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Fr. John's Column - February 19, 2017

This coming Friday, February 24, our Knights of Columbus will hold their first of three fish fries. Usually the fish fries are during Lent, and the remaining two this year will be during Lent. However with the way the Hudson School District’s Spring Break falls this year, it was hard to find three Fridays when people would not be traveling for spring break. As a result, we get a taste of that great fish, vegetables, salad, desserts, and even the famous deep-fried cheese curds a bit early this year. The Knights provide a lot of funding for parish activities and community organizations. They need our support at the fish fries so they can support us and others throughout the year. Serving is from 4:00pm until 7:00pm. Stop by the parish hall for a great meal or come and pick up carryout to take home.

Since March 1, 1991, Sister Joannes Klas has served the people of our Sister Parish, San Jose in Guatemala. Recently she announced to the parish that this February she would be permanently returning to the United States. This past Friday Sister Joannes left the parish and village and made the flight back to Milwaukee. Sister Joannes’ time with many of the people of San Jose actually began in October of 1982. It was then that she was assigned to work and live in a refugee camp in Honduras. The refugees had fled Guatemala and were living in Honduras because of the civil war taking place at that time in Guatemala.

After about ten years living as refugees, Sister Joannes and a group of refugees received permission to return to Guatemala. The government gave them some land in north Alta Verapaz. With only a few bits of wood, some worn out tin roofs, basic necessities, and a lot of trust in God, Sister Joannes and the people formed the community of San Jose el Tesoro. They were supported by the School Sisters of Saint Francis, Sister Joannes’ community.

For many years Saint Patrick Parish was also served by a School Sister of Saint Francis, Sister Bernadette. Sister Bernadette led the way in forging a relationship between Saint Patrick Parish and the San Jose community. This relationship continues today.

As you can imagine, this announcement took the people of San Jose by surprise. They are deeply saddened and feeling the grief with bidding farewell to their long trusted friend, advocate, spiritual leader, mentor, teacher, and – in their eyes – saint. In speaking with the parish, I assured them of our prayers for their community during this time of transition. I told them how we recently faced a difficult decision and that I asked our parish to pray and fast. I promised that I would ask you to do the same for them and for Sister Joannes as she prepares to move back to the United States.

Sister Joannes will likely settle along the Texas-Mexican border where her community has a presence. This will allow her to continue to minister and use her knowledge of the Spanish language. She hopes in the future to be able to travel with groups we send to our Sister Parish to visit the people who have become her family in Guatemala. The people of San Jose hope such visits can take place, as do we.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with our Sister Parish. There are three Sisters from Guatemala who will continue to live at San Jose. There is a priest who serves San Jose, though he has 80 other communities he serves as well. He will be getting a newly ordained priest in the next month to help him in his ministry. At this time the greatest need our Sister Parish has is for our prayers and fasting, that they will find joy amid their grief and sadness in saying, “Adios Hermana”.


Fr. John Gerritts



Friday, February 17
5:30 AM That Man is You
11:00 AM Funeral for Bernie Luebke
9:00 AM Mass at the School
3:30 PM Middle School Reader practice

~ Saturday, February 18
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass with Middle School Choir
5:00 PM Epic
6:00 PM Oasis

~ Sunday, February 19
Social After Masses by Knights of Columbus
8:30 AM Mass
8:30 AM RCIA
10:30 AM Mass and blessing for Confirmation Candidates
11:30 AM Faith Formation
2:00 PM Candidate/Sponsor Session II

~ Monday, February 20
8:00 AM Mass

9:00 AM Bakery
11:00 AM Funeral for Carolyn Sperry
6:00 PM Boy Scouts
8:00 PM That Man is You

~Tuesday, February 21
8:00 AM Liturgy of the Word
4:00 PM Extended Food Shelf Hours

6:00 PM Family Rosary
6:00 PM Healing Mass
6:30 PM School Committee Meeting
8:00 PM Sister Parish Committee

~ Wednesday, February 22
8:00 AM Mass

10:00 AM Mass at CCH
6:00 PM Faith Formation

~Thursday, February 23
6:45 AM Toastmasters
8:00 AM Mass
9:00 AM Put backpacks together
9:30 AM Bible Study
10:30 AM Mass at New Comforts of Home
1:00 PM Quilters
7:00 PM Praise Company

~ Friday, February 24
5:30 AM That Man is You
10:30 AM Grandparents Day Mass at Church
4:30 PM Fish Fry by Knights of Columbus

~ Saturday, February 25
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass
6:00 PM Baptism
6:00 PM Oasis

~ Sunday, February 26
Social After Masses by Home and School
8:30 AM Mass
8:30 AM RCIA
10:30 AM Mass
10:30 AM Baptism
11:30 AM Faith Formation
12:00 PM 8th Grade Retreat

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