Deacon John Homily, April 8 2018

Holy Week is over.  What a week it was for our two parishes!   We prayed together on Palm Sunday, at weekday Masses and Adoration, Stations of the Cross, the Mass of the Last Supper, Good Friday, an evening Tenebrae service, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday.  We became one community of believers celebrating the biggest week of our church liturgical year with 18 liturgies, including the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral.

Combining two unique parishes into one, week long, celebration was no small task.  Planning began last January with a combined team from both parishes. Many people, adults and children alike, spent long hours and late nights pulling together all the little details so these Sacred Liturgies would be joyful celebrations of our rich Catholic heritage.  I counted over 100 volunteers between our two parishes working together as lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, servers, masters of ceremony, choir and musicians, ordering supplies, setting up, and preparing our churches for worship.  Many went unnoticed behind the scenes.  I couldn’t possibly begin to name them all, but it couldn’t have happened without all of them involved.

From the beginning of planning in January, to the end of the last Mass on Easter Sunday, we had only one goal in mind – a joyful experience giving glory and praise to God with our two parishes worshipping together in harmony.  Despite all the planning, not everything went smooth.  We had miscues, disagreements, last minute changes, and mistakes (including myself).  Some you may have seen, others you didn’t.  And, yes, some things we will change for next year.  But, with God’s grace, we persevered.  You would think after planning and celebrating these liturgies for almost 2000 years, things would just go “perfect” – that we could get it right at least once.  But, as Kimberly’s Grandmother used to say, only God makes things perfect.

We hear in our first reading today from Acts about the first-generation Christians living immediately after Jesus ascended into Heaven.  It says, The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common (Acts 4:32).”  I’m sure they had their fair share of miscues and disagreements, too.  After all, they were human like us.  But in the end, they must have figured it out or we wouldn’t have celebrated Easter last Sunday.  Our job is to be like them.  To work out our differences as two unique parishes and worship as one faith family – two parishes, one flock, one pastor, one Shepherd.  I think last week was one more step in bringing us together in Christ.

As the early Christians used to say in greeting each other, “HE HAS RISEN!  HE HAS RISEN INDEED!!”  May you have a blessed and joyous Easter Season!

Deacon John

 

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.

 

Homilies Uploaded!!

We began recording our Homilies in early 2017.  These have now been uploaded to our website!!   They are uploaded by date, feel free to listen at your leisure.  Simply go to Homilies, under the NEWS tab!

Thank you to Fr. Joe, Fr. Tomy, Fr. Dan, Deacon John and a few quests who have spoken God’s word.

 

 

Fr. Joe Easter Vigil Homily, March 31, 2018

Why did God make us?

We were not created for a practical purpose.  It is really clear when we look at the book of Genesis and see the creation account, that this is true.  God created all the wonders that we live in and are part of and every thing God created did and does what they are created to do.  Then we entered the equation.

 

Easter Vigil Readings, March 31, 2018

The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil must take place at night, so that it begins after nightfall and ends before daybreak on Sunday.  This Vigil is arranged in four parts:

1.  Service of light and the Easter Proclamation

2.  Liturgy of the Word, the Church meditates on all the wonderful things God has done for his people from the beginning.

3.  As the day of resurrection approaches, new members of the Church are reborn in Baptism

4.  Liturgy of the Eucharist, the whole Church is called to the table the Lord prepared for his people through his Death and Resurrection.

Please click on the links below if you would like to hear the Liturgy of the Word.

 

 

A Reading from the Book of Genesis (as read by Bill Beal)

A Reading from the Book of Exodus (as read by Rosalind Martell)

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (as read by Terri Ellis)

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (as read by Kristie Saunders)

A Reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (as read by Ron Stacey)

Alleluia!   A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark.  Glory to you, O Lord.

 

 

Fr. Joe Homily, Good Friday

 

There is no greater indication of love, than through sacrifice.

 

God loves you.  What a powerful statement.  The love that our Lord has for us is not a daily decision, it is who he is.   We are loved by God.    When we doubt this, look at a that cross, that crucifix.  He not only said it, He proved it…we are worth all of his blood and all of his breath.

News from the Bulletin!!

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT Seminar   Life in Spirit Seminar

Sacred Heart Parish is offering the 8 week series on Sundays from 1:00-3:00, Beginning Sunday, April 8

Lower level of Sacred Heart School.  Handicap entrance.  Lunch will be provided.  Free Babysitting is available.

To have adequate supplies, please call the parish office to RSVP.

 

 

There will be a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, April 12th at 6:30pm in the church to discuss the progress of the flooring replacement project and receive feedback on the carpet selection options.  All are welcome to attend.

 

 

 

The Altar Society will meet on Monday April 2nd at 1:30 pm in the parish hall.  All Ladies of the Parish are welcome. If you have any questions call Jan Wilson 517-306-0684.

 

 

 

The Lenawee County Health Department & Hudson American Legion are hosting a Food Handlers Class on Thursday, April 19 from 6-8pm.  This is open to the public, cost is $5 per person.    You must pre-register by April 12.  Please call Phil Lawrence at 517-605-0586 or the Legion at 517-448-8111.