Fr. Todd Bulletin, May 19 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

Our family had a great surprise for Mother’s Day with one of my sisters announcing that she was expecting her second child.  The 10th grandchild will be joining the Koenigsknecht clan right around Thanksgiving of this year.  That kind of news trumps any other Mother’s Day present!

While I was home for my day off this past week I was able to see one of my favorite spring time events- the cows being let out on the pasture after the winter months of being confined to the yard.  They are a picture of joy that never gets old- running, bellowing, frisking and kicking their tails in the air.  It is a scene the prophet Malachi references for the joy that comes from following God and His ways, of the confidence found living under His protective care: Malachi 3:20 “But for you who fear my name, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings; and you will go out leaping like calves from the stall”.

The world of spring time in is meant to shout out a reminder of God’s presence and providence.  That just as the world and the universe in all its immensity is ordered so He can bring order to what can be at times a chaotic life.

Spring time, Eastertime is an invitation to lean into our Father’s loving care.  There is a beautiful old Hymn that captures this reality much better than I can: “I sing the mighty power of God” by Issac Watts.

 

I sing the mighty pow’r of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flow’r below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God, art present there.

 

Of this song I think the verse that captures the greatest nugget of truth is the last line: “While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care; And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God, art present there.”  This Easter time be reassured of Jesus’ presence with you.  Be amazed at the world coming to life around us and simply ask Jesus to bring that new life into your own.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Deacon’s Corner, May 19 2019

In the Gospel today, Jesus sums up Christian discipleship in three, simple words: “love one another.”  Because, at the end of the day, when the doctrine has been debated, the prayers have been prayed, traditions lived out, hymns have been sung, and the liturgies celebrated, we are left with just one thing: love.

But, what is ‘love’?  After all, I love my wife and family.  I loved my job.  I love my Fighting Irish and would love to see a national championship someday.   I love good food and love sharing it with good friends.   The word ‘love’ has different meanings depending on how we use it.  And to make it harder, Jesus redefined love when he said “love one another, as I have loved you”.  So, how did Jesus “love”?

Jesus showed us love is sacrificial.  At the very heart of our Christian faith is the fact that Jesus died on the cross; not some empty, meaningless, failing type of death, but a death that won a significant victory over the power of sin and death so that we could live in a beautiful relationship with God.  There was no limit to Jesus’ sacrifice – because there was no limit to his love for us.  Jesus gave up everything so we could live:  He gave up his birthright, his power, his majesty, his glory, his own life.  Jesus didn’t just make sacrifices for us. He became a sacrifice for us.

Jesus showed us love is unconditional.   We constantly make a mess of our lives.  But, God loves us anyway. Jesus didn’t set conditions on his love. He never said that we need to do something first in order for him to love us. He never waited until we had proved ourselves worthy of love.  Jesus’ love was absolutely unconditional.

Jesus showed us love is practical.  There are many poems and love songs written to express the emotion of love. But in reality, love is intensely practical.  Like the hospice nurse caring for a dying patient.  The mother cleaning up after her sick child in the middle of the night.  The food pantry volunteer listening to a client and providing for their needs.  The father working two jobs to take care of his family.  And parents sacrificing their own dreams for the sake of their children.  Jesus’ death on the cross was intensely practical. It wasn’t a glorious; he was alone, he was in pain, he had to grit his teeth and just get on with it. That is practical love in action.

We are called to love as Jesus loved. It is not easy, but loving as Jesus loved must be the hallmark of our church and our own lives.  As St. Paul said, if we don’t have love, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).  Without love, our worship is empty, our hymn singing is empty, and all the activities of our church and life are meaningless.  As we prepare for the week ahead, may we pray for the grace to follow the example Jesus set, and fulfil His commandment to love each other as he loves us.

Deacon John

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, May 19 2019

Our Sin Is What Makes Us Human?

This week in morning prayer we have been talking about what makes us human. The students quickly know it is our ability to use free will, to love, to sin and to forgive. In a nutshell, it is our ability to think. To think ourselves in or out of any situation. The students also realize this is a huge responsibility. I can make absolutely any decision I want to? Yes, you can. You can choose to be kind or happy. You can choose to be lonely or sad. You can choose to be helpful or lazy. You can choose to lie, or say bad words. You can choose to be hard working or be a good friend. You can choose to gossip or be negative. You will do good things and you will do sinful things, because that is makes us human.

Our soul is connected to God. From the moment we were conceived, we are being called back to the Divine. It is a gentle tug at our hearts and we feel it growing as we live and breathe and thrive and struggle. Without this constant pull we would be lost. Sin is everywhere. Even for children. They must be raised in an environment that allows them to be completely human. It is so important for adults to understand that their children will sin and the children around them will sin. The Devil loves to come for us in the doubt we feel when sin is involved. This sin feels terrible and makes joy seem impossible. It is not uncommon for parents to want to believe that their child is the good one and other kids are causing all of the trouble. Does that mean your child is not human? We must own the fact that our children are going to sin and others will hurt them with sin. The bigger their world gets through sports, bigger schools, different friends, social media etc., the more challenges they will meet. So how do we parent this? What do we say to our children whose friends have turned on them or who have been left out of something very important? What do we say to our children when they commit a pretty big sin and we find out about it? Tell them to:

  1. Talk to God first. Forgive yourself. Make things right with God. Really reconnect with your maker and your soul.
  2. Think. Think about what got you into this mess in the first place. Think about what you have already learned from it and what you can learn now that God is involved.
  3. Pray for God to be with you as you heal from your latest sin.
  4. Go to reconciliation.
  5. Pray for the people who have hurt you and/or the people whom you have hurt. This takes a strong soul. That is why we are given the fruits of the spirit. Use them.
  6. Pray for grace. Grace for yourself and for the people God gave you to learn from. They are not in your life by accident. They are a gift to help you grow in spirit.

Remember, that being human means we have endless chances to grow. If lived well, your life will be full of new and challenging people and situations that help you grow closer to God. This is wonderful! We all have the chance to make it to sainthood. We just didn’t know that “girl drama” or “overly competitive boys” might be just what we need to help keep our kids on the path to march with the army of saints. Believe it or not, it is by design. We can handle this struggle, but we have to have God’s help fighting the Devil and his false promises. Just ask, and you will have it.

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

2019 DSA Update

 

 

 

 

DSA 2019 

Thank you to all who have pledged to the Diocesan Services Appeal.  Sacred Heart 2019 DSA goal is $25,627.00.

We have reached our goal!!  We have 89 families, pledging $25,715.00 to DSA.

You can still contribute to DSA.  A portion of our overage will come back to 0ur parish!!
Every gift is tax deductible. You can make a one time gift using cash, check or credit card or make a pledge to be paid over time on a schedule of your choosing. Envelopes can be found at the end of the pews and at the entrances in church, or you may use the envelope included in the DSA edition of FAITH magazine, or you may click here for the DSA brochure or click here for a pledge form. 

If you would like to give your gift online, please click here.

 

 

2019 DSA Prayer

Loving and gracious God, we praise you and we thank you for the bountiful gifts that you have bestowed upon us.

You have called us to discipleship, to share your gift of salvation with everyone we meet.

Please bless our efforts to form our parish as a community of missionary disciples, united across the diocese in our commitment to go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

Instill in us the courage to sow bountifully, without sadness or compulsion, so that we may produce a bountiful harvest in service to all and enduring forever.

Amen.

 

 

 

Please take a few moments to listen to Bishop Boyea Appeal for DSA.

Fr. Tomy Homily, May 12 2019

 

Today is the Good Shepherd Sunday and the Vocation Sunday and the word of God presents us with two images, the Children of God and the Good Shepherd. In today’s gospel passage Jesus emphasizes the self-sacrificing element in his own life that he is the good shepherd who is laying down his life for his sheep. He contrasts the good shepherd who owns the sheep to someone who is simply hired to look after them. The scriptures tell us of the extraordinary love of God for us has taken in Jesus the form of the good shepherd.

Jesus uses the imagery of the shepherd from the ordinary usage of life and calls himself the Good Shepherd. Every good shepherd knew every one of his sheep by name and he was aware that his sheep also knew him. This showed the intimate knowledge of the shepherd. There was the mutual understanding, a bond of love and intimacy between them and the sheep acknowledged its shepherd. When they were lost he went in search of them and carried them on his shoulders and brought them to the flock.

As we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday, let us ask the Lord that we may be his good sheep, listening attentively to his voice, and follow his example of self-giving love. Jesus gives us the example of a good shepherd who shows his concern and care for his own sheep. The Lord of compassion promises to go and gather his sheep and bring them back to good pasture. This is the time we pray for all our shepherds in the church and society who are given the responsibility of caring for others. Here we have Jesus as our model and who offered to sacrifice his life for his chosen ones. Jesus the Good Shepherd is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the one who goes after the lost sheep leaving the ninety-nine to bring it back to the fold. This Sunday, also the Vocation Sunday we are asked to pray for many and good vocations to continue the work of the Shepherd. The church insists that vocations are a responsibility of the Christian family. To foster vocations, the family must foster the Christian life. The family must live its faith in Christ on a daily basis in unity and prayer. The Church of Jesus fosters a living faith in our community, leading us to the Father through Jesus. Here the grace of God is manifested which will help vocations to flourish to ensure that the needs of the Church are all met. Today let us pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, that many will be inspired to show true love, to the point of sacrificing many other attractive options to become priests of Jesus, to follow him in religious life.

 

weekly newsletter 5.10.19

Dear Sacred Heart Families,

We are quickly moving into the last part of the school year. With only four weeks of school left, it is still prime time for learning. Be sure homework and studying are a priority as we finish out the school year.

See the attached newsletter for all school news and upcoming events.

5.10.19

 

 

 

 

First Communion & Confirmation

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Congratulations to the following children who received their First Communion last weekend.

Elizabeth Beggs, Elizabeth Falater, Elisabeth Hartin, Alyssa Hines, Ryden Luma, Abigail Meyers, Jesse Monahan, Mason Monahan, Tobias Mueller, Zophia Shepherd, Jase Sword

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION
Congratulations to the following young adults who received Confirmation this past week.

Alecia Carr, Rebecca Cuthbertson, Emily Czeiszperger, Olivia Darnell, Zachary Houser, Elaina Kuenzer, Jackson Miller, Samantha Nichols, Nathan Perryman, Payton Rogers, Bailey Surque, Robert Taylor

Our Mother’s Day Intentions

Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.  Amen!

 

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, May 12 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Families,

I found out on my retreat and vacation that I was named Pastor for Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake.  This was the assumed path upon being assigned here last July.  Typically, the first of the assignment is served as an administrator that then leads into being installed as Pastor.  Bishop Boyea asked that there be a single installation Mass for both parishes.  That Mass will be held at Sacred Heart on Sunday, August 25th at the 11am Mass.

I have been reflecting on this these last few days, looking at the way Jesus calls us and called me.  It is the mystery of any vocation that you say “Yes” to the Lord and then wait for Him to continually unfold the plan so that “Yes” can be renewed.  The moment that came to mind was the day I received my call to ordination at Sacred Heart Seminary.  That day was a Thursday which sticks in my mind because of these verses from the Psalm we pray every Thursday for night prayer, Psalm 16:

 

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;

it is you yourself who are my prize.

The lot marked out for me is my delight:

welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me!

 

Praying this Psalm that night I was struck by the fact that Jesus would one day entrust to me a “lot” to take care of that would take the form of a parish.  Once assigned I could then focus my time and attention there, striving to be a good and holy pastor as I take care of the needs of my people.  Looking from that night to today it is a blessing to realize that what Jesus is entrusting to me is now more defined.  Not one but two great parishes and a school.  On a wider scale two communities but really a whole network of small towns that make up our part of Michigan.

Welcome indeed is the heritage that falls to me!  It has been a joy to say Yes again to the Lord and I look forward to further unfolding of the Lord’s plans.  I would ask that you keep me in your prayers that I, and all priests, would be good and holy pastors.  Here is a prayer from St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta for priests.

Mary, Mother of Jesus,
throw your mantle of purity over our priests.
Protect them, guide them, and keep them in your heart.
Be a Mother to them, especially in times of discouragement and loneliness.
Love them and keep them belonging completely to Jesus.
Like Jesus, they, too, are your sons, so keep their hearts pure and virginal.
Keep their minds filled with Jesus, and put Jesus always on their lips,
so that he is the one they offer to sinners and to all they meet.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, be their Mother, loving them and bringing them joy.
Take special care of sick and dying priests, and the ones most tempted.
Remember how they spent their youth and old age, their entire lives serving and giving all to Jesus.
Mary, bless them and keep a special place for them in your heart.
Give them a piece of your heart, so beautiful and pure and immaculate,
so full of love and humility, so that they, too, can grow in the likeness of Christ.
Dear Mary, make them humble like you, and holy like Jesus.

 

EASTER RECAP – I am so thankful as I look back on our recent celebration of the Sacred Triduum.  I want to thank and acknowledge Deacon John and Janet McGrath for their many hours of planning, Fr. Tomy, the choir, cantors, musicians, church decorators, lectors, servers, ushers – the list could go on!  All of the things behind the scenes do not happen by themselves, and I never want to take for granted the efforts of those who labor to make holiday celebrations so special at Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake.

 

God Bless!

Fr. Todd

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, May 12 2019

The Invisible Mother ~ By Nicole Johnson

https://justbetweenus.org/relationships/parenting-advice/the-invisible-mother/

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”.  “Nobody,” he shrugged.  Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only five, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, I’m nobody?”

As Nobody, I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family, like “Turn the TV down, please.” And nothing would happen. No one would get up or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing.  That’s when I started putting all the pieces together. I don’t think anyone can see me.  I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense! The blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’d think, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”  Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner. No one can see me, because I’m the Invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more. Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?  Some days I’m merely a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” Some days I’m a crystal ball: “Where’s my other sock? Where’s my phone? What’s for dinner?”  Hands, a clock, a crystal ball—but always invisible.

One night, some girlfriends and I were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and was telling wonderful stories. I sat there, looking around at the others all so put-together, so visible and vibrant. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic when my friend turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”  In the days ahead I read—no—I devoured the book. And I discovered what would become for me, four life-changing truths:

  1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals—we have no record of their names.
  2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
  3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
  4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

In the book, there was the legend of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built. He saw a worker carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the worker replied, “Because God sees.”  After reading that, I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.  “No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, no last minute errand is too small for Me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become. But I see.”

When I choose to view myself as a great builder—instead of Invisible Mom—I keep the right perspective.  When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at four in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a monument to myself! But I don’t want that—I just want him to want to come home with a friend and share a wonderful meal as a family.

The author of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. I disagree.

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right—which is why we may feel invisible some days. But one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin