Do you, a neighbor or a family member need help raking this fall? We can help! On Sunday, October 25th a group of our middle school and high school students are willing to get all those leaves out of your yard! Houses must be within reasonable distance of our three parishes. Contact Sarah Daszczuk in our youth ministry office for more details at (414) 258-2604 or email@example.com.
Wellness Calls to Seniors
Eras Senior Network, Inc. is looking for more volunteers to make wellness calls to older adults. Volunteers make weekly calls to clients to make sure they have enough food, medications, and to keep them connected. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Marisa Strothenke at (262) 522-2402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Yard Clean Ups
Teams of volunteers will be raking leaves and cleaning yards for clients of Eras Senior Network on Saturday, November 7th. To find out more about this and our various volunteer opportunities, please call (262) 522-2402 or e-mail email@example.com. For those age 60 and over who are interested in becoming an Eras client and receive this service, please call (414) 488-6500.
St. Vincent de Paul
he St. Vincent de Paul meal program needs your help as they continue to serve to-go meals at their south side location. Please drop off donations at the parish office during normal office hours. Donation requests: toilet paper juice boxes fresh fruit individually wrapped desserts or prepackaged desserts If you would like to volunteer to help at the meal site preparing to-go meals, please contact Jen Sumiec at (262) 510-6683 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up here: www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0b49aca82ca3f85-cross.
La Causa Crisis Nursery & Respite Center in Milwaukee is in need of hats, mittens and scarves again this year. We will be collecting them in early December. Keep an eye out in the November issue of the newsletter, website, and future bulletins for more information.
The Combined Collections: Catholic Global Ministries will be held October 10-11, 2020, supporting five causes important to Catholics throughout the country:
This collection offers a wonderful opportunity to support hands-on efforts to help people in need. Please give generously … your gift does make a difference!
To donate online visit www.archmil.org/giving/Combined-Collections.htm.
On September 26th & 27th we will have our annual collection for our sister parish, Santa Marίa, in Guatemala.
Your donations are appreciated and help them buy material for construction and renovations, which they do themselves.
Envelopes will be placed at the back of church and in the bulletins the weekend of the 19th and 20th.
Please either return the envelope it to the collection basket or drop it off or mail it to the parish office. Donations can also be made online at https://bit.ly/StPiusXDonations.
Thank you for your generosity!
Fr. Francis Jordan, Founder of the Salvatorian Family, will be beatified at St. John Lateran (the cathedral of Rome) on May 15, 2021. The Salvatorians (fathers, brothers, sisters, and lay) founded this parish and have ministered here ever since. We will certainly have to have a celebration at Pius, since his charism has infused this community from the beginning. Thank you to all who have prayed for his beatification.
Below is the summarized financial statement for our fiscal year which ended June 30th. I’d direct your attention to columns 3 & 4 (inside the boxes) for a comparison of the year’s planned and actual values. The rightmost column reflects the plan for this new year (July 2020 to June 2021).
For the year, our net operating surplus exceeded the plan/budget by $31,650. We were able to pay all our bills on time, continue our debt payments and for the first time in some years, boost our cash reserves.
While there were numerous line item variances, the report reflects that most income and expense categories experienced minor variances to the budget/plan. I would highlight the following:
Before we get too comfortable with what for us is a nice cash reserve, I need to share that looking forward our next significant expenditure/investment will be the roofs. While they are maintained annually and are patched when leaks occur, both the convent and school roofs need to be replaced in the not too distant future at a likely cost of $100K - $200K .
On another positive note, along with the normal expenditures as reflected in the financial statement, there were additional outlays from restricted funds that are not reflected in the statement: $4,000 was collected via the Angel Fund envelopes and was passed on to our school, Wauwatosa Catholic, for tuition assistance. We collected and sent $7,680 to our Sister Parish; $45,100 was collected for the Living Waters Campaign (a record!) and $23,630 was spent for the security system (cameras and an electronic door lock system) from the FB&G Improvements Fund (take pride in Pius brown envelopes).
