Love One Another
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March 6, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Thursday, I made my way to St. John the Baptist Parish in Clyman. On the way, as the sun was setting, a full moon was rising. There was a red hue upon the farmland. Even before the spring greens, the land was rich with color. It reminded me of just how beautiful our state is no matter what season it happens to be. Perhaps that’s why I love Our Wisconsin magazine. It reminds us not to forget the treasure that we possess.
When I was Bishop of La Crosse, it was always eye candy to travel along the Mississippi, or through the Bluffs, the farmlands of Arcadia or the Dells. One of my favorite events was the blessing of the farmlands, the produce, some animals and farm equipment. It usually took place in the fall, and we were often blessed with good weather. After the Mass, I performed the blessings, and together we had a great farm meal. Once, in a celebration of our family farms that took place in Necedah, Cardinal Dolan, then the Archbishop of Milwaukee, gave the initial talk, and was feted with his favorite meal, meatloaf (I think he had three helpings, covered with ketchup).
Our recent celebration at St. John the Baptist produced an almost full church – not bad for Catholics on a Thursday evening. Fr. Michael Erwin was the host pastor. He has been a champion of farms and farmers (rural life) for his entire priesthood. I am grateful to him for reminding me, and others, of the importance of the vocation of farming. There is a special relationship of the farmer to the land. The family is always confronted with God’s creation. There is an ebb and flow of nature, and a respect for farm entrusted to his stewardship.
Fr. Patrick Heppe, former Vicar for Clergy and currently pastor of Holy Angels Parish in West Bend, as well as a farm boy himself, concelebrated along with Fr. Erwin and Fr. Erick Cassiano, the associate pastor from the missionary community that is assisting us in our ministry to the Latino community.
After the Mass, we congregated in the basement, filled with pictures and memorabilia of farm life. Food goods were shared – sandwiches and ice cream were available. Members of Century Farms were present. Century Farms are those farms that have been in the family for over a century. Imagine providing food for the community for over a century. We are blessed to have our farmers producing the food that fills our bellies. We don’t worry about availability. While much of the rest of the world hungers and starves, we are so spoiled that we become disgruntled when the stores don’t have our favorite brand.
When I was named Bishop of La Crosse, Cardinal Francis George told me he wanted a picture of me milking a cow. I guess he found it funny, this kid from the industrial part of South Chicago lost among the acres of farmland. However, I loved it. Although I was never able to fulfill his wish (Cardinal George died 2015), it is still on my bucket list. I’ll keep my hands warm and ready for when Bossy is available.
The family farmers and farms challenge us to understand the importance of God in our lives. This is important for our faith, our nation and our families. It is the reason why we LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki

Archbishop of Milwaukee

Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Join Archbishop Listecki at the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 10
On Saturday, March 10, 2018, the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin will celebrate its 52nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and leading the way as Grand Marshal will be the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s very own faith leader, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki.
The parade will kick-off at noon at 3rd and Wisconsin, and finish at Water and Highland. Featuring more than 140 units, the parade will include floats, bagpipe and marching bands, as well as Irish and Celtic organizations.
Before the parade, all are welcome to the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin’s 33rd Annual Mass in honor of St. Patrick, celebrated by Archbishop Listecki, at St. Patrick’s Church, 723 W. Washington St., Milwaukee, 8:30 a.m. The Mass will feature songs and hymns in both English and Irish, and include a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired. For more information, please visit
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This email was sent by: Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki
Archdiocese of Milwaukee
St. Francis WI 53235