Deacon’s Corner, October 6 2019

In last Monday’s Gospel reading, Jesus watched His disciples argue about which one of them was the greatest.  So, He took a child by His side and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest” (Luke 9:46-48).  Now, these are good words for the Gospel, but not so good when my Fighting Irish are going head-to-head against a rivalry and bragging rights are at stake.

 

While praying on this Gospel, I read a reflection written by a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame who wrote about her experience attending the football game in Athens, Georgia two weeks ago when Notre Dame played the Georgia Bulldogs.  The possibility of a national championship was at stake. It was a chance to prove who was the greatest among them.  Her reflection on this Gospel says it all, and I want to share it with you here.

 

She wrote:  “Welcome to Athens!” “Good luck tonight!” “Go Irish!” – All heard coming from the amazingly friendly Georgia fans two weekends ago. Walking up to the sea of red at the Georgia tailgates while wearing my Irish green was pretty intimidating, but I was happily surprised by the friendly faces, smiles, and words of welcome we received. Some Georgia fans stopped us to ask how our experience in Athens had been. They were glad we were having a great time and being welcomed enthusiastically because they and everyone they knew had had such a pleasant time at Notre Dame [during the game] in 2017.  Later we talked with a member of the SilverDawgs, who explained how the University of Georgia instituted the SilverDawgs based on the Notre Dame [football stadium] Ushers. Georgia wanted to create the same kind of welcoming atmosphere they had experienced at Notre Dame.

 

Every football weekend, when we welcome opponents to our campus, we truly live out Christ’s call to love everyone regardless of background and affiliation. We embody Christ’s message, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me.” Though we sometimes don’t receive back the kindness we give or see the fruits of our generosity, that’s not why we love in the first place…It was a blessing to see Christ’s love shining through both sets of fans. It’s amazing how a kind word and smile, multiplied by thousands of Notre Dame fans, set in motion a wave of love and kindness in the Georgia fans. The love Christ shares with us is meant to be received as a gift and shared tangibly with the people we encounter daily.

 

What beautiful words to describe how Jesus wants us to treat each other!  On a side note, our very own Delmar Marry (Sacred Heart Parishioner) is a stadium usher for Notre Dame home football games.  That means Delmar helps bring the love of Christ to over 80,000 people every time he is in the stadium.  I’m not sure how many people can do that!  Certainly, not me.  Go Delmar!

 

May we pray this week to be welcoming, to open our hearts in humility, and to receive the gift of the cross so we can give ourselves away in service to others for the love of Christ.

Deacon John

 

**SAVE THE DATES**

 

Sunday, October 6 ~ Religious Ed Begins

Sunday, October 6 ~ Annual Roast Beef Dinner

Saturday, October 12 ~ Community Rosary Rally for Peace

Saturday, October 26 ~ SHS Trunk or Treat

Saturday, November 9 ~ “Be In Our Heart” Gala

Saturday, November 16 ~ SHS 25 Cent Event

Sunday, November 17 ~ UNBOUND (Date Change)

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

December 6,7,8 ~ Community Cantata

 

Fr. Todd Homily, September 29 2019

Gospel  LK 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied,
‘My child, remember that you received
what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go
from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”

Fr. Todd Bulletin, September 29 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s Families,

This week, September 30-October 3rd (Monday-Thursday) Fr. Tomy and I will be gone for the annual priest convocation.  We will not have daily Masses those days.  Please pray for us this week!

A question we all have is how to build our relationship with Jesus.  When that phrase comes up- “personal relationship with Jesus” does that describe my own relationship with Him?  This is after all the basis of what it means to be Christian.  Before anything else we are called to be with Him and then from that relationship we go out and serve. Periodically then we need to participate in encounter opportunities- events where we can go and encounter Jesus and His love in a personal, life changing way.  I want to strongly encourage two opportunities coming up in October.

First is the women’s conference- https://www.lansingdiocesecwc.org/.  This will take place on Saturday, October 12th at the Lansing Center in Lansing Michigan. Here is a brief testimony shared by Becky after attending a previous women’s conference:

“Becky had anticipated a quiet day of speakers and reflection. Instead, the day’s events thrust her into a very emotional and unexpected awakening. Until the conference, she hadn’t realized what a box she had built around her heart due to all the stress she was experiencing. “During the conference, it was like the protective shell I erected was cracked. Prior to this day, I thought I had to be in control and do it alone. I suddenly realized I have this partner – God – to help me get through everything.”

