From the Pastor’s Desk

Now Known as Chardonnay W(h)ines!


From the Pastor’s Desk

June 27 – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At this time of the year, parishes throughout the Diocese often experience a change in staff.  OLM is no exception.  It is with mixed feelings that I announce that Jean Rehmer who has worked as secretary in our Religious Education office for the past 18 years is retiring at the end of June.  I say mixed feelings because retirement is a happy thing to look forward to, but Jean will be sorely missed!  Jean has been a huge behind the scenes support to our staff, catechists, and leaders in the Junior High (EDGE) and High School (LIGHT) religious education programs for our parish youth and teens.  Taking care of all the details for Confirmation and many other celebrations and programs, Jean has been the one to answer all your calls and questions.  She has especially enjoyed meeting and working with our parish youth and teens, always offering support and encouragement to them.  Jean has also worked with and coordinated the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) for the past 15 years.  She has also covered the parish office reception desk and answered phones when needed.  Jean has always been gracious and willing to perform any needed tasks.

Jean and her husband Deacon Phil (who retired a few months ago) have also been great witnesses to their faith.  Members of OLM for 28 years, both volunteered in baptismal preparation ministry for many years.  Jean also was a catechist for several years prior to employment at OLM.  Both Jean and Deacon Phil have been powerful witnesses to justice and peace ministry with their commitment to Hesed House and PADS.  They will continue to coordinate our Hesed House/PADS ministry at OLM during their retirement.

So, Jean, we thank you for all you have done for us at OLM and wish you all the best in your retirement!

God Bless Jean Rehmer!

Have a blessed week!

Father Don

 

From the Pastor’s Desk

June 26 – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At this time of the year, parishes throughout the Diocese often experience a change in staff. OLM is no exception. It is with mixed feelings that I announce that Jean Rehmer who has worked as a secretary in our Religious Education office for the past 18 years is retiring at the end of June. I say mixed feelings because retirement is a happy thing to look forward to, but Jean will be sorely missed! Jean has been a huge behind the scenes support to our staff, catechists, and leaders in the Junior High (EDGE) and High School (LIGHT) religious education programs for our parish youth and teens. Taking care of all the details for Confirmation and many other celebrations and programs, Jean has been the one to answer all your calls and questions. She has especially enjoyed meeting and working with our parish youth and teens, always offering support and encouragement to them. Jean has also worked with and coordinated RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) for the past 15 years. She has also covered the parish office reception desk and answered phones when needed. Jean has always been gracious and willing to perform any needed tasks.

Jean and her husband Deacon Phil (who retired a few months ago) have also been great witnesses to their faith. Members of OLM for 28 years, both volunteered in baptismal preparation ministry for many years. Jean also was a catechist for several years prior to employment at OLM. Both Jean and Deacon Phil have been powerful witnesses to justice and peace ministry with their commitment to Hesed House and PADS. They will continue to coordinate our Hesed House/PADS ministry at OLM during their retirement.

So, Jean, we thank you for all you have done for us at OLM and wish you all the best in your retirement!

God Bless Jean Rehmer!

Have a blessed week!

Father Don

From the Pastor’s Desk

June 20 – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This being Father’s Day, we extend a special greeting of gratitude not only to our dads, but also to our Spiritual Father, Fr. James Guarascio.  Today is Fr. James’ first anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.  From his “spiritual grandfather” I want to tell him what a delight it has been to have him minister with me here at Our Lady of Mercy.  His humor, enthusiasm for the priesthood and love for the Church has truly been an inspiration for me.  He will be a great pastor…..probably within the next three years!!

We also extend this blessing to all our Father’s…….

Blessed are You, Lord and Father of All life, who has given to us the gift of the father of our family.  Today we honor him, and we thank You for the numerous good things that are ours because of him.

His love for us has been a sign of Your divine affection and a sharing in Your holy love.  His continuous concern for our needs and welfare is a mirror of Your holy providence.  And so, as we honor him, we praise You, Father of All Peoples.

Bless him this day with Your strength and holy power that he may continue to be a sign of You, our God, and a priestly parent to our family.  May we who have the honor of bearing his family name do so with great pride.

May we, the members of his family, assist him in his holy duties as a parent with our respect, our obedience and our deep affection.

Bless him, Lord, with happiness and good health, with peace and with good fortune, so that he who has shared of his very life may live forever with You, his God and heavenly Father.

This blessing and all graces, we pray, descend upon the father of our family: in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  +Amen.

(Blessing Prayer reprinted with permission:  “Prayers for the Domestic Church” by Edward Hays”  Forest of Peace Publishing, Leavenworth, KS)

Happy Father’s Day!

