Homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 26, 2014

Back in 1992 when I was the chaplain at Roncalli High School our archdiocese was visited by a well-known priest evangelist.  During the course of his talk to about 5,000 teenagers at the Hoosier Dome he stated that if young people are not receiving a religious education which makes clear to them the commandments of God and the Church then they are being cheated out of their salvation.   I believe the priest was dead right.  I also believe that young people today want to know what God expects of them and what they can expect from each other.

Some folks used the priest and his message to reinforce their charge that religious educators today have watered down the Faith.  They said that teachers and catechists have replaced respect for the commandments with a religion of “easy” grace under the label of love.  I supposed there’s some truth in that.  One of my students once told me that it was a joke told among kids that if you don’t know the answer to the question on a religion test, just fill in the blank with “love” and you’re sure to get some credit.

But consider this:  When the scribe asks Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment he responds, with the Schema – “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest commandment.” He immediately adds, “The second commandment is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”  The answer is love, Jesus says.  Love of God and love of others are the two hinges that keep the door of all true religion hanging!

If you have ever traveled in a foreign country you know that it can be very difficult, but not impossible, to communicate with your host.   It takes a lot of mutual respect, patience, good will, and trust.  That, brothers and sisters, is the essence of love.

If we have failed anywhere in religious education over the past fifty years since the Council it is not because we have taught a religion of love…Jesus himself reduced all the laws of God to two: Love God with everything you are and love others as you love and care for yourself.  In the end even these two would be reduced to one Great Commandment:  Love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. If we have failed it is not because we have preached love.  It is because we forgot to define love as a way of life.  Specifically the way Jesus lived his life.   The love of the two great commandments is more than fleeting affection, more than good intentions, more than admiration.  The love of the two Great Commandments is love founded on respect, patience, good will and trust.  It is a hard love.  It is a love that asks hard things of us.  It is a love that can get you crucified.

Parishioner Richard “Dick” Black, 81, passes

1ef791e5-b1dc-4f57-becc-fd6744c7206eRichard T. Black, 81, died Friday, October 24, 2014 at the Hosparus Care Unit in Louisville. He was born September 4, 1933 in Newark, Ohio to the late Walter and Virgie O’Bannion Black. He is also preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Aemmer Black. He was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, a lifetime member of the American Legion Bonnie Sloan Post #28, an avid golfer and member of New Salisbury Golf Course, and a World Champion Horseshoe pitcher. He devotedly volunteered with In Heaven’s Eyes and was a member of the Holy Family Theatre Group. He was an avid sports fan and many will remember him as being quick witted and always a jokester.

Survivors include:
Daughters: Sandra Black
Cynthia “Cindy” Black (Tom Partipilo)
Julie Hallal (Jared)
Grandchildren: Renee Pfeifer (Rance Reinhardt)
Ryan Pfeifer (Meagan)
Elizabeth Hallal
Rebekah Hallal
Great Granddaughter: Zoe Reinhardt
Siblings: Juanita Riordan, Bill Black, Huey Black, and Linda Davis

Visitation will be from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm Tuesday and after 9:00 am Wednesday at Kraft Funeral Service, 708 E. Spring St., New Albany, Indiana. His Funeral Mass will be 11:30 am Wednesday at Holy Family Catholic Church, 129 W. Daisy Ln., New Albany, Indiana, with burial and military honors to follow at Kraft-Graceland Memorial Park in New Albany, Indiana.

Contributions in his memory may be made to: Holy Family Catholic Church or In Heavens Eyes.

Online condolences may be made to: www.kraftfuneralservice.net


Parishioner Butch Straw, 71, passes

Straw, Charles Alfred, passed away on October 21, 2014 in Clark Memorial Hospital.

He was 71 years young.

He was preceded in death by his parents Richard Henry Straw and Agnes Elizabeth (Kochert) Straw and his sister Rita (Straw) Oliver (and her husband Duward). He is survived by his wife of 46 years Teresa Ann (Himmelheber) Straw, his son Richard Charles Straw (wife Traci Stewart), and granddaughters Delaney and Mckenna Straw, and Mackenzie, Natalie, and Olivia Willman. Sisters and brothers-in-law, Ted Himmelheber (deceased), David Himmelheber, Mary Jean (Himmelheber) Raizor (husband Sam), Rosie (Himmelheber) Nolot (husband Kenny), Sharon Himmelheber.

