Week of August 11, 2019

Dear loving Brothers, Sisters and Children in Christ,

If we look for the kernel points of the Gospel today, they are three: Do not be

afraid, but keep your trust; Do not amass, but lend and give; Do not be too much

preoccupied with your own affairs, but engage yourself with the Lord’s affairs.

The Lord is one who keeps awake even as we are fast asleep. Our concerns are best

taken care of by him. Hence the Lord asks us to forgo our worries and our

preoccupation with our little concerns. He is asking us to sell our shares with him.

With that we will not stand lose; we will rather gain far more.

If we are not easily convinced by the Lord’s logic, the letter to the Hebrews invites

us to take a glance at Abraham. Abraham was doing quite well according to the

standards of his time and place. Then comes his encounter with the Lord who

promises really big. Faith moves Abraham to take a risk. He leaves the land of his

ancestors and everything therein. With that he cut every line that gave him

security. Now the Lord makes him the father of a multitude. More than that, a

paradigm figure of faith, whom generations of people will look to for the courage

of faith.

The Lord says, ‘loosen your heart and your fist’ give up your hurts and complaints;

give up your attachments to things and detachment from people; after all, all these

together amount to just a mustard seed. You get from me a mountain of grace and


The words of St. Francis De Sales be registered in our heart, so that w are

prepared: “Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring. The same loving God who

cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. God will either

shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace

then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. 

Bulletin Weekend August 17-18

Marriage Encounter Weekend: Married Couples…Getting ready for

school means a lot of time spent on your children.  After school begins why

not give yourselves some time together.  This weekend is the perfect

opportunity to reconnect, improve communication and fall more deeply in

love. Weekend dates:  Bozeman, MT Oct 4-6, 2019, Chadron, NE Oct 18-

20, 2019 and Ucross (Clearmont), WY Nov 1-3, 2019. For more information

and to apply visit www.wwme.org or call Paul and Tracy 307-689-2820.

The Chouteau County Fair begins on Friday, August 16 and concludes on Sunday,

August 18.  Our parish, Immaculate Conception, has had a concessionaire booth for

MANY years!!  So, we will begin our sign-up for work shifts, our clean-up committee, our tear-down committee and our PRAYER committee, after Mass today.  Sign-up sheets are in the back---pencils and pens are provided :) 

There are a few changes for this year. In light of our aging parishioners, the Youth group will be asked to participate more fully to help with the workload.  But, your efforts will be rewarded with money being designated for a ski-trip this winter season!!  Also, when you work, you will be entered into a drawing for awesome prizes!!  So, check with your friends and see what shifts you would like to work!

If you are unable to sign-up today, you can email Valerie Morger , 

valmark98@gmail.com or text or call her at 750-2866.  You can also call Ken Engellant at 622-3600.  

All committees and work shifts must be filled by Monday, August 12th.  

This fundraising effort is CRITICAL this year---we are quickly depleting our savings

account and our weekly donations are not enough to maintain the normal, monthly


It truly does "Take a Village"....and in this case, it truly does take every one of us who

love our Church, our Parish and our calling to be Catholic!

COLLECTION: Sunday, August 4 th , 2019, - ICC - $1,269.00

Reflection by Trish

Harvest is here again and our home has filled with our children and their families.  11

people are living in our house at this time, 5 of them are children, and the oldest child is

8 years old.  Mealtime can seem chaotic with the needs of children and so many

different people trying to share a story or event of the day.   We have begun a practice

for the evening meal.   After everyone’s plates are filled and everyone settles in to eat

we begin the sharing one person at a time.

Rose and thorn of the day is the theme of our sharing.  Each person shares the rose of

their day, the good thing or things that happened that day-the blessings of the day.  The

thorn of the day is the circumstance or event that was the negative part of the

individual’s day.  As one person shares their rose, or blessing of the day, everyone is

quiet and listens.  The same person shares their thorn of the day.  No one can offer

suggestions, judgments or comments other than a short positive statement on the rose,

“How exciting” or “That must have felt good” etc. When thorns are shared you can

empathize in brief statements, “That is difficult” or “That would make me sad also”.  

This routine provides several different important practices for those involved. It is always

good to reflect on the goodness that comes our way each day.  Sharing what was the

thorn is important also. It raises our awareness of the day that is ending. Practicing

listening is perhaps more important than the sharing.

Most people listen with 25% of their capacity.  Often times as we listen we are crafting

our response, or thinking of a more personal scenario for ourselves.  We are not

focused entirely on speaker and what they are saying. Listening and letting others talk

uninterrupted is something that many of us need to continually practice.  

Here are some tips to help in better listening.

1. Be intentional about listening - If you have resolved that you will spend the time

to engage in a conversation with someone, then why not be intentional about

giving it your best? Why not be intentional about giving the other person a

chance? Make it count, be intentional and keep that intention in your mind as you


1. Avoid your inner voice - This takes training and, in most cases, undoing a lifetime

of judging others, wanting to problem solve and all kinds of other mind chatter. One way

to remove judgment and all of the other distractions going on in your mind is to

remember point 1 - your intention is to just listen.  Remember it’s about the other

person, not you. This is when the gift of listening starts to bear fruit, when the person

you are listening to realizes that you are truly paying attention.

1. Listen to the whole person - When someone talks, it’s not just about the words.

It’s about how they are saying those words; it’s about the tone, the emotion, the

gestures, and the body language. Be a good listener by being a good observer.

Observing and making a mental note of the whole person will help you delve deeper

into the conversation, express emotion where warranted and react appropriately.

1. Imagine if it were you who was being listened to - How would you want to be

heard? Would you want to be given the distinct sense that you are not important and

that other things matter more than you? Of course not. A conscious thought about

giving the same respect to the other person and remaining aware of what you would

want from them will help you focus on the conversation and listen better.

1. Reflect back - Acknowledge and show that you are fully engaged with the other

person by reflecting back what you have heard. Showing some kind of genuine

emotional connection helps with this. Such feedback would allow the person to feel

appreciated and to also make you an active participant in the conversation; and that is,

after all, the whole point. Sometimes just keeping in mind that you will reflect back what

you have heard the person say helps to both get and keep you engaged in the


During our evening meal we do not engage in the advise in #5 as we do not wish to

engage each person that shares in conversation, we move onto the next person at the


After I spend a day with the children it is interesting to hear what they name as their

rose and thorn.  Frequently it does not seem to reflect what I would say was the

highlight or the struggle of that day. But at the time they share, it is what is on their

mind and it is their sharing.  We just let it be.  It is important to acknowledge what was

difficult for them is real to them even when it may seem trivial or not a big deal to us. 

We cannot judge what brings joy or difficulty to another.

Over this next week may each of us try to quiet our mind, look directly at the person

speaking and try to hear what they are saying with their words and their expression.  As

we practice listening with our mind and heart to others, quieting our inner chatter,

perhaps we will find it easier to listen to the Holy Spirit within.