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Fr. John's Column - October 15, 2017

John and Joan were and are great friends. He was a teacher in Rhinelander, and highly respected by staff and school families when we were going through some difficult times. Their daughters Jill and Kara regularly served at Mass, and this past weekend I was provided the opportunity to preside at Kara’s wedding in Milwaukee. At the reception their father shared that I have often water-skied with them. He went on to add that despite my age, I was still able to not only ski this past summer, but could still slalom (ski on one foot). Thankfully he didn’t add he had gotten a larger boat this year, which was likely necessary to get my old body up and out of the water.

One of the oldest traditions incorporated into a typical wedding is to follow the 1898 rhyme that reads: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”. Many brides have frantically raced to items at the last minute so she would have the four necessary items to carry on this tradition.

This coming November we will spend some time reflecting on things that are dear to us as Catholics. While not necessarily participating in a wedding, we will reflect upon items that could be called old, new, borrowed and blue.

Old is prayer. Prayer has been the foundation of a Christian’s life from the days Jesus walked the earth. Among the first things Jesus himself would have been taught were the prayers associated with his family’s Jewish faith. Some of these prayers that have now been incorporated into Christianity would have been five to seven hundred years old by the time Jesus learned them.

New is service. Service itself is nothing new at Saint Patrick Parish, but making it easier will be. Coming this December we are putting in place the opportunity one Sunday a month to join with others from our parish in doing something good for others. All you will need to do is show up. Some of the activities will be here in Hudson, others in the cities. Individuals, families, and couples will all be invited. Too busy to help? We are making it easy as pie!

The past few years leadership in our parish has looked at things other churches have done that really work and that we can borrow! We have discovered time and time again that organizing fundraisers are a great way to discourage participation and burn out volunteers. A church that frequently asks for money is not very popular. We have recently dropped some of our fundraisers in our parish and school. We have done more to make Mass attendance a priority, focused on providing quality opportunities – especially for our youth to grow in their faith – and look forward to adding opportunities for adults, including young adults to grow in their faith. In a nutshell: the idea is to put less time into fundraising and more time into praying, growing in faith, serving others, and enjoying one another as community.

Unfortunately bills still need to be paid. But again – borrowing from others who have seen things work well – it is important for us to not shy away from talking about money. Jesus talked about it a lot. We want to get in the habit of not asking for money and tying it into an expression of our faith. I believe gratitude is the foundation of all faith, spirituality, morality, and ethics. What we have is not ours: all is a gift from God. What we do with the gift is a reflection of who we are, our priorities, and our sense of discipleship. This is not a new message. We have learned that in churches where it has become foundational, it works. We are just borrowing from them.

Finally blue, but we will actually spell it “blew”. One definition of this word is “to put in motion”. This fall we put in motion some serious changes to our middle and high school Faith Formation programs. It wasn’t so much that we created “new” programs. Rather we took a risk and put some things in motion. Previously we did something similar with our preschool and kindergarten programs by introducing Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. We also made changes to our sacramental preparations. The changes have been well received. This coming November we are putting in motion an opportunity that will allow us to take a further step in putting God first in our lives. It will include reflecting on a commitment for prayer, service, and expressing gratitude.

I was excited and trilled to be able to celebrate a wedding for some longtime good friends. I am looking forward with excitement to be a part of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blew that I believe will help our parish.

Fr. John Gerritts



FridayOctober 13
6:15 AM That Man is You
9:00 AM  Mass at the School

~ SaturdayOctober 14
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass

~ Sunday, October 15
8:30 AM Mass
10:30 AM Mass

7:00 PM Oasis

~ Monday, October 16
8:00 AM Mass
9:00 AM Bakery and Produce Giveaway
6:00 PM Boy Scouts

~Tuesday, October 17
8:00 AM Mass
8:45 AM Divine Mercy Cenacle
4:00 PM Extended Food Shelf Hours
6:00 PM Family Rosary
6:00 PM CCW Meeting
6:00 PM Healing Mass

~ Wednesday, October 18
8:00 AM Mass
10:00 AM Mass
at CCH
7:00 PM Faith Formation

~Thursday, October 19
6:45 AM Toastmasters
8:00 AM Mass
9:15 AM Bible Study
9:30 AM Small Group Faith Sharing
10:30 AM Mass at Comforts of Home
1:00 PM Quilters
5:00 PM H.O.M.E. Dinner at Bethel
7:00 PM Praise Company Rehearsal

~ Friday, October 20
6:15 AM That Man is You
9:00 AM  Mass at the School

~ Saturday, October 21
8:00 AM Dustbusters
9:00 AM Women of Grace
10:00 AM Confessions
2:00 PM Wedding
5:00 PM Epic
5:00 PM Mass
6:00 PM Baptism

~ Sunday, October 22
8:30 AM Mass
9:30 AM Coffee Talk - Creating a Dementia Friendly Space
10:30 AM Mass
11:30 AM Baptism
7:00 PM Oasis

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