Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Parish Picnic on Aug. 19

The Parish Picnic will be Sunday, August 19th from 2:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Southgate Community Center. Please mark your calendars and plan on spending a fun filled day with your fellow parishioners.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Twelve Things Everyone Should Know About the “Contraceptive Mandate”

From the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, explaining the "contraceptive mandate" from the President's administration:
The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals. These institutions are vital to the mission of the Church, but the Administration does not deem them “religious employers” deserving conscience protection because they do not “serve primarily persons who share the[ir] religious tenets.” The Administration denies these organizations religious freedom precisely because their religiously motivated purpose is to serve the common good of society—a purpose that government should encourage, not punish.
See the full list HERE.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fr. Berschied 25th Anniversary of Ordination

The Parish of St. Therese announces a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for the Silver Anniversary of priestly ordination of Fr. Paul L. Berschied on Sunday, June 5, 2011, at 10:15 a.m.  A reception will follow immediately after Mass in the school cafeteria.  All are welcome to attend.

Religion vs. "spirituality"

Denver archbishop Charles J. Chaput on a key distinction:

You know, there’s a reason why "spirituality" is so popular in the United States today and religion is so criticized. Private spirituality can be quite satisfying. But it can also become a designer experience. In fact, the word spirituality can mean just about anything a person wants it to mean. It’s private, it’s personal, and, ultimately, it doesn’t place any more demands on the individual than what he or she wants. 

Religion is a very different creature. The word religion comes from the Latin word religare—to bind. Religious believers bind themselves to a set of beliefs. They submit themselves to a community of faith with shared convictions and hopes. A community of believers has a common history. It also has a shared purpose and future that are much bigger than any political authority. And that has implications. Individuals pose no threat to any state. They can be lied to, bullied, arrested, or killed. But communities of faith do pose a threat. Religious witness does have power, and communities of faith are much harder to silence or kill.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: The Rite (2011)

In some ways, Mikael Håfström's new film reminds me less of recent exorcism films than of the sort of movie that Terence Fisher made for Hammer Films in the late 1950s and 1960s, movies like The Devil Rides Out and the 1958 Dracula. If Father Lucas, an unconventional veteran exorcist working in Rome, had been played by Hammer icon Christopher Lee instead of Anthony Hopkins, he would have been right at home. 

via DecentFilms.com.  Read the rest of the review here

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What We Can’t Not Know

Great article at Catholic Exchange about the alarming abortion statistics from New York City:
The statistic has everyone reeling: According to a recent survey, forty-one percent of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. Forty-one percent. Nearly half.

As you might expect, pro-lifers are deeply concerned, and already trying to find ways to bring that number down. Archbishop Timothy Dolan to name one, called a news conference to say that the church would be stepping up its efforts to encourage and help women in crisis pregnancies.

But pro-choicers weren't too excited about this news either. The New York Times—hardly a pro-life bastion—reported, "No one is exactly celebrating. . . . Even abortion rights advocates expressed some concern about the numbers, trying to change the conversation to a broader one on reproductive health."

The Times noted that the easy access to abortion makes the city a "magnet . . . for doctors who wish to practice without restrictions [and] for women who want to live in an atmosphere of sexual self-determination."

Those are, of course, noble and laudable desires according to the pro-choice folks. And yet the tone of the article is distinctly uneasy. It quotes late-term abortionist Dr. Robert Berg, who says his patients tend to be "hostile" to him, treating him like "a punching bag" even though he's providing a service that they've asked for.

If abortion is a morally neutral medical procedure, as the pro-choicers would have us believe, why all the angst coming from people who are getting abortions? I think it all comes back to what J. Budziszewski calls "what we can't not know."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What you need to know about angels

Insight Scoop (the blog of Ignatius Press) has a great post about angels that draws from Peter Kreeft, the brilliant philosopher and thelogian from Boston University.  Kreeft's book Angels (and Demons) explores the topic in great detail.  Here's an excerpt:
The Twelve Most Important Things to Know About Them

1. They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity.

2. They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you.

3. They’re not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy, or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors.

