July 31, 2022 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today that I write these lines marks two years since I witnessed my first wedding as a Priest, on July 25 of 2020.
Since May 16 of 2020 when I became a priest, I have been blessed to witness the most profound and meaningful moments in people’s lives.
Think of humanity as being like a huge painting, colored with many lights and shadows. Every human person, every single man and woman on earth is part of this painting. Of course, because we are in the painting, we cannot look at it from the outside, and so we cannot know the way the whole painting looks. I know the way I look; I know the color, the form and the shape that I add to the painting, but I cannot see the whole picture all together. God, however, can. He stands in front of this painting that is humanity and sees the whole picture for, in fact, he is the painter!
Now, what does this have to do with the Priesthood? I feel that God shares with every priest an insight into the way the whole painting looks. After every confession we hear, after every soul we prepare for heaven, after every tear we dry from someone’s face, the priest learns something new about the human heart and then, by connecting the dots, we start making some sense of the mystery of the human person. The more we learn, the more we find ourselves in awe at the beauty of the human heart, and then it makes all the more sense to us why God so loved the world, to the point of sending his only son to restore this painting and to bring it to a greater beauty.
I thank the Lord for my priesthood and for the opportunity to fall in love with God and with humanity in such a real way.
I am grateful to our Archbishop Jerome for his kindness in ordaining me a priest.
I also thank God for the great priest mentors that he has placed in my life and for the wonderful pastors that I have been blessed to work with and to learn from since my ordination, Father Nathan Reesman in West Bend and Father Tim Kitzke, our pastor!
May you have a wonderful and blessed Sunday and week in union with your families and loved ones.
July 24, 2022 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Love in practice is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”
(Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov)
This quote, a favorite of Dorothy Day in her work for the poor and for justice and peace, strikes my heart so much as I read the Scriptures of this Sunday. God’s mercy and unconditional love expressed to Abraham in Genesis in which Abraham is able to bargain God down to finding a mere ten righteous deserving people to save all, through St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians in which he accentuates Christ’s redemptive death that obliterates transgressions even when we were already dead because of them, to the Gospel of St. Luke in which Jesus in prayer reminds us of His Father’s absolute desire to take care of us—all these examples of God’s love and its UNCONDITIONALITY make me cry in gratitude.
But it also challenges me to take a look at how I love others, and the stubborn streak I have in stingily dishing out love and mercy for people I think deserve it or who fit in a preset category of the loveable and acceptable. Love in practice is tough! I have to look at the seemingly unlovable or those who confuse me or are different or dislike me or disagree with me, and I have to UNCONDITIONALLY love, a “harsh and dreadful thing.”
Lots to pray about. Maybe if I spend more time with Christ, that unconditionality will finally sink in! Have a blessed week.
Sincerely, with love,
July 17, 2022 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
After a couple of weeks since I began my ministry at the parishes, I have now been able to celebrate at all the churches that make up our family of four parishes. During these days, I have been struck by the beauty of our church buildings and the rich history behind every wall, picture and statue.
The beauty of our church buildings has reminded me of the beauty and dignity of the living stones (see 1 Pet 2:5) that make up the Church, the body of Christ, and that is you and me. God created us in his image and likeness (see Gen 1:26) and because of that we enjoy an intrinsic beauty, goodness and truth that no one can take away from us… not even ourselves!
In the same way that we can be moved by the beauty of some buildings, pieces of art, landscapes and so forth, God is also moved with love when he looks at each of us and the goodness with which we have been created. No one should ever feel unloved, or too damaged or broken beyond repair. God has left his own imprint in our souls that no one can take away from us, and he continues looking at his creation and seeing that all is good (cf. Gen. 1:10).
My prayer for this week is that we may be able to recognize the intrinsic worth and value of everyone around us, including ourselves! And that we may marvel at the beauty of God’s creation in making us so good.
July 10, 2022 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“The most deadly poison of our times is indifference.”
(St. Maximilian Kolbe)
St. John Paul II proclaimed that St. Maximilian Kolbe was the patron saint of the 20th century as the incredible evils of the Holocaust presented St. Maximilian a martyr’s death and set forth his witness to love conquering evil. Look up his story and you cannot but be moved by his perseverance and courage—his determination to stay involved even as pure hate sought to destroy him.
We need him and more stories like his as the 21st century unfolds with so much hate, division, and indifference. Our Gospel this Sunday of the Good Samaritan reminds us that indifference is not an option for the believer in Jesus Christ. We must jump in and work for healing and justice especially for the most vulnerable and wounded. We must get involved! We must love even as hate seems to be the only reality.
As I visited his cell at Auschwitz on a pilgrimage and prayed at the scene of his sacrifice, I realized at the depth of my being that good will prevail, that with his witness St. Maximilian won. And so we keep on trying, facing evil with overpowering goodness, lies with unshadowed truth, hate with undying love, despair with persistent hope.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!
Sincerely, with love,
July 3, 2022 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
This is Fr. Carlos Londoño, the new associate pastor at the Family of Four parishes.
I am originally from Colombia and moved to Wisconsin in August of 2014, to begin my seminary formation at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary. I was ordained a priest on May 16th, 2020 at Saint John’s Cathedral.
Last Wednesday, June 22nd, I began my time of service at the Family of Four parishes, and I love it! I have felt so welcomed by our pastor Fr. Tim, by our wonderful staff, by every single one of you that I have had the gift to meet in person these days. I love city ministry, and yes, I love doing weddings too!
I love my priesthood, and I cannot be more grateful to God for the opportunity to serve at our parishes in the East Side of Milwaukee.
I look forward to meeting each of you, and I hope that you have a great, joy filled 4th of July celebration with family and friends!