Christmas Mass Times

Christmas Eve Masses, Dec. 24th 

  • 3:30pm SMP
  • 6pm SMO
  • 8:30pm SMO
  • 11pm SMP

Christmas Day Mass, Dec. 25th

  • 9am SMO


A Christmas Day Prayer

Praise to You, Lord God!

You have become one of us.
You have become a human being,
while still retaining all your power and holiness as God!

You, O Lord, made the journey of the unborn child.
By being an embryo, a fetus, and a newborn,
you joined all unborn and newborn children to you!

From the beginning of history, O Lord,
You were the Creator of every human life.
Now, with Christmas,
You join Yourself in an unthinkable way with the life You created.

Let this Christmas, O God,
fill all of us with awe and wonder
at how close human life is to You.
Cleanse the world of all that tarnishes
and rejects this gift.
Purify our hearts of all that fears this gift.

Let our Christmas joy be the joy of welcoming every human life!


Immaculate Conception Mass Times

Vigil Mass – Friday, Dec. 7th at 6pm, SMO

            No 5pm Adoration on Friday, Dec. 7th.  

Holy Day Mass – Saturday, Dec. 8th

            8am, SMO

            12:15PM, SMP

            SMO Confession will be held from 10-11am.

Saturday night Mass at 5pm, SMP can also fulfill one’s Holy Day obligation. However, Saturday night Mass cannot fulfill one’s Holy Day and Sunday obligation. One must attend a Mass for the Holy Day and a Mass for Sunday.   

Advent by Candlelight

Please join us on Tuesday, December 4 for our annual Advent-by Candlelight dinner. This is a time to gather socially with other women
of the church and the community.

We will have a fellowship time starting at 6:00 with dinner to
be served at 6:30 pm. Please feel free to bring your favorite wine or
beer. Please consider hosting a table. Tables will be set for 8 people.
You will be responsible for the table decoration, which needs to
include candles or some sort of lighting.

Hostesses may decorate tables on the evening of December
3 from 5:00 – 6:30. You will be responsible to collect money from
the guests at your table. Table service will be provided. Chargers
may be used. PLEASE DO NOT BRING OWN DISHES. Please contact
Debbie Blunt at (641) 660-1937 or by email at
to reserve a table.

If you don’t want to host a table, but would like to attend,
please contact Debbie and she will place you at a table.

A short program will follow the meal. The meal will be Bacon Wrapped
Seasoned Slice Pork Loin, Parslied Red Potatoes, Green bean casserole,
and brownies. The cost will be $12 per plate

The Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception: It’s About Mary.

Why does the Catholic Church… in the middle of Advent, while preparing for Christmas… throw in yet another holy day?

Why pause to honor Mary while we’re prepping to party with Jesus? What is the Immaculate Conception… and why is it a big deal?

God was hoping you would ask.

The Immaculate Conception

First, we need to be clear here.

The Immaculate Conception is not about the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb. It’s about the conception of Mary in her mother’s womb years before.

While Mary was conceived in the normal, human way through her parents (Joachim and Anne), the Immaculate Conception speaks to the fact that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. Immaculate means ‘without stain.”

Why would God preserve Mary from Original Sin?

The quick answer: Because God is God, and He can do anything He wants.

The better answer: The Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin in order to preserve her as the perfect vessel through which our Lord would become flesh to the world. This does not mean, however, that Mary was not in need of a Savior. Jesus redeemed Mary, too, but in a unique way.

You and I are conceived with the stain of original sin (unleashed in Eden by our ancestors Adam and Eve), and we need Baptism to wash away that stain and cleanse our souls.

The difference is that when Mary was conceived, God intervened and chose to prevent Mary’s soul from bearing that stain.

Now, this is where some Christians point to Romans 3:23, which clearly states:

“…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…”

And as I mentioned earlier, Mary, herself, proclaims God as her “Savior” (Luke 1:47). The Catholic Church absolutely agrees with this fact and teaches (in Lumen Gentium, 53 – 56) exactly how Mary “was redeemed by the merits of her Son” (CCC 492).

One could say that Mary’s redemption was proactive… while Christ’s sacrifice removes our sin, it preserved Mary from it.

I know… this is deep stuff.

Picture it like this: you’re walking down a path in the forest and you fall into a deep, dark pit. That pit represents original sin. Someone reaches in to pull you out… they are now your “savior.” In Mary’s case, before she fell into the pit, God intervened and lifted her over it. He preserved her from the pain (and the stain). This was also a form of saving her — just in a different way.

Even the saints wrestled to get their heads around this truth. St. Augustine, for example, believed it and proclaimed it. St. Thomas Aquinas struggled with it… fearing that it implied that Mary didn’t need a Savior. Over time, however, his continued prayer and humility gave way to a deeper understanding of this truth and its Scriptural roots.

More than a Woman

Remember what the angel said when he greeted Mary in the Gospel of Luke, “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter!” (Luke 1:28). The better, more accurate translation reads, “Rejoice, you who are full of grace!” (from the Greek phrase kecharitomene).

Without getting too deep into Greek here, it’s important to note that the term indicates that Mary was “graced” already (not by the angel’s visit) and that she still was presently. The Greek speaks to her character and quality, not her luck. This was not an announcement that Mary had randomly won some divine lottery. She had been set apart… chosen and preserved… from the beginning of time.

This means that God prepared Mary to be clean (sinless) so that she could give birth to the Son of God. This doesn’t mean that she was never tempted. She was. But the Church says that she was filled with the love of the Holy Spirit and that there was no room for sin to take over. That’s a lot of love.

If you want to read more about this teaching, check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 721 – 726.

Did the Church just make this up?

Because this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception wasn’t officially defined until 1854, some think that means that the Catholic Church just made it up. What people have to remember, however, is that this doesn’t mean it wasn’t believed or taughtprior to that. It was.

You see, the Church is pretty busy defending truth and offering a billion souls the Sacraments. She doesn’t usually stop to “officially define” an understood doctrine unless there is some controversy or need for clarification. Sometimes, too, though, the Church officially declares a long-understood truth because it helps the faithful to grow even more deeply in understanding and devotion (which is the case here). The Pope saw the need for Mary’s intercession even more greatly in the modernizing Church and he wanted to encourage deeper prayer and devotion to her intercession.

Ask yourself

Wouldn’t God, in His infinite wisdom, want the body and womb that carried Christ to be a perfect and pure dwelling place?

Why wouldn’t God want to set apart the woman who would give birth to His only Son?

Wouldn’t the same God who rose a star in the sky as a heavenly birth announcement to earth (Matthew 2:2), who emptied Himself and took on flesh (Philippians 2:7) and who conquered death and rose from the dead (Acts 2:24Romans 6:9) be willing to go above and beyond in this way, too?

Wouldn’t God want Mary to be a stainless vessel and a model of perfect discipleship to carry and raise His only Son, Jesus?

Sounds like the perfect plan from our perfect God who is perfect Love (Matthew 5:481 John 4:18).

The original article by Mark Hart can be found on the Life Teen website.

Knights of Columbus Turkey Dinner


Knights of Columbus Turkey Dinner Nov. 1st from 4:30-7pm! $10 per ticket – Free for children under 6 yrs. old. 

Take out and drive-thru available! 

Desserts Needed: The Knights of Columbus are asking for your help with desserts for the Turkey Dinner on Nov. 1st. Sign up sheets are located at both entrances of the church. The Knights are very grateful for the great desserts donated from St. Mary’s parishioners as it helps make our dinner a success every year.


Holy Day Mass Times

All Saints Day (Holy Day of Obligation) 

  • Wednesday, Oct. 31 Vigil Mass – 6pm SMO
  • Thursday, Nov. 1 – 7am SMO
  • Thursday, Nov. 1 – 12:15 SMP
  • Thursday, Nov. 1 – 7pm SMP

All Souls Day

  • Friday, Nov. 2 – 7am SMO
  • Friday, Nov. 2 – 8:30 SMP

SMO – St. Mary, Oskaloosa (315 High Ave. East, Oskaloosa)

SMP – St. Mary, Pella (726 218th Pl, Pella)

2018 Confirmation

The 2018 Confirmation Mass with Bishop Zinkula will be Sunday, Nov. 4th at 5pm. Everyone is invited to join us in the Parish Center after Mass as we celebrate with Bishop Zinkula.

Please keep Luis, Brett, Garett, Mason, Junior, Jalayna, and Faith in your prayers on this special day!

WATCH Retreat

We Are The CHurch! WATCH Retreat

In today’s busy world it seems like we continually spend more time on matters considered “necessary” and less time on areas of our lives we really need to deem important. Like our faith journey.

What is WATCH?

  • A weekend retreat
  • Ecumenical
  • Co-Ed
  • Spiritual Renewal
  • Personal Development
  • Stree Free
  • Meet new people
  • Strengthen Relationships
  • Laughter

November 16-18, 2018

  • Friday, Nov. 16 – 7-10pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 17 – 8am-10pm
  • Sunday, Nov. 18 – 8am-2pm

St. Mary’s Church, Pella
Registration forms available in back
of church. For more information
see Deacon Don or Deacon Lowell.