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A Christmas Greeting
In these busy days leading up to Christmas, consider this video greeting a two-minute respite from the season’s hustle and bustle. We hope you enjoy the pages and faces of The Saint John’s Bible, presented with musical help from President Emeritus Fr. Robert Koopmann, O.S.B.
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Take a look at the online exhibit of Mary in art:
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Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12:

Take a look at:
From a report by Don Antonio Valeriano, a Native American author of the sixteenth century:

The Voice of the Turtledove has been heard in our land
At daybreak one Saturday morning in 1531, on the very first days of the month of December, an Indian named Juan Diego was going from the village where he lived to Tlatelolco in order to take part in divine worship and listen to God’s commandments. When he came near the hill called Tepeyac, dawn had already come, and Juan Diego heard someone calling him from the very top of the hill: “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.”
See it all at:


Today we pray:

O God,
Father of mercies,
who placed your people
under the singular protection
of your Son’s most holy Mother,
grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe,
may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples
in the ways of justice and of peace.
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.
– Amen.

Take a look a look at faith based social justice groups:

Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC)
Minnesota Catholic Conference - Islamic Center of Minnesota  
Jewish Community Relations Council - Minnesota Council of Churches


Good stuff!


Pope Francis was at the Spanish Steps in Rome to honor Mary on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Here is the booklet for the service, and a translation of the litany (by Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, on his Pray Tell blog):

Holy Mother of God,
Holy virgin of virgins,
Daughter chosen by the Father,
Mother of Christ, king of the ages,
Glory of the Holy Spirit,
Virgin daughter of Zion,
Virgin poor and humble,
Virgin meek and mild,
Virgin obedient in faith,
Mother of the Lord,
Coworker of the Redeemer,
Full of grace,
Font of beauty,
Treasure of power and wisdom,
First fruit of the redemption,
Perfect disciple of Christ,
Most pure image of the Church,
Lady of the new covenant,
Lady clothed with the sun,
Lady crowned with stars,
Lady of great goodness,
Lady of forgiveness,
Lady of our families,
Joy of the new Israel,
Splendor of holy Church,
Honor of the human race,
Advocate of grace,
Minister of human pity,
Helper of the People of God,
Queen of love,
Queen of mercy,
Queen of peace,
Queen of the angels,
Queen of the patriarchs,
Queen of the prophets,
Queen of the apostles,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors of the faith,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived without sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of earth,
Queen of heaven,
Queen of the universe.

You might like to visit his blog with repartee about worship, wit & wisdom:

Here is a gift Idea!

Everyday Sacrament
The Messy Grace of Parenting
Laura Kelly Fanucci

A spiritual memoir of parenting’s early years and a sacramental theology rooted in family life, Everyday Sacrament offers an honest, humorous, and hopeful look at ordinary moments as full of grace.
Check it out Here!

Order today and save 30%
Paperback Price: $14.95, Sale Price: $10.46
Ebook Price: $12.99, Sale Price: $9.09

Use promo code: EVERYDAY
Offer ends January 12, 2015
Liturgical Press, 2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321
Phone: 1.800.858.5450 or 320.363.2213
Buy Online: www.litpress.org

© Copyright 2014, Liturgical Press. All rights reserved.

by Fr. Graham

December 4, 2014:

I am going to build a homily around this article; let me know what you think:
Wheat People vs. Rice People
Why Are Some Cultures More Individualistic Than Others?

AMERICANS and Europeans stand out from the rest of the world for our sense of ourselves as individuals. We like to think of ourselves as unique, autonomous, self-motivated, self-made. more

December 3, 2014:

You remember praying recently for Gino Pillsbury, infant son of Danielle and Kevin.  Kevin has written to me:

Danielle and I greatly appreciate the Church’s support throughout this time, and wish that you continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Should anyone care to keep up with his progress, Danielle has created a Caring Bridge site to follow along. It can be found here.

November 26, 2014:


Come Ye Thankful People Come

This hymn was written by Henry Alford (1810-1871), and echos two of the parables; Matthew 13:24-30 (the story of the wheat and the tares) and Mark 4:26-29 (the story of the seed springing up without the sower knowing of it).

Take a look!

Five Myths about Pope Francis
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Pope to Europe:
Get your house in order
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Agree to disagree: Why young Catholics pose a unique challenge for the Church
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El Greco in the National Gallery of Art and Washington-Area Collections: A 400th Anniversary Celebration
November 2, 2014 – February 16, 2015
West Building Main Floor

And here are some

Treasures from the Vatican
Click Here!

"Death must be active within us if life also is to be active within us."  St. Ambrose
In November, the Church's selection of scripture and prayer turns our minds to the coming end of the year, of time, and of our own lives.  Saint Ambrose, a fourth century bishop and theologian in Milan, wrote a Treatise on Death as a Blessing that is excerpted today in The Liturgy of the Hours – Office of Readings.  Take a look!

From a treatise on death as a blessing by St. Ambrose, bishop:
Click Here!

Did you know that our Catholic Bishops have a website that offers the daily Mass readings, the entire text of the Bible, book by book, and many other helpful resources.  Visit it here:


Among the Saints the Church remembers on Nov. 6th is St. Felix of Fondi
I chose him from the list because his name is fun to say (yes, there are certainly more saintly reasons to remember him); take a look:

In Jake's Newsletter, he asks, "Did you know that November 7th is the feast day of Saint Engelbert II of Berg?"
Click Here!
Check out this excerpt from a sermon by Saint Charles Borromeo, which is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the feast (liturgical memorial) of St. Charles Borromeo on November 4th:
Practice What You Preach

Would you like me to teach you how to grow from virtue to virtue and how, if you are already recollected at prayer, you can be even more attentive next time, and so give God more pleasing worship? Listen, and I will tell you. If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out. Keep the stove tightly shut so that it will not lose its heat and grow cold. In other words, avoid distractions as well as you can. Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter.  

If you wish to make a donation to the Steve O’Neil Apartments Community Housewarming Registry, go to chumduluth.org and select the Housewarming Campaign link. Please include “Community Matters” when you make your online donation.

Church Calendar

Christmas Eve Masses      Christmas Day Masses
4:00pm & 6:00pm           Midnight & 9:00am

St. Michael's Catholic Church is located at 4901 East Superior Street in the Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth, Minnesota.

The O Antiphons, from Wikipedia:

The O Antiphons are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions.
They are referred to as the "O Antiphons" because the title of each one begins with the interjection "O". Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:

• December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
• December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
• December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
• December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
• December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
• December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
• December 23: O Emmanuel (O With Us is God)

You can find a daily mediation on these antiphons at Fr. Any Ruff's website.

December 18: O Adonai

O Adonai, and leader of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the flaming bush and on Sinai gave him the law, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm.

December 17:

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Intercessions and Announcement – 3rd Sunday in Advent | December 13 & 14
Click Here!

Looking Ahead!
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord will be on Jan. 11, the last day of the Christmas season.  In submitting to the Baptism of John, Jesus made the water holy and prepared the way for us.

We plan to have Bishop Sirba visit that day and bless our new font, which is, at the moment, being constructed out at Granite Works on Grand Avenue out near Morgan Park.  We have chosen two lovely slabs of granite and have agreed on a very fine design (I hope to have a drawing available soon).

When we chant the Litany of the Saints at the blessing, Jake Nelson will lead our youth in procession.  They will be carrying bottles of water from every baptismal font in the entire Diocese of Duluth, and others collected in travels across these United States and through Europe.  This is a major project that has been underway since early May that will highlight the unity of the church in every land and place.  I think this involvement of our youth will be among the highlights of the festal day.

This image is a good one to ponder as we prepare:
The Baptism of the Lord.

Feel free to visit with Jake and ask him for details of his collection with his young charges.

Second Sunday in Advent (B), Dec. 7, 2014
“Who will be our pastor when Father Parker is killed?”
Isaiah 40:1–11; Psalm 85:9–14; 2 Peter 3:8–14; Mark 1:1–8
“Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God” (Is 40:1)
Father William C. Graham | St. Michael’s in Duluth
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We are always looking for volunteers for various activities and committees.  Click on the link below to see what is available!

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on VolunteerSpot

Two very nice student group photos:
1. Our K-5 students at Mass in their snowpants today.
2. Preschool and grades 4-5 Student Council members with the food collected for CHUM in our Thanksgiving Food Drive.

         Great job! And thanks to all the boys and girls and families!


100 Days Closer to Christ
William C. Graham

We all have moments of grace in our lives, glimpses of God's presence and God's mystery. The Word made flesh, God-with-us, inspires these moments and sometimes lets us see and feel that transformation in grace. In 100 Days Closer to Christ, Father William C. Graham invites us to consider these moments and experience the transforming presence of God in our lives.
These compelling essays invite you to immersion in joyful hope: dreams, disciplines, and promises; fond embraces and quiet satisfaction; plans and prospects; awe and wonder. The chapters consider moments of grace through encounters that resemble lectio divina, inviting reflections flowing from God's word or the church's life of prayer, giving flashes of insight and meaning on a pilgrim's way.
The essays in 100 Days Closer to Christ are meant to inspire thoughtful prayer. Whether they are seasonal or attitudinal, each seeks to stand before Mystery in awe, wonder, praise, and thanksgiving.

William C. Graham, is pastor of Saint Michael's Parish in Duluth, Minnesota, where he also served as pastor from 1982-90. He was a scholar-in-residence at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical & Cultural Research in 2013-14, where he also served as visiting professor at Saint John's University. For ten years Father Graham was professor of historical theology and the founding director of the Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies at the College of St. Scholastica.


First Sunday in Advent (B), Nov. 30, 2014
“Beware, keep alert; you do not know when the time will come” (Mk 13:33)
Is 63:16–64:7; Ps 80:2–19; 1 Cor 1:3–9; Mk 13:33–37  
Father William C. Graham | St. Michael’s in Duluth
Click Here!

Christ the King (A), Nov. 22 & 23, 2014
Intercessions and announcements:
Click Here!

Thirty-Third Sunday in ordinary Time (A), Nov. 16, 2014
Intercessions and announcements:
Click Here!

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome  
Nov. 8 & 9, 2014


“Do you not know that you are God’s temple
and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16)

The Badge of a Concerned Catholic:

Hope does not disappoint: Our finances & our future
All Souls (A), Nov. 2, 2014

Read Sunday's Homily here:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Give a listen to Pope Francis's homily at Mass today, Oct. 13:

"And this should make us think: am I attached to my things, my ideas, [are they] closed? Or am I open to God's surprises? Am I at a standstill or am I on a journey? Do I believe in Jesus Christ - in Jesus, in what he did: He died, rose again and the story ended there - Do I think that the journey continues towards maturity, toward the manifestation of the glory of the Lord? Am I able to understand the signs of the times and be faithful to the voice of the Lord that is manifested in them? We should ask ourselves these questions today and ask the Lord for a heart that loves the law -  because the law belongs to God – but which also loves God’s surprises and the ability to understand that this holy law is not an end in itself".
More here...

Wondering about our Youth Ministries?
Check out Jake's Essay!

See Jake Nelson & Michael Chelseth take on the Ice Bucket Challenge!
Click Here!

About the Ice Bucket Challenge
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Mass Schedule:

Mass at 5:00 PM


Mass at 8:00 AM
10:30 AM  
5:00 PM  

Weekday Masses at St. Michael's Church:

Monday through Friday:
5:00 PM


Lakeshore: 4:00 PM
(40th Ave. E. and London Road)

School Year:

10:15 AM
at St. Michael's Church

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Wednesday and Friday after Mass


3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Looking for daily prayer?

Try this site:


A Day
Emily Dickinson
I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.
This poem is in the public domain.


Pope Francis's universal prayer intention for December is: "That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will." His intention for evangelization is: "That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith."

Question Corner:

What do you think of this?  
Michael Stein, a professor of medicine and of health services, policy and practice at Brown University, writes:
"In my experience, most young adults rarely, if ever, have a personal, 30-minute conversation with an adult. They talk mostly to people their own age."
See his opinion piece

This writer's brother was once a reporter here for KBJR, in the 70s; you might find it of interest:

Eat Turkey, Become American

Thanksgiving was my Korean family’s annual recommitment ceremony to the United States

A Mormon take on giving:
Click Here!
For some people, but not everyone, life just seems better after giving to others.

Remember the Used-a-Bit first!
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Getting ready for Advent: a couple suggestions
Advent Collect-ing
Advent Wreath

Q: I'm unhappy with the new pastor in my parish. Should I try another parish?
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Catholic schools considered here:
Click Here!

5 Reasons to Avoid the Gym or Why I Go to Church
Click Here!

When Giving Is All We Have
Alberto Ríos, 1952

One river gives
ts journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

Francis: "a pope of surprises."  

Read about the reflections of Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,  on the meaning and significance of Pope Francis:
Click Here!

Here are a couple websites that are excellent resources:

CRUX: Covering All Things Catholic


News Features & Analysis from a Catholic Perspective


You no doubt remember Father Eric Hollas, OSB, one of last summer's visitors.  He has a blog entitled "A Monk's Chronicle" that is well worth reading:


Memories of the 'lost' 1970s Catholic generation
Post-Vatican II Catholicism should not be dismissed as a 'silly season'
More Here

Under Pope Francis, the church is struggling to figure out who belongs.
NY Times Article

Under Francis, Catholic Leaders Prepare to Debate Whether Church Should Change


(Vatican Radio) At the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, Pope Francis addressed the assembled Fathers, thanking them for their efforts and encouraging them to continue to journey.

….a must read:

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