Your friend in Christ,
Praised be Jesus Christ! This week we celebrate Catholic Schools Week and we praise God for all the good He has done in the hearts and souls of those privileged to receive a Catholic education. Before Christmas I saw a picture on Facebook of the Columbus Catholic boys basketball team visiting the tomb of Staff Sergeant Joseph Altmann. Among other things, the caption said that their coaches “wanted them to know why we stand and put our right hand over our heart during the national anthem. What a great teaching moment.” Nothing inspires us more than courage, especially when proven by a willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice. The December issue of “Columbia” (i.e. the magazine put out by the Knights of Columbus) focused on the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. One of the stories had to do with Father Aloysius Schmitt – he grew up on a farm in Iowa, attended what is now Loras College, and then served as a U.S. Navy chaplain. The article tells it best: “On Dec. 7, 1941, Father Schmitt had just said Sunday Mass when the Oklahoma was hit by Japanese torpedos and capsized. Trapped below deck, the priest helped several sailors escape through a small porthole. Something in his pocket, possibly his breviary (i.e. his prayer book), got caught when he tried crawling through, and he ordered the men to push him back in. “Pull out the men nearest the hatch,” he said. “I’ll stay with the rest of my boys.” Disappearing inside, Father Schmitt helped more men escape, 12 in all, before the water engulfed him . . . . Father Schmitt’s remains were positively identified this past September and laid to rest in Christ the King Chapel at Loras College October 8.” Our Catholic faith configures us to Christ, who gave His life as a ransom for all people. For those who spend time learning about Jesus and how He lived, the potential for true conversion is always present. Yes, it’s true that some graduates of Catholic schools fail to live their faith, but that faith will never fail them. Catholic schools scatter the seed of faith, hope and love – only God can provide the growth, and He does so according to each person’s capacity and desire. Any student who has attended a Catholic school hopefully has come into contact with Jesus Christ in all of His glory and goodness. For those who have had this experience, it changes us in ways that we cannot always articulate. William Halloran was the first member of the Knights of Columbus to die during World War II – like Father Schmitt he died at Pearl Harbor. In a letter explaining to his boss his decision to join the Navy Reserves, Halloran wrote, “I want you to know, Ralph, why I feel I should go . . . I feel that I have been particularly fortunate: I have been able to work through college and am now employed at a fine, outstanding concern with a great future. Others have been less fortunate. They have less reason to give up a period of their life. So, therefore, the more fortunate ones such as myself should go.” Halloran was a product of Catholic schools – he would have heard on more than one occasion the words from Scripture “to whom much is given, much will be required,” (Luke 12:48). He never forgot those words and at some point began to live them. Joseph Altmann volunteered on Christmas day five years ago to serve God and country – he didn’t have to go. Joe’s family and Catholic education formed him so deeply that he never hesitated to put others first that day. It is our hope that Columbus Catholic schools will long continue to guide all students to such selflessness and valor! May God strengthen our commitment to supporting our Catholic Schools in every way possible!
Your friend in Christ,
Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM
Saturday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:30 & 7:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 AM
Tuesday–Thursday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM
Friday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM & 7:00-8:00 PM
Saturday:3:45 -4:15 PM & 6:15 -6:45 PM
PERPETUAL ADORATION: The Marshfield Deanery has the John Paul II Adoration Chapel located in the basement of St. John the Baptist Parish, at 201 W. Blodgett St. The chapel is accessible from the rear parking lot. For more information or to sign up:
contact Dale at 715-383-2262 or Jean Kaiser 715-387-0571. 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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