmail.com or by phone-507-429-3616.


Entrance Antiphon

Like newborn children we should thirst for milk on which our spirits can grow to strength. Rejoice in the glory that is ours and give thanks for being called to be part of God’s kindom. Alleluia!

Let Us Pray

Opening Prayer

Loving and merciful God, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive!  From the waters of death you raise us with him and renew your gift of life within us.  Increase in our minds and hearts the knowledge and awareness of the risen life we share with Jesus, who is the Christ.  Help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life. We ask this in Jesus’ wonderful name, who lives and loves us with you and the Spirit Sophia—one God, forever and ever. Amen.



  • Acts 4: 32-35
  • 1 John 5: 1-7
  • John 20: 19-31


My friends, I believe many of us enjoy the post-Easter Sunday readings from the Acts of the Apostles that lay out for us how these first followers of Jesus, our brother, chose to live following the memory of his life, death, and resurrection.  We marvel at how they shared with one another, “No one was needy among them,” And it is easy, reading such text, to make the leap to the present and say, “Why can’t we do this in our world today?”  At the very least, why can’t we see to it that, “no one is hungry?”

   A reality check brings us to the fact that, “good ideas” and the people advocating for such, are always more successful at first.  Our continued reading in Acts will show that the love and sharing of everything in common grows thin in the day-to-day living out, of this most, amiable goal.  But does that mean we shouldn’t continue to try to see to it that there is, “no one needy among” [us]?   I would say, “No!”  As we live and grow, we are always called to more, not less, if we are truly trying to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. 

   This brings us nicely into the key thoughts that I gleaned from a select podcast within a group of such, entitled, All My Relations.  I became aware of this from my daughter, Eryn, who indicated that it might be good to use in a homily—sometime. She was right, so here goes.

   The issue being discussed in this particular podcast was the fire in the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on April 15, 2019, nearly two years ago.  Two women, one a protagonist and the other, an antagonist, are speaking for or against, as the case may be, the fact that within hours of the fire, two prominent people were able to raise 300 million dollars to repair this icon of the Catholic church, a symbol for many of their long-held faith in the goodness of Christianity in their lives. 

   The woman speaking for the goodness—the rightness of these financial gifts seemed to be saying that it is all about peoples’ “sacred places,” and that it is important that we, “hold space for each other” when such tragedies happen in order that people can grieve. 

   The second woman stated that if this is so, why in the past has the same not been done when black church fires have happened?  Additionally, the antagonist takes issue with the Catholic church and the system represented by Notre Dame.  She criticizes the Catholic church as the biggest business in the world and suggests that the money might have better been used to feed everyone who is hungry in our world.  In her mind it is all about, “the will,” to do the right thing. 

   The main issue raised by the protagonist was that “now was not the time,” to make connections between the Notre Dame fire and other tragedies—that we should, “hold space” for others when tragedies happen and make connections later.  The antagonist follows with, “if not now, when?” She goes on to say that when another, yet another mass shooting happens, we can’t stay, “in the moment” and simply grieve, but must raise the obvious need that now, new, stricter, laws are needed to end violence with guns!

   So, my friends, no matter how you may look at this issue, from the side of the protagonist or the antagonist, the issue must be faced that much inequality remains within our world—a truth that is being played out in so many areas today: in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the murder case of George Floyd, in the inequality of vaccine distribution among black, indigenous, and otherwise poor communities which underscores the larger issue of “racism” in our country and the list can go on.  As Christians, who say we follow Jesus, our brother, we too must “hold space” for the lives and goodness of all—no exceptions.

   Easter, a period of six weeks every year, a time really of new life, calls each of us to remember all that Jesus did while physically with us.  When that time ended, he told those 1st followers, who wanted him to stay with them, that he would always be with them—in a different way, but that they would never be alone.  Additionally, he let them know that now, they must be his hands and feet, eyes, and ears—but more so, his heart in our world. 

   The first letter of John, the 2nd reading today seems to be saying that our God is always about “loving those that God has sent.”  This really includes all of us in the grandest sense.  In other words, our God is able to “love all of creation” through our loving actions in the world.  As Jesus said so well and so simply— “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself” –that’s it!

   I personally love that Jesus’ greeting most times after the Resurrection and especially in today’s gospel is, “Peace be with you!”  As you all know, if you regularly read my homilies; I have been working with the Great River Asylum Support Partners (GRASP), to assist a family from Honduras seeking asylum in this country and especially now, in Winona, MN! I believe if we were to ask them the question about what they are most seeking in this country, “peace” from the fear of losing their lives to gang violence in their own country would be high on their list.  Jesus’ prime message, after his Resurrection was to say to his faithful band who once again found their strength, through the Spirit, that he was now sending them—in his place. 

   He gave them and us, by extension some simple commands to follow—tools to use: “Whose sins you retain—whose sins you forgive—it is done!  He was basically saying—do what you feel, in your heart is right! This is not, you see, necessarily about a stated law.

   I have recently been re-reading Thomas Merton’s, Seven Story Mountain and it strikes me, that his basic struggle in life before his conversion to Catholicism and his entrance into a Cistercian monastery was to choose, in his own personal life, “the right thing” to do, as directed by his heart.

   In today’s gospel, Jesus is pressing Thomas, the apostle, and us too, to get out of our heads and into our hearts.  We say we believe, even though we have never seen Jesus, as did those 1st apostles.  The challenge is to name for ourselves, just what, in fact, we actually believe, because it makes all the difference in what we do next.  We are told that those 1st followers “ran” to tell the others that they had seen Jesus!  Does our faith cause such excitement within us that we would “run” to share it—to act upon it?

   Easter is all about bringing “light” into the “darkness” of what life can sometimes be.  And as our friend, Joan Chittister has said of Easter, “it is not a nice fairytale with a happy ending—it is just the beginning!  Amen? —Amen! —Alleluia!


Prayers of the Faithful

Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”

  1. Jesus, in your risen state, be our guide to live out your loving example toward all people, especially the least among us—let them be foremost in our minds and hearts, we pray–       Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • O Risen Jesus, let peace reign in our hearts and give us the strength and grace to be people of peace, let us pray today in a special way for people who need “peace,” now, more than ever, we pray—Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • Jesus, risen Savior, you who were a healer in every way, freeing people’s minds, hearts and bodies of  illness of every kind, grant us health in these same ways, we pray—      Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • Risen Jesus, grant each of us a renewed faith during this Easter Season to remain true to you in good times and in bad,  we pray—Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • Risen Jesus,  our brother and friend, give hope to those who are suffering now due to job loss, illness of any kind, the ravages of weather—show them the way through this painful time, we pray—Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • Risen Jesus,  you gave us the gift of forgiveness—give us the generosity and care for others and for ourselves to be able to forgive, and to accept forgiveness from others,  we pray—Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • Risen Jesus, in your new, resurrected life, continue to be our constant model of one who lived very simply upon the earth, and show us new ways to live accordingly, especially when we try to feed the physically hungry in our world, we pray—Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • Risen Jesus, you who never turned anyone away, be with our community, All Are One—continue to bless us and assist us to be open to all of your people and guide us to always make a place of welcome at our table, but more importantly, in our hearts. We pray too for the success of the new family coming to our community soon from Honduras that their quest for asylum might be granted, we pray—Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus”
  • Loving Jesus, be with all families who have lost loved ones this week, from COVID and all   other causes, give them your peace, and help them to find their way through their grief, we pray—Response: “Hear us O Risen Jesus.”

***Let us pray for the silent petitions on our hearts—pause, we pray, then response

Let Us Pray

   Jesus, you have truly risen!  Alleluia!  Be the strength we need each day to be people of the Resurrection—true to our calling to be people of peace and of love. Let us never falter in our commitment to you and your world.  Give us the strength and grace to do what we can to make our world better—help us to be the change we want to see. Let us truly be Easter people of joy, people of forgiveness.  We ask all of this of you, our loving Savior and with the Creator and your loving Spirit— all, one God, living and loving us forever and ever, Amen.


Let Us Pray—Again, we must be apart and cannot share the bread of the altar—but remember, and don’t ever forget, Jesus is always with us!

Prayer of Communion

 Loving Jesus, may the Easter sacraments, Baptism and Eucharist that we have received, live forever in our minds and hearts.  We ask this in your wonderful name. Amen.


Homily – Palm Sunday in a Time of Almost Safety Again!

A group of nearly 30 met on Zoom today to begin Holy Week–the holiest week of the year! Included here you will find my homily. Enjoy–be challenged and be blessed!–Pastor Kathy

P.S. Please be in contact if I can help you in any way or you would just like to chat. aaorcc2008@gmail or 507-429-3616.


My friends, it was my thought as I prepared for this homily, to make it brief and to the point in light of the fact that our Palm Sunday Mass is full of extra things –so we will see how I do! 

   As I suggested in the bulletin earlier in the week, Palm Sunday sets us up to begin the “holiest” week of our Church Year—not at all, “the happiest” week.  Being “holy,” in my mind, is all about doing those things, in my one precious life, that are not specifically about my needs, but more broadly, about the needs of all of us. And for those who regularly read my homilies, you know that I always uplift the need that we must include ourselves in the good we do for others, otherwise, “our cups run dry!”  So, in other words, look for that balance in your lives—good for self and good for others—you and all others are worthy of good in your lives!

