As Catholics today, it easy to fall into the trap of focusing on our obligations as mere obligations. In other words, we ask ourselves, “Does this count? If I show up for Mass after the Scripture readings, does it count? What is the maximum I can eat on a fast day? Is it okay if I just go to Confession when I’ve done something really bad?” This mentality does not see our practices as pathways to freedom. Rarely does a pianist, dancer, or athlete achieve excellence by doing the minimum. And yet, only the excellent pianist, dancer, or athlete is truly free (vis-à-vis their particular art). Our goal is communion with God by becoming conformed to Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. We don’t focus on obligations because we want to merely get by. Rather, we engage Catholic practices in order to reach the goal, to become free.
The “Witnesses to Freedom” show us what life in the Spirit looks like. They live oriented to Christ and to service to the world. Their lives are marked by service and radical love. It is amazing to look at the example of St. Edith Stein. She was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to the Catholic faith and became a nun, yet she was killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Despite everything, she maintained a love for her country, even as it descended into the darkness of racist ideology, which was responsible for her death. St. Edith Stein was free, because she didn’t ask about the minimum of what she needed to do to satisfy the obligations of her faith. She used her freedom to serve others,even in desperate circumstances.
We also see this freedom in the Little Sisters of the Poor, who serve the elderly poor in nursing homes across the United States. They face a threat to their religious freedom by way of the “HHS mandate”—which is a regulation from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services that would require them to facilitate coverage of drugs and devices that can cause an early abortion, among other objectionable “services”. Although the HHS mandate and its fines—totaling $36,500 per employee per year—is not a violent threat, it is still a significant one and could affect the very existence of their ministry in the United States. The Little Sisters are a beautiful example of true freedom. They literally beg for the funding to run their nursing homes, where they take care of many people who have no family to take care of them. They rely completely on God. And they heed His call to serve others.
When St. Paul asks us to serve one another, we can hear the Apostle reminding us of our solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. We are called to bear the burdens of all members of the body of Christ. Therefore, it is imperative that we reflect on the lives of our fellow Christians, like the 21 Coptic Martyrs who were killed by ISIS last year, that we pray for them and for the conversion of their persecutors, and that we seek out ways to be in solidarity with them.
VBS begins on Monday Evening, 6-8pm, for Pre-K through 6th Grade. We will gather in the Parish Hall. All are welcome!
Peace, joy, and love,
Fr. Brian J. Roby
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Sr. Rosanne will be out of the office effective June 21,2016, until further notice, due to knee surgery. We ask that you keep her in your prayers.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
This year's Vacation Bible School (Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth Grade) is scheduled for the week of June 27th -July 1, 6:00-8:00pm in the Parish Hall. We will provide a free meal for the children from 5:00-6:00pm
This meal is provided by the City Schools System. First come, first serve basis
2016 PICNIC RESULTS
Picnic Income: $74,160.60 (Up $26,338.65)
Picnic Expenses: $35,376.44 (Up $12,247.67)
Picnic Net: $38,784.16 (Up $14,090.98)
Raffle Income: $33,500.00 (Up 22,874.00)
Raffle Expenses: $10,141.00 (Up $9,641.00)
Raffle Net: $23,359.00 (Up $16,233.00)
Thanks for a job well done!
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS SUMMER PORK BURGER SALE
Bishop Soenneker Knights will be taking orders for porkburgers from now until July 3rd with all orders to be picked up on Sunday, July 10th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Precious Blood Burgoo Building. The burgers are available in 2lb rolls (make your own burgers) for $7.00, 3lb boxes pre-made 1/4 burgers for $11.00, or 5lb boxes pre-made 1/4 burgers for $18.00.
You may place an order with any knight or you can call 270-993-8577 or 270-570-3192 if no answer please leave a message and a knight will return your call. Don't miss this last chance to get fresh pork burgers for the summer grilling season.
(Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Inquiry Sessions will be held on Thursday, July 7th and August 18th at 6:30pm in the Library, for anyone who may be thinking about becoming Catholic. Come and see what we have to offer you. If you know of someone please invite them and come with them. This is a time to come and ask any questions.
PARENT TUITION SUPPLEMENT RUMMAGE SALE
We are accepting gently used items (furniture, appliances,toys, baby items, books, knick knacks, etc.) for our Parent Tuition Supplement Rummage Sale. If you have items you would like to donate, please contact Rhonda Logsdon at 270-929-1800 or Kristen Peak at 270-314-3326 . Date to be announced.
KROGER COMMUNITY REWARDS
Special thanks to our 61 families who shopped at Kroger between 03/01/16 and 05/31/16. You have helped to contribute $565.03 to Precious Blood through your Community Reward Program.
STEWARDSHIP THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
In today’s second reading, St. Paul provides a wonderful one-sentence summary of Christian stewardship: “Out of love, place yourselves at one another’s service.”
Readings for next weekend will be
Isaiah 66:10-14c Galatians 6:14-18 Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
We invite you to read and study these passages for your own reflection as we prepare for the liturgy we will celebrate as a parish community.