Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of August 29, 1999)

Dear Parishioners,

When I sit down to write these letters, checking the date; it amazes me how quickly times passes. Wednesday of this week will be the beginning of a new month, September! Again, I ask the questionóWhere does time go!

Monday, September 6, will be Labor Day. Iíve always thought of it as kind of the "unofficial end of summer." It used to be that school resumed the day after. But now, of course, school begins so much earlier. Having spent 22 years as a teacher and principal, Iím not all that convinced that all of this extra time means a whole lot.

"In our day," school began the day after Labor Day and ended in early June. In addition to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a very brief break at Easter (Good Friday and Easter Monday), we also got the holy days off. Toss in an extra day for the Feast of Saint Francis for our Franciscan teachers in grade school or Providence Foundation Day for our Providence teaching Sisters in high school. Now, in spite of all this time off I know we got an excellent Catholic education. Iíd put it up against any today, public or parochial. O, well, itís a different world I suppose. But is it any better?

On Labor Day we will have Mass at 9:00 a.m. (English) rather than in the evening. I suggest that anytime we can, we attend Mass on civil holidays. Thank God for the chance to be able to work. Pray for the unemployed.

The Parish Council met last Monday. The vast majority of our meeting was an excellent presentation on our roof situation at Holy Rosary. The meeting began at 7:00 p.m. and went beyond 11:00. Just ask anyone on the Council anything you want to know about roofing. We are all experts!

Seriously, we received some good recommendations. Now itís up to us to decide when and what to repair. We do have some serious concerns. I donít want to see any more leaking like we had last winter. You can still see the effects in the Southeast and Southwest corners of the church ceiling.

Given that our church now has a new confessional or reconciliation room, here are some more thoughts on this sacrament of Godís mercy and peace:

How do I go to confession? So much has changed! Well, yes and no. The essential elements of confession remain the same:

Many of us memorized that formula, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was ______ago and these are my sins." Itís not absolutely essential that we use this (never was). But, you know, there is nothing wrong with it either. It helps get us started.

In recent years the Church has encouraged us not to just rattle on with memorized formulas and "laundry lists" of sins. There can be a danger in this. There are funny stories about people in their eighties confessing that "I disobeyed my mother" or "I hit my little brother." Some people memorized things as children and have been repeating them ever since. (Donít laugh, Iíve had people in my confessional do just this!)

The point is that there is a structure to this sacrament. In any event, whether youíre prepared or not, just ask the priest for help. "Father, I donít know what to do!" He will be glad to help you. Donít feel self-conscious. Hearing confessions is one of our greatest joys!

In Godís Providence,

Msgr. Schaedel