A huge THANK YOU to all who contribute their time, talents and financial resources to the operation of St. Pius X Parish Community and all our ministries!
- Dean Weyer, Director of Operations & Finance
The results from the Disciple Maker Index Survey are in!
Click on the link below to view the results, and feedback from the Parish Leadership Team and Fr. Paul.
Please note the excellent faith formation opportunities online from Jordan Ministry. Br. Silas is the leader of this Salvatorian ministry.
Is it easy to be a Christian? Our readings this weekend shout NO! Jeremiah is discouraged by the rejection and grief he gets for sharing God’s message with his countrymen. St. Paul urges the Romans to “offer their bodies as living sacrifices,” meaning be counter cultural, not conforming to what was happening around them. In the Gospel, Jesus says his disciples need to deny self, take up the cross, and lose their lives. All of this sounds very depressing. Why would a sane person choose to be part of all this?
One way to look at it is to focus on this statement Jesus makes, following his demands for denying self and taking up the cross: whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. The call of the Gospel is a paradox, turning upside down the wisdom of the world. Human wisdom says that we have to take care of ourselves, that we need to protect ourselves, that it is about US. Money, things, good looks, power, popularity – these are what will bring us happiness, that will help us “find life.”
Jesus claims, by His words and example, the opposite. When we try to find our lives this way, we lose. The real way to find happiness, peace, and meaning in life is by denying self (read: not thinking just of myself but thinking of others) and taking up my cross (read: being willing to sacrifice for others, to be inconvenienced by serving others, etc.). When we can live not just for ourselves but for others, we will find true peace and happiness from the meaning that our life will obtain. We will be truly blessed.
Peter wanted a powerful messiah. James and John wanted to be first and second. The disciples argued over who would be “first in the kingdom.” They didn’t get it until after Jesus’ stark example of taking up His cross and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
My friends, we have the Gospel and 2000 years of history that show us the truth of Jesus’ claim. We have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our readings this weekend invite us to deny ourselves and take up the cross by being concerned in an active and meaningful way for others, especially the most needy and forgotten. How are we doing?
God bless and be safe.
In our first reading, Eliakim becomes the Master of the Palace for King Hezekiah. The transfer of authority is symbolized by placing the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder. He controls what gets opened and what stays shut. The key symbolizes royal authority; Eliakim is now the Master of the Palace and controls the daily functions.
This helps us understand the Gospel when Jesus says to Peter, I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. In other words, Peter is the “Master of the Palace” and has the primary authority in the Church. He is not the king, he is not the ultimate authority, but the one put in charge of the kings affairs here on earth.
The interpretation of this is an ecumenical hurdle. We believe that Jesus left Peter and his successors as His visible authority in the Church; other Christian denominations do not accept that.
It is important that we understand what it means. It does NOT mean that every word the pope speaks is infallible. The pope is only infallible when he proclaims a dogma ex cathedra, literally “from the chair.” The last time this was done was with the dogma of the Assumption in 1950. The time before that was with the Immaculate Conception in 1854. So, you can see, that rarely happens.
While every word the pope declares is not infallible, they cannot be dismissed lightly. The pope, in conjunction with the bishops, has the teaching authority of the Church and they need to be listened to. That being said, the Church also teaches the primacy of our individual consciences, which means we have to take responsibility for what we choose to believe. So, it is a balancing act between not lightly dismissing what the Church says and following our INFORMED conscience. The word “informed” is crucial: we need to know what the Church teaches, we need to read the scriptures and any other relevant information, we need to pray and talk with the Lord, and then we can make an “informed” decision.
I cannot emphasize enough how important “pray and talk with the Lord” is. It is so easy for us to fool ourselves, to give ourselves a “get out of jail free card.” But if we bring our struggles to the Lord in prayer and give Him some quiet time to speak with us, He will give us the guidance we need in forming our consciences.
