November 11, 2018: 4th Degree Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus from St. Patrick and Saint Mary of the Woods (and surrounding parishes) are in the process of establishing a 4th Degree Assembly. The 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus was established at a time when there was heavy anti-Catholicism in the United States. Groups like the KKK, American Protective Association, and the Know Nothing Movement spread anti-Catholicism. There were attempts to strip Catholics of the right to vote and opportunities for employment. Catholics were accused of plotting to bring the United States under the political control of the Pope. In response, the Knights of Columbus founded the 4th Degree as the Patriotic Degree. They encourage patriotism and active citizenship.

Today, every 4th Degree Assembly chooses a charitable mission to serve within the community. The 4th Degree provides the Honor Guard at public events and special liturgies. I’m sure many of us have seen the Knights dressed in uniform at processions, Confirmations, or other major events.

The Knights of Columbus are active in supporting seminarians, families, and the pro-life movement. They have provided almost 1,000 ultrasound machines (costing tens of thousands of dollars each) to pregnancy centers since 2009 as a way to support and defend life. Knights of Columbus are active on a local and national level. Every Catholic man aged 18+ should consider serving the Church as a member of the Knights of Columbus. Thank you to all those who serve as knights!

In Christ,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

November 4, 2018: High Altar Update

This month we will be completing a major phase in the restoration of St. Patrick Church! The high altar and side altars will be installed this November. The current altar will sit in front of the high altar platform; it will remain in use for regular Masses.

Ornate high altars were developed to foster deeper reverence and devotion towards the Eucharist. Many parishioners have told me how the new painting in the sanctuary draws their attention and focus towards the Mass. A high altar also helps to draw our attention and focus towards the Eucharist. The Catechism, par. 1183, teaches: “The tabernacle is to be situated ‘in churches in a most worthy place with the greatest honor.’ The dignity, placing, and security of the Eucharistic tabernacle should foster adoration before the Lord really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.” The tabernacle/high altar should be the most beautifully decorated place in the church.

The high altar set was built in the 1880’s, so it comes from the same historical era as our church (1897) and it was made in the same architectural style. Some parishioners have asked if there is room for the high altar. The high altar is almost the same size as our original high altar, so our sanctuary was designed for a high altar like this. I look forward to seeing these beautiful pieces in our church, and more importantly to their impact in deepening the Eucharistic devotion in our parish!

In Christ,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

October 14, 2018: St. Michael Prayer

At the September Parish Council meeting, a parishioner requested that we say the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at the end of our Masses. The request received unanimous support from the council members at the meeting. We have a stained glass window on the west side of the Church that depicts St. Michael, so I think it is fitting that we pray for his intercession.

On October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a vision as he celebrated Mass in his private chapel. He stood motionless for 10 minutes. By one account, he overheard a conversation between Jesus and Satan. Satan asked for one century in all of human history to have greater power to carry out his evil work, and ultimately to destroy the Church. He chose the 20th Century. Immediately after Mass, Pope Leo XIII composed the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to defend the faithful from the power of Satan and his kingdom.

The Prayer to St. Michael was recited at the end of Masses throughout the world from that time until 1970. Most parishes stopped praying the prayer with the liturgical changes that year. Pope John Paul II in 1994 urged Catholics to pray that prayer again. As we see the power of evil at work inside the Church and throughout the world, it seems fitting that we turn to the powerful intercession of Saint Michael to protect our Church, our families, and our world.

In Christ,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

October 7, 2018: Restoration Update

I have received countless positive comments about our new Stations of the Cross. Some parishioners were even on the verge of tears when they saw the Stations for the 1st time. Thank you to everyone who donated; this is a gift that will enhance the beauty of our church for generations to come!

The high altar set that we purchased has been sanded, stained, and has a new polyurethane finish. Before we can put the set in the sanctuary, we need to build a platform for the high altar and put in new flooring. That work is scheduled to begin November 5th. It will take 1-2 weeks to complete. The original pine floor is in poor condition, so Parish Council voted unanimously to put in a new oak floor. The carpet will remain in the main body of the church, but the floor from the sanctuary step forward will be white oak.

We are also getting quotes on 2 pedestals that will sit next to the side altars. We plan to put the Mary and Joseph statues on these pedestals so they will be back in the sanctuary. We will then return the Sacred Heart statue to its position in front of the votive candles.

I truly believe this restoration work will help to foster deeper devotion to the Eucharist and draw us deeper into the beauty of God. This is an exciting time in the history of our parish!

In Christ,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

Architecture Articles

Saint Patrick Architecture Articles ( Part 1) ( Part 2) ( Part 3)