Fr. Todd Bulletin, September 22 2019

Our readings this weekend are challenging.  They point out that one day we will be called to present to God an accounting of our stewardship, the ways in which we used our time, talent, and treasure for His Kingdom.

 

This weekend is a good reminder of our call to arms in both the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  Part of our stewardship of the life God gives us is by how we give it away to those who need it the most.

 

The Spiritual Works of Mercy are:

  • To instruct the ignorant. This work of mercy means all of us are called to share and teach the faith passed on to us.
  • To counsel the doubtful
  • To admonish the sinner
  • To bear wrongs patiently
  • To forgive offenses willingly
  • To comfort the afflicted
  • To pray for the living and the dead

The Corporal Works of Mercy are:

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Visit the sick
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Bury the dead

 

We have many opportunities for both the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in our own parish and communities. We have the Hudson Ministerial Association and Food Pantry, and the Food Pantry at St. Mary on the Lake. We have parishioners who visit and bring Communion to the homebound.  On a regional level, we have Catholic Charities and all of their good work.

 

The Diocese of Lansing is hosting a “Welcome the Stranger Among Us” Conference – Pastoral Care of Immigrants on Friday, October 11th from 8:30-3:30.  For more information or to purchase a ticket, please go to this website: https://www.eventbee.com/v/welcomethestranger#/tickets

 

I know it can seem daunting when we see a list like this.  Don’t be discouraged!  See if the Holy Spirit is nudging you on one or more of them and then say yes.  Such is to be a good steward of this life Jesus gives us.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, September 15 2019

It is hard to believe that Fall is already here.  In this coming week or two, my parents will be taking in their final cutting of hay.  (I am hoping this happens on a Monday so I can get some tractor time.)

Fall reminds me of this passage from Mark 4:26-29: “He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.  Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.  And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

What we see mirrored in the fields round about us that are growing ripe for the harvest reflects something of the way Jesus works in our hearts.  At this time of the year we are in a privileged place of reflection.  What in my life in the past has been a seed of grace that has grown, perhaps even imperceptibly, but now is bearing fruit in my life?  What are the good things He has been doing even amidst times of difficulty or trial?  When you think of those blessings, think of their beginning and see if you can remember when the seed was planted: a prayer, a conversation, a homily (every priest’s fervent hope!), an unexpected road block?  God can bring even good out of evil, and these exercises of remembering can help us see His hand more clearly.   Doing so, we not only rejoice more in God’s loving providence but receive hope that even now Jesus is sowing seeds of grace in our heart.

This coming week, we will watch Deacon Larry Oney’s talk from last year’s Made for Happiness Assembly.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn-lLPRa8n8.

 

Sept 18 – at Sacred Heart (6 pm in the School Basement)

Sept 19 – at St. Mary on the Lake (10 am)

 

Deacon Larry Oney, a permanent deacon for the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, serves at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner, Louisiana. With a passion for lifting people up and sharing the faith, he leverages humor, joy, Scripture, love and personal insight to speak to people’s hearts and encourage them to live Spirit-filled lives.  Deacon Larry’s ministry can be found at hopeandpurpose.org.  HIGHLIGHTS of his talk:

 

  • • Every Christian is meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • • The Holy Spirit is the animator upon earth today in the body of Christ.
  • • Every Christian has the authority and power to evangelize all the world.
  • • By the power of the Holy Spirit, God calls us to be receivers, healers and deliverers.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

As a side note:  

The Parish Secretary will be on Vacation September 19-29, returning on Monday, September 30.  If you need immediate assistance, please contact Deacon John or the school office.

 

Our Financial Report for Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2019 has been submitted to the Diocese of Lansing.  We have also provided a bulletin stuffer this weekend.

Click here if you wish to preview the FYE 18.19 Parish Financial Report.

Fr. Todd Bulletin, September 8 2019

Dear Sacred Heart & St. Mary Parishioners,

 

There has been a lot going on the past couple of weeks, so this bulletin article is a bit of a catch all.

A big thank you to all who helped with the fish fry at St. Mary on the Lake—delicious as always!  Now that we are past Labor Day, we will no longer have our 6 pm Mass on Saturdays.  Our winter schedule is Confessions at 8:30 am followed by Mass at 9:30.  The Mass rotation Fr. Tomy and I try to stick with is one will take the 4:30 pm Mass at Sacred Heart and then on Sunday will take the 9:30 am Mass at St. Mary’s.  The other will take both morning Masses at Sacred Heart.  The following weekend, we swap that schedule.  There is an attempted method to the madness!

