Sacraments

Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life:1 they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life. CCC 1210

At the heart of of the pastoral mission of the Catholic church is to proclaim the Gospel, thereby teaching every person to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ. Our Lady of Lourdes seeks to foster opportunities for growth in spiritual and human formation through a variety of programs.

Why Religious Freedom Matters

 

Four years ago, the bishops of the United States inaugurated the “Fortnight for Freedom” as a time for Catholics throughout the county to unite in prayer and become better educated about the importance of religious liberty. The word fortnight may seem an antiquated term and I only recognized it as a tennis fan as a descriptor of Wimbledon. The Fortnight for Freedom takes place over two weeks – from June 21st, the Vigil of the Feast of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, to July 4th, our Independence Day. I don’t think it is possible to overstate the importance of religious freedom to the health of our nation. Below, I present Church teaching regarding religious liberty and explain why our vigilance regarding this freedom is critical from both a Catholic and American perspective.

In the document Dignitatis Humanae (from Vatican II) the Catholic Church affirmedthat the human person possesses a right to religious freedom and a corresponding right to freedom of conscience. Both of these rights are natural rights in that they are attendant to our human nature and thus have God as their source. The rights of religious liberty and freedom of conscience flow from the dignity of the human person and are essential to a life of integral development and moral goodness. Religious freedom is critical for the pursuit of truth, a duty of the human person, and also allows religious communities the necessary freedom to carry out their respective missions. In all of these ways, religious freedom serves the common good by increasing and strengthening the societal conditions which bring about human flourishing.

Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI taught consistently and persuasively about the critical need to safeguard and promote religious freedom for the well-being of society. Both of these men saw the devastation and carnage that resulted from the totalitarian regimes that ruled in their youth. When the state grasps all power, suppresses freedom, and inhibits the role of religion in society, God’s sovereignty and truth are obscured and the surpassing dignity of the human person devalued. History attests to the resulting horrors of not vigilantly protecting liberty, especially religious freedom. These wise popes referred to religious freedom as a first freedom because it goes to the constitutive dimension of the human person: our origin; our raison d’etre; and our goal. By faith, we know that God is the source of all life and meaning and thus, it is imperative that civil society respects the freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of religious freedom to the well-being and future of the nation. In many ways, the value and pursuit of religious freedom were the impetus for the birth of our nation. Like Catholic teaching, the Founders knew that religious freedom was a natural right (i.e. inalienable) given by God and attendant to our created nature. There was a strong understanding among them that religious freedom is not given by the state to be limited at will. Rather, religious freedom is temporally (in time) prior to the state and in some notable ways can provide a check on the power of the state as well as a wise guide for the laws, policy, and actions within the nation. In addition, the Founding Fathers encouraged a vital role for religion in society because they understood that religion helps teach and promote virtue among the citizenry. It is also noteworthy that both religion clauses of the First Amendment were aimed not at promoting a strict separation of church and state, but at protecting religious liberty. From a Catholic and American perspective, religious liberty and the freedom of conscience are critical to the just ordering of society and the promotion of the common good. If this is the case, as I and others believe, why is there such apathy among Christians and other people of faith regarding religious freedom? John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America, suggests that apathy regarding the diminution of religious freedom corresponds to the rise of secularism and decline of religious practice among Americans. Garvey uses the example of St. Thomas More as a man whose lively faith provided him the foundation to follow his conscience and give his life. While this type of religious faith is rare and while Americans disagree about the proper role of religion in society, hopefully a consensus will emerge among people of good will that a healthy American pluralism includes the right to believe and live according to one’s conscience.  

It would seem clear that as our Catholic parishes form missionary disciples who love Christ, greater vigilance regarding religious liberty will follow. Perhaps we are apathetic regarding religious freedom because we have not yet suffered the effects of its privation. The day may soon be coming when we will more fully grasp its importance. Whether it is the consequences of the redefinition of marriage or other threats to religious freedom, we must remain vigilant.  Notwithstanding these potential threats, there are signs of hope for those cherish religious freedom in the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby case and most recently in its Trinity Lutheran Church case. In season and out of season, Catholics are called to joyfully live the Gospel by promoting the truth about religious freedom, by uniting in prayer, and by vigilant defense of the God-given right to believe and live according to our conscience. St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, pray for us.


