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Greetings Holy Spirit Parish!

Welcome to the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time!

A message to the faithful of the archdiocese from Archbishop Michael Jackels ...

The pandemic isn’t over yet; indeed, the delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading in the US of A, and now the lambda variant is starting to rear its ugly head here.

Some might be anxious about a breakthrough infection or putting the health of a loved one at risk because the dispensation has ended and we’re therefore obliged to participate at Sunday Mass in church.

Fear not, for our holy Catholic Church teaches (Catechism, para. 2181) that you can excuse yourself from that obligation, with no guilt of sin, if you have a serious reason:
  1. You’re frail from age or illness
  2. You’re caring for someone sick or homebound
  3. You’re pregnant or caring for an infant
  4. You’re doing a work of mercy that was unplanned or took longer than planned
  5. You’ve no way to get to church
  6. Your work schedule conflicts with the parish Mass schedule, and you need to work
  7. You’re afraid to travel because of bad weather
  8. You’re afraid of getting the COVID from people outside your household
This is by no means an exhaustive list. For serious reasons like these, you don’t need permission from the archbishop or your pastor to absent yourself from Sunday Mass. Use your good sense to excuse yourself, and find another way to pray in order to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

Basically, it isn’t a sin to miss Mass if you would go if you could go, but you can’t go to Mass (or anywhere else for that matter) due to circumstances outside your control. Put another way, missing Mass is only a sin if you could go, but you choose not to go, and maybe do nothing at all with that time, or go somewhere else instead.

If you are unable to go to Sunday Mass in church, know that you will be missed and that you’ll be lifted up in prayer. We all long for the day when the holy community can gather safely in church to worship God at Holy Mass, to be transformed by receiving Holy Communion, and to be sent out as agents of transformation in the world.

Michael O. Jackels


As numbers continue to rise in our area, it is important that we remain vigilant in protecting ourselves and each other from this dreaded virus. As such, masks in the church sites and halls are now strongly encouraged by all those attending, regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for your continued support and response to these needs during this pandemic.

RCIA/RCIC Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and Children

We are accepting inquiries and registration for our RCIA program this year which will begin in September. RCIA is for:
  1. any adult or child (age 7 or above with the support of their parents) interested in seeking baptism into the Church
  2. for adults who are baptized but now wish to prepare for Confirmation, or
  3. for anyone wishing to learn more about their Catholic Faith.
If you are interested, please contact Fr. Steve at the parish office at 583-1709.

Join Fr. Steve this Saturday morning (August 28th) as we begin another series of Faith Formation sessions at 9:30 AM in Sacred Heart Church. This week's topic is titled 'What is Sin?'.

This event will be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel, here:

Holy Hour with Night Prayer will begin this Sunday evening beginning at 7:00 PM in Sacred Heart Church. Come spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament as you wind down your weekend and start a new week.

This event will be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel, here:

Monday Night at the MOVIES! -- The CHOSEN
Thank you to all those who joined us for our Monday Night at the Movies! We can't wait to show the next episode (5) next Monday evening beginning at 7 PM in Kriebs Hall (Sacred Heart Church basement)! We hope you will join us -- but, first, here is the link to watch the previous episodes ---> before joining us next week!!

We're Hiring!

Director of Operations
Holy Spirit Parish in Dubuque, IA is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Director of Operations. This position is responsible for managing and directing all personnel, communications, and technological aspects of the parish. Responsibilities include effective implementation and oversight of all phases of Human Resources including policies and procedures; develop, manage, and execute the communication needs of the parish including marketing, website, social media, and live streaming, and provide technical assistance and support to staff and pastors related to computer systems, software, and other technology.

Qualified candidates will possess:
  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent in expertise and experience required
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Church and its mission
  • Proficient background (2-5 years) in communications, technology, and human resources necessary.
Interested applicants should send a resume including qualifications and references to Father Steve Garner at

Imposter posing as Father Steve in either text messages or emails to parishioners

The archdiocese has received reports that parishioners are receiving fraudulent text messages and emails from someone posing as Father Steve Garner. The messages are similar to the following. “[Recipient’s Name] I need a favor from you, text me as soon as you get this message. God Bless you. Father Steve Garner

If the recipient replies, the scammer will ask the recipient to purchase gift cards. Please know that Father Steve is not going to make such requests.  If you are in doubt about a message that claims to be from Father Steve, please contact the parish office. Thank you.

Join us TWICE a day as we pray the Liturgy of the Hours, Morning Prayer and Night Prayer!

Morning prayer will be posted beginning at 6 AM each Monday-Friday and night prayer will be posted beginning at 7:30 PM each Monday-Friday night. We hope you will consider joining us and adding these beautiful prayers to your day!
Religious Education & Sacramental Preparation Updates

REMINDER Formation Registration for 2021-2022

In collaboration again with St. Raphael's Cathedral and St. Patrick's Church, we will be offering formation program options for grades 1-8 in the 2021-2022 year:
  1. a classroom model (social distancing) during the school  year on Wednesday evenings at Holy Ghost, with online offerings as needed;
  2. a home school program through Loyola Press using the Finding God series. The program includes online tests after the completion of certain segments. In addition, there will be an occasional large group session during the year.
 👉 ACTION ITEM: In order for us to plan appropriately, please register your students for classes as soon as possible. You may register online at:, email, or call the parish office. 

