Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This weekend we celebrate the conclusion of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. With the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, we encounter the voice of the Father affirming the gift of His Son to the world. Hearing this voice, we begin to understand the strength that Jesus draws upon as he begins his public ministry. The identification of the incarnation gives us strength to continue witnessing to Jesus’ mission.

With the beginning of Ordinary Time, we once again journey with the stories of Jesus’ healings, miracles, and teachings and are presented with an opportunity to reflect, learn, and grow. With the many complications created by the pandemic, our bewildering political climate, the unfortunate rioting across our country, and our own personal life experiences, this opportunity can help us confront our challenges and celebrate our blessings. If you attend Mass in person or virtually, take the readings that are proclaimed into your heart. Let them guide your faith so that you can be strengthened in your witness to others.

For those who do not have a missal to follow the weekly readings, I have purchased this year’s Breaking Bread missalette in the hopes that we will return to singing together as a congregation. With that said, those missalettes are available to those who would like one at home. To obtain one, contact the parish office; a $6 donation is requested to help with the expense.

Scripture is a great source of strength for embracing life and it’s experiences. Through our liturgical life we encounter the highlights of the old and new testaments, but there are many of other parts of scripture that can be a source of strength as well. A friend of mine shared with me a podcast that reads and relates to listeners the entire Catholic bible within one year. Might this be a good spiritual New Year’s  resolution? Can you find 20 minutes a day for 365 days to tune in, be present, and grow in faith? To learn more, visit To dive right in, search “The Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz” in your favorite podcast app.

As we continue to experience this pandemic, many parish activities are still on hold. However, some developments have taken place. At Saint James, conversations continue with Oster Services about a lease-to-purchase agreement for the school and rectory buildings. They have begun doing some preliminary work in the school so they can utilize the building for commercial use beginning this spring. Saint Clement’s scholarship committee has prepared the applications for this year’s Catholic school scholarships, which will be posted in the next few weeks.

Both parish offices are still operating with limited hours and many staff members are working from home. Please use email or the office voicemail system for any requests from the office. The secretaries check these often and will answer your requests when received. Unfortunately, the Saint Clement voicemail system is experiencing old age. Please be patient with us as we work to upgrade that system later this month.

Christmas Joy!!

Fr. Workman