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Prayer

Offering the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer

Offering the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer

Dear parishioners,

As was announced last week and you should notice this weekend, we have begun the recitation of the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at the end of our weekend Masses and Masses which fall on holy days of obligation. As for our weekday Masses, this prayer was recently added as part of the ending of the Rosary which follows our daily Masses, so we won’t be duplicating the prayer by adding it at the end of the daily Masses. 

All priests received this request from Archbishop Sample last month. Here’s an excerpt from that letter explaining why he has made the request:

We find ourselves in very distressing times with continued revelations about the failures of our brother priests and bishops. It seems to me that the evil one has intensified his war against the Mystical Body and its members.

There are many things we can do as a local church to play our part in the purification of the Church at this time, however prayer will also be the foremost and most appropriate response, on which all other efforts will build.

I would like to strongly encourage you therefore to pray the St. Michael Prayer after each parish Mass and in turn encourage your parishioners also to personally say this prayer daily.

I think that after the final blessing and at the foot of the altar would be the appropriate time and place, after which the recessional hymn, could begin.

The St. Michael Prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII, is a forceful weapon in our armory of devotions, and St. Michael the Archangel is an intercessor of great power. 

Pope Leo XIII wrote this prayer in 1886 and it became a mainstay at the, now called, Extraordinary Mass. Later, other prayers were also added, called the “Leonine Prayers”.  They were officially suppressed via Vatican II’s Instruction Inter Oecumenici, which went into effect on March 7, 1965. The faithful were never prohibited to offer this prayer on their own, but the obligatory recitation at the end of Mass ended at that time.

The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is easily found on the back cover of our music book in the pews. As for our Spanish Mass, we will be placing the prayer in the inside cover of the Spanish music books, Flor y Canto.

In addition to this prayer of protection, I would like to also add that we all engage at home in prayers for the victims of abuse by anyone working in the name of the Church. We are a hospital of sinner in need of healing and grace, and what hurts one of our members, hurts the entire body. Let us join together in solidarity for this important healing mission of our Church.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

A Christian Response to Evil

A Christian Response to Evil

As I write this column (Monday, Oct.2), our country experienced another act of senseless violence, this time in Las Vegas. We feel angry, sad, helpless, a sense of despair, paranoid, and maybe even hopeless. All of these are legitimate feelings. But, I encourage us all to be mindful of how long we entertain these feelings and then seek out our Lord via prayer, Scripture, and the Church. With regard to the Church, the best response I found was from Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, the president of the United State Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):

We woke this morning and learned of yet another night filled with unspeakable terror, this time in the city of Las Vegas, and by all accounts, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. My heart and my prayers, and those of my brother bishops and all the members of the Church, go out to the victims of this tragedy and to the city of Las Vegas. At this time, we need to pray and to take care of those who are suffering.  In the end, the only response is to do good – for no matter what the darkness, it will never overcome the light. May the Lord of all gentleness surround all those who are suffering from this evil, and for those who have been killed we pray, eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Cardinal DiNardo’s comments not only comfort, but give us things we can and should do.  First, pray. The Lord hears our prayers. This is a way of taking care of those who are suffering including ourselves. When others suffer, we suffer with them. So, we need to ask God to protect our hearts from the arrows of the Evil One (Prov. 4:23). This includes the hearts of the victims and their families. Prayer also brings us closer to God who opens our hearts for love of others. Prayer can help keep us from despair and remind us that God cares deeply about us and those whose hearts are broken. Prayer can bring hope and courage even amidst tragedy, for we are reminded in prayer that God is by our side even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. By our communion with God, the Scriptures tell us, we can fear no evil, for God is with us (cf. Ps 23).

The second is to do good. As simple as this sounds, responding to evil with evil is most certainly not an answer that will accomplish anything better than what has happened (cf. 1 Peter 3:9).  Instead, we are to return good and blessings when evil is perpetrated. When we do good, we demonstrate that evil has no ultimate power.  It demonstrates that God is not idly watching, disinterested in our fate. In moments of horror and evil, great grace is given. (cf. Rom. 5:20). God can create good, even greatness from evil.  Our Lord is the master of the reversal. An example of this goodness can be found the various stories of those who selflessly helped the victims either escape or shuttle them to the hospital.  I’m sure we will hear more about how the police responded and did what they could to stop the massacre from getting worse. They should be acknowledged for their courage by putting their lives in harms way for the good of others. Another telling example of goodness following the massacre was the overwhelming response of people willing to donate blood when the request went out. 

Locally here in our faith communities, I have witnesses innumerable times when parishioners have gone through some incredibly dark and hurtful times, yet, they refused to be defined by it, and instead, chose to give of themselves in loving service. It is a saintly response to sin in our world, and when I have personally witnessed it, I am speechless, inspired, and challenged to the core. It is proof for me that God is in our midst and the Holy Spirit is moving to inspire us to greatness.

So, in the face of evil, we should stand together in prayer and goodness. We should not give in to the temptation for revenge, rage, fear, or sin. Satan is prowling and wanting to sift us all like wheat (Lk 22:31), but Jesus has interceded with his Father that our faith may not fail (Lk 22:32). Remember that evil will never prevail.  Indeed, Satan has already lost the war. In the meantime, we stand in solidarity responding with prayer and goodness.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Encountering God's Grace In A New Year

Encountering God's Grace In A New Year

Dear Parishioners,

Happy New Year!  With the beginning of a new year, we recognize that all time is only possible by the grace of God.  Thus we call 2017, and indeed each year, a Year Of Grace. So, welcome to the Year of Grace 2017! Grace can be likened to the power of God given freely to us.  One writer from Catholic Answers (http://www.catholic.com/tracts/grace-what-it-is-and-what-it-does) called it a “supernatural kick in the pants.”  With such grace available to us, consider making that part of your plan, your new year’s resolution, to encounter God’s grace with ever day that is given, for we certainly need it.  

As we begin this year, we have hope that it will be a good year.  We must also be aware that it will also bring great challenges.  So, borrowing from a Facebook post (https://www.facebook.com/kyleld) by Fr. Kyle Doustou of the Diocese of Portland, Maine, here’s some suggestions for the new year:

• If you don’t pray, start. If you do pray, pray more. Beef up your devotional life.
• If you don’t fast, start. If you do fast, fast more. Strengthen your will. Get better at saying “no” to your appetites and passions.
• If you’re lax about Mass attendance, get your priorities straight. Go every Sunday and Holy Day – nothing is more important. Nothing.
• If you don’t go to confession, go. Regularly. Stop waiting. Stop making excuses.
• Get more intentional about knowing your faith. Study it. Learn it. Share it. Defend it.
• Spend more time at home with your family. Eat together. Work together. Play together. Pray together.
• Cut out the non-essentials. Simplify your homes and your lives.
• Give more of yourself (your prayers and your time, but also your money and your skills) to those who need help. If you don’t know who needs help, trot down to your local parish office – your priest can give you a list, I’m sure.

A relationship with Christ is not ethereal and it’s not simply an “internal” reality. It is something that is lived out, day by day, in mind, body, and soul. It is not a given and it can never be taken for granted. Now is the time.

So, may the Year of Grace 2017 be a time of encounter and growth in the Lord.  May he enrich your life and vivify you so that the grace given you will shine like a light which draws all to Him!

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Three Ways To Help With Our New Church Building Project

Three Ways To Help With Our New Church Building Project

Dear Parishioners,

For many months, people have asked how the new church project was coming along.  I have shared with them that we had hired a capital campaign company, Walsh & Associates, who sent us Mark Warren as the lead coordinator who has been conducting our efforts to prepare and will walk us through the process to the end.  From there we hired Carole Kay as the Administrative Assistant to help manage the day-to-day operations in preparation for our capital campaign.  I have also formed a new cabinet specifically directed to lead our efforts to maximize our potential for success.  These include Dave & Doneta Thomason, Kirk & Jamee Chapman and Bill & Maureen Bailey who have graciously agreed to serve as our Campaign Chairpersons with Dave & Terri Currie, Glenn & Sandy Walker, Phil & Barb Busch, Mike & Kathy Bird and Stu & Sharon Watson respectively agreeing to head our important support committees for Prayer, Hospitality, Youth & Children’s Gifts, Communications, and Creative Giving.

So, this weekend marks what is called, “Announcement Weekend” where I spell out the issues that have brought us to this point of discernment to build a new church as well as our plan to meet and sole those issues.  Ultimately, I have three requests:

1) Please pray regularly for our campaign's success and that God’s will be done.

2) Please prayerfully consider helping by becoming a campaign volunteer, too.  Remember that many hands make light work.  With a strong volunteer group, we can have confidence that the effort is efficiently run and that the job of volunteering will be easy and enjoyable for everyone. 

3)  And finally, you will all eventually be asked to support the campaign effort financially, as well.  We also need and ask that whatever gift you ultimately decide to make be over and above whatever you do regularly for our church since we simply can’t afford to jeopardize our regular giving or in any way erode our ability to provide ongoing support for our programs, services and ministries.

Please see our special insert in this week’s bulletin for more details.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me or Stephen Voehl, our Business Manager.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Lent and Forgiveness

Dear Parishioners,

Prayer.  Fasting.  Almsgiving.  These are called the three pillars of Lent. How are you doing with these observances?  We’re still in the middle of Lent and you can still take some time to concentrate on one of these.  In addition, this week is our chance to attend our Communal Reconciliation service.  At St. Anne's will offer it on Thursday, March 19th at 7 PM.  At St. Patrick of the Forest it will be Monday the 16th at 7 PM.  We will have many priests to assist us.  Lent is a wonderful way to set things straight, repent, and allow God’s forgiveness to penetrate our hearts.

This weekend, we hear from probably the most famous passage of Scripture denoted simply as John 3:16.  But, instead of its context being a football game, we hear it proclaimed in the midst of the assembly at Mass.  God loves all that he has created.  He loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son for our salvation.  We are challenged by the knowledge and testimony of the Scriptures that remind us that while we prefer the darkness of sin, Jesus, who is the light of the world, calls us to live in the light of his truth.  This week’s Communal Reconciliation service is a perfect way to live out this call.  Let the darkness of sin in your life be exposed to the light who is Jesus.  Then listen and experience the forgiveness that can be yours.

For God so loves you that he gave his only Son, so that you who believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life.  Now that is Good  News!

Blessings,


Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Adoration Chapel

Dear Parishioners,

Among the many wonderful things about our parish, one that stands out is our Adoration Chapel. It was started 18 years ago today with the blessing of Fr. Karl Schray under the leadership of Vernon Snyder. Since then, countless hours of prayer have been offered, many done with great sacrifice with regards to the late-night time slots. Having my office right next to the chapel has been a blessing. Not only is it convenient to go prayer there even if for a few minutes, but I have been blessed by seeing the constant flow of traffic which always inspires me.

For years, Rex Titus, who just passed away, had been leading the Adoration Committee. He heroically would not only help people find substitutes when they couldn’t make their assigned time slot, but would personally take their place if no substitute could be found. This quickly became such a burden that he couldn’t continue doing that. He also desired to step down, but nobody wanted to take his place with the responsibilities that Rex assumed. Many slots were hard to fill and people continued to struggle to find a substitute. After many meetings with Rex about this situation, I proposed and commissioned the creation of a tabernacle that would house the monstrance for adoration. This special tabernacle not only was a work of art, but a work of prayer with icons written on its doors by Patti Sorge. Now, if someone cannot find a substitute, the adorer prior to that empty time slot can choose to add another hour or close the tabernacle doors and leave.

Today, I would like to make all aware of what is currently going on and how some of the issues therein are being met. First of all, with Rex’s blessing, the affirmation by many, and my own encouragement and blessing, Michael Bird has stepped up to be the chair of the Adoration Committee. In addition, new piece of software is being set up which will allow for accurate and easy scheduling to be done, akin to our liturgical ministers scheduling software. With this software, the latest schedule will always be easily found online at our website. If one needs a substitute, one will be able to request help by a simple online request which will blast out an email to those whose system profiles might be available to fill in. Once someone receives the email, a simple click of a link in the email will secure the substitute for the needed position. We are seeking out the use of an iPad which will be secured outside of the chapel for anyone to check the schedule and/or request a substitute or respond to a substitute request. We have a computer on the counter in the parish office which also is available for this purpose. The Adoration Committee consisting of Steve Voehl, Christine Murphy, and Rosemary Monette will be meeting with Michael Bird to get familiar with this new system and plan for a campaign for new volunteers to spend time in the Adoration Chapel.

I want to encourage you, especially if you have never been to our chapel, to spend some time in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. We all need more quiet time in listening prayer before our Lord. With all the busyness about us, it is hard to settle our hearts and minds. But, I believe you will find it a rewarding experience. Even if you cannot commit to an hour in the adoration schedule, maybe you could sign up to be an on call substitute through the new software. I frequently see adorers come to the chapel and spend just a few minutes, then go on with their day. What a wonderful thing, no? Keep your eyes and ears peeled to more announcements about the goings on of our Adoration Chapel as well as a sign-up drive. Thank you to all who have given so selflessly in prayer for our community and the needs of others via this amazing ministry in our parish.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Called to Protect

Dear Parishioners,

As I write this bulletin letter, I am on vacation. By now you come to hear or read about the alleged sexual assault of a young boy by Fr. Angel Perez who was once stationed here at St. Anne's as a seminarian. The news is most certainly disturbing. Yet, I would caution us all to resist judgement upon any person in this situation since we have little information and the reports that have been circulating are untrustworthy. So what should be our response? How are we to react?

First, I must share that I personally struggle with mixed feelings of anger, sadness, mistrust, a desire for the truth to be made clear, and healing. It cannot be understated that our children are precious and must be protected. It, once again, convinces me that we must be ever vigilant to create and maintain systems that create a safe environment for our young ones even if they are inconvenient. Sometimes, I have received flack from our own parishioners about being paranoid or creating hoops to jump through when it comes to volunteers' background checks and safety training. I can assure you, we do our best to keep our children safe, and have, on occasions, not allowed some people to volunteer with our children to the anger of said potential volunteers. But, in light of these events, I hope people will understand why we are so stringent in this regard. We simply cannot risk the safety of our children in favor of the desire of an adult to do ministry. Ministry is a privilege while safety is a right which trumps all others. The "Called to Protect" program that the Archdiocese demands of us to implement is good and works. Problems occur when it is not followed. Whether Fr. Angel is innocent or guilty of abuse, it appears that the rules for safety were not being followed. Consequently, at multiple levels, the whole Catholic community, ours included, has been hurt.

I know Fr. Angel and consider him a friend. So, I write this letter in a state of shock and sadness. I am very aware of humanity's propensity to sin. I pray that the allegations are false or mistaken. Without knowing the real facts of the events, we need still pray for justice and healing. If you have access to the Internet, I would encourage you to read Fr. Mike's blog with whom I share his feelings: http://shepherdcatholic.com/?page_id=74

Finally, we must continue to commit ourselves to the safety of our children. Please pray for the boy and his family who must be going through a most difficult time, for Fr. Angel and the turmoil in which he now lives, for us priests who live with the collective accusatory stares that come upon us, and for all of us Catholics who have been shaken by these events.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

May Their Souls Rest In Peace

Dear Parishioners,

During the Month of November, the Church asks us to remember all those who have died. It is common for parishes to pay special attention to those who have died in their own communities in the past year. As such, we offer you the list of our own parishioners who have died since last November, and ask you to consider offering your own prayers during this month. May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

“MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN PEACE”
Orlando Vigil, Richard Fuehrer, Mildred Watt, Gustave Rossknecht II, Mary Lentine, Edward Splean, Ole Blen- nov, Elnora Beaumont, Jeo Horak, Paul Bitting, Jr.. Vir- ginia Newman, Kathryn Wells, Robert Graves, Shirley Hendren, Albert Lampert, Cosmo (Corky) Ungaro, Mary Warner, Charlotta Schumacher, Leatonio Ponali, Rita Prive, Heather Horban, Verna O’Leary, Robin Hopson, Rose Marie Dister, John Rose, Lester Lanoux, John Gallo, John Winschel, Rex Linde, Franz Stossel, Higinia Logan, Hans Donath, Paul Litty, Ralph Johnson, Beverly Bish, Eleanor Rose, Margaret Willis, Idamae Sullivan, Mary Jane Armstrong, Thomas Graham, Peter Meier, Thomas Glennon, John Dark, and Michelle Linde.


Blessings,
Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor