At our patronal feast Mass this evening, Rick Wilson and Lisa Doering were honored as Man and Woman of the Year for 2021. We congratulate and embrace them both and thank them for their service to our parish family.

Most will recognize Rick as a cantor, singer, and soloist with our various choirs for decades. He has also been very active in La Crosse Mardi Gras as emcee and, in 2018, was named Rex and Queen with his wife Robin. More recently, when public celebrations of the Mass were banned in March 2020, Rick jumped aboard our new ministry of Live Streaming the Mass. This was crucial to holding our parish family together in worship during the bleakest days of the pandemic. His friendly, patient, and generous nature is expressed in his Yes!

Like our mother Mary, Lisa also is known for her Yes! For a decade she has served in the ministries of hospitality and religious education. When our small faith-sharing groups began (CCO), Lisa was first a participant, and for 2 years has been a group leader. Then when the pandemic hit, and we needed to launch the Greeter ministry, Lisa contributed leadership and cheerfulness at every turn: Working out how we’d handle things, training and leading new Greeters, then training other Greeters to take the lead.

Congratulations to Rick and Lisa and their families, and thank you for all you do!

Bob_and_DonnaAt our patronal feast celebration this evening, Donna Omernik and Bob Flottmeyer were honored as Woman and Man of the Year. Donna crafts baptismal gowns, serves as a Lector, and recently retired from decades of service as a teacher in our Religious Education program. Bob has been a crucial supporter of Building Our Future Together; if it’s recent at MMOC and made of metal, Bob’s company Chaseburg Manufacturing made it. Congratulations to both Donna and Bob and their families, and thank you for all you do.

GroupOn Sunday, 5 May 2019, twenty one children received Holy Communion for the first time at the 10:00 Mass. We congratulate the students along with their parents and teachers.

It was a perfectly lovely, sunny, Spring day, warm enough that the church doors could be propped open.

White_DressesOur Sunday Choir, under the direction of Mary Jo Lium, truly outdid themselves. They sang and played with extra excitement and energy, and the music was soaring and inspiring.

Individual photos of the children receiving have been emailed to parents. Your parish photographer expresses thanks for the cooperation of parents in remaining seated during the taking of the group portrait.

DSC_0027 - CopyAnother special moment came earlier in the day at the 8:00 Mass. Deacon Harris is the fourth child of Heather and Andy Foley. His three big sisters gathered around the font as Deacon was baptized. As Father Konopa quipped, now we have two Deacons in our parish. Congratulations to Heather and Andy!

Stick around this parish a little while and you will make some friends. Reach out even a little bit and you will be wrapped in a warm blanket of parish family.

DSC_0053 - CopyCase in point: Barb and Joe Kruse have been our friends for decades. Our children played together at Aquinas talent shows, then at the Warehouse as “Just David”. I can remember having the Just David parents over for Sunday brunch so we could talk about our middle schoolers. We raised our children as a village. Years later, we raise our grandchildren as a village. Here’s a photo of Ben and Nichole Kruse at the Baptism in April of their wee Marvelle.

Back in March, the local chamber of commerce recognized Joe as a leader in our community. WXOW-19 did a nice profile of Joe and Barb. We publish it here as part of the story of our parish family life. Bless you, Joe and Barb, and your clan, for all you mean to us.

GroupOn Wednesday evening, 24 April 2019, fourteen of our brothers and sisters in Christ were Confirmed at the Cathedral by Bishop Callahan. We congratulate:

Lydia Arentz, daughter of Joseph and Sharon
Kohl Blanco, son of Susan and Ken
Matthew Bryant, son of Kevin and Michelle
Mary_WagnerMacKenzie Caya, daughter of Lisa and Brian
Ryan Conzemius, son of John and Lisa
Joshua Kaiser, son of Rachel and Joe
Ciarra Lietke, daughter of Doug and Jackie
George Luckner, son of Danielle and Brian
Landon Manock, son of Michael and Amanda
Jack McHugh-Sake, son of John
Karlie Meyer, daughter of Lori and Dan
Landon_ManockJacqueline Schneider, daughter of Mark and Laurie
Jackson Servais, son of Lisa and Tim
Mary Wagner, daughter of Dave and Laura

Congratulations also to the sponsors, teachers and families of these young people. We thank Karla Schams, who serves as coordinator of the Confirmation program.

It was a beautiful, warm spring evening with clear skies and no hint of the rain that would come the next day. Let us pray for these young people and the challenges that are surely on the radar for them. May they reflect on and come to appreciate a larger role as disciples of Christ their hope and the Holy Spirit their strength.

Ryan_Conzemius   Joshua_Kaiser   Karlie_Meyer

Doxology   Konopa_presents

It was deeply meaningful, tonight at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, to hear those words: This is my body. This cup is the covenant in my blood. We hear them at every Mass, yet their meaning was fresh this evening as we recalled Jesus saying them on that fateful evening of the Last Supper. He didn’t say, this is a meaningful symbol. He said this is me, and do this in memory of me. This is why we believe He is truly present to us in the Holy Eucharist.

Connection - CopyYet another message of this evening was the washing of feet, and the lesson about serving each other. Washing another person’s feet is an intimate, up close, and personal moment. You cannot wash another’s feet and ignore their sores, their wounds. Their eyes.

I need to slow down on making lasagna for Place of Grace and the Catholic Charities Warming Center, and spend more time connecting with the people we serve. It’s not enough to drop off food. I need to look the person I serve in the eye, and deal with their reality.


DSC_0033 - CopyOn Palm Sunday, we gathered in the parish hall before Mass for the blessing of palms and the reading of Luke’s Gospel about Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. DSC_0049 - CopyThen we processed into the church for Mass. It’s wonderful that we have this space, attached to the church, for moments such as this. We’ll be back in the hall on Thursday evening for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the evening Mass. Please join us for the journey of these sacred days:

  • Holy Thursday, April 18, Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 pm
  • Good Friday, April 19, Celebration of our Lord’s Passion at 1:00 pm
  • Holy Saturday, April 20, Easter Vigil Mass at 8:30 pm
  • Easter Sunday, April 21, Masses at 8:00 and 10:00 am


First Fish Fry

A fish dinner on a Friday night during Lent is a long and treasured Catholic tradition. Today was our first, trial attempt at MMOC to hold a fish fry in our new parish kitchen and hall. It seemed to be a wonderful success.

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DSC_0011 - CopyThe buzz in our parish hall and kitchen this evening was tremendous. Everywhere were many dear friends we don’t get to see so often, and many we see at everything, all laughing, talking, and enjoying being together.

DSC_0046 - CopyOur first fish fry seemed to be a success on many levels. The dinner itself was served piping hot and delicious. It’s hard to imagine how any more volunteers might have fit into the space. And everywhere were people in high spirits, happy to see and visit with each other.

DSC_0027 - CopyThis is a warm and affectionate parish family, full of people who are humble servants, happy to put on an apron and serve. Many were Aquinas Catholic Schools students and we thank them for joining in.

Not bad for a first time at bat.

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Marv Elsen is anointed while Linda, Tom, and Diane Elsen await their moment.

“Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”

At all Masses this weekend, after the homily, Father Konopa offered the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. At the 4:00 Mass, he was assisted by our former pastor Msgr. David Kunz, who concelebrated.

A few years ago, our practice was to offer anointing separate from the Mass. Those seeking to be anointed would make their way over to the school gym after Mass. It is better that we now offer anointing during Mass, in the pews. It’s less work for people who seek healing, and they are surrounded by the love and prayer of their brothers and sisters in Christ. There are moments of sweet tenderness as people we’ve known and loved for years reach out their hands for the blessing.


“Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” –James 5:14-15

Come Away Awhile

This evening we wrapped up the 2019 edition of our Spiritual Renewal Days. Three Franciscans have been our guests.

DSC_0005 - CopyOn Monday evening, Fr. Larry Janowski spoke of taking Lent as an opportunity to slow down, be still, and be silent so we can hear the voice of Jesus.

On Tuesday, DSC_0001 - CopySr. Marlene Weisenbeck told the story of St. Rose of Viterbo, the patron saint of our sisters who are deeply rooted in La Crosse. The story involved pungent, fresh-cut sprigs of mint. There were parallels to the life of St. Clare of Assisi. Despite the rain, a lot of us were there. The evening was lovely and meaningful.

DSC_0007 - CopyAnd on this concluding Wednesday evening, Fr. Conrad Targonski told in a dramatic way the story of St. Francis’ bold separation from his former, privileged life, and commitment to serving God’s will.

We thank the ensemble and hand-bell choirs that have made these evenings beautiful and prayerful.

This is only the first full week of Lent! Much is in store. Next Monday “Praise and Graze” returns. We will pray the Stations of the Cross most Wednesday afternoons. And on April 5, our new parish hall is the setting for a Catholic Lenten tradition, the Friday fish fry. Such an active parish family!