Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Go to Confession

As mentioned in the homily I have added expanded confession times on weekday mornings. They start at 7:00 AM and go until 7:50 AM.
We also have our Advent Reconciliation Service on Wednesday December 18th from 5:00-9:00 PM and you can come anytime during that time and go to confession.
If there is still more times needed after the 18th, I will add them. The big thing is that I want everyone to go. I believe that it will help you grow in your relationship with Christ, and isn't that we are called to do?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stay Awake

Here is a link to the Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today's World. It is a long read, but the little that I have read so far seems to be worth the read.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Helping ourselves and others encounter God

In this homily I preach about  the need to grow in holiness, because this is what we are called to do. In growing in our holiness we are able to help others as well. I also mention some things about what is going on in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and how we respond to these shortcomings.
Please continue to ask God how you are called to be good stewards of all the many gifts that God has given us, and then respond to this call.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Being Good Stewards

 A big thank you to Morrie and Alice Leuthner for giving a witness talk about stewardship this past weekend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lay it Down

Here is the Matt Maher Song in its entirety it starts around the 1:40 mark.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Love Your Neighbor

The audio gets better around the 3 minute mark, sorry for the mishap.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Strength In God

I would like to make a few clarifications to this homily. First off, we do need to have the virtue of hope, and hope is a good thing. The point that I wanted to make is that we also need to have the virtues of faith and charity as well. So, please keep on hoping that we may go to heaven, but we need to do more than just that.
Also, when it comes to discipline, I'm not sure that I got the point out exactly as I wanted (which happens in most homilies). So, I just want to make clear, that God does not only discipline us when we are doing wrong things, but also, he disciplines us as well when we are doing good. God's discipline is done out of love, and in a way to that leads to our purification, even if we are following his will.
We also need to acknowledge that there is still evil in this world, even if we have been freed from original sin. Evil still happens in this world, and things happen that cause us to take a step back and wonder why certain things are happening, 9/11 is an example of this. The victims from this act were not being disciplined from God, but because of someone else's evil choice, they are the one's who suffer. Natural disaster is also not a way in which God disciplines us, nor is it when we lose a loved one, be it a child, a spouse, or a parent. We do not have all the answers here on earth, and many things will remain a mystery, but we do know that God loves us and is with us, even when we are going through a difficult time.  I hope this homily is helpful.

Friday, August 16, 2013

St. Stephen of Hungary

One of my favorite saint days is today, and it is because of the great letter that we get to read from St. Stephen to his Son, St. Emeric. Part of the letter is down below, and you can find more of it here as well. The thing that really inspires me about this letter is that St. Stephen wrote it to his son to pass on his knowledge and love for him. I remember going on retreats in grade school and high school and getting letters from my parents, and I always treasured them. What I recommended to the daily Mass goers this morning was that they write letters to their children to let them know of their love for them, but also to pass on their knowledge to them. I recommend that to all of you as well. Here is a great example of a letter to get started from:

My dearest son, if you desire to honor the royal crown, I advise, I counsel, I urge you above all things to maintain the Catholic and Apostolic faith with such diligence and care that you may be an example for all those placed under you by God, and that all the clergy may rightly call you a man of true Christian profession. Failing to do this, you may be sure that you will not be called a Christian or a son of the Church.
Indeed, in the royal palace, after the faith itself, the Church holds second place, first constituted and spread through the whole world by His members, the apostles and holy fathers, And though she always produced fresh offspring, nevertheless in certain places she is regarded as ancient. However, dearest son, even now in our kingdom the Church is proclaimed as young and newly planted; and for that reason she needs more prudent and trustworthy guardians less a benefit which the divine mercy bestowed on us undeservedly should be destroyed and annihilated through your idleness, indolence or neglect.
Inside the basilica…
My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at very time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favor not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbors or fellow-countrymen, but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness. Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”.
Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak. Finally be strong lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down. Be humble in this life that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness that so resembles the pangs of death.
All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly Kingdom.

Monday, August 5, 2013

One's life does not consist of possessions.

You will notice that this is a shorter homily than normal, but I think it gets right to the point.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekly Update

If you want to learn more about Jessica you can find her introductory letter to the parish right here, as well as on the parish website. Of course you can find mine there as well, or just right here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

God Will Provide

As mentioned in the homily this week is Natural Family Planning Awareness week, and I would just like to provide you with a link that the USCCB has regarding NFP. Here is the link  and there are some great resources, especially the couple's stories. Please take a look at these resources and as I said in the homily, make sure to pray with your spouse.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Do we Trust God?

Sorry for the delay in posting the homily. I am working on getting it posted sooner, maybe even Sunday, but I need someone to volunteer to help me out.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Being Sent

It was a great first weekend at St. John the Baptist in Excelsior and thank you to all who welcomed me. Sorry it took so long to post the homily, it's my hope that this soon will be posted sooner than Tuesday evenings.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thy WIll Be Done

As mentioned in the homily I think that it is a wise idea for people to fill out their Health Care Directives, before they reach a point where they need them. Here is a link to the Minnesota Catholic Health Care Directive website, which has the forms and other resources availible.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Choose from our homes those needed for Your work

Archdiocesan Prayer for Vocations

O God, we earnestly ask You to bless this archdiocese with many priests, Brothers, and Sisters who will love You with their whole strength and gladly spend their entire lives  to serve your Church and  to make You known and loved.
Bless our families, bless our children. Choose from our homes those needed for your work.
Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us, pray for our priests, Religious, and deacons. Obtain for us many more.
                                                                                                                  +Most Rev. Harry J. Flynn, D.D.
                                                                                                                  Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Monday, May 20, 2013

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!!!

The point of this homily is to encourage us to call down the Holy Spirit more in our lives. We belong to him, we are his adopted children, but there are other spirits that try to make us belong to them. What we need to do is simply call upon the Holy Spirit to help us continue to be God's children.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Where are you Going?

In case you are wondering what the book is called it is called The Island of the World by Michael O'Brien and here is a link to Amazon if you want to order it. Of course I also recomend reading Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck which you can find on Amazon, if you don't already own it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hearing the Good Shepherd

This is a challenge homily, in which I challenge everyone to pray for a minimum of 10 minutes a day for the next month. I hope that you will join this challenge, and at the end of the challenge I hope that you will share with me some of the ways that this has changed your life. So, the only thing left to do is to start praying.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Divine Mercy

In the homily I mention the story of St. Maria Goretti and what I try to stress is her forgiveness to her attacker and how her attacker Alessandro eventually accepted this mercy. If you would like to learn more information about St. Maria Goretti you can find it at this link here. I did not mention in my homily the total extent of her attack or why Allesandro attacked her, so it might be worth reading a little bit more about her if you do not already know her story. Once again the focus of the homily and why St. Maria Goretti is a Saint is not because of the attack that happened to her, but rather the forgiveness that she showed Alessandro.
St. Maria Goretti,
Pray For Us!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I have Seen the Lord

For the past three Easters I have always been amazed at the joy that I not only receive at Easter, but also the joy that I see in other people at Easter. Two years ago I had the opportunity to go back to St. Paul Seminary and offer a Mass of Thanksgiving and it just so happened that it was the Tuesday in the Octave of Easter, the same as it is today. In the Gospel for today (John 20:11-18) it tells the story of Mary Magdalene finding the tomb empty and then encountering Christ. After the encounter with the risen one she goes and tells the disciples “I have seen the Lord”. When I was back at St. Paul Seminary two years ago I told the seminarians that I too have seen the Lord, because I see the Lord in the parishioners that I serve. This still holds true today, I am able to see the Lord in all of you because you let him into your life, and it shows in the joy and love that you have for God. This always strikes me at Easter time when I am able to look out at the congregation and see the many faces of people that I have come to know. At Epiphany and here at St. Ambrose in my first year the thing that this really does is make me feel like I belong to the parish as well. For this of course I want to thank you for letting me attempt to serve you as best as I can, as a priest acting In Persona Christi (in the person of Christ), and for letting me be part of the parish. I hope that this Easter season is filled with joy and love of Christ, and please know of my continued prayers for you.
God Bless,
Fr. Carlson

