Speech Impediments and Prayer

Speech Impediments and Prayer

My dear Friends, To see the lavish way in which Jesus brings healing is something we become too accustomed to. Did you notice in the gospel his discreet and gentle way of taking this deaf man away from the noise and chaos of the crowd? How he invested his full attention in this “disposable one”? How incarnational his method of healing is? How he groaned to set this man free? Ephphatha – Be opened!

You and I have speech impediments. We are deaf. We sometimes revel in the self-pity and noise of the crowds. We need an incarnational intervention with the Carpenter of Nazareth, with the Prince of Peace.

I know so many of you want to act – to clean up the Church – to begin to redeem the wrongs and put things right. So do I. I feel something new desires to break through in our Church, yet I cannot place my finger on it. I only know that some time of focused prayer – for reparation and discernment – has to be our first step. So, please join me:

This Thursday, September 13th from 3-4 a.m. (that’s not a typo!) at St. Mary’s lower church for a simple time of adoration and reparation before the Blessed Sacrament. Priests around the world have agreed to pray at 3 am in their respective churches.

This Friday, September 14th from 7-8 p.m. at St. Augustine’s again for a simple time of adoration and reparation.

Tuesday, September 25th (time TBD) in prayer before the relics of St. Padre Pio at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

St. Augustine, St. Cloud, and Our Blessed Mother, graciously intercede for us!

Fr. Scott

Introducing Fr. Jose!

In our Gospel this week, Jesus refutes the ritualistic observance of purity. What matters most is keeping our heart pure, for "From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile." St. James exhorts in the second reading, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves”.

It is with a heart overwhelming with joy and gratitude that I complete six weeks at the St. Aug’s and St. Mary’s community. Here, I have experienced how people respond when the Word is in their heart, and not merely on their lips. I avail myself of the liberty to share with you some information about me which may solidify our relationship.

I was born as the fifth child of my parents, Joseph and Ann, on 19 March, 1965, in South India. I have six siblings: two brothers and four sisters. Right from my childhood I wished to become a priest of Christ. I used to attend Holy Mass every day and serve as an altar boy. My greatest desire was to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice. When I was 12, I participated in the episcopal consecration of the newly designated bishop of my home diocese. During the consecration ceremony, at the time of the invocation of the Holy Spirit, I experienced an irresistible call from God to dedicate my life totally for God. Ever since, I started praying intensely for the gift of priesthood. After my school graduation, I joined college and completed a program of studies in science. Meanwhile, I continued to remain active in the youth programs in the parish. I used to pray rosary whenever I could, asking Mother Mary to lead me to her son’s altar. After adequate reflection and discernment, I joined the Vincentian community. The Vincentian Congregation is a relatively humble religious community founded in India in 1904 focusing on the evangelization among non-Christians and re-evangelization among Christians.

After 10 years of studies and formation, I was ordained a priest on the New Year Day of 1992 by the same bishop whose episcopal consecration ceremony became a turning point in my life. In the first three years of priesthood, I was assigned to college studies and pastoral work which I really enjoyed. The following years of my priestly service was mostly spent in three different high schools where I fulfilled teaching and leadership roles. Finally, my long-term desire to do full time pastoral service is actualized here and now; although in a very distant and never imagined place.

Together we shall witness to the mercies of the Lord by opening our hearts to Jesus Christ and giving expression to what’s in our hearts,

Fr. Jose

Amazing Start For The Youth Group

Amazing Start For The Youth Group

The newly formed youth group is off to an amazing start!  A large number of youth have come together twice for prayer and fun and games.  All high school students are invited to be part of our Youth Group.  We meet at the Mary Center of St. Mary's Cathedral from 7:00 - 9:00 every Sunday night!  We really concentrate on authentic community, prayer, Scripture, service, and the Sacraments. Open to all high school students! Invite your friends and we'll see you then!  Call Nikki at 251-8335 for more information.  You won’t want to miss it.

Parish Directory Photos

Photos for our parish directory are scheduled to be taken the first two weeks of August at St. Mary’s Cathedral, parishioners from both St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Augustine are welcome to make an appointment.  Sign up for your family photo at stmarystcloud.org . 

Some volunteers are needed to help check in families as they arrive for their photo sessions.  Appointments are scheduled every 10 minutes, so there will be lots of extra time to read your summer book, crochet your winter afghan, or play Canasta on your iPad.  Please call Kelly in the parish office at 251-1840 if you are willing to help out for a few hours.  Don’t forget to sign up for your family photo at stmarystcloud.org.


Missions Large and Small

Missions Large and Small

Our Gospel this weekend begins with the words, “Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.” Now perhaps you’ve been moving about in this summer heat in groups larger than two, but no matter the size, there’s also been a purpose – a mission – placed upon your activity. The beauty of seeing our summer activity through the lens of Jesus’ missionary work is that our selfish instincts, impulses to self-pity, or feelings of inadequacy can fade to the background for a time. The work of a missionary is not first their own – they are preciously chosen and given a word from above to be shared. This shared Word of God blesses the recipient but also returns in abundance to the giver. Just look at some of the missions at work in our midst:

♦ Our new associate priest, Fr. Jose, is expected to arrive this Tuesday evening and should join us for Sunday liturgies next week. He will be a missionary to us, and I know you’ll join me in giving him a hearty St. Aug’s and St. Mary’s welcome.

♦ Just last Thursday, we were blessed to have friends from Slovenia visit us as they toured the sites of prominent Slovenes: Bishop Baraga, Bishop Trobec and Fr. Pierz. Again, they brought the universality of the Church family with them.

♦ In the coming weeks, I hope you’ll be able to hear the testimonies of our Peruvian missionaries, whether from the ambo, the back of church, our stockholders dinner, or other conversation. What missionary momentum this adventure has created!

♦ Also, we welcome back our Steubenville missionaries on Monday – please ask them about their adventures and be that “oxygen” that fans their faith into fire.

Of course, one does not need to travel great distances to respond to Jesus’ missionary call. In fact, might I encourage each of you to pray about someone in your neighborhood that you’ve been meaning to (re)introduce yourself to6let your mission be across the street!

With praise and thanks to God!

Fr. Scott