Sunday Choir returns

This evening the Sunday Choir was back in their practice room, followed by a social in a nearby classroom. Their debut will be at the 10:00 Mass on Sunday, October. It was lovely to see them assembled again. We are grateful for all who serve our parish family.

Music is worship

Here is MMOC Man of the Year Rick Wilson, trying to help sort out a problem this afternoon with wiring around our piano. A sweet ensemble was in place for our 4:00 Mass today.

As our Sunday and New Life Choirs will soon return to regular practice and Mass schedules, let us pray in thanks for their talents, service, and health. They elevate our worship with the glory of their song.

Light in our lives

Most of the windows on the south side of our church are back in place. On Saturday it was sweet to see their beautiful light dance across the floor and pews.

Also on Saturday was the cancer fundraiser Steppin’ Out in Pink. Fairly confident that it’s our Rebecca Kath on page B1 of today’s La Crosse Tribune.

For just one weekend, all but one of the windows in our church were clear glass.

The last few stained-glass windows to be removed were those near our tabernacle. A few days ago, re-installation of our windows began along the south wall. Between those events, there was just one weekend to capture the image below. Call it a record for posterity, because this view may not be seen again for a century.

Our church on the weekend of 21-22 August 2021.

Window #13, on the north end of the choir loft, will be renovated later. That window opening will be used to evacuate construction debris when the loft is remodeled.

The Pedey 2021

After years of hosting a softball tournament each August, our Men’s Club decided this year to host a golf scramble instead. Response was strong with 33 foursomes signed on for the event at Forest Hills.

Unfortunately, steady rain and wind created poor conditions for golf today. WXOW reports about an inch of rain fell through the day, and winds gusted to 8 MPH. As we know, the worst part of golfing in the wind is all the excuses.

After a while, Andy Foley announced that teams could elect to have their entry fee refunded, or to play 9 holes in mid-afternoon, by which time the rain and wind had passed.

While waiting for Andy’s announcement, golfers enjoyed box lunches, beverages, games, and the good company of friends. It was clear that many had not been together for a while, so the gathering itself was worthwhile.

We thank the Men’s Club for hosting this event, formally known as the Mike Pederson Memorial, and the staff of Forest Hills for their thorough preparation.

Fr. John Swing

4:00 Mass yesterday was celebrated by Fr. John Swing with Fr. Konopa at his side. Watch his homily for precious stories of attending St. Thomas More School as a child, leading to his vocation of 51 years as a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, including time as a missionary in Bolivia.

A drenching rainstorm made it very dicey getting to church yesterday, including a lot of flooded streets. The Mass itself was lovely. Getting to church was hazardous and attendance was light. We even had to call 911 about people in a car stranded in the rising waters.

The rain pounded so hard that it came through some of the windows in church. It will be good when the new window frames and glass are installed to create a more secure seal.

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.