Fr. Terry’s Sharing…
No doubt you could not help but see the changed look of our Parish campus. The loss of the trees is truly a sad situation and one we wish we could have avoided. Like the present situation of the farmers with all the water in their fields, this was one not of our choosing, but one where the choice was made for us. At the combined budget meeting of our Finance and Parish councils, we talked about how unexpected expenses like this really put a strain on our efforts to have a balanced operating budget. It seems like at least once a year something comes up. Therefore, the decision was made to once a year take up a second collection to try to cover these unexpected expenses. All those on the committees really do put forth a great effort to be good stewards of our gifts. Our normal envelope income is geared to our regular expenses. That is why we do not want to use that income to cover the unexpected expenses. Please see article below for more information from our Deacon John who headed up our response as a parish.
We will be taking up a second collection over these two weekends: June 8/9 and June 15/16. Our budget year expires on June 30th and our expenses will come during this budget year. We are collecting on two weekends because with school ending, more parishioners are traveling and this will give them a chance to participate. If you are going to be gone both weekends, you could send something by mail or drop an envelope off at the office. The committees also discussed creating a memorial fund for tree replacement. Details have yet to be worked out. This is our parish and we are responsible to share in its upkeep just as we care for our own personal responsibilities. Thank you for your understanding and your dedication to the needs of the parish. May God bless you and your participation in caring for His Church.
What Happened to our Trees??
Because of the Emerald Ash Borer invasion in Sioux Falls, we needed to address our ash trees on the St. Michael property.
We have been in consultation with arborists from Minneapolis & Sioux Falls and with our own Building and Grounds committee.
We have taken their recommendations to remove most of the ash trees (33 of the 39) and will then treat the remaining six trees.
Good News is – we will be replanting trees this summer with a variety of trees – Locust, Maple, and Elm.
Fr. Terry’s Sharing…
Easter is so powerful and impactful in our lives and our salvation. No wonder Easter Season lasts for 50 days. Ten days longer than the Lenten Season that gets us ready for it. We will continue to do the things in our liturgies that reflect this. Take the time to plan things in your homes to do likewise.
Last weekend we had our First Communion Celebrations. How fun to see the excitement in their eyes, in their dress, and in their active participation. And I am not just talking about Fr. Tom here. Parents, I want to thank you for wanting the best for your children. You want their bodies and souls to be nourished by our Lord in a very direct and meaningful way that day and in the rest of their lives. It was easy to see how happy and proud you were. Keep up the good work of being their first and most important teachers in the ways of faith.
This weekend, Daniel Williams, a seminarian from the Diocese of La Crosse, WI and with us here at St. Michael last summer, will be ordained Deacon for his final year of preparation for Priesthood. Their Bishop was so pleased with our Parish and how we supported him that they are sending another seminarian, Steven Waller, to be with us this summer. He will arrive in the parish on May 26th. Two summers ago, we had Anthony Klein, a seminarian from our Diocese with us. He will be ordained Deacon as he enters into his last year of preparation for Priesthood. Three summers ago, Timothy Cone was with us. He will be ordained to the Priesthood for our Diocese at the end of May. Thank you for your care, support, and especially your prayers as you participate in forming them to be priest servants for our church. It is by no mistake that you are a parish that Bishops send their candidates for the priesthood to. Your helping in their formation is a privilege, an honor, and a trusted responsibility.
God Bless you all!
Fr. Terry’s Sharing…
In the Gospel we hear the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. I have always found a great sense of hope and a strong challenge in that reading. There have been a few times in my life when I thought something I did was unforgiveable. During those times, I found myself doing two things: pulling away from others because I felt embarrassed and unworthy of their love and friendship and being haunted by what I did to the point of punishing myself beyond what others would want me to do. Frankly, sometimes they were more forgiving than I was to myself. If I am honest with myself, I still carry the burden of that sin, even though it had been forgiven by others and God a long time ago. As my spiritual director, God bless her, points out to me from time to time: God has forgiven you, others have forgiven you, why will you not forgive yourself? Sometimes it boils down to fact that I cannot believe I am capable of being that stupid. Sometimes it is because I cannot get over the anger I feel at myself. God is so compassionate, that his forgiveness is never held over us. When He forgives, it no longer exists. Family, friends, and even people I don’t like still offer me forgiveness because they know I can be better than that. I still remember a time in 5th grade when a classmate I was always in competition with or could argue/fight with at the drop of a hat, walked up to me on the playground while I was crying my eyes out, put his arm around me and just sat with me. Finally, when I could stop crying, he told me it will get better. Forgiving myself and letting go, is what I have to work the hardest at.
The other thing that always comes to mind for me when I hear this reading is that there are many more stones we can toss that have nothing to do with rocks. Our gestures, our attitude, our actions and words to others can and often do more damage than a rock would. Do we harm others spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually as well as physically? What would Jesus say to us, if he watched the way we are with others?