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!

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, July 14 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

It was a blessing to have my brother Fr. Gary last Tuesday for the morning of reflection.  We don’t get to do many events like that together so it was a rare treat for me.  Some people asked if we could have an event like that in the evening so those who work could come- we will take that into consideration for the future.  I would like to say thank you to all who came out and supported the Sacred Heart Golf Outing on Saturday.

On Saturday July 20th we will be hosting a youth game night with our two seminarians.  It will be held in the Sacred Heart Parish Hall from 6-8 pm.  7th graders and up are welcome.  Please bring your favorite game and a snack.

This coming week we will be listening to the first talk from last year’s Made for Happiness Assembly.  The first talk was given by Fr. Mike Schmitz and is on happiness and Christian Joy.  Some highlights from his presentation:

  • Happiness is to find out God’s plans for one’s life and then pursue it.
  • Happiness rooted in virtue will be resilient.
  • Happiness rooted in God’s grace becomes joy.
  • True joy can’t be taken away from you

If you were not able to go to the Assembly last fall, I would encourage you to come either 6pm at Sacred Heart in the Parish hall on Wednesday, July 17th or 10am at St. Mary the Lake on July 18th.  If you did go the Assembly, this can be a good refresher and will lead to good discussion.

Fr. Mike Schmitz has a great podcast on a whole variety of questions and topics.  Each one is about 8-10 minutes and offers good insights.  Here is a link at which you can find more information : https://media.ascensionpress.com/category/ascension-podcasts/frmikepodcast/.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

This past Tuesday the Diocese released a statement regarding Fr. William Auth.  I quote part of it here:

“The concerns were regarding the finances and activities of both Reverend Auth and Maya Indian Missions.  Although Reverend Auth has not had an assignment with the diocese for nearly 30 years, from time to time, he has lived within the diocese and has solicited on behalf of Maya Indian Missions within the diocese.

Based on the concerns raised, Bishop Boyea has prohibited Reverend Auth from fundraising within the Diocese on behalf of Maya Indian Missions and has withdrawn Reverend Auth’s faculties to serve as a priest within the diocese. Additionally, the diocese has forwarded the concerns regarding Maya Indian Missions and Reverend Auth to the Michigan Department of Attorney General for further investigation.”

You can see the statement in its entirety on the Diocesan website at this link: https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/news/statement-regarding-reverend-william-auth-and-maya-indian-missions.

In years past Fr. Auth has visited both Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake and fundraised for Maya Indian Missions.  He was last at Sacred Heart in 2012 and at St. Mary on the Lake in 2016.

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, June 30 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary Families,

I want to say thank you to the families who donated money last fall to redo the basement entrance of Sacred Heart Church.  The money left over from that is being used to redo the flooring in the central multipurpose room in the school basement.  Dan and Randy have been working with a parishioner to help install it- all part of their pastoral training!

Last week a group from St. Mary on the Lake came to the farm for the day.  It was an auction item at last years Sacred Heart School Gala.  We had a beautiful day and a great time.  It came up that I have only once ridden a cow- here is the photographic evidence!

I want to continue the theme of concrete ways to grow in your faith.  This weekend I want to mention the Catholic Biblical School of Michigan.  This is a four-year study taking you through the whole Bible.  They are just about to start another session with a campus being held in Adrian (at Holy Family Parish‘s St. Mary Campus) — Tue 7-9 pm

What is the Catholic Biblical School of Michigan ? 

CBSM (Catholic Biblical School of Michigan) is a lay apostolate incorporated as an independent non-profit organization [501 (c) 3 status] listed in the Official Catholic Directory,with a Board of Directors approved by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

CBSM exists to invite Catholics to encounter Jesus in and through the inspired Word of God and grow as missionary disciples, fueled by daily connection to God in His Word.

What’s a lay apostolate?

The Church speaks of the lay apostolate in two ways: one is the apostolate common to all of the baptized laity, “spreading the kingdom of Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God the Father, to enable all men and women to share in His saving redemption” (Pope St. Paul VI, Apostolicam Actuositatem, 1965). We do this seemingly spontaneously, led by the Holy Spirit as individuals to bring the Good News to the world and strengthen the faith of fellow believers. The other form of a lay apostolate is a specific organization of (mostly) laypeople ministering in a specific way in a cooperative relationship with ordained Church leaders. CBSM is exactly this, an organization entrusted with a ministry of teaching and proclaiming the Word of God, so that all of us as baptized believers might be strengthened and become more confident, bold, and loving in spreading the kingdom of God.

CBSM operates with ecclesiastical approval from the Archbishop of Detroit and the Bishops of Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo. Our Board of Directors includes clergy and lay leaders. Like many lay apostolates, we operate without financial support from Arch/dioceses, giving us a spirituality of seeking to bless the Church through the ministry of teaching, prayer, and proclamation of the Word we offer.

Ask the Lord if this is the way He is calling you to grow, to take the next step

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, June 23 2019

Dear St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart

My youngest brother, Randy Koenigsknecht, will be staying at the rectory for a few weeks this summer.  He just completed his second year of seminary.  With Dan already having a college degree and needing two less years of seminary they will be classmates.  They will be helping around the parishes both with maintenance things and helping out with various ministries.  (An added bonus is that he will be the fourth player for a variety of card games!)  Thank you for all of your prayers of vocations!

When it comes to our life of faith, we can have the desire to grow, to feel the Lord calling to something more.   The question than becomes – how?  I want to take the next couple of weeks and mention a couple of opportunities available for growing deeper.

The first is Encounter Ministries (https://encounterministries.us/).  They are based out of St. Patrick’s parish in Brighton, Mi.  Their vision is:

“Evangelization cannot be reduced to words and persuasion only.  Our vision is to see a Church truly empowered by the Holy Spirit where disciples are confident to proclaim the Gospel and then demonstrate it through signs, wonders and miracles.  God’s love is supernatural and he wants to raise up a Church that can bring heaven to earth through the power and love of God in their life.

My message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God (1 Cor 2: 4-5)”

Our logo with the Eucharist in it is very important.  In the Eucharist, we receive the mighty Sacrament of Jesus’ body so that we too might become a sacrament to the world.  CCC 521 says “Christ enables us to live in him all that he himself lived, and he lives it in us. ‘By his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.’ We are called only to become one with him, for he enables us as the members of his Body to share in what he lived for us in his flesh as our model.”

At times we feel hindered in our walk with God by obstacles and hurts in our lives.  Other times we feel prompted to take a concrete step of faith like praying over someone but we don’t feel comfortable or equipped for it.  Encounter Ministries is a powerful place to receive both inner healing and to be equipped for learning how to pray with and for others.

To that end you will see us advertising Encounter Ministries’ Summer Intensive.

“The summer intensive is an evening school happening July 22-25 that provides a survey of the content offered in the first four quarters of the Encounter School of Ministry over a fast four-day period.  The summer intensive is perfect for anyone desiring to attend the Encounter School during the year but unable to do so because of distance or schedule.  It is also ideal for those discerning their enrollment in the school of ministry but needing greater discernment.”

Ask the Lord if this is the way He is calling you to grow, to take the next step!

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, June 6 2019

Dear St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart,

We had a great (and busy) week last week at both St. Mary on the Lake and Sacred Heart. Thank you to all those who helped make the varied events so successful (St. Mary’s rummage sale and the 25cent event, 5k and Taste of Summer Raffle at Sacred Heart).  I didn’t have quite enough gas in the tank to beat our resident seminarian, Dan Lacroix, in the 5k!

This past weekend I was hoping to get some farming in on my day off but my presence had the wrong effect- I brought 1 ½ inches of rain with me.  Like many others they are still trying to get the corn planted.  My parents said I am still allowed to come home!

We are launching into summer.  As we head into vacation season, I want to mention a great resource – https://masstimes.org/  They provide worship times, church locations, contact information, website links and maps. There are 117,000 churches in 201 countries/territories.  I don’t know who said it first but the old adage is true – don’t take a vacation from Jesus while on vacation!

We will be continuing Bible study through June.  For July, August, and September I want to take the opportunity to revisit the three keynote talks from 2018’s Made for Happiness Assembly.  That was a great event that brought 15,000 people from the Diocese together.  Not all of us were able to go through (plus revisiting them is a great way to be renewed in the Spirit).

 

July 17th at Sacred Heart (6pm)

July 18th at St. Mary on the Lake (10am):

Father Mike Schmitz has gained a national following for his inspiring and joy-filled preaching about the love of God and the call of Jesus Christ.  A priest for the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota, he directs Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese and serves as chaplain for the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Ascension Presents YouTube channel provides weekly straight talk informative messages from Father Mike. HIGHLIGHTS • Happiness is to find out God’s plans for one’s life and then pursue it. • Happiness rooted in virtue will be resilient. • Happiness rooted in God’s grace becomes joy. • True joy can’t be taken away from you.

 

August 21st at Sacred Heart (6pm)

August 22nd at St. Mary on the Lake (10am):

Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer, speaker, radio show host, wife and mother of six children. SiriusXM radio subscribers can find her daily talk show on channel 129 or search for “The Jennifer Fulwiler Show” on iTunes. Jennifer Fulwiler takes us on her journey from lifelong atheism to Catholicism, pointing out that her quest was a search for happiness as much as it was a search for truth. She weaves in tips and suggestions for how we can each reach out to our own non-believing loved ones.

 

 

Sept 18th at Sacred Heart (6pm)

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

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 • 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