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September 10, 2020
 
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”  (Audrey Hepburn)

Dear Friends,
 
Our readings this Sunday could not be more helpful as we are navigating these times of the ugliness of a vicious virus and the ugliness of racism. Plus we are all navigating our own struggles born of isolation and reaction and doubt and worry and fear!
 
From Sirach, St. Paul, and the Gospel of St. Matthew we are given some potent medicine to fight the poison that fills the air as powerfully as the smoke that fills the air of our brothers and sisters in the wildfires. (Pray for them please!)
 
As we remember the horror of 911 way back already in 2001, we remember those brave First Responders, those firefighters, police, EMTs, and all of us who responded to the ugliness of evil in a powerful way, for at least the first week after the catastrophe, when we all came together and realized the beauty of working together despite our differences to truly be able to sing “America the Beautiful.”
 
Sad to say we too quickly returned to the patterns of partisan politics, to living in a violent, disrespectful culture, to the selfish preoccupation with consumption and power, to individual right and might instead of care for the common good, to prejudice and division.
 
Our faith in Jesus Christ calls us in these catastrophic times to solidarity with each other that will last. We are called to face our sins and ugliness, not to take up our weapons, but to take up the Cross, and let the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice heal us and help us to heal each other!
 
A step at a time, but let’s persevere and offer the only real strength, the beauty of mercy.
 
Video Mass for Sunday, September 13th. Here is the recorded Mass for this upcoming Sunday (the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time). We provide a worship aid to help you better enter into the prayer of the Mass. Please know that we will continue these recorded Masses indefinitely. We are so grateful to DV Productions, our Liturgists Mary Robertson and Brian Eggers, and our music ministers for their efforts in making our prayer as beautiful as possible.
 
Virtual Food Drive. Our Riverwest Food Pantry Virtual Food Drive is continuing for its third month! If you would like to support this ministry, instead of bringing an Item of the Week to Mass (which we cannot accept in our current conditions), please consider contributing an Item of the Week to the food drive at: https://yougivegoods.com/familyoffourparishes-september. Thank you!
 
St. Vincent de Paul. Did you know that our Family of Four parishes supports two conferences of St. Vincent de Paul? Our Six Saints Conference continues its ministry to our neighbors by offering various household items, furniture, and vouchers to people in need. Donations of physical items or monetary donations are accepted. Please reach out to Laura Hancock at hancockl@archmil.org for more information. Also, the Cathedral of St. John/Old St. Mary Joint Conference of SVdP is continuing to support our neighbors by mailing food vouchers to their regular recipients. If you would like to make a financial contribution to this ministry, please mail your donation to: St. Vincent de Paul Society, Cathedral of St. John/Old St. Mary Conference, 833 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Thank you!
 
Black Lives Are Sacred. Please consider joining next week's Catholic witness to the truth that Black Lives are Sacred being held at Three Holy Women-St. Hedwig Church on Thursday, September 17th from 5:30 - 6:30 pm. This is a peaceful, prayerful, and family-friendly event. You can find more information on the Events tab at https://www.facebook.com/blacklivesaresacredmke or email Laura Hancock at hancockl@archmil.org.
 
JustMatters: Faith & Racial Equity. The feedback from the first round of Faith & Racial Equity small group participants was overwhelmingly positive. The participants felt very challenged to analyze their belief systems, to consider the use and experience of new terminology and language, to welcome the narratives and experiences of persons of color, and to prayerfully discern their next steps for engagement and action. The structure of the FRE small groups, while sometimes limited by time constraints, also provided a helpful set of boundaries and safety for the group members to share honestly about their thoughts, experiences, and actions. If you'd like to join the next round of small groups, please email Laura Hancock at hancockl@archmil.org by Monday! There are still a limited number of spots available in our Tuesday afternoon (4-6 pm) and Wednesday morning (9-11 am) ​small groups. These groups will be starting via Zoom on September 15th and 16th respectively. Please join us for these important conversations!
 
Parish Financial Support. We continue to be humbled by your financial support of the parish during these tender and tenuous times. Thank you so much, it has been amazing to witness the generosity of so many! Please mail in your envelopes and contributions to our parish office (Old St. Mary Parish, 835 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202), and our parish staff will process these.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact me (Cell: 414-762-7986; kitzket@archmil.org) or Fr. John (Cell: 414-305-3824; baumgardnerj@archmil.org) if you need anything! Be assured of our love and prayers.
 
Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim
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