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July 16, 2020
 
Dear Friends,
 
Peace of Christ. One of the joys for me in the midst of the pandemic has been the opportunity to more intentionally catch up with my young nephews and other family over Zoom. It’s strange, right, that it took a pandemic for some of this to happen? My nephews are getting to that age where they love Star Wars and they are constantly asking me about the different characters, movies, etc. Every Star Wars movie has a different “bad guy,” a different enemy. Maybe our conception of the word “enemy” is formed by this experience from our childhood. Enemies often seem to be in a “galaxy far, far away” and are only reserved for the rich, famous, or those with Jedi mind tricks.
 
I find it interesting that the word for enemy in Latin is nemicus, sharing the same root for the word friend (amicus). In other words, an enemy is an “un-friend” - someone who was a friend and then something happened to change that. It can be easy to say that we don’t have enemies. We often think that they’re only reserved for the rich, powerful, or for the history books. But we all have this experience of an “un-friend.” Someone that by their thoughts, words, or actions have hurt us and now our relationship has changed. 
 
In our Gospel this weekend, the disciples are faced with the parable of Jesus allowing the weeds to grow right alongside the wheat. Isn’t this perhaps fitting for where we find ourselves? We don’t have enemies, but it seems as if we have a growing list of weeds or “un-friends” in our lives. Any number of issues continue to divide and polarize us and will continue to do so, especially in an election year. Maybe we used to get along just fine and now we find ourselves at odds with spouses, family members, bosses, or co-workers because of our different perspectives on things. How we wish that it would all be over and that the weeds would disappear immediately. But that’s not how God works. His ways are often slow and mysterious. So what to do with these un-friends in our midst? Pray for them. Listen. Realize that all of us are experiencing trauma and are not our “usual selves.” And above all love, love, love them. Blessings to you and your loved ones and know of my continued prayers during these difficult times!

If you want to attend an in-person Mass this weekend, there are still places available for the 4:30pm Saturday Mass at Three Holy Women-St. Hedwig Church as well as at Sunday's 9:30am Mass at SS Peter and Paul. See Three Holy Women's website for Saturday's sign-up or SS Peter and Paul's website for Sunday's sign-up.
 
Video Mass for Sunday July 19th. Here is the recorded Mass celebrated by Fr. Tim and Fr. John for this upcoming Sunday (the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time). We provide a worship aid to help you better enter into the prayer of the Mass. Please know that we will continue these recorded Masses indefinitely. We are so grateful to DV Productions, our Liturgists Mary Robertson and Brian Eggers, and our music ministers for their efforts in making our prayer as beautiful as possible.
 
Update from Catholic East Elementary. There are still a limited number of seats available for the 2020-2021 school year. We are so pleased to have you and your child(ren) as part of our Catholic East family! We would like to have more just like you! Don’t forget to recommend us to family and friends who are looking for a richly diverse school environment for their child(ren), one that promotes the pursuit of academic excellence, nurtures strong moral development, and fosters lifelong learning through living out the Gospel values. Click here and share our information regarding enrollment and a preview of our school. For more information or to enroll, contact us at (414) 964-1770, Mondays through Thursdays, 10:00am through 1:30pm, or email kdahlgren@catholiceast.org.
 
Virtual Food Drive. We know that our parishioners are incredibly dedicated to supporting the ongoing ministry of the Riverwest Food Pantry. Although the pandemic has required the cancellation of all food drives for RWFP (including the physical donation of the “Item of the Week” at our parish Masses), we would like to support the Community of Generosity with a Virtual Food Drive! It's easy! Instead of purchasing your Item of the Week and bringing it with you to Mass, all you have to do is visit https://yougivegoods.com/rwfp-familyoffourparishes-fooddrive, click on your parish, and then SHOP! It really is that easy… and will have a lasting impact on supporting the needs of our neighbors! We have set our first goal at 1500 pounds of food for the first month of this food drive, so let’s see what we can do! Thank you for your generous giving!! If you have any questions about this food drive, please contact Laura Hancock at hancockl@archmil.org.
 
Parish Financial Support. We continue to be humbled by your financial support of the parish during these tender and tenuous times. Thank you so much, it has been amazing to witness the generosity of so many! Please mail in your envelopes and contributions to our parish office (SS Peter & Paul Parish, 2491 N Murray Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211), and our parish staff will process these.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact either Fr. Tim (Cell: 414-762-7986; kitzket@archmil.org) or Fr. John (Cell: 414-305-3824; baumgardnerj@archmil.org) if you need anything! Be assured of our love and prayers.
 
Sincerely, with love,
Fr. John
Please be sure to check the parish website for the most current updates.
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