The date of this letter (May 19) is two days before my foot operation in which three bones will be fused. I thank all of you who have been promising prayers for its success. Some have asked about visiting me. Because my primary insurance is Medicare, I will not know where I will be until after the operation. When I am ready and able to have visitors, I will let you know through the bulletin. When I can move a little better, maybe I’ll come and heckle Deacon Patric from the pews!! As I shared before, Frs. Jeff, Peter, and Reed will cover for me until Patric is ordained on June 23, and then he will take over. I thank them for the assist.
A recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured the closing of the Greater Milwaukee Free Clinic and the wonderful ministry it has been over its 24 years of existence. We thank our community members Kathy and George Schneider for their commitment to the poor in a very tangible, meaningful way. I am pleased our community has been supportive of them over the years. Read the article here from the AP.
Our Gospel reading jumps back to the Last Supper and presents to us the very last words of Jesus to his disciples before He left for Gethsemane. In one sense, one could look on this as His last will and testament: he even says, “I will be with you only a little while longer.” So, we KNOW these words are important. He says, I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. This sums up everything it means to be a follower of Jesus.
WHAT does Jesus say? LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
HOW should we love? AS I HAVE LOVED YOU? And remember, just before this HE washed the feet of the disciples.
WHY should we do this? THIS IS HOW ALL WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES.
This is our constant challenge. We will never love perfectly in this world, but we need to be growing in our ability to do so. I invite us to reflect this week on one area in our lives that needs more love and develop practical strategies for growing in that area. And let us support each other with prayer, as we strive to be more loving.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
Congratulations to Deacon Patric Nikolas, SDS, who graduated May 3 from Sacred Heart School of Theology with two Master degrees. He will be ordained a priest at Mother of Good Counsel on June 23rd at noon, along with three other members of our Salvatorian Family.
Salvatorian Fr. John Pantuso, who was a parishioner at Pius and then an Associate Pastor here, died the end of April and his funeral will be held at Pius at 11 am on Tuesday, May 14. His interesting life is featured in a Journal Sentinel article.
What a wonderful coincidence that our Gospel about Jesus as the Good Shepherd falls on Mother’s Day, because a good mother has the qualities of a good shepherd!
In our short Gospel we have four “active” verbs that describe the interaction between a Good Shepherd and the sheep: the Good Shepherd KNOWS His sheep and GIVES them eternal life. The sheep, for their part, HEAR the voice of the Shepherd and FOLLOW Him.
My friends, we can’t FOLLOW if we do not HEAR the voice of the Shepherd. And we cannot HEAR if we are not quiet and listening. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that we regularly, daily is ideal, take time to be quiet and LISTEN to the Shepherd. That means not reciting prayers, not reading, but sitting quietly in the presence of the Shepherd, giving Him the chance to speak to us.
We are busy, but we can find the time, even if sometimes it means working it in to our existing activities. For example, I have a 10 to 15-minute commute from 37th and Kilbourn to Pius. I never put the radio on, I never have noise: it is quiet time when I deliberately place myself in God’s presence. It isn’t adding to my schedule; it is using time that is already there I invite us this week to reflect on how much quiet time we give the Lord, resolving to make sure we have some time each day – and strategizing, to make sure it happens.
Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers. We thank God for the gift that you are and/or have been for us. May God continue to bless you abundantly.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
At its meeting on May 1, the Pastoral Council discerned four members for a three-year term. Joanna Clementi and Emily Wisniewski will continue for a second term. Latonia Bird and Lisa Marie Idzikowski will join the council for a first term. They officially begin their term on July 1, but will attend the May and June meetings as the council plans for next year, elects its leadership, and discerns Pastoral Council liaisons to various parish commissions and committees. I thank Joanna, Emily, Latonia, and Lisa Marie for their willingness to serve the community in this important role. I also thank Stacey Stark and Kevin McGinty for their service as their term ends.
The Pastoral Council also approved a parish goal for 2019-2020. The goal was drafted by the Formation and Evangelization Commission, based on the results of the parish survey completed recently. Each council, commission, committee, and group in the parish will be asked to review the goal and form objectives for how they can move us toward the goal in their particular area of ministry. The Pastoral Council liaison will have the responsibility of helping each group do this. The goal is the following:
Energize and grow our membership by providing a welcoming environment
with strong adult formation and activities for all ages to foster spiritual growth
and a strong desire to make disciples of all people.
I thank the members of the Formation and Evangelization Commission, who spent many hours working with the survey to craft the goal and who will continue to work to help in its implementation.
Please keep this process in your prayers.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
The Stewardship Commission is inaugurating an annual “Anniversary Weekend” to recognize long time parishioners. This first year, we will honor 36 families who have been members 50 years or longer. In following years, we will honor those who have been parishioners 65 years or longer, as well as those celebrating 50, 40 and 25 years.
At all Masses on May 18-19, we will thank and honor these long time parishioners with a special blessing.
The most important resource our community has is its members. Please plan to join us at Mass on this first Anniversary Weekend.
Congratulations to our teens who received Confirmation on May 2nd and our children who receive their First Holy Communion this Sunday, May 5th. May this day always be a special one in your lives. Thank you to the parents and catechists who have helped our young members to arrive at this point in their faith journey!
In the Catholic Herald edition for April 25, there is a wonderful article about our Wauwatosa Catholic School community serving a Lenten meal to the community at large. It was a good lesson for our children that Lent invites us to grow in our service to others. I thank our principal, Lori Suarez, who took the initiative with this project, as well as all those who supported it in any way.
Our Gospel this weekend, the very end of John’s Gospel, is the story of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples on the shore of Lake Tiberius. I did a lot of reflecting on this story while eating in silence during my novitiate year (1964) in Colfax, Iowa, because a mural depicting the scene had been painted by a Salvatorian brother on one whole wall of our dining room. I was struck by the look of kindness and peace on the face of Jesus.
If my friends had done to me what the disciples had done to Jesus, I don’t think I would have been able to interact with them as Jesus did. Notice there is no recrimination of Peter, no demand for an apology, no bringing up the past. Jesus simply looks to the future, invites love and commitment, and gives the apostles their mission: feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep. At His first appearance to them, which we listened to last Sunday, He gave them the mission of forgiveness and reconciliation; in this appearance, He is modeling for them (and us), through His detailed interaction with Peter, how to be forgiving.
Sometimes our sense of “justice” can blind us to the forgiveness and mercy that Jesus modeled for us. “Yes, I’ll forgive, but they have to apologize first.” “I’ll forgive but I won’t forget.” Etc. Etc.
It is hard for us to be truly merciful. I think Jesus knew that and so He gave us this wonderful example of how to do it. Are we growing in our ability to be forgiving and merciful? Is there a particular person I need to forgive? How can I do it? As we reflect on these questions this
week, let us support each other in prayer as we all strive to be merciful and forgiving.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
I invite you to represent our community and accompany Trustee Dennis Myers as he carries a parish banner made by Joann Corsten in a 175th anniversary procession downtown on May 4th. More information can be found on our website and The Invitation.
Congratulations to our children who will receive their First Holy Communion on May 5th. May this day always be a special one in your lives. Thank you to the parents and catechists who have helped the children to arrive at this point in their faith journey!
As I watched the smoke rising from the fire before the beginning of our Easter Vigil service, I remembered that all the intentions of the past year from our Wailing Wall were contributing to that smoke, rising to the Lord. So in the vigil service, I remembered all those petitions in a special way. Now we start pinning another year of petitions on our Wall. What a blessing it is to be supporting each other in prayer!
Our Gospel this weekend is John’s version of Jesus’ appearance to His disciples Easter Sunday evening, as they were hidden behind locked doors. It is interesting to note His statements to them: twice He says, Peace be with you. For us this means our Lord and Savior has risen, so we have nothing to fear. He then adds, As the Father has sent me, so I send you. This means that, to be His disciples, we have to accept the same mission that Jesus had. What is that mission? His next words tell us that it is the mission of reconciliation, of bringing forgiveness to the world: Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. God wants forgiveness and peace in the world and we, as Jesus’ followers, bring the good news of that pardon and reconciliation to our world. And we do it most forcefully and convincingly with our actions, when we forgive and reconcile and bring peace to all around us.
I invite us to reflect this week on our lives: do we bring peace and reconciliation or do we bring division? How can we heal divisions around us, especially any that we might have caused? And let us support each other in prayer: Lord, make me a channel of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love….
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
175 years is a lot to celebrate, and we have a lot to offer in the celebration! A full day of free activities await you and your family on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We hope to see you there!
Why May 4? May 4, 2019 commemorates 175 years to the approximate day the first Bishop of Milwaukee, Bishop John Martin Henni, arrived in Milwaukee in 1844.
What is all happening on May 4? The celebration will start in Pere Marquette Park, then process to the Cathedral for an 11 a.m. Mass. The celebration will continue in Cathedral Square, as we join together in a fun-filled family day of music, food, games and a youth 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament.
Learn more at: https://www.archmil.org/175th-Anniversary/Events/175-Alive.htm
Joann Corsten made a banner that trustee Dennis Myers will carry in the procession to the Cathedral. Please came and enjoy the day, cheering Dennis on and representing St. Pius X!
