LIFElines from Lucy

So what is a caring committee?
The caring committee is a group of men and women who host a luncheon after the funeral of a parishioner. The luncheon is held at either St Stephen or Our Lady of Guadalupe sites at the request of the family.

Why? It is a corporal work of mercy to comfort those who mourn and what better way to do that than surrounded by food, friends and family. Better yet, it takes the burden off the family to host something after the funeral. At Holy Trinity, we average about 80 funerals a year. Not all will require a luncheon, but on the average we host about one a week. Last week alone, the Caring Committee hosted 3 luncheons.

I had the opportunity to sit down with these wonderful folks and talk about how the parish could better help serve their committee. Unfortunately, many of our men and ladies are getting up in age and are struggling to keep the ministry going. A typical funeral luncheon takes about 5-7 people to set-up, clean-up, and serve. Ideally we like to operate with three teams of 10 people. Right now we barely have enough for two teams and many of them tag-team to make sure there are enough people to help. The teams that are in operation would be more than happy to divide their expertise so that the third team is not overwhelmed with all new people. They are happy to welcome and train new volunteers!

If you would like to help but are confined to your house because of other commitments (like kids, or an elderly family member, don’t drive) There are volunteers who call parishioners to bring in vegetable dishes and desserts. Some examples include green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes and desserts. A Hispanic luncheon may include things like beans, rice, and tortillas. (We are privileged to have some ladies in our parish who make great Mexican food!) Our list of volunteers is rotated so you will not be called for every funeral. Many hands make the work easy!

In an effort to get more support with the food, the committee may be randomly calling people in the parish. We understand that you are busy, store bought goodies are fine too. If this is not a good time, please let us know when we call.

If you would like to help in any way, please click here to download the form to fill out and drop it in the collection basket at Mass, or mail or drop off at the rectory. Thank you in advance for being open to the Spirit.

Knights of Columbus – February 21, 2016

K of C logoKnights of Columbus
Msgr. E.J. McCormick Council 521

Thank You to all of the Holy Trinity Parishioners that attended the pancake supper Ash Wednesday !

Congratulations to the following Knights and families.

Knight of the Month Joe Ariganello
Joe has been at all the council events. Thanks for your continued support of council 521.

Family of the Month Rick and Lynne Janderwski
Thank You to the Janderwski family for all their help with the St. Nicholas Breakfast and for Rick’s work as our Knights of Columbus Insurance agent.

Council News: Bill Jackson has been appointed as Council 521 Treasurer and PGK Rick Janderwski has filled an officer position as Chancellor. Thank You to both of these members for helping fill those positions.

Upcoming Events:
Msgr. E.J. McCormick council 521 would like to invite Holy Trinity Parishioners to march with us at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday March 12th. We will be gathering at the float at 11:30am near Huron and Glenwood. The parade starts at 12 sharp. After the parade we will be going to St. Stephens for a Corn beef and Cabbage dinner ALL are invited to attend. For Information Contact PGK Pete Cervini 810-650-3041

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 or email ten.t1501181208sacmo1501181208c@iks1501181208wredn1501181208ajr1501181208

Religious Education News – February 21, 2016

Peace be with you!

Today as I read my daily scripture and reflection from “A book of Grace Filled Days” I am struck by this question. Where am I/we with this reflection!

Scripture: Whatever villages or towns or countryside He entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him that they might touch only the tassel of His cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.
Mark 6:56

Reflection: I once heard a sermon that used this passage from Mark to shame those who pray only when they need something!

But this kind of pious sniffing at those who throw themselves at Christ’s feet in their hour of need recalls the older brother in the prodigal son: I’ve been faithful Father, all along. Why should you reward this beggar, who has come to you only because he has no other hope?

God loves those who hold fast to him and never let go, and he loves those who can only touch their fingertips to the fringe of his cloak.

So the question to those of us who consider ourselves like the older son (faithful) is this:

How do we react to those who show up at Mass and are sitting in our pew for the first time in months (years)??

How do we treat the parents who bring their older children to Formation classes with little or no previous experience with Jesus and the Church?

