Millions in Eucharistic Procession in Philippines; Pope Francis Appears in Family Film

Millions Show Love for the Eucharist in Philippines Procession - CEBU, Philippines — Massive crowds, estimated in the millions, took part in the Masses and liturgical processions of the eight-day International Eucharistic Congress that recently concluded in the Philippines.

“We are called to understand, love and assimilate the very love of Jesus. … Our lives, too, must be offered in sacrifice,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said in his Jan. 29 homily.

An estimated 1.5 million people attended a Mass and liturgical procession for the International Eucharistic Congress in the Philippines on Friday. The Mass was held on the grounds of the Cebu Provincial Capitol....Read more



Pope Francis to Appear in Family Film About Parables - VATICAN CITY — The “Pope of Surprises” is at it again. Pope Francis is set to be featured in the upcoming film Beyond the Sun, the first Pope to appear in a big-screen production.

The idea for the film came from the Holy Father, who approached the filmmakers at AMBI Pictures, asking them to produce a movie that could effectively portray Gospel passages and parables to children.

The movie will be a family adventure story, where children from different cultures emulate the apostles while searching for Christ in the world around them, says the film group...Read more

How to Visit the Imprisoned and Bury the Dead

Visit the Imprisoned

The next corporal work of mercy is often titled, “visiting the imprisoned” and focuses on being a beacon of hope and mercy to those who are tempted to go deeper into despair.

A pre-requisite of this corporal work of mercy is a sincere desire for the eternal salvation of all souls, even the imprisoned. God does not delight in the death of a sinner, but would rather have someone turn around and embrace a life of virtue. That should be our desire as well.

We should look at prisoners with the heart of God and while we certainly condemn their past actions, we need to do what we can to help them reunite with Christ and His Church. Prison ministry in particular is a great way to encounter Christ in jail, but there is another way to "visit" the imprisoned without physically being there.

Another way that we can participate in this work of mercy is to imitate Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Before she entered the convent Saint Thérèse learned about a criminal sentenced to death and decided to fervently pray for his conversion. Here is how she describes it in Story of a Soul:

“Just then I heard much talk of a notorious criminal, Pranzini, who was sentenced to death for several shocking murders, and, as he was quite impenitent…How I longed to avert this irreparable calamity! In order to do so I employed all the spiritual means I could think of, and, knowing that my own efforts were unavailing, I offered for his pardon the infinite merits of Our Savior and the treasures of Holy Church…I said in all simplicity: ‘My God, I am quite sure that Thou wilt pardon this unhappy Pranzini. I should still think so if he did not confess his sins or give any sign of sorrow, because I have such confidence in Thy unbounded Mercy; but this is my first sinner, and therefore I beg for just one sign of repentance to reassure me.’ My prayer was granted to the letter…The day after his execution I hastily opened the paper, La Croix, and what did I see? … Pranzini had mounted the scaffold without confessing or receiving absolution, and the executioners were already dragging him towards the fatal block, when all at once, apparently in answer to a sudden inspiration, he turned round, seized the crucifix which the Priest was offering to him, and kissed Our Lord's Sacred Wounds three times.”

We must not forget the imprisoned or treat them like refuse to be thrown away. God loves them and He desires their salvation. We must all discern how we can practice this much needed corporal work of mercy.

Bury the Dead

The Catechism exhorts us to respect the bodies of the dead and to bury them with dignity:
2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.
That is why we must do what we can to bury our beloved family members, wether they are cremated or placed in a casket.  Burying the dead is a sacred event, one which should never be taken lightly.

It is because of the sacred character of burying the dead that the Church does not allow the scattering of ashes nor is it proper to keep the cremated remains in the home:
"The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, and the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition. The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains on the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires." (no. 417) (USCCB, emphasis added)
Our loved ones deserve better and we need to treat their remains with dignity and honor. It is a corporal work of mercy to bury the dead and so we need to practice this with our own family members.

That concludes the series on the Spiritual & Corporal Works of Mercy. Let us go forward in this Jubilee Year ready to show the world the beauty of God's Mercy lived out in our lives.


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Lent Begins Next Week: Ash Wednesday Mass Times, Stations, & Novena

ST. BLAISE!! On Tuesday, February 2nd and Wednesday, February 3rd, there will be the blessing of throats for the feast of St. Blaise, immediately following Mass.

Stations of the Cross will be on Wednesday nights at 6:45 PM starting on Ash Wednesday, February 10th.

Ash Wednesday Mass Times with distribution of ashes: February 10th at 8:00AM & 5:15PM

Novena to Our Sorrowful Mother at 5:15 PM, Fridays starting Jan. 29th & ending on Good Friday

Please join us, Thursday, February 4 at 6:30 pm for Saints Peter and Paul’s CCW St. Gianna Unit 4 meeting in the Saints Peter and Paul school. The St. Gianna Unit is a women’s group dedicated to serving our parish and community and fostering the idea that all life is precious. All women of the parish are welcome to attend.

Souper Bowl Weekend Please bring your donation of cans of soup or boxes of crackers to the church now until the weekend of February 6/7. This will help restock the shelves of our local food pantry. Boxes will be provided in which to put the food at each entrance. The donations will be taken to the local food pantry on February 7th. Any questions? Please call Steve Janowiak at 715-423-1283.

There WILL be cinnamon rolls after the 8AM Mass on February 5th. Please stop by and enjoy a tasty treat in good company!!

‘Angel of Dachau’ Declared Martyr by Pope Francis

‘Angel of Dachau’ Declared Martyr by Pope Francis VATICAN CITY — Father Engelmar Unzeitig, a young priest with Czech roots serving in Germany and Austria, was arrested by the Nazis on April 21, 1941.

His crime? Preaching against the Third Reich from his pulpit, particularly against their treatment of the Jewish people. He encouraged his congregation to be faithful to God and to resist the lies of the Nazi regime.

As punishment, Father Unzeitig was sent to what has been called the “largest monastery in the world”: Dachau concentration camp, which became renowned for the number of ministers and priests within its walls...Read more

Pope Francis: ‘We Can Be Mediators of Mercy VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis renewed his appeal for the faithful to put the works of mercy into practice during the jubilee, urging them to open their hearts to others and to show God’s tenderness to those who suffer.

In his Jan. 27 general audience, the Pope recounted how “Divine Mercy had saved” the biblical figure of Moses from death in the waters of the Nile as a newborn infant...Read more 

John Paul II - Friend of the Sick and Inspiration to Us All

The next corporal work of mercy (visiting the sick), is one that greatly comforts those who are suffering. Being sick and confined either in the hospital or at home is a lonely affair. It can be tempting to remain isolated and even to be in a state of despair and that is why it is so important to visit the sick.

One person who highlighted this particular corporal work of mercy was St. John Paul II. He is an inspiration to many and challenges us all to renew our own efforts in performing this work of mercy.

John Paul II – Friend of the Sick

As the Archbishop of Kraków, Karol Wojtyła often visited the sick and aging throughout his diocese. He saw being present to those who were suffering as a central part of his ministry and believed that their prayers and sacrifices gave him vitality. After celebrating Mass at the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Kraków, Archbishop Wojtyła visited those in the infirmary where he said to them:
“Although I am young and strong, although I fly in airplanes, climb mountains, ski, I still turn to the weakest, so that by the riches of their suffering they may bring down the strength and power of the Holy Spirit and the blessing of God upon my work in the Archdiocese” (Making Of The Pope Of The Millennium: Kalendarium of the Life of Karol Wojtyla)
Even while visiting central Wisconsin as a cardinal, Wojtyła chose to visit the sick. For example:
After spending the night in the Sentry Apartments [in Stevens Point], Cardinal Wojtyła concelebrated Mass at St. Joseph’s Convent.  He was invited to stay and eat breakfast with the Sisters of Saint Joseph and then visited two nursing homes: River Pines Community Health Center and the Portage County Home (In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II's Visit to Wisconsin).
Scheduling a visit to nursing homes was a hallmark of Wojtyła's life-long ministry, but that was not the only time he visiting the sick during his visit to central Wisconsin. He also had an impromptu opportunity when he heard that a local farmer was ill and confined to his home:

He then proceeded to visit the farm of Ed Zdroik, who recently had a stroke and was confined to his home.  Cardinal Wojtyła spent an extended amount of time speaking with Mr. Zdroik and gave him a special blessing (In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II's Visit to Wisconsin).
After being elected pope, John Paul II’s first trip outside the Vatican was to visit one of his good friends at the Gemelli hospital recovering from a massive stroke. During his short visit John Paul II spoke to the patients and asked for their prayers. He later recalled:
“I said to the patients that I counted greatly, very greatly indeed, on them: for their prayers and especially for the offering of their sufferings, which could provide me with a special strength, a strength that was and is necessary to me in order to perform in a less worthy manner my serious duties in the bosom of the church of Christ” (Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves)
John Paul II frequented Gemelli throughout his pontificate both as a visitor and as a patient. He even jokingly called the hospital his third papal residence, “Vatican III.”

While on a papal trip to Nigeria in 1982, John Paul II visited a hospital where he spoke words of comfort to the sick and related his own experience being in a hospital:
“Although God allows suffering to exist in the world, he does not enjoy it. Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, loved the sick; he devoted a great part of his earthly ministry to healing the sick and comforting the afflicted. Our God is a God of compassion and consolation. 
I also know personally what it means to be sick and to stay in hospital for a long time, and how it is possible to comfort and support others who share the same lot of confinement and suffering, and how necessary it is to pray for the sick and to show them one’s loving concern (Address in St. Charles Borromeo Hospital).
We all know what it feels like to be sick and at home or in a hospital. It is isolating and often very painful. The presence of visitors can often lift-up the heart of a patient and remind them that they are not alone.

The challenge for us is to get outside of our comfort zone and do something for others, the weakest, and most vulnerable of society.

Let us ask for Saint John Paul II’s intercession this Jubilee Year so that we can have the courage to visit the sick and imitate his example of Christ-like love.

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Saint Blaise Blessing of Throats Next Week

Little Servants of St. Therese Girls' Group will meet on Thursday, January 28th from 6:00-8:00 PM. We will meet in the adult formation room. All girls ages 8-18 are invited. **Please RSVP if you plan to attend. ** Contact Maggie Kosloski at maggiekosloski@gmail.com or call the office at 715-423-1351.

ST. BLAISE!! On Tuesday, February 2nd and Wednesday, February 3rd, there will be the blessing of throats for the feast of St. Blaise, immediately following Mass.

Please join us, Thursday, February 4 at 6:30 pm for Saints Peter and Paul’s CCW St. Gianna Unit 4 meeting in the Saints Peter and Paul school. The St. Gianna Unit is a women’s group dedicated to serving our parish and community and fostering the idea that all life is precious. All women of the parish are welcome to attend.

Souper Bowl Weekend Please bring your donation of cans of soup or boxes of crackers to the church now until the weekend of February 6/7. This will help restock the shelves of our local food pantry. Boxes will be provided in which to put the food at each entrance. The donations will be taken to the local food pantry on February 7th. Any questions? Please call Steve Janowiak at 715-423-1283.

There WILL be cinnamon rolls after the 8AM Mass on February 5th. Please stop by and enjoy a tasty treat in good company!!

The Number of Christian Martyrs Has Tripled in Two Years

The Number of Christian Martyrs Has Tripled in Two Years by CNA/EWTN NEWS — In 2013, there were some 2,100 Christians killed for faith-related reasons across the globe. But within two years, by 2015, that number rose to at least 7,100, according to a recent report from an advocacy group. “The persecution of Christians is getting worse, in every region in which we work, and it’s getting worse fast,” Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, said in the group’s 2016 report. “Many countries have dropped down the list, not because persecution there is decreasing, but simply because others are getting worse faster. And it wasn’t good three years ago.”...Read more


Pope Francis: Baptism Unifies Christians by CNA/EWTN VATICAN CITY — In his general audience, Pope Francis focused on the common baptism Christians share, saying the strength of this bond is stronger than existing divisions. “We are truly the holy people of God, even if, due to our sins, we are not yet a people fully united,” the Pope said in his Jan. 20 general audience, adding that “the mercy of God, which works in baptism, is stronger than our divisions.”...Read more