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Glorious Day

Happy Easter!!! There is so much to be thankful for right now, and of course first and foremost I am thankful for God and the marvelous gifs that he has given us. I am also thankful for all the wonderful parishioners that we have here at St. Ambrose, there is something about Easter in which I fall more deeply in love with the parishioners that I serve. I hope to write some more about this soon, so stay tuned. I pray that you all have a glorious day, and a wonderful Octave of Easter. Make sure to celebrate and remember that the Lord is Risen. Alleluia, Alleluia!!!
P.S. The picture of the book will make sense once you watch the homily.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Do You Love Me?

This is also a good homily to listen to on Holy Saturday, which should also be a day of fasting and abstaining if possible. Make sure to finish the Triduum well.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Third Reflection

Below is my final reflection on the series of reflections I have been offering through Lent. This one is essentially me telling the stories of some modern day Saints and offering my own reflections on them. One of the Saints that I referenced was St. Stephen of Hungary and here is a link to the letter that he wrote to his son Emeric which I definitely think is worth a read. Also, a couple of the Saints that I reference in the reflection I learned about from the book "Saintly Women of Modern Times" which is written by Joan Carroll Cruz. She also has books on Saintly Men and Saintly Youth of modern times. The little that I have read of these books I have been impressed with, and highly recommend them to everyone.
It is my hope that these reflections have been helpful to all of you, and that you have been able to see that God choses ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things, and this includes you as well.
Here is the reflection for the men:

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Here is the reflection for the women:

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Here is the website where you can download the audio if you want http://fathercarlson.podbean.com

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Second Reflection

Below is the audio from the second reflection that I offered in the series "Men and Women of the Past who Inspire us Today". For the men I reflected on the Apostles and in a particular way how they abandoned Jesus during his persecution, but were still able to receive his love. For the women I reflected on the daughters of Jerusalem, the one's who stayed by Jesus' side, even though they endured persecution because of it as well. Please take a listen if you would like, and just like last time please only listen to the one for your gender:
For men here is the reflection:

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For women here is the reflection:

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Once again if you want to download the audio (so you can listen to it on your ipod, etc.) you can visit http://fathercarlson.podbean.com 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Some Useful Prayers

Here are the prayers from the Roman Missal for the Election of a Pope that I think might be useful for all of us to pray and reflect on:

Entrance Antiphon
1 Sm 2:35
I will raise up for myself a faithful priest,
who shall do according to my heart and mind; I will establish a lasting house for him
and he shall walk before me all his days.

O God, eternal shepherd,
who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love
a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness
and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer over the Offerings
May your abundant kindness favor us, O Lord,
that, through the sacred offerings we reverently bring to you, we may come to rejoice that a pastor pleasing to your majesty presides over your holy Church.
Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon
I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, says the Lord, fruit that will last.
Jn 15:16
Prayer after Communion
As we have been renewed, O Lord,
with the supreme Sacrament of salvation,
the Body and Blood of your Only Begotten Son,
may the wondrous grace of your majesty
gladden us with the gift of a shepherd
who will instruct your people by his virtues
and imbue the minds of the faithful with the truth of the Gospel. Through Christ our Lord. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Praying and Preparing for the New Pope

Once again there will be a special Mass for the election of a Pope offered tomorrow Tuesday March 12 at 5:30 PM. Please join me for this special Mass.
Here are some of the links that I mentioned in the video above:
Pope Alarm this can send you a text or an email when the smoke is coming up the chimney.
The Pope App which gives you tons of videos, live events, and webcams.
Adapt a Cardinal pretty self explanatory.
Here is a picture of the Sweet Sistine (once again entertainment only)

A special note of thanks to my sister Sarah for drawing my attention to these great resources.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fr. Carlson what are Stations of the Cross all about?

First Reflection

This past week I offered my first reflection for a series that I am offering at the parish. Unfortunately on Tuesday morning mother nature decided that it was a great time to snow, so the attendance at the men's sessions was fairly small. However, I have decided to record these reflections and to post them online. I would just like to point out that these reflections are not meant to be official teachings of the Church (although I don't think I say anything controversial in them) and also would like to point out that they are intended for a specific audience of either women or men. So, depending on your gender, please listen to the one for you, and not the other. I hope that some of you get something out of them, and also I hope that some of you can join me for the reflections in person in a couple of weeks where I will take a look at the disciples for the men, and the women of Jerusalem for the women.

Here is the reflection offered for men on Nicodemus:

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And here is the reflection offered for women on the woman at the well:

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If you want to download them you can find them at this site: http://fathercarlson.podbean.com

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Holy Men and Women of the Past who Inspire us Today

Here is my Bulletin Article for this week:
I recently was asked by a group of youth what I was doing personally for the Year of Faith that the Church has declared this year to be. I answered that one of the things that I have been doing is attending a class on Saturday mornings which the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has been putting on for priests called “Renewal of Faith”, which explores what the Church actually teaches about faith and how we can grow deeper in our faith. I also mentioned to the youth that I don’t necessarily enjoy sitting in a classroom, but every time that I go to one of these sessions, I learn so much more about God, and I am always grateful that I have gone.
 This comes back to that first question though, what are you doing for the Year of Faith? I hope that many of you have or are in the midst of reading Matthew Kelly’s Rediscover Catholicism book, which will help you grow in your faith. I know that many of you have even joined book discussion clubs to talk about the book, which is great. I also hope that many of you were able to attend our parish mission with Bishop Remi De Roo.
I also want to draw your attention to another event and invite you to come to a series that I will be offering in March that offers reflections on Holy Men and Women of the past who inspire us today. This series is meant to help you increase your faith in God by showing that God has taken ordinary men and women like us in the past and did wonderful things with them once they encountered Him.
These sessions are being offered for the women of the parish on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 – 10:30 AM March 6, 20, 27 and we will take a closer look at the women at the well the first session, the women of Jerusalem at the second session, and some modern day saints at the third session. There will not be childcare available for these sessions, but you are welcome to bring your children with to the sessions.
These sessions are being offered for the men of the parish on Tuesday mornings from 6:00 – 7:00 AM March 5, 19, 26 and we will take a closer look at Nicodemus at the first session, the Apostles at the second session, and some modern day saints at the third session. Just like in December, there will be plenty of coffee for everyone.
I hope that some of you will be able to attend these sessions, even if you can only make it to one, which is fine. I would ask that if you do come please bring a Bible with you, because we will be looking at some Scripture passages.
What are you doing for the Year of Faith? Maybe you are like me, and don’t necessarily enjoy going back for education. However, in these reflections, we are learning something greater than just basic education of math or science. We are learning more about God, and is there anything greater than God?
God Bless,
Fr. Carlson           

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reviewing our Life

I think that one of the greatest spiritual practices that we can do is to do a daily examination of our conscience. As I mention in the homily just take 3-5 minutes a day in doing it, and you will see great results!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Battling against Spiritual Evils

As I was looking at the prayers for Ash Wednesday I was amazed at how beautiful they are. For example take a look at part of the opening prayer:


Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.

In the opening prayer it states that we are going to battle against spiritual evils and that we are called to be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Seriously, how awesome is this prayer. I hope that during this season of Lent that you will take more time for prayer. If you find it difficult to know what to pray with you can always look at the readings for the day, or you can look up the prayers for the day. Here below are the Mass prayers for today, I hope that you can bring them with you to prayer and be better prepared to take up your battle against spiritual evils.



Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


As we solemnly offer
the annual sacrifice for the beginning of Lent,
we entreat you, O Lord,
that, through works of penance and charity,
we may turn away from harmful pleasures
and, cleansed from our sins, may become worthy
to celebrate devoutly the Passion of your Son.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


May the Sacrament we have received sustain us, O Lord,
that our Lenten fast may be pleasing to you
and be for us a healing remedy.
Through Christ our Lord.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

National Vocation Awareness Week

This week the USCCB has declared to be National Vocation Awareness Week and they have some great resources on vocations at their website. One of the resources that they have is a prayer to know one's vocation and here it is as well as a link:

Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you. 

But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen

As I have mentioned many times in my homilies and will continue to bring up is that I think that we need to make people more aware of vocations to the religious life, priesthood, and diaconate. If people are not aware of this great life, if they do not think that they possibly could be called to it, then they are not going to consider it as a vocation. So, what should we do about it? Or a better question for you is, why should I do about it? All I am asking is that if you are a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, a teacher, or whatever for you to make sure that young people are aware that there is still and always will be a need for more vocations to the religious life, priesthood, and diaconate. I firmly believe that in this wold young people want to do something great in their life, and I know that the vocation to marriage is a great thing, but so is a vocation to religious life and holy orders. Please make sure to ask people who you think may be called to this vocation if they have thought about it, or let them know that you think they may be called. I know that this is hard to do, I have a hard time doing it as a priest, but I do it if I think that God is asking me to ask for Him. Think about that for a moment, you are not asking for yourself, but are asking as an instrument of God!!!
I can preach about vocations all the time, but in the end if the young people do not hear about it from their family, friends, and mentors they are not going to think about it as something serious, trust me I know this from personal experience. Make vocations to religious life and holy orders known, make it a culture of vocations, and then we will have more vocations. Please help out in doing this, remember that when one does respond to a vocation to religious life or holy orders they are not doing it for themselves, but are doing it to serve you, the people of God.

Here is a post that I published a couple years ago, and thought that some of you may want to look at it now:

It’s the end of National Vocation Awareness week, and I hope that everyone this week has looked at their own life, and seen where they believe God is calling them. Also, I hope that you have encouraged others to think about their vocation. I know that I started to think about the priesthood when I was in second grade and always had it in the back of my mind. However, if I did not have people encouraging me throughout the years, I’m not sure that I would have had the courage or strength to actually go and check out the seminary. Some of the people that helped out were family members and friends, but there were many other people, that would just ask if I had thought about the priesthood, including someone famous.

When I was in high school, I worked at United Hospital in St. Paul at the reception desk for the medicine care center. I had the habit of asking any priest that I saw what their name was and also what parish they served. One Saturday afternoon someone came up to me wearing clerics asking where a certain patient’s room was. So, once I gave him the information, I asked the man who I assumed was a priest, what his name was and where he served. He responded that he was Archbishop Harry Flynn and that he was the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Now, of course I should have known this, seeing as he was the one who confirmed me and I even knew what he looked like, but I just did not expect to see him at the hospital. After being thoroughly embarrassed I told him that it was great to see him and to have a nice day and away he went. However, after he was done visiting the patient he walked by again and asked me what my name was and what parish I was at. I told him my name and that my family belonged to St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul. Archbishop Flynn responded that he was glad to meet me, and then he just asked me, point-blank, if I had thought about the priesthood. I told him that I had, and he said that was good and then assured me of his prayers. Now, this was not the only time someone had asked me about the priesthood, but it sure made me think about it a little more.

So, what’s the main point behind this? If you think that someone is called to the priesthood or to become a sister, don’t be afraid to ask them if they have thought about it. It’s never hard to tell someone that they would make a good mother or a father, but for some reason we have a hard time saying this when it comes to other vocations. Don’t hold back, you never know, it may help that person explore their vocation even more, which we are all called to do. Also, here is a link to the Archdiocesan vocation page, please check it out.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Time for a new Platform

I was talking to a high school teacher a couple weeks ago and she mentioned that all of her students had started using a program called Prezi instead of PowerPoint, so I started to look into it. I am impressed by it because I can embed it online. So, here is my first presentation with it:

If you are familiar with this program you obviously know how to use it. If not you can either click on the objects, or use the arrows on the bottom of the screen to go from one "slide" to the other. I hope to use this platform in the future mostly for teaching about certain subjects, but first wanted to get the word out again about the book discussion club that we have going on.
By the way here is a link if you want to download a registration form for the Rediscover Catholicism Discussion Club.
Also, please let me know what you think about using Prezi, either by emailing me or writing some things in the comment section.