Lenten Reflection: Second Week in Lent

This week's reflection is from Chris Stefanick of Real Life Catholic. Chris talks about your relationship with God and how to grow in it (or get it started).

Second Sunday of Lent - Step 3 - Say a Simple "Yes" to Jesus
What happens in the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent , Mark 9:2-10, is shocking. The response of the apostles to Jesus’ transfiguration was terror and bewilderment. And rightly so.
In C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, Mr. Beaver describes the Christ-figure, Aslan the Lion, in these words to Susan: “Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?" said Mr Beaver. "Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”

Join the Prayer Chain!

Do you have a few minutes every day that could be used to pray for someone? Are you looking for ways to make daily prayer a part of your life, but you're not sure where to start? Do you believe in the power of intercessory prayer? Cathedral and St. Casimir parishes both have Prayer Chains and YOU can join.

What is it? A Prayer Chain is a group of people organized by either email or phone, that pray for intentions as they come in from other parishioners. 
How does it work? When someone wants to add an intention to the prayer chain, they contact the parish office or one of the organizers. Those people then contact the prayer chain members, either by phone or email (based on the preference of the member).
How can you join? It's now easier than ever to join the prayer chain. You can contact the parish office or you can fill out our brand new online sign-up form HERE.

Want to put a prayer request on the prayer chain? You can contact the office or fill out the online submission form HERE. *All Prayer Chain prayer requests must comply with Diocesan and State rules on privacy. 

There is also a Lenten Prayer Box at the Cathedral. You can submit anonymous prayer requests by filling out the paper slips in the church and dropping them in the box (by the baptismal font), or by using the online prayer request form and checking the option for the Prayer Box. Every weekend Mass during Lent will have the additional intention for "Prayer intentions in the Prayer Box". 

Lenten Reflection: Day 10

Today's website Lenten reflection comes from Fr. Robert Barron, head of Word On Fire. Father Barron talks about the relationship of the Mass, the Ultimate Sacrifice made by God, and the sacrifice Isaac was willing to make for God.


The story of Abraham forces us to come to grips with the deepest and most terrible truths of our faith. In this story, the most terrible moment is undoubtedly when Isaac observes that there is fuel and there is fire, but no lamb for the sacrifice. "God will provide," Abraham says, obviously devastated. As he raises the knife for the kill, an angel interrupts him and he is rewarded for his display of faith.

So what do we make of this? The story offers one of the most vivid literary displays of a principle that is found from beginning to end of the Bible: the law of the gift. The law of the gift says that the more you give your being away, the more your being increases; the more you cling to your being, the more your being decreases.

Lenten Reflection: Day 9

Today's Lenten Reflection comes from Fr. Rocky on the Penitential Rite during Mass. Father gives us one reflection each day during Lent on a part of the Mass.

"40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass:
Lesson 9: Penitential Rite (II) -- First mention of Mary at Mass

After we take a few moments to privately "acknowledge our sins" it is time to express our contrition and call out to God for help. What follows is a magnificent, powerful, and beautiful prayer: the 'Confiteor' -- so called because that's the first word in Latin, "I Confess."
By saying "I" confess, we take ownership of our actions and we 'reclaim' our freedom by stating that our 'words, deeds, thoughts, actions, and omissions' were done by our own choice. And then we call upon the Angels and Saints, especially the Blessed Mother, and all of our brothers and sisters to pray for us.
You will notice that the recent (2010) new translation of the Confiteor includes the triple repetition of the famous "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" (through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.) Previously the English translation omitted the triple repetition because some thought, well, that it was too repetitious. But that's exactly the point: important statements need to be repeated otherwise the lesson does not sink in.
No mother says "stop" just once as her child heads into danger. She says, "stop, Stop, STOP!!", each time louder in order to make the point.
When we say "my fault" three times and strike our chest for emphasis, we are actually growing in freedom, which sets us up for a deeper encounter with Christ.
Here is the prayer. It's one of my favorites.

  I confess to almighty God,

and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
through my fault
through my fault
through my most grievous fault
Therefore, I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God."

You can check out Fr. Robert Barron's Lenten reflection for today on total obedience to God at our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/cathedralwinona . 

Lenten Reflection: Day 8

Today's' Lenten reflections for the website, and for the Facebook page are both so great, we're posting them both here. Our website reflection come from Fr. Baron of Word on Fire.


This past week we have looked at the temptation of the garden and the temptations of desert. All temptations have one thing in common: they entice us to resist the Lordship of God in our lives.

