Ice Cream and My 100 Favorite People

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Welcome to festival weekend, everyone!  We kicked off the festival today with a Golf Outing (a gorgeous day for it!) and an ice cream social this afternoon!

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100 or so of my favorite people joined me this afternoon for ice cream sundaes with a gazillion different toppings, and even better…..root beer floats! (Can you guess which one I had?)

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More pictures will be up on the website soon, but I wanted you to see some of the cutest.  Please be sure to join us for the festival this weekend — lots of great food, great people, great bands….and the forecast calls for great weather too!

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St. Dominic, pray for us!

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Summer Fun for a Rainy Afternoon!

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Want to have some fun on a rainy, humid afternoon?  Try this great idea, sent to me by Paul Burzynski!

Ice Cream in a Bag

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 cup half and half

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 cup salt (Kosher or rock salt work best, but table salt also works just fine)

1 pint Ziploc bag

1 gallon Ziploc bag

Ice cubes (enough to fill the gallon sized bag half full)

Combine sugar, half and half, and vanilla in the pint sized bag.  Seal tightly.

Place the ice and the salt in the gallon bag.  Place the smaller sealed bag inside the larger sealed bag.  Seal the larger bag.  Shake the bags until the mixture hardens, about 5 minutes.  Feel the small bag to determine when it’s ready.

Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, and add in mix-ins, like candy or sprinkles. Eat the ice cream right out of the bag.  Enjoy!

 

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News from Rome: Seminarian Michael Thiel Reports!

Some of you may know that our Teaching Parish Seminarian, Michael Thiel, is in Rome for part of the summer.  Michael is a seminarian for the Diocese of Green Bay, and is in the priestly formation program at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee.  Every seminarian has a Teaching Parish, and we were lucky to get Michael!

Michael’s having a very interesting summer, filled with lots of travels.  The diocese of Green Bay sent him to Rome for part of the summer for studies, and he sent a few of us this recent letter, which I thought you might enjoy.  (In case you’re wondering from the pictures, Michael is not yet ordained.  In some parts of the world, especially Rome, it is customary for seminarians to wear clerical garb.)

Hello from Rome, and a special Happy Fathers Day greeting to Fr. Dave and Fr. Brad. 

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I got to celebrate my fathers day going to Holy Mass with our Holy Father Francis. Before the Mass began, he toured the square in the Popemobile, and passed just a few feet away from me. He also have a special blessing to thousands of Harley-Davidson riders who were gathered in Rome. The constant rumble of their engines this weekend made me feel right at home. 

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A few of the subjects I am studying here in Rome include the history, theology, and biblical foundations of the papacy, the second Vatican council, and beauty in Christian art and Architecture.  The art and architecture class is one of my favorites,  ecause before entering the seminary, I was studying architecture at UW-Milwaukee. A part this class in Rome is taking tours of different basilicas and churches around the city. The majority of the churches are built from Romanesque architecture, which is generally recognized by thick solid walls and rounded arches. One of my personal favorite styles of church architecture is gothic, which I’d generally recognized by pointed arches and larger stained glass windows. In addition to the aethstetic beauty, I also find them theologically beautiful. The tall pillars and pointer arches direct the worshipers’ minds and hearts upwards, towards heaven, towards God. Stained glass windows in addition to revealing a depiction of a saint or scene from the life of Jesus, also let natural light into the sanctuary and nave, just as Christ the light enters into our lives. 

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One of the few churches built with gothic architecture that I have found here in Rome is Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, which Is the resting place of the body of St. Catherine of Sienna, (another Dominican saint). It is one of many beautiful churches here in Rome. 

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Lest you think all I do is spend time in class and visiting churches, I have also been enjoying may fair share of cafés for cappuccino and gelato (similar to ice cream). I have also taken several adventures just exploring the streets of Rome. There is always something interesting to see or someone interesting to talk to. 

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Pray for me. 

Michael

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Dinner Recommendations from Father Brad

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In my office, I have a speaker that is tied into church.  It’s one of my favorite things about my office, as I can always hear what’s going on over there — both very useful and quite fun.

I came in a few minutes later than usual this morning, only to hear the tail end of morning Mass.  Father Brad likes to make dinner recommendations (or sometimes, beverage recommendations) for the day based on different solemnities or memorials.

Today is the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, one of the most common devotions in the Catholic Church today. That is why many people are surprised to find out that the Feast of the Sacred Heart was not celebrated until fairly recently.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus took root first in France, but it took the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) for the devotion to become universal. In 1856, Pope Pius IX decreed that the feast should be celebrated by the universal Church, in reparation for our ingratitude for the sacrifice that Christ has made for us.

Since the Feast of the Sacred Heart always falls 19 days after Pentecost Sunday, it is almost always celebrated in June, which is why June is known as the Month of the Sacred Heart. It can also fall in July, however–the Month of the Precious Blood of Jesus. These two months, and the feast they share, lead us to meditate on the connection between Christ’s Precious Blood, the instrument of our salvation through His Sacrifice on the Cross, and His Sacred Heart, which represents His mercy toward mankind.

Father Brad’s dinner recommendation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart:  Enjoy something that makes your heart happy!

I asked Father Brad what he’s having for dinner, and he said “sweetbreads.”  I don’t think there’s anything in my refrigerator that makes my heart happy, so I’m calling my husband to tell him we have to go out.  Father Brad said we had to.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

 

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What’s Really Important?

