Category Archives: Fr. Terry’s Sharing

Fr. Terry’s May 13th Bulletin article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

 Most diocese’s have elected to move the Ascension of the Lord, which used to happen on Ascension Thursday, to the following Sunday.  Therefore the readings of the Seventh Sunday of Easter are no longer heard.  The Ascension is a key element in the Easter Season, so the move to a Sunday,  allows more people to remember and celebrate it.  I think it would be worth our effort to take some time to reflect in prayer on the readings of the Seventh Sunday.  Therefore:

Seventh Sunday of Easter

 Reading #1   Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26

Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers

—there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons

in the one place —.

He said, “My brothers,

the Scripture had to be fulfilled

which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand

through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,

who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.

He was numbered among us

and was allotted a share in this ministry.

For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

  ‘May another take his office.

“Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men

who accompanied us the whole time

the Lord Jesus came and went among us,

beginning from the baptism of John

until the day on which he was taken up from us,

become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

So they proposed two, Judas called Barsabbas,

who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.

Then they prayed,

“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,

show which one of these two you have chosen

to take the place in this apostolic ministry

from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”

Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,

and he was counted with the eleven apostles.

Reading #2   1 John 4:11-16

Beloved, if God so loved us,

we also must love one another.

No one has ever seen God.

Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,

and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,

that he has given us of his Spirit.

Moreover, we have seen and testify

that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.

Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,

God remains in him and he in God.

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love

remains in God and God in him.

 Gospel   John 17:11b-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:

“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.

When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost

except the son of destruction,

in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

But now I am coming to you.

I speak this in the world

so that they may share my joy completely.

I gave them your word, and the world hated them,

because they do not belong to the world

any more than I belong to the world.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world

but that you keep them from the evil one.

They do not belong to the world

any more than I belong to the world.

Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world,

so I sent them into the world.

And I consecrate myself for them,

so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

 

Fr. Terry’s April 22nd Bulletin article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

I write this bulletin article as the blizzard roars outside.  St. Michael’s has a wedding in a few hours and the couple are not having the day they envisioned, but a wedding day, that like our grandparents, will make a bigger than life story to share with their own grandchildren.  The weather has taken out of our control, all the material and earthly things planned.  What remains is the most important.  It is a couple in love who want God’s blessing on their vows of love.  I feel privileged to witness it on behalf of all of us.  As the disciples experienced in the Gospel situations, nature and creation take second place to God’s power.  Nothing can keep God from our side.  It truly is a beautiful and awesome thing to behold.

Easter Season is celebrated for 50 days.  How appropriate that the Easter Season is longer than the 40 days of Lent.  I am reminded of a couple of children stories, that still can be meaningful to us adults as well.  The first one was a gift from a friend of mine when she heard my sister Sue was struggling with cancer.  The book’s title is:  Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Paulus.  It is a story of the life journey of a caterpillar towards becoming a butterfly.  As the title alludes to, it is a story of hope.  Our Lent and Easter Season is a time of journey, a time of struggle, a time of searching for purpose, a time of earned growth, a time of Hope, a time of Faith, and all motivated by a time of Love.  All these are a part of our relationship with each other and most importantly our relationship with God.  I would recommend reading this book as part of your embracing this Easter Season.  It is thought-provoking and life embracing, both our life here on earth and the life to come in God’s plan of Heaven.

The second story is called:  Easter Bunny’s Amazing Day, by Carol Benoist and Cathy Gilmore.  It reminds me of one of my cherished memories of my Mom.  She would often read to us children at night before we went off to bed.  This is a simple, but wonderful story to share with smaller children.  The last page reads – They call me the Easter Bunny because that was the amazing day He took all my fears away.

The power of stories comes with the sharing with others.  We, each and every one of us, are called by God to share the Joyous message of the Gospel and the Stories of the Love of Salvation brought about by our God.  We simply cannot live our faith unless it becomes a part of the very essence of who we are.  We are the bearers of this beautiful gift of love.  Because the Easter Season is 50 days long, do not let it just quietly slip to the back of our minds and lives.  It is like I tell the couples I prepare for the sacrament of Matrimony, if your wedding day is the high point of your love and everything is downhill from there, you will have a sad life of what could have been.  If Easter Day is the high point of the Easter Season and everything is downhill from there, maybe we are not worth the Great Gift of Sacrificial/Unconditional Love God gives us.  Celebrate Easter each and every day.  May God bless you for doing so!

 

Fr. Terry’s March 25th Bulletin article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

Holy Week is most definitely a very sacred time of the year, for it is now that we will commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus’ life on this earth.  These are the days leading up to the great Easter Feast.  The Lenten season of sacrifice and self-denial is about to come to an end, but this coming week is extremely important for all Christians.  The greatest focus of the week is the Passion (suffering) and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that led up to it.

Historical documents tell us that as early as the fourth century, the Church celebrated this “Great Week” with a feeling of profound sanctity.  It begins with Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  The central feature of the service proper to this day, as it was in the earliest times, is the procession of palms.  The palms are blessed and are then borne in procession to the church, where an entry is made with a certain amount of ceremony, after which the Mass is celebrated.  The other notable and very ancient feature of the present Palm Sunday service is the reading of the Gospel by three readers and the congregation.

Especially important for Catholics is the Easter Triduum.  This is the three days just before Easter.  On Holy Thursday, we reenact the Lord’s Supper, which He shared with His Apostles on the night He was betrayed and arrested.  This is one of the most beautiful liturgies of the entire liturgical year.  At the Mass, the priest will wash the feet, just as Jesus did.  Also, sometimes on this night, priests all over the world will renew their sacred vows.  This is because, at the Last Supper, Jesus not only instituted the Mass (Eucharist), but also the ministerial priesthood.

On Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion and death of our Lord, we have the veneration of the Cross.  A service is held mid-day (the hour He was believed to have died) and sometimes later in the evening (or the Living Stations).  We go forward and kiss the Cross in order to show honor and respect for Christ’s sacrifice for our sake.  There is no consecration of the Eucharist on this day, and the Communion we receive will be from the night before, which has been reserved in the tabernacle.

Holy Saturday is a vigil.  We keep watch for the expectant rising of Our Savior.  This was the day He went down into the netherworld in order to bring back up with Him into heaven, those who had died before His coming.  Up to this time, the gates to heaven were closed and no one could go there because of the original sin of Adam.  Jesus changed all that.  By paying the price for our sins on the Cross, He gained for us our eternal salvation, and heaven was opened once more.  Also on this night, persons who have spent months of preparation will be received, through Baptism and Confirmation, into the Catholic Church for the first time.  It is a joyous occasion.

Those who engage themselves wholeheartedly in living the entire paschal cycle (Lent, Triduum, and Easter’s Fifty Days) discover that it can change them forever.  This is especially so of the Triduum which, standing at the heart of the Easter season, is an intense immersion in the fundamental mystery of what it is to be a Christian.  During these days we suffer with Christ so that we might rise with Him at His glorious Resurrection.  Holy Week is a time to clear our schedules of unnecessary activities.  Our minds and hearts should be fixed on Jesus and what He did for us.  Let us bear the Cross so that we may be worthy of sharing in His Kingdom.  Written by Grace MacKinnon. 

 

Fr. Terry’s March 4th Bulletin Article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

More often than naught, we have a habit of mostly looking at the immediate moment.  As people of faith, we are also invited to look at the overall picture.  To recognize that we are on a journey with a beginning, a middle, and a destination that all factor into a season.  Our beginning was Ash Wednesday and the call to reform/change our lives.  Our important destination is the goal God has created just for us – Heaven.  Along the way, this years’ Scripture gives us a theme to mark the progress.  The theme is Covenant.  Remember we are not to live as a contract, which is conditional and limited.  We are to live as a Covenant, which is unconditional and limitless.  This year, the first readings of Lent present various Covenants.  Scripture focuses on Covenant as a binding agreement between people, or especially in our case – between God and His People/Family (Us).

The first Sunday of Lent, we had the Covenant God made with the people of Noah, the Covenant of the Rainbow.

The second Sunday of Lent, we heard about the Covenant of Faith made between God and Abraham, our Father in faith.

The third Sunday of Lent, we hear about the Covenant of Law made between God and Moses.

The fourth Sunday of Lent, we hear about the Covenant of the Heart prophesied by Jeremiah.

The fifth Sunday of Lent, we hear about the New Covenant of which Jesus is the instrument of God.

All this leads to the Paschal Mystery and the Blood of the Eternal Covenant.  What we renew on our altar every time we gather as the family of God in prayer.

God is faithfully living His side of the Covenant, how are you doing on this end?

 

Fr. Terry’s February 11th Bulletin article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

I have to confess, (and please do not tell the Bishop)  every month when I receive my Bishop’s Bulletin, the first thing I do is turn to Fr. Michael Griffin’s article.  I have always enjoyed his writing style and insightful reflections.  Then I swear, I read the Bishop’s article next.  This issue, Fr. Mike talks about how Easter and April Fool’s Day are the same.  Well fool on the devil is what I say.  He acknowledges that Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day are also the same this year.  That spiritual aspect of this happening can lead to a powerful experience.  It reminds us that Love, and not punishment, is behind every experience of God.  Which of us does not want to be loved and to give love?  That is the heart of the Season of Lent.  The more fully we enter whole-heartedly into the Journey of Lent, the more powerful that love makes us new.  I encourage you to read his article if you have not.

