Dear Beloved St. James Parish Family,
THANK YOU for your Sept. tithes contribution of $685.86 which we received on Nov. 4, 2022.
Some of you may have seen us already at Mass since we have begun a 6-month homestay. This is our first extended time back in Sussex since you sent us forth in 2018. The purpose of our time is to rest, reconnect and strengthen our roots with our home base of support.
This life we live in service to Christ Jesus is only possible because of your sacrificial gifts and powerful prayers. THANK YOU ALL!
We humbly ask for your prayers as our family travels first to Louisiana for missionary fellowship, debriefing and training from Nov. 28-Dec.10.
After Christmas, Matt, Katie and Josephine will be representing Family Missions Company at an ecumenical missionary conference in Indianapolis. And in January, Matt will attend a Catholic missionary conference in St. Louis.
We look forward to worshiping Our King with you at Mass. And we pray that your Advent Season is filled with grace.
With heartfelt gratitude,
The Glafcke Family
Matt & Katie, Josephine, Coryn, Mallory, Gloria, Daniel & Gwendolyn
Dear Beloved St. James & Good Shepherd Parish Family,
Thank you for your on-going financial support to our family on mission in Asia. We received the June tithes collection of $731 on July 15th. Your generosity makes our life as full time lay missionaries viable. All glory to God!
At that time we were right in the throes of assisting with a mission trip group that was here with us for two weeks. What a joy and honor it was to receive six young adults from the USA who were open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and willing to go deeper in their relationship with Christ. Our children have shared a couple stories from our time in Asia on our blog.
We have one month remaining here in Asia. We continue to enter into ordinary life with our host family. We are praying, worshiping and coming together for fellowship to build them up in love and truth. They have been serving on their own for nearly two years and desire real friendship and companionship. We are also helping them set up a guesthouse and cafe so their family can continue to live here under a business visa.
It has been challenging on many fronts, with constant rain and intense heat, sickness, language and cultural barriers. On top of that we cannot outwardly evangelize due to strict government regulations here. Still, we have seen God’s hand providing for us and carrying us.
One small example a couple weeks ago: Our power had been out all day and we had a zoom call scheduled with a brother missionary. Just as we were about to leave and set out to find another cafe with WiFi, we sent up a prayer for Jesus to help us. Moments later, the cafe manager here arrived, pressed a few buttons on our electric system and our power was restored! Praise the Lord!
On that zoom call, our brother missionary invited our family to visit him in Rome in September. We’ll be heading there for a few weeks, then flying to Louisiana to report back to FMC about our pastoral visits to Asia and Rome, picking up our big van and driving north to Wisconsin!
We anticipate a few months back in Sussex for our family to rest and reconnect with family and friends. We look forward to seeing you in person at St. James in October.
Attached are a few photos of some of our new friends here. Truly, the love of God is universal and transforms strangers into brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Glafcke Family
Matt & Katie, Jo, Coryn, Mallory, Gloria, Daniel & Baby Gwendolyn
Dear Beloved St. James Parish Family,
On June 21st we leave for a new mission in Nepal. God willing, we will be in Kathmandu to celebrate the great feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We are being sent from Family Missions Company on a pastoral visit to another missionary family who has been serving in Kathmandu on their own since the Fall of 2020. We will also assist with a mission trip group that arrives in July.
Just as our family has been preparing for this transition to serve in Asia, we know that you all are preparing to welcome Fr. John Hemsing as your new pastor. Be assured of our prayers for a healthy and holy transition for Deacon Sandy, Fr. John, parish staff as well as the parish at large. Change is seldom easy, but God’s grace is always sufficient. Let us be open to every grace The Lord desires for us to give us. And trust that the Lord is always working for our good.
We thank each and every one of you for your powerful prayers and financial support for our family. We are richly blessed by your faithfulness to us. God willing, we hope to return to St. James this Fall. We look forward to resting, reconnecting with our home parish family and soaking up a glorious midwestern autumn.
Attached is a recent photo of our family from May 7, when our daughter Gloria received her First Holy Communion alongside her classmates.
Yours in Christ,
The Glafcke Family
Matt & Katie,
Jo, Coryn, Mallory, Gloria, Daniel & Baby Gwendolyn
An Update From the Glafckes (March 6, 2022)
Dear Beloved St. James Parish,
Wow! Your generosity and steadfast support to our family is a real and purposeful gift. We received your most recent donation of $662 on Jan. 25th. THANK YOU!
