One faith community, two worship sites
04 December 2020 Volume 49
Please watch this special video from Fr. Ed regarding Christmas Masses 
The number of people returning to in-person Mass has been growing over the last month which is wonderful to see. This also continues to present challenges for us as we work to try and keep everyone safe and healthy. Wisconsin remains a hotspot for the COVID virus and we all must do our part. As you are aware, our Christmas Masses are typically well attended and we just do not know what to expect this year. For this reason, it is imperative that EVERYONE who plans on attending any of the Christmas Masses be aware of the restrictions under which we are working and REGISTERS IN ADVANCE:
  • Under the archdiocesan rules our occupancy for both parishes is restricted; this means 200 at St Thomas and 150 at St Clare, with masks and social distancing. This number is larger than typical weekend Masses since we are allowed to use the Gathering Space/Narthex for overflow seating with proper social distancing.
  • We are requiring everyone to use Sign Up Genius to register for any of the Christmas eve or Christmas day Masses. There will be 7 Masses for you to choose from at St. Clare or St. Thomas, should one or more reach total occupancy.
  • If you do not register using Sign Up Genius and we do not have record of your having registered, we will not be able to admit you to mass.
  • We will be checking registrations at the entrance to the church so be sure to use Sign Up Genius or call the church office to register in advance and avoid being turned away.
  • We encourage the elderly and vulnerable within the parish to participate in the mass via streaming video.
  • Registration is open NOW and will remain open until 4pm December 23.  Please use the links below to register online or call the parish office and ask for help. The St. Thomas parish office can be reached at 262-534-2255. The St. Clare office can be reached at 262-895-2729.
  • Please do not register and hold spots if you are not certain you will attend. Blocking seats that go unused will be problematic. 
  • If you are turned away at the church door because the mass is full and you made the attempt to attend, you are dispensed from the obligation to attend mass by the archbishop. You will not be turned away if you register in advance of 4pm on December 23.

These are the realities we are dealing with and we are asking for your understanding and cooperation as we deal with the restrictions during the Christmas season. 
December 1, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It does not seem like the Advent season. There are some holes in our schedule that have made us feel like Advent should be months away. We missed spring and its various celebrations, like graduations and Confirmations, and summer, with those picnics, parish fests and outdoor concerts. Likewise, the fall, with Halloween and Thanksgiving, was stunted, to say the least. Many of us may have experienced what is referred to as the disruption of our circadian rhythm, which is our body’s natural internal sleep/wake functions. This disruption has caused us to feel like night is day and day is night.
Perhaps we are experiencing a social circadian rhythm disruption where nothing appears to be as it was experienced in the past. We would like to stop everything and wait for all things to return to normal. However, time moves on whether we like it or not. We often like to convince ourselves that we have mastery over our lives and that we control each moment. The recent pandemic has disturbed our lives, and the best-laid plans of mice and men actually go astray. Time marches on whether we are prepared or not.
This Sunday’s Gospel from St. Mark tells us to watch. The movement of God is all around us, but we often fail to acknowledge His presence. We need to assess our relationship with God during this Advent season. Often times, we cannot choose our challenges, but we can choose our responses. This Advent, we can choose to be intentionally for Christ. One constant that surpasses time itself is our relationship with Jesus. When assessing our relationship with the Son of God, we focus on the sacrificial act of God’s love for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
If we begin with the fact that God loves us, it sets the tone for all of our actions during the Advent season. We know that whatever challenges confront us, God is with us – Emmanuel. I have used this mantra throughout the tension created by the pandemic and the social unrest: “I trust in God, I trust in His Word.” I say this over and over again, slowly, so it synchronizes with my breathing. It produces calmness and reminds me that I must place everything and everyone in God’s hands. “One thing, I ask of the Lord, this I seek: To dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life.” (Psalm 27:4)
Jesus is coming like the master of the house and, as his servants, we must prepare for His coming. Therefore, let us clean our environment and confess our sins to receive God’s grace and mercy. Let us take the time in prayer to reflect on the privilege of serving God and living in the spirit of thanksgiving for our relationship. Let us receive Jesus in the Eucharist and be joined to the Lord who freely gives His life so that we might have life forever.
During Advent, as we prepare to receive His love at Christmas, we especially trust in God and in His word to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 
Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Please be Aware