Father Daniel Griffith  

Why Religious Freedom Matters

 

Four years ago, the bishops of the United States inaugurated the “Fortnight for Freedom” as a time for Catholics throughout the county to unite in prayer and become better educated about the importance of religious liberty. The word fortnight may seem an antiquated term and I only recognized it as a tennis fan as a descriptor of Wimbledon. The Fortnight for Freedom takes place over two weeks – from June 21st, the Vigil of the Feast of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, to July 4th, our Independence Day. I don’t think it is possible to overstate the importance of religious freedom to the health of our nation. Below, I present Church teaching regarding religious liberty and explain why our vigilance regarding this freedom is critical from both a Catholic and American perspective.

 

In the document Dignitatis Humanae (from Vatican II) the Catholic Church affirmedthat the human person possesses a right to religious freedom and a corresponding right to freedom of conscience. Both of these rights are natural rights in that they are attendant to our human nature and thus have God as their source. The rights of religious liberty and freedom of conscience flow from the dignity of the human person and are essential to a life of integral development and moral goodness. Religious freedom is critical for the pursuit of truth, a duty of the human person, and also allows religious communities the necessary freedom to carry out their respective missions. In all of these ways, religious freedom serves the common good by increasing and strengthening the societal conditions which bring about human flourishing.

 

Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI taught consistently and persuasively about the critical need to safeguard and promote religious freedom for the well-being of society. Both of these men saw the devastation and carnage that resulted from the totalitarian regimes that ruled in their youth. When the state grasps all power, suppresses freedom, and inhibits the role of religion in society, God’s sovereignty and truth are obscured and the surpassing dignity of the human person devalued. History attests to the resulting horrors of not vigilantly protecting liberty, especially religious freedom. These wise popes referred to religious freedom as a first freedom because it goes to the constitutive dimension of the human person: our origin; our raison d’etre; and our goal. By faith, we know that God is the source of all life and meaning and thus, it is imperative that civil society respects the freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

 

Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of religious freedom to the well-being and future of the nation. In many ways, the value and pursuit of religious freedom were the impetus for the birth of our nation. Like Catholic teaching, the Founders knew that religious freedom was a natural right (i.e. inalienable) given by God and attendant to our created nature. There was a strong understanding among them that religious freedom is not given by the state to be limited at will. Rather, religious freedom is temporally (in time) prior to the state and in some notable ways can provide a check on the power of the state as well as a wise guide for the laws, policy, and actions within the nation. In addition, the Founding Fathers encouraged a vital role for religion in society because they understood that religion helps teach and promote virtue among the citizenry. It is also noteworthy that both religion clauses of the First Amendment were aimed not at promoting a strict separation of church and state, but at protecting religious liberty. From a Catholic and American perspective, religious liberty and the freedom of conscience are critical to the just ordering of society and the promotion of the common good. If this is the case, as I and others believe, why is there such apathy among Christians and other people of faith regarding religious freedom? John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America, suggests that apathy regarding the diminution of religious freedom corresponds to the rise of secularism and decline of religious practice among Americans. Garvey uses the example of St. Thomas More as a man whose lively faith provided him the foundation to follow his conscience and give his life. While this type of religious faith is rare and while Americans disagree about the proper role of religion in society, hopefully a consensus will emerge among people of good will that a healthy American pluralism includes the right to believe and live according to one’s conscience.  

 

It would seem clear that as our Catholic parishes form missionary disciples who love Christ, greater vigilance regarding religious liberty will follow. Perhaps we are apathetic regarding religious freedom because we have not yet suffered the effects of its privation. The day may soon be coming when we will more fully grasp its importance. Whether it is the consequences of the redefinition of marriage or other threats to religious freedom, we must remain vigilant.  Notwithstanding these potential threats, there are signs of hope for those cherish religious freedom in the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby case and most recently in its Trinity Lutheran Church case. In season and out of season, Catholics are called to joyfully live the Gospel by promoting the truth about religious freedom, by uniting in prayer, and by vigilant defense of the God-given right to believe and live according to our conscience. St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, pray for us.


Father Daniel Griffith  

 

We're building for the future!  Learn more about the Jubilee Fund here.

 

Please note: More Iinformation regarding the upcoming events, including ticket information for the Gala, will be posted in the coming weeks.  Thank you! 

 

Anniversary Year Kickoff Party

January 8th

We’ll tailgate in the Great Hall and watch the wildcard football playoff game while we “kickoff” the anniversary year events!

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes Celebration

February 12th

Bishop Cozzens will join us for our annual Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes Mass celebration  The Fleur de Lis Awards will highlight the weekend’s festivities and a presentation on the church and the parish’s rich history will be made between the morning masses.

140th Anniversary Gala

April 29th

The A-Mill Artist’s Lofts will be the site for our gala fundraising event. Join us for dinner, a silent auction and dancing to celebrate a special evening in another historic and iconic Northeast setting.

Anniversary Mass for the City of Minneapolis

June 11th

Near the site where Father Hennepin blessed the falls, Archbishop Hebda will join us for a Mass for the City of Minneapolis at the Nicollet Island Pavilion.  Brunch and a program will follow at the pavilion for parishioners, friends, invited  guests and city officials.

Blessing of the Courtyard

October 8th

Enjoy our Lourdes Anniversary Brew and a pig roast dinner as we celebrate the completion of our courtyard space. Father Griffith will bless the new courtyard and share prayers of thanksgiving for the protection of our historic structures.

Deacon Thomas Winninger's Homily Hot Sheets

Our family’s journey with Lourdes began in 2012 when my brother, Mark, and sister-in-law, Janet, were married here. Our connection deepened in 2014 when my twin nephews, Andy and Ben, were baptized here. Being Andy and Ben’s godmother gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own faith and how I could bring the Catholic faith to them. I wanted them to love being Catholic. I also wanted to be involved in their parish. 

Andy and Ben are involved at Lourdes and love it as much as we do. This past weekend they helped their dad and grandpa with Dinner for the Hungry. They enjoy playdates with the Lourdes Young Families group. We’ve started faith traditions like bringing them to Mass on their birthday and celebrating their namesake feast days - St. Andrew and St. Benjamin. 


When we’re on walks in the neighborhood, Benji will excitedly point out the Lourdes’ steeple and shout, “My church!” What I love about Benji’s comment, “My church”, is I think many of us feel this way. “This is my church. I love this church and I’m proud of it.” 

What do you love about this church? What has this church meant to you? That’s what stewardship is all about. Maybe it’s the liturgies that have touched you. Or the music. Maybe you were married here or had a family member baptized here. Maybe you experienced the grace of the sacraments or deepened your faith through a talk or retreat. Maybe you’ve met new friends here. 

We are blessed with so much at Lourdes. We have a beautiful and historic church ready to celebrate our 140th anniversary. We have beautiful liturgies and strong leadership from Father Griffith and Deacon Winninger. We have multiple service opportunities like Dinner for the Hungry, Sharing & Caring Hands, Abria, Rachel’s Vineyard, and the Tijuana Mission. We also have some of the best educational programs in the archdiocese. And…we have fun! We have the Lourdes Block Party, French Meat Pie Making, Feast Day Dinner, rosary making, fish fries, and movie nights. It takes many talented volunteers to run all these ministries. 

What I learned in the last year is that God is always working in our hearts and in our lives. He’s also working in the hearts of those around us. 

A year ago I was sitting in the pew holding a stewardship card, not sure what to mark. My dad and I had just returned from a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. The Pope had just visited the US and left us with a powerful message, “So, what are you going to do?” I wanted to give my time, but I wasn’t sure how. I prayed on it. In January, Father Griffith, asked if I’d consider being the Director of Operations for six months given my experience at the University of Colorado and Accenture. I said, yes. 

I learned a lot working for the church. It was the hardest job I’ve ever had. While many jobs are Monday-Friday 8-6, the church’s work is 7 days a week / 24 hours a day. I didn’t realize how under-funded the church is. I thought the church received money from the archdiocese or Rome. We cover all of our own costs by what you and I put in the collection basket and EFT. We run a church, a parish house, and a rectory. We have staff salaries, benefits, utility bills, maintenance, preservation costs, events, education, etc. I also didn’t realize how understaffed the church is. 

One of the happy surprises was seeing all of you in action. YOU are amazing! Some volunteer roles are visible, but many are not. There are church cleaners and money counters. People who care for liturgical linens and candles. Carpenters, painters, gardeners. Engineers, accountants, web experts. It’s beautiful how people use their gifts. There are also people who make generous donations to help us achieve big goals. This does not go unnoticed. We are very grateful. 

My ask today…invest in Lourdes. Invest in the joy of our Catholic faith. Invest in our rich history and our potential. When you receive your stewardship packet ask yourself, “Could I give 25-50% more this year?” Just consider it. When I did, I realized I could, and I wanted to. 

November is the month of gratitude. What I love about gratitude is what we focus on, multiplies. What are you grateful for at Lourdes? What can we multiply? Our communities could all use a little more light, love, kindness, hope and compassion these days. Lourdes represents all of these good things! Let us be the face of Christ. Let us bring that light, love, hope and joy to others! Thank you for investing your time, talent and treasure at Lourdes. God bless! -- Julie Ditter

Articles on the Year of Mercy.