Friday, May 6, 2016

Archbishop Listecki to Lead Milwaukee's Largest May Crowning with Roses for Our Lady

Archbishop Listecki to Lead Milwaukee's Largest May Crowning with Roses for Our Lady
By: John Paul Bender
May 1st 2016
Milwaukee, WI- Roses for Our Lady, a lay Catholic organization in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, will host Milwaukee’s largest May Crowning and Outdoor Eucharistic Rosary Procession on Sunday, May 8th, 2016 beginning at 2 p.m. at the Archdiocesan Marian Shrine,141 N. 68th St., Milwaukee (located on 68th and Stevenson streets). This will be the organization’s 36th annual May Crowning celebration and will be presided over by the Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee.
The May Crowning includes exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a traditional May Crowning of Our Lady's statue by first communicants Jillian D.  from St. Francis Xavier Parish, in Brighton, and Paul B. from St. Anne Parish in Pleasant Prairie (the winners of the organization’s May Crowning contest). Also included will be a Eucharistic procession through the streets reciting the rosary, a reflection by Archbishop Listecki, and Benediction.

All are welcome to attend. This is an outdoor event-please bring a lawn chair to sit on.
First Communicants are invited to wear their First Holy Communion attire – each first communicant in attendance will receive a blessed rosary from Archbishop Listecki.
In case of rain, the event will be held indoors at St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church, 201 North 76th Street, Milwaukee.

For additional information please contact:

John Paul Bender, Secretary & Social Media Manager

Roses for Our Lady


    Friday, February 26, 2016

    A Father's Role: Two Days Away From Baby Bender

    We are 2, "TWO!" days away from the arrival of Baby Bender! It feels like it has been an eternity since Morgan and I found out we were going to have a child and now we are a mere week away from meeting our little bundle of joy.

    On Tuesday, Morgan and I had our very last doctor appointment at Columbia Saint Mary's on Prospect Avenue and I am sad to say that I am going to miss them. I have enjoyed leaving work early to attend appointments with Morgan, to see how the baby is progressing and to hear his heartbeat. Judging by his constant movements, I can tell he is going to be a natural born athlete.

    Our OB is Dr. Jacqueline Irland of Columbia St. Mary Hospital on the Eastside of Milwaukee. We absolutely love her. She has a fun, warm and spunky personality, but what separates her from other doctors is her use of hypnosis techniques during labor. The idea of hypnosis is to use it to help the mother disassociate labor pain or pretend the pains are something different. Morgan and I took her weekly hypnosis class, using different tools, sounds and visuals to help train our minds and bodies.

    One of my favorite things about using hypnosis is the defined role of the father as being the protector and consoler. A woman in labor can be very vulnerable and feel invaded with the various checks and procedures done in the labor and delivery room. It is the father's job to make sure that nothing goes to the mother without first going through the father. It is the father's job to make mother feel at home and comfortable in the hospital bed as much as possible whether that's by decorating the hospital room or controlling the volume level. I feel that in this way I am honoring my wife and am supporting her fully as we prepare to celebrate the arrival of our son into the world. In some ways labor will help me fully embrace fatherhood because of all the things I have learned through hypnosis to do for my wife during child birth and will also be important in bringing up our son in life. Having the patience, confidence and love to help our child grow each and every day is something that I will start to learn from going on this beautiful adventure of labor with my wife. However, the crazy ride won't just stop once the little guy is born!

    It's hard to believe that in a few short days I will be looking into the eyes of my son and holding him carefully close to my heart. I already know it is going to be so emotional for Morgan and I and that we are going to be so excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. It is going to be such a wonderful, intimidating and joyous experience!

    Monday, February 15, 2016

    Mercy Calls Your Name: A 2016 Lenten Mission Sponsored By Milwaukee's Family of Four Parishes

     The following bulletin is courtesy of Andrew Musgrave, Director of Social Justice and Outreach for Three Holy Women, Our Lady of Divine Providence, St. Peter and Paul and Old St. Mary:

    Mercy Calls Your Name

    Join our Family of Four Parishes to make your personal Lenten journey prayerful and one of spiritual growth.

    Together we embark on this year’s Parish Mission: “Mercy Calls Your Name” held next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights at Three Holy Women Parish’s Holy Rosary Church from 6:30 to 8 pm. Childcare will be available.

