Youth and Young Adult



Hello! My name is Emma Kloes and I am a college student at UW-Madison.  Although I love my home in Madison, I also loved growing up in Hortonville as a parishioner of Ss. Peter and Paul.  Ss. Peter and Paul has always been very special to me; there is something that thiscommunity has that is unlike any other.  Some visiting priests say that it’s our strong voices in communal prayer or our beautiful, loud singing.  I’d have to agree with them, but the uniqueness of our parish is more than our loud voices.  It’s the dedication to service, radiant joy, fire for the Catholic faith, and pure love that I have witnessed in so many of you.  This has taught me the importance and pure goodness of living a life for Christ. The transition to life in college was not an easy one, but Ss. Peter and Paul had fortunately equipped me for living out my faith amidst the secular college culture of Madison.  I want to thank you and give back to our beautiful community here by sharing various reflections each week in our bulletin. I hope to share with you all the beauty of Catholicism along with ways we can live out this faith, striving for holiness and heaven.    Emma~



Today is the second week of Advent, the second week of a season of waiting and preparing our hearts for the gift of Emmanuel. Emmanuel signifies “God with us” and is the name that is predicted in Isaiah 7:14 for the child who a virgin shall conceive and bear.  The Prophet Isaiah was not referring to a random child being born and raised by a random woman, but rather the birth of a child who, implied by his very name, will have divine presence.  This divine presence is God on this earth.  This divine presence is Jesus. 

This time the Church carves out for us is the time to focus on events that led up to the moment when God came into the world.  This time of waiting can be difficult, just as any type of waiting can be difficult.  But unlike the way we wait for things in our daily life, Advent is a season of active waiting.  It is a time to meditate on God’s desire for us, even as we walk through the waiting of the coming of the Messiah recounted in the Old Testament and allow the reality of the Second Coming to permeate our hearts.

God is awaiting us, and this season invites us to reflect on the mystery that God seeks us not out of obligation but because of his love for us.  Let’s encounter Him to prepare for his arrival. 

 O God, who see how your people

faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,

enable us, we pray,

to attain the joys of so great a salvation,

and to celebrate them always

with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


Happy Advent!



September 2, 2018

I just listened to a Father Mike Schmitz podcast where he touched on our tendency to say “I’m fine”. “Would you like some help?” “I’m fine” “Are you okay?” “I’m fine”. We say “I’m fine” when we deny help and when we are content with our state of suffering. 

 It’s easy to say “I’m fine” to God’s forgiveness of our sins. It can be easy to think we don’t need to receive this Sacrament of Reconciliation We make excuses to keep God from forgiving our sins. We know that this is an invitation to mercy and grace. We acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made to give us this gift. 

 Forgiveness, however, can be impossible when one considers it not important or not essential. There is a way out of this by acknowledging the truth. Instead of saying “I’m fine” to God’s invitation to mercy and grace, must say “God I’m not fine”. We need this sacrament. We must say “Father I am here. I have sinned and I am broken. I need your healing and your help” in order to be changed. 

 Father Mike offered a challenge to go to confession within eight days.  I challenge you to go to confession within the next two weeks. 

Apart from our normal time on Saturday’s at 3:30pm, you can search for more confession times in our area through or by searching on other parishes’ websites. In these next two weeks we will be tempted to say “I’m fine” to this opportunity to accept God’s mercy. We will be tempted to make excuses. These weeks will give us the opportunity to examine ourselves and our tendencies to say no to God, but to finally surrender ourselves and our sins to God by receiving the sacrament. 

 Happy Sunday!




August 26th

I have been out of the United States for eight weeks now improving my fluency in the Spanish language, as my job in Madison requires this fluency.  As my time in foreign lands comes to an end, I have been able to reflect on what I have learned and how I have changed.  I could write pages and pages of all the things I have learned apart from the Spanish language, but I don´t have the room in this bulletin to spill all my reflections, thoughts, and experiences.  What I am going to touch on today, however, is the perspective my time abroad has offered.  These weeks have offered me perspective on what makes life beautiful: love between friends and family, faith in a good and gracious God, and hope for life eternal in Heaven. 

                Wednesday marks the ninth week in unfamiliar lands and the ninth week without seeing a familiar face.  Although I have been alone for nine weeks without physical contact with friends and family, and without hearing the voices and seeing the smiles of those who I love the most, I have not been completely alone.  I have been surrounded by the Holy Spirit, who has been guiding me through the difficulties, the experiences outside of my comfort zone, and the pain of missing my loved ones.  The Holy Spirit has been guiding me in my beautiful life, in my beautiful journey to meet Jesus.

                This perspective isn´t only possible while abroad, however.  In our simple, daily lives, God constantly urges us out of our comfort zones so we can gain this perspective.  I challenge you, whether in your home, school, workplace, or neighboring city, to look for this perspective. Look for Jesus and what he has to teach you in your journey to meet Him in Heaven.

 Happy Sunday





August 5th

 “Guilt is feeling bad about what you’ve done. Shame is feeling bad about who you are.” Shame is a something that we rarely talk about.

It’s a taboo topic, but it’s a common feeling.  I used to think I deserved shame.  After every sin, every mistake, shame consumed me.  It was so easy for me to hear the words that shame had to offer: “remember when you messed up?” “you can’t fix this,” “you are your mistakes.” Shame confirmed my doubts I held inside me.  Shame consumed me and made me question my identity and worth. 

Jesus Christ and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, however, have taught me that there is no need to feel shame.  God gave us Reconciliation to bring us his grace, give us healing, and draw us into a closer relationship with him.  We must not let our sins and mistakes make us question our goodness and our worth.  I have recently learned that past mistakes are memories and hold no power over my future actions, that I have the ability to rely on Jesus Christ through my habitual sin, that my sins have led to a greater desire to be closer to Jesus, and that Jesus is love.  Jesus’s love for us is more than a feeling.  His love is infinite, and he gives it to us every second of every hour of every day.

Please join me in praying for those who struggle with shame.  God’s forgiveness is bigger than any sin.  His grace is available for us to receive. 

“I will rather boast gladly of my weaknesses in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

Happy Sunday!


July 14th

Something that never fails to surprise me is how universal the Mass is, no matter the time, country, or language. I was on a mission trip to Haiti not too long ago and attended a Mass said in Creole, and I just went to Mass said in Spanish at a cathedral in Posadas, Argentina where I am studying right now. Even though these Masses were celebrated in different countries and in different locations, they helped me feel a little more at home in these foreign places. There was familiarity in the readings, the consecration, the evident love and joy emitted by the people, and the receiving of Holy Communion.


One clear difference about the Masses I’ve attended in other countries, however, whether that be in Canada, the Virgin Islands, Haiti, or Argentina, is how the people process to receive communion. I am always struck by how there is less order, less straight lines to follow. Last Sunday in Posadas, the priest said something along the lines of “those who have prepared their hearts to receive the Eucharist, please come forward,” then all of a sudden people from all areas of the cathedral stood up and went to receive Jesus. There were no lines, but just a crowd of people in the main aisle. When I have seen this happen in the past I’ve usually been consumed with anxiety and frustration. But last Sunday after reflecting a bit on the Mass, I didn’t see a disorganized mess but rather people gathering to receive Jesus with strong desire, need, and surrender in their hearts. This made me think more about our preparation to receive Holy Communion. In that walk down the aisle are we daydreaming, or are we preparing our hearts to receive Jesus who is above us all, Jesus who died for us, Jesus who is merciful?


Happy Sunday from Argentina!




July 8, 2018

I’m writing this week’s article from Mobile, Alabama. I work for a summer mission trip organization called Alive in You Catholic Camps, where we host five camps in five different cities around the United States. We just arrived in Mobile after an eight hour drive from Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville was a great camp, especially because Ss. Peter and Paul took 46 campers to do service projects around the city, celebrate Mass, pray, go to confession, and grow in love with one another and for Jesus Christ. 

This past week in Knoxville was very special as we celebrated Mass in the newest cathedral in the United States. It was absolutely beautiful, but the presence of the 350 youth in that cathedral every day increased its beauty. We are so very blessed to have youth on fire for the Catholic faith here at Ss. Peter and Paul; youths that are selfless, hard working, and striving for holiness. These teens and young adults are ready to share their stories and encounters with Christ! Please keep the returning campers in your prayers as they try to bring the joy, love, faith, and community they experienced in Knoxville back into their communities. They are a huge part of the Church today, and have so much potential to change our world. 


