2001 College Place

        Harlan, Iowa 51537

Parish News and Information

Masses:  MASSES WILL BE HELD at 5 pm Saturday and 9:30 am Sunday.                                                                            Please discern if you should attend or not. Mass will still be recorded and available on YouTube. Dispensation is still in place as well.

Weekday masses: As normal - Father Dan Gehler and Father Clement Owusu will alternate weeks.

Other News of Note:

Children's and Youth Ministries:

Family Formation - please send in payment to office or drop off at parish office. Thank you!

Defenders Youth Group - we are firming up plans and will be sending out information soon.

If you have any other questions about Sunday Saints, Family Formation or Defenders Youth Group please don't hesitate to call Rhonda Buck, Director of Children's and Youth Ministries at 755-5366 or on her cell 712-404-8319.

West Central Community Action:  St. Michael's is their largest single donation each month and when we suspended Masses they missed our contributions immensely! PLEASE TAKE FOOD DONATIONS TO WEST CENTRAL M-F between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm. They take frozen foods and refrigerated foods also. They have seen a swell in the numbers of families needing assistance. Thank you for your support of WCCA! 


Meet the New Pastor - Fr. Dan Gehler

Fr. Dan Gehler will take over as pastor of St. Michael's on July 9, 2020. He will continue his duties as pastor at St. Joseph's and St. Peter's. His time will be spent equally during the week at all three parishes. The weekend schedule will see both Fr. Dan and Fr. Clement saying masses at different times. 

Please welcome Fr. Dan as he begins his ministry here in Harlan! 


Meet the New Associate - Fr. Clement Owusu

Fr. Clement Owusu will be St. Michael's associate pastor, serving under Fr. Dan Gehler. He will share liturgical duties with Fr. Dan at St. Joseph's and St. Peter's. Please give Fr. Clement a warm welcome when he arrives July 9, 2020! 


Farewell Fr. John

Father John's new (temporary) address

4300 74th Street

Urbandale, Iowa 50322



Final Note from Fr. John

This will be my final written communication to you the parishioners of St. Michael’s. In my final homily this weekend, I will express all my thanks and gratitude to so many people who touched my life, and I will say my last goodbye. In this letter, I want to share one final departing thought. I came across this story some 10 years ago and I used it in my final letter to the people of Avoca/Walnut. Some of you may have heard this story, I hope you have. The story is titled: “Why go to Church?”

     If you are spiritually alive, you are going to love this!

     If you are spiritually dead, you will not want to read it.

     If you are spiritually curious, there is still Hope!

A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I have gone for 30 years now, “he wrote” and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons . . . But for the life of me I can’t remember a single one of them. So I think I am wasting my time, and the pastors are wasting their time by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: I have been married for over 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this . . . They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for spiritual nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!” When you are down to nothing . . . God is up to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible!  Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

May God continue to bless you, and may you continue to hunger to keep growing in faith.

              God Bless, Father John


Sunday Mass at St. Michael's

You can access the Knights of Columbus YouTube channel to view Mass at St. Michael's here - https://tinyurl.com/y4ax6z3g

You can also go to YouTube channel and search Knights Of Columbus Harlan Iowa and Masses should pop up listed by date. 

We also try to put a link on Facebook page St. Michael's Catholic Church - Harlan, IA (please like and share)




LivingFaith Daily Catholic Devotions is available for all in the MAILBOX just outside of Parish Office Door.

This devotional is for months of July, August and September. There is no charge thanks to generous donors.


Saturday - 5:00 pm
Sunday - 9:30 am
Weekdays - varies, click on bulletin below
Holy Days - click on bulletin to the right

Saturday - 4:00-4:30 pm
or by appointment

First Friday Adoration
9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Benediction 12:00 noon


  • Sun, Jul 12th

  • Sun, Jul 5th




Daily Mass

Daily mass is celebrated every day from Bishop Barron's chapel, join in at Word On Fire

Covid - 19 Relief Fund - Donate Now!

The Diocese of Des Moines has created a relief fund in partnership with Catholic Charities to provide immediate assistance to the most vulnerable individuals and families in our Diocese. They will receive help with monthly rent, utilities, medical bills etc. This will allow them to spend money on basic needs like groceries, gas and other essentials during this time of uncertainty. Catholic Charities will administer this aspect of the relief fund through a grant application process. Payment will be made directly to vendors such as landlords, utility companies, hospitals/clinics, etc. 

The fund will also be available to parishes and schools to help with their most pressing needs as collections have taken a downturn. The Diocese will be working with ministry leaders to identify the most vulnerable parishes and their urgent needs. 

This is an excellent opportunity for those who can offer financial assistance to help their fellow human beings. You can find out how to donate by visiting the Covid Relief Fund on the Diocesan web-page. There you will find all the information to send in your donation, or if you prefer you may send your donation to St. Michael's marked "COVID-19 Relief Fund" (1912 18th Street Harlan, IA 51537). Thank you for your generosity!!

Plenary Indulgence Has Been Granted

A Plenary Indulgence is the Church's way of granting forgiveness of sins when normal means are unavailable. 

For those individuals that contract COVID-19 Bishop Joensen has granted a plenary indulgence (forgiveness of all sins). The conditions for receiving plenary indulgence are a spirit of repentance for the sins committed in a person's life by utilizing a prayer like this, "Lord, forgive me of my sins." or "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner." After recovering from COVID-19 the person need to have the intention to go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the needs of the world as soon as possible. 

A plenary indulgence is also granted to a person at the moment of death when they are unable to be anointed with the Sacrament of the Sick. The only conditions shall be the person be properly disposed, that is, express an attitude of faith or sorrow for sin and that a cross or a rosary should be present in the room.

Prayers During This Time of Emergency

While we are restricted from attending Mass, we are not restricted from praying! We encourage spending time together as a family with the Lord. Gather your family nightly before bed or around the breakfast table each morning and offer your thanks for the preventive measures that are being taken. Here are a few prayers you may want to include. 

Prayer to the Archangel Michael

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell, Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

              Prayer for the Sick

God our Father we come to You in our need to ask Your protection against the Corona virus that has claimed lives and has affected many. We pray for Your grace for the people tasked with studying the nature and cause of this virus and its disease and of stemming the tide of its transmission. Guide the hands and minds of medical experts that they may minister to the sick with competence and compassion and of those governments and private agencies that must find a cure and solution to this pandemic. We pray for those afflicted. May they be restored to health soon. Grant us the grace to work for the good of all and to help those in need. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.


Office Hours

8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Friday
1912 18th Street
Harlan, Iowa 51537
[email protected]

Shelby County Catholic School

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