With the arrival of the holiday season, we have unfortunately seen an increase in people trying to scam our parishioners via email or text. If you receive a message that looks like it is from Fr. Ed asking for help, it is not Fr Ed. Please block the sender from your account and delete the message. They have created an email account that appears as if Fr. Ed is sending the message but if you look closely, his name is spelled incorrectly.
Please note there was an error in Fr. Ed's recent newsletter regarding the location of confessions. The dates and locations listed above in this newsletter are correct. Confessions will be December 9 at St. Thomas from 7-8pm.
Our Mission
Earlier this year, members from St. Clare and St. Thomas pastoral councils met to create a single mission statement that would represent both parishes. This is another step in bringing our two parishes closer together and working collaboratively. At the last joint pastoral council meeting, members voted unanimously to adopt the proposed mission statement which is:

Together we follow, share, celebrate and live Christ, embracing ministries of prayer, service and education. 
Under Construction??

You may notice some construction occurring on the St. Thomas parish office/rectory in the coming weeks. Last year a number of generous parishioners donated money to help replace all the windows in the rectory. We have selected Kevin Schmitt Siding & Insulation (long time parishioner, bulletin sponsor and generous donor) to complete the work for us.

We want to thank everyone who donated to this important need and for everything our parishioners continue to do to make St. Thomas a vibrant place.

Thank you
St. Clare Christian Women
Martha Fund

Since we cannot have a Christmas money raising event we are asking those who made a basket, bought raffle tickets, bought crafts, donated baked goods, bought baked goods, to donate whatever you may have spent to our Martha Fund.

We will have envelopes and a decorated box with a sign in the narthex, for your do-nation. Please make checks payable to St. Clare Christian Women. We cannot “thank you” enough for your past participation in our Christmas fund raising efforts.

It is only because of your generosity that we are able to be of help in any way to this parish. This fund raising event will continue through December 6th.

Our Martha Fund is used for the better-ment of the children and adults of St. Clare.
Once again this year, St. Thomas will be offering you the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts for needy children in our area. These gifts are given to children of families suffering hardships due to many different conditions. The Giving Trees will be placed in the Gathering Space by Saturday, November
21st . You are asked to give toys, games, or GIFT CARDS. St. Thomas Food Pantry requests gift cards to only WalMart
in the amount of $25 because this will allow parents to shop for their children.

If you wish to give mittens, gloves or winter hats, please mark what it is on the gift tag along with the appropriate age level. (Please: NO OTHER CLOTHING)

Ornaments will be labeled by age groups ranging from infant to 18 years old. They will also be Identified for a boy or girl. Choose an ornament and return it with the wrapped present.
Please attach the paper ornament on the front of the wrapped package. Bring your gift back to church and place it under the
“Giving Tree ”.

The final day that gifts can be dropped off will be Sunday, December 13th BEFORE the 11:15 AM mass.

Any questions, please call Kathy Weinkauf
@ 262-534-6729
It is that time of year again!
The Hunting seasons are upon us, so we begin planning for the

49th Annual Wild Game Dinner

~We will be seeking Meat Donations~
We can pick up, process and store it!
Please contact…..
Mikki Hegemann Brown… 262-210-3168
Scott Gunderson… 414-581-3157

We hope you used Sign Up Genius to register for this weekend's mass. At St Thomas we will be utilizing the screens for the worship and at St Clare we will have worship aids available. You can obtain a copy of the worship aid by clicking the button below. You can also register for Mass with the link below.
We would like to highlight and thank a few of our loyal sponsors in each email.
St. Thomas and St Clare thanks you very much!
A complete list of all our sponsors can be found on our website. Please support them whenever possible
St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Clare of Assisi parishes
Waterford and Wind Lake, WI.