Purgatory: The Forgotten and Misunderstood Path to Heaven

When we die we will ultimately end up in either one of two places: heaven or hell. Hopefully, by God’s grace and mercy, we go to the former. However, there is something after death that we may need to pass through in order to enter into heaven. The journey to heaven, though a one-way ticket in and through Jesus Christ, may not always be a direct flight. There may need to be a stop on the way that includes purification before enjoying the Beatific Vision of God for all eternity. What is this state of being purified and purged before seeing God and being in heaven? This often forgotten and misunderstood state is called Purgatory. The positive thing about it is that we are guaranteed salvation, and for that reason, is a better place to be since we are still working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) as the Church Militant here on earth. The negative part is that Purgatory involves suffering, which is the reason why it is called the Church Suffering (while those in heaven are called the Church Triumphant). This suffering is considered to be a purifying fire of love, which is an act of mercy by Almighty God.

Purgatory is a state of being in the next life where souls, while guaranteed salvation, still work out their salvation through purification from sin and earthly detachment. We will be like gold tested in fire, in need of being purified of the elements. “He (God) will be like a refiner’s fire” (Mal. 3:3) for “I will test them as one tests gold” (Zec. 13:9). Purgatory is also a temporal punishment due to sin even though the sin may have already been forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Catechism states: ”All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation. But after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven” (Catechism 1030).

This is not a new concept but has been part of the Tradition and history of the Catholic Church for centuries. In the year 211, for example, one can read through the writings of Tertullian that Christians prayed and sacrificed for the deceased, particularly on the birthdays and anniversaries of the dead. St. Augustine, who lived in north Africa in the fourth and fifth centuries, said that the same fire that tortures the damned “purifies the elect.” In addition, the teaching on Purgatory was formally accepted in the Middle Ages. It was officially recognized in a letter by Pope Innocent IV in 1254. It was also addressed at the II Council of Lyon in 1274, the Council of Florence in 1439 as well as at the Council of Trent in 1563.

Although Protestants don’t believe in Purgatory, it was originally accepted by Martin Luther, the founder of Lutheranism. One of the books of the Bible that Protestants got rid of during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century was II Maccabees. In that book, there is a reference for almsgiving and prayers for their deceased that were offered up by Judas Maccabaeus and his soldiers (II Mac. 12:42-46). The Maccabees were a Jewish rebel army who ruled from 164 B.C. – 63 B.C. So there is scriptural evidence that ancient Jews prayed for those in the afterlife, and praying for the deceased was also an established part of their synagogue ritual too. We Catholics offer up prayers for the dead based on this scripture and others, and we also believe that to offer up prayers including the greatest prayer of the Mass can help our beloved deceased who may be in purgatory and in need of our prayerful assistance.

Another scriptural-historical example that helps us understand the teaching on Purgatory occurred at the event of the death of an Israelite king. When the soldiers of Jabesh discovered King Saul’s body and the bodies of his two deceased sons, they burned their bodies. Cremation was not an Israelite custom. On the other hand, cremation is acceptable in the Catholic Church provided there is a steadfast belief in the Resurrection of the body on the last day. Perhaps due to the damaged state of the bodies, necessity may have prompted the soldiers of Jabesh to cremate (Source: New American Bible). Afterward, the Jabesh soldiers buried the bones and fasted for seven days (1 Sam. 31:11-13). This leads us to believe that fasting is efficacious for the dead too, especially if the souls are in purgatory, and therefore would benefit the deceased in the afterlife on their path to heaven. So prayer, fasting and almsgiving, a theme of Lent, which can be practiced any time of the year, can help our beloved deceased.

