Volume 9, Issue 2
WELCOME to . . .
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - ST MARY
visit us on the Web at www.stmaryflorence.org
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 166, Florence, WI 54121 St. Mary’s Pastor: Fr. Timothy M. Brandt
Street Address: 308 Florence Ave., Florence, WI email:
Parish Office Telephone: (715) 528-3310 cell phone: (920) 615-6600
Parish e-mail: email@example.com Parish Secretary: Joanne Leffler
Religious Education Facilitator: Carolyn Lemanski
(715) 528-3008 or
* If you are interested in joining our parish, becoming Catholic, marriage prep, baptism prep, confirmation, funerals, returning to the Church, spiritual direction, getting an annulment, or have other concerns, contact Fr. Timothy.
* Questions regarding religious education and registration can be addressed to Carolyn Lemanski at (715) 528-3008.
* To schedule a Mass intention, have someone put on our prayer line, volunteer for a parish ministry, rent the parish hall, request a prayer shawl or to have communion brought to your home, call or e-mail the parish office.
Live the Gospel! Whatever it Takes.
Called to be holy, fully engaged, fully alive
One day, while stopped to pray before a crucifix inside the church of San Damiano in Assisi, Italy, a young St. Francis heard the words of Christ spoken clearly and directly into his heart, “Repair my house, which you can see is fallen into ruin.” Francis, seeing the deplorable conditions the church was in, gave money to the priest to have the bricks and mortar repaired. Soon after, in a newly restored church, Francis again heard the same words, and he came to realize – when God spoke about repairing the church, he wasn’t speaking physically, but rather spiritually. Immediately, Francis saw ministering to the poor, sick and suffering in the streets as the means towards repairing the living stones of Christ’s church.
The same words could easily be spoken by Christ to any of us in today’s day and age – we live in a house that is badly in need of being repaired, and again, not just physically. With the decreases in practice of faith (not just Catholic, mind you, but in all religions), the loss of faith in the face of scientific research, the ongoing abuse crises in the Church and in society, and the constant bombardment of the media, politics, etc. – we live in a world, and, as part of the world, a church, that is badly in need of repair.
Where does it start? It can be daunting, and we think, “Well, I’m just one person, what can I do?” A house is built one single brick at a time, one nail is driven before the next can be. To rebuild the church today, we do it the same way it has been for two thousand years - by inviting Christ into our boat, allowing him to direct our lives, and then bringing him to others, one at a time. It starts by building bridges of trust – bridges built, stone by stone, nail by nail, soul by soul, that will bridge the divide between where people are today and where Christ invites them to be, bridges that take us from reason to faith, bridges of lives that are meant to be healed, forgiven, connected. And how do we rebuild bridges of trust? By sharing our story and inviting people to journey with us, one at a time, brick by brick.
At St. Mary’s, we remain dedicated to not just making disciples, but of making disciples who will help lead others to Christ. There are many powerful ministries taking place, lots of exciting things happening – long range parish planning, the start of Alpha, the women’s Bible studies – but it starts with establishing bridges of faith, by repairing Christ’s house, one spiritual brick at a time!
May God bless you! Fr. Timothy
I was flattered by Joanne’s request that I write a brief note about my thoughts on our church and its congregation for this month’s newsletter. In that request, she asked me to discuss my faith, my relationship with Jesus and my experience as a member of St. Mary’s Congregation.
To do what she asked, I needed to start by briefly describing both my religious past and its present status. Thus, I will begin with my faith which is a relatively recent development. Since high school, I had been an agnostic and religion in general had not interested me. As an aging adult, this disinterest disappeared. I joined the Catholic Church five years ago while living in North Dakota. The person who did the most to influence my conversion to the church was interestingly enough a close female friend named Mary! I was attracted to the church because I saw how beautifully faith had affected Mary’s Catholicism. Her faith in God, her commitment to follow the teachings of Jesus, I was convinced, had made her into a remarkable person: a caring, committed, dedicated Christian. I very much admired what she was and I wanted to be like her. Hence to follow her example, I joined the Catholic Church. That decision was, I firmly believe, one of the best choices I have ever made.
Joanne’s last suggestion for me to address, specifically my experience in and with our congregation, has been similarly positive. Besides gladly attending Mass and other church gatherings, I have joined our Saint Vincent de Paul Society group. As with faith and the teachings of Jesus, the Saint Vincent de Paul gatherings have been for me uplifting and inspiring. From the beginning, the group’s members have been both kind to me and encouraging. In that group, which meets twice monthly, I learned about and experienced what Christian charity meant. I learned this not only from my participation at home visits to help the suffering, but also from our meetings. For in each meeting, we spend a portion of our time considering what true charity involves and how to express or deliver it. I find the whole process of learning how to be a “Good Samaritan” both appropriate and inspiring. As with my friend Mary’s example of faith and her belief in the teachings of Jesus, the St. Vincent group’s charity practices have made me both proud to be a Catholic and an appreciative member of our St. Mary’s Congregation. Jonathan Wagner
Parents and students,
it’s that time of year, again!
