Thursday, July 11, 2019

Parish Bulletin: "Gratitude for our Last Six Months": 7-14-19

            I cannot believe it that on July 16th, 2019 I have now been at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Columban for five years—I am definitely getting older and a lot less hair, though more than my younger brothers!
I have appreciated every six months to offer gratitude from God and you to show some of the great gifts we have received as it is always crucial to remember our recent history.  So here we go with some significant events, items, and receptions:
•    Thank you for many of you that served and/or ran the Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard run, the coldest one I have experienced thus far;
•    Thank you for delicious Fish Fries during Fridays in Lent as well as parishioners who led the Stations of the Cross;
•    Thank you who supported and prayed for a half-day retreat for our students in Lent;
•    Thank you who offered from your treasure as we received a new Baptismal Font that is truly beautiful;
•    Thank you, Bishop Paul Sirba, as we priests learned more information for our Bankruptcy process and our pastors who shared this information around the Diocese of Duluth.  While we are almost done with this, let us continue to pray for the victims of sexual abuse;
•    Thank you who sold and/or bought tickets for our Catholic United Raffle process.  We won two years in a row and received a $3,000 grant;
•    Thank you who organized or experienced our Lent Mission as we received almost 40 hours of Eucharistic Adoration, confessions, a talk, Breviary prayers, the full Rosary, the Mercy Chaplet, and benediction;
•    Thank you who went to the Diocesan Chrism Mass during Holy Week;
•    Thank you who helped to decorate, organize and enter into the Triduum as well as the service of Trevor Peterson (one of our seminarians in our Diocese of Duluth);
•    Thank you, juniors, as well as your family and sponsors who were confirmed by our Bishop as well as Deiter Humbert who worked with them throughout the year;
•    Thank you, children, who received your first communion as well as Sabrina Ettiene who taught these kids;
•    Thank so many of you who led our Silent Auction which took a lot of time, talent and treasure;
•    Thank you to the Knights of Columbus for some delicious brunches and a BBQ, as well as the events that the Catholic Daughters served or their several community events;
•    Thank you, Dr. Anthony Stone and Ben Freeman who shared their process into the Diaconate and Priesthood journey (and know of our prayers!);
•    Thank you to a donator who offered us a truck as we are continuing to sell tickets to support St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and School;
•    Thank you who organize donuts and cookies after STA Masses, as well as SC with cookies and our monthly family breakfasts;
•    Thank you who offer donations to Fr. Albert Wugaa and their school 6,000 miles away as they will still grow to nearly 1,000 students.

Thank you and praise God!

"...cleanse the lepers" on the memorial of St. Benedict and thoughts of St. Damien: Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Listen to the homily here.

Think about the journey of your life and read about Joseph in Genesis: Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Listen to the homily here.

How do we "wrestle" with God? How do we always remember God?: Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Listen to the homily here.

A child and a woman who Jesus healed: Monday, July 8th, 2019

Listen to the homily here.

"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few...": 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to the homily here.

Parish Bulletin Article: "Happy Independence Day!": 7-7-19

           Happy belated Independence Day!  I hope you have had/ and are having a great week, especially when you can visit with your family, friends, relatives and more.
As I prepare for this article, I have been considering with gratitude for living in the United States of America as our culture and media seems to offer several “truths” that are not real TRUTH.  As I will not dive into the weeds of this conversation, I would like to show (from my perspective) how wonderful it is to live in our country with balance.
For instance, most of us can drink clean water every day, 24/7/365.  Most of us can eat well, three meals.  Most of us can live in a safe environment.  We have systems like health care, education, police, firefighters, military, leaders from our community, state, and country. We do not live in a country that is in a real civil war, under day-to-day terrorism or dictatorship.  We have the right to speech and protecting our families.  (Yes, we could discuss with each of the above, but in the big picture, we have so many brothers and sisters that have the opposite experiences every day in their lives).
And, praise God, we have received our country of freedom, justice, and liberty. I am genuinely grateful for being able to offer a Mass as a Catholic priest in two beautiful parishes.  It is a blast to work at our school in which we can teach to your students in the presence of Jesus Christ.
I believe that we are a generous country, whether around the world, within our country or in challenging situations (ex. Natural disasters in which FEMA or emergency places that are helped within our own country, communities, churches, volunteers and around).
Finally, may we thank God for our opportunities in the USA!  May us always pray for God’s will be done in our country, as we, as Catholics, must continue to follow our King, Jesus Christ.
God Bless!

Independence Day: Thursday, July 4th, 2019

Listen to the homily here.

A defender of St. Thomas the Apostle: Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Listen to the homily here.

Dr. Anthony Stone and Ben Freeman spoke at the end of our Mass, our 13th Ordinary Time

Listen to Dr. Anthony Stone and Ben Freeman hear their talks here.

Gratitude from our service for Fr. Albert Wugaa's School and our mission to grow in Catholic Education: 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to Fr. Albert Wugaa weekend homily here.

Parish Bulletin Article: "Fun Week!": 6-23-19

            I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend as I will be taking some time off for a week.  
Welcome back, Fr. Dennis Hoffman, and I am guessing that you will probably (and hopefully!) telling you about my marathon as well as the time, pace, place, heartbeat, calories, and more.  And to Dennis, enjoy the cookies, donuts, and a Packer’s joke.
Like the beginning of “summer,” I would like to share what I will be doing during this week as I will continue to pray for you and please pray for me as well.
First, as you read this bulletin article, I hope that I did finish Grandma’s Marathon well, with my body, mind, and soul, and thank you for your prayers. Additionally, my younger brother probably finished ahead of me, and several parishioners and community members ran the 5K, half marathon or full marathon, and it was a great time to see them at these events.  
Not only was I able to see several of these brothers and sisters, but I was also to spend some time with my family and other great friends during these three days in Duluth.
The cherry on top of this weekend was the humility to remember that June 22nd, 2019, was not only the marathon, but also my class’s seventh year anniversary as we were ordained priests—praise God!
After the Grandma’s Marathon, my whole family will be taking a quick vacation with each other, and I will be very excited to see my brothers, sister-in-law’s, nephew, nieces, a fourth child on the way, mom and dad.
I will be finishing my time off to go to the cities to visit some of my priest brothers and friends as it has been too long to see them physically.
Finally, as I make the trek back home, I will be bringing home one of my best friends: a priest that flew 6,000 miles from Ghana, Africa to the United States of America, and he can’t wait coming back to see YOU at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Columban.  Oh yeah, this would be Fr. Albert Wugaa, and let’s have a second collection for his service as he still serves God’s sons and daughters across the pond(s).
God Bless!      

Jesus sweeping through the Jerusalem and beyond: Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Listen to the homily here.

What do you sow--sparingly or bountifully?: Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Listen to the homily here.