How do we treat the engaged couple who come to the Catholic Church to be married with no involvement since their Confirmation?

How do we react to the divorced man or woman seeking to continue or return to the Catholic faith?

How do we treat the new parents seeking Baptism for their children not having attended Mass themselves on a regular basis?

How do we react to the person down on their luck begging for help or healing?

Certainly all of us in church leadership and indeed EVERYONE who sits in the pews or acts in an outreach capacity have an obligation to let them see Jesus through us “and as many as touched it were healed”! THAT IS TRUE EVANELIZATION!

Just a Lenten thought: Maybe if we are lacking or judgmental or feeling superior in this area we can focus our prayers on improvement.

Yours in the healing heart/hem of Jesus!
Karen Clor – DRE

6 Ways to Improve Your Marriage – Part 2 of 2

Married Couple
by Fr. Jeff Allan

What are some ways that you can improve your marriage, particularly as it relates to our faith in Jesus Christ? Last week, I gave three ways: either through 1). Attending a Retrouvaille weekend for struggling marriages, 2). Attending a Marriage Encounter weekend to make a good marriage better, or 3). Through NFP (Natural Family Planning) for married couples who want to avoid contraception and yet authentically desire to live out the teachings of the Catholic Church when it comes to marriage and sexuality.

Today, I would like to share the other three ways (#s 4-6) to round out the “6 Ways to Improve Your Marriage” plus a BONUS at the end. Do you pray with your spouse? What about at Church or before meals? Any other times? Whether you do or you don’t, here is a program that could benefit your marriage, something that is planned to be offered soon either here in our own parish or in the Blue Water Vicariate.

  1. Prayer – “Together with Jesus: Couple Prayer Series” When I was on an internship year at Holy Family Parish in Novi, I was blessed to be at the house of a wonderful, married couple, Sue and Skip West, who interviewed couples for marriage preparation which included a pre-marriage inventory assessment called FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study). Sue and Skip, while overcoming obstacles in their own marriage, had participated in the “Couple Prayer Series” twice and found that it had changed their marriage from not praying at all to a deep level of intimacy through prayer. Here’s an overview of what the “Couple Prayer Series” is:
    It “was created to help married couples more fully enjoy the life-changing intimacy of praying together as husband and wife closely, comfortably and consistently. Six DVDs plus included print materials provide a world of information and proven encouragements about the ‘whats,’ ‘whys,’ and ‘how-tos’ of successful couple prayer…”

     
    In addition, the series can be broken down by weeks:

    Week 1 – Laying Helpful Groundwork
    Week 2 – Thanking God Together
    Week 3 – Asking God’s Help Together
    Week 4 – Praying With Scripture Together
    Week 5 – Worshipping God Together
    Week 6 – Praying for The Power to Forgive Together

    For more information, go to www.coupleprayer.com

  2. Read a BookIntimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings Out the Best in Marriage, a book co-authored by a married couple, Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Dcn. Dominic Pastore, may be a helpful read for couples who resonate with and want to connect with Pope Francis’ message of mercy in this Year of Mercy and apply it to their marriage. Teresa, a former Channel 2 news anchor is the host of “Catholic Connection,” a morning Catholic radio show on Ave Maria Radio (https://avemariaradio.net), which airs M-F, 8-10 am EST (990 AM in SE Michigan)… More about her and her husband, Dominic below… To order the book, go to http://www.amazon.com.
  3. Listen to A Live Speaker – Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Dcn. Dominic Pastore, will be the featured, guest speakers as part of the continued “John Courtney Murray Distinguished Speaker Series” between our parish and St. Mary – Port Huron. The couples will speak about their marriage at the Holy Trinity-St. Stephen site in the church on Thursday evening, April 28th at 7pm. Mark your calendars! For more information on Teresa, go to http://www.teresatomeo.com.