The first temptation began with the Great Lie in the garden; the lie that says we can live our best life outside the rules of God, that freedom requires unrestricted autonomy.

The three temptations Jesus faced in the desert are temptations we all face. Not the exact same things, of course, but his temptations represent three classic ways that we resist the Lordship of God in our lives.

First, we place sensual pleasure at the center of our concerns. We make eating, drinking, and sex the dominant concerns. But this is a source of great mischief, for only God can legitimately fill that central position. This is why Jesus must confront this temptation, feeling its full weight, and then resist it for us.

Next, we are tempted by power. From political dictators to tyrants within families and friendships, power is alluring. This is the temptation Jesus faces as he is brought to the highest mountain and offered all the kingdoms of the world. Once more, on our behalf, Jesus resists this temptation.

Finally, we are tempted to make honor our central pursuit. We want to raise our own reputation, be seen by everyone, be admired, be esteemed - this is the temptation Jesus faces when he is taken to the parapet of the Temple, the highest place in the society of his time and the place of supreme visibility. For the third time, Jesus confronts and resists this temptation for us.

This Lent, I ask you to reflect on where you are right now. What are you doing in the garden? Who is luring you and how? Are you buying into the Big Lie?

Where are you in desert? How do you stand up to the three great temptations: to sensual pleasure, honor, and power?

Today's Facebook Lenten reflection comes from Michael Gormley through Redeemed Online. In the video below Michael talks about prayer and gives 3 practical tips on how to grow in prayer this Lent.

Catholic Ministries Appeal: Institute of Lay Formation

This week's video highlights the Institute of Lay Formation through the Department of Lay Ministry Formation. Our parish cluster currently has 9 parishioners in this year's Institute class and 8 graduates from prior classes. Each Class consists of a 3-year commitment by participants to 2 years of formation before one year of either a project that benefits the parish or diocese, or entrance into the Diaconate program.

Lenten Reflection: Day 7

Today's website Lenten reflection comes from Leah Darrow through Redeemed Online. In the video below Leah talks about the Transfiguration. How has your vision of Jesus been transfigured?

"He is transfigured. We are transformed.

I can't imagine what it would have been like to be there to witness the transfiguration of Jesus. Not only do Peter, James, and John see Elijah and Moses, they see Jesus transformed. It was a moment where there was no turning back. They had seen Jesus for who He was.

We have a God that's not distant, but a God who wants us to know Him and makes Himself present and available to us. Jesus is transfigured, but the disciples are transformed. This Lent God wants to reveal who He is. We are also reminded by St. John Paul II that "Christ fully reveals man to himself."

In today's #ShareJesus video, Leah Darrow talks about her personal story of transformation and the Sacrament of Confession. She challenges us that transformation calls us to action. It's reflected in our lives.

How has your life been transformed?"

Today's Facebook Lenten Reflection comes from Fr. Rocky's series "40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass". It focuses on the significance of the procession and greeting at the beginning of Mass. check it out at www.facebook.com/cathedralwinona .

Ballet Emmanuel Happening Tomorrow (Tues Feb 24)

Don't forget to join us for another year of Ballet Emmanuel tomorrow evening at Cotter!
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will be again be sponsoring the Christian Ballet Company, Ballet Emmanuel.  This year’s performance entitled “The Journey…Hope for tomorrow” is free, open to the public and promises to be a beautiful expression of our Lenten reflection.  Alyssa Schneider, daughter of Mary and Ron Schneider, is a part of this professional touring ballet company.
When: Tuesday, February 24th
Time: 7:00-8:00 pm
Where: St. Cecilia Theater - Cotter Campus
Cost: Free to attend, donations will be accepted. All are welcome!

Lenten Reflection: Day 6

Today's website Lenten reflection comes to us from Matthew Kelly in video form. Matthew talks about really getting to know God, and how He can help you to become the best version of yourself. You can sign up for the #BestLentEver emails straight to your inbox at www.bestlentever.com To watch the video, please click on the picture below.

Today's Facebook Lenten reflection comes to us from Redeemed Online. Brian Kissinger talks about dealing with temptation in our daily lives. Follow along with our Facebook Lenten journey at www.facebook.com/cathedralwinona !

Lenten Reflection: First Sunday in Lent (Day 5)

Today's Lenten reflection comes from Chris Stephanick of Real Life Catholic. Chris offers a video retreat for this first Sunday called, "God Is Definitely Looking For You".

In this coming Sunday’s Gospel, the First Sunday of Lent, Mark 1:12-15,  we hear that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. His time of sacrifice, prayer, and reflection formed the launching pad for his public ministry.

