What Is Our Response to The Resurrection?

Jesus ResurrectionIn the early hours of that first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene saw that the stone was removed from the tomb of Jesus. She hurried back to tell the future pope, Peter, and the beloved disciple, John, that Jesus’ body was nowhere to be found, and she thought Jesus’ body was stolen, even though it wasn’t as cited in Matthew’s Gospel (Mt. 28:13). Peter and John ran back to the entrance of the tomb, and it was John who arrived first. They both observed the burial cloths. But Jesus’ body was absent from the tomb. Then John “saw and believed” (Jn. 20:8).

In our day and time as I’m sure it was in Jesus’ time, “seeing is believing.” But the Resurrection is something different. Jesus calls us to something greater, something bigger, something much deeper. What is that “something greater” that we can’t see? I will get to that in a moment. But the Resurrection is a mystery. It is a mystery that leads to the door of new life for us, the door upon which this “something greater” hinges. The mystery of the Resurrection calls for a response, and what is our response? Faith. We see with the eyes of faith for “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

We weren’t blessed to see the empty tomb like Mary Magdalene, John or Peter. Nor did we have the privilege to see Jesus in one of the Resurrection appearances like when the disciples encountered him in the Upper Room (Jn. 20:19-31), or when they encountered him on the Road to Emmaus (Lk. 24:13-35), or even when Jesus ate fish with them (Lk. 24:36-53). After the apostle Thomas was invited to put his finger into Jesus’ side, Jesus responded, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (Jn. 20:29).

We can’t respond with belief or faith in Jesus and in his Resurrection on our own. We need his help. That’s why he sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2) to inspire the apostles and the other disciples to bring the Good News to the whole world. Similarly, we are given the grace of the Holy Spirit at baptism which includes the grace of faith to believe and also bear witness to the entire planet of the Good News of Jesus Christ and his glorious Resurrection.

Furthermore, what does faith do? According to St. Anselm, “faith seeks understanding.” We have a desire to know our Catholic faith and Church teaching. But we also long to understand Jesus and know who he is.

In the end having been given the overwhelming amount of evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection, what is our response? Faith. We believe. I encourage you to check out a song on youtube.com. Type “We believe.” It’s a song by the Newsboys, the same group that is well known for the singing the popular Christian song, “God is not dead.” Listen to the song, and let the lyrics and music inspire you. Today Jesus is Risen! Let us respond in faith to Jesus our God and Savior who has destroyed sin and death. May we rejoice in the Resurrection of Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn. 14:6). “We believe!”

Fr. Jeff

LIFElines from Lucy

Easter CrossThis is the Day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad!!!! HAPPY EASTER!!!!!

Last night (Holy Saturday), the parish came together for the Easter Vigil. It is the highest Mass of the Liturgical year. It was at this Mass that we welcomed adults and children into the Catholic Faith.

The Warsalla family; James (dad), Andrew (8th grade), Nathanial (5th) grade together have been working hard for over a year to prepare for this great event. They were baptized, confirmed and received Communion for the first time. Lucas Sutphen,(1st Grade) son of Jenna, special friends of the Warsallas, was baptized also. Lucas will prepare to make his first communion next year in May with his class mates in Religious Formation. It is always special when we get to prepare children to come into the church, because we get to work with the entire family. We get to see God at work as they grow together as a family steeped in the love of Jesus. But the journey is just beginning as they continue their studies in Religious Formation, Youth Group.

Andrea Firestone is on “Fire” with the Spirit. Challenges in her life have brought her to the doors of the Catholic Church after seeking, prayer and researching the faith. With the help of our Spiritual Director; Nancy Trudell, Andrea is now ready to be one with us. Andrea has already put faith in action befriending a person who is in prison. The dynamics between these two individuals has been incredible, as they each share in their experiences and how God is working through them and has blessed them despite their situations.

Dave (Duke) Anderson and Barbara Rivard are no strangers to the Catholic faith, married to Catholics and bringing up their children Catholic. Their families have grown and are on their own and now Duke and Barb are ready to do this form themselves and join the Church.

A friend of Father Sal’s, Tammy, joined us on this special night also. Tammy comes from St Lawrence Parish in Utica. Father Sal has had the honor of initiating other members of Tammy’s family, and now she is ready. Since Father Sal had been working with her, she requested that he initiate her. We welcome Tammy and her family to our parish. Duke, Barb and Tammy each made a profession of faith to the Catholic Church and were Confirmed and welcomed to the table for Communion.

These “neophytes” have been on a high, and have looked forward to this day for a long time. Right now they are literally flying!!! But that high won’t last forever. It is up to us to take them by the hand and invite them into the life of the church. Please continue to pray for them, introduce yourself to them when you see them at church, invite them into the various activities of the church. Let them share their story with you as you share yours with them. They all look forward to continuing their quest to know Jesus and grow closer to God. Let us together build the City of God.

