“And Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
November 12, 2020
This past Tuesday, the Vatican released the long awaited report on “the Holy See’s institutional knowledge and decision-making related to former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick.” The former Cardinal McCarrick had previously served as Bishop of the Dioceses of Metuchen and Newark in New Jersey, and then later was made the Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington D.C. In June 2018, the Archdiocese of New York revealed that McCarrick had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a teenager. Later media reports emerged accusing McCarrick of the serial abuse of minors and of coercion, manipulation, and abuse of seminarians and priests. McCarrick was removed from ministry and resigned from the College of Cardinals in the summer of 2018 and was subsequently laicized in February 2019.
The full “McCarrick Report” is 461 pages long and can be found here. What it details in an incredibly painful way is that many church leaders, both in the United States and in the Vatican, were aware of his inappropriate behavior and failed to stop him. The former Cardinal McCarrick at one time was one of the most powerful church leaders in America and was deeply connected in a variety of international circles. The report details the use of his considerable talents and charisma to serially coerce, manipulate, and abuse children, teenagers, and adults, while at the same time trying to convince other church leaders of his innocence. Archbishop Listecki released a statement this past Monday in anticipation of the report (found here) in which he said: “The news of the upcoming release of the McCarrick report is painful, but necessary. The victims of abuse, the Church and its members, along with the rest of society and future generations, all suffer from clergy sexual abuse, misconduct and scandals. Not bringing these crimes into the light only deepens the wound and does not allow the Church a process of exposing the wrongdoing and sin.”
This report should fill Catholics and all people with feelings of outrage, anger, shock, disbelief, sorrow, and so many other emotions. As your Pastors and lay pastoral staff, perhaps the only thing we could say is that we are right there with you. We are shocked and horrified by the terrible evil that occurred at the hands of McCarrick and so many other abusers. We are scandalized by the cover-up that has happened by church leadership with clergy sexual abuse and by the failure to speak out earlier against McCarrick. Our hearts are broken at the terrible pain experienced by anyone who has been sexually abused, especially by a cleric or anyone else in the church. Earlier this year, we learned also of the allegations of abuse brought against the well-known musician David Haas. For some time in our parishes we have made the decision to stop using his music. Please see our parish letter (click here) formally explaining this decision. We are praying for all survivors of abuse and their families, and that justice may be brought to their perpetrators. We are weeping along with Jesus for our beloved church and the deep pain that is being felt right now by so many.
Know that we as your Pastors and lay pastoral staff will continue to follow this closely. We are committed to prayerfully discerning next steps as our family of parishes will have a great need to grieve and process everything contained in the “McCarrick Report.” Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have suggestions on how to best do this or if we can be a listening ear in any way. We renew our commitment to utmost vigilance in our parishes and school to providing a safe environment free of any kind of abuse, especially towards minors and the most vulnerable. Once again, know of our anger, shock, and grief as we weep with Jesus this week over our beloved church.
Fr. Tim, Fr. John, & the Lay Pastoral Staff of the Family of Four Parishes
Video Mass for Sunday, November 15th. Here is the recorded Mass for this upcoming Sunday (33rd 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.
In Person Mass. Our Mass schedule can be found on the Reopening and Mass Times pages of the parish website. Please be sure to register online to attend an in person Mass. Registration can be found on the Reopening page of the parish website. The link is included every week in the dark blue box at the bottom of this newsletter.
Making, Not Baking, the World a Better Place. The Three Holy Women Parish Christian Women are unable to safely have our annual Christmas cookie sale this year. Over the many years of the sale, we have been able to provide financial support for areas of need within the parish and in our neighboring community. In keeping with the spirit of the cookie sale, Fr. Tim has challenged us to raise sorely needed funds for our Central City parishes. To help us rise to his challenge, please complete the "order" form and return with your donation in lieu of a cookie order this year. Peace and blessings to you from the Christian Women Society! Thank you!! Click this link to take you to our “no cookie sale” flyer and order form.
Riverwest Food Pantry Thanksgiving Meals. Now more than ever, neighbors in our community will need help to provide a Thanksgiving meal for their families. This year, to keep our entire community safe, the Riverwest Food Pantry is collecting financial donations for food gift cards instead of collecting non-perishable food items. They will be given out with generously donated farm fresh turkeys and fresh produce from their farm to make the meal complete for more than 400 families. Buy a Thanksgiving Meal for a family in our community by going to www.riverwestfoodpantry.org/thanksgiving-giveaway.
St. Vincent de Paul. St. Vincent DePaul is a world-wide group of lay Catholic women and men with three purposes: to grow spiritually in our own faith, to bond with our other members for mutual support, and to express our faith by serving the poor in our midst. Our primary ministry activity in the Six Saints Conference is the personal home visit. Now we call it a porch visit during COVID times.
- When we get a request for help, we call and set up an appointment to meet at the person’s home.
- Two of our members meet at the church to gather donated household items to take with us.
- We meet the family, see their living situation, decide with them what they need the most, and then take action to help them.
- We may give them a voucher to pick up what they need, such as beds or appliances.
- We also may direct them to specific resources in the area such as food pantries, low cost clothing centers, job help, etc.
It is very satisfying to provide beds, kitchen tables and chairs, or a refrigerator to families with next to nothing in their home. All the work we do is made possible by your personal donations. Some use the small poor boxes at the church exit. Some make donations of household items or furniture. Some mail checks to the parish written to Six Saints St. Vincent DePaul. Today I ask you to consider making your own donation to support us helping neighbors helping neighbors. If you would like more information about this ministry please call or email me, Laurie Jacobs, email@example.com, 815-861-4645. Thank you and bless you for your generosity.
If you'd like to support the Old St. Mary/Cathedral conference of St. Vincent de Paul, please mail a check to 831 N Van Buren Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
Feast of Our Lady of Divine Providence Mass. You are invited to celebrate a Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Divine Providence, patroness of Puerto Rico, at St. Francis Church (1927 Vel R. Phillips Ave) on Thursday, November 19 at 6:30 pm. It’ll feature classic Puerto Rican music with dance and Deacon Henry Reyes will preach for the Mass. The Mass will also be livestreamed on St. Francis’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stfrancismilwaukee.
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. John (Cell: 414-305-3824; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fr. Tim (Cell: 414-762-7986; email@example.com) if you need anything! Be assured of our love and prayers.