He is also survived by his nieces and nephew Tammy (Himmelheber) Cobb (husband Mitchell), Michael Himmelheber (wife Janet Dale), and Mandy (Himmelheber) Masterson (husband Robert).

Butch, as he was known by most friends and family, served in the US Navy honorably from 1960 – 1963. He retired after 36 years at the Indiana-American Water Company in 2001. He was a member of the South Hoosier Street Rods for over 35 years.

He will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend to many. Visitation in his honor will be on Friday, October 24, 2014 from 3-8pm and Saturday, October 25, 2014from 11am-2pm at Kraft Funeral Home at 708 E Spring Street in New Albany. His funeral service will be at Holy Family Parish where he has been a member since 1966 on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2pm and he will be laid to rest at Kraft-Graceland Memorial Park following.

Memorial donations can be made to Holy Family Church, 129 W Daisy Lane, New Albany in his name.

He will always be loved by his family and greatly missed by those he touched in life.

Parishioners, Mary Evelyn (Lancaster) Buchheit, 94, passes

Buchheit, Mary Evelyn (Lancaster), 94 years of age died peacefully on Tuesday October 21, 2014.

Evelyn was one of six children and was born May 7, 1920 in Stanley, KY, to the late Thomas B. and Claire Ann (Mulligan) Lancaster. She was the widow of G. William Buchheit and a devout Catholic by Faith and longtime member of Holy Family Catholic Church. She was an avid bridge and euchre player and a longtime volunteer at R.S.V.P. at the Interfaith Council. Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband, daughter Bonnie Flick and five siblings, Tommy and Dick Lancaster, Nelle Wolford, Mary Lou Scott, and Sr. Ann Clare Lancaster. She will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by her family and all who knew her. The family would like to thank the staff at Westminster, Clark County Hospital and Gentiva Hospice for their kindess and support.

Survivors include two daughters, Barbara Hellman and husband Jerry and Debbie Brattain; five grandchildren, Brad (Shannon) and Jerry (Nancy) Hellman, Keri and Eric(Julie) Dietrich and Bonnie Brattain Deady (Ben); and six great-grandchildren, Mackenzie, Cooper. Lindsey, Ethan, Georgia and Christopher.

Reception of family and friends will be from 3-8 p.m. Friday. The funeral Mass Liturgy will be celebrated at 11 am Saturday October 25, 2014, at Holy Family Catholic Church with burial in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in New Albany.

Expressions of sympathy to: American Cancer Society .

Homily for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time – October 19, 2014

There is a Chinese proverb: “Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind.” Back in the fall of ’92 the Klan obtained a permit to hold a rally in downtown Indianapolis. Then Archbishop Daniel Buechlein and other clergy of Indianapolis pleaded with people of good will to stay away from the rally and gather together for celebrations of hope instead. Some people argued that staying away from the rally was a form of cowardice and even a contribution to the Klan’s bigotry. In the confrontations between white supremacists and anti-racists groups, 7 people were hurt and 7 were arrested. The winds of anger were fanned by extremists on both sides. As is often the case, angry people find and encourage other angry people. “Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind.”

But, what is a person of conscience supposed to do when goodness, solidarity, and truth are under attack? What should a person do with feelings of outrage? How should we respond when we think that someone is trying to publicly embarrass us? I think our Lord’s example in a public debate can give us help in this area.

Jesus knew exactly what the Pharisees and Herodians were trying to do. He immediately recognized their oily flattery for what it was: a set-up. He had every right to lash out at them, expose, and embarrass them. But he met their viciousness with a calm dignity. In the end the religious authorities would take Jesus’ life, but on this day they could not take away his peace and his dignity. He turned aside their political trap with a simple teaching that everyone listening in the crowd would understand. “Give Caesar what belongs to him. Give God what belongs to him.” God has first claim on everything we have and are. Caesar must be content with whatever is left. The Pharisees and Herodians were left with their jaws hanging.

