This coming weekend we will have our annual collection for our sister parish, Santa María, in Guatemala. Our funds help them buy materials for necessary construction and renovations; they do the labor themselves. Envelopes are in the pews. Please take an envelope and place it in the regular collection one of these coming weekends. I ask you to be as generous as you can. Thank you.
Congratulations to Br. Silas Henderson, SDS, who successfully defended his thesis at Catholic Theological Union to earn an Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry degree. Silas has been very generous in sharing his time and talent with our tri-parish community. He is now the Director of the Salvatorian Jordan Ministry in Tucson, Arizona.
After 35 years of service to our community, most recently as parish secretary, Marlyn Blonien has announced that she will retire the end of 2019, so we will begin our search for a replacement. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please have them contact our Director of Administrative Services, Dean Weyer, at 414 453-3875, ex 16.
While I was in rehab this summer at the Salvatorian Sisters’ Residence at St. Anne’s Salvatorian Campus, I enjoyed a beautiful courtyard planted and cared for by Sisters Jean Marie and Joan. I liked to give them a hard time for killing the “poor little dandelions that had done nothing wrong” and were “as beautiful as any other flower.” I didn’t convince them!
I thought of that as I read Sr. Mary McGlone’s comments on the mustard seed in today’s Gospel. McGlone helped me realize, as Jesus’ audience must have known, that the tiny mustard seeds are very aggressive plants that “grow like crazy, respecting no boundaries, surviving winter’s adverse attacks, and impudently making their presence known where farmers want to see only well-cultivated, purposeful plants.”
What a wonderful image to help us remember that spreading the faith is GOD’S work, not ours. Yes, my faith is weak. Yes, I am a sinner, Yes, I don’t live up to what I profess. But the spreading of the faith does not rely primarily on me: it is GOD’S work! So, I can offer my little mustard seed of faith; I can offer my weak efforts to be a good disciple; and God will take that seed and make it grow like crazy. In one sense, all we have to do is show up and do our best! That is how Pope John XXIII viewed his role. As he went to bed at night, he would say, “I’ve done my best I could in your service this day, Oh Lord. I’m going to bed. It’s your church. Take care of it.”
Our parish goal this year invites us to become better disciples and to help others become better disciples. We don’t have to do everything: it is God’s work. We need to do our best to live Gospel values, get up when we fail and do our best to live Gospel values, get up when we fail and do our best to live Gospel values, and so on, and so on….
And let us support each other’s efforts with prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS