Michael Muruilde

Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to work I go.

The time is ripe, the mortgage due,

Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho 

The above is the occupational hazard of spending too much time in the life of a 4 year old.  Actually, Karen told me the other day that when she overheard me and Fritz playing submarines and tugboats caught in a storm, it was difficult for her to tell who was the 4 year old! Time to go back to work. Of course, I could just claim that I was following Christ’s directive that unless I became as one of these (a child) I would not enter the kingdom of heaven. I’m not sure he meant literally, but then, I’m not taking a chance.

Last weekend, this weekend and the next weekend are  parables of the inherent power contained within seeds.  Anyone who has ever planted a seed knows the wonder of seeing it turn into something beautiful, yummy or irritating.

The metaphorical use of the seeds also speaks to a larger meaning; God’s Word made Flesh sows the seeds of     redemption to lead us to reunion with our Father. The seeds ARE His words and message, given to all and for all to become all that we can become on our way to heaven. They are signposts that allow us to lead others as well. We do that type of thing everyday. When I or any parent, grandparent, caregiver, aunt, uncle, etc. play with a child; give that child, whatever their age, attention, we are     planting in them the seeds reassuring them of their own worth; I must be someone, ‘cause Papa plays with me. Just as this is true for a child, it is true for an adult; loneliness is epidemic and the impact of a smile, a wave, a “hello”,     cannot be understated. Certainly grand gestures count, but these thousand little gestures spread love far and wide, just as the Sower intended.

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike

 

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A Letter Home From “Extreme Faith Camp”

By Pastoral Minister Andy Huettl

Hello Parishioner.  Have I a story for you & it starts earlier this year. Becky VanKauwenberg who is our Youth Ministry Director, asked if I would consider volunteering at the “Extreme Faith Camp” at Camp Tekakwitha. I would be working with campers from 6th through 8th grade. I saw this as a good way of seeing where these kids & young adults were in their faith journey, I said yes.

Becky said the theme of the camp would be the Holy Trinity. We would also talk to the young boy and girl campers on how to be good Christians in their behavior toward each other. Becky then stated that there would be directors of religious education from other parishes as staff. Adult volunteers and high school volunteers would serve as cabin and prayer team leaders. Becky VanKauwenberg and the other religious directors did a great job setting up this camp. The Holy Spirit was at work with these leaders.

As I mentioned before, the Holy Trinity was the theme of this camp. Pope Francis talked about the Most Holy Trinity at Vatican City, May 26, 2013. As he celebrated the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Pope Francis spoke about how God is love.

“This love is not sentimental, emotional, but the love of the Father who is the source of all life, the love of the Son who died on the cross and rose, the love of the Spirit who renews man and the world,” he stated.“Jesus is the Son who made us know the merciful Father and brought to the world his ‘fire,’ the Holy Spirit.”

The staff explained what these qualities of the Holy Trinity were by scripture, prayer and example, to the young campers.

As God the Father of the Holy Trinity, the leaders sacrificed everything for their young campers. It was not about us, but about the campers. Example is a powerful tool, if you are asking them to be selfless, then you need to show them you are selfless in your actions.

Pope Francis said “Jesus is the Son who made us know the merciful Father.” The staff was the physical representation to the campers of “Jesus Christ the Son of the Trinity.” The staff made campers know the merciful Father by;    reflections about the different persons of the Trinity, daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and Praise Music. They heard about Jesus and how he made his Father known to them by “The Word” and service. The campers found that through Jesus Christ, God loves them and will never leave them no matter what they do. God is always open to a person wanting forgiveness.  On Wednesday night there were eight priests conducting the Sacrament of    Reconciliation for all campers.

“Jesus is the Son who made us know the merciful Father and brought to the world his ‘fire,’ the Holy Spirit, who renews man and the world,” Pope       Francis’s statement on the Holy Spirit of the Trinity. There was a prayer team of high school students that brought the “fire” to the campers. They did it by doing plays on the different persons of the Holy Trinity, and praying all week for the campers. From morning to night in the Adoration Chapel, they would pray for various intentions or with campers who came in during free time to pray. This group of high school students through their prayers brought the “fire” of the Holy Spirit to all Thursday night at our final Eucharistic Adoration. Campers, staff, and volunteers all had tears of joy on their faces when the Holy Eucharist in procession went by all of us, one by one. The campers then understood God’s love for us.

As one leader stated, “The campers came in as individuals and through the Holy Trinity left camp as family.” I am already packed for next year. This is an experience worth repeating for this old camper.

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Michael Muruilde

Over the river and through the woods….

