Fr. Terry’s Sharing…
One more week of the Christmas Season, which always ends with the Baptism of Jesus. I am always appreciative of all the people of the parish who contribute to the beautiful liturgies of this season. Always on the top of the list are our musicians, vocal and instrumental. We all know how busy the time for Christmas is and then add in the times of practice. They come early to sing songs to set the stage for our worship. Because we all have family to celebrate with, our last few Masses are the least attended. Yet we have some faithful people who provide the music even when the time is not convenient. And yes, some of them even play for more than one Mass. They really are our choirs of angels in more than one way. I also am grateful to those who decorate, help out with all the liturgical ministries: sacristans, greeters, ushers, lectors, eucharistic ministers, gift bearers, altar servers, book bearers, Fr. Albert, Fr. Luan, and Fr. Tom. I would also like to thank our staff who help with so much of the background preparation. Last, but not least, all of you who come to give God fitting honor & worship and who form a welcoming spirit to our many guests.
One often wonders what Joseph and Mary must have felt to be housed in a stable, to greet the baby Jesus in such a humble way. You don’t hear about them griping, swearing (God forbid), embarrassed, or saying “why me”. This weekend, we don’t hear in scriptures about the three Magi, Kings, Wise Men – ridiculing them, laughing at them, criticizing them as lousy parents, or turning them into authorities. Everyone present, from parents to those who come see the baby Jesus, react as if it is the most beautiful thing they have ever seen in their lives. In the busy lives we lead, let’s not forget to approach God’s gift of love with the same awe and wonder. The Magi brought gifts, but they could never outdo the gift to us from God. Jesus, the gift of love, compassion, forgiveness, and salvation is ours, now and forever. Thank you all for being part of my Christmas and giving me a family (God’s family) to celebrate with and journey along side to God’s Kingdom of Heaven! God Bless everyone!
Fr. Terry’s Sharing…
Thanksgiving is approaching. I have some wonderful memories and experiences around Thanksgiving.
¨ My Mom staying up almost all night to cook this incredible meal and it was so good that almost all of us, if there was even remotely possible any room in our stomach, would prefer another helping over dessert.
¨ I remember Mom and Dad coming up with a family tradition to teach us kids about Thanksgiving. We put together bags of fruit and nuts, homemade treats, and a collection of three $10 gift cards to use for McDonald’s or the local Pizza Hut. And then my folks would drive us around town to give them to the homeless people.
¨ Of working in St. Joachim Parish in Plainview, MN for Fr. LeRoy Eikens. He was the best homemade soup chef I have ever met. He would invite all the parish widows and widowers to spend Thanksgiving with him. He would make a huge feast and would line up card games, board games, and a sing-a-long as he played the piano.
¨ Of being a pastor at Wessington, which had a lot of elderly people who would have to spend Thanksgiving alone because they didn’t have any relatives within a reasonable drive. The town decided to celebrate Thanksgiving as a whole community. I remember the Lutheran pastor, five school staff members, and myself meeting at the school kitchen at 2:30am to cook the turkeys. Others came at 6:00am to peel the potatoes for mashed potatoes. Others came at 7:00am to decorate, setup tables, make the gravy, the cranberry sauce, the vegetables, and bake the bread. Finally, others came at 8:00am with the desserts. We spent the day together and sent home leftovers for the elderly. Personally, I was always amazed there was any leftovers, but I think the Lutheran pastor must have learned how to multiply leftover food. About the middle of the day, we made homemade ice cream. I remember saving a lot of gas on the way home to Miller because I was so round and roll-able, that I did not need a car.
In everyone of those experiences, there was no doubt what Thanksgiving was: it was people and the most profound experience of gratitude that permeated your whole being – rolled together and richly blessed by God.
Join us for a Thanksgiving Day Mass at 8:15am in the Nave.
Remember the word Eucharist means Thanksgiving! Bring an item from your meal that you would like to have blessed. There will be NO Turkey at this Mass, as I am sending it (Fr. Tom) home to his family in Milbank. LOL.
Fr. Terry’s Sharing…
As our Parish ages, we are seeing parishioner’s needs growing and changing. We do a good job of sending Communion Ministers to the nursing homes on Sunday. Many of them watch the Mass on TV, but obviously they miss out on receiving the Eucharist. We are having more parishioners laid up in their homes as they recover from surgery or other medical reasons. We want to send the Eucharist to them through their family or friends. We have ordered more pyxes, containers to carry the hosts. So if you know of someone in this situation, please contact Linda in the Parish office. She will train you on how to do a Communion Service for a loved one. She will give you a pyx to use until the situation ends or changes. When you come for Saturday/Sunday Mass, please let the person at the volunteer check-in table know that you will be taking the Eucharist at the Mass for a homebound. When you come up to receive the Eucharist at Communion time for yourself, open the pyx and ask for an extra host. After the Closing Prayer we will invite you to come to the front and center where the priest will meet you. We will offer a special prayer and then send you out. As you take Communion to the homebound, please assure them of our prayers for them.
Please be our eyes, hands, and hearts to care for the Parish family. If you see a need or a ministry not done but needed, take the time to pass that info on to one of the priests or a staff member.