    Rich Harter, Director of the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization, will lead the three nights of reflection, prayer, and music that explores Mercy Given – Mercy Received – Mercy Shared. The merciful love of God has come to meet us in the person of Jesus. He seeks us out, calls us by name, and touches our wounds with healing mercy. Loving us past our brokenness on the cross, Jesus sets us free and sends us out to give his gift of mercy to others.

    Each night will feature a powerful message, beautiful music, and an invitation to serve during this Year of Mercy. The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharistic Adoration will be available on Tuesday night and receptions will follow in the church hall on Monday and Wednesday nights. 

    Lenten Small Groups
    Have you joined one of the small faith-sharing groups that will meet for four weeks this Lent? Small groups offer the chance to form relationships to help you feel connected and known to your fellow parishioners. These groups also offer the opportunity to talk about how faith might matter in your everyday life. We ask you to prayerfully consider taking part. The groups will be led by fellow parishioners, with a variety of times and locations available. To choose a small group, visit or contact Andrew Musgrave, 414-271-6577 or
    For reflections, events, almsgiving information and more, visit our Family of Four Parishes shared webpage for Lent:
    Visit Lent Page
    Lent 2016 Parish Mission: Mercy
    Calls Your Name

    For Our Family of Four Parishes

    Monday, 2/15,
    Tuesday, 2/16,
    Wednesday, 2/17,
    6:30-8 pm each night
    Three Holy Women's
    Holy Rosary Church
    2011 N Oakland Ave

    Childcare available.

    Childcare for
    Parish Mission:

    Childcare is provided by trained supervisors for children 10 and under.

    Please sign in your children starting at 6:15 pm at Catholic East’s Holy Rosary Campus, across the parking lot from Holy Rosary Church.

    Children are also very welcome to attend the mission.

    Copyright © 2016 Family of Four Parishes, All rights reserved.

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    New Year, New Experiences, Christ Never Changes

                                                        (Photo courtesy of

    Its been the greatest blessing in the entire world to be a married man! Morgan and I are going on two months of marriage and every day feels like the best day of my life. Do I sound like a man who just got back from his honeymoon? On New Years Eve, Morgan and I boarded a plane for the sandy beaches of Bonita Springs, Florida! It was the first time I had been to another state that was not in the Midwest, let alone been on a plane. I enjoyed every minute of it and similarly dreaded every minute on the plane ride back home to freezing temperatures in Milwaukee.

    In Florida, Morgan and I sprawled out on the beach hoping to get a tan from the blazing hot sun, rode waves of the ocean while slightly tasting the salty water, and searched the beach for sea shells. The largest animal that we saw on our honeymoon was a pelican and we saw hundreds of them. It was so captivating to watch the pelicans scan the ocean for fish and then rise straight up in the air and plummet into the water hoping to satisfy their hunger. For those of you that don't know, a pelican is the symbol of Jesus. The following excerpt is from Fr. William P Saunders on the history of the pelican symbolism:

    "The symbolism of the mother pelican feeding her little baby pelicans is rooted in an ancient legend which preceded Christianity. The legend was that in time of famine, the mother pelican wounded herself, striking her breast with the beak to feed her young with her blood to prevent starvation. Another version of the legend was that the mother fed her dying young with her blood to revive them from death, but in turn lost her own life.

    Given this tradition, one can easily see why the early Christians adapted it to symbolize our Lord, Jesus Christ. The pelican symbolizes Jesus our Redeemer who gave His life for our redemption and the atonement He made through His passion and death. We were dead to sin and have found new life through the Blood of Christ. Moreover, Jesus continues to feed us with His body and blood in the holy Eucharist."

    The Christ-like symbolism of the pelican gave Morgan and I a sense of trust in God as we spent our honeymoon. It gives us even more courage now as we enter into the final weeks of developing our soon to be born son. It can be challenging facing the unknown of parenthood. Neither Morgan or I know what to do or what to expect in raising our little baby boy but what we do know is this: Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. This short phrase is a reminder to us and all who lack confidence and trust in the Lord during challenging times that Jesus Christ took care of you yesterday, He took care of you today and will continue on to tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. He never leaves our side, even when we feel challenged or overburdened. I know in my heart that Christ will teach me to be a good father for our child and a tremendous and stable support for Morgan. He will never let us fail.

    I ask for your continued prayers for Morgan and I as we anticipate the arrival of our son, that he may be happy, healthy and holy and that we may grow in the love, knowledge and grace that can only come from the power of Jesus Christ.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Director of Pastoral Care Elected Roses for Our Lady's First Co-President

    Director of Pastoral Care Elected Roses for Our Lady's First Co-President
    By: John Paul Bender
    January 13th 2016

    Milwaukee,WI- Roses for Our Lady held their first Board meeting of the year on Sunday, January 10th where it was announced that Terri Balash, Director of Pastoral Care for the Family of Four Parishes; Old St Mary's, Our Lady of Divine Providence, Three Holy Women and SS Peter & Paul, was elected as Co-President alongside Incumbent President Anne Bender who has led the organization for the past four years.

    "This is the first time in Roses for Our Lady's 35 year history that there will be two Presidents who will lead in collaboration with one another. It is an exciting time for our organization  and will only help us continue to grow and promote Marian devotion within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee," said Bender

    "This is the perfect time in my life where I can join an organization such as Roses for Our Lady," Balash said afterward. "I work directly with seminarians when they come to Three Holy Women as a teaching parish, so becoming involved with a group like this makes sense."

    Balash received her Certificate for Pastoral Services from St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Leadership/Development and Theology from Alverno College. Terri is also married to her husband Keith and they have two children.

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

    Wedding Bells

    A lot has happened since the last time I wrote all the way back in October. It's taken me a couple days to unwind and recollect my thoughts after a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family. We sat, ate and prayed at two tables this year as we gathered for Thanksgiving on Thursday and then celebrated the following day as my new wife of three weeks, Morgan and I, got married!! It was the greatest day of my life to finally be joined with the love of my life and surrounded by so many of our closest family and friends.

    When Morgan and I initially started planning our wedding (we planned it in 2 months by the way!),  we felt like it would take forever to get to November 27th. However as our big day drew near, we wondered where all the time had gone! A few people reminded us that it was perhaps a useful thing that we planned our wedding the way that we did because it forced us not to be picky or bride-zillas if you will. Planning our wedding gave me a few lessons as to what kind of husband and future father I want to be for Morgan and our child. Just like preparation for a wedding requires great integrity, humility, generosity, courage and deep love and joy, so I want to bring all of these things into our marriage and our family. Supporting this family was what God called me to and I proudly accept His will.

    I just want to say a quick thank you to anyone who lifted up Morgan and I in prayer as our wedding day approached and have celebrated with us. We appreciate you, we love you and we thank God for you each and every day!

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Life Triumphs Over Death: Dear Baby Bender

    This past month had been designated as Respect Life Month by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). I think its so fitting considering the fact that we are deep in battle against the abortion powerhouse, Planned Parenthood, to stop giving them government funding. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers make their living on scared, young pregnant women searching for a way to hide a "mistake" by following with another mistake.
    We have watched in unsurprising fashion as the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, tells the truth about their business practices for the first time. Things are changing in our world. People are fed up with being afraid and scared. Young men and women are stepping up and being the fathers and mothers that their new born children deserve. I’m so proud of the determination and courage that so many have showed to give young innocent life a chance to live.
    I found out 5 months ago that my fiancĂ© and I are expecting. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared for my life. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared now either. Already I feel my life changing and the stress increasing. New responsibilities are being added each and every day. This is new territory for me. I never thought I would be in this position, but I can already tell you it has been the most beautiful and fruitful experience.

    Dear Baby Bender,
    I cannot wait to meet you and give you all the love, kindness and gentleness in my heart that you deserve. Hearing your heartbeat and seeing your little body for the first time was the single-greatest thing I have ever heard and seen in my entire life. You are such a miracle, and I cannot wait to introduce you to the world and to everyone I meet.
    I can't wait to to hold you when you cry, console you, and soothe you. Let it out and have yourself a good cry. I will probably cry with you.
    I can't wait to show you joy and make you laugh for the first time. Your laugh will turn any one of my bad days immediately better.
    I can't wait to show you off to all of my family and friends and shout out loud how unbelievably proud I am of my Baby Bender.  
    I can't wait to bring you to church with us (with a pacifier, of course) and show you how deeply God loves you, guiding you through preparation for all of the sacraments.
    I can't wait to bring you into the world and demonstrate, together with your mom, that life always triumphs over death and can bring light to the darkness of any situation.
    I love you Baby Bender! Can't wait to see you soon!

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