Deacon’s Corner, November 10

Ever wonder why we don’t drink coffee and eat donuts at Mass?

First of all, because of our Eucharistic fast.   Canon Law requires abstaining from food or drink (with the exception of water and medicine) for at least one hour before Holy Communion.  The Eucharistic fast has its roots in both Judaism and the ancient tradition of our Church.   In Acts of the Apostles (13:2), we find evidence of fasting connected with the liturgy.  St. Augustine talks about it in his own writings during the 4th Century.  But, no coffee and donuts at Mass goes much deeper than rules and customs.  It goes to the core of who we are, and why we are at Mass.

We are a nation of priests (1 Peter 2:9).  When you were baptized, you were anointed with Sacred Chrism.  While placing the chrism on your head, the priest or deacon or bishop said, “I anoint you as priest, prophet, and king.”   To understand the meaning of that, we need to understand a little about priesthood theology. Jesus is the Great Priest and the High Priest.  There is only One Priest: Jesus Christ.   However, Jesus extends His priesthood to ministerial priests.  That would be Fr. Todd and Fr. Tomy.  Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by the bishop when they were commissioned (ordained).   Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, who handed it to the bishops down the line over the past 2000 years, who hand it down to the ministerial priests.  So, Fr. Todd and Fr. Tomy are able to, with Jesus, offer up the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father through the Holy Spirit.  Through your baptism, you are consecrated as a kingdom priest.  That means you also share in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ.   As a kingdom priest, you are able to offer up sacrifices.  Not just in your daily life, but also at Mass.

The problem is, many of us show up on Sunday to just “watch” the Mass.  We waste our priesthood.  We look at the ministerial priest and say, “He’s the one who’s praying and doing all the work, so we just need to watch.”  But, if we think that worship at Mass means simply to show up and watch the priest pray, then it really doesn’t matter if we bring our Starbucks and scone to church.  But, that’s not what worship means.  Worship means we are fully engaged and actively participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  We sing, we pray in dialogue with the priest, and we share in the Eucharist together as the Body of Christ.  Full and active participation means we embrace our kingdom priesthood, and along with the ministerial priest, united with the One High Priest, Jesus Christ, we offer up the sacrifice of the Son to the Father, through the Holy Spirit.

Drinking coffee and eating donuts may be the latest trend in some churches to bring people in on Sunday morning.  So, why not Catholics?  Because, through our Baptism we share in the priesthood with Jesus.  We are not at Mass to just watch and be entertained.  We are at Mass to fully participate in the worship of God as kingdom priests.

Deacon John

Adapted from “Why we don’t drink coffee at Mass” video by Fr Mike Schmitz

 

Events from the Diocese

Recovering Origins: A Healing Retreat for Adult Children of Divorced or Separated Parents

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

Recovering Origins is a three day retreat at 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!

Topics covered, include:
 Finding Our Deepest Identity
 Faith and Our Relationship with God
 Love, Dating, and the Sacrament of Marriage
 Loneliness
 Anger and Anxiety
 False Guilt and Shame
 Forgiveness and Reconciliation
 Family Boundaries
 The Christian Meaning of Suffering
 Healing and The Sacraments of Reconciliation And the Eucharist
 And More!

What’s included: Single occupancy room with twin beds and shared bath facilities, linens and towels, meals and refreshments throughout the retreat, materials, confessions, adoration and Sunday Mass.  What to bring: Bible, journal, water bottle, and a bathrobe.  For more information and to register, go to: www.dioceseoflansing.org/event/recovering-origins

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Generous Scholarships Available for Ave Maria University and Ave Maria School of Law

Ave Maria Fall Fest 2019 will be on Saturday, November 23. The event is to educate your parish’s high school seniors and juniors about the generous Ave Maria University (AMU) Michigan Scholarship and the AMU Michigan Homeschool Scholarship and college seniors and graduates about the Ave Maria School of Law (AMSL) Michigan & Toledo Area Full-Tuition Scholarship.

