Parish Happenings

Daily Reflections

Click on link below for Fr. Kopacek Daily Reflections

Weekday Reflection ~ November 24
Weekday Reflection ~ November 23
Weekday Reflection ~ November 22
Weekday Reflection ~ November 19
Weekday Reflection ~ November 18
Weekday Reflection ~ November 17
Weekday Reflection ~ November 16
Weekday Reflection ~ November 15

First Sunday Of Advent Mass ~ November 28, 2021 

Click on this link for the First Sunday Of Advent Mass

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Archbishop Jackels “Together” Bulletin – November

Click on this link for Archbishop Jackels November Message


From Fr. Kopacek Desk:  November 23, 2021

  1. In case you missed the insert in last week’s bulletin, Archbishop Jackels announced the beginning of a process of pastoral planning for the Archdiocese of Dubuque.  This process, similar to those used in many other dioceses around the country and here in the midwest, is meant to determine how best to provide pastoral care to the Catholics in the thirty counties of our archdiocese–especially in light of declining population and the decreasing number of priests as well.  When I was ordained in 1988, there were about 225 active priests (not including those retired) in our archdiocese; we now have 75 active priests (1/3 of that 225 number from 1988).  There are fourteen other priests from other countries currently serving in our archdiocese, but they remain formally affiliated with their home dioceses and are serving here for only a limited time.  And while we have some very fine seminarians in the priestly formation process, their numbers–at least in the next several years–will not be enough to replace the decline in our active priest numbers through retirement and death.

The archbishop also announced that Jeff Henderson, in our archdiocesan Office of Pastoral Planning, will oversee the process of gathering information and responses from online surveys and in-person meetings around the archdiocese.  Everyone will be invited to give input.  From that gathered information, recommendations will be made to the archbishop regarding the status of our parishes–whether leaving as is, merging with other parishes, or closures.  I know Jeff Henderson well; I’ve had occasion to work with him in many areas of archdiocesan ministry over the years.  I’m certain that he will oversee this process with genuine integrity and pastoral sensitivity.  In any event, however, he will not be making any final decisions–that responsibility will belong only to Archbishop Jackels.

The process for soliciting responses and input from all of us will begin next February.  As I learn more about this process, I will certainly keep you informed.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit will direct this process and help us to discern and follow the path God desires for us in our parishes, our clusters, and in the Archdiocese of Dubuque in general.

  1. With this new Advent season, we begin the new liturgical year and this holy season that first prepares us to welcome Christ when he comes again at the end of time, and then prepares us more immediately to celebrate the great feast of his birth at Christmas.  One of the best ways to do so is through the sacrament of confession or reconciliation.  There are many different times this sacrament is regularly available here in Holy Rosary Cluster:
  • 15 minutes before the weekday Masses in Elma
  • at least 30 minutes before the weekend Masses in Lourdes, Alta Vista, and Elma; and also in Riceville when there is no Sunday Mass in Elma
  • on First Fridays of the month:  3 p.m. at New Haven, and 4 p.m. at Riceville
  • any time by appointment

In addition, note these extra confession times available this Advent season:

  • , Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. in Riceville (another priest will be present to help)\
  • , Dec.  7 at 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. in Riceville (before the 5:30 p.m. vigil Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception–a holy day of obligation)
  • , Dec. 8 at 5:00 – 5:45 p.m. in Lourdes (before the 6 p.m. Mass for the Immaculate Conception–a holy day of obligation)
  • , Dec. 16 at 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Alta Vista
  • , Dec. 21 at 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in New Haven
  • , Dec. 22 at 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Elma
  • , Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. – noon in Elma

I’ll have more information about this sacrament in the next few bulletins; for now, I strongly recommend that you make a good confession during this holy season–especially if it has been a long time since you have done so.



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)