   Back then, to the “holiest” of weeks and why that is so.  Jesus, of course, is our focus and if we would know how it is that we can be “holy” too, we have only to keep our eyes on him.  From the get-go of this holiest of weeks; we see Jesus as a man of the Scriptures.  That first, short reading from Mark with which we began today, tells of his joyful entry into Jerusalem.  And how did he come into the city—on a horse with royal trappings—as a king in all his glory?  No, he came on the back of a donkey as the Scriptures said the Messiah would come.  Just as in his birth—he came simply, unadorned—for the poor. This is a piece that we simply can’t, nor should we miss. 

   Isaiah, in the 1st reading today, tells of what the life of the Messiah will be like.  Insults will be part of the life of this Messiah and those who follow such a person.  This is so because messiahs, prophets and the like will be compelled to speak truth to power, as it were, demanding for the least among us, justice in their lives.  Those who are into their power, wealth, or prestige, will not take such demands lightly—there will always be the need to silence such ones—to denigrate them.  But the prophet, Isaiah, is encouraging, saying that such people should know that even though denigration may come; they should not fear because, just as with Jesus, our God will be with us. 

   And even so, we hear the purely human cry that Jesus will utter, later in the week, with the psalmist today: “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”  This cry of the psalmist today is one that has been repeated and echoed throughout the history of the world from Jesus and onward as he struggled and as his followers have struggled, in his footsteps, to save our people from injustice of every kind.  

   Jesus would ultimately pay the supreme price for such goodness, but because of who he was, he could do nothing else—turning away, remaining silent, protecting himself as many of our bishops seem to have chosen to do, was just not an option.  This is the true story of Calvary. Calvary was his world’s price for asking/demanding even, that the powers-that-be, be their best for all. 

   Palm Sunday, today, gives us a taste of what the entire week will be like, as Paul, in his beautiful letter to the Philippians continues: “Your attitude must be the same as that of Jesus…he took on the image of oppressed humankind…and for this reason, at Jesus’ name, every knee should bend—in the heavens, on earth and under the earth.” 

   My friends, I began today speaking of Holy Week as the holiest of weeks.  Holiness is not about, as I said, silence in the presence of evil, or fear to stand up and say what is right—is truth in any situation, even if we stand alone. 

   A family member recently said to me, “I need to write to the bishop and tell him that we need to hear from him on issues like climate change and gun violence.” I encouraged her to do it! You would think that would be, “Bishop, 101!”

   This week’s National Catholic Reporter (NCR) challenged the nation’s bishops as well, asking, where is their collective voice on climate change in particular, suggesting that if we don’t have an earth that is viable to live on, is that not too, a life issue!

   When we think of what actions are indeed, “holy,” I would lift up a statement made by our president at his first news conference this past week.  When speaking to reporters about the youth coming to our borders unaccompanied by parents and his decision to allow them into the country, he stated that unlike his predecessor, he would not turn them away alone—to go back to the violence they had left, “he just wouldn’t do it!”

   And of course, he has received criticism for this action, but he has made it clear that his actions are based on what is good and right; not on what is easy.

   Each of us, my friends, have like decisions to make in the course of our lives—hard decisions like the racism that lies at the roots of our democracy—an experiment that is touted in our Constitution, claiming that every person has the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

   Additionally, we, as a country of many, diverse people, trying to live out this democratic dream, must—simply must come to terms with gun violence in our United States. We all know what needs to be done and now is the time to do it!

   In our city of Winona, a Steering Committee that is an off shoot of the Winona Interfaith Council, going now under the name of Great River Asylum Support Partners (GRASP) is actively preparing to accept a family from Honduras and perhaps more in the future coming to our southern border seeking protection from life-threatening violence in their own countries. It will be our intention to help these families and individuals work toward full citizenship should they be granted asylum. At this writing, our group just heard that we have been accepted to receive our first family in a matter of weeks! I believe that all of us involved in this effort have a mixture of anticipation for being able to help in the ways that we can, but also the realization that this will not always be, easy.

   I believe what motivates our group is the knowledge that this is the right thing to do, plus the realization that the life-giving aspects will go both ways—us to them, but also all that they will give to us being from another country and culture, language, and lifestyle.  I will keep you all informed about the ways going forward that you will have opportunities to assist this endeavor.

   So, as we begin this holiest of weeks, let our prayer be that we, each one, might walk into it and through to the Resurrection, following in our brother Jesus’ footsteps, unafraid, trusting as he did, that our Abba God will be with us.  Amen? Amen!