A word from Dan LaCroix:

Thank you for being so welcoming to me in the time I was at the parishes. I really enjoyed getting to know you, and my time living in a parish was very helpful in my discernment. Working in the school and going to all the parish events (as well as meals you invited me over for) was a very welcome break between graduating from Michigan Tech and beginning seminary. I’ve just moved into Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and I begin classes September 3. I look forward to being able to come back to visit over breaks. Please pray for me as I begin seminary, that my formation may go well and I may follow God’s will for my life.

Fr. Tomy will be on retreat this week (September 9th-13th).  Please pray for him and all the priests from his community serving here in America as they gather for their annual retreat.

A big thank you to Jim and Bea Cuthbertson who removed the hive of honey bees that had taken residence in the back wall of Sacred Heart.  They moved into a space under a window sill by the air conditioning units.  They brought an extra bee suit so I was able to help safely remove them with a shop vac and then relocated to their farm.  What a really neat experience.  Jim estimates there were 25,000-30,000 bees in the hive.  I look forward to hearing how the Church hive does in its new home!

We are approaching the beginning of many religious education classes and opportunities.  Please stop by the Church offices to register or sign up.  There are ways for all of us to grow in this coming year.

God Bless!

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, September 1 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,

Thank you to everyone who helped make my installation Mass and reception so beautiful.  Thank you to for your warm welcome for my family and friends who came down- I enjoyed being able to give them a tour of parish and rectory.  With eight of my nieces and nephews running around for the afternoon there is a trail of crumbs throughout the first floor- the rectory is nicely lived in!

I have had a couple of questions about who can join the pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October of 2020.  While I want parishioners from Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake to have the first opportunity to come, we are not restricting those who can come to just our parishes.  You are welcome to invite family and friends from outside the parishes to come.

We are officially back to school- which is always hard to believe.  This is a good time of the year to ask the way in which Jesus wants you to grow and learn this year.  The mantra I heard throughout seminary was that while we were in seminary to formed to be priests, formation does not stop after ordination.  In other words, there was the reminder that we would of course need to be keep on learning and growing after seminary. Even though we might not be going to classes regularly anymore we would need to keep on reading and seeking ways to grow.

This is a great challenge for all of us.  As our kids go back to school do ask that.  Jesus, how do you want me to grow this year.  Is it to read a book on a particular subject or simply the life of a holy man or woman that can be an inspiration for me?  Is it to access some of the resources we have here through Bible Study, C.A.F.E. on Sundays, Formed.org, to listen to good podcasts?  I know I have talked about these things and before and you can find information on our website for them. Here I will just mention a few books that you might find helpful:

  • “Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found Itby Jennifer Fulwiler. Jennifer gave a presentation at last years Made for Happiness Assembly. This book is a fuller presentation of her story and how Jesus met her as an atheist and walked with her into faith.
  • “A Song for Nagasaki” The Story of Takashi Nagai a Scientist, Convert, and Survivor of the Atomic Bomb by Paul Glynn.  As noted in the books forward “Christians and non-Christians alike were deeply moved by Nagai’s faith in Christ that made him like Job of the Scriptures: in the midst of the nuclear wilderness he kept his heart in tranquility and peace, neither bearing resentment against any man nor cursing God.”  His story is deeply encouraging and is a powerful example of how to walk in and through great suffering.
  • “He Leadeth Me” by Fr. Walter Ciszek S.J..  American Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek spent some 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. He here recalls how it was only through an utter reliance on God’s will that he managed to endure.
  • “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The private writings of the saint of Calcutta By Mother Teresa and Brian Kolodiejchuk.  During her lifelong service to the poorest of the poor, Mother Teresa became an icon of compassion to people of all religions.  This collection of her writing and reflections sheds light on Mother Teresa’s interior life in a way that reveals the depth and intensity of her holiness for the first time.

God Bless!

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, August 25 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,

This weekend I want to highlight Annika Corazzol, a young woman in our parish, who is giving the next year of her life to Jesus by serving teens in the inner city of Sharpsburg, PA.  Her family moved to the area this past year.  Ironically, she went to college with Daniel Lacroix, the seminarian we have been hosting the last eight months.

I asked her to write a short biography for us.

“Hello my name is Annika Corazzol.  I was blessed to be raised in the Catholic Church by an incredibly loving family, I was homeschooled through High School and went to college at Michigan Technological University where I graduated this past May with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering.  During my time there I was given the chance to help found the first Catholic Woman’s house and live there for 3 years, serving as house mom for my senior year, I was involved in the Newman Center and student parish where I had the privilege of sponsoring one of my friends entering the Church and with FOCUS where I was able to walk with two disciples in their lives and relationships with Christ.

For the next year I have decided to follow what I feel is a very strong call to give back and serve the Church by reaching out and evangelizing teens in the inner city to break the cycle of hopelessness and spiritual poverty that are a result of the physical poverty in these communities.  Since a young age I was drawn towards helping children who didn’t have a home and families like I did, and this has only strengthened during my own faith journey and as I have prayed about my vocation.

When I met Bob Lesnefsky and learned about what Vagabond Missions does, reaching out the way Jesus did during the incarnation, meeting teenagers where they are and giving the most valuable things we as Catholics can give, the good news of the Gospel and an invitation to make a home in the Church, I knew this mission was something that God had been putting on my heart for a long time.  I am beyond excited to see how God will be working in Sharpsburg PA where I will be stationed and to have the opportunity to walk with these teens.”

Please pray for her this year.  Anytime anyone gives themselves the Lord is an encouragement for all of us.

If you would like to support her in her work you can do so by going to vagabondmission.com/donate and select “Annika Corazzol” under the “select a campaign” drop down box.   For more information about her mission work you can go to https://www.vagabondmissions.com/

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, August 18 2019

Dear Sacred Heart,

It is hard to believe that the summer has been going so quickly!  I want to say thank you to everyone who has been dropping off fresh fruits and vegetables over the course of the summer.  Starting with the asparagus in early summer they have been a great addition to our meals.  (While we have had seminarians to feed this summer, I must admit that sometimes whatever was dropped off didn’t make it past me!)

Last weekend was our mulching party working on beautifying our landscaping and preparing the playgrounds for the new school year.  Thank you again to Matt Shaffer who let us borrow his bobcat.  Plus, I do enjoy the tractor time.

Sacred Heart has a rich history of people who has helped build up and support our parish.  It has been a blessing to hear the stories and see what people are doing now to be a good steward of what was given to us.  This has particularly been on my mind since a meeting last week with Tom Meredith who has been working on a labor of love for our cemetery.

Part of the history of Calvary cemetery is that it is actually the third cemetery our Catholic Community has had.  It was preceded by a cemetery at Catholic Hill and on the East Side.  When Calvary Cemetery was dedicated buried parishioners were disinterred and moved from those to other sites to the current location.  Since our parish started with the purchase of one acre of land in 1847 you can imagine the variety and nature of records that have been kept through the different locations our Churches and cemeteries.

In 2012 Tom Meredith began the task of collecting all the pertinent records and maps of past and current cemeteries and assembling from them an accurate account of who is buried in our current cemetery and where.  As a part of this process he researched and helped Sacred Heart purchase a cemetery software program.  He input all of the past information so you can easily search for and find who is buried where.  New information can be easily added to the program so we will have a precise record going forward.

Tom’s work took place in the context of the cemetery committee that over the past few years has been caring for the cemetery with numerous repairs and improvements being made.  This is an important part of our parish that we need to continue building up and caring for.  I particularly think of the beautiful Mass we celebrated there this past Memorial Day.  It is a place of peace and rest.

Thank you, Tom, the cemetery committee, and all those who care for our cemetery!

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, August 11 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Thursday, August 15, 2019. The Assumption honors the moment when Mary was taken body and soul into heaven. She is the model of the Church and a good example for every Christian. Let us join together in celebrating the Heavenly homecoming of the Blessed Mother!

Vigil Mass ~ Wednesday, August 14

6:00 pm at St. Mary on the Lake.

Holy Day Masses ~ Thursday, August 15

8:00 am at Sacred Heart

9:15 am at St. Mary on the Lake

6:00 pm at Sacred Heart

On a different note, Bishop Boyea has asked every parish to participate in collecting signatures for a citizen’s petition drive that will initiate legislation to prohibit the dismemberment abortion procedure.  Next weekend, August 17th and 18th there will be volunteers helping collect signatures after our Masses.

