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1995 to 1998 Pastoral Concerns (15,000 words)

1995 to 1998 Pastoral Concerns (15,000 words)

1995….

 

95 10 01

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Oct. 4 – Talking at St. Mary’s in Hamburg IA.

I’ve been asked to talk to the Junior and Senior High Religious Education students at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hamburg Ia. Wednesday night Oct. 4th. I plan to spend the night in Western Ia and return to Lacona the following day. There will be no 8 a.m. Mass in Lacona on Thursday Oct. 5th.

 

Oct. 6 – First Friday Mass 

This coming Friday is the first Friday of the month. We will be celebrating Mass at 8 a.m. in Milo. There will be coffee and rolls served after Mass. All are welcome!

 

Oct. 6 – The Catholic Worker

Our Parish is preparing and  serving the 6 p.m. meal at the Des Moines Catholic Worker Friday Oct. 6th. After the meal, I will be celebrating Mass at the Catholic Worker at 7:30 p.m. If you are interested in helping with the meal or attending the Mass get a hold of me or Pam Wadle at 466-3571

 

 

Oct. 10 – Fr. Frank & His Mother to see Mother Teresa of Calcutta  MAYBE?

There is a good chance I may be flying to Boston with my mother Oct. 8th to see Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Mother Teresa may be visiting my cousin Lewis Randa’s school for the severely handicap. My cousin Lewis’s Life Experience School is a very special place. Mother Teresa has visited them before. Lewis  invited my Mother and me to join them in welcoming Mother Teresa. The details are being worked out. If we go, there will be no 8:00 Masses on Oct. 9 and 10. I will let you know by next weekend if the trip is happening. More on my cousin Lewis and his school latter.

 

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95 10 15

 

Annual Priests’ Fall Workshop

This coming week, starting Sunday Oct. 15th to Thursday Oct. 19th, the priest of the Des Moines Diocese will gather at the Mount Conference Center in Atchison Ks. for our Annual Priest Fall Workshop. This years topic is “Ministering with a Family Perspective”.  I am planning on attending the whole conference. I will also be spending Thursday night in the Council Bluffs / Omaha area and return to Lacona sometime Friday. There will be no weekday Masses next week. In case of an emergency. I can be reached at (800) 467-1164 in Atchison until Thursday afternoon.

Please keep the priest in your prayers this week. It is a great sacrifice for the people of the Des Moines Diocese to have their priest away from their parishes and ministries every year for this Fall Workshop. Yet, the fellowship and education provided at these workshop never fail in making us a better community of priest and ministers to the Church.

 

95 10 15

 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Trip Fell Through

My mother and my trip to Boston to see Mother Teresa of Calcutta last week fell through.  Mother Teresa’s health is so poor that all her appointments in the Boston area were concealed. Please keep Mother Teresa in your prayers.

Understandably, my mother and me are disappointed we were not able to met Mother Teresa. I mostly fell bad for my cousin Lewis Randa and the students of his Life Experience School. They were looking forward to personally presenting Mother Teresa with one of their Courage For Peace Awards. The Life Experience School and the Peace Abbey connected with it, is truly a remarkable place. I hope to share more with you about them in the future.

 

95 10 15

 

Pentagon Charges Dropped

I relieved word from Wash. D.C. that the charges from my Aug. 4th arrest at the Pentagon were dropped. This means that  I am in the clear, with no outstanding warrants or court dates to answer to.

 

95 10 15

 

Fr. Frank To Speak in Ia. Falls Thurs. Oct. 26th

I’ve been asked to give the keynote address for the Ia. Falls Catholic Reginal Catechist In-Service Program Thurs. night Oct. 26th. on the theme “Teaching Social Justice”. I plan to return in time for the 8 a.m. Mass on Friday Oct. 27th

 

 

 

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95 10 29

 

Fr. Frank Talking at UNO Thursday Nov. 9th

I’ve been asked to talk to a class of social worker students at the University of Ne. in Omaha. The course is entitled “Institutional Racism and Sexism”. I’ve been ask to talk about the Catholic Church and how it has dealt with institutional racism and sexism. There will be no 8:00 a.m. Mass on Thursday Nov. 9.

 

 

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95 12 10

 

Fr. Frank Speaking in Council Bluffs & Sioux City

I have been asked to talk at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City this Sunday, Dec. 10th. Briar  Cliff is a Catholic College run by the Franciscan Sisters of Dubuque. The title of my talk is “Following the Nonviolent Jesus. A Call To A Resistance Church”. I will be back on the western side of the state and Council Bluffs, Wed. Dec. 13th to share in a program with Sam Day. The title of our discussion is, “Why We Crossed The Line At Offutt And Will Do It Again”.  I’ve shared with you before who Sam Day is. I have not seen Sam since he got out of Fed. Prison Camp. It will be good to be with him again.

There will be no 8:00 a.m. Mass in Lacona on Thursday Dec. 14th.

,

 

 

 

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Don’t forget the

 

Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co.

Advent Retreat

 

Sat. Dec. 16

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

with

Fr. Benno Kornely, S.J.

Des Moines Emmaus Spiritual Director

at

St. Augustine Church in Milo

 

Communal Penance Service starting at 4:30 p.m.

 

++++++++++++++++++

 

 

96 06 23

 

Regina Hoch Want’s Fr. Frank’s Pony Tail Off!

When I went to give 89 year old Regina Hoch Holy Communion last week at Shirley’s Place in Indianola, she surprised me with a beautiful guilt she made. She said, “Here Father, put this towards getting your pony tail cut off.” I passed the quilt onto the Rosemount 125th Anniversary committee. They’ve decided to auction off Regina’s quilt on the day of the Rosemount Picnic, just before we announce how much money we’ve raise. A last chance effort to raise enough money to cut Fr. Frank’s pony tail off.

 

Fr. Frank Writes Column For Indianola Paper

Be looking for Wed. June 26th issue of the Record-Herald and Indianola Tribune news paper. I am the guest writer of the “County Line” column.

 

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95 05 14

 

S.W. Warren County Bound:

Its official! I got the letter from the Bishop last week. My new assignment will be the pastor of Holy Trinity Parish of S.E. Warren County. I will be responsible for the Catholic communities of Lacona, Milo and Rosemount. Each community has it’s own worship center. I will be living in the Rectory in Lacona, about 45 miles S.E. of Des Moines. I will be replacing Fr. Kevin Cameron, who will be moving back into Des Moines to be a part time associate pastor at Visitation Parish along with developing the Hispanic Catholic community in the diocese.

 

I’ve very happy with the assignment. I figure I will get the best of both country and city ministry. As pastor of three small rural communities I will get to do the one on one, small based community sacramental and parish ministry that I enjoyed so much when I was in Harrison Co. Plus, with the easy access to Des Moines, I will get to be involved in the urban peace and justice work that I longed to return to. This assignment will also put me much closer to my family and the Des Moines Catholic Worker community.

 

Of course, the downer in all this is having to leave St. Patrick’s and all the good people and friends I have enjoyed the last three years. The time I have to say my good-bys here in Council Bluffs have been shorten by three weeks. My first day on the job in Warren Co. will be June 22nd. I am making this early move because Fr. Cameron is needed in Des Moines at Visitation Parish to fill in for Fr. Tom Pfeffer, who will be in Mexico City studying Spanish. This does not give us much time to say our good-bys, especially since I’m still enjoying my return back into the community after my six month absence.

 

 

July 8 & 9, 1995

14th Sun. Ordinary Time

 

Dear friends;

 

In this weeks Gospel Jesus sends his appointed 72 disciples out, a head of him, to every town and place he intended to visit on his way to Jerusalem. He tells them to travel light; take no walking staff or traveling bag. They are not even to wear sandals.(Lk.10/4)

In the last month or so, I’ve become very aware of just how far off the mark I’ve strayed from Jesus’s console to travel light. I’ve discovered in my move from Council Bluffs to Lacona that I have accumulated a great deal of ‘stuff’ in the ten years I’ve been a priest. Most of it being books, files & papers, posters & pictures, pottery and knickknacks. Still, it took me two pickups loads and two van’s full to haul it all to Lacona.

I’m now in the mist of sorting and rearranging this stuff to fit into the Rectory in Lacona. I’m embarrassed to say that the Lacona Rectory is going to met my needs and than some. After living in a two room apartment for the last three years and feeling guilty for living so well, having an entire house to myself is an outlandish luxury. I say I am embarrassed because I know we priest live quiet well in comparison with the people we serve, especially in rural areas. My years in the Catholic Worker movement and travels to Central America also remind me of how outlandish the luxury of living alone in a large house really is by global standards.

The two best things about having a whole house to live in for myself is I’ll be able to offer hospitality and I’ll have more wall space for my pictures and posters. When it’s all sorted out, your welcome to come check it out.

I call this phase of my entry into a new assignment, my ‘nesting’ stage. Its a territorial thing, I admit. I don’t really feel comfortable in a place until I’ve got my ‘stuff’ sorted out and all around me. Please bare  with me. It shouldn’t last but a couple more weeks. I’m hoping that once I’m past this stage, I’ll have time to get out and met more people.

I want to thank all the folks who were on hand to welcomed me on my moving day and helped unload my stuff. What a great Welcoming Committee! Every one I’ve met been most gracious and warm. Thank you. I really feel welcomed. I enjoyed the 4th of July parade and activities in Milo. Special thanks to Mary Dittmer for her Strawberry Pie, Esther Ripperger for her Banna Nut Cake and Catherine Schurman for her Oatmeal Cookies. Such tokens & eats are most welcomed and appreciated by this bachelor and poor cook.

