Hello, I am Fr. Jack Schuler, Pastor of St. Ferdinand Church in Florissant. I would like to invite you to the parish for any of our Masses or for our famous Fish Fry that takes place every Friday of the year. Our parish has many opportunities for prayer as well as many organizations that serve the various needs of our community and parish. Please take some time to explore our website.
Through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, May God Bless you and Keep You.
Fr. Jack has been serving the Archdiocese of St. Louis for over 38 years. His ministry has taken him as far away as Africa, where he was a missionary for several years. He grew up in St. Louis, in North County.
Fr. William (Bill) Baier, Senior Associate
Hello I am Fr. Bill. I am the senior associate because I have been a pastor at previous assignments. I have been here at St. Ferdinand since 2004. I work with the Men's and Women's Clubs, the PSR, and the Boy and Girl Scouts. I enjoy the people of St. Ferdinand's. We have a lot of beautiful things going on here.
Please join us sometime for Mass.
Fr. Bill has been serving the Archdiocese of St. Louis for 30 years. He grew up in St. Louis and has lived here his whole life.
MOTHERS’ DAY PRAYER
As a mother gives life and nourishment to her children,
So you watch over your Church.
Bless our mothers,
That they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.
Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
May honor them always With a spirit of profound respect.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
A few Mothers’ Day Quotes
- Happy Mothers’ Day to all women who love a child unconditionally and nurture authentically ... whether from the womb or not. God bless you.
- Wishing a special happy Mothers’ Day to all the single moms out there. God knows of your sacrifice and you are not alone.
- Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mothers out there. It’s definitely not always the easiest job, but it is the most rewarding.
- The reason mothers should look as thought they are having fun, is to give kids a reason to want to grow up.
- Moms remember: children may close their ears to advice, but they keep their eyes open to an example.
Happy Mothers’ Day!
SAVE THAT DATE
We are ever so close to completing our Gathering Space. We are ready to “gather for God”. It’s hard to believe that we were able to pack so much into the previous little vestibule. Altogether now we will have approximately 2000 square feet of space. My confessional will be in that space and there will be a shrine area for St. Ferdinand. We now have two restrooms with two stalls each. Go for it!
For the first time in over 50 years the Rectory will be handicap accessible. I apologize to our disabled for this grievous sin. Now we can say, “all are welcome” in the Parish Office.
Once we see what the space looks like we will begin to add furniture, plants, etc. We want all 2000 square feet for our Dedication on June 2nd at the 11AM Mass. We will actually begin our ceremony in and around the Gathering Space.
The Co-Chairs of our Capital Campaign Patty Schneier and Bob Freesmeier, along with our Parish Council President Nick Zlotopolski and our Mayor Thomas Schneider will help us dedicate our holy space.
Join us on June 2nd at the 11AM Mass for the ceremonial opening of our Gathering Space. There will be a reception following in the gym.
ARCHDIOCESAN CATHOLIC APPEAL
This weekend we begin accepting pledges and donations for the ACA. For three weekends we will have tables set up outside of church to assist in this Corporal Work of Mercy. The ACA is “the” charity of the Archdiocese. All of the monies collected go for projects in our Archdiocese. Without the ACA we would not have our Catholic School System. Without the ACA Catholic Charities could not reach as many needy folks (like the victims of our recent tornado). Without the ACA we would not have such a first rate Pro-Life office— on and on.
This Appeal is really important for the needy in our Archdiocese. In the spirit of our new Pope let us help Christ to reach those on the margins of society. Our Pope took the name “Francis” and St. Francis was the man of the poor. May we in St. Louis be “a church for the poor”.
We ask you to please stop by and make a pledge. Even if you can’t give please help our coordinators by signing your pledge card. I thank Carolyn Freesmeier and Joe Weinbauer for overseeing our ACA efforts.
Deacon Joe Kroutil has been assigned to St. Angela Merici Parish by Archbishop Carlson. His transfer will take effect May 15. Deacon Joe has been a mainstay here at St. Ferdinand for many years. He has assisted at almost all of our children’s Masses. He has assisted at Sunday Mass each week and once a month he preached God’s Word for us. He was faithful in preparing parents for the baptism of their children and he was in the rotation for baptisms. Besides his sacramental ministry Deacon Joe was a member of the RCIA Team and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. And I greatly appreciate his coordination of the adult formation programs that we offered each semester.
The best way I know to describe Deacon Joe is “steadfast”. He is firm in his belief in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. If Deacon Joe said he was going to do something I knew it would be done. He diligently carried out the duties of his deaconate ministry.
