October 30th, 2022 – Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Some people see things as they are, and say why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”
Our Gospel this Sunday presents to us the figure of Zacchaeus, who was short in stature, but given an expanded and large-hearted vision by Jesus. Needless to say we are living in times of limited vision: partisan politics, social divisiveness and the desire for personal agendas and not the common good, a decided opinion that truth is relative, a general feeling that things are bad and only getting worse, lots of monologues and very few dialogues. The list could go on…
Belief in Jesus as the central reality of existence gives the perspective to help us focus and move forward in faith, hope and ever-increasing love. Just as Jesus invited Zacchaeus to see things from a different perspective, so he invites us to return to a heightened vision of the possible. Life does not have to be this short-sighted!
So we start this week by focusing on Jesus, and ask him to give us a new perspective on anything that limits us and our vision in order to make the world the beautiful place that God intends!
Have a blessed week! Dream of better times! Pray and work for them!
Sincerely, with love,
October 22nd, 2022 – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Last weekend I had the joy to welcome my mentor priest from growing up, Bishop Albeiro, who came to the parishes for the weekend.
It was truly a time of renewal for me, personally. As I prayed with Bishop and heard him speak about Jesus the way he always does, I was reminded of the reasons why I fell In love with the priesthood. It was my pastor’s proximity with Jesus that caught my attention growing up and made me want to follow the Lord, so that I too could have that close of a relationship with Jesus.
I believe it is important that we go back to the roots of who we are today. It is in remembering where we come from how we build a stronger tomorrow. Gratitude also plays a big role here; we are what others taught us to be, and we give thanks for so much received. When we think about it, our language, our traditions, our faith, the way we look at the world and the way we see God, we learned it all from parents, mentors and role models in life. All is a gift and we are grateful for those giants on whose shoulders we stand.
As one beautiful hymn says, “Faith of our fathers, living still, In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword; Oh, how
our hearts beat high with joy, whene’er we hear that glorious word. Faith of our fathers, holy faith, We will be true to thee till death!”
October 16th, 2022 – Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.”
(Gospel of St. Luke, ch. 18)
It is such a paradox that in my sometime self-important busy-ness, my prayer life is the first thing to be set aside. Just when I need Jesus the most, I forget to take time with him!
Our beloved parish staff teases me that when I take a break on vacation or retreat, I always come back energized with a lot of ideas that become part of their job description and the appeal to you for help and support. That is no less true this past arrival home from a break. I spent some time with Jesus, and he told me to thank them, and to thank you for all the many things our Family of Four is accomplishing to help his presence and mission fill the world. (Look at this bulletin and see all the results of commitment and hard work!)
Also filling my heart is the desire to expand our presence and support for a number of realities that are part of our journey together: 1) Those who have the reality of addiction to alcohol and other dimensions in their lives; 2) Those who are dealing with struggles in marriage, including the separated and divorced; 3) the men of our parishes who might be interested in joining a Knights of Columbus Council to be established in our neck of the woods.
Lest I overwhelm a busy staff, I will be like Moses in the first reading who needed to involve others to support the work that needs to be done. I am so grateful for Fr. Carlos as he has settled here and is ready to hit the ground in new work! I am so grateful to you, dear parishioners, for all you already do and support financially. Stay tuned for new ways to get involved and energized as we all work together for the glory of God and good of our community!
Sincerely, with love,
October 9th, 2022 – Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Here at the Family of Four we have the gift of a wonderful Catholic school, Catholic East Elementary.
On October 22, we will have the opportunity to support our own Catholic School by attending the Catholic Soles Walk at Lake Park, arriving at 11.30 am and walking from Noon until 2:00 pm.
Our school is great, and we dream big! This year, we are hoping to raise ]$50,000. The money will be used to fund the SS Peter & Paul site’s playground, as well as build out enrichment experiences for students including Science Lab, Theater, Art, Music, Athletics and additional field trip opportunities.
Please join us in supporting Catholic East by walking or donating to our School, texting SCHOOLSWALK8 to 71777 or visiting www.catholicschoolswalk.org.
On a more personal level, next weekend (October 15 and 16) I will have the joy to welcome bishop Albeiro Maldonado for all the Masses at Old St Mary’s. Bishop Albeiro was my mentor priest growing up. (Then) Father Albeiro was my home parish pastor for 11 years in Sabaneta, Colombia (where I am from) since I was 8 until I left the parish for college studies.
A year after I began my formation to the Priesthood in Milwaukee, Padre Albeiro was made the Bishop of Mocoa-Sibundoy, a diocese in the Colombian Amazonian that struggles with poverty and violence. Thanks to the great generosity of our pastor, Father Tim, Bishop Albeiro will be coming to the Family of Four to conduct a mission appeal for the needs of his diocese.
I pray that you have a blessed week, in union with your families and loved ones!
October 2nd, 2022 – Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Congratulations to our Director of Pastoral Care Terri Balash!
Recipient of the Vatican II Award for Service to the Church
On Thursday, September 22, 2022, Archbishop Listecki awarded 15 individuals with Vatican II Awards for their faithful service to our Church in different areas of ministry. Our own Terri Balash was awarded one for her wonderful service in Pastoral Care.
The criteria used for her selection speak so highly of her commitment to Christ and the Church, and the call we all have to witness to Christ’s great love for all of us!
The recipient must:
-be a Catholic who witnesses as a Christian rooted in biblical renewal.
-have worked toward engagement with the world.
-have promoted community with mutual respect for the full spiritual dignity of people as persons.
-have advanced the mission of Christ and the growth and renewal of Church.
God bless you, Terri for your incredible commitment, and thank you from all of us who are so blessed knowing you and working with you and the many who have benefitted from your efforts!