School is in full swing now. Many of you have probably spent a few hours outside your house raking leaves already! Autumn is a very special time throughout our diocese, and we look forward to Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving is a special holiday that doesn’t focus on gift-giving or parties. Rather, it’s a time when we can give thanks to God for all he has given us, particularly the beauty of his creation.
Welcome to autumn! It’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago we were all enjoying the warm sun, gentle breezes and longer days of summer. Now there’s a chill in the air and leaves on the trees are rapidly changing colors. The changing of the seasons is such a wonderful reminder to all of us of the power and glory of God and his creation!
During this month, our church celebrates two very important days. Oct. 2 is the feast of the Guardian Angels. Your parents, teachers and other special adults in your lives find comfort in knowing that a special angel protects each one of you. In Matthew’s Gospel (18:10), Jesus says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” Read More
Welcome back to school! By now you’ve had the opportunity to meet your new teachers, catch up with your friends and get ready for a brand new year of learning.
What a wonderful time this can be! Education, and particularly lifelong education in our Catholic faith, is one of those very special gifts that we can hold on to forever. So, if you are in a Catholic school, or attend a religious education program, take advantage of this new school year to continue opening your mind and heart to Jesus. Read More
The summer is well under way! I hope that each of you has had the opportunity to relax, take time away from your studies and spend time with those close to you. Even as Bishop of Green Bay, during this month of beautiful summer weather I look forward to visits with family and friends as a way to “recharge my batteries” and catch up on things that are happening in their lives.
Speaking of rest and relaxation, July has a day with a very special meaning in our diocese. On July 14, we honor Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, born in Canada in 1656, who is the patroness of our own Camp Tekawitha on Loon Lake in Shawano. Known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” her mother was a Christian Algonquin Indian who had been captured by the Iroquois and saved by the man whom she later married and became Tekakwitha’s father. Read More
Summer is almost here! In fact, scientists tell us that it arrives officially at 6:28 a.m. on Monday, June 21. It is the longest day, and shortest night, in the year. I know you are looking forward to some well deserved rest. In just a few short months it will be time to hit the books again. So enjoy the extra daylight now!
June is also a very special month for our Church. On June 11 we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Pope John Paul II reminded us that June is a special time for this devotion. We know how important the heart is in our own body. It is the center of who we are. We cannot live if it stops beating. When we celebrate the heart of Christ we know that all life and love comes from it. Read More
May is such a wonderful month for our church! It’s a special time when we honor Mary, our Blessed Mother. Some schools participate in May crownings which include a procession, the rosary and prayers. Then later this month, May 23, to be exact, we celebrate Pentecost.
Pentecost marks the end of the 50 days of the Easter season. We remember that the risen Jesus told his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit, who would give them strength, courage and guidance. On that day the apostles, Jesus’ mother and other disciples gathered together in Jerusalem. While they were praying indoors, a sound like a rushing wind filled the house and the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles with signs of wind and fire! Read More
Happy Easter! Our Lenten journey has finally ended and we are filled with joy as we celebrate the risen Christ!
How appropriate that we celebrate this beautiful part of our Catholic faith at a time when northeast Wisconsin is awakening from the winter slumber and greeting us with new flowers, buds on the trees and grass that is turning greener. It’s a great time to be outside in the fresh air enjoying the natural beauty of God’s creation.
Easter Sunday marks a new day and new beginnings. Jesus died for our sins, and through his crucifixion, death and resurrection he gave us all new life. We also join with other dioceses around the country to celebrate the thousands of men, women and children who chose to become Catholics at the Easter Vigil. Read More
There are just about four weeks left in Lent. I hope that each one of you is taking this time to be more aware of the people around you who are not as fortunate as you are. Lent is also a great time to remember the meaning of our baptism. Perhaps you could ask your parents to help you find your baptismal candle or the clothes that you wore that day. Remember that when you were baptized you were blessed to join our faith community for life!
March is also a month with some very special feast days. On March 8 we celebrate the life of St. John of God, a Portuguese man who, after a long period in the military, was known for his charity to the needy and sick. And on March 19 we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. How special was God’s love for us that he entrusted Jesus, our Savior, to the care of St. Joseph! Read More
For such a short month, with just 28 days, you’d think that the month of February would probably be pretty quiet. Not so!
Feb. 11, for example, marks the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, who appeared for the first time in 1858 to a poor, 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux in southern France. That shrine is the most visited pilgrimage site in the world, mainly because of the apparent healing properties of the spring water that appeared during Mary’s appearances.
It is also interesting to note that there is a complete one-tenth size replica of that Shrine on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Thousands come on weekends to offer prayers for good health and healing. Read More
Happy New Year! It might still be winter, with lots of snow and very cold temperatures, but January is the beginning of a brand new year. “January” comes from the Latin word, janua, which means “doorway.” So in some ways we can look at this new month as the doorway into the bright, new beginning of 2010.
On Jan. 6, we celebrate the Epiphany. There is an old custom to bless doorways at Epiphany. It is a reminder to welcome all strangers and travelers during the year. Ask your teacher if this custom can be celebrated at your school. As part of the blessing we write the date in chalk above the door, along with the letters C, M, and B. These are the initials of the names for the three wise men: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Read More