Psalm 118 speaks of a person who is surrounded by enemies as a man surrounded by bees. “They compassed me about like bees; my enemies blazed up like a fire among thorns. In the Lord’s name I crushed them.” I think our first reaction to bees is to flail, to strike out at them. It is like that with our enemies. We come out swinging. But consider the bee keeper. He, too, is surrounded by bees. How does he keep from being stung? When he approaches the hive the beekeeper moves slowly and deliberately. This keeps the bees confused but not angry.

Jesus never let the Pharisees trick him into making his ministry a battle of egos. Like the beekeeper who slowly and calmly approaches the hive, just so Jesus calmly and deliberately, with the assurance of trust in his Father and what God was calling him to do, passes through the tests and tricks of his enemies.

Someone once wrote of Abraham Lincoln: “In temper he was Earnest, yet controlled, frank, yet sufficiently guarded, patient, yet energetic, forgiving, yet just to himself; generous yet firm. His conscience was the strongest element of his nature. His affections were tender & warm. His whole nature was simple and sincere – he was pure, and then was himself.” Not a bad character reference, huh.

Are you feeling defensive and argumentative nowadays? Is there someone who is out to get you? Who makes you so angry you can’t see straight?  Do the hurtful, insulting words of someone still rise like vinegar when you hear their name mentioned? Try taking that memory to Jesus; ask him to stretch out his hand and draw out the sting. Jesus can show us how to stand firm without picking a fight. Don’t let the wind of anger blow out the lamp of your mind.”

Book Fair Parishioner Day this Friday!

  • come_to_fair_artTuesday we are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday we will be open for preschool only 9 a.m.-10 a.m. and their families 11 a.m.-12 noon then open 2 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Thursday hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Friday is parishioners day after mass. Stop by and shop 9 a.m.-10 a.m. then open again 12 noon-3 p.m.. No students will be there from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Friday.

Students will be able to shop during their regular Library Time.

All proceeds will benefit the Library. We hope to replace our aged bookshelves!

2014 Basketball tryouts this week and next


Tuesday 10/21
5-6 grade girls from 5:30 until 7:00PM
7-8 grade girls from 7:00 until 9:00PM

Wednesday 10/22
5-6 grade girls from 5:30 until 7:30PM



Tuesday 10/28 (UPDATED)
5-6 grade boys from 5:00 until 7:00PM
7-8 grade boys from 7:00 until 9:00PM

Wednesday 10/29 (UPDATED)
5-6 grade boys from 5:00 until 7:00PM
7-8 grade boys from 7:00 until 9:00PM

Note: physical form and concussion form will be needed at tryouts.
Cost for basketball is $50.00 to be paid night of tryouts.

Homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 12, 2014

Everybody loves a party.  Right?  Well apparently not everybody.  And apparently not every party.  Some folks are particular about the invitations they accept. Maybe too particular.  And maybe some folks are not particular enough about whom they invite.

Jesus tells a challenging story about a ruler who threw a party that almost didn’t happen.  It is a story of party that begins with a joyful announcement and ends with a dreadful curse.  It is the story of a wedding reception where hospitality is returned with bloodshed. Where friendship is met with rejection.  It is the story of a party thrown initially for friends and close associates but ends up being a banquet for strangers and hooligans.   Perhaps this parable should be called the Un-Party.

And the Un-Party is the Kingdom of God:  that enigmatic, topsy-turvy world created when God decides to show us that he’s still God.  The Un-Party is a story which pulls at the ravels of the way we like to tell life to ourselves.

What’s the point of the Un-Party?  Well, let’s start with where we are right here and now and let the story speak.  We’ve been invited to a party.  It’s called life.  God gave each one of us a personal, handwritten invitation to life. If we closely at the underside of each day we’ll find His signature. The invitation to Life is not just an invitation to hang out, but we can do that if we want. It’s not an invitation to grab everything we can while we’re here, but God will let us do that up to a point.  Life is not an invitation to impress God or the people around us, but God puts up with that.  What God really wants is for us to enjoy the feast.  To become a beloved and loving guest.

