August 29, 2021 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Peace of Christ. This will now be the third week where Fr. Tim has been out of the office and recuperating after testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, August 10. Please know that he is most grateful for your continued prayers and support!
We look forward to his return, but at the same time know that things here in the parishes have continued on as usual despite his absence. Thank you to Fr. Michael, Fr. Jerry Herda, Fr. Joe Juknialis, Fr. Gabriel Ezema and Fr. Chris Krall for your assistance in helping to cover Fr. Tim’s weddings and weekend Masses! We’re so grateful that our sacramental needs were covered almost immediately thanks to your help. Thank you as well to our wonderful staff who stepped up in so many ways. In particular, thanks to Chad Griesel our Pastoral Associate and to Lee Ann Blackmer, who re-arranged several weeks of Fr. Tim’s calendar. Finally, we thank all of you as parishioners and friends of our parishes for your patience and understanding during this time! Know that we will continue to provide updates on Fr. Tim in a timely manner.
Amidst any number of things happening right now that could lead to uncertainty or anxiety, how beautiful then are the words from this Sunday’s Second Reading: “Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls” (Jas 1:21b). What a gift we have received in the Word – the Word who is Spirit and Life. In Baptism, this Word came to us and “pitched His tent” in the depths of our hearts and souls. By faith, prayer and receiving the Sacraments, may we continue to welcome that Word this week. Let Him speak a word of peace, trust and hope over any division, anxiety and discouragement. Know how much we as your priests care for you and don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be of help!
Sincerely, with love,
August 22, 2021 – Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s first reading takes place at the end of the book of Joshua. Joshua and the people are entering the Promised Land. Their wandering in the desert has ended. At the threshold of a new beginning, the people are called to renew their covenant with God: “decide today whom you will serve.”
Maybe it hasn’t been 40 years in the desert for us, but the last year and a half has sometimes seemed like a wandering through limits, lacking many of the life-giving resources we so often take for granted. Perhaps it is a good time to renew our own relationships with God and with one another.
In my house this is also back-to-school time. We have been gathering school supplies, shifting bed times and getting up earlier again. As we prepare to reconnect with teachers and classmates, we are setting goals for growth and engagement. The end of summer and beginning of a new school year also offers us opportunities to renew our commitments to God and to our community.
At Mass, we renew our Baptism each time we dip our fingers into holy water and make the sign of the cross. When we profess the creed together, we renew the promises of our Baptism as well. And most powerfully, we are healed and renewed by the life-giving body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Through all of the endings and beginnings going on in your life right now, know of our prayers and support. May they all help us to “serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
Blessings to all of our students, teachers and administrators as they begin a new school year!
August 15, 2021 – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Praised be Jesus Christ!
As we near summer’s end and approach the beginning of another school year, perhaps you, like me, are desiring to return to those earliest days of June.
In the life of the Church today, many also are expressing a desire to return to the beginning, but not just to the start of summer, but rather to the earliest days of the Church, the apostolic age, to the time when Jesus Christ commissioned the first apostles, the ones who first wit-nessed Our Lord risen from the dead.
To return to the beginning is certainly no new desire in the life of our Church. And yet, the yearning for the apostolic age, however sincere, sometimes manifests itself in ways that even the apostles themselves would not recognize!
To return to the earliest days of our Church, the Church formed by God the Father, born of the pierced side of God the Son on the Cross and called forth by God the Holy Spirit on Pentecost’s morn, can never be the same as recreating, reimagining, or reinventing the Church in our own image and likeness.
This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She, Mary, the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, and our Mother as well, was taken up body and soul into Heaven, from where she intercedes for us and the whole world before her Son’s heavenly throne.
When we desire to return as a Church to those earliest days, if our return is to be authentic, then we cannot do so without Our Lady, who was there, and in whom the Church recognizes herself, present already in Mary at the Annunciation, standing alongside her at the foot of the Cross, and awaiting with her the descent of God the Holy Spirit in that privileged Upper Room on the morning of Pentecost.
To return to the beginning is to encounter not only Our Lord as He first proclaims the arrival of His Kingdom, but also His Mother, Mary, whom we honor this weekend with singular devotion and love.
In the end, for the Church to return to the beginning should not merely bring about a refashioning of structures, but a recapturing of that apostolic zeal born of the Incarnate Word and of that faith which can endure all persecution, a faith that proclaims with Mary, Our Assumed Mother, her song of praise:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant” (Luke 1: 46-47).
On behalf of Fr. Tim, Fr. John and our entire parish staff, you have our love and our prayers.
See you at Mass!
Very truly yours,
Fr. Michael Malucha
August 8, 2021 – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Peace of Christ. Each summer, I always look forward to the week when our parishes host its Good News Adventure camp! From July 26 – 30, we welcomed 80+ children in a week filled with fun, saint talks, prayer (even Eucharistic Adoration!), snacks and skits. This year’s theme was “Treasured – Discovering You’re Priceless to God”. How true this is for our children…and for us adults too!
The camp was a beautiful coming together of the creativity of our staff, the generosity of our volunteers, and the wonderful faith of our youth participants. Thank you to our UPLIFT Religious Formation team of Anh Clausen, Rachel McGrew, Mamie Riyeff, Ken Gardinier, LaTanya Bacon and Nino Rebholz for all your efforts! Thank you as well to our donors and volunteers who made this week possible.
It is hard to believe that we find ourselves once again in the beginning of August with the start to the school year only a few weeks away. I hope these summer months have provided the opportunity for some time of rest. Please join me in praying for all educators and students as they prepare to begin another academic year! Know of my prayers for you all and have a blessed week.
Sincerely, with love,
August 1, 2021 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Praised be Jesus Christ! This weekend, in addition to Sunday Mass, the Church also begs the intercession of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Spaniard who died in the 16th century and whose Memorial is celebrated on Saturday, July 31.
Although Saint Ignatius might be best known in our own city of Milwaukee for the University sponsored by the order he founded, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), and in our own parishes for the Jesuits who assist us, especially Father Chris Krall, we can still seek the intercession of Saint Ignatius today, in these late summer weeks, even before the Golden Eagles return for their new basketball season!
As a freshman at Marquette University High School, at our first assembly as new students, we were given magnets for our lockers with this following Prayer for Generosity, attributed to Saint Ignatius:
“Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for reward save that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.”
The Lord continues to teach His Church, both you and me, just as He did for Saint Ignatius, how to be so generous through that most generous gift, His Most Holy Body and Blood, the Holy Eucharist.
Although we can never deserve so great of a gift, Our Lord gives us Himself out of love. Although we so often heed our own wounds, Our Lord bares His own wounds, by which we are healed. Although we might grasp for rest that leaves us restless, Our Lord invites us to find our rest in Him.
The Eucharist is our Bread of Life, Jesus Christ the Lord, who invites us to be generous as He feeds us with His Body and Blood, and most especially so in our living relationship with Him as His disciples. As we hear in our Gospel this weekend, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” What more generous gift could we ever pray to receive?
On behalf of Fr. Tim, Fr. John and our entire parish staff, you have our love and our prayers. See you at Mass!
Very truly yours,
Fr. Michael Malucha