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Dear Sacred heart and St. Mary on the Lake,

Enjoy this 4th of July weekend. My family was blessed to welcome the 16 th grandchild this past week! For every grandbaby we do a betting pool to see who can guess the right gender and closest to the right day/time. The winner takes in $25. I have kept my record perfect—I am 0 in 16! I’ll say this time what I have said every other time—hopefully next time!

It has been a blessing having the seminarians. They are a blessing for us to have, but please know how important you are in their formation. These times in a parish are invaluable for the lived experience it provides. It is so good to experience moments of ministry, to be with people in times of joy and sorrow, to be able to pray with someone at the drop of a hat simply because they need it. They are so helpful in our discernment and formation. Thank you for being an important part in their calling.

I appreciate the invites to visit—it is great for me to have a time to sit down and chat that is longer than the 5 minutes at the end of Mass. For the seminarians it is also a great way to get to know a parish. Let me know if you have never had your home blessed. That I something I especially love to do. Sometimes there are parishioners that live close by each other and we will do several blessings at the same time moving from one home to another. The prayer of blessing for a home is a powerful one—I have included it here:

Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

Priest: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God the Father Almighty, we fervently implore you for the sake of this home and its occupants

and possessions, that you may bless + and sanctify + them, enriching them by your kindness in every way possible. Pour out on them, Lord, heavenly dew in good measure, as well as an abundance of earthly needs. Mercifully listen to their prayers, and grant that their desires be fulfilled. At our lowly coming be pleased to bless + and sanctify + this home, as you once were pleased to bless the home of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Within these walls let your angels of light preside and stand watch over those who live here; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The home is sprinkled with holy water.

Our homes are sacred places. It is for good reason that the Church calls the home and the family the Domestic Church. On those visits it is especially moving to see the prayer places

different families have. What is your prayer place in the house? A particular chair, a particular time of day? It is good for you to know about it and I think just as important for everyone else to know. For parents this is one of the most important examples you can leave your children—they knew your prayer place and time so they can do the same themselves one day. It is never too late to make one!

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

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