Happy Sunday!




July 1st, 2018

We are all called for intimacy with Christ.  Humans have always craved intimacy, and the only way you have shown this love has been in and through your body.  If you think about it, if you like someone, you want to touch them.  It’s a natural desire that we all have.  And this can be any kind of love, not simply through romance.  Imagine a father holding a baby to his chest.  Imagine a friend’s hand on your shoulder. Imagine a wife embraced in her husband’s arms. As human beings, we were made for intimacy. Another obvious way this intimacy is shown is between husband and wife.  Two people becoming one flesh, two people giving their body to one another because they love each other. Now, God, who is love, who is immaterial, who doesn’t have a body, similarly wants us to know love through intimacy.  He wants us to know his love fully.  He wants us to know his love so fully that he took on a body, Jesus Christ.


On the night before Jesus suffered on the cross, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins." 


God doesn’t just want to share his word with us, he doesn’t just want to communicate with us in prayer, he wants to give intimacy to us through the Eucharist. Jesus gave his body to me and to you because he loves us.  Can you imagine the good God wants for us? Can you imagine how close he wants to be with us?

Happy Sunday!





May 13th 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! In light of this day, I was doing a bit of reflecting on my childhood.  What first popped into my mind was my mom’s return home after a long day of work and my long day of school.  I remember the anticipation as I watched the clock, wishing time would pass so I could see her.  After a few hours had passed, I would hear her car coming up the driveway, the opening of the garage door, the dogs barking, and finally the door opening.  She often said something like “hello family!” or “I’m home!” and at that very moment I would sprint and jump into her arms, hugging her as tight as I could. Mom coming home meant everything as a child; her simple presence made everything better.

I want to have this child-like love for Jesus.  I want to become just as overwhelmed with joy waiting for him, and just as in love with him as I am with my mother.  Something that often hinders this type of love for him is our false belief that in order to be chosen by Jesus we must be lovable, whole, strong, healthy, special, and perfect.  We sometimes think we are too much of a sinner, too broken, and too weak to receive him.  Just like mothers, however, God doesn’t need us to be perfect, he just wants us to be his.  They love us because of our one identity: their sons and daughters. There is nothing more beautiful than that.  Thank you mothers for showing us Christ’s love and teaching us how to have a child-like love for our Lord.  Thank you mothers for your nurture, wisdom, patience, protection, and selflessness.   

Happy Sunday!




Sunday, May 20th 

Today is Pentecost Sunday. On this day, the early disciples gathered together, and the Holy Spirit was poured upon them.  This day changed their lives as it gave them the power to proclaim Jesus as risen and as Savior.  Afterward, they had great influence on those around them; they baptized, forgave sins, and ultimately led others to a relationship with Jesus. It’s easy to see the influence the disciples, the saints, and other leaders of the Church have on us.  This influence came with leadership.  They were true leaders because they imitated the life of Christ. It’s even easier, however, to forget that we have the responsibility just like them to influence others.  We are leaders in various ways: as workers, as parents, as teachers, as siblings, and as friends.

How are you influencing others? Where are you leading them?

Saint John Paul II was once asked if his father was hard on him.  He answered describing his father, a very spiritual person, as being so hard on himself that there was no need to be hard on his children.  JPII’s father led his family by being a model for his sons.  They were able to follow and imitate Christ because their father did so.

How can we change our lives to better imitate Christ, thus leading others to imitate him as well?

Happy Sunday!




Sunday, April 29, 2018

God’s mind brought us into existence. 

Jesus’ Heart loved us into existence. 

The Holy Spirit breathed us into existence. 

Wow, try reading those last three sentences a few more times.  Reflecting on those words recently brought me great childlike peace.  Remember when we were children, and trusted our parents without question?  Christ wants us to have that mindset in our relationship with him.  He wants us to live with childlike wonder, not worrying about the future but rather trusting in his plan and joyfully waiting for his fulfillment. Let’s let go of unnecessary worrying, and trust in our Father, who knows how to take care of us more than we know how to take care of ourselves.

Jesus, I trust in You.  Jesus, I trust in You.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Happy Sunday!





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Name Tina Ellenbecker
Phone (920) 779-0551


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