Fr. Tomy Homily, November 10 2019

SUNDAY 32nd WEEK YEAR C.

In the first reading of today we have the story of the martyrdom of seven brothers who urged by their mother remained faithful to God with the hope that they will enjoy the glory of the resurrection to come.

In the second reading we have Paul praying that Jesus and Father will help the people to persevere in living the Gospel and tells them not to be over anxious about the situation of afterlife or the end of the world. They must persevere in their faith and show their loyalty to God in Jesus. This is the fulfilment of their life.

In today’s Gospel Jesus is challenged by a group of Sadducees concerning the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees as a group which did not believe in resurrection and they confront Jesus who tells them the meaning of resurrection. A resurrected person would be alive with God praising and thanking him and experiencing a life totally different from the earthly life. Jesus does not address the Sadducees’ question directly. Instead he makes the point that the resurrected life is totally different from any kind of life experienced on earth. Resurrection life refers to a radical new order of life that cannot be compared with anything on earth. Jesus clearly affirms that those raised from the dead are no longer liable to death. In eternal life, those who have persevered to the end, they shall all enjoy the fullness of life as it was meant to be enjoyed from the beginning of creation. They shall be counted among the living, all sharing the same Father, the living God. To attain this Resurrection, we have to be with Jesus and experience his life. The presence of Jesus is the knowledge of the resurrection.
Jesus also affirms the fact that all those who have proved themselves worthy while in this life will rise to an eternal life. In that life we will become like angels. They will not be subject to decay or corruption and cannot suffer any pain or sickness. In the Kingdom people have entered a new family where all irrespective of their origins are our brothers and sisters.
This is indeed a new life which is attained in Jesus. The presence of Jesus is the knowledge of the resurrection. To attain this Resurrection, we have to be with Jesus and experience his life. He tells us that whoever wishes to come after him must deny self, take up his cross and follow him. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for his sake and that of the gospel will save it.

The gospel tells us that our Christian life is based, first, on the firm hope that one day we will rise again and be perfectly united with the One from whom all things come and to whom all things are destined to return.

The readings challenge us to live in the light of the resurrection, full of hope that indeed there is life after this present earthly life. That is why we confess in the Creed that “I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” The resurrection is the center-piece of our faith and Christians have shed their blood because of that faith. Just as the Jewish family in the first reading endured suffering because of their faith in the resurrection, we too must be prepared to defend and to live our faith in the light of resurrection. Let us all therefore truly be faithful to God at all times and in everything we say and do in our lives. Let us all draw ever closer to Him and let us all dedicate ourselves with ever greater zeal and love for God, through every actions and efforts we take in this life we have in this world. Let us all be courageous in loving God, and resist the many temptations of false pleasures and joys of this world so that our lives may truly be Christian-like and inspirational that through us and our good examples of faith may bring ever more souls to redemption and salvation in God.

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, November 17 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,

Thank you for your support of Sacred Heart School at the Gala this past Saturday.  To my great surprise (and delight), I won the recliner donated by Kelly’s Furniture.  Numerous people have suggested that I make it my presider’s chair in the sanctuary.  For the time being, I think I will leave it in my bedroom!

November, beginning with All Souls’ Day on November 2nd, is a special time of the year when we pray for those who have gone before us.  This coming week we will have a special Mass of Remembrance where we remember and pray for our loved ones.  We will have one at Sacred Heart on Tuesday, the 19th, at 6pm (please note the time change from the typical 5:45pm Mass) and one at St. Mary on the Lake on Wednesday, the 21st, at 6pm.  On the 21st at St. Mary’s there will not be the usual 9:15am morning Mass.  Please join us for these beautiful Masses.

It is during this month that there is a special focus on praying for the souls in purgatory.  People ask what that means.  When it comes to understanding purgatory, I have always loved this description by Pope Benedict XVI.  He wrote:

There will be few people whose lives are pure and fulfilled in all respects.  And, we would hope, there will be few people whose lives have become an irredeemable and total No.  For the most part, the longing for good has remained, despite many breakdowns, in some sense determinative.

God can pick up the broken pieces and make something of them.  In any case, we need a final cleansing, a cleansing by fire, to be exact, in which the gaze of Christ, so to say, burns us free from everything, and only under this purifying gaze are we, as it were, fit to be with God and able, then, to make our home with him… I think it is something very human.  I would go so far as to say that if there was no purgatory, then we would have to invent it, for who would dare say of himself that he was able to stand directly before God.  And yet we don’t want to be, to use an image from Scripture, “a pot that turned out wrong,” that has to be thrown away; we want to be able to be put right.

Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again.   That he can cleanse us in such a way that we are able to be with him and can stand there in the fullness of life.  Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.

I love this description of purgatory because it captures how it is an experience of love–a love that makes us whole.  We need to remember that purgatory is not a bad thing but a blessing, the final fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to perfect us.   It is not something to be afraid of but seen with joy, for it is to be made whole again.  One of the ways we can accompany those who have gone before us is to pray for them, as they are now in the purifying presence of Love.

 

Let us pray well this month for all deceased!

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, November 17 2019

THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL GALA

To everyone who bought a table package, ticket or sponsored the event, Sacred Heart School is grateful! We strive to be worthy of your hard earned donations.  We know that you do not have to support the school and we are inspired to achieve a high level of excellence because you believe in us.  We appreciate the confidence you have in us to be good stewards of your donation and to use your support to bring every person associated with the school closer to Jesus.

A huge thank you to Tammy Houser for creating the program and attending to every detail. The front table team of Tammy, Carrie Town, Christie LaRussa, Judy Schutte and Nate Johnston were able to handle the details and recording of the raffle games without any disruption. Their ability to handle a fast paced raffle and seamlessly take care of all accounting is incredible.

The food for the Gala was delicious. Robert and Angela Czeiszperger have a gift for cooking amazing food on a large scale. We had so many complimentary comments and satisfied people. Your team of Michele Henning, Stacy Parker, and Lance & Jenn Tedora who worked so well together to create a magical meal.

Jen Loar and the confirmation students were excellent servers. They were professional, courteous and represented Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake well. Their parents should be proud. Thank you to Jen Loar, for the smooth delivery of hot food to all of the tables. What an amazing blessing of service your crew provided.

Thank you to the Sacred Heart Staff for supporting and volunteering. Also, to Deacon John and Kimberly Amthor for watching 25 of our children so their parents could be at the Gala. A school is only as good as the people who teach and run the day to day operations. Because of the wonderful people who see their job to be a vocation, to bring Jesus to our students, we are inspired to spread that joy to everyone we meet.

To Lynn Townsend from A Happening by L&L, and her crew, for donating the décor and dinnerware needed to transform the Church Hall into a beautiful banquet hall. Thank you!  Lynn was inspired by the historic architectural beauty of the hall and wanted to showcase the original craftsmanship. The room was comfortable and elegant.

To Sarah Martinez and Rebecca Shields for playing the violins again at the entrance of the Hall. We absolutely love the ambience created when you both play for us. Thank you!

Thank you to Father Todd and the Koenigsknecht family for their unwavering support of the Gala and for allowing us to auction a tour of the family farm every year.

A special thank you to The Posy Shop, Temperance Distillery, and Garland’s Flowers for the extra care you gave to make the Gala beautiful and special. Thank you to CR Motors, Butch’s Sports Bar, Wright’s Plumbing and Chres Reuter for working with me and giving just what we needed to bring people to the event. You are such great friends of SHS!

To all of you who gave generously during the Gala, thank you for coming and sharing your joy with us.  My heart is overflowing! May God continue to bless this event and guide our intentions.

