Cast out into the Deep

LIFE lines from Lucy

“Cast out into the Deep” were the last words we heard as we ended the CHRIST LIFE program. Sharing Jesus, the last of three- seven week sessions, challenged the participants to move out of their comfort zone, and discern how they could better share Jesus in the world. We learned how everyone has their own special gifts and that we should work within those gifts to better serve God. For example, not everyone is comfortable walking the neighborhoods inviting people to parish events. Some people really enjoy that kind of work. These are the people who should do this work. Some are better at praying. Some are better at sending notes and writing letters. Some are better at acts of kindness.

Through prayer and discernment we are all commissioned to build the kingdom in the way that we have been called. Whether you attended CHRISTLIFE or not, we are all called to do our part of the mission.

Jesus challenged the disciples to cast their nets out from the other side of the boat. Try something new, step out of your comfort zone, stretch your imagination. Jesus calls us to do the same. Cast out our nets into the deep. What is the one thing that you will do to step out of your comfort zone? How is God calling you to build the kingdom?

In a world steeped in evil, we must toughen up and live for Jesus. We can no longer stand by the wayside and think that we are not worthy. God calls us, and we must go. If we don’t teach our children about God and our faith, who will? If we don’t stand up for injustice, then who will? If we don’t become the voice, then who will? God said GO! We can’t afford to disappoint. How will you cast out into the deep?

Keep movin’ in the Spirit…….

Protecting God’s Children

All parish volunteers are required to attend a free workshop titled: Protecting God’s Children

Hosted by the Office of Safe Environments from the Archdiocese of Detroit. (Your CSA funds at work).

Several are being offered in the area!

July 11, 2015 @ St Mary Queen of Creation/New Baltimore
9:00 a.m. until Noon (Light breakfast will be served @ 8:30).

August 11, 2015 @ St Edward On The Lake/Lakeport
6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

September 12, 2015 @ Holy Cross/Marine City
8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

You can register online by going to aodonline.org and clicking on the Safe Environment tab (or clicking here).

Called To Care For Creation

by Sr. Gloria

We know that both St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI established a rich tradition regarding the stewardship of creation. Now we know that Pope Francis has continued it to the point of writing an encyclical: “LAUDATE SI: SULLA CURA DELLA CASA COMUNE.” (“PRAISED BE: ON THE CARE OF THE COMMON HOME.”) (This reflection is being written on the Sunday before the encyclical is being released, in five languages on Thursday June 18, so by the time you read this, you know that it has made the news worldwide.)

We share some background information, in case you haven’t heard it. We know that Pope Francis said, in March of 2013: “Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” “How can you have wealth if it comes at the expense of the suffering and death of other people and the deterioration of the environment?”

A papal encyclical is a teaching document that discusses a wrong that needs to be addressed. This one will raise the obligation to address connections between environmental degradation and human health, ecology and human security, ecology and the poor and environmental destruction. It will be a theological, not a political argument. All this should influence the global talks in Paris next December.

The encyclical is likely to make a strong connection between the environment and the poor and the vulnerable. Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana has said, “Much of the world remains in poverty, despite abundant resources, while a privileged global elite controls the bulk of the world’s wealth and consumes the bulk of its resources.” Pope Francis has already spoken about the crucial vocation of cultivating and protecting natural resources, to feed humanity and to ensure that all may be freed from hunger.

Pope Francis has said that “increasing reliance on biofuels is also dangerous when it supplants food production and exacerbates global hunger.” Biofuel production is driving a new wave of deforestation and reducing the land devoted to food crops. “According to Oxfam International, in 2012 the amount of crops consumed as biofuel by G8 countries, could have fed more than 441 million people for an entire year.”

We have heard of Sr. Dorothy Stang, an American missionary nun who was assassinated in Brazil in 2005, for defending the rights of poor farmers in the Amazon forests.

You have heard of millions of bees that have been found dead because of the use of pesticides, and GMO additives in crop fields: corporations making money as the bees lose their territory. We already know of the critical part bees play in our food supply. What can be done?

Pope Francis says, “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world problems, or, for that matter, to any problems. Markets should be regulated so that their tendency to cause massive financial harm is blunted.”

Patrick Carolan, director of the Franciscan Action Network says: “And the greater issue is our lack of connectedness, our viewing ourselves as separate from creation instead of as part of creation.”

You will be reading this after June 18, and will be aware of the publicity and commentaries spurred by Pope Francis’ call: “May the bounty of earth meet the needs of all.” There is work to be done by the Christian community. Where do we start?

Vacation Bible School

kids baseball clipart
Playing for God’s Team
Come join in the fun…
All are WELCOME!K & 1st grade – Angels
2nd & 3rd grade – Padres
4th & 5th grade – Braves

Team Owner: Jesus our Savior
Team Manager: Fr. Brian
Asst. Manager: Fr. Jeff

July 13-17, 2015     9 a.m. – noon

Adult Bible School     9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

To be held at St. Stephen School
2865 Henry St.
Port Huron, MI 48060

Registration forms are available in the churches.
Registration forms can be returned by mailing to the
Religious Ed office, 2865 Henry St, Port Huron MI 48060 or
by placing in the collection basket at Mass.

