9-23-2018- Welcome Deacon Michael Leiker

Our Tri-Parish Community has been asked by Sacred Heart Seminary in Milwaukee to assist Deacon Mike 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 Deacon Mike to our communities and look forward to hearing him share the Word of God with us. Below is his introduction.

Deacon Michael (Mike) Leiker, is a Transitional Deacon for the Diocese of Salina (KS) studying at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. He is in his final year and will be ordained to the priesthood on June 1st. Michael is the youngest of seven (4 sisters and 2 brothers) with the next youngest 10 years older. Prior to joining the seminary, he completed his bachelors and master’s degrees in exercise science. He then taught for a year (2000-2001) at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Michael then moved to the University of South Dakota, where he completed a Doctorate in Adult and Higher Education and Administration, with emphasis in curriculum development and exercise science. During the years in Tennessee Michael started a small business (Ticker Timing) where he traveled the country timing and scoring track and field meets. In 2003, he joined another company (Flash Results), who works major events around country, including NCAA Championships, US Championships, and Olympic Trials. In 2006, he began working as a faculty member for Pittsburg State University (KS) and reduced the amount of track events he worked. In 2012, a colleague reintroduced Michael to the practice of the Catholic faith. In the spring of 2014 Michael applied for the seminary and began studies that fall.

Michael enjoys outdoor activities, sporting events, cooking and trying out new restaurants with friends. He also enjoys family get togethers when he is back home.

9-16-2018 – 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 Tri-Parish Grade School Religious Education Programs. I am especially grateful to our Directors of Religious Education at our parishes, as well as to all those involved in the 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.

9-9-2018 – Message From Father Jim

It is with a great sense of pride that I offer on behalf of our Tri-Parish Community our sincere congratulations and best wishes to Deacon Anton Nickolai and his family. Yesterday’s Ordination Mass was a beautiful celebration of God’s call to ministry in the Church. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work together with Deacon Anton and for his opportunity to enhance our parishes with his service as a deacon. In the very near future Deacon Anton will begin presiding at baptisms and wedding services as well as preaching on a regular basis at our Sunday liturgies. I want to also offer my appreciation to Mrs. Suzanne Nickolai and to their daughters for the sacrifices they have made to allow Deacon Anton to pursue his call to ministry. We pray that our Almighty Father may continue to bless and watch over Anton, his family and our parishes.

Congratulations Deacon Anton Nickolai!

God bless you always!
Father Jim Volkert

8-19-2018 – Message from Father Jim

Today we get a very keen look at the kind of faith Jesus invites us to have when He says in today’s Gospel: “I am the Living Bread come down from Heaven… My flesh is the real food; my blood is the real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks by blood live in me, and I live in him.” Each time we receive Holy Communion we have an opportunity to give witness to our faith in these words of Jesus. Hearing today’s Gospel might be a good time for us to reflect on our attitude toward the power of the Eucharist to transform our lives. We receive Holy Communion because we are supposed to be changed by it. The Eucharist is given to us to have an effect in our lives. The celebration of the Mass is the center of all our prayers in the Church. It is the most important thing we do as Christians. But do we always see it this way?

If our reception of Holy Communion seems to be lacking something, maybe it’s because we have allowed it to become routine in our lives. Maybe it’s because we have allowed it to become an event that we “attend” and don’t allow ourselves to become involved in or transformed by it. We can begin to answer these questions by thinking about how prayerful we are before and after receiving Communion. What goes through our mind and heart before and after receiving the Body of Christ? Do we speak to Jesus as a friend? Do we give Him thanks, ask His forgiveness, and talk to Him about our problems? Many people go through life without any knowledge of this incredible gift. An even greater tragedy is for people to know and understand this gift and not to appreciate it; people who have made receiving Holy Communion a lifeless routine. I always look forward to First Holy Communion Day at our parishes. It is so gratifying to see the excitement on the children’s faces and the joy they radiate realizing that for the first time they will receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. I always challenge those at these Masses to recapture the excitement and joy of the children.

Today we come to be fed at the Lord’s Table with this tremendous gift of the Eucharist. May our words and actions today reflect our appreciation for this tremendous gift.

