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

Mass Announcements – October 5, 2014

  • Middle School Youth – The deadline for registering for the Middle School Jamboree is quickly approaching. Registration and medical release forms need to be submitted to Sara Raelson by October 8th if you want a t-shirt.
  • At the 10:30 Mass only, Holy Family will offer childcare for pre-kindergarten age children (approximately 1-5 years old). Children must be able to walk. See the bulletin today for more information.
  • Today, we ask you to please return the bottles with your donation at any of the masses this weekend.  Baskets will be at the church entrances. Thank you for your generosity. If you cannot return your bottle today, please return it to the parish office.
  • 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.
  • Over Holy Family School Fall Break, October 6-17, the campus will be quite busy, particularly with some enhancements to our facilities: Parking lot resurfacing Monday and Tuesday, October 6 & 7, security doors installed, and new bleachers in Marchino Hall.
  • Due to the downtown bridge construction traffic, rehearsals for the Adult Choir have been moved to 6:30pm on Wednesdays. 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.

Parking Lot resurfacing October 7-8, 2014

The paving company, completing our parking lot resurfacing, is going to try and do some prep work tomorrow if it’s not pouring down, which shouldn’t affect Mass parking, and complete the work on Wednesday.

The parking lot will be closed on Wednesday. The big lot closest to Green Valley will be closed Wed. morning first thing and folks will need to park in front of church or in the back and will need to move their cars as soon as possible after 8 a.m. Mass.

So You Want to Be Married at Holy Family?

Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 9.45.00 AM

Holy Family Marriage Prep

  • You have set the date.
  • You have called Fr. Dan.
  • Now it is time to prepare for the Sacrament of marriage.

Please call Kathy Wilt to register: 812-944-8283 ext 223. Find out all there is to know about preparing for your wedding at this mandatory gathering for all couples wishing to be married here at Holy Family.

Homily for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 5, 2014

Invisible seeds, visible fruits

Isaiah 5:1-7 | Psalm 80:9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20 | Philippian 4:6-9 | Matthew 21:33-43

Three of the four readings today are about vineyards and fruitfulness. It’s also Respect Life Sunday. It all got me thinking of that story. God and an atheist are sitting next to each other on a hillside watching a sunset. The atheist says, “God, we humans have developed enough that we really don’t need you anymore. With all the developments with science and biology and such, we’re pretty much self-sufficient now.” God said, “Tell ya what. We’ll each take a lump of dirt and make a human out of it. If you can do that, you don’t need me anymore.”

Read the full Homily from Deacon Mike here on his blog.