Over the river and through the woods

   to Wisconsin Dells we go,

Map Quest knows the way to carry the

   car through the two lane winding roads,”

 

No, we didn’t actually sing this song, we lived it. I can assure you that your Deacon did not, I repeat, not go on the harrowing slides at Noah’s Ark. I was happily, along with Karen, doing babysitting duty with my grandchildren. We were able to spend the two days with the New York branch of the family, and it was total fun. Fritz started off a little hesitantly, but soon got into the whole adventure, hitting many water slides with his dad. Freya and Tristan were not quite as excited about the water park. As with all good things, it was over too soon and now we are back to reality.

In many ways, life mirrors the liturgical years. We have the major feast seasons of Christmas and Easter and then they are over and we have this time, Ordinary Time, to ponder the great gifts we have been given and prepare for the next round of opportunity to experience  our God’s  great  love  for us. This trip also gave me a glimpse of the wisdom of Jesus when He told his followers to “suffer the little children”. On the way back from the Dells, Fritz and I had a marvelous conversation about all sorts of subjects from how things work to why things work to death in its many forms. Jesus knew that the little ones could ask quite probing questions and give amazing answers. The problem is usually with adults who do not take them seriously enough to have the conversation. The same is true for the elderly and the mentally ill. We judge the content of the conversation before we open our ears to its content.

So, take this ordinary time to reconnect with those around you, especially those you don’t always listen to or value. They have much to share and I guarantee it will not be boring. The question often is more along the lines of are you willing to listen, even if the subject is not something you want to hear.

Happy 4th of July!

Peace & Blessings,  Deacon Mike

 

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Can You Help?


Every year, the diocese conducts a “Bishop’s Appeal” and gives each parish an amount to contribute.  The goal is to receive enough contributions from parishioners to reach the given amount.  If that amount is not reached, the balance needed is charged to the parish and becomes a part of the parish debt.  The goal, amount collected, and current     balance needed for each parish is shown below.  As you can see, all of the quad-parishes have a ways to go to reach their goal and this is where we need your help.

If you have not made a contribution to the Bishop’s Appeal, or would like to increase the contribution you did make, please do so and help your parish reach its goal.

The majority of the funds raised through the Bishop’s     Appeal go to support Catholic Charities and their work.  Funds are also used to support the many faith centered programs offered by the diocese, resources for all areas of parish life, and lay ministry formation.  These are important programs well deserving of our support.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

 

Carol Kittell
Business Administrator

 

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Michael Muruilde

Why Procrastinations Should Be 1 of the 7 Deadly Sins

From the Deacon’s Desk
June 17, 2014  

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

What is it about procrastination that makes it so enticing while at the same time adding chaos to your life? I have to confess, I am a procrastinator. I was the person who wrote the paper literally at the last moment. I am the person who waits until the moment of the deadline to send Laurie this column. Fortunately for me, she is used to it and is able to work around it, except sometimes I do get a terse e-mail asking “DD?” meaning where is your Deacon’s Desk? Every time I get one of those, I make a promise to myself to work harder at getting it to her on time. Sometimes, I even succeed, but not many times. In this (and perhaps many other issues) I am not following the lead of My Lord.

Could you imagine what would have happened to us if Jesus had said to the Apostles at the Last Supper: “Let’s finish the meal after the trial?”, or at the Ascension: ‘I’m not ready quite yet Dad.” Of course, fortunately for us, Jesus did not share my inclination. This weekend we celebrate another of the most precious gifts we have received from Our Savior; His Body and Blood. It is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ; Corpus Christi. It is the declaration of Jesus that HE is the living bread sent from heaven and those who eat of this Flesh and drink of this Blood will have life everlasting. So, when we are processing up to the foot of the altar to receive Holy Communion, we are gaining life everlasting, becoming one with Jesus and celebrating Jesus as the bond that holds us together as the Body of Christ. WOW.

So, now my column is ready to send, all will be well at the office and I will hold onto the beauty of Jesus’ love for all of us.

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike the Tardy

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Michael Muruilde

How Smell of Spiritual Bacon is Making the World a Better Place

From the Deacon’s Desk
June 8, 2014

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

This morning I awoke to the smell of bacon. It gently drifted up the stairs and into the bedroom. The odor became so strong that I had to get up and see what was happening. I went downstairs and there was Karen, a pile of bacon and some hash browns in the pan. I said: “what a nice surprise!” She said: “Well if I’m going to work you like a dog, I should at least feed you.” I could only nod in complete agreement. It was garden day, and there were weeds to pull, more flowers to plant and a general sprucing up of the yard needed. Of course, I could whine and fuss about having to do this, but 40 years of marriage has taught me to enjoy the breakfast and get work clothes on.