Mark your calendar for these important religious education dates!
Sun, Sept 8: Catechist In-service after 8:30 am, Mass
Wed, Sept 11: RE begins for grades 1-6 from 3:30—5:00 pm!
Sun, Sept 15: Catechetical Sunday! RE begins for grades 9-10 from 9:30—11:00 am!
Mandatory Parent Meeting w/Students for 1st Reconciliation and
1st Communion after 8:30 am, Mass
Sun, Sept 29: Priesthood Sunday!
Sun, Oct 13: All-Area Confirmation at St. Francis
Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay, WI
Sun, Oct 20: Preparation of St. John Paul II Feast Day with “Pizza and the Pope ” at 5:30 pm!
Oct 25–27: Teens’ Encounter Christ weekend in Green Bay, WI
Sun, Oct 27: “Saints in the Making” Sunday!
Nov 8-10: Youth Encounter Weekend for grades 9-12 at Fortune Lake Camp in
Crystal Falls, MI
Sun, Dec 8: Green Bay Youth Conference at the National Shrine of Our Lady
of Good Help in Champion, WI
Walking with Purpose/Alpha Series Updates
St. Mary’s Walking with Purpose group is going to start a bit later this fall so that interested women do not have to feel like they need to choose between WWP and Alpha.
When we gather, again, in late October, we are going to explore the book, Living the Father’s Love. This is a brief but powerful study that will revive and refresh us! We will discover just how much God loves us and how the Gospels are relevant to our relationship with God and those we love. This 6-week session is described as “perfect for Advent”. In addition, this short Bible study will also give women an opportunity to try WWP without committing to a 22-week program. We look forward to seeing you then! In the meantime, watch the bulletin for more information on a WWP ladies’ night out dinner!
EXPLORE LIFE, FAITH, MEANING! Enter Alpha, a dynamic, weekly discipleship series now underway on Thursday evenings at 5:30 pm, in St. Mary’s Parish Office Center. Prayerfully consider joining us for this faith-growing and life-changing experience as we encounter Christ at a more personal and heartfelt level! To learn more today, visit Alpha USA.org or feel free to contact Fr. Timothy.
St. Mary’s Annual
Ecumenical Harvest Dinner
is taking place
Sunday, October 27, 2019,
at 5:00 pm,
in St. Mary’s Parish Hall
Please join us for an evening of food and fellowship among friends of area churches.
All are welcome!
WELCOME TO ST. MARY’S PARISH FAMILY,
Bill and Mary Bibby
Mark and Carla Kramer
Pastoral Council News by: Becky Kelley, Chair
How can you believe when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? John 5:44
So often, we can get caught up in what others think of us. We tend to worry about admitting our mistakes because we fear what others will think of us. We concern ourselves with what we wear or how our bodies appear to others. We compare and envy what others have or don’t have. There are even times we ignore what is on our hearts for fear of what others will think if we exposed our true thoughts. Many times than not, we fail to remember that all we should be concerned about is how God sees us, hears us and witnesses the way we are “living”.
We know that others may not love and care about us unconditionally, but God does! He knows all our thoughts, our failures and yes, all our sins. He also knows our dreams, brokenness and what is deep in our hearts. God loves us unconditionally and forgives us of ALL of our sins, no matter what we have done. All He asks of us is to admit our wrongdoings and ask Him for forgiveness.
So how would your life look differently if you were only concerned about an audience of ONE?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John 1:1
Pastoral Council Chair
INTERESTED IN EXPLORING THE CATHOLIC FAITH?
WANT TO LEARN ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND OUR COMMUNITY OF FAITH?
CALL FR. TIMOTHY AT THE PARISH OFFICE TODAY! 715-528-3310 OR VIA E-MAIL AT
Church and Jesus by: Gabriel Williams, age 5, son of Tom and Kristina Williams
What do you like about going to church at St. Mary’s? Bible stories, friends and family, music, and Zoey
(Zoey is Gabriel’s sister who is in heaven.)
What’s your favorite song at church? Go Make a Difference
What does church help us with? To learn Jesus.
What do we know about Jesus? He’s nice. He is a priest. He died on the Cross because they arrested him. He’s my friend.
