Last weekend it was great to have Bishop Kettler come to our October 19th Sunday morning 10:30 a.m. Liturgy at the Church of St. Peter and pay a pastoral visit. It was a wonderful great celebration, complete with the our local Knights of Columbus Council who presented the bishop with a special suit coat for him to wear on their behalf. I hope it’s size 2X or 3X large! We are very blessed to have a bishop who is so willing to visit all the different parishes throughout our diocese and who truly enjoys doing so. Bishop Kettler makes himself very much present and is very approachable as well. He is definitely a people friendly person and so we are blessed to have him.
Next weekend on Saturday, November 1st Bishop Kettler will also be celebrating Mass with us at the Church of St. Paul during our Saturday 4:30 pm. Liturgy. This is in part due to a special All Saints Academy “Friend-Raiser” event to be held immediately after Mass in the St. Paul Parish Center. The evening will be complete with wine and beer tasting and appetizers followed by our Annual Spaghetti Dinner which is back! Everything has been donated so it is free! The event is open to all members of our ASA parishes: St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Michael, St. Joseph (Waite Park) and St. Joseph (St. Joe). It is also open to all supporters past, present, and future who have been so helpful in making our ASA School a wonderful success. If you are interested in one day sending your children to our Catholic school, please come join us as well! There will also be a special recognition given to some of our staff, supporters and volunteers during this event. Please see the bulletin for more details. It would be nice if those attending could RSVP so we have some idea of how many will come.
Finally, as you know Deacon Dave, Deacon Bill, and myself recently attended our Annual Clergy Conference held at Arrowwood Radisson in Alexandria along with Bishop Kettler and many other priests, deacons and religious leaders of our diocese. Among the many topics presented by our speakers were those about our current Pope Francis I: “How not to think of Pope Francis I” and “How to think of Pope Francis I”. Apparently he has some people wondering where he is at! Our current Pope does seem to defy all the traditional categories of left or right, conservative or liberal or for that matter anything else. Of course, the media tries to portray him in extreme ways for publicity sake. Pope Francis has made some very insightful comments to us over his short term in office so far, which have caused us to truly think and reflect upon our Christian life. Quoting our Pope he says, “We are not living in an age of change but in a change of the ages.” It seems Francis feels there is a great opportunity for evangelization before us and that civilization itself it making quantum shift apart from previous ages past. Hopefully our Catholic Christian message and the Gospel is up for the challenge and the task. Pope Francis is what you might call a “mystic.” A mystic is someone who is deeply aware of the presence of God all
around us. A mystic does not operate out of the usual context, rather he or she gives us a whole new framework to look at without rejecting the past. I think our present pontiff reflects just that. He is a wonderful continuation of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, but with new and refreshing insight. We are blessed to have his great inspiration available to us. Would that we were all “mystics” in our faith. I believe it would transform our world!
Please pray for Pope Francis and all Church leaders, especially in the wake of the Synod on Families.