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  MEETING   FAITHFULL FRIAR REPORT
July 2020    I stay home daily as the July sun bears down. I miss the weekly golf game of previous Summers. I have been travelling less at the advice of Governor DeWine.
   I imagine many others, especially Seniors, are doing the same, wondering when this Pandemic will be under control. Yet As folks gather day by day there comes more warnings that the virus is growing rapidly.
   The daily 90+ heat is greatly beneficial for field crops and gardens. Tomatoes, sugar, and corn are ready at the local market stands. I am hungry for these gifts of the earth.
   In reflecting on Covid-19, I ask, can any good come of it, while people are suffering so much and live in fear of contagion and death?
   Perhaps God is tolerating the Pandemic to remind me I am not in control of world conditions which force me to hibernate. And with all the advances in medical science and longer life-expectancy I realize I cannot control my life, but learn to trust in God, who alone rules. It is the word of wisdom: “Man proposes, God disposes.”
   So, I pray for wisdom and understanding of God’s purpose in this time of watching, waiting, and praying that God will “...deliver us from all evil.” I am listening for God’s answer as to what changes I need to make in living as God intends me to live. And then, like tasting fresh garden produce, I may “taste and see,” see God’s good and gracious purpose working even in this forbidding time. May God give us the patience and Faith awaiting that day.
 
   Father Bill Dorrmann
June 2020    What an experience, what a challenge to my daily living!
    Since mid-March we have been warned to follow healthful measures To guard our health and the health of those we meet by doing what Medical persons urge us to do:” Wash your hands scrupulously  clean”, Among other demands!  After three months of following the rules, I am tempted to let down my guard and question the need for physical Distancing, wearing the mask, washing the hands.
    However, now is the time to persevere to keep up the defense until Medical science finds a cure for Covid-19. With the whole world so afflicted, And with the closeness of world-wide connections, we must stay alert!
   Obedient to the experts and persevering in prayer the Lord will guide us Through this battle with the unseen enemy: a lifeless molecule covered with Lipid(fat) which has invaded our world. We are well trained in praying the Rosary. Keep the prayers going up to the Lord and His Mother that these Times of testing will be for us an opportunity to grow in Faith in the Divine Healer. “Those who persevere to the end will be saved!”
 
   Father Bill Dorrmann
April 2020    Just having viewed the Mass of Christian Burial of Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk on my computer, I write a tribute to my former Chief Shepherd with much sadness:
   In my senior year of High School, I knew this young boy, coming from Sacred Heart Latin School in Dayton, Ohio. Entering St. Gregory Seminary as a Sophomore, Dan Pilarczyk. He showed genuine talent more from studies than from sports.
   In our seminary Publication, I found him to be a good clear writer, composing articles using figures of speech, “picture language.” As we were taught to do, which was a small clue to his talent. After High School, he was sent to Rome for eight years of higher studies, gaining degrees most useful to his future priesthood. Now a few things that better show him as “THE MAN” among us, things about his human side.
   As Archbishop, our Chief Shepherd, always presided and preached at Holy Thursday Chrism Mass when all priests meet with him to bless the Holy Oils. His homilies were always, Three Points and a conclusion. So clear, always sticking to the point, so easy to follow. A Bishop’s preaching is one means of getting his message to us, but Archbishop Daniel also wrote several books. One of these entitled: The Parish, Where God’s People Live. In brief paragraphs, covering eighty pages, our author gives a glimpse of the meaning and importance of parish, just one of his many writings as Chief Teacher.
   In recent years, the Archbishop was asked how he deals with tough issues and challenges? “I just face the matter with the talents God gave me, I make a decision and move on.” He said. He also later admitted he wished he had decided otherwise on some issues.
   His human likes were to play bridge, which a fellow priest taught him early in his priesthood. To light up a cigarette after a meal and have a “Scotch,” just before playing Scrabble in his leisure time.
   Just two weeks ago, Fr. Ed Shine and I visited him at Little Sisters of The Poor, where he had lived since his retirement in 2009. We found him sitting in the Lounge outside his room listening to Classical Music and so we sat and expressed our appreciation of his being our Chief Shepherd for more than 25 years. Having been afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease for several years, his response to us was muffled, hard to understand, although we both feel he knew us and was responding as best he could.
   Oh, so sad to see his loss of speech and nearing death. But then Our Archbishop was made of clay just like all of us. Thanks to the Sir Knight who, after daily Mass would always lead us in praying The Memorare for those with serious illness and mentioning; particularly Archbishop Pilarczyk. May he rest in peace and live in Eternal Glory.
 
   Father Bill Dorrmann
March 2020    The Holy Father’s prayer Intention for March is: We pray that the Church in China may persevere in its faithfulness to the Gospel and grow in unity.
   The following Reflection is from Xavier (Pope’s Worldwide Prater Network) Ireland.
   China is the largest country by population in the world with 1.4 billion people.
   The percentage of Catholics is less than 0.1%. Living under strict restriction with little religious freedom, however, the Catholic community has shown incredible perseverance and vitality, who tried their best to keep communion with the universal Church by suffering all difficulties and Persecutions.
   During the Easter of 2018, there were about 4800 baptized. Young Catholics in China seek all means to deepen their faith and are actively present in the Church. Just by reading the news (which is often imbalanced), outsiders hardly understand the real situation of the Church in China. The often-dualistic description of the Chinese Church as “underground” and “official” is not only too simplistic but also very harmful.
   As Pope Benedict XVI clearly emphasized, there is only one Church in China, though it may exist in two ways due to certain very complicated reasons. The majority of both are living under persecution and yet remain faithful. The conflicts within the Church have created great confusion for believers and caused severe obstacles for evangelization. Pope Francis passionately invites the universal Church to pray for the Church in China, that it may be more Catholic (united) and more Chinese at the same time.
 
    In view of the current outbreak of coronavirus this a very good time to lift our hearts in prayer in union with The Pope. You may access this article at this address: w.popesprayerusa.net
 
   Father Bill Dorrmann
February 2020    Many parishes in the Archdiocese have formed Covenant relationships with churches in Third World Countries. Sixteen people from St. John’s, Harrison will make a pilgrimage February 4-11, 2020 to El Salvador to visit Santa Cruz and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes with whom they have had such a relationship for twenty years.
   The mutual agreement is to support each other by prayer and financial support especially for Grade School and High School children! Should the Salvadoran children not have means for tuition they are often drawn into gangs which create problems.
   Our Holy Father, Pope Francis creates monthly prayer intentions entrusted to his Worldwide Prayer Network, formerly called the Apostleship of Prayer, which we may access thru: www.popesprayerusa.net. His intention for February is: (Listen to the Migrants’ Cries). We pray that the cries of our migrant brothers and sisters, victims of criminal trafficking, may be heard and considered.
   We are aware of issues created by migrants worldwide, especially at our borders in Texas and other states and our efforts to cope with this challenge. To hear the cries of migrants is Pope Francis’ February Prayer Intention. As they knock at our door, he says: “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age”.
   After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with their child. They escaped from King Herod who searched for the child ‘to destroy him’ (Matt. 2:13). After the danger passes, The Holy Family returns to their homeland. They were refugees only temporarily. Perhaps they knocked on an unfamiliar door seeking shelter. Imagine Joseph offering to work in exchange for food and housing.
   Modern migration is a complex issue. A humane response requires compassion, wisdom and cooperation from citizens, churches, police and government leaders. If we shut our ears and lock the doors of our hearts, then we will never hear the cries of the poor seeking protection and opportunity. Jesus says: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
   I invite you to consult the link on your computer to find daily prayer with The Holy Father.
   