Sacramental Preparation Registration
If you have an incoming 2nd grader (in either Holy Family or Dubuque Community Schools) or an incoming 9th grader, your student(s) may be eligible to receive their First Reconciliation/First Communion or Confirmation, respectively. Please register them today so we can prepare materials for their upcoming preparation!

 👉 ACTION ITEM:  Register your students for their sacraments at this link: If your student will not participate in Religious Education simply register for sacramental prep only. All families MUST register for sacramental preparation regardless of where they attend school.

Catechists Needed! Can you help?
The Religious Education program is in need of catechists for the upcoming year. Classes are scheduled on Wednesday evenings at Holy Ghost School from 6:30- 7:45 PM.  The program runs from September 8th through April 27th. Compensation provided. If interested contact Jan Thyne at or Cassie Schetgen at
FORMation Inspiration with

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1. Visit 
2. Enter our parish’s zip code or name.
3. Enter your name and email.
A Note from Patrick, Director of Worship
New Fall schedules, Sept-Nov 2021, are live and posted! Please review and let me know if you still have updates; as always, please help find sub-requests for the times you are unable to serve. Copies of the schedule may be found in the church sacristies, parish office, and the parish website under the Ministry-MSP-Schedules. To those without access to the internet I will be mailing out hard copies; everyone please let me know if you ever want a hard copy and I will send them to you. I will return to the old practice of leaving hard copies in the back of the church. Starting in September Sign-in sheets will return to the church sacristy. 
**Growing our Liturgical Ministries**
As you can see, please, we are in need of more volunteers for all the ongoing ministries. Please take some time to pray about whether or not volunteering your time for any ministry would be of interest to you or a way for you to share your gifts of time and talent. If interested, need more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Director of Worship, Patrick Jekanowski at (563) 583-1709, ext.313. 
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:
Please let me know if you still need to be recommissioned by Father Steve. This may be done before or after Mass on the weekend, or during the week. After this blessing, we will get you the official certificate. Thank you!

Many prayers and blessings to you and yours, 

Patrick J. 

Sunday Reflection from Father Steve Garner

Reflection | 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

This weekend we return to the Gospel of Mark after a five-week detour into the Gospel of John and the ‘Bread of Life Discourse’. The message posited before us in this weekend’s readings is ripe with challenges for us to look deep into our hearts—as individuals, as a parish, and as a Church.

In our Gospel, Jesus challenges the Pharisees (and us) to see that faith practice, while important, is not just something we do without any thought. Quoting the Prophet Isaiah, Jesus says, "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human pre­cepts." At the core of this Scripture passage, we hear once again that what Jesus longs for more than anything else is a place in our lives. He does not just want empty promises or lip service, or people just going through the motions. What He desires most is to have a central place in our hearts—just as He has for us. For all who call themselves Christian, we are not just called to be a part of a greater whole in Christ, but that the greater whole (of Christ) becomes a growing and larger part of our life.

I was taught in the seminary that every night we should make an examination of conscience, which is a look back through the day to see what I did or failed to do under the circumstances of my life to grow closer to Christ. This was not simply an exercise to identify sins of omission and commission but to ask why. Why did I respond this way or that way in this circumstance? What prompts me to this or that emotion, statement, or comment? Are there issues that are unresolved in my heart that keep me from fully committing my life and myself to the Lord? We may not like to look so deeply within, because it challenges us to change and to move for­ward in faith to become a better person. That continues to take commitment, and sometimes it is difficult to muster that commitment.

The second reading from the Letter of James tells us that we must humbly welcome the Word of God that is planted in our hearts, and to be doers of the word, not hearers only. We are called to care for widows and orphans as a sign of our faith, to care for all who stand in need; for we care not just for a brother or sister, but we care for Christ himself. And we, for the most part, do so admirably. As a part of the greater whole of Christ, we reach out to many in need through our individual acts of charity, through the many ministries and charities supported through the parish, and through the Church as a whole. In doing so, we allow Christ to become a larger part of our lives as well. May we continue to honor our Lord with our hearts as well as with our lips.

I wish everyone a blessed week!
TOGETHER is a monthly bulletin from the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
Each month, TOGETHER will feature messages from Archbishop Jackels as well as initiatives and happenings from around the archdiocese.

Click on the link above to read the most recent edition.

Prayer for the week

Let us pray with intention this week for our students returning to classes!

Prayer to Begin a School Year50+ Back To School Wishes and Messages - WishesMsg

Blessed are you, Lord God,
Creator of body and mind and heart;
you have sent the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge
to guide your people in all their ways.
At the beginning of this new school year 
we implore your mercy:
bless students, teachers, and staff 
that together we may grow in faith, hope, and love
as we learn from you and each other
how to follow your Son, Jesus.
Expand the horizons of our minds,
that we may grow in wisdom,
understanding, and knowledge;
deepen our commitment to seek the truth of your ways;
and enliven our faith to reach out to those in need.

Glory and praise to you, Lord God,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever.

Prayer is taken from the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2007), USCCB 300

Enjoy the latest edition of the Family Matters newsletter here!
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