Thank you to Fr. Todd & Fr. Gary Koenigsknecht for a wonderful and inspirational Day of Reflection.
Thank you to Fr. Todd & Fr. Gary Koenigsknecht for a wonderful and inspirational Day of Reflection.
Dear Sacred Heart Family,
I want to continue the theme on ways to grow in your faith by having a parishioner, Ron Stacey, share his testimony.
Hello faith family. My name is Ron Stacey. If you already knew that, it is because of the Holy Spirit driving me toward active participation in our beautiful faith. Because of your support I recently graduated from the Siena Heights Theological Studies Program (TSP). This program is sponsored by our own Lansing Diocese. This has been an exciting journey and Father has asked me to share some of it with you.
Around 2011 or so I was lost. I felt a deep loneliness. I was a single father with little to no local friends. I felt like I needed to strengthen my faith. I was lukewarm, at best. Service was the only way I knew to connect. So, being new to the area I asked Father if there was anything at the rectory that needed fixed. This was a great place to start and boy did I get a list. This list took me over a year to complete. During that time, I got to spend a lot of time with an exceptional and fluffy source of knowledge in faith. Father was eager to answer my questions. My faith grew with every question that was answered. I wanted to know more and serve more. The fire was growing.
Throughout that year I researched different things I could do with, and for the Church. Everything I felt called to do requires a deep understanding of our faith. We have 5000 years of history with 2000 years of tradition. This is going to take more than a couple nights a week working on a kitchen with a priest. This was terrifying. I went to trade school with a couple of college classes over 15 years ago. I am a journeyman shop rat that plays at being an engineer. I was not a good student let alone a theologian. This was way beyond my capabilities. I would just embarrass myself. Or so I thought.
I kept all of this to myself and didn’t let on that I was looking into anything. Until one day, I was approached by my fiancée (now wife) and Father telling me that they have felt a push for me to serve in a greater way. Would I be open to it? It was then, I shared all of the research I had done. This could only be the Holy Spirit.
I started the TSP program late in 2013. Since that time, you have opened your hearts to me in ways I cannot express. The love and peace I feel today is what I was looking for so long ago. This is only done from service to my faith. Active participation in my salvation story. Over the last few years the small spark that started on the floor of the rectory has been stoked by the hands of Jesus. One class at a time I met like minded men and women from all over the diocese. I now have lifelong friends working in many parishes in all sorts of capacities. Knowing that I am not alone in faith, I now have the courage to share it with anyone who will listen.
A good friend of mine recently said “you will know that the Holy Spirit is working in you when you are doing something you never thought you would be doing.” I am no longer the lost, lonely soul I once was. I am a student of Christ. I really do not know what my future is in the Church. I do know, that whatever it is, I will do it with joy and peace in my heart. This is entirely because my faith journey began with service.
I urge each of you to look in your heart and take Fathers call to “deepen your faith” very seriously. The TSP program is a wonderful way to do so. We also have Bible Study, Café, Light House Media, Formed and a new faith study that will be beginning soon. Know that you are not alone. We have a rich and beautiful faith. We need to really get to know it. When we serve God, we get to know God. When we serve his people, we get to know his people.
Thank you, Ron for sharing your story. May it help all of us take that next step in our own walk of faith.
Our Catechism tells us a society cannot be well-ordered or prosperous unless the people with authority to govern devote themselves to work and care for the common good. It says the foundation of this authority must lie in moral order derived from God, and must follow His Natural Law. The common good has three essential elements: respect for fundamental rights and dignity of each person; development of society’s spiritual and material needs; and the peace and security of the people. Our Catechism says everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life (§1897 – §1927.)
The founding fathers of our country understood these principles and knew their young country must rely on God to make the right decisions. They wrote in the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…and for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”; and again in the Constitution “We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” Our leaders who wrote and signed these documents knew the importance of establishing a country founded on faith in God and following His laws.
Let’s face it, our great country is being threatened as it may have never been before. Not a threat from a Cold War adversary or mounting attack by fascist regime, but the threat of being divided within over the basic principles this country was founded on. As we celebrate the birth of our country, let’s not forget what our founders stood for. No matter our political affiliation, may we pray together for the Divine Providence of God to secure the Blessings of our Liberty so we have the courage to openly embrace our faith and choose leaders who protect life at all stages, ensure religious freedom, respect human dignity, form a more perfect union, and work for the common good of all. Deacon John
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
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
Dear Sacred Heart families,
We are under construction again this summer. With the help of Steve Kope, Dan LaCroix and Randy Koenigsknecht, we are making a lot of much needed updates to the appearance of the school.
Thanks to a generous donation, the flooring in our big room downstairs has been replaced with water-proof, vinyl flooring that should last several decades. The room is very functional and we will be able to use it for many events in the future.
We are also giving Mrs. Schutte’s 3rd/4th grade room a much needed remodel. The room will get new carpet, paint and fresh ceiling tiles.
The front of the school is scheduled to receive new landscaping and fresh mulch. It is a beautiful habitat and we are excited to have the donated funds to make it fresh and new.
Along with the new security updates and routine maintenance, it is a very busy summer at Sacred Heart. We have been so blessed this year by our community who supports Catholic education. The school is really starting to shine and we are very excited to show off the finished product at the beginning of the school year.
Also, we still have a few spots left in preschool and kindergarten. Be sure to stop in and register to ensure your child’s enrollment for next year.
Anne Atkin, Principal
Last week we talked about why we have funerals. Funerals help us understand that death is the doorway to heaven. They provide us a time and place to reaffirm our faith in the new life Jesus promised us where death is only the end of our earthly life, but not the end of our spiritual life and relationship with God. Funerals give us a chance to say “goodbye” and remember the person who lived. This week let’s take a look at planning funerals.
Although planning someone’s funeral may seem burdensome and untimely, it is really a privilege. But, that doesn’t mean planning a funeral is easy. Think of a funeral as a gift to the family and friends of the person who died, so they can mourn and embrace the painful feelings of grief over losing a loved one. Although they may be deeply saddened, the planning process helps acknowledge the reality of the death. But, when all is said and done, planning the funeral can leave a feeling of deep satisfaction that they helped plan a meaningful tribute for someone they care so much about.
Funerals have a way of getting us to wake up, to embrace the wonder of life, think about what we truly care about, and how we want to spend our precious remaining days. Planning and attending a meaningful funeral can have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of so many people. Tapping into the power of a funeral liturgy helps us discover what it means to have a relationship with God. After all, as Christians, the happiest day of our life is when we meet God face-to-face and enjoy everlasting life in His presence.
Celebrating Christian funerals brings hope and consolation to the living. While proclaiming the Gospel and witnessing hope in the resurrection, funerals also recall God’s mercy and our need to turn to Him in times of crisis. By embracing funerals, we begin to recognize the spiritual bond that exists between the living and the dead, knowing we will someday be raised up and reunited in the new heaven and earth where death will be no more.