Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am so grateful to Patricia Patillo, the publisher of MCJ and to Kia Green, the managing editor, for giving me the opportunity to share my insights, thoughts and convictions with you, the reader. I hope to continue the “Bread In the Wilderness” column as long as the leadership of the MCJ will permit me.
I am blessed to be the pastor of All Saints Catholic Church. I began my ministry here in June 2004. Since then, I have continued to be excited about my ministry and thank God daily for the wonderful members of All Saints.
We are 600 families or about 2,000 members. The majority of our members are African American, a significant number are Africans from a many countries, with the rest of the membership being Euro-American.
On Sunday morning, in our church, we have sort of a “united nations” gathered around our Eucharistic Welcome Table.
Our members come from almost all zip codes in the greater Milwaukee area. Some folks come from as far away as Sheboygan and Racine. Because of the rich diversity in our membership, we can truly celebrate as a multi-racial, multi-ethnic community of faith. Our diversity is one of our strengths, for sure.
We are known for our inclusivity and welcoming spirit both at our times of formal worship and when we invite people to our meal program and food pantry. My hope and prayer is to not only invite our guests to nourishing food at our meal program and food pantry, but to invite them to our Eucharistic Welcome Table, where they can join us on our journey of faith.
And this welcoming spirit is also abundant as we continue our ministry to homeless women and children. “All Saints Commons” is always full.
I am convinced that God blesses our “beloved community” so much because we do feed and clothe God’s children and we do provide shelter when we can. My constant message to the members is we need to “journey inward and journey outward” if our faith is to have meaning.
We are charged by our faith to make a difference in the lives of our members and in the larger community in which we are located. We can make a difference in our part of God’s vineyard.
This is what excites me about my faith. It is living, dynamic; it is an instrument of God’s loving kindness, compassion, and generosity in the real world. Our faith is not a “me and Jesus” faith.
Our Church has its share of brokenness, sinfulness, but it also has something so much more powerful, the Presence of the Living God in us and in our midst.
That is why I thank God every day for giving me the blessing of pastoring this wonderful community.
Please come visit us. You are always welcome and your presence would be a grace and blessing for us. We worship every Sunday at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM. Our church is at 4051 N. 25th Street.
From all of us at All Saints, I wish you a blessed and peace-filled New Year!
Father Carl Diederichs