Fr. Todd Bulletin, March 22, 2020

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,

A question many of us have right now is: “Is the world being turned upside down?”  In many ways, it is, as things we were all familiar with are now being changed, altered, and/or canceled.  Where is God in all of this?

This has reminded me of a beautiful metaphor from a biography written about St. Francis of Assisi by G.K. Chesterton.  Chesterton described how St. Francis saw the world.  Francis’ vision is one we should all pray for.  Chesterton wrote:

If a man saw the world upside down, with all the trees and towers hanging head downwards as in a pool, one effect would be to emphasize the idea of dependence. There is a Latin and literal connection; for the very word dependence only means hanging. It would make vivid the Scriptural text which says that God has hanged the world upon nothing.

If St. Francis saw in one of his strange dreams, the town of Assisi upside down, it need not have differed in a single detail from itself except in being entirely the other way round. But the point is this: that whereas to the normal eye the large masonry of its walls or the massive foundations of its watchtowers and its high citadel would make it seem safer and more permanent, the moment it was turned over the very same weight would make it seem more helpless and more in peril. It is but a symbol; but it happens to fit the psychological fact.

St. Francis might love his little town as much as before, or more than before; but the nature of the love would be altered even in being increased. He might see and love every tile on the steep roofs or every bird on the battlements; but he would see them all in a new and divine light of eternal danger and dependence. Instead of being merely proud of his strong city because it could not be moved, he would be thankful to God Almighty that it had not been dropped; he would be thankful to God for not dropping the whole cosmos like a vast crystal to be shattered into falling stars. Perhaps St. Peter saw the world so, when he was crucified head-downwards.

That we all depend in every detail, at every instant, as a Christian would say upon God, as even an agnostic would say upon existence and the nature of things, is not an illusion of imagination; on the contrary, it is the fundamental fact which we cover up, as with curtains, with the illusion of ordinary life. That ordinary life is an admirable thing in itself, just as imagination is an admirable thing in itself. But it is much more the ordinary life that is made of imagination than the contemplative life. He who has seen the whole world hanging on a hair of the mercy of God has seen the truth; we might almost say the cold truth. He who has seen the vision of his city upside down has seen it the right way up.

We know how strong and steadfast are the hands of God which hold all of us: our families, our parishes, our school, our community, our nation, and our world.  May one grace of this time be that we are all better able to see the world the right way up—all held and sustained by the hands of God.

God Bless you all!

Fr. Todd

Prayer time, Church Hours, Confession

We are in the midst of a strange, confusing, uncertain, and in some ways, scary time.  As we navigate through this, please please set aside time for family prayer and personal devotion time.  We will be posting a video of Mass each day that will be available on our Parish Websites and Facebook pages. Both Church’s will be open for personal prayer time (please protect the six feet distance asked of us and self-police so the number of people gathering stays around 10).  Sacred Heart will be open daily from 9-6pm.  St. Mary’s on the Lake will be open daily from 8-4pm.

We will be offering confessions at the following times: Tuesday night 4-6pm at Sacred Heart (confessions will be heard in the sacristy).  Thursday from 4-6pm at St. Mary’s on the Lake (confessions will be heard in the cry room).  Saturday from 4-6pm at Sacred Heart (in the sacristy).  If there is a line for confessions please respect the six-foot distance. We are purposely spreading out the times for confession so there doesn’t need to be a rush.

How beautiful it would be would be if prayer is what marked us during this time!

Resources from the Diocese

The Diocese of Lansing is releasing great new online resources to help you in that most important parental task. Entitled “Being the Church at Home”, it’s full of great materials to assist you in praying as a family and teaching your children about Jesus Christ and his Holy Church. Go to:

https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/education-catechesis-and-youth-ministry/being-church-home?fbclid=IwAR3VJDO2UYNbHl2QGcZxwqu6AMzQlLe5MsMRJopcdhYF-4mdLNv8R5naiPg

 

 

Special Notes**

We are suspending all visits to our Homebound parishioners.

 

We did not submit the bulletin this week because of no Masses for the public. We will resume printing the bulletin next week for anyone that does not have internet connection.  These will be located at the entrance of the church. Please spread the word.

 

We will still plan on the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Novena’s.  You may mail your intentions – $5 per intention to the parish office.

 

Weekly tithing……  If you are unable to do Online Giving, please mail your envelope to the parish office or you may drop it off in the drop box on the rectory steps OR in the locked votive box in the church.  God bless us all during this time.

Deacon’s Corner, March 22, 2020

Everything I’ve read this past week seems to be about the coronavirus.  This Deacon’s Corner is no different. So, if you are tired of reading coronavirus stories, feel free to pass on this one.

Last Saturday, in the midst of school closings, public events being canceled, and panic buying, Kimberly and I went to our place near Gaylord for a long weekend.  We had just finished stocking my mom with groceries before her senior living residence went into lockdown.  The flurry of emails about Mass, school closing, religious education classes, and meetings had ended.  Our trip had been on the calendar for weeks.  So, we decided to go and meet some friends for 5pm Mass at St. Mary Cathedral.  Upon arriving and double-checking the Mass time, we found out the Bishop had suspended all Masses within the Diocese of Gaylord.

