Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This past Friday I had planned on visiting the graves of my parents in Ft. Madison, Iowa. November is ending and I wanted to visit the cemetery during this month of November when we remember our beloved deceased.

However, the deaths of two very prominent people took precedent over my travel. Being new to the parish, I didn’t get to know Bruce Hoffmeier and Dr. John Fudge as some of you had. However, I was blessed in these past months to meet them and discover the depths of their faith and the impact they’ve had on our community. Dr. Fudge was not of our Catholic faith, but felt a connection to our parish through his wife, Kate. He helped make the festive season of Christmas brighter by sharing his musical talents with our choir. He was a healer as a doctor and well respected. Bruce Hoffmeier was an active member on our Finance Council, a stalwart supporter and active member of our community. He was able to raise funds for the hospital and had an impact on the lives of many through his work in the Newton Schools. We will miss them both. May they rest in loving arms of our Heavenly Father.

This Monday, God willing, I will visit my parents graves on the last day of November.

As Advent begins this weekend, I share the following reflection from Fr. John Foley, SJ:

“I want patience and I want it now,” or so the joke goes. Fine. But remember, the purpose of Advent is to wait. Did you ever stay awake on Christmas eve as a child and sneak into a hiding place in order to see the Christmas tree being decorated? I surely did. I was impatient. We kids also had big felt stockings hung on each of our doors and I remember during the night trying to keep an eye open to see Santa or the Good Fairy or at least someone putting the prizes into it.

Did I keep my eyes open all night? No. I woke in the morning to find a bulging stocking, mysteriously full, having arrived by magic alone. So, I had gone to sleep instead of patiently spying. Patience is not often a virtue of the young.

Our most beloved plans and purposes come often to wreckage, just like ancient buildings.

God’s kindness provides us with comfort and also time to prepare—an allowance of days, weeks, years, and even a lifetime—to get ready, to desire, and gradually, along the way, to receive. With patience. Even though infants demand their every wish be granted right now, our adult humanity is simply too deep to get an instant fill-up.

If there were nothing worth waiting for, then patience would be silly. The birth of Christ into this world and into our hearts is well worth the wait. We know that his birth has happened already—but also, in a surprising way, it has not happened at all. We are still mean to our neighbors.

We still hide truth from those who love us. We envy and lust after what is not ours., and there is horrendous evil all around us in this twenty-first century.

We need the birth of Jesus to heal our hearts and heal our world.

We need Advent patience.

Fr. Tony Herold

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Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
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