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Adult Men's Basketball
December 16, 2018 
December 19, 2018 
Adult Men's Basketball
December 20, 2018 
Simbang Gabi Reception
December 21, 2018 
AA Meeting
December 21, 2018 
Simbang Gabi
December 21, 2018 

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To seek Christ, Know Christ and Become Christ, each one for the sake of all


Rhonda Matthias - God's Plan for Rhonda
Edell Schaefer - The Joy of Renewal
Jim & Katie Kwiatt Family - Faith, Family, Community

Journey to Confirmation
St. Dominic is a faith community. You come to know one another and when someone does get cancer, like we experienced for example, so many people come forward to help and send letters. It's really important in anybody's spiritual life to know that you are not alone and that other people will always be there to help you. God didn't make us introverted creatures. We're meant to make connections with other people.
Read more of Julia's interview...  covering a wide variety of people and experiences that have been an inspiration to her.
Free to Inspire
Read Ana's Reflections from her mission trip!  THE RETURN
Why in the world would you skip school, spend money, and waste your time going to somewhere with no internet connection, no malls, and no friends just to help strangers?” Wow, harsh question. But yes, someone actually asked me this. Granted, I am skipping classes, yes I am spending money, and I am spending time to help serve those who I don’t even know.   But why?   

My name is Ana Caballero. Needless to say, I get caught up with day to day living but thankfully I had a wakeup call. One day, my father asked me to join him on a Medical Missionary Trip to Mexico. Without looking at my assignment notebook or work schedule, I said YES!   Since I can remember, my parents have instilled the importance of giving back to the world by using the talents that God has graciously bestowed upon me.   I try to live my life by my favorite passage in the Bible: the Gospel of Matthew 5:3-10 (the Beatitudes). These eight verses are a straightforward formula on how to seek Christ, know Christ, and become Christ. And the reason why I love doing service work is because of the fact that I know I have tried to improve this world. I can’t cure cancer but I can put a smile on a face. There is something so contagious about giving back to the community, but I am not here to blab about myself, I am here to send forth the message that     great things are happening in this troubled world.  
My bags are half packed, my plane ticket purchased, and my heart ready to serve. I encourage all families to take time to understand the importance of service work. Go ahead and put your faith into action, it is easy and fun.   God only has our hands on the earth, so do good. Use your freedom to inspire and fill others with happiness and joy. I was told once that what is in our hearts is who we are.  

So let me ask you, who are you?

Ana Caballero attended a medical mission with her father, traveling to Quintana Roo, Mexico with other physicians and medical students. This was a week long mission trip with opportunities to learn about the poor as well as serve them. Ana’s family has a close tie to this mission due to their heritage. HELPING HANDS medical missionaries are Catholic doctors, nurses, and volunteers who come from all areas of the United States and Canada to join the host team of doctors. Missionaries work in small clinics, hospitals, schools and churches located in rural towns where they provide free medical care for thousands of patients in need of medical attention. The participants also take part in the mission’s spiritual program. Aspects of the mission includes daily prayer, Mass, meditation, and sharing their faith with the people of the town through home visits.  
Ethel Cahill - In Giving You Receive

As a member of St. Dominic Parish for the past ten years, I feel very blessed to be able to participate in various ministries. I am very grateful to be a member of the lectors, Eucharistic ministers, Adult & Family Ministry and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) teams. I love being involved in these groups because I believe that in GIVING you truly RECEIVE.
I gained a greater understanding of this gift as an outcome of my visit to Ecuador as part of a Minga or parish mission trip. The week that I spent there, along with six other team members, allowed me to witness a level of poverty that I have never known from living in the United States. We helped build a home for a woman and her family. It was an extraordinary experience.
The most memorable part of the trip took place on the last day. The woman, whom we were helping, knelt on the hard rocky ground and thanked us for building her home.
I will never forget her face and the sincere tears of appreciation that
she extended to us.
Of all the activities that I am involved in, I treasure the most, being a member of the Inquiry and Breaking Open the Word teams for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The Inquiry team meets with the catechumens and candidates to share and teach our Catholic teachings as found in the Catechism. This two-way dialogue benefits both the team members and the candidates.  Candidates come from so many different backgrounds and with so many good questions. It allows all of us to grow in our faith. From my participation, I realize that that my formational growth is a work in progress. It is a journey that will never be completed.
After the Inquiry stage, catechumens and candidates discern if they are ready to continue with the next stage of preparation to become Catholic. This next stage is Breaking Open the Word. During these weeks we reflect on the Sunday Gospel message in order to bring more meaning to scripture and discern how it applies to our daily lives.
The candidates share with us what they have witnessed at other churches and what they’ve expressed is the outstanding feeling that the Catholic Church is FORGIVING. The Catholic Church also provides a tradition and a reverence that is often missing elsewhere. The RCIA process concludes with the exhilarating experience of the catechumens and candidates being initiated into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil by receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
To have your faith grow, volunteer, and you will receive more than you ever give.  

Answering "YES"
Our road to adoption was an unnecessarily long one.  Well, unnecessary in an earthly sense of time but not in God’s — His time is perfect. Our journey began with a quiet whisper which we promptly dismissed as absurd. We had four young children and life was busy and difficult to keep up with already. We knew it would be a challenge to give them all that they needed — time, attention, a Catholic education, a college education...the list goes on! It was some time later while praying the Rosary that God showed us something important. When the angel came to Mary, her “Yes” to God was so pure and never did she focus on the impossibilities or say, “But what about…?” She trusted him completely. But what were we doing? We were finding all of the selfish reasons to say “no,” the reasons that don’t matter when you are standing face to face with your Creator.   So, we started praying about it. And what we realized was that no matter what, this was going to be a great test of faith that would require a wholehearted trust in the Lord. We had a discussion with our children about adoption and how it would involve sacrifice, selfless love, and potential unknowns. Their yes was like Mary’s, a pure “yes!” The next day, after five years of uncertainty, we decided we would begin our adoption paperwork, and if God wanted to close the doors, He would. Finally, after two years of waiting and praying, we received “the call.” We were so excited to finally see her face after such a long wait!

Again, we had to trust in God. There were so many unknowns ahead of us: what if she wouldn’t attach to us, what had she endured in her two and a half years of life and how would it affect her and our family, what if she had medical problems that we didn’t know about, etc. Then I heard this quote: “If you set out and you know what’s ahead of you, that’s knowledge; if you set out and don’t know what’s ahead, that’s faith.”  We had our answer...we would not worry and we would trust God fully.   We departed for China on Christmas Eve. We received our daughter in Ningxia, China and returned home on January 10, 2010. God has blessed us beyond words with our new daughter and there is no doubt that she is so very perfect for our family. She has brought such joy and love to all of us and we have to smile.  God knew so much more than we did, we just had to trust Him!

Day 3 Journal: "We were told early on that she would likely bond with one of us. So, early on I pinched her so she would bond with Deb first.  I did not want Deb upset the next few months so yes, I took one for the team. In all seriousness, she does love me from afar (I think). We have a great time playing and as long as Deb is holding her she lets me give kisses. This morning was a good morning for dear old dad. She woke up while Deb was on the computer and she let me hold her for about 5 minutes while we snuggled.   “As we boarded the plane to leave Elizabeth’s birthplace there is a part of me that is sad for all those that have touched her in the past two years. It is very obvious that she was loved by her foster family and well taken care of. She came to us clean, she smelled wonderful, and she knew who we were...We both know it is by God’s grace...that Elizabeth knew we were coming for her. It has been amazing to watch all the people in the streets and at the hotel. I can just see the love they have for her and I know her mom must have been heartbroken to give her up."  Jeff Baker  
Rachel Daily - It's Never too Early to Serve
I got started in Children’s Ministry four years ago through Vacation Bible School, where I discovered that I could be more involved during the school year. Since I wanted to be a teacher, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me. I have helped in first and third-grade classrooms, a catch-up class, and am currently the catechist in a kindergarten classroom. I also help out in R.I.S.E.N., the quad-parish special education program.

Even though I am still a student myself, I feel that I am completely welcomed within the St. Dominic community – being in Children’s Ministry has helped me become more involved in the parish. I really enjoy seeing everything the students learn, as well as everything they are capable of. They never cease to amaze me with the ideas that they have.

To all the young parishioners of St. Dominic: It is never too early to volunteer your time. Even though I am a very busy high school student, I am able to spend a couple hours of my week with these students, and it is worth every minute of that time. You do not have to be a certified teacher to be able to make a difference for these children; a little bit of patience and some creativity will go a very long way. I feel that because of my young age, I can be a very good role model for these children both in and out of the classroom.

Probably the best thing that I have gained from working with all of these students, however, is the ability to build my own faith. It is amazing that kindergarteners can actually teach me about my faith, but they do.

I am very grateful for the numerous opportunities Children’s Ministry has given me. Not only am I able to build my own faith, but I have also gained many experiences that will help me later on. Teaching these classes has shown me that I definitely want to go into education as my career. It allows me to express my love for teaching as well as my love for God.  
Kathy Becker - "Receiving God's Gift"
When I started my Guatemalan journey two years ago, I did not think of it as ―Answering God‘s Call. I was invited by my daughter Ashley to accompany her, along with her friend‘s family and other volunteers, to Guatemala to improve the conditions of a rural school. The mission trip was to scope out projects for the following year and to provide a day long clinic in the rural area of Guatemala. Being a nurse, my skills were needed.

