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New paint job keeps St. Agnes Church fresh and up to date
You have probably been involved in remodeling projects in your own home. If so, you have 
first-hand experience of the same concerns that St. Agnes has been facing: when you paint or 
improve one area, the adjoining areas suddenly look worse than you imagined. 
For a while now, the Building and Grounds committee thought they could get away with just 
washing the dirty areas near the heating vents. But they soon discovered that much more 
than that was needed. The side walls were very dirty from heater exhausts, and in some areas 
the paint had started to peel. It has been 25-30 years since the church was last painted. Up 
close, the neutral background color actually had a pinkish tint. 
“Brightening up the sanctuary and making the church into a more welcoming place was a 
priority,” Father Joy Thachyl said. Maryrose Wolf, Marilyn Schultz, and Gerry Gross enlisted the 
help of an interior designer, Deb Karegeannes, to narrow down their choices to two colors: 
“humble gold” (yellow) and “crisp linen” (white). Work started on Monday, June 20.

“We’ve got some good, retired people to help,” volunteer Bob Zoulek, said. “We’ve gotten a lot done in the first two days,” he said on Tuesday. “We are still looking for  volunteers over the coming weekend,” he said. Call Bob at 262-781-4350 to volunteer. Work will continue through this Saturday, June 25, from 8-4. All the scaffolding work should be finished by the weekend.

“We should have everything done next week,” Mike McKee said. “It depends on how long it takes to do the sanctuary.” Other volunteers include Building and Grounds chair Kevin Endries, as well as Dan and Leslie Berendt, Woody Knurr, Mike and Mary McKee, Mark and John Seidl, and Jean Sikula.

“I’ve never been on a scaffold before,” Sikula said with a grin on her face. “I was on my very tiptoes to reach the ceiling.”

Associate director of administrative services, Paula Pikula explained how the funding for the job was being covered. Money left over from the Faith and the Future campaign was used to purchase the sound panels. They will be installed in July, once the painting is completed. The costs of renting scaffolding and a scissors lift were eliminated because both were donated by parishioners. The remaining paint costs come from the “other funds” area of the budget.


Out and About group visits Marian Shrine

On a sunny Tuesday morning, 13 St. Agnes parishioners toured the Marian Shrine on N. 68th St. and Stevenson Ave. in Milwaukee. Denise Carroll, our volunteer guide, provided folders full of information for everyone and then launched into a spirited and detailed history of how this shrine came to be.
The Dominican sisters, living immediately south of this property, built the shrine in 1947. It was dedicated in 1948. Today it is owned by the Milwaukee Archdiocese.  
Fatima Devotions (Mass, Fatima prayers and the complete Rosary) are held from May through October on the 13th of the month: weekdays at 6 p.m., and Saturday or Sunday at 2 p.m. Regular prayer services include Sunday evening Rosary and devotions at 7 p.m. and Monday evening at 6 p.m.

The Marian Shrine is dedicated to our Lady of Fatima. The statues above the grotto include the Blessed Virgin Mary and the three children she appeared to six times in 1917. Mary asked that they pray the Rosary daily. Many flowers and shrubbery enhance the beauty of the grounds where hundreds of people meet for prayer on a regular basis.

The chapel (left) and vigil light building (right) are kept locked. Our guide let us visit this places on our tour.

Our group looks up and across at the first of three marble monuments depicting the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary.

What we thought about our visit to the Marian Shrine

“I was impressed with with all the flowers and greenery. -- Audrey Kavanaugh
“I was impressed with her [the tour guide’s] depth of knowledge. And she didn’t even use notes. -- Kathy Bitante
“How important prayer is. This makes me appreciate my mother’s faith.” -- Kathy Schroeder
“The shrine is well taken care of.” -- Leslie Hasenbush
“The guide was very impressive.” --Susan Collier
“I had no idea this was in Milwaukee.” --Cindi Singer



A Boy Scout troupe built and installed this birdhouse on the property.


