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Fr. John Gerritts - December 16, 2018


Over the past few weeks we have experienced several deaths in our parish. Among those who died was our oldest parishioner, Pauline Kobylarczyk. Pauline moved to Hudson in 2011 to be closer to family, living first at Wintergreen Senior Apartments and the last few months at Christian Community Home. Pauline never missed a Wednesday Mass at CCH. Her funeral was held in Thorp, WI, where she grew up and had returned following her retirement. Eternal rest grant unto Pauline, and God’s blessings upon her family – and all families grieving loved ones’ passings.

I was recently speaking with some guys about the Hallmark television Christmas specials that have become very popular the past few years. It would seem that “their wives” are watching these specials. The network advertises these as original movies, but I tend to question that since each one is essentially the same:

A man or woman moves from their sleepy Norman Rockwell type town to the big city and gets caught up in the busy corporate life. For some reason they return to their hometown at Christmas time. There they meet someone who loves the peaceful life of rural America, or perhaps rekindle a friendship from their youth; they fall in love. Something happens that causes them to break off their relationship, then another something happens which brings them back together. In a period of two hours they decide to leave the busy corporate life and pursue a life of happiness with a husband or wife in the peaceful setting of one’s childhood dreams.

The shows all portray a person experiencing tension in his or her life, but end with a loving relationship. The tension may be from the stress of a job, an illness or death in the family, or a breakup in a relationship. While we may enjoy seeing the tension and resolve in a movie (as much as the guys knew about the shows, I don’t think their wives are the only ones watching them), in real life we often do everything possible to avoid tension. But tension is a reality and in fact an essential part of our lives if we are to grow in our relationship with Christ.

Saint John of the Cross, a sixteenth Spanish mystic, writes that we are like green logs tossed into a fire. Green logs don’t immediately burn. They are young and full of moisture, thus sizzle for a time. Only when they finally dry out do they burst into flames and participate in the fire that surrounds them. Like the logs we too are green, immature, wet, selfish, and too self-contained to fully participate in the love and warmth that surrounds us. Our dampness extinguishes the flame.

What changes us is the tension in our lives. Experiences of illness, death, broken relationships, and struggles at work all have the power to dry us out. We can then burst into flames and be ready to truly experience love, a love that is divine.

This is the Advent season, a season of acknowledging the tensions that have been a part of our lives this past year or that we are currently experiencing. But we also must acknowledge that all hope is not lost because there is tension in our lives, for it is only this tension that can give way to the warmth and love, the burning flame of Christ growing within us, and a new light filling the darkness. This is what we hear about in this week’s Gospel: the pathways made straight, valleys filled in, mountains and hills made low, the winding roads made straight, and rough ways made smooth. The difference between our Gospel and the Hallmark Christmas specials is that it doesn’t usually happen in two hours. The prophets spoke about the coming of the messiah for hundreds of years – Advent also teaches us patience. 

Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Church


Our Parish Council formed a task force to investigate ways Saint Patrick Parish can respond to the issues of clergy sexual abuse within our Church, including hosting a Mass of Healing in October and a listening session in November. Please click here to learn more about the Task Force's recommendation to Bishop Powers. 





 
           






















































THIS WEEK

Friday, December 14
5:45 AM That Man is You
9:00 AM Mass at the School


~ Saturday, December 15
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass 

~ Sunday, December 16
Breakfast with Santa
8:30 AM Mass

10:30 AM Mass 
11:30 AM Baptism
2:00 PM Eagle Scout Ceremony
7:00 PM Oasis


~ Monday, December 17
8:00 AM Mass 
9:00 AM Bakery and Produce Giveaway
9:00 AM Walking with Purpose
6:00 PM Boy Scouts
8:00 PM Walking with Purpose

~Tuesday, December 18
8:00 AM Mass
9:15 AM Divine Mercy
3:00 PM Open Door with H
4:00 PM Extended Food Shelf Hours
6:00 PM Family Rosary
6:00 PM Healing Mass 
8:00 PM Sister Parish Meeting


~ Wednesday, December 19
8:00 AM Mass
9:30 AM Backpack Program
10:00 AM Mass - CCH
7:00 PM Wednesday Night Live 

~Thursday
, December 20
6:45 AM Toastmasters

8:00 AM Mass
9:30 AM Small Group Faith Sharing
10:30 AM Mass at Comforts of Home
1:00 PM Charity Quilters
2:00 PM Christmas Program
6:30 PM Finance Committee
7:00 PM Praise Company Rehearsal


~ Friday, December 21
5:45 AM That Man is You
9:00 AM Mass at the School
4:00 PM Christmas Decorating

~ Saturday, December 22
8:00 AM Dustbusters
9:00 AM Youth Choir Rehearsal
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass 

~ Sunday, December 23
8:30 AM Mass

10:30 AM Mass 


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