Deacon Joe and his wife Evelyn will not be far away. As a matter of fact he has asked to continue his communion ministry to the residents of the Villa. May all of our prayers be with him as he begins his assignment at St. Angela Merici.
There will be a reception following the 11:00 AM Mass on Sunday, May 5th to show our appreciation for all that Deacon Joe and his wife Evelyn have given to St. Ferdinand Parish.
Note: This will also be Scott Scheiderer’s last weekend. His assignment from the seminary will be ending. Please take this opportunity to say goodbye to Scott also.
A MESSAGE FROM THE POPE
Complaining dashes hope and keeps us from seeing Jesus | Pope Francis
Complaining frequently can become an obsession that obscures the presence of Jesus in difficult situations, Pope Francis has said.
Celebrating morning Mass earlier this week with staff members from the Domus Romana Sacerdotalis, a nearby residence and guesthouse for clergy, Pope Francis preached about the Gospel story from St Luke about the two disappointed disciples on the road to Emmaus after the death of Jesus.
“They were afraid. All of the disciples were afraid,” he said. As they walked toward Emmaus and discussed everything that had happened, they were sad and complaining. “And the more they complained, the more they were closed in on themselves: They did not have a horizon before them, only a wall,” the Pope explained, according to Vatican Radio.
The disciples had had such high hopes that Jesus would be the one who would redeem Israel, but they thought their hopes were destroyed, he said on Wednesday.
“And they stewed, so to speak, their lives in the juice of their complaints and kept going on and on and on with the complaining,” the Pope said. “I think that many times when difficult things happen, including when we are visited by the cross, we run the risk of closing ourselves off in complaints. ”
When all people can think of is how wrong things are going, Pope Francis said, the Lord is close, “but we don’t recognize him. He walks with us, but we don’t recognize him. ”
Like the disciples joined by the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, people can hear beautiful things, but deep down, they continue to be afraid, the Pope told the congregation.
“Complaining seems safer. It’s something certain. This is my truth: failure,” he said before adding that the Gospel story shows how very patient Jesus is with the disciples, first listening to them and then explaining things step by step, until they see him.
Complaining and griping, about others and about things in one’s own life, is harmful “because it dashes hope. Don’t get into this game of a life of complaints.”
http: //afriarslife. blogspot. com
We live in a society of whiners and complainers. I believe the Pope is right when he says that “we run the risk of closing ourselves off in complaints”. When we are griping then the focus is myopic. We can’t see the bigger picture. I frequently have to deal with complaints and it really does drag me down. I’d much rather be engaging people in a positive direction i.e. in moving forward instead of dwelling on the past. As the Pope says don’t let complaining “dash hope”. Look at the big picture—”We are saved by the Cross of Jesus Christ.”
PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERS
Mary Jo Neunuebel
Thank God no one in our community was hurt by the tornado on Wednesday, April 10th. It’s another example of how we are not in control. It is humbling and scary.
Many inside our parish boundaries were affected. The apartments on Teson are in our Parish and everyone in those buildings were evacuated. A number of our parishioners had their houses affected by the winds and/or falling trees. Scores of our people were without electricity. I did not realize at first how scattered the damage was e.g. on Mercury Street, etc. If anyone needs assistance please call the Parish Office (837-3165). If you know of anyone who needs assistance please let us know.
On the morning after I talked with Karen Wallensach who is the Director of Disaster Relief for Catholic Charities, and I am continuing to keep in contact with her, as to how we can be of assistance. Also that morning I met with our Parish Nurse Michelle Ritter, our Principal Anna Davis, our Parish Secretary Dana Wiele and our School Secretary Patty Wroblewski (Sister Jo Ann was busy helping a parishioner who lost electricity and was on oxygen). The School tried to contact any of the families who were not there and any that we know who had sustained damage to see if we could help out. Specifically we offered supper that evening and breakfast the next morning and free before and after school care.
Michelle, Sister Jo Ann, Jeanette Aubuchon and other volunteers called hundreds of our elderly to see if they were okay and/or if they needed anything. Those who were affected were also invited to our meals. I also offered the Duchesne Center for First Communion parties to those families that were without electricity. We tried to let folks know that we are there for them. Later on I received a return call from Mr. Bob Franke, the Assistant City manager for the City of Hazelwood. I offered our prayers and our assistance to Hazelwood.
If we missed any opportunity to assist please let us know. This was the first time any of us had ever had an experience like this. Thankfully all are safe. There is all kinds of help available. Please let us know if you have any needs. Don’t let pride get in the way of hope. This is not the time to be self-absorbed. Think of your family and your future.
