DSC_0024 - CopyAt yesterday’s 4:00 Mass, we welcomed and blessed two new babies into our parish family. The first was Lennon Arlene, child of Matt and Leah Hammes. Lennon is the grand-daughter of Lori and Dean Hammes.

DSC_0079 - CopyAnd at the same Mass, an ensemble choir welcomed, and was blessed, with our new baby grand piano, played beautifully by our director of sacred music, Mary Jo Lium. Thanks to Bob Jansen for extra effort to make this debut recording happen.


For the Children

In_the_Name - CopyYesterday at the 4:00 Mass, we welcomed Parker Ray into our parish family and our faith. Congratulations to parents Jeff and Leigha Saxton and all their family.

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Parker slept through most of the rite, but there was a lot of wonder and excitement among his several “cousins”, the children of his godparents, Samantha and Steven Doll.

DSC_0037 - CopyAfter Mass, everyone was invited to look around the Religious Education Center in the lower level of our parish hall. There were many comments about the spacious and bright classrooms and the warm and welcoming decor. With high ceilings and plenty of bright-white light, it seems there won’t be much of a feeling of being “in the basement.”

A gem within the center is the new Sacred Music room. The spacious risers and acoustic panels should make an excellent setting for choir practices. Notice the custom cabinet in the corner, crafted by Wally and Betty Stoll, containing cubbies for all in the choir. The room will become home to our upright piano when, on July 12, a new Yamaha grand piano will be placed in our church. Another arrival in the next few days will be classroom and office furniture. The aim is to have all rooms ready to go when classes and choir practices resume in September.

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Please continue to pray that the Lord will help us find ways to use our new facilities to do his work and serve his people. Pray also in thanks for his generous blessings to our parish family!

GRABINSKI-Verda-BuddyFor about 2½ years, MMOC has been recording and publishing Homilies by Fr. Konopa and Dn. Sage on our YouTube channel. The inspiration for this service came from Verda Grabinski, who taught us that the Homily is a key part of the Mass not accessible to people whose hearing is impaired. So our Homily videos are captioned. Thanks to Kathy Gilardi for her patience as we got this service going.

Now we have taken a step forward in our capability to capture and share Masses at MMOC. After some sorting out technical problems with the company providing our new sound system, it seems we are able to do high-quality recordings through our new system. See what you think, below.

Beyond Homilies, it seems we now have the capability to record and share an entire Mass. Now the question becomes, could we use this to reach out? What if we could share the whole Mass? If we do, would that be useful?

There are lots of parish members on the south side who remain in their homes into later years. Others are in places of care. If we could share Mass at MMOC with them, would that be worthwhile? Would they appreciate a virtual participation in Mass at their home parish? They already have access to the diocesan TV Mass. Would it matter if they could also see Mass in their home parish?

What about new people in our area? What if they or others considering our area could get a sense of what Mass at MMOC is like? Would that draw people in?

What do you think?

SistersThis morning, on the first celebration of the memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, Fr. Konopa spoke (video) about how we are family, and Mary is our mother. She was in the upper room when the Holy Spirit arrived on Pentecost. She was the mom in that moment when the church was born.

May_Crowning_2018 - CopyYesterday, on Mother’s Day, we also celebrated the Ascension of the Lord. Fr. Konopa, in his Homily, pointed out that now the Lord’s work is for us to do.

After Communion there was a blessing for mothers and the traditional May Crowning, revering our blessed Mother, as people streamed forward with gift bouquets of spring flowers.

DSC_0003 - CopyChecking on progress in our Religious Education Center, it seems we are well on our way to completion about a month from now. Painting appears to be complete, and ceiling grids and lights are in place. Cabinets and cubbies are in all the classrooms.

Panorama_southwest_view_Hallway - CopyTo whoever selected the lighting for the lower level, well done! The light is ample and bright like sunlight, so even the rooms without windows feel commodious. Everywhere the finishes are warm, soothing earth tones.

DSC_0002 - CopyPlans call for an open house in the lower level after all Masses on Catechetical Sunday, 16 September. As with the parish hall, people are going to be impressed. The classrooms are enormous and everywhere there is attention to detail, such as the acoustic panels in the music room.

Ed_ThomeTomorrow we celebrate the life of our former pastor, Fr. Edwin Thome. A lot of us have very fond memories of him, whether his original term 1968-1974, or his return as our senior pastor 2001-2008. There will be wonderful stories to share of his kindness, humor, and his insightful homilies. Eternal rest grant unto Ed, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

DSC_0094 - CopyOn Thursday, May 10, we hosted our first Chicken Que in our new parish hall. There may be details to work out,  but overall, the impression is yes, everything worked, and the new space is well designed to make this event a success. There were a lot of smiles, a lot of joy about working alongside of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

DSC_0080 - CopyWe were blessed with good weather. Not just on the day, but leading up to it, because our new, west parking lot was paved, and that made all the difference. Compared to our Chicken Que last September, this one was far smoother in terms of everything flowing, everything feeling efficient and well planned and placed.

DSC_0063 - CopyOur target was to serve 1800 people. That’s up from 1600 a couple of years ago. And there was a lot of talk about moving toward 2000 in the future. A lot of people were commenting that we could have sold 2000 or even 2100 this time.

DSC_0078 - CopySuch talk is humbling. It says that we have established a reputation in the community and that we want to satisfy our neighbors. It says that we have the depth of committed volunteers, and the facilities, necessary to accomplish this.

When I work a Chicken Que alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ, I know for sure that I am part of a closely knit parish family. We do the Lord’s work together, with joy.

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Confirmation 2018

GroupWe do our best to raise our children in our faith. We bring them to education, share our own experience, celebrate their milestones, try to explore how faith journeys intersect.

Theresa and the Bishop - CopyAt my 40th birthday party, a friend who’d wandered away in the college years talked about how she and her husband were returning to the church. She needed the support. I told her I’d been praying about her return for years, that she was telling me my prayer was answered. I hope to have a moment like that with each of my own children.

The MomentOur children leave us like rockets:  Slowly in the moments after launch. When they clear the tower, accelerating, we say prayers hoping their guidance systems function, that they get to where they’re going, to where only our voices can reach. Lord, help us find the right message. 


A heart is an antenna, reaching out for signals, out as far as it can. May our children’s hearts find our signal.