This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - October 11, 2019


This Week – October 11, 2019

Feast of Saint John XXIII

Dear All:

Christ’s Peace.

Tomorrow night – Saturday, October 12 – is Trivia Night. Walk-ins welcome! The fun begins right after 4:45 Mass.


  • THE BLESSINGS OF THE BRAINS – Thanks a million to the dozens of students who submitted their aspiration forms. You aspire to many beautiful goals. Thanks for the great gift your aspirations are to this parish and thanks for sharing your hopes with us. What a privilege it is to share the adventure with such wonderful young people. (And to those who intended to submit something but time got away, fear not – there is always next year!) Brains will be blessed at every Mass this weekend, except the 7:15. Again, what a grace and a privilege it is to learn of your aspirations and to pray for you.

  • THE BLESSINGS FOR OUR DECEASED LOVED ONES – You still have until 7:00 pm Sunday to submit the names of your deceased loved ones. Click here to connect to the form for having the names of your nearest and dearest loved ones put on the Memorial Scrolls. REMEMBER, YOU IMPROVE THE LIKELIHOOD OF ACCURATE SPELLING IF YOU SUBMIT THE NAMES THROUGH THE WEBSITE. You can also submit the names by hard copy. In addition to your nearest and dearest whom you want remembered in the Memorial scrolls, you can submit as many names as you want on the Green Memorial Cards. Get a green memorial card from the Moses Table, complete it, and put it in the communications box.

  • BIBLE STUDY— A completely unexpected and serendipitous turn of events has brought Father Nick Gengaro to our Adult Ed program. Fr. Nick has not one but two degrees in scripture from the world-renowned Gregorian University in Rome. He is the real deal. Plus he is a terrific human being. I will be with Fr. Nick for the classes but he will be driving the proverbial bus. This year’s scripture study is one class broken into three segments. Click here for the list of dates. You need to pay $35 for the course books, but only once. We will be using the same books in the winter and spring. SIGNUP SHEETS ARE IN THE GATHERING SPACE THIS WEEKEND. Because of space limitations, we need to limit registration to 30 people. Please check in on your commitment level before you sign up. THANKS!

  • EUCHARISTIC ADORATION? – Several people have suggested that we find a one or two hour period each week for Eucharistic Adoration. Let me know, when you pass me on your way to Sunday Mass, if that is something that interests you and if you might be willing to help us arrange it. Thanks.

  • ANOINTING OF THE SICK – Your availability to the grace of this sacrament is inspiring. Please encourage your loved ones to get anointed as soon as they experience the health challenge. For the small minority of people who want to receive it because they anticipate imminent death, please contact me as soon as you can. Doing so vastly increases the odds that your loved one will be anointed in a timely manner. It is a particularly marvelous sacrament. Take advantage of it!

Sunday’s Homily

October 6, 2019 - Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Onward Christian Mensches, Part I: Christian Mensches Take it in Stride

To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here.
To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.


  • UNPLANNED – Thanks to the great work of our Respect Life Ministry, we will have two showings of “Unplanned” in the Parish Hall – at 7 pm on Wed. October 16 and at 2 pm on Sat. October 19. The movie tells the story of a woman who worked for an abortion provider until she underwent a Damascus Road experience that transformed her completely. It is, ultimately, a story of hope


  • CALLING ALL VETERANS – We once again look forward to honoring all our veterans. The celebration – which takes place on Sunday, November 10 – begins with the 11:30 Mass and continues with lunch in the Parish Hall. Sign up in the Gathering Space this weekend or the next two weekends. Veterans are encouraged to bring one guest.

  • PARISH RECORDS UPDATE PROJECT – Enormous thanks to the 110 parishioners who have agreed to help us distribute, correct, and collect the records. Thanks in advance to the members of every household for helping us to correct your records. A few things to keep in mind:

    • CCD Families. – You can pick up and correct your records at this week’s CCD classes.

    • New Parishioners. – If you have registered AFTER June 1, we will not yet have a packet for you, but we will let you know when we need to correct yours.

    • Unregistered Folks. – Even if you have been praying here for a long time, if you have never registered in the parish, we will not have records for you to retrieve.

      To everyone else, thanks in advance for helping us update the records. Doing so really does help us get a better handle on God’s hopes for us. We are doing everything we can to keep the lines short.

  • SAGES – Get a load of this remarkable mix of upcoming events:

    • SMARTPHONE SEMINAR – Wednesday, October 16 – 3 pm. Taught by Lynne Biegel and Nils Dahl.

    • FLU SHOTS AND LINE DANCING – at Monday Funday – October 21 – What a winning combination! The needle will be inserted in your arm rather than your leg so you can dance to your heart’s content

God bless all of you extra in this glorious season
Fr Hank


For the next few weeks, now that the back-to-school news rush is over, this section will contain a mix of “Pastor’s Brag” items and stories of parishioners’ great summer travels.

