Fr. Peter's Post

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK JANUARY 26TH-FEBRUARY 2ND: Catholic Schools Week begins next weekend with a “Kick-Off Mass” on Sunday January 26th at the Cathedral featuring our students assisting in roles during the Liturgy. WE ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE A CATHOLIC SCHOOL! So many great things happen at Stella Maris Academy’s three campuses!

Did you know that we have students not only from the Cathedral but from St. Mary Star of the Sea at Stella Maris Academy and that both our parishes are committed to providing financial and other support for SMA? Thank you for supporting our Catholic School!

WE CELEBRATE THE SAVIOR’S BIRTH THROUGH JANUARY 12TH: We celebrate Christ’s birth not just on December 25th but throughout a whole season of Christmas feasts that includes the Feast of the Holy Family, Mary Mother of God, Epiphany, and the Baptism of the Lord.  This last Christmas feast will take place on Sunday January 12th.    

The Child born of Mary came to save us from our sinful isolation and share His Divine life with us.  Let the Savior touch your heart.  Give him your burdens.  I pray that you allow Him to enter your life in a new way this Christmas. 

FR. PAUL ON VACATION JANUARY 9-16TH: Fr. Paul will be away on a long-scheduled vacation January 9th through the 16th.

FR. PETER TRAVELS TO ROME JANUARY 10-20TH: Fr. Peter has been asked by the Diocesan Administrator to accompany him to Rome for the “Ad Limina” visit being made by the Bishops of our region. Bishops visit the Holy Father every five years to pray at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul and to meet with the Holy Father. With the unexpected death of Bishop Sirba, Fr Jim Bissonette (Diocesan Administrator) will represent our diocese and has asked me to make the trip as well. It is customary for Bishops to bring a priest with them.

THERE WILL BE A LIMITED WEEKDAY MASS SCHEDULE JAN 9-20TH: There will be weekdays without Mass in our parishes during this time. While Deacon Ted will do Communion Services at 12:10 at St. Mary Star of the Sea when he is able there will be not 7:00 a.m. morning Mass at the Cathedral January 10 or January 13-16th.  HOWEVER, THERE WILL BE A REGULAR SUNDAY MASS SCHEDULE while Fr. Paul and Fr. Peter are away.

MASSES FOR SOLEMNITY OF MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD (JAN 1ST): The Solemnity of Mary The Mother of God occurs every January 1st.  We will mark this feast day with a Vigil Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea December 31st at 6:00 p.m. and with Mass on New Year’s Day at the Cathedral at 9:00 a.m. 

MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO MAKE OUR LITURGIES SO BEAUTIFUL: I would like to thank all of our talented musicians and choir members for the beautiful music they provide us at Christmas time.  Their work and the work of all those who so beautifully decorate our churches help us honor and worship the Divine Christ Child!  Thank you for sharing your talents with us! 

TUESDAY HOLY HOURS MOVE TO 6:00 P.M. IN THE NEW YEAR: We will continue to have Adoration/Holy Hours on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday each month at the Cathedral of Our Lady.  However, starting in January they will occur a half hour earlier to allow better for other activities afterwards.  So, beginning January 7th Adoration will take place from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. 

MY PRAYERS FOR YOU AS WE CELEBRATE THE SAVIOR’S BIRTH: As we celebrate Christ’s birth, I offer my prayers for you and your loved ones.  The Child born of Mary came to save us from our sinful isolation and share His Divine life with us.  Let the Savior touch your heart.  Give him your burdens.  I pray that you allow Him to enter your life in a new way this Christmas.

THE LAST CONFESSIONS BEFORE CHRISTMAS: Fr. Paul and I will hear confessions Sunday, December 22nd from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral and Fr. Walsh will hear confessions at St. Mary Star of the Sea from 11:30 a.m. until Noon on Monday, December 23rd.

CHRISTMAS WEEK SCHEDULE: On Monday December 23rd we will have the regular daily Mass schedule with a 7:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral and a 12:10 p.m. Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea.  There will be no Masses on Tuesday, December 24th until the Christmas Eve Masses in the afternoon and evening.  Additionally, there will be no Mass on Thursday, December 26th.   


CHRISTMAS EVE MASSES will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral and at 4:00 p.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea.

CHRISTMAS DAY MASSES will be celebrated at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral and at 9:15 a.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea.

CHURCH CALENDARS AVAILABLE: Church calendars for the New Year are available at the entrances of church.  Please take one home and bring one to someone you know who is homebound or living in a nursing home/assisted living facility.

