Parish Happenings

Daily Reflections

Click on link below for Fr. Kopacek Daily Reflections

Weekday Reflection ~ September 25
Weekday Reflection ~ September 24
Saint Pius ~ September 23
Weekday Reflection ~ September 22
Saint Matthew ~ September 21
Weekday Reflection ~ September 18
Weekday Reflection ~ September 17
Saints Cornelius and Cyprian ~ September 16
Our Lady of Sorrows ~ September 15
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross ~ September 14


Fr. Kopacek Mass For 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time ~ September 20, 2020

Not Available


Save The Date – October 4, 2020

Immaculate Conception Riceville Fall Festival
Click on this link for more Fall Festival Details.


From Fr. Kopacek Desk:  September 15, 2020

1.  Please note that there will be no 8 a.m. Mass in Elma on Wed., Sept. 23.  On Tuesday evening, Sept. 22, I will be attending a special Mass for one of our permanent deacon classes; I’m on the permanent deacon formation board and have worked with these folks over the last few years.  This Mass will be held in my home parish of  St. Wenceslaus in Duncan, and then I will stay overnight at my sister Bonnie’s home in Britt.  I had planned to see her and my brother on Labor Day weekend, but that darn virus certainly changed those plans…so this will give me a chance to see her.  I’ll be back here in Elma by midday on  Wednesday.

2.  I mentioned two weeks ago that work would begin soon on repairing some broken sections of sidewalk near the main entrance of the church in Elma.  That work began this morning (Monday the 14th), and so you will probably want to use either of the  side doors for Mass in the meantime.  Assuming cooperative weather (a big assumption, of course…), the project should be completed by the end of this week.
3.  I want to remind you again about a great new series called  “The Chosen”.  It is a multi-episode treatment of Jesus, the apostles and other individuals from the gospels…and it is the best and most powerful representation of the gospel story that I have ever seen.  It is not on regular network or cable TV, but you can watch it online for free–simple google “The Chosen” and follow the links.  The cluster office also has a two-DVD set of the eight episodes available so far–call or stop by at the office if you would like to borrow it and watch it at home.  I strongly recommend that you watch the episodes in order so that you can follow the development of the characters and the gospel narrative in general.
4.  You may have noticed in the last week or so that the bishops in some dioceses in our neighboring states (South Dakota and Wisconsin) have lifted the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days in those dioceses.  We priests received an email today (Sept. 14) from Archbishop Jackels addressing this question.  After raising some important points and after having consulted with the other Iowa bishops and our own priest council and archdiocesan pastoral council, the archbishop has decided to maintain the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday and holy day Mass for now.  He said that will continue to be the case “until the pandemic-inspired restrictions are no longer required because there is a miraculous disappearance of the virus, or we achieve herd immunity, or an effective vaccine is widely available.  It’s not yet time, but pray, pray, pray for that happy day.”
5.  Speaking of Archbishop Jackels, I want to say again how grateful I am for his willingness to take the weekend Mass schedule here in Holy Rosary Cluster on Sept. 12-13.  That allowed me to have more time to rest and recover, and that opportunity was very much appreciated.  I also want to thank all of you so very much for all your prayers, cards, best wishes and everything else with which you have been so generous to me during my ‘virus time’.  I am making good and quick progress, and I have no doubt whatsoever that that is due in major part to your prayers and your kindness.  I can’t thank you enough, and I can’t tell you what a great blessing it is for me to be your pastor!  May God continue to bless all of you and all your loved ones.  Never forget that you are all and always in my daily prayers.

From Fr. Kopacek Desk:  September 11, 2020

I’m very glad–and grateful!–to report that my recovery is continuing very well.  In fact:

  • today is Day 10 since the onset of symptoms;
  • those symptoms have improved (as I told you earlier this week); and
  • I have not had any fever at all during this entire time.

These are the three conditions that need to be met in order to be able to come out of self-isolation according to the Test Iowa protocols.  Since I have met all three, I can officially end my self-isolation today.  Out of extra caution, however, I’m going to continue to lay low through the weekend of Sept. 12/13.  As you know, Archbishop Jackels will have the weekend Mass schedule here (thank you so much, Archbishop!); that will allow me to keep getting caught up on rest.  I’ve been told by Howard County Public Health that the extra tiredness will continue for some time–perhaps a few weeks–but that by itself is not a cause for concern.  You need not worry:  I will certainly make sure to get the rest I need!

In the meantime, I’m glad to announce that the regular weekday Mass schedule will resume this coming Monday, Sept. 14 (8 a.m. Masses Monday-Friday in Elma).  I will be sure to maintain extra distancing and will continue wearing a mask for the distribution of Holy Communion.
Looking forward very much to seeing you again!  God’s grace and peace to you always.

Ministry to the Sick and Hospitalized

If you would like to receive the sacrament Anointing of the Sick or would like Fr. Kopacek to visit you while sick or hospitalized, please call the cluster office and let him know. He will be more than happy to see you.

Music Ministers Needed

A strong music ministry is necessary for a vibrant parish.  All our parishes are in need of music ministers to help lead us in prayer.  If God has given you a gift of singing or playing an instrument, or even if you still need to develop that gift, contact the Cluster Office at


Online Giving

We appreciate your contributions  to the church community and would especially like to recognize those who are now using our ConnectNow Giving link.  Our online giving site is safe, secure and most of all convenient.  You will always control the amount and can change or stop it at any time.  If you would like to donate using our online giving system and have not yet had a chance to do so, click on the Online Giving tab on this website and then your parish name.  If you have any questions please contact Nancy Theis at the cluster office (641-393-2520).


Befriender Ministry

Volunteers are needed from each parish to:

  • Drive people to medical appointments
  • Drive people to Mass
  • Make daily calls to people who live along (make sure they are okay)
  • Actively participate in a prayer chain

Please call the cluster office (641-393-2520) or Teresa Klobassa (641-393-2598) if you are interested in volunteering or would like more information.

* The Holy Rosary Cluster has assembled a group of 15 parishioners representing each of our parishes who are prepared to visit people in difficult and transitional situations such as illness, loneliness or loss of a loved one.  If you, or someone you know, would like a visit from one of our outreach ministers, please call: Alta Vista – Philomena Boehmer (641-364-6962) Lourdes – Marge Ludwig ((641-393-2568) Elma – Teresa Klobassa (641-393-2598) Riceville – Jeanne Watts (641-985-2031) New Haven – Nancy Theis (641-985-4145)