What's Happening at SJE
Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 21/22, 2020

Today’s readings are filled with contrasting images; God’s vision versus human vision, spiritual blindness versus spiritual sightedness. Embracing a stewardship way of life can free us from spiritual blindness and help us to reflect the light of Christ’s love in our daily lives.

Our Second Reading, from Ephesians, begins, “…You were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Because of our Baptism, we have the “light” of the Blessed Trinity dwelling within us. In the difficulties and messiness of daily life, it’s easy to forget this glorious truth about ourselves. It can also be challenging to determine whether we truly are living in a way that reflects Christ’s light. 

The stewardship way of life, with its emphasis on the rightly ordered use of the gifts of time, talents, and treasure, gives us a guide to help ensure we really are living as “children of the light.”

In our Gospel passage from John, Christ restores sight to a man born blind. The man says that Christ “opened my eyes.” These Lenten days are an excellent time for us to ask Jesus to open our eyes, too. Let us ask Him to show us where we may be suffering from spiritual blindness, perhaps even in subtle ways in our use, or misuse, of time, talents, and treasure.

As we continue on our Lenten journey, let’s intensify our efforts in any of these areas where we have become a little blinded so that by Easter, we are truly living as children of the light.
Spiritual Meanderings During a Pandemic

Years ago, I heard this comment about physical health: "If he is not walking before his heart attack, he will be after his heart attack." Such a statement reminds us of the importance of physical exercise and activity to stay healthy. On a spiritual level, we can say something similar in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus: "Either we will be praying before the virus outbreak, or surely after." It reminds us always to be people of Prayer, growing deeply in our relationship with God.

In times of trouble, there are two beautiful quotes from the Psalms that we may find helpful:

  • Psalm 123: "Like the eyes of a servant on the hands of her mistress, so our eyes are on our God till He shows us His Mercy.

  • Psalm 125: "Those who trust in the Lord our God, are like Mount Zion; they shall not be shaken."

Both of these Psalms remind us that in good times and bad, we are always to keep our gaze on God. With all the daily news, we can easily get distracted and forget to have faith in God.

Even though Masses have been canceled, we will continue to publish a few hundred bulletins so parishioners can keep in touch with what's happening at the parish. The bulletins can be picked up in church any time. Bulletins can also be picked up in the entrance of the parish office.

When possible, I ask that you you please consider keeping up with your financial support to the parish as our bills continue to come in. With your financial help, we will be able to pay them. You can make your financial support either online with WeShare Electronic giving by clicking here, or you may drop your envelope and financial offering at the parish office. There is a basket next to the bulletins.

A number of people have asked if adoration is still available. I'm happy to say we are able to continue with 24-hour Perpetual Adoration. Please take advantage of this beautiful opportunity to stay close to God in these difficult times.
All parish activities are canceled until
 further notice.

24-hour Perpetual Adoration will remain open.

There will be no public celebrations of Masses
until at least April 3.

The Parish Office will continue to have
normal business hours.
Measuring Spiritual Growth and
Parish Engagement

Last Chance

As of March 17, we have had only 191 people take the survey online and an additional 60 paper surveys turned into the parish office. This gives us a total of only 251 surveys completed. We have over 2,000 members eligible to take the survey (over age 18).

This survey is designed to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ and become more engaged in our parish. By answering the questions in the 15-minute survey, you will have the chance to reflect on individual spiritual growth as well as provide our parish leadership with invaluable insight into our parish strengths and opportunities. This will allow St. John’s to set priorities and allocate resources in the years ahead.
There are two ways to participate. There is a convenient online survey that you can take at home. There is a link on our parish website or you can click here . Click on the link and first select the Archdiocese of Milwaukee then St. John the Evangelist Parish, Greenfield, from the options provided.

There are also paper surveys in the narthex. Contact the parish office if you would like a survey in a language other than English. The survey will close on Monday, March 23.

The survey is completely confidential. St. John’s will not receive any individual survey responses.
CDs from Augustine Institute

Did you know we have CDs (and other items) located in the narthex? Each week we will highlight one of the available CDs.

Cost is $4 each.
Suffering is a mystery we all face at some time in our lives. Whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual, it will test our faith. Internationally known speaker Jeff Cavins shares personal insights he gained through his own physical pain. He shows us how we can join our sufferings with those of Jesus on the cross, bringing renewed meaning to the suffering we experience in our lives.
With public celebrations of Mass being canceled over the next few weeks, SCRIP is still available at the parish office during regular business hours. However we have some materials available if you would like to set-up an online account.

Our enrollment code is 18DE7D4F11822. Once you have an online account you can pay by direct debit from your checking account (Presto Pay), by credit card, or by check here in the parish office. If we do not have the item in stock we will order on Monday and have the cards by Thursday. Once you have the physical card you can enroll it in your "wallet" and reload it as needed.

These are unprecedented times, but with your help we can keep this fundraising effort viable.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the parish office at 414-321-1965.
This program allows .5% of your shopping on Amazon to be donated to St. John the Evangelist.

If you purchase Scrip, St. John's receives an additional 2.25%. That's 2.75% of your purchases to St. John's if you are already shopping Amazon.
What's Happening in Our School
Our Unusual Journey and the Need for Prayer
Early in my career, I learned to live with the unexpected. Anytime you work with children, and people I suppose, there are daily surprises. In my 20 years as a school principal, though, I have never experienced the chaos the last week has brought. The things that I am sure of right now comprise an extremely short list. The unknowns, though, those will fill a book.
I am grateful for my staff. They have worked and worked and worked, creating packets of information for our families, preparing for and implementing virtual learning. They support each other (while practicing social distancing) and show endless concern for our children and the relationships they have worked so hard to build.
We are guided by the Holy Spirit on this unusual journey. Lacking the opportunity to attend Mass, we must pray and pray and pray. It is human nature to long for the things we cannot have. Along with my prayers for patience, fortitude, good health, and prosperity, I am including a prayer that all Catholics feel that longing for the thing they cannot have, and, when we are able, return to Mass in droves.
I am praying for all of you.
... Go Forth and Be a Blessing!

Mary Laidlaw-Otto, Principal
In the Coming Weeks
We will keep you informed when
normal activities resume.
The newsletter is published on Wednesdays. Articles for each week's publication are due on Mondays at noon.

To submit articles e-mail to: newsletter@stjohns-grfd.org
"Remember God's Will in Yours!"

Please keep the needs of St. John the Evangelist in mind as you do your estate planning. For information on how to include the parish as a beneficiary, contact the Parish Office at 414-321-1965.
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