MOST REVEREND BISHOP PAUL SIRBA: We were all shocked to hear of our Bishop's sudden death on the 1st Sunday of Advent.  His passing was truly a homily on the readings that Sunday.  The Lord tells us in the gospel that the end will come at a time we least expect.  But the Scriptures that day also noted what joy we will have as we enter into the house of the Lord.  I knew Paul David Sirba since our college days at St. Thomas and I can tell you that there was always a genuine goodness about him.  As someone said when they first met him ten years ago as our new bishop: "He makes me want to be a better person".  I couldn't agree more.  Let us continue to pray for the repose of his soul and pray that the Holy Father will send us another good shepherd to lead us.

1st RECONCILIATION, SATURDAY DECEMBER 14: Please pray for our second graders who will meet the Lord Jesus in a new way as they make their 1st Reconciliation this Saturday, Dec. 14.  

STELLA MARIS ACADEMY HOLY ROSARY CAMPUS CHRISTMAS PROGRAM:  Students at Holy Rosary Campus (preK-4th) will present their annual Christmas Program this Wednesday, December 18 in the Cathedral at 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM.  I invite you to attend and experience the joy and beauty of Christmas expressed by children.  

HOLY INNOCENTS CHAPEL 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: All are welcome to attend the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Holy Innocents Perpetual Adoration Chapel at St. Mary Star of the Sea this  Sunday, December 15.  Mass is at 9:15 AM with a reception to follow.  This chapel is a testament to our love for the Lord's Eucharistic presence.    

ADVENT/CHRISTMAS CONFESSIONS: There will be an additional time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Sunday, December 22 from 6:00-7:00 PM at the Cathedral so that you can more easily make a good confession before Christmas.  Confessions will be held this coming week at regular times at the Cathedral and St. Mary Star of the Sea as well.  

WE NEED TO CATCH UP WITH BUDGET AND UCA: We are behind in our Sunday collection compared to budget and in our UCA campaign in both parishes.  Please do what you can to increase your Sunday contribution by a few dollars and contribute what you can to UCA before the New Year arrives.  Please be generous in helping to keep our parish fiscally sound.  Thank you to all who are helping us to catch up.

THE SEASON OF ADVENT BEGINS: We begin the Season of Advent this Sunday recalling the Lord’s promise that He will return at the end of time to judge the living and the dead.  The Church has us focus on Christ’s 2nd Coming before we celebrate his 1st Coming at Christmas so that we remember why He came---to save us from sin that separates us from the Father.  With that in mind I encourage you to make a good confession during these Advent days.

 CHURCH CALENDARS AVAILABLE: Church calendars for the New Year are available at the entrances of church.  Please take one home and bring one to someone you know who is homebound or living in a nursing home/assisted living facility.

 HOLY HOUR THIS TUESDAY: There will be a Holy Hour this Tuesday with Adoration and Benediction at the Cathedral from 6:30 to 7:30.  All are welcome to this great opportunity to spend some time with the Lord.

 TWIN PORTS TENORS CONCERT @ THE CATHEDRAL THIS WEEK: There will be a concert featuring a group of tenors from the Twin Ports this Friday (Dec 6th) at 6:00 p.m. at the Cathedral.  This is a fun event that raises funds for the Kids Kloset here in Duluth.  All are welcome!

PERMANENT DEACON ORDINATION:  Bishop Sirba will ordain Paul Alan Sever to the Permanent Diaconate this Sunday, November 24 at 3:00 p.m. at the Cathedral.   You are most welcome to attend the ordination. 

THANKSGIVING DAY MASS: I will celebrate Mass at 9:00 a.m. at the Cathedral on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 28.  This special Mass will take the place of the 7:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral and the 12:10 p.m. Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea.  There is no better way to observe and celebrate this civil holiday than to gather at the altar of the Lord and to offer praise and thanksgiving for His countless blessings. 

 NOVEMBER IS THE MONTH OF “ALL SOULS”: As Catholics we remember our deceased relatives and friends in a special way during the month of November because the Feast of All Souls takes place on November 2nd, the day after the Solemnity of All Saints.  There are books of remembrance in both our churches where you can write the names of deceased loved ones so that we can all pray for the repose of their souls this month.  

 TURKEY BINGO NEXT SUNDAY AT ST. MARY STAR OF THE SEA: Turkey Bingo will be held once again on Sunday, November 17th at St. Mary Star of the Sea.  Hot dog and sloppy joe lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and BINGO begins at 1:00 p.m.  30 games are played for 20 turkeys and gift cards.  There will also be a silent auction and Christmas stocking raffle.  All are welcome to this fun event and important fundraiser for St. Mary Star of the Sea parish.

HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION NOVEMBER 1ST:  The Solemnity of All Saints takes place on November 1st.  Masses for this Holy Day of Obligation will be celebrated at St. Mary Star of the Sea on October 31st at 6:00 p.m. and on November 1st at 12:10 p.m.  Masses at the Cathedral will be October 31st at 6:30 p.m. and November 1st at 8:00 a.m.

