Fr. Todd Bulletin, May 3, 2020

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s on the Lake,

I hope you are all doing well!  I think I say this every week, but it is hard not being able to see everyone.  With the loosened restrictions, I have been able to go back to my parents’ place for my day off again. We had a belated Easter celebration since I wasn’t able to come home for Easter.  I was there to help finish tearing off and re-shingling the house.  It felt really good to get some work in with my family on a couple of beautiful days.

Despite the continuing lockdown, it is so refreshing to see the world around us coming to life.  Spring is a sign of the providence of God: just as the world is sustained and cared for by God, so are our lives.  Here are a few of my favorite verses from Psalm 65 that meditate on His loving care.

You visit the earth, give it water;

you fill it with riches.

Your river in Heaven brims over

to prepare the grain.

And thus, you provide for the earth:

you drench its furrows;

you level it, soften it with showers;

you bless its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty.

Abundance flows in your pathways;

in pastures of the desert it flows.

The hills are girded with joy,

the meadows clothed with flocks.

The valleys are decked with wheat.

They shout for joy; yes, they sing!  (Psalm 65:10-14)

 

I love the imagery of this psalm and the memories I have connected to those spring and summer rains falling on a newly planted crop and then seeing them begin to grow.  Truly, it is an experience of seeing God’s river in Heaven brimming over and caring for the earth.  During this spring, take some time to marvel at the goodness of God taking shape all around us.

This helps us realize that He cares for the earth, but even more that He cares for each one of us.   Jesus put it this way: “Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?  Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.  Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.  Do not be afraid.  You are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7)

This springtime, may we realize God’s great care and interest in each one of us.  The question for springtime is to ask the Lord what He wants to nurture and grow in us.  Spring is a time for planting gardens.  (As you read this, there are cups of dirt all over the rectory in which Dan LaCroix is sprouting Basil to plant later this spring.)  The garden God is most interested in planting and caring for is us, our hearts and lives.  What is the seed that God wants to see grow in you?  These days, realize you are loved and cared for!  Be open to what God wants to see grow in you!

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Deacon’s Corner, May 3, 2020

As we begin our 7th week of isolation from COVID-19, I can’t help to think of everything put on hold that I used to take for granted.   I don’t need to ramble here about what all those things are, you know as well as me.  But, I do think this Sunday is a good time to reflect on something we can all take for granted, because it has been there seemingly forever.  That “something” is my Catholic faith.

During this isolation, I’ve realized how I take for granted worshiping at Mass every Sunday with my parish families, or any day of the week.  I take for granted how I can receive the Eucharist almost at will, or can stop by the church anytime during the day to spend a few minutes of solitude with our Lord.  I take for granted the rich traditions of my Catholic faith, and what I really believe as a Catholic.  So, I thought I would take another look here at just what do we believe?

We believe God created everything that exists – and he created a universe that is good.  Our story is humanity’s story, and begins before time was even measured.  It is recorded in the Bible, which simply means “book.” Jews and Christians share the first books of the Bible – for Christians, they are called the Old Testament.  The New Testament is our story of Salvation.  The Easter Story we celebrate every time we worship at Mass.

We are a community of believers who span the globe – our very name, “catholic,” means universal. We are members of smaller faith communities called “parishes”.  Our core beliefs are summed up in our Creed which we pray at every Mass.  We are the original Christian Church, which began when Jesus himself said to the Apostle Peter, “You are the rock on which I will build my church. The gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Every pope since then has been part of an unbroken line of succession since Peter, the first pope.

Ever since the 1st Century, we have believed that when Jesus said at the Last Supper, “Take this and eat – this is my body; take this and drink – this is my blood,” he was giving us the gift of his real presence in the form of bread and wine. We call this the Eucharist – a name that comes from the Greek word for thanksgiving. The Catholic Mass is a Eucharistic celebration and a celebration of God’s word in Scriptures. We believe that holy men and women who have come before us still pray for us and aid us. We call them saints.  Many of them were martyred, and our churches are named for them.  First among the saints is Mary, a virgin who gave birth to the child Jesus, and who is honored as the mother of God and the mother of the Church.

From the beginning of Christianity, the Catholic Church handed on God’s word to each new generation – and defined what it meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Through the centuries, it is the Catholic Church that preserved the Bible, as well as many other written works, through its monasteries and libraries. It instituted the university system in order to educate.

We also believe that beauty is a sign of God’s loving presence – and so we have commissioned and preserved some of the world’s greatest art-works. Without the sponsorship of the Church, Michelangelo would never have painted his famous Sistine Chapel nor carved the Pietà.

Today, the Catholic Church is the world’s largest charitable organization; we provide a significant portion of social service needs for Americans. There are nearly 250 Catholic universities and colleges in the United States alone. We also operate this nation’s largest non-public school system, one of those schools is right here in our community.

Mostly, we are over a billion people on every continent who profess and express a faith in Christ that spans two millennia.  We are Catholics.  We will survive this time of quarantine, and soon be back together worshiping our glorious God at Mass again.  Until then, stay safe and have a Blessed Easter Season!

Deacon John  Adapted from  www.dioceseoflansing.org.

 

BISHOP BOYEA’S 24 HOURS WITH MARY:

 

Bishop Earl Boyea invites you and your family to join him for 24-Hours-with-Mary this Friday 1 May and Saturday 2 May as the Diocese of Lansing is re-consecrated to Our Lady, Mother of the Church.

“To begin the month of May be re-consecrating our diocese to Mary, she who knew Christ best and loved him most, is both a beautiful and timely thing to do during this present COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bishop Boyea, 29 April.

“As Pope Francis recently observed, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us ever more united as a spiritual family and will help us all to overcome this time of trial.”

The consecration of the Diocese of Lansing to Mary will take place in union with all the other dioceses of the United States and Canada.

That apostolic initiative coincides with the call of Pope Francis for more Catholic families to discover the peace and joy of praying the Holy Rosary at home during the month of May.

Thus, Bishop Boyea’s 24-hours-with-Mary will consist of four events, all of which will be live-streamed on the Diocese of Lansing Facebook page and YouTube account.

* 3pm on Friday, 1 May: The re-consecration of the Diocese of Lansing to Mary, Mother of the Church, by Bishop Boyea live from the Cathedral of St. Mary, Lansing.

* 6pm on Friday, 1 May: The recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries off the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Cathedral of St. Mary, led by Fr. Karl Pung, Cathedral Rector.

* 12 Noon on Saturday, 2 May: The recitation of the Angelus followed by the recitation of the Joyful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary live from St. Patrick, Brighton, led by Fr. Mathias Thelen, Pastor of St. Patrick.

* 2pm on Saturday, 2 May: The Crowning of Mary, Queen of the May, by Bishop Boyea live from St. Patrick in Brighton.

For more helpful information on the Consecration of the Diocese of Lansing to Mary, the Holy Rosary, the Angelus and the Crowning of Mary, go to: https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/general/marian-consecration

JEOPARDY, Friday, May 1, 2020

JEOPARDY with our Seminarians… Friday, May 1, 2020

We will use Zoom to host the event. This is the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84031647504. If you haven’t used Zoom before, just click the link and you should be prompted to either download a program on your computer or an app on your phone. Like we did for bingo last week, we will have the meeting open to join at 7:15 but won’t start playing until 7:30.
Jeopardy will be modified from the typical format to work over Zoom. We will make teams, so nobody will be put on the spot to answer a question. Questions will vary in difficulty and focus, so everybody should be able to participate.
We will conclude the night by praying night prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, which is the daily prayer of the church. We will provide the text of the prayers and instructions via Zoom.
Because a whole team will win, there will be no formal prize. You do, however, have the chance of winning undying fame and glory as the victor of Zoom Jeopardy.

DSA Update

DIOCESAN SERVICES APPEAL

Due to the closing of our churches and the evaporation of offertory, the Diocese has wisely paused the 2020 DSA. The campaign to raise our parish goal of $28,190 will resume when the dust settles and life returns to normal. We are confident we will do the rest when we resume the campaign, hopefully later in the spring.

Of course, we won’t turn down the gifts that trickle in but we are also not actively seeking them for the time being.

To date:  we have received 45 pledges totaling $13,330.00 and that does not include donors who have given directly to the DSA online.  https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/DSA

A Message from the Bishop

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Good afternoon. These are unusual times. Every day holds new challenges for each of us. The same is true for our beloved Catholic Church.
And yet, we must prepare for the future, too.  Through our parishes, our schools, our ministries, our daily lives, how will we bring the message of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church to a needful world?
I hope you will take a few minutes to consider the video message below:
Please be assured of my gratitude and of my daily prayers for you and your loved ones. Thank you.
Yours in Jesus, the Risen Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing
If you have not already done so, please use the link below to make your 2020 DSA gift commitment today.  Your DSA gift will enable ministries and services critical to our parishes, schools, and Catholic agencies. Thank you!  Click to Support DSA
For more information about DSA and a list of ministries and services supported through your Diocesan Services Appeal gift, please click here.
To make arrangements for a stock, IRA, or donor advised fund contribution to DSA, please contact The Catholic Foundation Donor Services Team: 517-253-8792 or donorservices@dioceseoflansing.org.
For any other assistance or if you have any questions, please contact John Madigan or Matt Hufnagel at the Catholic Foundation:
John Madigan, President – 517-253-8738 or jmadigan@dioceseoflansing.org
Matt Hufnagel, Vice President – 517-253-8748 or mhufnagel@dioceseoflansing.org
Thank you for your support of the Diocesan Services Appeal!
Finally, have you considered electronic giving for your parish offertory support?