The scriptures are important. The teaching authority of the Church is important. Our local community and leaders are important. But, ultimately, we stand alone before God to account for the decisions we have made. The more we make sure we have an “informed conscience,” the more we can relax and be sure all will be well when we stand before the Lord. And the most important thing of all is quiet time speaking with and listening to the Lord.
Have a good week. Be safe.
The archdiocesan stewardship appeal for 2020 is behind on reaching its goal and Pius participation has been weak. I urge you to consider donating to this appeal, if you have the means to do so. It supports worthwhile social efforts and services that we use as a parish. Thank you.
Thursday, August 20th, is the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Let us pray in a special way that day for the members of our neighboring parish community.
By coincidence, the next day is the feast of St. Pius X, our patronal saint. Pope from 1903 to 1914, Pius X is most known for urging frequent reception of communion and for lowering the age for receiving first communion. His papal motto, instaurare omnia in Christo, is on the canopy in the sanctuary of our church. It means to restore all things in Christ and he wanted people to receive communion often to strengthen them and to help them bring Christ to the world.
That same objective is reflected in our current parish goal: to foster spiritual growth and a strong desire to make disciples of all people. A disciple is someone who lives Gospel values and strives, in word and deed, to bring the Good News to others. We need the spiritual nourishment of the Eucharist to be able to do that, so Pius X was spot on.
Sometimes the tendency is to stay focused on ourselves: we come to Mass, we go to fellowship, we participate in this committee or council, and that is it. All these things are good, but they should be strengthening us to bring our good news out into the world around us.
In my personal, preliminary look at the results of the Disciple Maker Index survey that almost 200 parishioners took, I can see that some of our weakest areas are having confidence in explaining Church teaching, sharing the story of Jesus, and personal faith sharing. That tells me these areas need to be strengthened, so that we can do what St. Pius X wanted: restore all things in Christ. (By the way, these areas of weakness were the same, in general, for parishes throughout the United States that have taken the survey, showing that these are challenges for us as a Catholic community). Our Formation and Evangelization Commission has been addressing this issue with programs like The 99 Experience, which was interrupted by the pandemic. The commission will be using the information gathered in the survey to move us forward, so that we feel more confident in our faith, are more able to share our story, and are inspired to invite others to join us in the journey of faith.
The Leadership Team is still going through a series of webinars to help us understand how to access and use the data in the survey. I will share some details of the survey results in the September Invitation and they are being shared with the Pastoral Council, which will take the lead in deciding how to use the information for our growth as a community of disciples. I thank all those who made the effort to respond to the survey.
As we honor our patron saint this week, let us pray that we will continue to grow as true disciples, bringing Christ’s love to the world. God bless and stay safe.
We recently received a donation from the estate of a parishioner who died last year. If you are in a position to do so, please remember our community in your will. It is always helpful to get a little, unexpected cash.
Please keep our principal, Lori Suarez, her advisors, and our child and youth ministers, Samantha El-Azem and Sarah Daszczuk in prayer as they figure out the safest and most productive way to enter the new school year. Thank you.
Our reading from the first book of Kings is one of my favorites. Elijah is hiding in a cave for safety and he is told that God will come to him. But God is NOT in the big, impressive things (a strong wind that was crushing rocks, an earthquake, and a fire) but in “a tiny whispering sound.” A literal translation of the original would be “a still, small silence.”
That is so typical of us human beings: we tend to look for large, momentous events, when often it is the quiet, everyday events that are really important, both because they are much more frequent and because they prepare us for the momentous events. For example, on Friday we will celebrate the feast of Maximilian Kolbe, a 47 year old Franciscan who was gassed to death in Auschwitz in 1941. He was declared a saint because of one spectacular act of charity. The Nazi’s were randomly selecting prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers. One day, they selected a man who was the father to a number of children. Maximilian asked to be taken in place of the man and his offer was accepted: Maximilian was gassed to death and the man ended up surviving and going back to his family.
What was going through Maximilian’s mind? We’ll never know for sure, but what he did certainly was a great act of heroism. This incident did not just happen out of nowhere. If Maximilian had been living a selfish life, thinking only of himself, the thought of doing this would never even have entered his mind, much less actually doing it. It HAD to be the culmination of a life lived for others. In other words, it was the small, everyday acts of kindness, the small daily acts of putting other people first that enabled Maximilian to rise to the occasion when a momentous decision was presented to him.
My point is this: we don’t know how we will react in a crisis situation, but the small decisions we make each day of our lives are preparing us for how we will react. If I live for myself, I will react that way under pressure. If I am living for others, others will be a part of the equation when I am under pressure. That is what Maximilian did. That is what Jesus did for us. That is what we are called to do.
I invite us to reflect this week on how much importance we put on others in the small decisions of daily life. How can I do better? And, as we struggle to be more generous, let us support each other in prayer.
Please note that the bishop has lifted the obligation to attend Sunday Mass through September 6th.
For those of us struggling to understand White Privilege, an excellent reflection by Franciscan Brother Daniel P. Horan can be found by going to www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/faith-seeking-understanding/running-while-white. It is helpful for us to pay attention to situations which are not “stressful” for us who are White that might be for others. For example, I am remembering the incident that I’ve shared with you before from the lock down at my community house during the shooting at the Miller Brewery: a White community member was allowed to return to our house, while a Black member had to wait hours and hours. Being aware of these realities will help us find ways to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
Do you know what story is repeated the most in the Gospels? It is the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, which is recounted 6 times: twice in Matthew and Mark and once in Luke and John. Obviously, it was very significant to the early disciples.
In the version from Matthew that we hear this weekend, the multiplication is presented immediately after the death of John the Baptist. Jesus is trying to get away by Himself to process what happened to His cousin, but “His heart was moved to pity” for the crowds. The word used for “pity” implies a gut-wrenching reaction. Jesus’ compassion enabled Him to put others first, setting aside His need for solitude to be with the people, preaching and curing the sick. Are we able to allow our plans and our comfort to be disrupted by the needs of others?
When the disciples come to Jesus with their concern about the people and where they will get food, Jesus tells them, “give them some food yourselves.” That says to me that I can’t simply petition God to help those in need, but that I must be part of the solution. The disciples had 5 loaves of bread and two fish. When they offered what they had, Jesus made it enough to feed everyone. Are we willing to offer the time, talent, and treasure that the Lord has given us to be used for the needs of others? We can’t just pray; we need to be involved. There are all sorts of statistics and facts that indicate that the world has enough food and resources for everyone, if we are willing to use only what we need and share the rest.
I invite us this week to reflect on this Gospel. Am I indifferent or do I allow my heart to be moved with pity for the needs of others? Do I share only what is extra or am I willing to hand over all five loaves and two fishes? Do I share my time, talent, and treasure, all gifts from God, with those in need? How can I do better?
Jesus asks us, as He did His disciples in our Gospel story, to bring what we have and present it. When we yoke what we have to God’s power, miraculous things happen.
God bless and stay safe!
I thank you for your prayers as I went through and recovered from surgery. As of this weekend, I am back on my normal schedule.
Because there were no bulletins for a while and some parishioners do not have internet access, we will put out a special mid-summer issue of The Invitation this week. There will be a summary of major developments over the last months, as well as information on how we are currently offering services. Please watch for it in the mail and online.
In our first reading this weekend, God offers Solomon one wish and Solomon asks for an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. God is pleased with this request and responds, Because you have asked for this—not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right—I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you. In other words, Solomon was thinking of others, not just himself.
If God were to guarantee us one request, what would it be? It is easy to tell ourselves that it would be some altruistic ideal, such as peace on earth or an end of racism or an end to poverty. But would we really? How can we be honest with ourselves? There are two measures that can help me be honest with myself:
First, how do I spend my time? There are some things that have to be done (like work, housework, etc.). But time that I have control over. How much time do I spend in prayer or talking with my friend Jesus? How much time do I spend volunteering or helping others? How much time do I spend watching television? How much time do I spend on myself? The answers to these questions begin to indicate to me where my values REALLY are – no self-delusion.
