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July 26, 2015
IMG_0007Check out our books for toddlers and young children in the parish library, room 101, by downstairs entrance. There are also very large books which work really well for reading to a group of children. The books include children’s bibles, Some Veggie Tales and lots of other great religious books for taking home. Children are welcome in the library when accompanied by their parents.

February 27, 2015, by Father Brian Fier

Dear Fellow Parishioners:

Once again we find ourselves in the midst of our Lenten journey. Forty days to prepare ourselves for the upcoming Easter Triduum. The traditional practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are to be our resources. I pray that each of us is taking time as an individual, as a family and as a community member to enter in to this penitential season. There are so many opportunities!

Often we focus our energies on the individual and family areas, not realizing how our community has also taken on this responsibility. One of the ways we prepare ourselves as a community is through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

DSC_0312webThis program actually begins in the fall. Through weekly meetings the participants — catechumens (the unbaptized) and candidates (baptized non-Catholics) — – enter into a process by which people become members of the Roman Catholic Church. While the parish catechist — I am currently serving in this role — represents the community in the formation process, there still are opportunities for the community to support the participants.

For example, this past weekend we celebrated the “Rite of Sending Forth” at the 10:30 Mass. We sent forth our catechumens and candidates to the “Rite of Election,” which took place later that afternoon at the Basilica of St. Mary’s. Over 400 RCIA participants gathered together with Bishop Lee Piche to declare their interest in the Catholic Faith. (Note, at the same time an identical celebration was taking place at the Cathedral of St. Paul with Archbishop John Nienstedt — isn’t it great to see that we had so many participants that we needed two churches!) Their sponsors and the entire community proclaimed our support for these men and women. Truly this was a beautiful moment for everyone.

I invite you to reflect on the questions we said “yes” to before God and the Church:

  1. Have they listened to God’s word proclaimed by the Church?
  2. Have they responded to that word and begun to walk in God’s presence?
  3. Have they shared the company of their Christian brothers and sisters and joined with them in prayer?
  4. Are you ready to support the testimony expressed about these catechumens/candidates and include them in your prayer and affection as we move toward Easter?

Therefore, how will you and the Church of St. Edward support these men and women seeking to embrace our Catholic faith? Keep them in your prayers during this Lenten season. For further input, feel welcome to contact our RCIA catechist.

Keep the faith! Fr. Brian

September 15, 2013

I can tell that summer is over and the autumn season has begun for two events are about to occur:

1) The start of the RCIA (Rite of Christian/Catholic Initiation for Adults); and,

2) The arrival of my annual retreat.

685124_64118755webYes, once again I am doing my part in helping out our staffing and programming needs by handling the RCIA. This program is open to all adults who would like to learn more about our Catholic/Christian faith. This includes the unbaptized, those of another Christian faith, and those Catholics who simply desire a “refresher” course in our Catholic faith. Classes will be held on Saturday mornings from 10am to noon beginning in October and ending with the Easter Vigil in April. Yes, it is quite a journey! If you have questions, feel welcome to contact me. If you would like to register, please call the parish office. I hope many of you will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about our Catholic/Christian faith. We have a wonderful history of Adult Faith Formation here at St. Edwards. The RCIA is an integral part of our ongoing formation. Come check it out!

Yes, once again I will be departing for my annual retreat in Washington State this Sunday afternoon — I will be gone September 16th to the 23rd. I take very seriously the Canon (Church) Law mandate that requires every priest to take a one week retreat each year. Occasionally I will join one of the group retreats offered by the Archdiocese; and yet, my usual preference is to go on a private retreat. For many years I have gone out to the Seattle area — it must be the mountains and ocean that attract me — and spent quality time in prayer and study. Under the guidance of my spiritual director, I bring some good books to read. For example, this year one of the books I have chosen is Pope Benedict XVI’s The Joy of Knowing Christ. This truly is a wonderful time for me to slow down and reflect on my faith journey. I encourage everyone to consider a retreat. We have some wonderful retreat centers in the Archdiocese, especially the Franciscan Retreat Center in Prior Lake and King’s House in Buffalo. Try it, you’ll like it!

Autumn blessings, Fr. Brian

August 25, 2015

Originally posted August 25, 2013

I am regularly confronted with people who are lamenting the “decline” of the Catholic Church.

These concerned individuals point to people they know who have either become lax in their faith or simply left the Catholic Church to join another Christian church.

sacramentsI believe a huge factor here is our loss in the understanding of and appreciation for one of the greatest gifts of our faith, namely, the Sacraments.

For example, do we know the stark difference between how a Lutheran and a Catholic view the Eucharist? Confirmation? Reconciliation? Marriage? My personal research indicates that most Catholics do not.

In response to this growing concern our Adult Faith Formation (AFF) Committee will be offering a series on our Catholic Sacraments: The Doors to the Sacred – an Adult Perspective on Sacraments with Judy Foster Mon. evenings, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25.

Watch for the AFF’s program booklet which will list the many wonderful offerings for the coming year or visit the Adult Faith Formation pages on Faith Series Offerings, One Time Events, Book Discussions, Second Sunday Speakers and Rediscover. A calendar for the full year of adult faith formation offerings is now available. Yes, all adult Catholics have a responsibility to know and embrace our faith, especially if we expect to be able to pass it on to our children.

With this in mind, I encourage you to check out Archbishop Nienstedt’s column in the most recent edition of The Catholic Spirit – pick up a copy at church or go to TheCatholicSpirit.com  – for he has offered a great reflection on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In fact, I am going to share his teaching in my column over the next couple of bulletins. I hope everyone will take serious this important responsibility for their continuing education in our Catholic faith.

Summer blessings, Fr. Brian

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Sacrament of reconciliation: Why confess to a priest?

— by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “Why do I have to tell my sins to a priest?” Actually, it is a great question because the answer to it involves the whole reason behind why Jesus established a Church and therefore, why we are Catholics after all.

You recall the scene in Matthew 16:13-20 when Jesus asks the apostles at Caesarea Philippi what people are saying about him. That episode includes Jesus saying to Simon: “I for my part declare to you, you are ‘Rock’ (“petrus”), and on this rock I will build my church…” In Matthew 18:20, Jesus in discussing prayer with his disciples tells them: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.” Notice he didn’t say that when we are off on a mountainside or sitting beside a tranquil lake or even meditating alone in our room he would be present. No, Jesus proclaims that the only authentically verifiable place where we can be absolutely certain he is present is: “Where two or three are gathered” in his name.

Establishing his Church

From these and other scriptural texts we can be assured that Jesus intended to establish a Church as his abiding presence in the world. And, to be sure that it was his presence, he breathed on that Church his Holy Spirit the very evening of his resurrection. Again, notice carefully where he places the priority as he imparts the Holy Spirit: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them: if you hold them bound, they are held bound.” – John 20:22-23

“Binding and loosing” implies an outsider’s judgment; it requires therefore, the context of the Church, Jesus’ presence in the world.

(Tune in next week for part II of Arch-bishop’s reflection on Reconciliation.)