As I reflect on the Pentecost, which we celebrated last weekend, I am thinking about the followers of Jesus who had gathered in the upper room, the very room of the Last Supper. They were there together for comfort, safety and to celebrate the Eucharist in each others company. When the wind began to blow and the Holy Spirit descended upon them in tongues of flame, they were able to overcome their inertia and go out to preach to all of the people gathered in Jerusalem; in their own language! On that day, the message that Jesus preached to them and His group of followers spread throughout the world. It could not be hidden, it could not be denied. It was the smell of their spiritual bacon that got them off of their chairs and on to do the work of spreading the Gospel of Hope and Love to a world yearning for such a message. Their path would not be easy; that was never part of the deal.  They would never be alone, for Jesus promised that He would be with them for all of eternity.

You have heard the term “intentional disciples” many times over this last year. You also have been given the Holy Spirit through Baptism and Confirmation. The message of Jesus is now, more than ever, needed in our world torn by war, greed, disease, inequality of resources and self-centered materialism. The message of Jesus is the universal language; it is the balm for the pain we all see around us. Don’t be fearful of giving that balm to others who are hurting. Sometimes a listening ear, sometimes a soft touch on the shoulder or a kind word shows others the beauty of Jesus’ message and God’s undying love for us.

Ooops! The garden is calling!

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike

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Michael Muruilde

Standing Up for Life

Michael MuruildeFrom the Deacon’s Desk
May 26, 2014

 Dear Quad Parishes Family:

I hope that your Memorial Day celebration was filled with good food, family time and reverence for all of those who have given so much for us, standing between us and danger, fear and disaster. Our weekend was actually quite quiet. I was able, with minimal conscience prodding to do very little and rest afterward. I believe another that true luxury is having beautiful weather and watching it from your favorite television chair. It wasn’t quite that bad…….., but close.

One of the things that Karen and I did was to catch up on all of the “Views” we had missed due to our schedules. I happened to catch one with Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay talking about longevity in marriage. They have been married nearly 40 years and recently lost their 27 year old son to suicide. Their testament to the marital struggle and how to win it was summed up in the following statement: “Marriage is a union between two extraordinary forgivers.” I don’t know about you, but it sure rings true in my relationship with Karen and, as a marriage counselor, I have found that this forgiveness is a key to healing and growth.

The next topic was about the death of their son. He was their youngest and had struggled with mental illness since childhood. What they pointed out is a true social justice catastrophe; the lack of options for families and sufferers from mental illness. It boggles the mind that if we have a heart problem, we take a pill and no one says anything. If we break a hip, we get it fixed or replaced and no one says anything. But, if the neurotransmitters and synapses in our brain misfire, or don’t work at all, we are stigmatized and cast out, like the lepers of old. If we truly follow the Gospel preached by Jesus in word and action, we must approach this modern day plague and the people and families, who often suffer in silence and isolation. If Christians don’t stand between the mentally ill/challenged, WHO WILL? If Christians do not stand between the ill and financial ruin, WHO WILL? If Christians do not feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the ill and imprisoned, stand up for life at EVERY stage, WHO WILL? This is our legacy; we love one another as He has loved us; no cutting corners, no crossed fingers, no excuses. In doing so, we honor our Savior and all of the men and women who have come before us in faith and love.

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike

CTA

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Everts Rev resized

OUR EXPERIENCE OF THE RESURRECTION 

Five weeks ago we celebrated Easter Sunday and the glory of our experience of the empty tomb.  This profound experience changes us – it transforms us as we become Easter People – People of the Resurrection!

As we journey further and further in the mystery of the Resurrection we discover the life that God wants for us.  A life is so much more than what we seem to want for ourselves.

However, the reality is that to experience Resurrection we need to let go & die our self & this is extremely challenging!  How does one let go?  How does one allow the grace and love of God to help us die in order for us to experience    resurrection?

The faith journey is about transformation.  It is about becoming the image and likeness of Christ in our world.  And all change is hard.  Yet, as we all know without change there is no growth and ultimately, no resurrection.

Over the last eight plus years the four communities of Annunciation, St. Joseph, St. Jude & St. Patrick have been very open to the call to transformation.  We have worked diligently to listen to God’s call to become Easter People to be transformed into the image and likeness of Christ.

As you read in the bulletin last week all four communities will once again be going through some major transformations this summer.  New projects, new staff, new & glorious possibilities are becoming reality for us as we endeavor to be Easter People and be open to the new life God is offering us through the experience of the resurrection.

As Easter People we have experienced the hope and joy of the Resurrection.  As Easter People we will continue to   embrace the new life God is offering and we will do this by walking together into the Paschal Mystery — the great mystery of Life, Death and Resurrection.

