Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Pets and Angels: Talk on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

During our Lent, I continued to offer some different talks.  Today was about pets, angels and our soul.  Listen to it here.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Symmetry in Abraham's Test and Jesus' Transfiguration and Sacrifice: 2nd Sunday in Lent

Listen to the homily here.


The test of Abraham and the Transfiguration
·      Symmetry in our salvation history
One word: “terrified”
·      During the transfiguration of Jesus Christ, an experience of Jesus’ divinity, Peter, “…hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.”
o   Scared, yep.  Confusion, yep.  I mean, what did they see?
·      While this word was not in the book of Genesis as we listened to Abraham’s test, would he be terrified?
o   Yep.
Another connection
·      Who was the test about?  Isaac, Abraham’s, “beloved son
·      And what did God say during Jesus’ transfiguration?  This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him."
A third
·      Abraham’s Test
o   Isaac carried the wood, up a mount—a height—with his father
o   Abraham’s test was a sacrifice for his son
§  Abraham, Abraham!’
‘Here I am!’ he answered.
‘Do not lay your hand on the boy,’ said the messenger.
‘Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God, 
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.’”
o   God then gave him a ram to offer a sacrifice
o   Do you know where this place is, still today?  Jerusalem—called “The Dome of the Rock”—in the Islam mosque
·      Transfiguration
o   As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”
o   Now we know:
§  Jesus carried the cross with his Father
§  But he was sacrificed for whole family
o   Do you know where this place is today?
o   The Sepulcher
·      Do you know far it is from Abraham’s test and Jesus’ death?  700 meters
The best book ever shows the whole story of salvation history.  So does geography, the holy land and Jerusalem
·      Let us continue to walk up to the mountain of faith, hope and love as we prepare for Easter

Parish Bulletin Article: "First Eucharistic Adoration": 2-25-18

The first time that I experienced Eucharistic Adoration was when I was a junior in high school.  I was on the second day of a TEC (Together Encounter Christ) retreat.  While I did not want to go to this retreat, I began to open my heart on the second day with some great people: high school students from around our diocese, youth ministers and Fr. John Wild.
That evening, we were praying in the church, and at one point Jesus Christ came out of the tabernacle within a monstrance—which I did not know what that was.
I had no clue what was going on!
At the same time, I did experience some subtle things during that moment.  I saw many young people that were praying in a church on a Saturday evening.  I noticed quietness.  As we had both private prayers and prayers within our group, it was peaceful, though I do remember that it was taking a long time. 
As I am an analytical person, I probably watched other people more than my prayer.  My mind was clicking on experience something new, something curious and something that would change my life in 2000 or 2001.
When I went to the St. John Vianney Seminary, I was asked to reflect on how the TEC experience encouraged my faith, and here is what I wrote then (2006 or 2007):
TEC played a crucial role in my faith conversion. Growing up in the Catholic Church always seemed like something my parents, religious education teachers and priests did.  I was merely a passive observer, wondering why people would care so much about God or the Church.  Through my TEC experience, this all changed.  I was inspired to seek out Christ and His Church which eventually led me to discern entering seminary.  In looking back on my TEC experience, I can see many seeds planted in my faith that are beginning to grow at seminary.  My first experience of Adoration took place at a TEC retreat.  I also began to read my Bible seriously for the first time because of a talk given by a man who is now a brother seminarian.  And, I heard the first call to the priesthood while on TEC.  I can see a connection between these events and our daily prayer routine at St. John Vianney: daily Mass, holy hour, rosary, Liturgy of the Hours and our constant search for God’s will.  What a blessing to be a seminarian in our beautiful Church!”
As each of you can grow closer to Jesus Christ, you can also experience another avenue for your spiritual life: Eucharistic Adoration.
In our family, check out Adoration as it will help you, your family, our parishes, our school and our community will grow.
God Bless!


School Kids with Lent, and our Preschoolers were there too!: Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Listen to the homily here.

Jonah, Solomon, Billy Graham: Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Listen to the homily here.

The End of the Journey from our Earthen Life into Transfiguration (2-20-18)

Here was the first talk I offered to a group of parishioners.  During this Lent, I will be speaking about some different thoughts and conversations.  I hope you enjoy these notes below, and the recorded talk here.


Talk and Conversation
“The End of the Journey from our Earthen Life into Transfiguration”

