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Greetings Holy Spirit Parish!
Welcome to the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary time!

We continue to pray for our parishioners and an end to the COVID pandemic.
Answering our Church’s Call to Combat Human Trafficking
“The Catholic Church intends to intervene in every phase of the trafficking of human beings; she wants to protect them from deception and solicitation; she wants to find them and free them when they are transported and reduced to slavery; she wants to assist them once they are freed.” – Pope Francis, Address to Participants in the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action against Human Trafficking, 2018

One of the most hidden and vulnerable populations our Church is called to accompany and protect are women, men, and children subjected to human trafficking. Also referred to as modern-day slavery, this illicit industry generates over 150 billion dollars a year by compelling human beings to perform backbreaking labor or engage in commercial sex acts. Contrary to public perception, these brothers and sisters of ours are not only trapped through physical force, yet also many times by insidious schemes such as fraud and coercion.  In other words, traffickers’ prey upon the vulnerable with false promises of a better life, threat of harm or death against their loved ones, withholding identify documents, tricking them into thinking they owe more debt, and more.

Our baptismal call to promote human dignity teaches us that every life is a gift from God and sacred, and as such, deserves to be protected and nurtured. Human trafficking—where men, women, and children are bought and sold like merchandise—inherently rejects this principle, showing absolute contempt for the human condition.   Thus, the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World denounces all conditions where people “are treated as mere tools for profit rather than free and responsible persons” as “infamies” and a “supreme dishonor to the creator”.

The elimination of human trafficking is a priority issue of the Catholic Church. We can turn to the Church’s most recent papal leaders for guidance. Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis have each publicly decried trafficking in persons, calling for its eradication and for the protection of survivors.  Pope Francis has spoken with particular urgency about our responsibility as Catholics and people of good will to not look the other way.  Archbishop Bernadito Auza, former representative of the Holy See at the United Nations, clearly delineates Pope Francis’ message which urges us to be present to and take action against this crime:
  • Human trafficking is a crime that is happening in our local communities
  • Root causes are economic, environmental, ethical, and political in nature
  • Trafficking takes advantage of a widespread culture of indifference and exclusion
  • Now is the time for action against modern-day slavery
  • Action must involve everyone
The good news is that as the Vatican – as well as the U.S. Bishops, and our country’s religious sisters – amplify their cry against what Pope Francis describes as “a wound against contemporary society,” a growing number of
Catholics are anxious to become involved in its eradication. There are a multitude of options available for each and every one of us to get started today:

Pray: Observe February 8th when Catholics around the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services on the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. February 8 also coincides with the Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita. St. Bakhita’s trajectory from years of cruel enslavement in Sudan to freedom in Italy led her to experience the love of God through Christ and to become a shepherd for many others. Join us as we partner with the John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy at St. Thomas University College of Law for an online morning prayer service, survivors’ panel, and mass!

Grow in Awareness: Read and reflect upon the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, a publication authored by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican. These guidelines offer an in-depth reading and comprehension of modern-day slavery to serve as encouragement to Catholic anti-trafficking ministries.

Engage: Reference the ‘Become a SHEPHERD’ resources from USCCB contain an array of materials to help you with awareness raising and direct engagement through service and advocacy.

Learn more about USCCB’s Anti-Trafficking programs and efforts at
All rights reserved. Copyright © 2020, USCCB, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


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Archbishop Jackels has challenged each of us to embrace stewardship as a way of life. Catholic Charities Dubuque annual appeal gives us an opportunity to use our gifts from God to help others.
Celebrate Catholic Schools the week of January 31- February 6
Continue your journey with The Search on FORMED.Org!
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What Jesus did for us through his life, death, and resurrection was the greatest act of love in history. He saved us. He did this for each one of us. Personally. But some might feel unworthy of this gift of love. We may feel we have too much baggage. We may feel unlovable. But God didn’t come to reveal himself to us on a pedestal—he came to enter into our messy human condition. To fix us from within. To transform us from the inside out. Some might be surprised by how generous the love of God really is. We don’t deserve God’s love, but that’s the amazing reality of God’s mercy. This relationship with God isn’t all about our love for him. It’s about his love for us that changes our lives forever.

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Annual Knights of Columbus Baby Shower
Image result for baby crib cartoon
The Knights of Columbus Councils #510,10069,5513 and 15813 will be hosting their 16th Annual Baby Shower. The Baby Shower will run from February 7 - April 4. All donations will be given to Birthright. Donations can be placed in the baby crib on display at Holy Spirit Parish church sites. A list of requested items (diapers, newborn outfits, blankets, etc.) will be available in the cribs. Please be generous.
Religious Education & Sacramental Prep Updates

Religious Education
We have resumed in person Religious Education as of last night! We have regular class next week on February 10th. The following Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. The usual Mass our students attend is the 6:30pm at Holy Ghost, but you may attend whatever Mass time works best for your whole family. Masks and social distancing are required at all parish Masses. Please contact Cassie at if you have any questions.

