Monthly Archives: June 2014


One of my favorite prayers is still the Stations of the Cross. As a prayer it is so engaging to “walk” with Jesus and to enter into the mayhem that surrounded the final moments of His earthly life. Brutality fueled by ignorance and “mob-rules” certainly should remind us of the seriously flawed choices we human beings can make given the right conditions. Of course, my favorite meditation point is the twelfth station: the Death of Jesus on the Cross. It is the centerpiece and the ultimate entry into the most tragic moment of human history.

During these days of the Fortnight for Freedom, I am reminded of the eighth station where Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem. It is a poignant moment where truth is spoken to a situation so filled with pathos and incongruity. I’m sure you remember the scene. Jesus stops at the sight of the women—perhaps some holding their small children—who are overwhelmed with sorrow for what is happening to Him. They are crying and filled with emotion. Jesus tells them not to weep for Him, but for themselves and for their children. Filled with dire prophecy, the Savior says: “If they do these things in the greenwood, what will they do in the dry?”

Well, they murdered the Prince of Peace, the innocent Lamb of God, in the sweetness of His youth and the height of His public ministry—the greenwood of His presence on earth. Now, of course, so many years later, can we expect that the prophecy will not be fulfilled in these arid days of unbelief?

The soul of humanity has been purchased by the shedding of the Savior’s precious blood on the Cross. The image of the cross itself has become a bauble, a piece of jewelry, a trinket. The sign of the cross—What Jesus has done for us—has been replaced with “What have you done for me lately?”

Delivering comfort and assistance to the poor as Jesus did with the weeping women, is part and parcel of what Jesus told His followers to do in His Name. Throughout the ages, the Church has been seen as the guarantor of healing, comfort, and care for the poor and marginalized. We have been recognized over the centuries, in hostile situations and difficult times, as those who bring consolation to the afflicted and moments of peace in all kinds of conflict.

People of faith, who follow the basic rule of life for peace and justice, have delivered on that rule, secure in the knowledge that they functioned with the basic freedom to do so in a free land. These people of faith, with a common sense rooted deeply in their hearts that made their service some of the best examples of compassionate and benevolent human kindness, now desire to be free to continue to serve while exercising their faith according to the dictates of their consciences.

The Federal government, through various restrictions limiting fundamental legal rights, guaranteed by the Constitution and established traditions of our country, now tries to limit the works of charity that can be done by people of faith. The Federal government, by forcing odious and morally objectionable laws upon citizens who have functioned freely and responsibly in charitable and caring institutions, some since the very founding of our beloved country, is forcing people of good will to rise up as patriots of old against a new tyranny and injustice.

Please stand with the Bishops of the United States of America and reclaim the freedom to serve the poor, house the homeless, care for the sick, support parents and families, and educate all ages, according to the teachings of Jesus and the foundations of our faith and the support of traditional social structures.

Find out how you can get involved by logging on to where you will find more information and a calendar of events. Thank you and Happy Independence Day!

Celebrate religious freedom by coming to Sunday Mass and giving thanks!


image002Invoking the protection and intercession of The Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist, the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki will convene their much anticipated Synod at the end of this week. The opening Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist on Friday 6 June at 7:00 PM. The remainder of the scheduled events will take place throughout the Pentecost weekend. The Diocese of La Crosse extends its prayers and asks for the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon our friend and former Ordinary, Archbishop Listecki and the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, seminarians and the entire People of God of the Archdiocese as this historic and sacred event opens a new chapter in their history and the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Wisconsin. Praised be Jesus Christ!

A Synod, simply put, is an assembly where the faithful deliberate on the pastoral needs of the diocese. A diocesan synod is called by the bishop, where he gathers together ordained and lay leaders from throughout his diocese.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Synod will bring together people from their entire Catholic community including priests, parish directors, deacons, parish staff members, lay parish leaders, parishioners and representatives of religious communities and lay groups to discuss archdiocesan and parish pastoral priorities for the Church of southeastern Wisconsin.

The Synod and the sessions leading up to it should be a wonderful and exciting spirit-led process that will give the archdiocese a clearer direction of priorities for the next 10 years and beyond.

Here in the Diocese of La Crosse, we are considering several ideas or similar events as we look forward to the 150th Anniversary of our Diocese in 2018. I am receiving input from various advisors as I’m drafting some thoughts concerning the future direction and my priorities for our Diocese. Ultimately, these thoughts may be expressed to you in a Pastoral Letter.

Of necessity, there is a desire to join with the various consultative groups of priests and laity to provide such a “blue-print” for the Diocese at large. Finally, as documents are created, they will be given over to the People of God for prayer and study in preparation for a diocesan meeting or gathering, should we choose to pursue that idea.

Much work, as you can see, goes into such a meeting. We, therefore, salute our brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and pray to God for a resurgence of the Holy Spirit throughout the Church!

Send forth Your Spirit, O Lord, that the face of the earth be renewed!

Celebrate the Holy Spirit at Pentecost Sunday Mass!