Now, I’m a cradle Catholic.  So, I’ve been literally going to Mass my entire life.  My initial reaction to Mass being suspended was a shoulder shrug considering everything else going on in the news.  But then it hit me.  No Masses for a while. Now, I have to sheepishly admit, there are times it would be nice not to “have to go to Mass.”   But, this news of no Masses at all made me realize how much I have come to rely on Sunday Mass as a critical staple in my personal well-being.

As I am writing this the next day on Sunday morning, I already miss gathering together to worship God as a faith community.   I miss sharing the Word of God, singing hymns of praise, bringing Jesus our gifts of bread and wine, and Jesus giving them back as Himself in the Precious Body and Blood of the Eucharist.  I miss the praying of the Lord’s Prayer together, embracing with the Sign of Peace, and quietly reflecting on my blessings as the choir sings the Communion Hymn.  I miss standing by the Altar with Fr. Todd and Fr. Tomy, assisting them as their deacon.  And I miss proclaiming to you at the end of Mass: “Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord!”  I miss all of that.  Then I think about all the people who can never attend Mass.  Like our homebound parishioners, residents (like my mom) in senior living centers, people in Africa where there are not enough priests, and those persecuted in China and other countries with no 1st Amendment rights.  It makes me realize that suspending Masses here is one small sacrifice to make in order to get our great nation back on its feet from this crisis.

I saw on Facebook where someone posted that COVID 19 stands for Christ Over Viruses and Infectious Diseases, and “19” refers to Joshua 1:9.  Think about that, then look up Joshua 1:9 in your Bible.  Is God trying to send us a message?  Someday our coronavirus crisis will be over.  Once again, the store shelves will overflow with everything we could ever need and want.   The stock market will recover, schools will be back in session (sorry kids), life will return to normal, and we will once again gather as the Body of Christ to celebrate the Lord’s Day.  Until then, may we be grateful for what we have, mindful of those who have nothing, and develop a deeper appreciation for the Mass and our Faith.

Deacon John

 

 

Update from Fr. Todd

Good Afternoon! Please take a few moments to watch the attached video.
 
 
Here is a list of bullet points……
 
* All public masses and parish events are canceled through April 8.
 
* Fr. Todd & Fr. Tomy are praying daily mass, with the Mass intentions already scheduled. Please know that your mass intentions will be honored. We are hoping to upload videos of daily Mass and Sunday Mass, which will be available on our website and Facebook.
 
* Tammy & Suzzanne will be in the office, however, we are restricting all foot traffic to the parish office. If you need to contact the parish office, please do so via phone or email. There is also a drop box on the rectory steps, if you need to drop something off or pick something up.
 
* To offer private prayer time, Sacred Heart Church will be open from 9am-6pm every day and St. Mary from 8am-4pm every day. Please be cognizant of the 6’ space and respect the 10 person limit of gathering. There will be hand sanitizer and disinfectant at each entrance should you need it.
 
* Fr. Todd or Fr. Tomy will always be available in the event of an emergency where the services of a priest are needed. The Emergency line is 517-258-0448.
 
* Please remember us during this time. If you haven’t done so, please consider online giving at https://giving.parishsoft.com/App/Giving/sacr207300. It’s a simple way to continue to give to your parish. If you need assistance with setting up your online account, please call the office. You may also mail your weekly contribution to the parish office.
 
* Keep checking our Facebook page and our website for more updates, community announcements, and more! If you have questions, feel free to contact us at the Parish Office (517) 448-3811.
 
* And always, take this time to pray.

Pope Francis prayer to Virgin Mary for protection from Coronavirus

Pope Francis’ Prayer to Our Lady, Health of the Sick, to implore her protection during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic:

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,
with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that,
as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Daily Mass Options by Word on Fire, Bishop Robert Barron

Friends,

In recent weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has had a profound impact on countries around the world—and, increasingly, here in the United States.

In light of measures being taken to contain the outbreak and avoid further illness, many of us may be hesitant to leave our homes. In many areas, Mass and other church services may not be available.

It is at this exact moment that our faith is most needed.

In an effort to continue the practice of our faith in these trying times, I would like to invite you to join us online for daily Mass.

Beginning today, Tuesday, March 17, Word on Fire will be offering daily Mass for the foreseeable future.

Join me, or Word on Fire CEO Fr. Steve Grunow, right here https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass.

If you cannot attend Mass or join us online, I encourage you to read the Gospels, pray with your families, and join yourself to the Eucharist—the source and summit of our Catholic faith—by making an act of spiritual communion like the one recommended by Archbishop Gomez: “I wish, my Lord, to receive you with the purity, humility, and devotion with which your most holy Mother received you, with the spirit and fervor of the saints.”

And please continue to pray for all those affected by the coronavirus.

Peace,
+ Bishop Robert Barron