Since Tipton does not have a trail – no Cardinal Greenway – I’ve been walking around town. To get some variety I will walk in different neighborhoods. Tipton is bigger than I thought it would be. I’ve thought that if the town had a slogan it might be “Tipton is more than just 28!”
There are some very nice homes in town. And, there is a trailer park on the west edge of the city.
I always start my walks from the church. And that is always where I return.
I also wonder who built those big homes. Many look like they were built in the 1920’s or 30’s, with a few looking vintage 1955 or so. Was there some industry back in the day? This seems to be largely a farming community, but folks live on the farm. I mean to find out. That is, who built the big homes.
SO IT GOES
He is risen! Alleluia!
It feels good to sing our Alleluia’s again. I hope your Lent was fruitful and that you are experiencing some new life as a result. I also want to welcome our newly minted Catholics. I suspect the Easter Vigil was a powerful experience for them, and that they are indeed knowing new life.
This new life I speak of is, of course, a life in Christ. And, a life in Christ is a sacramental life. This sacramental life begins with Baptism in which we are incorporated into the Body of Christ, the church. It is in the church that we fulfill our mission, doing God’s will, and so grow in holiness. And we deepen our relationship with Christ through service to others, celebrating the sacraments, and a life of prayer. A life of prayer includes praying the scriptures.
One of my favorite scripture passages is Luke 24:13-35, the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. At first, the two disciples do not know the stranger who accompanies them, but after breaking open the Word and then in the breaking of bread, their eyes are opened and they recognize the risen Lord. The first thing the disciples do is go back and tell the good news. We still experience Christ present among us in the celebration of the sacraments, and in our service to each other.
The resurrection is not just something that happened 2,000 years ago, but is still happening today, in our midst, and in our church. And so it is good to sing Alleluia. He is risen!
SO IT GOES
I don’t think ashes on the forehead will ever become a fashion statement. Indeed some folks wipe them off as soon as they get in the car. And, I might have missed them but there are not many Lenten greeting cards. What would they say – Happy Lent? Have a Miserable Lent? Missing Chocolate Yet? I think the closest way folks have gone to mass market Lent is the fish sandwich deals at fast food restaurants. I did notice that a local restaurant near Ball State advertised a Lenten menu which included different kinds of fish and seafood. I suppose with a couple of sides and a pint of ale I might be making some kind of sacrifice! Given what society has done to Christmas it’s just as well that they leave Lent alone.
However, there are many of us Catholics who do take it all seriously, and with the proper attitude. The Collect (opening prayer) for Thursday after Ash Wednesday is instructive. We prayed, “Prompt our actions with your inspiration, we pray, O Lord, and further them with your constant help, that all we do may always begin from you and by you be brought to completion.” Before we decide to do something for Lent, we should ask God first. What does HE want us to do for Lent? We may not want to know! Still, if prompted by the Holy Spirit we know it will be for our own good. And, taking that on, whatever it is, God will help us through the season and bring it to completion.
The first reading for that same Thursday liturgy is also helpful as we enter into this holy season. There, in Deuteronomy 30:15-20, we hear Moses tell us “I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.” He goes on to say that if you choose to live by the commandments you will have life. But if you choose to follow false gods you will surely die.
So this Lent how will you choose life? Hopefully with God’s inspiration, and with His grace bring your life to a fruitful completion.
SO IT GOES
We continue to make progress with the Fruitful Harvest campaign. As of now we are at 79% of our goal, and that is encouraging. There is still time to make a gift to Fruitful Harvest. Remember, our parish benefits from Fruitful Harvest, so you are doing something good for St. Lawrence when you support the larger church.
In this season of giving thanks I am grateful to all who have pledged and made a gift, no matter the size. It all helps, and it all supports the work of the Church.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, our Mass for Thanksgiving will be at 9:00 A.M. that morning, and will include the Blessing of Bread.
Advent will be here in a couple of weeks, and time for the annual Wreath Making Party. Once again we will have the party in the Schweier Center and will include pizza and drinks. Candles and rings and pizza will be provided. Just bring some greens and your imagination. In the past folks have brought ribbon and ornaments to decorate the wreaths. We will conclude with the Blessing of Advent Wreaths. Space is limited so register now.
Also, there will be a church decorating party on Saturday morning, November 29, 8:30 A.M. Help is always needed and appreciated. There will be coffee and donuts and lots to do!
Once again St. Lawrence School has received good news from the state – we got an “A”! The Indiana Department of Education has deemed that SLS has earned an A for excellence in education. This is in addition to being named a “Four Star” school, as well.
Obviously we are all about excellence in education, but we also take a holistic approach to forming our children. We are also about Christian virtues and morals, and good citizenship. St. Lawrence School is about making a positive difference in the world, and we have been doing that for almost 135 years. I think that Fr. Schmidt, who started the school, would be very happy with how well we are doing.
