Fr. Cole's Message for April 18, 2021
I always love how the season of Easter is a season of new beginnings. We have certainly been blessed with a beautiful spring bringing warmth and sunshine. After daily Mass I love walking out into the crisp air and seeing our spring flowers growing more vibrant each day. I am also so happy to have been officially named your pastor during this season of renewal. As I mentioned, I hope my time here brings more stability in what has certainly been a chaotic year.
If you are anything like me, you might be wondering what the plan is. My vision and priority for the moment is to continue to get us through the challenges of this pandemic so that we can emerge having placed ourselves on solid ground. I simply then want to share some of my higher priorities.
Continue to work with the Buildings and Grounds Department to refurbish the exterior of the rectory. To date I have had numerous meetings with Mike Sullivan at the diocese and various contractors. Our downspouts and gutter repairs are scheduled to take place soon. Concurrently, they will be testing a technique to remove various layers of paint on our historical asset and are due to begin the plaster and painting work this summer.
This past year presented us with an opportunity to take our Faith Formation program in a new direction. I am so happy to hear how many parents and students are pleased with our more family centered model. Our Faith Formation Director, Dianne and I have been consulting with various individuals to make next year even better!
This past March, I formed a new Spiritual Life Committee for the parish. Our task is to discern the spiritual needs of the parish and identify creative ways to implement new or enhance our spiritual experiences. The fruit from our last meeting resulted in the Welcome Back video for Holy Week you may have seen, the scheduling of an outdoor May Crowing in addition to our indoor one, and the scheduling of a Corpus Christi Procession, weather dependent. How do we as St. Peter’s show we are on fire for Christ? It begins when we walk out the church doors and witness to the world!
This coming Saturday, April 24 we will be celebrating First Reconciliation with our second graders. Let us pray these youngsters will fall ever deeper in love with Christ having conformed their hearts to his through his gracious mercy.
Christ is Risen, He Has Risen Indeed!!
Fr. Cole's Message for April 4, 2021
Easter Greetings Everyone!
We have spent this past Lent praying, fasting, and focusing on works of charity. For 40 Days we sought to empty ourselves, to make more room in our lives for our Lord. Throughout Holy Week we not only remembered what Jesus did for us, but walked that very path with him through our liturgies that bring the past to the present in order that we can become participants in Christ’s saving work.
Today as a Church we celebrate and proclaim that the infant who was born in a manger truly is God living and reigning. It is one thing to believe that a historical person named Jesus was born, taught, and brought healing to many. If only everyone truly believed the incredible fact that Creator of the universe conquered death, our world would be a wholly different place with everyone worshipping in exultation. Our faith teaches us this was a lot for the early Church to process as it remains for us today “Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. ‘In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering.’ Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord's last appearance in Galilee ‘some doubted.’ Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles' faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.”
Today we celebrate a living God who wants to be an intimate part of our lives, most especially in Holy Communion the very means by which we are saved and transformed. What is it that we are looking for? Stability in a constantly changing world, renewal that starts from within, a peace that we just can’t seem to find, a sense of purpose, a hope that the best is yet to come, or the feeling and knowledge that we are loved unconditionally, let us open our hearts to Christ for truly this is the Good News of the Gospel! Saint Paul tells us, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Jesus come and dwell in our hearts, we offer you are lives, help us to rise to new life! Have a joyous, blessed, and faith-filled Easter!
Christ is Risen, He Has Risen Indeed!!
Fr. Cole's Message for March 28, 2021
St. Peter Parish Family,
It has been two years since we walked this solemn journey together. This past year all of us have experienced in one way or another the pain of the cross, and the struggles of humanity that befall us who await utter union with God. With having to be away from the Sacraments for a time, sickness in our families, not being able to see our loved ones, the loss of family members and friends, we have been through a lot, learned a lot, and have hopefully come to a new appreciation of what is most important in life.
We begin this week walking that final journey with our beloved Lord. As he enters Jerusalem among the cheering crowds crying out “Hosanna,” he knows what awaits – death. We hear in The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ today, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will.” This is none other than complete resignation of human will to the Divine.
As we begin the most holy and solemn week of the Liturgical Year, we enter with our pains and sorrows, we enter limping along. Despite the subdued joy that comes from the anticipation of the joy of Easter, let us along with Jesus, give up our spirit. On Good Friday in the Passion according to the Gospel of John, we will hear Jesus say, “’It is finished,’ and bowing his head he handed over the spirit.” It is to God’s Divine will, it is into the loving, forgiving, and merciful hands of the Father, that we too offer our souls. Giving up and surrendering ourselves are altogether different, for it is by relinquishing ourselves to Divine will that we KNOW new life, renewal, and resurrection awaits. Jesus made the journey for us and now we make the journey with him. After all we have experienced, let us pray, “Father, into your hands, WE commend our spirits.” With what seems like absolute darkness now, just wait and trust for the story is not yet over and what is coming will completely change our lives now and for eternity. And so we enter into the mystery…
Prayer of Abandonment
by Charles de Foucauld
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.
Fr. Cole's Message for March 14, 2021
St. Peter Parish Family,
It has been a busy March here at St. Peter’s Parish! This past week on Monday, March 8 our Pastoral Council met. Please take note in this bulletin that we will be distributing Missalettes March 20-21 for those who would like to keep one. We only ask that you provide your name and phone number so that it can be written on the inside because if they are left, we are obliged to dispose of them, as they cannot be reused. This coming week our School Board will be meeting on Monday, March 15 and Finance Council on Tuesday, March 16. Faith Formation, numerous ministries, and our school is humming right along! Thank you to all who have adapted, been flexible, and gone above and beyond to make our community continually vibrant in spite of a pandemic!
I hope that this season of Lenten Renewal is going well and that you are finding it life-giving! If you have not yet attended a Stations of the Cross, I would encourage you to join us each Friday at 7pm. This coming Friday, March 19 we will be praying the Traditional Stations at our St. Bernard Site, on March 26 women of the parish will be leading us in Mary’s Way of the Cross, and the last opportunity for Station’s will be the Traditional Stations on Good Friday, April 2 at St. Bernard’s.
St. John tells us, “If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” 1 John 1:9. Many of our Catholic ‘obligations’ have been dispensed because of the ongoing pandemic, but if it is possible, it is spiritually wise and refreshing to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Confession in order that we can cleanse our hearts to rise with Christ to new life. Our faith teaches and asks us to go to confession minimally once a year. In addition to Saturday’s from 3:30-4:15pm at our St. Peter site, there is a Vicariate Nights of Reconciliation, in which numerous priests will be available, between the hours of 4:30-6:30pm at our St. Peter Site this Wednesday, March 17 and again Wednesday, March 24 at St. Vincent de Paul Parish – Prince of Peace site. Come, the ‘light is on for you!’
Lastly, I look forward to celebrating with you during this Year of St. Joseph, St. Joseph’s Feast Day on March 19. Please be sure to see the flyer of events and drive-up and see me to receive a loaf of St. Joseph’s Day Bread between 3:30-5:30pm in front of our St. Peter site. VIVA SAN GIUSEPPE!
In Christ’s Peace,