2490 N Cramer Street, Milwaukee, WI 53211

September 2019 Weekly Bulletin Messages

Harbor

September 29th, 2019 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Remember thinking about heaven as a child? I’ll be honest, I used to picture heaven as having a Kopp’s Frozen Custard Stand! Now when I think about heaven, I suppose I think more about the people that God-willing I would be reunited with in the Beatific Vision: Mary and Joseph, all the saints, and loved ones who have gone before us.

But you know who also we will be with in heaven? Some of the poor who we’ve known in this life. People who remind us of Lazarus in our Gospel this Sunday. And that’s challenging, because if we think about it, it will make us all (myself included!) a little uncomfortable. It’s not dogma, but I wonder if those same poor will be surrounding us on the day when we meet the Lord face to face and have to give an accounting of our lives. The poor who might be looking at us on the day of our final judgment, what will their reaction be? Will they see someone who loved them as Christ, or someone who passed them by time and time again? Did we see the poor as a problem to be solved, or as unique individuals who have something to teach us too? Christianity is not a spectator sport, so if you’re not fully satisfied with your answers to these questions…let’s get you involved! Know that many of us at times are right there with you.

This week, I will be out of the office as I am attending the diaconate ordination of my good friend Justin Weber in Rome. Many thanks to Fr. Tim and the staff for the time away! Justin is a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, who will be ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese in May 2020. I will return next Sunday, October 6th and know of my prayers for you at the holy sites in the Eternal City!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. John

September 22nd, 2019 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The priest is not an angel sent from heaven. He is a man chosen from among people, a member of the Church, a Christian.

Remaining man and Christian, he begins to speak to you the Word of God.

This Word is not his own. No, he comes to you because God has told him to proclaim God’s Word.

Perhaps he has not entirely understood it himself. Perhaps he adulterates it. But he believes, and despite his fears he knows that he must communicate God’s Word to you.

For must not some one of us say something about God, about Eternal Life, about the majesty of grace in our sanctified being; must not some one of us speak of sin, the judgment and mercy of God?

So my dear friends, pray for him. Carry him so that he might be able to sustain others by bringing to them the mystery of God’s Love revealed in Christ Jesus.
~Karl Rahner, SJ

Dear Friends,

Words cannot begin to express the depth of my gratitude for all the love and kindness given to me this past weekend as we celebrated 60 years of age, 30 years as a priest, and 20 years here on the eastside of the city!

It truly was a great celebration not only of those events, but more importantly of our wonderful community as we shared Eucharist and our common bond of charity and hope! Thank you to all who attended, and all who gave so generously to help the poor and to the many people who worked so hard to bring it together.

I would especially like to thank with all my heart our beloved associate pastor, and my beloved brother priest, Fr. John Baumgardner, for all his tireless efforts!

God bless you all—now let’s get back to work! (smile)

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim, your pastor.

September 15th, 2019 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

This week, many of our ministries start up again after the summer: Bereavement Support Group, Beacon Moms & Bacon Dads, SPRED, Prayer Shawl, and our choirs. Pastoral Council, UPLIFT, and others begin soon, and the list could go on and on.

Our Gospel this Sunday gives us three beautiful parables, or images, of God’s never-ending love for us. The Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son reveal the heart of our merciful God. He never tires of seeking us out! Despite anything we might have ever done, we have an amazing God who sent His Son to die for our sins. Everything that we do in our parishes is meant to foster a greater encounter with this wonderful God. All our ministries have the end goal of growing in a personal friendship with Jesus Christ.

As we begin a new ministry year, I share the famous poem “Nada te turbe (Let nothing trouble you)” written by Saint Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing disturb you,

Let nothing frighten you,

All things are passing away:

God never changes.

Patience obtains all things

Whoever has God lacks nothing;

God alone is enough.

May these words ever more become our own, as we grow in friendship with Jesus Christ through our ministries this year!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. John

September 8th, 2019 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“None of us is young as we used to be.
Who cares—friendship never ages!” (W.H. Auden)

Dear Friends,

Autumn is just around the corner. The changing light, the fall colors, a breeze that hints at the change we know is coming and are never ready for though we have been here before—all this fits into the mood of our readings this Sunday. St. Paul calls himself an old man. The Book of Wisdom reflects on these earthen vessels we are which weigh us down with care and anxiety. Jesus in the gospel of Luke tells us to plan ahead a bit for we have no idea where life will take us.

This all could be such a downer if we didn’t have each other to hold on to! The wonder of belonging to a Church is that ultimately we know that everything changes except God’s providence! The melancholy of a cloudy fall day, the sadness of change in relationships through sickness, death, separation, or rejection—all have to be seen in light of a Love that always provides. Though we face our lives basically alone (especially at 2am sleeplessness!), we trust that we are never alone because we have God and his incarnation in our friends and family!

So maybe as we enter the letting go that autumn so powerfully symbolizes and the inevitable changes of getting older—let us pray for our friends and family!

And let us continue to work hard for the friendless and homeless! And work to provide a home in our church for everyone!

Time passes, God is Love, Love is forever! May we reflect that in all that we are about!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim

September 1st, 2019 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Happy Labor Day weekend! I hope you are able to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Safe travels to all of those who are visiting family or friends outside of the Milwaukee area. For those who will be staying home for the holiday, please join us for Mass tomorrow, September 2nd, at 9 A.M. at Saints Peter and Paul.

Our grade school, Catholic East Elementary, began its new school year last week Monday. With the start of another school year upon us, especially after Labor Day, I share a prayer of blessing:

“Lord our God, in your wisdom and love you surround us with the mysteries of the universe. In times long past you sent your prophets to teach your laws and to bear witness to your undying love. You sent 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” (Book of Blessings).

Blessings on the week and know of my prayers!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. John