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

 

2019 DSA

 

 

 

 

DSA 2019 

This weekend the 2019 Diocesan Services Appeal COMMITMENT WEEKEND kicks off with the theme from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, 9:6: “Whoever sows bountifully will reap bountifully.” The Diocesan goal is $5,100,000. Sacred Heart 2019 DSA goal is $25,627.00.

The DSA accounts for two-thirds of the Diocese’s operating budget and funds more than 100 vital programs and ministries that are essential to our Catholic presence in mid-Michigan.   Diocesan Services Appeal dollars help to fund the televised Outreach Mass for seniors unable to come to the church, the publishing of FAITH magazine, the education and formation of future priests and grants to Catholic Charities that benefit the broader community in countless ways.   Please prayerfully consider your generous gift. 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.

 

 

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, 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

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, March 3 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Families,

I had a great time this past Tuesday giving a tour of Sacred Heart Major Seminary for our 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.  It is always a privilege to be able to celebrate Mass in that chapel where I spent four years of my formation.

We are on the cusp of Lent with Ash Wednesday being this week.  On the front of this bulletin we have a list of all of the opportunities to walk with God here at Sacred Heart and at St. Mary on the Lake.  I encourage you to hang this up on your refrigerator or whatever in your house serves as the bulletin board and pick some things to go to.  Lent is a time where we can focus on prayer in a particular way- all of these things provide practical ways to do that.

Here are some tips for engaging in this Holy season of preparation for Easter.

  •  Be practical- Don’t take on a regime that is impossible because that sets us up for failure.  Look at what is missing in your spiritual life and look for one practical thing to address that lack.  Look at what needs to be taken out of your life or put into the proper place and look for one practical way to do that.
  •  Lent is just as much about cutting things out as it about adding things in.  Sometimes you can’t do both so don’t be afraid to choose one or the other for a really blessed Lent.
  • Prioritize our Lenten fasts.  Too often we focus on things like giving up chocolate or other similar things that can be helpful to give up but at the end of the day are not that important.  But if our prayer life is what is lacking that has a priority- eat the chocolate and start praying in some way.  Bring the chocolate to your prayer time if that helps!
  • Use your car time well- This can be a gem of built in time in our day that we can use well.  Listen to a podcast that addresses some aspect of our faith.  One of my favorites is The Fr. Mike Schmitz Catholic Podcast by Ascension.  You can find it in on apple or android by simply typing in his name.  He gives great 6-8 minute reflections on a whole range of topics.  With my 1 ½ hour trip home on my day off I have a whole series of podcasts that I can choose from.

The forty days of Lent are a reflection of the forty days Jesus spent in the Desert fasting yes, but more so than that, forty days of being with His Father.  At its heart that is what Lent is about- drawing close to Jesus who longs to draw close to you.  To help in achieving that we try to cut out the things that get in the way and build in opportunities to spend time with Him.

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, February 24, 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

The Knights of Columbus fundraiser was a fun and successful evening.

Fr. Tomy won a glider/rocker in one of the raffles (my ticket was only 5 numbers off of his!).  He has graciously put it in the living room for all of us to be able to use.  Thank you for participating and supporting the Knights and their many charitable works.

I spent this past Monday and Tuesday in Dewitt at the Diocese’s New Pastor Institute.  It was a great run down of the administrative responsibilities that come with being a pastor.  I had a couple of take-aways in particular.  First of all, having a thorough review/reminder of all the many details that need to be kept in mind in running a parish has reminded me how blessed we are with our excellent staff and volunteers.   They pour themselves out joyfully in caring for our parish.  One of the first things Fr. Joe told me when I called him this past June after getting the news from Bishop Boyea is how good the support system is here and how blessed I would be with the staff.  We are very blessed and I want to say thank you!

The second take away was a reminder of the simple foundational truth we need to keep in mind about why a parish exists.  A parish is present to initiate and foster a relationship with Jesus for the people in our geographic region.  That is and remains the mission of Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake, to help those in our communities’ encounter Jesus and have an ongoing relationship with Him. That is the umbrella under which all our activities take place and should be the evaluation of everything we are doing.  One good example of this is The Code of Canon Law which offers order Christian living so grace can work.  But the very last code in Canon Law states this- “the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes”.  Yes and Amen. With all of the details that come with running a parish we can never lose sight of this truth.