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Deacon’s Corner, November 17 2019

Last week, I wrote about how Fr. Mike Schmitz explained why we don’t drink coffee at Mass.  Essentially, he said that through our baptism, we share in the priesthood with Jesus when we were anointed with Sacred Chrism as “priests, prophets, and kings.”  That makes us “kingdom priests,” while Fr. Todd and Fr. Tomy are consecrated (ordained) as “ministerial priests.”  As kingdom priests, we do not go to Mass to watch and drink coffee.  We go to actively participate in the worship of God.  This week, let’s look at what “active participation” at Mass really means.

 

The Second Vatican Council called for “full, conscious and active participation” in the Mass by the people.  Changes were made to the Mass to help make this happen.  Among those changes were:  turning the Altar so the priest faced the people, praying the Mass in the native language instead of Latin, using non-ordained people such as lectors and Eucharistic Ministers, including a dialogue of prayers between the priest and the people, and receiving Communion in the hands.  All of these changes were designed to encourage and allow active participation of God’s people to come together in worship to celebrate God’s presence among us.

 

But active participation is more than these changes.  Active participation means both our heart and mind are awake, alert, and engaged.  It means on the inside, we participate with all the powers of the soul in the mystery of Christ’s sacrificial love.  On the outside, we say and do things with sacred gestures, postures, speech, and song.  Active participation develops the relationship between our soul and body to unite us with what is taking place on the altar.  All of this so we can bear witness to our faith and share that experience with others.

 

Pope Benedict wrote that active participation in the Mass means being a part of something bigger and more awe-inspiring: that God dwells among us.  If we truly believe God’s divine presence is everywhere, then why wouldn’t we actively participate as kingdom priests in the Mass?

Deacon John

 

BABY SHOWER FOR JESUS

The Religious Ed students will be participating in a baby shower for the less fortunate mothers of Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties. The shower will be on Sunday, December 8 during their class time. We will also have boxes at both entrances of the Church for the parishioners to participate in this worthy project. Please bring an unwrapped baby gift.

 

UNBOUND MINISTRY

UNBOUND MINISTRY  ~ NOVEMBER 17

WHAT IS UNBOUND? A vital part of the new evangelization because, through a simple method of prayer based on the Gospel, we can help ourselves and others move beyond spiritual obstacles into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Join us for a 1 hour DVD Introduction to Unbound Prayer featuring Matt Lozano at Sacred Heart in the Parish Hall after the 11 am Sunday Mass. Pizza lunch provided. (IF you are able, let the office know you plan to attend so we know how much pizza to order!)  Questions? Call or Text Nancy DeBacker at nancy4unbound@gmail.com or 517-262-4528

 

Save the Date:

FEBRUARY 28 & 29, 2020 for the UNBOUND-LIVE FREE Conference coming to St. Anthony in Hillsdale. Visit www.livefreeub.net for more information. Registration will be open soon!

 

 

ENCOUNTER MINSITRIES PUBLIC HEALING SERVICE

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2019  6:30-9:30 pm

St. Patrick, Brighton

All are Welcome!

 

**SAVE THE DATES**

 

 

Saturday, November 16 ~ SHS 25 Cent Event

Sunday, November 17 ~ UNBOUND (Date Change)

Tuesday, November 19 ~ Mass of Remembrance, 6:00pm

Friday, November 22 ~ K of C Feather Party ~ 7:30pm

Wednesday, November 27 ~ Bible Study

December 6,7,8 ~ Community Cantata

Sunday, December 8 ~ Baby Shower for Jesus during Religious Ed classes

 

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, November 10 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,

Last week, I got an email from our diocesan lawyer.  He let me know that someone had made up an email address under my name and tried to scam some money from the Attorney General’s office.  I must say whoever it was went right to the top!  (I should also mention that the Attorney General’s office declined to send the $500 in gift cards they were asking for!)  Another first in my pastoral life that makes for a good laugh.

