Welcome to the Salvatorian Family, which joins us this weekend at our 5 pm Saturday Mass, celebrating its Foundation Day. Fr. Francis Jordan founded the Apostolic Teaching Society in Rome on December 8, 1881. That community is now the three branches of the Salvatorian Family: religious men, religious women, and lay. St. Pius X has been Salvatorian from its inception. Please remember our Salvatorian family in your prayers and consider joining one of our three branches. Ask me or another SDS for more information.
I thank those who took advantage of our Advent reflection Tuesday evening. Hopefully, the evening will be a help to a spiritually fulfilling Advent. Another reflection will be offered at the beginning of Lent.
Our Gospel this weekend introduces us to John the Baptist and his offer of a baptism of repentance. John was pretty harsh with the Scribes and Pharisees who came to partake in his baptism. He told them having “Abraham as their father” was not enough; they had to show their repentance by their deeds.
This is a good warning to us that we have to do more than say, “Jesus is Lord.” We have to show by our deeds that we are His followers. And once again, Isaiah helps us understand what God wants: there shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain. Do I lose my temper when I am driving? Do I get angry talking with others and call them names? Do I speak badly about others? Is there someone I won’t speak to? All of these are examples of how we bring discord and unhappiness into the world and they are not acceptable for followers of Jesus. We are to be preparing the way of the Lord, that is, preparing the way for his Kingdom of peace, justice, and love. In one sense, it is a return to the ideal of the Garden of Eden.
As we continue our journey through Advent, I invite us to reflect on the Baptist’s call to repentance, a call to change our lives to be more effective agents of peace and love, agents of Christ’s Kingdom. And let us support each other in prayer, as we strive to do so.
Bring your gifts to church this weekend, December 7th and 8th.
The gifts will be distributed to:
St. Pius X families in need, St. Vincent de Paul, Casa Maria Hospitality House, Hope Network, and La Causa Crisis Nursery & Prevention Program
Gift Sunday is a long-standing (40+ years) tradition at St. Pius X. It offers the opportunity to give traditional gifts for individuals as well as to give "alternative gifts or items"*. Both help meet needs as expressed by the above programs. The organizations are all contacted and the list is updated annually (there were significant changes this year). The following Gift Guide provides suggestions for ideas of items most needed, including gift cards. The needs are as great as ever and they appreciate your generosity.
PLEASE WRAP AND LABEL THE PACKAGE WITH THE ITEM/SIZE AND AGE GROUP (i.e. boy/girl basketball 10 yrs. +, 4T boy blue shirt and pants, woman’s Med black gloves, Teen-loop earrings)
NOTE: Gift cards may be purchased in the back of church through St. Pius’ Scrip program, placed in an envelope and labeled - see suggestions below. There will be a box for gift cards in front of the alter.
ALL AGE GROUPS: Mittens, gloves, scarves, hats, age appropriate clothing, back packs, gym bags
INFANTS – TODDLERS (Birth – 3): Warm sleepers, crib items, pull toys, sturdy age-appropriate books and infant toys
PRE-SCHOOLERS (3-5 years): Fischer Price, Playschool and creative play toys, puzzles, trucks and cars, brown and white dolls, books and beginner games, riding toys
CHILDREN (6-12 years): Jump ropes, sports equipment, games, and art supplies, books, Legos, educational and popular, but non-violent toys. Used bikes, ready to ride, in good condition have always found a home!
TEENS (13-18 years): Items REALLY NEEDED for this age! Certificates for movies, headsets, teen games, basketballs, makeup, perfume and personal care items, jewelry and gift cards (please mark “teen”)
ADULTS: Warm nightwear, slippers, robes, cosmetics and personal items, jewelry, household items such as clocks and radios (to get up on time for work etc.) Items really needed for men.