A second measure is how I spend my resources, both money and the abilities or talents I have. How do I spend my money? After the real necessities of life, how much do I spend on others? How much do I spend on myself? How much do I support worthwhile causes? When I was provincial we used to say that our budget was a reflection of our TRUE mission statement, not the mission statement on paper. For example, if we would have spent 99% of our resources on ourselves and only 1% on mission, that would say something different than spending 40% on our maintenance and 60% for mission!! Do I share my talents and abilities with my parish community? With those in need?
I invite us to reflect this week on how we use the time, talent, and treasure the Lord has given us. How much is for ourselves? How much is for others and building up the Kingdom? Am I comfortable with how I am doing?
And let us support each other in prayer, as we work to build the Kingdom of God.
Register today for our 2020-2021 formation year! Social distancing, sanitizing, and other precautions are being taken so that we can offer in-person sessions for middle school and high school this September. Virtual options are also available.
Visit www.triparishfaithformation.org for more information and to sign up.
While the parish office remains closed we would still like to give those looking to buy Scrip the opportunity to do so. We have come up with the following procedure which will begin Tuesday, August 4th:
1. Contact Terese (414-453-3875 ext. 16 or email@example.com) at the parish office with your order request.
2. Terese will verify that gift cards you requested are in stock. If they are not, we will order them for you and will let you know when they are ready to be picked up.
3. A date will be agreed upon for picking up your order.
Payment can be made by cash or check. Scrip will only be offered from the parish office, pick up after Mass is not available.
I am sad to announce that, in consultation with the chairperson of the Community Life Committee, Sarah Willmering, and upon the recommendation of the Parish Leadership Team, I am cancelling the Grass Mass for this year. It is a wonderful event that “jump starts” the community after the summer months, but circumstances will make it difficult to have a meal, a choir, social distancing, etc. We look forward to having it again in 2021.
I thank my community members, Frs. Jeff Wocken and Peter Schuessler, for celebrating Masses for me while I recover from prostate surgery. I plan to be back for Masses July 25th/26th.
Have you ever been misjudged? Do you remember how you felt when you realized it? Did you ever wonder why people were treating you in a less than pleasant manner and then find out it was because of a misunderstanding? Do you remember how you felt then?
Those things have happened to me a number of times, but one that stands out is this: the entire time I ministered in a diocese, I experienced the priests of the diocese being aloof and cold toward me. I could never figure it out: with my warm and sparkling personality, how could they not like me (I would put a smiley face here if I knew how)! Over 30 years after I left the diocese, I found out why: in the first month that I was there, I attended a meeting of all priests in the diocese. At the proper times in the Mass, I did not kneel. They made the judgment that I had no respect for the Eucharist, that I was a “liberal” priest from “out East.” The reality is that I was crushed between two cars and I cannot kneel. But I was judged with no one bothering to ask or find out the facts.
I share this because it happens to us all the time and we are on both ends of the equation: the judged and the one who judges.
I thought of this incident, and judging, when I was reflecting on our Gospel about the person who sows good seeds and an enemy introduces bad seeds. By the time the plants mature enough to tell the good from the bad, their roots are so intertwined that one cannot be pulled up without damaging the other. One has to wait until the harvest, and then separate the good from the bad. The connection in my mind is that we all have good and bad within us and they are intertwined. How do we know what is happening inside a person? How do we know what is truly “good” and what is “bad”?
The point to us is this: be careful in judging. We do not know all the facts. We do not know what is in people’s minds. Often we are woefully wrong and much unhappiness and grief in the world comes from judging, gossiping, and ruining other people’s names. We are told to let the judging to God. “Judge not, that you may not be judged.”
I invite us this week to reflect on our propensity to judge. Do we easily judge? Do we join the “parking lot” judgments against others? How much are we spreading good things and peace? How much unhappiness are we spreading? What is one practical step I can take to stop judging? And let us support each other in prayer.