High School Juniors & Seniors and College Seniors & Post Graduates, you are invited to Ave Maria Fall Fest, Saturday, November 23, at Domino’s Farms in Ann Arbor. 5:30 p.m. Dinner ~ 6:00 p.m. Program. Meet admission counselors and alumni and learn about these generous scholarships:

Ave Maria School of Law –  Michigan/Toledo Full-Tuition Scholarship (Plus Stipend) and Ave Maria University – Michigan Scholarship $7,000 per year for 4 years and Ave Maria University Homeschool Scholarship $9,000 per year for 4 years (Additional Academic and Athletic Aid Available).

Enjoy a fall dinner and fellowship. FREE – Registration required by Monday, November 18 to attend! For more information & to register go to www.avemariafoundation.org or call 734-930-3441

 

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Veterans Crisis Line / Military Crisis Line (24/7, 365 Days) Call: 800-273-TALK (8255), press 1 Text: 838255 www.veteranscrisisline.net

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The Mass for Families of Miscarriage and Child Loss welcomes families and friends who have experienced the tragedy of miscarriage or the loss of a child.
Date: Sunday, October 27, 2019
Mass Time: 12:30 pm, celebrated by Rev. Joseph Krupp
Where: St. Matthew Catholic Church, Flint (706 Beach St., Flint, MI)
Reception: A simple punch reception in the parish Field House will immediately follow after Mass Any family and their friends who are grieving miscarriage, abortion, or the death of a child are welcome to attend; their loss could be a recent one or could have occurred a long time ago. There is no registration for this event. Questions? Please contact the Office of Marriage and Family Life at 517.342.2440

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Married Couples Weekend, December 6-8
St. Francis Retreat Center, DeWitt
Mission: Critical.
http://www.stfrancis.ws/married-couplesweekend/html

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For Struggling Marriages—Retrouvaille: A Catholic ministry to help couples reconnect by taking them through the four stages of marriage: Romance, disillusionment, misery and re-awakening (forgiveness and trust). Retrouvaille is a series of retreats, usually presented by three team couples and a priest. The next retreat in Michigan is scheduled for the weekend of January 17-19, 2020, in the Detroit area. For more details, contact: 3053@retrouvaille.org or call 1-800-470-2230.

Deacon John Homily, November 3 2019

Can we be bold like Zacchaeus?

GospelLK 19:1-10

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

Fr. Todd All Saints Day, November 1 2019

 

Gospel  MT 5:1-12A

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

 

REMINDER…

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS—Remember to “fall back” one hour before going to bed this Saturday night. Daylights Savings Time ends and Standard Time begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday, November 3.

Fr. Todd Bulletin, November 3, 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,

We have many teachers among both of our parishes.  On Friday, November 1st the Hudson area churches delivered lunches to the teachers and administrators at the public schools and Sacred Heart school to support and thank our teachers for their service.

I have attached a publicity piece for the upcoming Prayer and Blessing for our schools.   Members of our congregation are invited to attend the Prayer and Blessing at Our Savior Lutheran Church on Monday, November 4 at 5:00pm.

“The Hudson area churches will provide lunch for the staff at Lincoln Elementary, High school and Middle School and Sacred Heart School on Friday, November 1st.  It was decided to provide the lunch as our way of showing appreciation for the commitment they have made to the children and families of the Hudson community and that we are also praying for them and the work they do. 125 box lunches from Subway will be purchased and delivered to the schools.  We also hope to include a message in each box lunch to make the teachers and staff aware of who is providing the lunches and also an invitation to attend the prayer and blessing time on Nov. 4.

 Our Saviour Lutheran is providing some funding for the lunches and the Ministerial Association will cover the balance.  This is an opportunity to broaden their understanding of what they are doing to reach out into the Hudson community with the love of Christ and the work the ministerial association seeks to do to assist the hungry, homeless and hurting people in our community. I would also not hesitate to give them the opportunity to help finance the purchase of the lunches. Each of our congregations have individuals who like the chance to give to a special need. Letting them know of this outreach event may move them to give a special gift to the ministerial association. Any donations received can be directly sent to the ministerial association.”

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, November 3, 2019

How the story of a “Lost Boy of Sudan” Inspires us to Persevere

 

This week, the students in 1st through 6th grade listened to the testimonial of Dr. Jacob Atem, the co-founder of Southern Sudan Healthcare Organization. At 7 years old, Jacob was forced out of his peaceful village in South Sudan when his family was attacked and killed. 40,00 young boys were without homes after their villages were burned by northern soldiers. They were left alone and scared for their lives as they walked over 1,000 miles to find refugee camps; only half survived. They were the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” After years of starvation and fear, the survivors found stable homes in America or Australia.

His story is about perseverance. The students were amazed at what Dr. Atem told them and they were inspired by how kind and gentle he was now. He told then how hard it was being without a home and food, afraid for his life. How hard it was to be a refugee, missing his family, and without enough to eat. How hard it was to be a complete stranger in a foreign country. How hard it was to study to become a doctor. Yet, he was not angry. He was joyful and grateful to God.

His message to the children was clear. Study. Go to college and keep learning. Realize how blessed you are to live in America. Persevere.

The last sentence in the Vision of Sacred Heart School is: “We will graduate students who are prepared to persevere.” They will never be faced with the pain from Dr. Atem’s life, but they will still struggle as they grow as students.

Our children will need to develop the virtue of perseverance. In kindergarten, the key to success is to enjoy schoolwork. If we can get the little ones to want to work, they will be good students, they will get smarter. They must do their work when it is hard or they find it boring. In first/second grade, they have to work independently. To push past struggle and get to the end of the assignment. In third/fourth grade, they need to ask questions instead of giving up. Students need to erase and fix mistakes until they assignment is correct. In fifth/sixth grade, each student has to participate in St. Art Prize, where they research a saint, make art to represent the saint’s life, and present it to the community. It is a big assignment and it is hard.

Schoolwork can be overwhelming. We can try to avoid the struggle but God knows that the struggle is what helps to develop strength of character. We will struggle many times and we will overcome all of it with strong virtues. We are learning to put our trust in God, and overcome negativity. We take God with us everywhere we go and in everything we do. Life is challenging, at times, for all of us. But when we learn to persevere, we handle it!

God Bless,  Anne Atkin, principal

Support for The Southern Sudan Healthcare Organization can be made at https://sshco.org.

 

Deacon’s Corner, November 3 2019

What a beautiful way to pray together: Fr. Todd explained the Mass while we celebrated the Mass!  He mentioned that our Mass has its traditions and roots in both ancient Jewish and early Christian worship.  Hearing that reminded me of an earlier Deacon’s Corner I wrote about St. Justin Martyr describing the Mass to a Roman emperor almost 2000 years ago.  I would like to share some of that with you again this week.

St. Justin Martyr was a scholar and converted to Christianity after years of studying various pagan philosophies.  He adamantly defended the Christian faith from attacks by pagans, Jews, and heretics.  In 155 AD, Justin wrote a letter to the Roman emperor appealing for justice and mercy for Christians by clarifying the Christian worship liturgy.  At that time, Christians were being falsely accused of engaging in cannibalistic rituals.  Justin’s letter described what we call today the Mass.  He wrote:

“On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.  The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read…When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.  Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves…and for others…so that we may be found righteous by our actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.  When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.  Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.  He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and…gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.   When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying “Amen.”  When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted” bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent” [from The Lamb’s Supper, Scott Hahn, pages 34 & 35].

How many parts of today’s Mass can you find in Justin’s letter: the Readings? Homily? Petitions? Preparation of the Gifts? Eucharistic Prayer? The Amen?  Sign of Peace?  Communion in both forms?  Communion to homebound parishioners?  Even the day, the “day of the sun,” or Sunday, shows that our Mass has been celebrated on the weekday of Jesus’ Resurrection since the beginning of the Church.

About 10 years after St. Justin Martyr wrote this letter, he was tried, convicted, scourged, and beheaded for refusing to worship Roman gods.  As we walk into church for Mass today, may we take a moment to remember St. Justin Martyr and the early Christians who endured hardships, persecution, and martyrdom for this liturgy that is our highest form of prayer.  May we find joy in the Mass, as they did, by experiencing God in our hearts.  After all, it’s been that way for almost 2000 years.

Deacon John