July 30th, 2023 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Because you have asked for this – not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right – I do as you requested.”
God always has the right answers. In this reading, he answers Solomon so beautifully with the strong, but Comforting, answer that the right request will always be met with the right answer.
One of my grade school nuns, a Racine Dominican, at St. John Grade School in South Milwaukee, would always tell us, be careful what you ask of God because He might just grant it! (Thank God for the wisdom of Women Religious and all in the Consecrated Life!) She would remind us to really be certain and clear that what we were asking would really be the best.
We still slip into a rather limited perspective of needs and wants and the paralysis that when we don’t get what we want, that God must not be listening, or even worse, doesn’t care. We have to keep reminding ourselves that God knows what we need even before we ask for it, and He promises to take care of us no matter what. He just wants our hearts to understand that He will work things out according to His plan, and not our limited, earthbound and time-tied perspective.
Let’s pray for each other, and for our Church, country and world – for true understanding of just how much God loves us, and because of that rock-solid truth, how He will provide for everything!
July 23rd, 2023 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Where has July gone?
It seems like we were celebrating Pentecost just yesterday, and now we are about to flip the calendar to August. Soon it will be time for back-to-school shopping and first days of school. Let us slow down and enjoy summer while we have it!
This week in the parish is especially busy for the Family Ministry team as they prepare to host many children for Good News Adventure Week. The theme is “Stellar: Shine Jesus’ Light.” Throughout the week, the children will see how Jesus shines in their lives, even when it does not feel like it. The week will include visits from the priests and a Eucharistic Procession.
Thank you to all our staff and the countless volunteers who will help us to enjoy a great week of growing in faith. I ask you to help this week in one particular way: prayer. Please pray that everyone involved in the week may grow in faith, learn to love God and each other more every day, and have a safe week.
Enjoy the last days of summer!
July 16th, 2023 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
On July 16, we celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
This year, because July 16 falls on a Sunday, the Lord’s Day of Liturgy takes precedence over the celebration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
I wanted to make mention, however, of this beautiful memorial, especially of the Collect Prayer that would have been said at the Mass for this feast day:
“May the venerable intercession of the glorious Virgin Mary come to our aid, we pray, O Lord, so that, fortified by her protection, we may reach the mountain which is Christ.”
I like the image of Christ as a mountain. I realize how sweet and difficult it can be to climb it at times. St Therese of the Child Jesus knew the challenge of the task when she said, “I wish to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection.” Full of compassion as he is, nevertheless, Jesus himself helps us reach the top of the mountain that he is. As St Therese also said, “The elevator which must raise me to heaven is your arms, O Jesus!”.
As I begin to celebrate the sacraments at the Cathedral, I have noticed that, to go from the sidewalk on Jackson Street – outside the main entrance – to the place where the altar is located, one has to “climb” a number of steps. The structure itself helps us keep in mind that our goal as Christians is to climb the mountain that is Christ by getting to know, love, and serve the Lord.
This Saturday, July 15, the Cathedral will be opened for an event called Oremus Milwaukee from 7:00pm until 10:00pm. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar, the top of the mountain. People who gather to celebrate Bastille Days and any of us who wish to participate are invited to go into the Cathedral church, light a candle and place it by the Blessed Sacrament near the altar. On Saturday, July 29, we will have the same experience of silent adoration, this time at St Hedwig’s Church on Brady street.
As we continue the journey towards Christ who is our destiny but also our companion and friend in the journey, I invite us to ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, that we may keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Lord.
July 9th, 2023 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“And we who have thought of happiness as climbing, would feel the emotion that almost startles, when happiness falls.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke)
I think we have happiness wrong at times. We feel that if we work hard enough, if we push ourselves and get things in order, we will find happiness. Then life, in its usual way, throws us a curve ball, and we find ourselves questioning, doubting what we did wrong and are being punished for. Sometimes, we feel like what God did was wrong and wonder why He doesn’t care.
That’s why I love the Gospel exhortation this Sunday to be like children. Kids have the inherent ability (before the teen years!) to be happy and not think too much about the future, to live in the moment, and find joy in simple things.
Let’s remember that joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Once we accept that at our core, our lives are a gift, it becomes much easier to live happily, from the inside out. Then we can spread the joy! We literally don’t sweat the small stuff knowing that in the end, for the believer, it is all small stuff, held close to the big heart of God.
Have a blessed week!
Sincerely, with love,
July 2nd, 2023 – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Hello, Family of Five Parishes!
My name is Fr. Joseph, your new Associate Pastor. I am excited to work with Fr. Tim and Fr. Carlos in our expanded family. I am a newly ordained priest (less than two months) and am excited for these parishes to be my first assignment. Before seminary, I worked in parishes for thirteen years and am excited to return to parish life.
This week we celebrate our nation’s independence, one of my favorite secular holidays. It is a great chance to celebrate with cookouts, days on the lake, or fireworks. It is also our reminder to thank those who serve to protect the freedoms of this country. Please know of my thanks to all our military, police, EMT personnel, firefighters, and countless others who keep us safe each and every day.
We are also reminded that our freedom comes from God. At our baptism, we move from a life of slavery in sin into freedom in God. All freedoms we have in this county are because of the gift of freedom from God. We are free to love and serve God out of love and not force. We are free to serve our neighbors, not out of obligation, but because grace allows us to love our neighbors.
Stay safe this week, and love God and your neighbor as you celebrate freedom.