4. They are the real “extra-terrestrials”, the real “Super-men”, the ultimate aliens. Their powers are far beyond those of all fictional creatures.

5. They are more brilliant minds than Einstein.

6. They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.

See the rest of the list and some Q&A by clicking HERE.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"We Should Have a Longing and a Passion to Illumine All Peoples With the Light of Christ"

This is the Pope's message to us on Mission Sunday. He goes on to say:

"I strongly reiterate what was so frequently affirmed by my venerable Predecessors: the Church works not to extend her power or assert her dominion, but to lead all people to Christ, the salvation of the world."

Remember that we are all called to evangelize the world around us. This is not something that's to be left solely in the hands of clergy and theologians. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to always be ready to give a reason for our hope. Are you?

An excellent way to grow in your faith is to become an RCIA sponsor. A couple of hours once a week will turn out to enrich your life more than the person you came to support!! (Ask anyone who's done it.)

We give more time than that to hobbies, working out, or sports - will you do the same to offer spiritual support to someone embracing the Catholic faith? Call the rectory if you'd like to sign up!

Food for Thought

I read this article by Michael Josephson last week. It has some important points to share.

What You Do Is What You’ll Get

If you want to help your children do well in life, there are a few things you can do. A high proportion of high achievers have two things in common: lots of books in their house and an emphasis on reading, and a family tradition of regularly eating dinner together.
Filling a house with books surrounds children with endless and varied opportunities and challenges to explore and learn. Books provide knowledge and seeds of wisdom about morality and character.

Eating dinner together assures that parents have an opportunity to participate in their kids’ day-to-day lives and help shape the way they think and react. Coordinating schedules so everyone eats together requires an effort to elevate family time above other things and instills in children a sense of belonging.

But we can do more than promoting reading and family discussions to offset the bad influences to which our kids are exposed. Everything we do to or in front of our children matters; what we allow, what we encourage, and what we do ourselves teaches our children how to live and conveys powerful messages about values.

So be sensitive with what you say and how you say it, what you read and what you watch on TV. And be careful with how you handle relationships and deal with emotions like disappointment, anger, and frustration. Because what you do is what you’ll get.

~~Dot O'Leary, Principal

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Parish Social Dinner

The Parish Social Dinner will be held on Friday, September 11, in the cafeteria from 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. Dinner will be Homemade Spaghetti & Meatballs, Salad & Italian Bread, and your first soft drink. Chicken Tenders and Fries will be available for those who prefer. Adults $5.50, Children $4.00.

We are in need of desserts; anyone interested in making a dessert may drop it off after 3:00 in the cafeteria on the day of the dinner. Look for the Dinner Planner Flyer in the bulletin within the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Year of the Priest

Pope Benedict XVI announced that beginning on June 19, 2009 and continuing until June 19, 2010, that the Catholic Church throughout the world would celebrate a Year of the Priest. The purpose for this special Church Year is to celebrate the gift of the ordained priesthood, encourage an increase of vocations to the priesthood, and to focus on the spiritual development and formation of priests throughout the world. It is hoped that this special year of grace for priests will be spiritually fruitful not only for priests but for all members of the Church as we pray to the one great High Priest, Jesus Christ, for priestly renewal.

Throughout the year there will be various opportunities to pray for and with priests that we shall revitalize our priesthood, as well as recover the essential elements in the life and spiritual formation of all priests. Fortunately, the diocesan convocation of priests for this year is scheduled to be as a retreat that will be conducted at the Benedictine Abbey in St. Meinrad, Indiana. This will take place from Monday, September 21, 2009 through Thursday, September, 24, 2009. During that time, it will be important for everyone to pray for the priests of our diocese that they will grow spiritually and fraternally during a time of dedicated prayer and meditation. Please keep these dates in mind and pray for all those priests who serve
in our diocese.

~~Fr. Berschied

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Proper Reverence for the Holy Eucharist

As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, it is an appropriate time to review the proper way in which we are to approach and receive the Holy Eucharist.

First we must always be in a state of sanctifying grace in order to receive the Eucharist. If we have mortal sin on our souls because we have failed to attend Mass on Sundays or Holy Days or because we are living with someone without benefit of marriage in the Church, or we have committed some other grave sin, we need to go to Confession before receiving the Holy Eucharist. That is one of the reasons why we offer Confessions on Saturday afternoon and before every Sunday Mass.

When we come forward to receive Holy Communion, we should remember that the normative [normal or traditional] way to receive the Holy Eucharist is on the tongue. We are allowed by special permission to receive Holy Communion in the hand if we do so properly according to the directives of the Church.

Just prior to receiving the Eucharist we are to either genuflect or bow profoundly in recognition of the Divine Presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As the priest says “The Body of Christ”, we are to respond “Amen.” Then we either extend our tongue to receive Our Lord, or we extend our hands in a “throne position” to receive Our Lord. In order to receive the Holy Eucharist in the hand, both hands must be free and should be held one on top of the other. [If we are not able to receive the Sacred Host in our hands in the proper way, we should receiv Our Lord on the tongue.] We then step to the side and stopping, place the Sacred Host in our mouths. 

We are not supposed to “pop” the Sacred Host into our mouths, nor are we to walk away receiving the Sacred Host as we walk along. We are to never break the Sacred Host and take part of it with us to give to another person. This is a grave abuse of the Eucharist. Only ordained bishops, priests and deacons and properly trained and designated extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist are to distribute Holy Communion to someone else.

And, of course we are never to self-communicate, that is, take the Eucharist from a ciborium or tabernacle and give it to ourselves. After having received Holy Communion, many people make the Sign of the Cross as an additional sign of reverence and belief in what has just taken place.

Many people today also receive Holy Communion under the form of the Precious Blood. However, it is important to remember that Jesus is fully present – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – under the form of either the Sacred Host or the Precious Blood. It is an error of the Faith to believe that we have to receive both species in order to receive the “whole Jesus.” The Church cautions us to only receive the Precious Blood if we are free of disease, colds, infections, etc. The Church has never declared as a teaching of the Faith that germs cannot be passed
through the reception of the Precious Blood. It is a pious and commendable belief that some individuals hold, but it is not a dogma of the Faith that is required of the Church or Her teachings on the Holy Eucharist. No individual may take the Sacred Host to the Chalice and “dip” it into the Precious Blood. Distribution of Communion by Intinction can only be done by ordained ministers or properly delegated extraordinary ministers.

~~Submitted by Fr. P. Berschied, Parochial Vicar

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Witness to Life at Notre Dame

First Things has an article by a Notre Dame alumna who found out she was pregnant during her senior year there.  Click HERE for the full article. Excerpt:

For many members of the Notre Dame Class of 2009, the uproar surrounding the university’s decision to honor Barack Obama with this year’s commencement address, and to bestow on him a doctorate of laws, has provoked strong feelings about what the ensuing conflict will mean for their graduation.

I know how they feel. Ten years ago, my heart was filled with similar conflicts as we came closer to the day of my own Notre Dame commencement and my commissioning as an officer in the United States Army.

You see, I was three months pregnant.

That March, I had gone—alone—to a local woman’s clinic to take a test. The results were positive, and I was so numb I almost didn’t grasp what the nurse was getting at when she assured me I had “other options.” What did “other options” mean? And what kind of world is it that defines compassion as telling a young woman who has just learned she is carrying life inside her that she has the option to destroy it?


My boyfriend was a different story. He was also a Notre Dame senior. When I told him that he was to be a father, he tried to pressure me into having an abortion. Like so many women in similar circumstances, I found out the kind of man the father of my child was at precisely the moment I needed him most. “All that talk about abortion is just dining-room talk,” he said. “When it’s really you in the situation, it’s different. I will drive you to Chicago and pay for a good doctor.”

I tried telling him this was not an option. He said he was pro-choice. I responded by informing him that my choice was life. And I learned, as so many pregnant women have before and since, that life is the one choice that pro-choicers won’t support.

Read the rest of the story to find out what gave her the strength to do what's right and choose life.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Notre Dame Invite to Obama

Please consider signing the petition below. From CatholicVote.org:

Like many of you, we received the news last Friday that President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame this May.

In addition to delivering the address, the President will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. In short, one of our nation’s premier Catholic institutions will honor the President, and hold out him as an example to its students as someone worthy of emulation!

Given President Obama’s utterly shameful record on life, how could a Catholic university honor him?

The University could have politely and quietly told the White House that their standing invitation to the President of the United States was not available this year. Better yet, they could have said=2 0that while they would welcome his contributions to the public debate over how to solve our economic crisis, his regrettable policies in favor of a culture of death make it impossible for them to welcome him.

Notre Dame has regrettably hosted pro-abortion speakers in the past, but President Obama is a champion of the abortion cause.

Sadly, it is now indisputable that our President has become the world’s leading promoter of abortion, embryo-killing cloning and research, taxpayer-funded abortion, and a vigorous opponent of conscience protections for medical professionals. His campaign promises to find ‘common ground’ have sadly been ignored, or perhaps were simply lies. And this Administration has only just begun.

Is there anything a president could do that would disqualify him or her from delivering such a prestigious address?

If there is such a threshold, Barack Obama has not disqualified himself with Notre Dame officials.

And so we must act.

We have spoken with professors, students, and leaders at Notre Dame over the past 48 hours and have concluded that a massive protest will be practically difficult, and even counterproductive. The University has a right as a private school to prevent all protestors from entering campus, and could legally arrest those who violate this rule. Secondly, a protest could create exactly the wrong impression.

Therefore, we are recommending four courses of action.

1) CatholicVote.org has partnered with the Cardinal Newman Society, a dynamic organization dedicated to the renewal of Catholic higher education in establishing www.NotreDameScandal.com. Together our aim is to collect thousands of signatures and present them to University officials. Sign the petition now.

2) Contact Notre Dame and charitably express your outrage. CatholicVote.org is large enough to have a major impact, and we urge you to contact Notre Dame President Father Jenkins at (574) 631-5000.

3) Join your fellow CatholicVote.org members in a prayer of reparation on May 17 from 2-4 PM. We encourage you to organize local groups to pray for mercy for the decision by Notre Dame, but also for our nation for continuing to permit the tragedy of abortion.

***If you live in the Midwest, or near Notre Dame University, we invite you to personally join us in prayer at the Grotto on the campus of Notre Dame from 2-4 PM on May 17, where we will be joined by several Notre Dame professors, alumni, and current students. The gathering will be a peaceful and prayerful.

4) Please forward this message to your family and friends. Let them know about Notre Dame's decision to honor the most pro-abortion President in American history. We must not remain silent over this scandal!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Family Rosary

This article at Catholic Exchange (LINK) reminds us what a blessing it can be to pray the rosary as a family. This could be an excellent way to reconnect the family spiritually this Lent. Excerpt:
The family Rosary has helped countless families throughout the centuries. It has helped them grow in holiness, charity, and unity. By following the Blessed Mother on the path to her Son, families have raised up great saints who have changed the world. And, this still happens today.

Click HERE for help praying the Rosary.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Parishioner takes next step toward permanant diaconate

Bill Theis has been instituted into the Ministry of the Acolyte, another step on his journey toward becoming a permanent deacon. From Bishop Foys:
“Our faith must produce trust in the Lord … a trust (that) calls us to surrender to the Lord’s will. These (candidates) have answered by surrendering their lives to the Lord,” Bishop Foys said. “We thank God. We thank them for answering the call. We thank their families for their sacrifice. We ask the Lord to bless them and sustain their vocation.”
Amen to that! Let's all keep Bill and his family in our prayers. The full article with picture can be found in The Messenger HERE.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Uncoditional Surrender

A reflection from Bishop Foys can be found HERE in The Messenger. Excerpt:

When we think of it, though, isn't surrendering a part of life? Children surrender to their parents, realizing eventually that their parents love them and it is for this reason that parents permit or do not permit them to do certain things or engage in certain behaviors. Married couples surrender their wills to each other realizing that that very surrender is a tangible sign of their love for each other and that they give up their individual lives for their life together as one. Consecrated women and men religious surrender their own individual wills by their vow of obedience to their superior. Priests surrender their own wills by making a promise of respect and obedience to their bishop. All of these surrenders are made because of love.[Emphasis added.]

The full article is fairly short and well worth the time.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Features - Daily Readings and Saint of the Day

Check out the new Daily Readings and Saint of the Day features in the sidebar on the right. You'll find them just below the picture of St. Therese. These feeds are a service of the Catholic News Agency. We'll also have the two most recent saints in case you miss a day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Maybe the greatest threat to the church is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism, not even moral relativism, but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, but only soothes and affirms."

- Archbishop Timothy Dolan - newly named Archbishop of New York

History of Lent

Click HERE for a great (and short!) article on the history of the Church's Lenten observance.

Over the years, modifications have been made to the Lenten observances, making our practices not only simple but also easy. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast (having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up one’s strength) and abstain from meat; on the other Fridays of Lent, the faithful abstain from meat. People are still encouraged "to give up something" for Lent as a sacrifice. (An interesting note is that technically on Sundays and solemnities like St. Joseph's Day (March 19) and the Annunciation (March 25), one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent.

(Source: www.catholiceducation.org)

Thursday, February 26, 2009


At Music Hall on Saturday, March 21
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Please consider attending or encourage the men in your family to join the St. Therese delegation. The day is filled with inspirational speeches, praise music, reflection time and an opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist in the context of a special Mass
with our regional bishops. The young men in attendance will have a unique break out session just to hear guest speaker St. X Football Coach Specht at half price of $20 a ticket. Contact Ron
for more information at 431-2890 or rbertsch-at-fuse-dot-net.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday (A Day of Fasting)

This Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. It is a time when we should prepare for Christ’s Death and Resurrection by special acts of prayer, penance and almsgiving. We, as practicing Catholics, are expected to make Lent a part of our spiritual lives.

There are only two fast days for those 21-59 years old – Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. That means one full meal and nothing between your regular meal times unless excused because of health. Every Friday is a day of abstinence from meat for those 14 and older.

Ash Wednesday and the next six Wednesdays there will be Mass at 7:00 p.m. As usual on Friday, Exposition after the last Mass, Rosary and Benediction at 5:00 p.m., Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pope Benedict's Message for Lent 2009

May every family and Christian community use well this time of Lent, therefore, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neighbor. I am thinking especially of a greater commitment to prayer, lectio divina, recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and active participation in the Eucharist, especially the Holy Sunday Mass. With this interior disposition, let us enter the penitential spirit of Lent.

You can read the entire message HERE.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hollywood Ambushed by God

from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly


Joe Eszterhas
Dubbed by Time Magazine as “America's king of sex and violence,” Joe Eszterhas was once Hollywood's highest-paid screenwriter known for erotic sizzlers like “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls.” His films grossed over one billion dollars, financed homes in Malibu and Maui, and an outrageous lifestyle. But in 2001, feeling desolate and lost following surgery to remove 80 percent of his cancerous larynx, Eszterhas experienced a spiritual transformation, which he later described in his memoir “Crossbearer” as being “God-struck.”

Obama's Faith-Based Council

from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly:


Since 1953, members of Congress have hosted the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., which brings together political, social and business leaders from around the nation and the world. And, in keeping with the tradition of this annual event, President Barack Obama will address this year's gathering. Throughout his 2008 campaign, election and inaugural activities, President Obama has acknowledged the importance of religion in his life. Already his Administration is in the process of staffing the newly renamed White House Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, beginning with the selection of Joshua DuBois as its head. Kim Lawton joins Bob Abernethy for a studio discussion focusing on the President's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast and what's ahead for his Administration's new Faith-Based Council.