Please call or email Karen Clor, Director of Religious Education,
if you have any questions. 810-985-9069 moc.o1436298137ohay@1436298137erneh1436298137petst1436298137s1436298137

Please call Amy Miles at 810-987-5819 for information about Adult Bible School.

Parents Light Candle of Faith Daily for Their Kids

candle

Many of us in parish life have heard over the years of the disappointing but true statement from parents that “my kids have left the faith,” meaning either that they don’t practice their faith anymore, or they worship at another Christian Church. The first part of that statement applies to friends of mine, a married couple, who shared with me the sad news that all three of their kids, who were baptized, received Holy Communion, were confirmed and received eight years of religious education, no longer practice their Catholic faith anymore. One doesn’t believe in God. One is indifferent or doesn’t care, and the third is planning on getting married in a secular ceremony and doesn’t practice the faith either. Can any of you relate? All three kids are grown adults in their late 20’s and mid-30’s, and two out of three now have kids of their own. Though these young grandchildren are not being nourished, sacramentally speaking, they are curious as testified by their grandparents, my friends.

Yes. This is a sad but common faith problem among U.S. Catholic families and maybe in your own family situation…at least for the moment. But there is hope too; hope for the parents and kids. On the one hand our faith teaches us in the catechism that “parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children” (#2223), and that includes faith. My friends did everything they were told and thought that what they were doing was right, which it was. But it was incomplete. They had not developed a relationship with Jesus. So how did they receive one? They asked through prayer. My two friends were eventually led by the Holy Spirit on their spiritual journey of conversion together through three primary activities which are beyond the scope of this article yet are still worth mentioning. They are as follows: 1). Life in The Spirit Seminar, 2) Theology of The Body, and 3) Couple Prayer. Now this married couple, my friends, are so in love with the Lord, in greater love with each other, and are on fire for the Catholic faith!

There is also hope for their kids who have left the faith as well as for the youth of our parish too. We see our young people attend and participate in their catechism classes. We also see them as lectors, ushers, and serving at several parish events especially in the area of Christian Service. Evidence of youth serving in our archdiocese was found in an article from the November 14th, 2014 issue of the Michigan Catholic that was summed up from a survey. (http://themichigancatholic.com/2014/11/young-adult-catholics-small-numbers-great-potential/) Perhaps you may remember this survey that was given out this past year. After the survey was distributed to the parishes diocesan-wide, completed by parishioners and returned, data was collected for analysis. In the area of youth, statistics showed that college-oriented and young adults in the age range of 18-25 were reported as being “one of the most active groups out of all respondents. 66 percent of these reported volunteering or serving in some parish capacity.” That is very promising and encouraging. We see that evidence especially in our own junior high kids and high school youth here at Holy Trinity Parish. More will serve and have a desire to serve if we teach them and reflect it in our own lives. We pray, that in time, God will sustain the faith of our kids as they transition from youth to adulthood; from high school into college and beyond.

Then you may ask the question…why have our kids left the faith? Why have they strayed from the flock of the Church? There is NOT one clear cut answer but several reasons which contribute to it, of which, I will only share a few. For example, there is an unhealthy focus on “the self” known as narcissism (selfishness), materialism (money and the vain acquisition of physical things over the spiritual), relativism (no absolute truth), a sharp decline in morality, especially sexual morality (i.e. cohabitation and contraception) which can be a form of hedonism (that pleasure is the highest good and primary aim of human life) and an increasingly hostile environment to God and Christianity by ISIS today, but it can even be identified to have started in the public public school system over 50 years ago. For example, in the landmark 1962 Supreme Court case, Engel v. Vitale, the Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools. It was followed up and affirmed again one year later in 1963 with Abington School District v. Schempp, a case in which the Supreme Court also ruled to establish what is now the current prohibition on state-sponsored prayer in schools. These factors and others have led to less and less church attendance which results in a faith that fades away. But to be fair, when it comes to Catholic faith on college campuses, we are blessed to have Newman Centers (inspired by the writings of Catholic convert, St. John Henry Newman of England, 1801-1890) at some of our state universities like U of M – Ann Arbor, Michigan State, Wayne State, formerly here in Port Huron and even something similar on the Oakland University campus through St. John Fisher Parish in Auburn Hills. These help to cultivate a Catholic presence in a college environment through Mass, Confession, and a safe place to study, eat, pray, have fellowship and even nap.

The story of faith in our own lives and in the lives of our kids, even for the three kids of my friends, is still developing and can be bolstered. How? Through prayer, which is what my friends have committed to doing. On the one hand, you don’t want to drive your kids away from the faith, let alone the family. But what you can do is pray for them with a persistent faith. St. Monica prayed 17 years for the conversion of her son Augustine. Look what happened. He became a great saint, which is the ultimate call for all of us. Though some of you may need to pray longer than 17 years, it will all be worth it in the end. What kind of prayer? One example of prayer that my friends do consistently is to begin their prayer by lighting a candle daily before dinner. This can be an inspiring reference to the child’s baptism which recalls the powerful words from the baptismal ceremony. As the father or godfather lights the child’s baptismal candle from the larger Paschal Candle, the priest or deacon states: “Receive the light of Christ.” So the parents and godparents receive the light of Christ on behalf of the child at baptism.

After the candle is lit by the parents at the dinner table, a prayer is prayed. My friends came across this particular prayer in the Upper Peninsula and made adaptations to it. We pray God may hear our prayers and inspire others to pray this prayer daily. May our kids, whose faith has grown dim, be ignited by the spark of graces given to them at baptism. On this Pentecost Sunday, may the Holy Spirit, who dwells in our kids, remind them of their Catholic identity as adopted and beloved sons and daughters of the Father in Jesus that they are called to be.

– Fr. Jeff Allan

flameThe prayer states:
O Divine Wisdom, our children are spiritually confused and unsure.
It feels like they are lost in darkness.
As we light this candle,
let your light enter their hearts that they may see the path before them.
May this holy light quiet the voices of fear
that confuse their spiritual judgment and cloud their heart’s true vision.
Grant them the gift of divine wisdom
that they may step forward with faith and courage.
Amen.

Vacation Bible School Volunteer Meeting

Please come on Tuesday, June 9 at 6 p.m. to St. Stephen gym. Pizza and salad will be served!

We will need volunteers to help with our Vacation Bible School. Our theme will be “PLAYING FOR GOD’S TEAM!” Vacation Bible School will be the mornings of July 13 – 17, 9 a.m. to noon.

Adults and kids in 6th grade and above are welcomed as “helpers”! You can volunteer as little or as much as you want!

On this evening 6/9/15 we will discuss where the best “fit” for you will be, whether it is in the group bible session, games, food or wherever else we need helping hands!

We need artsy people who will help to transform the gym into “Savior Stadium” and several classrooms into “Dugouts.”

We’ll need teen helpers to “practice” with our teams: THE ANGELS, THE BRAVES and THE PADRES in our outdoor activities!

We’ll need middle & high school kids to play the parts of our SAINTS FOR THE DAY and put on skits: This is your chance to be actors/actresses!!

We will need kitchen helpers! What’s a ball game without Nacho’s, Popcorn, Peanuts, Hot Dogs, and drinks etc.!!

Can’t make the meeting? Call Karen Clor: 810-985-9069.

Help Earthquake Victims in Nepal

The Archdiocese of Detroit is collecting funds for disaster relief in Nepal, following the April 25 earthquake. Funds collected will go to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which is working with partner Caritas Nepal. The organizations plan to support 10,000 families with emergency shelter, blankets, water treatment kits and hygiene kits.

Online donations are being taken at the Archdiocese of Detroit Web site, www.aod.org/crs Parishes may be collecting donations, and checks also may be sent directly to the archdiocese. Please make them payable to “Archdiocese of Detroit” and indicate “CRS Relief” in the lower left memo line.
Address to: Archdiocese of Detroit, CRS Nepal Earthquake Relief (3rd floor), 12 State Street, Detroit, MI 48226.

Called and Gifted Workshop

From Father Brian:
St. Mary Parish (Port Huron) has invited our parishioners to participate in a Called and Gifted Workshop that is being offered there on Friday, June 5 (7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and Saturday, June 6 (9:00 am to 4:00 pm). The purpose of this workshop is to help lay Catholics discern the unique work of love to which God is calling them, and to discover how God has empowered them to carry it out. To date, over 90,000 Catholics in over 110 diocese have attended the workshop in parishes across North America and internationally. I really hope that you will consider attending this workshop with your fellow Holy Trinity Parishioners!
Place: St. Mary Parish Social Hall
Cost: $25 per participant (includes materials and all hospitality, including lunch)
For more information: Holy Trinity Parish Office (810-984-2689)
RSVP deadline: May 31

Parish Pastoral Council Selection

Registered, active parishioners can add their names to the list of candidates by contacting the parish office by Friday, May 22. Nominations of other registered, active parishioners can also be made, but please ask them first. Contact Fr. Brian or Lucy Sebastian for more information.

Open council seats:

  • 4 members for a term of 3 years
  • 2 alternate members for a 1 year term

2015 First Holy Communion

May 3, 2015

Katie Sue Allen
Makayla Anderson
Mira Brewer
Myiah Brown
Anthony Cavis
Troy Caza
Jack Collins
Shannon Fealko
Anthony Fraley
Kaleb Gonzales
Jack Karl
Rodney Kivel
Addison Mynsberge
Benjamin Nichols
Joseph Nichols
Catherine Old
Rylee Thompson
Natalie Turner
Blake Watson
William Watson
HOLY TRINITY PARISH, PORT HURON MICHIGAN