2490 N Cramer Street, Milwaukee, WI 53211

February 2023 Weekly Bulletin Messages

Saints Tapestry

Father Carlos

February 26, 2023 – First Sunday in Lent

Dear friends,

This past Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, we began the season of Lent: forty days in which we prepare to celebrate Easter. Truly Easter, the victory of Christ over death after his passion on the cross, is the most important celebration of our faith. Because Easter is so central, we get forty days of preparation and anticipation, to deepen our relationship with God and one another, especially with those in need, so that together, as the one body of Christ, we may live the days of Holy Week and Easter with the Lord by dying and rising with him.

This Lent at the Family of Four, we are launching the “Gospel Teasers,” one-minute-long videos made by one of the priests or staff members and released on a weekly basis, reflecting on the Sunday readings. The Gospel Teasers can be found on Facebook and Instagram (for now), so please follow us on our social media!

Also, mark your calendars for Monday, March 27 when our Pastor Fr. Tim and I will be offering an evening of Lenten reflection called Healing and Reconciliation in the Church and Beyond. It will take place at the Our Lady of Divine Providence – Saint Casimir’s Church (2600 N. Bremen St.,) from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm.

With love,

Fr. Carlos

Father Tim

February 19, 2023 – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Our dear friend Fr. Mike Bertram, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, and his parishioner Carl Carby composed this beautiful reflection used at the annual Archdiocesan Memorial prayer service honoring the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I present it to you for your prayer and reflection as we all work together for a just and peaceful community:

Pledge to acknowledge the SACREDNESS OF ALL LIFE

I pledge myself this day to the Gospel call of Jesus to recognize the presence of God in everyone and in all that is around me.

I make a fundamental, conscious choice to choose life and not death; to choose light and not darkness; to choose good and not evil; to choose peace and not discord.

I pledge myself to respect the life and dignity of every human person: of the unborn, of the aged, of the imprisoned.

In imitation of Jesus, I pledge to work on behalf of the poor and the vulnerable, the homeless and the hungry, the widow and the orphan, the lesser ones in our midst, the powerless and those without influence in our society.

After the example of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I pledge to live justly, in a non-violent manner, so as to promote peace. I pledge to work for the well-being of all people of color, of the immigrant and disenfranchised, and of those barred from full participation in the governing of our society.

Like the prophet Micah, I make this pledge to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with my God – a God who makes a way where there is no way, especially in the temptations and challenges that life presents to me.

Have a blessed week. Let’s remember each other in prayer.

Fr. Tim

Father Carlos

February 12, 2023 – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Last February 2 was not only the feast day of the Presentation of the Lord, but also the World Day for Consecrated Life. Here at the Family of Four, we are blessed to have a number of religious sisters who join us at Mass and serve our parishioners in diverse ways. These sisters and their communities are also part of the history of our parishes in important ways, all of them helping educate our children and nurturing the faith of our parish communities.

Last week at our monthly staff lunch meeting, I sat across from sister Marie Louise Balistreri from St Rita’s. I call Sister Balistreri Sorella (Italian for “sister”). I asked Sister Marie Louise how long it has been since she made her vows, and she told me that next year (2024) it will be 60 years! I also asked her if she would do it again. Sister said she would do it all over again if she had the choice. Finally, I asked Sister, “Sorella, and who is Jesus to you?” and Sister Balistreri immediately answered, “Jesus is my spouse of 60 years!” My heart melted.

This time, I’d like to invite us to appreciate all the more the gift of all religious sisters and brothers, especially our sisters at the Family of Four. Although they do their ministry and work in humility and silence, I kindly ask that we thank them for their witness to love and to the faith.

On a different note, Fr. Tim and I announced a few weeks ago our participation in the Love One Another (LOA) capital campaign. Right now, Fr. Tim and I, together with the campaign chairs and volunteers, are reaching out to our parishioners (as time and other commitments allow), asking them to consider making a pledge. We are grateful beyond words for your interest in learning about the campaign and willingness to join our efforts.

Even though the LOA campaign is currently happening at the Family of Four, Fr. Tim and I are very grateful for your kindness in maintaining your contributions to the other regular annual appeals. Every year around this time, we also have the Catholic Stewardship Appeal from the Archbishop that helps him sustain the different Catholic ministries in the diocese. As is the custom, there will be a video on all our websites explaining what the CSA will be focusing on this year. You may find the link to the video on this bulletin as well.

On a more personal note, I will be away from the parishes February 10-17. I will be attending the ordination of a friend to the Priesthood and will also be on a silent retreat starting on the 13th through the 17th, both events out of state. I look forward to keeping all of you in my prayers. I have only been with the Family of Four a little over seven months, but I am grateful that I can now bring before the Lord many of your stories, needs and loved ones who I have had the privilege to meet and learn about in the past seven months.

With love,
Fr. Carlos

Father Tim

February 5, 2023 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth.’”
(Gospel of St. Matthew, ch. 5)

Dear Friends,

For those who have ever been on a salt-free diet, you get the point of what Jesus is saying. We are to add flavor to this rather one-dimensional, flat world of ours. Our enthusiastic faith, hope, love and kindness bring the needed energy to help the world be restored to original blessings. Creation can be the home that supports life and love and healing, but we need Christ more than ever, and his followers to get to work!

I invite you to read the bulletin and visit the websites and social media venues because there is so much flavor in the many programs we support. Our wonderful staff works so hard to develop a variety of supportive, challenging, interesting things to bring us together to grow in our Catholic Christian faith and community and expand our horizons to Heaven!

Have a blessed week! Again, keep reading the bulletin, visit the website, peruse the social media threads (like us!), ask your priests how you can help! (Do all this, and maybe we won’t need announcements at Mass! -smile)

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim