Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki

Following an escalation in violence between Hamas and Israel, started on Oct. 7, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki issued a statement on Monday, Oct. 9.

“I’m asking all Catholics and people of goodwill to join me in praying for an end to the violence in Israel, for the souls of all those who have been killed, and for their families. We are also praying for the safe return of those who are in the area on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, including some from Archdiocese of Milwaukee parishes,” the archbishop’s statement read.

There are 33 people from two Kenosha Catholic parishes, including their pastors, who are currently in the area on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The pastors are Fr. Roman Stikel, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church, and Fr. Carlos Florez of St. Mark Parish.

On Monday, Oct. 9, Fr. Stikel posted a message on the St. Mary, Kenosha, Facebook page.

“Fr. Roman calling from Nazareth. I want all of you to know that for our own safety, we are on our way to Jordan and back to the United States. The U.S. Embassy, as well as other authorities, have said that we should at this time leave the country and make our way back to our home country. So, that is where we are at. When we get to Jordan, I will send another robocall with another update and when our flight will be back to Chicago. Everyone is safe. Peace and Blessings, Father Roman from Nazareth.”

In an accompanying phone call, Fr, Stikel said, “We made it out of Israel this morning. It was quite an adventure to get across the border in Jordan; (it) took a very long time. We’re looking forward to a quiet night at our hotel this evening.”

On Sunday, Oct. 8, Pope Francis invited everyone to pray for peace in Israel and Palestine, saying, “Every war is a defeat.”

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Mass, Holy Hour for Peace, set for October 16

In light of the violence in the Middle East, the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist will host a Mass celebrated by Fr. Tim Kitzke followed by a Holy Hour for Peace on Monday, October 16. Mass will begin at 5:15 p.m., followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 6 p.m., intercessory prayer and recitation of the Rosary, and will conclude with Benediction at 7 p.m. led by Archbishop Jerome Listecki. You are invited to this special time of prayer as we gather as a unified Church to pray for peace in our world, our country and our community. More information can be found on the Cathedral’s website at