Father Don

 

From the Pastor’s Desk

June 13 – Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks in parables.  Parables were Jesus’ favorite way of teaching.  He used parables because parables force you to think.  You have to pause and use your imagination to consider how the kingdom of God is like two sons, or ten virgins, or a treasure found in a field.  Today Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.  What is he trying to say?  Parables always have multiple meanings.  I suggest to you one possible meaning of this parable today of the mustard seed is that Jesus is telling us that small things matter.

The parable is very clear on this.  The mustard seed is the smallest possible seed.  Yet, once it is planted, it grows into a sizeable plant that can give shade to birds.  The mustard seed is very small, just a speck.  It would be so easy to lose it or to ignore it or to discard it.  But doing any of those things, we would miss the opportunity to see how it would grow and what it would become.  The lesson of the mustard seed is important, because we live in a culture that values what is big and impressive.  We get excited about a new car or better clothes or the most recent laptop or smart phone that at times we overlook what seems to be less.  That is unfortunate, because small things matter.  They matter because God uses them, and they matter in two different ways.  They matter in the actions that we do, and they matter in the things we receive.

As we live any day of our life, we should never discount the small things we can do: a word of love or support to our spouse, a few moments to affirm a son or daughter about something they are good at or something that they have achieved, a phone call to a friend who is grieving the death of a loved one, or even a thankful smile instead of a vacant stare as we approach the cashier in the supermarket.  These are small things, tiny; things, things that could seem to have no significance.  Yet they can be important because God can choose to use them to build up some person in our lives and to increase the goodness around us.  We should never discount doing small things in the course of every day!

But neither should we overlook the importance of receiving small things each day.  For each day there are people in our lives who give us signs of love and support.  How much richer our lives would be if we were open to accept those signs and take them in….the smile of a 3-year old child, the person who breaks to let us into traffic, a friend who says to us “How are you? How are you really?”  All of these are signs that God is using to show us that we are loved and that there are reasons for hope.

Big and flashy things always seem important.  But small things matter.  Things a little as a mustard seed can shape our lives.  We can be the farmer who plants the mustard seed or the soil that receives it – the giver or the receiver.  In both cases, small things like a mustard seed can make a difference.  God uses the small things in our lives to build the kingdom of God.  SMALL THINGS MATTER!

Have a blessed week!

Father Don

 

From the Pastor’s Desk

June 6 – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Today we celebrate the foundational Catholic truth that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, which unfortunately during this COVID pandemic, which started in March 2020, many have been deprived of receiving. Today we celebrate the Body and Blood of Jesus – our communion with Him through the Eucharist.  As I said, many, for various reasons have not be able to come to Mass and are spiritually starving!  Technology allowed us to livestream Mass to watch on television and mobile devices, but technology cannot provide for receiving Holy Communion.  During the pandemic, our bishop gave a general dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.  I suspect the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will be re-instated soon (if it already hasn’t been since I’ve written this article).

One of the aspirational values we are encouraging our parishioners to embrace is the Primacy of Sunday Eucharist.  We dream to be a parish where everyone hungers to be nourished by the true presence of Christ in Word and Eucharist, giving priority to coming to Mass every Sunday.  That means not attending Mass only if we can fit it in our schedule between kids sporting events, projects we want to get done around the house, and any of the numerous reasons we can find for not attending Mass.  Instead, we attend Mass BEFORE (or after) doing all the other activities in our schedule.  Why?

Can you recall what was your most memorable meal?  This question was posed by a hostess at a dinner party, and she received a variety of answers.  One couple said that their most memorable meal was a three course dinner which was made by an executive chef for them on their honeymoon while on a river cruise in Paris.  Another couple said that their most memorable was the first time their children served them breakfast in bed on their anniversary.  A man who had been a boy scout said his most memorable meal was a meal of hobo hamburgers, which he prepared in tin foil over a campfire.  A mother of three said her most memorable meal was a meal at which she ate nothing.  It was the first time she nursed her newborn son.

I would add that your First Communion should be included in your list of most memorable meals!  The truth is that the Eucharist is the perfect meal!  Because, in this meal we share the body and blood of Christ, the real presence of our Savior.  Christ is the source of life and therefore the source of all the blessing in our lives, which we commemorate in all the other meals we celebrate.  The Eucharist is the meal which is the source of all our meals, because in the Eucharist, we encounter the author of life who is the source of every blessing.  Through Christ we are blessed in our family, our friends, our talents, and our possessions.  All of these gifts come for Christ.  In the Eucharist we encounter Him and celebrate the blessings we have received!  That should have priority in our Sunday meal plans!!

Have a blessed week!

Father Don