Fr. Todd Bulletin, May 26 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,

Our intern, Dan Lacroix, has been formally accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Lansing.  He will be attending Sacred Heart Seminary this coming fall. Since he is entering seminary with a college degree his seminary track will take six years – two years of Pre-Theology and then four years of Theology.  We will keep him and his discernment in our prayers.  This past weekend he visited the farm and returned largely unscathed!

Welcome back to all of our Summer parishioners at St. Mary on the Lake!  Memorial Day weekend we begin our summer schedule at the Lake with the addition of a Saturday evening Mass at 6pm.  This continues through Labor weekend.

On Memorial Day, weather permitting, we will have Mass at Calvary Cemetery in Hudson at 8am  (5560 Meridian Road Hudson, Michigan).  Please bring lawn chairs or a blanket for sitting on the grass.  If it is raining that morning, we will have Mass at       Sacred Heart Church.

On this Memorial Day weekend, I think particularly of friends who have lost siblings, for whom this weekend carries a particular weight.  Let us pray this prayer for all who have given their lives in the defense of our country and their families who remain.

 

Gracious God, on this Memorial Day weekend,

we remember and give thanks

for those who have given their lives

in the service of our country.

When the need was greatest,

they stepped forward and did their duty

to defend the freedoms that we enjoy,

and to win the same for others.

 

O God, you yourself have taught us

that no love is greater than that

which gives itself for another.

These honored dead gave the most precious gift they had,

life itself, for loved ones and neighbors,

for comrades and country – and for us.

 

Help us to honor their memory

by caring for the family members

they have left behind,

by ensuring that their wounded comrades

are properly cared for,

by being watchful caretakers of the freedoms

for which they gave their lives,

and by demanding that no other young men and women

follow them to a soldier’s grave

unless the reason is worthy and the cause is just.

 

Holy One, help us to remember that freedom is not free.

There are times when its cost is, indeed, dear.

Never let us forget those who paid so terrible a price

to ensure that freedom would be our legacy.

 

Though their names may fade with the passing of generations,

may we never forget what they have done.

Help us to be worthy of their sacrifice,

 

O God, help us to be worthy.

 

– J. Veltri, S.J.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

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

 

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. Todd Bulletin, May 5 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This week we will be a busy week!  Our First Communicants will receive the Eucharist this Sunday at the 11:00am Mass.  We will also celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation on Wednesday, May 8th, at Sacred Heart Church at 7pm.  Thank you for all of your prayers and support of our young people.

Here is part of an article explaining the sacrament of Confirmation.

Growth is vital to human life; the body and mind must grow to stay alive. Catholics believe that the soul also needs to grow to maturity in the life of grace, just as the human body must grow through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Catholics believe the Sacrament of Confirmation is the supernatural equivalent of the growth process on the natural level. It builds on what was begun in Baptism and what was nourished in Holy Eucharist. It completes the process of initiation into the Christian community, and it matures the soul for the work ahead.  The Byzantine Church confirms (chrismates) at Baptism and gives Holy Eucharist as well, thus initiating the new Christian all at the same time.

So, what occurs during a Catholic Confirmation? The Holy Spirit is first introduced to a Catholic the day that she’s baptized, because the entire Holy Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are invoked at the ceremony. During Confirmation, God the Holy Spirit comes upon the person, accompanied by God the Father and God the Son, just as he did at Pentecost.

This sacrament is called Confirmation because the faith given in Baptism is now confirmed and made strong. Sometimes, those who benefit from Confirmation are referred to as soldiers of Christ. This isn’t a military designation but a spiritual duty to fight the war between good and evil, light and darkness — a war between the human race and all the powers of hell.

Confirmation means accepting responsibility for your faith and destiny. Childhood is a time when you’re told what to do, and you react positively to reward and negatively to punishment. Adulthood, even young adulthood, means that you must do what’s right on your own, not for the recognition or reward but merely because it’s the right thing to do. The focus is on the Holy Spirit, who confirmed the apostles on Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4) and gave them courage to practice their faith. Catholics believe that the same Holy Spirit confirms Catholics during the Sacrament of Confirmation and gives them the same gifts and fruits.

Traditionally, the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity. These are human qualities that can be activated by the Holy Spirit. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts are supernatural graces given to the soul.

(https://www.dummies.com/religion/christianity/catholicism/what-is-confirmation-in-the-catholic-church/)

The challenge is for all of us to activate the graces God gives us in Confirmation.  It is easy to treat these milestones as just a stepping stone that we leave behind. God longs to keep on pouring the Holy Spirit into our lives.  Even as we pray for those about to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation let us seek to engage this more fully in our own lives.  One thing I have found helpful to make this sacrament more concrete is to always be praying for a particular grace I need.  Confirmation is meant to help us live our faith in the world- so when we are aware of what we are lacking we should instinctually ask for it. The ones I pray for quite regularly are wisdom and understanding.

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, April 28 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

Happy Easter!

It is a funny thing- we can have a hard time knowing exactly how to celebrate Easter. We just spent 40 days of Lent.  That is a season that has clearly outlined parameters to enter into a penitential season to help us prepare for Easter through a renewed focus on fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.  But now that we are here, at Easter, the Church doesn’t give us specific guidelines.   They are simply to celebrate Jesus alive and present in our hearts, victorious over the realities of sin and death.  The cues for how we are to celebrate this Season are to be found in the stories and encounters we will hear in the Gospel’s throughout Easter.

Immediately after Jesus’ resurrection He began showing up to the Apostles and disciples, often in times of their own fear or confusion.  In a way that surprised and shocked them Jesus addressed people’s hurts, their fears, their lack of belief.  All things that seemed insurmountable until they could be surrendered to His presence.  Often, He was not recognized at first but He came and spoke the words each needed to hear.  Over time they came to realize exactly who was present with them giving them the comfort and direction they needed.  Even when the doors were locked, He would come in.  We will meet all of these people as we move through Easter- Mary Madelene, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the twelve in the upper room, Thomas who wouldn’t/couldn’t believe, Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

This is exactly how we are meant o celebrate Easter.  It is exactly how Jesus longs to come to us.  Some of the graces of the Holy Season of Lent is that is brings us face to face with our wounds, our hurts, our sins, our fears, our doubts, our questions.  Far from being a discouraging reality let this be the very foundation for celebrating Easter.  Just like Jesus did after His resurrection invite Him into those places Lent highlighted that He might heal and make new.  This Easter time invite Jesus intentionally again into your life, your heart.  Like those who walked with Jesus and didn’t recognize that He had actually been with them for a while may this season be a time to realize just how close He is to us.

I will be gone this April 22nd-30th for my yearly retreat.  My twin brother and I are going to a retreat center outside the twin cities for the week long retreat and then we will spend a couple days visiting our brother who is in seminary in St. Paul along with the other seminarians for the Diocese of Lansing studying there. Please keep us in your prayers and I will be praying for you!

SCAM ALERT!

Several times in recent months, parishioners have been contacted by someone claiming to be me and asking them to buy gift cards or to just send money. This is a scam! All of our local pastors have experienced the same thing. From what we gather, people overseas read church bulletins online and look for advertisers or parishioners whose contact information is in the bulletin. They then use it to perpetrate this hoax. It goes without saying: I do not ask parishioners to give me money personally, only for support of the parish. Disregard these messages if and when you receive them and encourage others to avoid them as well. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

 

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, April 7 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

I want to write a bit about Blessed Solanus Casey.  We have a bus going to tour and pray at his center in Detroit on Friday, May 3rd..  We have a few seats left, so if you would like to go, please call the office.  The fee is $46 and includes the bus, tour and lunch.  Regardless if you can go or not, it is a blessing to get to know this local saint in our midst.  He was beatified 2 years ago at Ford Field with 60,000 people in attendance.  I was blessed to be able to attend.  He was beatified because the Vatican and its experts said they could find no scientific explanation of how one woman’s genetic, disfiguring skin disease disappeared in the hours after she prayed at Casey’s tomb.  That woman, Paula Medina Zarate, was present at the Mass.  Here is a little bit about him:

  • Barney Casey became one of Detroit’s best-known priests even though he was not allowed to preach formally or to hear confessions!
  • Barney came from a large family in Oak Grove, Wisconsin. At the age of 21, and after he had worked as a logger, a hospital orderly, a streetcar operator, and a prison guard, he entered St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee—where he found the studies difficult. He left there, and in 1896, joined the Capuchins in Detroit, taking the name Solanus. His studies for the priesthood were again arduous.
  • On July 24, 1904, Solanus was ordained, but because his knowledge of theology was judged to be weak, he was not given permission to hear confessions or to preach. A Franciscan Capuchin who knew him well said this annoying restriction “brought forth in him a greatness and a holiness that might never have been realized in any other way.”
  • During his 14 years as porter and sacristan in Yonkers, New York, the people there recognized Solanus as a fine speaker. James Derum, his biographer writes, “For, though he was forbidden to deliver doctrinal sermons, he could give inspirational talks, or feverinos, as the Capuchins termed them.” His spiritual fire deeply impressed his listeners.
  • Father Solanus served at parishes in Manhattan and Harlem before returning to Detroit, where he was porter and sacristan for 20 years at St. Bonaventure Monastery. Every Wednesday afternoon he conducted well-attended services for the sick. A co-worker estimates that on the average day 150 to 200 people came to see Father Solanus in the front office. Most of them came to receive his blessing; 40 to 50 came for consultation. Many people considered him instrumental in cures and other blessings they received.
  • Father Solanus’ sense of God’s providence inspired many of his visitors. “Blessed be God in all his designs” was one of his favorite expressions.
  • Father Solanus died on July 31, 1957. … At the funeral Mass, the provincial Father Gerald said: “His was a life of service and love for people like me and you. When he was not himself sick, he nevertheless suffered with and for you that were sick. When he was not physically hungry, he hungered with people like you. He had a divine love for people. He loved people for what he could do for them—and for God, through them.”

For more info on Fr. Solanus Casey, please visit https://www.franciscanmedia.org/venerable-solanus-casey/

Fr. Solanus- Pray for us!

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, March 31 2019

 

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This past Tuesday I was able to visit my brother, Fr. Gary, and go through his school tricking his kids and teachers much like he did at Sacred Heart this past fall.  The best response I may have received is a kid who whispered concernedly to his teacher when I came in “What happened to Fr. Gary?!”.

This weekend we hear this famous story of the Prodigal son- a story that brings us to the heart of God.  I want to share a song that tells the story of the Prodigal called “When God Ran” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean.  Below are the lyrics and also a You Tube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGDU2H1tZCI

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Almighty God, The Great I Am,
Immovable Rock, Omnipotent, Powerful,
Awesome Lord.
Victorious Warrior, Commanding King of Kings,
Mighty Conqueror and the only time,
The only time I ever saw him run,
Was when

He ran to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to His chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice He said
“Son, do you know I still love You?”

He caught me By surprise, When God ran

The day I left home,
I knew I’d broken His heart.
And I wondered then, if things could ever be the same.
Then one night,
I remembered His love for me.
And down that dusty road, ahead I could see,
It was the only time,
It was the only time I ever saw Him run.
And then

He ran to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to His chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice He said
“Son, do you know I still love You?”

He caught me by surprise.
And He brought me to my knees.
When God ran, I saw Him run to me.

I was so ashamed, all alone, and so far away.
But now I know, that He’s been waiting for this day
I saw Him run to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to his chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice
I felt his love for me again.
He ran to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to his chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice
He said “Son”
He called me Son.
He said “Son, do you know I still love You?”
He ran to me (When God Ran)
(I saw Him run to me)
And then I ran to Him
(When God ran)
When God ran

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, March 24, 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

I think Spring has finally come!  It has been great to see some of our snow birds returning from down south.  I must say they chose a good winter to be away!

During this season of Lent, the liturgical color is purple.  A good way to remember the meaning of purple is that purple is for preparation.  Lent is about preparing us for something incredibly important, receiving Jesus into our hearts and the grace of His act of redemption that we celebrate at Easter time.  One of the ways we are invited to turn to Him, to invite Jesus into our lives during this time of Lent is through the sacrament of confession.

Make sure you get to a penance service. Here are the remaining dates for our Vicariate…

***Lenten Penance Services***

March 24 ~ St. Elizabeth, Tecumseh – 7:00pm

March 25 ~ Light of Christ, Blissfield – 7:00pm

March 27 ~ Sacred Heart/St. Mary’s on the Lake, 6:30pm at St. Mary’s

March 28 ~ St. Anthony, Hillsdale – 6:00pm

I want to mention again some of the great resources available 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

A good website that has a variety of examination of Consciences can be found at this link: http://www.thelightisonforyou.org/confession/.

God Bless your Lent!

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, March 17 2019

 

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This weekend is DSA commitment weekend- our once a year collection to fund the yearly services of the Diocese.  I want to encourage your support which makes the work of the greater Diocese of Lansing possible.

I find the DSA a helpful time to look back and see ways in which I, or someone I know, has been blessed through the various ministries of the Diocese.  Here are a few that hit closes to home for me.

I spent eight years in seminary and all along the way I was supported by the Diocese.  I find this time of year a good time to say thank you- you were supporting me long before I came to Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake.  Currently my youngest brother is in seminary and Dan LaCroix- our intern- is applying to enter seminary this fall.

Catholic Charities an important piece of our wider Church’s call to serve those most in need.  Quite often we can feel helpless when we see people’s needs- a combination of feeling un-equipped and inadequate for helping someone in the way that is required.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t support the organization that is equipped and trained for helping those most in need.  As a priest I am grateful to be able to turn to Catholic Charities for referral to take the next step in their lives.  In our own area Catholic Charities provides a counselor for our school, Mr. Marshall Hesslau, and we have access to additional counseling services through St. Anthony’s in Hillsdale.

The DSA helps support Catholic Schools.  We are so blessed at Sacred Heart to have a Catholic School and the Diocese of Lansing is a great support for us.  Part of our DSA supports both our own school but also the Catholic Schools throughout our Diocese.

Lastly, the DSA is a great reminder of the fact that we are part of the wider Church and the needs people have throughout it.  Even though we are in Hudson and Manitou Beach we are connected to everyone else in our Diocese.  St. Paul reminds us that “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:26).  May this always be true for us.

 

Thank you for your generosity!

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, March 10 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Families,

 

I am happy to say that Fr. Tomy will be staying on at our parish for three more years.  Bishop Boyea has asked that we (St. Mary on the Lake, Sacred Heart, and St. Anthony’s) send him a contract for those years.  Previously it had been worked out year to year so it is great to have that stability.  Fr. Tomy has been and will continue to be a blessing for us.

I hope we are off to a good start for Lent.  Sometimes the season can be a discouraging one because it means trying to do something and then failing.  Well part of the lesson of Lent is learning to get back up and keep on trying with God’s grace.  Such humility is good for us.  If a week into Lent we have failed in our resolution we simply get back up.

I know we are already a week in but it is never to late to start and/or do a course correction if the Holy Spirit has put something else on your heart.  Don’t be afraid to be inventive this Lent with your fasts/practices.  Here are some ideas…

  • Fasting from media/social media. It is rather incredible how much time we spend on media in its many forms and how much social media can play an outsized role in our lives.  Lent can be a great time to address that.  It is also amazing how hard this can be because of how deeply embedded it has become in so many aspects of our lives.
  • The phone basket- Have this near the kitchen table so the phone goes into the basket during dinner so your family dinner time is protected. So many things we wear now are connected to the web so the basket might include other devices as well.  (Who would have dreamt that one day our watches could also serve as phones!).
  • Build one person up each day- Look for the opportunity each day to recognize something positive in another person and either compliment them or share that with someone else. In a world where negative news often gets the greatest press we can fall into that same trap in our own conversations and interior judgments.
  • Have a list of people we fast for- fasting is a way of praying and an augment to prayer. A beautiful way to make our fasting more fruitful and give it more meaning for us to always offer up our sacrifice for someone.  If it is a Friday in Lent and you are not eating meat go to your list of people you know need prayers and pick one to offer that small sacrifice for.  I know of couples who fast one day for each other.  Others who take a day to fast for the Church.  There really are endless possibilities with this.
  • Let Lent be a forgiveness time – Lent is a traditional time for receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. It is also a great season to think of the people we need to forgive and begin praying in a consistent way to forgive them with God’s help.  A simple prayer is this- “Jesus I forgive (say the person’s name) for (list what you need to forgive them for)”.  Pray this prayer as long as you need to.  Forgiveness is a decision that we need to make and it is one that will change our lives.

Happy Lent!

Fr. Todd