The theme, God’s Desire, was palpable throughout the day and wedged into her heart. “My life had been so focused on everything going on around me that I hadn’t thought about myself or spent a lot of time with God. I was feeling guilty that I wasn’t a good enough mother, wife or daughter. I was frustrated that I didn’t have enough focus for each aspect of my life.” Becky became unshackled from her negative self-talk. She came to understand God’s loving desire was to have an active relationship with her. “Since the women’s conference, I have conversations with God every day. I listen and reflect. Now when I wake up, before I even get out of bed, I pray for God’s guidance to get me through my day.”” https://faithmag.com/how-womens-conference-changed-beckys-life-good

The second opportunity is Holy Fire great Lakes which in Bowling Green Ohio on Sunday, October 13th. https://nfcym.org/holyfiregreatlakes.

Holy Fire is a national Catholic one-day faith experience for middle school youth, developed in collaboration with a host diocese and nearby regions. Its mission is to ignite the hearts of young people with the love of Christ and to inspire them to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in the world.

I encourage you to send your 6-8th grader to this one-day experience of dynamic speakers, music, and the sacrament of the Eucharist like they have never before experienced. At Holy Fire, young people will be invited and challenged to embrace their baptismal call and embrace the relevant and powerful gospel of Jesus.

These opportunities are transformative.  Whenever we intentionally set aside time for the Lord, He will respond by giving us grace and strength in ways we cannot imagine.  (FYI- the Men’s conference is in February)

 

God Bless!

Fr. Todd

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, September 29 2019

Sacred Heart School would like to thank Bill Mullaly for his generous donation of three very nice projectors and 4 document readers for the classrooms.

Our Technology Council listened to the needs of the teachers and the students and researched products that will enhance classroom learning. They concluded that with better visual aids, teachers can easily project books, computer images, or videos for everyone to see. The council put together a list of technology for our wish list and we were able to get them ordered and in the classrooms this week.

We are so blessed by our parents and church community who work to make Sacred Heart a wonderful school for all students.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Deacon Corner, September 29 2019

Over the past month:  Summer came to an end, school went back in session, college football kicked off (no pun intended), and Fall officially started.  Amid all of this busyness, our volunteer catechists at both parishes prepared for another year of teaching our parish children their Catholic faith.

This year we expect almost 100 students attending religious education/faith formation classes each Sunday between our two parishes.  Give or take for holidays and spring break, there are about 25 Sundays available for classes.   That’s about 30 total hours of instruction over the year for our children to learn their faith, assuming no classes are missed and everyone shows up on time.   Essentially, we have a lot of students with precious little class time to teach them what they need to know.

It takes more than classroom time to form our children’s faith.  It takes family time during the week, and that’s not easy with everything going on around us.  I remember those years when Kimberly and I struggled to balance work, school, sports, scouts, visiting grandparents, and having fun as a family.  Getting our children off to CCD classes each Sunday between their early morning paper route and 11 am Mass was always a challenge.  Sometimes we grumbled about it, and sometimes we failed.  Although I’m glad we don’t have to go through that phase of parenting anymore, I often wish we would have tried harder to make more time at home to teach our children their faith.

Our Catechism says parents have the first responsibility to educate their children.  That includes more than just dropping them off for class on Sunday morning.  It means teaching the faith at home, too.  It means praying together as a family – before and after meals, at night, the Act of Contrition, the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, the rosary, to heal those hurting, and bless those who need it to name a few.  Prayer and faith must openly be part of the family’s daily routine and decision making.

For our parish religious education/faith formation parish programs to work, our children must experience all of us – parents, relatives, friends, and parishioners alike – engaged in our faith by outwardly living a life devoted to Christ through our words and examples.  They must see us as truly faithful to the virtues of patience, temperance, charity, humility, diligence, kindness, and chastity.  Not in a showy way, but in a way they can relate to.