 

 

22nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Sept. 3. 1995

 

Dear Friends;

 

Parish Religious Education Programs

The first days of Sept. are upon us and our young people find themselves back in school. In the life of Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co. Parish, we are also gearing up for the new school year. Roseanna Dittmer, our Director of Religious Education is busy lining up the needed teachers and materials to start our Parish Religious Education program for grade school age children. Their first session will be right after school, Wednesday. Sept. 20 in Lacona. I urge all parents of grade school age children to register  their children for this program as soon as possible.

I also want to thank Chris Merfeld, Cindy Burgin, Fay Putz and Kathy Schurman for volunteering to take on the Jr. High and Senior High Religious Education programs. The Jr. High and Senior High programs also start Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m. in Lacona. They will be meeting on a biweekly bases – see Fall schedule in last  bulletin.

There are few more important obligations for Catholic parents than the obligation and duty to pass on the basics and essentials of our Catholic Faith to their children. Many of us older folks were lucky to receive the bulk of this training in Catholic schools. This is no longer the case for us in S.E. Warren Co. Nor does the Church have the abundance of priest and sisters, it once had, to instruct our children. These days, the obligation and duty to instruct our children in the ways of our Catholic Faith rest squarely on the shoulders of their parents and the religious education programs of our parishes.

I am really grateful to discover a long standing commitment on the part of the people of  Holy Trinity Parish of S.E. Warren Co. to instruct our children in the basics and essentials of our Catholic Faith. We are lucky to have in the person of Roseanna Dittmer a qualified and seasoned Director of Religious Education. I am looking forward to working closely with Roseanna and other lay teachers in our Religious Education Program.

 

RCIA in Indianola

Fr. Don Bruck of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Indianola has generously offered to accept any adults from Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co. Parish into their Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) Program. Their weekly program starts on Thursday Sept. 7 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Thomas. The Program will run through to Easter. This program is mainly for people who are interested in joining the Catholic Church. It can also serve as a refresher course for any Catholic wanting to up date themselves on their own Faith. If you or anyone else you know is in this situation, give a call Fr. Bruck at  961-3026.  We will not have a RCIA program of our own this year.

 

First Friday Observance

This past  Friday was the first Friday of the month. We started doing something special after the 8:00 a.m. Mass. We had coffee and rolls. We hope to do this after the morning Mass on every First Friday of the month, alternating between Lacona and Milo.

First Friday observations were started by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in France in the 1,600’s as a special devotion to Our Lord’s Sacred Heart.

Our weekday Mass community is made up primarily of our older and retired parishioners. I have found them to be a very strong Faith community with a deep and aiding love for the Eucharist. Most have been active members in our Catholic communities their entire life.  In a very real sense, they represent the best of what we are as a Catholics in S.E. Warren Co. It is only fitting that we try to highlight and lift up this special community within the larger community by honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and observing the First Fridays of every month with coffee and roles after our 8:00 a.m. Masses. All are welcome!

 

1996 Schedule of events….

 

96 03 03

 

Lenten Retreat & Communal Penance

Retreat -Sat. March 16, 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Communal Penance – 4:00 p.m.

with Msgr. John Mcllhon at St. Mary’s Ch. in Lacona

Be sure to sign up for the Retreat on the list in the back of the Church (Anyone and everyone is welcome Invite a friend!)

 

No Masses or Stations of the Cross at Rosemount

Do to the renovations taking place, there will be no weekend Masses or Wed. night Stations of the Cross at Rosemount. The scheduled March 8 a.m. Sunday Masses at Rosemount will take place in Lacona.

Wed. March 13th Stations and Soup Supper will be at Lacona, instead of Rosemount. And the Wed. April 3rd Stations and Soup Supper will be at Milo instead of Rosemount.

Rosemount people are still responsible for Lecturing, being Eucharistic Ministers, servers and the music for their Sunday Masses, plus they must provide the Soup Supper after the Stations on March 13th and April 3rd.

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96 03 17

 

Rosemount Renovation and Anniversary Update:

Over 20 parishioners met with the Renovation Contractors at Rosemount March 5th. The Renovation project is in full swing and it should be done in time for the Saturday night Easter Vigil Service!

We also found out that the final cost for the renovation efforts will be close to $28,000! We will need to borrow around $16,000 to pay the cost.  Fund raising efforts are being consider. We plan to combine our fund raising efforts with our up coming 125th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Parish Picnic, Aug. 11th. The Bishop has been invited to join us for a special Mass on Aug. 11th

A general fund raising mailing will soon go out inviting people to join us for the Annual Parish Picnic and 125th Celebration Aug. 11. We are in need of names and addresses of all former Rosemount parishioners and grade school students.

The next planning meeting for the Rosemount 125th Anniversary & Parish Picnic is Tuesday, March 19th at the Rectory in Lacona. We will be discussing the fund raising mailing, the Anniversary booklet and possible parish souvenir for the event. All are welcome to attend.

 

Fr. Frank Puts His Beard On The Line

I hereby pledge to shave my beard off on Aug. 11 in full public view at the Parish Picnic in Rosemount, if the $16,000 Renovation debt is paid off by that date. (At this moment, my Pony Tail is not part of the deal….)

 

Lenten Programs In Full Swing & Going Well

This years Lenten programs arc in full swing. This weekend, Lacona will host our Lenten Retreat with Msgr. Jack Mcllhon. We have 25 people signed up to attend.

By all accounts, the Lenten Prayer Partners program is going well. And our weekly “Lectionary based” bible study on Thursday mornings after the 8 a.m. Mass is well attended. I appreciate the Bible Study the best, because it helps me prepare for the weekend homilies.

 

Do It Right This Year! Attend the Full Holy Week Triduum

Holy Week is just around the comer. Make sure you do it right this year. Attend all three Triduum Church Services! The Holy Week Triduum are the Church services of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil Mass. All three services make up what the Church calls the Triduum. To do it right – you’ve got to attend all three. Please make every effort to do

so….

 

 

 

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96 03 31

 

Fr. Frank talking at Grinnell College & Carroll Kemper H.S.

Monday and Tuesday, April 1 & 2, 1 will be speaking on the Campus of Grinnell College. I’ve been asked to talk in several social justice classes and give a talk in the Student Union on the Nonviolent Jesus and a Call for a Resistance Church.

I’ve a!so been asked to give the main talk for Carroll Kemper Catholic H.S. Lenten Retreat Day, Wednesday April 3rd. There will be no 8:00 a.m. Masses on Tuesday and Wednesday of this coming week.

 

Do it Right This Year! Attend Full Triduum

Make sure you do it right this year. Attend all three Triduum Church Services- of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil Mass! All three services make up what the Church calls the Triduum. To do it right – you’ve got to attend

 

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96 06 08

 

Fr. Frank On Retreat

I will be attending the annual Des Moines Diocesan priest retreat at Conception Abbey in MO. this week. I will be leaving Sunday afternoon and returning Friday afternoon. There will be no daily Masses nor Bible Study this week.

I have attended this annual retreat almost every year since ordination, missing only when I have been in prison. It’s a great opportunity for the priest of our diocese to get together for prayer and spiritual input.  Its also good time for me to kick back, relax and spend quality time with brother priest. I beg your prayers for the success of our retreat this week.

 

Did you know…

* More than enough food is grown to feed everyone on this planet.

* Today, 60,000 people will die of hunger — two-thirds of them children.

* One-third of the world’s children are significantly underweight for their age.

* Four times more malnourished children are female than male.

* Nearly one in five people worldwide is chronically malnourished — too hungry to lead a productive, active life.

* What the world spends in half a day on military purposes could finance the entire malaria eradication program of the World Health Organization.

* The Amount spent on weapons every minute could feed 2,000 malnourished children for a year.

* The price of one military tank could provide classrooms for 30,000 students.

(Source: Oxfam America)

 

Fr. Frank’s Puts Ponytail On the Line!

In an apparent moment of weakness, Fr. Frank agreed to cut off his ponytail if Rosemount Parish raised an additional $8,000. The extra money is needed to finish the altars, get new carpet and make needed repairs in the basement.

 

Rosemount Action Clears $5,000 / Ponytail In Danger!

Rosemount Auction cleared over $5,000! This brings the total collected towards the debt from recent renovation to $14,000. We are two thousand dollars short of paying off our $16,000 debt. We are almost assured that Fr. Frank will be shaving his beard off this Aug. at the Picnic. Another $10.000 and we will be able to cut off his ponytail!

 

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96 07 21

 

Sr. Joan Bellew SSNC to speak at Weekend Masses July 27-28

Next weekend we are going to have a special guest, Sr. Joan Bellew of the School Sisters of Nortre Dame. Sr. Joan is the oldest sister of Jan Wadle. She has spent the last six year in Ghana West Africa as a head mistress of an all girls school. I asked Jan to invite Sr. Joan to be our quest this coming  weekend and to share at all our Weekend Masses about her ministry.

It’s always a blessing to have some one from your family or parish who is a religious sister or brother. It is especially a great blessing if that person’s ministry is beyond our own boarders. I look forward to meeting St. Joan  and hearing of her life and faith journey.

 

State Wide IA. Catholic Campus Ministry Registration

The Bishops of IA. and the IA. Catholic Campus Ministry Association are working together to keep in touch with Catholic students attending colleges in Iowa. Attached to this week’s bulletin is a registration form. This is the third year that the IA. Bishops and the Campus Ministry Association are doing a state wide registration of Catholic college student. If you know of any Catholic students attending colleges in IA this year please pass this form on to them. If you are not sure they will follow through and fill out the form, fill it out for them! Return all forms to Fr. John Ludwig, The Drake Newman Center. 1342 – 30th St. Des Moines IA. 50311-2904

 

College students are in a unique and critical stage in their personal Faith journeys. My own association with the Catholic Student Center at UNI, when I was an undergraduate, played an important role in my spiritual growth at the time. The two priest who were campus ministers at UNI became good and life long friends. Both had a very profound influence on me when I was in college and served as good  role models when I made my decision to be come a priest.

 

Sometime in each college student’s life, they start to ask themselves the important questions of life. Make sure for the Catholic college students you know that  when they do start to ask those important questions, they know where they can go to get some good answers.

 

Be sure to pass this information to any Catholic college students that you know or register them yourselves. The information will be passed on to the Catholic campus ministry associated with the student and college they are attending.

 

Aug. 6th at Offutt

Aug. 6th is the anniversary of the USA  A-bombing of Hiroshima Japan in 1945. I’m planning to attend the over night gathering in Omaha that will conclude with a Witness and Line Crossing at Offutt’s main gate at noon Tuesday Aug. 6. I will not be crossing the line this year. There will be no 8 a.m. Mass on Tuesday Aug. 6th.

 

$130 Collected For Food Pantry

Last weekend we collected $130 for the S.E. Warren Co. Food Pantry. Remember to bring your food donation for the Pantry every third weekend. The third weekend of Sept. will be the next time we have a second collection for the Food Pantry. Thank you for your generosity!

 

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96 09 15

 

Religious Education Programs Start This Week.

Are your kids signed up? Call Roseanna Dittmer for more information: 534- 4197

 

Weekly Bible Study Openings

News of Dorothy Panther and Ann Selders moving and leaving the parish this month prompts me to invite you of our weekly Bible Study that takes place after the 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning Masses. Both Dorothy and Ann have been part of our study group from the beginning. In their leaving they will be missed. With their leaving we could use a couple of new members. We use a lectionary base study program and study the next Sunday readings in advance. Anyone is welcome to join us. Check the bulletin schedule page for place and time.

 

Lacona’s Smorgasbord

Sunday, Sept. 29

St. Mary’s of Lacona’s annual Smorgasbord is just around the corner. Lacona people make sure you get your work and food assignments. The rest of you make sure you mark you calenders for Sunday Sept. 29 between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. for the best supper in the county.

 

Fr. Frank attending Annual Mid-West Catholic Worker Gathering Sept. 20-22.

I will be attending the annual Mid-West Catholic Worker gathering in Sugar Creek Ia. Anywhere between 60 to 120 Catholic Workers, friends and supporters show up for these annual gatherings. We hope to have a good contingent from Des Moines Catholic Worker attending this years gathering. Fr. David Fleming will be covering my weekend Masses.

 

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96 09 29

 

Fr. Frank Talking At Loras Oct. 8th

I’ve been ask to give a talk with Sam Day to the students of Loras College in Dubuque Iowa on Tuesday night Oct. 8th. We will be one of the feature programs taking place during Loras’s “Peace With Justice Week”, sponsored by the Campus Ministry Office.

I will be spending the night in Dubuque, there fore, there will be no 8:00 a.m. Mass in Milo Oct. 9th.

 

March For Justice In D.M.

Sat. Oct. 5th

A coalition of Peace & Justice groups are sponsoring a March For Justice in Des Moines as the Iowa kick-off for the Oct. 12th National March for Justice in Wash. D.C.  If you did not like the recent INS Raids & Deportation  of Hispanic workers that took place in Waterloo and Marshalltown, this march is for you.

We will begin at the Ia. State Capitol building at 1 p.m on Sat. Oct. 5th and march to the U.S. Fed. Building downtown. For more information & details talk to Fr. Frank.

 

Megan McKenna In W.D.M.

Oct. 11th & 12th

   I want to call your attention to a special program being sponsored by the St. Joseph Educational Center & the Diocesan Sisters Council.

Megan McKenna, a nationally known “Story Teller”  will be leading a two day workshop at the St. Joseph Educational Center in W.D. M. Friday Oct. 11th  from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday Oct. 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Megan McKenna is a dynamic speaker and great story teller. Her talks are deeply rooted in the Scriptures and Catholic Theology. We are fortunate to have such an inspiring speaker in the area. I highly recommend attending all or part of her program. You will not be disappointed!

Registration Fee $10 for Friday, $25 for Saturday which included lunch and $30 for both days. Call the St. Joseph Educational Center for more info. at (515) 222-1050

 

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96 10 27

 

Fr. Frank Never Got To Mpls.

   I never got to Mpls this week. My cousin John Liston’s 16 year old daughter Dawn was tragically killed in a car accident last weekend in Des Moines. I stayed on in the area so I could be with my cousin John and our family as we grieved the loss of Dawn. The funeral Mass was Thursday afternoon at St. Anthony’s parish in Des Moines.  Please keep Dawn and our family in your prayers.

 

Why Oct. Count?

   The question was raised at the Parish Council meeting last week, why are we counting the number of people attending weekend Masses during the month of Oct.? I didn’t really know but promised folks that I would find out.

I call the Diocesan Offices and talked to Jim Bond, the Diocesan Worship Director. He said that the Oct. Count is to give us some idea of the number of Catholics attending weekend Masses and to help parishes plan for future Church renovations.

 

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96 11 10

________________

 

S.E. Warren Co. Comm. Thanksgiving Service

 

Sunday Nov. 24th

7:30 p.m.

Rev. Keith Smith, Pastor Motor Friends Ch. Preaching

 

St. Mary’s Church

Lacona Ia.

_________________

 

A Commemoration for

El Salvadorian Martyrs

Sunday, Dec. 1

7:00 p.m.

Gatchel United Meth. Ch

1909 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, D.M.

 

We will remember the four American women killed by death squads on Dec. 2, 1980, the six Jesuit Professors, their housekeeper and her daughter killed by death squads at the U. of Central America on Nov. 16, 1989.

Music will be lead by the choir of First Presbyterian Ch. of Newton, Ia. Liturgical dancers organized by Mary Ellen Lewis. Presiding ministers Fr. David Polich and Rev. Robert Notman-Cook. Michael Bowlus of Peace Brigades International will be the featured speaker.

Sponsored by:

 Catholic Peace Ministry

__________________

 

Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co. Parish

 Advent Retreat

Saturday, Dec. 14

10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

with

Sr. Susan Widdel &

Sr. Becky Burrows

St. Mary’s Ch.

Lacona

_________________

 

96 11 24

 

All Parish Meeting  Monday Nov. 25th

This Monday’s Parish Council meeting has been preempted by a call for an All Parish meeting regarding the diocesan Parish Development Task Force. A volunteer from the task force is meeting with us to have a conversation and learn more about our parish’s outreach to the community. All members of the parish are invited to attend. Task force volunteers are interviewing parishioners in all of the 80 parish communities in our diocese.

The task force release its first progress report last month which called on parishes to emphasize its mission of providing for the needs of families and neighborhoods. The document did not specifically address the issues of “parish viability” or priest assignments, but envisioned that guidelines will be created in those areas during the next year.

 

 

Parish Advent Retreat I urge you all to to attend this retreat!

  This year’s parish Advent Retreat will take place Saturday Dec. 14th at St. Mary’s in Lacona. The Retreat begins at 10:00 a.m. and will last until 5:00 p.m. This years retreat masters are Sr. Susan Widdel and Sr. Bechy Burrows. Both sisters are on the Pastoral Team at Christ the King parish in Des Moines. Sr. Susan is the Pastoral Associate and Sr. Becky is the Director of  Religious Education and Youth Minister.

Sr. Susan and Sr. Becky have many years of experience in parish ministry.  They bring to us a wealth of first hand knowledge of serving God in their religious vocations and God’s people in their chosen ministries. Both have much to share with us on our Retreat.

Advent is the forgotten season in our Church year. Only four weeks long, it’s theme of expectation and prayerful waiting is often lost in the hectic days leading up to Christmas.

It is ironic to me, that the very demands on our time, energies and resources that the commercial Christmas season places on us are the very things that keep us from doing the spiritual work  needed to get into the Advent Spirit.

So don’t miss this opportunity to step out of your hectic and busy lives to spend a few hours paying attention to the spiritual side of the season!

A  lunch will be serve in the Church basement. Please sign up on the list in the back of the Church if you are coming. We would like to have a sense of how many people to prepare to feed.

An free will offering will be taken to cover expenses.

 

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96 01 21

 

Lenten Prayer Partners

We are going to do a Lenten Prayer Partners program again this year. The idea behind this program is that everyone who signs up, will be assigned a person to pray for secretly, through out the season of Lent. At the same time, someone else will be praying secretly for them. Than, at Easter time, everyone in the program is to reveal themselves to their secret prayer partner, through a card or gift.

If you are interested in the participating in this program, add your name to the sign up sheets in the back of the Church by Sunday Feb. 11th. After Feb. 11th, I will collect all the names, assign each person a secret prayer partner and inform them through the mail.

 

Lenten Lectionary Bible Study

We are going to start a Lenten Lectionary Bible Study group this year. The Bible Study will take place very Thursday morning, during Lent, right after the 8 a.m. Mass, either in Lacona or Milo, depending on where the Mass is celebrated. The first session will be on Thursday Feb. 22nd.          We will be using the Paulist Fathers’ Share The Word Lectionary Study books. I’ve order 10 copies of the books and materials.  If you are

interested in joining this Bible Study

group, contact me as soon as possible. I want to make sure we have enough books.

 

Lenten Retreat

&

Communal Penance

Sat. March 16

 

Retreat

 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Communal Penance

 4:00 p.m.

 

with

Msgr.  John McIlhon

at

St. Mary’s Ch.

Lacona

 

I’m excited to tell you that Msgr. John McIlhon has agree to lead our Lenten Retreat and Communal Penance Service. Msgr. McIlhon is one of the active retired priest in the Des Moines Diocesan.  Many of you will know of  Msgr. through his regular columns in the Catholic Mirror  or through reading one or more of his published spiritual books.  Msgr. Mc is a great priest, a great pastor and a great retreat master. We are in for a treat!

Be sure to sign up for the Retreat on the list in the back of the Church. (Anyone and everyone is welcome. Invite a friend!)

 

 

 

96 08 04

 

Official Invitation to the Des Moines C.W. Community’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

           

Greetings good friends from Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co.

 

You are cordially invited to join us on the weekend of August 23 – 25 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community.

 

It was exactly twenty years ago August 23, 1976  that Frank Cordaro and Joe DaVia spent their first night in the first Catholic Worker house on Indiana St.  Since than literally, thousands of people have come through the Des Moines Catholic Worker doors seeking and finding the food, cloths and shelter.

We are happy to announce that Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister of the Jonah House  in Baltimore, MD will be our guest speakers, Friday night August 23rd. The topic of their talk, “Faith Family and Resistance”. Phil and Liz have lived at Jonah House and raised their three children, all the while doing resistance and peace and justice work for the past twenty odd years. Both are part of the Plowshares Movement and have done extended time in prison.

We are also excited to announce that we will be celebrating the marriage of Carla Dawson and Richard Ngamo, two D.M. C.W. community members, Saturday afternoon, August 24th.The whole weekend promises to be a very special time. We hope you can join us!

All of the below events are open to the public. Free will Offerings will be asked at all events.

 

Schedule of Events

 – unless otherwise stated, all of the below will take place at the DMCW-

Friday 7:00 p.m.         Phil Berrigan & Liz McAlister speaking at Trinity Methodist Church, 8th                                                     and College, Des Moines, two blocks north of  the D.M.C.W.

 

Saturday          2:00 p.m.         Carla Dawson and Richard Ngamo’s Marriage Ceremony

3:00 p.m.         Open House – All Three C.W. Houses

7:00 p.m.         Concert with Relative Minor, the ultra hip Catholic Worker Band from the                                                            Anathoth Community in Luck, WI. at Gatchel United Methodist Ch., 1909                                                    Harding Rd. D.M.

 

Sunday            11:00 a.m.       Brunch – Vacant lot next to Dingman C.W. House

12:30 p.m.       Liturgy – Vacant lot next to Dingman C.W. House

 

For More Information call : The Des Moines Catholic Worker  (515) 243-0765

Bp.  Dingman C.W. House – 1310 – 7th St. / Msgr. Ligutti C.W. House – 1301 – 8th St. /Lazarus C.W. House – 1317 – 8th St.

____________________________

 

 

96 08 18

 

Next Weekend – Fr. Frank Attending Catholic Worker’s 20th Anniversary

Next weekend I will be attending the programs and events surrounding the Des Moines Catholic Worker’s 20th Anniversary. To make this possible, I will be switching with Fr. Larry Hoffman for

the weekend Masses. Fr. Larry is the Pastor of St. Anthony’s Church in Des Moines.

As many of you know, I helped co-found the Des Moines Catholic Worker community in August of 1976. I spent the next seven years at the Catholic Worker. They were the most important and formative years in my adult life. I’m very excited about the celebration. Many old friends, former community members and Catholic Workers from around the country will be attending.

You are most welcome to attend any of the Anniversary events and programs scheduled through out the weekend. I would especially invite you to our Friday  night Aug. 23 program at Trinity Methodist Church with Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister.

 

Phil Berrigan & Liz McAlister

A  former priest and nun, Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister gained national recognition during the Vietnam War years for their anti war protest. Phil, along with his brother Fr. Dan Berrigan S.J. severed  over two years in Federal Prisons for breaking into the Catonsville MD draft board offices in 1969 and burning draft board files.

After Phil’s release from Fed. Prison in 1972, Phil and Liz got married, moved to Baltimore MD and helped found the Jonah House resistance community. Jonah House is where they have lived and raised their three children the last 25 years. They have also continued their law breaking habits and resistance ways, spending months at a time in jails and a way from home and family. They are  both members of the Plowshares movement.

Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister are two very impressive Faith filled people, role models I have been trying to follow for years. One of the most impressive things about Phil and Liz is that they have been able to carry on their resistance life style and raise their three children in community and do both well.

The topic of their talk Friday night will be “Faith, Family and Resistance”. It is open to the public as are the other activities scheduled for the Aug. 23-25 celebrate.

 

 

Aug 18, 1996

20th Sun Ord Time

 

20th Sun. Ord. Time

Aug. 18, 1996

 

Dear Friends;

 

 

Rosemount Picnic & 125th Anniversary

The Rosemount Picnic and 125th Anniversary last Sunday was a big success, beyond our expectations! More people attended this years Picnic than in any year in recent memory. The weather cooperated for a perfect day. The morning rains keep the dust down and temperatures low.

The 2 p.m. Mass was the high point for me. It was so good to see the Church packed, filled with loud singing and joyful spirits! The Bishop was in great form and he stayed for the whole program, including the shaving of my beard and the cutting of my pony tail. I’m sure he left the picnic with a favorable impression of the Faith community of Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co.

Yes, we raised enough money to cut my beard and ponytail. In fact we grossed around $16,500 for the day. John Dittmer’s $1,100 bid for Rena Hoch’s quilt put us within a few hundred dollars of reaching the necessary amount to cut my pony tail. A couple of Janice Dittmer’s pies auctioned and re-auctioned put us over the mark. And than Joe Merfeld bit a $100 just to have the privilege of cutting off my pony tail. (I’ll remember that Joe.) A more complete accounting of the days take is included in this weeks bulletin.

I bet if we counted all the volunteer hours that everyone put into making the picnic and anniversary celebration a reality and paid them at the minimum wage, it would have added up to over $40,000!  What an effort!

What impressed me the most, were the photos and memorability collections that were set up in the Church after the Mass. There must have been over a 1,000 photos on display. There were family photos and albums, photos of past church and school occasions, sacramental certificates, holy cards and  a complete listing of all former students of St. Mary’s school by year! Through out the day, there was a steady stream of people in the Church through.

I want to thank everyone who help make the celebration a great success. I would name you by name but I’m sure I would leave out too many people in the effort.  What a privilege it is for me to be your pastor!

 

 

 

1997  Schedule of events

 

 

 

97 01 19

 

Vocations Awareness Week

This week the diocese is observing Vocations Awareness Week. In both our first reading from 1 Samuel and from the Gospel of John, someone’s timely advice is need to help another get in touch with their call form God. The young prophet Samuel needed the priest Eli’s wise console to stop and listen to God’s voice. And Jesus’s first two disciples, were John the Baptist’s disciples before the Baptist sent them on to Jesus.

A vocation to serve the Church is a very very special life calling. Is there anyone you know who might have such a calling? Have you ever talked to them about it? A few words from you may be all they need to hear to get them started on a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. Think about it….

 

Lenten Lectionary Program

Responding to several peoples inquiries, we are going to have an evening Lenten Lectionary Study Group meet every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in Rectory during Lent. This will be a wonderful opportunity for people interested in learning more about the bible who are not able to be with us for our weekly morning Lectionary Study  Group. We will be using the “Share The Word” program put out by the Paulist Fathers. It is designed to cover the up coming weekend Mass scripture passages. Our first session will begin Monday night Feb. 17 and continue every Monday until March 24th. Anyone interested in joining this effort please sign up on the list provided in the back of each Church.

 

—————————–

 

 

The Presentation of the Lord

Feb. 2, 1997

 

Dear Friends;

 

Special Lenten Parish Programs:

Lenten Prayer Partners

We are going to do our Lenten Prayer Partners program again this year. The way it works is that people are to sign up to be part of the program with the list in the back of any of the three worship centers. The last day to sign up for the program will be Sunday Feb. 9th. If you signed up, within a week after Feb. 9th you’ll be receiving a letter from me telling you who your secret prayer partner is. This is the person you are to be holding up in prayer each day during Lent.

People are encouraged to let their secret prayer partner know that they are being prayer for but they are not to let them know their identity. This contact could be done through the mail or knock on their front door with a small gift or note left behind. Use your imagination!

Secret Prayer Partners are to let the person they were praying for know who they are after Easter.

Lent is a holy time in the Church year, a time renewal and of pray; for ourselves, for others and for the world!  Our Lenten Prayer Partner’s program represents the best of what the season of Lent is suppose to be all about. Last year we had 58 people participate in the program. I hope we have a good number of people participate again this year!

 

Stations of the Cross

We will have the Stations of the Cross every Wednesday during Lent at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Soup Supper. We will ask for a free will offering at each soup supper to help cover the cost of the food, with the proceeds to be given to the poor. Check the bulletin for locations for each Wednesday’s service and soup supper.

 

Lenten Lectionary Study Group

We are going to have an evening Lenten Lectionary Study Group meet every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in Rectory during Lent. Our first session will begin Monday night Feb. 17 and continue every Monday until March 24th. Anyone interested in joining this participating in this study group please sign up on the list provided in the back of each Church. We’ve already got ten people signed up for this program. It should be an exciting group. It’s not too late to sign up!

 

Private Confession

I have schedule three different times when I will be available to hear private confessions. They are:

 March 5th, Wednesday

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Milo;

March 8th, Saturday

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Rosemount;

March 22nd, Saturday

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Lacona.

 

 

———————————–

 

4th Sunday of Lent

Feb. 16, 1997

 

Dear friends;

 

First Communion Class Introduced

This Sunday at the 10 a.m. Mass in Lacona the First Communion Class will be introduced with their parents. The members of this years class and their parents are: Zachery Bruce; son of Tammy and Brandon, Eric Cain; son of Margery and Mike, Taylor Coffman; daughter of Sheila and William, Matthew Farley ; son of Tom and Yvonne, Taylor Konrad, son of Tonya, Paul Ohnemus, son of Darrell and Lucas Putz, son of Albert and Sherry.

 

Introducing Confirmation Class of 1997

The following 7th and 8th Graders are scheduled to be Confirmed Saturday night April 5th at St. Augustine in Milo by Bishop Charron: Sarah and Jerrod Burgin; daughter and son of Jay and Cindy, Amanda Schaefer; daughter of Norb and Sandy, Renee Ripperger; daughter of Tom and Barb, Eric Wachter; son of Dan Carolyn, Sarah Dittmer; daughter of Rod and Sherry, Chris Farley; son of Tom and Yvonne, Erin Hoffman; daughter of Brian and Annie, Brent Scheve, son of Ralph and Laurette, and Amanda Roland; daughter of Cheryl.

 

Presenting the RCIA Class of 1997!

Six members of this years RCIA class will attend the Diocesan wide Rite of Election ceremony and Mass with Bishop Charron at Sacred Heart Church in WDM this Sunday night, Feb. 16th. They are Jay Burgin, Jude Hopkins, Scott Neer and Vickie Dittmer These will be enrolled as Catechumens, adults becoming Catholics who will be baptized and confirmed at this years Easter Vigil service. Angela Chambers will be enrolled as a Candidate, an adult baptized Christian who will be Confirmed at this years Easter Vigil service. And Tracy Neer will be enrolled as a Baptized Catholic who will also be confirmed at this years Easter Vigil service.

Please keep all of the folks listed above in your prayers!

 

 

——————————-

 

Fifth Sunday of Lent

March 16. 1997

 

Dear Friends;

 

Paschal Triduum!

Do Holy Week right and plan to attend Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter services! Complete your Lenten journey by making every effort to attend the “Paschal Triduum” and prayerfully recall the painful last hours of Jesus’s life, his passion and his death, right up to His glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday morning!

  

Easter Vigil Mass

Eight Baptized

Six First Communions

Two Received

Five Confirmed

This years RCIA Class will bring into the Church a lot of new faces. The following people will either be baptized, received into the Church or confirmed at the 7:00 p.m. Easter Vigil Mass, Sat. night March 29th in Rosemount this year.

Scott Neer and his two children Zachary (7 yrs old) and Carrie (2 yrs old) will be baptize. Scott will receive his First Holy Communion. Than Scott and Thereasa (Tracy), Scott’s wife will be confirmed. Tracy & Scott both attended our RCIA Classes.

Angela Chambers will be Received Into The Catholic Church, receive her First Holy Communion and be confirmed. Daren Alan Chambers, Angela’s three year old son will also be baptized at this time. Angela is the wife of Richard Chambers. Angela and her sponsor Connie Neer were members of this years RCIA Class.

Vicki Dittmer will be baptized, receive First Holy Communion and be confirmed. Briar Dittmer, the infant son of Vicki and Scott Dittmer will also be baptized at this time. Vicki attended our RICA Classes and was accompanied by either Scott, her husband or John and Janice Dittmer, her in-laws.  

Five year old Jeremy  Drake will be baptized. Jeremy is the son of Deanna Pierce and grandson of Linda Pierce.

Deanna and Linda both attended RCIA

Classes.

Jude Hopkins will be received into the Catholic Church, receive his First Holy Communion and be confirmed. Jude and his fiancee, Gigi Cordaro were members of this year’s RCIA Class. Gigi is also Fr. Frank’s niece.

Amanda Rowland will be baptized and receive First Holy Communion. Amanda is a member of this year 7th & 8th Grade Confirmation Class. Amanda is the daughter of Cheryl Schumacher of Lacona.

Finally, Jay  and Cindy Burgin were also member s of this years’ RCIA Class. They are not able to be with us at the Easter Vigil Mass. Jay will be baptized at 3:30 p.m. Sat. April 5th in Milo and confirmed the same day at 5:30 p.m. Mass in Milo, along with the 7th & 8th Grade Confirmation Class.

 

DEATH PENALTY ALERT!

The Iowa Senate House of Representatives are coming closer to debating weather or not to reinstating the death penalty in Iowa . Now is the time to write or call your State Senator or Representative.

The State Senator in our area is Bill Fink.  And our State Representative is David Schrader. Both are expected to vote against the death penalty. Show them your support in their voting against the death penalty.

Call them at the State House and leave a message of support at (515) 281-2331 or write to them at: Senator / Representative, State Capitol, Des Moines, Ia. 50319. Do it today!

 

 

97 03 16

Fr. Frank To Talk At Buena Vista College April 3

   I have been asked to talk about the Death Penalty at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake IA. Thursday night April 3rd.

 

———————–

 

97 03 30

 

  1. FRANK ASKED TO DEBATE DEATH PENALTY IN STORM LAKE

Buena Vista College in Storm Lake IA ask me to take part in a Death Penalty debate Thursday  night April 3rd. I will be debating Republican State Rep. Ron Corbett. Rep. Corbett is from Cedar Rapids IA . He is the Speaker of the IA’s House of Representatives and a leading pro death penalty advocate. Pray for me.

 

  1. FRANK HOSTING LAPLC GATHERING IN DM APRIL 11-13

I am helping host the Lakes And Prairies Life Community gathering in Des Moines April 11 – 13. Fr. David Fleming will be covering the weekend Masses.

 

————————

 

97 04 13

 

April 15th Tax Day

Tuesday April 15th is Tax Day in the USA. This is the day when everyone is suppose to have file their Federal Tax Returns with the lRS.

On the back of this bulletin letter is a copy of an annual  flyer that the War Resisters League puts out showing what the true percentage of the  US Income Tax dollar is spent for current and past military expenses. Read it and weep…..

 

Fr. Frank Talking at UNI

I’ve been asked to talk in classes at UNI in Cedar Falls Monday and Tuesday April 21 & 22. There will be no 8 a.m. Mass on Tuesday April 2

 

——————————-

 

97 08 31

 

Wedding Call Off

I’m sorry to report that the wedding of my niece, Gigi Cordaro and Jude Hopkins was called off this weekend. Many of you will remember that Jude and Gigi were part of our RCIA class last year and that Jude became a Catholic at our Easter Vigil Mass.

Though not uncommon, it is always a surprise when something like this happens. You can only imagine the pain and sorry surround such a decision. (Not to mention all the cancellation that must be made ten days before a big wedding!)

All the plane tickets are bought and travel plans set, so the Cordaro clan is gathering this weekend despite the cancellation. And I would like to be with my family at this time.

So, I’ve decided to go ahead and exchanged weekend Mass coverage with Fr. Robert Harris from St. Anthony’s in D.M. this weekend.

Please keep Gigi and Jude in your prayers. They are two really good young people. And they made the right decision to call off the wedding.

 

Anointing of Sick at weekend Masses Sept. 6 &7

The Sacrament of the Sick will be administer to anyone who wishes to receive it at all three Masses next weekend.

This sacrament is meant for all people who are suffering any kind of illness; physical, emotional or spiritual. Generally speaking, anyone who is a senior citizen may receive this sacrament at any time. People who have long standing illness or pains may receive this sacrament. Women who are pregnant, anyone with a bad cold, difficult headache or anyone scheduled for medical test are welcomed to receive this sacrament.

Basically anyone who feels a need for any kind of healing; physical, emotional or spiritual are welcomed to receive this sacrament.

 

Catholic Worker Midwest Gathering Sept. 12-14.

This year’s annual Midwest Catholic Worker gathering in Sugar Creek IA takes place the weekend of Sept. 12-14. I plan to attend the Fri and Sat sessions and return late Sat. night to Lacona, in time for Sunday morning Masses.

Fr. Felix Onuora, a Holy Spirit priest from Africa assigned to St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines will cover the Sat. 5:30 p.m. Mass in Lacona.

 

Habitat for Humanity Meeting At St. Augustine’s In Milo

Representatives from the area Habitat for Humanity are holding an introduction meeting at St. Augustine’s Church in Milo Tuesday Sept. 6th at 7:00 p.m. This is a great international organization that helps put poor people into homes of their own. Come and find out more about this important organization.

 

 

———————————-

 

97 10 12

 

Annual D.M. Priest Workshop in Atchison KS

   I will be attending the annual D.M. Diocesan Priest Workshop at the Mount Conference Center in Atchison KS Sunday, Oct. 12th to Thursday, Oct. 16th.

I’m so grateful the Bishop and the diocese makes this annual priest workshop a priority and asks every priest to attend .

It is not easy being a priest these days. We, diocesan priest don’t have a lot of opportunities to build community amongst ourselves. These precious few days away from the diocese and ministries and with each other, gives us priest some time to build those important personal bonds necessary  for us be continue to serve the good people of our diocese.

This years workshop leader is Fr. Ray Carey from the Diocese of Portland Or. The title of his workshop is “The Spirituality of Priest and Professional Ethics”.

In case of an emergency Fr. Frank can be reached at 1-800-467-1164.

 

All Souls Day – Honoring The Recently Dead

   This year  All Souls Day Feast lands on Sunday Nov. 2nd. The Ordinary Sunday scriptures are replaced by the All Souls Day  prescribed texts.

In honor of this feast day for the dead, we are asking people to give Fr. Frank the names of people, who have died in the last year, whom we will prayer for at our All Souls Day  Masses Nov. 1 & 2.

Please submit names to Fr. Frank before Friday Oct. 31st.

 

 

—————————————————-

 

Trinity Sunday

May 25, 1997

 

Dear Friends;

 

Fr. Franks “Bare Bones” Proposal

  In anticipation of my going back to jail next Spring for protesting nuclear weapons, I’m proposing that the parish community of SE Warren Co, with permission from Bishop Charron, give me the go ahead to put together a team ministry and pastoral plan what will meet the Sacramental and pastoral needs of the parish, while I am in jail.

————–

 

Parish Council Meeting

  Close to thirty people attended last week’s Parish Council meeting in Lacona. The usual Parish Council business was dealt with in the first 20 minutes and the rest of the meeting was devoted to Fr. Frank’s “Special Proposal”.

I started out the discussion by saying that whatever decision we make, it will be made with a consensus of our community. A consensus is much more than a 51% majority. A decision made in consensus should reflect the sense of the whole community, with the exceptions of just a few.  And a consensus decision would be respected & honored by all who take part in the process.

I also said that nothing we decided upon regarding this proposal should split or divide us as a worshiping Catholic Faith community.

I also assured folks that my proposal is not about you having to choose between “either keeping Fr. Frank (on his terms) or not having a priest  at all.”  I am certain, the bishop will replace me with another priest should we decided SE Warren Co. is not the place for me and my resistance model of priesthood.

Some folks were hoping to change my mind, and said so. I told them that they would have to get line line behind a whole lot of other people who would like to see me change my mind, my mother and Bishop Charron being the first two persons I know who would be in that line.   As Pam Wadle so aptly put, “That is not  ours to decided. That is something only Fr. Frank can decide.”

For sure, there were people who are dead set against my doing any law breaking at all. A couple of folks said that if the parish went a head with this proposal, they would quit the parish. Others said that a law breaking priest sends the wrong message to our children, “its nothing to be proud of”.

Regardless of what people think about my protesting and law breaking

ways, everybody at the meeting agreed that I was doing a good job as their parish priest. No one had any complaints about my pastoral work within the parish.

Others were interested in the possibilities and challenges that my proposal may bring to the parish. They wanted to know if I had any priest in mind who was open to joining me. I told them that I did in deed. His name is Fr. Larry Morlan.

Fr. Larry, 37, is a diocesan priest from the Peoria IL Diocese and a friend of mine. He is very interested in joining me in this new model of priestly ministry.

Upon graduating from St. Ambrose College in Davenport IA, Larry dropped out of the seminary program and joined the Davenport Catholic Worker. He participated in many protest and civil disobedience actions while he was at the Catholic Worker.

On Good Friday 1986 he was one of five members of “The Silo Plowshares,” disarming two Minuteman II nuclear missiles silos outside Kansas City, MO. He served four years in Federal Prisons for this effort.

After release from prison in 1990 he returned to the seminary, doing graduate work at the Mundelein Seminary in Chicago IL. He was ordained a priest for the Peoria IL Diocese in 1995. The last two years Larry has been the Assistant Pastor for St. Patricks Church of Merna in Bloomington, IL.

Folks wanted to know what Bishop Charron thought about my proposal. I told them that Bishop Charron was aware of my “Special Proposal” and that  I sent him a copy of my April 13 Bulletin Letter.

The Bishop responded in a April 18 letter that he would bring up my proposal to the Priest Personnel Board at their next meeting. I expect to be hearing from the Bishop and the Priest Personnel Board in the near future.

Anything we decided upon will need to be approved by Bishop Charron. I intend to keep the Bishop fully informed of our deliberations and take our lead from his directions.

Towards the end of the meeting, I told the folks that we could decided to do one of two things. We can decided to drop the whole idea, hear and now. And assume that I will be leaving the parish next year and a new priest would be assigned to SE Warren Co. Or we could decided to continue to explore my proposal.

At that point in the meeting I felt that there were enough people against the idea it might be best to drop the whole effort and said so. But enough folks expressed a real desire to not to kill the idea, instead they wanted to continue exploring the possibilities.

Mostly, folks wanted to meet Fr. Larry Morlan before making any decision. It was decided that we should have Fr. Larry attend our next Parish Council meeting set for Thursday July 17 to give people a chance to talk to us both.

I’ve contact Fr. Larry and he has agreed to attend our next Parish Council meeting July 17  to discuss the proposal and his possible coming to join me in SE Warren Co.

I will keep you informed as things develop. Please keep discussing the proposal amongst yourselves and let’s all keep praying to the Holy Spirit for her guidance and wisdom.

 

 

—————————–

 

97 06 08

 

Fr. Frank’s Special Proposal Updates

 Bishop Charron and the Priest Personnel Board met May 22nd and discussed my special proposal. They decided to have me come to their next meeting Wed. June 25th and explain my plan personally.

And Fr. Larry Morlan met with Bishop Meyers, his Bishop and talked about the possibility of Fr. Larry joining me in the D.M. Diocese to develop a model of priestly parish based / resistance ministry . Bishop Meyers told Larry, he would be free to leave the Peoria Diocese to join me in the Des Moines Diocese, if Bishop Charron gives his approval.

 

——————————

 

12th Sun Ord

June 22, 1997

 

Dear Friends

 

Wed. Priest Personnel Board Meeting

My meeting with Bishop Charron and the Priest Personnel Board in Des Moines this Wed. promises to be a significant junction in my priestly career. I’ve been asked to come and speak personally to the bishop and board about my ‘special proposal’ and our efforts to bring Fr. Larry Morlan into the diocese to join us here at Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co.

I went back into my files to see when I first proposed this idea. Below are excerpts from a June 5, 1986 letter I wrote to Bishop Dingman and the Priest Personnel Board back:

 

June 5, 1986

Dear Bishop Dingman

   I’m writing you and the Personnel Board on the suggestion of the Team Ministry here in Harrison Co. I am considering crossing the line at SAC on July 6th. I want your permission to do so. I also want to ask your permission to actively seek another priest to come to Harrison Co to share in my pastoral duties and explore a resistance-pastoral model of priestly ministry…

   The major concerns of the Team and others who are supportive is what happens when I’m thrown in jail for any length of time…. I therefore want your permission to actively seek another priest to share my pastoral responsibilities here in Harrison Co. I would like to seek another priest from outside the diocese to join me and the Team in Harrison Co…

 

Less than a year after my ordination and being assigned to the Harrison Co. Team Ministry, I was preparing to cross the line at Offutt AFB. I was also making a similar ‘special proposal’ to Bishop Dingman and the Priest Personnel Board as I am making now.

Bishop Dingman had just recently suffered his terrible stroke. There was a lot of confusion in the diocese at the time. The Priest Personnel Board choice a ‘wait and see’ attitude towards my proposal. I crossed the line at Offutt in July 1986 but nothing happen. The “Powers That Be” at Offutt choice not to indict me.

The next time I crossed the line at Offutt was Dec. 28 that same year. By the time I got indicted in the Spring of 1987, Bishop Bullock had become our Bishop.

Throughout Bishop Bullock’s six year tenure in our dioceses and the three separate times in which I crossed the line at Offutt and ended up serving three six month prison sentences,  I repeatedly brought up to Bishop Bullock and the Priest Personnel Board my ‘special proposal’. Each time Bishop Bullock preferred to deal with my absence from my ministry in Harrison Co. in other ways.

When I was assigned to St. Patrick’s in Council Bluffs, I crossed the line at Offutt once, on Memorial Day in 1994. Bishop Charron had just arrived in the diocese. Bishop Charron left if up to Msgr. Ed Pfeffer, my pastor and myself to come up with a suitable pastoral plan to cover my absence at St. Patrick’s during my imprisonment.  Since I was an associate with only one year left on my tenure to be at St. Patrick’s, Msgr. Pfeffer and I thought it best not to seek another priest to join us at St. Patrick’s. Instead found different priest to help with weekend Mass coverage.

Msgr. Pfeffer generously offered to pick up any extra work that came about because of my  absence during the week.

Now, eleven years after I first proposed the idea, Bishop Charron and the Priest Personal Board are going to give my ‘special proposal’ serious consideration.

As I wrote in my April 13th bulletin letter this year, “ I never asked more … than tolerance regarding my resistance and peace and justice work… I now feel its time for me to ask for more. I want to be placed in an assignment in which my Catholic Worker / Resistance Ways are affirmed and supported. My last twelve years in parish based ministry shows that this can be done. What I’m lacking is an affirming congregation and permission to put together a pastoral team and plan that I need to enable me to develop this resistance / parish model of priestly ministry.”

I now believe that Holy Trinity of S.E. Warren Co. can be that affirming congregation I am seeking. And this Wed. at the Priest Personnel Board meeting we will find out if the Bishop will give us permission to start this special ministry. Your prayers are urged, especially around 1:30 p.m. this Wed.

 

——————————————-

 

14th Sun Ord, July 6, 1997

 

Dear Friends;

 

“Fr.’s Special Proposal” Where does it stand?

 To tell you the truth, I don’t know. Bishop Charron’s June 27th letter to me which I shared with you last weekend was neither clear nor conclusive.

In it, Bishop Charron wrote, “the Personnel Board has recommended to me that we maintain the original understanding made between you and Bishop Dingman at the time of your ordination to the priesthood.  In a letter to you in June 1985, Bishop Dingman asked you to look at your commitment to social justice issues in relationship to ordained ministry. The bishop indicated that your first and primary commitment is to your pastoral works as a diocesan priest.”