  • Debut Performance! – Many hats off to Rowan de Wet (9:30 S5), a sixth-grader at Alexander Batcho Intermediate School in Manville. Rowan will be playing the role of the evil Miss Andrews in Mary Poppins Jr. Rowan is very excited to have a speaking and singing role this year. The play will be performed at Manville High School on Dec. 5 and 6.

  • Our Award-winning Producer – Bruce Norfleet (9:30 S7, and usher, and fellow U Wisconsin grad – go Badgers) produces our recorded homilies every week. How lucky are we to have Bruce serving our parish in this way, given his background? Between 1990 and 2004, Bruce was awarded four Emmy Awards – that is correct, he won four Emmies – in the “National News and Documentary” category. Bruce won the awards for his work on “Search for Battleship Bismark,” “The Pigeon Murders,” “Last Voyage of the LUSITANIA,” and “Wolfpack.” May God continue to bless Bruce and his many inspired pursuits.

I send this “THIS WEEK” with extra blessings for our students, who are now getting very much into the groove. I also send it with gratitude to all for the ways in which you use so well the graces God gives you, especially for the ways you use those graces at St. Joe’s.

Fr Hank

October 6, 2019 - Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Onward Christian Mensches, Part I: Christian Mensches Take it in Stride


The word comes to us from German and Yiddish. Webster describes it as “a person of integrity and honor.” More colloquially, it refers to an upright and pleasant person, a person who habitually chooses the good and is fun to be around, a person on whom you can rely for candor and kindness – and good laughs. And mensches rarely seek the spotlight. Mensches tend to be everyday heroes rather than headline heroes.

Christian mensches treasure their connection with Christ. In their more inspired moments, they see that, by being a true mensch, they are being good disciples. In their most inspired moments, they behave like mensches precisely because doing so leads others to Christ’s peace, glorifies God and makes them more like Jesus, the man of perfect integrity and honor. Christian mensches make great disciples.

Sunday’s readings focus on one characteristic we would hope to find in all Christian mensches – the ability to take difficulties in stride. Christian mensches regard Jesus as the perfect example of how to manage setbacks with honor and integrity. He defended others when they were being berated or attacked but he took it in stride when the malice was directed at him. He did not let insults, hardship or disappointment derail him. He stayed focused and kept going – an example for all Christian mensches.

Sunday’s passage from Habakkuk (1 & 2) encourages us to take difficulties in stride. The little book of the minor prophet Habakkuk conveys impressive reminders to keep the drama dialed down and to persevere. Habakkuk, writing during a particularly ugly moment in Israel’s history, complains to God about the misery that surrounds him. God then tells Habakkuk to be patient, to trust that God still intends to deliver great blessings, and not to become like the rash man who cannot take the difficulties in stride and who has no patience with God. Yes, the situation is very difficult and yes, Habakkuk can take it in stride.

Luke’s depiction (Lk 17) of the tired servants also encourages us to take difficulties in stride. The poor field hands, after working a long, hot day, return to the house expecting a bit of downtime. Instead, they encounter a request to work in the kitchen. The servants come across as exemplary because, it is implied, they take the request in stride. They don’t pitch fits. They don’t get all dramatic and threaten to quit. They acknowledge the work and get to it. Jesus tells this story to his nearest and dearest followers precisely because he wants to prepare them for nonstop work that they will have to take in stride.

So what about you? When have you set a great example of taking difficulties in stride? When have you chosen honor and integrity over drama? In what difficult circumstances have you chosen the high road of imitating Christ rather than the lower road of self-pity, and uninspired reaction? Maybe you had a setback in school – academic, athletic or social – and you chose not to treat it as the end of the world. Maybe it was when you received bad news from your doctor, or your account manager, or your child’s teacher – and you took it in stride, choosing the Christ-like response over the self-indulgent one? Maybe it was when you fell off the wagon or made a dope of yourself or squandered precious resources, and you chose to recognize your mistake and get back in the game. Maybe it was when you felt an inspired prayer went unanswered and you kept praying.

Our parish, like our church and our world, is full of wonderful Christian mensches. Chances are great that you are a wonderful Christian mensch who regularly takes difficulties in stride. You could choose to blow the situation apart, to flood it with drama and self-indulgence, but you choose not to deprive others of Christ’s peace and not to demand affirmation. Of course, there are moments when God calls us not to take difficulties in stride when Jesus is saying “that is a wrong that needs fixing.” But God invites us to take the ordinary difficulties in stride. Name four or five moments when you have been an extraordinary and unrecognized Christian Mensch who took it in stride – and in doing so led others to peace, glorified God, and became more like Jesus? Onward Christian mensches!