Remember, Restore, Renew Articles

Remember, Restore, Renew

Bulletin Articles

By:  Msgr. Aleksander Suchan


January 7, 2024

Reporting on parish activities is not an easy task. Apart from what is measurable, there are also immeasurable, invisible things, such as personal conversions, answered prayers, joys, disappointments, all the experiences accompanying our private prayers. The annual summary should be included in everyone’s prayer of thanksgiving.

We thank the good God for the Sacrament of Confirmation, which was received by 31 high school students last year. For the nine children who received their First Confession and first Communion; for all who received the sacrament of baptism and the sacrament of marriage. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick which was administered to many parishioners throughout the year. We also remember with gratitude those who left this world and preceded us on the way to our Heavenly Father.

It is impossible to count how many times our sins were forgiven in the sacrament of penance, all the Masses celebrated on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation and weekdays, for the hours spent in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It is impossible to count the number of prayers offered to God from the pews and kneelers of both of our churches. For Lectors, Ushers, Ministers of Holy Communion (in the church and visiting those who were unable to come to church), Musicians, Altar servers - we give thanks to God for all of them.

Each month throughout the year, we financially contributed to Changing Gaits, Pregnancy Resource Center of Pine City, A Place For You, and supported our parishioner serving as a FOCUS missionary. During Advent, we participated in the Sleep in Heavenly Peace program and during Lent we collected socks for those in need. We also remember with gratitude those who worked hard and made the December Christmas Market and August Fall Jamboree very successful and memorable.

During the Fall Jamboree, the project of renovating the interior of the church was officially presented. Once again, the generous response from our parishioners exceeded all expectations.

As for the end of 2023 the amount of $238,518.75 was collected (in pledges and monies). We will need another $157,421.25 to complete the project.

Specifically, for both Side Altars, (one dedicated to St. Joseph and the other to the Blessed Virgin Mother) all necessary funds have already been collected in full. Both altars will be dedicated in honor and memory of living and deceased members of the Knights of Columbus and ICCW, respectively. The Presider's Chair and Credence Table are also prepaid and dedicated to the memory of deceased members of the donors’ families. The Pulpit (ambo) is 50% prepaid so far.

So, as you can see, 2023 was an eventful year and many good things were achieved. For everything we give thanks to God and the generous hearts of the parishioners. There's still a lot ahead of us. I believe that 2024 will also be full of God's blessing and full of good hearts of many people.

Happy New Year! 



October 22, 2023 Bulletin

September 24, so almost exactly a month ago, was our Fall Jamboree. That day was also the beginning of our Remember-Restore-Renew program which aims to raise funds needed to renovate the interior of our church. Just a quick note today, I want to let everyone know that $21,150 was collected and an additional $3,708 was pledged and $7,500 for memorials to purchase furniture for a total of $32,358 to this program in the first month. As you can see, most of them were one-time donations, but a few are pledges spread over monthly installments. Two families made offerings towards the purchase of the pulpit in memory of their parents, one family donated for the Credence Table and another for the Presider’s Chair.  One of the donations was accompanied by a note. The parishioner, the author of the note agreed to let me publish it in the bulletin, without mentioning a name. Here it is:

I had some Savings Bonds that I planned on leaving to the church after I was gone.  Well, I cashed them in and am able to give the money now for the renew of the church.  I hope to live till next September to see the final project.

I would like to thank everyone once again for every donation and interest in the project. I believe that just as we are now trying to contribute to the project, together we will also be able to thank God for its completion next summer.

Msgr. Aleksander Suchan


Fall Jamboree Update

Thank you for all the help, donations and participation in our Fall Jamboree held in September!  All the prayers to St. Medard worked and the rain held off for the afternoon resulting in a successful event.  A total of $7,506.64 was raised to help fund our Interior Renovation Project.

Due to the time, talents and contributions of many, we were able to keep the costs low and provide a delicious meal, great entertainment and lots of fun for everyone who attended!  A huge thank you to the Knights of Columbus, CCW and Sodality members for their financial contributions, time and resources.  The incredible generosity of businesses and individuals who donated baskets for our raffle provided lots of excitement and many great prizes.  The time and talent of all the volunteers made the work fun and the day a success!  Thank you!

Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss next years fun!  See you on Sunday, September 22, 2024!


October 8, 2023 Bulletin

A few weeks ago, when plans related to the renovation of the interior of our church were presented, I also presented a timeline of when the work is scheduled to begin and when it will end. However, from the questions, I gather that not everyone is familiar with this, so today I would like to share with you these plans again.

The Remember – Restore – Renew Program officially started on Sunday, September 24, 2023, the day of our Fall Jamboree. Now we have almost a year ahead of us to collect the necessary funds while we implement our plans and complete the work. The plans are, that on the day of next year's Fall Jamboree, we will officially enter the renewed church. We tentatively plan for it to be Sunday, September 22, 2024.

According to the arrangements with Henning Church & Historical Restoration, the church will have to be closed for approximately 5-6 weeks while the work is being done. This means that from approximately mid-August next year until the work is completed, services in the church will be suspended.

The obvious question on everyone's mind: What is this going to look like? Where will Masses be celebrated during the week and on Sundays? I admit that it will be quite a challenge! It's good that we have almost a whole year to think it over. As of today, to be honest, I don't know exactly. I suppose that for now the best idea seems to be to "move" the church downstairs to our parish hall. Masses can certainly be celebrated there during the week. Sundays would probably be possible there too. Another idea is to have two Masses at St. Joseph’s (for example, one on Saturday evening and one on Sunday) and one at Immaculate Conception Church.

The Sunday of our Fall Jamboree, yet another idea came to my mind - Mass outdoors! There was enough space, there were microphones, there was music. I think this idea is worth considering. We would then also have to organize a special prayer group in honor of St. Medard. And, although we have tangible evidence and can humbly assume that the Saint likes us, would it be too intrusive to ask for no rain for several Sundays in a row? Just in case, let's also remember that the tent we had back then, September 24th, didn't look bad at all.

Oh well, we'll see how it all plays out. We have a whole year to prepare for this. If anyone has any interesting ideas about this, bring them on.

Have a blessed week!

Msgr. Aleksander Suchan


October 1, 2023 Bulletin

Just a few weeks of presenting the general plans regarding the renovation of the interior of our church and the reaction of parishioners is uplifting. Which does not mean one hundred percent positive. It is very encouraging to see how you care about your church and show interest in its future. There are several topics I would like to comment on. It will take up more than one column in our weekly bulletin, so please be patient.

Today, the question that always comes up when we buy new things for the church: What will happen to the old?

Last Sunday, at our Fall Jamboree, you could see three photographs presenting our church; our church in the past, our church now and our church in the near future. Now these photos can be seen in St. Anthony’s Commons. Take a look at the photo from the past and compare with what the church looks like today.

Besides stained-glass windows, there is probably only one thing that remained from the old church: the base from the main altar, the one the tabernacle stands on. I agree, it would be interesting to know what happened to the angels with lamps on both sides of the main altar or with the figures of saints on both sides of the Holy Mother statue standing in the center above the tabernacle. The side altars looked beautiful, but today they are gone, just as the statue of the Heart of Jesus on the left and St. Patrick (or St. Nicolaus is it?) on the right. Chandeliers, the Communion rail, and the old pews are gone.  The  rosette window was covered. In a word, the church looks different. I know that some of you still remember how the old church had been arranged. I have heard, that from the wood of which a past baptismal font had been made (not seen in the photo but, from what I know, very beautiful, with a canopy, similar in style to the high altar) a few crucifixes were made. It seems that the Sacred Heart of Jesus from the left side altar is the same that is now at the back exit of the office building, near the door from St. Mary’s Early Learning Academy. And that's it! One thing I am sure of is that all the things that served in the worship of God in our church, if there was no other place where they could be useful, were respectfully disposed. I don't know exactly what will happen to the altar, the pulpit, the baptismal font and everything else. I like the idea of using the wood to make crucifixes or something similar. Giving them to private homes seems, to me, inappropriate. But, as I say, I don't know yet. All things dedicated to God's worship are exchanged for new ones over time. Sometimes they look similar, sometimes they are completely different. Nothing in this world lasts forever. Everything ends. New things appear in the place of the old ones. Not better, not worse, just new; sometimes a little different.

The goal in the architecture of church interiors, however, is always the same: “Sacred buildings for Divine worship should be truly worthy and beautiful and be signs and symbols of heavenly realities”. I want to believe that the new look of the interior of our church, although of course imperfect, will fulfill its role: to help us lift up our hearts and minds to God and help us to worship Him better.

Msgr. Aleksander Suchan


September 10, 2023 Bulletin

I am writing this to inform you of a letter I am going to send to every household in our parish. And here's the reason why I think this letter is important:

Over five years ago, in June of 2018, at our Parish Town Home meeting, we discussed plans to improve our parish facilities. We then agreed that three things needed to be addressed: 1. A new rectory; 2. Renovation of the interior of the church and 3. Parish Hall. We knew that these plans were ambitious, but at the same time we believed that we would be able to implement them within a few years. Unforeseen circumstances, however (e.g., pandemic, finding asbestos in an old rectory, the opportunity to buy a building in our block) made us postpone our optimistic plans a bit. Regardless, we are proud that the new rectory has been built and it's been already three years since I moved in. Point 1 - checked!

At the same time, we talked about the need to paint the church and kept complaining about the lighting in it. The last renovation was carried out 28 years ago. We started looking for a company that would undertake the project of renovating the interior of the church. We have received several estimates for decorative painting of the church and new lighting. Each time the cost seemed to be too high for our budget, so the whole project had to be started from scratch in such a way as to lower the costs while meeting our expectations in terms of a sacred dignity and high quality our place of worship deserves. Finally, Henning Church & Historical Restoration met our expectations and presented a plan that we were able to accept.

In the letter I mentioned, you will find a photo rendition of the interior of our church after renovation. I think it looks beautiful, doesn't it?

You will also find a note from our parishioners Karen and Frank Wilcox, who have agreed to lead and coordinate our fundraising campaign: Remember, Restore, Renew.

The plans are as follows: Starting in September 2023, we will work to find and secure the necessary funds so that we can begin work on the church in the summer of 2024.

We will probably have to close the church for about 5 to 6 weeks. On Sunday of next year's Fall Jamboree (September 22, 2024?), the grand opening of the newly restored church will take place.

So again, expect a letter from the church this week with some interesting information about upcoming plans for our church, as well as various opportunities to get involved in funding this important project.

All proceeds from this year's Fall Jamboree, September 24, will go towards the renovation of the interior of our church. I hope you are all planning on coming.

Exciting days ahead, an exciting year ahead! Let's hope that we will see the great results of our efforts next summer!

Msgr. Aleksander Suchan