Things continue to go smoothly, thanks to all the ministers who contribute to our liturgies (live and virtual), those who continue their ministries and meetings by ZOOM, and those who financially support the community. May God bless you.
Please consider signing up for The 99 Experience, which will be held virtually later this month. More information on the program can be found at http://bit.ly/The99Experience.
The Formation Commission is meeting this evening by ZOOM and one item of discussion will be how to offer other faith formation opportunities to parishioners during this time. If you have any ideas, please share them with me.
The Liturgy Commission met last evening to discuss Lent and Holy Week services. The diocese has promised new guidelines for how to conduct services, but we have not yet received them, so most decisions were put off until the March 8th meeting. The timing for Holy Week and Easter services will be the same as last year.
The next update will be Wednesday, January 20th. Have a good week. Stay safe.
Wauwatosa Catholic School serves a diverse community of learners by teaching our students to live Christ-centered lives, to embrace Catholic values, and to excel academically, while developing leaders who have a passion to serve and create a better world.
Are you interested in registering a child at Wauwatosa Catholic School?
A Virtual Open House is being held on Thursday, January 28th at 7:00 pm. You will learn about the unique benefits of an International Baccalaureate education matched with Catholic values.
To register, call the school office at (414) 258-9977 or visit www.wauwatosacatholic.org/about/contact-us.cfm.
Join us for Dick's 24th Blood Drive, sponsored by Wauwatosa Catholic School! The need is greater than ever due to Covid-19, but it is still safe to donate. Versiti will be taking all necessary precautions and they are asking all donors to wear a mask (or one will be provided).
Please make an appointment to minimize waiting time by calling 877-232-4376 or Mary Serrano at 414-915-4147, or going online to https://donate.wisconsin.versiti.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/197840.
The private funeral Mass for Sr. Carol Grandlich, SSSF will be held at 11:00 am today. To watch the funeral live visit https://video.ibm.com/channel/school-sisters-of-st-francis.
Please keep Sr. Carol, her fellow religious sisters and her family in your prayers.
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.