Thank you to all those who made nominations for parish leadership. Ron Skelton has accepted another term as Trustee. I thank him for all his service to our community. Ten parishioners were nominated for the Pastoral Council. They are being invited to a discernment session on May 1, when four members will be chosen. Please keep this process in your prayers.
A comment in our recent parish survey was “we don’t get much information about religious education.” Our two leaders (Samantha El-Azem for K-5 and Sarah Daszczuk for middle and high school) created a web page (triparishfaithformation.org) last year year where all the information can be found (the web address is regularly shared in our bulletin and easily accessible from the parish website). We are transitioning to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for K through 5th grades, a Montessori-based religious education program. A critical part of this program is an “atrium,” a dedicated space for the children to encounter God. This coming Sunday, April 28, from 11:30 to 1:30 at Christ King, there will be an opportunity for you to see the first of multiple atriums. Please note the information in this bulletin and take advantage of this opportunity to understand this wonderful opportunity that is being given to our children.
I thank all who worked so hard to make our Holy Week and Easter celebrations so special, especially Kathy Wellenstein, our Liturgy and Music Director. May God bless you for all your efforts.
Those of us who live where there is a harsh winter have such an appreciation of spring, when the weather gets warmer, the snow melts, and finally flowers begin to sprout up as the trees gain leaves. What a perfect analogy that experience is for the Resurrection: the cold dark night has been conquered by the Rising Son! Happy Easter!
As I reflected on the scriptures these last days, I was struck by the non-violent and humble behavior of Jesus: He put an end to the violent reaction of His disciples at His arrest; He healed the man (an opponent) whose ear had been cut off; He stood humbly before Pilate; He shifted the focus of the weeping women from His own suffering to them and their families; He ministered to the thief at His side as He was dying; and, finally, He asked His Father to forgive those who were torturing Him. What an example of non-violence!
The message is clear: those who wish to live as did Jesus must be non-violent and forgiving, must be building up rather than tearing down. This is a message that our society needs to hear more than ever and we need to announce it by how we live.
As we celebrate this feast, let us renew our resolve to grow in our ability to live as Jesus did: humbly and non-violently. And let us support each other’s efforts with prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
Join us on Sunday, June 2 from 12pm-2pm at St. Pius X, Cafeteria for an afternoon with Grace Urbanski, the author of Pray with Me: Seven Simple Ways to Pray with your Children and former national director of children's ministry for the Apostleship of Prayer (now the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network). Grace will talk about how to engage in the Mass with your children and how to pray more together as a family.
What to Expect:
Food and Fellowship
Talk on how to help children (and you!)
get more out of Mass each week
Family Activities on the Mass
Every year over 380,000 lives are lost due to sudden cardiac death. Every second counts in saving a life!
St. Pius X will be installing an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) device for the church.
How would you like to be part of saving a life? Have you always wanted to know how easy it is to use an AED device to help someone in need? Well, now is the time to find out!
A Wauwatosa Fire Department Instructor will be coming to our gym on Sunday, May 19th at 9:15 am (after the 8 am Mass) to demonstrate how to use the AED device and begin chest compressions.
The class, which will be held between Masses, is free and open to anyone in middle school and older. No medical experience is necessary, only a desire to help someone if needed.
Please call the Parish Office at 414-453-3875 to reserve a space now.
Thank you to the members of the Justice and Peace Committee for all their service to us, especially the second Mini Green Summit held last Sunday. Thank you to the Health Committee for the speakers they bring in, the articles in The Invitation, the free yoga sessions by Mary Snow, and the materials available in the lobby of the church. These two committees are always open to new ideas on how they can help the community, so share any ideas you may have.
In our two Gospel readings from Luke this weekend (one for the procession with the palms, the other the Passion), there are three different crowds that interact with Jesus.
The first is the enthusiastic crowd that accompanied Him into Jerusalem, shouting and waving palms. It almost sounds like a mob out of control. They were in the excitement of the moment: was this the Messiah King who would save Israel? But when things got difficult, where were they? Hopefully, our faith isn’t like that: shallow faith that follows only when it is easy or convenient or promising.
The second crowd is the group with the scribes and Pharisees. These are the self-righteous, those who are sure that they are right while those that think or act differently are wrong and need to be condemned. Hopefully, our faith isn’t like that: quick to divide and judge and condemn.
The third is the “large crowd, including many women,” who followed Jesus on the Way of the Cross. This is the only group Jesus speaks to, warning them to weep for themselves and their children. Hopefully, our faith IS like theirs: willing to follow Christ even though it might be difficult, following those that suffer and doing the best we can to bring them comfort.
