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From the Pastor's Desk - March 17, 2013

Dear Parishioners,
Habemus Papam! We have a Pope! Let us all rejoice that Our Lord has provided us with Pope Francis. Jesus loves His Church so much that he first gave us St. Peter and, then, his successors to shepherd us in His name. Our Lord loves us so much that he set His Church up in such a way that we would continue to hear his voice teaching us and experience his love poured out for us in the ministry of the Pope. How blessed we are to have the Pope as the Vicar of Christ guiding us in the way of the truth and love of Christ. So, let us pledge our love and obedience to Pope Francis and, most of all, as Pope Francis asked of all in St. Peter’s Square and those watching on TV to pray for the Lord’s blessing upon him when he humbly knelt down before giving his first papal blessing, let us pray for him daily. Hence it is good each day to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for our Holy Father and for his intentions. Most of all, on this historic occasion of a newly elected Pope, let our prayer be “Viva il papa!”  “Long live the Pope!”
On another note, here in the United States we need to continue to pray for religious liberty as well as for the preservation of the sanctity of marriage. On March 26 and 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on both sides in two cases before it concerning whether or not it is constitutional to define marriage as reserved to being a union of one man and one woman. If the Court, likely in June, comes down with a decision that says that such a definition is unconstitutional, then the federal law of the Defense of Marriage Act will be struck down and so will any state laws, even those enshrined in the constitutions of states, like Nebraska, that define marriage as only being between one man and one woman and all states will have to allow same-sex “marriage.” If this happens, it will be as tragic as the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 that legalized abortion. If the Court does so, it will be a great act of hubris that insults God Who alone is the author of marriage Who created marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Just as the Court in Roe v. Wade, in a miscarriage of justice, denied that human life begins at conception likewise will it be acting in a kangaroo-court fashion if it strikes down federal and state laws that define marriage as only being between one man and one woman. Hence we need to pray, pray, pray and to do penance that the Supreme Court has the courage not to waver from the only true definition of marriage in the face of those who are foolishly campaigning for redefining marriage. In regards to prayer, I will be praying from March 18 to 26 at the end of all Masses a novena prayer from our American bishops for the preservation of the sanctity of marriage, which, during this time, I ask all of you for nine days to pray at home as well:
God our Father, we give you thanks for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love,
and the font of the family.
The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.
The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the request of the Blessed Mother.
May your Son, through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as we join with all people of good will to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.
May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers be joined to those of the Virgin Mary, that your Word may transform our service so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Please see the insert in today’s bulletin that is a series of questions and answers from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in regards to the whole issue of the correct definition of marriage. We as Catholics need to be ready to defend the truth about marriage, so this resource is something that can assist us in this regard. Finally, on Tuesday, March 26, I will have a special Mass at 6:00 PM for the intention of praying for the Supreme Court justices and the preservation of the true meaning of marriage in our nation and society, which will be followed by a Holy Hour of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. I hope that many will come to beseech our Lord to pour forth all the necessary graces that will preserve our justices in integrity and uprightness.

Have a blessed and grace-filled week.
God bless,
Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green,  Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Tues., Oct. 17, Ladies Guild, 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 18, RE, 6:15 p.m.