One Foundation

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0016.JPGWork on our new parish hall seems to be striding ahead, and the primary contractor reports that they are back on their project schedule. The basement walls have all been poured, and the ground seems prepared for pouring of the floor of the education center.

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DCIM100MEDIADJI_0078.JPGThanks to James Dunkley (Allie‘s husband) and his camera drone, we have new overhead photos of the MMOC campus. The photo at left gives a good sense of the outline of the parish hall and how it will fit into our campus.

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, when Christ’s kingship and dominion were affirmed. Please forgive the pun:

Lord, may we see you reign abundantly, and rain, adequately.


Thursday morning - CopyA week ago, our parish hall was in recovery mode after flooding turned the future Religious Education center into an indoor pool. This week, favorable weather and our resourceful construction team seem to have brought about a rebound. Click the picture below and you will see that the progress is impressive. It seems the lower level will soon be fully enclosed.

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AA_CrewIndoors, a crew was busy installing our new sound system, working deep into Friday to make sure we’d have sound at Mass this weekend. The consensus seemed to be that voices were clearer and crisper. Let us be thankful to everyone who made this happen!

Lord, please continue to bless the work of our hands with fair weather, safety,  and a clear sense of your purpose. Inch by inch, may we bring about your kingdom.

Wednesday evening, July 19, southwestern Wisconsin experienced storms that caused widespread flooding, road and power outages, and more. The governor declared a state of emergency, and Catholic Charities opened a hotline for people needing help with water damage.

Our parish hall was set back by a few days. This was the scene on Thursday morning:

Thursday morning - Copy

As you can see in the upper left corner of this photo, a short segment of pavement and curb on Horton Street collapsed, pouring in water from the street, adding to the erosion and mudslides all around our campus.

The response from our construction team was vigorous. They used pumps to lower the water level and re-excavated around foundation walls. By Friday afternoon, crews were able to install moisture barrier and insulation around the east end of the foundation.


Already the collapsed portion of Horton Street has been repaired.

Horton Repair

Let us be grateful for workers who strove to recover the site and get things back on track. By this weekend, it appeared the site was mostly restored and that work might get back on track shortly. Yet more clean-up and excavation seem to be ahead.

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At Mass on Saturday, I could see smiles at the irony that the opening and closing hymns both mentioned rain.

Fr. Konopa, in his Homily, urged us to deal with problems as we must, yet keep our focus on God’s generous love and mercy, and on the best in people around us. A lot of people had a tough week this week, yet Fr. Konopa was able to find a little mirth and hope.

Let’s end this week with a fitting if nautical prayer:  Lord, save our crew and grant us fair winds that we may reach the harbor you have set for us.


One month into the construction of our parish hall and education center, here is a glimpse of what has been accomplished.

July 2017 Footings

And here is a time-lapse video of the work that has happened. Please continue to pray for all work to happen in safety. May the Lord bless the work of our hands.

First Concrete

Keeping in mind the words of the hymn:  The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord… We also delight that just two weeks into construction, the concrete footings for the east end of our parish hall are in place.

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9cToday is the 19th anniversary of the ordination of our pastor, Fr. Brian Konopa. Please say a prayer of thanks for the example of Christ in our midst that he is.

DSCF1136eIt was three years ago that Fr. Konopa first celebrated Mass at MMOC. I remember this photo of him chatting with Pat and Jack Darling on a warm, breezy July morning.

Doxology_smallThree weeks later he was put to what may have been his first test as our pastor, meeting and anointing, then presiding at the funeral Mass of our beloved sister, Lois Przywojski.

Riverfest_CrewOne memory that I hold dear is Fr. Konopa showing up, just days into his time with us, to join our Men’s Club for clean-up on the Riverfest grounds. This simple act showed us the heart of a servant.

About five weeks later, Fr. Robert Schaller presided at morning Mass and, in his role as head of the La Crosse Deanery, formally installed Fr. Konopa as our pastor. Daily Mass has seldom seen the pews so full as on that morning.

And then that November, at a parish breakfast, though he had been with us only a short time, Fr. Konopa announced a commission, chaired by Dn. Richard Sage, to find a way forward, Building Our Future Together.

So much has happened since those early days. There are plenty of memories to treasure, and great hopes for the future of this parish family. Let us pray: Lord, we thank you for the blessing of all who instruct us with words and actions, and also by their example and dignity of living among us.

Ann Kotnour, RN

Ann Kotnour, RN, is profiled in the latest edition of Coulee Region Women magazine. Congratulations to Ann and thanks for your long and faithful service!

Ann and her husband Joe Kotnour, DDS, have been members of our parish family for many years, along with their four children. Together, Ann and Joe serve in the ministry of Hospitality, and Joe is an usher. We fondly remember Joe’s mom, Audrey Kotnour, a beloved member of MMOC until her funeral here in 2016.