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Video Chats With Deacon Sandy

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Message from Deacon Sandy

Hi folks. I sure miss seeing you!

As mentioned last week, though there is so much we don’t know right now about what is going on around us, two things we do know: We will get through this! God loves us! We all need to focus on those 2 things.

For your benefit, we are monitoring daily, (hourly actually), what is coming from the government, health organizations, and the archdiocese in order to do what is best for our parish, our parishioners, our volunteers, and our staff. Through it all know that we are here for you!

Here’s the latest updates:

REGARDING OUR PRIESTS AND STAFF:

– Fr. Dennis: He is doing well and has been a tremendous blessing for us all as he has been willing to continue to offer mass on behalf of both parishes. Please keep him in prayer.

– Fr. Tom and Fr. Richard: Both continue in quarantine. Both are doing well. Both have offered some reflections for our parishioners that we will get out to them via bulletin, email blast, and Social Media. Know we are praying for you – please pray for us.

– Fr. Paul: He has returned home after a stay at Community Memorial Hospital with a respiratory issue. It was not COVID-19 related – thank God!

– Barb Schuelke: Her 14 day quarantine is over! Praise God! She is feeling well and sends regards.

SPECIAL NOTES FOR THIS WEEK:

1. Both parish staffs continue to work – though remotely. They have been nothing short of amazing given all they are accomplishing by offering programs for all age groups, and responding to parishioner needs.

2. Feel free to contact any on staff if you have a question, concern, or suggestion. Emails can be found on the parish website.

3. We continue to hold virtual staff meetings. We have had two now and we have had 100% attendance. They have both gone very well.

4. Both parishes continue to offer weekly bulletins which can be accessed via the parish websites.

5. In addition to the bulletin, we will continue a formal weekly “eMail Blast” from me each Friday keeping all parishioners with email up to date. Most parishioners have email.

6. For those parishioners without email we are formulating a number of plans in order to stay in touch with them. If you know of a fellow parishioner that is not able to access this bulletin, or who does not get the Friday emails, please reach out to them and share this news with them. If you are willing to be part of a team who calls parishioners, please let me know via email. sitess@archmil.org

7. We update each parish Facebook page and website regularly (in most cases daily) as another way to keep everyone informed, and as a way to offer prayers and insights.

8. We are finding creative ways to support pastoral care and even prayers after death. This past week we have done several virtual Vigil services for the recently departed, and Prayers Over the Sick for two in the active stage of dying.

9. We held our first virtual Finance Council at St. James this past Wednesday. We have agreed to meet virtually every week to monitor closely our offertory and expenses, and develop contingency plans as may be needed.

10. I have had MANY calls from engaged couples either advising they desire to postpone and reschedule their weddings, or asking for insight as to whether their wedding might be need to be pushed back. We have already had 2 may wedding postponed. Clearly the other May, and even June weddings, are considered tentative at this point.

LITURGIES:

1. We have now recorded two Lenten masses, one for the Fourth Sunday of Lent and one for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. They are posted on both parish websites and Facebook pages. Here are the links in case you did not have a chance to view them.

2. Fourth Sunday of Lent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CrjjEuUVkY

3. Fifth Sunday of Lent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-0lM9BwSbM

4. Both of the liturgies above have included the names of those whose families have asked for intentions.

5. For this past Sunday, and moving forward, we will provide those viewing from home who cannot receive Communion, we will offer a prayer of “Spiritual Communion”. If you are interested in seeing it, click on the Fifth Sunday of Lent link above and fast forward to the Consecration and Communion.

6. These virtual liturgies are being received extremely well. The Fourth Sunday of Lent we are approaching 600 views. The Fifth Sunday of Lent is approaching 800 views and the numbers are still climbing. These numbers are much higher than our usual viewership. It indicates that our parishioners are hungry for liturgy, the word of God, and words of comfort and hope. We have also received numerous comments via email and voicemail from appreciative parishioners.

7. For Palm Sunday, we will post a link to a prior year service from our archives. This way the décor, full choir, and all ministers will be present for this special service. We will let parishioners know ahead of time that the link will be posted on April 5, Palm Sunday. We will put the link our webpages and post on Facebook.

8. The following week, we will post a link as each day unfolds for the Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday masses from our archives, also allowing all who view to experience the décor, full choir and all ministers. We will let parishioners know about this ahead of time and then post the link as the individual day unfolds.

9. We will continue to offer virtual masses for the duration of the Stay Home Stay Safe period. We will give you updates each week.

WHERE’S SANDY:

1. During the week I continue to work virtually having many phone calls and exchanging many emails, some business related, but the bulk responding to need for prayer and spiritual direction.

2. I have a graveside service this week and have been assured by the cemetery management (Wisconsin Memorial Park), and the funeral home, that there will be no more than 10 gathered and that we will practice social distancing

3. Do not hesitate to write or call me with questions, information, and ideas

4. I continue to monitor archdiocese, deanery, parish director and general ministry virtual groups that have formed and share info with appropriate parties as it unfolds

5. There will be a live conference call on Wednesday for all pastors and parish directors with the archbishop. Rest assured I will provide details for all of you.

Deacon Sandy Sites

Parish Survey

***DISCIPLE MAKER INDEX SURVEY***   As you know, St. James is participating in a parish survey about discipleship conducted by the Catholic Leadership Institute!  Your honest feedback is needed!  Thank you to those who have already taken the survey as it will benefit St. James tremendously!  Please help us by participating in a 10-15 minute survey online which can be accessed at www.disciplemakerindex.com, We will ask you to reflect on your own spiritual growth and enable you to provide feedback on our parish’s efforts to help you grow. All responses will be confidential and the parish will only receive information about the community as whole.

We are trying to get the highest response rate possible as it will be invaluable to St. James Parish. We will receive the results this spring/summer and share what we have learned with the entire parish.  The deadlines have been extended for Online Surveys to April 5th and Paper Surveys to April 15th.

If you don’t use the computer – you may obtain a paper copy by emailing Amy Ruege at ruegea@arachmil.org.

Important Notes:

When the survey asks you about your Pastor, it is NOT asking you about our priests. When the survey asks questions such as “Would you recommend your Pastor….?”, it is asking about your pastor/parish director, Deacon Sandy Sites. Our priests are NOT our pastors. Our pastor IS Deacon Sandy Sites.  

When the survey asks you about parish priests, then they are asking about our priests such as Fr. Dennis. Thank you for helping with this important project!

Men’s Scripture Group

The coffee is hot, and the conversation is engaging. Come join fellow men on Tuesday or Friday mornings from 6:30 to 7:30 am in the Great Room as they view a video titled “Genesis to Jesus: Journey Through Scripture.”  Then learn from and share with other men with various life experiences, the wisdom they use to apply ancient scripture to our modern-day challenges.  All men are welcome.  Questions, email Bryan at: ramseyb@archmil.org or call (262) 253-2915.

Centering Prayer

Join us on Wednesdays at 8:45 a.m. in the Reconciliation Room for Centering Prayer.  We normally meet for 20 – 30 minutes of silent prayer.  All Are Welcome and if you have never done this form of prayer before, we would be happy to do a simple explanation prior to starting.  If you have any questions, call Sue at 262-253-2904.  No need to call ahead, just come and give it a try!

Community Banquet

Community Banquet is a free meal offered twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 5:30 in the Community Center at St. James Church.  A nutritious hot meal is served and it provides time of fellowship to any who choose to attend.  Volunteers from community churches take turns providing the meals, serving and cleaning up.

Amazon Donates to St. James

St. James Parish is part of AmazonSmile! AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support St. James every time you shop at Amazon, at no cost to you.  When you shop at Smile.Amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase price to St. James Parish.  Just log on to www.Smile.Amazon.com and choose St James Catholic Church Menomonee Falls, WI as your charitable organization.  Thank you for supporting St. James!

St. Vincent de Paul Collection Box

St. Vincent de Paul has a collection box here at St. James!

Clothing IN ANY CONDITION will support this cause. New and gently used clothing will wind up on their display racks. Clothing that is ripped, dirty, smelly or in some other way inappropriate for sale in the store can still be sold in bulk. There are companies willing to buy them! The SVdP Collection Box is located in front of the parish garage directly across the driveway from the parish office and Historic Chapel.