September 30, 2018 – Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
A Letter from Archbishop Listecki:
In June of 2015, I made a very big request of one of our parish priests. I asked Father Tim Kitzke, in addition to all his parish and pastoral responsibilities, to take on the role of Vicar General, focusing on Urban Ministry in Milwaukee, but also in urban areas throughout the archdiocese.
The archdiocesan Synod called for the Church to demonstrate its concern for issues impacting wide segments of our society through the strong and consistent leadership, involvement and visibility from the bishops in areas of social justice, especially on issues like poverty, immigration, violence and crime.
Father Kitzke has done a great job, making connections with leaders, being visible and present in the community and organizing initiatives. But Father Tim’s heart is in parish work and he has asked to relinquish his role as Vicar General to focus on his role as pastor. I’ve accepted his request with a couple of conditions.
First, Fr. Tim will remain part of the Seton Catholic Schools Board of Directors. We need his leadership and pastoral awareness as Seton continues to serve children from low income families.
Second, I want Fr. Tim to continue as part of the Priest Placement Board. Pastoral Planning looms ahead and as we look at macro parish and school planning issues for the archdiocese, Tim’s experience will be invaluable in the process.
Urban Ministry will remain a priority for us as a Church and for me, personally. Anne Haines will expand her leadership role as the Director of Urban Ministry for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. We will continue to support Anne in her work and I will be able to assist Anne when she needs help.
Bishop Jeff Haines will take on additional responsibilities as Vicar General for the Ozaukee County and Milwaukee Northeast/Northwest Vicariate. In that role, Bishop Jeff will also be able to assist Anne in Urban Ministry initiatives.
I want to thank Fr. Tim for his 3+ years as Urban Vicar. He did a tremendous job laying the foundation for many future years of fruitful ministry.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
September 23, 2018 – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Twice in the next week and a half, we will celebrate part of our Christian, Catholic faith that can often be harder to understand: angels. On September 29th, we celebrate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels. On October 2nd, we celebrate the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels.
In the Nicene Creed, which we say on Sundays, we profess faith in things “visible and invisible”, which includes angels. The foundation of our belief in angels is of course found in Sacred Scripture. The Archangels Raphael (Tobit 3:17), Michael (Revelation 12:7), and Gabriel (Luke 1:26) are specifically named, whereas other passages speak to angels in general (ex: “Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him”, Matthew 4:11).
I was happily ordained to the diaconate on the Feast of the Archangels, but also found myself wondering – what does this mean to me? How does the reality of angels concretely affect my life? The Catechism teaches that angels participate in the building of the Kingdom, and guard and protect us (for more, cf. Catechism, nn. 328-354). Perhaps we’ll never fully know this side of heaven how angels have worked in our life. Yet, it gives me great comfort to know that, amidst the evil in the world at times, we have invisible friends given to us by God watching over us.
I share a favorite well-known prayer that I often turn to when I seem to encounter sin or evil in the world: “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen”.
Thanks for all that you are and do! Know of my love and prayers.
September 16, 2018 – Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Two brief thoughts I wanted to share. First, this past week, we remembered the events of September 11, 2001. We pray for all those who lost their lives in the attack, as well as their families. We give thanks also in a particular way for all of the first responders, police, firefighters, and EMT’s who so generously responded. As well, we pray also for all those who work to keep our local community safe.
Second, a word of thanks to you parishioners for how you so generously give of your time! Our second reading this Sunday from Saint James reminds us: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?”. I am humbled and amazed by how so many people so generously give of their time, talent, and money to support the efforts of our parishes to build up our little corner of God’s Kingdom. So thank you – especially to all those who serve on our Parish and Finance Councils, who serve as Lectors, Ushers, Cantors, and those in our Music Ministries. A thank you to Catechists, those that help with our youth ministry, and all who so generously work to serve the poor. As many of our ministries “resume” with the start of the school year, though I realize I probably didn’t name all of our volunteers, Fr Tim and I simply want you to know of our deep appreciation for all that you do.
Blessings to all on the week, and may God reward your generosity!
Sincerely in Christ,
September 9, 2018 – Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Thus says the Lord: Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense he comes to save you.” (Isaiah, ch. 35)
In all the events of these past weeks, my heart has been heavy, hurting and fearful, agonizing for those who have been hurt and confusingly mystified as to where this all is going. The combination of sadness and fear is a dangerous one for my spirit because it can lead to despair.
And yet in the storm, I have been gifted to see Christ in the little ordinary unfoldings of grace that make up a typical day in the life of a parish. In the midst of the mess of human living and communal failure, there still is goodness and kindness and compassion, all rooted in a community committed to the Goodness who is Jesus Christ. There is anger, which I believe is ok and appropriate, but there is processing through anger to renewed commitment and growth. There is also the consideration of leaving the community by some, but there is also forgiveness and a commitment to starting again which like in any relationship takes time and patience.
So my despair is melting away. I trust in Christ and in the essential call of goodness His Church must always work to accomplish. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the Roman Catholic Church won’t be rebuilt in a day.
But we must start………
Sincerely, with love,
September 2, 2018 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Friends in Christ,
As the school year begins for our young people, we ask God’s blessing on them:
Lord our God, in your wisdom and love you surround us with the mysteries of the universe. In times long past you sent us your prophets to teach your laws and to bear witness to your undying love. You sent us your Son to teach us by word and example that true wisdom comes from you alone.
Send your Spirit upon these students and their teachers and fill them with your wisdom and blessings. Grant that during this academic year they may devote themselves to their studies and share what they have learned from others.