St. Agnes School alum, Matthew Ferch, is ordained a priest, May 22

The day started at St. John’s Cathedral with the ordination Mass.

Deacon Matt Ferch leads the procession of deacons into St. John Cathedral for ordination.

His parents, Peggy and Tom Ferch, bring up the hosts at the offertory.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki officiated at the ordination of the new priests, including Rev. Matthew Ferch

Father Matthew Ferch leads the recessional of newly ordained priests. After ordination, Archbishop Jerome Listecki announced the parish placement for each new priest. Father Matt will be serving at St. Francis Borgia parish in Cedarburg.

The celebration continued that afternoon at St. Agnes as family and friends gathered in Hafford Hall for a luncheon.

Afterwards, Father Matt concelebrated his first Mass with many of his 
seminary classmates, friends and mentors.

The newly ordained priests with Archbishop Listecki



New, full-time Liturgical Musician at St. Agnes

After more than a year of temporary “fill-in” musicians, our parish now has a permanent, full-time liturgical musician, Lauren Masarik.  She graduated last December from UW-Stevens Point with a major in music and minor in religious studies. 

“I’m glad to have a job that will keep me close to my family,” she said.  “My parents and grandparents live in Germantown.”

When she started college, Lauren thought she might pursue her hobby of painting. She had taken a lot of art classes in high school, and she especially enjoyed doing watercolors. But her love of music eventually won out.

“I started in our children’s choir when I was young,” Lauren said.  She would like to get a children’s choir started, depending on their interest and her availability in this new position.

Look for the summer newsletter for more information from Lauren.  Meanwhile, we all welcome you to St. Agnes.


Meet Ella Ostrowski, St. Agnes Parish’s new maintenance supervisor.  Born and raised in Poland, she completed her engineering degree at the University of Krakow. She speaks both Russian and English at 90 mph.  That speed matches her enthusiasm for St. Agnes Parish.

“I already love this place,” Ella gushed.  “It’s not like a job.  I like fixing things. I repaired my own bike when I was in fourth grade,” she added.

Her husband, Greg, is also an engineer; they met through his parents who were in the same English-learner class with Ella when she first came to the Milwaukee area 19 years ago.

Greg and Ella have two children—Emily (16 years old) and Michael (14 years old)—who both attend Shorewood schools.  Now that they are older, Ella felt it was a good time to return to full-time work.

Ella found out about the job opening at St. Agnes through Paula Pikula’s husband. They met at St. Margaret Mary where her children are in Scouts.

One of the first things Ella changed  was the cleaning crew in the school. She hired Robert Sharpee as an independent contractor who now cleans the school in the evenings while he’s finishing his engineering degree at UW-M.

Ella’s enthusiasm and work ethic make her a welcome part of the St. Agnes team.  One of the first things she negotiated was being able to attend weekday morning Mass at St. Agnes.  Welcome to St. Agnes, Ella!

        Robert Sharpee




Archives of all that has been new:

4/5/2022    Confirmation 2022

3/24/2022    Men's Prayer Ministry

3/8/2022     Walking the Labyrinth in Prayer, March 11-17


2/14/22 - Stained Glass Windows

2/07/22 - FORMED

1/31/22 - Tuesday Book Club

1/24/22 - Meet Father Adam Fernandez

1/18/22  Elizabeth Ministry at St. Agnes

1/4/2022 Church Environment - Christmas Decorating 

11/15  St. Agnes students to perform “FROZEN”

11/5 Get to know Fr. Joy

10/27 Check out What's going on with Christian Formation


10/9/2021 New lighting brightens rooms, conserves energy, saves money

9/24/2021 Bringing the neighborhood together

9/10 2021 Come See Our Lady of Fatima Statue

9_6_2021 Fr. Joys trip to India

8_27_2021 Come join our Picnic

8_20_2021 Out and About

8_13_2021 Learn about Formation

8_6_21 Come to the festival

7_30_21 Make it school Choice

7_23_21 Welcome to our New 3K

7_16_21 Mission trip paint our school