Fr. Joe Bulletin Article, May 27 2018

 

Greetings in Christ!

May God bless our Memorial Day with a great gratitude for all those who died in service and defense of our country.  As Jesus said “No one has greater love than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

We’ve got a big one this weekend: Trinity Sunday.  This is the day when we Catholics celebrate a special mass to honor the unity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  The catechism defines the Trinity as “The Central Mystery of our Faith”…the trinity permeates so much of our worship and our theology that, honestly, we often miss it!  But, right there at the beginning of our mass we say “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, which is also the words we use to end our mass.  We believe that the three persons of the Trinity are so perfect in their love for each other and self giving that they are one.  Catholic marriage is an attempt by two humans to imitate that mystery and such a wonderful thing is only possible through the power and working of the Trinity: this is why we recognize marriage as a Sacrament.  I could go on and on and if you are at any of the masses I celebrate this weekend, I very well may!

We thank God that He is a community of persons who created us and recognize that this fact has placed within us a hunger for community.  May God bless and strengthen our efforts to love Him and each other by imitating the beauty of the Trinity.

Monday is Memorial Day and this is a big day for our country.  As Catholics we recognize the value of honoring the dead and we pray for them as well.  Let’s use this great day as a reminder to be grateful for those who have died in service to our country and also as a time to remember how important it is to pray for the dead.

I think it important that we pray together that day and, weather permitting, I am going to pray mass at the Sacred Heart Cemetery on Memorial day at 8am.  If you would like to come pray with me, bring a lawn chair or something to sit on and we will pray mass together back by the crucifix in the back of the cemetery.  If it is raining at 7am, then count on us NOT praying mass at 8 and I invite you to pray a Rosary for our dead.

Even though Fr. Dan is not leaving until July 1st, we have had our farewell parties for him.  Please be sure and thank him for his generous heart and wonderful presence among us these last few years.  As I typed a couple weeks ago, I would have been lost without him…what a great man.  Starting in August, it will be Fr. Tomy and I covering St. Mary on the Lake and Sacred Heart.  Fr. Tomy will also be helping at St. Anthony on Sunday nights.

Finally, I was genuinely touched and blown away by the response from both parish families in regard to DSA.  I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.  I actually had a few of you ask if there was a way to set up a monthly automatic donation for DSA and it turns out the diocese is working on that.  For my part, I am pledging $20.00 as month in perpetuity to the DSA as soon as it become available to us.  If we all do $10, $15 or $20 a month, we won’t even need to do a DSA pitch anymore and we’ll actually get money back from the diocese each year.  Please pray about this and, if you feel called, look for further updates here in the bulletin.

Whew!  it feels like I typed a lot this morning!  We are so blessed to be alive at such interesting times.

I am so very grateful to God for the gift he gave me in serving you.  Let’s be Saints.

 

 

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, May 20 2018

Greetings in Christ, all!

What a wonderful Easter Season this has been.  Now, here we are at the Feast of Pentecost: the birthday of our Church.

What we celebrate this weekend is nothing less than the joy of the God giving us the gift of His Holy Spirit.

For many Catholics, we are not quite sure what to do with this gift.  We are not sure what the Holy Spirit is and how He can help us.  To that, we have been blessed to offer the Life in the Spirit seminars and, while we are wrapping up our first run of these sessions, we are offering more.  I simply cannot encourage all of us enough to check this out.  Keep your eyes and ears open for the next set of sessions: you will NOT be disappointed.

I wanted to take some space here and run through the summer with you.

Our schedule this summer is quite…interesting. There are a lot of different things going on that make our calendar quite challenging and what I ask is for your patience and understanding with the inevitable errors or changes that will come about as a result.

The biggest thing that is challenging us continues to be the lack of priests.  Fr. Tomy is stretched over Mt. Zion, St. Anthony’s and us and I continue to cover Sacred Heart, St. Mary on the Lake and St. Joseph in Adrian.  While the original plan was for that time at St. Joe’s to have ended in June, it remains unclear to me whether or not that will actually happen, as their new priest will not be arriving until August.

Beyond that, we are blessed to have a lot of marriages, baptisms and other such wonders and it is going to make our calendar interesting.

If you see something and wonder why we are doing it on such and such date when we should be doing it on another, know that we met for hours trying to figure this all out and have offered everyone our absolute best.

So…there it is.  We are beginning a wonderful and challenging run that we will give to God and ask Him to strengthen us for.

May God bless our efforts to worship Him, love Him and love each other more every day!

