Did you get a call?
Yes, we all got a call. The question is, did we answer it? This weekend’s readings are about God’s call and our response and commitment. The Gospel passage starts with Jesus’ destination: Jerusalem. Because Jesus was a Jew and the destination was Jerusalem, Samaritans were not ready to welcome. This infuriated the apostles and two of them, James and John, asked Jesus if He wanted them to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them. Jesus rebuked them, however, because he was not a destroyer, but a Savior.
The focus of the reading is on the call and response. On his way, Jesus met someone who said, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus response was that it is going to be a tough journey, do want to do this? In a way, Jesus was telling him that he is heading to Jerusalem, to the cross. The interesting part is the other two whom Jesus said, “Follow me.” But they had their own excuses to say. Here we have to connect with the first reading from the book of Kings. God told Elijah to anoint Elisha. When Elijah threw his cloak over Elisha, he said, "Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you." Elijah allows him to do it. But Jesus told his disciples, his mission is much more important and asked for total commitment.
As in the case of Elisha and the apostles, our commitment becomes our life. We are here this day because, in one way or another, we have said to Jesus, “I will follow you.” But the true fact of the matter is that most of us don't want to follow Jesus; we want Him to follow us. We will leave this hour of Eucharistic worship and return to the world where our daily life takes place where we have to make tough choices and face difficult demands. Every Eucharist, Jesus gives us nourishment, renewed spirit to become the true disciples of Jesus.
New St. Anthony Daycare director: Please join me to welcome our new daycare director, Chealyn Damrow.
I want to take a moment to introduce myself as the new Director at St.Anthonys Daycare. My name is Chealyn Damrow. I was born and raised in Park Falls. I enjoy spending time with my family, going on trips, fishing, camping, and my pets. After I graduated high school I moved to Eau Claire and attended Chippewa Valley Technical College for Child Care services. Right after I received my certificate I began working at Forever Young ELC where I was the infant/toddler teacher for 3 years and The Kiddie Patch ELC where I was the infant/toddler teacher for 5 years. I moved back to Park falls in October of 2017, with my two children, Nevaeh age 9, and Ryder age 7. I worked at Peace Lutheran Daycare for 6 months as the school age teacher and the infant teacher. Working with children has always been my passion. I am more than excited to get to know the children and families I will be working with. I hope to create a positive experience with each and every one of you and look forward to being a part of St. Anthony’s Daycare!
The famous theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar (the most important Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century) says it this way: "When receiving the Eucharist each person must remember that he is falling into the arms of God like someone dying of hunger in the wilderness of this life."
Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Body and Blood of Christ! Corpus Christi Sunday! This feast is the heart of our church, and heart of the lives of each of us. Catechism of the Catholic Church 1322 says “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life." Most of the Sacraments take place in the Sacrament of Eucharist.
When Jesus did miracles, he didn’t lose anything, but at the Last Supper when he said “this is My Body” and “this is My Blood,” he had to lose everything. The wedding at Cana was the first miracle of the new covenant. The culmination the new covenant is on Calvary and offered his life. He had to leave everything to give us the “Bread of Life.”
Today the Gospel reading, the multiplication of loaves and fishes, a miracle foreshadows the institution of the Eucharist. In this scripture, the twelve asked Jesus to send these people away. Jesus told them to give something to give. In this miracle, Jesus, in an indirect way told the disciples, he needs their participation. Their reply was that we don’t have much. We just have five loaves and two fish. When they gave what they had, the miracle took place. Jesus took the bread, looked up to heaven and said the blessing and gave to the disciples to give to the crowd. All ate and were satisfied.
I would like to share a story from my hospital ministry period. One Corpus Christy Sunday I was celebrating Mass in the Hospital, a lady was sitting in a wheelchair in the center of the chapel. During consecration she started to cry. I made a conclusion in my mind that she might be in pain. After the Mass, I inquired of her, how she was doing. She told me that it was not tears of pain, but it was tears of joy. She was suffering for a long time; she had thoughts of committing suicide from time to time, but her husband and children gave her strength to live. She continued, she was thinking about the homily, visualizing Jesus broke and gave his life, and in reality, we are sent out to do the same. She said, her faith gave her strength to live. She realized that there is purpose for her life. God needs her for her husband and children. She said, that day she felt her life is so meaningful.
The Eucharist teaches us that numerous grains of wheat are pounded together to make the host and many grapes are crushed together to make the wine, so we become unified in this sacrifice. It is sometimes difficult recognize that we are dying of hunger. On one side we might have been blessed with more abundance, more opportunities than any generation in human history. At the same time we experience a very real hunger. We need something more than this world's bread. Jesus, the bread of life, is the only one who will satisfy our hunger. But he would like to see our participation.
Every Mass we gather together to celebrate Mass. We bring ourselves as we are to offer to God; with our joy and sorrows: our total life. We become one with Christ’s sacrifice. Then we are sent out to break and give our life to one another. It is not easy, it is painful. But Jesus’ Body and Blood give us strength. Let us adore Jesus in Eucharist, and give thanks for many blessings. Let us give witness in a special way in the Eucharistic procession.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers! Five weeks ago we honored our moms. Today, on this Father's Day, we are doing the same, offering our dads – those who are with or gone before us, or those who are like fathers in our life – on the altar of God during this Holy Mass, invoking our heavenly Father’s blessings on them. Fathers are a blessing and we thank them for blessing us with lives of dedication, endurance, and love. Happy Father’s Day!!
