Michael Muruilde

Deacon’s Desk 8/11/14

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

Two cute Fritz stories. Fritz came into the family room last Saturday and, after the hellos and hugs, said to me that he wanted to put up the Christmas train. Really??? However, being the dutiful Papa, I went into the closet & retrieved the train. You’ve probably seen these trains; they are big & go in a circle around the Christmas tree. We have two because Fritz tends to play with them like they are real toys and not decorations. We put it together & it just sat; like many ideas that seem good at the time, it evidently lost its luster.

The next is when Nana and Fritz dropped me off at St. Joe’s before the 4:30 Mass last Saturday. As we drove into the parking lot, he asked if this wasn’t the place that had the balloons and games (I added where Papa pumpkin bowls, to which he replied “Yeah”) I said yes it was. Even Fritz is getting revved up for the Fall Fest, or at least for the toys and candy at the kids’ games.

Sometimes, to balance the sadness of the moment (see my Pastoral Column) you have to pull out someone or something that puts the smile back on your face. Fritz, Freya, Tristan, Karen and Jesus (not always in that order) do that for me. What does it for you?

 

Peace & Blessings,  Deacon Mike

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Michael Muruilde

Field of Wheat and Weeds

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

You may have noticed that there was no Deacon’s Desk last weekend. I do take off from time to time, usually because I don’t have anything to comment on or just can’t come up with a subject. (If you read this last sentence carefully, you may have noticed that the two reasons I gave you are actually the same – just sayin’) This time though the reason was a bit different; I, like many of his fans, was shocked and saddened by the death of Robin Williams. I am a big fan of his body of work and, because I know depression from both the outside and the inside, I understood some of the pain he was experiencing. It’s hard to describe the blackness of that hole and the weight that it gives to every step one takes. Of course, not all people who have depression kill themselves physically, but there are many ways to die; only one requires that the body stop functioning. I am speaking of all sorts of addictive behaviors from alcohol, to gambling, to overeating; there are almost too many to list.

Ironically, one of his movies that I recently saw was “What Dreams May Come.”  It was about a doctor (Robin Williams) who is killed when he stops to offer assistance at a car accident. His wife is so overcome with grief that she kills herself. When he realizes this, he sets out to rescue her from hell. (You will not find this belief system in the Catechism). The truth is that there is no death that carries with it more pain than the suicide of a loved one. Fortunately, we have a merciful and loving God who understands our struggles and pain. In talking with a fellow deacon friend of mine, he related having told a parishioner who had just lost her son to suicide this story to help her cope with her terrible loss. He suggested that she reference the Gospel parable of the field of wheat and weeds. The field is her son’s soul. Her son had been a good person; kind, gentle and respectful of others; that was the wheat that filled his field. The weeds sown in the field by the evil one are the doubts, despair and missteps of his life. At the end, Jesus comes, separates the wheat from the weeds; gathering the wheat for food and burning the weeds. I don’t want to judge people, that’s God’s place. So, I enjoy the movies and pray for his soul to find peace.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto All Our Beloved Dead, Oh Lord!

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike

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Michael Muruilde

“Yes Dear”

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

 

FORTY YEARS! I can’t believe it! FORTY YEARS ago on August 3, 1974, Karen walked up the longest aisle in the history of the Church (kidding) to take me for her husband. Little did we know what was before us. Of course, no one really knows. Most of us have hopes, dreams and plans, but no one really knows how it will turn out. What impresses me most about being married (besides Karen) is what a long term relationship commitment does to a  person. For example; did you know that “if momma ain’t happy, no one ain’t happy” isn’t just a refrigerator magnet? I also discovered that “Yes dear” covers many occasions and that “tell me where you want it” “what do YOU want” and “of course dear” have prevented more wars than all of the treaties in world history. I may sound as if I am making fun, and I am because a good sense of humor and  willingness to look at the absurdities of life through someone else’s eyes makes all of that time, in spite of the rough spots, the best time of my life!

It occurs to me that this is another one of the lessons that Our Lord demonstrated to us in the many years of His ministry; His own version of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. In spite of the tremendous burden He carried; the knowledge of His own crucifixion; He was going to weddings, visiting friends, giving trouble to the stuffy powers that be and   leaving tender moments for the people He loved and who loved Him. He was married to his followers; sharing an   intimacy with them that, like marriage, challenged them to grow and achieve beyond their wildest imaginations. Here we are 2100 years later, still reaping the fruit of that  commitment.

 

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike

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carol

The LAZY (?), Hazy Days of Summer!

by Carol

I am sure you have heard the saying:  The Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer.  At the quad parishes, the summer may be hazy but it certainly isn’t LAZY!

During the past couple of months, we have seen new windows installed in St. Jude Church; we have welcomed the Latin Rite at St. Patrick; we have prepared the second floor of Annunciation for the arrival of the middle school and high school of Providence Academy; and we have completed renovations in the rectory at Annunciation.  These are all new and exciting things for our parishes but it doesn’t stop there!

We have also had some changes to our quad-parish staff.  We said good-by to Tina Meyer who retired after eight years with us as Director of Religious education.  We recently added Mike Casey to the quad-parish faith formation staff as Coordinator of Middle School RE and Middle School Youth Ministry.  He will also be developing a young adult program.  Mike is a gifted musician and you might see him working with the youth choirs occasionally.  Another change to the youth ministry program is the addition of Karissa Tousignant as the new West Side Youth Ministry administrative assistant.  She will be working for all of the west side parishes out of her office at our faith formation building.

At the Quad-Parish Office, we welcomed Brenda Wood who is training for the bookkeeper position.  Brenda will take over for Joyce when Joyce retires in 2015.  Brenda is currently “learning the ropes” and getting ready to fill some pretty big shoes.  Beginning September 1, we will welcome back Sr. Anne Marie Selinsky who will work with our homebound parishioners and head our Social Concerns Commission.  Some of you might remember Sr. Anne Marie as she worked for us five or six years ago doing the same type of ministry.  It will be nice having her back.

One of the most important staff additions over the summer was the arrival of Fr. Ryan Starks as our new associate pastor.  I am sure most of you have at least seen him at mass.  He is off to a good start having already gone on the high school mission trip, presided at his first solo funeral mass, and is getting ready to take charge when Fr. Don goes on vacation next week.

We have elected new trustees, have had picnics, a polka mass, Extreme Faith Camp, and Vacation Bible School; with a kickball tournament and Fall Fest still to come.  With all of the above and many other events and activities taking place, our parishes are always, even in the summer, exciting, vibrant and busy places.

 Has there been anything extra special for you this summer?  Were you able to find time to be a little lazy?  Share your summer experience with us on the Quad-Parish Blog found on our website: www.quad-parish.org.

angles

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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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Print

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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