January 2020 Weekly Bulletin Messages


January 26th, 2020 – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
upon those
who dwell in the land of gloom a light has shone.” Isaiah 8

Recently I heard a story that goes something like this:

“Have you ever been walking along with your cup of coffee and someone bumps into you and your coffee is spilled? You spilled coffee because that is what was in your cup. If you had tea, you would have spilled tea. The point is: what’s in the cup is what spills out.”

I’ve been thinking about that story a lot lately. What is in me is what spills out. For the purposes of this article and my role as Director of Music, let me change those words just a bit. What words and music have I put into your heart that will spill out when life happens? Are they words that will inspire you? Does it lead you to the realm of higher things, the sacred? Does it challenge you to live your faith during the week? Is it a melody that will stick with you as you walk out of church? Most of all, does it help you participate in the sung prayer of the Mass? “Good music makes the liturgical prayers of the Christian community more alive and fervent, so that everyone can praise and beseech the Triune God more powerfully, more intently and more effectively.” (2007 Sing to the Lord)

Singing is one of the primary ways that the assembly of the faithful participates actively in the Liturgy. It’s important and it’s important that we ALL sing because we are in this together! That is why you see me teaching you a hymn or mass setting before mass, encouraging you to sing no matter if you think you’re a good singer or not. There is nothing more glorious than a singing assembly at Mass. A few weeks ago one of my cantors at Three Holy Women brought her 3 year old to me and told me she’s been singing “yes, Jesus loves me” nonstop since she was at church the week before when we sang it as the children left for their Liturgy of the Word. THAT IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! That song is making its way into her heart and will help define her relationship with God. Songs like “Christ be our Light’ or “Healing River of the Spirit” or “Eye has not Seen” have texts that can form us and encourage us. Or songs of praise like “Holy God we praise thy name” and the singing can be heard outside – WOW! What songs come into your head during the week? Hopefully when life ‘bumps your cup of coffee’ this week, you will spill out some inspiration, faith and goodness that you remember singing about at Mass and you will be a light to yourself, your family and the world!

Mary Robertson

~ Mary Robertson, Director of Music & Liturgy
Three Holy Women and Our Lady of Divine
Providence Parishes

January 19th, 2020 – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Healing the Whole Person

“And, now the Lord says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength.”

Even before we take our first breath, God desires more for us and our life. We are his beloved.

In 2018, I attended Healing the Whole Person seminar and it changed my life. This 3-day retreat provided an opportunity to learn about and experience the healing power of God in the wholeness of body, soul and spirit. Teachings are enhanced by private activities for personal application and healing, including journaling, prayer ministry, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Adoration and Eucharist.

As I grew in my leadership/discipleship on a mission to accompany others who struggle with anxiety, depression, anger, addiction, illness or patterns of sin that seemed impossible to break. As I helped others draw closer to God for his healing, I realized these were my wounds too. In Healing the Whole Person, Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, and Dr. Bob Schuchts (author of “Be Healed”) will help you to understand and receive the healing our Lord desires for you, through the sacraments and prayer in the heart of the Catholic Church.

It has been my experience that for anyone who has suffered any trauma, the path to wholeness begins by taken a closer look into their own story. Healing the Whole Person provides wonderful materials that help us take a closer look into the patterns of our life, and it offers us the courage to take the steps necessary to heal. No matter what has happened in our lives, in our church, God’s deepest desire is to stay with us and transform our hearts. He is the Son who loves us so much that he gave his life for us. He is the Holy Spirit who breathes life into us, and gives us his great love and strength to be whole. We find our hope when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and when our story is honored, healing can happen. We are his beloved.

In my twenty years of ministry, Healing the Whole Person is the best retreat I have ever encountered. Grounded in our rich Catholic tradition, their materials were simple to comprehend and theologically comprehensive. A good balance between psychology and spirituality. I noticed a change immediately. After I attended, I did not put the materials neatly on a shelf, but instead I kept them visible, and pray with them daily. It’s a new way of living out the life God intended.

Healing the Whole Person Event
Thursday, February 6: Check-in 5:00 PM. Program 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Friday, February 7: Program 6:00 – 9:30 PM
Saturday, February 8: Program 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Box lunch included on Saturday
Location: Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center, 350l South Lake Dr. St. Francis, Milwaukee, WI
REGISTER ONLINE: www.JPIIHealingCenter.org

It’s 2020, a new year, a new decade and opportunity to take your life in a new direction of healing. Prayerfully consider signing up today, spots will fill up fast, and we expect to fill to capacity. (500+)

I believe in the mission of John Paul II Healing Center, which provides teaching, healing and equipping to bring about transformation in the heart of the Church. Our family of four parishes, will host the Healing the Whole Person Continue the Journey: (Mondays, February 17th–April 13th at Three Holy Women Parish, Holy Rosary Church, 7– 9 PM.) This is an opportunity for participants to come together, listen to the Dr. Bob Schuchts audio-recording, transition to time of prayer, journaling in workbook, and confession. Please contact Terri Balash, at or 414-469-6173, if you have questions or want to learn more. You remain in my prayers.

Terri Balash

~ Terri Balash
Director of Pastoral Care


January 12th, 2020 – Baptism of the Lord

“Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit.”
(Isaiah 42:1)

Over the last couple of years, I’ve developed a routine with my kids as I drop them off for school:
I ask them, “What are you going to be today?”
They respond, “Brave, generous and kind.”
“And what are you going to remember?”
“That you love us!”

At the heart of our readings celebrating the Baptism of the Lord is this same message of being loved and of being empowered by the Holy Spirit to be brave, generous and kind.

In today’s Gospel, we hear the words, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” By virtue of our own baptism, we too can hear these words and know that we are beloved sons and daughters of God.

In the second reading, Peter bravely went out to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the Gentiles and shared his mission “doing good and healing.” Just as God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, through our Baptism, we too are anointed to do good and to bring healing to those we encounter in our lives.

Our first reading from the prophet Isaiah reminds us that the healing we are offered and the healing we can share in is both personal (“to open the eyes of the blind”) and systematic (“bring forth justice to the nations”).

At the end of Mass, we are commissioned: “Go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.” Entering into the ordinary circumstances of our lives as we enter back into “ordinary” time, may we each be brave, generous and kind with the gifts we have been given by our loving Father, who calls each one of us His beloved daughters and sons.

Chad Griesel 
Chad Griesel
Pastoral Associate


January 5th, 2020 – Epiphany of the Lord

“They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh”
(Matthew 2:10-11)

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite memories as a child was spending time on summer vacation with my family in Northern Wisconsin (side note – warm, summer days in Wisconsin…remind me what that’s like again? J ). Up in the quiet of the Northwoods, I loved looking up at the night sky and just being in awe of how clearly you could see the stars. If you were lucky, you might even get to see the northern lights every once in a while.

I imagine that for the Magi, following the star that led them to Bethlehem was hopefully a good journey, with many nights where the star shown clear and bright before them. But maybe there were many nights where they had a hard time seeing, and had to just simply carry on in faith, trusting that they were going in the right direction? We hear that they were “overjoyed” at seeing the star at its final resting place and the reason why they set out on their journey was true.

As we begin this new year of 2020, maybe we too like the Magi have these nights of being able to see oh so clearly God’s shining star, and maybe other nights where it seems unknown, distant, and we have to keep going on in faith. All he asks for though on the way is just a little bit of faith, a little bit of courage, a little bit of trust, and I think a good sense of humor…and God does the rest!

Blessings to you as we begin this New Year!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. John

P.S. Fr. Tim sends his love and prayers from sabbatical! Already he misses you very much, but is grateful for the time away.