On a more serious note, a difficult reality that many people are touched by in one way or another is divorce.  This can be the person who has been through a divorce themselves or someone whose parents are divorced. The diocese is trying to help heal some of the wounds this creates.

The Diocese of Lansing’s Marriage and Family Life office is offering a special retreat called Recovering Origins: A Healing Retreat for Adult Children of Divorced or Separated Parents.

https://dioceseoflansing.org/event/recovering-origins

Recovering Origins is a three-day retreat at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan that invites participants to move through the broken image of love that appeared to them in their parents’ divorce to their deepest origin and identity as God’s beloved capable of great love. The retreat gives participants a greater understanding of the wound of divorce and the ways it affects their lives, offers advice about the difficulties concerning love and trust of others, and explains how the Catholic faith, spiritual practices, and the Sacraments are essential to self-knowledge and healing. This retreat has something for any adult child of divorce or separation no matter how much healing you have already received or need!

 The retreat begins on November 22 at 7:00 p.m. and ends on November 24 at 3:00 p.m.

For those who have themselves been through a marriage that ended in divorce, there are numerous resources to help.  I want to mention a couple of them here.

Lisa Duffy works to help people work through recovery after a divorce. She has numerous books that you might find helpful.  More information can be found at her website: https://www.lisaduffy.com/.

Rose Sweet has developed a program called Surviving Divorce: Hope and Healing for the Catholic family.  You can find more information at her website: https://catholicsdivorce.com/.

Even if these do not apply to you, please think of someone in your life for whom they do and consider passing some of this information along to them. You could be a catalyst to greater healing in their life.

You may have noticed that Sacred Heart’s bell has not been ringing this past week.  Our bell is rung in two ways. The first is an external hammer that strikes the bell as it is immobile- this produces the first, quieter tone.  The second is the internal hammer that rings the bell as it swings- this produces the second, louder tone.  The internal hammer has fallen out because the large nut that holds it on the bell worked itself loose.  I have turned the bell mechanism off until we can get that fixed.

Thank you to some generous parishioners who donated money for lights at Sacred Heart Church and School.  The two lights flanking the school steps are now working again.  The bulbs in the upper level of Sacred Heart are replaced with LED’s and will be regularly used.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, November 10, 2019

Ouch! Your Words Hurt Me

Sometimes we say things we shouldn’t. We say things we don’t mean and children say things having no idea what they mean. They do not comprehend the full weight of the words on another’s soul. This week in morning prayer, we are talking about words. We can choose to say anything we want to. Words are completely generated from our own minds. For children, this is a powerful concept. Your words represent who you are. I asked the students if any of them had said something that hurt someone. Not a misunderstanding but words that were mean. Words that came out of their mouths with teeth and fire and thorns; said in anger or disrespect. Most every hand went up (they are so honest with themselves). Mine too. Saying words that are mean, happens. We are a product of our environment and the world is not particularly holy right now. “Garbage in, garbage out.” In computer science, garbage in, garbage out describes the concept that flawed, or nonsense input data produces nonsense output or “garbage”. Kids will hear nonsense as they live their lives, there is little doubt.

 

We must teach our children to speak clearly. To make eye contact, and smile as they speak. They can focus on the words they speak by looking at the expression on the other person’s face. This is a learned behavior and they can start to practice at a very young age. All of the children practiced this at morning prayer by turning toward someone and looking them in the eye. After taking a moment, give them a compliment. This was awkward at first and they were a bit tongue tied. But then they had a hard time stopping, and you could feel the joy in the hallway. Then I asked them to say “will you pray for me?” to the other person. This is how we can train our minds to be conscious of the things we say and to look people in the eye so we can see the effect of our words on their soul. We should use our words to bring people closer to the kingdom of God.

 

But we all agreed that we might say mean things. Even still. So we heal our heart by confessing them. We should ask for forgiveness and feel God’s mercy as we face another day with a mindful purpose of being a light of Christ.

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Ephesians 4:28 “Let no evil come out of our mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.”