Praised be Jesus Christ! One of the teachers at Aquinas High School in La Crosse began his class by asking the students to name their intentions so that they could be remembered in pray- er. As you can imagine, the students sometimes took advantage of this and mentioned crazy things or inordinately extended their list so as to have less time for school work. Today I submit to you some things I hope you’ll pray about this week, the first of which is our 5th annual Parish Pull. God has unfailingly blessed us with beautiful weather over the years and we are begging Him to do so again. This year we will exceed the $100,000.00 mark in terms of what we’ve given to charity. This year the proceeds are going to Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Frederic Ozanam Family Shelter. Please remember this event in your prayers and if you’ve never come before, join us this year for what has become a wonderful community builder. Another intention is to continue to pray for the transition that is taking place at the hospital. Although the hospital is no longer Catholic, it continues to serve men and women of deep faith in Jesus Christ. Our local chapter of the Catholic Medical Association has been working to retain spiritual services for all patients, as well as striving to protect conscience rights for doctors and nurses. We pray that no disordered services will be provided (e.g. abortion, tubal ligation, vasectomy, euthanasia), but if they are, that dissenting medical workers will not be coerced to assist in procedures that compromise the gift of our dignity and sexuality. While we are praying that the new hospital will flourish, we want to make it clear that we will not quietly acquiesce to any practices contrary to God’s divine law. Speaking of the hospital, the Mother Frances Streitel chapel that is being constructed in the church basement is progressing. We’ve been working at getting the water out of the basement as well as enhancing the heating and cooling system. For the record, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother very generously donated to us the old stained glass windows that adorned their original chapel (built in 1901), and these are now safely stored in our basement. These windows depict Saint Henry, Saint Boniface, and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and will be beautiful once the chapel is finished. We hope to have the floor poured soon and then we’ll host an open house and you’ll be welcome to see the work we’ve done thus far. God willing, the chapel will be ready for us between now and Christmas. Another exciting pray- er intention is for our mission group. On July 16th 5 members of St. John’s will be flying to Tanzania to work with Sister Sabina’s religious order. As you know, we’ve established a beautiful missionary outreach in Tanzania and we’re now taking the next step. These parishioners will be blazing a trail that we hope to follow: God willing, we’ll go on a mission trip to Tanzania in 2019 and you’re all invited! Our pilgrims will return home on July 28th, so let’s beg Saint Christopher to help them travel safely. Our last prayer intention is for our young couples getting married. The Church encourages us to list their names so that all of the faithful will spiritually support them as they begin to live their wedding vows. We have many weddings and for that we thank God. By the way, we hope to be offering a great formation opportunity for couples beginning this fall – it’s titled “The Choice Wine” and you’ll be hearing more about it soon.
May God hear and answer our prayers according to His inscrutable and perfect will!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin