Sunday, March 8th
After the 8:00 & 10:30 am Masses
Do you wonder where the Father Francis Jordan Room is? What about the library? And what is all this talk about a cow barn?
The answer to these and all your burning questions can be answered! Open Doors St. Pius X will be a tour of St. Pius X along with a few stories about our early days. This is not just for newcomers, but for everyone who is interested.
The tour will last about 15 minutes and finish with delicious Cranky Al’s donuts and fellowship.
No reservations are required. All attendees can meet at the altar steps. Hope to see you there!
The Disciple Maker Index survey link, www.DiscipleMakerIndex.com, is active as of February 23rd. Please take a few minutes to fill it out, online, if possible. For those who do not use the internet, we have copies in the back of church. Filling this anonymous instrument out will help you reflect on your strengths and where you need to grow. It will also help parish leaders know where we are providing good ministries and where we need to fill in the gaps. I ask each parishioner to participate.
Please be aware that scams are being sent out using my name asking for gift cards, donations, etc. I will NOT send e-mails like that. If you receive an e-mail that seems suspicious, send me an e-mail before you open it, asking if it is legitimate. Don’t ever send money or information without asking me first. This scam is happening to priests across the country.
Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday. Please join us for Mass at 8:00 am or 7:00 pm.
This is the last weekend before Lent and maybe our readings are setting us up for what we should work on in Lent! They are very clear in what God is calling us to, but doing it is a difficult challenge for us humans. And what is it? Loving our enemies!
Look at what we hear in these readings:
- [do] not bear hatred for your brother/sister in your heart
- take no revenge
- cherish no grudge
- love your neighbor as yourself
- offer no resistance
- turn the other cheek
- love your enemies
- pray for those who persecute you
- do not turn your back on your own
I don’t need to comment on these; they speak for themselves. Our culture needs the witness of people trying to live according to these norms. Name calling, open hatred, verbal violence – all of these are rampant in our politics and all around us. Our efforts to avoid these sins and to practice the virtues presented in our scripture readings can make a difference. Our witness is sorely needed!
It is not easy, but we need to work on improving. Underlying all these virtues is the virtue of humility. I invite you to join me on Tuesday evening, March 3rd, for a short presentation on the virtue of humility with time for reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Lord to help us to grow during Lent. More information is in this bulletin and on our website.
Reflection: how am I at forgiving others? Is there someone I need to forgive? How can I plan out a way of doing it that will work for me? And let us support each other in prayer.
Join us on Saturday, February 22nd from 5:00 - 8:00 pm at Wauwatosa Catholic School in the Griffey Center for a delicious spaghetti dinner.
This dinner features food prepared by The Bartolotta Family and is sponsored by the Wauwatosa Catholic School Home & School Association.
As of February 4, the donations to the first annual Salvatorian Sunday collection totaled $5,111. On behalf of all Salvatorian brothers and priests, I thank you for your generosity. PACT: Pius Parishioners Always Come Through!!!!
This weekend and the next couple weekends there will be a table in the back of church to sign up for The 99 Experience. There is information in the bulletin and on our website, where you can also sign up. Please read the material and seriously consider taking advantage of this Lenten opportunity to let the Lord speak to you in a personal way.
Our readings this weekend deal with the commandments and how we are to observe them. Our first reading tells us that by observing the commandments of God, we are choosing life. Most of us try to keep the “commandments,” but Jesus warns us in the Gospel that we might be taking too simplistic a view of what the commandments really are asking of us. With compelling examples, He challenges us to move from external behaviors to a righteous heart that motivates good behavior.
A clear example is Jesus’ first one: thou shalt not kill. I don’t think any of us are in the habit of killing people. But Jesus moves to anger and name calling, saying that these things are also reprehensible. And maybe we are not as innocent when we look at the fifth commandment from this perspective. Do we kill people’s reputations with the things we say about them? Are there people we can’t forgive? Do we harbor anger in our hearts?
Our culture needs to hear and heed this message of forgiveness and civility. Jesus emphasizes how important it is by telling us not to bring our gift to the altar, that is, don’t come to worship, until we resolve these issues.
Being human, we will never be perfect in avoiding hurtful words and actions, but it is important to recognize how sinful these are and how they hurt both the other person and ourselves. Our culture desperately needs the witness of Christians who can forgive and relate compassionately to others. For an excellent reflection on this, search for “Arthur Brooks National Prayer Breakfast Speech” online.
I invite us to reflect this week on our ability to forgive, to dissipate anger in a positive way, and to avoid negative speech. How can I do better? What practical steps can I take to improve? And let us support each other’s efforts with prayer.
I thank all those who have supported the Salvatorian Sunday collection so far. We will keep the collection open a couple more weeks and then I will find out the total and report it to you.
Congratulations to Randy Ferrell, a teacher at Wauwatosa Catholic, who has been selected as “Teacher of the Year” by the 4th VFW District. Randy led a research project with the 8th graders a couple years ago to develop a memorial for each soldier who died in the Vietnam War. This project allowed our students to learn about the war and, at the same time, begin to understand the tremendous toll it took on individuals and families.
Wauwatosa Catholic does a wonderful job instilling our Catholic faith and an inquiring, open mind in our children. Registration for next year is open: please consider sending your children to our school. If money is a factor, please talk to our principal, Lori Suarez, about the possibility of tuition assistance.
Our readings this weekend are very powerful. Jesus tells us that we are to be light for the world and salt for the earth. Isaiah gives us some hints on how to do it.
We don’t think about salt much because we have refrigeration and many prepared foods already have salt in them. But in Jesus’ day, salt was essential for preserving food, as well as giving flavor. It was so valuable that even the root word for “salary” is the Latin word for salt.
Isaiah tells us WHAT to do and what NOT to do, in order to be light and salt for the world. The “to do’s” are to be generous with the gifts that God has given us, especially to the hungry, naked, oppressed, and homeless.
Sometimes the “not to do’s” are more difficult: remove false accusation and malicious speech from your lives. We have a real problem with this in our culture. It is sad that our children are exposed to politicians and public figures being mean, bullying, and threatening to others. This sends the message that it is OK to behave this way. Gossiping, talking about others behind their back, bullying, calling names, denigrating others – all of these are contrary to Gospel values and sinful. Worst of all, the more these things are done, the more others do the same.
We CAN make a difference. We can make a concerted effort, first of all, not to do these things ourselves. Second, we can refuse to be part of a conversation where any of these things are happening. We can politely say that we do not find that kind of talk uplifting and productive; then, if the conversation doesn’t change, simply walk away.
Reflection for the week: change in our culture begins with each one of us. How do I use the gift of speech? Am I light and salt to the world by what I say and listen to? How can I do better? And let us support each other’s efforts in prayer.
All are invited to the Mini Green Summit after both morning Masses on Sunday, February 23rd.
The summit will be held from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm in the St. Pius X Cafeteria.
Bring your gently used clothing for others to put in the Better Earth recycling bin and learn more about this ongoing St. Pius project. There will be an activity for children and you will be able to meet representatives from the organizations listed below.
- Tosa Bag It
- Citizens Climate Lobby
- Green Neighbor Wauwatosa
- Interfaith Earth Network
- Better Earth Recycling
- Victory Garden Initiative
- Wauwatosa Farmers Market
- MKE River Keepers
- Tosa Sustainability Committee
- Compost Crusaders
The Justice and Peace Commission is hosting and we are all learning to follow Pope Francis' words of encouragement and learn how to better “Care for our Common Home” - Earth.
Children and adolescents face social stressors that are more complex and intense than in previous generations. Whether in person, over social media, or within groups, negative experiences can have lasting effects on the mental health and functioning of our youth.
This talk will identify how to delineate “bullying” behavior from other negative interactions, and will discuss healthy, effective ways to respond to social stressors of all types. Learning strategies for addressing social challenges, and improving the experiences of youth in today’s world, is an important aspect of growth and development.
We invite you to join in this conversation aimed at helping our youth more confidently and effectively attain success and satisfaction in the present and future.
Presented by: Dr. Matthew Jandrisevits, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist, Children’s Hospital
Date: Thursday, February 20th, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Wauwatosa Catholic School, 1500 Wauwatosa Ave. (in Griffey Hall, enter through church doors)
Sponsored by: Wauwatosa Catholic School and St. Pius X Health Ministry
Parents, teachers, grandparents and any concerned adults are welcome to attend.
This week you will receive The Invitation. My letter in that contains comments on what is happening at Pius, so I will go right to my reflection on our liturgical celebration this weekend.
At all Masses, we will bless candles that will be used in the church this year, as well as any candles parishioners bring to Mass. Why?
It all has to do with “light.” Christ came into the world to be the light of the world; we, also, are to be “light to the world.” Until the revision of the liturgical calendar after the last Vatican Council, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord marked the end of Christmas time, and, because of the line in the Gospel, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles,” candles were blessed and the day was unofficially called “Candlemas Day.”
It is hard for us to appreciate light because it is so accessible to us. If it starts to get dark, we simply flip a switch and there is light. But, before Thomas Edison it was a different story: when it got dark, much activity stopped. With candles, there was a little light to break the darkness and make some tasks possible. Candles were essential to daily life and safety. Light helps a person to know their surroundings and gives a sense of assurance and security.
The point is that Jesus is our light, not something extra, but something essential for knowing God and how we are to act in this world. The light of Christ assures us that God is in our lives and helps us find and follow the correct path through darkness.
There is certainly darkness around us, the darkness of hatred, violence, fear, pain, storms, etc. Christ is our light and assures us that God is with us and, if we follow the light and do our best to pass the light on to others, all will be well.
I invite us this week to reflect on light and how it enables us to see: how comfortable am I when I am in the dark and cannot see anything? Am I allowing the light of Christ to influence my speech and actions? What is one area of my life in which I could move out of darkness? And let us support each other in prayer, as we struggle to bring the light of Christ into our lives and world.
Videos & Resources Available from the "Our Teens Mental Health: Staying Healthy in Mind, Body & Spirit" Presentation
If you missed the "Our Teens Mental Health: Staying Healthy in Mind, Body & Spirit" Presentation on January 26th, the videos and resources that were shown are now available.
Take advantage of these resources and share them with family and friends.
Center for Parent & Teen Communication
National Alliance on Mental Illness - Support for Teens & Young Adults
"The Deepest Well" - a Book from the Center for Youth Wellness
Dan Siegel - "The Adolescent Brain"
The Biology of Toxic Stress
InBrief: The Science of Resilience
Teen Suicide Prevention
We are at the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. Wauwatosa Catholic School does a wonderful job of challenging our students academically with the International Baccalaureate Program, while helping them understand and grow in their Catholic faith. The I.B. Learner Profile (such as caring, principled, and reflective) supports and encourages our Gospel values. I encourage you to consider our school for your children and encourage others to do so, also. I thank our principal, Lori Suarez, and all of our teachers and staff for their excellent ministry.
Last weekend I introduced “Salvatorian Sunday,” an appeal to financially support the efforts of the Society of the Divine Savior, which has staffed St. Pius X since its beginning. Envelopes are in the pews or you can donate online through Pius’ website. Please be as generous as you can.
Our Gospel this weekend presents Matthew’s version of the beginning of Jesus’ active ministry, touched off by the arrest of John the Baptist. And almost immediately He calls his four main apostles; Peter, Andrew, James, and John. The presentation is dramatic: Jesus sees them, He calls them, and they leave everything to follow Him. It sounds so total and complete that we can be left feeling that it has nothing to do with our ongoing, personal struggle to respond to the call to follow Christ.
But, look at the reality: those men also had a long struggle to grow into being true followers of Jesus. They argued over who was the most important, John and James had their mother ask for a special place for them, they wanted to send people away rather than feed them, they fell asleep instead of praying with Jesus in Gethsemane, Peter denied Jesus three times, etc. They struggled, as do we, to grow in their ability to be true disciples of Jesus. But they made it. I don’t think the four men would have been able to travel over the whole known world preaching the Gospel and accept martyrdom those first days after Jesus called them: they needed to grow.
The point to us is that we, too, are called to be fishers of people, to bring people to the Lord by the way we live our lives. It is a process; we will never get it perfect. But if we follow Jesus (read scripture, listen reflectively to homilies, spend quiet time talking with the Lord, take advantage of faith formation opportunities), His Spirit will help us grow in our ability to be true disciples.
Reflection for the week: am I growing as a disciple? Do I spend enough time talking with the Lord and listening to His word to give His Spirit a chance to guide me? What is one practical change I can make in my life to do better? And let us support each other in prayer
A week of prayer for Christian unity began January 18. Please keep this intention in your prayer: that we all may be one.
Today is also Salvatorian Sunday at St. Pius. As I explained in the January Invitation, we are asked to contribute to a special collection to support the Society of the Divine Savior, which has supplied religious men for ministry since this parish’s beginning. More information can be found in this bulletin and there is a link for contributing on our parish web page. I ask you, please, to support this collection and be as generous as you can. Thank you.
This weekend we begin Ordinary time which goes to the end of November and the feast of Christ the King, except for an interruption for the Lenten and Easter seasons. During this year we will learn Jesus’ values and how he lived them out through the Gospel of Matthew.
Our readings today remind us that we are called, each of us, from our mother’s womb (the first reading).
There are two aspects of this call. The first is general for everyone and that is to be holy, as Paul reminds the Corinthians. To be holy means to live Gospel values, acting and relating to others as Christ did.
Second, each of us has a unique call. Paul was called to be an apostle, John the Baptist was called to testify to the Christ, and Jesus was called to be the Messiah, baptizing with the Spirit. To what am I called? To be a spouse? A parent? A religious? A teacher? It is a multifaceted question and touches various aspects of our lives. But no matter what we are called to be or do, underlying is the call to be holy, thus bringing the light of Christ into this darkened world.
