LIFElines from Lucy

Throughout the season of Winter Ordinary Time, we hear readings of discipleship. Appropriately so, considering it follows the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, Jesus public proclamation to ministry. With our great endeavor of Christ Life, last year, we saw the Spirit enliven many of the people in our parish. It was such a successful program, that we are still seeing the fruits of our labor. You disciples ROCK!

For the past year, we have been wondering what to do next? Many are ready to ‘go out and spread the Good News”, some are asking for ‘more information”. With the efforts of all those bringing others back to the faith, we have a large number of adults who are coming back to the Church and others who would like to complete their initiation but have not been in a structured formation program since second grade.

After some discernment and the blessings of the Parish Pastoral Council, we are ready to roll out what we think will benefit all Adult/ Young Adult Catholics and those seeking the faith. The program is called “Growing Faith Project” It was developed by Bill Huebsch; expert on Adult formation and whole community catechesis. The program is set up in 48 topical sessions, some include: “Inborn hunger for God, The reality of Sin and Grace, The Mystery of the Church, the Holy Spirit, the sacraments, the commandments, prayer and many more. Each session stands on its own which means you don’t have to commit to come every week, and you don’t even have to start at the beginning. Each week will consist of snacks, prayer and praise, breaking open the word, topical session, sharing and closing prayer.

Sessions will be held Monday evenings beginning February 8th, from 6:30-8:30PM in a classroom at St Stephen. If we have enough interest, we would be open to having a morning session (the day is negotiable). IF you would like to join us or have more questions, please call Lucy at 810-985-5212 and register. This will help us with ordering supplies and food for the first session.

Keep movin in the Spirit!!!!!

Religious Education News – January 24, 2016

Peace be with you! Because we have had several wonderful events leading up to this weekend

Family Adoration on Relationship (on Wednesday) and the Marriage Preparation Seminar (Friday and Saturday) I would like to share a story with you from the student workbook Theology of the Body. Our middle school kids will begin their studies on TOB this coming week. This important work of Saint John Paul the II is a guide on Discovering God’s Plan for Love and Life!

I’d like to dedicate it to our teens (who are just beginning to learn about true love) and to our engaged and soon to be married couples in the parish. God bless you all with the LOVE of Christ.

Holy Matrimony

The day Aimee and I got married was the best day of my life. I know people always say that, but this really was. At 8:30 a.m., my best friend Greg, woke me up at the hotel where we were staying. I jumped up, excited to put on my tuxedo. With my red hair and scruffy beard I ended up looking like a cross between James Bond and a leprechaun.

But I had way too much nervous energy just to hang out at the hotel. I asked Greg to drive me to the Eucharistic Adoration chapel where I had proposed to my future wife nine months before. There I knelt down, had a good heart-to-heart chat with God, and tried to prepare for the big moment. Every minute seemed like ten. I could hardly wait! I paced. I prayed. I waited….and waited. Finally guests arrived and I headed to my position and watched as people filled the church. Before I knew it, I was standing next to Greg as music played and bridesmaids started strolling down the aisle.

THEN – a burst of light! The heavy church door opened and my beautiful bride made her entrance on her father’s arm. With every step they took down the aisle, my heart beat faster until she was finally only two feet away. Her father reached out to shake my hand, but then he stopped. Instead of the traditional short handshake, he put something cool and metallic in the palm of my hand and began to speak.

“There once was a husband who loved his bride so much that he would do anything for her. Anything.” I knew his words were intense and serious, but they didn’t register at first. When he let go of my hand, I looked down to see the object he had placed in my palm.

It was a small silver crucifix! Suddenly I understood. The husband was Jesus, the bride was the Church, and He had done not only anything but everything, for her.

He gave His life in love. And this was the same reason I stood at the altar that day, to lay down my life in love for my bride. What an awesome call to be like Christ to the person I love most…… awesome and holy!
Written by: Colin MacIver and taken from Theology of the Body for Teens.

God bless your week with the love of Christ the Bridegroom!

Karen Clor – DRE

Pax Christi Advertises for Peace in Port Huron

Port Huron, Mich. – For the seventh year, Blue Water Pax Christi, a Catholic peace and justice organization, has purchased one billboard in Port Huron to remind residents and visitors to keep non-violence in their lives during the Christmas season and the New Year.

