My Dear Parishioners,
Happy Catholic Schools Week! Thank you to Mrs. Jaster, our principal, and all of her teachers, staff, and volunteers. Thank you also to our parishioners. Without your support of Catholic education, we could not fulfill this part of our mission as church. Our school is a real blessing to our families. It is a true community where we are, “Focused on Faith and Learning.” Our Mission Statement reads: St. Joseph/St. Robert School (SJR), with Jesus as our foundation and inspiration, prepares students to live fully His message of love, courage, and compassion. Our philosophy of academic rigor and relevance prepares our students to be contributing members of the Church and the global community. All are invited to check out the good things happening at our school by coming to our Open House, Sunday, Jan 27th from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Last Saturday, when many people were anticipating icy weather the following day, we had a full church. It was a good sight to see, but I also received a number of complaints that those who chose to park on the perimeters of the parking lot “boxed out” others who were trying to find a space as well. I know that this is a perpetual problem. Please be considerate of others when parking. If parking in the nearest lot, please park end to end, and do not prevent others from joining us. The few minutes you save assuring a speedy exit ends up frustrating numerous people and taking away from their Sunday celebration.
I want to thank our Fr. Joseph Gallen Council of the Knights of Columbus for their generous donation to assist the needy over Christmas, and also for their donation of 2 diaper changing stations which are now set up in our Mens and Ladies bathrooms. It is a nice amenity to offer our young families a way that we can include them in our celebrations.
I recently purchased an American and Papal flags with flagpoles and stands. They are a nice addition to our church. When researching what the regulations were for having flags in a Catholic church I discovered that the USCCB (US Bishop’s Conference) has said the following;
There are no regulations of any kind governing the display of flags in Roman Catholic Churches. Neither the Code of Canon law, nor the liturgical books of the Roman rite comment on this practice. As a result, the question of whether and how to display the American flag in a Catholic Church is left up to the judgment of the diocesan bishop, who in turn often delegates this to the discretion of the pastor.
The origin of the display of the American flag in many parishes in the United States appears to have its origins in the offering of prayers for those who served during the Second World War (1941-1945). At that time, many bishops and pastors provided a book of remembrance near the American flag, requesting prayers for loved ones – especially those serving their country in the armed forces – as a way of keeping before the attention of the faithful the needs of military families. This practice has since been confirmed in many places during the Korean, Viet Nam and Iraqi conflicts.
The Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy has in the past encouraged pastors not to place the flag within the sanctuary itself, in order to reserve that space for the altar, the ambo, the presidential chair and the tabernacle. Instead, the suggestion has been made that the American flag be placed outside the sanctuary, or in the vestibule of the Church together with a book of prayer requests. It remains, however, for the diocesan bishop to determine regulations in this matter.
Our flag is at the front entrance of the church, near our book for written intentions.
May God Bless You,