EPHPHATHA! BE OPENED!

Posted by Cathy Greenseth, With 0 Comments, Category: Father's Letters,

With these words, as recounted in today’s Gospel,
Jesus healed a man unable to hear or speak. Fulfilling
the prophecy in today’s First Reading, Jesus reveals his
power to overcome evil and the crowd cannot be
restrained from proclaiming the good news. In the ritual
for the baptism of infants, the priest touches the ears
and mouth of the baby, saying: “May the Lord Jesus,
who made the deaf to hear and the mute to speak, grant that you may soon receive his word with your ears and profess the faith with your lips, to the glory and praise of God the Father.” May we, who have received his word, not be restrained in openly proclaiming the good news of our faith in word and deed.

Labor Day weekend is the symbolic end of summer. Changing colors and cooler temperatures tell us fall is in the air. Do not forget to come to Mass on Monday, Labor Day, to ask God’s blessing upon all our endeavors. The Mass on Monday is at 8:30 AM at St. Charles with no evening Mass or Holy Hour that day. The First-Monday Holy Hour will be an early one instead, beginning at 7:15 AM on Monday and concluding with benediction at 8:15. Confessions will also be heard beginning at 7:45. Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. First observed in 1882, it has been a national holiday since 1894. Although the nature and fortunes of American labor have changed much during the intervening years, creativity and ingenuity continue to be its hallmarks.

My threshing event is planned for Labor Day, this Monday, September 6, at the home farm. I’m hoping for a day of nice weather. There are just over two loads, which are under cover. A noon potluck lunch at St. Philip Church near Rolling Ground followed by a few hours of work in the afternoon should make a nice day. All who care to come are welcome. The farm’s address is 25858 Gorman Lane, Blue River, WI 53518, on state highway 171 in Richland County. St. Philip Church is a mile east of the intersection of state highway 171 and US highway 61 in Crawford County.

This past Sunday and Monday I attended a reunion of my ordination class from the Saint Paul Seminary. We didn’t have our 40-year reunion last year because of covid, so we had a 40+1 reunion. Twelve classmates attended. There was not much reminiscing about seminary days except to remember faculty members who have passed away. In fact there are very few who are still living. Aside from updating one another about what we’ve done the last few years, much of the talk was about retirement plans! Three of my classmates have already received the status of senior priest. They were a little older than the rest of us and are now in their 70s. Another classmate will be 70 in December and will receive senior status. All who are retired are actively helping out in parishes. The rest of us range in age from 66 to 69. I am the second youngest in the class. By the time we celebrate our 45-year reunion in four years, all of us will probably have attained senior status. Fortunately no one from our class has passed away. Several are no longer active in priestly ministry, but have married and have families. There were about 30 of us ordained from eight dioceses. Only one of us attending still has a parent living. It was good to be together again and we all enjoyed catching up and reflecting on the passage of time, and how God has shepherded his people through our ministry.

Pray the rosary this week for a successful academic year. Pray for people who are unemployed or disabled, and who have a difficult time making a livelihood for themselves and their families. Pray for the safety of all traveling on this holiday weekend. Pray for people devastated by Hurricane Ida, and the people uprooted or left behind in Afghanistan. As always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.

Monsignor Gorman