Just before I made the move I had the opportunity to have some of my classmates pray over me.  As they prayed one of them had this word from God, it was our Heavenly Father saying “The table is set – just go and serve what I have provided”.  That image was and has been a great consolation.  The table is set for us – Jesus longs to pull each of us closer to His heart.  That is our goal, to provide these opportunities for each of us to meet Jesus more fully.  In this year of prayer please continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to give us His wisdom that we might know the particular ways He is calling us to receive His grace.

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, February 17, 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This week I will be in Dewitt on Monday and Tuesday for the Diocesan New Pastor Institute. The training will focus more particularly on the business side of Parish Administration.  There will be three of us new pastors going through it together.

When it comes to our spiritual lives, they should be a mix of the ordinary and extraordinary.  The ordinary are the foundational pieces that are simply a part of our lives- think of taking time to pray each day, attending Mass on weekends, some sort of ongoing support of the poor, etc.  The extraordinary moments are just that- special moments of encounter like going on a retreat, attending the life in the Spirit Seminar (which is being offered at both Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s), going on a pilgrimage etc.  Every year it is a good rule of thumb to try and include one or two of these extraordinary moments in the midst of our ordinary living of our faith.

For the men of the parish one such extraordinary opportunity is coming up next weekend, the Diocesan Men’s conference.  I hope to attend the latter part of the day and con-celebrate Mass with the Bishop.  This one-day event is a great time to invite Jesus in more deeply into your life and to be encouraged and built up.

Here is the info for the conference- it would be great to see you there.

Men, come to grow in your faith at the annual Diocese of Lansing’s Catholic Men’s Conference. In carrying out the tradition of providing an atmosphere of support and helping the Catholic men among us to courageously live a Christ-centered life in today’s world, this year’s theme will focus on how to ‘wear the armor of God’.   Ephesians 6:10-18

In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:16-17

When: February 23, 2019

Where:  Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church

913 Napoleon Road, Michigan Center, MI 49254

Time:  10 AM – 5 PM

What To Expect:

  • Motivating messages from Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Fr. Tim MacDonald
  • Adoration and confessions
  • A mouth-watering pig roast BBQ lunch from Stick-A-Pig-In-It
  • Music by Brian Flynn & Band
  • Mass with Bishop Boyea (4 PM)

Individual Ticket Prices:  Adults $40 / Students $30

Register/Purchase Tickets:  http://www.themanevent.org/register

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, February 10 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This week (Mon-Fri) I am taking some vacation time.  I will be going to a farm show in Kentucky with Dad and some of my family.  We will be swinging through Cincinnati on the way down to visit some relatives.  It is going to be a fun week.

We have had an interesting winter so far- I don’t know when the last time was our kids got 7 days off of school in a row!  Hopefully the Polar Vortex is gone for the year.  Nevertheless, I want to take this opportunity to answer a couple of questions that come up every winter.

Parish Office closure:

When this happens, I just want to remind you that in the event of an emergency you can always get ahold of me or Fr. Tomy by calling the emergency line.  That number is 517-258-0448.

Our Mass Schedule:

We will always have Mass at Sacred Heart when it is scheduled even if the parish office is closed for weather.  Fr. Tomy or I can always get over to the Church and so we will pray Mass.  I have always been amazed- in every parish I have served in no matter how bad it is someone always shows up.  I have never been the only one there.  For those who can come and want to come we will be there.

With St. Mary on the Lake there might be the occasion where Fr. Tomy or myself can’t make it for Mass.  If this happens on a Sunday Deacon John would offer a communion service (technically called a “Sunday Celebration without a Priest” Liturgy) for whoever comes.  If this happens on a Thursday, we will cancel the Mass and Suzzanne will send out an email notifying parishioners.

This all being the case when it comes to extreme weather please use prudence.  If it isn’t safe to come to Mass please don’t come to Mass.  I would encourage you on those occasions where weather keeps you home to take 45 minutes to an hour, (the same amount of time we would spend with Jesus at Mass), and spend that time in prayer.  If you find it helpful to keep up with the readings you would have heard at Mass you can find the readings online or on the My Parish App.

Distribution of the Precious Blood at Mass:

This time of year, the flu is always making its way around.  There can be a concern about receiving the precious blood from the chalice at Mass being the cause of the flu spreading.  At times we will stop distributing the precious blood during a particularly bad flu season.

My policy on that will be to follow what the Diocese ask us to do.  When it is warranted the Diocese will ask every parish to stop distributing the precious blood.  Otherwise we will keep on distributing the precious blood for those who feel comfortable receiving from the Chalice.

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, February 3 2019

 

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

Over the past year, the Diocese of Lansing has been working to align the ownership of its property and assets under Canon Law with the treatment they receive under civil law.

Under Canon Law, every parish is a public “juridic person” with ownership and control of its property and assets subject to the supervision of the Bishop.  In order to clearly align the civil law status of the parishes in the Diocese of Lansing with their Canonical status, Bishop Boyea has directed the civil incorporation of each parish in the Diocese.  In this way, each parish will be a separate “civil” entity and can own and control its property and assets for the benefit of its parishioners.

As part of the process, the Bishop will be transferring legal ownership of all parish real estate, personal property, and accounts to the “new” parish corporation.  All pastors, parish staff and committees will continue to function as before.  Neither the pastor’s nor the Bishop’s authority or responsibilities will be enlarged or diminished by the new “civil” structure.  The names of the parishes will not change, with the exception of adding a geographic designation for identification purposes and the formal legal paperwork (essentially the name and city where the parish is located will be added to the parish name).

As a civil corporation, each parish will have its own Board of Directors.  The Board will have three members consisting of  the Bishop, the Diocese Chief Financial Officer, and the pastor.  The pastor will also take on the role of “president and chief executive officer” of the parish corporation – a role he currently has as pastor under Cannon Law.

A pilot set of parishes made this transition to the civil model last year without issue.  This process was recently completed in January for both Sacred Heart and St Mary on the Lake with the signing of separate Articles of Incorporation for each parish.  All parishes in the Diocese will similarly transition to the civil parish corporation structure in the coming months.

If you have any questions on the parish corporation structure, please feel free to contact me or Deacon John.

May you have a Blessed week!

Fr Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, January 27, 2019

 

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

We kickoff Catholic Schools week this weekend.  Our school was a long-time hope that found fruition in 1928 and we are blessed to have it continue to this day.  Thank you for all of your support.  I am grateful for being able to go to Catholic Grade School in my home town.

I want to finish our series on New Year’s resolutions.  Our first was patience with God, Faith, patience with ourselves, Hope.  Our last is patience with others, Love.

I have found this to capture a good part of what Love asks of us- patience, patience, patience.  It is the patience a parent has watching their child grow and develop at the pace a child grows. They don’t turn into an adult over night and we can’t expect them to.  On the spiritual side we grow in a very similar way and we need to have that same patience to walk with someone through the awkwardness that growing includes with it.  A few things to remember as we ask for this grace this year:

Pray that you can love others like God has loved You

We read in Deuteronomy 1:30-31: “The LORD, your God, who goes before you, is the one who will fight for you, just as he acted with you before your very eyes in Egypt, as well as in the wilderness, where you saw how the LORD, your God, carried you, as one carries his own child, all along your journey until you arrived at this place.”

Moses is talking about how God carried Israel for 40 years in the desert.  Those 40 years were not all that pretty though.  They included much kicking and screaming by the Israelites and the Lord had great patience with them, has the same patience with us.  It can be really helpful to think of the ways God has been so patient with us, even as we perhaps kicked and screamed, doing anything but following Him, doing what He asked of us.  When we consider the love and patience God has had for us, we can then turn around and pray that we can be patient with this person in the same way Jesus has been patient with me.

Pray that you can love others like people have loved you

We need to remember those who have been so incredibly patient with us and then pray for the grace to pay it forward. Think of those who have done this for you, parents, family member, mentors, teachers, coaches, employers.  It is always funny to talk to someone when they are raising their children and that moment of clarity comes where they realize they understand what they themselves put their parents through!

Take time tonight thanking God for His Patient love, for the patient love of others in your life

Often enough is only in hindsight that we can realize the gift given to us by another.  In the midst of our gratitude we can realize that we are simply praying for the grace to do for another what so many, God included, have done for us.

Place the people you have the hardest time being patient with before the Lord

God loves whoever this person might more than we ever can or will.  No matter how difficult something has become this something we can always do.

God Bless!  Fr. Todd