   Rev. Fr. SK Bill Dorrmann
December 2019    Christmastide Greetings Sir Knights and Ladies!
   For the six weeks from Advent to The Baptism of Christ, we have observed the shortest day, Dec. 21, and now find each day lengthening gradually,  a symbol of Jesus who comes among us,  a new light in our midst. Shining in our darkness, he has come to teach us, to show us how to walk in the light of Faith. We decorate the Tree with lights, ornaments and tinsel as symbol of Christ, our Light, and candles in the window and lights outside to scatter the darkness to honor him who comes, declaring: “I am the Light of the world; whoever follows me does not walk in darkness.”
   Through the cold of Winter to the warmth of Spring the increase of daylight has always been understood as a metaphor of Christ our Light growing in our midst from infancy to manhood. As we believe in Christ our Light and walk with in his way, we find  happiness. Listen to  John in his first letter; “If we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”   May his light shine in you now and always! And give thanks to The Father for sending Jesus our Light our Star who shows us the way.
   Father Bill Dorrmann
November 2019    November has special importance for us.
   We reflect much on the Saints, The Holy Souls in Purgatory, And on Christ the King among other Faith matters. The season surely reminds of death and dying as the weather turns cold.
   We spend time planning for retirement, even making our Last Will and Testament. It is so much more important for us to think of Death, the Coming of the Lord as judge Of the living and the dead before whom we will give an accounting of our lives. Let us live in the present moment and stand ready for the Lord’s coming.

   Rev. Fr. SK Bill Dorrmann
October 2019    October, the month of the Holy Rosary
   Suddenly, October is upon us! With God's Gift of the Fall, the Harvest, the cool dry weather, and the changing of the leaves are on their way.
   With football and soccer games to watch, and all the yard maintenance that goes on this month - oh, it is easy to forget to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and to pray for our country, which is in such need of God's help.
   If we do not regularly pray the Holy Rosary, It is good to come up with a plan to pray the Rosary at least once a week, during this special month.
   It will be good for our souls and good for our country, the church, and the world!
   One of the Great works of the Knights of Columbus, is the distribution of Rosary pamphlets. If we need to brush up on how to pray this important and effective prayer, these pamphlets are a big help to teach us and those we love. Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!
   Rev. Fr. SK Andrew Umberg
September 2019    For the past 175 years, The Jesuit Fathers have promoted the Apostleship of Prayer, Consisting of the Morning Offering with the special monthly leaflets giving an  intention of the Holy Father.
   They now, for sake of economy, no longer print and publish the Monthly Leaflets with The Pope’s Intention, but make it available on the Internet. I ask that you use this address: popesprayerusa.net to find how to pray with the Holy Father At Morning, Noon and Night.
   This month’s intention is For Protection of the World’s oceans and seas. Pope Francis Explains how the oceans and seas cover a vast part of our planet and contain a great Variety of creatures for our use and that God created this marvelous wonder as very good.
   He asks our prayers that these waters may be preserved.
   I have found this Prayer of the Daily Offering helpful, as perhaps, some of you have, so may we All join in this daily prayer with the Holy Father Pope Francis.

   Rev. Fr. SK Bill Dorrmann
August 2019    Welcome August !
   Harvest of produce to satisfy hunger, splendid colors to delight the senses ! August 6th and 9th in history: 1945 - The Bomb dropped, destruction instant, lasting pain ! A War ended, G.I.’s return amid exuberant rejoicing ! August 2019 - World leaders suspicious of future bombs, yet continue to develop weapons ! Surprise killings – El Paso and  Dayton ! Gunmen armed to the hilt  innocent blood flows, their own deaths ensue ! Anguish grief untold and fear of “Where next.?!
   For the Faithful, two feasts, two Mysteries: August 6: Jesus atop Mt. Tabor In Glory never before seen: “This is My beloved Son.” Just before Calvary Where Satan and the Savior contend in struggle giving Death to EVIL ! August 15, Blessed Mary after standing by The Cross assumed into Glory ! Where she has gone we hope to go ! St. Paul, man of many battles gives “Battle Instructions”:
   “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned, received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
(Philippians 4, 8-9.) August – month of opportunity to “Do Something!”
   Rev. Fr. SK Bill Dorrmann
July 2019    Dear Members of the Most Holy Rosary Assembly.
   I greet you in this Month of July as we celebrate our Freedom as a Nation and Remember it is through Divine Providence that we have enjoyed this freedom to practice our Catholic Faith for 243 years.
   You are aware that in several countries, Christians are being killed for showing signs of and practicing their faith in Christ.
   Let us pray for the persecuted and pray as well that our government will protect our Freedom to bear witness to our Catholic Faith.
   Rev. Fr. SK Bill Dorrmann
June 2019 “The Apostolic”
   In the month of June, there are two special feast days which celebrate the Apostles.
   On June 11th we celebrate the Feast of Saint Barnabas, who was not one of the 12 original apostles. Like Saint Paul, he was called to preach the gospel to the nation’s. His name means son of encouragement. Encouragement is something that we all need today to live our faith.
   On June 29th we celebrate the solemn Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. This feast reminds us that these two great apostles died in the city of Rome.
   In the Roman Catholic Church we believe it is important to stay with the faith of the Apostles even if the world wants to abandon it.
   May the Lord keep the leadership of the church faithful to his teaching which he gave to the apostles. May the Lord also bless all of the faithful that they will keep this Apostolic Faith which is the way to heaven.
   Rev. Fr. SK Andrew Umberg
May 2019 May: The Month of Mary.
   During this beautiful month of May, let us always remember Mary the mother of God. She will always lead us to Jesus Christ her Son. - Rev. Fr. SK Andrew Umberg
April 2019 Christ the Lord is Risen, Alleluia !
   One of the central mysteries of our faith is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus on Easter morning. We would do well to think about this event during the Easter season and every time we pray the first glorious mystery of the rosary. There are many aspects of this mystery for meditation: What did the inside of the tomb look like when Jesus rose ? What did Jesus’s body look like as it turned from dead to living in glory ? What did Jesus’s body look like as he appeared to Mary Magdalene and to the apostles ? Did he appear to his blessed mother ? If so, what did he say to her ? What will the last day look like for us when we are called to rise from the dead ? These are all good questions for our meditation and a faithful knight should raise his mind and heart to God in prayer and meditation from time to time. These are happy things to think about. Happy Easter ! - Fr. Umberg
March 2019 “Lent,” Spring Cleaning for the Soul.
   In our home life, we all know how an attic, garage, basement or some storage closet can be filled with clutter over time. We need to take things out to make some space and to decide what should stay and what should go. We are then able to clean where there is finally some space.
   This season of Lent is a Time for Spring Cleaning for our souls. We try to evaluate what is in our souls and throw out the bad and clean up. May the Lord bless our efforts to know what is good and keep it and what is bad in our souls so that we can throw it out. Lent is an important season. Let’s make the most of it ! - Rev. Fr. SK Andrew Umberg
February 2019 February: Patriotism and Love
   This short month of February has two important holidays that celebrate values that should be dear to a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus: Patriotism and Love. These are Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day.
   On the third Monday of February (Feb. 18th this year), we celebrate Presidents’ Day, a celebration of George Washington’s birthday that was expanded to celebrate also Abraham Lincoln’s greatness. In this observance, we Knights are called to love our country and to participate in our democratic republic by remaining informed, and actively voting for true justice and freedom, and the common good. We are also to be reverent of our nation’s institutions and committed to being civil and reasonable in the discussions and arguments that are part of civic life.
   Unfortunately, not all people in our society are committed to these. It seems that a large number of people in our society have rejected reason and civility, due to hysteria, or fear of looking out of touch with the outrageous and ever-changing demands of so-called “political correctness” (a soul-crushing, thought-crushing, dialogue-crushing censorship of those thoughts, words and actions which are said to violate the latest “consensus” of an atheistic university culture, a sexually decadent entertainment culture, and a corporate business culture that tries to conform cynically to keep up profits). This has led, among many other things, to the outrageous treatment of Supreme Court Nominees, including the objection that the Knights of Columbus is an extremist organization! This outrage and many others make it a challenge to remain reasonable, fair and civil; we see that the forces hostile to the Catholic Faith do not play by the rules. We must pray to be good patriots and pray for our country at this crucial time.
   Valentine’s Day is a commercially expanded celebration of the feast day of St. Valentine, a martyr of the ancient church about whom little is known. This feast day falls on February 14, the first day of the late winter, when birds were observed to begin mating. Therefore, since the High Middle Ages, this day has been associated with what we would call Romantic or erotic love, that is, the love that leads to human coupling. From Jesus, we know that this love is morally linked to the marriage commitment between one man and one woman. This committed, loving relationship is the context where children should be conceived, born, nurtured and educated by the two people whose genetic make-up they have received. While we are called to be not only tolerant, but loving, of those who violate this teaching (even with a claim by the State that this is marriage!), we cannot approve of such imitations. May God bless our families, and may God bless our country ! - Rev. Fr. SK Andrew Umberg
January 2019 HAPPY NEW YEAR ! Let’s pray that 2019 is a Good and Happy year for our church and for our country. - Fr. Andrew Umberg
December 2018 CHRISTMAS: A TIME FOR FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY
   Of course Faith, Hope, and Charity are virtues that a good Knight, in fact, a good Christian should always have. They are given to us by God in Baptism, and we are to practice them always by believing what God has revealed to us, (Faith), looking forward to receiving the eternal life and joy promised by God, (Hope) and having a reverential, good-willing respect for the all powerful, magnificent and loving God, for our neighbor (who sometimes is not so magnificent and loving, and fortunately, not all-powerful) (Charity),
   However, at Christmas, the Church gives us a reminder of a special, central mystery of our Faith: the eternal Son of God freely chose to be born into this world as a member of the human race, and to be a part of this sometimes beautiful, sometimes tedious, sometimes downright awful thing we call human existence. We see Jesus experiencing some of the things we experience: hunger, disappointment, ridicule, betrayal, pain and death. We know by Faith that He did this for us, for each us, to save us from the eternal effects of sin. Because of what Jesus did, from His time in the womb of the Virgin Mary until His Ascension back into the Glory of the Father, we sinners can hope to join Him in Heavenly Glory. We hope for this in a special way at Christmas when we remember this. This renewal of hope renews our joy and lifts our wills to love again, even when we are tired of loving and giving, even when we feel like we are the only ones who are loving and giving.
   St. Paul says that the Lord Jesus was rich, but became poor for us. May the Lord help us to love like he did, this Christmas and throughout our lives. Merry Christmas! - Father Andrew Umberg
November 2018 November, a month to think, a month to thank, a month to pray!
   After what seemed to me like a long summer, September and October seemed to vanish in an instant!
   We now come to the month of November. The leaves are late this year, so it will be a colorful and beautiful November. The month of November is a time when we are finished with most of are fair weather Recreation. It is a time to think. We would do well, to look at the beauty of nature, and the many people and other blessings that God has put in our lives. When we do this, it is good to think about the source of all these blessings. The source, of course, is God, the creator of everything we have, everything that we are, and everything that we see and enjoy. Realizing that the good things of life come from God's love and generosity for us, should lead us from thinking, to thanking. The pilgrims realized this when they first observed the day of Thanksgiving.
   We Christians should give an example of thoughtfulness and thankfulness to God. As Catholic Christians, who are blessed with the fullness of the true faith, we also would do well this month, to think about the people that were in our lives, but no longer live with us in this world. Our belief in the communion of saints, that is, the community of saints, allows us to realize that we can do more than remember these people who were an important part of our lives. We should pray for them and ask for their prayers, to help us and them on the way to Salvation, in the full presence of God.
   May the Lord help us to have a thoughtful, thankful and prayerful November! God bless you and your families! - Father Andrew Umberg
October 2018 October, the month of the Holy Rosary
   Suddenly, October is upon us! With God's Gift of the Fall, the Harvest, the cool dry weather, and the changing of the leaves are on their way.
   With football and soccer games to watch, and all the yard maintenance that goes on this month - oh, it is easy to forget to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and to pray for our country, which is in such need of God's help.
   If we do not regularly pray the Holy Rosary, It is good to come up with a plan to pray the Rosary at least once a week, during this special month.
   It will be good for our souls and good for our country, the church, and the world!
   One of the Great works of the Knights of Columbus, is the distribution of Rosary pamphlets.
   If we need to brush up on how to pray this important and effective prayer, these pamphlets are a big help to teach us and those we love. Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us! - Rev. Fr. SK Andrew Umberg
August 2018 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a lesson about the human body.
   In 1950 Pope Pius XII solemnly declared the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken up, body and soul into Heaven, at the end of her Earthly life.  While this was a belief of the church for almost its entire history, he chose to define this teaching soon after World War II.  After all the bloodshed and Carnage of the two World Wars, it was important for the church to emphasize the goodness and importance of the human body as a gift from God.  We become a human person by the creation of our body and soul. We cannot see our soul in this life, only our bodies.  To harm someone's body is to harm that person.  To care for someone's body is to care for that person. The Blessed Virgin Mary gave the Lord Jesus his body through her body.  Her body was then honored by God in a special way, by not being allowed to return to dust at the end of her earthly life.  As good Catholics we need to be respectful of our bodies and the bodies of others. We do this by taking care of our physical health, by avoiding defacing our bodies by tattoos, and by being chaste in all our deeds and what we look at.  May the Lord bless us and our culture, with a greater respect for the body and a greater respect for the human person. - Fr. Umberg
July 2018 July Fourth: A Celebration Of Freedom
   On July 4th 1776, a declaration was made by the Continental Congress. In it, Thomas Jefferson had written that all men are created equal and that they are endowed with inalienable rights.
   Our country has always considered Freedom of Religion to be a central part of the Liberty that the Declaration of Independence said was our right, given to us by God.