MardiGras is a major cultural season here in south Louisiana that begins in January and culminates next week. Today we attended our first ever Mardi Gras parade put on at our children’s school. Our daughter Coryn and her kindergarten buddy Adelaide worked together transforming a shoebox into a Mardi Gras float using ribbon, tassels and sequins. The 8th grade students alongside their kindergarten buddies paraded around the gym with their personalized floats. Zydeco music played, beads were tossed, king cake was eaten. It is a grand cultural celebration that originates from the strong Catholic faith tradition here.
Now we stand on the cusp of Lent. A season I honestly don’t eagerly look forward to. And yet it is a holy and sacred time. This evening Coryn mused, “Advent is a time we grow closer to Jesus by addition, like lighting an advent wreath and singing hymns. But, Lent is a time we grow closer to Jesus by subtraction, with fasting or other sacrifices.”
What is taking up time, space or energy and distracting me from daily conversations with Jesus? That is a good place to start.
Praying for all of us to have courage, grace and perseverance to step deeper into His Sacred Heart this Lenten Season.
Yours in Christ,
The Glafcke Family – Matt & Katie, Jo, Coryn, Mallory, Gloria, Daniel & Baby Gwendolyn
An Update From the Glafckes (May 18th, 2021)
Dear St. James & Good Shepherd parishes,
All glory and praise to God for your generous monthly financial giving to our family in March and April!
Thanks Be to God, in April both Matt and Katie received their second dose of the Covid vaccine. The Lord’s timing is perfect, since then our entire family safely traveled to Wisconsin to attend Katie’s grandma’s funeral Mass at St. Veronica in Milwaukee April 23. What a beautiful gift it was to be present and to honor the faithful Christian life of Josephine Rita Mescher.
From Milwaukee we flew to New York City to attend the holy marriage of Armando & Amanda, two of our missionary teammates from our time in Haiti. God lavished us with His tender care by providing a place for our family to stay in Queens. We were welcomed by an FMC missionary family, The Peñas, who fed us, introduced us to their family and friends, and expertly guided us around all 5 boroughs.
Matt has been hard at work putting the finishing touches on The Chapel of the Good Shepherd here at Stillwater Catholic Retreat Center. Tonight Bishop Douglas Deshotel will be coming to dedicate the chapel. What a heavensent gift to have this sacred space to worship, praise and encounter God!
Come Holy Spirit Come! Set your faithful ablaze with love for Jesus!
With heartfelt gratitude,
The Glafcke Family (Matt & Katie, Jo, Coryn, Mallory, Gloria, Daniel & Baby Gwendolyn)
An Update and Thank You From the Glafckes (February 2021)
Dear St. James Family,
We received your donation on February 9, 2021. Thank you for giving so generously and sacrificially to our family!
This week we welcomed a group of 20 college students on a spring break mission trip here in Abbeville, LA. It is a great honor to witness the Holy Spirit at work, moving hearts and minds to grow closer to Jesus through daily Mass, holy hours, service work and fellowship.
This coming weekend Matt will be assisting with a local high school group on retreat for confirmation. It was only 3 short years ago at the Easter Vigil Mass that Matt was confirmed at St. James! As always, we praise God for his perfect timing to bring His work to fulfillment.
It has been quite a beautiful thing to watch the Lord delay one option and understanding of service. For us it is the inability at this time to be in New Zealand. God reveals to us how his opportunities to serve will always be a beautiful encounter with his people wherever the soil we find ourselves planted.
A Message from the Glafcke Family (August 2019)
Dear Beloved St. James Family,
We are humbled and filled with awe at your generous donation of $13,345.06 from the Lenten Almsgiving to our family on mission! Without your powerful prayers and financial support this life would not be possible.
One year ago this week our family was blessed and sent by you all. And what a year it has been! We began our formation in Louisiana, then traveled to the desert of Mexico for a month long experience of the missionary life. While in Mexico we learned our first year placement: L’Asile, Haiti. Upon our return to Louisiana in December we celebrated our commissioning mass with Family Missions Company.
In January we completed our formal training and bade farewell to our fellow new missionaries as they left to Build God’s Kingdom all over the globe. In February we packed up and left for Haiti. But God had other plans. Due to riots in Port au Prince, we spent a few weeks in Florida and then returned to our training grounds in Louisiana.
We finally arrived safely in L’Asile at the end of March. The kids were quick to set up their bedroom with Star Wars posters and made a prayer board with photos of our fellow FMC missionaries. Our little Daniel broke through the language barrier and was immediately befriended by Haitians young and old.