Bishop Dingman’s June 1985 letter is a great starting point to measure my priestly life. Yet, it is only a starting point. The questions and concerns that Bishop Dingman raised in June of 1985 must be seen through the experience of my last twelve years of priestly ministry.

This being the case, I believe I have been following Bishop Dingman’s original understanding all along and that our ‘Special Proposal” to bring Fr. Morlan to Holy Trinity of SE Warren Co. is an extension of that original understanding.

I’m not saying that Bishop Dingman’s 1985 questions and concerns are not still important and foundational for me and my priesthood today. What I am saying is that we have the last twelve years of my priestly ministry to measure my fidelity to Bishop Dingman’s original questions and concerns. To this extent, I believe I have live within the parameters and spirit of Bishop Dingman’s June 1985 letter.

I know it is a comfort to to you to read in Bishop Charron’s letter that the Priest Personnel Board and Bishop Charron will be responsible to find a priest to cover my pastoral duties the next time I’m in prison and away from the parish.

But finding a priest to cover in my absence because I’m heading back in jail next Spring is not what Fr. Morlan and I are proposing to do.

Fr. Morlan and I are asking to be given a chance to do develop a parish based model of priestly ministry that allows us to continue to do active nonviolent resistance.

Both Fr. Morlan and I feel deeply called to this dual ministry. Our call to active nonviolent resistance comes from our personal histories in peace and justice work and our basic baptismal promise to be faithful to the Spirit of Jesus. And our call to priestly ministry comes from the Church in

which were were ordained to serve.

As I have written on so many occasions, the major stumbling block in this ministry has been the time I’ve been away from the parish because of being in prison. Fr. Morlan and my proposal addresses this concern. It also offers much more.  It allows  for growth and development of this special model of priestly parish life and Gospel witness.

I also believe that our proposal falls well with in the original understanding made between Bishop Dingman and myself at the time of my ordination in 1985.

For these reasons Fr Morlan and I are asking that Bishop Charron and the Priest Personnel Board to clarify their June 27th directive and reconsider Fr. Morlan and my proposal.

We are also asking that before any final decision is made, Fr. Morlan and I will have a chance to meet personally with Bishop Charron and with the Personnel Board to further explain our proposal.

I will of course keep you informed of how the Bishop and the Personnel Board respond to our request.

 

What would Bishop Dingman say?

   At the June 25th Priest Personnel Board meeting, Msgr. Steve Orr asked me if I had any sense on how Bishop Dingman would advice me in this situation.

I told them the story about how Bishop Bullock sent me to seek Bishop Dingman’s advice in St. Paul IA. Bishop Bullock and I were in the mist of the same discussion we are having now, about how  I should balance my dual calls to priestly ministry and non violent resistance.

Bishop Dingman was living in St. Paul IA  with his sister, who was taking care of him after his stroke. I called ahead of time to let them know I was coming and that I would be seeking Bishop Dingman’s advice.

As you might remember, Bishop Dingman was in terrible physical condition. Suffering the full effects of a major stroke, Bishop Dingman was in constant pain, with no bowl control and no mobility to do even the simplest of task. He was completely dependent on others to feed, cloth and clean himself. He spent the better parts of his days in bed in pain.

When I arrived in St. Paul, Bishop Dingman was in his bedroom in bed awaiting my arrival. At that time, it was extremely difficult for Bishop Dingman to have a conversation. His ability to speak was very limited. And everything he did was done in the context of the constant pain and discomfort.

I went into the bedroom to talk to him. I  told him that Bishop Bullock had sent me to him to seek his advice. I told him of the struggle and tensions I was experiencing between my dual calls.

After I talked, Bishop Dingman took his time in responding. He closed his eyes and paused. Than he opened his eyes and look straight at me and said, “Compromise!”.

And than closed his eyes again. There was a long pause here. It felt like an eternity to me and I began to think that that we were at the end of our conversation and the extent of Bishop Dingman’s advice to me.

Than Bishop Dingman opened his eyes again and looked me straight into the eyes and said, “Do both!”

I thanked Bishop Dingman for his wise counsel and for his long standing love and support of me and my ministry.

Bishop Dingman’s advice to “compromise” and “do both” have been my guiding light in these matters through the years.

I genuinely believe that Fr. Morlan and my  ‘Special Proposal’  is in keeping with Bishop Dingman’s wise advice.

Both Fr. Morlan and I are hoping that Bishop Charron and the Priest Personnel Board will come to this same understanding. Please join me in my prayers that they do.

 

___________________

 

“Compromise

& Do Both!”

Bp. Dingman’s wise console.

________________

 

 

 

 

A cope of the below letter from Bp. Charron’s was handed out after weekend Masses June 21 & 22, 1997

 

 

June 27, 1997

 

To: Fr. Frank Cordaro

From: Bishop Joseph Charron

 

Dear Frank;

 

Thank you for taking the time on Wednesday to meet with the Personnel Board. It was helpful to be able to seek clarification on your proposal. Thank you also for providing the other written information to help us in our decision.

 

The Personnel Board and I have spent the better part of two meeting reviewing your proposal. You have given it serious consideration and we wanted to do so as well. As I mentioned to you at the meeting, I wish the Personnel Board and I would have been the starting point for this discussion before the parishes became involved, be we understand your concern to make sure you keep them informed and involved.

 

After careful consideration, the Personnel Board has recommended to me that we maintain the original understanding made between you and Bishop Dingman at the time of your ordination to the priesthood. In a letter to you in June, 1985. Bishop Dingman asked you to look at your commitment to social justice issues in relationship to ordained ministry. The bishop indicated that your first and primary commitment is to your pastoral work as a diocesan priest. At the present time your pastoral ministry to the people of the parishes of Southeast Warren County must be your priority. You are their pastor and  they need your presence in ministry to them

 

If you should choose to do acts of civil disobedience which would result in your not being able to fulfill your pastoral duties in the parishes, it will be the responsibility of the Personnel Board and myself to make decisions about how those responsibilities will be covered on either a temporary or permanent basis.

 

Work and education on issues of social justice are an important part of priestly ministry. Our people need to know the teachings of the Church and how they apply to personal and civic life. You have done much to help raise awareness on many of these issues. my expectation is that you will continue to find ways to do this which are consistent with your primary commitment which it to the people of the parishes in Rosemount, Milo and Lacona.

 

Your people need your services as a pastor. I encourage you to find an appropriate balance in your social justice work and your pastoral responsibilities.

 

You indicated that the people of your parishes are expecting to hear from me about your proposal. I ask that you make this letter available to them so they can understand my decision.

 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

 

Most Reverend Joseph Charron, C.PP.S.

Bishop of Des Moines

 

——————-

 

97 08 03

 

No Word From Bp. Charron

   Through out the whole month of July, Bishop Charron was away from Des Moines on vacation and his annual retreat. Therefore I have not heard back from the Bishop on the two separate requests to meet with him. One request is from Fr. Larry Morlan and myself to meet with the Bishop and the Priest Personnel Board to reconsider our Special Proposal. The second request I made last week to the Bishop in a letter asking to meet with him about the recent press coverage of the Lincoln Bishop’s threat to excommunicate me.

Now that Bishop Charron is back in Des Moines I’m sure I will be hearing from him soon. I will of course continue to keep you posted on both of these matters. Your prayers and support at this critical time are most needed and appreciated!

 

 

—————————

 

97 08 17

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Reply from Bishop Charron

Bishop Charron asked Fr. Steve Orr, the new Vicar General of the Diocese to visit with me concerning my confusion regarding his June 27th  response to my special proposal for a team ministry arrangement with Fr. Morlan.

I met with Fr. Orr about this concern and other related matters last Monday Aug. 11th.

I received the following letter from Bishop Charron:

————————————————–

Aug. 12, 1997

Dear Father Cordaro

 

Father Orr visited with me about your concern that my letter of June 27, 1997 was not clear about my response to your proposal for a team ministry arrangement with Father Morlan at the parishes of Rosemount, Milo and Lacona.

The Unanimous recommendation of the Personnel Board was not to accept your proposal for this team ministry arrangement.

 

Sincerely yours in Christ

Bishop Joseph Charron

————————————————–

I want to thank Bishop Charron for his clarification. I wish the Personnel Board’s recommendation had been different. After talking to Fr. Orr, I now know more the Personnel Boards’s reasoning behind their decision.

With this decision made, other concerns will need to be addressed regarding my pastorship here in S.E. Warren Co. I will be looking to Bishop Charron and the Priest Personnel for guidance and direction in these matters.

I hope to keep you informed with the progress of these deliberations and how they will affect the parish.

 

 

——————————-

 

 

 

 

 

Final Out Come of Fr. Larry Morlan & My

Resistance/Parish Based Team Ministry Proposal

 

 

From Aug. 17, 1997 Bulletin Letter:

Bishop Charron asked Fr. Steve Orr, the new Vicar General of the Diocese to visit with me concerning my confusion regarding his June 27th  response to my special proposal for a team ministry arrangement with Fr. Morlan.

I met with Fr. Orr about this concern and other related matters last Monday Aug. 11th.

I received the following letter from Bishop Charron:

 

Aug. 12, 1997

Dear Father Cordaro

 

Father Orr visited with me about your concern that my letter of June 27, 1997 was not clear about my response to your proposal for a team ministry arrangement with Father Morlan at the parishes of Rosemount, Milo and Lacona.

The Unanimous recommendation of the Personnel Board was not to accept your proposal for this team ministry arrangement.