Thank you God for keeping our people safe.
MEDICAL EXPANSION—WHAT WOULD POPE FRANCIS DO?
Because of the Affordable Care Act Missourians have an opportunity to assist 260,000 citizens in our State who currently do not have health insurance. Presently, a working mother with two children is not eligible for Medicaid if her annual income exceeds $4,584! Are you kidding me? U.S. Bishops have repeatedly stated that everyone has a God-give right to health care but most of the Republican legislators will not allow our poor to have access to health care.
In a recent conversation with Senator Wallingford I asked him to help our citizens in need, specifically the tens of thousands that Catholic Charities serves. His response was: “If I were in your shoes I would be lobbying for Medicaid expansion like you are, but I’m a legislator responsible for the welfare of the entire State.” To me that means forget the poor and keep the money flowing to those who “have”. We can’t let legislators leave their consciences at the door in favor of partisan politics and lobbyists pleas. No matter what our legislators do we will be taxed for Medicaid expansion. If our legislature opts out then all our money goes to other states!? Medicaid needs reform but how can we reform what we won’t have?
The present situation is very complicated. A compromise bill has been hoisted by Representative Barnes, a Catholic, to make the Medicaid cut off at 100% of the poverty level instead of the138% that is mandated by the Affordable Care Act. It’s an attempt to keep the conversation going by sending something to the senators. The Missouri Catholic Conference (the Missouri bishops lobbying arm) favors this bill. Please don’t let our poor down. What would Pope Francis do? Please let our legislators know that we Catholics “hear the cry of the poor”, and God does too. Woe to those who think only of themselves and their constituents. Voters don’t make for morality.
Note: I have included some basic information about Medicaid expansion in the bulletin. Please check the Missouri Catholic Conference's website for more info.
It’s that time of the year again when we in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have the opportunity “to make a difference”. Last Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday. In the material promoting this devotion it says: “Our Lord’s words: ‘. . . I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. Y ou must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first—by deed, the second—by word, the third—by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My
mercy”. (Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska #742)
St. Faustina says that the first way of exercising mercy is by “deeds”. The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) is one of the deeds by which we can fulfill the Lord’s words: “I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of the love for Me.” The ACA is a way of putting into play all the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy:
Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish sinners Instruct the Uninformed
Counsel the doubtful Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently Forgive offenses
Pray for the living and the dead
Corporal Works of Mercy
Feed the hungry Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick Bury the dead
Comfort the imprisoned
Let me list just some of the practical ways that the ACA involves us in the Works of Mercy:
Young people in PSR programs are taught by catechists trained by Paul VI Institute Teens from our parish may attend Catholic High Schools
College Students from our parish may work at the Newman Center
Future pastors for our parish are formed at Kenrick- Glennon Seminary
Parishioners may receive counseling from Catholic Family Services
Engaged couples are prepared for marriage through Laity and Family Life
Married couples receive training in Natural Family Planning
Young people attend programs sponsored by the Catholic Youth Apostolate
Families with financial difficulties get help from Catholic Charities
Young women may seek help from Birthright or the Respect Life Apostolate
Men & women who are incarcerated may receive spiritual and emotional support.
The ACA touches the souls, minds, hearts and bodies of hundreds of thousands of people in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It is our major vehicle for implementing the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. As Mother Faustina said: “I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first—by deed (e.g. ACA), the second—by word (e.g. advocate for those in spiritual, emotional, physical, political need), the third—by prayer (e.g. as you read this pray for those in need and for
those who can assist those in need.
Note: Because of the ongoing construction of our Gathering Space we are going to move our ACA promotions back by one week. We will begin taking pledges April 27 & 28. Our Goad is $85,895 and our Challenge Goal of $93,414.
THE TIME IS NEAR
We are drawing closer and closer to the completion of our Gathering Space. We are hoping to have our project completed the first week of May. Freise Construction has been working hard, in spite of the weather, to have our Gathering Space ready for our use in a few weeks. I believe our architects from LePique & Orne have given us a wonderful design to compliment the design of our church. Let's all "prepare ye the way for the Lord".
Please mark your calendars for Sunday, June 2. During the 11:00 AM Mass we will formally dedicate our Gathering Space. Hopefully our expansion will be a space of welcome and hospitality. If we are ever going to break down the barriers that separate peoples then we will need an inviting informal space “to meet and greet”. Where people know one another there is less gossip and nagging and more support and positive vibes. So many people do so many wonderful things here at St. Ferdinand. I hope that our Gathering Space allows us to feature the compassion and hope that we have to offer.
Sunday, June 2, at 11:00 AM—the Dedication of our Gathering Space
MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE
Archbishop Dom Helder Camara
Do not smile and say you are already with us.
Millions do not know you and to us who do,
What is the difference?
What is the point of your presence if our lives do not alter?
Change our lives, shatter our complacency.
Make your word flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood and our life's purpose.
Take away the quietness of a clear conscience.
Press us uncomfortably. For only thus is that other peace made, your peace.
I hope you had a chance to be a part of our “sneak preview” last weekend (Easter). We still have another month or so before it is completed. I’m hoping that our Gathering Space will be a source of hospitality and welcome, a place where you will want to bring family and friends. Studies indicate that when people enter a church for the first time that they decide whether they will return in seven seconds. Our Gathering Space will help folks in making up their mind. But no construction can take the place of friendliness and smiles. We have over 4,000 people in our Parish so we are always encountering strangers. Don’t be a grouch, say “hi”. Ask them what they think of the new Gathering Space, of the prayer, the music, the homilies, the flowers, etc. God wants people to feel welcome in His home. Let’s do our part for God.
Thanks to all who have given so generously to make this project happen. May the Lord reward you for your sacrifice. And may He reward our Parish for trying to put our best face forward.
9 THINGS GOD WON’T ASK YOU ON
THAT JUDGMENT DAY...
1. God won't ask what kind of car you drove;
He'll ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation.
2. God won't ask the square footage of your house;
He'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
3. God won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet;
He'll ask how many you helped to clothe.
4. God won't ask what your highest salary was;
He'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.
5. God won’t ask what your job title was;
He’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.
6. God won't ask how many friends you had;
He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
7. God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived;
He'll ask how you treated your neighbors.
8. God won't ask about the color of your skin;
He'll ask about the content of your character.
9. God won't ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation;
He'll lovingly take you to your mansion inheaven, and not to the gates of Hell.
WHO WILL MOVE THE STONE?
This was the question the women had as they walked toward the tomb of Jesus. There was a huge stone blocking their way to Jesus. There are many obstacles blocking our way to Jesus. These obstacles can be described like this:
I’m too busy with the children and work; I need more money; I’ll get to God later when I’m older; what can Jesus do for me that I can’t do myself; I can talk to Jesus when I need him; Jesus didn’t help me when I needed him; I’m a good person! One can never enter the mystery of the Resurrection while “the stone” is blocking the Way.
The Lord surprised the women for the stone had been moved and the mystery of the Resurrection began to unfold. Easter invites us to come to the tomb and to begin to be humbled by a God-man, crucified and risen. Look at the big picture. We are not here on this earth very long. What happens after this life?
Will your life end in a tomb that is blocked by the stone of selfishness and/or ignorance or will you rise to a new and better life? May the Easter “Alleluias” signal that “the stone” blocking our way to Christ has been moved.
WE HAVE A POPE
Our new Holy Father Pope Francis will need our prayers. It is an awesome responsibility to lead over a billion Catholics. I can’t imagine the decisions he must face, the demands made on his time, suffering he must hear about, the scandals he must deal with, etc.
He has taken the name of Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, one of my favorite saints. My prayer is that Pope Francis will make the papacy a seat of service more than a seat of power. He certainly has challenged himself by claiming the name “Francis”. So much of the Vatican is not simple. How will Pope Francis live out the humility of St. Francis in the midst of the pomp and circumstance of Rome and the opulence of the Vatican. I pray that he can pull this off so that our Church takes on the face of service and humility.
St. Francis once said: “Blessed is the one who expecteth nothing, for he shall enjoy everything”. These are words for our new Holy Father and for all of us. May Pope Francis bring the inspiration of St. Francis to all of us.
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
THE JESUS WALK—HOLY TRIDUUM
Holy Thursday: Walk with Jesus into the upper room to remember and bring thanks for the Holy Eucharist. Let him wash your feet and then as you leave “the table of the Lord” serve other.
Good Friday: Walk with Jesus to Calvary. Feel the love and the pain of salvation. Watch the crucifixion. See him being taken down from the cross and given to his Mother and to all of us.
Holy Saturday: Notice the quiet at the tomb. Walk with the disciples of Mary Magdalene to the tomb and be awakened to the Resurrection of Christ at the Paschal Vigil on Saturday evening. Walk with our new Catholics into the Light of Christ and the Baptismal waters of salvation.
EasterSunday:RejoicewithJesusChristandnotjustwiththeEaster Bunny. He lives and he walks with us. Are you walking with him?
