Category Archives: Message from Fr. Jim

10-22-2017- Message From Father Jim

During this month of October, dedicated in a particular way to the Blessed Mother, I offer the following prayer for families.

Prayer for the Home
Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, we choose you as Queen of our homes. We ask you to bless all our families with your tender motherly love.
May the Sacrament of Marriage bind husbands and wives so closely together that they will always be faithful to each other and love one another as Christ loves His Church.
We ask you to bless all parents, may they love and cherish their children whom God has entrusted to them. May they always give them the example of a truly Christian life. Help them to bring up their children in the love and fear of God.
Bless all children that they may love, honor, and obey their fathers and mothers. To your loving care we especially entrust the youth of today. Give us all a sense of responsibility that we may do our part in making our home, a haven of peace like your own home at Nazareth.
We take you as our model. Help us to grow daily in genuine love of God and neighbor so that justice and peace may happily reign in the entire family of humankind.
Amen.

10-15-2017 – Message from Father Jim

You’re invited to join in a Tri-Parish Healing Mass

         “Are there any who are sick among you?  Let them send for the priests of the Church, 
and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.”

There has been some confusion over the years in regards to what many would call the “last Sacrament of the Church”.  It was very common at the moment of death to call for the priest to administer the Last Rites of the Church.  It was at this time that the priest would offer the dying Catholic a last opportunity for absolution, anointing and Viaticum (Holy Communion).  It wasn’t until the Second Vatican Council that this Sacrament was expanded into the understanding we have today.  It is part of our human nature that from time to time we are all in need of healing.  This healing may be in the form of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual healing.  Although it is still important to offer the Anointing of the Sick  to those who are dying, it is also important to offer this Sacrament to those who may not be facing death but nonetheless are still struggling with illness or the frailties of advanced age.  These illnesses may be physical, emotional or spiritual.

Our parishes will offer a Healing Mass on Sunday, October 29th – 1:30 P.M. at St. Joseph Parish Center (this will accommodate those for whom getting in the church is difficult).   This Mass will fulfill your Sunday obligation.  As Catholics we believe that healing occurs during all Masses.  God wants to heal us and will heal though the powerful gift given to us by the Holy Spirit.  This is one of God’s gifts to his Church.  During a Healing Mass we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts in order that a healing may take place.  In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, special prayers will be offered for those in need of any type of healing.

There will be an informal reception with refreshments served immediately following Mass.

For more information, please call Mary Ann Johnson (262) 812-7547

10-8-2017 – Message from Steve Weller

From Your Seminarian

Thank you for welcoming me to your parish community in these past weeks. I look forward to serving and learning from you these next years. Since I am new here, I thought I would share about myself. I grew up in Wittenberg, WI which is a little town between Green Bay and Wausau. My parents raised me and my three brothers in a loving home. I attended the public high school in town, and it was in my high school years that I first thought of priesthood. God drew me to seminary with a strong desire, and I applied for seminary for the Diocese of La Crosse in my senior year.

Seminary usually takes about eight years before ordination: four for philosophy in college and four for theology at a graduate level. The seminary accepted my application in my senior year, and that year I started at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, MN. In May of this year I graduated from there with degrees in Philosophy and Classical Languages. I continue to sense God’s call to the priesthood and now continue that pursuit in theology school at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in St. Francis, WI. The seminary is helping cultivate me into a holy and loving priest. I am learning pastoral wisdom from Fr. Jim and the parish, learning theology at school, and growing deeper in prayer at the seminary. After ordination, I will serve in the Diocese of La Crosse.

I enjoy reading and running. I love to dance, though most people would not expect it: mostly pop n lock. After teaching several classes and giving talks in seminars, I have grown to love teaching the Faith. Again, thank you for welcoming me, and I look forward to getting to know you and your community.

Steven Weller

10/1/2017 – Message from Father Jim

October – Mary’s Month

1) October (along with the month of May) has traditionally been a month to honor our Blessed Mother in a special way. This coming Saturday, October 7th, the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. This prayer is at the heart of our Catholic faith because it helps us meditate on the Joyful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries and the Glorious Mysteries in the lives of Jesus and Mary. The rosary reminds us that Mary is closely associated as co-worker with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power. She loves and cares for us as Mother. I would like to suggest that we make an extra effort this month to pray the rosary reflecting on these beautiful mysteries of our faith. Praying the rosary every day is a wonderful chance not only to meditate on these mysteries but also brings some peaceful moments during the course of a busy day.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

2) Today is also Respect Life Sunday. Each year our country’s bishops ask us to set a Sunday aside to address the issues regarding our respect for life. This is done to remind us of the many forms of violence in our society that are a threat to life: disrespect for the lives and rights of elderly people, the poor, prisoners – and especially the violence of this year that will destroy the lives of a million and a half of society’s weakest and most defenseless members: the unborn. It is important for us not to forget those who have no choice or voice when it comes to their life. Today is an appropriate day for us to reflect on what it is we are doing as Catholics to promote a greater respect for life.

