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March 4, 2021
 
Dear Friends,
 
During the season of Lent, Fr. John and I have asked our staff to reflect on the Stations of the Cross. We will be praying for all of you during this holy season.
 
Love,
Fr. Tim
 
The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry His Cross
 
Once we were like Simon, minding our own business, with a job to do and the health to do it.  Simon came into town on some errand of his own, when suddenly he was caught up in a terrible event, plucked from the crowd to help carry a cross for a stranger on His way to crucifixion. Yes, that’s how it was for us, living an ordinary life when suddenly God drew us to the side of Christ with sickness, asking us to carry his cross a little way. Yes, now we share in his passion, and other Simons come forth to help us on the way. We are grateful for them, and we want the grace to be grateful for this gift sharing in Christ’s passion, which is now ours.
 
Western culture has promoted the ideal of the self-sufficient person who does not need anyone else. We should stand on our own feet. It is humiliating to need others, especially strangers. But this dependency is part of being human, and it is embraced by God in Jesus at this moment. God said to St. Catherine of Siena, “I could well have supplied each of you with all your needs, both spiritually and material. But I wanted to make you dependent on one another so that each of you would be my minister, dispensing the graces and gifts you have received from me.” In Jesus we see God needing us, needing a drink from the Samaritan woman at the well, needing help with carrying his cross. It’s okay to be needy. 
 
Jesus, may I be unashamed to accept help when I need it, and may I be eager to offer it when others have needs. May our mutual dependence be a source of joy and an occasion of grace, knitting us together in the community of your love. Amen. 
 
The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
 
During this pandemic hospital staffs have become our heroes. Nurses, technicians, doctors, and hospital staff all have the opportunity to become Veronicas in this passion of ours. Some have developed a professional manner that is more businesslike than compassionate, and we pray for them. Others have become the Veronicas who dare to look deep into our eyes, to see and sympathize with the suffering they encounter in us. For them we thank you, Lord, and for them we pray as they step forward bravely, to ease our pain with the pure and tender fabric of their own humanity.
 
The face of God became flesh in the face of Jesus, who smiled upon sinners with tenderness. He looked with pleasure on pompous little Zacchaeus up in the tree and decided to stay with him rather than the self-righteous and respectable people. He smiled on Levi, another tax collector, and called him to discipleship. He looked with kindness on Peter after he had betrayed him. But what about us? We do not see his face and we do not even know what Jesus looked like. We are the body of Christ, and so we must be his face. It belongs to the ministry of every baptized person to be the face of Christ in the ordinary interactions of our daily lives. It is the small but necessary beginning of all Christian witness. According to the legend, Jesus on the way to the cross encountered a crowd of hostile faces. But not Veronica, she gazed upon him with pity, and to her he gave an image of his face. May our faces be shaped by the grace into tenderness and welcome “true images” of his.
 
Jesus, may I see with your compassion and smile with your radiance, so that your unfailing tenderness is made flesh and blood of me. May I always be alert to those who feel invisible and despised, recognizing that they are your brothers and sisters, sharing your dignity, however much this is concealed by the bruises of this life. Amen.
 
Terri Balash, Director of Pastoral Care
Video Mass for Sunday, March 7th. Here is the recorded Mass for this upcoming Sunday (3rd Sunday of Lent). 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 Meggie Moyer, and our cantor Amy Sobczak for their efforts in making our prayer as beautiful as possible.
 
In Person Mass. Please be sure to register online to attend an in person Mass. Our Mass schedule and registration links can be found on the Reopening and Mass Times pages of the parish website. The links to those pages are included every week at the bottom of this newsletter.
 
Catholic Stewardship Appeal. The Catholic Stewardship Appeal offers a unique opportunity to support Catholic life throughout the ten-county Archdiocese of Milwaukee with a single gift—a gift that helps sustain a broad spectrum of life-changing ministries and programs that meaningfully impact people’s lives. Contributions to the annual $8.1 million Catholic Stewardship Appeal are restricted for use in four key areas of ministry: Serving Those in Need; Strengthening Parish Ministries and Promoting Evangelization; Supporting Catholic Schools and Parish Religious Education; and Forming Priests, Deacons and Fostering Parish Leadership. Dollars raised within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee stay here and are used solely for the purpose of supporting its ministries and programs. Many of these programs have no other means of financial support and their reach extends well beyond what any parish or school can provide on its own. Your generosity makes a real difference in people's lives and in the Church. Every gift makes a difference, no matter the amount. You can view this year’s video and find donation information at www.catholicappeal.org.
 
Eat, Drink & Be Catholic @Home. Our Family of Four Parishes invites adults of all ages to our next Eat, Drink & Be Catholic via Zoom on Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00 pm. We will welcome Anne Haines, Episcopal Representative for Pro-life Urban Ministry, and Laura Hancock, Director of Social Justice and Outreach Ministries for the Family of Four Parishes. Anne and Laura will explore our Lenten Almsgiving Project in light of our theme, “Possibility of Encounter.” Email Chad Griesel at grieselc@archmil.org to RSVP and receive the Zoom link.
 
Lent Webpage. Visit our Lent webpage at ssppmilw.org/lent-2021 for details on this year’s theme, almsgiving project, events, and more. Updates will be posted throughout Lent to support prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as we find hope in the possibility of encounter.
 
Bulletin. Please be sure to read the Family of Four Parishes Bulletin to get this week’s updates! Click here to view the bulletin or click the picture below.
 
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 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.
Please be sure to check the parish website for the most current updates:
Reopening: Mass Registration & Guidelines
Mass Times
Bulletin
Upcoming Events
Weekly Messages
Care Within the Crisis
Click the picture below to view the bulletin.
Click below to view the Catholic Stewardship Appeal video.
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