ChristLife Summer Retreat

Back From the Deep
(Retreat Experience)

Saturday, August 22
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
followed by the 4:00pm Mass

Prayer & Praise
Reflection & Teaching

Please consider joining us,
even if you have not attended ChristLife.

All are welcome! Who will you invite?

Because this free event includes lunch
Please call the church office at
810-984-2689 to register.

Seminary Day for Altar Boys

Attention Altar Boys!

What: Seminary Day for Altar Boys
Who: 7th graders – seniors in high school
When: Friday, August 14th; 9:30am-3pm
Where: Sacred Heart Major Seminary,
2701 Chicago Blvd.; Detroit, MI 48206

Cost: $5.00 payable to Office of Priestly Vocations
Please register at or call
313-868-7040 by August 9th.

After registration, know that parish-approved,
“Protecting God’s Children” drivers will leave from
the St. Stephen parking lot on Friday, Aug. 14th at 8:45am.
Please RSVP to Sharon Bender by Sunday, Aug. 9th either
to moc.o1524720404ohay@1524720404lnora1524720404hsred1524720404neb1524720404 or call 810-984-2689.

Seminary Day for Altar Girls, given by the Women Religious in
the archdiocese, will be at a later date. Stay tuned.

Thank you, and hope to see you there!
– Fr. Jeff Allan

How to be a Good Shepherd

Last weekend in his homily at the 4:00pm Mass and the 9:00am Mass Deacon Dennis shared with us ten practical ways that we can be good shepherds to the people in our lives:

  • Be joyful – Joy is infectious and will lift the hearts of those around you. Smile.
  • Be grateful – Thank God first and then everyone around you – exude thankfulness.
  • Be truthful – let your “yes” mean “yes” and your “no” mean “no”.
  • Be excellent – Give your best effort in everything you do.
  • Be humble – allow those around you to shine.
  • Be supportive – Do not gossip, rather encourage others.
  • Be generous – Give of your time, your talent, and your resources.
  • Be friendly – Reach out to those around you, especially the outcast.
  • Be prayerful – Ask God to help you shepherd.
  • Be loving – Put the good of the other person ahead of your own.

As Deacon Dennis mentioned last week:

“If you incorporate these methods of shepherding in your life you will naturally stand out in the crowd – you will be a good shepherd. You will show by example rather than by word. People will be drawn to you the way that they were drawn to Jesus because love attracts love. And that will be your opportunity to shepherd them into the arms that hold and shepherd you – Jesus Himself.”

Thanks, Deacon Dennis!

Fr. Brian

Youth Minister Opportunity

Holy Trinity Parish is currently seeking a Youth Minister. Some of the responsibilities of this part-time position would include planning and offering monthly youth group meetings, participating in Blue Water Vicariate and Archdiocese of Detroit youth ministry events, organizing community service opportunities for the parish youth, and promoting spiritual formation opportunities for the parish youth (retreats, etc.). If you are interested in learning more about this ministry, please contact me at (810) 984-2689. Please pray that God brings us the right person to coordinate this extremely important ministry in our parish.

Fr. Brian

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!

Parish Picnic 2015

Sunday August 2nd 11am – 4pm

Mass at 11am, dinner to follow
Port Huron Twp. Park
(behind the Elk’s Club at the end of Beach Rd.)

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Water and Kool Aid will be provided

Please bring a dish to pass.
A – I    Salad
J – O    Desserts
P – U    Fruit, Relish
V – Z    Veggie Dish

Please RSVP by signing up at any one of the Worship Sites

Things you may need:
Baseball equipment, lawn chairs, blankets (if sitting on the ground), beach towels (for wet and wild games), bug spray, lawn games

Please note: There will not be an 11am Mass at Joseph’s on this day.

Pope Challenges All in Letter with Care for Creation

By: Fr. Jeff Allen
peaceful woods

Laudato Si! Huh? I bet that foreign statement is not from a language you recognize. That’s because it’s Latin, the universal language of the Church, which translates as “Praise be to you” (my Lord). “Laudato Si” refers to the first two words of the latest encyclical letter written by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Have you read it? The letter is on the care for our common home – Mother Earth, and it is a lengthy letter meant to challenge not only the 1 billion + Catholics in the world, but also the other 6 billion people who share the planet with us on how to better care for God’s ailing creation.

Never has there been so much buzz about a letter coming from a pope as this one, and it sure got a lot of attention from the media as we saw on our TVs and computers. Before the encyclical (a papal letter sent to all the bishops of the Catholic Church) went public, there was much anticipation as to what it was going to be about. Some pre-encyclical predictions seemed either hopeful or upset, while others seemed anxious or cautious. Prior to the publishing of the letter, there was an alleged leak by a high ranking Church official to one of the members of the media which heightened the drama even more. But when it went public, and did it ever, the vatican website attracted so much attention that I had trouble for a few minutes (what seemed like an eternity) trying access it on the vatican website (, and maybe you did too. Now that the dust has settled and the drama subsided, let’s do a brief overview of the letter, capture some highlights and examine key quotes.

What is the structure of it? It’s divided into six major chapters:

  1. What is Happening to Our Common Home
  2. The Gospel of Creation
  3. he Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis
  4. Integral Ecology
  5. Lines of Approach and Action
  6. Ecological Education and Spirituality

The letter concludes with a short piece on Mary followed by two prayers. In addition, the pope’s letter addresses other important topics including government policy, corporations, climate, fish, water, forestry, pollution, personal responsibility, peace, politics, the economy and a good summary on how people and companies misuse earth’s resources to maximize profits (195).

How does it begin? Pope Francis begins his encyclical by wisely quoting some of his predecessors, namely, Pope St. John XXIII, Blessed Pope Paul VI, St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. This is followed by the testimony and spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi.
What were some of his main points?

  1. Love of creation – “Love and accept the wind, the sun and the clouds, even though we cannot control them. In this sense, we can speak of a “universal fraternity” (228). In addition, Pope Francis says, “Every creature is thus the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world. Even the fleeting life of the least of beings is the object of his love, and in its few seconds of existence, God enfolds it with his affection” (77). The pope calls us to love God’s creation no matter how small in size or how long or short in time (in terms of existence). Speaking of creation, I want to compliment all of you who do such a wonderful job in being generous and good stewards of creation through the wonderful care of our grounds at the St. Stephen and Our Lady of Guadalupe worship sites as well as congratulate the crew at the St. Joseph site which has received beautifying awards from the city in recent years.
  2. Technology and Relationships – The pope states: “When media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously” (47). This may get us to think how technology and the use of it, especially the overuse of it, can cause us isolation and selfishness and result in thinking more about ourselves rather than on God, others and the care and concern for our environment. The pope affirms this later in his letter. He states: “The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures” (240).
  3. Pro-life and the poor – “When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected” (117). “How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?” (120).
  4. Respecting the experts – Pope Francis was criticized prior to the encyclical being published by politicians Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush that he (the pope) should stick to morality and Church-related issues rather than comment on climate change, energy and economic policy. What may be surprising to some is that our pope has the background of a chemist. Though he is not an expert, he respects those with expertise in the scientific fields which he states explicitly in the encyclical. He says, “On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she (the Church) knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views” (61).
  5. Science and religion – While religion and science are misunderstood and misinterpreted to be opposed to one another, Pope Francis (like one of his saintly predecessors, St. John Paul II, who wrote the encyclical, Fides et Ratio – Faith and Reason, back in 1998) sees them as complementary of one another. He states: “Science and religion, with their distinctive approaches to understanding reality, can enter into an intense dialogue fruitful for both” (62).
  6. Preservation – “Peace, justice and the preservation of creation are three absolutely interconnected themes” (92). “The world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us. It is on loan to each generation, which must then hand it on to the next” “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? (159-160).
  7. Practical – “Boycotting certain products” (206), “cultivating sound virtues, regularly using less heat and wearing warmer clothes, educating oneself, avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, cooking only what can be reasonably consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights and reusing something instead of immediately discarding it” are practical ways we can conserve energy and resources (211).


  1. An ancient lesson is that “less is more.” “Be happy with little. Appreciate the small things, be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack” (222).
  2. “Those who enjoy more and live better each moment are those who have given up dipping here and there, always on the look-out for what they do not have. They experience what it means to appreciate each person and each thing, learning familiarity with the simplest things and how to enjoy them. So they are able to shed unsatisfied needs, reducing their obsessiveness and weariness. Even living on little, they can live a lot, above all when they cultivate other pleasures and find satisfaction in fraternal encounters, in service, in developing their gifts, in music and art, in contact with nature, in prayer. Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer” (223).
  3. “We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full” (226).
  4. “Discover God in all things” (233).

How long is it? Though it would be very hard to read the letter all in one sitting, unless you were an incredible speed reader, it would be best to read it in chunks which makes it a bit more digestible. I printed off a double-sided version that yielded 65 pages in length plus 10 pages of citations which totaled 75 pages. The word count was in the neighborhood of 40,000 words.

Set a goal: Set a goal to read this long but very dense and insightful letter. Try breaking down the 246 points into reading 10 points per day. If you do that, you will have it read in less than a month. Another option is to attempt to read 10 minutes of it per day before you go to bed. If you don’t have the internet and would like a copy of the letter in book form, the encyclical will be available for sale from publishers starting next month. Stay tuned to this parish bulletin for further notice.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the pope gives us the assurance of hope that God has not left us. “In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward” (245). May we repent of our sinful misuse of the earth’s resources and also work with our fellow brothers and sisters on this planet as well as with Mother Nature to move forward and achieve our end in God. Amen.

What are your thoughts? Let me know what you think of the encyclical, the parts that you have read so far, or your thoughts about this article at moc.l1524720404iamg@1524720404nalla1524720404ffejr1524720404f1524720404.

In The Spirit of Responsible Stewardship for God’s Gift of Creation,
Fr. Jeff Allan

The Little Blue Dot In The Heavens Is Our Home

By: Sr. Gloria

Inspired by Pope Francis, we will want to keep learning more about his recent encyclical, LAUDATE SI…CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME. We appreciate the following lines and summaries, from the Archdiocese of Toronto, that can help us delve into it more.

The question at the heart of the encyclical is: “What kind of world do you want to leave to those who come after us?”

LAUDATE SI is a call to conversion and action, an invitation to change direction by taking on the task of caring for our common home. The title is taken from the prayer of Saint Francis: Canticle of the Creatures. It reminds us that “the earth is like a sister with whom we share our life.” “This sister cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use of the goods with which God has endowed her.”

Pope Francis’ message is: “Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.” We are capable of rising above ourselves, “choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

Concern for the environment is no longer optional. A person of faith should show even more responsibility regarding creation, which is a gift from God. Include in your own examination of conscience: How have I lived in communion with all creatures and with nature?


  1. The relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet.
  2. The conviction that everything in the world is connected.
  3. The critique of new paradigms and forms of power derived from technology.
  4. The call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress.
  5. The value proper to each creature.
  6. The human meaning of ecology.
  7. The need for direct and honest debate.
  8. The serious responsibility of international and local policy.
  9. The throwaway culture and the proposal of a new life style.

Another source, the Global Sisters Report, reported on interviewing sisters and academics around the world who have worked on environmental issues. They talked about being excited, optimistic and grateful. They also were realistic. “The world is in peril, and there will be setbacks and frustrations ahead.”

Does it appear that each of us, here in the Blue Water Area, is being called to do our part, in some way?

Let’s keep on being informed, and pray for guidance. Really…what shall we leave our children and their children and their children…


Seminar With Father Ben Luedtke

Come Join Us! Summer Seminar With
Father Ben Luedtke July 16, 17 & 18, 2015
Holy Family Parish
The Divine Mercy Missionary Center
79780 Main St., Memphis, MI 48041

Ordained in Rome by St. John Paul II, Fr. Luedtke has worked on three continents. He presently serves Mother Teresa’s Missionary Sisters of Charity. Each Missionary sister prays for a special priest, and Fr. Luedtke was Mother Teresa’s “special priest”. Father also works with youth in Hawaii and is a spiritual director to several Carmelite cloistered monasteries. Formerly in theater, Father credits the Blessed Mother with his conversion to priesthood. Fr. Luedtke loves to reconcile souls with God in confession as a means of true healing and interior peace. His enthusiasm for the faith and deep devotion to Jesus and Mary touches the minds and hearts of all who hear him. Father will share the treasurers of our Catholic faith in a dynamic, fun entertaining manner that only Fr. Ben can do.

Thursday, July 16
6:30 p.m. Our Lady of Sorrows Rosary
7:00 p.m. Holy Mass
Refreshments after Mass in Life Center/Gift Store Open

Friday, July 17
8:00 a.m. Holy Mass
9:00 a.m. Light Breakfast /Life Center
10:00—11:00 a.m. “Gifts of St. Benedict”
11:30 a.m. Lunch
2:00—3:00 p.m. “Confession: True Healing & Interior Peace”
3:00 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet
3:00—4:00 p.m. Confessions (Friday only)

Saturday July 18
8:00 a.m. Holy Mass
9:00 a.m. Light Breakfast /Life Center
10:00—11:00 a.m. “Power of the Eucharist”
11:30 a.m. Lunch
2:00—3:00 p.m. “Prophecy of St. John Paul II”
3:00 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet

Registration & Information:
moc.l1524720404oa@cm1524720404mdfh1524720404 or (810) 392-2056 ext. 246

Admission: Free Will Offering
GIFT STORE OPEN: July 16 After Mass /
July 17 & 18: 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.

Enrichment Day for All Those in Liturgical Ministry

From Fr. Brian:

On Saturday, September 12th, we will be offering a wonderful day of enrichment and reflection for all those involved in a liturgical ministry here at Holy Trinity Parish (including Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Greeters, Sacristans, Music Ministers, and Art & Environment Ministers). The presenter for this special event will be Fr. Robert Blondell, a long-time pastor of the Archdiocese of Detroit who has done extensive work in the areas of liturgical formation and Hispanic ministry. He is a good friend of mine and we have been in the same prayer group for about 15 years. I am certain that you will enjoy this wonderful day! Please mark your calendar. The day will be held at St. Stephen Church and begin at 9:30 am, concluding around 3:30 pm. In order to have an accurate count for lunch and for other materials, please RSVP by Friday, September 4.