First Eucharist Preparation
If you missed the virtual parent meeting last week, Cassie will be reaching out to you with the information and educational materials from the meeting. We begin studying chapter 1 next week! If you have any questions please contact her at   

Confirmation Session
Our next session is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 14th at 10:30am in the Holy Ghost church basement (in person). Your Confirmation name paper should be submitted by that morning to Cassie via email. If you have any questions please contact her at
A Note from Patrick, Director of Worship
Dear All,
I hope you and your families continue to be in good health! What a blessing to be able to come together to celebrate Mass!  Since many ministers are staying home for various legitimate health and safety reasons this means many of you are serving each week to help; please know how grateful I am for all of you who are serving every week! We are all in this together and will take it week by week.  We are staying the course with the same amount of ministers through February and March. Lectors will continue to read through the first reading, psalm, and second reading. All volunteers, Especially Ushers/greeters, please wear your mask fully over your nose. It is of the utmost importance to set a good example of the safety protocols to ensure everyone’s health and well-being. As we approach Ash Wednesday soon it is time for the next schedule for Lent 2021! (February 6th - March 28th); this schedule is Live and posted, please let me know if you need to update your preferences or schedule, and I will update the schedules. As always, copies of the schedule can be found via MSP, the parish website, along with hard copies in the sacristy of each church and parish office. For those that have no computer access I will mail hard copies. Please let me know if you would like me to add you to my mailing list. We are assembling the pamphlet for Lent prayer services, Palm Sunday/Holy Week; we will keep you in the know. If you are unable to make your Mass time, please click on sub request and/or let me know at least 2 days in advance. For all ministers across the board please be at least 20-30 minutes early to Mass. Especially in these trying times, thank you for all your continued service to Holy Spirit Parish. As Father Steve and I do all that we can to maintain the guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese and Archbishop Michael, we thank you for your patience and understanding!

Ash Wednesday 2021 Masses: 7:30 am (SH), 12:10 PM (HG), 5:30 PM (HT), 6:30 PM (HG). Please let me know if you are available to serve as lector or Usher/Greeter for any of these Masses. Lent Pamphlet coming digitally soon! Thank you.

Notes on MSP emails and App: I know there are issues with the new MSP emails; please double check all inboxes as these emails sometimes go to other inboxes. If an email is delivered to the Promotions tab, you can click and drag it to the primary inbox. Once you move one message, the others will no longer be marked as promotions so they will go to the primary inbox! The phone app has been updated! To access the updated app, volunteers should click Update for the MSP app in the App Store or Google Play and then click Open. Doing so will allow you to regain access to your account. If for any reason they do not get access, please simply close and reopen the app, or click the “reload” link if they experience an error code. 

Many prayers and blessings to you and yours,  

Patrick J. 

Sunday Reflection from Father Steve Garner

Reflection | Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time | February 7, 2021

In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus heals the mother-in-law of Simon who was ill. “Then the fever left her and she waited on them.” What a day for this woman! She had been confined to bed, burning with a fever, too sick to move around. Then, her son-in-law showed up with his brother, two friends, and a man with a growing reputation for working miracles. With no ceremony, this man came straight over to her, took her hand and helped her to her feet. There was no time to question Jesus’s bold action because in an instant, the woman was healed. Whatever He had done had worked!

We can imagine that the appearance of this group of guests at her house caused Simon’s mother-in-law some distress. In her illness, she had been unable to offer them the hospitality so important in that culture. But as soon as the fever disappeared, she regained the freedom to properly welcome her visitors. No longer sick, she was able to serve. And that was exactly what she wanted to do. Without hesitation, she began to use her restored health to care for others. And soon enough, her hospitality was extended to new levels because “the whole town was gathered at the door” to see Jesus in action.

How do we use our health? Do we think of it as a gift from God to be put at the service of others? Or do we think of good health as simply our own right? Today’s virtuous woman teaches us about a kind of physical generosity. Recognizing that her health had been given to her as a gift, she in turn offered her strength, her ability to stand and walk and work as a gift to others. Instead of focusing on how our bodies can serve us, may we follow the example of this woman who was so quick to attend to the needs of her family and her neighbors. 
I wish everyone a blessed weekend!

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 January edition.

Prayer Resources

ONLINE MASS (Pre-recorded)
Opportunities for online Mass with the Archbishop will continue to be available. Click the button below for the broadcast schedule. 


