Deacon Corner, July 8 2018


America’s 13 original colonies met in a hot room in Philadelphia and decided to break ties with Britain.   Signing the Declaration of Independence was an act of treason.  They knew full well the penalty would be death if captured.  Of the 56 original signers, 5 were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died.  12 had their homes ransacked and burned.  2 lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.  9 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.  So, who were these men who signed and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor?

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy farmer and trader, saw his ships captured by the British Navy.  He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was hounded by the British and forced to live on the run with his family in hiding.  McKeam served in the Congress without pay.  His possessions were taken from him leading to a life of poverty.  Soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson saw British General Cornwallis take over his home for a headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire on it.  Nelson’s home was destroyed and he died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The British jailed his wife and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and gristmill were laid to waste.  For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

During a speech in Raleigh, North Carolina this past April, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “Our [Country’s] Founders recognized that religion and religious people play a key role in strengthening our society. They feed the hungry, heal the sick, and comfort the grieving.  They teach right behavior and give meaning to life. They are present at birth and at death….That’s why the Founders gave the public expression of religious belief a triple protection in our Constitution by protecting the “free exercise” of religion—not just worship in secret, [but] banning an established religion and ensuring the freedom of speech…Our Founders reserved a space for people of faith in the first lines of the First Amendment…ensuring that people of faith can find have a fair shot at finding space in every town and every city in America.”

As we return home this weekend after celebrating the birth of our Country, let’s remember that religious freedom was something the Founders of our Great Nation fought hard and gave their life for.  We can honor their sacrifice by exercising that freedom every day – by going to church, voting our faith, fighting for the rights of the unborn and the oppressed, and openly praying in public that God continues to bless our nation with prosperity and freedom for all.

Deacon John


Fr. Todd Bulletin, July 8 2018


Dear Families at Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake ,

I am very excited to be joining you.  I know Fr. Joe has loved his time with you and I am to be following him.  He has told me many great things about both communities.  Every time we talked over the past couple of weeks all he would do is brag about you and the good things the Lord has been doing.  I look forward to continuing the good work Jesus has already begun.

I know this has been a shock for you as it was for me and St. John the Evangelist, the parish I came from. I was struck by the fact though that the announcement happened on the feast day of the birth of St. John the Baptist.  He is an incredible example of what it means to follow God’s call, even with its unexpected twists and turns.  It was a reminder to me of the Lord’s providential hand in all of this and the call to trust in His love and His plan.

I wanted to share a bit about me.

I grew up in Fowler, MI on my parent’s 260-acre organic dairy farm.  They sell their milk to Horizon organic.  I am the 4th of ten children (seven boys, three girls).  My twin brother, Fr. Gary, is number five being born four minutes after me!  Five of my sibling are married and I am blessed to have nine nieces and nephews.  I am hopeful that there are many more to come.

I entered seminary right after high school in 2006.  My first four years were at St. John Vianney College Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.  I then spent four years at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit for Theology.

For my first assignment I spent three years at St. Thomas the Apostle in Ann Abor, MI.  I spent this past year at St. John the Evangelist in Fenton, MI.  Both of my assignments have had schools so I am very excited to have our school at Sacred Heart.

I enjoy running, fishing, playing cards (euchre, pinochle, cribbage to name a few), board games, reading, and generally hanging out.  I love being a priest and I love farming (I usually go back to my parent’s farm on my day off) so this assignment seems particularly providential.

It is an honor to be able to serve here.  I look forward getting to know all of you.  I have been praying for you since I received the call from Bishop Boyea.

God Bless,

Fr. Todd


Sacred Heart Family Fun Golf Outing ~ July 14, 2018


Click here to download 2018 flyer

Entry Fee:  $40 per person (members & non-members)

Get your son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, niece, nephew, grandma, grandpa and anyone you can think of to sign up for this event.    Teams of 4!   If you don’t have a full group, that’s ok too ~ we’ll find someone for you to team up with.   DEADLINE FOR TEAM REGISTRATION IS Wednesday, July 11


Farewell Fr. Joe

Please join us Sunday, July 1 as we bid farewell to Fr. Joe. 

Pray for his strength and wisdom.

Pray for his peace of mind.

Pray that he offers healing to parishioners at Holy Family and St. Mark, as he did for us at Sacred Heart and St. Mary.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”   John 15:12-15

Donuts and coffee will be served in the Sacred Heart Parish Hall following the 11:00am Mass.  No gifts please.

Fr. Joe Final Bulletin, July 1 2018

Greetings in Christ!

It’s with a heavy heart that I submit this bulletin, my last one for you, my beloved parish families.

July 1 of this year would’ve started my seventh year with you guys and apparently, the Bishop decided that it was penance enough for you all!

All kidding aside, I want to tell you with all sincerity that I love you. You have helped me become a better priest than I was when I walked into our parishes six years ago.

Through all of you, the Lord healed my broken heart and I am eternally grateful to all of you for that.

I’m going to type up my last homily and submit it to both parishes to put on the website or whatever means is deemed most appropriate. It is in that homily that I will offer you my thanks, as well as some challenges for the future.

I ask you to welcome Fr. Todd, to cherish him and love him like you did me.

I will hold both of my parish families in my heart for the rest of my life.

I’m heading off now to minister to two parishes closer to my family which of course is a blessing to me. In the same way that I tried to give you the entirety of myself, I will now offer that to them. This means that I will not be coming back to help with weddings or funerals or other such things. It’s not a lack of love on my part at all, but a desire to be faithful to what the Lord is calling me to now.

Thank you for loving me as I am and helping me become more.

Your brother,





Welcome Fr. Todd Koenigsknecht

Fr. Todd Koenigsknecht will start moving in on Monday. Lets give him a very warm welcome. In 2016 Fr. Todd and his identical twin brother were part of the CNN interview with Lisa Ling “Called to Collar”. If you have not watched this interview, take the time and you will get to know our new pastor.