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. Amen.

God bless you always!
Fr. Jim Volkert

9-23-2017 – Message From Father Jim

Welcome Brother Bernard Aberion

Our Tri-Parish Community has been asked by Sacred Heart Seminary in Milwaukee to assist Br. Bernard as he prepares for ordination to the priesthood next spring. He will be at our parishes on various weekends to preach the homily at the Masses. Afterward, a group of parishioners will offer feedback and suggestions to him. We welcome Brother Bernard to our communities and look forward to hearing him share the Word of God with us. Below is his introduction.

I am Bro. Bernard Aberion, SMP…. a Filipino and a perpetually professed brother of a religious contemplative community based at Missouri…Society of Our Mother of Peace. It was founded by an American Carmelite priest in 1967 and currently we have houses in USA, Philippines, and Nigeria. We are a community of priests, brothers, sisters and lay members whose charism is focused on contemplative prayer and evangelization. I joined this community in 2012 after more than three decades of professional and business life. I am currently studying for the priesthood at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Hales Corners, Wisconsin. I was ordained to the transitional diaconate last May 20, 2017 by Bishop Edward Rice of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Gerardieu. This is my last year of theological studies under the late vocation program of said seminary. My deacon practicum assignment with the parish of St. Mary’s Immaculate Concepcion, St. Joseph and St Charles parishes at Burlington, Wisconsin will be most beneficial to my formation for the priestly ministry.

9-17-2017- Message from Father Jim

Today the Church commemorates Catechetical Sunday. This is a day set aside to honor all those in our midst who are catechists or someone who teaches the faith. I want to salute all of the catechists who teach at St. Charles Grade School, St. Mary Grade School, and our Preschools, as well as our Grade School Religious Education Programs at St. Charles, St. Joseph and St. Mary. I am especially grateful to our Directors of Religious Education at our parishes, as well as to all those involved in the new Family Life Religious Education Program. I would also like to express my appreciation to the teachers, staff and administration at Catholic Central High School.

Also, I would like to acknowledge those who facilitate our R.C.I.A. programs, which prepare people to become full members of the Roman Catholic Church. All of these folks spend countless hours teaching our children and adults about the faith.

Unfortunately, sometimes we take these people for granted and just assume there will always be someone there to teach those who want to learn the faith whenever we need them. On behalf of all the parishioners of St. Joseph Parish, St. Charles Parish and St. Mary Parish, I want to say “THANK YOU” to our catechists and teachers for the time and devotion they give to our Church. May God continue to bless and reward them for sharing their faith, time and talent with our community.

9-10-2017-Message from Father Jim

September 11, 2001 is a date that will be forever emblazoned in our minds. It is a day that changed not only the lives of Americans but also the lives of all citizens of the world. For me, this day brings bittersweet memories. I was on a study break in Rome when the terrible events happened. I was living at the North American College located just outside Vatican City. I learned about the attacks from people on the streets. I stopped at a café on the street where many people were crowding the doorway. I’ll never forget peeking through the crowd to the catch my first look at the images being shown on the television. The devastation and evil I saw at that moment continues to leave me with a sickening feeling and brings the bitter memory of that day.

Today, sixteen years later, we unfortunately live in a world where violence and terrorism are part of our daily lives. Add to that the horrors of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters, and one is tempted to begin to lose hope. Yet, St. Paul reminds us in today’s Reading from the Letter to the Romans that both in good times and in difficult times we should love one another as Christ loves us. “Love”, St. Paul writes, “is the fulfillment of the Law of God.” At times when we feel overwhelmed by the violence and destruction that takes place all around us we are challenged to have hope in the Lord’s presence in our lives, hope in His promise to never leave us alone. We also get a sense of hope in the way that many good people have responded to the cries of those in need. This brings the sweet memory of that terrible day in 2001. Once again, just as in the days following September 11th, it is so comforting and heartwarming to witness the generosity and concern extended by so many people to our fellow citizens who are suffering from the hurricane’s destruction.