Please visit these websites for resources for your daily prayer life or other prayer opportunities:

Click HERE and enter your zip code to view where you can find televised Mass times and channels.

Please refer to the Archdiocesan webpage for family resources during COVID-19.

Archdiocese Live Broadcasts

Prayer and Intention for the Week

February 8 is World Day of Prayer, Reflection, and Action against Human Trafficking & The Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita.

International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking Event  Series - Human Trafficking Academy

Prayer to St. Josephine Bakhita
Feast Day: February 8th

St. Josephine,
you were sold into slavery as a child
in your home country of Sudan
and endured unimaginable suffering.
After you became free of your physical enslavement,
you lived your life dedicated to others.

We wish to follow your example and do what we can
to release other women, men, and children from their captivity.
May we help to provide the necessary resources for those released
from the unfathomable horrors of human trafficking.
May we be steadfast in our commitment,
no matter how long it takes.

May we be the living embodiment of faith, hope, and love
as survivors of trafficking strive to heal from their wounds
and experience the freedoms guaranteed by the United Nations.
May we influence the United States and our home state
to be strong advocates against the devastation of human trafficking.

Enjoy the latest edition of the Family Matters newsletter here!

Recent Updates & Reminders

REQUIRED for attending Mass at Holy Spirit

Masks are REQUIRED to attend Mass at Holy Spirit Parish. If you do not have a mask, there are some available at the church entrances. Also, as the number of Mass attendees increases there is a chance we may need to turn people away so as to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines. 

Parish Office Closure
Due to COVID-19, the Parish Office will remain closed to walk-ins for your health and the health of our staff. We will still keep reduced office hours (8am-noon, Monday-Friday) for the time being, so if you need to speak with someone, please call 563-583-1709 and we will be happy to help!  If you have something to turn in to the office, please place it inside the front storm door at the parish office in the locked depository box on the left under the shelf. We will retrieve items during business hours.

Guidelines for Attending Mass at Holy Spirit Parish

Please review the following guidelines implemented for the celebration of public Mass until further notice.

  • All (including children) must wear masks before, during, and following Mass (while in church/parking lot areas). The CDC recommends children under the age of two do not wear a mask; please refrain from bringing children under the age of two to Mass until restrictions have been lifted.
  • Seating will be limited; please sit only in open (untaped/unroped) pews minding social distancing guidelines; please do not disturb, change placement of or remove blue tape or rope on pews
  • Once pews are filled we will be at capacity and admittance will cease, pews may not be held or saved for others
  • Families or those living in the same household may sit together in a pew; if room permits, others may enter the same pew IF proper distance is available. Families living in different households must maintain proper social distancing guidelines.
  • Church pews, handrails, kneelers, door handles, high use areas, etc. will be sanitized after each Mass
  • Holy Water fonts and cisterns will be remain empty
  • Sanitizer will be available at all church entrances
  • Rest rooms (in churches) will be available and sanitized following Mass
  • Church halls (Kriebs, Terence, and Paraclete) will be CLOSED during Mass, including the rest rooms located in those halls
  • All printed materials (including the bulletins) will be removed from churches, please refer to the parish website to view the weekly bulletin
  • There will be no missalettes or music issues available for use in pews
  • Social distancing must be observed (at least six feet apart) in church and parking lot areas
  • Please refrain from singing during Mass
  • There will be no (or very limited) liturgical ministers
  • Please refrain from greeting or gathering before and/or after Mass in church and/or parking lot areas
  • There will be no collection during Mass, collection boxes will be placed at church entrances
  • There will be no offertory/gift procession
  • Please avoid physical contact during the Our Father and Sign of Peace
  • Only the Precious Body will be offered at Communion and placed only in the hand (not on the tongue)
  • There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood
  • Logistics are still being considered for each location concerning the distribution of Holy Communion. NOTE: Priests will begin by bringing Communion to the people in the pews and adjust if need be as we proceed.
Please keep in mind these other important points when considering attending Mass:
  1.  The coronavirus is still with us. Following social distancing guidelines in regard to gathering for a liturgy or a devotional in church will result in less space, reducing greatly the number of people who can attend. 
  2. Dispensation from the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass and holy days will remain in effect until further notice, most likely until a vaccine is available.
  3. Please refrain from attending if you are sick, were recently sick (in the past 14 days), or have an underlying medical condition; or, if you are concerned about contracting COVID-19 or live with or care for someone who is at higher risk due to underlying medical conditions or advanced age, or is sick. Additionally, those who are frail due to advanced age, are under the age of two, and those who work in a high risk profession should abstain from attending Mass.
  4. Daily Mass will be offered each day (regular schedule) with the same restrictions.
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