 

Sincerely yours in Christ

Bishop Joseph Charron

 

I want to thank Bishop Charron for his clarification. I wish the Personnel Board’s recommendation had been different. After talking to Fr. Orr, I now know more the Personnel Boards’s reasoning behind their decision.

With this decision made, other concerns will need to be addressed regarding my pastorship here in S.E. Warren Co. I will be looking to Bishop Charron and the Priest Personnel for guidance and direction in these matters.

I hope to keep you informed with the progress of these deliberations and how they will affect the parish.

——————————————————–

There were a lot of reasons given for the negative decision – the following appeared in the minutes form our Sept. 9th Parish Council meeting :

Fr. Frank’s Concerns: Fr. Frank explained why Bp. Charron and the Personnel Board rejected his proposal- 1) Did not follow proper channels. Should have presented to the Bp. and Personnel Board before parish. 2) Did not feel it was fair to the parish community. Fr. Frank will be leaving the parish this spring and the Diocese will appoint another priest. Fr. frank indicated that it was discouraging for him. In the future the Diocese will have to make a discussion about his role in the Diocese. He said that this is not a rejection of the people of this community as he is happy here. Fr. was asked if he would reconsider his believes to be able to stay. He said to do that he would have to change his beliefs. This is part of the life he wants to lead and it’s been a part of him for 20 years.

 

 

 

 

97 12 07 –  Fr Frank Resigns Pastorship

 

2nd Sunday of Advent

 

“A hearald’s voice in the desert, cryin,. “Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path”  Lk. 3/4

 

Fr. Frank Resigns Pastorship

 

December 7, 1997

Dear Bp Charron and Priest Personnel Board members:

I’m submitting my resignation as pastor of Holy Trinity of SE Warren Co., effective June of 1998.  Come April of 1998, I will have fulfilled the pledge I made to you in my March 13, 1995 letter from Yankton Federal Prison Camp, in which I wrote I would “forgo doing any kind of civil disobedience at Offutt Air Force Base for the next three years”.

I made this pledge to assure you that you could count on me to take a new assignment and wait three years before I put myself at risk of being imprisoned, again.   Those three years are up in April, 1998, and I am currently working with others in planning a serious nonviolent direct action witness some tome after Easter ( April 12th).  You will probably need to find a priest to cover for my absence from the parish soon after Easter.

I believe this letter of resignation at this time is the best thing I can do for the people of Holy Trinity of SE Warren Co.  They are fully aware of my intentions and the probable consequences.  Resigning now gives you time to find a suitable replacement for me and assures the people of Holy Trinity of SE Warren Co. their pastoral needs will be met in my absence.

I regret that Fr. Larry Morlan and my offer to do Team Ministry in the Diocese was not accepted at this time.  I hope that we can revisit this idea when I return to the diocese at the end of my likely imprisonment.  Your brother in Christ;

Fr. Frank Cordaro

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

I want to make it very clear, I am not quitting the priesthood!  I’m resigning my assignment, not the priesthood.

               The reason I’m resigning now, is because in December, the Priest Personnel Board begins to make the list of all the parishes that will be open for new priests next June.  I’m resigning now so Holy Trinity can be on that list.

I must admit that I wrote my resignation letter with a lot of mixed feeling.  I really love being your pastor.  There is much to be said for staying on, continuing the good ministry and peace and justice work that I am doing.

Yet, it is not enough for me right now.  Down deep, where it really matters in my heart of hearts, I know I’m following a path that the lord has set out for me.  I feel I must follow this path.

My decision to write the above letter came only after a great deal of painful prayer and anguished discernment.

At this time, I beg from you some measure of understanding and prayerful support. I will, of course, keep you informed of how the Bishop and the Personnel Board respond to my letter.

There is a lot that can happen between now and Easter.  I welcome any feed back, comments or questions that you might have.

 

 

98 02 15

 

Parish Lenten Programs

 

Prayer Partners

We are doing our Lenten Prayer Partners program again this year.

The way it works is that people are to sign upon the list in the back of any of the three worship centers. Sunday Feb 22nd is the last day to sign up for the program. Be sure to sign up!

All those who sign up will receive a letter soon after Ash Wed. telling you who your secret prayer partner is. This is the person you are hold up in prayer each day during Lent.

People are encouraged to let their secret prayer partner know that they are being prayer for but they are not to let them know their identity. This contact could be done through the mail or knock on their front door with a small gift or note left behind. Use your imagination!

Secret Prayer Partners are to let the person they were praying for know who they are after Easter.

Lent is a holy time in the Church year, a time renewal and of pray; for ourselves, for others and for the world!  Our Lenten Prayer Partner’s program represents the best of what the season of Lent is suppose to be all about. Be sure to sign up!

_________________________

Stations of the Cross & Soup Suppers Schedule

6:30 p.m.

Wed. Feb. 25

Mass & Soup Supper / Rosemount

Wed. March 4

Stations & Soup Supper / Lacona

Wed. March 11

Stations & Soup Supper / Milo

Wed. March 18

Stations & Soup Supper / Rosemount

Wed. March 25

Stations & Soup Supper / Lacona

Wed. April 1

Stations & Soup Supper / Milo

_____________________

$ Donated at Soup Suppers

Money collected at the Lenten Soup Suppers will be donated to the Maryknoll Fathers to help with the missionary work that Fr. Bob Wies, the former Pastor of Rosemount and Milo, was doing in Brazil before he was tragical killed in an automobile accident in 1991.

 

——————-

 

93 03 01

 

Lenten Lectionary Study Wed. Nights after Soup Suppers

We’ve decided to have a Lectionary Study this Lent after all. They will take place Wed. nights during Lent after the Stations and Soup Suppers. We will rotate our  meetings at the same church that host the Stations and Soup Suppers.

This year we are using two Lectionary commentators.  One by Fr. Bob Beck comes from Fr Beck’s  weekly  Lectionary columns published in the mid 1980’s  in The Witness, the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s weekly paper.

The second, the  “Homiletic Reflections for Lent, 1998” publish by the Diocese of Joliet Peace & Social Justice Ministry, written and produced by Tom Cordaro.  Yes, Tom is my brother. He is married, has a child and is a full time lay peace and justice minister at St Margaret Mary Parish in Naperville, IL.

If enough people attend the first two sessions, Fr. Kissling will take my place and lead the sessions while I’m in Europe.

 

98 04 19

Cycle C 2nd Sun Easter

Jn 20, 19-31

Dear Friends;

 

“You became a believer because you saw me. Bless are they who have not seen and have believed.”                                                      Jn. 20/29 

 

“We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price. And because we want peace with half a heart and half a life and will, war making, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total — but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice is partial.”                                 Fr. Daniel Berrigan SJ

 

   It is with a sad heart that I write you this, my  last bulletin letter, before I take leave of the parish.

I want you to know that only my most cherished and deepest held Faith beliefs move me to leave you and venture on, within the next couple of months, to participate in a serious nonviolent direct action for peace and in turn, risk an extend time in jail.

From the perspective of my last 20 years, the witness that I am preparing to participate in should come as no surprise to anyone. For the better part of my adult life I have been actively and nonviolently protesting and resisting war and nuclear weapons.

Put simply, the bottom line reasoning behind my nonviolent resistance to war and nuclear weapons is my Faith in Jesus Christ. I have come to believe that along with all the Cosmic, Spiritual and Divine claims we Christians attribute to Jesus, I also believe that Jesus was a nonviolent social activist and peacemaker and that Jesus expected us follow his example.

Jesus’ brand of social activism and peacemaking was not passive but proactive. According to the Gospel’s, when the time was right, Jesus took his confrontational message directly to the “Powers That Be”  in Jerusalem. Using dramatic nonviolent symbolic acts of resistance in the last days of his life, (Palm Sunday street demonstration & Temple Cleansing) Jesus put his life on the line for his beliefs and paid the highest price for his efforts — he was crucified.

I have also come to believe that modern war fare, with it’s weapons of mass destruction is immoral, an affront humanity, a threat to all life on the planet and in direct contradiction to the Christian Faith we all hold so dear.

At the same time, I know that the above beliefs about Jesus’s social activism and nonviolent peacemaking are not held by the majority of Christians today. And that most Christians today have yet to see the immorality and anti- Christ nature of modern warfare.

I don’t really have a good explanation for this confusion within our Christian Faith communities. I’ve come to understand this confusion of Faith as part of the mystery of our larger Faith journey and Salvation History, a playing out of this week’s Gospel verse of John 20/29.

Along with the many beliefs that each Christian shares in common, each is also given a unique piece of God’s  “Divine Truth” that each one of us must come to en flesh in our lives. Sometimes, our unique and individual pieces of Divine Truths seem to be in direct contradiction with other’s understandings of their  Divine Truths, ie. Christian Warriors vs Christian Peacemakers. Non the less, each one of us is obligated to follow the Divine Truths that we are given and trust that God will sort out all our difference in the end.

Another reason why our Christian peacemaking efforts are not taken seriously  is because, as Fr. Dan Berrigan states in the above quote, we Christian Peacemakers have yet to wage peace whole heartily,  in the same way that war is wage and because of this, our efforts at peacemaking have not measure up the war waging efforts of nations.  I see my taking leave of you and participating in our planed serious direct nonviolent witness as a small gesture towards whole heartily practicing Christian Peacemaking.

In the three years that I have been with you, I have never said that you had to agree with my peace and justice activism. What I have asked is that you have some measure of understanding of why I do what I do.

Now, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with my leaving, I’m asking you for your continued love and  support. Mostly though, I’m asking you to  keep me in your prayers, for I know I will need them more than ever in the weeks and months ahead.

With all my love;

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