Fr. Joe Bulletin Article March 11, 2018

Greetings in Christ!

I’m writing this on March 3rd, before I head out for a week off.  Because of that, I obviously won’t be commenting on anything current.  Instead, its my hope to use this and the next article to hype our upcoming Triduum Feasts at Sacred Heart and St. Mary.  Last week, I posted on Holy Thursday and, this week, I want to walk us through Good Friday Service.

A couple notes before I walk us through the service…

Please welcome Fr. John Quinn, who will speak on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach, which was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.  Please be generous in your response to Father’s appeal.

Please join us in or Lenten Holy Hour of Adoration on Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00 pm.  We will begin the Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration and Procession, followed by a homily and time for us to silently reflect on Jesus’ presence in our lives.

Our Good Friday Service for both our Parish Families will be at 3pm at Sacred Heart.

All the events of Good Friday are commemorated in the Stations of the Cross, the devotion we usually pray during Lent and especially on Good Friday.  Another devotional, the Acts of Reparation, may also be prayed.

Good Friday is a day of fasting within the Church. Traditionally, there is no Mass and no celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday.  A service will still be prayed with communion which will come from hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday. Baptism, penance, and anointing of the sick may be performed, but only in unusual circumstances. Church bells are silent and the altars are left bare.

Good Friday is the day where we place our Spiritual Focus on the suffering and death of Jesus.  We recognize that our sins come with a terrible price and that Jesus paid that price willingly out of love for us.  We pray that this day compels us to sorrow for our sins and a recognition of the love that drove Christ to such an incredible act.  Our celebration this day is not a mass, it’s called our Good Friday Service or Service of the Passion of the Lord and we will start it at 3pm, in honor of the moment in time that Jesus died.

This service begins in silence, with the clergy laying prostrate before the cross.  It continues with a reading from Scriptures and perhaps a homily that focuses on the role of suffering and loss in our life, as well as that of sin.   We then will pray a special set of prayers, asking God’s blessings and mercy on all areas of our world and Church.   Next, we adore the cross with a sign of reverence: some will kiss the cross, some will embrace it.  The key is for us to show our gratitude for the means that God saved us.

Finally, we will bring the Blessed Sacrament out from the place of reservation and all who are not prohibited can come forward to receive.  The service ends in silence.

This is a prayerful and amazing service and I cannot encourage us strongly enough to make it our highest priority: thanking Jesus for what He’s done for us and walking through His passion with him.

This year, we will also experience “Tenebrae”, which will be held at 8pm at St. Mary on the Lake on Good Friday.  Tenebrae is a church service observed during the final part of Holy Week commemorating the sufferings and death of Christ.

May Jesus bless our Lenten efforts!

 

Fr. Joe Homily, March 3, 2018

If you would like to read along as you listen, please refer to the words below.

(Honestly, its my notes, so there may be some errors in typing or whatnot. I hope you find it helpful.)

 

 

 

We’re going to start with a distinction between anger and wrath.

Anger is morally neutral. It isn’t good or bad. Its an emotional reaction that occurs when our expectations are not met.

Anger becomes a sin when we obsess over it, when we direct it at a person who does not deserve it, when we hold it, when we crave punishment or violence for the person who we perceive as the problem. Ultimately, wrath or sinful anger is a rejection of love. A rejection of mercy.

We don’t generally use the word “wrath” in this way, so I’m going to stick with the phrase “sinful anger”.

So, how do I tell the difference between anger and sinful anger?

The easiest way is in retrospect, which often isn’t helpful right away. Sinful anger can be such a strong force that you and I have to engage a process to beat it, not a moment. Do not get discouraged or give up in fighting sinful anger; engage the process knowing that at first, you’ll see it after the anger but you’ll get closer each time to the explosion that caused the problem and, eventually, you’ll be able to possibly see anger coming before you blow up.

With that in mind, the process for letting God heal our anger looks like this:

First, when we realize we were angry, are angry or are about to get angry, we need to ask ourselves two questions:

1. What was my expectation that was not met?
2. Was this expectation just and/or spoken?

This process does a couple things: it allows us to see the root of our anger and honestly, sometimes that is enough to tame the beast of anger. There are times I have moved from anger to laughter as I realized that my expectation was silly.

The virtue that God gives us to combat sinful anger is mercy. Why mercy?

Because sometimes, we’ll realize that our anger was totally unjust. We had a ridiculous expectation. We had a realistic expectation, but we didn’t speak it, whatever it may be, the key is this: sometimes, we will realize our expectation was unjust and we’ll feel shame and those are the moments when we need to remember to have mercy on ourselves. To put it bluntly, it seems to me that we shouldn’t be surprised that we sin, we should be surprised that sometimes we don’t. Ask God’s forgiveness for your sinful anger, ask forgiveness of anyone whom you offended or hurt in that sinful anger, receive mercy and move on.

Sometimes our anger is just. Sometimes, we’ll realize that we had a just expectation, that we spoke it and somehow in the process we got run over. That’s when we need mercy for others. That’s when we need to remember how often people forgive us, how often people put up with us. That’s when we remember the crushing weight of the innumerable obligations we all feel and we simply pray for the person instead of raging. We give them the gift that God gives us: mercy.

And God’s mercy is an important thing to remember. Jesus tells us that the measure with which we measure others will be measured back to us…that should absolutely terrify and challenge us to be as gentle, as merciful and as patient as we can be. If we can’t be merciful out of love for God, then we can be merciful out of naked self interest.

Lord Jesus, in your name, I renounce sinful anger.
Lord Jesus, in your name, I embrace mercy.
May God bless our efforts.

Lenten Penance Service

If you haven’t been to Confession in a while, the Catholic Church wants to welcome you back, and invites you to participate in this beautiful sacrament of healing. Take a step in faith. You’ll be surprised about how free you feel after taking part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So many Catholics describe incredible feelings of peace, joy, relief, and love that they never expected. Jesus is calling you to experience His mercy in this way too.

**excerpt from www.catholicscomehome.org

 

Join us for our Lenten Penance Service
Saturday, March 3, 2018
St. Mary on the Lake, Manitou Beach
10:00am

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin March 4, 2018

Am I Lazy?  What do I Need to Persevere?

There is no easy way to get past a very difficult task. Nike tells us to “Just Do It.”  People will say “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”  My Mom would tell me to “finish what you started.”  Here is the problem….When I was a kid, and sometimes, even now, certain projects seem so overwhelming, that it is difficult to even think about them, much less do them.  I am afraid.  I do not think I can get past my weaknesses and persevere.

The opposite of persevering is hiding.  Hide behind anger, hide behind excuses, hide behind low self-worth, hide behind low ability, just hide.  None of this works.  We all know it.  There is only one way to truly overcome negativity; to be a person who can push past all obstacles and create a quality finished product. It is a developed strength of character and there are no shortcuts.

Children who can trust and who have faith that God has made them in His image have a much easier time conquering fears of inadequacies.  When we can speak to our children about blind faith and Divine purpose; about God-given gifts and true love, they become aware that they will never be given more than they can handle.

Let’s create an environment where mistakes are overcome.  Projects are challenging but children become so prepared, to be the light that God intended, that they forget to be weak.  The strength they need does not come from landing on top most of the time, it comes from building a strong soul that knows it is good enough to finish. God has lofty goals for each of us and He wants us to reach them.

“Pray More, Worry Less.” That is what perseverance is about. Call on courage, develop responsibility, have respect, but most of all, pray to the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and actions.

And for the love of God, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Deacon John Bulletin March 4, 2018

Last week I wrote how God doesn’t allow evil to happen to in the world – we do.  God gave us a free will to make our own choices.  Evil exists because of the choices we make between following God and doing good or rejecting God and doing evil.  Sadly, choosing to sin affects many people.  So, our choices to sin can hurt innocent people and allow them to suffer, too.  The existence of evil is a stumbling block for many people who believe in God.  Fortunately, our Christian faith has a solution to the problem.  In a nutshell, here it is:

To begin, God created everything good.  He gave human beings the power of free will to accept or reject Him.  Without free will, human beings would just be robots without the ability to love.  But, humans use this free will to sin against God and separate themselves from Him.  As a result, our human desires and passions became disordered.  Our sin brought suffering and death into the world.  God saw this, and sent Jesus, His Only Begotten Son, into the world to redeem all people and restore human nature to its original state before the fall of Adam and Eve.  Through Jesus’ example – His life, death, and resurrection – God invites us to seek a greater holiness and perfection so we may enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven.  Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are called to imitate Christ, even in how we bear our sufferings, to unite our human wills to God’s Divine Will.

Therefore, the solution to the problem of evil in the world is to launch a great Christian revolution to convert pain into fruitful suffering and turn bad things into something good.  In doing so, we will conquer eternity by depriving Satan of the only weapon he has – trying to convince us the glamor of evil is far more satisfying than being united with God.  God looks for us to something good from the consequences of evil.

Because He knows when we do, we will put Satan out of business forever.

Deacon John 

Adapted from “Introduction to Catholicism for Adults” by Rev. James Socias

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin March 5, 2018

Greetings in Christ!  A blessed and holy lent to you all!

The culmination of our Lenten season is the Triduum and I wanted to take a few articles in the bulletin to describe each service in order to encourage as much participation as possible in these wonderful, holy days.  This week, we’ll look at Holy Thursday, my favorite of the three Holy Days.

 

Both our parishes will celebrate Holy Thursday at St. Mary on the Lake this year. We’ll gather at 7:00pm.  This is the day where we, as Catholics focus on the Gift of the Eucharist.  We have only one mass this day at Church, with a special mass also at the Cathedral in the Morning.

 

For priests, the day will start at the Cathedral in Lansing.  We gather there at 10:30am for the Chrism mass.  At this mass, the Bishop will bless the oils that every Church in our diocese will use over the next year.  Also at that mass, all Priests will renew their vows.  This is an exciting and blessed celebration; please remember to pray for priests to be faithful followers of Christ and servants of His People.

 

After that, we will celebrate a mass on Holy Thursday night called The Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  Here, we remember the Last Supper Jesus celebrated with His disciples to begin His passion and death.  In a unique way, we recall the events of the Last Supper and include within this some beautiful rituals.  We have a procession of the oils we will use for the rest of the year: the ones I will bring back from the Morning mass at the Cathedral.  We also will remember and celebrate Jesus washing the feet of His Disciples, in order to connect in hearts the necessity of our love of the Eucharist compelling us to serve our fellow human beings.

 

As Jesus left the Last Supper to go to the Garden of Gethsemane, we process with the Eucharist out of the Church and down to the Parish Hall, where we will place the Blessed Sacrament.  Here, we will incense the Blessed Sacrament and sit in silence for a bit.  All who wish are encouraged to stay and pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament for a bit.

 

I’m very excited for this celebration…I hope we make this our top priority for our families, forsaking sports and all other things to gather together and pray.

 

Now, for a schedule update…

I’m heading off Sunday, March 4th to take a week off.  To be honest, I’m really quite wiped out and could use a week of rest.   Please pray for me and know that I will definitely be praying for you, both in gratitude and petition.  I carry my beautiful parish families with me wherever I go.

 

Father John Quinn will be visiting our parish next weekend to speak at all the Masses on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach.  Thank you Fr. Quinn and all those who work to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the priests and nuns working in the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

 

I’m so very grateful to be your priest!  Make sure and push hard through this Lenten Season to sacrifice, pray and help others with all you have and are!