I truly believe God works through the signs of the times.  Maybe God is giving us a sign of where He wants us to focus this Lent.  Maybe this is a special Lent for couples.  Maybe this is a Lent where couples make each other a priority in the midst of the busyness of their lives.  Maybe this is a Lent where couples push aside the many distractions in their lives to focus on each other as a beautiful gift from God given just for them.  Maybe this is a Lent where couples work on and do the things that deepen their love for each other.  As I tell couples in marriage preparation, don’t make the wedding day the peak of your love relationship.   It is a one-time celebration of an ongoing relationship of love.  In visiting with couples that celebrate their 50th anniversary of marriage, I ask them what were the highlights of their marriage.  Rarely do they say their wedding day.  Rarely do they only mention one or two events.  Their answers are many and I believe that is why they are celebrating 50 years and plus.  They gave the fruitful hard work that kept increasing their love through the trials and joys.

What are you going to do this Season of Lent?  How are you actively, and from day one, going to make it a growthful, meaningful journey that allows love to make us anew?  Think, plan, and start from day one!

FAST and ABSTAIN RULES:

 ASH WEDNESDAY and GOOD FRIDAY are days of FAST AND ABSTINENCE which means no meat, and only one FULL meal, no eating between meals. Liquids are allowed.  This pertains to those from age 18-59.

 ALL FRIDAYS OF LENT are days of ABSTINENCE (no meat) for those age 14 onward.  There is no obligation to fast the other days of Lent, but voluntary acts of penance and self denial or giving up are recommended.  Remember, the 40 days of Lent for fasting and giving up do not include Sundays, which are days of rest, leisure, and joy in the Lord.

EASTER DUTY OBLIGATION Catholics are bound by the obligation of receiving Holy Communion at least once a year. This precept should be fulfilled during the Easter Season (Ash Wednesday-Pentecost).  Catholics are also bound to confess serious sins at least once a year, but this is not limited to the Lenten/Easter Season and more frequent confession is recommended.

 

 

Fr. Terry’s January 14th Bulletin article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

This weekend is often a weekend where priests and deacons, because of the readings, will share their vocation stories.  Often, because of the situation of Mass, we hear about the vocations of priesthood and the deaconate.  But vocational calls from God come to more than priests and deacons.  I have been greatly influenced by those who have been called to religious life.  I think of those Benedictine Monks (priests and brothers) who always had such great hospitality.  When I was visiting their home, they made it feel like it was also my home.  You wanted to stop and see them, even if you were just passing through.  Our associate, Fr. Tom Hartman, was greatly influenced by them as well.  Ask him about it sometime.  Religious sisters (and our own Pat Cordell in her consecrated life) have deeply affected me in the growth of my faith.  I have had a religious sister as my spiritual director my whole priesthood.  I have great respect and love for them.  Our health care system and school system owes a great debt to them and their self-less giving.

And now a comment about some other vocations we don’t hear enough about.  The single life is a vocation that is so impactful in our society and world.  They often forsake and sacrifice for the needs of the wider community.  One of the most beautiful examples of this while I was growing up was my Aunt Hazel.  She was engaged to a young man who went off the fight for our country in World War II.  He was killed and she then dedicated her whole life to create a society and country where violence and hatred would not be tolerated.  She marched for civil rights, she was one of George McGovern’s campaign leaders, she gave feedback to his speeches (she was head of the speech department for several universities in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa), she taught multiple students to debate and discuss to find answers and form moral opinions to benefit all.  In all this, she started with and ended with faith in God’s will.  She lived the Gifts of the Holy Spirit everyday of her life.

And last but not least, the other vocation that we don’t hear enough about – Marriage.  I have greatly admired several married couples, starting with my parents who were the biggest planter of the foundation for my vocation to the priesthood.  And surprising, the biggest supporters to my living out my priesthood has not been other priests (a strong second), but married couples who have shared their lives and supported me with their love.  In each of the parishes I have been blessed to be a part of, I have had marriage sponsor couples to help prepare engaged couples for a good and healthy marriage.  (BTW, we are looking for more here at St. Michael…hint/hint).  I have to admit one couple is my favorite.  They were of mixed religions and remained that way throughout their marriage.  I would assign them all the mixed religion couples being prepared.  Usually you have one of the two with a strong faith and the other with a weak faith.  Whether one party decided to join the Catholic Faith or if they decided to remain two different faiths, this couple would have them both firm about practicing their faith and supporting each other.  I have never met any sponsor couples who could so impact both of the engaged couples to live their faith openly and to have dedicated themselves to help each other grow in faith.  I miss them.  They enriched my faith as well and were great supporters of my priesthood.