BISHOP’S SCHOLARSHIP DINNER SUNDAY OCTOBER 27TH: Everyone is invited to join Bishop Sirba on Sunday October 27th for his Annual Scholarship Dinner for Stella Maris Academy.  There is no charge to attend but there will be an appeal to help fund scholarships for needy children during the dinner.  Come and help with this worthy cause!  Please call the school office to make your reservations.

 WOMEN’S CARE CENTER NIGHT 4 LIFE TUESDAY NOVEMBER 5TH: The lifesaving work of the Women’s Care Center has one main fundraiser each year---the Night 4 Life.  This year’s event will once again have a “Casino Night” theme with lots of fun and games.  One out of five children born in Duluth are served by the WCC and since the Center opened the abortion rate in Duluth has declined by 20%!  I encourage you to help with this worthy cause.  The Cathedral Knights of Columbus will help with the games and I am cancelling the Holy Hour at the Cathedral November 5th to encourage as many of you as possible to attend.  Please call the Women’s Care Center to make your reservation.

CLERGY CONFERENCE THIS WEEKFr. Paul and I will be away at the annual Clergy Conference, a time of continuing education and diocesan business which priests are obligated to attend.  It is a good time to spend together with brothers in ministry (including many deacons) and the Bishop.  The theme this year is “Charisms of Diocesan Priesthood” and our presenter will be Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt.  The conference runs Sunday afternoon through Wednesday. 


BISHOP SIRBA WILL CELEBRATE THE WHITE MASS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20THBishop Sirba will celebrate the annual “White Mass” for medical professionals on Sunday, October 20th at the regular 10:30 Mass.  There is room for both the invited physicians, nurses, administrators, and other medical professionals and parishioners, so everyone is welcome! 

STELLA MARIS STUDENTS SERVED THE COMMUNITY THIS WEEK: Students from Stella Maris Academy’s three campuses fanned out into the City of Duluth to do service projects on “Sentinel Service Day” Friday Sept 27th.  3rd Graders from the Holy Rosary Campus cleaned and polished things in the Cathedral.  Other students visited Northshore/St. Eligius with Fr. Paul to celebrate Mass with the residents there.  These are just two examples of how our Catholic School students are seeking to “lead, love, and serve as Jesus taught”.  I encourage you to donate to Stella Maris Academy to support these great learning experiences and good works! 

I AM GRATEFUL TO GOD AND TO YOU AS I CELEBRATE 30 YEARS AS A PRIEST: I am very grateful to God for calling me to the priesthood and to you for your prayers and many kindnesses.  I can honestly say that I can’t imagine my life aside from the priesthood---even in these challenging times in the Church.  My thanks to those who organized a reception for my 30th Anniversary after the 10:30 Mass at the Cathedral Sunday September 29th (which is the actual day of my anniversary:  the Feast of the Archangels).  Please continue to pray for me and my brother priests, that we would be effective instruments of God’s grace.

ADULT CONVERT CLASSES (RCIA) ARE STARTINGHave you been curious about the Catholic faith?  Are you married to a catholic and have been coming to Mass with your spouse and children for years?  Are you a catholic that still needs to be confirmed?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is for you!  Our annual adult convert lessons known as RCIA are starting at the Cathedral this month with sessions held on Thursday evenings in the Fireside Room of the rectory.  I invite you to come and explore the Catholic faith with our RCIA team which serves several East side Catholic parishes. 

BENEDICTINE SISTER PRAYING FOR OUR PARISHES & PRIESTSThis year Sr. Joan Marie Stelman has been assigned to intercede for our parishes and priests.  Sr. Joan Marie grew up attending Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea and currently serves as Vice President for Mission Integration at St. Mary’s Medical Center.   Please join me in returning the favor and keep Sr. Joan Marie in your prayers.  It is a blessing to have her spiritual support.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OUR ANNUAL PET BLESSINGOn Friday, October 4th  at 2:00 p.m. at Holy Rosary School and on Sunday October 6th at noon at St. Mary Star of the Sea, I will celebrate a Blessing of Pets.  This special blessing of pets is for our parishes and any of your friends and neighbors regardless of their religious faith.  See you October 4th at 2:00 p.m. or October 6th at noon!

NEW MONTHLY SOUP SUPPER AT ST. MARY STAR OF THE SEA: Beginning on September 16th St. Mary Star of the Sea will be providing a free of charge Soup Supper meal for parishioners and the Central Hillside neighborhood.  If you would like to volunteer to help with this outreach to those in need, please see the sign up sheets in church or call the parish office.