A Word From Rev. Msgr. Richard Hanneke


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dear Friends,

This past Sunday, in talking about various elements of our Church and their spiritual significance, I asked, “Why do Catholics love their Church?’ I heard many answers: “It is beautiful, prayerful, and the music helps me pray.” I hope the most significant answer is, “It is the place where we celebrate our sacramental life!”

In our Church, through the Sacraments, we encounter the living Christ. In Baptism, we are grafted onto Him. We become His Mystical Body in the world. We come again and again to be nourished through the Life-giving Word and fed by the very Body and Blood of the One who selflessly died for us. In our Church, we come one last time at the moment of our death to be welcomed into the Heavenly Jerusalem. This time we are not sent back into the world, but rather, we are ushered into the eternal presence of God.

It is also in our Church that we come again and again for the Sacrament of Penance, when our lives are broken, when we fail to live out the Christian life, and when we sin. Remember that a Sacrament is an encounter with the Living Christ. It is His mercy and love we long for. So often folks are afraid to confess their sins for a lot of reasons. One fears, “My sins are too great, how could God forgive me?” Or maybe there was a past bad experience during confession. Maybe someone even thinks he or she doesn’t do anything wrong. When one admits sinfulness and celebrates the Sacrament of Reconciliation, isn’t one saying, “I believe and trust that God will forgive me”? This is not presuming on God’s goodness, rather, it is a statement of faith and hope.

We are approaching the Season of Advent—a time when we again anticipate the coming of Christ, not as a Babe but as a loving Savior into our lives. Take advantage of celebrating the Sacrament of Penance soon, during Advent. Let the love and mercy of Christ be born again in your life.

Blessings, Msgr REH

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dear Friends,

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in Him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the Church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He himself might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things for Him, making peace by the blood of His cross through Him, whether those on earth or those in heaven. Amen.” (Col 1:12-20)

Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Lest we misunderstand this feast with our worldly view of kings and kingdoms: His royal robes were of swaddling cloth, the only crown Jesus ever wore was a crown of thorns, the only throne was a cross, and He never called Himself a King but a Good Shepherd. Jesus’ Kingdom is far from one of power and might, but of justice, love and peace. He comes to rule by leading us to new pastures—a new way of living!

This week our attention goes to Thanksgiving Day. My prayer is that it will be filled with all the good memories of Thanksgivings past and new memories of Thanksgiving now. As you ask the Good Lord to bless the bounty of your gathering and food also pray that each of you be mindful of those in need and with helping hand and outstretched arms we aid them.

I believe Thanksgiving day really should be a holy day not merely a holiday. Our hearts and words are filled with gratitude for life, health, family and friends. All of these are gifts that come to us from the Author of life, the God who spoke each of us into being. It is His lifegiving, creating Word that enables us to have these most precious gifts. The more grateful we become for all things, great and small, the fuller our life becomes and the less we need or want.

There are so many Scripture quotes that could be used on this holy day. I offer you the following Psalm: “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing …. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:2, 4-5). Gratitude is the basis for a full life. God gave us life for a reason; to be joyful, loved and loveable, full of hope. When we are grateful, we are ascending into the presence of God. May His name be blessed forever!

I want to offer my personal (and Fr. Burgoon’s) thanks to each of you. My first five months at Our Lady of Lourdes have been a real joy. The welcome, the stories of long-time parishioners, the vibrance and dreams of younger parishioners have been uplifting and rejuvenating. The only anxiety I have is not knowing each of you personally, and I trust that will change with time. Thank you, I am truly grateful! May your Thanksgiving day be filled with family, friends, fine fare and Love!

Gratefully, Msgr. REH

P.S. Remember we are celebrating the Eucharist (Thanksgiving) at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. There is no better way to begin the day. For those of you worrying about the turkey in the oven, it will still cook while you are gone. For those going to the Cranberry Bowl, you’ll still have plenty of time to get there, and the football games don’t start until later. Please join us.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dear Friends:

As the verdict from the grand jury in the Ferguson shooting looms, we must continue to keep Ferguson and our local community in our prayers during this tumultuous time. Please read the letter from the Archbishop inserted in this week’s bulletin and let’s continue to pray for peace in our community.  

100th Anniversary Research

Did you know the church building that inspired the architects of the current Our Lady of Lourdes church is The Church of St. Mary, in the village of Iffley, England (now within the city limits of Oxford), which was built around 1170?

We are beginning to develop plans for the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in 2016. Right now, we are gathering historical documentation from parish and Archdiocesan archives. As we take stock of our first 100 years of parish history, we are seeking many pieces of our shared history that may be with families who were connected with OLOL in its first 25, 50 or 75 years. If you know of anyone—your own family or others—who may have pieces of OLOL history, such as old pictures, documents, articles or stories, please contact the rectory.


During the month of November, Catholics traditionally pray for the deceased members of families and friends. As in previous years, Lourdes will display the Book of the Deceased in the sanctuary on Mary’s altar. All are invited to write the names of deceased family and friends on the pages. They will be remembered in Masses and prayers during the month. For those who entered names in previous years, please be assured they will be included in Masses through November. 


Do you have any extra Christmas decorations that could be used at the rectory? I am hoping to decorate for Christmas! If you have any extra, they would be put to good use at the rectory. Just drop them by or call the rectory for a pickup. Many thanks.


Please pick up a copy of the Readers’ Workbooks that are located in the sacristy. Thank you.                         Msgr. REH