   In recent years, very dangerous trends in thought in our country, are calling this right into question. A large number of University professors are indoctrinating our young people with a contempt for religious beliefs and religious institutions.
   It seems from the actions of some politicians over the last 10 years, that religious Freedom is not for everyone. It is not for Christians, especially for Christians that are not with the times.
   It seems that many Courts of Law and Government Agencies, as well as universities, do not respect free speech when it comes to certain points of view.
   To see outrageous examples of this, and to help the situation, I recommend joining the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. They put out a monthly newsletter that documents the outrages against Christians in general and the Catholic Church in particular.
   As patriotic Knights of the fourth degree, we all need to know these things and to speak, act and vote to protect our Religious Liberty. - Fr. Umberg
June 2018 June is a time to honor our fathers.
   With all the glory and affection that is truly given to Motherhood, it is easy for us as individuals and for society as a whole, to forget the important role that fathers play in the development of human beings.
   Besides being the one who feels the greatest pressure for providing for the material needs of the family, the father also, in a certain sense, represents the expectations and the justice of the society into which the child will grow.
   This is a roll that has to be played correctly to be done well. Excessive harshness is a temptation at one end. A cynical refusal to do anything, so as to avoid criticism, is also a temptation. A loving presence and a steady desire to praise what is good, and to criticize what is not good is necessary. It is very important that mothers and children recognize the holy and important role of the father in the family.
   May the Lord bless all Christian fathers with love and wisdom, and their families with gratitude and respect for their fathers. - Fr. Umberg
May 2018 May, a Month to Reflect on Motherhood.
   May is considered by many, to be the most beautiful month of the year. During May, we celebrate two dimensions of motherhood. First of all, we celebrate Mother's Day and we reflect with gratitude, on the wonderful gift our mothers have given us, by bringing us to birth and caring for us in a unique way, all of our lives.
   We also celebrate the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrate her bravery and her care for the Lord Jesus, and her Spiritual Motherhood of all of us, the disciples of her son. We would do well this month, to reflect on both of these realities, and to give loving devotion to our Earthly mothers and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Spiritual Mother. - Fr. Umberg
April 2018 Knights and Apostles
   The most important thing about being a good and faithful Knight of Columbus, is being a good and faithful Catholic Christian. In recent years, the church has discovered the important role that every lay Catholic has, in spreading the faith and salvation of the Risen Jesus.
   While all members of the church are not Apostles, every one of us is called to support the work and leadership of Priests and Bishops in their Apostolic Ministry.
   After he rose from the dead, Jesus gave the Apostles the Great mission to make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” and teaching them to carry out all He commanded them.
   In the Acts of the Apostles, which we read at every Mass during the Easter Season, we hear how the Apostles and those who helped them, had their moments of triumph and their moments of difficulty, pain and even, sometimes, confusion, conflict and embarrassment.
   The Apostles and the early church did not do this for fun, even though there were many moments of joy and love and friendship. They did it out of obedience to the Risen Lord, Jesus himself. - Fr. Umberg
March 2018 The Heart of it All
   We celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 1st. This is the Solemn Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. The celebration of the Rising of Jesus from the dead, which gives us hope for everlasting life, is a reminder to us of what our Catholic Faith is all about. We want eternal life for ourselves and for those we love. When Jesus rose that Sunday morning two thousand years ago, he gave us a real reason to go on living as the best people we can be. He gave an antidote for cynicism. That cynicism crops up everywhere in the culture of the world, because the world cannot give the promise real justice, real mercy, and real love that last forever. Only Jesus can.
   The Lord is risen! Alleluia! - Fr. Umberg
February 2018 Prepare for a good Lent
   The season of Lent begins Wednesday, February 14th. That's right, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine's Day this year! Lent is a Time when we repent from our sins and train our souls to be more willing to do God's Will, instead of our own will.
   In my own experience, I have a better Lent, if I really think about what special things I should do, or what I should give up. It is also good to think about our own habits of what we do and say; have we let some sinful habits into our lives? If we have been less kind or caring for someone in our Lives than we should be, maybe our Lenten exercises should involve remembering to care for them better.
   Though the routines and traditions we build up over the years for Lent, may have been good, it may be time to come up with some new prayer exercises, like reading Scripture. For instance, reading a chapter of one of the Gospels each day is always good. You'll get through the whole Gospel, then maybe next year, you can do another Gospel, until you have read all four.
   To do something new takes some planning, so let's plan now for a good Lent! - Fr. Umberg
January 2018 Happy New Year!
   Let us all pray that the year of Our Lord 2018 will be one of “Peace on Earth” and growth and holiness for all Knights of Columbus and our families.
   In this new year may your heart be filled with hopes of a brighter tomorrow, and unfold new dreams to realize God has great faith in you. - Fr. Umberg
December 2017 Christmas: a Special Time for Adults, a Crucial Time for Catholic Children
   Knights and ladies, parents and grandparents of Catholic children, Christmas is on the way again. Like last year, I want to encourage you to make sure that your children and grandchildren have heard the Christmas story, illustrated by a manger scene, where you express your faith in the birth of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God and our Savior. Believe me, it will be one of the few times during their childhood that they hear that said. The fact that it comes from you, their loving parents and grandparents or godparents, makes it an important moment in their learning of the faith. Don't miss the opportunity!
   Those kids will be grown before you know it! Another way to give support to the children's faith is not to get caught up in the trap of being overly demanding grandparents, who care more about the visit at Christmas or on Christmas Eve than about the kids getting to Mass. A faithful Sir Knight is always concerned for the spreading of the faith. I urge you all to do your part this year. The Savior is born for us in Bethlehem. Merry Christmas! - Fr. Umberg
November 2017 November:  A Time to Give Thanks. 
   After what felt like an extra month of Summer, we are already to the month of November! As the weather finally cools off a little bit and we watch the leaves turn and fall, we realize Thanksgiving Day is on the way. 
   Since Thanksgiving Day now is considered the entrance into the secular holiday season, it is easy to forget to do something very important, something that this holiday was set aside for. Thinking takes time, and thinking about some things takes a concerted effort. We are called to think about what we have been given and the good God who gave it, and to live thankful, grateful, happy lives.
   November is also the month in which the Church celebrates All Souls Day. This is a special time to think about and to pray for the people in our lives who have passed from this world. It is a time to return the many favors these people have done for us, by praying for them.
   We believe that someday, this world will stop turning and we will stop turning the pages of all calendars. Time will pass to Eternity. As faithful Knights of the Catholic Church, we must be thoughtful and thankful about what we have been given in this life, to prepare ourselves and to help others to prepare for what the Author of Life and every good gift has prepared for us. - Fr. Umberg
October 2017    October is here again. It is known as the month of the Rosary. It is a good time for those who haven't prayed the Rosary for a while, to use this form of Prayer so highly praised by so many Popes.
   Little pamphlets on how to pray the Rosary are available in church. Maybe it is time to lead your family or your grandchildren in a Rosary.
   The weeks and months and years fly by quickly. Don't lose this opportunity! - Fr. Umberg
September 2017 September: PRAY FOR PEACE.
   It is hard to believe that this September, it will be 16 years ago that terrorists attacked the United States on September 11th, 2001. Our country still faces many threats, some old and some new. This is a time when every faithful Catholic, but especially the 4th degree Knights, should be praying for peace. Let us pray for our President, our Congress, and our military leaders, that they act with wisdom and prudence.
   Only with God's help can we find peace in our hearts and only with God's help can we find peace on Earth. Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us! - Fr. Umberg
August 2017 AUGUST: TIME TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL???
   As a child, I always thought that there was something terribly wrong with school starting before Labor Day. Actually, I still do. However, the start of the school year continues to creep backward; it is now usually mid-August for many grade schools, high schools, and even colleges.
   Let's start to think about this! It is not too early for a parent, grand-parent or god-parent to think about what we would like to remind our young people about, as they return to school. There are so many opportunities for learning and growth during the school year. There are also many dangers to the development of their character and their faith.
   I believe that it is a good idea to engage them in at least a brief talk about returning to school: to express sympathy that they have to go back so early (I always liked it when adults expressed outrage that school is starting so early, and how unfair that was to kids like me!), to encourage them to learn as much as they can during this important time in their lives, to remind them of their Catholic faith and the importance of practicing it as the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THEIR LIFE, and to warn them gently that not all the kids they meet will make wise decisions or live by the good values that they do. What will you say to the kids in your life? - Fr. Umberg
July 2017 July Fourth, our Freedom, our Faith
   In the month of July we celebrate the birthday of our country. We celebrate the fact that our country became independent. We celebrate most of all, that this country was founded on the principles of fundamental human rights, given by God, not the government.
   The right to freedom of religion and the freedom to express our beliefs about the nature of human life and the reason for human life, is central to what we celebrate.
   Our freedom of religion is, of course, under attack. There are those who want to claim that our Christian religion has to change to keep up with the times. However, we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
   We are called as Knights to do all that we can to protect our religious freedom, to practice our Catholic faith without legal persecution. May the Lord bless our efforts. May the Lord bless the U.S.A.! - Fr. Umberg
June 2017 June is the month when we honor fathers.
   The vocation of fatherhood is so very important to the very fabric of society and the church. However, it may be the least appreciated. Because it is unappreciated, many men are tempted to neglect their fatherly duties. A Knight of Columbus who has the vocation of fatherhood, should always be an example of love, encouragement and guidance as well as someone who provides and protects for his family. Whether the world appreciates it or not, Our Lord will give a great reward to all of his Faithful Servants who have this vocation. Maybe we should take St. Joseph as a role model, humble and dedicated to being a father. - Fr. Umberg
May 2017 May, the Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary
   The beautiful month of May is always part of the Easter season. There is warmth, light and color everywhere. The church has for centuries, considered it wise to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, during this month.
   We honor Mary by participating in May crowning celebrations, in which a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is given a crown, usually of flowers.
   Of course the main Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Most Holy Rosary. We do well to pray the Rosary during May and to encourage others to do so.
   As Fourth Degree Knights, let us show our loyalty and Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. - Fr. Umberg
April 2017 The Heart of it All
 
