From The Pastor’s Desk

Welcome, Fr. Sal! Back on Sunday, December 20 the Archdiocese of Detroit announced that Fr. Salvatore Palazzolo was appointed administrator of Holy Trinity Parish effective January 11. Father Palazzolo currently serves as associate pastor of Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson. Fr. Sal was ordained in 2012 and studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary for much of the time that Fr. Jeff Allan was there. Fr. Sal is very excited to be coming to Holy Trinity Parish and I think that he will do a great job. Now, you may wonder why he is being made an “Administrator”, and not “Pastor”. Quite simply, it is the policy of the Archdiocese of Detroit that a first-time pastor serves as an administrator for one year before they are named pastor. But for all practical purposes Fr. Sal will be the pastor of the parish. Please join me in welcoming him to Holy Trinity Parish.

With Much Gratitude. Over the last few weeks I have been reflecting on the many, many blessings that I received while serving as your pastor here at Holy Trinity Parish. One thing that really stands out to me is that in some of the most significant moments of my life in the last 10 years you have walked with me and my family. For example, many of you attended the funerals of my Grandpa, Eugene Holob, whose funeral was at St. Stephen in 2007, my Grandma, Mary Holob, whose funeral was at St. Joseph in 2014, and my uncle Paul Allen Cokonougher, whose funeral was at Karrer-Simpson in 2012. You also welcomed my family into the life of our community by inviting my parents to many parish events (like the Parish Picnic and the St. Anne’s Christmas Party), and supported my Dad, John, as he made the journey into the Roman Catholic Church in 2014 through our RCIA program. My family has always felt welcomed here and enjoyed the Sunday Masses very much. Thank-you for taking us in as members of the parish family!

“Can we Visit you at St. Thecla”? Of course! Visitors are always welcome. St. Thecla has a great website – www.stthecla.com – and a great Facebook page – “St. Thecla Catholic Church”. Also, here is my contact information:


St. Thecla Church
20740 S. Nunneley, Clinton Township, MI, 48035
Parish: (586) 791-3930

Please keep Fr. Sal and I, as well as the parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Thecla, in your prayers as we begin 2016 anew!

Happy New Year,
Fr. Brian

Chalk Up a Blessing

Child writing with chalkBy Fr. Jeff Allan

Just a few years ago, I remember being at the seminary and a priest walking down the hallway and stopping by each room. What for? The reason was and still is to protect against any spiritual warfare that is not of God. But it was also to give each seminarian a specific blessing with the use of chalk over the entrance his door on the wooden beam. This blessing refers to the great feast or Solemnity of the Epiphany.

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany or manifestation. What is it? The Catechism states that the Epiphany is “the feast which celebrates the manifestation to the world of the newborn Christ as Messiah, Son of God, and Savior of the world. The feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (Magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the Wedding Feast of Cana in Galilee (#s 528, 535).

It is a tradition for parish priests to bless chalk for each family so that they may mark the names of the three Magi over their doors in the blessing of homes as a witness of their faith and protection against evil. The feast of manifestation, or Epiphany, is traditionally celebrated the 12th day after Christmas, January 6th. In the diocese of the United States this feast has been moved to the Sunday between January 2nd – 8th.
Source: www.catholicculture.org

Today, it falls on January 3rd. The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by John the Baptist, another epiphany or manifestation, is celebrated next Sunday on January 10th.

It was common in the Middle Ages to bless holy water, incense (one of the three gifts given by the Magi along with gold and myrrh) and chalk as reminders of the Magi’s visit to the infant Jesus. Who were the Magi? While they are known in our hymns as kings, they are more considered to be wise men, members of a priestly caste of ancient Persia. The Catechism states that “in the Magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the Good News of salvation through the Incarnation” (#528).

Why do Fr. Brian and I bless chalk today so that you can take it back to your houses? Not to make designs on the sidewalk, although that might be fun but a bit too chilly to do. The purpose is so that you can take it back to your home and write the following on the beam over your entrance door or on your doorpost (if you would like):

20 + C + M + B + 16

“20” and “16” represent the year. “C,” “M” and “B” refer to the first letters of the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. In addition, these letters also refer to a Latin acronym. When spelled out, the phrase states: “Christus Mansionem Benedict.” It translates as “May Christ bless this house.” By receiving the blessed chalk and writing the letters and numbers above your door, you are asking Christ’s blessing on your home and all visitors who go through it during 2016… Sounds similar to another door we are also asked to enter in 2016 – the Holy Door of Mercy.

May we manifest, the love, the presence, and the Good News of Jesus in our own lives to all this week and welcome people into our blessed homes over the coming year.

*Note: I would like to attribute part of this article to Fr. Joe Esper, the pastor of Immaculate Conception in Ira Twp.

At His Feet, Women In Scripture

At His Feet Women In Scripture

At His Feet, Women In Scripture is a powerful drama
and experience of Holy Scripture. Familiar stories
come alive in a relevant and meaningful way.

Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 2:00 PM
in the Holy Family Life Center
Doors open at 1:00 PM
79780 Main Street, Memphis, MI 48041

No charge for admittance, a free will offering is appreciated.
Seating is limited. Please call or email the Holy Family Faith Formation Office to reserve your spot at (810) 392-2056 or gro.e1511291318nilno1511291318-ylim1511291318afylo1511291318h@yel1511291318nifs1511291318

LIFElines from Lucy

Happy New YearI remember as a child wearing a patch over my eye, to strengthen a lazy eye. Once they took the patch off, and I was fitted for glasses, a whole new world opened up for me. I could see with great clarity! I saw everything in a new light! It was truly awesome. Maybe you have had a moment like this; an epiphany. After struggling with “common core math”, a young child finally produces the correct answer; that is an epiphany. A revelation comes to light while reading the Bible; that is an epiphany.
God has a way of revealing these little epiphanies to us all the time, daily in fact. Not everyone catches on to these epiphanies, one must be present and open to the LORD in order for them to be revealed. The Spirit is all around. God is always trying to connect with us. Pray, read scripture, go to Mass, meditate. These are all ways to open ourselves to the Spirit. Another way to be open to the Spirit is to put our faith into action, be present to those around us.

I can’t explain an epiphany to you, it must be felt and experienced. I can tell you that once you recognize the hand of God at work in your life, you will be able to recognize epiphanies all the time. God is a jealous God that wants to be present to us. As we begin a new year, take time to ponder what you can do to open yourself to God.

Weekly Reflection Question: How can I be more present to God? What part of my daily schedule must I change to make this happen.

Keep Movin’ in the Spirit!

Blessing for a Catholic Home

May God’s blessing descend abundantly upon this house and upon all who dwell in it.

May the grace of the Holy Spirit sanctify everyone who enters in to it.

May The Name in whicha all is safe, the sweet and Most Holy Name of Jesus, grant happiness and blessing in full measure to this house, and everything within it.

May the Most Blessed Virgin Mother of God, Mary, with motherly concern, look after all, and preserve all from any bodily or spiritual evil.

May the powerful prayers of the worthy St. Joseph obtain a prosperous issue to our undertakings and abundant merit from all our sufferings.

May the holy guardian angels: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Ariel, protect all in this house from persecutions of the devil, and one day lead us to our heavenly home.

May the blessings of Almighty God, The + Father, The + Son and the + Holy Spirit descend upon us and remain with us always.

Amen.

From The Pastor’s Desk

Merry Christmas! This is a bittersweet time for me as my 10th Christmas here in Port Huron will be my last. I would like to thank everyone for your prayers and kind words of support after I announced that I would be leaving on January 11 to become the pastor of St. Thecla in Clinton Township. Know of my prayers as well. My last weekend here will be January 9 & 10. I am planning on presiding and preaching at all four Masses that weekend. This way I can say a proper “Good-bye” to each Mass.

Stained Glass Presentation of the Gifts of the Magi

Stained Glass Window of the Presentation of the Gifts of the Magi (The Epiphany of the Lord). St. Joseph Church, Port Huron, Michigan

Merry Christmas,
Fr. Brian

Religious Education News – December 25, 2015

Peace be with you! Two profound writings that really grab me at Christmas are the “Proclamation on the Birth of Christ” and the “Poem of the Day after Christmas.”
I am including them both here for your reflection!


Proclamation On the Birth of Jesus Christ

Today the twenty fifth of December, unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth and then formed man and woman in his own image.
Several thousand years after the flood,
when God made the rainbow shine forth as a sign of the covenant.
Twenty -one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah.
Thirteen centuries after Moses led the people out of Egypt.
The forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
The whole world being at peace.
Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,

desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit
and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary.
TODAY WE CELEBRATE THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE FLESH!


The Day After Christmas

T’was the day after Christmas when alone in the church,
The pastor was wondering, “Am I left in a lurch?”
The altar was circled with poinsettias with care, in hopes that more people soon would be there.
But folks were still nestled all snug in their beds,
While memories of yesterday danced in their heads.
A bundled up jogger was running a lap,
And Dad, Mom and kids were taking a long Sunday nap.
When out of the crib there arose such a clatter,
The pastor rushed out to see what was the matter?
The Babe in the manager was wailing and crying,
Where are the folks for whom I’ll be dying?
Their faith, their hope and their love, I do fear,
Only show up here a few times each year.
Now Michael, Now Daniel, now Peter and Colleen,
Oh Eddy, Oh Freddy, Oh Susan and Maxine!
“Don’t let me lie here so lonely and forlorn.
It was for each one of you that I came to be born”!
Please come every Sunday throughout the New Year
And I’ll fill hearts and souls with lots of good cheer!
“I won’t stay a baby so fast I’ll grow up.
Please come and know me and fill up your cup”!
Daniel Durkin OSB


Merciful Jesus, you came into the world to show us the way to everlasting life with God the Father! Please help us to know, love, serve and worship you in the coming year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
Karen Clor – DRE

Lay Apostles of Christ the Returning King

There is a new movement in the Catholic church started about 10 years ago by a lay person named “Anne”. She was given messages from God the Father, Jesus, Mary and a few saints. Jesus asked her to write them down and they were given to her local Bishop. A collection of 10 Volumes and a series of booklets were published. Two years ago the books were given the Imprimatur from the Church.

Anyone can belong to this Apostolate. One of the spiritual practices of the Apostolate is monthly recitation of the Luminous Mysteries. This is not hard to do.

We meet each first Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at St. Stephen’s Chapel. You’re welcome to come anytime and join in prayers. Copies of the booklets are available at each worship site.

For more information, contact Bernie or Laurie Howard at 810-364-4477 or go to
directionforourtimes.org.

LIFElines from Lucy

To fall in Love with God is the greatest romance;
To seek God is the greatest adventure;
To find God is the greatest human achievement.
~ St Augustine

Merry Christmas!!!!
It is always a pleasure to gather as one believing family even if it is only a couple times a year! For those who are visiting and those who visit seldom, we welcome you! We hope that you find our parish warm and welcoming.
When I met my husband and shared Christmas dinner with his family, it was quite the experience. I come from a very Americanized family. We were very transit yet hung on to as many family traditions as we could; Midnight Mass, opening gifts, turkey dinner, football games, movies and my all time favorite gathering around the table for card games. Jerry’s family had a lot of traditions also. Jerry’s parents were second generation European. Midnight Mass, gift exchange, food, lots of food; pierogis and sauerkraut soup, visit from Santa, conversation and board games.
When we got married we found ways to keep the traditions from both families alive. We believe it is important for our children to know and understand where they came from. Traditions are the things that keep families connected.
It is true with the Church also. Some may think it is boring or doesn’t make sense, and have a lot of questions about the faith. We should never stop seeking truth and it is up to us to dig out the facts. When learning a new computer program, one may spend hours pointing and clicking. I remember my son wanting to achieve a certain level on a video game. He Googled and played, Googled and played until he figured it out. Why is it that we will take the time to search out games, and Pinterest how to make something, yet we won’t take the time to seek answers to the one thing that will bring us salvation?
The Catholic Church is based on tradition and scripture. Traditions that have been passed down through the millenniums, and yes, some you will not find in the Bible. How do we know they are authentic? The Catholic Church is in line with the teachings of Jesus, and passed those teachings down, beginning with Peter. Scripture (the Bible) is the written word that we believe to be true and from the Holy Spirit; inspired by God. Being part of a Faith believing community is unique. We support each other and work hard to be an alternative to main stream secularism that doesn’t comply with the ways of the Bible. Some people call us weird. Well, maybe, but why not… when normal isn’t good enough?

Reflection Question:
What is one thing I will do this year to bring me closer to God?
Keep movin’ in the Spirit…… and come visit us again real soon.