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2018 Middle School Mission Trip


In Just5Days, you will make a real difference.
In Just5Days, you will experience your Catholic faith in new ways.
In Just5Days, you’ll make friends near and far. 

The Middle School Mission Trip will be traveling to Appleton WI from June 25th-29th for their annual mission trip.

During the week  they will have a chance to participate in one of the three types of service:

  • Hands to the Ground – may include yard work, planting, weeding, gardening, clean-up and small repairs.
  • Hands in Helpful Play – may include day camp, Vacation Bible Camp, daycare, helping at children’s and/or family centers, working with disabled children or at orphanages or children’s homes.
  • Hands in Outreach – may include cooking and serving meals in soup kitchens and shelters, working with food banks and clothing shops, visiting and helping those in retirement homes.

The cost of the trip is $400 which includes food, lodging, planned activities and transportation to and from Appleton.  We hope to raise a large portion of the cost through various fundraisers.

For more information download the information form here:  [2018-MS Mission Info] or contact Rita at 262-763-2050.

Please complete and submit registration form and $50 deposit by December 31, 2017. Download the registration form here: [2018-MS Mission App]  Make check payable to St. Joseph’s Church with JUST 5 DAYS in the memo.  Send form and payment to:

St. Joseph’s Church
Rita VanSchnyndel/MS Mission Trip
PO Box 60, Lyons, WI 53148

2017-01-22- Message from Father Jim

A Message from Fr. Jim . . .

Today, January 22nd is the 44th anniversary of the decision in the Roe vs. Wade case by the Supreme Court, which made abortion legal in our country. In these forty-four years, millions of society’s weakest and most defenseless members’ lives have been destroyed. I think it is important to ask ourselves as Catholics if we do all we can to help eliminate the climate that makes abortion attractive to some women who find themselves pregnant. For example, unmarried mothers need our sympathy, our support and our love. When we withhold this we contribute to the climate that makes abortion possible, and common.

To be Pro-Life people we have to make sure that the child is raised and supported properly. A child can die of neglect or malnutrition after two months of birth just as easily today as a child can be taken from the womb through an abortion. As Pro-Life people we must protect that sanctity of life both in the womb and outside of the womb. A Pro-Life stance has to be a stance that protects the sanctity of life from the womb to the tomb. This is the type of respect for life that we are called on to demonstrate in our communities, a respect for that most precious gift that our Lord shares so freely with us.

Lord, our God,
You have called us to defend life in all its forms
from the unborn to the elderly in our society.
May we always have the strength and the courage
to speak out against those things that
degrade life in any way.
May we always uphold the fundamental dignity
and equality of every human being.

God bless you always!
Father Jim Volkert

2017-01-08-Message from Father Jim

The Feast of Epiphany
Today’s feast of Epiphany is also known as the Feast of the Magi or the Feast of the Three Kings (or Three Wise Men). Who were these men? They were foreigners, traveling to a different land in their search for meaning, in their ultimate search for God. Despite their difference, they were welcome. Even Gentiles were welcome to take part in this great moment of time because the Christ Child was sent by God to be the Savior of the whole world. It was because of these three men that many others discovered God.

Our bishops have designated this coming week (Jan. 8-14) as National Migration Week. In doing so, our bishops are asking us to reflect on how welcoming we are to the strangers or immigrants in our midst and how open we are to learning from their gifts and talents that they bring to our country. These three wise men were welcomed as brothers and children of God despite the fact that they were strangers to that land. These three men that we celebrate today are people just like you and I. They are our fellow travelers on the road of life. We continue their legacy of searching and discovering. We have many things that we can learn from each other. We all have something to contribute in our ultimate search for the meaning of life, for the presence of Jesus Christ in our midst.

Today’s Feast of Epiphany shows us in the midst of our own searching and questioning that the Three Kings also searched for and discovered Jesus Christ, the meaning and author of life. Today’s feast also shows us that Jesus Christ became human in order to be the Savior of everyone, that one day He would open His arms on the cross to embrace all, that He was the Savior not only of the Jewish people but of all of God’s people. This is certainly a cause for us to rejoice!

Wishing you the peace and joy of the New Year,
Fr. Jim Volkert

2017-01-01-Message From Father Jim

As the year 2016 comes to a close we give thanks to God for the many blessings and graces we have received throughout the course of this grace-filled year. Let us thank God for the good times that have refreshed and nourished us and also for the challenging, hard times that have helped us grow and become stronger people of faith. As we look toward 2017, let us ask our loving Lord for the same help and protection throughout this New Year.

All three of our churches look beautiful this Christmas! I want to express a word of gratitude to all those who helped decorate St. Joseph, St. Charles and St. Mary churches for the season. I sincerely appreciate the time that was given to help create such beautiful worship spaces. I would also like to recognize all those who worked so hard to make our Christmas liturgies so beautiful. To all of the liturgical ministers, to our choirs and musicians and to all who lent a hand in any way to make our celebrations of Christmas so beautiful, I offer a sincere word of gratitude.

Finally, on behalf of Fr. Yamid and Fr. Gene, I want to offer a sincere word of thanks for the many cards, Christmas treats and gifts that you shared with us this Christmas holiday. We sincerely appreciate your generosity and your kindness!

A healthy and happy New Year to all of you!

Father Jim Volkert

2016-12-11-Message from Father Jim

Gaudete Sunday – Rejoice!

Today we celebrate a special Sunday of Advent called Gaudete Sunday. We heard this note sounded by the Prophet Isaiah in the First Reading as he described the joy of nature as the world celebrates God’s gift of freedom for all. And the Gospel also tells us that the people of the time were full of anticipation and joy, wondering whether John might be the Messiah. One commentary on today’s Gospel describes the people as being “on the tiptoe of expectation and joy”. Would a visitor at our parishes here today find us “on the tiptoe of expectation”, radiating joy? Maybe yes, maybe no. Some people do find a great deal of joy in practicing and sharing their faith. Other people find the practice of faith boring or burdensome.

I think this is a good Sunday to ask ourselves: “How freely do we show joy in professing our faith?” There are parts of our world where people are not allowed to practice their Catholic faith freely. In China, for example, the government has outlawed the Roman Catholic Church and forbids any ties to the Vatican. They have a state run “Catholic Church”, however, thousands of people in China belong to the underground Catholic Church in China, which is loyal to the Vatican. There is a great persecution that is taking place in that country. Despite this there are many who continue to practice and give witness to their faith with a spirit of joy and satisfaction. Such people we can learn from and hopefully come to a greater appreciation for the tremendous gifts from God that we have received.

This is the question that we must ask ourselves. Each of us has been blessed in very unique ways and each of us has been given the gift of faith, although some make use of this gift more than others. ALL of us are called, however, to put God at the center of our lives. Only when God is at the center of our lives will we be able to share that tremendous joy over our faith that our Readings speak of today on this Gaudete Sunday. Only when God is at the center of our lives will our practice of the faith cease to be boring or burdensome. Only when God is at the center of our lives will we begin to dismiss all anxieties from our minds. Only when God is at the center of our lives will we be able to present all of our needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of love and gratitude. When we view our relationship with God and our faith lives as a gift, a gift that is to be treasured and rejoiced in, then we will be able to experience the greatest sense of joy that our Readings today describe.
Rejoice in the Lord always!
Father Jim Volkert

** This Tuesday, December 13th, there will be a Communal Reconciliation Service at St. Charles beginning at 7:00 PM. If you haven’t made your confession before Christmas, please join us!

07-03-2016-Message from Father Jim

  1.  At a June meeting of the Pastoral Councils of each parish the discernment process for selecting officers for the newly formed Tri-Pastoral Council took place. I am pleased to report the leadership discerned: Mary Ann Johnson – Chairperson, Jim Sember – Vice-Chairperson, and Marilyn Putz – Secretary. I would like to offer a word of appreciation to these folks and to all who will serve on Tri-Parish Pastoral Council. We are fortunate to have such a good group of people offering their time and talent to our parishes. I also would like to thank those who are going off their respective Pastoral Councils for their past service.
  2.  As we prepare to celebrate our country’s Independence we should all pause for a moment and thank God for the gifts and freedoms we treasure.


Father of all nations and ages

we recall the day when our country 
claimed its place among the family of na tions.

For what has been achieved we give thanks

For the work that still   remains we ask your help.

Grant that under your providence our country may share

your blessings with all the peoples of the earth.

We ask this through Christ our Lord


There will be a Mass on Monday, July 4th at 8:30 AM at St. Charles church to celebrate this holiday. As Americans we give thanks to God for our country and ask for His continued blessing for our peace and security.

Have a good holiday!
Father Jim Volkert