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!

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, March 18, 2018

Greetings in Christ!

Just like last weeks bulletin, I’m writing this on March 3rd, before I head out for a week off.  Because of that, I obviously won’t be commenting on anything current.  Instead, its my hope to use this and the next article to hype our upcoming Triduum Feasts at Sacred Heart and St. Mary.  Last week, I posted on Good Friday and, this week, I want to walk us through Holy Saturday.

On Holy Thursday, we sat at the Last Supper with Jesus.  He washed our feet and gave us the gift of the Eucharist.  We then walked to the Garden with him.  On Friday, we walked through the passion with Jesus and spent Friday night “in the tomb” with Jesus.

With our service on Holy Saturday, we move from the tomb to the Glory of the Resurrection.   The service contains four parts: the service of Light, Liturgy of the Word, Christian Initiation and Renewal and Holy Eucharist.

The Service of Light begins outside where we bless our Easter Fire and Pascal Candle.  The mass continues inside in darkness to remind us of Jesus in the tomb.

The Darkness in Church continues as we move into the Liturgy of the Word, where we read multiple readings from the Old Testament.

Then, the lights will all come on as we sing the Gloria together and read from the New Testament.   The lights coming on and the Gloria being sung are the sign of our movement from the darkness of the tomb into the Glory of the Resurrection.   We haven’t sung or said the Gloria in more than six weeks and we rejoice at this time.

If you wish, you can bring bells to this service and ring them as we sing. We will read from the New Testament and Gospel and have a homily.

We then move into the time when we bring into the Church those who have been going through RCIA for the last many months.   This is a great and beautiful time where we remember our own baptism and thank God that we are a part of an unbroken chain of Catholicism and rejoice in those who join our faith.

Mass then proceeds as normal while we move into the Liturgy of the Eucharist as we usually do.

This service is long, but absolutely beautiful and, as with Holy Thursday and Good Friday, I strongly encourage all of us to make this our first priority: don’t miss this joy!

May Jesus bless our Lenten efforts!

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin Article March 11, 2018

Greetings in Christ!

I’m writing this on March 3rd, before I head out for a week off.  Because of that, I obviously won’t be commenting on anything current.  Instead, its my hope to use this and the next article to hype our upcoming Triduum Feasts at Sacred Heart and St. Mary.  Last week, I posted on Holy Thursday and, this week, I want to walk us through Good Friday Service.

A couple notes before I walk us through the service…

Please welcome Fr. John Quinn, who will speak on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach, which was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.  Please be generous in your response to Father’s appeal.

Please join us in or Lenten Holy Hour of Adoration on Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00 pm.  We will begin the Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration and Procession, followed by a homily and time for us to silently reflect on Jesus’ presence in our lives.

Our Good Friday Service for both our Parish Families will be at 3pm at Sacred Heart.

All the events of Good Friday are commemorated in the Stations of the Cross, the devotion we usually pray during Lent and especially on Good Friday.  Another devotional, the Acts of Reparation, may also be prayed.

Good Friday is a day of fasting within the Church. Traditionally, there is no Mass and no celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday.  A service will still be prayed with communion which will come from hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday. Baptism, penance, and anointing of the sick may be performed, but only in unusual circumstances. Church bells are silent and the altars are left bare.

Good Friday is the day where we place our Spiritual Focus on the suffering and death of Jesus.  We recognize that our sins come with a terrible price and that Jesus paid that price willingly out of love for us.  We pray that this day compels us to sorrow for our sins and a recognition of the love that drove Christ to such an incredible act.  Our celebration this day is not a mass, it’s called our Good Friday Service or Service of the Passion of the Lord and we will start it at 3pm, in honor of the moment in time that Jesus died.

This service begins in silence, with the clergy laying prostrate before the cross.  It continues with a reading from Scriptures and perhaps a homily that focuses on the role of suffering and loss in our life, as well as that of sin.   We then will pray a special set of prayers, asking God’s blessings and mercy on all areas of our world and Church.   Next, we adore the cross with a sign of reverence: some will kiss the cross, some will embrace it.  The key is for us to show our gratitude for the means that God saved us.

Finally, we will bring the Blessed Sacrament out from the place of reservation and all who are not prohibited can come forward to receive.  The service ends in silence.

This is a prayerful and amazing service and I cannot encourage us strongly enough to make it our highest priority: thanking Jesus for what He’s done for us and walking through His passion with him.

This year, we will also experience “Tenebrae”, which will be held at 8pm at St. Mary on the Lake on Good Friday.  Tenebrae is a church service observed during the final part of Holy Week commemorating the sufferings and death of Christ.

May Jesus bless our Lenten efforts!

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin March 5, 2018

Greetings in Christ!  A blessed and holy lent to you all!

The culmination of our Lenten season is the Triduum and I wanted to take a few articles in the bulletin to describe each service in order to encourage as much participation as possible in these wonderful, holy days.  This week, we’ll look at Holy Thursday, my favorite of the three Holy Days.

 

Both our parishes will celebrate Holy Thursday at St. Mary on the Lake this year. We’ll gather at 7:00pm.  This is the day where we, as Catholics focus on the Gift of the Eucharist.  We have only one mass this day at Church, with a special mass also at the Cathedral in the Morning.

 

For priests, the day will start at the Cathedral in Lansing.  We gather there at 10:30am for the Chrism mass.  At this mass, the Bishop will bless the oils that every Church in our diocese will use over the next year.  Also at that mass, all Priests will renew their vows.  This is an exciting and blessed celebration; please remember to pray for priests to be faithful followers of Christ and servants of His People.

 

After that, we will celebrate a mass on Holy Thursday night called The Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  Here, we remember the Last Supper Jesus celebrated with His disciples to begin His passion and death.  In a unique way, we recall the events of the Last Supper and include within this some beautiful rituals.  We have a procession of the oils we will use for the rest of the year: the ones I will bring back from the Morning mass at the Cathedral.  We also will remember and celebrate Jesus washing the feet of His Disciples, in order to connect in hearts the necessity of our love of the Eucharist compelling us to serve our fellow human beings.

 

As Jesus left the Last Supper to go to the Garden of Gethsemane, we process with the Eucharist out of the Church and down to the Parish Hall, where we will place the Blessed Sacrament.  Here, we will incense the Blessed Sacrament and sit in silence for a bit.  All who wish are encouraged to stay and pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament for a bit.

 

I’m very excited for this celebration…I hope we make this our top priority for our families, forsaking sports and all other things to gather together and pray.

 

Now, for a schedule update…

I’m heading off Sunday, March 4th to take a week off.  To be honest, I’m really quite wiped out and could use a week of rest.   Please pray for me and know that I will definitely be praying for you, both in gratitude and petition.  I carry my beautiful parish families with me wherever I go.

 

Father John Quinn will be visiting our parish next weekend to speak at all the Masses on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach.  Thank you Fr. Quinn and all those who work to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the priests and nuns working in the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

 

I’m so very grateful to be your priest!  Make sure and push hard through this Lenten Season to sacrifice, pray and help others with all you have and are!

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin Article February 25, 2018

Greetings in Christ!
I am so excited for this Lenten Season.  I cannot encourage us strongly enough to keep pushing through and giving all we have in acts of Prayer, Fasting (or sacrifice) and Charity.  This is a time for us to go all out in our internal war with the flesh: rejecting sin and embracing virtue.
Each week, I hope to have my homilies posted so that you can catch any of the series you may have missed on the 7 deadly sins and the virtues to combat those sins.
Remember: it is never too late to start or restart lent…
A reminder that this Saturday, we will have our penance service for both of our Parish Families.  We will gather at St. Mary on the Lake at 10:00am and move pretty quickly into individual reconciliation.  We’ll have handouts there to help you if you need and lots of priests.  PLEASE don’t pass up this wonderful opportunity to meet our Lenten Obligation and give our sins to the Lord.  We’ll receive His mercy, joy and strength in return: a darn good deal. 🙂
I had some wonderful questions from some folks who felt challenged by the homily on greed and gluttony and, as a result, wanted to sort through their stuff and see what they could part with that other people may need.  I’m so blessed that we have taken up that challenge!  If you find yourself with clothing or other such things that you’d like to pass on to the poor, please make sure and do so. If you are out of options on that front, let me know and I’ll try to organize some way to get them where they will do the most good.
May God bless, strengthen and inform our efforts to be holy.  I’m so blessed to be your priest.