Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1000+ attend Milwaukee ARISE event with Abp. Listecki

via Archbishop Listecki
On Saturday, April 13, I was invited to celebrate evening Benediction and an hour of adoration at Christ King Parish in Wauwatosa. It was sponsored by ARISE, a ministry directed by Dominick Albano and supported by Fathers Luke Strand and John Burns. The theme for the evening service was “Come to the Water.” ARISE targets young adult Catholics to live their faith by incorporating prayer and scripture into their daily lives. The devotional practice of the Church, especially adoration, is a key way to witness this commitment.

Usually, when I preside at a Benediction, there might be 250 to 400 people present. When I arrived at Christ King, I was shocked to see more than 1,000 people present, desiring to give praise to the Son of God. There were young adults, but also young families. As I processed around the Church, I could see mothers and fathers instructing their children on the proper etiquette when the Eucharistic monstrance passed. I thought of my own mother and father teaching me proper respect for the Eucharist and understanding how Jesus was present and to seek His blessing, “Let the little children come to me.”

Most surprising to me, this was a Saturday evening, usually reserved for some fun social event or even just a respite for the family. Yet, this crowd of 1,000 chose to come to Church. Good, modern religious music played throughout the ceremony, as many enjoyed the sense of peace that was felt by those offering hymns of praise.

The director invited the congregation to the sacrament of reconciliation; this too-often forgotten, yet powerful sacrament is a direct means to deepening one’s relationship with the Lord. Hundreds lined up outside the confessionals, a testimony to the willingness to transform one’s life in the name of Christ. I was grateful that so many benefitted from that evening, just by knowing that God was with them in the struggles and joys of this world.
It's my understanding the music takes a contemporary approach, but hard to argue the numbers.

ARISE has a nice web presence.


  1. I have only missed 2 of the Arise's over the last 2 years and know most of the team personally, so hopefully can offer some insights to the event, especially in relation to the traditional preference concerning liturgy that is often taken on this blog (a preference I certainly share, for full disclosure).

    The bulk of the songs, during the music portion are contemporary, with a full contemporary band. They do however fully embrace the Rite of Adoration, with all of the sanctuary appoinments, vestments of the presider, as well as chanting both the "O Saluratis" and "Tantum Ergo", in Latin, to open and close the event respectfully. They also do have a Gospel reading and homily, as well as extended times for silent Adoration.

    They often also weave in the occasional more traditional song(s), relative to the Liturgical Season/ Feast, amongst the contemporary music.

    The event has been tremendously well-attended at all its locations, with a broad mix of attendees as the Archbishop articulated. At this particular Arise last weekend, the Confession line literally wrapped around the entire church (confessionals were set up outside one side entrance and the line ended at the other end, encircling the entire nave!)

    In terms of any concern for orthodoxy, both Archbishop Listecki and Bishop Hying have participated in Arise events and publically support them. These events have been hosted at a variety of locations, including both Milwaukee basilicas. Per the staff, Fr. Johnny Burns who was mentioned in the article and is also the associate at Christ the King in Wauwatosa, is a graduate of the Pontifical College of the Holy Cross in Rome (Opus Dei run) and is rarely seen without a cassock on. His brother, Deacon Patrick Burns will be ordained a priest in June. Fr. Luke Strand is well-known in the state as vocations director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and his work with youth and evangelization in Milwaukee and Green Bay. His brother Fr. Jacob Strand is a graduate of the Angelicum in Rome, and his older brother Vincent is completing the extensive studies of a Jesuit seminarian in pursuit of ordination as well. The overwhelming majority of the rest of the committee are professional youth ministers, DREs, Catholic school teachers, and music ministers, all of whom are extremely passionate about the orthodox Faith.


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