As God, Jesus didn’t need to fast and pray; but as man, he did. Why? To give us an

Immediately after his time of preparation he came looking for us. He entered our cities
 and towns “proclaiming the Gospel” and inviting us to himself.

But responding to his invitation requires change in our lives. It demands that we “repent.”
 It demands that we enter our own spiritual desert with Jesus. And that means, sacrifice.

We give up little things every Lent as Catholics. But does the thing you sacrifice
 for Lent really
make a difference in your life? Of course, every sacrifice offered to God makes a difference, but our sacrifices will go much further if we pick things that correct our areas
 of weakness. Keep it simple.

Pick one:

- Do you struggle with laziness? Give up hitting snooze this Lent.
- Do you struggle with greed? Commit to doing something, hands on, that serves the poor.
- Do you struggle with drinking or eating too much? Give up dessert or your favorite beverage.

We don’t conquer our weaknesses by focusing on the vice we’re stuck in, but by strengthening
 the opposing virtue. This level of sacrifice is much harder than giving up chocolate for Lent. That’s okay. No pain, no gain. We’re used to sacrificing for money, sports, you name it…so let’s not get wimpy with becoming the people we know God is calling us
 to be.

And in the end, remember, whatever we sacrifice for Lent, it's not just about becoming
 more virtuous. It's about shedding those things that keep us from responding to the God who came looking for us.

Lent. It's what Jesus does.
Let's do it with him.

Lenten Reflection: Day 4

Today's website reflection comes to us from Fr. Robert Barron, head of Word On Fire Ministries. You can sign up for daily reflections from Fr. Barron this Lent at http://www.lentreflections.com/ .


"At every point in the Gospels, we are meant to identify with Jesus. God became man that man might become God. We participate in him and thereby learn what a godly life is like. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Gospel story of the temptations in the desert.

Jesus has just been baptized. He has just learned his deepest identity and mission and now he confronts - as we all must - the great temptations. What does God want him to do? Who does God want him to be? How is he to live his life?

Lenten Reflection: Day 3

Today's website reflection comes to us from Fr. Robert Barron, head of Word On Fire Ministries. You can sign up for daily reflections from Fr. Barron this Lent at http://www.lentreflections.com/ .


"Our God is a living God, and God wants us to share his life. This is why "God planted a garden in Eden...and he placed there the man he had formed." In Eden he gave us near total freedom as a sign of his good will and his desire that we fulfill ourselves in every direction. Politics, art, science, literature, philosophy, music, sports, entertainment - all that conduces to human flourishing is desired by God.

But then enters the serpent. Like us, the serpent is a creature of God. He is totally dependent on God for his life. He is not some sort of co-equal rival to God. The Church has always taught that evil is parasitic on the good, not a substantive opponent.

Nevertheless, he is a wily opponent. He forces Eve to wonder about the prohibition: "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" When she clarifies, he says, "You certainly will not die! God knows well that the moment you eat of it you will be like gods knowing good and evil."

This is the great temptation and the great lie. The serpent places in the minds of Adam and Eve the conviction that unless and until they determine the meaning and purpose of their lives, they will not be free. To put it in modern terms, their lives will not be lived to the fullest.

But the knowledge of good and evil is the godlike prerogative to set the agenda for one's life, to determine the difference between right and wrong. And this belongs to God alone. Just as he breathed life and being into us, so he breathes moral and spiritual purpose into us.

When we convince ourselves that we live on our own terms, we cease to be truly free and alive.

When Adam and Eve grasped at this knowledge, they were expelled from the garden, not because God is vindictive, but because it is the natural consequence of making oneself into God.

When we grasp at divinity, whatever life we have dries up. We become small souls, locked in the prison of our egotism, victims of the Great Lie."

Check our Facebook page for a reflection from Deacon Ralph Poyo. Deacon Poyo talks about how it's time for a turnaround and what it means to repent. You can follow our facebook journey at www.facebook.com/cathedralwinona . 

New Lenten Website!

If you've been to the front page of our website, you've probably noticed the purple Lent banner that leads to our new Lent website for 2015.

This shiny new website is chuck full to the brim with resources, information, and ideas to help you, and everyone around you of all ages, live out a meaningful Lent. There's information and videos about the 3 pillars of Lent (Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving), information on the history of the Stations of the Cross, ideas for formation of all ages - adult and youth, family activities, USCCB reflections and links, and much more! You can also access our city-wide Lenten Opportunities Brochure and all of our special Mass/Reconciliation times.

In addition to this website, you'll see our daily posts for Lenten reflections on both our website and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cathedralwinona). We hope you find something in all of this that inspires you to have an inspirational Lent and lead you into a deeper relationship with the head of our Catholic Church, Jesus Christ.

2015 Catholic Ministries Campaign Kick-Off

This weekend, Feb 22/23 will be the Kick-Off weekend for the 2015 Catholic Ministries Appeal by the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota, entitled Closer to Christ.

This Appeal helps support several of the ministries in the Diocese of Winona. We have created a new webpage here on our site with basic information about the Appeal, and we encourage you to check it out.

Our parish cluster directly benefits from many of these ministries, making reaching our goals even more important. We hope you will consider giving generously to this important cause. You can visit the Foundation's Appeal website here

Lenten Reflection: Day 2

Today's Facebook post is from Redeemed Online. In their second ‪#‎ShareJesus‬ video, Sr. Miriam Heidland challenges you to ask God for big things this Lent. You can sign up for daily #ShareJesus videos this Lent at redeemedonline.com

Check our Facebook page for a reflection from Fr. Rocky. Father is giving us a "Lenten Lesson on the Mass" every day during Lent. Today's lesson is - "Try to sit up front". He talks about how it can make the entire difference in your Mass experience. You can follow our facebook journey at www.facebook.com/cathedralwinona

Ash Wednesday Mass Times

For more information on Lenten resources, Masses and Confession schedules, and more - please visit our new Lenten website at http://www.cascwinona.org/lent.html !

Ash Wednesday Website Reflection

During Lent, we will be posting a daily reflection or video from a variety of sources. We will be using two different sources per day, one on the website and a different source on our Facebook page.
Today's website reflection is from Chris Stefanick at Real Life Catholic.

"Ash Wednesday - Step 1 - Listen to your heart...
you're looking for more.

Lent kicks off with the perfect Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6; 16-18. Jesus lays out for us that an authentic spiritual life isn’t just about going through the motions. It starts with creating an interior space where you can meet God in the “chapel” of your heart.

Many people today don’t develop a spiritual life because their lives are too noisy. Our longing for the spiritual and searching for God is part of who we are.

Yet, religious practice is dying for most of us. We’re losing touch with God. But that’s only because we've lost touch with ourselves, with our own hearts, and with our longing for a love, peace, joy, and glory that are greater than this world.

Movie Night: October Baby Feb 15

Movie Night – Come Join Us  

Looking for something to do on a cold Sunday evening?  You are invited to the Monthly Movie Night (third Sunday of the month) at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Meet in the St. Augustine room (off Holy Family Hall) at 6:30pm.  Bring your family and friends!  Bring your own snacks and soda.  Allow two hours for the movie and some fellowship time.  Everyone is welcome!

Sunday, February 15 October Baby 
(PG 13, may not be appropriate for under age 13)

Hannah steps onto the stage….only to collapse moments later.  Countless medical tests all point to one underlying factor:  Hannah’s difficult birth.  The doctor’s diagnosis is nothing compared to her parents revelation:  Hannah was adopted – but there’s much more she wasn’t prepared to learn.
Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah embarks on an incredible journey with Jason, her oldest friend.  She searches to discover her hidden past, locate her birth mother, and find hope for her unknown future.

Feb 8: International Day Against Human Trafficking

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General has designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she became a Canossian nun and dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared a Saint in 2000.

 On February 8, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this phenomenon. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors.

Visit our Become a SHEPHERD page to help you host an awareness raising event locally or click HERE for a prayer card. In the words of the  committee chairman for migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S.: "If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference."

"Happiness" by Chris Stefanick (Video)

This week's video is brought to us by Chris Stefanick, founder of Real Life Catholic and national speaker on Evangelization. He talks about the misconceptions regarding faith and our happiness:
"Faith isn't one of the many components of life. It has everything to do with the happiness we were made for. Jesus didn't come to take away our "fun." In his own words, "I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete!" (John 15:11)"

Diocese of Winona: Vision 2016 Draft Plan Information

Diocese Shares Draft Plan to Strengthen Catholic Ministry in Southern Minnesota

This weekend in Catholic parishes across southern Minnesota, the release of the recommended ‘draft’ plan for Vision 2016 was announced. Vision 2016 is a strategic pastoral plan for the Diocese of Winona which has been in development since late 2011.  Over the past two years, clergy and lay leaders across the Diocese of Winona have worked collaboratively to develop a plan which addresses the changing demographics and the issue of a smaller number of priests available to serve the parishes of the Diocese. The goal is to finalize the plan by the spring of 2016.