Jesus invites us to ‘touch’ Him ‘and see’. Jesus lives, crucified and now risen. We can touch Him, even now, two thousand years after His life, death, and resurrection. How? Just as the disciples of Emmaus related, “…how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.” The Sacraments are tangible places where we know by faith that Christ ministers to us. St. Augustine said, “When John baptizes, it is Christ who baptizes. When Peter baptizes, it is Christ who baptizes. When Judas baptizes, it is Christ who baptizes.” He said this to emphasize that when we administer the Sacraments as priests and deacons, it is truly Christ who acts through us. He is present during our Mass, our Baptisms, our Confirmations.
We were so fortunate to welcome nine new members to our community and the fullness of initiation into the Catholic Church. There were three baptisms, five Professions of Faith (baptized non-Catholic Christians becoming Catholic) and one baptized Catholic, who along with the other eight received Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. It is glorious to see such faith and the grace of God at work in the lives of these ‘neophytes’. If you have the chance, please ask these new members of our community about the graces that led them here and what they experienced at the Easter Vigil.
+++Thanks for Holy Week +++
A special thanks to all who labored so generously to prepare our liturgy and environment during Holy Week. The Church was so beautiful and it still is. Our environment team led by Cynde Bosshart and Mary Jo Kemper do an incredible job. The atmosphere of so many of your hands that volunteered to prepare the Church was electrified. I think I even heard “The Electric” playing on the sound system! All who ministered and served during the liturgies also deserve our gratitude, including Marijean Heutmaker and all who contributed music for our worship. Beth Carter leads a magnificent group of altar servers that provide such beauty and reverence to these holy rites.
Wendell Pang and the ushers do more than make sure we have seating. They take care of the Vigil fire, parking, and much more. On Easter that includes overflow seating in the Parish Hall. Bill Swedberg provided the technical expertise to get video in the hall as well as on the big screens above, audio from the plaza and other creative contributions. OK, now I’m in the dangerous territory of thanking people and then forgetting people who helped out. All of our Pastoral Team (staff) assisted in a variety of ways, Paul Schwarz, Betty Mencke, Sara Hoffman, Candace Ochoa, Shannon Battles, Clare Ettensohn, and Eric Miller all provided support in crucial areas. Darlene Simpson has helped develop a welcoming team that is outstanding. Jim Spencer helped get the facility ready with the help of Sheila Tulloch, Soo and Michael Kim, as well as incredible Saturday for Lent crew.
Thanks to Jane Gootherts from the Evangelization Committee for organizing special greeters for these liturgies. Others helped write and assemble the extensive scripts that are needed to keep us on track. A special thanks too to Fr. Brian and Deacon Marshall for their roles in presiding and assisting in so many ways. Thanks to Kirk Joseph and Dave Vacanti for organizing our Mercy of God Novena which runs from Good Friday to Mercy Sunday. Thanks to Rick Ryan, Eric Besel and our youth leaders for the beautiful Living Stations presentations, along with Steve Olsen and Patty Swedberg for the music. At the risk of leaving someone out, I thank all of you for all you have done to make our Holy Week, Easter and Easter Octave a beautiful time to be a Catholic. May God bless you and guide you as we worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Again, for the persons I may have forgotten, please know I am saying a special prayer for you right now as I write this. God knows your name and will reward you.
NaPro Technology: a Major Breakthrough in Natural Procreative Technology
We are fortunate to welcome Anna Skillman, a Creighton Model presenter, on April 23rd at 7:30pm. She will be giving an introduction to this latest breakthrough in ‘Monitoring and Maintaining a Woman's Reproductive and Gynecological Health’. Anna is a trained coach and will be offering couples the opportunity to learn more about this new approach to a Catholic method of both attaining to and avoiding pregnancy.
As you may realize from the national news, the US Bishops, in communion with the bishops around the world, have not given up the Church’s teaching on the transmission of life. Sexuality remains a sacred gift designed in the image of God. Meanwhile, our world continues to corrupt this sacred gift and turns more and more to using people as things of pleasure. The way out really is the truth that the Church has taught since Humanae Vitae was written by Paul VI in 1968.
Often, Catholics don’t realize the harm that comes from contraception, both physically and relationally. Did you know that the hormonal birth control pill is a Group One carcinogen? More and more studies show a definite link between the pill and breast cancer:
“… including a 2006 Mayo Clinic meta-analysis that concluded that breast cancer risk rises 50 percent for women taking oral contraceptives four or more years before a full-term pregnancy. In 2009, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that women starting the pill before 18 nearly quadruple their risk of breast cancer. Even more shocking, Swedish oncologist Hakan Olsson concluded that pill use before the age of 20 increases a young woman’s breast cancer risk by more than 1000 percent.”
Could the Church’s teaching actually be an act of love for women, their bodies, and their relationships? Come and find out Monday night. (For more information, see http://www.naprotechnology.com/ or http://www.creightonmodel.com/index.html)