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Today I was talking with a friend from the past when somehow the subject of our adult children came up. I told her about the death of our son Peter who she remembered me talking about in the mid 90ís when we worked together. Then she told me the story of her 36 year old daughter who in the late term of her pregnancy was killed by her boyfriend, the father of the unborn child. The mother and child were rushed to the hospital where the mother was pronounced dead. Although the mother and baby had died they were able to remove the baby from the mother and revive the baby. However, the baby boy was severely brain damaged with many disabilities. She took the baby home and she and her husband are raising the now five year grandson.
Since we worked together, my friend, while still working at the same place, has become a minister and has a small church near where once our closed Catholic Church of Blessed Trinity stands. She has a strong faith in God that has sustained her in troubled times like the death of her daughter.
Thinking about how the Catholic church presence is this area of North Central Milwaukee has been reduced from 17 churches in 1962 to 3 today I wonder how other churches have fared. My guess is that there is a lot more churches in North Central Milwaukee than there was in 1962. Many of the Churches may be small like my friends, but non-Catholic Christian churches do not need large numbers of members and the big money that Catholic churches need. However, they do provide the faith, worship and community that we all seem to need.
Somehow I get the feeling that Jesus, the Palestinian Jew, would feel more comfortable in the smaller Christian churches that now dot North Central Milwaukee than the large Catholic Churches in the suburbs. In the present North Central churches he would find people of darker skin color like his own; he would find poor people without much, like himself; he would find Church leaders that are male and female, married and unmarried.
If Jesus were to be alive today looking to attend a Christian church in the North Central area I think he would be more comfortable in the many non-Catholic churches in the area rather than with the few remaining Catholic Churches. Where would Jesus go to pray?