Souls in heaven or in hell can’t benefit from our prayers since they are in a fixed, perpetual and eternal state. One group is saved while the other is damned. However, our prayers for them may be used for other souls on earth, in purgatory or for a good cause. Then why does Scripture and our faith recommend to pray for the dead? Our prayers are helpful to those souls being purged in purgatory as they journey toward heaven and prepare to be consumed by the Holy Trinity’s unconditional love. While we pray for souls in purgatory, know that they can pray for us but can’t help themselves. They depend on our prayers and sacrifices. So who is saved, damned or in purgatory? We don’t know who is in purgatory or in hell (besides the devil and fallen angels known as demons). But we do know some of the souls in heaven? Elijah – 2 Kgs 2:11, St. Joseph, St. Peter, St. Therese of Lisieux and her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, who were canonized back on October 18th. At a Catholic funeral it should not be interpreted or perceived that deacons, priests or bishops canonize souls. The Church has its own rigorous yet effective way of qualifying deceased souls to be saints in heaven that are recognized on earth through the approval of two miracles. We always pray with faith in Jesus, in his Resurrection and in God’s love and mercy for our beloved deceased to be welcomed into heaven.

Why is this topic of Purgatory being addressed? It is because of the timeliness of it. We celebrate All Saints on Sunday, Nov. 1st and All Souls on Nov. 2nd in which we continue to remember and pray for our beloved deceased including the whole month of November. If interested in learning more, you are invited to watch a DVD-video presentation entitled, “Purgatory: Uncovering the Mystery, Meaning and Hope.” It will be shown Saturday, Nov. 14th, 2 – 3:30pm in the library and will feature a Q & A session at the conclusion. All are invited.

* Note: Some of the details gathered for this article came from Michael Brown’s website, spiritdaily.com and his book, Afterlife.

In Jesus, Our Hope, Our Resurrection and Our Life,
Fr. Jeff Allan

Resources:
Scripture: 1 Sam. 31:11-13, 2 Mac. 12:42-46, Job. 1:5, Prv. 17:3, Is. 1:25, 48:10; Zec. 13:9, Mal. 3:2-3, Mt. 5:26, Lk. 12:59, 1 Cor. 3:13-15, 1 Pt. 1:7, Rev. 21:27
Catechism: 958, 1030-1032, 1472
Web: http://www.spiritdaily.com/Afterlife2015c.htm, http://www.spiritdaily.com/Afterlife2015d.htm

Religious Education News – November 1, 2015

Peace be with you and Happy All Saints Day!

saintsThis time of the year is always fun at Religious Formation and we just completed a super fun All Saints Party on Wednesday and the children learned about many of the Holy men and women whose Feast we celebrate today! (Thank you Laura Somogy for the great planning of our Saints night)!!

The children learn that we devote our praise and adoration ONLY to GOD but that we pray to the Saints/saints in heaven to intercede to God with our prayers, needs and petitions on our behalf. (Saints both recognized and (saints) known only to God)!

We believe that when these Holy people entered into the joy of their Master, they were “put in charge of many things” their intercession for us being a most exalted service in God’s plan!
CCC # 2683

These Saints, who know what it is to be sinful, to suffer, to sacrifice, to surrender, will surely hear our prayers and present them to the Lord. How fun to know that Mary the Mother of Jesus, St. Peter, St. Jude, St. Francis etc. etc. etc. will go to bat for us in heaven!

The kids are always “surprised” to find out that they too can be a Saint/saint one day! I love to see their faces when they realize that they can and should strive for that. I pray often for intercession from my dear niece Tracy (RIP) who suffered for seven years with breast cancer and never complained….. Surely a saint in heaven and able to take my needs to God!

We also suggest that the kids pick a favorite Saint to emulate and pray to! I share my love for St. Peter who bumbled along following Jesus, often making mistakes, even denying Him, but in the end being shown great mercy and then entrusted by Jesus to hold the keys to the Kingdom!
I show them the key necklace that I often wear to remind me of St. Peter and that there is HOPE for us all and that sometimes all we need to do right is LOVE Him!

Our Confirmation students have just all completed choosing a Saint for their Confirmation name and writing their reports. They will be sealed with that Saints name and Holy Chrism on the day of their Confirmation (March the 5th 2016).

Today we introduced them to the Holy Trinity Community and we pray for their preparation efforts to become friends of Jesus and true disciples (like Peter) of the Catholic faith!

Please pray for: Carson Allen, Zachary Brewer, Francis & Griffin Christie, Madison Gilbert, Matthew Green, Neely Hills, Jessica Jackson, Josephina Kress, Benjamin LaBeau, Anna McClelland, Emma Parker, Jordan Storey, Lloyd Sweet and (Andrew Warsalla -baptized and confirmed at the Easter Vigil) as they move forward into a deeper understanding and commitment to their faith!

All you Holy Men and Women pray for us!

Karen Clor – DRE
810-985-9069 or moc.o1495995822ohay@1495995822erneh1495995822petst1495995822s1495995822

When Are the Flu Shots?

The VNA has informed us that they are no longer able to bring a flu shot clinic to the parish. (Like many of you, this is where I always got my flu shot!). I am so sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you! Of course, it is very important for many of us to get a flu shot. For more information about the importance of getting a flu shot you can visit www.immunize.org. For more information on where you can get a flu shot locally you can visit www.stclaircounty.org. This might be a good time to remind everyone that if you are sick with the flu, it might be a good idea to refrain from taking the Precious Blood at Mass, or even to stay home and get rest. Helping to prevent your sisters and brothers in the Lord from getting sick is an act of charity.

Fr. Brian

A Stranger and You Welcomed Me (Mt. 25:35) – Bonus Addition

refugeesBelow are the three remaining topics to be covered on the refugee-migrant crisis: They are as follows: 1). A short Q & A with our U.S. bishops, 2). How the bishops view the government’s role, and 3). A list of resources. While there are several ways to look at this crisis, whether it be economically, politically, or otherwise, the bishops give us a good lens to look through from a spiritual point of view. First, what light can our bishops shed on this timely, heated and yet controversial topic? Here is a list of five Frequently Asked Questions About Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

  1. Do the U.S. bishops support any particular legislation to repair our broken immigration system?
    Yes. On July 19, 2005, Bishop Gerald R. Barnes, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, announced support for the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005 (S. 1033, H.R. 2330), introduced by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) in the U.S. Senate (co-sponsors) and Representatives Jim Kolbe (R- AZ), Jeff Flake (R- AZ), and Luis Gutierrez (co-sponsors) in the House of Representatives. The legislation includes many of the elements outlined by the U.S. bishops, including an earned legalization program, a temporary worker program with worker protections, and reductions in backlogs for family-based visa categories.
  2. Do the U.S. bishops oppose any immigration legislation which has been introduced in Congress?
    Yes. The U.S. bishops strongly oppose H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Protection Act of 2005, introduced by Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Representative Peter King (R-NY). H.R. 4437 passed the House of Representatives 239-182 on December 16, 2005. The legislation includes many harsh provisions which would bring undue harm to immigrants and their families. Among its many provisions, it would make unlawful presence a felony; subject anyone who assists an undocumented alien to criminal penalties; require mandatory detention of all aliens apprehended along the U.S. border, including children and families; and limit relief to asylum-seekers through an expansion of expedited removal.
  3. Why is the Catholic Church involved in the immigration issue?
    There are several reasons the Catholic Church is involved in the immigration debate. The Scriptures as well as Catholic Social Teaching, form the basis of the Church position. In Matthew, Jesus calls upon us to “welcome the stranger,” for “what you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me” (Mt: 25-35, 40). The Church also is involved in the issue because many of the Catholic faithful are immigrants who need the support and assistance of the Church. Finally, the U.S. bishops believe that our current immigration system contributes to the human suffering of migrants and they have a duty to point out the moral consequences of a broken system.
  4. Does the Catholic Church believe in “open borders?”
    No, Church teaching supports the right sovereign nations have to control their borders. Enforcement of our borders, however, should include the protection of the basic human rights and dignity of the migrant and not place lives at risk.
  5. Does the Catholic Church support illegal immigration?
    No. The Catholic Church does not support or encourage illegal immigration because 1) it is contrary to federal law and 2) it is not good either for society because of the presence of a large population living outside the legal structures or the migrant, who is subjected to abuse, exploitation, and death in the desert. Instead, the Church is advocating changing a broken law so that undocumented persons can obtain legal status in our country and enter the U.S. legally to work and support their families.
    Source: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/frequently-asked-questions-comprehensive-immigration-reform.cfm
    Second, how do the bishops view the government’s role in the refugee-migrant crisis?
    “The U.S. Catholic Bishops accept the legitimate role of the U.S. Government in enforcing immigration laws…in intercepting undocumented migrants who attempt to travel through or cross into the country.” The U.S. Bishops made clear, however, that “we do not accept some of the policies and tactics that our government has employed to meet this responsibility” (#78). Source: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationenforcement.cfmIn addition, “the USCCB opposes ‘enforcement only’ immigration policies and supports instead comprehensive immigration reform which includes an enforcement component. In a 2003 pastoral letter on migration called, Strangers No Longer, the U.S. Catholic Bishops outlined the elements of their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. These include: earned legalization; a future worker program; family-based immigration reform; restoration of due process rights; addressing root causes of migration; and enforcement measures which adhere to the following three principles: targeted, proportional and humane.
    Source: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationenforcement.cfmThe USCCB also believes that in the process of so enforcing those laws, the U.S. government must protect the human rights and dignity of all migrants, with particular consideration for the most vulnerable of those migrants – including refugees, asylees, and unaccompanied minors (children)…The U.S. Bishops believe that the conditions for processing and holding children upon apprehension should be appropriate for children – providing at a minimum adequate food and drinking water, medical assistance, clean and dry clothes, toilets and sinks, adequate temperature control and ventilation, supervision to protect them from others, and separation from unrelated detained adults… all unaccompanied alien children apprehended at the border should be screened to determine whether they may be victims of trafficking or fear persecution. Further, unaccompanied alien minors removed from the U.S. should be protected from potential trafficking by ensuring their safe repatriation (return).”
    Source: http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/migrants-refugees-and-travelers/vulnerablemigrantpopulations.cfm
    The Michigan bishops, through the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) also have something to share. “Should our state policy-makers pursue immigration legislation, their deliberations must:

    • Uphold the human dignity of all persons and work against any injustice which would compromise the dignity of immigrants, and
    • Recognize and promote the values that immigrants provide to Michigan’s culture and economy.

    The Catholic Church teaches that each person has dignity and the right to basic human necessities. Individuals therefore have the right to migrate in order to secure those needs for themselves, and their families. At the same time, immigrants must also respect and abide by the laws and traditions of the countries in which they reside…” Source: http://www.micatholic.org/advocacy/advocacy-issues/immigration/
    In terms of immigration reform, the Catechism instructs the faithful that good government has two duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored: 1). Welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the human person, and 2). To secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good.” Source: Catechism 2241, http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/migrants-refugees-and-travelers/vulnerablemigrantpopulations.cfm

In 1999, Pope John Paul II called for a “new evangelization” centered on the person of Jesus Christ. He said, “‘The encounter with the living Jesus Christ’ is ‘the path to conversion, communion and solidarity'” (#7). Such an encounter, so central to all our Jubilee Year activities, leads to a daily vision of the risen Lord, present and active in the world, especially in the poor, in the stranger, and in the migrant and refugee. These immigrants, new to our shores, call us out of our unawareness to a conversion of mind and heart through which we are able to offer a genuine and suitable welcome, to share together as brothers and sisters at the same table, and to work side by side to improve the quality of life for society’s marginalized members. In so doing, we work to bring all the children of God into a fuller communion, ‘the communion willed by God, begun in time and destined for completion in the fullness of the Kingdom’” (Ecclesia/Church in America, #33).
Source: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/pastoral-care-of-migrants-refugees-and-travelers/resources/welcoming-the-stranger-among-us-unity-in-diversity.cfm

In conclusion, the refugee-immigrant crisis is a call and opportunity for all of us to work in the Kingdom now, the “already,” but also moving toward the Kingdom, the “not yet.” Though a nation has a right to control and defend its borders, it’s also important to remember that Jesus calls us to welcome the stranger in the refugee and immigrant among us as he would. May we work together to bring about the relief, healing and love needed for this important issue of our time in Jesus’ most holy name. Amen.
– Fr. Jeff Allan

“All, therefore, belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth whose destination is universal.” —Pope Benedict XVI

Addendum: According to Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan CEO Jason Shanks, CCSEM is looking to relocate some Syrian refugees to metro Detroit, and the first few have just arrived. This was stated at the Presbyteral Council Meeting at Sacred Heart Major Seminary on October 12th, 2015. Catholic Charities is not only looking to receive a collection of home goods and clothing for these people. But the greater need at this time is to provide housing and find host families while screening people in the process. In 2014, CCSEM resettled 687 refugees, primarily Chaldeans from Iraq. These individuals and families primarily reside in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties. Source: CCSEM pamphlet

Resources:

  1. Bible: Mt. 25:35, Jn. 11:52, 1 Cor. 12:13, Lk 14:23, Rev 7:9, Rom. 8:35-39
  2. Catechism: #2241, 2433
    • 2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.
    • 2433 Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants. For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens find work and employment.
  3. Ecclesia (Church) in America #7, 33 – Apostolic Exhortation by Pope John Paul II to The Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, and All The Lay Faithful on The Encounter with The Living Jesus Christ: The Way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America, 1/22/99.
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_22011999_ecclesia-in-america.html
  4. Michigan Catholic:
    1. http://www.micatholic.org/advocacy/advocacy-issues/immigration/
    2. http://www.micatholic.org/advocacy/news-room/news/michigan-bishops-statement-on-immigration/
    3. In Statement, Michigan Bishops Urge Support for Immigrants, Undocumented Persons 8 – 3 – 11
      http://www.micatholic.org/advocacy/news-room/news-releases/in-statement-michigan-bishops-urge-support-for-immigrants/
    4. http://www.micatholic.org/assets/files/focus/focus_20080501-OnImmigration.pdf
  5. Rerum Novarum – A letter written by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 on the rights and duties of capital and labor
    • First Principle: People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families.
    • Second Principle: A country has the right to regulate its borders and control immigration.
    • Third Principle: A country must regulate its borders with justice and mercy.

    Source: http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum.html

  6. Strangers No Longer Together on The Journey of Hope: A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States, 1-22-03. Source:
    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/strangers-no-longer-together-on-the-journey-of-hope.cfm
  7. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) – www.usccb.org
    1. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/index.cfm
    2. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/catholic-teaching-on-immigration-and-the-movement-of-peoples.cfm
    3. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationreform.cfm
    4. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/frequently-asked-questions-comprehensive-immigration-reform.cfm
    5. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/strangers-no-longer-together-on-the-journey-of-hope.cfm
    6. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/migrants-refugees-and-travelers/vulnerablemigrantpopulations.cfm
  8. Welcoming The Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, A letter from the U.S. Bishops, 11-15-00
    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/pastoral-care-of-migrants-refugees-and-travelers/resources/welcoming-the-stranger-among-us-unity-in-diversity.cfm

Christian Service Commission Projects

“We are the Light of the World”

Jail Outreach Program: During the month of November we will be collecting religious Christmas cards and unused postage stamps. These items will be donated to the inmates in our local jails. There will be collection boxes at each site for these items.

Re-Gifting Table: We are once again having a re-gifting table available the day the food baskets are distributed. Please donate any new or gently used items you may have that you do not need or use. Thank you.

Food Baskets: Once again we are planning for Christmas Food Baskets to be distributed on December 12, 2015. The great participation of all our parishioners makes this project a way to evangelize to our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate. We will be asking for the donation of turkeys and food so that we are able to make someone’s Christmas a little nicer.

Each week for the next five weeks we will be collecting food to be placed in the baskets. You may bring all the items or just one of the items. Anything you do will be greatly appreciated. Please place the food in the collection baskets that are already around the entryways in the Church. Thank you in advance for all your help with this project. Please contact Barb Brown at 810-385-6736 with any questions.

  • November 7-8: canned spaghetti sauce, spaghetti, canned soups, soda crackers.
  • November 14-15: brownie mix, cake mix, frosting, canned vegetables
  • November 21-22: canned fruit, rice, mashed potatoes, peanut butter
  • November 28-29: stuffing, cranberries, mac & cheese, canned gravy
  • December 5-6: tuna, cereal, Jell-O, puddings, toilet paper and paper towels

Soup Contest & Game Night

soupAccepting “free will” donations that will help send the Holy Trinity Youth Ministry “God Squad” to the Rainbow Conference.

November 14, 2015     5 PM at St. Stephens.

To enter your soup please contact Chelsea at 810-956-6171. Please bring your soup at 4:30 in a crock pot.
Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places.

gamesNot a cook? Please come to taste & vote for your favorite. Enjoy a time of fellowship and games while supporting our youth!

Liturgical Ministers, please re-register

ATTENTION: Please Re-Register

If you are currently active in a liturgical ministry, and wish to remain active – Reader, Eucharistic Minister, Minister to the Homebound, Usher – please take the time to register your name, phone number and email address on the appropriate form in either St. Stephen’s Church or St. Joseph’s Church. The forms will remain in place through the weekend of November 14th & 15th. They will be collected following the 11:00am mass on Sunday, November 15th, and the information that has been provided will allow us to update our list of available liturgical ministers. If you are a minister at all three sites, please sign the appropriate forms. You will find one new form at both sites and that is for Greeters. If you are interested in being a Greeter or in learning more about this valuable ministry, please sign the form and you will receive a call to attend an information meeting. All liturgical ministers are a very important part of the spiritual life of the parish. Please take a moment, sign the form, and update your information

Tour the Seminary

An Amazing Opportunity for 6th – 12th grade girls and boys: Come visit Sacred Heart Major Seminary with Fr. Jeff Allan

Tour the Seminary, have lunch, pray for your vocation and the vocations of others. Carpool from St. Stephen’s on Saturday, November 21, 2015.

Itinerary:

  • 9am Mass at St. Stephen
  • 10am Leave from St. Stephen for the Seminary
  • 11am arrive at the Seminary and begin tour
  • 12:30pm lunch
  • 1:30pm leave from the Seminary
  • 2:30pm arrive back at St. Stephen

Only $7.25 per person. Scholarships are available. RSVP by November 6th to Sharon at the parish office (810) 984-2689.

Purgatory – Uncovering the Mystery, Meaning and Hope

What: A Catholic documentary called, Purgatory: The Forgotten Church
Who: All are invited, parishioners and non-parishioners
When: Saturday, November 14th; 2:00-3:30pm (85 min. DVD presentation) + Q & A
Where: Library in the St. Stephen School
Why: The month of November is dedicated to the souls in Purgatory, whose feast is celebrated on Nov 2nd.
Facilitator: Fr. Jeff Allan

Come, Encounter Christ!

I am very excited today to tell you about an effort now going on throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit called Come, Encounter Christ. In anticipation of and in preparation for the archdiocesan synod on evangelization that will be held November 18-20, 2016, a series of almost 30 Eucharistic Mission Events are being offered throughout the AOD. These vibrant gatherings feature inspirational preaching, uplifting live music, Eucharistic adoration, and opportunities for private confession. Here in the Blue Water Vicariate there will be two of these missions:

  • Thursday, January 21, 2016 to Saturday, January 23, 2016
    St. Mary Queen of Creation, 50931 Maria, New Baltimore, MI 48047
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2016 to Friday, February 26, 2016
    Holy Trinity Parish (St. Stephen Church), 325 32nd Port Huron

The mission will run from 7:00 pm to about 8:30 pm each night. Come, Encounter Christ is a great opportunity to not only nourish your own faith, but also to share the faith anew with someone who has lost faith, left the Catholic Church, or is struggling in their relationship with God right now. There is no need to register, and there is no cost. For more information please give me a call or send me an email. To see a complete list of missions, visit http://www.aod.org/Being-Catholic/Evangelization/Come-Encounter-Christ/.

God Bless,
Fr. Brian