Fr. Troy Richmond is coming to Osky!

Throughout our diocese, this past weekend marked the announcement of new assignments of priests by Bishop Thomas. Effective July 1st, Fr. Troy Richmond is assigned as pastor of St. Mary Parish, Oskaloosa and St. Mary Parish, Pella. As of July 1st Fr. Troy is relieved of his current assignment as pastor of Saints Mary & Mathias Parish, Muscatine, and St. Joseph Parish, Columbus Junction.

Fr. Troy is the son of Sherry Richmond and the late Gary Richmond of Ottumwa, Iowa. Fr. Troy was ordained for the Diocese of Davenport by Bishop Wm. E. Franklyn, D.D. in 2003.

I am pleased to share this brief notice of Fr. Troy’s assignment with my parishes of SMO/SMP. I look forward to offering more of an introduction of Fr. Troy next weekend. Let us pray for Fr. Troy as he comes to take leave of the parishes, he has served as pastor for six years and as he prepares to come to all of us at SMO/SMP as our pastor.

Fr. John

A Message From Fr. John

Dear Parishioners, 

While the air about me carried the broadcast news of all things COVID-19, into my mind came 2 Samuel, Chapter 24.   Below you will find a most interesting passage dealing with King David and a plague befalling Israel.  I share more following the presentation of this text of Second Samuel from the Revised New American Bible.

2 Samuel, chapter 24

David’s Census; the Plague.1The LORD’s anger against Israel flared again,a and he incited David against them: “Go, take a census of Israel and Judah.”2The king therefore said to Joab and the leaders of the army who were with him, “Tour all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba and register the people, that I may know their number.”3But Joab replied to the king: “May the LORD your God increase the number of people a hundredfold for my lord the king to see it with his own eyes. But why does it please my lord to do a thing of this kind?”4However, the king’s command prevailed over Joab and the leaders of the army, so they left the king’s presence in order to register the people of Israel.

9Joab then reported the census figures to the king: of men capable of wielding a sword, there were in Israel eight hundred thousand, and in Judah five hundred thousand.

10Afterward, however, David regretted having numbered the people. David said to the LORD: “I have sinned grievously in what I have done.b Take away, LORD, your servant’s guilt, for I have acted very foolishly.”*11When David rose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying:12Go, tell David: Thus says the LORD: I am offering you three options; choose one of them, and I will give you that.13Gad then went to David to inform him. He asked: “Should three years of famine come upon your land; or three months of fleeing from your enemy while he pursues you; or is it to be three days of plague in your land? Now consider well: what answer am I to give to him who sent me?”c14David answered Gad: “I am greatly distressed. But let us fall into the hand of God, whose mercy is great, rather than into human hands.”15Thus David chose the plague. At the time of the wheat harvest it broke out among the people. The LORD sent plague over Israel from morning until the time appointed, and from Dan to Beer-sheba seventy thousand of the people died.16But when the angel stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD changed his mind about the calamity, and said to the angel causing the destruction among the people: Enough now! Stay your hand.d The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.e17When David saw the angel who was striking the people, he said to the LORD: “It is I who have sinned; it is I, the shepherd, who have done wrong. But these sheep, what have they done? Strike me and my father’s family!”

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25Then David built an altar to the LORD there, and sacrificed burnt offerings and communion offerings. The LORD granted relief to the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel.

 

Footnote: The narrative supposes that since the people belonged to the Lord rather than to the king, only the Lord should know their exact number. Further, since such an exact numbering of the people would make it possible for the king to exercise centralized power, imposing taxation, conscription, and expropriation upon Israel, the story shares the view of monarchy found in 1 Sm 8:418. See also Nm 3:4451, where census taking requires an apotropaic [designed to prevent evil] offering.

First, there is nothing wrong with the modern taking of a national census.  The current US Census 2020 which Bishop Thomas has requested our complete cooperation and participation in this year is a proper tool with which the federal government ensures that our government is a true representative government and that national policies address our national population equitably and justly.  In our expanding spare time join with me in going online to complete your initial participation in US Census 2020.

