Are You a Life-long Learner?

Are You a Life-long Learner?

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Phil 3:20

 Recently, I attended daily Mass at Our Lady of the Black Hills.  Fr. Andrzej said in his homily that pondering the readings for that day reminded him of his preparation eight years ago to become a US citizen.  As part of his preparation, he spent quite a bit of time studying and spoke about listening to a CD as he drove which helped him learn the information he would be tested on.  In his words, we can spend a lot of time behind the wheel in our rural state!  For those not born in the United States, the process for becoming a citizen includes demonstrating your ability to read, write and speak English, and a basic knowledge of US history and government.  You must also be able to “demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the US Constitution.” 

After hearing this story, I have been pondering our citizenship in heaven. We can learn from Fr. Andrzej’s example.  As we prepare to take our place in heaven, we should spend time learning.  As our Stewardship Characteristics states, “Dedicated disciples have a deep desire to study and to be life-long learners of the Catholic faith – to truly become students of Jesus. . . . Stewardship parishes have an intentional study plan for the whole parish community.”  (Lively Faith: Study) 

  • Could we, like Fr. Andrzej, study while we are driving? 
  • Do we strive to memorize the information we will need to be good citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven as those who desire to live here among us learn our history and government? 
  • Could we pass the “test”? 
  • Do others see in us an “attachment to the principles and ideals” of Jesus and His Kingdom? 
  • How can I share the Gospel with those I encounter in such a way that they are intrigued and develop a desire to know more about this Jesus and His way of life?  

As the Characteristics state, “When we first find ourselves attracted to another person, we desire to know more about them.  As we come to love another, the desire to know them more intimately grows.  The same is true of our relationship with God and the Church.”  Together, let us strive to ever more perfectly strive to “know, love and serve God in this world so that we may live forever with Him in the next.”

 

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CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

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Rapid City , SD 57702
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stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

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VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

Wisdom from Archbishop Murphy

Wisdom from Archbishop Murphy

Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist

The ancient tradition of the Church holds that St. Luke was a doctor from Syria.  He traveled with St. Paul and was with him in Rome when St. Paul died.  He then traveled to Greece where he wrote the Gospel that bears his name and the Actos of the Apostles.  Whatever else he was and did, it is for these two books of the New Testament that he is best remembered.  And that has profound implications for stewardship.  This Gentile convert, inspired by the Holy Spirit, was clearly a gifted writer and teacher.  His books are not a simple recounting of events, but a kind of preaching, a way of telling the good news of Jesus Christ and story of the early Church that reaches across time and invites his readers into relationship with Jesus.  This good steward put his gifts at God’s disposal, allowed himself to be led by God’s Spirit, and so is still serving the Lord as an evangelist—still preaching and teaching—20 centuries later!  The Lord will multiply our gits, too, if we will use them in his service.


-taken from “Steward Saints For Every Day” by Sharon Hueckel

Although we are not all called to be evangelists in the same sense St. Luke was, we are all called, by virtue of our baptism, into the prophetic ministry of Jesus.  We are all called to tell the Good News of
Jesus Christ.

Recently, I read the book, “What Do I Own and What Owns Me?” by Daniel Conway.  This short book is a great introduction to Stewardship.  In my copy, there was also a DVD with four short segments from a talk given by Archbishop Murphy, who was part of the Bishop’s committee that developed “A Steward’s Response”, the pastoral letter on stewardship.  These short clips (5-8 minutes long) are also available on You Tube. 

As I watched them and read this book, I thought they both could be used by Stewardship committees as “continuing education”  as tools to help equip us to tell the good news of stewardship. Would you consider taking the first 10 minutes of your next several meetings to view and discuss these clips?  The book, too, could be used in this way.  The chapters are very short and have discussion questions at the end.  I think you will find them both encouraging and enlightening!

Since I recently celebrated my birthday, I really appreciated this 3rd segment in the series and laughed out loud at the “Irish Optimism”:

jA

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

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CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

Congratulations BHSU Newman Center!

Congratulations BHSU Newman Center!

Congratulations to the staff and members of the new Newman Center serving Black Hills State University!

The Office of Stewardship rejoices with the staff and students at the Black Hills Newman Center on the occasion of the dedication of your new Newman Center.  What a joyous occasion and what a beautiful new facility!  I know that much hard work has gone into bringing you to this day and it is with joy and gratitude that the whole church in Western South Dakota rejoices with you.

As we enter into September, it is not just university students in Spearfish but many of us all over the Diocese are just beginning another year of study; as students, as teachers in public and private schools, and as catechists.  I pray that this year is a fruitful one for all of us and that no matter where we are studying, we are being exposed to and drawing closer to all that is True, Good and Beautiful. 

Under the second pillar of Stewardship, Lively Faith, is Study.  I think it is a good time to remember that all of us, young and old, are encouraged to be “life-long learners”, particularly in our faith lives.  God is infinite and there is always more to learn about Him and about our beautiful Catholic faith. This is one way we are good stewards of our time and of the treasure of our faith.  Recently, I have been encouraged to keep learning by one precept given to us in the “Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII”:           

“Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.”

Encouraging me to read only for 10 minutes and “only for today”, makes this goal reasonable and attainable despite the fact that life is very full.  Sometimes, if we are only able to do a little, we are tempted not to do anything at all.  But ten minutes a day adds up over time and bears great fruit in the long run.  This summer, I have been blessed by, “My Sisters the Saints” by Colleen Carroll Campbell, “Scalia Speaks” by Antonin Scalia and I am currently reading, “God or Nothing” by Cardinal Robert Sarah.  Next on my list is the “Brother’s Karamazov” and I suspect 10 minutes a day may be the only way I will get through Dostoyevsky! And you?  What are you feeding your soul with?

