Pastor’s Corner

CPC Thank You

Dear Parishioners,

I wanted to thank all of you for the response for the CPC
campaign this year. We did achieve our assessed goal in
pledges with 73% participation from the Parish. Any funds
collected beyond our assessed amount will be returned to
the Parish and help with our regular operating expenses.

As part of the Diocese, Precious Blood is able to provide
the benefits we have for our staff, otherwise we would not
be able to do so. This year the Catholic School Office did a
regular review of our safety practices to ensure the safety of
our children. Along with our Sheriff, they toured the facilities
and made suggestions on how we could strengthen our
safety policies. Regularly our Parish office is in contact
with the Catholic Center. Their assistance allows us to
complete our tasks here at Precious Blood in an efficient
manner.

Some can give and some can’t, however we all benefit from
the services the Diocese provides to us throughout the year.
Some parishes can contribute and others are challenged, but
we all pull together and help the Church offer its ministry to
all who are in need. Thank you for your participation and
support. You all make not only Precious Blood a special
parish but your help makes our Diocese special as well.

God Bless you.

Fr. Gary

Advent

Dear Parishioners,

Some people have asked me about the advent wreath and
the history behind it. The advent wreath symbolizes our
need to prepare for the one true light.

During Advent, candles decorate the Advent wreath, a
wreath made of evergreen with four candles. Three of them
are purple or violet and one is rose or pink in color. During
each week of Advent, a candle is lit until the fourth week,
when all four are ablaze. The colors of the candles mirror
the color of the vestments of the priest and deacon. Advent
wreaths are used both in churches and in private homes to
remind people to prepare for the coming of our Lord and
honoring His incarnation. We are preparing for the real
reason of Christmas. Jesus is the true light that dispels ignorance
and sin and sheds light upon truth.

Advent is a time for the faithful to prepare spiritually. During
this season, when we often get distracted by shopping,
decorating, baking and partying, we need to leave room for
Jesus in our lives. Advent helps us Catholics to realize that
Christmas day is the real celebration and not before. I must
admit, I need that help. I need the preparation and the opportunity
to focus. I listen to Christmas music rather early.
Sometimes if we celebrate too early, it takes away from the
glory of Christmas.

During Advent, Catholics have various traditions. Typically
they go to confession, some attend daily Mass, and most try
to increase their prayer, practice patience and tolerance,
while the rest of the world gets caught up in distractions
which try to pull us away from the Light of truth, Jesus our
Savior. Maybe you could spend an hour of adoration with
Jesus—we do have a few open hours that could be filled by
regular adorers. Please contact the office for information.
The Little Blue Books are in and can be picked up in the
Parish Office while supplies last. Unwrap the gift of your
faith this holiday season and learn of the love God has for
you.

Fr. Gary

The Gift of Hope

The Gift of Hope

We expect Jesus to be a savior who will take care of all our needs for comfort and security in this World. If it seems to us, he is not answering our prayers for prosperity and protection, we feel betrayed; we get disillusioned. Jesus does promise security and life to the fullest as he defines these. He asks us to trust in his words, his promises, regardless of what we see and feel. Through every crisis that calls into question our trust in God, Jesus is inviting us to focus all our hopes and desires on the fullness of God’s promises, to trust not in the visible signs that God is providing for us, but simply in His promise to do so. This purifies our hope. We see this in the flight into Egypt. Mary and Joseph had the savior of the World in their care, but they had to trust purely in God’s word for protection when they were homeless refugees on the road to a foreign land. Jesus repeatedly challenges us, what are you looking for? What do you expect of me as Savior? Do you trust me no matter how vulnerable or abandoned you feel? Every experience of insecurity and doubt is a crisis that calls us to a deeper, more purified trust and hope as the Savior God really sent Jesus the suffering servant. Ask God to focus your hopes in union with Him alone. Ask God to teach you to trust the words “Give us this day our Daily bread” Matthew 6:32. When you are worried or a friend experiences a crisis, turn to Sacred Scripture and be comforted. A few favorite passages to read are: Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Zechariah 4:6, Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians4:19, 1 Peter 5:7. Receive the sacraments which God gave us to experience and encounter with him through grace. He touches our lives to assure that He is there and always loves us!! Know you are loved by God!

Fr. Gary

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Parish Family,

This week we will celebrate Thanksgiving as a country. We recall the Pilgrims and Indians sharing food and giving thanks for the blessings that the Lord provided for them in this country. God has given each of us much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for the Parish and School and the people who make up Precious Blood and Holy Trinity Catholic School. None of the ministry Benedict and I do, would be possible without a dedicated staff and team of volunteers. I encourage you to express your appreciation when you see one of the staff members. Tell them thanks and what you appreciate about them. I give thanks to the many sacrifices you have made in Stewardship of time, talent and treasure, which allow us to perform the ministry to God’s people. God bless you for your tithing and know how critical this is for our Parish and School to provide ministry to all of you. Your gift of presence at Mass and many Parish events is another reason for my gratitude. We are also blessed with our Catholic School, Holy Trinity and the Religious Education program that serve our young people. If you see our Principals, Jon and Jenna, teachers or catechists, please thank them for their work. Join me in thanking the many volunteers who assist them for their gift of time and talent. Our faith is a gift from God; our life is a precious gift; this week give praise to our Lord for all he has given you including family, friends, and fellow parishioners. Know of my prayers of thanksgiving for all of you. I am grateful to have the honor of serving you as Pastor/Priest Delegate. I pray that all of you enjoy a meal with your loved ones and I look forward to sharing the Eucharist with all of you this week. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Fr. Gary