No one’s call is better or more important than another person’s call; it is simply that person’s unique call. But answering that unique call by building a personal relationship with the Lord and listening to where the Spirit is leading, is what our Faith is all about.
I invite us this week to spend some time reflecting on the unique call each of us has received, thanking God and asking for the grace always to follow where the Spirit is leading us.
“Make Jesus Known Through All Ways and Means That the Love of Christ Inspires.”
- Fr. Francis Jordan, Founder of the Society of the Divine Savior
In the early 1950’s, St. Pius X was founded by the Society of the Divine Savior and has been served by the Salvatorians since that time. Like most non-profit organizations, the Salvatorians rely on the generosity of others to support ministry efforts, elderly members, and the cost of educating new members.
The Salvatorian Order may be small in numbers, but they can be found serving Christ around the world in places such as schools, nursing homes and parishes. In 2019 the order celebrated the ordinations of 4 priests to the Order!
The weekend of January 18th and 19th a special collection will be taken for the Salvatorian order. Please be as generous as you can in your support, both monetarily and in prayer.
Donations can be made online at www.salvatorians.com/support-us/salvatorian_sunday.cfm or by using the envelopes provided in the pews. Please return your envelope in the next few weeks. Thank you for your support!
The last day of 2019 I received a thank you from our sister parish for our collection of $7,680 and the news that 10 of the martyrs of the diocese have been approved for beatification. What wonderful news! The bishop of the diocese promised to inform me of the date of the beatification as soon as he hears from the Vatican. We rejoice with our sister parish and its diocese, praying to these martyrs that religious persecution of every kind may be erased from the earth.
As I shared in our recent newsletter, we will have an annual collection to support the Society of the Divine Savior. This year it will be this coming weekend. I will be speaking at the Masses and there is information in the bulletin and on our parish web page. Please be as generous as you can.
This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Two big epiphanies or “ah ha” moments happen in our Gospel reading: Jesus is identified by God the Father as His Son and we are introduced to the concept of the Holy Trinity for the first time when the Father calls Jesus His Son as the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus. After His baptism, Jesus begins His public ministry, described in our reading from the prophet Isaiah, as being a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind…and to bring out…those who live in darkness.
My friends, the same thing essentially happened to us at our baptism: we became children of God and we received the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us in the same ministry as was given to Jesus: to be a light to the world by assuming the values that Jesus preached and patterning our lives after His.
Christmastime ends with our liturgy this weekend and we begin “ordinary” time. This year we will read the Gospel of Matthew to help us know how to live as followers of Jesus. As we listen to His words and observe His actions, the Holy Spirit will help us understand how we are to speak and act in the given situations of our lives, IF WE ARE LISTENING. We need, at times, to be quiet, listen, and reflect.
I urge each of us to carefully plan when and how we will have a little quiet time with the Lord each day. Those few minutes need to be a priority if we want to grow in our relationship with the Lord and be attentive to His Spirit. Let us support each other in prayer as we do this.
I’d like to start with a few house-keeping items. First, there have been some comments made to me that people without handicap stickers are parking in the handicap parking spots. Out of concern for those who are disabled, please do not park in the handicap spots if you do not have a sticker. If the police drive by, they can give citations. Also, please do not park in front of the church, especially under the arches, as the weight is not good for the cement. Thank you for your cooperation.
We received a thank you from the Hunger Task Force for 320 bags of food. Amazing! Pius parishioners always come through! Congratulations and thank you.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. The first definition for “epiphany” in
Merriam-Webster is “a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.” Epiphanies are common in scripture; in fact, John organizes his Gospel around seven “signs” or “epiphanies” that gradually reveal Jesus’ true nature.
The big revelation which is celebrated today is that Jesus has come for ALL people, not just the Chosen People. The Jews were called first and protected the belief in one God among nations that believed in many gods. But, as the prophets foretold (an example of which we hear in our first reading), Jesus would come for all people.
While our human tendency is to set boundaries and borders so as to exclude others who do not look like us or believe as we do, God’s tendency is to include, to invite all, to have open borders. We can cling to what we believe to be right without excluding or pushing away others who think differently. To say it another way, the Jews were given the gift of their belief in God not to protect it for themselves, but as a stepping stone for all nations to be saved.
It is the same for us. Our faith is not something we have been given to protect, conserve, etc., but something that is given to us so that we can attract others and share it through our joyful and meaningful lives.
The Magi gave the child Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Little Drummer Boy played his drum for Jesus. We are called to live a life of Gospel values that brings the light of Christ into our world. Let us support each other in prayer as we strive to do so each day of our lives.
May you have a happy, holy, and healthy 2020.