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From our Guest Blogger, Michael Steinhardt:

Conservative columnist and baseball devotee George Will once said of the “national pastime,” “Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”  While this observation might resonate with many people, I acknowledge that I have let the fortunes of my favorite team become more important than other more important things going on in the world.  

You would think that a person my age would have gotten accustomed to swings in the fortunes of the Milwaukee Brewers without allowing it affect my mood, my outlook, and my world view.  Maybe I should back off and consider Mr. Will’s admonition beyond the context of baseball.  Perhaps I ought to give more time to looking at other things going on around me and how they relate to the success or failures of life more so than the score of the Brewers latest game which is usually just another loss.      

Awhile back I was sitting in my favorite coffee place one morning scrambling for the Sports Section to find the details of the Brewers’ game the night before.  In doing so, I later occurred to me that I had skipped over and given only a passing thought to stories, for example, about the meager progress in infant mortality among minority populations, the high volume of acuity for psychiatric crisis services in local hospitals, a fair way to accommodate currently illegal immigrants as citizens, and the adverse effects of early rain and dipping temperatures on the economy.  In doing so, I had precluded any chance that they too should affect my mood, my outlook, and my world view without ignoring the Brewers.  In many instances, for many people a new day does not offer a “new opportunity” and a chance to put “failures behind and start over again.” 

In the course of many business trips before I retired, I took interest of the people I observed in restaurants and airports and particularly the order in which they read the newspapers they read.  I theorized that this said a lot about their priorities.  I assigned those who chose the Entertainment Section as being the most shallow followed in short by those that went right to the Sports Section (my choice); next came those reading the Business Section; and finally those who chose the World News.  I am now – not at all related to the feeble Brewers – reconsidering this habit once again.
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Happy Anniversary, Father Dave!

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Wednesday marks the 37th anniversary of Father Dave’s ordination to the priesthood!  He was ordained on June 5, 1976. 

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He’s a little older, and just a little grayer 37 years later — but still is an enthusastic priest who loves the Church and ministry!

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I am so very grateful for his priestly ministry.  He’s one of the wisest people I know, and has taught me a great deal about good ministry in a parish community. 

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If you’d like to send him anniversary wishes, his email is david.reith@stdominic.net.

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Happy Anniversary, Father Dave — may God bless you now and always!

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Dear Parents of Young Children in Church

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One of my favorite parishioners sent this to me, and I nearly wept when I saw it.  As a parent of a wiggly three-year-old who spends half her time in the Quieting Area, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  Thanks, Jamie, author of http://iamtotallythatmom.blogspot.com

You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring.

I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant carseat and the diaper bag as you find a seat. I see you wince as your child cries. I see you anxiously pull things out of your bag of tricks to try to quiet them.

And I see you with your toddler and your preschooler. I watch you cringe when your little girl asks an innocent question in a voice that might not be an inside voice let alone a church whisper.  I hear the exasperation in your voice as you beg your child to just sit, to be quiet as you feel everyone’s eyes on you. Not everyone is looking, but I know it feels that way.

I know you’re wondering, is this worth it? Why do I bother? I know you often leave church more exhausted than fulfilled. But what you are doing is so important.

When you are here, the church is filled with a joyful noise. When you are here, the Body of Christ is more fully present. When you are here, we are reminded that this worship thing we do isn’t about Bible Study or personal, quiet contemplation but coming together to worship as a community where all are welcome, where we share in the Word and Sacrament together.When you are here, I have hope that these pews won’t be empty in ten years when your kids are old enough to sit quietly and behave in worship. I know that they are learning how and why we worship now, before it’s too late. They are learning that worship is important.

I see them learning. In the midst of the cries, whines, and giggles, in the midst of the crinkling of pretzel bags and the growing pile of crumbs I see a little girl who insists on going two pews up to share peace with someone she’s never met. I hear a little boy slurping (quite loudly) every last drop of his communion wine out of the cup determined not to miss a drop of Jesus. I watch a child excitedly color a cross and point to the one in the front of the sanctuary.  I hear the echos of Amens just a few seconds after the rest of the community says it together. I watch a boy just learning to read try to sound out the words in the worship book or count his way to Hymn 672. Even on weeks when I can’t see my own children learning because, well, it’s one of those mornings, I can see your children learning.

I know how hard it is to do what you’re doing, but I want you to know, it matters. It matters to me. It matters to my children to not be alone in the pew. It matters to the congregation to know that families care about faith, to see young people… and even on those weeks when you can’t see the little moments, it matters to your children.

It matters that they learn that worship is what we do as a community of faith, that everyone is welcome, that their worship matters. When we teach children that their worship matters, we teach them that they are enough right here and right now as members of the church community. They don’t need to wait until they can believe, pray or worship a certain way to be welcome here, and I know adults who are still looking to be shown that. It matters that children learn that they are an integral part of this church, that their prayers, their songs, and even their badly (or perfectly timed depending on who you ask) cries and whines are a joyful noise because it means they are present.

I know it’s hard, but thank you for what you do when you bring your children to church. Please know that your family – with all of its noise, struggle, commotion, and joy – are not simply tolerated, you are a vital part of the community gathered in worship.

 

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