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Archive for July, 2011

Brief Parish History

Old Church

St. Dominic traces its origins to the year 1858 when the first Mass in the area was offered in a private home. In 1869 the first church was built and the parish received its first regular pastor. A brick Romanesque church was completed in 1914.

(from our church website: churchofstdominic.org)

Excerpts from A History of the Northfield and Dundas Churches by W. F. Schilling, pages 25 and 26 and 27, used with permission of the Northfield Historical Society:

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Good news everyone: our baby has arrived, and much to our surprise, it’s a boy!

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The bulletin for July 24, 2011 has been published and can be found here: http://churchofstdominic.org/cluster/bulletin

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Here is a summary of the priests who served our area  according to the book by W. F. Schilling:  A History of the Northfield and Dundas Churches.

And here is the text from which it is taken (page 24 and half of page 25):

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By going to the link given below you can access a copy of this book which is part of the Northfield History Collaborative’s collection. Double-click on the dark blue “the book”. By searching on Dominic you will find that the chapter about St. Dominic’s history is in pages 26  through 36 in their access numbering.   However, the author tells of his personal experience of faith in an earlier chapter which will be in their pages 7 through 10.  You may wish to look at them.

A copy of the book was donated to the Northfield Historical Society by the author himself. I will show parts of the history of St. Dominic in my next few posts, with their permission.

collaboration.northfieldhistory.org/node/52

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Gospel, Matthew 13:44-52  A detective seeks answers to five basic questions: who, what, where, when, and how.  Try applying those same five questions as you strive to understand the reality the Bible calls the “Kingdom of Heaven” or the “Kingdom of God”.  In the gospel of Matthew alone, the phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” appears six times (4:17, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 13:52, 16:19) and “Kingdom of God” fifteen times (5:19, 5:20, 7:21, 8:11, 11:11, 18:1, 18:3, 19:14, 19:23, 19:24, 21:31, 21:43, 23:13) in addition to numerous other texts that simply mention the kingdom.  Checking all those texts can help you discover the answer to many of those basic questions.  Who offers?  Who is invited?  What is the kingdom?  What blessings are in store for those who enter that kingdom?  Where or what kind of kingdom is it…what is the crossover between life in this physical world and eternal life in the spiritual realm? When will we be called from this life?  How must we live so as to receive the blessing of eternal life?

What is it worth to enter and live in the kingdom of God?  Not all people see the value, but for those who do, it is worth investing everything, as it was for the merchant who found the most beautiful pearl or the person who discovered the buried treasure (although I always wonder what the fellow was doing out digging around in someone else’s field and then not telling him of the treasure when he goes to negotiate the sales price).  Do we realize the value of living in God’s Kingdom now and eternally?  Are we willing to invest ourselves in that Kingdom so as to share the treasure?

The parable of the net, as with that of the weeds and wheat from last Sunday, looks at a different aspect of being in God’s kingdom.  We are already members of God’s Kingdom here in this world, but this is a membership in process, not in perfection.  This membership is given to us through baptism and commitment to God, but being baptized children of God and members of the church do not, in and of themselves, guarantee entry into life eternal any more than the plant growing in the master’s field or the fish in the net.  In 2 Peter 1:10 we read: “Be all the more eager to make your call and election firm, for in doing so, you will never stumble.  For, in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.”

Reading 1, 1 Kings 3:5,7-12  Because Solomon asked for the gift of wisdom to serve God and his people, God granted him wisdom and understanding.  These gifts are among those listed in Isaiah 11:2 which are known as the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit”.  With whatever gifts we are entrusted by God…discernment, intelligence, personal talents, wealth, position…they are not given to us as personal possessions.  We receive them not as owners but as stewards.

It is extremely tempting, however, to lose the perspective of being stewards and begin to consider our gifts as personal possessions.  This can be a recipe for disaster as one’s gifts can become twisted into instruments for self-aggrandizement to the detriment of those who should be the beneficiaries of our gifts.  Take Solomon, for example.  Enamored of his wisdom, he turned a deaf ear to God’s guidance through the prophet Nathan (1 Kings 11).  Solomon believed he was wise enough to form a better plan than what the prophet offered.  He was not to marry outside of his own Jewish faith, but Solomon thought it wise to form alliances with many countries…alliances cemented by marriage.  In the process, Solomon married many a non-Jewish woman and then further offended God by building temples to their gods in the hills surrounding Jerusalem.  At the end of his life, Solomon was rejected both by God and the people he ruled. 

Thank God for the gifts you have received.  Remember they are entrusted to you as a steward, not as the owner, and you will share in greater blessings.

Reading II, Romans 8:28-30  What does it mean to be “predestined”?  Some might interpret predestination to mean that, before time began, God determined the course of each person’s life giving some a destination for heaven and some a destination for hell.  Catholic theology does not accept such a “strict predestination” interpretation since it takes away personal responsibility for actions both good and evil…how could sin be my fault if God had predetermined everything?  We believe that God created time but is not restricted by time…that is, God knows all time at a glance.  Therefore, we believe that God foreknows every action of our lives before we are born.  We also believe that, in God’s plan, everyone is created to live eternally with God in heaven…that is, we are all given a destination before we are born.  Nevertheless, we are each given the gift of free will, and it is up to each person to choose to accept or reject the will of God…risking the possibility of not arriving at the destination toward which God calls us.

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Lectio divina is being encouraged by the church today as a way to better understand Sacred Scripture and as a way to pray.

Dr. Tim Gray is his book Praying Scripture for a CHANGE, An Introduction to Lectio Divina not only gives the rationale behind doing it but explains, very well, practical ways of doing it. 

He also extends the usual four steps of  lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplatio – reading, meditating, praying and contemplating – to a fifth step : operatio – doing, working or carrying out a practical resolution based on the first four steps.

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