Peace and Joy,
Fr. Don

CTA

 

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Michael Muruilde

It Did What? Secrets About Family Time

From the Deacon’s Desk
May 20, 2014

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

Wow, can you believe it’s already Memorial Day? First we couldn’t seem to shake winter, then we seemed to have a two week spring and now it’s the official start of summer! Weather is certainly one of the most interesting shows on earth. I suspect that many of you will be opening family cottages, planning cookouts and looking toward family vacations. We are excited about our son, his wife and our newest grandchild, Tristan coming for a visit. Of course, a trip to the Dells is in the plan for that time. I’ll be in the kiddie area and the “Lazy River” part most of the time. My days on the big slides are pretty much done.

This brings to mind an aspect of the summer that is sometimes overlooked, but forms an integral part of the use of that time. I am speaking of “family time.” I don’t know about you, but summers always seem to herald the inclusion of more attention to the family interactions. Children become bored with all of the time on their hands; parents want this time to be used well and more flexibility seems called for to handle the changes in schedules. I hope that you get the opportunity to reconnect with the children and your family during this time. Time to limit the iPad, iPhone, computer and television and tell the children (and yourself) to get outside and enjoy the opportunity for shorts and tee shirts, for walks and rides, for campfires and sitting with friends. During this time, let’s not ignore getting together with our church family. The St. Jude/St. Pat picnic is coming up soon and the Annunciation picnic is not far behind. These are opportunities to get together with the Quad Parishes Family and have some fun.

Finally, the family that prays together stays together. The temptation is to ignore or take a vacation from Sunday Mass during the summer. Remember, our need for God is not defined as a fall, winter, spring thing. We need Him 24/7. Coming together with our family of believers keeps us conscious of His great gifts to us and thankful for all the love He has shown us. Weekend Eucharist gives us the opportunity to come together for community as well as reflection. We need the quiet time, the reflective time, the prayerful time to steady ourselves and remember the purpose of this life; to love others as He has loved us.

Happy Easter!

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike 

CTA

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Mileposts

Daniel Wagnitz, Oneida.by Deacon Dan Wagnitz

On May 3rd I took part in the “Walk to Mary”.  We walked from the National Shrine of St. Joseph at the St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion.  The walk was a little over 21 miles.  There were mile markers all along the way that brought a sense of accomplishment and a chance to refocus.  I walked for several miles with someone who stopped in mid-sentence every time we passed a marker to say a prayer of thanks that we had made it that far and she then had to reflect silently for a couple of minutes until she had someone in mind that she wanted to offer up the next mile for.  This week I passed another mile marker.  It was five years ago on May 16th that I was ordained as a deacon.  It is a good time to reflect, to thank God that I have made it this far and to try to get focused on where I’m going.

I remember sitting in a circle with the others that were getting ordained that day and with Bishop Ricken.  He said, “Men, none of you are worthy of the gift of ordination.  Yet, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, here you are.”  It was the perfect culmination of my discernment and preparation.  I had decided early on that it was all up to the Holy Spirit.  If he cleared the pathway then I would be ordained.  If he threw up a roadblock then I would need to discern whatever other direction he wanted me to go.  That roadblock never came and so there I was in the sanctuary of the Cathedral.

The opportunity to serve the Quad Parishes as Deacon has been a blessing.  Along the way there have been some God-planned mileposts.  The first baby that I had the privilege of baptizing was at St. Patrick’s, in the same baptismal font that I was baptized in.  Only God could arrange something like that.

I’ve gotten a chance to see the hidden sides of people.  I was the Deacon of the Mass for Father Charlie’s funeral.  Father Charlie was kind of formal and stoic, maybe even a bit stiff at Mass.  But at his funeral wake I listened to stories and saw pictures of him giving horseback rides to nieces and nephews.

I have had the opportunity to serve at the altar with all three of our Bishops.  I have assisted some very seasoned and holy priests like Father Bill Rickert, the oldest priest in the diocese.  And I have assisted several newly ordained priests that have been part of the Parish staff these past five years.  I have helped some of our parish children receive the Eucharist for the first time and also helped celebrate 100 years of Masses and Eucharists at St. Joseph recently.

I have had the privilege of helping prepare some fine young adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  And I’ve journeyed to work camps and conferences with our youth ministry.  I love the planned events and I love the spontaneous things like being asked today after Mass at St. Joseph to pray a blessing over a parishioner who was celebrating his 87th birthday.

I have fallen even more deeply in love with the Mass.  It has certainly not become routine to kiss the altar nor raise the chalice at the elevation.  And it has been very special to be able to baptize some of my own grandchildren and to witness the marriage of my daughter Elizabeth last summer.

Hopefully I have many mileposts of service to God and His people, especially His people here at the Quad Parishes ahead of me.  Know that I will continue to carry you all with me in my heart every step of the journey.

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