Last weekend, we celebrated Pentecost. I would like to thank everyone for those who served Mass to make the celebration of Pentecost beautiful. Special thanks to all those who did reading in different languages: Marcia Lalonde, Mark Schmidt, Aggie Moser, and Sarah Oswald. If any can do a reading please call the office, it will be helpful in the future.
How can we know God: Trinity? It is a mystery, but Jesus makes it easier for us. Today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about the relationship. Jesus says “Everything that the Father has is mine.” Also, he talks about the Holy Spirit. Trinity is a community of self-giving love; an intimate relationship. We are made to love as Holy Trinity loved. Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” A family is a simple form of community, it grows into church, school, different organization and it grows into a wider community. We are invited to live in a community of love. Our families become truly Christian when we live in a relationship of love with God and with others. We can call God our Father, Son Jesus “Immanuel” and Holy Spirit “strength in our weakness.”
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
New Parish Council members: I would like to introduce new parish council members and welcome them. Please read the bio below and get to know them and welcome. I would also like to thank the members leaving for their wonderful service: Dennis Kronberger, Ron Stueber, Marcia Lalonde, Jane Russell, and Jerry Weber. Thank you.
My name is Bob Hoffman. I am a lifelong resident of Park Falls and a St. Anthony’s alumni. My wife Pat and I have two grown children, Adam and Keshia and three grandchildren, Regan, Jacob, and James. I worked at the paper mill for 43 years and have been retired for 1 1/2 years now. I look forward to being on the council and helping our parish move forward into the future.
My name is Stacy Arntsen. I was born and raised in Park Falls and attended school at St. Anthony’s through 8th grade. My parents are Bob and Sandy Kennedy. I currently work as an Administrative Assistant at Phillips Middle/High School. I live in Park Falls with my husband, Kevin and our two sons, Weston and Cam. I enjoy a newfound hobby of crocheting, and hope to spend lots of time camping with family this summer. I look forward to serving on the Parish Council.
Pete is a lifelong resident of Park Falls. Married to Nancy (Hammond), three children (Andy, Allison, Phillip), three grandchildren (Jacob, Aiden, Tyler). Graduated from St. Anthony’s, Lincoln High School and UW-Superior with a Business Management Degree. Real Estate Broker/Manager and Certified Appraiser at Birchland Realty for 43 years. Recent recipient of the Realtor Emeritus status. Retired Captain of the Park Falls Fire/Rescue Dept. after 35 years of service. Past member of the St. Anthony’s Pastoral Council when Father Al Ebach was pastor. St. Anthony’s greeter since 1995.
My name is Judy Seifert. I live with my husband Dan on the Seifert family farm with our little dog Lola. We have two daughters and seven beautiful grandchildren. I attended St. Anthony's school for eight years as did our daughters. My husband and I are both retired now and spend our time working on our hobby farm, watching grandchildren and spending time with our family and friends. I am looking forward to serving on the Parish Council and hope that I will be able to make some positive contributions.
Ad Hoc Committee: I would like to introduce also a newly formed ad hoc committee to make a study on the future of the school building. If you have any suggestion, ideas please call one of them and share. You can call me too. The committee members: Greg Oswald, Rick Harter, Dennis Bablick and Jerry Weber. Thank you.
We all like to celebrate our birthdays. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Pentecost is not a name but rather it is a number, means 50. It is the conclusion of 50 days of Easter season. The Jews celebrated the feast of pentecost fifty days after the Passover. Originally it was an agricultural feast and later giving of the law at Mount Sanai. Now we celebrate the new Pentecost after the fifty days of Jesus resurrection. When God came to Mount Saini, there was fire and loud sound with trumpet blast. In the new Pentecost, there was a mighty wind and tongs of fire came to over the apostles.
There is a Chinese proverb, “If your vision is for a year, plant wheat. If your vision for ten years of plant trees. If your vision for a lifetime, plant people.” Jesus was and is visionary. He selected the twelve apostles and prepared them. At the last supper discourse and after the resurrection, specifically, he talked to them about his departure and prepared for the mission.
On Pentecost Sunday the Apostles first proclaimed the Christian message, they presented the Gospel to people from all over the world yet were heard speaking in their own languages. The Greeks heard the message in Greek, the Persians in Farsi, the Romans in Latin, the Jews in Hebrew or Aramaic, etc. Although the people who heard the message were from all over, the message itself united them into one people. This was and is the work of the Holy Spirit, forming us into One Person, the Body of Christ. Thus St. Paul tells the Corinthians, "We are all different, we have different gifts, we do different things, but we are united in the Holy Spirit into One Body.”
If you talked to Charismatic community, they will be talking about the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It does not mean, if you are not part of the Charismatic community, you don’t have the Holy Spirit. We all received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism and Confirmation. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Anointing of the Holy Spirit takes place in us when we eagerly asking for it. Sometimes we may tempt to think, it is for the saintly people. It is not a wrong concept. Anointing of the Holy Spirit is for all of us to grow in holiness. Jesus promised apostles an advocate, a helper. When they received the Holy Spirit, changed their life, they got out of the fear. They went out to the street and proclaimed the Good News.
Let us repeat Cardinal Newman’s favorite little prayer, “Come Holy Spirit:”
“Come Holy Spirit
Make our ears to hear
Make our eyes to see
Make our mouths to speak
Make our hearts to seek
Make our hands to reach out
And touch the world with your love. AMEN.”
Thursday, June 13th is the Feast of St. Anthony. Please come and join June 13th at 8:10 AM Mass. Because we are preparing to celebrate Eucharist Procession this year, we are not celebrating like in the past. Happy Feast of St. Anthony of Padua!