Beginning December 23, 2015, the billboard will be displayed for one month. It is above the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce building, on McMorran Boulevard in downtown Port Huron.

Christmas Peace BillboardThe black and white artwork includes recognizable photos of the late Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, M.C., more commonly known as Mother Teresa, and martyred U.S. civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but does not identify them by name.

“The wording says ‘Choose Nonviolence. Christmas Invites the Merciful …and …The Just,’” said Mike McCarthy, a leader of Blue Water Pax Christi. McCarthy has been spearheading this outdoor advertising program since 2008, when it began. He originated the idea, worked with Lamar Advertising of Freeland, Michigan on the design, raised the money from local sources and chose the location of the billboard.

According to McCarthy, Blue Water Pax Christi is the only known local Pax Christi affiliate to use paid billboards to reach people of all faiths with a peace message.

“Some may think this billboard is part of a ‘public service campaign,’” he noted. “We pay the costs like any advertiser because we feel the message needs to be out there.

“For weeks, consumers are bombarded with commercial messages about the secular part of Christmas,” McCarthy said. “Our Pax Christi group believes we need to be mindful of Christ’s teachings about non-violence at this time of the year.”

This year, the billboard expenses were contributed by the Knights of Columbus chapters from Holy Trinity and St. Mary Parishes, both of Port Huron, the Christian Service Commission of Holy Trinity Parish, and individual members of Blue Water Pax Christi.

Listed along the bottom of the billboard is the Season for Non-Violence and Pax Christi USA, national groups working to promote peace, for anyone who wants to explore ways to adopt non-violence to resolve conflicts.

The message of the billboard directly supports the 2016 Catholic “Year of Mercy,” as proclaimed by Pope Francis. The year-long observance, or Jubilee, is “a privileged moment so that the Church may learn to choose only that which pleases God most: forgiveness and mercy,” the Catholic leader said.

About Pax Christi

Blue Water Pax Christi, is part of Pax Christi International, a nonprofit, non-governmental peace movement working on a global scale on a wide variety of issues in the fields of human rights, human security, disarmament, demilitarization, just world order, religion and violent conflict. In Port Huron, Blue Water Pax Christi is a group of like-minded individuals from all walks of life who share their vision for a non-violent world through prayer, good works, education and discussion.

Aquinas College Celebrates Catholic Schools Week

In honor of Catholic Schools Week, Aquinas College invites all juniors and seniors who attend a Catholic high school to visit campus February 1 – 6, 2016. As part of this invitation, transportation costs (fuel) will be reimbursed by the Admissions Office.

Aquinas is excited to share their commitment to the Dominican tradition of the Catholic faith and hopes to see many new faces on campus as part of this special week. Please visit aquinas.edu/personal for more details or to schedule.

From The Pastor’s Desk

I am a priest of the Most High God, a disciple of His Son Jesus Christ, an apostle of the Holy Spirit and a servant for you, the people who seek God and are His own. I am a member of the faithful, like you, and a clergyman of the Church in Detroit, a native son of Saint Isidore parish, and now the administrator here at Holy Trinity Parish. I am unworthy of being known in all these ways but I continue to strive to live my life in accord with the Gospel and I ask for God’s grace and your prayers. Know that you have mine as we walk together in faith on the path to Life.

I was raised by wonderful parents and grew up with a really great sister and brother. My parents still live in my childhood home which they built in 1985. My siblings are both married, and so far, I have two nieces through my sister. I love my family very much and it is from them that I know how to love and be a family with you! Being the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family has meant that I learned many years ago to get along well with those who are both older (all my grandparents, aunts, and uncles) and younger (all my cousins) than me.

While I have high hopes for our time together, I am grounded by my experience and education (I have a degree in mechanical engineering). Not all of my family practices their faith which has taught me a bit about how to handle disappointment as a man of God. The Lord calls us to be faithful, that doesn’t always mean successful, and even if it does we may never see the fruit of our labor. I have also learned what it means to be a man of charity; I serve for your benefit in accord with the Divine Will, for God’s glory, and it is Him I aim to please.

While becoming a priest was never in my plan growing up, I can say that in being ordained I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I feel very blessed to know I’ve heard and responded to God’s call for my life’s work. I think the vocation to married life is very beautiful and I hope to strengthen it for you who are married as well as help those who are called to the priesthood and religious life to find their vocations.

Please be patient with me as I learn to serve in this new role. I truly desire to be your spiritual father; to provide for your spiritual nourishment, to protect you from falling into darkness, to encourage the growth and use of your spiritual gifts. I want to get to know you. I want you to be comfortable with me. I want to know what your hopes, plans, and desires for this parish. What has worked well, what hasn’t, what you appreciate most about the parish, what you can see has needed to be different. How I can better serve you. Your counsel and involvement are important to me. I am blessed to be following such a good pastor as Fr. Brian, and to have Fr. Jeff as my friend and associate. My new family, we are in this together! May God bless and keep you!

Fr. Sal

Washington D.C. Taken Over This Friday by…

   This Friday, January 22nd, something very special will take over our nation’s capital. No, it won’t be another political debate… thankfully! It’s unlikely aliens will take it over. That’s refreshing 🙂 It won’t be an NFL playoff game either since the Washington Redskins just lost at home to the Green Bay Packers. Sorry to disappoint you. So what is it?!?! Many young people – Catholic youth, tens of thousands of them as well as many young families from around the country, will gather for a great cause as they walk down Pennsylvania Ave. for the annual March for Life.

   What’s the reason for an event, which I was blessed to attend twice, that features an incredibly large gathering of faith-filled folks for life? To commemorate and stand up against the grave injustice of abortion that has plagued this country ever since abortion was legalized in 1973.

Pope Francis kissing baby

Pope Francis kisses a baby before the start of a general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Dec. 18, 2013.
(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

   Pope Francis said the primary reason for his visit to the United States was to stand up for human life. “I appreciate the unfailing commitment of the Church in America to the cause of life and that of the family, which is the primary reason for my present visit,” he said at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle back on Sept. 24th in Washington D.C. (Source: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/24/pope-francis-pro-life-cause-is-my-primary-reason-for-coming-to-america/).

   A literal modern-day holocaust has occurred over the past 40 years here in the U.S. According to Life News, as of January, 2015, over 57 million known abortions have occurred since 1973 when abortion became the law of the land (Source: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/21/57762169-abortions-in-america-since-roe-vs-wade-in-1973/), and therefore could be considered one of the gravest, if not the worst, social injustices and sins of our time in terms of the number of deaths. If you average that out over the past 42 years, that is 1.37 million abortions in this country per year, which include chemical contraceptives like RU-486. That’s above 3,700 abortions per day. That’s like saying we have a 9/11 every single day of the year in this nation and then some… If you break it down further, it’s approximately 157 abortions per hour in this country or like losing more than a set of twins every second in America. What’s interesting is that the government agency known as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the #1 leading cause of death in 2013 was heart disease with 611,105 deaths. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm). That’s not possible if you believe human life starts in the womb. If you believe that, which medical science does, then abortion is more than double the annual deaths of heart disease, having just stated that the national average is 1.37 million abortions/yr. If that’s not enough, the CDC also reported that 3,932,181 babies were born in 2013. It further stated that in the same year, 4 in 10 (or 40%) were aborted (Source: http://www.operationrescue.org/about-abortion/abortions-in-america/). That equals 1,572,872 abortions and equates to nearly 200,000 more abortions per year than the conservative, average number just given.

   While many prayers and sacrifices have been offered, many more will be needed. There is hope despite the continued support of abortion as well as the silence, especially by those in authority. Pope Francis commented on behalf of the innocent victims in the womb. He stated: “It’s wrong to look the other way or remain silent” (Source: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/23/pope-francis-on-abortions-innocent-victims-its-wrong-to-look-the-other-way-or-remain-silent/).

   While much silence continues and the future of overturning the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision looks bleak, at least in the near future, there is hope… hope in other ways, particularly in our youth, the Church of today and tomorrow. The Holy Trinity Parish Junior High led by Laura Somogy, and the High School Youth Group, led by Chelsea Janderwski, took a field trip to the Blue Water Pregnancy Care Center off of 1211 Griswold on Saturday morning, Jan. 16th to go on a tour of the facility and to donate much-needed, baby care items. Also, our two youth groups will take part in the annual Port Huron Pro-Life Walk and Ecumenical Prayer Service the following day, Sunday, Jan. 17th. They will gather at Arby’s off of Pine Grove (M-25) between Holland and Sanborn streets between 1-1:30pm. After their walk of prayer and peaceful protest, they will head over to St. Mary Catholic Church here in Port Huron for the Ecumenical Prayer Service which will end at 3pm. All are invited. For more information, please contact Laura Somogy either by e-mail at moc.l1501181269iamg@1501181269su4ya1501181269rpsle1501181269gnana1501181269idrau1501181269g1501181269, or text or call her at (810) 334-5101.

   In addition to the hope of our youth and the continued hope of them to support and defend life in the womb, there is also hope as well as healing in other areas that surround the important pro-life/abortion issue. Rachel’s Vineyard (www.rachelsvineyard.org), for example, offers weekend retreats of healing and forgiveness for post-abortive women. Also, there was a positive testimony given by Ashley Troy in The Times Herald back on Nov. 22nd on the topic of adoption, which is a worthy second option that gives the baby a second chance at life to grow up in a loving home. Check out her inspiring story called “Choose Adoption” at the following link: (http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/news/local/2015/11/22/choosing-adoption/75703932/).

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

   Just as Pope Francis has declared this year as a Year for Mercy, Blessed Mother Teresa, who visited the U.S. back in the 80’s, was a sister and woman of mercy who rescued, served, and loved the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India. Though she is scheduled to be canonized a saint in the Catholic Church later in September in this Year of Mercy, she once remarked that “any country that accepts abortion is the poorest of the poor.” She also stated “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” Flowery or not, we have a loving and compassionate God who is merciful to those who repent of their sin. May those who have committed or been involved in the act of abortion be reminded of the mercy of God and our call to show mercy and compassion to them.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

   While the horrific Planned Parenthood videos were recently exposed and brought out into the light of truth, the evidence shows that abortions are still being performed in droves across a country whose Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson himself, a co-author of that famous statement, a Founding Father of this great country, and the third president of the United States further stated, “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln helped to make those rights a reality through the abolition of slavery. Martin Luther King Jr. helped to secure rights of equality and make dreams comes true for those of color and race. But both courageous, American men, Lincoln and King, paid for it with their lives. The innocent victims of abortion, 57 million +, have already paid the price with their lives. How many more will we allow? Jesus, the innocent, sinless Son of God and Savior also paid the price of his life but out of love and mercy for you and me. When will the love and mercy be shown to these children?

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Isn’t it enough yet? When will the lives and the rights of the unborn be secured? Hopefully, soon but not soon enough. Sadly, the right to life for the unborn aren’t secured in our country at this critical time. These young lives in the womb TRULY matter and are TRULY equal. God bless the youth of our parish, the youth in the Church, and the youth across the country. May we be humbled by their courageous witness for life and learn from them. May we continue forward to pursue a culture of life knowing that God, the Creator is on our side. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

   One comment Pope Francis made in his address to Congress back on Sept. 24th was “defend life at every age stage of development.” May we as a country defend life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. By doing so, we will be blessed and protected again. May we as a country wake up and heed the pope’s urgent call. Life may eventually be lost in this country more than just in the womb if we as a nation continue to support the death of innocent children as they cry out to God for justice. The blood of these aborted babies is on the hands of America, tens of millions of them, and the numbers continue to mount every second. We are the voice for their silent screams. What will we do? Will we as a country continue to turn away in silence and cowardice, or will we speak out with courage and truth? Hopefully, the latter. God states in the 5th commandment, “thou shall not kill/murder” (Ex. 20:13, Dt. 5:17). What are we doing to our children right now? Furthermore, God says, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to him” (Dt. 30:19-20). Life is a gift. Let’s treasure it. It is our hope, our joy and our future.

In Jesus, “The Way, The Truth, and The Life,” (Jn. 14:6)
Fr. Jeff Allan, Associate Pastor, Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron

Knights of Columbus Council 521 – January 2016

K of C logoMsgr. E.J. McCormick council 521 would like to thank Father Brian for serving as our council Chaplin and for ALL of his support of our council for the last 10 years. Know that Our prayers are with you on your next assignment at St. Thecla Parish.

Congratulations to the following Knights and families.

Knight of the Year Sir Knight Frank Elliott for all of his time and work spent with Holy Trinity Parish, 4th Degree Color Corp. Commander and with council 521. Thank You Frank for your service to our council, the 4th degree and Holy Trinity Parish!

Family of the Year Leonard and Denise Brookins. Leonard and Denise have either been to or helped run almost ALL of our 521 functions. Leonard serves as our council Deputy Grand Knight , Community Director and is 4th degree Color Corp. Council 521 and Holy Trinity Parish Thanks your family for all that you do!

Thank You to all of our members that attended our dinner party January 9th. It was a great event. Thank You to Grand Knight Steve and his lovely wife Deb for setting up and chairing the event.

Upcoming Events:

February 10th Ash Wednesday Pancake supper at St. Stephens 4-6 PM free will offering.

God Bless Vivat Jesus!

The Knights of Columbus council 521 supports Holy Trinity Parish and we could use help and more participation.

Catholic men over 18 years of age, please consider joining the Knights council 521. Help out your local Parish and community in a church organization.

Call or email membership director Rick Janderwski 810-650-2305   ten.t1501181269sacmo1501181269c@iks1501181269wredn1501181269ajr1501181269

Football, Fellowship and Faith

St. Mary’s Men’s Fellowship Group invites those men interested in strengthening their faith to come join us for a movie, popcorn and brief discussion. Our goal is to encourage, uplift and fortify men in their effort to follow Jesus Christ. It’s a tall task.

Movie: Facing the Giants

“Never give up. Never back down.
Never lose faith.”

Friday night January 29, 2016
St. Mary’s PH Social Hall at 6:30 pm

Sharing Gifts Together

By: Sr. Gloria

Last week we tried to articulate qualities that have made Fr. Brian Cokonougher such a strong, life-giving parish pastor. We mentioned that “he shows a real reverence and respect for each person he encounters. He assumes that each one has a potential for growth and participation in the larger picture. This is why so many groups in our parish are active and willing to work together. This is why people who can’t be active are still part of the prayer picture. Everyone is valued.”

The Choirs of St. Joseph would express their appreciation for the above dynamics, especially from the December experience of our annual concert. For some reason, we were aware, more than usual, of the many hands that put it together. The commitment of the musicians in many rehearsals is obvious. Then there is the concert committee who handled so many organizational factors. There were the physical tasks of transporting risers and chairs for the choral formation in the sanctuary…. put up and take down. The parish office staff helped so much in publicity and mailing. Since some of our singers were in the Bible study class, some friends there came to help. Gracious ushers were such a help. We thank the Knights of Columbus who were immediately willing, for whatever. A wonderful job was done this year by parishioners who helped with the refreshments on Sunday afternoon, who were creative in serving people from the small space in our gathering area. We commend the producer Richard Collins, who called so many people to deeds of willing cooperation. This shared experience of different people working together was a heart-warming experience. And we can thank Fr. Brian’s support and encouragement that has been there all along. He has taught us well, and we wish him so many of God’s blessings as he has been called to guide others. We do not really say goodbye.
(The concert’s goal this year was to raise money for the Mid-City Nutrition program. We are happy to report that the collection given to them totaled $3,835 dollars.)

As Christmastime ends, this bears repeating:

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
    To find the lost,
    To heal the broken,
    To feed the hungry,
    To release the prisoner,
    To rebuild the nations,
    To bring peace among brothers,
    To make music in the heart.
      Howard Thurman

A Note from Fr. Brian

I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful send off and the beautiful farewell reception last weekend. It was very touching for me and my family and I will always be grateful! Know of my prayers and support for Fr. Sal, Fr. Jeff and the entire Holy Trinity Parish family. Feel free to stay in touch:

Fr. Brian Cokonougher
St. Thecla Parish
20762 South Nunneley Road,
Clinton Township, Michigan, 48035
moc.a1501181269lceht1501181269ts@na1501181269irbrf1501181269
http://www.stthecla.com/

God Bless,
Fr. Brian