Dominicans Ordain Largest Number of Friars in 45 Years

News from the USCCB:
Bishops’ Subcommittee Releases Marriage And Religious Freedom Video  - WASHINGTON—The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage has released the next video in the series highlighting the unique meaning of marriage. Entitled Made for Freedom, the newly released video features experts in various fields as well as personal stories illustrating the importance of marriage to society and the necessity for people to have the freedom to express their beliefs about marriage...Read More
News from the Vatican:
Pope Francis uses sign language at General Audience - Pope Francis began his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday by greeting people in sign language. The message of greeting – which involves raising one’s arms, and then turning your hand with the palms out – was for a pilgrimage group from the National Board for the Deaf, which is based in Florence...Read More
News from the Church:
Dominicans Ordain Largest Number of Friars in 45 Years - WASHINGTON — “Our Lord commanded us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest, and we have done so — and these are his answer to our prayer,” Archbishop Augustine Di Noia said Saturday, as he prepared to serve as ordaining prelate for the largest class of Dominican friars ordained for the eastern Province of St. Joseph in 45 years. This year marks the 800th jubilee for the Order of Preachers, and...Read more

Entering into a Prayerful Lent: Stations of the Cross

By Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5
As we explore the liturgical season of Lent, we look at the threefold call of the Church to increase our efforts in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This week, we will look at one practice during Lent that the Church recommends to foster a greater sense of prayer: the Stations of the Cross.

An ancient tradition has it that Mary visited the sites of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection on a daily basis after His ascension into Heaven. Even before that other traditions say that Mary followed Jesus along His bitter Way of the Cross that led to Calvary and Scripture at the very least testifies that Mary was there at the foot of the Cross. 

Mary was the first to accompany Jesus in His sufferings and she kept all of these things in her heart, reflecting daily on them after His ascension. 

After her assumption, Christians would continue to flock to the sites of Jesus' crucifixion. They wanted to be close to their Lord and to walk in his footsteps. However, not everyone was able to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land and for many centuries it was dangerous to travel there.

That is why, around the 17th century, Franciscans began to develop a “Way of the Cross” in local churches whereby the faithful could walk through the passion narrative without having to go to Jerusalem. Here is a brief history:

Innocent XI, in 1686, granted to the Franciscans, in answer to their petition, the right to erect the Stations in all their churches, and declared that all the indulgences that had ever been given for devoutly visiting the actual scenes of Christ’s Passion, could thenceforth be gained by Franciscans and all others affiliated to their order if they made the Way of the Cross in their own churches in the accustomed manner. Innocent XII confirmed the privilege in 1694 and Benedict XIII in 1726 extended it to all the faithful. In 1731 Clement XII still further extended it by permitting the indulgenced Stations to all churches, provided that they were erected by a Franciscan father with the sanction of the ordinary. At the same time he definitely fixed the number of Stations at fourteen. (Catholic Encyclopedia, emphasis added)
The Stations are a great devotion to unite us to Christ’s suffering and death and allow us the opportunity to accompany Him on the Via Dolorosa. We watch as He suffers under the weight of the cross and realize it was our sins that crucified Him.

This meditation on the passion of Christ, stirs within us a spirit of prayer, whereby we can not help but be drawn closer to God. We want to console Jesus and are sorry for our many sins. 

The Stations of the Cross is just one way that the faithful can devote themselves more to prayer during Lent. Next week, we will look at what the Church recommends for fasting in Lent and beyond.


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Calvary Cemetery Needs Volunteers!

Calvary Cemetery Needs Volunteers! (must be 18 yrs old) Please call Jim Dietsch 715-574-2877 Starting May 23rd. Please bring your own trimmers. Gas will be provided.

Little Servants Girl’s Group will meet on Thursday May 26th from 600pm—8:00pm. All girls ages 8-18 are invited. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

All are welcome to attend the 9th Annual Wisc Rapids Deanery Celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Sunday May 29 at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church following the 10:30 am Mass. Eucharistic Procession around the grounds and neighborhood. This event will include: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, benediction, and conclude with refreshments. Newly Confirmed and First Communicants are especially encouraged to participate. For more information, contact 715 424 6279; mariancenterforpeace.org

USCCB Responds to Administration's New Guidance Letter to Public Schools

News from the USCCB:
USCCB Chairmen Respond to Administration's New Guidance Letter on Title IX Application - WASHINGTON—Two Committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement in response to guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education entitled "Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students":

The Catholic Church consistently affirms the inherent dignity of each and every human person and advocates for the wellbeing of all people, particularly the most vulnerable. Especially at a young age and in schools, it is important that our children understand the depth of God's love for them and their intrinsic worth and beauty. Children should always be and feel safe and secure and know they are loved.

The guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education that treats "a student's gender identity as the student's sex" is deeply disturbing....Read More
News from the Vatican:
Pope Francis: ‘To ignore the poor is to despise God’ - Speaking on Wednesday morning at the weekly General Audience in St. Peter's Square the Pope also decried the inequality and contradictions in the world as he reflected on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. He noted that the lives of these two people...Read More
News from the Church:
Professional Soccer Player Returns to His Fans in Chile — as a Priest - SANTIAGO, Chile — With a Mass celebrated in the chapel where he used to pray, former soccer star Chase Hilgenbrinck was reunited recently with the faithful, friends and fans — not as a soccer star, but as a priest.
Before he was Father Hilgenbrinck, the American was a successful pro-soccer player who spent four seasons in Chile before returning to the United States. He played for the New England Revolution team before experiencing a call to the priesthood and leaving behind his soccer career to enter seminary. In 2014, he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., where he currently serves...Read more

What is the Purpose of Lent?


After a few short weeks of Ordinary Time, the Church quickly shifts her focus to the season of Lent. The word "Lent" comes from the Old English word len(c)ten, meaning "spring season," and has been used by English speaking countries to denote this part of the Church's year since the Middle Ages. Lent is always during spring in the Northern Hemisphere and reminds the Church of the need for spiritual renewal.

On the other hand, the official word for this season in Latin is, "quadragesima," or simply put, "forty days." The Latin term calls to mind the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert before embarking on His three-year mission of proclaiming the Good News to all people.

Regardless of what we call this penitential season, it is a time of the year when the Church focuses on spiritual preparation for the great feast of Easter. Ever since the early centuries of the Church, there has been a period of time dedicated to prayer, fasting and almsgiving before celebrating Christ's resurrection from the dead.

In the Early Church, Lent was a time of immediate preparation for catechumens who were to be baptized at the Easter Vigil. They would perform many spiritual exercises and receive multiple blessings to prepare their hearts for Christ. Eventually similar practices were expanded to the universal Church and everyone was encouraged to use Lent as a time for renewal.

As time progressed, the Church continually went back to the examples of Noah, Moses, and Jesus for inspiration. Noah was asked by God to create an ark to protect him and his family from the rain that would last 40 days and 40 nights. During Lent, the Christian follower is called to fortify themselves in the faith so that they can endure any temptations or trials that come from the outside.

Moses led the people into the desert and because of their infidelity and distrust of God, they were asked to wander the desert for 40 years before entering the promised land. Following this example, we are taught to use Lent as a time for spiritual purification, renouncing their sinful ways and making amends for any past infidelity to God.

As already mentioned above, Jesus Christ freely submitted to being tempted in the desert for 40 days in preparation for his public ministry. We are to follow His example of renouncing the world, flesh and the devil during the time of Lent, so that we are prepared to preach the Gospel of Christ's Resurrection to the whole world.

The Church, in her wisdom, gives us some specific practices to consider during Lent, namely, prayer, fasting and almsgiving. During the next few weeks, we will look at these practice and discover why each is so important to the life of a Christian and central to a fruitful Lent.

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Holy League Holy Hour On Friday

Holy League Holy Hour - May 20th
The next Holy League Holy Hour will be held at 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 20th, at SSPP. All Men are invited to this monthly Eucharistic holy hour with opportunity for confession. There is a pizza and beer social that follows the holy hour.

Health Screening
A leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, is pleased to offer a preventive health event at SSPP Church on 6/2/2016. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ( $139 with member discount). All 5 screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. In order to register and to receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129, please call 1-

Pope Francis Invokes St. John Paul II ahead of Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

News from the Diocese of La Crosse:
How to bring Mercy to the Sick and Homebound - Those who are sick or homebound can often feel neglected or forgotten and through your efforts you can provide that positivity, support and companionship they need to still feel included in their own parish...Read More
News from the Vatican:
Pope Francis invokes St. John Paul II ahead of Fatima feast - Pope Francis on Wednesday said Our Lady of Fatima “invites us once again to turn to prayer, penance, and conversion.” The Holy Father noted the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima is commemorated this year on...Read More
News from the Church:
Want to Earn a Master’s Degree? Consider Rome’s New Joseph Ratzinger Program - ROME — No Catholic who wants to take an in-depth look into the faith and the reality of the Church of our time can skip the works of the “Theologian Pope,” Benedict XVI. To really deepen one’s knowledge, or to literally become an expert in all things Joseph Ratzinger, one can partake in a new master’s program, which began in February. During two semesters at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome, the program, “Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality,” teaches in eight parts the works and spirituality of the pope emeritus. The program is offered in English and Italian...Read more