I considered the invitation for a long period and decided it was time for me to offer a little back. After a long flight, my daughter and I arrived in Guatemala. We spent a total of 9 days in Guatemala. During that time, we identified many projects. Two projects became priorities; one was to build an altar and the other was to paint a mural in the chapel at the residential school for children. We came back to the U.S. with a clear plan for the next mission group to carry out the following year.

The next year another call came and I was asked to help fulfill some of the tasks we identified the previous year. Again, I took a long time considering whether to go on this trip. I prayed and asked God for guidance. He provided that guidance during a time I was sitting with Barry, my husband. I asked Barry what he thought I should do. He responded, ―There is no doubt you should go to Guatemala. Remember last year how fulfilled you were when you came back? You need to go again this year. With that support I signed up for the trip. I contacted Ashley and asked if she also would be interested in going again this year, and she agreed. We were off to Guatemala.

In preparation for the trip I thought about the supplies we brought over the previous year; they included numerous boxes of shoes for children. I telephoned Mr. John Chovanec, St. Dominic School Principal and asked if I could collect shoes through the grade school children. Without hesitation he encouraged me to write an announcement for the school newsletter. I wrote the article and a week later I had two huge boxes of shoes to take over to Guatemala. The Guatemalan children are little, so sizes that fit American children ages 1 year to 12 years are most needed. Thrilled with our shoe donations, we packed and prepared for our journey.

We flew into Guatemala and then drove to Rio Dulce. The chapel was nothing but an empty shell when we began our work. The volunteers pushed concrete in a wheel barrel up the hill to the chapel to build the altar. The same was done for the stone and pails of water. The work was arduous and the weather was hot, with temperatures in the 90‘s. It was labor intensive work and everything was mixed by hand; no cement mixers for us!

Upon completion of the altar, the task of adding the mural was next. We began by painting the background with sun rays, which are significant in the Mayan culture. Stenciling the pictures on the wall followed. After the stenciling was completed we could paint the images. Some of the local residents were there to help us. We used regular house paint previously purchased in Antigua to paint the murals.

It took seven days to complete the painting of the wall, but it was well worth it. The murals included a picture of Jesus with his children and a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Father Javier presided over Mass at the newly painted chapel. The Mass was said in three languages; Spanish, Kachee and English.

During our stay at the school, we invited the school children and their families to join us for an evening meal. We arranged all shoes in the library of the school. Everyone at the evening gathering was invited to pick out the number of pairs of shoes to meet the needs of their families. Some children couldn‘t believe the good fortune they had at receiving shoes!

It was an incredible journey! When answering God‘s call, some people believe it has to do with suffering and self-sacrificing, but in my journey to answer God‘s call, I walked away with a sense of joy and peace that I have never experienced in my life before. In answering God‘s call, I received a gift from God.

Rick Hepperla - To Question "Why"...

The question “why?” is a powerful challenge. Rick Hepperla, a member of the St. Dominic RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Inquiry Team asked this question over and over again during a two-year period after learning that his son Austin was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy in 1992. Brought up in the Catholic Church with many years of Catholic education, he recalls being taught “what” to believe, but not “why.” Now he started questioning everything; all his beliefs, his faith and the moral and theological issues related to birth control and artificial insemination (MD is a genetic disease). He searched his soul for answers.

Austin’s diagnosis was a major turning point in his life. At this time, the Catholic Parish where he was a member called for candidate sponsors for their RCIA process. The Holy Spirit moved him to join. He wanted to help teach others what he had learned. It led him to a deeper study the Catholic faith. Living in Tennessee at the time (the “Bible Belt” where only 4% of the population was Catholic), he found himself increasing his knowledge of apologetics and debating fundamentalist and evangelical Christians, defending the Catholic faith.

The RCIA Inquiry Team is responsible for answering candidates questions and walking them through the catechism. Rick’s search for answers to the “why” questions and his street debates with other Christians prepared him to deal with hot topics such as Mary, confession, purgatory, the saints and the Pope.

Many candidates enter the program with certain biases. Each candidate is unique and has his/her own frame of reference and reason for entering the process. Rick believes that by finding a common ground and building from a biblical basis, candidates become more open to more difficult or challenging topics. He has a burning desire to teach the candidates but knows he has to let them go at their pace. Often in the process, a friendship develops. Rick loves the candidates with the most questions; sometimes the most challenging candidates become the most committed. He admits the Inquiry Team learns as much or more from the candidates than they teach, and that is a great gift.

Rick is a business executive, third generation member of St. Dominic and has been involved in the RCIA process for over 15 years.

Kathy Pavlic Thomas - Circle of Life

Simba and Nala in The Lion King were not the only ones acutely aware of the circles of life.  My academic and professional lives have just come full circle at St. Dominic. I attended grades 1-8 at the recently built St. Dominic School.  Several years later I enjoyed my first teaching position in a 1st grade parochial school classroom.  Fast forward to the present and I find myself thrilled to return “home” to St. Dominic and teaching first grade once again.

