Deacon’s Corner, December 2 2018

Today is the First Sunday of Advent and it always seems to sneak up on me.  With Thanksgiving still in the rear view mirror, trying to clean up the to-do list before year end, and making final plans to visit the kids and grandkids for Christmas, it’s easy for me to get distracted and forget just what Advent is all about.

Advent is a season of hope.  It’s a time to remember that we can find contentment without commercialism and social pressures, without the latest designer fashions or next spectacular video game.   It’s a time to ask God to mold us into the person He wants us to be.  A time to wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savoir – not just celebrating his first coming as an infant Savior 2000 years ago, but waiting and watching for Jesus to come again.  Waiting with all the anticipation of a small child waiting for Santa.  Watching so we don’t miss out on seeing God with our own eyes.

That’s the message from Jesus in today’s Gospel.  His words are short and sweet – be vigilant, be watchful, be alert.  For we do not know when God will come looking for us.  Jesus isn’t trying to scare us.  He just doesn’t want us to miss out on the biggest moment of our life – that joyous instant when we finally get to see God and have the peace of mind we have been searching for.

St Paul said in the second reading today – strengthen your hearts, be blameless in holiness, and conduct yourselves to please God.  As we enter this Advent season, let’s take time to do these things in preparation for Christmas to receive our God.  Let’s take time from our busy schedule to look for the ways God is acting in our life.  Because if we are too busy to prepare ourselves – if we are too busy to spend time with God – then we ARE just too busy – and Advent becomes another Christian holiday tradition lost in the glitter and glamor of a commercialized Christmas season.

May you have a Blessed and joyful Advent preparing for the coming of our Lord.

Deacon John

 

Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession

As a Parish, we have subscribed to Formed.org.  We invite all our parishioners to visit sacredheart-stmary.formed.org and register for free.   As a FORMED Subscriber, you will have access to all 9 sessions of Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession.

Forgiven explores the grace and healing offered in Confession and shows how this sacrament of mercy reveals the depth and bounty of God’s love. By looking at God’s revelation of his  mercy in Scripture and making a step-by-step examination of the Rite itself, Forgiven          communicates God’s invitation to each one of us to come experience his indescribable love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

There is a lot of information on growing your faith, especially during the Advent Season.  You can also download an app to your smartphone.

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, December 2 2018

Dear Sacred Heart Family

Advent has begun!  Like always it is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us.  The challenge always is to not let this season pass us by. During this season the liturgical color is purple.  A good way to remember the meaning of purple is that purple is for preparation.  Advent is preparing us for something incredibly important, the coming of God Himself into our midst.  And so we get ready.  That is why we wear purple during the other great preparation time of the year- Lent.

There are many ways to enter into this holy season. One way I want to highlight is to simply take advantage of the area Penance services.

  • St. Anthony in Hillsdale ~ Tuesday, December 4th at 6pm
  • Light of Christ in Deerfield ~ Thursday, December 6th at 7pm
  • St. Elizabeth in Tecumseh ~ Sunday, December 9th at 7pm
  • Sacred Heart/St. Mary on the Lake ~ Wednesday, December 12th at 7pm (at Sacred Heart)
  • St. Joseph Shrine ~ Thursday, December 13th at 6:30pm
  • St. Mary’s/St. Joseph in Adrian ~ December 17th at 7:00pm (at St. Mary’s)

When it comes to confession there are a lot of great resources to help us enter into this powerful and healing sacrament.  If it has been a while since your last confession don’t be worried about not remembering the right words.  Any priest will be happy to help guide you through the sacrament.  I want to mention a couple of apps you can use on your phone that can help you prepare for confession.  Many people can find it helpful to bring their phone to confession and to simply follow the guide.  Feel free to do so.

The first app is call “myParish”.  This app is free, and has a lot of great resources about the faith, our own parish activities, and a helpful examination of conscience.  All you need to do is download the app and on the home screen that appears select the icon labeled confession.

Another excellent (and free) App is “Laudate”.  It is filled with great resources- The Bible, the daily readings, a guide for confession, the liturgy of the Hours, many, many prayers, links to current news, etc.  You now have in one place an incredible trove of resources.  These can be a great way to augment your spiritual life and/or help get your prayer life going

As a Parish, we have subscribed to Formed.org.  We invite all our parishioners to visit sacredheart-stmary.formed.org and register for free.   As a FORMED Subscriber, you will have access to all 9 sessions of Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession.   Forgiven explores the grace and healing offered in Confession and shows how this sacrament of mercy reveals the depth and bounty of God’s love. By looking at God’s revelation of his  mercy in Scripture and making a step-by-step examination of the Rite itself, Forgiven communicates God’s invitation to each one of us to come experience his indescribable love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

There is a lot of information on growing your faith, especially during the Advent Season.  You can also download an app to your smartphone.

St. Mary’s will be hosting an ADVENT HOLY HOUR on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm.  The Advent Hour will be a time of Adoration, with a Gospel and Homily followed by a procession throughout the church.  In all of the busyness of this season this is an opportunity to give the Lord time, to draw near to Him and let Him draw near to you.

Happy and Holy Advent!

Fr. Todd

 

Cemetery Clean Up

Image result for cemetery clean up

The Cemetery Committee will be doing Cemetery Clean Up on Saturday, November 24 beginning at 9:00am.    All are invited to come help!  What a great way to honor our loved ones and our parish family!

Please bring rakes, leafblowers, tarps, etc.

 

Special Visitor

Fr. Todd brought special visitor to Sacred Heart School……Fr. Gary!    The two of them played a prank on each of the classes!   Fr. Gary entered the classroom first and spoke with the kids.  Fr. Todd then joined in.   This created much laughter from students and staff!   After discussion of the differences in twins, each class had their picture taken with both Fr. Koenigsknecht’s!  Fr. Gary even got to meet Lloyd the Guinea Pig.

 

  

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, November 25 2018

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving.  I enjoy Black Friday almost as much as Thanksgiving day.  Our tradition has been that Mom and the girls all go shopping while the guys stay home playing cards while eating Venison Steak.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

This weekend I want to finish up our series on the fourfold Christian response to death.  Having grieved, taken time to remember and learn from our loved ones, pray for them and ourselves, we end by realizing anew God’s providence.

The Church year ends in November with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  This feast day is the celebration of the God’s providence, that all things are wrapped up in God Himself.  All that happened in the past year and all that will happen in the year ahead will take place in the reality of God’s love and care.  When it comes then to dealing with our grief at the death of a loved ones this helps us remember several important truths:

 While death is a reality that seems all encompassing the truth is God is bigger.  Paul writes: We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thess 4:13-14).

 Death no longer has the last word.  The last word belongs to God.  While there are many verses that would apply, I want to use these words Jesus left with the Apostles just before His own Passion: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. (John 14:1-3).  In times of great pain and grief we cling to His words, His promises like we cling to a lifeline thrown to a struggling swimmer.

We are never alone.  Psalm 139 is one of my favorites and has been a great source of comfort in times of anxiety and fear.

“LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. You sift through my travels and my rest; with all my ways you are familiar.  Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.  Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, far too lofty for me to reach.  Where can I go from your spirit?  From your presence, where can I flee?  If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, there you are.  If I take the wings of dawn and dwell beyond the sea, Even there your hand guides me, your right hand holds me fast.  If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light”. Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day.  Darkness and light are but one” (Psalm 139: 1-12)

In the face of death, we lay our loved ones into His hands who carry all things.  Then we can’t forget to let Him carry us too.

 

God Bless! Fr. Todd