Fr. Jim’s Message

Dear All,

Thank you for your attendance this past week at our Parish Mission with Fr. Jim. His message was simple: Don’t be a jerk, be kind and honor the absent (don’t talk about others when they are not there.) So yes, I want to begin a campaign of my own. Be kind! Live and believe the Golden Rule. (I approve of this message.) Here is my simple challenge to all of you. Over the next month, I challenge you to acts of mercy and charity to others. When you have done an act write it down and simply put it in the basket at the front of the Altar. This is a reminder of our offering to God. Fr. Jim spoke about ownership vs. stewardship. Ownership we feel we own things. Stewardship we recognize all is a gift from God. I will add that in being a good steward, we should care for those things that we are given so that the next person to enjoy them will enjoy the same gift we received. Actually, I try to see if I can improve those things in my life so the next person gets to enjoy even more. Stewardship is more than money. It is our time and talent. Be present to those in your life. God gave them to you, but some day he will call them home. Love them and enjoy the time you share. Help others and share your gifts. I have always said and firmly believe every person is a genius. All have an amazing talent. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to discover, but all have something to share. If it is as simple as your presence now, that is a gift—being in the present moment share it with others.

For the Love of God, BE KIND!! STOP NEGATIVITY! BE POSITIVE! LOVE GOD AND YOUR NEIGHBOR!

LOVE,

Fr. Gary

Parish Mission – Fr. Jim Sichko

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This week we welcome Fr. Jim Sichko. Fr Jim is a full time preacher, evangelist and motivational speaker based in the Diocese of Lexington, KY. In February of 2016, Pope Francis commissioned Fr. Jim as one of his Papal Missionaries of Mercy of which there are only 1000 in the world, and 100 in the United States. Since becoming a priest, Fr. Jim has made headlines for random acts of generosity and kindness, giving away thousands of dollars to people at the grocery stores, on the streets and especially to those most in need. He has also had the opportunity to meet and work with many celebrities and was honored by the U.S. Congress for the ministry provided to him. Fr. Jim uses real life experiences and ties those experiences into the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Known for his presentations entitled “60 minutes for Jesus”, each talk is geared for all in a family household with no exceptions. I encourage all of you to come to our Parish Mission and be inspired by Fr. Jim. As I mentioned at this past weekend’s Masses, Fr. Jim has spoken at several parishes in the surrounding area, Below are a few quotes from area Priests about Fr. Jim’s talks. “You will love his personal stories and his entertaining ways. Fr. Jim’s missions had the highest attendance of any parish missions I have been a part of in my time as a priest.” – Fr. Eugene Schmitt, St. Isidore Parish. “I have never seen that many people in our church before! Father Jim was able to touch the hearts of so many people, both young and old, with a simple, yet profound message of God’s love and mercy. You won’t want to miss his mission and make sure you bring your children. They will love it!” – Fr. Tony Ernst, Sts. Peter & Paul and St. James in Haubstadt, and Holy Cross in Fort Branch. Let’s all share our Precious Blood hospitality and make Fr. Jim feel welcome in our Parish. I look forward to seeing you at the talks in Church November 4th through the 6th at 6:30-7:30 p.m.

God bless your week.

Fr. Gary

Deacon Mike

From the Deacon

Dear Parishioners,

As a newly assigned deacon to Precious Blood parish, I would

like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

My name is Michael Jones. I live in Loogootee with my

wife, Nancy. We have been married 29 years and have two adult

children, Molly and Luke; two grandchildren, Rayden and Mia; and a

son-in-law, Ryan.  I also have four sisters, one of whom is

deceased, and two older brothers. I was ordained a deacon in

August 2003.

For the past 15 years I have worked as both a hospital

and hospice chaplain. Prior to that I worked in parish ministry and for

various governmental and not-for-profit entities.   But it is

chaplaincy that has defined me. Serving the sick and dying has

taught me much about what it means to be a human being created

in the image and likeness of God. They have taught me that life is

a gift, that it is sacred, and that all human beings are endowed

with great dignity and honor.

Ministering to the spiritual needs of the sick and dying

has been both fulfilling and humbling. It has taught me that, despite

all my formal education and training, I know very little. It

has taught me that I need to travel lightly through life, that less is

more, that I need to hold my beliefs and judgments tentatively.

For the moment I think I have things figured out, the minute I

think I know the mind of God, God surprises and reminds me that

God’s ways are not our ways and that God’s wisdom surpasses

our limited, human understanding.

There are two truths that guide me on my spiritual journey:

God is Love and God is Mystery. These are the two basic

truths that lead me forward and light my path. I have learned that

if I trust, God will take me where I need to go and give me what I

need to become the person I was created to be.

Thank you for accepting me into your parish. I will

strive to be a humble servant.

Sincerely,

Deacon Mike