ELDERLY: Gift cards to food stores (please mark “for elderly”)
*SPECIAL NEED ITEMS
Label with name of agency – please do not wrap
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL – Crossroads Meal Program – Healing Shower: soaps and other bathing toiletries including hotel size (unopened)
CASA MARIA: canned goods, infant and toddler new or like new clothing, new adult women larger sized under garments and clothing, like new winter jackets & coats all sizes, like new or new double bed blankets & bed sheets, towels, hair gel and other products for African American women, travel toiletries from hotels
HOPE NETWORK: Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Meijer, Kohl’s (please mark “for Hope Network”), layette items, diapers & *wipes (really need), bottles, pampers, baby blankets, baby toiletries, hooded/towels, fleece blankets and infant books, new and used children’s books
LA CAUSA CRISIS NUSERY AND PREVENTION PROGRAM, (birth to 12): baby bottles, Sippy cups, diapers (lg & extra lg) and pull ups, new underwear, pajamas and socks, pants and tops, combs & brushes, shoes, baby powder, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sweat suits, sweat pants, pajamas for larger children equal to small adult sizes, hand held games, craft supplies, pencils and paper, coloring books, batteries, laundry detergent, school supplies ****new or like new children’s hats and coats ****
Questions? Call Pat Bruce (C) 534-5554 (H) 771-8926 or Bernie Bates 453-4071
Please note: All gifts are distributed after the 10:30 Mass on December 8th. If you are unable to attend that weekend please drop off your donation to the office or call Pat or Bernie prior to December 8th.
Who are the organizations that receive the gifts from St Pius? (New information is bolded.)
St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) – Several small chapters of St. Vincent de Paul who struggle to find ways to meet the needs of people in their areas will receive items for families with whom they are working. SVdP really needs items for teens and men.
The SVdP Crossroads Meal Program began offering showers to assist with street ministry. Toiletries cannot be shared.
Hope Network is a grass roots support system that has helped families headed by single mothers in Greater Milwaukee since 1982. No agency does what we do; including providing a free newspaper, free cribs and scholarships for post-secondary education. HOPE seeks to include the child and empower the mother: 262-251-7333.
La Causa Crisis Nursery & Prevention Program - La Causa's Crisis Nursery and Respite Center is a 12-bed facility for sheltering children ages newborn to 12 years in times of family emergency/crisis or when a highly-stressed parent needs respite care, a "time out" to prevent the possibility of child abuse and/or neglect. The bilingual staff provides a safe, nurturing and homelike environment for the children until the family situation is stabilized. Meanwhile, crisis management, support, information and referrals are provided to the parents. They are southeastern Wisconsin's only 24-hour Crisis Nursery, open 365 days a year. To access their services call 414-647-5990. LaCausa is located at 522 W. Walker, Milwaukee, (04)
Casa Maria Hospitality House – is a Catholic Worker House, which provides emergency shelter to families and single women. Casa Maria is completely volunteer run, receives no government funding and is supported by individual contributions and a few churches. Casa Maria is also involved in justice and peace issues such as anti-war and pro-union issues. Casa Maria began in 1966. For the last few years Casa Maria has supplied us with a list of the ages, genders and sizes of those who most likely will be with them on Christmas. We select a donated gift per person. They thank you very much.
You are always welcome to stay after the 10:30 AM Mass to help sort the gifts.
Thank you for your generosity!
Welcome to Advent and a new Church year. This past year we read the Gospel of Luke; this year our Gospels will come from Mark.
Tuesday evening, December 3rd, our Advent reflection will be held from 7 to 8 pm in the church. I will share some thoughts on Distractions to a Lifestyle as a Disciple, followed by some quiet time for reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Please take advantage of this opportunity to enter into the spiritual season of Advent, preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior. And elsewhere in this bulletin, see the information on the adult and children Advent/Christmas literature available in church or the parish office.
Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. Yes, we prepare to celebrate Christmas, His first coming, but it is a call to remember that we have to prepare the way for His Kingdom, for His second coming. Notice the opening words of the prophet in our first reading: in days to come… Our readings in this season are oriented toward the fullness of the Kingdom. Notice the images that Isaiah uses in our reading: all nations shall stream towards God’s holy mountain. In other words, divisions and hostility will cease and all will be united in the Lord. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. In other words, weapons of war will become agricultural tools, used for life-giving productivity rather than destruction and death.
The Kingdom is about caring for each other and the earth and attracting all people to “the mountain of God.” Advent invites to reflect on this goal, to have a change of heart, and to rededicate ourselves to living in such a way as to bring about the Kingdom. The more we can do this, the more our celebration of Christmas will be alive and vital, not just sentimental memories and feelings. And it fits in so well with our parish goal to become better disciples.
I invite us to take advantage of this special season of the Church year and the opportunities presented by this community: use the reflection books provided, come to the December 3rd reflection, and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at our communal service on December 10 or at some other time. Then we will be ready to walk in the Light of Christ as we celebrate His birth. My prayers are with each of you that you may have an Advent of spiritual growth.
In the back of church and the parish office you can pick up a copy of The Little Blue Book: six minute reflections on the Sunday Gospels. Each day of the week there is a reflection on a line from the previous Sunday’s Gospel. This book goes from December 1 through January 12, covering both Advent and Christmas. Please take one and use it. There is also an Advent calendar for children. Take one for your children or grandchildren and use it with them. At Christmas, God Bless Us, Every One, a sticker book revealing Jesus as the true Spirit of Christmas, will be available for children.
Please remember to save the evening of Tuesday, December 3rd, for our Advent reflection from 7 to 8 pm in the church. I will share some thoughts on Distractions to a Lifestyle as a Disciple, followed by some quiet time for reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Please take advantage of this opportunity to enter into the spiritual season of preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior.
This Thursday our country celebrates Thanksgiving. For some it is a day to relax, eat, and enjoy football. I hope for us it is a day to give thanks to God for all the many blessings He has given us. I invite you to bring your family to our 9 am Eucharist. “Eucharist” literally means “to give thanks” and there is no better way to start our celebration of this day than by giving thanks to the One who has given us all that we are and have. After Eucharist, we can settle down for the food and football. I
wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It also marks the end of a Church year, a year in which we have been reading the Gospel of Luke.
A major emphasis in Luke, as we have seen over and over, is that Jesus came not just for the Jews, but for ALL people. Luke includes many stories and parables that present an outsider, a non-Jew, having strong faith. The Feast of Christ the King is a fitting end to this year of Luke, for we believe that Christ is King over ALL people, over all creation.
We live in a time when division, fear, name calling, bigotry, hate, etc., etc., seem to be more and more prevalent. There is no place for these things in the life of a true follower of Jesus. Jesus did not close in on Himself or on those most like Him, but reached out to others, especially those oppressed or rejected.
Recently there was an article in the Journal-Sentinel about the increase in the use of hate language and bigotry in schools in the area and administrators discussing how to deal with it. To me that increase is not surprising, given the example our young people are receiving as they hear on social media and the news the words and actions of people in leadership.
As a community which professes to be following Christ the King, we need to make sure we are modeling to our children true Gospel values. Christ clearly modeled for us that each person is made in the image of God and that we cannot dismiss anyone, especially those most in need.
Reflection for the week: when young people listen to what I say or watch what I do, do they see Gospel values of compassion, acceptance, and mercy? How can I do better? Let us pray for each other, and for all Christians, that we grow in our ability to model Gospel values to others.
We also pray in a special way today for the community of Christ King Parish, with whom we work so closely. May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen them as they strive to become more and more vibrant disciples, bringing others to Christ.
Bring your Christmas cards next weekend to remember our parishioners who are homebound or in care facilities this Christmas season. See the bulletin or call the parish office for a full list of names. Please note that a short message inside the card is always appreciated and only the names need to be on the envelopes. Volunteers will deliver the cards along with a small Poinsettia plant.
December 3 - 7 pm - in church
Join us for a night of quiet reflection at the start of the Advent Seasion as Fr. Paul will share some thoughts on Distractions to a Lifestyle as a Disciple, followed by some quiet time for reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.
Please take advantage of this opportunity to enter into the spiritual season of preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior.
This weekend was our Ministry Fair and Pledge Drive. I thank all who worked the tables and those who signed up for a ministry. Your sharing of time and talent makes our community vibrant! If you did not turn in your pledge card this weekend, please put it in the collection in the next weeks or mail/bring it to the parish office. This information is vital for constructing our budget for the next fiscal year.
The children’s Christmas pageant before the late afternoon Mass on Christmas Eve is a Pius tradition. Unfortunately, because of circumstances for those who help put it on, we will have to skip it this year. However, it will be back in 2020 and we will be looking for volunteers to make it happen.
As we get near the end of the Church year, the readings in each of the three cycles deal with the end-times and sometimes I feel like I have run out of things to say. However, this year, I was struck by the last words of Jesus in our Gospel from Luke: he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive. I remembered that in the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel, the two men in dazzling white say to the women at the empty tomb, Why do you seek the living one among the dead? Living! He is the God of the LIVING! Why seek the LIVING one among the dead? What can this say to us?
Sometimes we can allow ourselves to be overcome with that which takes life and joy out of us: sickness, relationship problems, world situation, etc., etc. But that is not where we find Jesus. We cannot seek the Living in doom and gloom: He is in the Living. In other words, we need to focus on the good, on the positive, and what is LIVING: there we will find Jesus and that will help us cope with what is not good.
This is important not only for us ourselves, but also for our mission as disciples. As Pope Francis said a couple weeks ago on World Mission Sunday, our “mission is to make disciples for Christ,” and we do that by sharing “the good news that in Jesus mercy defeats sin, hope defeats fear, brotherhood defeats hostility.” We can’t share “the Good News” (Gospel) if we are projecting gloom and doom. Mercy, hope, brotherhood: these all focus on the positive and bring the Living Jesus to others.
Reflection for the week: when people encounter me, do they encounter a person of joy, hope, and light? Does trust in the Living God radiate from me and attract people to ask what I have that can bring such joy? Do I spend quiet time praying and listening, so as to be more immersed in the Living God? And, as we struggle to be better disciples, let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
Thank you to all who participated in out all parish meeting last weekend. A report was included in this week’s bulletin and is posted on our webpage.
This past week you should have received the parish mailing for the 2020 pledge drive, and this weekend we are having the witness talks at all Masses. This coming weekend please bring your pledge card and put it in the regular collection. Your pledges help us build a realistic budget for the coming year. This coming weekend we will also be holding our annual Ministry Fair. My hope is that each parishioner would be involved in at least one parish ministry. Please plan on visiting the ministry tables and discerning how you can contribute your time and talent to your community and its ministries.
Our Advent evening of reflection will be held on Tuesday evening, December 3rd, from 7 to 8 pm in the church. I will share some thoughts on Distractions to a Lifestyle as a Disciple, followed by some quiet time for reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Please take advantage of this opportunity to enter into the spiritual season of preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior.
Our Gospel last weekend presented two people praying in the temple. The tax collector received mercy while the judgmental, righteous Pharisee received nothing. That Gospel is a lead-in to our Gospel this weekend about the tax collector Zacchaeus.
There is no indication that Zacchaeus was looking to get anything from Jesus; he was simply curious. Why did Jesus’ simple statement that he wished to eat at Zacchaeus’ house cause such a radical change of direction in his life? Because, as a tax collector, Zacchaeus was an outcast of society, a traitor who colluded with the oppressor Romans and handled the idolatrous coins with the head of Caesar on them. No one of any worth would associate with him. But Jesus wanted to eat in his house: to eat at someone’s house was to identify with them. In other words, Jesus did NOT condemn him but was saying “I want to be identified with you,” and that acceptance called forth from Zacchaeus a life changing conversion. Meanwhile, the Pharisees and others were mumbling and condemning. See how it is a mirror of our Gospel story last week?
The message to us is that when we accept people as they are without condemning, we can be inviting them to grow. When we condemn, people get defensive. When we accept someone as a person (I am not talking about accepting bad behavior), the path is open for that person to grow. As Pope Francis said a couple weeks ago on World Mission Sunday, our “mission is to make disciples for Christ,” and we do that by sharing “the good news that in Jesus mercy defeats sin, hope defeats fear, brotherhood defeats hostility.” That happens when we treat others as Jesus treated Zacchaeus.