1.)   Prayer
2.)   Our ordinary sacraments and God’s extraordinary ways
·      Baptism
                       o   Anyone could Baptize someone in an emergency situation
                       o   Water and the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
                       o   Nurses, Jewish, Muslim
                       o   If they do what the dying person believes
·      Confession
                       o   Priest
                       o   “General Absolution”
·      Extreme situations: danger of death threatens, not enough priests
·      Example: Airplane crashing
·      Eucharist
                       o   Bishop or Priest (with faculties) for
                       o   Traditionally only Bishop, Priest or Deacon could offer communion
·      Today Eucharistic of Ministry—laity
·      Confirmation
                       o   Bishop or Priest
·      Marriage
                       o   Bishop, Priest or Deacon
·      Ordination
                       o   Bishop
·      Anointing of the Sick
                       o   Bishop or Priest
3.)   Path towards the end of our earthly time
·      “Best Situation”
                       o   Anointing of the Sick
                       o   Confession
                       o   Eucharist
                       o   We used to call this sacrament “Extreme Unction” or “Last Rites”
·      Many people call the priest when they are almost dying
·      But today we say, “Anointing of the Sick”
o   Interesting spectrum we learned in seminary
o   One extreme is when we do not need Anointing of the Sick if we are healthy…or if we have a could
o   On the other extreme, we cannot offer this sacrament if someone has already die
o   Some where in the middle
                                                                                                           Elderly that are sick
                                                                                                           Big surgeries
·      Dying
                       o   Anointing of the Sick
                       o   Apostolic Pardon
                       o   Eucharist: Viaticum
·      Prayers
·      Tell your children, your family and your Pastor
4.)   Funerals
·      Challenges in our culture
                       o   Wrong order
·      I have had several parishioners that did not receive a Funeral Mass
·      Why?  Their family had a different decision
                       o   Cremation Society
·      Money
·      Quick fix
o   People scared of death and when someone else dies, they go make it as fast as possible
                       o   Funeral Homes
                       o   Other buildings
                       o   Or nothing
·      Best situation:
                       o   Please, have a will. 
·      Have your information for several people in your family, with your doctor, with your “Guardianship” or other names for health, finances, etc.
·      Prepare your funeral when you can make your decisions
·      You, your kids, your will or your parish can record this information
                       o   Preparation with the parish: Pastor, Deacon, Suitable laity
                       o   Tradition
·      Vigil the evening before
o   Visitors
o   Prayer
o   Rosary
o   (I just heard about Fr. William Baer’s with Adoration all night…I would like that!)
·      Funeral with a Mass
·      Coffin, not an urn
o   Holdingford
o   Where will people know where your corpse is?
o   The Church has said that a cremation is ?
·      No eulogy is in our rite
·      Burial right after the Mass
o   Where will your body be buried?
                                                                                                           Put that in your will!
o   (I know that I want to be buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Duluth, in the “Circle of Priests”)
·      Lunch after
·      Last important decisions
                       o   Please call the Pastor first—put that in your will, and your family
·      Talk to the Pastor about the date (several times I have been the last person to know what the date “is”—as I might be out of town
·      In IFalls, do the best to talk with Leif
                       o   Order for a funeral
·      Funeral service: Bishop, Pastor, Assistant Priest, Deacon (as they can lead a funeral service), and, if needed in an emergency situation, a laity member
                       o   Music
·      Worship hymns in the Church—that’s where Jesus lives, not in a concert auditorium
·      Even there, don’t have a concert, but worshiping hymns
5.)   Questions and discussion
·      Next week?

6.)   Closing Prayer 

The Word: Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.


Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
·      Little snow, eh?
·      Precipitation
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
·      It is necessary for life: farmers
Then the next level
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
·      The Word
·      The scriptures
·      Jesus Christ
And then, Jesus taught how to pray to his Father to return to Him
·      Sermon on the Mount
·      “Our Father…”

The Law in the Old and the Law in the New: Monday, February 19th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.


Bridge between the Old Law and the New Law: Leviticus 19
·      You shall not: steal, lie, speak falsely, swear by God’s name, defraud, rob your neighbor, withhold over night the wages of your laborer, curse the deaf, put a stumbling block before the blind…dishonesty, partiality, slander, stand idly when some needs help, hatred, revenge, grudge
·      You shall fear the Lord
·      You shall love your neighbor as yourself
Matthew 25
·      Fear the Lord
·      Love

·      Hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, ill, prison

Monday, February 19, 2018

Talk: Eucharistic Adoration from Marge Veeder

At St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Columban will be focusing to Eucharistic Adoration.  That is our mission this Lent.

Listen to her great talk at the end of Mass here.

"Repent and believe in the Gospel": 1st Sunday in Lent

Listen to the homily here.


Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
·      Holy Grail: Harrison Ford and Sean Connery
o   Test
§  Breath of God:
·      “The penitent man will pass”
·      Kneels
§  The name of God—follow God’s steps
·      “Jehovah”
·      Forgot that it was in Latin and almost fell
§  Leap of Faith: “You must believe, boy!”  (Sean Connery)
·      Saw a huge chasm that would be impossible, in our vision
·      He put out his foot, and put it down…and stepped on the bridge
·      A cool cinematography
·      We, as penitent, must kneel
o   Last week across the river
o   When have you knelt?
o   Mass
o   By your bed?
o   By someone in the nursing home?
o   Someone dying?
·      Believe
o   Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
o   God has given us great natural talents: medicine, doctors, surgeons, etc.
o   But God also shows supernatural virtue of faith
§  A theological virtue
o   250 times in the New Testament
o   Little faith?  Or true faith?
·      Gospel
o   eujagge÷lion = Good News
o   People may be learning this good news
o   Some may be growing with this good news
o   But are you really repenting and believing?
Finally Cassie Bernall at Columbine
·      Do you believe in God?
o   Yes

Right now, how can you repent, believe and know the Good News?