As classes begin next Sunday, may we always be mindful of our responsibility to teach the children of our parishes about God and our great Catholic faith.   As parents, that means taking time at home to learn our faith together.  For the rest of us, it means doing whatever we can to support our parents and volunteer catechists.  For they have a daunting task, and neither of them can do it alone.

Deacon John

 

Afternoon of Adoration

Starting the habit of weekly prayer time has many rewards. It will change you in meaningful ways, and you will soon wonder how you ever lived without it.

Please join us for an Afternoon of Adoration on Wednesday, October 2 from 1:00 ~ 6:00pm.  Solemn Benediction will begin at 5:45pm.

 Please consider signing up for at least one 30-minute time slot to ensure that Blessed Lord is accompanied during the entire afternoon.  There will be a sign up sheet in the main entrance to the church.

St. Mary on the Lake will offer Adoration Thursday, October 3 from 10:00am ~ Noon.

Fr. Todd Bulletin, September 22 2019

Our readings this weekend are challenging.  They point out that one day we will be called to present to God an accounting of our stewardship, the ways in which we used our time, talent, and treasure for His Kingdom.

 

This weekend is a good reminder of our call to arms in both the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  Part of our stewardship of the life God gives us is by how we give it away to those who need it the most.

 

The Spiritual Works of Mercy are:

  • To instruct the ignorant. This work of mercy means all of us are called to share and teach the faith passed on to us.
  • To counsel the doubtful
  • To admonish the sinner
  • To bear wrongs patiently
  • To forgive offenses willingly
  • To comfort the afflicted
  • To pray for the living and the dead

The Corporal Works of Mercy are:

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Visit the sick
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Bury the dead

 

We have many opportunities for both the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in our own parish and communities. We have the Hudson Ministerial Association and Food Pantry, and the Food Pantry at St. Mary on the Lake. We have parishioners who visit and bring Communion to the homebound.  On a regional level, we have Catholic Charities and all of their good work.

 

The Diocese of Lansing is hosting a “Welcome the Stranger Among Us” Conference – Pastoral Care of Immigrants on Friday, October 11th from 8:30-3:30.  For more information or to purchase a ticket, please go to this website: https://www.eventbee.com/v/welcomethestranger#/tickets

 

I know it can seem daunting when we see a list like this.  Don’t be discouraged!  See if the Holy Spirit is nudging you on one or more of them and then say yes.  Such is to be a good steward of this life Jesus gives us.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, September 22 2019

Diversity

This week in morning prayer, we have been talking about diversity. What makes us each so perfectly special is how different we are. I asked the students each a question about themselves. “What is your favorite color? What is your favorite thing to do before bed? What is your favorite food? Where would you like to visit?“ The answers were so genuine and so unique that we were all laughing at some of the responses. It was a great time to point out that we are all going to answer these questions differently. Why? Because we are all perfectly different. Never before in the history of the world has someone like you lived and never again will you. We are so very special and that makes us amazing. It was fun to just stop for a minute a look at every beautiful face at prayer and think how privileged we are to know these perfect children. Pointing out how special they are leads to the topic of the week. Diversity. It is our differences that make us perfect. These differences should make us appreciate each other; not pull us apart. We are diverse and we are meant to love through the differences.

Our Catholic faith is a faith that knows no boundaries. We see Jesus in everyone we meet and we are meant to meet a lot of people. When we meet people with hearts that are open, and our minds are interested in the whole person, it is amazing how much we learn from each other. The Holy Spirit generates diversity; as children grow they are developing new and wonderful traits that are unique to them. They are becoming individualized and by growing this way, they are becoming closer to God.

But what if I thought that my special gifts and my unique personality made me better than you? What if I thought that I was better than you because I could run faster? Or I lived in a bigger house? Or I was taller than you? What if I judged you? We decided that would be evil. And yet, it happens. We judge, we compare, we can even hurt others. What should we do? We thought of two things: pray the Guardian angel prayer and ask our guardian angel to rule and guide our thoughts. Secondly, to work on the virtue of hospitality. To open up to being gracious and kind instead of hostile to differences.

Diversity. Celebrating the differences that unite us.

 

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal