Pilgrimage for Life - We are all home safe from the Pilgrimage for Life. The sun came out during the March, and we prayed as a group outside a Planned Parenthood on Saturday morning. We did visit the Pentagon Memorial, but had to leave early to avoid winter storm "Harper" and take a route through Kentucky to get home. I am very proud of our group, who remained positive and pleasant through all the emergency changes. Thank you to all who prayed for us and sup- ported us. Thank you to the Knights of Columbus, Marshfield Right to Life, the family of Teresa LaMere, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Diocese of La Crosse for providing scholarships. Thank you also to Dan and Dorothy Flees who provided much needed guidance during the journey.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Even though it was three weeks ago, I’d like to share a few insights from the time I was able to spend with my classmates as we celebrated 20 years of priesthood. One of the most edifying things was hearing over and over again how the guys are responding to our present crisis. Almost to the last man the consensus is these have been the most painful days in our years as priests. Just the same, my classmates have adopted an even more determined approach to holiness, seeing that as the best response to the sins of priests and bishops. For example, one of my classmates gave up alcohol completely. Others are increasing their prayer life and working harder to grow closer to Jesus in the Eucharist. And the evidence of these spiritual practices was especially clear in the passion that I witnessed in the way we’re living our priesthood. While all of us are struggling in various areas, there was a tangible hope that God only reproves those whom He loves. In other words, we have come to accept that our time in the crucible, while painful, is leading us to trust Jesus more while listening to the voices of futility less. I came home inspired that God is working in us and that His grace has not been without effect. I see that in myriad ways in our parishes too. For example, we have many young families that are practicing their faith and that is an extraordinary blessing for both our parishes and our Catholic schools. Many people are attending Mass more often and the confession lines are always formidable. We have definitely witnessed a spike in Marian devotion as I have a hard time keeping enough Scapulars around to serve everyone. Moreover, the Secular Carmelites are flourishing as are the 3rd Order Franciscans – both good signs of people advancing in the spiritual life. You should know that there are many wonderful opportunities coming to our area in the near future and now is the time to mark your calendar. For example, Saint John’s is hosting a one-day men’s conference on Saturday, February 23rd. Father Giuseppe of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will be leading the day and you won’t want to miss him. Sacred Heart will then host a parish mission led by the same Father Giuseppe on February 25th-27th. Again, his talks will inspire and provide solid spiritual formation and would be very worth your while to attend. Personally, I would love to be there too but I’ll be giving a parish mission in Athens (the one in Wisconsin, not Greece). Lent begins on March 6th this year and we’ll be giving out a book by Scott Hahn for your spiritual reading. And Lent also means Stations of the Cross each Friday and 40 Hours Devotion just before Palm Sunday. Saint John’s willth again be hosting a one-day retreat on Saturday, March 9 . Back again (by popular demand) is Laura Boronski. Last year 60 women enjoyed her talks and left with many spiritual insights and true wisdom. We’ll have another Healing Mass too, this one on March 10th at OLP at 3:30 p.m. And don’t forget our own parish mission, hosted this year by Christ the King. We’ll have our own renowned Christopher Carstens from the Diocese of La Crosse. Chris is one of the best teachers I’ve ever known and I am very much looking forward to his presentations on March 31st and April 1-2. The mission will conclude on April 3rd with the musical genius of Luke Spehar – he came to Marshfield last August and was absolutely wonderful. And in the midst of all of this, with our new Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel, now is a great time to sign up for a weekly hour with our Lord. Yes, we live in troubled times, but in the immortal words of Saint Paul, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more” (Rom. 5:20).
May God stir our faith into flame, that it may purify us and encourage others!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Blessing the Mother Frances Streitel Center: Bishop Callahan will bless our new space on Tues., Jan. 29th. We sent out invitations and if you did not receive one, I am sorry. However, given the limited space and fire code requirements, we’re only allowed to invite about 60 people. That means we’ve invited members of our pastoral and finance council, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, some donors, and local clergy. The Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel officially opens on February 1st at 12:00pm and that will be a new chapter in Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Marshfield.
From the Church:
Through a bilateral agreement with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), the new body will be able to officially participate in every Italian or international athletic event. And the brand-new association could even pave the way to participation in the Olympic Games one day. “To see the white and yellow Vatican flag parade at the opening ceremony would be a dream, but it is not a short-term goal,” said the association’s inaugural president, Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, who is also the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
“I’ll Pray for You, Now What? - Join us at St. John the Baptist Parish (in new adoration chapel) Thursday, Jan. 24th, 6:30pm to 8:15pm. So often in our lives we feel we need to pray for people or situations, and people ask us for prayers. We say, “okay,” but then what? If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget to do it, or you’ll simply think about the situation, or perhaps you don’t even know what to ask for or how to go about doing it. Or maybe you wonder if it’s even effective or necessary, since God already knows what we need.
Andrea Jackson from Evangelical Catholic is coming back to our parish to help us understand the mystery of intercessory prayer, and do it more effectively. Learn how to become more faith-filled! Learn how to pray more effectively for your family, friends, coworkers, and yes, even your enemies and those who persecute you!
Praised be Jesus Christ! Brains and Brawn is an annual contest hosted by the Diocese of La Crosse either at the beginning or the end of Catholic Schools Week. The “Brains” component is similar to the high school quiz bowl format that was once rather commonplace and features ostensibly the smartest kids of various schools. The “Brawn” component is all about basketball. Insofar as I attended public school until my freshman year of high school, I never experienced the excitement of Brains and Brawn. That’s not to say that the two categories have not been manifest in my former associates. For example, Father Burish was definitely all brains and very little brawn. Father Kuhn was pretty much the opposite (and I won’t say anything mean about his being from Clark County). Father Sedlacek defied both categories: especially at this time of the year I’d suggest he’s in “literate Yeti” category. Father Barry is probably the hardest to classify. Some of you have openly wondered why I don’t pick on him as much as his predecessors. As I explained to Father Sedlacek a couple of months ago, Father Barry is such a genuinely good guy that it’s a bit like picking on Mother Teresa of Calcutta: all you do is come across as a big meanie! All of this is a circuitous introduction to ongoing spiritual and physical formation. January is a month when we might have more time indoors and thus is a great opportunity for learning. Over the years I’ve suggested the magazine “First Things” and I’d like to share a beautiful quote that was in the December edition: “In his commentary on the Gospel of John, Thomas Aquinas finds a clue to the relationship between the Old and New Testament in the mystical understanding of the miracle of the wine at Cana. According to St. Thomas, the pure water in the kegs is a reference to the Old Testament. Jesus does not discard the water, but transforms it. In fact all the water is converted into wine, not just part of it. This, says Thomas, refutes the Marcionites (a group of people whose beliefs were condemned) who reject the Old Testament. Jesus did not make wine out of nothing, but out of water, in order to show “that he was not proclaiming an entirely new teaching, discarding the old, but that he was perfecting it”. (First Things, Ludger Schwienhorst-Schonberger). If you want to learn more about your faith, there are so many great ways of doing so: you could subscribe to any of the daily Mass publications (e.g. Give us this Day, Magnificat, The Word Among Us, or Living with Christ) and meditate on the Scriptures. These periodicals also have reflections and great stories about the saints. If you love the Mass and want to get more out of it, I highly recommend Adoremus – it’s published four times a year and all they ask is for a donation. Adoremus is published in our own Diocese and is a society for the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy. You can subscribe by going to their website at adoremus.org. Finally, there are many opportunities for Bible studies and if you’ve never attended one, you owe it to yourself to try it sometime. Now as for physical formation, have you ever tried snowshoeing? Father Barry bought me a pair for Christmas and it’s a wonderful way to see the world recollected in the repose of winter. I’ve walked through McMillan Marsh many times in the winter without snowshoes, and while it was always beautiful, at times it was so arduous that I was reluctant to go out again afterwards. Snowshoeing is like moving from a Ford Focus to a Jeep Grand Cherokee... there I go, taking a cheap shot at the nicest associate we’ve ever had!
May our minds be open to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit, and may we respect our bodies as temples of that same Spirit!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Calling all bakers: Our Annual Parish bake sale will take place Feb. 2nd and 3rd at all weekend Masses. Please consider helping by providing your homemade baked goods. Pies, yeast breads, bars & breakfast treats are some of our best sellers, but all items are greatly appreciated. New this year: we would like to offer sugar free and gluten free items. If you have any baked good recipes that would qualify, please bring them in as well. You may bring your items to any of the Masses that weekend. Last year we had a great turn out. Let's continue our success! All proceeds go to help defray the costs of adult educational opportunities. If you have any questions, please call Connie. St. John’s Education Committee.
Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM
Saturday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:30 PM
Sunday: 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 AM
Tuesday–Friday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM
1st and 3rd Fridays: Confessions begin at 6:00*
Saturday: 3:30 - 4:15 PM
*Friday confessions begin at 6:00, but vary in duration
PERPETUAL ADORATION: The Marshfield Deanery has the St. John Paul II Adoration Chapel located in the lower level of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, at 201 W. Blodgett Street. The chapel is accessible from the rear parking lot. For more information or to sign up, contact Jean Kaiser at 715-503-0118 or Deacon Ray Draeger at 715-207-6085. Click on the image below for more information
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Welcome From Our Pastor
Welcome to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church! Ever since 1877 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Pope John Paul II called the parish a “school of prayer” and St. John’s is committed to promoting growth in holiness in every state in life. Each of us is called... Read More
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