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

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CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

Praying With the Eucharistic Prayer (May 4)

I am the adoptive priest for the ninth grade class at St. Thomas More High School. The last several weeks I have been offering the students the opportunity to pray with the Eucharistic Prayer IV. It has some stunning lines and images in it that present a summary of the history of our salvation and therefore it is a wonderful way to proclaim the Kerygma (the basic Gospel message).

Fr. Paul Turner, who is pastor of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri and has a doctorate in sacred theology says, “Most breathtaking about the composition of Eucharistic Prayer IV is its ample use of biblical phrases.  The text not only forms a logical arc from start to finish, but it traverses that road with the vehicle of Sacred Scripture, using one illuminating quote after another. For example, the preface opens by saying, ‘God is one, living and true, existing before all ages and abiding for all eternity, dwelling in unapproachable light.’  Deuteronomy 6:4 says, God is one; in Matthew 16:16, Peter says that God is living; and in John 17:3, Jesus says that God is true.  1 Timothy 6:16 and 1 John 1:5 say that God dwells in unapproachable light.” (For Fr. Turner’s full article, see:  https://liturgy.nd.edu/assets/34766)

Lively faith as outlined in our Stewardship Initiative includes prayer and study. If you had some time this week, I encourage you to do a Lectio Divina on Eucharistic Prayer IV. What are the words, phrases and images that tug at your heart or get your attention? How do these words, phrases, and images connect to your life? Talk to God about them. Then read the article from Fr. Turner for further prayer and study. Lastly, share the fruits of your prayer and study with a family, friend or co-worker.

Fr. Mark

Eucharistic Prayer IV

It is not permitted to change the Preface of this Eucharistic Prayer because of the structure of the Prayer itself, which presents a summary of the history of salvation.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.

V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is right and just.

It is truly right to give you thanks,
truly just to give you glory, Father most holy,
for you are the one God living and true,
existing before all ages and abiding for all eternity,
dwelling in unapproachable light;
yet you, who alone are good, the source of life,
have made all that is,
so that you might fill your creatures with blessings
and bring joy to many of them by the glory of your light.

And so, in your presence are countless hosts of Angels,
who serve you day and night
and, gazing upon the glory of your face,
glorify you without ceasing.

With them we, too, confess your name in exultation,
giving voice to every creature under heaven,
as we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Priest, with hands extended, says:

We give you praise, Father most holy,
for you are great
and you have fashioned all your works
in wisdom and in love.
You formed man in your own image
and entrusted the whole world to his care,
so that in serving you alone, the Creator,
he might have dominion over all creatures.
And when through disobedience he had lost your friendship,
you did not abandon him to the domain of death.
For you came in mercy to the aid of all,
so that those who seek might find you.
Time and again you offered them covenants
and through the prophets
taught them to look forward to salvation.

And you so loved the world, Father most holy,
that in the fullness of time
you sent your Only Begotten Son to be our Savior.
Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary,
he shared our human nature
in all things but sin.
To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation,
to prisoners, freedom,
and to the sorrowful of heart, joy.
To accomplish your plan,
he gave himself up to death,
and, rising from the dead,
he destroyed death and restored life.

And that we might live no longer for ourselves
but for him who died and rose again for us,
he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father,
as the first fruits for those who believe,
so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world,
he might sanctify creation to the full.

The Desire for God is Written on the Human Heart

Last evening, we finished our last “Faith on the Road”  (FOTR) trip for the year at Sacred Heart in Philip, closing out our fourth season of bringing lively faith to parishes across the diocese, through the sharing of a meal, whole community/age-appropriate catechesis, praise and worship music, witness talks and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. It has been another great year for our team and a blessing to meet with and pray with different parish communities throughout our diocese.

A comment that I hear often as we are crisscrossing the diocese visiting different parishes is simply, “Thank you for coming.” I have a sense that pastors and parishioners are grateful that the diocese is coming to them rather than them always having to go to the diocese, i.e. Rapid City. Another benefit of Faith on the Road is that there is no cost to the parish. All it takes is an invitation from the pastor, the DRE, or the youth minister’s to come to their parish.

Early in the fall, the FOTR team picks several themes to present. In the past, our themes have been on stewardship, lively faith, prayer, Diocesan Pastoral Plan and vocations. This year the topic that parishes seemed to ask for most often was on the theme of “desire.”

In my presentation on desire, I began with a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

 THE DESIRE FOR GOD

The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:

The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.

Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 27

Craig Dyke, the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, developed this fillable chart as a way for our middle school and high school youth to discuss this topic of desire. I found the chart to be a very helpful tool as well;  not only to look at the desires of our own hearts, but to a look at what God desires for us and then to bring all of these desires to Jesus in prayer. The chart is below Perhaps you can use it as a family, in your parish youth group, or parish council/stewardship committee or the vocation committee. From my experience, praying through this chart of desires has brought forth very fruitful conversation.

See you next fall for Faith on the Road!

The Desires of Your Heart

 What do you desire?What do you fear?What Does God Desire for You?
To Hear?   
To Taste?   
To See?   
To Have?   
To Do Right Now?   
To Do this
Summer?
   
To Do as an Adult?   
For Your
Family?
   
For Your
Friends?
   
For Eternity?   

“May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfil all your plans!” (Psalm 20:4)

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

“Seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” (Mt. 6:33-34).

Everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Mt. 7:8).