Distinguished Speaker Series 2015

The John Courtney Murray Distinguished Speaker Series presents:

“Moving From Success to Significance”

Guest Speaker: Chuck Gaidica

Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 7-9pm
at St. Stephen Church, 325 32nd Street.

Chuck Gaidica is currently serving as the Pastor of Outreach and Innovation at Oak Pointe Church in Novi, Michigan.

He enrolled in the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, part of Cornerstone University, obtaining a master’s degree in ministry leadership.

Mr. Gaidica has successfully worked as a leader of various efforts to bring business, media and non-profits together as “forces for good.”

He is an award winning media personality known for excellence and innovation and winning strategies. He has proven himself to be a successful media and business leader who is a long-time team player for the #1 television station and multiple winning radio stations in Detroit, Michigan and beyond.

Public Welcome!
Admission: Free Will Offering at the door
Sponsored by:
the Port Huron Catholic Parishes

Annual Chicken Dinner and Raffle

Sunday, October, 11, 2015
Noon until 5pm

St. Stephen School Building

Now offering drive-thru take-out!


  • Chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Coleslaw
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Rolls
  • Coffee and pop
  • Dessert


  • Adults: $9
  • Seniors: $8
  • Children (5-12) $6
  • Children (4-under) Free
  • Take-outs $9

Raffle with TEN grand prizes! Tickets $1 each. License #C27199. Drawing held at 4pm.

  • One First Prize: $1000
  • Two Second Prizes: $500
  • Three Third Prizes: $300
  • Four Fourth Prizes: $100

Come and check out our Silent Auction; ends at 4:30pm.

St. Mary’s Retreat

An Invitation for Women!

“My Peace I Give to You”      John 14:27

Dynamic Retreat Facilitators

Nancy Trudell

Nancy Trudell
Spiritual Director with formation at Manresa Retreat Center

Rev. Brian K. Cokonougher Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron

Rev. Brian K. Cokonougher
Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron

Fri. Oct. 9th (7:00 P.M.) – Sun. Oct. 11th (1:00 P.M.)
St. Mary Retreat House, Oxford, MI
Cost: $160.00

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.”      Mark 6:31

St Mary Retreat HouseMusic provided by Lois Zuccarini and Mary Fran Liberty-Caza

To confirm your reservation, please see back of poster,
or download form at:

You will find peace only God can give!

World Mission Sunday 2015

Next Sunday, October 18, is World Mission Sunday, a special day on which we unite ourselves with Catholics all over the world to pray and sacrifice for the missionary efforts of the Church.

The observance of World Mission Sunday is truly “worldly” as prayers and support of the missionary work of the Church is done in every parish church and chapel throughout the entire world. All Catholics respond to the request for this special day by our Holy Father who has asked the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith to plan and promote this holy work of “First Evangelization.”

The Society, founded by Pauline Jericot in France, was given the title “Pontifical” in 1922 and has a special responsibility in the Universal Church. It is under the direction of the Holy Father who together with the entire body of Bishops remind the faithful of their baptismal call to mission, as they gather basic support for more than 1,200 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and Latin America.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, from the very start of his pontificate has not ceased to remind us that we are a truly missionary Church and its mandate to spread the faith has the highest priority. World Mission Sunday gives us the opportunity to join him in this faith-filled concern of his.

This week you have received special envelopes from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith for the mission collection to be taken next weekend. It is suggested that families contribute for the missions at this time, thus enrolling themselves in the Society as well as offering substantial help to our missionaries who spread the gospel.

Do, be generous in supporting the Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith which is the Church’s principal means of spreading the gospel throughout the world.

Altar Server Training

Fr. Brian will be holding a training session for new altar servers and a refresher course for current altar servers on October 18, 2015 at St. Joseph Church immediately after the 11 a.m. Mass.
This session is for all current Altar Servers and for anyone interested in joining this ministry. Children and adults are both welcome!

Notice from Mt. Hope Cemetery

As the preparations for fall clean-up begin, you are reminded that the families are responsible for the removal/cleaning of flower pots, hanging flower pots and the flower beds around your loved one’s monument before the onset of winter. All small trinkets and mementos should also be removed due to the blowing equipment and mulching machines. The water will be shut off October 12th.
Thank you for your cooperation and hard work in beautifying our cemetery.

Ronald Ceglarek, Superintendent, Mt. Hope Cemetery

Fire Pit Night

Attention: Middle & High School Youth

fire pitOn Sunday, October 11th from 6-8pm we will be having the first ever “Fire-Pit Night” at St. Stephen’s. All youth 6th to 12th grade are invited to join us! We will have hot dogs, chips & s’mores. Please bring a chair and a beverage and join us for a fun night!

A Great Hope In Common

By: Sr. Gloria

We have mentioned that fact that all Adrian Dominican Sisters are in the process of preparing for their General Chapter 2016. Religious congregations have a General Chapter every six years to review and chart their directions, and elect leadership for the next six years.  We would share with you how they are happening now, in this new era of communication.

A General Chapter is serious business, especially now in these challenging and changing times.  Thus, it began in October of 2014, when all Adrian Dominicans met in their larger regional areas to begin looking into the future, and to suggest future directions.  They met in Adrian, Detroit, Illinois, California, Florida, Georgia, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic.  All groups were to submit suggestions for future areas of concentration.

A group of sisters formed a ‘General Chapter Planning Committee.’  They met several times and looked at 270 different suggestions that had come from all of the Mission Groups.  Their task was to hone those 270 suggestions that ‘came from the troops’ into a working agenda.  In time they came up with seven major recommendations for everyone to consider and explore.

Since then, sisters have been meeting in their smaller ‘mission groups’ all over the country, to reflect on these seven recommendations, with the invitation to make suggestions.

We mentioned the new era of communication and how it impacts and facilitates the rapid sharing of information.  The Adrian Motherhouse has frequent live-stream presentations on various topics.  This means every Adrian Dominican can view, on her computer, the presentation in real time, all over the country.  There are opportunities after the live-stream talk, for sisters to email or phone in questions or comments.  (Suddenly it is an amazing use of the internet to bond sisters all over the country at the same time!)  And if one misses the ‘live-stream’ one can pick it up later where it is saved on the Adrian website.  Adrian has shared an amazing number of live-stream sharings and discussions, and they are available for later viewing.

Along with the live-stream events, there are frequent letters from our Adrian prioress, Sr. Attracta Kelly, as well as from the chapter prioresses of the local mission chapters.  Sr. Carol Jean Kesterke sends emails to all of us in the Great Lakes Dominican Chapter.  The communication via the internet is truly amazing!

The General Chapter will meet in two sessions.  All delegates will gather on October 30 and 31 in central locations in different parts of the country.  Then, all delegates will meet in Adrian for over a week in February of 2016.

“We come to General Chapter 2016 with the full weight of soul-size challenges on our shoulders — and with the gift of knowing that our common life as women religious, impelled by the Gospel, speaks directly to these times; what we do now matters vitally.”

You know that we ask for your prayers, as we keep the headlines from a previous chapter:


A Stranger and You Welcomed Me (Mt. 25:35) – Part 2 of 3

refugeesChristmas is almost two and half months away, and there is no rush to get to it as we try to enjoy this autumn season. But one Polish Christmas tradition, that you may have participated in or have never even heard of, is known as Wigilia (Polish pronunciation: [viˈɡilʲa]), which comes from the English word, “vigil.” This Polish vigil on Christmas Eve entails some wonderful traditions. One of which has to do with hospitality and inclusion in which an empty seat along with a table setting is left open just in case a traveler, family member, friend, or even a stranger, like an immigrant or refugee, for example, who knocks on the door, has a reserved seat to join in on the Christmas celebration. While called to be prudent in using both our hearts and heads when welcoming a stranger into our homes, Jesus’ message of welcoming a stranger in need when we have the means to provide for them is biblically clear.

Christ gave this teaching of welcoming the stranger to his apostles, whose successors are our modern-day bishops. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, how have the bishops taken this teaching of Jesus and further deepened it in our rich, Catholic Tradition?

While the U.S. bishop responded with a pastoral statement in 2001 called, “Welcoming The Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity,” they signed a joint pastoral letter together with the Mexican bishops in 2003 concerning migration entitled, “Strangers No Longer Together On The Journey Of Hope.” The two countries’ bishops proposed five principles to help guide the flock on this matter. They are:

  1. Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland (34).
  2. Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families (35).
  3. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders (and regulate immigration with justice and mercy) (36).
  4. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection (37).
  5. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected (38).

In addition to these five principles, “the Catholic bishops of the United States and Mexico, in communion with the Holy Father in his 1995 World Migration Day message, affirm that ‘In the Church no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere. As a sacrament of unity and thus a sign and a binding force for the whole human race, the Church is the place where illegal immigrants are also recognized and accepted as brothers and sisters. It is the task of the various dioceses actively to ensure that these people, who are obliged to live outside the safety net of civil society, may find a sense of brotherhood in the Christian community. Solidarity means taking responsibility for those in trouble.’ The Church must, therefore, welcome all persons regardless of race, culture, language, and nation with joy, charity, and hope. It must do so with special care for those who find themselves–regardless of motive–in situations of poverty, marginalization, and exclusion.” Source: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/strangers-no-longer-together-on-the-journey-of-hope.cfm

The Michigan Catholic Bishops’ followed up with a statement in 2007 and then again in 2011 similarly on the important topic of immigration highlighting the following three principles:

Finally, in a letter called Ecclesia (Church) in America #65, our late and beloved Holy Father, St. John Paul II wrote in 1999 that “migrants should be met with a hospitable and welcoming attitude which can encourage them to become part of the Church’s life, always with due regard for their freedom and their specific cultural identity. … The Church in America must be constantly concerned to provide for the effective evangelization of those recent arrivals who do not yet know Christ.” (Source: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_22011999_ecclesia-in-america.html). May we welcome and evangelize the stranger in the immigrant and refugee, many of who do not yet know Christ. By welcoming the stranger, we welcome Jesus. Stay tuned next week for a Q & A discussion by the U.S. bishops, the role of government as well as a brief focus on immigration and refugee myths.

In Concern for The Stranger Among Us,
Fr. Jeff

A Stranger and You Welcomed Me – Part 1 of 3

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt. 25:35). These are the words of Jesus that have become known as examples of the corporal works of mercy. While there has been much political debate in recent years over immigration and what to do about refugees, Pope Francis’ visit to our country last week reminded us from a spiritual standpoint the importance of love, compassion and generosity that we are called to offer to those strangers in need, namely immigrants and refugees who do not have a place to call home… yet, but who are under the disguise of Jesus looking to and waiting to be welcomed by you and me, by all of us who are members of the same human family in God, who has graciously entrusted creation and this bountiful but ailing earth to all of us.
In a statement made to a crowd in Philadelphia, Pope Francis told immigrants not to be discouraged stating: “By contributing your gifts, you will not only find your place here, you will help to renew society from within,” he said in Spanish. “I take this opportunity to thank all those, of whatever religion, who have sought to serve the God of peace by building cities of brotherly love, by caring for our neighbors in need, by defending the dignity of God’s gift of life in all its stages, by defending the cause of the poor and the immigrant,” he said. “All too often, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard.” Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/pope-francis-visits-america/pope-francis-philadelphia-tells-immigrants-do-not-be-discouraged-n434261
While some have faithfully made their cry heard, others may have concerns and respond, “where is the justice in someone who has gotten in line, committed to a process and has been waiting for years to become a U.S. citizen? Yet there are others who illegally and instantly cross one of the borders into this country and have the potential to become citizens through amnesty, for example.” You’re right. There is not any justice in that. Life isn’t fair. Realize that unlike many of us who live in love, peace and security, especially in this nation, there are many who do not share the freedoms and blessings in other countries that we do. Many immigrants and refugees flee from constant abuse, violence and drugs, and even death in search of a better life for them and their families. How that is to be resolved politically and practically is beyond the scope of my expertise. But I go back to a popular question that was asked often in Christian faith circles back in the 1990’s. It was an acronym commonly used. Do you remember what it was? The answer is W.W.J.D. What Would Jesus Do? What would Jesus do if he came across a child refugee from Syria or Iraq? What would he do if he encountered a lonely refugee from northern Africa who fled his or her hometown just captured from radical Islam (like from members of ISIS), and is trying to survive by going across rough waters in a poorly, made, wooden boat with overcrowded people hoping to arrive on the shores of either Greece or Italy and potentially face unwelcome by people as well as hostility from authorities? What would Jesus do if he came across an immigrant from any number of countries south of the border, for example? Would he not welcome them? Of course he would and with open, loving arms! Shouldn’t we do the same? He would be faithful to his own words… “a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt. 25:35). What about welcoming the stranger in our own communities and neighborhoods? Many of you have responded to that through ministries like St. Vincent de Paul, B-WARM (Blue Water Area Rescue Mission) and others. God bless you for your generous efforts. We have a loving and welcoming God whom we are called to imitate in Christ Jesus, and we can surely be more welcoming with his grace and help.
In short, what can we do? 1) Educate ourselves (as more information and resources will be forthcoming in articles over the next two weeks); 2) Pray. Pray for the immigrants and refugees who are suffering with their families, but also pray to God to be a courageous witness on behalf of them; 3) Get more involved in the public square via policy making either through voting or writing your congressman or woman. 4) Be more compassionate to strangers and be more welcoming to visitors inside and outside of church.
If we are called to show compassion and love to immigrants and refugees, does that mean that all of them should automatically become legalized citizens? At the same time, doesn’t a country also have a right to secure its borders? What about illegal immigrants who do not pay taxes? Stay tuned as answers to these questions and more will be given over the next two weekends in subsequent articles. Some of these answers and other main points will be highlighted and referenced from statements made by our U.S. and Michigan bishops and will include resources to the Bible and the Catechism too.

In The Spirit of Always Welcoming The Stranger As Jesus Did,
Fr. Jeff Allan

“SHOES” For Kohov School Children

Building Hope for the Future

Charity Gathering Event with Fr. Simeon

Nigerian Mission’s Newest Project

Event will take place on Sunday, October 18, 2015
2:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m.
at Casey’s, 628 Huron Ave, Port Huron, MI

Cost is $35.00 per person (Check-in at door)
Food and non-alcoholic beverages included
Open bar available.

RSVP by mailing check to:
Frohm Kelly Butler & Ryan PC
Attn: Dorothy Bergquist
333 Fort St., Port Huron MI 48060
Checks only please! We do not have credit card availability.
Donations are tax deductible

Protecting God’s Children Workshop

This Workshop is necessary for all those in a Parish or School that are in close contact or work with the youth, aged, or handicapped. This workshop is mandated through the Archdiocese of Detroit and is for persons over 18 years of age.

Saturday, October 17, 2015
9:00am to 12:00pm
Morning Hospitality beginning at 8:30am
This event will be held in the Parish Hall.

There is no cost however all those that attend must register on-line prior to the Workshop. There is a 100 person capacity – so please register ASAP!

To register please go to www.virtus.org
and follow the prompts to register.

Contact Person: Tina Kovalcik, DRE, 586-725-1762

Immaculate Conception Parish, 9764 Dixie Hwy, Ira, MI 48023