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Sounds of the Spirit

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Stop! I want you to just stop. Take a moment and feel where your mind is. Are you thinking of what you need to yet get accomplished for Christmas? Are you thinking of the food and house you must prepare? Are you thinking, who gets what and did I forget anyone?

Can we stop and just listen to the sounds of the Spirit breaking through? One of my favorite lines of any of the many Christmas songs is from O LIttle Town of Bethlehem.

The hopes and fears of all the years are met with thee tonight.

It seems paradoxical, fear is the enemy of hope. This one line reveals the incarnation as something that bridges these two opposites. God becoming human changed the world and everyone in it, from the joyfully hopeful to the dreadfully fearful. And in this little place called Bethlehem, in this little stable, from this unremarkable couple, came this epic event.

God unsettles us with his opposites, choosing a humble beginning instead of a majestic entrance. This baby Jesus is visited by lowly shepherds and three kings. The birth of Jesus appears to do nothing, yet everything is changed. This year, I have thought of the gifts I have been given by being pastor of this parish. I have spent time thinking about those who clean our church, plow and salt our driveways, pay our bills and answer our phones. I also remember having all three pastors here for Holy Thursday, and having Archbishop Listecki for the dedication of our Risen Christ statue. I remember the baptisms, weddings and funerals. This place, our parish of St. Dominic is a place where the hopes and fears of all the years are met with thee tonight. It is what makes us family.

Have a blessed Christmas season and New Year,
Fr. Dennis Saran

Mother of All People

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I remember as a child sitting in church watching people pray the Rosary and being so happy at my First Communion to receive my own beautiful set of prayer beads. I recall the beautiful May Crownings, as well as one of my teachers asking us to create a shrine to Mary in our homes. That idea did not go over too well, having shared a room with my two sisters. Yet, the statues and the pictures of Mary were very formative in my life. My first visit to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Milwaukee, was unforgettable. Mary has a very important part in the life of our Lord. She was the first Tabernacle, carrying our Lord within her. She accompanied her Son throughout his life until his death on the Cross. Jesus declares that Mary became the mother of all people. Her mission is to lead us closer to her son, Jesus. In 2019, we celebrate the 160th anniversary of the apparition to Adele Brise in Champion, WI at Our Lady of Good Help. This is the only approved apparition of Mary in the United States. Yes, my friends, this important place of grace is only two hours from Brookfield.

I recently made a pilgrimage to Holy Hill, to the shrine of Mary, with a trusting heart in her powerful intercession. Both my brothers were diagnosed with cancer. I knelt in complete dependence and humility begging her help on their behalf. Several days later, we received the amazing news that treatment and surgery would remove all cancer cells. How relieved and grateful I was. Consider making a visit to one of her shrines or praying the Rosary. She is the woman, the mother of all people who pleads with her Son for all of us.

Gathering as Family

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As a Church, we gather together as individuals seeking God’s grace and love and to be nourished by the sacraments. Yet, it is in the gathering of us all that we become a family, gathering in our spiritual home. I have said countless times that our parish has many incredible attributes and chief among them is family. It took me
only a couple months to feel that family atmosphere and to know I was being welcomed home. Through our stewardship, we allow this place to continue to be a place where seekers come to know Christ and become Christ. Stewardship in St. Dominic Catholic Parish is an investment for the future, allowing our faith in Jesus Christ to be passed down through the generations. As we consider our stewardship, we’re also reminded in the Gospel to be thankful. The gifts that we’re given that we can share with others come first from God. The finances we give, the time we spend, and the personal skills we use, all come from God. As with any gift from God, we are called to share them with our brothers and sisters.

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