Remember, ALL vocations are needed as examples and supports to one another!

 

Fr. Terry’s December 10th bulletin article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing… 

Three Kings, Three Wise Men, or Three Astrologers, all three titles fit and can be used appropriately.  So, we are in Advent and why am I mentioning these three?   I think they have a bigger story to share that impacts us beyond visiting the baby Jesus.

╬ Remember, they were intelligent and dedicated their lives to learning and growing.  Which is the beginning step for all of us who want to deepen our relationship with God.

╬ Remember, they were interested in the whole world and not just the local area.  We belong to a church that is more than just local, it is universal.

╬ Remember, they were studying the heavens and not just earthly things.  Jesus reminds us through the cross that we are in a horizontal and vertical relationship with God and others.

╬ Remember, they prepared for the task ahead.  In our church, we use the Advent Season to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ.

╬ Remember, they did not wait to the last minute, but invested in a long journey to arrive at this special moment.  The more we put into the preparation, anticipation and watchfulness, the more impact the Incarnation (the coming of Jesus as man, and eventually Savior) will make in our lives.

╬ Remember, they spread the word of His coming wherever they went.  We need to do the same about this Special, Loving Gift we are given.

╬ Remember, in response to this Awesome Gift from God, they brought gifts in return.  We are called to bring the gift of ourselves to share in gratitude.

╬ Remember, they listened to the promptings of the angels and the star for guidance.  We must listen to the promptings of God and others He has placed in our lives.

╬ Remember, they traveled together on this journey.  We are given the gift of the family of God to journey with to the kingdom of God.

╬ Remember, they placed this journey as the most important event and held nothing back to participate.  In the midst of all the commercialism, this has to be the most important event that we are willing to invest everything to be a part of.

╬ Remember, they took this experience back with them to share with those who were unable be there.  We are called to take the God-event into every aspect of our lives…work, school, home, etc.

 So you see that these three can teach us a lot about how to celebrate Advent and to look forward to Christmas with anticipation, excitement, & gratitude.

 

Fr. Terry’s November 19th Bulletin article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

Odds and Ends to reflect on:

From a cousin:  If thanks are only words, it is not the true meaning of Thanksgiving.  It is hollow if the heart is not a part of it.  Real Thanksgiving comes from the wholeness of your being and its richness comes in the giving beyond yourself.

From my Mom:  If thanks are only expressed on a day set aside to do so, our life is superficial.  If thanks is expressed everyday (sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big) it is rich, meaningful, and capable of changing your life.

From Fr Nicholas:  Let us count our blessings, rather than count our troubles.

From Bishop Dudley:  I try to start every day by reflecting on five things that I am thankful for.  Then I take those things into my morning prayer.  It really helps me to enter the day not asking for things, but treasuring things.

Pope Francis:  If we can realize that everything is God’s gift, how happy will our hearts be!  Everything is His gift.  He is our strength!

Saint John Paul II:  Thanksgiving always has to start in our families.  If we can’t say thank you to those who are closest to us, how are we going to say it to those beyond our families?

President Carter while building Houses for Habitat for Humanity in Mexico:  If people don’t have the basic needs of life and we who are fortunate to be richly blessed don’t share with them, we will never understand what it means to be thankful.

A classmate from college who is a teacher:  If I cannot instill a sense of gratitude in my students, I am failing as a teacher/mentor to give my students one of the most important tools for everyday life.

A fourth grade student:  If there is no giving of thanks, there can be no Thanksgiving.

A man in a nursing home:  People who never give thanks are some of the rudest people I have ever met.   They have no sense of manners or of graciousness.

So take some time to do two things:

Thank God in prayer and reflect on your blessings!

 

Fr. Terry’s October 29th Sharing

Once again, time to hear from our children about their stewardship.  Thanks parents, for raising them with a desire to give of their time, talents, and treasure.  I have no doubt that God is smiling down on them.

 ¨ I helped hold the door and we put out the recyclables to care for our world.

¨ I helped Mom by vacuuming.

¨ I helped my brother pick up his toys.

¨ I prayed for someone who was having surgery.

¨ I helped Dad wash his car and the house windows.

¨ I picked up the things my brother threw down in his fit of tantrum.

¨ I unloaded the dishwasher.

¨ I taught my friend to dance so we could go to a party together.

¨ I helped by loving people and of course I loved Jesus the best.

¨ I watched my brothers and sisters for my folks while they were cleaning.

¨ I helped set the table.

¨ I helped my aunt and uncle move.

¨ I opened the door for someone in a wheelchair.

¨ I told a grumpy friend that they look beautiful when they smiled and I asked her to smile for me.

¨ My brother was confused till I helped him think things through.

¨ I gave my parents a surprise kiss and they did not even have to ask for it.

¨ I cuddled with my younger sister so she would know someone loves her.

¨ I helped move some things from one place to another.

¨ I feed my baby brother, boy was his face messy.

¨ I was awesome today.

¨ I bought my brother a candy bar because he has a sweet tooth.

¨ I raked the leaves.

¨ I helped the sub teacher find things in the classroom.

¨ I helped cook and it tasted great.

¨ I picked up the books my friend dropped.

¨ I cleaned my room and put everything away.

¨ I sang my sisters to sleep.

¨ When my brother fell face first, I helped him and calmed him down.

¨ I passed out hugs and kisses to my family.

¨ I shared my candy with others.

¨ I helped my brother when he was scared.

¨ I helped the poor by going to a home and visiting them with my parents.

¨ I helped give my little sister a bath – boy did she need it.

¨ I helped my Mom bake.

¨ I helped my little brother with his prayers.

¨ I helped walk the dog even though I hated it.

¨ I read stories to my sister.

¨ I sang at church with my best voice.

¨ I helped Dad take out the trash.

¨ I made our baby laugh when he was crying.

¨ I helped do the laundry.

¨ I helped my sister with her homework.

¨ I shared my candy bar but they took a really big bite.

¨ I picked some flowers for my Mom.

¨ I made a picture for Fr. Terry to hang on his wall.

¨ I walked home with my friend so she would not have to walk alone.

¨ I used the power of love to make people happy.

¨ I changed my sister’s smelly diaper.

¨ I helped a friend straighten out his backpack.

¨ I helped my teacher by being quiet when I was supposed to.

¨ I helped a friend when they were sad.

¨ I taught my sister to play basketball and soccer.

¨ I took care of mommy when she was sick.

¨ I shared my time with my brother when he wanted to play some games on the computer.

¨ I cleaned out my drawers.

¨ I made a home-made gift for my Dad.

¨ I helped my teacher get the classroom ready.

¨ I brought my friends homework home when they were sick.

 What have you done as stewardship  in sharing your time, talent and treasure?

 

November 2017 Newsletter Article

Dear Parishioners,

I am so happy with our Fall Season.  I truly do love having the four seasons, distinct and unique.  I am most unhappy when we go from summer right into winter.  Often the four seasons are depicted in the following way:

  • Spring is tied to birth of new life.
  • Summer is tied to living of life.
  • Fall is tied to the twilight years of life and the preparation for the next life.
  • Winter is tied to the ending of life.

I have always been in awe of the beauty of each of the seasons.  They really are distinct and unique from each other.  Starting my life on the farm, I was taught early that your life is tied to nature and the earth.  What an incredible trust God has in us to be made stewards of His creation.  That meant you developed a great appreciation for the history of your family and of the farm they lived on.  You took note of the hard work and total dedication they had.   The sacrifice and pride they lived every day.  Their every action was a thanksgiving to God and a treasuring of their gift from Him.  Because of this, they worked hard at being good stewards of that gift.  With everything they did, the focus was on leaving that gift to those who followed them, in the best shape they could.  While you were building on the past, you were living the present with great caring, and you were living for the future gift that was to be.  God’s greatest gift to you, amidst all the gifts that surrounded you, was the gift of children.  Everything you did was to benefit them.  You lived, invested, sacrificed, and worked hard with that goal in mind.

As my Mother lives out the Fall of her life, I have a deeper appreciation every day of her living her life in loving sacrifice and dedicated hard work to benefit us.  What a gift!  It is funny, that while my Dad was widely known, when he would meet someone they would ask him if he is Fr. Terry’s father.  When I meet people, they ask me if I am Lureta Weber’s son.  My Mom was a nurse most of her life.  Even in the confusion that sadly is so frequent today, the one thing she never forgets is that she is a care-giver.  Even today in her confusion, if someone is not feeling well, she remains by their side to provide what she can.  She is a care-giver:  body, mind, heart, and soul.  It is a privilege to watch, to learn from her, and to try to emulate her.  She is in the image of her creator, her GOD.  I hope and pray to do the same.     Fr. Terry Weber