God blessed us with so many helpers: Mdm. Sonja cooked for us, Mdm. Jacques hand washed our clothes, and Reynold delivered water. A young man named Mackinson asked us for money for his family. Matt invited him to work on some small projects, planting banana trees and flowering shrubs in our yard, building a ladder and putting up screens on our windows.
Slowly we began to understand and speak Creole! Our days were anchored in praising God alongside our single missionary teammates and praying for God’s provision.
The relentless heat and harsh conditions took their toll on us. In July we flew back to the States for a time to rest and be strengthened in body, mind and spirit. Again, the Lord has surprised us with His provision! Our oldest, Josephine, had hoped for time to swim while we were back. Nearly every place we have visited had a pool, pond or lake to swim in!
As of now, we are down in Abbeville, LA being fortified by our brother and sister missionaries. To be here is fulfilling and reassuring of our family’s call to be servants of the Lord in this way.
As we look over the past year we are grateful and blessed to be supported and lifted up by you, our loving community of Saint James. Please send us your prayer intentions! Every message we receive from our mission partners boosts our spirits and reminds us that we are never alone because the Holy Spirit is alive and moving in each of us.
Know that we continue to bring the love of Christ Jesus and your prayers to all those we encounter on this journey to love and serve the Lord.
See you in the Eucharist!
The Glafcke Family
On Monday, March 18, 2019, Matt & Katie Glafcke wrote:
The Glafcke Family
Matt & Katie, Jo, Coryn, Mallory, Gloria & Daniel
HERE IS THE LATEST UPDATE ON OUR MISSIONARY FAMILY, THE GLAFCKES.
Due to the current political and social unrest in Haiti, many of you are concerned for the Glafcke’s safety. I received the following text from Matt at 5:46 am last Sunday: “We are very much safe … Waiting in Miami to see if we head to Haiti in a week or so. And if not we would head back to Louisiana for a longer wait and other possible discernment. God bless, Gerry … Hope we didn’t give you a sleepless night.” Any parishioners who wish to follow the Glafcke’s unfolding story can check out their blogposts at http://www.laughkey.blogspot.com
Gerry Wolf, Pastoral Associate
September 30, 2018 – Message from our PA
My column today will be dedicated to giving our parish a report from our Mission Family, Matt and Katie Glafcke, and their children Josephine, Coryn, Mallory, Gloria, and Daniel. The Glafcke Family departed on September 1st, for Abbeville, Louisiana, to join the Family Missions Company, a Catholic mission formation organization for lay missionaries.
I spoke with both Katie and Matt over the phone last weekend to get an update on how they are doing. The first two weeks of their experience have been filled with retreat-like formation sessions, listening to various speakers, participating in reflection and discussion, praying and celebrating Eucharist, eating meals in common with all the other missionaries. They both described it as very intense, yet meaningful and fruitful.
In addition to their family, there are several other large families like theirs, in addition to some couples with one or two children, some couples without children, and some single adults. In total, there are somewhere around 70 persons training for mission. One of the truly surprising developments is the number of families who have entered formation this time around. This is the first time that Family Missions Company has had more children than adults preparing for foreign mission work!
Katie and Matt both said that they are very happy with their decision, and that the children are also adjusting well. Now that the initial flurry of intense formation experiences are complete, they will be able to settle into a routine for their family life. They currently live in a trailer home, which has been different from what they’re used to, but not a problem.
They will be spending the month of November in a Mexican town called General Cepeda, near Monterrey, for their initial mission experience. They will then return to Louisiana to process that experience and prepare for their long-term mission assignment, which they will learn on December 6th. Matt will be returning to Wisconsin in December and plans to give a witness talk at all the weekend Masses at St. James on one of the weekends before Christmas.
They have not been able to make any updates on their blog yet, but hope to do so very soon, so they encourage folks to check that out at: http://laughkey.blogspot.com/ or to email them at email@example.com. They truly appreciate all of the financial support that parishioners have pledged to them. But even more importantly, they are grateful for and request our constant prayer support. They also wanted everyone to know that they are praying for the St. James parish family as a whole, as well as for individual parishioners with whom they have special relationships. They still feel very connected to St. James and hope to continue that bond as their journey unfolds.
If anyone is still interested in making a financial contribution or pledge to their mission venture, let me know and I can provide the necessary details. We are blessed by the witness and spiritual enthusiasm of the Glafckes…and may we be a blessing to them in return, as the Holy Spirit leads each of us in our unique vocations and life situations to “go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel!” Mark 16:15