Archive for January, 2009

“I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW” – Excellent article by Bishop Robert J. Hermann of St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

The Most Rev. Robert J. Hermann

Bishop Hermann: ‘I thought you should know’

By Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator, Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri

January 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – I was very edified this past Saturday to see the Cathedral almost filled for the Pro-Life Mass. Then to see such a large contingent, on a very cold day, make a pilgrimage to the abortion clinic, praying the Rosary for Life, was truly heartwarming.

At the very moment I am writing this, our new president, Barack Obama, is being sworn into office. We congratulate him, and we pray for him, but we cannot condone his pro-death policies, even while we are happy that so many people feel they have new hope. We must do everything we can to oppose his pro-death-to-children efforts.

Joseph Bottum, in an article entitled “Abortion after Obama,” writing in the January 2009 edition of First Things, pages 13-15, tells us, “Now the 2008 election has brought us the presidency of Barack Obama, the most consistent supporter of legalized abortion ever nominated by a majority party.”

When asked about making decisions as to when a baby gets human rights, President Obama answered that “is above my pay grade.” He also stated that he would not want his daughters “punished with a baby.”

He has made it known that, upon taking office, he will remove all federal restrictions on funding embryonic stem-cell research. He also intends to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. Seldom has our nation ever been confronted with such an extreme measure. The Freedom of Choice Act will invalidate for the entire country all restrictions on abortion before viability, including parental notification, waiting periods and partial-birth abortion bans. President Obama has no problem supporting legislation that would even kill a child who survived a botched abortion.

If at this stage our anger is directed at President Obama, our anger is misdirected. Obama is not the enemy. He needs and deserves our prayers, not our condemnation.

As Catholics, we are not guiltless. It seems to me that when President Kennedy compromised Catholic teachings and accommodated political pressures in order to be elected to the highest office in the land, he set the tone for many Catholic leaders to follow and to compromise their Catholic principles to get ahead.

In our Supreme Court and in our Congress, we have a plethora of so-called Catholics who are failing to live their Catholic identity. Over 50 percent of our electorate voted for a president who is one of the most pro-culture-of-death candidates from a major party to run for the highest office of the land.

Yes, we can thank one-half of our Catholics for bailing out on their faith!

After almost 50 years of having 50 percent of Catholics abandoning their Catholic identity, we cannot expect to turn this culture around by short-term political efforts.

In order to bring about a transformation from a culture of death to a culture of life, we have to restore our Catholic identity.

This means that all of us, as Catholics, have to undergo a profound transformation. It means that we have to take a good look at every facet of our Catholic life, including the serious study of life issues, the regular and devout use of our Sacramental system, especially the devout and weekly attendance at Mass, the regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the devout praying of the daily Rosary, and then the faithful, loving and firm witness to lax Catholics about our Catholic beliefs and practices.

We have to live our lives in such a way that we will be unafraid to witness to what we believe and live.

I may courageously say that I am willing to die to end abortion, but am I equally willing to say that I am ready to let my ego get ruffled daily for the same cause? Yet … that is where I need to arrive if I am to be a credible witness.

What a glorious opportunity we all have to make a difference in the pro-life cause. Until we are willing to be politically incorrect in order to be biblically correct, we will never convince anyone that our religion is worth living.

It does not take 100 percent of our Catholics to transform this country. If 75 percent of our Catholics were steeped in Catholic identity, the abortion issue would be over for our entire country. We have many, many evangelicals on our side in the culture of life. Look at how many more of them would flock to our side if we really lived our Catholic teachings! They, too, are looking for changeless principles lived out in practice.

But there is more! Our laxity in living our Catholic life has blinded us into not seeing the role of Satan in the culture of death. Satan is having a heyday in our midst, because he has managed to remain invisible in the culture of death, and our laxity has granted him that luxury. Since we are not steeped in the Word of God as we should be, we do not recognize his darkness in our society. Our first reading from Hebrews tells us, “The word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”

St. Paul tells us that our warfare is not against flesh and blood but against the power and principles of darkness. He also tells us that we should not let the sun go down upon our anger so as to give Satan a foothold. These readings are wake-up calls for us all. I bring this up deliberately, because I do not want us to fall into Satan’s trap of getting us to hate President Obama or any of the pro-choice Catholic legislators in Congress. Being pro-life means that we engage far more in spiritual warfare than in political warfare.

That Satan is very alive in influencing all of us is his best-kept secret. Becoming steeped in the Word of God and the teachings of the Catholic Church exposes his evil machinations.

President Obama, pro-choice legislators and Planned Parenthood are not our enemies. Our enemies are the invisible forces masked behind these people. Most of them do not have a clue that they are being deceived by our common enemy, the devil. They are used by our common enemy, Satan, and his evil forces, to get us to hate so that we, too, will end up in a culture of death. President Obama and all pro-choice and pro-abortion legislators, as well as members supporting Planned Parenthood (and we have in our own state a national legislator who has received over $900,000 from groups that advocate for abortion rights) — these are not our enemies. They are used by the evil one to get us to hate them in our efforts to be pro-life and thereby ditch our pro-life efforts. We cannot fall for that trap!

We owe all of them prayers and fasting for their conversion. At one point, Gov. Reagan was California’s very pro-abortion governor. Yet he became a very pro-life president. He repented and regretted the evil he supported.

We must bravely witness against supporting pro-choice and pro-abortion candidates in political elections, but pray daily for their conversion.

Bishop Swain to offer Mass of Thanksgiving at Salem on February 14

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
Bishop Swain

Bishop Swain

On Saturday, February 14 at 6:00pm, Bishop Paul Joseph Swain will be in Salem to offer a Pontifical Mass in thanksgiving for the recent restoration of St. Mary Church. Following the Mass, there will be a parish dinner in St. Mary Hall. All parishioners and members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend, as we gather to thank the Blessed Trinity and the most holy Virgin Mary for our beautiful house of prayer and worship.

St. Mary Church, under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, is the second Catholic church in Salem, built under the direction of St. Mary’s third pastor, the Right Reverend Monsignor John Bernard Weber.

Born in Germany on November 6, 1869, Father Weber studied for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, and was ordained on June 24, 1893. Father Weber, who arrived in Salem on January 22, 1897, continued Father Weixelberger’s (second pastor) plans for a new stone church, but changed the proposed location from N. Main Street to its present location on Vermont Street. The cornerstone of the new stone church was laid on July 4, 1898, with the church opening for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in 1899. The three altars and the pulpit, carved in Bavaria, arrived in 1905, with the appointments from the first church used in the intervening years following the opening of the church.

Amidst great fanfare and enthusiasm, St. Mary’s Church was solemnly consecrated by the Right Reverend Thomas O’Gorman, Second Bishop of Sioux Falls, under the title of Our Lady, Help of Christians, on June 18, 1907.

February Liturgical Ministry Schedule on line

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Please check out the Monthly Liturgical Ministry Schedule page/link on the right side column, and click on February, 2009.

CHRISTMAS PICTURES Part One

Monday, January 5th, 2009
Christmas 1

Christmas 1

Crib 2008

Crib 2008

Holy Family Side Altar

Holy Family Side Altar

Choir Loft

Choir Loft

Close up of Main Altar

Close up of Main Altar

Pulpit

Pulpit

Another view of Main Altar

Another view of Main Altar

Side view of Christmas Crib

Side view of Christmas Crib