Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Celebrate the Octave

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful Christmas right now. That’s right, we still are in the midst of Christmas and so make sure to keep those Christmas trees up and continue to say Merry Christmas. The Octave of Christmas starts on Christmas and goes until the Solemnity of  Mary, Mother of God. However, the season of Christmas does not end until the Monday after the Baptism of the Lord, which this year means that it ends on January 9th. As many of you know I love to celebrate the feast days that we have as a Church, and it’s great that the Octave goes for 8 days, which means 8 days of celebration. So, make sure to celebrate in       some way or sort, while giving praise to God.
    One of the ways that I love to celebrate is by ice fishing, and here are some of the pictures of the great celebration. I am with a seminarian friend of mine (Ben Hadrich), who will hopefully be ordained a deacon this year for the diocese of Duluth, so please keep him in your prayers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Mailbox

   One of the highlights of my day is checking my mailbox in the parish office, because I never know what is going to show up. Of course I have my regular mail, like credit card bills or applications, but I also receive cards and notes from parishioner or cards from the faith formations students, which are usually pretty decorative, and often times make me laugh. In particular this year I am amazed at how many Christmas cards I have received, and the notes that the parishioners write to me. It is great to see that I am included on their Christmas list, but more importantly that I am included in their prayers.
  Wouldn’t it be nice if we were to send out cards and letters more often than just around Christmas? Even if it is just a short note, telling someone that you are praying for them, or thanking them for something that they did. I know that I always like receiving mail, and I’m sure that you do too, so keep this in mind throughout the year, and have the envelopes and stamps ready, so that you can send out some letters, I’m sure it will brighten the recipient’s day.
   On a different note, we are only one day away from beginning our Christmas celebration (or even closer depending on when you read this), so make sure to take some time to pray. Find some place quiet (or go to a church) and just figure out where you most need God in your life. I know that one of my best prayer times every year is right before the Christmas Eve Mass, it’s as if I am finally at peace and ready to celebrate the birth of Christ, so please take advantage of this time and prepare.
Fr. Carlson is Forgiving, Really fun, Caring, Always good, Really good, Loving, Special, Outstanding and Never stops trying.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Shealtiel and Abiud are you serious!!!!

      I can finally check off the experience of proclaiming the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew off my list. Today’s reading (which can be found here Matthew 1:1-17) describes in detail how Jesus is a descendant of Abraham. It is a beautiful reading, but very challenging when you start to look at some of the names like Shealtiel and Abiud and realize that you are supposed to pronounce them. Luckily for me the USCCB has the daily reading also on audio, so I was able to listen to the Gospel a couple of times. But, in reality all what this did was let me know that I am saying these names wrong. Now, I know that I am not perfect (big shocker here), but neither were all the people in the line of descendents from Abraham to Jesus (like Boaz) and that God is aware of this, and this is the reason why he sent down his Son for us, because we are fallen people who need God to raise us up. So, if you need to figure out that you are not perfect I would recommend that you take a look at the Gospel for today, and see if you can pronounce all of these names (and even if you can, you still are not perfect, because I’m sure there is something that you struggle at). 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Busy Season

I just took a look at my schedule and realized that I am in the midst of the “busy season” for a priest, which means that there are plenty of penance services. Tomorrow we have our penance service for the school children, and then our huge day of confessions on Thursday. I am also scheduled for other penance services on Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday which is great. That’s right; I said that this is great, because I am able to help people be at peace as they prepare for the coming of Christ.  If it has been a while since you have gone to confession, or there is something seriously weighing on your soul I recommend that you take advantage of this great sacrament. I know that some people are nervous before they go, but there is nothing to be nervous about, the priest will help you out, and you will be at peace when you are done, and there is no better feeling than being at peace.  Here is a link to an examination of conscious to help you prepare. Also, please keep in your prayers all those that have been away from the sacrament for a while, so that they may have the courage to return.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Have Some Dessert

I had the opportunity this morning to be the celebrant for the all school Mass of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. It was great to see all of the kids and a lot of their parents at the Mass. I even saw some high school kids at the Mass, which means that they were able to miss some school to come to Mass, which I’m sure they enjoyed. In some countries they still treat the holy days of obligation as a big deal, which means that offices and schools are closed down, so that everyone can come to Mass and celebrate throughout the rest of the day. Now, I know that we do not do this here, but we too should celebrate in some way this great solemnity. Maybe tonight you can have something extra (like a dessert), and just say thank you to God for the gift of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
On a completely different note, I have to mention that the ice fishing season has begun. I was able to get out yesterday and do some ice fishing (there was at least 6 inches of ice, so no worries I was not going to fall in). It was great to get out and test out the equipment and even land a couple of keepers. Unfortunately, I also figured out that my heater was not working, so it got cold pretty quick, especially with wet hands from all of the fish that I was catching!!!  Just a reminder that if any of you ever have a “fishing hot spot” that you want to bring me to, I promise that I will not tell other people about the spot.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a Show!!!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be in the Epiphany Dinner Theatre (luckily for me and also for the audience, a very small part). One of the things I realized by watching this production is that we have some very talented people here at Epiphany. Not only are they talented but they are dedicated. Here is a link to a story about the production The Game of Life.It is good to see that we have events like this at the church so that we can reach out to the community and have everyone come and see what a good place this is. I am always amazed at how busy we are at this parish – it seems that there is something going on every night, which is great. Something that I think has fallen by the wayside is the idea that the parish church should be the center of the community, and this is something that you will be hearing a lot about from me. I know that everyone has tons of activities outside of Church activities (I know I do), but there is so much to offer at church and it is sad to see many people not take advantage of it and get involved. The church should feel like a second home to people, a place that they want to be not only for Mass (which is great), but also for coming together as a community, or better put, coming together as a family.
                On a different note, it’s good to see that at least one person has checked out this blog. Don’t be afraid to pass along the link to friends or anyone you think might be interested (there has to be at least one person)!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Beginning

I have no idea why people start blogs, nor do I even know who reads them. However, I have heard that they are quite popular, so after much thought and prayer I have decided to start my own blog. One thing that you will soon realize is that when it comes to writing, it is not my strong suit (you should see my homilies when they are typed out, I am the only one that can understand them). So, what this blog will consist of is my random thoughts and also hopefully some very helpful links. These thoughts will be both about religious matters and also just me talking about myself. It is my hope that this will be an entertaining website that people will find useful and also a way in which we all can grow deeper into the faith.
As you know today is the beginning of Advent, the season of waiting for Christ. During this time of Advent we are called to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ by focusing on Christ and not ourselves. So, I encourage each of you to make this your goal this Advent, to focus on our relationship with Christ so that we may be ready to receive him. Some ways that we can achieve this goal is by additional prayer, reading a religious book (that focuses on Christ), fasting, and service to others. Let’s make this Advent a season in which we continue to grow in our love for Christ.