   This month we celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 16. This is the Solemn Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. The celebration of the Rising of Jesus from the dead, which gives us hope for everlasting life, is a reminder to us of what our Catholic Faith is all about. We want eternal life for ourselves and for those we love. When Jesus rose that Sunday morning two thousand years ago, he gave us a real reason to go on living as the best people we can be. He gave an antidote for cynicism. That cynicism crops up everywhere in the culture of the world, because the world cannot give the promise real justice, real mercy, and real love that last forever. Only Jesus can.
The Lord is risen! Alleluia! - Fr. Umberg
March 2017 Dear Sir Knights and Ladies,
   "Lent is Here" Lent is now upon us! St. Paul often uses the analogy of training ourselves spiritually, like an athlete trains himself physically.
   A good Knight of Columbus is like a good athlete or soldier that is concerned that he stays in good spiritual shape. Let us commit to greater prayer above all, and seek to discipline ourselves and be particular generous during this holy season. - Fr. Umberg
February 2017 Dear Sir Knights and Ladies,
   Well, it finally happened. In our beautiful country, the United States of America, the official transfer of power from one  president to another has occurred.  All good citizens recognize that the winner(s) of the election take the power to govern and lead the country. They realize that new officials do not receive this power because of any supposed moral perfection, but by virtue of the fact that they won the election.
    Unfortunately, not all citizens act like good citizens. Not all citizens recognize the religious rights and freedoms upon which this country was founded. Not all citizens recognize the rights of unborn babies. The actions of some citizens show a refusal to recognize legitimate authority. The Knights of Columbus have a responsibility to support and uphold legitimate authority where we can.  Two important ways that we can do this are: Giving the example of law-abiding and Christian lives, and praying for the conversion of those who resort to hostility and violence when they do not get their way.
    As Knights, we continue to try to help build a society where there is justice and peace. May the Lord bless our country with His Justice and Peace! - Fr. Umberg
December 2016 KEEPING CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS:
   Some Suggestion for Dads and Grandpas: For decades now, the great slogan of the Knights during the month of December has been "Keep Christ in Christmas". The car magnets/fridge magnets, banners and billboards are a great way that the Knights remind everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to make remembering the humble birth of the Lord Jesus, an important part of their Christmas festivities.
    This seems harder and harder to do, as many Knights see close relatives, even their own adult children, failing to go to Mass on Sundays. Christmas Mass, usually somehow fit in on Christmas Eve, is often all the religion the children and teenagers see. A couple suggestions that may or may not work for some of your children and grandchildren: Buy some Christmas music that has choirs and other performers actually singing Christmas Carols, and not just holiday junk songs. Have these songs playing in the background when they come over. Buy some Christmas carol booklets and offer some prize if they will sing some verses of a traditional Christmas Carol that refers to the Christ Child, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, Bethlehem, the Star and Angels.
    Maybe you could even get them to get up and go to a weekday Mass with you, promising them donuts or breakfast out. All seven days of Christmas are true feast days and they will see the church so richly decorated in the intimate setting of a small crowd! This could be a magical memory for them, that they will remember of you and their childhood experience of Christmas. The celebration of Christmas has always been a great help in passing on the faith.
    Kids and grandchildren grow up fast. Don't miss this opportunity! - Fr. Umberg
November 2016      From Your Faithful Co -Friar: (Rev. SK Bill Dorrmann)
 
   The Presidential Candidates have debated, and November 8, 2016 is just days away, so how are you going to vote? We know our privilege and duty as American Citizens is to vote, pay taxes and if called, to serve in the military. So to preserve our freedoms and privileges, we need to exercise our right to choose the candidates best suited to serve in Political Office.
   “If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.” So writes Pope Francis, Quoting Pope Benedict XVI. Our nation faces many political challenges that demand well-informed moral choices:
. The ongoing destruction of a million innocent human lives each year by abortion
. Physician–assisted suicide
. The redefinition of marriage
. The excessive consumption of material goods and the destruction of natural resources, harming the environment as well as the poor
. Deadly attacks on Christians and other religious minorities throughout the world
. Efforts to narrow the definition and exercise of religious freedom
. Economic policies that fail to prioritize the needs of poor people, at home and abroad
. A broken immigration system and a worldwide refugee crisis
. Wars, terror, and violence that threaten every aspect of human life and dignity
 
   As Catholics, we are part of a community with profound teachings that help us consider challenges in public life, contribute to greater justice and peace for all people, and evaluate policy, positions, party platforms, and candidates’ promises and actions in light of the Gospel, in order to help build a better world.
   So please consider the candidates and their positions on these matters and vote on November 8th. And then pray for all those who serve in political life, to be faithful to their commitments to lead our country and cities in the ways of justice and peace.
October 2016    It is always important for a Knight of Columbus to pray. A good Catholic is a man of daily prayer. There are two special reasons that the 4th Degree Knights of the Assembly of the Most Holy Rosary should pray the Rosary this October. First of all, it is the name of our Assembly, so if anyone is praying the Rosary, it should be us! Second, October has traditionally been designated as a month of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a month of the Rosary. I know many of our Assembly pray the Rosary every day. I am making a special appeal to those who do not pray it, to do so at least once a week. If you are rusty, use a Knights of Columbus pamphlet or prayer card to remind you of the prayers and mysteries. Maybe you could make a regular fall walk praying the Rosary. Maybe you could pray the Rosary with your grandchildren, with the promise of ice cream afterwards!
   It will be good for you and for your family, and it will please our Blessed Mother, the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.
September 2016    Dear Sir Knights: This is the season when we make our decisions about our political leaders. Not all are the same in their attitude toward religious freedom, especially the freedom of the church to express its full teaching.
   One candidate makes a promise that those who preach will always be allowed to speak their full convictions without government interference. Another candidate says that religious attitudes concerning abortion are going to have to change. Not that they are changing, or not that maybe they'll change, but that they're going to have to change. What will that mean for the church and its teachings? What will it mean for the entire concept of religious freedom in our country? These are good questions, and it is important that we inform ourselves and others around us, about each candidate and what is at stake for our country. It is also so important that we exercise our right to vote, and encourage those who share our values to do the same.
June 2016    One of the great privileges of 4th Degree Knighthood is to form a guard of honor at solemn celebrations of the Eucharist. Honorable members are present at the Ordination of Priests, at First Holy Communions, and Confirmations this time of year. On these occasions the Solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist takes place as offered by bishop or priest.
    Holy Mass is offered in many settings: in military camps, on mountain top chapels, in private homes, in prisons, in our local churches and many other places. The offering of Holy Mass is the renewal of Jesus’ Paschal Sacrifice, the giving of his life On the cross and the taking up of life again in the resurrection to new life. If there is one commandment the Church keeps regularly and faithfully it’s this: “Do this in memory of me.” So I want to commend all who render this marvelous service. As you lend solemnity to these special celebrations, think about the Mystery observed, Reflect on the presence of the Lord who presents himself as the Crucified and risen Lord, again bringing salvation to us and to the whole world. And by your presence, know that who all present are inspired to give greater glory and foster a deep reverence for this awesome Mystery.
May 2016    With Easter coming early this year, we move quickly through Eastertide to Pentecost, on May 15th. “I will not leave you orphans,” said the Lord as he departed from them.  The Holy Spirit came upon them while gathered for prayer, in union with the Blessed Mother. Then filled with the ‘fire of God’s love,’ the Apostles preached to the ends of the earth, proclaiming Jesus’ Resurrection, and His promise to grant  salvation to all who would accept Baptism in His Name. And the Church grew rapidly in numbers. We Knights are apostles for Christ, called to witness His Death and Resurrection to the world. The world is hungry for The Way, The Truth and The Life, found only in the person of Jesus Christ. Let us show by word and deed that we live according to that Way, that Truth, and that Life, as we travel in the Footsteps of our ancestors.
February 2016    I want to share with you Some of my learnings about Prayer that I received on Retreat.
   
   I have found it helpful to review my earliest memories of prayer. My mother Would have me kneel at bedside and pray to my Guardian angel, then add: “God bless mother, God bless daddy, uncle Gene and grandma and God bless me.” My parents insistence on prayer at meal time, their encouragement that I and my sister go To Confession and attend Holy Nass regularly as they did was their strong example and witness of Prayer’s importance.
   
   The Religious Sister-teachers in Grade School reaffirmed what I learned at home. In the seventh Grade I was introduced to a Sunday Missal for guiding my participation in Mass. Therein I also found an Examination of Conscience with an Act of Contrition for my Night Prayer Which proved most helpful. As a Mass Server I began to appreciate what it means to participate in Holy Mass, and to be reverent in the Sanctuary. Singing in choir also helped me to know the power of sacred song as prayer. How did you learn to pray?
   
   St. John Damascene gives this definition: “ Prayer is the lifting up of our mind and heart to God, And asking for good things.” So what are the good things we ask for? Like Solomon we ought to ask, not riches nor fame nor power but rather an understanding Heart. And God granted his request as God will grant ours. God made us for his honor and glory in this life and to enjoy eternal bliss in heaven. We need to ask for the good things that really count.
   
   So this is the time for a review of our progress in prayer, and to make any changes called for. Simply Learning to sit in God’s presence and reflecting on God’s love is where to start. St. John Vianney, when asked how he prayed, responded: “I look at God and God looks at me.” Perhaps our greatest difficulty is learning to listen to God who never turns a deaf ear to our prayer. So ask for good things, then listen patiently for God’s answer. Try it, and may our loving Father bless your Lenten effort to pray.
   
Happy Lent everyone.
   
Father Bill Dorrmann
August 2015    I want to talk about “always “ In reference to a current topic of discussion. It’s a little pamphlet entitled “ Always Our Children.”
   
   In 1997, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published this Letter as a Pastoral Message to parents of Homosexual children with Suggestions for pastoral ministers on how to regard this current phenomenon. For those who use the Internet, you may find this document under the title of The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
   
   The Bishops’ message is one of understanding, compassion and continued love for one’s children, seeing them always as children of God, created in His image, and not be judgmental about their sexual orientation. One may feel angry upon discovery of a child’s sexual preference, but we must always be open to listening to their feelings. In some instances we might recommend Psychological counseling, if the young person Is willing to accept such help, but not to force it.
   
   Those with same sex attraction are often ridiculed, called names and even persecuted, which causes great anguish for themselves and their parents. Thus, the need to stand by them always. The Bishops speak of various possible causes of same sex attraction, psychological, cultural or genetic: is this condition learned from society or even in the genes from inheritance. Experts are divided on their explanation.
   
   Our role as parents and pastoral ministers is to be accepting of these who are children of God, always our children, to keep them within the family loop, to remember that God loves them just as much as God loves all His children, and we need to do the same.
July 2015    A Happy Fourth of July to all! Let our celebrations be filled with gratitude For the 239th anniversary of our American Freedom.
   
   Our hearts swell with pride as we march or view a parade of our Military Veterans, or feel the joy and pride while singing Our National Anthem, Columbia the Gem of The Ocean, or God, bless America! Those who served in the Military may bear scars or disabilities from active service. All of us feel the pinch of paying Taxes to the government, while knowingthat our freedom is not cheap and demands the giving of us all.
   
   While we are proud of our country and its history, we still struggle to extend citizenship to those who seek refuge among us, who must wait very long for acceptance as full citizens, a delay that is due to outdated laws and procedures.
   
   While we celebrate our great holiday, let’s remember there’s still much we must do to show our greatness as “The land of the free” by praying and working with our elected officials to let freedom ring for the teeming masses who seek refuge on our shores.
   
   I Thank God for my paternal grandparents who received citizenship here in the late 19th century. And I thank God for the millions who gave their lives to gain and maintain Our freedom. “Now thank we all our God” for His goodness to us!
   
Father Bill Dorrmann
May 2015    Springtime brings back memories of my days on the little farm when lambs were born. Most often ewes gave birth to a single, sometimes twins. My father often stayed up into early hours of morning to help them give birth. Occasionally the ewe would refuse to feed it, and the lamb was brought home for my sisters to bottle-feed, until It was old enough to feed on its own.
   
   The image of the shepherd is perhaps the oldest image of Jesus, found in the first centuries etched on the walls of the catacombs. In the Book of Genesis, we find Adam’s son Abel was a tender of the flocks, while Cain was a tiller of fields. The kings of Israel, such as King David, were shepherds, if not in fact, then by title as rulers of Israel. Jesus proclaimed himself The Good Shepherd: the one who cares for his flock, and will even lay down his life for the sheep. Before his Ascension, he charged Peter with the responsibility of feeding and caring for his lambs and sheep.
   
   Today Holy Father Francis and bishops of the Church who oversee the flock as did Peter are our shepherds. Beyond that, the role of shepherd is given those who have any authority as parents over children, teachers, public servants as Police and fire- fighters, and anyone who shows care for one’s neighbor. So all who care to nurture human life out of love for the neighbor should do so after the example of The Good Shepherd who entrusts us with the privilege of continuing his ministry. May Springtime be marked by the example of all who show loving care for one another, after the example of the Good Shepherd.
January 2015    The 4th week after Christmas
   Since last meeting we've entered the new year 2015! The year is 20 days old. We are one-third into winter! The Liturgical calendar calls this ordinary time.
   We see Jesus grow to manhood and begin his mission!
   We sometimes feel a big let down in our emotions, now that christmas has passed.
   But this isn't a time for moping or bitterness.
   Pope Francis spoke to the Roman Clesia of the need to be joyful. Followers of Christ, he said, realize Jesus is our salvation from sin & sadness. He gives us hope!
   So as we begin the New Year let us rejoice that we have Jesus, our Model of Trust in God our Father. And our Pope Francis urges us to put aside gloom & learn to be men of good-will with a joy, no one can take away from us!
   The clouds may be gloomy and the next two months piercing cold, but are challenged to bring warmth and joy to this world. Let's practice the joy of the Lord!
November 2014    I love Harvest Time! This time of the year reminds me of my young years on the little farm, with many fruit trees bearing pears, apples, plums and persimmons. I remember the abundance of harvest as the neighbors harvested field corn and Soybeans.  I can say God provides for human and animal hunger; as the Psalmist says: “The eyes of all creatures look to you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season. ”On Thanksgiving Day we give praise and thanks to God for God’s gracious kindness, for allowing us to sit at the table of life and sustain ourselves with the fruits of the harvest.
    As God accepts our prayerful thanks, God also commands us to share with our neighbor: “You shall love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself.” Throughout the Bible God hears the cry of the poor and commands us to come to the aid of the alien, the widow and the orphan. God reminds the Israelites that they themselves were once aliens in Egypt, so they should be mindful of the stranger in their midst.
   You have shared your food and clothing with the hungry and needy, perhaps through the St. Vincent de Paul Society Collections, or giving personal help to the neighbor who knocks at your door. The Bible says that when one casts bread on the waters it will come back to him. But we must do even more, by trying to correct the systems that make the poor poorer and the homeless more desperate. I suggest that in the coming elections, we need to see how our legislators work to provide bread for the poor, higher minimum wage, how they stand on all pro-life issues, reform of Immigration Laws, and then vote accordingly.
   The Catholic Church has developed many avenues to provide Social Justice for all those in need, through hospitals, social services, adoption services, and so on. May we be attentive to the cry of the poor, not only because God commands it, but because our hearts burn to serve Christ in his poor.
October 2014     Ah! October! Harvest time! Shorter days, longer, colder nights! I love this time of year! As farmers and gardeners bring in abundant crops we “praise God from whom all blessings flow.” We will have food enough for ourselves and for so many others.
    And yet people go hungry in our country and all around the world. Children die of malnutrition, parents anguish over their inability to find food for the children.
   
In Psalm we read and pray:
   
“The eyes of all look hopefully to you,( O Lord),
   
And you give them food in due season.
   
You open your hand
   
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
   
Psalm 145, 15-16
   
    We do well to reflect on the food we eat, its source, those who prepare it, and remember food is the answer to prayers, a sign of God’s providential care for God’s people. Some folks work in the St. Vincent de Paul Society to deliver food to those in need, others volunteer at Soup Kitchens serving daily meals, and through donations of canned goods and money, we enable the charitable groups to carry out their mission. All these efforts are for feeding the hungry at home. We look around the world and find even greater demands for our charity. Mission Sunday will feature a collection for the world at large. Through the funds raised enable The Holy Father to help the people most in need all around the world.
    So as we rejoice in the Harvest time, let us pray: “We give Thee thanks Almighty God for these and all the benefits we have received from thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
September 2014     God's mercy is over all god's works. God's mercy is more evident in Jesus than even his curing the sick, raising the dead, giving sight to the blind.
    Medical Doctors, can bring healing that is really miraculous! Some of us may have experienced such healing!
    What Jesus did, what Jesus continues to do thru the church is to show mercy to the sinner, forgiveness to the wayward son & Daughter!
    So, the question for us is how do we show mercy to those who sin against us? Do we believe in the petition: Forgive us our sins, our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    God's mercy is the greatest of God's works! How will we practice that mercy? How be to the brother and sister in need?
August 2014     Jesus tells us in the Gospel: “Blessed is the one whom the Lord finds ready when He comes and knocks.” SK Daniel I. Metz was called by the Lord on August 20 after a brief but lethal illness. I knew Dan these past fourteen years mainly thru the Knights of Columbus. I also had contact with him in the Relay for Life Cancer Walk. I have known him to be a compassionate man, serving the needs of others in a selfless way. Dan had participated in Holy Mass on The Solemn Feast of Mary’s Assumption the day before he was stricken. May The Blessed Mother usher Dan into the halls of Heaven. I am reminded of the brevity and uncertainty of life even though the average life-expectancy is increasing owing to modern medical help. May we live each day always at the ready lest we be caught unprepared when the Lord comes and knocks.
May 2014 Memorial Day Weekend
    This Memorial Day weekend celebration is one of our many opportunities to honor the Veterans of our country’s wars by remembering their sacrifices and learning how we can do our part in appreciation of our American Freedoms. On Monday, May 26 there will be parades and visits to cemeteries to lay flowers on the graves of our heroes. Many folks will participate in the parades marching or watching along the curbside to applaud the marchers. Flower vendors will provide decorations for the grave-sites visited.
    And some will participate in the greatest parade ever done, that is they’ll “march” with The Lord at The celebration of Holy Mass to pray for really important matters, such as their own salvation and that of our country. They’ll remember and thank The Lord who proclaimed freedom for all who followed him: freedom from our sins freedom to live as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.
    Really, every day must be “memorial day”. Daily we need give thanks to The Lord for our adoption as sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father, for our sharing in the gift of redemption by Christ’s saving passion and death on the battlefield of Calvary and His triumphant “march” in the resurrection and ascension into glory. And daily we need to remind ourselves through study our country’s history and the history of the Catholic Church in America. And all for the purpose of glorifying God who has guided our ancestors who founded this wonderful country, and pledging ourselves to “stand beside her, and guide her through the night with the light from above.”
April 2014     Greetings to all Knights and Ladies for Eastertide! May the Risen Lord bring you deeper appreciation of His marvelous miracle, the Resurrection from the tomb!    In 2005, while on tour of the Holy Land with pilgrims from this area, I had the distinct privilege of offering Holy Mass over the tomb of Jesus, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher! What a blessing! The tomb is located in a very small room, one enters through a low arch, and one or two others may be present while Mass is offered. For Holy Communion, I had to step out into the larger area to distribute the Eucharist to my fellow pilgrims.
   It may seem strange that we foreigners had gained permission for a one-half hour time slot for the Holy Mass, but local Palestinian Priests and Christians are effectively hindered from approaching the Holy Places by the Israeli authorities. The native Christians who can trace their ancestry back to the Apostles, sustain the shame of rejection from the Holy Places, and even kept away from the city of Jerusalem itself. This is really a form of persecution, and is cause for our prayers that such restrictions be removed.
   While we enjoy freedom of worship, let us remember to thank God daily for this right, and strive to appreciate our heritage of Faith, and the freedom to practice it.  
   The Church provides fifty (50) days called Eastertide, extending from Easter until Pentecost, for us to savior, to deepen our love for the Risen Lord, and to live the Faith we’ve inherited from our ancestors. Let us be grateful for this and pray daily for the freedom of our brothers and sisters in Palestine.
 
   Happy Eastertide, everyone!  
February 2014 The Holy Season of Lent begins on March 5, the Feast of Ash Wednesday. This is the preparation time for our entrance into Paschal Mystery, the death and resurrection of Christ. We are called by the Church to the traditional works of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
 
As we repent of sin we also reach out to others, especially those about to enter Church through the Initiation Sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Our prayers and sacrifices for them are one way of practicing the spread of our Catholic Faith. So be aware of this phase of Lent which is not only for our personal growth in holiness, but also for striving to build up the church membership in faith and love.
 
During the Month of March. The Holy Father asks that we pray for his special universal intention, namely that all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
 
This monthly intention comes through The Apostleship of Prayer, a society of people around the world who make a daily offering of themselves to God, as many of us do.
 
We know of instances at home in which women are abused in many ways. Around the world, especially in Third World countries, women are considered second-class citizens and in a sense are enslaved by men.
 
In his letter, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis wrote: “The Church acknowledges the indispensible contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition, and other distinctive skills which they, more than men, tend to possess.” As a result, he said, In the cultural crisis of our time, woman finds herself on the front line in the battle for safeguarding what is human. Perhaps our prayer and sacrifices for women may, according to The Pope’s Intention, be the most powerful prayer we could offer during this Holy Season of Grace.
January 2014 Time to Change
 
    “But we’ve always done it this way”! An objection so often made by parents with children and with those who fear any change proposed in family or society, such as an Assembly meeting.
    Jesus came to bring change, as we read in Mark’s Gospel. When asked why his disciples didn’t fast just as the disciples of John and Pharisees did, He replied that fasting isn’t for the Wedding Reception but only after the Bridegroom has gone. After his Passion, death and resurrection then, he said they would surely fast. To illustrate further, Jesus said that new cloth is not for patching a tattered coat, lest the cloth pull away in the cleaning of the garment and both be wasted, nor should one pour new wine into old wineskins, lest the skins be burst and both wine and skins be wasted.
    In the New Year, how will I adapt to changes called for in my life? What is Jesus calling me to change in my spiritual life? I know I have convictions built up over a long life.
    “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you”, was Jesus’ farewell message at The Last Supper. I find that one of the most difficult truths for me to accept is that God really loves me in spite of my sins. That when I sin God isn’t ready to punish but rather to call me, in his merciful love, to repent and continue to try to follow his laws. I refer to this as a change of heart because I know I’ve always felt I need to live as one always guilty of something, and so I’m unworthy of God’s love, even the love shown by my neighbor who offers to help me in my distress.
    If I could accept this change, difficult as it may be, my belief in God’s love for me and simply say ‘Thank You, Lord for your merciful kindness”, I would then live free to serve the Lord with a glad heart and clear conscience. I would open my heart to know and do God’s will for me, and who knows what marvelous things would be revealed in my daily living!. That I would finally know what it ‘s like to live in freedom as a son or daughter of God.
November 2013 Whose voices do you hear The Guest at Christmas
 
   The story is told about Ivan the cobbler who lived in a small village. He was a very religious man, devoted to God and Church through prayer and deeds of kindness. Ivan had a dream when Christ appeared to tell him he would visit him the very next day.
   Awaking early that morning the cobbler hurried to his shop, fired the little stove, put on the coffee and made his place welcome for his expected Guest. It began to snow and Ivan noticed a young woman with baby under her shawl looking in his window. He invited her in for warmth and gave her coffee. Then she asked him if he would give her money for food for the baby and herself. He gave her the needed coins and she, grateful for his kindness, left the shop. Soon after Ivan saw a young boy stealing fruit from the market and running off. He caught the boy scolded him for his misdeeds but gave him money to pay for the stolen fruit. As the day wore on, Ivan doubted he would meet the Lord . An elderly man shuffled in to warm himself. Ivan welcomed him gave him coffee, chatted with him a while and the man grateful for the kindness left.
   So Ivan closed up shop and went home. As she sat at table having a crust of bread and a few berries and remembering the events of the day, he was sad that he had not seen The Lord. As he fell asleep, The Lord again came to him in a dream and Ivan asked why He had not visited him that day. And The Lord replied: “I did indeed visit you.” ´Then Ivan remembered the Scripture: “As long as you did it to one of my least brothers or sisters, you did it for me.”
October 2013 Where are the witnesses?
 
Whenever a crime is committed and reported, police seek witnesses who will say what they saw happen. Crimes are often solved on the testimony of one or two witnesses.
 
As social creatures all of us bear witness to each other in daily life to rightful or wrong living. As people of faith in God we demonstrate our faith or lack of faith as we go about our daily lives. Meanwhile our neighbors observe our conduct.
 
I heard at our last Assembly meeting that, in regard to Sunday Mass attendance, about two-thirds of Catholics regularly go to Sunday Mass, while about one third are absent, if I remember the exact statement. That’s startling news to those of us who have been faithful to that all important law: “Keep holy The Lord’s Day.”
 
So what do we do? First, we need to have an understanding of why the Church imposes the Law of Sunday Worship. The Holy Eucharist is our Mystery of Faith, wherein we renew the entire story and reality of Jesus’ sacrificial offering for all humanity. The Catechism of The Catholic Church is a good place to study the Mass.
 
As we grow in knowledge and love of the Holy Eucharist, our lives will reflect our beliefs and God will be glorified all the more through us. And those who have ceased sharing in Holy Mass will see and be influenced by our conduct. There will likely be occasions when we can speak out about our reasons for our practice. But one thing for sure, our “actions speak louder than words.”.
 
And the testimony we give, not about some crime, but about our faith in the Lord, will be the evidence for the strengthening of someone’s faith and, perhaps their return to Sunday Mass. May the Lord give us the Grace to be His witnesses today.
September 2013 Whose voices do you hear
 
We live in a noisy world. Recently our neighborhood was kept awake late on Saturday
night by music at a local party. Early retirees, and others rejoiced when the music
stopped at 11:00p.m. The noise from traffic, Talking-heads on T.V. commenting on
Sports and world events. There's so much distraction in our daily lives.
 
The distraction prevents us from hearing God speaking to us. It's only in the silence of
our hearts that we may hear what God is saying. Thus, I mean I need time for quiet
prayer, time to sit with God, to "Hang Out", simply to listen to a message of true value, a
message for the good of my soul.
 
It's through such moments that I can ask : "Lord,"Where am I amidst all the events of
the day and night? In matters of Church, politics, my job, sports, recreation: what are the
values am I willing to support and perhaps even die for? And what message are you,
Great God whispering in my ear?
 
This is the deeper kind of prayer, beyond the recitation of memorized prayer. I ask God to
help me listen, to enter a quiet place and just sit with the Lord, as the Apostles often did.
And like Samuel in the Bible, say: "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening". And
afterwards to realize life is really worth living, if I walk with the Lord and follow his
inspiration.
August 2013 At the beginning of Fr. Bill's report, he thanked everyone for thier participation at the Fr. Bill Dorrmann Golf Outing. The Golf outing raises fund for the Fr. Bill Dorrmann Scholarship fund.
 
Virgil Meyer R.I.P. August 3, 2013 Funeral at St. John's.
 
Soft spoken, hardly audible but his quiet humble manner speaks a strong message.
 
Friends are God's gift to us, we should treasure them while they're with us.
 
Virgil and Georgia prepared the Masses with me (Fr. Bill), chose readings of scripture, Songs, Cared for the sacred vessels & vestments.
© SK Tony Roark