Reflection for this week: how do I treat outsiders? Do I ask to be identified with them as Jesus did to Zacchaeus? Or do I tend to be more condemning and ostracizing, as were the Pharisees? What can I change in myself so that I am acting more like Jesus? And let us support each other in prayer.
Notice Zacchaeus didn’t do these things to WIN Jesus’ approval; he already HAD it. His conversion was a response of gratitude to being loved and accepted.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
Your pledges help us build a realistic budget for the coming year.
Thank you for taking the time to complete the online pledge card.
Thank you to the approximately 115 parishioners who attended one of our sessions after each Mass the weekend of October 26/27. A brief summary of each report follows:
Paul Portland SDS (Pastor):
Wauwatosa Catholic is having a good year under the leadership of Principal Lori Suarez. The school now has International Baccalaureate certification for Middle School Years, in addition to Primary. Main challenge is to increase enrollment (now at 203).
Religious education for children is going well. Work is underway to build an atrium at Pius for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, so that some sessions can be held on our campus in the future.
Leadership Team: after attending an Amazing Parish conference, I established a leadership team which meets every Tuesday morning. I have found it very helpful and supportive in the administration of the parish. The Pastoral Council, which meets once a month, sets the overall pastoral direction of the parish; this team helps me in day to day administrative decisions. The decisions are more solid because of various viewpoints and experiences. The team consists of two staff members (Kathy Wellenstein and Dean Weyer), a trustee (Ron Skelton), and a parishioner (Sr. Mary Lee Grady SDS). I thank them for sharing their time and talent in this way.
Parish Goal: Our parish goal this year is 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. It is a work in progress. In homilies and letters I have been emphasizing that a personal relationship with the Lord, one that comes from quiet time talking with Him as with a friend, is essential for growing as disciples. One challenge is to do more than just come to Mass. The ideal is that each parishioner would regularly join the community to give thanks to God in the Eucharist, and then show that gratitude by being involved in at least one parish activity or ministry. Our annual Ministry Fair will take place November 9/10, a perfect opportunity to commit to sharing time and talent.
Adult Formation: the Formation/Evangelization Commission is aware of need for adult formation and is reviewing resources that could be used. An initiative of the diocese will help us identify what parishioners would like to see offered: in the spring, as many parishioners as possible will fill out a survey from the Catholic Institute, which will help in this area. More information about this project will be coming in my bulletin letters.
Sarah Daszczuk (Faith Formation and Youth Ministry):
Middle School: Edge (6-7th grade) is off to a good start. This year we are walking through key Old Testament figures in the fall and the life of Christ in the spring. We are enjoying our new youth room in the basement of Christ King, which offers a great environment for discussion, games, and prayer. Our 8th grade students are going through Alpha youth.
High School Alpha Youth: This fall all of our high school students are participating in the Alpha youth program. It is 9 sessions and one overnight retreat, which introduces the Gospel message and encourages open discussion about each topic, so that our students have the opportunity to respond to Christ’s invitation. We have seen increased discussion and participation since introducing this program.
Confirmation: Juniors are currently participating in Alpha youth, which concludes in December. Beginning in February, juniors will begin immediate preparation for Confirmation. They will meet six times in the spring and be confirmed on April 28.
Dean Weyer (Administrative Services):
Last fiscal year our net operating surplus exceeded the plan/budget by $3,500. While we continue in a “hand to mouth” mode (only $6,100 in the bank on June 30th), we were able to pay all our bills on time and continue to fulfill our debt payment obligations.
The financial report shared in the September Invitation reflects that most income/expense categories were close to the budget/plan. There were four significant variances: $16,580 shortfall in parishioner stewardship, $9,795 excess utility expenses, and $16,575 in excess facility/ equipment repairs were covered/offset by $37,000 in donations received from three non-parishioners.
In addition to the information in the financial statement, please note three additional stewardship elements: $4,500 was collected for tuition assistance at our school Wauwatosa Catholic; $6,115 for our Sister Parish; and $26,500 for the Living Waters Campaign.
As we look forward to our 2019-2020 budget year, increased rental income is projected to cover increasing costs and yield a modest operating surplus. We continue to work on catching up on some deferred maintenance to our furnaces, boilers, air conditioner, air handlers, and roofs.
These facility/operational improvements were achieved over the past year: numerous rooms cleaned, painted and reorganized for various uses; signage added in multiple interior locations; new technology and phone systems bought to improve capabilities and save money; and a new security system installed to secure access to the building, with cameras strategically placed throughout the facility. A collaborative project with Kingdom Prep to paint the gym in KP colors and install new energy efficient lighting will happen soon.
We continue to work with Cardinal Capital on the goal of selling the east side of our parking lot. While we’ve had a pause or two along the way, Cardinal is rededicated to finding a successful solution that will be acceptable to our neighbors and the city.
Kevin Festerling (Principal of Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School):
Kingdom Prep is excited to share a few highlights about the high school development taking place within the former St. Pius X Elementary School. In the recent 16 months, Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School has realized a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for the support they have received from the immediate and surrounding community, connected to the St. Pius X Parish Family. Since the launch of KPLHS and its facility partnership with St. Pius X, the Lord has granted a rich measure of blessings, which might not have been otherwise realized. KPLHS believes that God has graciously smiled upon the two organization’s efforts to work collaboratively, within His kingdom, for the benefit of a student population that has historically been unable to access high quality Christian education.
Since July 1 of 2018, on the campus of St. Pius X, the Kingdom Prep organization has been able to…
If you are a member of a council, commission, or committee – or are thinking of joining one -- please remember to register by October 30th for the leadership workshop which will be given by Br. Silas Henderson SDS on Saturday morning, November 2, from 9 to 11 in the cafeteria. You can register online at our parish website or by calling the parish during office hours. Please make every effort to take advantage of this opportunity.
This coming weekend is the close of our sister parish collection. If you have not yet contributed, please do so. Envelopes are in the pews or in the parish office.
In our Gospel parable this weekend, Jesus presents two people praying. One is a religious leader, a Pharisee; the other is a tax collector, a public sinner and outcast. In a surprising turnaround for his audience, Jesus declares that the tax collector was the one who went home justified. What happened?
There were a number of problems with the Pharisee’s prayer: first, his prayer was addressed to himself, not God; second, he was disdainful and put down other people, that is, he lacked compassion for others; and, finally, he didn’t recognize any of his own faults. He was proud of himself and snarky toward others. He asked for nothing and he got nothing.
The tax collector, on the other hand, did pray directly to God. He stood off by himself, he wouldn’t raise his head, and he beat his breast. He was humble. He was more in touch with his neediness than was the Pharisee. He asked God directly for mercy and he got what he asked for.
There is a strong message in this parable for those of us who might call ourselves “religious people.” Two things especially make our prayers ineffective: a proud sense of our own righteousness and a contempt or disdain for other people. What is needed is a true sense of humility. A humble person will recognize the faults and failures that (s)he has, while at the same time crediting God for the graces that enable the good. When we realize that the good we do comes from God’s grace and that we are not perfect, we will not be tempted to condemn or put down other people. And then we will truly be forgiven.
A philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, once said, Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prayed. If we are truly praying to God, in all humility like the tax collector, we will be changed; if we pray like the Pharisee, proud of ourselves and disdainful of others, nothing will happen.
Let us approach God daily in prayer, thanking Him for the good that we do and asking forgiveness for our faults, while not condemning or judging others. Then our prayers will truly be prayers directed to God in humility. And let us support each other in prayer.
Have you ever thought about joining our choir but just aren’t able to make that year long commitment?
How about joining us for the 10:00 pm Christmas Mass on December 24th which is preceded by a concert and carols at 9:30 pm.
Rehearsals will be held in church on Thursday at 7:15 PM beginning November 7th. (No rehearsal November 28th).
We are also looking for hand bell ringers and other instrumentalists for that Mass and the Christmas Masses at 5:00 pm on December 24th and 9:30 am on December 25th. Rehearsals will be scheduled based on your availability.
Call Kathy Wellenstein at 453-3875 Ext. 14 or email her at: email@example.com if you have any questions or to let her know that you are interested in participating.