What do you talk to Jesus about? Zoey
What do you know about heaven? There is no sickness, no nothing.
It’s nice and beautiful.
Do you pray? Yes About what? Bless Mom and Dad,
aunts and uncles, and my friends.
And what do you want to be when you grow up?
Archeologist, paleontologist, priest, pilot,
a tuba player, policeman and a fireman.
Spotlight on Saints by: Ewa Papciak
After the extremely atrocious and unusually long winter this year, I found myself reaching a new level of appreciation for the beautiful Northwoods in the summer time . . . our Town of Florence sure proves to be some place special and I feel blessed to live here (again, in the summer time).
All of this got me to thinking about the name of our town. It took some research to find out that Florence was named in honor of Mrs. Florence Hulst by her very successful miner husband. The name was first applied to the iron mine and then to the town and county. Surely, I could not hide a slight taste of disappointment since I did not find any historically proven Catholic connections, but this did not stop my search for Saint Florence. At the end, we can not be sure that Mrs. Hulst was not named after the saint. Moreover, I found not one but two saints with the name of Florence. I hope that I will spark your interest and inspire some detective work in this subject. For now I only have room to write about one, St. Florence, the Laywoman.
She was the daughter of a Roman colonist who was residing in Asia Minor in the 4th century. Her conversion happened when she met St. Hilary of Poitiers, who's influence inspired her to ask for Baptism and marked the start of her contemplative religious life. St. Florence retired to a small village in the South of France where she led the life of a hermit. She communed with God day and night, practicing much penance and combating the assaults of the devil. Finally worn out by her labors, she died in the year 366 at 29 years of age.
God, You inspired St. Florence to strive for perfect charity and so attain Your Kingdom at the end of her pilgrimage on earth. Strengthen us through her intercession that we may advance rejoicing in the way of love. Amen St. Florence, Pray for us.
Blessings, Ewa Papciak
News from the Vatican by: Ewa Papciak
For Pope Francis, the year 2019 proves to be busy as planned! In the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis said that he did not expect to travel much. But a little over 6 years into his papal ministry, he has made 30 trips outside of Italy. And just in the first 6 months of 2019, he has already traveled 5 times: to the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Morocco, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania. As of now, there is only one more trip planned for this year. In September, the Pope will visit Mozambico, Madagascar and Maurizio, but a trip to Japan still remains on his wish list. During his trips as well as at home in Rome, Pope Francis is not afraid to publicly speak on sensitive and dear to him issues of evangelization, ecumenism and migration.
Earlier this year, the Pope had a meeting on the church's response regarding the sexual abuse crisis. He is actively working with bishops on shepherding and healing amid the abuse scandal and also is expending abuse prevention to the lay movement.
Pope Francis also continues to work on Curia reform advocating changes in attitudes and not just structure. One of the signs of ongoing reform is the Pope’s role in encouraging boldness and empowering religious women. Since Pope Francis started his pontificate, religious women are regularly participating in Vatican meetings on every level.
In October, the Pope will participate in the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon. The objective of the Synod is to highlight the need for religious, political and social leaders to come together and to emphasize the church's mission to defend the vulnerable. In the same spirit, Pope Francis will close the liturgical year with special prayers for the World Day of the Poor on November 17.
As we all can see, much prayer is needed to help our Holy Father fulfill his mission in guiding the church. Let's remember to pray for gifts of the Holy Spirit for him and all those who help bring Christ to the ends of the world.
Blessings, Ewa Papciak
Ongoing Parish Events
Fr. Timothy’s Schedule
Tuesdays and Fridays at St. Mary in Florence
Wednesdays/Thursdays at St. Stanislaus in Armstrong Creek and St. Joan of Arc in Goodman
Sunday Mass - 8:30 am
with Children’s Liturgy of the Word (for children age 4 through grade 1)
and Intercessory Prayer after Sunday Mass by the servers’ chairs
Saturday Mass - 6:00 pm
Tuesday Mass - 5:30 pm
Friday Mass - 8:30 am
Service Schedule at Florence Health Services (nursing home)
Liturgy of the Word with Communion: Fridays at 10:00 am
Mass: 2nd Friday of each month at 10:00 am
the second Thursday of every month from approx., 4:00—6:00 pm
or before Mass when priest is available
Eucharistic Adoration: Thursdays from 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Rosary: Sundays at 7:00 pm, in the parish hall
(weekly discipleship series)
Thursday evenings at 5:30 pm,
in the parish office center
Religious Education Classes
Please refer to weekly bulletin
or find complete schedule on the parish website