God bless you always!
Fr. Jim Volkert

Fiftieth Anniversary on the Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae

Fiftieth Anniversary on the Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae

The Heart of Marriage … “Self Gift”

Humanae Vitae (HV) is an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968 to reaffirm the orthodox teaching of the Catholic Church on married love, responsible parenthood and the continued rejection of unnatural forms of birth control and abortion. It affirmed traditional Church moral teaching on the sanctity of life and the procreative and unitive nature of conjugal relations. Pope Paul VI prophesied in this encyclical about the consequences of dissenting from the Church’s teachings on martial love:

Infidelity and moral decline: He predicted that the widespread use of contraception would “lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.”

Loss of respect for women: Paul VI argued that “the man” will lose respect for “the woman” and “no longer (care) for her physical and psychological equilibrium” and will come to “the point of considering her a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.”

Abuse of power: The Holy Father saw that the widespread use of contraception would place a “dangerous weapon…in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.”

Unlimited dominion: He warned that contraception would lead man to think he had unlimited dominion over his own body.

In summary, Pope Paul VI states that marital relations are much more than a union of two people. They constitute a union of the loving couple with a loving God, in which a new person can be created, and upon which God completes the creation by adding the soul. For this reason, Pope Paul VI says right in the first sentence of HV that the transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. This is a divine partnership that takes its origin from God, who is love.

(From the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis)

7-15-2018- Message from Father Jim

“A little bit of heaven!”

Last Sunday’s Mass in Echo Park was a very moving and memorable celebration. What a beautiful expression of our faith! It was wonderful to have hundreds of us gather to celebrate the Eucharist. The presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit was definitely apparent. The best description was shared with me by a woman when she said: “This was a little bit of heaven!”

I want to express my gratitude to the many folks who helped make this experience the great success it was. To the committee formed to plan the event, I am most grateful. To our choirs, musicians, Eucharistic ministers, greeters, ushers, readers, servers and to my brother priests – thank you! Also, to all of the folks who arrived very early to set-up the altar area, choir risers and the tremendous sound system – thank you!

Judging from all of the positive comments I’ve heard this experience was a renewal of faith for many. What more could one ask for?

God bless you always!
Fr. Jim Volkert

May 1, 2018 – Tri-parish Human Concerns Committee Meeting Minutes

Tri-parish Human Concerns Committee Meeting Minutes
May 1, 2018 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Andre Hall, St. Charles
Minutes taken by Dee Baumeister, Submitted by Jacki Scholze

Human Concerns Members in Attendance: Jacki Scholze, Julie Koenen, MaryAnn Johnson, Joyce Clapp, Pat Curtis, Dee Baumeister, Mary Dawson

Guests: None

Those in attendance received a copy of the structure of the Tri-parish Human Concerns Committee detailing the purpose, members, key functions, sub-committees, duties of the chair, duties of the sub-committee leaders, and duties of the secretary. Tri-parish Human Concern Contact information was also distributed. These documents will be made available on each parish’s website.

Jacki Scholze opened the meeting with prayer and welcomed everyone. Explanation of task of Tri-parish Human Concerns and charge for regular meetings by pastoral council in order to strengthen communication and facilitate collaboration between sub-committees at all three parishes.

All in attendance reviewed the contact information providing corrections and additions.

Sub-committee reports given:
Mary Dawson: Pro-Life main mission is education. Brief description of activities including booths at festivals, rose sale, billboard. St. Vincent de Paul involvement and need for support including donations and volunteers. Prayer Network and Book Club also described.
Cheryl Theigs: Pastoral Care report submitted and read by Jacki Scholze. Communion ministry serves 113 persons weekly with 28 active volunteers, newsletter to elderly to be published soon, collaborating with Hearts of Hope to support families experiencing a miscarriage, National Day of Prayer May 3, possible luncheons for the elderly with presentations by health care professionals, anointing masses scheduled in May and June, grief materials continue to be sent.
MaryAnn Johnson: Prison Ministry described monthly visit including scripture reading, discussion, prayers, and communion. Mary Dawson suggested there may be religious books available from St. Vincent de Paul to support the prison ministry.

