USCCB President Says The Gospel Serves The Common Good, Not Political Agendas

News from the USCCB
USCCB President Says The Gospel Serves The Common Good, Not Political Agendas - WASHINGTON—At this important time in our nation's history, I encourage all of us to take a moment to reflect on one of the founding principles of our republic – the freedom of religion. It ensures the right of faith communities to preserve the integrity of their beliefs and proper self-governance. There have been recent reports that some may have sought to interfere in the internal life of the Church for short-term political gain. If true, this is troubling both for the well-being of faith communities and the good of our country....Read More
News from the Pope:
Pope Francis canonizes seven new Saints - (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday canonized seven new Saints including Argentina's “gaucho priest'' Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. Know as “Cura Brochero”, the Argentinian who made it his mission to take the Gospel message of salvation to the peripheries, was proclaimed a Saint together with six others in a Mass in St. Peter's Square.''...Read More
News from the Church:
Syrian Priest Who Escaped ISIS: ‘Our World Needs a Revolution Against Violence’
 - HOMS, Syria — Father Jacques Mourad was prior of the Mar Elian Monastery, a pilgrimage center near Al Quaryatayn, about 65 miles southeast of Homs, until he was abducted by Islamic State militants in May 2015. He managed to escape after nearly five months of captivity, yet that August the Islamic State had captured Al Quaryatayn and destroyed the monastery. The city was later liberated by Syrian forces in April 2016. Now based in Europe, Father Mourad spoke Oct. 17 with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need about the situation in Syria...Read more

The Beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist

To continue our series on the different parts of the Mass, we will now examine the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist and in particular, the "Sanctus" or "Holy, Holy, Holy."

We now enter into the second part of the divine liturgy, which is called the "Liturgy of the Eucharist." This is the part of the Mass where the words that were spoken at the Gospel become Flesh in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.

As the GIRM narrates for us the significance of this part of the Mass, "At the Last Supper Christ instituted the Paschal Sacrifice and banquet by which the Sacrifice of the Cross is continuously made present in the Church whenever the priest, representing Christ the Lord, carries out what the Lord himself did and handed over to his disciples to be done in his memory.

"For Christ took the bread and the chalice and gave thanks; he broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take, eat, and drink: this is my Body; this is the cup of my Blood. Do this in memory of me.' Accordingly, the Church has arranged the entire celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist in parts corresponding to precisely these words and actions of Christ:
  1. At the Preparation of the Gifts, the bread and the wine with water are brought to the altar, the same elements that Christ took into his hands.
  2. In the Eucharistic Prayer, thanks is given to God for the whole work of salvation, and the offerings become the Body and Blood of Christ.
  3. Through the fraction and through Communion, the faithful, though they are many, receive from the one bread the Lord's Body and from the one chalice the Lord's Blood in the same way the Apostles received them from Christ's own hands" (GIRM).

At the start of the Liturgy of the Eucharist there is the Preparation of the Gifts, where the gifts to be sacrificed are given to the priest. In historical context, members of the early Church would bake the bread and create the wine needed for the celebration. They would then bring those elements and offer them to the priest. This is why we currently have the custom in the Church to select representatives from the congregation to present the bread and wine to be consecrated, symbolizing the offering of ourselves to God.

After the gifts are prepared at the altar by the priest, the "Santcus" (Holy, Holy, Holy) is intoned and all kneel in preparation for the greatest miracle of all times: God humiliates Himself so much as to dwell in a simple piece of bread and a small chalice of wine. Historically, "not every one of the ancient liturgies knew this [particular] hymn, although its institution is attributed to St. Sixtus I who, as Pope, introduced it into the Mass in the second century" (TM).

In the current translation of the Mass, the Sanctus has a slight revision that better expresses the mystery that it is meant to teach us. "The opening line of the Sanctus is taken not from a hymn book, but from the angel's worship of God in heaven. In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of the angels praising God, crying out: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts' (see Isaiah 6:3). The word 'hosts' here refers to the heavenly army of angels. When we recite 'Holy, Holy, Holy Lord' in the Mass, therefore, we are joining the angels in heaven, echoing their very words of worship. The previous translation of this prayer referred to the Lord as 'God of power and might.' In the new translation, we address him as 'Lord God of Hosts.' This more clearly echoes the biblical language of the angels in Isaiah and underscores the infinite breadth of God's power" (TM). 

When we said "God of power and might," it was more abstract, while when we say "Lord God of Hosts," it is more concrete and specific, referring to the heavenly "hosts" of angels, archangels, principalities, virtues, powers, dominions, thrones, cherubim and seraphim; in other words, the entire heavenly army!

This ancient hymn prepares us for what is about to unfold and reminds us that we are never alone at Mass. The angels surround us and sing with us a "hymn of praise!" Mass is a meeting place of Heaven and Earth and so we must prepare ourselves for the great mystery that occurs in front of our eyes!

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CCW Meeting, Cemetery Prayer Vigil & More!

CCW Meeting
Ladies of Sts. Peter & Paul please join us Thursday, Oct.20 at 9:30 am for the meeting of Unit 6, St. Patrick in Sts. Peter & Paul Library. Mary Grace Schliesman is our hostess. Join us in prayer and some camaraderie.

Annual Cemebery Prayer Vigil
All are welcome to come together and pray with Deacon Ruesch and the Knights Honor Guard on Monday, Oct.31, at Calvary Cemetery Hwy 54 E in Wisconsin Rapids ( across from Angel Gardens Floral& Design) The event will begin at 8:00pm and will include Evening prayer, Litany of the Saints, Exposition, Eucharistic Procession and Benediction. There will be a campfire. Dress Warm, Bring a flashlight or candle. If you stay late, please bring a lawn chair, hot cocoa and snacks. For more information: 715-424 6279;

Gethsemane at SS Peter and Paul “Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God and render Him your votive offerings. Call on Him in the day of distress ...” and He will heal the wounds in your life, your family, our country, and our Church. Join us at the Gethsemane of SS Peter and Paul every Thursday night from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Call Jeff Ashbeck 715-451-0619 or Tony Biolo 715-213-4571.

Bishop Paprocki: ‘Unprecedented and Challenging Election Ahead’

News from the USCCB
Interfaith Leaders Call On President And Congress To Reject Biased Religious Liberty Report - The interfaith leaders' letter states, in part: "We wish to express our deep concern that the Commission has issued a report, Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Non-Discrimination Principles with Civil Liberties, that stigmatizes tens of millions of religious Americans, their communities, and their faith-based institutions, and threatens the religious freedom of all our citizens."...Read More
News from the Pope:
Pope at Mass: No to a “cosmetics” religion that’s all show(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Jesus asks us to perform good deeds with humility and reject a "cosmetics" (maquillage) religion that is merely concerned with its outward appearance and pretending to be what it’s not. The Pope was speaking at his morning Mass on Tuesday celebrated in the Santa Marta residence...Read More
News from the Church:
Bishop Paprocki: ‘Unprecedented and Challenging Election Ahead’ With the general election coming up in just a few weeks, people are pondering and praying over their choices. Although candidates are also running for state and local offices, the presidential election this year is unprecedented and most challenging...Read more

The Opening Prayer and Liturgy of the Word

To continue our series on the different parts of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we conclude our look at the Introductory Rites with "The Collect" (aka the Opening Prayer) and then move on to take a look at the "Liturgy of the Word

"Next the priest invites the people to pray. All, together with the priest, observe a brief silence so that they may be conscious of the fact that they are in God's presence and may formulate their petitions mentally. Then the priest says the prayer which is customarily known as the Collect and through which the character of the celebration is expressed. In accordance with the ancient tradition of the Church, the collect prayer is usually addressed to God the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and is concluded with a trinitarian...ending." (GIRM)

Besides being rich in theological meaning the Opening Prayer has a long history that goes all the way back to ancient Rome. "Historically that title (Collect) recalls the old custom of Urban Rome where, about the fourth century, it was the practice for the whole Christian community to come together in one church that they might proceed with solemnity to the sanctuary chosen for the celebration of the day's Mass; in this sense the Collect is the prayer of the plebs collecta, the prayer of the assembled people." (TM)

Today, the priest gathers "together, as if in one sheaf, all our hopes and all our good offer them to God" and so continues this tradition of a unified prayer of the people at the start of every Mass.

After the Collect, starts the "Liturgy of the Word." "The main part of the Liturgy of the Word is made up of the readings from Sacred Scripture together with the chants occurring between them. The homily, Profession of Faith, and Prayer of the Faithful, however, develop and conclude this part of the Mass. For in the readings, as explained by the homily, God speaks to his people, opening up to them the mystery of redemption and salvation and offering them spiritual nourishment; and Christ himself is present in the midst of the faithful through his word. By their silence and singing the people make God's word their own, and they also affirm their adherence to it by means of the Profession of Faith. Finally, having been nourished by it, they pour out their petitions in the Prayer of the Faithful for the needs of the entire Church and for the salvation of the whole world." (GIRM)

The history behind the Liturgy of the Word is very ancient and even extends before the Christian Church began. To "seek the origin of these readings, we would have to delve into the most ancient of Christian usages, and to go, in fact, even beyond them to practices dear to the heart of devout Israel. The Service of the synagogue knew such readings from the Law and the Prophets. Have we not seen Jesus reading Isaias to his fellow Jews (Luke 4:16,21)? The early church faithfully preserved this usage: reading from the sacred books bulked large in the primitive liturgies, and it would be surprising to the first Christians were they now to return and hear only the...brief scraps which are left in today's Mass.

"At first, these readings were neither brief nor formally delimited beforehand...and the reader used to go on uninterruptedly until the bishop saw fit to signal him that he thought enough had been proposed for the instruction of his hearers. It was only with the appearance of the Roman Missal of 1570 that there came into general usage the...previously selected fragments...accommodated to the feast being celebrated." (TM)

In the Liturgy of the Word, we start out by first hearing a reading from the Old Testament, and then a reading from an Apostolic Letter, and then finally we reach a selection from one of the Gospels. The reasoning behind this is simple: "it shows that in the beginning God speaks to us by the agency of intermediaries, by the mouth of men who are His witnesses or confessors, who are inspired by Him to prepare us that we may later receive His own message directly." (TM)

The Liturgy of the Word allows us to hear God's word to us and prepares us to meet him in the Holy Eucharist.

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Calvary Cemetery Notice

Calvary Cemetery All decorations, with the exception of solar, fall & winter decorations must be re-moved by October 15, 2016. Any remaining will be removed at the Sexton’s discretion.

Gethsemane at SS Peter and Paul “Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God and render Him your votive offerings. Call on Him in the day of distress ...” and He will heal the wounds in your life, your family, our country, and our Church. Join us at the Gethsemane of SS Peter and Paul every Thursday night from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Call Jeff Ashbeck 715-451-0619 or Tony Biolo 715-213-4571.

Cardinal Dolan Launches 2016-17 Program With Respect Life Month Statement

News from the USCCB
Cardinal Dolan Launches 2016-17 Program With Respect Life Month Statement WASHINGTON—In a statement to mark Respect Life Month, October 2016, Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York called for all human life to be "cherished and protected." Cardinal Dolan chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).The Cardinal's statement launches the year-long Respect Life Program (, which explores the theme, "Moved by Mercy." As Pope Francis said in calling for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, "We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us." Cardinal Dolan said: "When we let our hearts be moved by God's mercy, it shapes everything."...Read More
News from the Pope: Pope tells Vodafone to ‘promote development, not spread bad news’ (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with the directors of the ‘Vodafone Foundation’ in a private audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Wednesday, telling them to ‘be constructive’ and make religious text available to more people....Read More
News from the Church:
Revealing the Real Music of St. Francis of Assisi - St. Francis, who experienced a dramatic conversion in his early 20s, also converted from worldly music to holy music, both inside and outside the liturgy. This transition was recently discussed by Nicholas Will, professor of sacred music at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and director of music at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Will plays the pipe organ on the 2016 album Laudato Si: In the Spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Will says that St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, was markedly different from some popular views of him...Read more