Below is part of an article from Faith Magazine describing the petition drive:

“A citizen’s initiative petition drive to prohibit the dismemberment abortion procedure in Michigan has now begun. Dismemberment abortion is a particularly gruesome procedure that deserves no place in civilized society. It involves tearing a live baby apart limb by limb inside the womb and individually removing each of its body parts. This petition drive, operating under a committee named Michigan Values Life, is organized by Right to Life of Michigan and is supported by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC). We are presenting this information about the petition drive to encourage parishioners to coordinate petition drives, and to ask everyone to sign a petition.

In order to propose a ban on dismemberment abortion to the Michigan Legislature, the signatures of approximately 340,047 registered voters must be gathered within 180 days of July 26. The goal is to gather 400,000 signatures throughout the summer and early fall.”

You can access the full article from Faith Magazine here:  https://faithmag.com/michigan-catholic-conference-supports-end-dismemberment-abortion-petition-drive

Whenever we talk about abortion it is important to highlight the healing and forgiveness God longs to bring to those who have been a part of an abortion.  One of the great ministries available to help women and men experience this healing is Rachel’s Vineyard.  https://www.rachelsvineyard.org/  For both women and men that I have talked with the healing retreats offered by Rachel’s Vineyard was a pivotal experience.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, August 4 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s Families

At the end of July, I received a call from another of my sisters announcing there will be another niece or nephew arriving in early 2020. That will bring the number to eleven so the Koenigsknecht clan of ten will edge past replacement levels!  It has been a beautiful thing to watch my siblings enter into their marriages and take on the roles of spouse and parent so well.  Their yes to their vocation is a great encouragement and model of self-sacrificing joy for me.

Thinking of Vocations there are a few opportunities coming up for supporting vocations.

Baseball game for Vocations – August 9

  • Join thousands of others to gather at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing, Friday, August 9, 2019 for the Annual Knights of Columbus Family Night for Vocations. This year is the 20th year!!!  There will be vocation cut outs and inflatables for kids, a Catholic information booth and ending with post-game LACFU Fireworks!
  • Box tickets are just $13.00 each! By purchasing a ticket through your Knights of Columbus Council you will be helping some 400 children, seminarians, sisters, postulants and novices attend the game as well!
  • I will be going to support my brother Randy, Dan Lacroix, and the other seminarians. It is very family friendly and is an encouraging evening.

Bishop’s Priesthood Discernment Dinner – August 18

  • Meet and greet at 3:00 PM at Bethany House in Dewitt, Michigan
  • Talk by Bishop Earl Boyea
  • There will be time to visit with Diocesan seminarians, priests and others like minded as you.
  • BBQ Dinner following and depart for home.

If you are under 18 and would like to attend please send me a permission and health form.

Deadline to register: August 15 (https://2019bishopdinner_bethany.eventbee.com)

 

The Foundation – Men’s Discernment Group

I will be leading a Discernment group based at St. Anthony’s in Hillsdale this coming year

Who:  Any adult man over the age of 18 who has graduated from high school and desires to join a group of men who are not afraid to talk about priesthood and be open to God’s call – whatever it is.

What:  Peer support and prayer are the main focus of the group, along with diving into topics surrounding priestly discernment and Catholic identity.  All meetings are centered around a discussion about the chapter of the day from the book “To Save a Thousand Souls” (books will be provided).

Where & When:  Saturdays at St. Anthony Pauda, Hillsdale.  Visit our website at sacredhearthudson.org and click on the link for dates!  VOC-Foundation-Hillsdale 2019_20

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, July 28 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This coming week I will be gone Sunday afternoon on the 28th– August 2nd for vacation with my twin brother and a couple of friends.  My brother Randy’s last day here at the parish was the 25th.  Dan will be leaving us the end of August for Seminary at Sacred Heart.  It has been a blessing to have them here both serving and helping on a list of projects around the parish and at the school.  I have gotten pretty used to a game or two of cards at the end of the evening but it will be back to two person games with Fr. Tomy!  Please continue to pray for them and for all those discerning a call to religious life in our diocese.

I would like to mention a resource as a follow-up to last week’s reading about Martha and Mary.  Jesus gently reminded Martha not to be anxious or worried and to learn to do everything with Him and for Him. To see the many little duties of life not as mere duties but as acts of love, something that God wants to present in.  It is a struggle for all of us to unite the entirety of lives with Jesus.  Too often we divide up our lives into God Time and then Our Time.  They are meant to be one such that even as we are going about like Martha with daily activities we are still like Mary at the feet of Jesus.

The resource is a little short book by Brother Lawrence called “The Practice of the Presence of God”.  (https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Presence-God-Brother-Lawrence/dp/0883681056).

“Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our souls. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence.

As a humble cook, Brother Lawrence learned an important lesson through each daily chore: The time he spent in communion with the Lord should be the same, whether he was bustling around in the kitchen—with several people asking questions at the same time—or on his knees in prayer. He learned to cultivate the deep presence of God so thoroughly in his own heart that he was able to joyfully exclaim, “I am doing now what I will do for all eternity. I am blessing God, praising Him, adoring Him, and loving Him with all my heart.”

Look to those things in your life that have drifted into mere duty and invite Jesus into them.  At the beginning of the day when you roll out of bed stop for a second on your knees and offer that thing, whatever it might be, to Jesus ahead of time.  Then in the midst of it ask Jesus to be with you and for you to be with Him.

 

God Bless!

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, July 21 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,

Last week we had Fr. Ernie join us for our annual Mission appeal.  As you all know Fr. Tomy is also a Missionary Priest serving us.  I’m not sure if you all have gotten to know his story so I interviewed him for this bulletin.

Fr. Tomy is the 5th of six children (three boys and three girls). He has four nephews and nine nieces.  Currently he has three grand nephews.  He grew up on a rubber tree farm in the Southern part of India.  There were 200 trees on the farm and growing up he would collect sap from the trees to make rubber every day.

Fr. Tomy likes to play basketball, going for walks, readings, playing cards (Canasta, Euchre, Cribbage), and watching Cricket and Soccer.  He enjoys traveling and visiting places when he has the opportunity.

When he was 19 years old, he went to seminary in India.  At first, he didn’t want to become a priest.  Rather he went to seminary to complete his 11th and 12th grades and then come back home.  God had a different plan.  He also found out that his Mom was praying an extra Rosary for him every day after he joined the seminary.  That was in addition to the Rosary that they would pray every day as a part of their family prayers.  (This is just like Mary going to Jesus as the wedding of Cana on behalf of that young couple who were about to run out of wine).

In his first year of seminary he had a retreat on which the director spoke of the priesthood, one’s duties as a priest, how and why someone is called. That really inspired him.  From that point on he knew that he wanted to be a priest.  It was an additional bonus that he found the seminary studies went more smoothly than back home.

When he joined the seminary, his older brother was already in the seminary.  It was he who brought him to the seminary.  Fr. Tomy told his mom that while both of them were there only one would become a priest.  Since his brother was very holy and prayerful with a great desire to be a priest, he figured that would be his brother.  Again, God had another plan.  After one year his brother went back home and Fr. Tomy continued on.  (His brother is married now and eventually became a school principal).

After seven years of studies he went to Tanzania to complete his seminary studies.  His first year in Africa he spent a time in a parish getting ministry experience and learning the language, Swahili.  (Fr Tomy speaks three languages- Swahili, English, and Malayalam). After a one year of parish experience he finished with four years of Theology.   He was ordained on August 4th 2001 at his home parish in India.  He belongs to the order of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales.  They are more commonly known as Francesalians.

After ordination he went back to Tanzania to serve.  During his time in Tanzania he had four different assignments (Two years as an associate priest, two years helping in the seminary, and then two different parishes as Pastor.  His first pastorate was to a large Church that included 25 village chapels that he would drive to off road through the bush.  Over the course of three months he could make his way to all 25 of the villages.  At his first parish he had one associate helping him.  He was in this assignment for 5 ½ years.

At his second pastorate to a smaller parish that had 8 village chapel but he was by himself.  Over the course of one month he would make the rounds to the villages.  He was also in this assignment for 5 ½ years.

After twenty years in Africa he came to us where he helps both of our parishes and Hillsdale.  And we are blessed to have him serving with us so far from his own home!

 

God Bless!