King David’s call for a census was not as our US Census 2020.   It was for David the placing of his trust no longer in the Lord but in himself and the strength within Israel’s numbers of “men capable of wielding a sword”.  Recall that Psalm 33:16,17,20-22 states, “A king is not saved by a great army nor a warrior delivered by great strength.  Useless is the horse for safety; despite its great strength, it cannot be saved.  Our soul waits for the Lord, he is our help and shield.  For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name, we trust. May your mercy, Lord, be upon us; as we put our hope in you.”

The prophet Samuel was not pleased with Israel’s want for a king. His sons were installed as judges over Israel but they looked to their own gain and not to justice in their decisions.  Thus the people all the more sought a king.  The Lord did not favor the provision of a King for Israel but gave into the persistent demand of Israel that they be given a King.  The Lord did so only after warning the people that the people would be as if existing in the king and the king in his person would be as the people.  David’s lack of trust in the Lord is Israel’s lack of trust.  Israel, therefore, endures the punishment that fell to David’s lack of trust.

Now David is given a choice as to what is now to befall him and Israel.  David’s reason for his choice of plague to address his failing to trust in God is also most interesting.  He sees plague as governed by God who is merciful.  Recall the king is Israel and Israel is the king.  He reasons that the pursuit of a human enemy will be without mercy.  While if he should suffer under God’s direction, God is always merciful.  He also fears the terrible length of time in suffering from famine; years as opposed to days.  He chooses the three days of plague.

The plague that is to present over three days will be but a day and come to an end by God’s mercy and David’s expiatory sacrifice by which the king repents of his sin and reaffirms his trust in the Lord alone.  The site of David’s sacrifice will become the site of Israel’s great temple in Jerusalem, the sacred and central place of all of Israel’s sacrifices.

As for us who find ourselves enduring the ravages of COVID-19, it is for us to trust in a God full of mercy rich in compassion.  God is Emmanuel; God with us.  We will be served best if we place our trust in the Lord in this our time of plague.  May the Lord God stay again the hand of the destroying angel of plague and may we as David come to place our trust in the Lord who fills the earth with His mercy.

– Fr. John

Response to Coronavirus

UPDATE 4./3/2020

      • This update from Fr. John includes:
        • The celebration of Palm Sunday and Holy Week
        • The closing of all diocesan Churches to the public.
        • Confession & Act of Perfect Contrition

Updates 3/25/2020

Fr. John, A reflection on offering Mass alone

Fr. John, Sacrament of Penance Schedule 3/25/20

This is a list of the key changes being made to church life, until further notice.

      • All public celebrations of the Mass (and all other public liturgies or devotions) are to be canceled.
        • Baptisms, weddings, and funerals may be celebrated with immediate family members only.
        • Individual Confession and Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated.
      • All Catholics in the Diocese of Davenport are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
      • If you are sick, or if you are caring for someone who is sick, please stay home.
        • Those who are 60 years of age or older, and those with underlying health conditions, should stay at home and avoid all gatherings or other situations of potential exposure.
      • All large group meetings, conferences, retreats and the like in the diocese are to be canceled.
      • All faith formation classes and activities are to be canceled (use electronic formats if possible).
      • Small office meetings may take place if essential, but it is preferable to meet electronically.
        • Encourage staff, especially those at risk for severe illness, to telework (when feasible).
        • Limit non-essential work travel.
      • All Catholic schools will be closed, at least until April 13. All extracurricular events are to be canceled.
        • Further guidance will be forthcoming from the Office of the Superintendent.

For more information, please visit the Diseases Website.

Totus Tuus 2020 Dates

Get ready for a week of fun!

Totus Tuus July 19-24, 2020!!

The Middle/High School Program will in Oskaloosa from Sunday, July 19 – Thursday, July 23 from 7-9:15pm.

The Grade School Program will be in Pella from Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 21 from 9am-3pm. Carpooling from Oskaloosa will be available.

Registration is not currently available.

God’s Simple Path A Women’s Retreat

Drawing from the wisdom of St. Mother Teresa, this retreat explores the stones of her “Simple Path” – silence, prayer, faith, love, service, and peace. In discovering how these stones help us to love, serve, and respect our Lord and our fellow human beings, we will draw closer to God and one another. Join women from across the diocese for a day filled with Scripture, story, song, prayer, and action, and be reminded how we are daily called to embrace holiness and see how our lives can run more smoothly, joyfully, and peacefully.

Retreat Details:

  • Who: All Women
  • Date: Saturday April 18, 2020
  • Time: 9am-3pm (Carpool from Osky! We will leave the Parish Center at 7:30am and return around 4:20pm. For more information on carpooling please contact Samantha Ridder, 641.673.0659)
  • Cost: $30 by March 29th – $40 March 30-April 12
  •  Location: Holy Trinity, 571 Howard St. Kalona, Iowa

REGISTER NOW!!

About the Facilitator:

Dr. Mel Kennedy is a musicianary (musician and missionary) who brings the gospel message into the hearts of those who hear her, through song, story, Scripture, and prayer. She holds a Doctor of Ministry in Applied Ministries from Graduate Theological Foundation, an MA in Liturgical Ministry and a Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. Mel has released five Christian Music CDs that have been nominated for multiple awards. She has spoken and performed at conferences, churches and women’s retreats across the US and Canada. Her ministry is about empowering and inspiring women to share their faith and radiate God’s love through liturgy, service, relationship and the simple actions of daily life.

2020 St. Mary’s Scholarship

St Mary’s Parish Scholarship

Scholarship information:

These scholarships are in amounts up to $1,000 and will be awarded each May to students who are members of St Mary Parish, Oskaloosa, and are currently graduating from a local high school.  The various scholarship funds of St. Mary Parish, Oskaloosa were established by generous church members or by their heirs, as memorials.  These funds are to assist our students in pursuing higher education opportunities.

2020 St Mary Parish Scholarship application

Lent 2020 Food Pack Event

St. Mary’s Oskaloosa & Pella Partner for the Lent 2020 Food Pack Event

March 8, 1-3pm

We need your help!

Volunteer: We will package 20,000 meals at the St. Mary’s Oskaloosa Parish Center, on March 8. Options to help include set up, mealing packing, and clean up between 11:30-4pm. Sign up using the access code: Lent0320. SIGN UP NOW!!

Donate: St. Mary’s Oskaloosa will need to raise $3,100. Each packaged meal is 6 servings with a cost of $.30. Please prayerfully consider donating, every dollar counts! Give your donations to the Parish Center Office or in the collections marked “Food Pack Event.”

The meals will go to Food Banks in our local and neighboring communities.

Bags and Beer

Join Young Adults from the deanery for some summer fun! Including a Bags Tournament, yard games, bar snacks, and a break from the winter cold!

This is a free event open to all young adults (21-40). Please register by Feb. 1st for the Bags Tournament and FREE Babysitting at bit.ly/BagTourney

Sweet Sunday Social

Join us for a silent auction, delicious desserts, activities for the kids, and more! This event is an essential part of fundraising for our Faith Formation Household Sundays. Over the past year, our families have had the opportunity to learn together, serve together, and live their faith together with their parish community. Through your support, we can continue to support our families through these free family events.

Find out more!

Christmas Mass Schedule

Christmas Mass Schedule

Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2019
  • 3:30pm – St. Mary, Pella
  • 6pm – St. Mary, Oskaloosa
  • 8:30pm – St. Mary, Oskaloosa
  • 11pm – St. Mary, Pella
Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2019
  • 9am – St. Mary, Oskaloosa

 

St. Mary, Oskaloosa – 315 1st Ave. East

St. Mary, Pella – 126 218th Place