* BONUS * The Marriage Course – 8 Great Dates: The “Marriage Course” comes from Alpha (alphausa.org), a popular parish evangelization program like ChristLife, that involves marriage enrichment, offers couples the opportunity to spend eight romantic evenings together and has practical topics designed to strengthen marriages. Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, MI (http://www.olgcparish.net), under the leadership of Fr. John Riccardo as well as his associate priest at the time, Fr. Steve Mateja, and a couple who helped run the program, were successful in implementing “8 Great Dates.” Here is how the eight talks are broken down:

  1. Building Strong Foundations
  2. Communication
  3. Resolving Conflict
  4. Power of Forgiveness
  5. Impact of Family
  6. Intimacy
  7. Love in Action
  8. Celebration Dinner

I would like to give a sincere compliment to Fr. John and his parish family, including the OLGC Family of Faith Committee, who used creativity, leadership and some good work to bolster a very important part of family life > marriage! For more info go to the following link: http://www.olgcparish.net/resources/files/events/8greatdates.pdf

Praised be Jesus Christ!

To Continue Praying

By: Sr. Gloria

We have frequently asked you to pray for the 2016 General Chapter of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. (A General Chapter occurs every six years.) We told you months ago about the procedure, asking for prayers for the first sessions. It all began in October of 2014, when all Adrian Dominicans met in their larger regional areas to begin creating the Chapter agenda. They met in Adrian, Detroit, Illinois, California, Florida, Georgia, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.

About 270 suggestions came from the groups, and a “General Chapter Planning Committee” was formed. Their task was to compile those suggestions into seven major recommendations. In subsequent smaller ‘mission group’ meetings over the months, members have been exploring and discussing these recommendations. The flow of communication between Adrian and individuals has been exemplary, with the use of ‘live-streaming’ presentations on the internet, along with a computer blog where sisters are free to share ideas, whenever. The flow of information available is abundant.

Last October, members met in the large regional areas once again, for the last big push. And now, delegates from all over the country will meet for over a week in Adrian, for the 2016 General Chapter. We ask for your prayers for this event, beginning on February 18. Delegates will deal with all the proposals, and chart future plans and directions. They will also elect a new leadership team.

We will be happy, after the Chapter, to share with you the major thrusts of our lives. They are exciting and challenging. Kindly pester the Spirit for us all.

The vision, articulated in a previous Chapter, is still foundational: We Dominican Preachers of Adrian, impelled by the gospel and outraged by the injustices of our day, seek truth; make peace; reverence life.

February 14-20 Random Acts of Kindness Week
Imagine a world
Where we look out for each other
Where we pay it all forward
Where we measure success in selfless acts
Where kindness is the philosophy of life

BLESSED THERESA OF CALCUTTA ON LENT
“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst….
‘Repent and believe,’ Jesus tells us.
What are we to repent?
Our indifference, our hardness of heart…
What are we to believe?
Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor….
He knows your weakness.
He wants only your love,
Wants only the chance to love you.”

Vicariate Penance Services 2016

Saturday March 5 at 1:00 p.m.
St. Christopher Church,
1000 Michigan Ave, Marysville


Thursday March 10 at 7:00 p.m.
St. Mary Queen of Creation Church
50931 Maria St, New Baltimore


Wednesday March 16 at 7:00 p.m.
St. Mary Church
1505 Ballentine St., Port Huron

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the CrossWednesdays at 5:30pm at St. Stephen
Fridays at 12:15pm at St. Joseph

There will not be Stations of the Cross at St. Stephen on Wednesday, February 24. (Come, Encounter Christ begins this day.)

Stations of the Cross will be at 6:30pm on Wednesday, March 23 (with the Religious Formation classes).

Christian Service Easter Food Baskets 2016

The season of Lent once again is upon us. As we try to be Christian in name and deed your Christian Service will be preparing Food Baskets to be distributed to the needy of our community.

We will be collecting food each week as listed below. You are invited to bring one or all the items listed. By Palm Sunday our goal is to collect enough food to prepare 60 baskets for distribution.