We can offer a whole lot of excuses for not doing that. Just think of all reasons why people leave during the last 10 minutes of a football game (I bet you thought I was gonna say Communion), or during the intermission of a play, or right after the family reunion meal.  If you remember some the excuses why people leave early, stand around and just watch, you have some of the reasons we give for not really living.  It takes too much time and energy to get involved.  Somebody else will do it.  “I’ve got more important things to do.” And all those excuses we use for skimming over the top of our days are the very reasons why we end up feeling so alone, so worn-out, so disappointed with where we are and regretful for where we hoped to be.

God doesn’t want it that way.  He never called us into life to have us see it as a burden, or an obligation.  He doesn’t want us to just put in our time, or go through the motions.  Remember the fellah in the parable who shows up without a wedding garment?  He’s too disinterested in the whole affair even to pick something out from the king’s wardrobe.  He’s too burned out to care.  All guests were offered something nice to wear to a few in case they stopped by or couldn’t afford their own tux.  How angry the king was that after all of his work to throw a fine wedding reception for his child, somebody would not even bother to put on a tie that he’d furnished himself.

A good story leaves us with good questions.  What questions does the story of the Un-Party leave us with today?  We know that everyone’s invited to the Kingdom.  Have we forgotten that it’s possible to take life for granted?  We know that God has extended his friendship to us.  Have we forgotten that being friends with God has responsibilities?  We know that life is a gift.  Have we forgotten that God will ask an account of how we’ve used the gift?

The Lord of the Feast has called us to celebrate the wedding of his Son.  On the cross Jesus was wedded to our suffering, in the grave he was wedded to our deepest fears, when he rose from the tomb he espoused us to an everlasting hope.  Put on your wedding garment and your dancing shoes. There’s a party going on?

Mass Announcements – October 12, 2014

The schedule for both the Adult Choir and the Holy Family Church Youth Choir can be found on the bulletin board. Please contact Paul Stiller if you have any questions.

Holy Family now offers childcare for pre-kindergarten age children (approximately 1-5 years old) at our 10:30 Sunday morning Mass. See the bulletin for more information.

The New Albany Deanery is hosting a program to help adults prepare for the Adult Confirmation to be held in Indianapolis at the Cathedral on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity— May 31, 2015. If you would like to learn more about receiving Confirmation as an adult, please contact the parish office, and we will put you in touch with the New Albany Deanery Office.

We are continuing with our Friday night 6:30 pm communal Rosary in the Community Room.  The Legion of Mary will be hosting with refreshments afterwards.

Our sister in Christ, Pat Bomar, went home to the Lord this week.  Please join with me in praying for her eternal happiness.

Also, I ask you to pray for the bishops and lay people who are in Rome for the Third Extraordinary Synod.  They are discussing the challenges to the Family in our times.  In the bulletin today you will find an insert explaining why our prayers are important.

Parish Activities – October 13-19

Monday, October 13-17: NAFC & HFS Fall Break

  • 8:30am Legion of Mary
  • 8:30am Quilters

Tuesday, October 14

  • 8:30am Bible Study
  • 6:30pm Men’s Club Meeting
  • 7pm Rediscover Catholicism Book Study

Wednesday, October 15

  • 10am Service (SMASH) Day for 5th-12th grade youth
    Open to Parish youth grades 5-12. RSVP with Mrs. Raelson.
  • 6:30pm Epic, Journey through Church History
    A DVD program about the history of the Catholic Church.
  • 6:30pm Parish Finance Meeting

Friday, October 17

  • 7pm Engaged Couple Information Session
    RSVP: 812-944-8283 ext 223 or kwilt@holyfamilynewalbany.org.

Saturday, October 18

  • 9am K-8 CFF classes
    Religious Education classes for public school children in grades K-8.
  • 1pm Deanery Middle School Jamboree

Sunday, October 19

  • 11:30am High School CFF
  • 7pm Confirmation Class