Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
I hope you are enjoying these beautiful fall days! I was at my parents’ this past Monday and spent a refreshing day outside working on various projects.
This coming week, we have a few special events.
- On Wednesday, I will be joining a field trip with Sacred Heart students to visit Notre Dame. It is a beautiful campus and it is a treat to be able to celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart as a part of our tour. It is always a joy to visit the place where Jesus’ mother Mary went to school.
- On Saturday, our Confirmation class will be having a one-day retreat with other Confirmation kids from the surrounding region. I will be spending the day there with them. Please keep us in your prayers that we might powerfully encounter the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit!
- On Sunday, October 20th, at the 11am Mass at Sacred Heart, I will be doing a Mass explained. We will celebrate Mass but as I go through each part, I will be taking time to explain the meaning of each step. Mass will be followed by a brunch in the parish hall. The following week, on the 27th, I will do the same thing at St. Mary on the Lake at the 9:30 Mass. (Brunch will follow there as well.)
I am very excited about this opportunity. The Mass is something at the heart of our faith—a powerful weekly time where we come to encounter Jesus. It is both a time to give and to receive. We give something to God: our time, our hearts, and all that is in them. Then having given, we receive grace from Him. Something that is astounding is that at Mass we give God simple bread and wine that He takes and then gives back to us, but better and transformed: the very body and blood of His Son. We are called to surrender all of ourselves and experience that same reality—giving of ourselves and then receiving something back, but better and transformed. At times, our focus can be solely on what we are receiving, but that is a narrowed vision of what Mass is meant to be.
Fr. Joe once wrote a column in “In the Know with Fr. Joe” about the importance of going to Mass, and he wrote this:
“My friend Father Geoff always points out that no one goes to their grandpa’s birthday party asking, “What am I going to get out of this?” They go to the birthday party because they love Grandpa. In the same way, our primary reason for going to Mass cannot be, “What am I going to get out of this?” Instead, it should be, “What can I give in the midst of this?” The radical gift of the whole experience is this: When we surrender our need to make this about what we get from it, we’ll receive more than we could ever ask or imagine.” https://faithmag.com/whats-point-going-church
I once heard someone say that what is done daily will be done dully if not done deeply. So can be our experience of Mass. A way to enter more fully into the Mass is to understand why Mass is the way it is. Many of us growing up Catholic have had parts of the Mass explained at one time or another, but perhaps not fully or recently. It is my sincere hope that this will help each of us enter into and pray the Mass more fully!
“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).
Faith begins as a belief in God. Simple. God the creator of all things visible and invisible. Then, we think about faith as the certainty that God exists and He loves us. Faith becomes the belief that God will guide us, teach us and give us the purpose we need to bring our soul back to God in Heaven. We use our faith to weather the storm as we grow from children to adults. But as we grow in faith, it becomes so much more. According to the catechism of the Catholic Church, “faith is a gift from God. A supernatural virtue infused in Him” (CCC153). Faith can set us free from turmoil and despair. It keeps us from running away when the world is mean and we doubt our abilities or purpose.
For any of us who have forgotten to rely on our faith, we know how difficult life is to figure out if we only use our own mind. I think of the times when I just could not wrap my brain around a problem or I felt attacked and treated unfairly. I have sought advice from friends or even experts and still could not find answers. It is an empty feeling and life feels almost impossible to manage.
Instead, we can take ownership of how we react to the chaotic and unfair world around us. Knowing the world can be unfair, we ask God to give us the strength we need to calm fear and anxiety. This can be a true sense of self control. Faith gives us a chance to take a time out from the intensity. Faith reminds us that God is in charge and He gives us all of the power we need to handle the day. To see God in all things and to not judge; but to become reasonable and open to correction. To learn. To grow. To achieve. The faithful will set their mind to God’s purpose and can learn to rebuild instead of breaking down. To shine. Faith can fill up a worn out person who has given in and give them the strength they need to grow in spirit. Faith can save the weary and inspire the disheartened. Faith, what a gift!
Anne Atkin, principal
In 1917, Mary appeared six times in Fatima, Portugal, telling people to pray the Rosary for world peace. The last appearance was on October 13. It had rained throughout the night before, soaking the ground and the pilgrims traveling to Fatima by the thousands to see Our Lady appear at noon as she had promised. As noon local time passed, Mary did not appear. However, when the sun arrived directly overhead, Mary was seen rising in the east. She turned the palms of her hands towards the sky. Although the rain had stopped, dark clouds still obscured the sun. Suddenly, the sun burst through the clouds and was seen as a soft spinning disk of silver. Recorded eyewitness accounts tell how people saw the face of the Blessed Virgin Mary and watched the sun, without any discomfort, as it trembled and danced in the sky. Some claimed the sun changed colors and whirled on itself like a giant wheel that lowered to the earth as if to burn it with its rays. The crowd cried out and people fell on their knees to pray. 70,000 people witnessed this Miracle of the Sun, including atheists, communists, and non-Catholics. Some of them converted to our faith.
Yesterday, at noon, as part of a worldwide celebration of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, a group of our parishioners gathered at the club house at Shaffer’s Evergreen Golf Course in Hudson to pray the Rosary for peace as our Blessed Mother requested 102 years ago. The word ‘rosary’ comes from Latin and means ‘a garden of roses.’ Our Rosary is a form of devotional prayer in honor of our Blessed Mother. The Rosary prayers come from Scripture and the traditions of the early Christians. There are four sets of mysteries of the Rosary based on different aspects of Jesus’ life. These are the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous Mysteries. Praying the Rosary and reflecting on these mysteries gives us a profound, intimate, personal experience with Jesus through the eyes of Mary.
Taking 20 minutes to pray the Rosary can draw out the deepest desires in our souls—desires for God and God alone. Even taking just a few minutes to pray one decade allows us to slow down, calm our hearts, and rest in God’s presence. This week, let’s all take time to pray the Rosary for world peace. Then ask our Blessed Mother to help us find peace in our heart.
**SAVE THE DATES**
Wednesday, October 16 ~ Bible Study
Sunday, October 20 ~ Mass Explained, 11:00am
Saturday, October 26 ~ SHS Trunk or Treat
Wednesday, October 30 ~ Bible Study
Saturday, November 9 ~ “Be In Our Heart” Gala
Wednesday, November 13 ~ Bible Study
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
WHAT IS UNBOUND? A 1 hour DVD Introduction to Unbound Prayer
At Sacred Heart, Hudson SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 in the Parish Hall following the 11am Mass. Pizza lunch provided.
OCTOBER 19, SATURDAY at St. Anthony, Hillsdale 8:30am-3:30 pm UNBOUND CONFERENCE DVD Series: The FIVE KEYS
Questions? Call or Text Nancy DeBacker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-262-4528
Live Free! Unbound Ministry. Deliverance is a GOOD WORD! Many Christians think the ministry of deliverance is only for special cases, people with serious problems. The truth is that we ALL have a serious problem: SIN. Both our own sins and the sins of others keep us from living the life God always intended us to live. Attend the Live Free! Conference on OCTOBER 26/27, 2019 at St. Mary’s in Williamston, MI (near Lansing) and unlock your life! Go to Live Free! Unbound Ministry on the web www.livefreeub.net or search Live Free, Lansing on Eventbrite www.livefreelansing_eventbrite.com for information, registration and e-announcements.
SAVE THE DATE: LIVE FREE! is coming to St. Anthony of Padua in Hillsdale next year: FEBRUARY 28-29, 2020. Details available after Labor Day.
Sacred Heart Families,
Thank you to all of our wonderful families for being a member of the Sacred Heart community. We have had many reasons to celebrate this week. The Feast of the Guardian Angels, The Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux and The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi have given us a lot to think about as we pray in the morning. We pray for you every day and we want to extend an offer to pray for people who need our prayers. If you have a special prayer intention, just let me know and we will add them to our morning intentions.
The monthly newsletter is attached and is full of classroom updates and upcoming events for the month of October.
Please come to the kNOw program on Monday for grade K-6. It is very important for your child to be protected from harm.
Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s Families,
This past week I found out that another of my siblings is expecting, so that means there will be a third niece or nephew making an appearance in the next few months: one in December, one in February, and one in April. What a joy family is!
Looking ahead, we will be resuming our Bible Study schedule. We will be picking up in John 18. The Bible is one of God’s great gifts to us. It helps us hear Him, and through it, God reveals Himself. There is a famous poem attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ:
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
Studying Scripture helps us to know we are loved and to fall in love ourselves. Here are the dates for upcoming Bible Studies:
Sacred Heart (6pm in the Grey Room in the school basement):
St. Mary’s (10am following the 9:15am Mass):
November 7th (moved from the 31st due to the Holy Day)
If you have not already done so, I encourage you to take a copy of Bishop Barron’s book Letter to a Suffering Church. As Bishop Barron puts it: For Catholics questioning their faith, searching desperately for encouragement and hope, this book will offer reasons to stay and fight for the Body of Christ.
This week, Fr. Tomy and I will be hosting a meeting for anyone who wants to discuss this letter and ask questions. It will be followed by a time of prayer for reparation and healing.
- We will meet Wednesday, October 9th, at St. Mary’s at 6pm in the Parish Hall.
- We will meet Thursday, October 10th, at Sacred Heart at 6pm in the Parish Hall.
Sacred Heart Families,
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Hudson Food Pantry by pledging money for the Walk of Faith last week. We were able to raise over $500 and many food donations. During the Walk of Faith, every student prays for the hungry, the dead, and people who serve. We begin by praying the Act of Faith together and walk to shine a light on how powerful faith is when we pray together. Faith gives us the ability to see, feel, and talk to God. Faith brings Jesus to life and gives us the power to help people. We had a special day practicing faith and using it to be stewards of God’s love.
This week we celebrated the Feast of the Guardian Angel. This is an important Feast Day to the students because we pray the Guardian Angel Prayer often. As the children grow, it is a comfort to know that they each have an individual angel assigned to them. We refer to the Guardian Angel prayer often as an easy reminder that we are always in the presence of God. We have a deeply personal connection that lights, guards, rules and guides us as we live every moment. Our guardian angel is tough and protects us from demons. Our guardian angel shows us right from wrong and reminds us of the virtue we need to be strong people.
Fun Facts about Guardian Angels:
- We will meet our Guardian Angel in Heaven
- Each soul, including Christians and Non-Christians, has a Guardian Angel assigned to give guidance throughout its life on earth.
- Our Angel cannot affect our free will.
- Protects us from demons and inspires intellect.
- Feast of the Guardian Angels has been a feast day since 1608.
- Angels are mentioned 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament
What a special gift! We will use our guardian angel every day to be closer to God.
Anne Atkin, Principal
Angel of God, who are my guardian, enlighten, guard, govern and guide me, who have been entrusted to you by the heavenly goodness. Amen
Prayer of John Paul II