Parish Happenings

Daily Reflections

Click on link below for Fr. Kopacek Daily Reflections

Saint Francis Xavier ~ December 3
Advent Weekday ~ December 2
Advent Weekday ~ December 1
Saint Andrew ~ November 30
Weekday Reflection ~ November 27
Thanksgiving Day ~ November 26
Saint Catherine ~ November 25
Saint Andrew Dung-Lac ~ November 24
Saint Clement ~ November 23


First Sunday of Advent ~ Sunday, November 29, 2020 

Click on this link for Live 9:00am Mass:   First Sunday of Advent Mass

Archbishop Jackels Virtual Fireside Get-Together-December 9 at 6:30pm

You are invited and encouraged to join Archbishop Jackels for a special Advent Virtual Fireside Get-Together to be held Wednesday, December 9 (that’s this coming Wednesday) starting at 6:30 pm.

Pull up a chair to the virtual fireplace and join Archbishop Jackels for a family-friendly evening with warm conversation, entertainment and good cheer. The evening will include scripture, reflections by Archbishop on this crazy year we’ve had, surprise musical performances and opportunity to spread Christmas cheer….and much more.

This is an online gathering so you do have to register in advance to get the secure link to the event. You can either go to the Archdiocesan website to register or you can find a direct link in this week’s parish bulletin.

From Fr. Kopacek Desk:  December 1, 2020

1.  In last weekend’s homily I mentioned that there would be a number of extra opportunities for the sacrament of reconciliation/confession during this Advent season in addition to those regular times before weekend and weekday Masses that are always listed on the bulletin cover.  Here are those extra times:

  • Mon. Dec. 7:  4:00 – 5:15 p.m. in Riceville (before 5:30 p.m. holy day Mass)
  • Tues, Dec. 8:  4:00 – 5:15 p.m. in New Haven (before 5:30 p.m. holy day Mass)
  • Wed. Dec. 9:  3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in Elma
  • Tues. Dec. 15:  3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in Lourdes
  • Fri. Dec. 18:  3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in Riceville
  • Sun. Dec. 20   9:15 – 10:30 a.m. in New Haven (before 10:45 Mass)
  • Tues. Dec. 22:  3:30 – 5:00 p.m.  in Alta Vista
  • Wed. Dec. 23:  10:30 a.m. – 12 noon and  3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in Elma
I am a very firm believer in the healing power and grace of this sacrament and I know how much I both need and appreciate this sacrament myself.  There are brochures available in all the cluster churches to help you prepare to make a good confession.  If nothing else, you can simply come into the confessional and say:  “Father, I don’t know how long it has been since my last confession, and I have no idea what to say.”  I will be more than happy to help you through the whole thing!  This sacrament is all about growing in our love for God and neighbor as self and knowing the joy of his merciful love that He wants to shower down upon us.  Confession is nothing whatsoever to fear!
2.  The death of a loved one is always such a difficult thing to endure for so many reasons, the most difficult, of course, is having to confront and experience that loss on a very personal level.  But there are always so many other decisions that need to be made in a very short time, funeral arrangements among other things, all of which only add to the burdens.
At least one step can be taken ahead of time that can ease those burdens after the death of a loved one, and that is make funeral arrangements ahead of time either for your own funeral or that of a loved one.  This can include making decisions about Scripture readings, songs or hymns, who you would like to serve as lector or in other liturgical ministries and other such details.  This may sound a little strange and even perhaps a bit morbid, but it is in fact a very practical thing to do.  I have seen that on a regular basis in prior parish assignments, and it was a huge help to the family to have many of those details decided ahead of time when there were already so many other details to be decided in the short time between a loved one’s death and the funeral.  The Archdiocese of Dubuque strongly recommends that all of us priests have our own funeral arrangements as completely as possible, and so I have made those decisions about readings, music, etc. already for my own funeral.  I certainly hope that won’t happen for many years yet, but I’m glad to know that those decisions have been made.
I’d be very glad to visit with anyone who may be interested in doing any such advance planning or simply to learn more about what that would involve.  Don’t hesitate to give me a call (641-393-2520) or email me (
3.  “Don’t Forget to Laugh!”  One of the major themes of this Advent season is remembering that Jesus will come again.  The story is told of a young priest preaching his first Advent homily and who was very nervous. He started with Jesus’ words from the book of  Revelation: “I am coming soon!”.  Then the priest’s mind went blank.  He bravely repeated “I am coming soon!”, but he still couldn’t remember what came next.  So he leaned over the pulpit and said once more:  “I am coming soon!”, after which the pulpit collapsed and he tumbled over into the lap of a woman in the nearby pew.  He got up, totally red-faced and embarrassed and stammered “Oh, I’m so sorry–please forgive me!”  The woman, with a bit of a smile on her face, replied “That’s OK.  Actually, I should have been expecting you–after all, you warned me three times!”
Advent blessings, grace and peace to all of you.

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)