February 20-21:    Instant potatoes, canned vegetables, cereal, canned fruit, jello

February 27-28:     peanut butter, 4lb bag of sugar, instant rice, canned soups

March 5-6:     4 pack of toilet paper, 5lb bag of flour, Saltine crackers, baked beans, applesauce

March 12-13:     Pancake mix, pancake syrup, tuna, brownie mix, mac and cheese

March 19-20:     spaghetti sauce, spaghetti, paper towels, jelly beans

We are also looking for donations of hams. If you would like to donate a ham please fill out a form and place it in the collection basket. Whatever size you decide to donate we will pair with the appropriate family size. Any questions please contact Barb Brown at 810-385-6736.

Please deliver ham donations to St. Stephen’s gym on March 22nd between 10:00am & Noon.

Religious Education News – February 14, 2016

Peace be with you!

  • Just before the Jubilee Year of Mercy began on December 8th,
    I took some time to reflect on the 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy (Instruct the Ignorant, Correct Sinners, Advise the Doubtful, Show Patience, Forgive Others, Comfort the Afflicted, Pray for the Living and the Dead) and the 7 Corporal Works of Mercy (Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Shelter the Homeless, Clothe the Naked, Visit the Sick, Visit the Imprisoned, Bury the Dead).After thought and prayer I decided to focus on ONE act of Mercy and try to do it well during this year. I had chosen Bury the Dead. Perhaps a little extra effort in sending a card, visiting the funeral home or attending a funeral Mass/Service would help to ease the loss of someone who is experiencing a death in their family. And of course praying for that family must be included as sometimes that is the only thing that we can do to ease their pain!

    I didn’t realize how soon I would be put to test as it seems that we have lost an unusual amount of parishioners and others in the past two months, some of them quite young!

    And this past week, yet another heartache, as a one of our dear teen helpers in the RE program (Taylor Perry) lost her father (Michael) to a heart attack at the age of 58! You may remember Taylor was chosen for the Timothy Youth Award of Excellence for our parish last year!

    Taylor and her dad were best friends and he was very diligent in bringing her to help out on Wednesday nights and whenever else we needed her! He, making sure Taylor knew, that God was important in her life as well as serving others! Michael will be missed and I am asking you to keep Taylor in your prayers (she is a senior in high school) as she deals with this very tragic time in her life. Sometimes, all we can do is pray!
    Thank you!

  • LENT BEGINS! Wednesday was the beginning of our forty days of making that extra effort to bring Jesus closer to our lives! What will your efforts include? Whether it be in fasting (always a good one) or prayer, or good deeds (almsgiving) I wish you much joy and peace in your choice! Again I have chosen ONE to try to do well and that will be FASTING! Please pray for me during this powerful time of renewal as I keep you all in prayer too!
  • Wednesday, February 3rd, we enrolled TWENTY children into our First Communion preparation program! Please pray for these kids! Their excitement is precious!In less than a month on March 5th our Confirmation candidates will receive a fuller outpouring of the Gifts of the Spirit and be Confirmed by Bishop Byrnes thus completing their Sacraments of Initiation!! Please keep them in your prayers as well! I have witnessed much growth in these teens as they complete the requirements for Confirmation! They will make great disciples!

In the name of the suffering Jesus, Karen Clor – DRE
810-985-9069 or moc.o1501181208ohay@1501181208erneh1501181208petst1501181208s1501181208

6 Ways to Improve Your Marriage – Part 1 of 2

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I would do a follow-up to the article, “3 Dangers to Marriage” with a new article today, “3 Aids to Struggling Marriages.” Well? I’d like to change it, but also double it to “6 Ways to Improve Your Marriage.”

Today, I would like to share just the first half, #s 1-3. Are some of you struggling in your marriage to the point of separation? Could you be separated or on the brink of divorce? Looking for help? Here is one credible tool that can assist:

  1. Retrouvaille – The word, “retrouvaille” comes from a French word that means “rediscovery.” Couples who participate in a weekend experience, called Retrouvaille, are given time to rediscover the vows each spouse promised to the other. Retrouvaille focuses on communication and healing. Following the weekend experience is a series of 6-12 post-weekend sessions over three months. Couples who have gone through the weekend and follow-up sessions, have had success, and have eventually led some of the sessions, can be invited to speak at church at the end of Mass to give a testimony too. You can go to the following two websites for further info:
    1. http://www.retrouvaille.info – Metro Detroit
    2. http://www.retrouvaille.org – General Info

    While we want to continue to grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus, it is Jesus who hopes we have the desire to grow in relationship him in our hearts, for it is Jesus who first chose us. “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you” (Jn. 15:16).

    Jesus also hopes that spouses want to grow in greater relationship with each other. They can begin by making their marriage better through Christ. It takes three to get married: both spouses and God. The late, Venerable Fulton Sheen wrote a book called, Three to Get Married, which may be of reading interest to you. Below is another excellent tool for married couples.

  2. Marriage Encounter – For those who want to take their good marriages and make them even better, couples can go on a weekend called Marriage Encounter. The purpose is for marriage enrichment through open and honest communication, face-to-face sharing, and heart to heart encounters in a comfortable, relaxed setting. “The mission of National Marriage Encounter is to celebrate, enrich, and support marriages and families through interfaith programs that enable married couples to discover a deeper understanding of their relationship.” Here are three websites that may be helpful:
    1. http://wwme-detroit.org/ – Metro Detroit
    2. http://www.marriage-encounter.org/ – General Marriage Encounter
    3. http://www.wwme.org/new.html – General Marriage Encounter

    Finally, are you and/or your spouse searching for ways to avoid contraception? Have you encountered awful side effects from contraception that you now discover are taking a toll on your body and on your marriage? Do you want to know what the Church teaches and recommends? The answer is Natural Family Planning (NFP), and it is NOT a form a “Catholic contraception.”

  3. NFP – Have you ever heard of it? Why have only 10% of Catholics or less heard about NFP? It’s one word, “MONEY!” Because the large pharmaceutical companies can’t make any money off of it, it’s not promoted. Yet, NFP is a secret that needs to be made known not only to Catholics but to the whole world. (The same goes for Pope St. John Paul II”s teaching on the Theology of the Body in which he gave 129 talks at his Wednesday audiences between 1979-1984. But that’s a whole other story. But the word is slowly getting out on both, which is “Good News!”).

    What is NFP? In a nutshell, it is knowing the fertile time of a woman’s cycle that may involve charting, taking a woman’s temperature, or other morally acceptable methods, followed by either doing one of the following two things: 1). Either avoiding sexual relations in marriage for serious or grave reasons (i.e. health) as a form of temporary abstinence, or 2). Having sexual relations within marriage to achieve pregnancy. NFP couples intend to abstain from fertile intercourse, whereas contracepting couples intend to sterilize fertile intercourse. NFP is 99% effective with almost a zero divorce rate (Source: West, Christopher. Good News About Sex and Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions about Catholic Teaching. Cincinnati, OH: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2000, p. 111, 126).

    Also, NFP fosters communication, mutual respect between the spouses, greater intimacy in marriage, and the acceptance of responsibility in their decision to achieve or postpone pregnancy (Source: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/wils/wils_01naturalfamilyplanning1.html). While there aren’t any side effects, unlike contraception, “today, less than one percent of all couples of child-bearing age in the U.S. use Natural Family Planning” (Source: http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=2083). While NFP isn’t a “magic bullet,” many people are happy despite how challenging it can be to practice within marriage. Here’s one testimony. “NFP does require communication and commitment, but isn’t that what marriage is all about? We have gained so much by using NFP and have lost nothing.” (Source: (Natural Family Planning Blessed Our Marriage, 18).

    Here are four NFP resources that may be of further help to you:

    1. www.nfponline.org – Archdiocese of Detroit
    2. www.ccli.org – Couple to Couple League
    3. http://www.popepaulvi.com – Pope Paul VI Institute
    4. http://www.nfpoutreach.org – NFP Outreach

    Next week, we will cover the other three ways, #s 4-6 to improve your marriage with the help of our Lord, Jesus. God bless you, and until next week…

Trusting in God’s Plan for Marriage,
Fr. Jeff