Fast & Abstinence on Good Friday
Then to all Christ said, “Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps” (Lk 9: 23).
The Church has always helped us fulfill these words of Jesus by prescribing very definite penance for all Catholics. Accordingly, the Pope and the American bishops have outlined obligatory fast and abstinence as follows:
Good Friday, March 29: As a day of Abstinence for all Catholics over the age of 14. On this day fast as well as abstinence is also obligatory for those from the ages of 18 to 59. Abstinence means abstinence from meat. Fast means one full meal a day, with two smaller meals and nothing between meals. No Catholic will lightly excuse themselves.
Two wonderful ladies are retiring from their parish services. One is Jeanne Schlake who has been a sacristan for over 30 years. Every Tuesday Jeanne was in church preparing our sanctuary for our Masses. She has been behind the scenes but extremely valuable. Jeanne, thanks for your years of devoted service.
Another worker bee that is retiring is Marilyn Meyers. She has been washing and ironing linens since before we had washing machines! Marilyn, thank you for your years and years of preparing our linens for Mass.
FASTING AND FEASTING
By William Arthur War
Lent should be more than a time of fasting.
It should also be a joyous season of feasting. Lent is a time to Fast from certain things and to feast on others. It is a season in which we should:
- Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
- Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.
- Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
- Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
- Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
- Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
- Fast from anger; feast on patience.
- Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
- Fast from worry; feast on divine order.
- Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
- Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
- Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
- Fast from hostility; feast on nonresistance.
- Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
- Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for other.
- Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal Truth.
- Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
- Fast from facts that depress; feast on realities that uplift.
- Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
- Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
- Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
- Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on sunlight of serenity.
- Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
- Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.
DON’T DROP THE BALL
Lent is almost over. The countdown has begun. Next weekend is Palm Sunday. The last two weeks provide a sacred opportunity. Give it all you got! Let God live in you like never before and there will be such peace. We make a lot of plans and we perform many tasks but there is a need to scrutinize our style and approach. Use these last two weeks to “take a close look” (scrutinize) what has been going on in your life. Is it what God wants or what you want or what your spouse or your children want? We are not here to please everyone—only God. When we please God life is pleasing. When we don’t please God life is crazy and fast.
There are two weeks left in Lent. Pray your way to Easter. Let folks know, especially your family, what life is really about, i.e. doing God’s will. His Way is the right way and the only way to peace and purpose. It’s the homestretch and Christ awaits our presence.
We will again be having the Palm Sunday procession beginning in the Gym before the 11 AM Mass.
Please bring non-perishable food items to Mass on Holy Thursday.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.
The Lord stands ready to forgive but I’m not sure whether most folks feel like they need forgiveness! I see evidence of an absolute train wreck in our society. Look at the breakdown in our families and in our communities. Look at the anger that pervades our society. Expectations are way out of line and dialogue is out the door. Many shoot first and reason later. The problem is always “the other person”. I don’t sense a desire for unity but rather a desire for my way. We seem to be running faster and faster but I’m not sure were we are headed!? That’s what I call a sinful society and almost all of us contribute to the unrest.
St. Augustine said: “our hearts are restless until they rest in thee”. The victory has been won on the cross. Can we let our hearts “rest” in the Lord a little bit this Lent? Shed some of that sinfulness by participating in our Reconciliation Service this Tuesday, March 12, at 6:30 PM. Sin weighs us down and makes life heavy. Come to the Lord and lose some evil weight. He is ready with relief and peace.
YEAR OF FAITH
On February 27 we had a really dynamic and informative presentation on Vatican II. I really like Sr. Catherine Vincie’s insights concerning the context of the Council. We are collaborating with Our Lady of Guadalupe in this Year of Faith and so the next presentation will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Tuesday, March 19, at 7 PM. The speaker is a professor for Aquinas Institute, Fr. Jose Santiago, O.P. The title of his talk is “A Call to Holiness: The Evolvement of the Roles of the Laity Since Vatican II.”
Plan on joining us for this presentation at:
Our Lady of Guadalupe 1115 S. Florissant Road St. Louis, MO 63121
PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH
(In anticipation of the Vacancy of the See of St. Peter)
O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church,
we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
and the selfless care with which he has led us
as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.
Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church
on the rock of Peter's faith
and have never left Your flock untended,
look with love upon us now,
and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.
Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us,
a new Pope for Your Church
who will please You by his holiness
and lead us faithfully to You,
who are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Knights of Columbus
For the latest resources about the pope, do an internet search on keywords “papal transition” or “Pope Benedict”.