From the Desk of the Pastor

                                                                                                              

 

The church doors are OPEN!

God is waiting for YOU!

 


 

Over the past few months, I would venture to say that many of us have come to the realization that we may have taken some things for granted in the past. Many of our “normal” routines have been turned upside down. Maybe, we have come to prioritize those things that are most important moving forward? Structure is necessary. During this crazy time, it is important to set up a routine for everything, so that we can feel something of a “new normal.”

Prayer, the celebration of Mass, exercise, rest, reading, can all be a part of fostering self-care. Our scrolling sign at the entrance of St. Stephen’s says, “The Church doors are open, God is waiting for you.” We might reflect on Psalm 91: “Upon you no evil shall fall, no plague approach where you dwell. For you has he commended his angels, to keep you in all your ways.” We need to trust without worry. This has been a real time of cleansing, a real Lenten sacrifice and journey beyond our daily routines.

As we continue to nourish our physical bodies with food, we need to nourish our souls with spiritual food, the Holy Eucharist. If we only feed the physical and starve the soul, we are in danger of losing our intimate relationship with God. So, indeed, the Church doors are open, we are taking every precaution by utilizing face masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and the entire sanitation of our worship space and restrooms after every Mass. God is waiting for you!

 


 

From the Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki - Summer Separation 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am sure that many of you share the same experience that I have had: driving away from the residence, getting all the way to the expressway or some point in your travels, and then discovering that you do not have your wallet. Panic-stricken, you turn around and lose over half an hour in travel time, but you can’t be without your driver’s license and at least a few dollars or credit cards for emergency purposes. Then, there is the discovery when you search to make a phone call or retrieve an address that you left your cell phone back at the house. It’s stressful to have something which you need for peace of mind to be missing from your immediate grasp.
 
I can’t believe that it is already August. It seems that something is missing – the summer. I can remember as a kid that there were summers filled with rainy days and cool weather, but those were just a few weeks at a time – more like shoplifting than a bank robbery. This past interruption of summer’s normal weather eliminated the trips to the beach or playing softball in the empty prairies with the neighborhood kids.
 
However, this summer it seems that someone or something has robbed summer from me. All the things that I wanted to accomplish, all the people I wanted to visit or contact have been swept into the timeless void of existence. We certainly will never get this summer back. Oh, I know that we have the technology to contact one another via Skype or Zoom or phone calls – and, this is certainly a blessing – but, nothing is a substitute for the real thing, which is being in the presence of a person whom we love and admire face-to-face. We wear masks and keep a social distance because this brings a sense of peace and well-being to our friends and relatives. Yes, it is inconvenient and sometimes uncomfortable, but we would never want our loved ones to be placed in danger.
 
This spring and summer, we have experienced a separation from our normal routine. We had to work hard to make sure that Sunday was not just another day. We were not able to physically attend Sunday Mass, and we were denied access to the Eucharist. Although live-stream and public TV Masses have helped to take the edge away from a portion of the separation, nothing that substitutes the importance of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament or the gathering together with parishioners for worship.
 
We will not get our spring and summer of 2020 back. We have been robbed of those parish picnics, festivals and summer camps. Nevertheless, as we begin to return, we will have the memories of what was denied and how we sometimes take for granted many things that are essential for our peace and well-being. First and foremost, we must acknowledge God as our highest priority; without Him, we are nothing. Then, we acknowledge the Real Presence of Jesus, the loving sacrifice as food for our journey through life, as well as the ability to be in the presence of our family, relatives and friends. We should never allow anyone to rob us of these gifts, as we pledge in the name of Jesus to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.                                              

                                                          

Sincerely,

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki

Archbishop of Milwaukee

 


Check our St Stephen Parish website for the latest Archdiocesan directives and liturgical procedures.     

We will post them as soon as we receive them.

 

St. Stephen Catholic Comeback 2020, Version 5

CoVID-19/Coronavirus Updates