Large group discussion of how similar the three parish sub-committees are in support of pro-life agencies in Racine and Walworth Counties, meal provisions to Love, Inc. and/or Transitional Living Center. Short discussion comparing and contrasting Human Concerns collections and outreach allocations. St. Joseph’s utilizes some of their collections to pay for the main meat of the meal provided by volunteers to Love, Inc. All three parishes supported the meal for Family Life Night last November. Possibly this could be done again.

How to continue? Concerns heard that this meeting creates more meetings for those already meeting with more than one sub-committee. Sub-committees at each parish will continue to be active in their missions knowing they can reach out to those on the contact lists for support, resources, and sharing of ideas. As there were no new faces to Human Concerns the process of selecting a Tri-parish Human Concerns chair and secretary was tabled for now. Suggestions made and accepted by those in attendance to revise the meeting dates for the Tri-parish Human Concerns to the second Wednesday in September at St. Joseph and second Wednesday in February at St. Mary. These meetings would begin at 6:30 p.m.

All are asked to think about how to build and utilize an emergency contact list for crisis situations, like the flood, in order to get food and shelter to those in need.
Also, encourage someone to join in our meetings. Personally ask others to get involved.

Next Scheduled Meetings: Wednesday, September 12, 2018
6:30-7:30 p.m. St. Joseph, Lyons

Wednesday, February 13, 2018
6:30-7:30 p.m. St. Mary, Burlington

Closing prayer led by Jacki Scholze
Meeting adjourned

2018 Vacation Bible School

Rolling River Rampage VBC

August 6th – August 10th

8:30am – 12:00

St. Joseph’s Parish Center, Lyons WI

At Rolling River Rampage VBC, your child will discover an interactive, energizing, Bible-based program that will give them an opportunity to experience the ride of a lifetime with God. During Vacation Bible Camp at Rolling River Rampage your child will become a Rafter and explore how to serve God and God’s mission for their lives.
After a high-energy Opening Assembly, the Rafters make their way through five interactive stations. They will become part of the Bible Story, make art projects during Crafts, sing and dance during Music, explore during the Science Station, participate in various outdoor activities during Recreation and enjoy a tasty snack. Along the way, your Rafter will hear about God’s love for them.

Join us Monday, August 6 through Friday, August 10 from 8:30 A.M. till Noon for Rolling River Rampage Vacation Bible Camp. Camp is held at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, 6068 Water St, Lyons. It is open to all children 4K-Grade 6. Suggested donation for the week, which includes a t-shirt/vest, snack and all materials, is $25 per child.

To register download the registration form now, complete and return to Rita at St. Joseph’s Church, Attention Rita VBC, PO Box 60, Lyons, WI 53148 :
2018-VBC Registration Form

For more information or to volunteer contact me at 262-763-2050 or vanschyndelr@archmil.org. Volunteers need to be 7th grade or older.


5-6-2018- Message from Father Jim

May – Mary’s Month

1) The month of May has traditionally been a month to honor our Blessed Mother in a particular way. This is a perfect time to put a little extra effort into praying the rosary. This prayer is at the heart of our Catholic faith because it helps us meditate on the Joyful Mysteries, the Mysteries of Light, 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 encourage all of us to take the time this month to pray the rosary, perhaps daily, reflecting on these beautiful mysteries of our faith. Let us together ask the Blessed Mother to pray for our parishes as we face the future.
Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary, pray for us!

2) Last weekend and this weekend we celebrate the reception of First Holy Communion at our parishes. This is a very special day for our boys and girls and their families. Please remember them in your prayers. Perhaps we could also think back to the day of our own First Holy Communion and offer a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for the tremendous gift that the Holy Eucharist has been to us over the years.

3) This week Monday through Wednesday all of the priests in the Archdiocese will once again participate in the Annual Spring Assembly held in Elkhart Lake. These three days provide an opportunity for the priests to gather with Archbishop Listecki for meetings, prayer and socializing. Please keep Fr. Carlos and I, as well as our brother priests in your prayers asking the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire us during these days.

God bless you always!
Fr. Jim Volkert