October 8, 2020
“There are places in our hearts that do not exist, and into them enters suffering that they might have existence.” (Leon Bloy)
Something I hear often these days is who would have thought that 2020 would turn out as it has, and secondly, when will it be done?
As the pandemic continues to spin, as our communal search for justice and peace moves on in fits and starts, as division in politics infiltrates the very air we all breathe, our hearts are tired and sad and worried. Our very existence is weary.
We read in this Sunday’s second reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (ch. 4):
“I know how to live in humble circumstances; I also know how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
In all the suffering we are facing, maybe God is asking us to let something new be born in our hearts! Maybe our very weariness is the source of new growth and insight. Maybe if we really trust Christ, like St. Paul and a lot of people who have suffered before us did and can witness—something is happening, and it will be good! It will be good.
Stay hopeful and have a blessed week.
In Person Mass. Our Mass schedule can be found on the Reopening and Mass Times pages of the parish website. Please be sure to register online to attend an in person Mass. Registration can be found on the Reopening page of the parish website. The link is included every week in the orange box at the bottom of this newsletter.
Video Mass for Sunday, October 11th. Here is the recorded Mass for this upcoming Sunday (the 28th 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.
Eat, Drink & Be Catholic. On Wednesday, October 14th, Chad Griesel, Sean Carroll and Michael Adams will introduce this year’s theme, “From Social Distance to Encounter,” and will reflect on the powerful need for what Pope Francis calls a "culture of encounter" amidst an ongoing pandemic, calls for racial justice, and growing hyper-partisanship in an election year. Eat, Drink and Be Catholic offers women and men of all ages a casual opportunity to explore the Catholic faith. We hope to provide space for intellectual, relational and spiritual growth as well as some real community building. Due to the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, our gatherings will take place via Zoom until further notice. The conversations will also be recorded and posted on the Family of Four Parishes YouTube channel. For further information or to receive the Zoom link for October 14th, contact Chad Griesel, Pastoral Associate of Formation and Justice, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catholic East Elementary. Check out this video update on some of the great things happening at Catholic East Elementary and the Seton Catholic Schools network. Thank you for your continued support of our parish school!
Virtual Food Drive. It's a new month, so we have a new challenge!! Please continue our relationship of mutuality with the Riverwest Food Pantry by supporting them in this month's virtual food drive. You'll notice some new items this month: breakfast foods! You can purchase food to be delivered directly to the pantry at https://yougivegoods.com/familyoffourparishes-october.
St. Vincent de Paul. October is Vincentian Awareness Month! Oftentimes, it is through the invitation to ‘do’ something that a person joins the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Volunteering time and talent to help others is a natural response for followers of Christ. Vincentians heed the invitation to volunteer and then embrace the vocation to grow in holiness using their God-given gifts to ease the suffering of others. From its beginning, the Society has been organized for lay people to put their faith into action applying three essential elements: spirituality, friendship and service. The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Milwaukee is dedicated to the elimination of hunger and poverty in our community. Learn more about our mission and what Vincentians do to fulfill that mission. Contact our Six Saints Conference parishioner (THW, OLDP, SSPP) coordinator Laurie Jacobs at 815-861-4645 or Old St. Mary parishioner coordinators Tom and Karen Guszkowski at email@example.com, 414-559-4394 or firstname.lastname@example.org, 262-227-0810.
Faithful Citizenship. As we are now less than a month from this year's presidential election, we offer the attached information as you prepare your vote! This week's Faithful Citizenship flyer highlights the importance of Catholic Social Teaching: the centrality of the life & dignity of the human person, as well as considerations of poverty and economic justice.
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; email@example.com) or Fr. John (Cell: 414-305-3824; firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need anything! Be assured of our love and prayers.
Sincerely, with love,
Please read the following important announcement from Brian Eggers, Director of Liturgy and Music for SS Peter and Paul and Old St. Mary.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
It is with a heart full of gratitude that I write to you today. After much prayerful consideration, I am announcing my retirement from the music/liturgical ministry of SS. Peter and Paul and Old St. Mary Parishes. I have decided to leave full time work in the church to pursue more fully my real estate business and also discover new and creative ways to use my passion for music. My final Sunday will be January 3, 2021 – the Feast of the Epiphany.
Over my years serving on the Eastside, I have been blessed to minister with some of the best priests in the archdiocese and the best staff any parish or family of parishes could have. I have also been blessed to serve in one of the most welcoming and loving parishes I have ever known – SS. Peter and Paul. You welcomed me with open arms and received me in your families in such a way that you have become my family. I will forever be grateful for your love and support. I know that I have not been at Old St. Mary long, but you too have lovingly welcomed me as your parish music/liturgy director and I will always be grateful for your welcome.
I want to thank Fr. Tim for his support and friendship and love. As I have served alongside you, I have come to love you deeply and appreciate your unconditional support and encouragement. You are and always will be a wonderful gift in my life. Thank you.
Thank you also to Fr. John. Even though we have not served together long, I know you have a deep love for these parishes and they are all blessed to have you. Thank you for your friendship, leadership and support and Star Wars jokes.
Thank you to the staff – you have become dear friends and family and I will miss you greatly. You truly are the best staff ever. No one can compare to you. Thank you for your tireless ministry to this family of four parishes. You are a gift to all of us.
Thank you to all of our wonderful Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Acolytes, and Ministers of Hospitality. You are an incredible blessing to me and our parishes. Your commitment to prayerful liturgy and a welcoming environment is a beautiful gift. Thank you for how you have assisted me in creating liturgy that is heartfelt, meaningful and welcoming. I will miss you greatly.
I would be remiss if I didn’t offer a special thank you to my choir members and cantors and other musicians. You will always hold a special place in my heart and in my song. There have been many times that you have been the ones to keep me going in challenging times in my life – even if you didn’t realize it. You are angels and your song will always resound in my heart and my mind. I am so grateful for the beautiful music we have created together. I am sorry that during this pandemic we have been unable to be together when the world needs our song so desperately.
I love each and every one of you and I wish you nothing but the best and ask you pray for me as I move on to my new adventures and creative endeavors. This is my prayer for you:
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.