So congratulations to our educators and staff and administrators who work hard to make SLS such a good school. Let us pray that through the intercession of St. Lawrence our school will continue to be a beacon of light on this side of Muncie
Wednesday morning and half-way through the retreat. This is a “preached” retreat with Fr. Eugene Hensell, O.S.B., the retreat director. The theme is “Biblical Spirituality and the Contemporary Priesthood. This is my 17th or 18th retreat with Fr. Eugene, and he is as good as ever. He used to teach scripture here in the seminary and I took every course he offered. Fr. Eugene is the major reason I love the scriptures, and so preach from the Word every day.
So far Fr. Eugene has provided us with a wonderful apologetic course, so to speak, on how and why we should read the bible with the mind of the Church. He has referred to papal and Vatican documents outlining our proper stance toward biblical scholarship. Father has referred to Divino Afflante Spiritu (1943, Pope Pius XII), and other documents, including Pope Benedict XVI and his Apostolic Exhortation on scripture (2010).
I wish I could stay to hear the rest of Fr. Eugene’s talks but I have to leave this afternoon for a funeral tomorrow. So it goes.
SO IT GOES
This weekend we announce the beginning of Fruitful Harvest 2014. This, of course, is the bi-annual diocesan campaign to raise funds to support the ministry of the bishop.
As you know, before Fruitful Harvest began 30 years ago, every parish in the diocese was assessed a percentage of their income. This “tax” came out of general operating funds of the parish. Now every Catholic parishioner is invited to participate in the work of the Church in the Diocese of Lafayette. A big plus is that we get a rebate when we pay our goal, and a very nice supplement since we have a school. Fruitful Harvest is a win-win program for us. Therefore, your gift to Fruitful Harvest is also support for St. Lawrence.
Our goal this time is $111,362.97. We can do this – if everybody gives their fair share. And, as in the past, your pledge can be paid all at once, or spread over 20 months. And, of course, I have made my pledge.
I will be gone this week for the annual priest retreat. This is something mandated by Canon Law, but is something I always look forward to. I will be down at St. Meinrad Archabbey praying with the monks, and ask for your prayers these next few days. I’m going to try to do some blogging while there, so you might check it out. You can find my blog on the parish web site – http://www.stlawrencemuncie.com – and click on Father’s blog.
I will keep all of you in prayer, and if you have any special intentions you might send me an email with your request. In the meantime, let us keep each other in prayer, and may God bless.
SO IT GOES
Last Wednesday was the start of 40 Days For Life. This is a national, interdenominational movement aimed at protecting the sanctity of human life. Folks of good and tender conscience participate by prayer, fasting and standing vigil, in prayer, before facilities that promote abortion on demand. From the very beginning Christianity has been a pro-life movement. From the moment of Mary’s “yes” to God and life, to Jesus’ resurrection, His message has been one of God’s desire that we have life, and abundantly.
In the Roman Missal there is a Mass allowed for the dioceses of the United States titled “For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life”. There are two options. The Collect for option B prays that God may “awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands, and renew among your people a readiness to nurture and sustain your precious gift of human life.” The Prayer After Communion also prays “that we may live always for others and cherish your sacred gift of human life.”
These are good things to pray for, especially since we have seemed to have lost a sense of the sacredness of human life, and with it, reverence for life. And prayer is the easiest thing to do. You may not be able to stand vigil, and you may not be able to fast from food, but everybody can pray.
Once again churches in Muncie and Anderson have come together to plan this year’s observance of 40 Days for Life, and are coming to pray together for what is arguably the most important cause of our time. Don’t dismiss the power of prayer to make a difference in the world. One baby saved from abortion is worth some effort you can make for life.
We welcome Fr. Jess Owens of the Basilian Fathers to our fair parish this weekend. I am sure you will hear about the Basilians and their missionary work in the world. As always your contributions to the second collection will support that work.
Our annual observance and participation in 40 Days for Life will begin on September 24. Once again you will be invited to pray, fast, stand in vigil, and do whatever you choose for the cause of life in our country. Do not underestimate the power of prayer, especially for such a worthy cause.
St. Lawrence PTO has been hard at work preparing for the annual Fall Festival. This year’s theme is “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. The children’s lip-sync show will feature all kinds of songs about baseball. And Dan’s Fish Fry will be on Saturday. Dates for the Fall Festival are October 10 and 11. Raffle tickets should be coming out soon.
St. Vincent DePaul will have a boot donation drive next weekend. See the flyer in this bulletin for details.
And, this month’s day of adoration and Benediction is this Sunday, which is also the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Cross – a most fitting day for adoration of Him who gave Himself for us on the cross, and continues to give Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Surely you can find some time for at least a short prayer of thanksgiving! St. Peter Julian Eymard, who had a great devotion to the Eucharist, said, “Just as God gave us everything in giving us his Son, and Jesus gave himself completely on the cross and in the Eucharist, so should our Christian lives be a total gift of self to Christ.”