As we go through these next days leading up to our celebration of the holiest days of the year, I invite us to reflect on these three groups. When am I in which group? How can I grow to be more in the third?
I urge you to attend our services Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. The powerful symbols in these celebrations will help us enter into the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
Sunday, April 28 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium (2nd floor of Christ King Parish Center)
Over the next several years, our religious education program is getting a make over!
We are transitioning over to a Montessori-based formation program that is hands-on, practical, and deeply focused on the spiritual needs of the child.
Next year (2019-2020), children in K3-K5 are invited to experience this program.
Come and see the Atrium, the special environment made especially for the young child to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and find out how you can get involved.
Parents, grandparents, and interested parishioners are welcome to come and see!
Enter in the 91st Street Christ King Church Entrance and follow the sheep upstairs.
Once again, Justice and Peace members hope you will join us for the annual Spring Clean Up of Milwaukee's waterways. What's new this year is that St. Pius has chosen to become a part of the Riverkeepers "Adopt a River" program. That means we are responsible to clean up a portion of the Menomonee River Parkway twice a year.
Our first clean up will be Saturday, April 27, at 9 am. We will join others throughout the Milwaukee area for the annual spring clean up. But this year, we will focus cleaning up our chosen area - along the Menomonee River from Swan Boulevard to North Avenue.
We will meet at Hoyt Park at 9 am, get our supplies and as a group go to our area. Please come and be a part of this event to care for our amazing waterways.
Questions?? Call or email Joan Quinn @ 414-476-3629 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our nomination process for parish leadership closes after the 10:30 Mass this weekend. I thank those who made nominations. The nominees will be contacted in the next days and invited to a discernment session with the Pastoral Council on May 1st, when the new leadership will be chosen. Please continue to keep this process in your prayers.
Sometime this week you will receive a second mailing from the diocese for the Catholic Stewardship Appeal. If you have not yet contributed, I urge you to do so. This appeal supports social justice ministries and services that we use. It is our responsibility to support our local Church and its efforts to serve us and those in need.
This is the last weekend this year that I will be in Racine for a workshop with our Salvatorian candidate and the directors/candidates from other religious communities of religious men and women. I appreciate your understanding, prayers, and support. Some of these candidates could be your pastors in the future!
Only one week remains until we enter the most moving and central week of our liturgical year. I commented at length on Holy Week in The Invitation, which you received this week and/or can read on our webpage. I urge you to join your faith community as we walk with Christ during the last week of His life, beginning with our reenactment of His entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and culminating in our celebration of His Resurrection.
Prepare to celebrate Holy Week by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation after our communal penance service on Tuesday evening at 7 pm. Three priests will be available for individual confession. (In this context, I invite you to go back and reread the reflection for Saturday, Third Week of Lent, on page 26 in our Lenten reflection book With Grace and Gladness).
We find it so easy to judge and condemn: That person doesn’t come to church. That person thinks they are better than anyone else! That person isn’t doing what they should be doing. Etc. Etc. Fill in whatever you want.
In our Gospel today, the woman WAS guilty. She WAS caught in adultery. (Doesn’t it take two to tango? Where is the man???) According to the Law, the scribes and Pharisees had the right to bring her to be stoned. And Jesus doesn’t object, He doesn’t go against the Law. He simply suggests that the one without sin throw the first stone.
Why are we so quick to judge? And condemn? Even when it is justified? What does it say about us? Are we REALLY able to throw the first stone?
In this final week leading up to Palm Sunday, I invite us to reflect on our tendency to judge and condemn, especially when we are doing it with our mouths or fingers (on social media), asking the Lord to forgive us for this and help us grow in our ability to say with Jesus, “neither do I condemn you.”
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
Adults of all ages should have one. Do you need one or need to update your current document (due to deaths, divorce or marriage)?
St. Pius X Health Ministry invites you to learn about Advance Health Care Directives also known as Power of Attorney for Health Care on Thursday, April 11, 2019 in the rectory living room* at 6:30 PM.
Take charge of your future health care decisions and put the worry of your loved ones aside. Lisa Marie Idzikowski, APSW will explain your choices and the difference between a Living Will, Advanced Directive and a Wisconsin Health Care Power of Attorney as she walks you through the decision-making process. Lisa Marie will answer your questions, and will provide the forms you need to complete a legal document (that evening if you choose to). Come learn about this process for yourself or to help a family member, friend, or loved one. You can even complete your Directive for free!
Please plan to join us!
*Rectory Living room, 2506 Wauwatosa Ave., enter parish office doors and turn right. Street parking