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July 20, 2015

Kathryn and Daniel

Dear Church of
St. Edward:

I would like to thank St. Edward’s parish for praying for my mother, Kathryn Weis, since 2003. A lot of you don’t know the circumstances and probably wondered why she was on the prayer list for years; probably broke a record! She raised me as a single parent for many years. The roles reversed when she became ill; I was helping her along with other friends. I have cerebral palsy, and she made sure I became as independent as possible. I graduated from the U of M with a double major; communications and journalism. I work at the Bloomington Target and AMC Southdale with 5 years at Target Corporate Office after college. She made sure I overcame obstacles in life. She had tongue cancer in the early 1980s, and it came back in 2003. She has had twice the lifetime of radiation, 8+ reconstruction surgeries, tube feedings, lost the ability to speak (was able to communicate via iPad afterwards), etc. Her parents Maurice and Lorraine Weis were members of the parish for many years before moving outstate. My mother continued to attend the parish for many years until she became too ill. I would take her to church as her illness/fatigue permitted. My mother served as a teacher for the First Eucharist preparation classes at St. Edward. She passed on 6/25/15. We were blessed that her parents were able to return from Arizona to be with her in her final moments; in fact, she waited until all immediate family members were able to see her. Again, thank you for all your prayers and support. Father Brian and Father Mike had an excellent service on 7/1 to remember my mother.

— Dan Fischer

If you or a family member are ill or in the hospital and want a visit or need the Sacrament of Anointing, please call Fr. Brian, Pastor, Dc. Jim DeShane, Director of Pastoral Care or Mary Kay Hird, Pastoral Care Adm. Asst. at the parish office to schedule a visit, 952-835-7101. St. Edward’s also has trained Stephen Ministers who would be happy to visit you at the hospital.

July 16, 2015

Check out the south lawn where you will find a labyrinth mowed into the grass. A labyrinth is a circular path and a tool for prayer. The slow, meditative walk allows our bodies to be active while our minds are quiet, our hearts are open, and our souls are receptive. It is a prayer of one’s whole self in loving relationship with God. For more information, look for brochures outside the chapel or on the picnic table. Summer is short—enjoy this experience of prayer in the beauty of nature!

The labyrinth is sponsored by Spiritual Direction. Special thanks to the Pastoral Care Commission, the Faith Formation and Administrative Staff, and especially the Maintenance Crew for their support of this new opportunity !

January 4, 2015

Dear Fellow Parishioners:

As we begin the new year I invite you to reflect upon a beautiful prayer written by Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ, a 20th century Superior General of the Society of Jesus:

Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

We find ourselves within the Christmas season — an opportunity to celebrate the very incarnation of Love in the person of Jesus Christ. As Fr. Arrupe’s prayer states, falling in love with Jesus affects every part of our lives. This very thought may be overwhelming; and yet, in this awe-filled moment we are comforted and inspired by the prophets who have gone before us: John the Baptist, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary, and many other great Saints. In addition, we remember the many “unofficial” saints who have inspired us to seek a relationship with Jesus, such as our family and friends. We give thanks for the many ways these personal role models brought us to faith in Jesus Christ. Now the rest is up to us, for we are to be messengers as well, preparing the way for others to meet our Lord and Savior. May we “fall in Love, stay in love” as we live this gift of life we have received.

A BIG THANKS to the many people who have participated in the Offertory Giving Challenge II (OGC II). At this time the final numbers are still be tabulated; and yet, I am confident that we will make our goal. A BIG THANKS to our donor family for their efforts to inspire us to increase our Offertory Giving and support the many good ministries we have here at St. Edward’s. Together we are doing the Lord’s work. Let us rejoice and be glad.

Christmas and New Year’s Blessings, Fr. Brian

November 9, 2014

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

Every Sunday and Holy Day we offer the Nicene Creed during which we proclaim our belief in the “Communion of Saints.”

This is one of the many ways in which we acknowledge our membership in the broader community of God’s kingdom both here on earth and in heaven. This action also proclaims our belief in the importance of prayer. Our prayers do make a difference! Thus, we are invited to pray for those who have gone before us, both saints and sinners. We are encouraged to hold up our deceased through both communal and private prayer.

One communal offering is through the feasts of All Saints (November 1st) and All Souls (November 2nd). For centuries the Church has gathered to honor those who have gone before us. One of St. Ed- ward’s traditions is to celebrate a “Mass of Remembrance” during this two-day period.

This year we do so on Saturday, November 1st at 9:00am. All are encouraged to attend, especially those who have lost a loved one during the past year. Each of these recently deceased members of our community will be hon- ored during this special Mass. A highlight of our gathering will be the presence of Fr. John Paul Erick- son, the Director of Worship for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as our guest celebrant — yes, we had been expecting Bishop Lee Piche, an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese, however, the Bishop was called away at the last minute; thus, we are pleased to welcome Fr. Erickson.

One private offering can be the use of our annual “We Remember” booklet for your personal prayer.

Our Pastoral Care Department — a BIG THANK YOU to Mary Kay Hird, our Pastoral Care Adminis- trative Assistant, for her good work — invited all our parish families who lost a loved one this past year to submit a biography for their deceased member.

We then organize all these offerings into our We Re- member booklet. Everyone is encouraged to include one of these individuals in your daily prayer during this month of November. FYI — the booklets can be found near the baptismal font in church.

Another offering that is both private and communal can be for you to utilize our “Book of Remembrance.”

You are invited to write the names of your deceased loved ones in this parish book. These names are then included in our daily Masses throughout the month of November. FYI — this book is also found near the baptismal font in church.

Yes, we are members of the Communion of Saints, and we do believe in the power of prayer. I encour- age everyone to take time during this month of November to celebrate these two tenets of our Christian faith.

God bless, Fr. Brian

August 31, 2014

Recently a parishioner approached me about the possibility of offering a parish Mass on the first Saturday of each month. I encouraged them to investigate the interest level in the parish and to bring the idea to our Worship Commission.

Subsequently, a poll was taken that showed 28 families expressing interest; in addition, our Worship Commission recently discussed and approved a trial period. Therefore, from September through January, a parish Mass will be offered on the first Saturday of each month at 9:00 am. I am open to meeting with all interested parties to discuss how to develop this tradition within our parish. I hope to see a good turnout for our first Mass on September 6th. Below is a description of the First Saturday devotion I found on one of the Catholic websites.

Summer blessings, Fr. Brian

What is the Catholic Tradition of First Saturday?

The Catholic devotion of First Saturdays was given to the Church by Our Lady of Fatima and the Child Jesus through the children of Fatima. It is a devotion that atones for the sorrows of Our Lady. On July 13, 1917, Mary appeared to the children and showed them a vision of hell. Afterward, she told the children,

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace… I shall come to ask for… the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays…” 

Eight years later, when one of the children, Sr. Lucia, was a postulant, Our Lord appeared to her with Our Lady and showed Sr. Lucia the Immaculate Heart, pierced by a sword. Our Lady said,

sacred-heart-of-mary“Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.” 

How to Practice the Devotion

The devotion takes place over a period of five consecutive months and each Saturday atones for a different offense against Our Lady. The five Saturdays atone for:

  1. Attacks against Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception.
  2. Attacks against her perpetual virginity.
  3. Attacks against her place as the Mother God and mother of all humanity.
  4. Those who try to implant indifference and hatred of Our Lady within the hearts of children.
  5. Those who insult her sacred image.

On each of these Saturdays you must:

  1. Receive communion in the state of grace within 24 hours of Saturday. (This usually will involve going to confession beforehand).
  2. Say a five-decade rosary
  3. Meditate on the mysteries for at least fifteen minutes. This could be done all at once or you can spend three minutes on each mystery as you say the rosary.

Why Practice the Devotion?

You should first approach the practice of this devotion with love for Our Lady and Our Lord. When practiced worthily Our Lady promises to assist you at the hour of your death with all the graces necessary for salvation. Through this devotion many souls can be saved, including your own. As with any devotion, the promise is not a free ticket heaven. Rather, it is a promise of Divine assistance for those who have lived Christian lives and frequented the sacraments.

July 13, 2014

Below is the next installment of my summer series from Our Sunday Visitor’s “Top Ten Questions Catholics Are Asked” (Click here to read Part I or Part II).

OSV offers a regular pamphlet series on various Catholic issues/teachings. Check out their website for more info.

Summer blessings, Fr. Brian

We Catholics are often asked tough questions about our Catholic faith and its relationship to the Bible. Here are the ten most-asked questions, and the answers that should help you satisfy both your questioner and yourself.

6. Why do you pray to idols (statues)?

No Catholic who knows anything about the Catholic faith has ever worshiped a statue (as in pagan idolatry). If we cherish the memory of mere political heroes with statues, and that of war heroes with monuments, then there can be no objection to honoring saints and righteous men and women: “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Pet 2:17 — see also Rom 12:22 23). Statues are simply a visual reminder of great saints and heroes of the faith (Heb 11), who are more alive than we are (2 Cor 3:18), as is evident by their praying: “O Sovereign Lord…how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” (Rev 6:10 — see also Ps 35:17). The saints in heaven were never intended by God to be cut off from the Body of Christ on earth. They are involved in intercession, just as the saints on earth are, and they are described as “so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1).

5. Why do you confess yours sins to a priest?

Jesus Christ gave his disciples — and by extension, priests — the power not only to “loose” sins (that is, forgive in God’s name), but also to “bind” (that is impose penances): “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 18:18 — see also Mt 16:19). “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:23). The priest serves as the representative of God and of His mercy. Confession gives new courage, confidence, and a fresh start. One learns humility by this practice, receives additional grace in order to avoid sin, and attains a certainty of forgiveness that is superior to mere feelings. Confession is also indicated in Matthew (3:5-6), Acts (19:18), and 1 John (1:9).

(Click here to read Part IV)

July 6, 2014

Below is the next installment of my summer series from Our Sunday Visitor’s “Top Ten Questions Catholics Are Asked” (Click here to read Part I).

OSV offers a regular pamphlet series on various Catholic issues/teachings. Check out their website for more info.

Summer blessings, Fr. Brian

We Catholics are often asked tough questions about our Catholic faith and its relationship to the Bible. Here are the ten most-asked questions, and the answers that should help you satisfy both your questioner and yourself.

8. Why do you call your priest “Father”?

“And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (Mt 23:9). In this passage, Jesus is teaching that God the Father alone is ultimately the source of all authority. But He is not speaking absolutely, because if so, that would eliminate even biological fathers, the title “Church Fathers,” the founding fathers of a country or organization, and so on. Jesus himself uses the term “father” in Matthew (15:4-5; 19:5, 19, 29; 21:31), John (8:56), and several other places. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus actually presents the Rich Man as using the address “Father Abraham” twice (Lk 16:24, 30 — see also Acts 7:2; Rom 4:12; Jas 2:21). St. Paul also uses the term when he writes, “I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (1 Cor 4:15 — 1 Cor 4:14 16), and refers to “our forefather Isaac” (Rom 9:10).

7. Why do you pray for the dead?

The Bible clearly teaches the rightness of prayers for the dead in 2 Maccabees (12:40, 42, 44 45): “Then under the tunic of every one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was why these men had fallen… [A]nd they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out….For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead….[H]e made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sins.” St. Paul teaches this in a similar way: “Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?” (1 Cor 15:29). This indicates prayer and fasting for the dead. The word baptism often symbolically refers to penances (Mk 10:38-39; Lk 3:16, 12:50). The apostle Paul also appears to be praying for a dead person, Onesiphorus, in 2 Timothy (1:16-18).

(Click here to read Part III)

April 13, 2014

Holy Week has begun. Of all the weeks of the year, the Church declares this one to be “holy.” The liturgies throughout this seven-day period invite us to reflect on and enter into the Paschal Mystery.

Yes, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection are put before us in ways not seen during the remainder of our liturgical year.

We begin on Palm Sunday with the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. We stand by the roadside and join in proclaiming: “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest!” Quickly we move to the upper room and find ourselves celebrating the Last Supper. We are troubled by Jesus’ words: “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” We rush to deny any disloyalty and to recommit ourselves as followers of Jesus; and yet, we soon find ourselves standing with Peter denying Jesus three times. The Lord’s Passion brings us to the gibbet of the cross and our hearts are crushed as we hear Jesus cry out: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” How can we move forward? How can we believe? The Church then gives us a short respite. We close our Palm Sunday liturgy by once again being nurtured by the Holy Eucharist.

We then are given three days to conclude our Lenten preparation. We fine-tune our forty-day discipline of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

And finally, the hard work of Lent concludes with the beginning of the Triduum (i.e., the period from the start of the Holy Thursday Mass through the Easter Sunday celebration).

Holy Thursday brings us back to the Last Supper. We are asked to re-commit ourselves to serving the Lord, the Church and our fellow brothers and sisters. We celebrate receiving and being the Body of Christ. We depart nurtured, yet wondering what this service entails.

Good Friday plunges us back into the mystery of the passion and death of Jesus. How do we embrace the cross? What does the crucifix mean to us? Can we walk the walk of Jesus?

Finally, thankfully, Holy Saturday arrives. We begin in darkness. Suddenly the light of Christ shines through our despair to provide us hope. Our Scripture readings traverse our salvation history. We invite others to join us in our faith journey — Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist are celebrated — and new members are welcomed into our community (i.e., neophytes). For the first time in 40+ days we are allowed to proclaim the “A” word. Let us rejoice and be glad!

Easter Sunday brings our journey through the Paschal Mystery to its final stage as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. We kick off our fifty-day Easter party. What does this gift mean to us? What is the church? As Christians, what are we called to do with this gift?

Yes, my brothers and sisters in Christ, we have entered the most sacred of all weeks. May God bless us as we once again embrace the central mysteries of our Christian/Catholic faith.

Holy Week blessings, Fr. Brian

December 29, 2013

Patient God, the clock struck midnight
and I partied with a strange sadness in my heart,
confusion in my mind.

Now, I ask you to gather me,
for I realize the storms of time have scattered me,
the furies of the year past have driven me,
many sorrows have scarred me,
many accomplishments have disappointed me,
much activity has wearied me, and fear has spooked me
into a hundred hiding places,
one of which is pretended gaiety.

I am sick of a string of “Have a nice day’s.”

What I want is passionate days,
wondrous days, dangerous days, blessed days, surprising days.

What I want is you!

Patient God, this day teeters on the edge of waitingDSC01697
and things seem to slip away from me,
as though everything was only a memory
and memory is capricious.

Help me not to let my life slip away from me.

O God, I hold up my life to you now,
as much as I can, and as high as I can,
in this mysterious reach called prayer.

Come close, lest I wobble and fall short.

It is not days or years I seek from you,
not infinity and enormity, but small things and moments and awareness,
awareness that you are in what I am and in what I have been indifferent to.

It is not new time, but new eyes, new heart I seek, and you.

Patient God, in this teetering time,
this time in the balance, this time of waiting,
make me aware of moments,
moments of song, moments of breads and friends,
moments of jokes (some of them on me)
which, for a moment, deflate my pomposities;
moments of sleep and warm beds,
moments of children laughing and parents bending,
moments of sunsets and sparrows outspunking winter,
moments when broken things get mended
with glue or guts or mercy or imagination;
moments when splinters shine and rocks shrink,
moments when I know myself blest,
not because I am so awfully important,
but because you are so awesomely God,
no less of the year to come as of all the years past;
no less of this moment than of all my moments;
no less of those who forget you as of those who remember,
as I do now, in this teetering time.

O Patient God, make something new in me, in this year, for you.

— by Rev. Ted Loder