After five years in the classroom, I began my family and chose to be a full-time mom and part-time teacher. Now that my children are getting ready to fly from our nest, I am very excited to be back as a full-time classroom teacher at St. Dominic.  Katelyn, 19 will be a freshman at Stevens Point and Jackie, 17, is a Brookfield Central senior.  While my educational philosophy is an ever-evolving kaleidoscope, parenting my own children has added the most dynamic change to my teaching style.  Many times I think about how I would want a specific situation handled if I was this child’s parent.

St. Dominic Parish has been one of my “villages” for over 40 years. I remember Sister Marcel Marie greeting me, in full habit, as I walked into my first grade classroom. I was sure that Father Griebasch was related to the Jolly Green Giant because he was so tall when he taught us religion in our classroom once each week. Who could forget the competitive spirit between the well-known boys’ choir and Miss Wolf’s girls’ choir?  Finally, I always looked forward to the nights that my parents hosted the St. Dominic bridge club at our home.  It meant great snacks and mom and dad’s friends were always so nice to us.  Many of those people are still parish members today!

I am proud to have been part of St. Dominic’s past. Today, I am blest to share friendships with so many wonderful people in our parish.

Michael Hoeffler - What a Gift!

When you receive a gift, it is truly loved and treasured. However, when you share the gift it is an act of great charity-which is love! Is this not what our Lord did for us on the cross? What a gift!

When I was a young boy and was required to memorize the Baltimore Catechism, I wondered why I needed to know all of this information. Because my faith walk is tested daily, I continue to fall back on this material regularly to help me through this misguided world. I would like to thank my family for its devotions, convictions and discipline to love God above all. Furthermore, to the School Sisters of Notre Dame for helping me understand the Catholic religion. What a gift!

I feel that today’s children are missing the gift that I was given by understanding the traditional Catholic religion. Faith is given by God, and God alone, and Jesus set up the Catholic Church to be handed down throughout all of time. What a gift! Our religion fully supports our Cardinal virtues of faith, hope and charity which are gifts from Christ Himself. What a gift!

I now realize the Catholic religion was a gift from my family and the magisterium of the Church. In knowing that, I have a responsibility to share my religion with others by bringing souls to Christ. It isn’t fair to our youth to face this unsuspecting world without some reasoning as to why we follow Jesus Christ through the Catholic religion. Many of our children have already fallen to the ways of the world, and walked away from the Eucharist; which is the center of our faith. Thus, I decided to teach the seventh graders at St. Dominic’s to help them reach their full potential on their journey of faith through life. They are amazed when they come to comprehend what we learned years ago. You can see them fall in love with Jesus, our Blessed Mother, Saints, and the fullness of the faith. It takes time and effort to prepare for the classes, but the results are such a reward to me time and again. What a gift!

As a gift to humanity, Jesus gave the keys of the Heavenly kingdom to Peter. He then accepted the full responsibility and continued to hand them down through the traditions and teachings of the church. I am proud to hand this treasure to our kids. Parents are supposed to be the first institutor of the faith, and are able to use the Church to reiterate that faith. What a gift!

Let us give the gift of the Catholic religion to our children so that they may have the opportunity to be in paradise one day.

Mary Skladanek - Why I Serve

My first foray into ministry was as a lector in 1989. For 11 years prior to that I was in a depressed state, after the untimely death of my father. But that Lenten season (1989) I participated in a Renewal Program. As I write this, I can still feel the deep withheld emotions bubbling up and out. The facilitator had given each of us a small stone and told us to hold it in the palm of our hands. He asked that we call on God to help us to release whatever we held inside and put it in that stone. If I could have, I would have crushed that pebble. I still feel it in my palm. I put everything I had into that small piece of earth. Then we came forward and threw it away while being blessed by this holy man. The tears I shed were tears of joy. I was no longer angry at myself, at one of my brothers, at my Dad (who I miss terribly to this day), or at God. I went searching in the deepest, darkest parts of myself and found Him waiting there for me; for "I am with you always" (MT 28:20). I was loved and now I could love again.

As I grew in my love of God and in my faith by proclaiming God’s word during liturgies, I felt called to additional ministries. An opportunity presented itself in January 1991 from Children’s Ministry. There were openings for first and sixth grade catechists. I opted for first grade and God blessed me with six and seven-year-olds that have opened my heart and soul to the wonder of God’s love for us His children. I also assist the Director of Children’s Ministry, Mrs. Kathie Beuscher, on our Tuesday evenings with the children. Jesus told us to be like little children and follow him.

After 30 years as a government employee, I think that my next career, my vocation, is to serve children even more than I have already. Therefore, I’ve been applying for religious education positions in our archdiocese. I’m trying to do my best as his yoke is easy, his burden light (ref. MT 11:30).

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