Like it or not, we encounter difficult times during the course of our lives. We must not lose hope! Rather, we should be inspired and strengthened by the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives and in doing so become a source of hope for those around us.

God bless you always!
Father Jim Volkert

9-3-2017-Message from Father Jim

I am pleased to share with you some very good news regarding a venture with St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee. Our Tri-Parish Community has been chosen to serve as “Teaching Parishes” for a gentleman who will be preparing for the priesthood. The seminary has established this program to help the men who are studying to be priests get acquainted with all facets of parish life. I am happy to welcome Mr. Steven Weller to our parish communities. Steven is from the Diocese of La Crosse and will be starting his first year of theology. He will be with us the next four years learning the inner workings of the parishes as well as participating as much as he can in the life of our parishes. He will be taking classes at Sacred Heart Seminary and living in community with other seminarians at St. Francis de Sales Seminary. He will be at the parishes mostly on Sundays. The seminary has made it very clear to me that his academics come first. At the end of his third year he will be ordained a deacon and will serve our parishes for that following summer ministering at our parishes by preaching and presiding at weddings and baptisms. At the end of his fourth year Steven will be ordained a priest and be assigned to a parish in the La Crosse Diocese. There will be much more information coming from Steven himself in the coming weeks after he arrives. This is a great honor for our parishes and one that I hope will call forth vocations from our own communities.

God bless you always!
Fr. Jim Volkert

8-20-2017 – Message from Father Jim

1)  Each year our parishes are asked to take part in supporting the work and mission of the Church in southeastern Wisconsin through the Catholic Stewardship Appeal.  While the names and testimonials of those whose lives have changed because of the Appeal vary, the messages of faith, hope, and charity remain the same and resonate as strongly as ever.

This year’s theme, We Are ONE, speaks to our unity in Jesus Christ and the Archdiocesan-wide faith connection among all Catholics.  It is a reflection of our deep human need and desire to find a sense of belonging and purpose.  Please reflect on and pray about this as you look within yourself to determine what you can do to make a difference to serve your brothers and sisters.

The Appeal supports a variety of ministries and programs, many of which directly impact our own parishes.  For example, training for our council members, support for our religious education and young adult programs, guidance relating to how we pray, worship and celebrate the sacraments, and support for our outreach and stewardship efforts are just some of the ways .  In other words, while the Appeal is Archdiocesan-wide, benefits received by parishes like ours are local and tangible.

Beyond your offertory and other financial gifts, a gift to the Appeal is also an investment in the life of our parishes.  It provides funding for activities, such as those listed above, for which we as parishes simply could not provide on our own.
If you have already donated to the CSA, I thank you on behalf of the Archbishop.  If you have not yet made a contribution, I hope you decide to join me in giving to this year’s Catholic Stewardship Appeal.  I strongly believe in the importance of supporting that from which we all benefit.

I know the spirit of giving is alive and well in your heart, and collectively within our parishes, so I thank you in advance for your generous gift of faith.  For more information about the Appeal and how your gift will make a difference, please visit www.catholicappeal.org.

2)  I want to thank everyone who was involved with the Tri-Parish Music Festival that took place last Saturday.  What a talented group of folks our parishes are blessed with!  It was a spirit-filled evening that was very enjoyable.  I look forward to next year!

God bless you always!

Fr. Jim Volkert

08-06-2017- Message From Father Jim

“Lord, it is good that we are here!”

This Sunday we take a break from our celebration of “Ordinary Time” to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  This feast offers us an opportunity to once again reflect on this great event and the transforming experience it was.  Not only was it such an experience for our Lord, but also for Peter, James and John who were fortunate enough to be up on that mountain with Jesus.  Witnessing the transfiguration of Christ was a moment that strengthened their faith in a remarkable way.  It was a moment they never forgot as long as they lived.  For these chosen apostles, this was a moment of grace.  This was a moment when they felt the presence of God in their lives in an unmistakable way.  Peter’s remark, “Lord it is good that we are here” captures his sentiments at that moment.

Moments of grace are gifts from God.  They are given to us not because we merit them or can buy them, but because they are a sign of God’s love for us.  These remaining weeks of summer can offer a perfect opportunity to open our hearts and minds to moments of grace.  One way we can do this is to set aside a little time each day for prayer.  During this time we open our hearts to God and invite Him to enter them.  It is my hope that we may all experience moments of grace to strengthen and inspire us on the journey.

God bless you always!

Father Jim Volkert