Saint Anselm Parish Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:19:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 November 23, 2014 – Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – Fr. Michael Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:18:20 +0000 Continue reading ]]> We just heard When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.

Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King of the Universe, King of everything that is, ever has been and ever will be. It is a celebration, rather like the Church’s new years eve. New Years Day for us is next Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent.

So in the first reading, we hear about a new model of kingship exemplified by Christ universal king, the model of a humble shepherd, who protects, leads and defends his people with gentleness and compassion.

The second reading from Saint Paul speaks about the end goal of the universe, when Christ fully enters his reign as a truly royal King and God is all and in all; when all beings are united in the model God had for all of creation, Jesus Christ.

And Gospel from St Matthew’s gospel is crucial; It is the last teaching from Jesus before he enters the events of his Passion, and it describes the process and criteria for judgement when this universal kingdom comes into its fullness. This process, like the model of shepherd kingship, makes no sense, is foolishness, in the eyes and kingdoms of this world. That has not changed in 2000 years. The rulers, the powers of this world, still reject Jesus and think him a fool. The philosopher Nietzsche, who had a lot to do with making our modern world and the way people think today thought Jesus was a madman, and Christianity a harmful, destructive religion because it cares for the least, the weak, the poor & suffering, those people natural selection would eliminate.

Nothing could make it clearer than today’s Gospel that Jesus’ kingdom is totally different from any other kingdom we know.

Jesus identifies himself not with the rich and powerful, which you might expect since God is rich in all things and is all powerful. No, Jesus identifies himself with just the opposite kind of people, those who have nothing, who are utterly dependent on others, those who have no control of their lives, their circumstances or any property.

He identifies with people who can identify with that throne He took to himself on earth, the cross. In accepting the cross Jesus joined himself to the lowest people of his society. Who could be lower than a convicted criminal on a death row cross? The crucified Jesus is a sign that he is offering himself to everyone, especially those considered the lowest, – a sign that he is not by forcing himself on us, but by giving himself to us in weakness and apparent defeat. On the throne of the cross he begs for our compassion and our help. No wonder the Romans and many others in the first 3 centuries thought Christians were absolutely crazy, out of their minds to worship a powerless, executed criminal.

A lot of people in our world today think that we are crazy and worse; they think we and anyone else who believes in God are hurting human society and progress.

It’s not hard to see why. Too many of us have made Jesus like the King or Queen of England, a nice royal figurehead who shows up on Sundays and Holydays and holidays, but who has no real power and no influence on our way of thinking or living.

Then there are those others who insist on their own way, radicals and fundamentalists who think they serve Christ the King, who work to force their way of thinking and style of religion upon others, those who make kings of themselves.

But Jesus Christ is a real king, actually the only true king. But he is a king that does not force us, does not rely on violence, threats or punishments does not draft us into an army nor waste our lives in wars.

We can choose and serve another king, move to another kingdom if we want, join the armed forces of someone or something else; Jesus will not stop us. He gives us freedom to choose whom to serve. As Bob Dylan said, It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, But ya gotta serve somebody.

Jesus is the King of Hearts, a king who personifies love and whose commandment to us is to love everyone, even our enemies and those who do us harm, even those we dislike and disagree with. and those are the hardest to love.

We can convince ourselves that we love the Taliban or the Russians, But when it comes to those people we see every day, share time and space and work with, people whom we may dislike or violently disagree with, we can’t fool ourselves. They are hard to love, but Jesus asks us to.

That is a tall order. Jesus knows that the only hope for this world is a change of hearts, a change of loyalty and allegiance from the false and small kings of this world to Him.

Although we may be born into Jesus’ kingdom through baptism, we are also born into some kingdom of this world, all of whose kingdoms thrive on competition and domination, kingdoms that breed suspicion, conflict, half truths and hate.

King Business and Money, King Technology, King Entertainment, King Pleasure, King Politics and Power. Behind all these kings is the biggest one of all, the Kingdom of Convenience, the Kingdom of our own self.

Our only hope for human freedom is in the universal, all-encompassing Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Hearts, of which Jesus came to lay the foundation. And his kingdom, his throne, is our destiny.

As St Paul so eloquently says: in Christ shall all be brought to life, and handed over to God, His Father.

Accepting Jesus’ kingship is not a once-and-for all act, an irreversible fact at Baptism. Our allegiance to the true king needs to be renewed every day by our choices and the moral decisions we make. This is be very discouraging at times, because many of these choices and decisions are so counter cultural, so against self-interest. The Gospel today makes that so clear. Whatever you did not do for one of these least ones, the hungry, the sick, the prisoners, the illegal immigrants, you did not do for me.

But it is in our power to build the kingdom of hearts here and now, with each other, with the people of Ferguson.

The virtue of hope will take us a long way. Remember that criminal who accepted his cross next to Jesus on his throne of the cross, the one who asked Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Jesus replied to him, and will say to us even as we live in this world, Today you will be with me in Paradise.

If Jesus is your king, and you belong to the kingdom of hearts, His kingdom is always with and in you And you have nothing whatsoever to fear from the kingdoms and powers of this world.

You gotta serve somebody. Choose Jesus, the King of Hearts, the Shepherd of the Universe, and inherit the kingdom He has prepared for you.

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Luke 18 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:05:28 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Interested in helping out with an 8th grade Luke 18 retreat? See Joe for more details.

Last chance to sign up for SEEK 2015! Don’t miss the opportunity for an incredible 5 days of mature talks, practical tools, and concerts gearing you up in your faith!

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Mass Music for November 29-30 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:03:29 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Please see below for the music selections for the Masses on Saturday, November 29th at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 30th at 11:00 a.m. All songs are in the Blue hymnal.

Processional: #38 – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Offertory: #39 – Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Communion: #758 – To You, O Lord
Recessional: #53 – Wake, O Wake, and Sleep No Longer

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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults – RCIA Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:59:57 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Our preparations for Christmas include buying or making gifts for those we love. Yet we can give no better gift than the gift that God has given to us; his Son, Jesus.

During this Advent season, please consider inviting someone who is not Catholic to attend Mass with you at Christmas. For information about the RCIA, please contact Linda Borchardt at 314.878.2120 or by email.

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Be the Heart & Hands of Jesus Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:15:35 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Happy New Year! Today the first Sunday of Advent, is the first day of the Church’s new liturgical year. It’s not really a day of celebration, like January 1. But it is a day of anticipation, looking forward to Christmas, the coming of the Savior to humankind.

St. Anselm wants to look forward also. 2015 will usher in the 50th year of this parish’s life. We will begin to celebrate our Golden Jubilee one year from now, starting in December 2015 and running until December 2016. There will be some exciting events.

But more exciting is what we can do in this 50th year and in our jubilee year. In last Sunday’s Gospel Jesus told us clearly who will be in God’s kingdom, those who did for Him what He needed as He languished in the persons of the poor, the hungry, the ignorant. Last February, as I walked onto the grounds of l’Ecole St. Michel, in Boucan-Carré, Haiti, I was greeted by the large sign that crowns that building which we, the Parish of St. Anselm, constructed over 10 years ago. The sign says Be the Heart & Hands of Jesus – Ou dwe se Ke ak Men Jezi. It is remarkable because its top line is in English. The school strives to teach the children how to read and write Creole, and the most apt, French. The English words must be for us, to remind us why we built that school, to remind us that we can be saviors too.

It suffered some damage in the earthquake 4 years ago, but still serves well. But its serves over twice the 450 students it was built for, and not just in educating them, but also in feeding and in housing. The school needs more room. The children, who are the hope of their poor country and some of whom walk 4 hours to get to the school, these children who are Jesus Christ in the persons of our least brothers and sisters, need our help.

We built a school for them. Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish in Knoxville, TN provides the books for them, and school uniforms (for some the only serviceable clothes they have) and pays the salaries of their teachers, week by week, year after year. Sacred Heart has also built a secondary school so the graduates of our school can continue their education at a higher level. Now, after a decade, we are called in our 50th year to help our primary school and its students with an adjacent building. Who is calling us? They are, and through them, Jesus himself.

This is what we have to look forward to in celebrating our Golden Jubilee, to making a real difference in the life of a whole community, in the lives of thousands of people. This is what Sister Rose, the head of l’Ecole St. Michel is hoping for, praying for and looking forward to. She and her students are counting on us.

We have engaged an architect, the same one who designed the secondary school in Boucan-Carré, to begin work on this project. The Chairman of our Haiti Committee, Bob Kelly, is in Knoxville right now meeting with him. You will be receiving more details in a letter soon. But I ask that you help us gear up our Haiti apostolate to fund this school. We estimate the ballpark cost to be $300,000. You have already donated sufficient funds to date to cover the architects fees and $30,000 toward the construction cost.

Please, for our 50th year and our Jubilee year, be the heart and hands of Jesus for the children of Boucan-Carré. May you one day hear His words spoken to you Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

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November 16, 2014 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Deacon Charlie Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:20:04 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Let’s start with the first reading from Proverbs. Do you remember that famous line from the movie, The Graduate? Dustin Hoffman plays a young college graduate, Ben Braddock, who is pulled aside at a party by one of his father’s friends. In a hushed, confidential tone he tells him: Just one word, Ben – Plastics, there’s a great future in Plastics. The message here is that material wealth and worldly accomplishment are the really important stuff to a young man. And, if he follows the advice, he will end up successful, rich and happy.

The first reading tells a very different story about what is important. True happiness and joy in life is found in the qualities of a worthy wife. One who is an unfailing prize, who reaches out to the poor, who works hard and fears the Lord. The wise man will seek out these riches, this kind of success. And, the same could be said for a woman. A husband who puts the Lord first, who puts service to others and to his wife first, is far more important than the man who will have the most material success. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why can’t I have both?

Let’s look at the second reading from Paul. This passage talks of course about the basic uncertainty of life itself. Disaster comes like a thief in the night, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman. The Day of the Lord will make all the riches of the world like so much dust, blowing in the wind, useless and vacant. Just this week I read a letter written by a 31 year old husband whose wife, Rachel, survived rare cancers 3 separate times. The Church is investigating whether her survival was in fact a miracle. The last time the Church did this in St Louis was 125 years ago. However, after years of being cancer free, Rachel was diagnosed this June with a rare bacterial infection of the lung. Untreated, the bacteria would devastate her lungs and result in death. This coming Monday, Rachel will have one of her lungs removed. Given her history, this could be fatal. Rachel’s husband, Gabe, was very scared at first and for a few days withdrew into himself. But, on a Saturday morning, he woke up with a feeling of being more alive than he had ever felt.

His aliveness was not some sort of adrenaline rush or burst of denial, but rather a deep sense of gratitude for the years he and Rachel have been together. Since the length of her life was so uncertain, they loved each other intensely, held nothing back, incorporating bucket lists as part of their day to day lives. They smiled and laughed more than at any other time in their lives. Gabe says: Imagine if you could reclaim the butterflies of when you first started dating your loved one, but with the added history and comfort of almost 10 years of deep relationship. That’s how I feel right now and I want to remember every single detail of my beautiful wife. Just in case. As we approach this next scary chapter, I’m now ready to help her fight, gladly positioned beside her. This is not just a love story; it’s a huge faith story, a hope story, a goodness and joy can and will triumph story, no matter what life throws at us.

Let’s take this story and attempt to apply it to our gospel about the Talents. This parable tells us many things. It tells us that God gives all of us different gifts but that whatever talent we have, little or great, we must give it back to God with all we’ve got. The parable tells us that loving God is not static; we can’t say we love God and then bury our love in the ground, hoping God will be satisfied with us. In fact, the parable asks us indirectly if we truly see God as a loving Father. More about that in a moment.

So, how does this parable relate to Gabe and Rachel? I don’t have time to tell you how much they have used the talent and experiences God has given them. We would be here a long time. Suffice it to say that Rachel was voted Glamour magazine Woman of Your Year in 2008 for her efforts to use her cancer as a source of hope and inspiration. And, Gabe himself has developed multiple talents in business and charitable ventures. Rachel’s very existence and Gabe’s devotion to her is a daily testimony to the truth of God’s gifts and how we define happiness in our lives. Most of us will never have such unusual and demanding experiences in our lives as Gabe and Rachel; but we are all called to do the most with what God has given us. We don’t wonder from day to day if we will be alive in one week, in one year, but which of us knows the day or the hour? We are all called to serve God joyfully by loving him and each other. And finally, we are all called to ask ourselves how we see our God. Do we see God in a positive light as did the servants with the five talents and the two talents? Or is God punitive, unjust, and vengeful like the servant with one talent who, in fear, buried his talent.

Gabe began his letter with this quote from Helen Keller: The struggle for life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

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Inclement Weather Policy Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:07:54 +0000 If the Parkway School system is closed on a Monday or dismisses early
due to weather conditions, there are no PSR classes on that same day.

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Help the Hungry Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:03:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Meet at the Parish Centre at 8:30 A.M. on Wednesday, November 26th to head to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Food Pantry to prepare meals for Thanksgiving. Parents are encouraged to join us too! Let Joe know if you are coming by email, FB, Twitter, or Instagram!

On Sunday, November 23rd hang out after Youth Mass for a night on the Heroic Minute!

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Mass Music for November 22-23 Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:48:41 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Please see below for the music selections for the Masses on Saturday, November 22nd at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 23rd at 11:00 a.m. All songs are in the Blue hymnal.

Processional: #140 – All Glory, Laud, and Honor
Offertory: #733 – To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King
Communion: #327 – Gift of Finest Wheat
Recessional: #570 – Festival Canticle: Worthy Is Christ

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Strategy Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:27:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Strat·e·gy ˈstradəjē/ noun – 1. a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. 2. the art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle. 3. a plan for military operations and movements during a war or battle.

Perhaps you remember a little over a year ago, I announced that there was a group working on a strategic plan for the parish. The small core group of 6 parish council members eventually grew to 30 members from every demographic constituency of the parish except children and youth, who were represented by their parents. This larger group then subdivided into smaller groups for each group to examine specific individual needs of the parish as presented last February at the Conversation with the Pastor. They determined specific actions we could and should take to fulfill those needs. The determinations were brought back to a steering committee to discuss and vet their recommendations. The results have been combined into a comprehensive strategic plan for Saint Anselm Parish.

That plan was distributed to the entire Parish Council in the first week of November for them to review. The plan was discussed at the Parish Council meeting of November 18 and finally endorsed by the Parish Council. Now we can publish this plan for you.

Because it is 28 pages, the whole plan cannot fit into the bulletin. But inside you will find a summary. On the Parish web site you can find the entire plan as a PDF document. The summary has lots of arrows. That just means everything is connected and related in many ways.

The bottom line of our strategy, our goal, is to become a more vibrant and cohesive community within the greater community of the Church. We want to be a genuine home community for all our parishioners, a home community that others will want to join and be welcome to join.

I don’t think you’ll find any big surprises in our plan. Many of the things we began implementing as soon as we thought about them. Other things will take time. We see this plan working for us for the next three to five years. But we must be flexible; reality and our developing circumstances dictate the tactics we use to achieve our goals. And we expect that we will learn as time goes on, to add new tactics and perhaps discard old ones.

This wonderful plan, the product of over a year’s work, means nothing if it does not engage you as a member of the Parish. It’s all about you, for you and needs you to engage in living your life in the Parish, to give and to receive, to knock and to open doors; to pray and worship and celebrate and distribute the blessing we have in life and each other, in our families and in our community.

Today is the last Sunday in the Church’s liturgical year. It is time for new year’s resolutions. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace… God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life.

What time is it for you? What can you do in the life of the parish? Of the 1,000 families in the parish, we have only heard from 100 who returned their stewardship card indicating the way they want to participate. If you haven’t done so, please reconsider and send that form in. It’s never too late. We not only have the time for you but the place. We planned it that way.

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