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, May 13 2018

 

Greetings in Christ, all!

This blessed and holy Easter Season is drawing to a close: can you believe it?

I wanted to take this time to run the DSA by you for this year.  I had received some questions about why we are doing a DSA since we just did the big Witness to Hope Campaign and I thought this would be a good format to tackle it.  I understand people feeling frustrated or confused…especially at Sacred Heart, where we literally just finished the campaign.  I’ll ask us to think of two things when we think of DSA and then, at the end of this article, I’m going to ask everyone to consider a radical approach to our yearly DSA efforts.

The first thing is this: DSA is Diocesan Service Appeal and it is the way the diocese funds herself for the year.  They don’t have a parishes per se, they don’t have weekly collections, they are totally dependent on the yearly DSA collection to operate; they have no other means of funding.

The second thing is this: as you may remember from the handouts, the Witness to Hope campaign was done to accomplish two things: help parishes meet any extra needs they have and help the diocese shore up its numerous trusts and efforts to help people. At both parishes, we benefitted greatly from the Campaign, as the diocese basically footed the bill for our fundraisers.

So, here we are, as we are every year (except last year!) asking God’s People to chip in and help the diocese with its numerous offices and ministries.  At our Parish, we recognize that we are part of a bigger reality: we are a part of the diocese of Lansing and we need to do our part.

I want to pitch an idea that I hope will make it easy to hit our DSA goal every year and I am asking you with all my heart to consider this.  Every year, we meet our DSA because a couple people step up and write big checks.  For the most part, we do not have a large number of people participating and I’d love to change that.

Here is what I am getting to: if every family within our parish would commit to pledging $20.00 a month to the DSA, we would go over our goal and help our diocese.

In order for this to work, we would need everyone to participate…we would need everyone to commit to this and, if we did, we would easily make our goal.  To be clear, I hate asking for money.  I really do.  This time of year is one where my hunger to help us do our part clashes with the realization that money is tight and many people don’t like it when I ask.  But here is the thing: the diocese is not separate from us, it is a family we are part of and the diocese is counting on us to help them help us and all the other parishes in our diocese.

I am asking you to please challenge yourself and consider doing your part, especially if it is not your custom to participate in the DSA campaign.  Let’s not put all the burden on 5% of our parish family, but take it all on together.

I will be preaching on the DSA next weekend, May 19-20 and I will share some very specific examples of what your DSA dollars do…I think it will blow you away.

Please help me spread the word and this challenge…I would be so grateful.

God bless you…thank you for who you are and all you do.

I’m blessed.

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, May 6 2018

Beckett Campbell           Landan Cramer

Justin Falater                  Caden Glinski

Maci Godfrey                   Leah Gramlich

Brooke Houser                Ethan Parker

Elizabeth Schulte           Wyatt Shaffer

Veronica Tinkey             Carter Vanlerberg

Rylee Wilson                   Cali Wismer

Grace Wright

We are so very blessed to celebrate First Communions this week!  Our beautiful young people have spent many hours learning about the wonder of the Eucharist and God’s deep, unchanging love for them.  I pray that today and everyday, we thank God for the gift of the only Sacrament that we call “The Blessed Sacrament”.

Pray for our wonderful young people who will be receiving their First Communion.  Pray that God bless them with a sense of His closeness.

Pray for each of us here whom may have grown used to such a wonderous gift…pray that God remind us of how blessed we are to receive him today.

Pray for the parents of our First Communicants, that God will bless them for their “yes!” to him and for giving their children the most important and best gift they can.

Pray for our teachers, Angelo Gutierrez and April McCaskey who sacrifice so much time and give so much of their talent to help our young people know the wonders of the Eucharist.

Pray for Chloe, Quentin, Carson and Derick who received their First Communion at St. Mary on the Lake on April 22.

I am truly blessed to be your priest! FJK

 

Did you know that May is traditionally the “Month of Mary” in the Catholic Church?  Mary, a humble handmaid of the Lord and who is “full of grace”, was chosen by God the Father to be the Mother of his only Son.

Here are seven simple ways you can honor her his month:

Daily Mass ~  Make an effort to attend daily mass. If you can’t make it everyday, go a couple of times during the week.

Pray the Rosary ~ The rosary is one of the most powerful prayer on earth.  Pray the Rosary every day, as a family and  as often as you can.

May crowning ~ Attend a May crowning.  It is a lovely service to show Mother Mary our love for her.

Pray a novena ~ Find prayer that you can say each day in the month of May in honor of Our Lady.

Take a pilgrimage ~ Visit a Marian shrine for a day of prayer and recollection.

Short aspirations ~ As you go about your busy day, lift your heart up to the Lord and Our Lady and say a little prayer.

May flowers ~ If you have a statue of the Blessed Mother at home, put some flowers at her feet.

While all of these are all wonderful ways to honor the Blessed Mother to show our love and affection, the absolute best way to honor the Blessed Mother is to honor, love and worship her Son.

Adapted from www.simplecatholicliving.com

All ladies of the parish are invited to the Crowning of Mary, Mother/Daughter Banquet on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 6:00pm in the parish hall.  Please bring a dish to pass and your own table service.

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin Article, April 29 2018

Greetings in Christ, all!

What a beautiful spring we are experiencing, even though it has been a bit late to arrive…

We’ve got a couple big Saint days this week…we’re celebrating St. Joseph the Worker on Tuesday and The Feast of Sts. Phillip and St. James on Thursday.

St. John Paul II had a wonderful quote about St. Joseph:

“Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit.  He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God.  He listens in silence.  And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.”

We don’t know a ton about St. Joseph, he doesn’t appear in any of the stories of Jesus as an adult and most historians believe he died when Jesus was younger.  He is the patron of a lot of things, the Universal Church, those who are dying, those who work with their hands and fathers.  He’s a great intercessor and I recommend we ask him for his prayers often.

Catholic Culture gives us some good summaries of Sts. Philip and James:

St. Philip

The Apostle Philip was one of Christ’s first disciples, called soon after Jesus baptism in the Jordan. The fourth Gospel gives the following detail: “The next day Jesus was about to leave for Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him: Follow Me. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him: We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote, Jesus the Son of Joseph of Nazareth. And Nathanael said to him: Can anything good come out of Nazareth?  Philip said to him: Come and see” (John 1:43).  He is the patron saint of pastry chefs, people who make hats and Uruguay.

St. James the Less

St. James the Less, a brother of the Apostle Jude, was of Cana of Galilee. He is the author of one of the Catholic Epistles in the New Testament (appropriately names The Letter of James).  The New Testament tells us that the risen Jesus visited him (I Cor. 15:7) and that after the dispersion of the Apostles he was made Bishop of Jerusalem.  He was visited by St. Paul (Gal. 1:19). He spoke after Peter at the meeting of the Apostles (Acts 15:13). When he refused to deny the Divinity of Christ, the Jews cast him down from the terrace of the temple and clubbed him to death.

The Breviary contains a very moving description of his death. “When he was ninety-six years old and had governed the Church for thirty years in a most holy manner, the Jews sought to stone him, then took him to the pinnacle of the temple and cast him off headlong. As he lay there half dead, with legs broken by the fall, he lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed to God for the salvation of his enemies, saying: Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do! While the apostle was still praying, a fuller struck his head a mortal blow.”

His relics now rest next to those of St. Philip in the church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, and their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass.

He is the Patron of a lot of things: Apothecaries, druggists, dying people, fullers, hatmakers, hatters, milliners, pharmacists, Uruguay.

So…we’ve got some Saints to ask for prayers this week!  Praise God for their wonderful example and mighty prayers.  As I like to remind people, there are days open in the Church calendar for us to be Saints.

I’m about to head off with my Dad to the wedding and I ask for you to pray for his health and our travels.  We are expecting to have a wonderful time and I could use some rest and some time with him.  For those who didn’t notice, I didn’t end up being able to take that week after Easter off as so much had happened here so this really is timely for me.

I pray for you and thank God for you.

Fr. Joe Bulletin Article, April 22 2018

Greetings in Christ!

I want to take this opportunity to celebrate those preparing for their First Holy Communion in both our Parish families.  Our beautiful young people have spent many hours learning about the wonder of the Eucharist and God’s deep, unchanging love for them.  I pray that today and everyday, we thank God for the gift of the only Sacrament that we call “The Blessed Sacrament”.

Pray for our wonderful young people at St. Mary on the Lake, who will be receiving their First Communion today: Chloe, Quentin, Carson and Derick.

Pray for our wonderful young people here at Sacred Heart who will receive the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday, May 6:

Beckett Campbell, Landan Cramer, Justin Falater, Caden Glinski, Maci Godfrey, Leah Gramlich, Brooke Houser, Ethan Parker, Elizabeth Schulte, Wyatt Shaffer, Veronica Tinkey, Carter Vanlerberg, Rylee Wilson, Cali Wismer, Grace Wright.

Pray that God bless them with a sense of His closeness.

Pray for each of us here whom may have grown used to such a wonderous gift…pray that God remind us of how blessed we are to receive him today.

Pray for the parents of our First Communicants, that God will bless them for their “yes!” to him and for giving their children the most important and best gift they can.

Pray for our teachers, who sacrifice so much time and give so much of their talent to help our young people know the wonders of the Eucharist.

We are so very blessed to pray this day together!

As a note, I will be traveling with my Dad to a family wedding in Wisconsin next weekend.  I’m leaving the rectory on Thursday afternoon.  I’ll drop off Marius with my nephew, pick up Dad and we will drive early Friday morning to Wisconsin.  On Monday, on my way home, I get to meet with my favorite living historian who happens to live in  Madison: I’m so excited about this!  I’ll be back Thursday.

Please pray that Dad and I have safe travels and joyful times

I am so blessed to be your priest!

fjk

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin Artical, April 15 2018

Greetings in Christ, all!

May God bless our Easter Season and fill us with love, faith and hope in the resurrection.

Our Easter Season continues…it lasts a bit longer than Lent.  A good way to think of it is like Christmas: we celebrate it as a season, not a day or a week.  We can hold fast to our belief in Jesus resurrection even when everything around us seems to be falling apart.  Because of Christ’s resurrection, we know that, in the words of The Apostle, we are “more than conquerors”.

I think that a good exercise for each of us in this Easter Season is to take our belief and apply it to the difficulties we encounter.  When I hit hard times, I ask the Lord to help me do two things:

First, remember what he has gotten me through in the past.  It’s fairly amazing how hard we have to work to remember these times, but it is important to.  There were moments in your past where you wondered how you would ever get through it all, but here you are now, reading this article and God got you through.  Scripture puts it this way: “I will remember the kindness of the Lord, his great and glorious deeds”.  We need to remember these kindnesses of our God.

Second, we remember the resurrection.  We hold in our hearts our abject conviction that Jesus rose bodily from the dead and that because of that, heaven is a possibility for each of us.  The story of us ends well if we allow it and so there is nothing we will encounter that can take that away from us.

St. Therese tells us that, from the viewpoint of heaven, the entirety of our life on earth will seem like a night in “an inconvenient hotel”.  I like that.  Let’s pray that God bless us with the divine perspective.

I’m fired up for Bible Study this week! We are going to gather at St. Mary on the Lake Thursday after the 915 mass and begin a walk through the Beatitudes.  Its one of my favorite Bible Studies and I hope to see you there…

I thank God every day for the joy of serving as your priest.

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, April 8 2018

Greetings in Christ!

I’m writing this at midnight on Easter Vigil night/Easter Morning…what a glorious experience!

I have so much to say, but I don’t think any words I can muster will catch my gratitude.  Nonetheless, I’ll try…..

I’m grateful.  I’m grateful beyond belief for all of you.  I was absolutely blown away by the wonder of our two Parish Families working together to make our Holy Week the best one ever.  To be honest, I prepared for some complaining when we announced that the two parishes would be celebrating Holy Week together.  I know it’s different and I know it made it a bit more inconvenient for some but I heard nothing but positive and supportive comments.

The end result was stunning.

I don’t know if you can tell, but there are hours and hours of work that begin months before Holy Week.  The celebrations are very complex, very intricate and there are a lot of planning meetings, lots of practices and an incredible amount of work.  On Holy Week alone, there are many hours of heavy duty set up and lots of running around.  None of this could have happened without many sacrificial, loving and hard working hands.  It all came together so nicely!

The music was incredible, our servers were faithful and on time, our lectors obviously practiced and on and on and on.  The only weak point of the Holy Week was the priest.   🙂

For me, my favorite thing was seeing St. Mary on the Lake and Sacred Heart people working hand in hand together; joyfully giving their all no matter where the celebration was held.

If you worked on these celebrations, I am so very grateful.  Whatever you did, if I did not personally thank you, if God’s People didn’t thank you, know this: our Heavenly Father saw you and honors your hard work and sacrifice.  Unlike us goofy, sinful humans, He never forgets those who serve Him!

A lot of people told me that the Tenebrae celebration was new to them and something we should do every year: I agree.  I was blown away by it.  Deacon John and Janet McGrath did absolutely incredible work in putting this together and frankly, during the whole week they were in constant motion serving us…Blessed be God!

Okay.  I’m way to excited and its showing with my multitude of exclamation points, so I’ll wrap this up and get to bed, ready to rise for morning masses.

As I will mention in the Easter Masses, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to check out the Life in the Spirit seminars we are offering at the parish.  These are wonderful sessions that are designed to teach any who come how to encounter and work with the Holy Spirit in everyday life. It is through the Life in the Spirit program that my life was transformed and I’m so happy its here now.  Please check out the bulletin for details.

Bible Study this week at Sacred Heart: we’ll gather Wednesday at 6pm in the Church Hall and cover the   beatitudes or continue our introduction to the Gospel of John.

My heart is filled with gratitude for the blessing of being your priest.

Happy, Holy and Joyful Easter Season to all of you.

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, EASTER

Greetings in Christ!

A blessed, happy and holy Easter Season to you all!  Christ is risen, not just in the past, but in the here and now and everyday of the future until the end of the world.

His love has triumphed over sin and death and, as a result, we need fear nothing, we need bind ourselves to nothing but him for the rest of our lives.  He has made his victory our victory, his resurrection our resurrection; praise His name!

Our Easter is not just a day, but a 50 day season that ends on the feast of Pentecost.  During that time, I will be preaching on the 7 Sacraments of our Church, using a different Sacrament each Sunday.  This will follow the same basic format as the 7 Deadly Sins homilies I gave during Lent.  I pray God bless my efforts!

Three things for this week:

¨ I’ll be gone Monday through Thursday, spending time with my Dad and getting some spring projects done around his house.

¨ Next Sunday, April 8th is called “Divine Mercy Sunday”.  The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a devotion I pray very often and it has changed my life.  I cannot encourage you strongly enough to learn this simple, quick devotion and pray it with fervor.  I have cards in the confessional with the instructions, should you need them.  Please don’t hesitate to ask.

¨ On April 11th, our Church, along with many other Churches will honor Yom HaShoah.  This is a day the Jews have given us to set aside and remember the Holocaust.  In the last year of the Nazis in Germany, approximately 6,000,000 Jews were brutally tortured and killed in various camps around Europe.  We call out to heaven on this day, remembering the evil that was done and the evil all of us are capable of.  We pray on that day for our Jewish brothers and sisters.

So…that’s our week.  I want you to know that I thank God everyday for the wonder, the joy and the blessings of being your priest.

In the Risen Christ,

fjk

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, March 25, 2018

Greetings in Christ!

May God bless our Palm Sunday with great love and give us a steady commitment to enter into this Holy Week with purpose.

Palm Sunday is the day that kicks off the Holiest Week of the Year. We commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  We call it Palm Sunday because we receive Palm branches which are then blessed and used in our procession into the Church.  We recall Jesus entry into Jerusalem and walk with him in his triumph.

For us, its the start of the week where we walk with Jesus on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.  This whole week, we ask for the grace to remain constantly conscious of who Jesus is and what He has done out of love for us.

One thing I always recommend is that each family in our parish commit to lighting a candle and placing it in a very obvious place in our house all week.  Each time we see it, we remember that this is not just another week: its a special, holy week.  You can even commit to a short prayer whenever you see it.  Here’s a few suggestions for a prayer to say:

“Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine” (say 3x)

“For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world”

“Draw me closer to your Sacred Heart, Oh Lord”

“Blessed Mother, walk with me as I walk with you through the Passion of your son”

These are suggestions, obviously, you can make your own prayer or choose another one…anything; just pray!!

Don’t forget our Holy Week Celebrations are at different times and this year, both St. Mary on the Lake and Sacred Heart are doing one Holy Week together.

Beyond our normal celebrations, I’m excited about another opportunity this year:

Apparently, for some time Sacred Heart in Hudson hosted an Ecumenical Prayer Service on Good Friday for all Christians who want to participate.  We are doing it again this year!  Any who are interested, please come to Sacred Heart at Noon on Good Friday for a brief (45 min?) time of prayer.  We will do a Biblical Stations of the Cross, which is a bit different from our usual Stations of the Cross.  I think its a great way for all people to see that, Catholic or Protestant, we want to work together for God’s Kingdom.  This does not “replace” our Good Friday Service at 3pm, its simply another way we can honor the supreme sacrifice of Our God.

Final note: don’t forget that Easter Sunday schedule is different than our usual Sunday schedule and, when we gather for mass, someone will probably be in your seat.  It’s your mission to pray for that person.  🙂

So…lots and lots this coming week: pray for the grace of conversion in each of us.  Pray for the grace to enter into His Passion so that we can enter into His Resurrection!