July 31, 2015
Dear St. Joseph Parishioners,
Greetings and peace. On this Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola—founder of the Jesuits in the 16 th century –it is a good occasion to pray again for Pope Francis and his ministry as the Bishop of Rome. After all, Francis is the first ever Successor of Peter to come from the Society of Jesus, even if he did choose a Franciscan name.
- “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” Jesus the teacher pulls together so many themes all at once. He applies Psalm 78.24 even as like Moses he fees the people in the Wilderness. Even more, the mysterious manna is not simply from beyond—it is the gift of himself who is the bread of life. The one who comes to Jesus need never hunger or thirst; for His flesh is real food and His blood real drink.
- Deacon Jim has the homily at Saturday 5pm and Sunday 9:30am. I’ll preach in Spanish and have all our Masses.
- St. Joseph Vietnamese Community welcomes Fr. Hoang back this Sunday (8/2) with a Mass moved to 11am (instead of 9:30am). Several priests—including myself will concelebrate. Fr. Hoang celebrates his 83rd birthday too and there will be a party afterwards in the Parish Hall.
- First Saturday Mass in the Adoration Chapel at 9am tomorrow.
- Deacon Ed and Carleen celebrate 50 years of marriage today. Congratulations! 5 of their grandchildren carried up the gifts at our morning Mass at 8:15am. Tomorrow, the Falleurs celebrate an anniversary Mass but with family only (and two priests like family). They love our parish and feel close to so many they didn’t see any way to keep the event small and not making themselves the center of attention except by keeping this family focused. Dedicated Carleen and daughter Yvette plan on singing in the choir Saturday evening at 5pm—and Shelly will add her guitar.
- Parishioner Irene Koditek, Mother of Sandy Brewer our principal, has died. Her Rosary will be Sunday at 7pm in our parish Church with the Funeral Mass on Monday at 10am and committal to follow. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.
- Our 125th Anniversary is almost here:
- Tshirts available in 4 languages (same design) and 2 colors. Please pre-order, 1 for $20, 2+ $15 each (note: xxl +$3).
- Mass with Bishop Slattery and invited guests—including Fr. Bryan—at 5pm with all our choirs and organ too. Dinner for all to follow (but we need to know you are coming so please sign up) and Dancing later.
- Our Youth are catching their breath after some busy July days. Anglo Youth combined a Mission Trip to Tulsa Catholic Charities with some fun in BA and Hispanic Youth participated in a regional athletic competition at Saints Peter and Paul in Tulsa all day last Saturday.
- St. Joseph School starts August 14 this year—a day before our 125th Celebration. Catholic education has been here in Muskogee since 1890 in Indian Territory—eight years before there were public schools. We have openings and want every desk filled with a student eager to learn. We are at our best with students who excel and those who need extra attention to catch up to grade level. Our outstanding teachers benefit from small class-sizes and motivated parents. It is a formula for success. Contact Sandy or Chelsea at the school to arrange a tour. We welcome students of all faiths.
- Campus-wide improvements continue with an updated fence on the north side of the pre-school. We continue to face challenges with an occasional act of vandalism but are doing are best to stay on top of it.
- The Convocation for Priests in Oklahoma City turned out to be a marvelous Tuesday and very informative about the processing of presenting a person for canonization, like Fr. Stan Rother.
- Muskogee Catholic Charities continues to serve those in need in our community. Together with St. Joseph School, they’ll coordinate collection of school supplies. The little red school house is in the sanctuary starting Saturday to remind us.
- Fr. Basil Keenan, OSB, who will be our Temporary Administrator starting October 1, had a great visit on Wednesday. He met the Parish Staff and also visited Eddie Warrior Prison with me, the VA, Eastar and Muskogee Catholic Charities. He will be here again Wednesday evening August 19 and stay through the weekend of August 22-23.
- Last night, the Serra Club—a group of Catholics who foster vocations—hosted Mass at the Church of the Madalene (Fr. Bryan is their priest chaplain) with Bishop Slattery, our seminarians and their families. I was honored to be seated with Alessandro and his Mom Julia. It was a great evening.
Today has turned out to be one of those days. After a great breakfast and tour of the USS Batfish—one of my friends served on her when she was in the US Naval Reserve (before coming to Muskogee in the 1970s), we not only learned about Irene’s death but also I was called to the VA for a veteran unlikely to live through the day. Plus, we were disappointed to find the aftereffects of some vandalism this morning outside the Church and now, we’ll need to repair the Sacred Heart statue outside the Church (north side). Joan Pierret, whom I believe knows so much about so many things in our parish, commented: “O, that’s happened before over at Sacred Heart, weren’t some of the fingers missing?” She is right; they were. History has a way of keeping things in perspective. This too shall pass.
May God bless you and all you love (and all you should).
St. Joseph Church and School