Keep movin’ in the Spirit!!!

Adrian Dominican Directions – Continued

By: Sr. Gloria

We previously listed eight goals that were to be dealt with in our 2016 General Chapter. With her permission, we share with you comments from Sr. Attracta Kelly, our Prioress. The hard-working “General Chapter Planning Committee created four Enactments with suggested strategies for implementing them. The Committee studied, reflected, researched, proposed, and composed. We were constantly reminded by all the signs around us that we are in a period of great change and that our future holds both peril and promise. We asked ourselves in many ways: what is the planet asking of us, what is the world asking of us, what is the Church asking of us, and what is our founder Dominic asking of us at this time?

“With our Mission and Vision as our foundation, I believe our four Enactments commit all of us to witness with lives of faith, hope, trust and love. Centering our lives in Jesus, we witness our passionate love for our God. With a great hope in common, we witness our passionate love for Earth, our common home, accepting responsibility for doing our part to help reduce the impact of climate change. Witnessing our passionate love for all and recognizing our own vulnerability, we trust in a God who calls us to stand with all who are relegated to any kind of margin. Witnessing our passionate love for each other and our faith in a God who loves us and calls us to this way of life, we are open to inviting others to join us in vowed life as well as in collaboration with us.

“I believe the values in our Constitution and the contemporary expression of these values found in our General Chapter Vision and Enactments are the most powerful means we have of tapping directly into the deepest desires and aspirations of all of us—the same desires that first ignited our religious vocation. I believe all four Enactments continue to call us to many margins, not just geographical ones, but also existential margins that speak to the mystery of suffering, pain, injustice; margins of ignorance and lack of faith; margins of spiritual and physical hunger; margins of every form of exclusion or misery. If all of us, as we have agreed, live these Enactments, I do believe they will help move us to live fully the charism of Dominic — move us to live a life as Dominican women that is both authentic and fruitful.”

The four Enactments are not listed singly here; there is not room at this time. They are hinted at in Sr. Attracta’s statements. They can be spelled out another time.

Sister Attracta closed her column with the words of Edward Hays:

Moving forward as one body into a future filled with possibility,
We walk without maps, but we walk confidently, and we walk with hope,
Because we have chosen to be lights for each other, while on the way.

Lake Huron Foundation Volunteer Organization

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for an opportunity to “give back” to your community? Lake Huron Medical Center (LHMC) is a great place to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of patients and visitors. Opportunities are available in the following areas: Bariatrics, Couriers, Emergency Services, Gift Shop, Patient Ambassador, Peoples’ Clinic for Better Health, Radiation Oncology Waiting Room, Spiritual Care, and Heavenly Hounds (certified and approved therapy dogs and their handlers).

Currently, the greatest need is for Couriers and Spiritual Care. Couriers help staff the hospital’s main lobby reception area by greeting, directing and escorting patients and guests; and transporting discharged patients. Spiritual Care volunteers support the spiritual needs of patients. Volunteers receive specialized and professional training. For more information, contact LHMC website at: www.mylakehuron.com or call 810-216-1035

Get Ready for Divine Mercy!

Jesus Divine Mercy image“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This short sentence is known as the Jesus Prayer. While popular among Eastern Catholics, it’s a powerful prayer for all believing Christians when it’s prayed sincerely from the heart. The emphasis is on mercy, and it is the Divine Mercy of Jesus we trust in as we are encouraged to seek it out in the Sacrament of Reconciliation after we sin.

In a special and formal way Jesus’ Divine Mercy is celebrated on the Sunday that follows Easter, which has become known in recent years as Divine Mercy Sunday. How did this come about? It has to do with the story of an early 20th century, Polish, contemplative nun named Sr. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) as well as a familiar Polish priest by the name of Karol Wojtyla, who later became the future Pontiff, Pope John Paul II (1920-2005).

Beginning on February 22nd, 1931, Sr. Faustina started to receive visions and had conversations with Jesus in which she was instructed to write down messages in a diary but also to have an artist paint an image of the Divine Mercy, which is seen in the above photo with a red ray and white ray that symbolize the blood and water that flowed from Jesus’ side after he was pierced on the cross. The two rays also symbolize the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist and the cleansing and purifying waters of baptism, both of which emanate forth from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The message of St. Faustina’s diary as well as the image is one of Divine Mercy and a call on our part to trust in Jesus’ mercy, which we find as the message at the bottom of the painting that reads, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Jesus said to Sr. Faustina, “I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.” (Diary, 341). You may or may not know of the treasured gift that the Catholic Church offers on Divine Mercy Sunday. A plenary indulgence (the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sin whose guilt has already been forgiven – Catechism 1471) is associated with this special day provided one meets the following conditions: The plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions of a sacramental confession (20 days before or after the indulgenced act), Eucharistic communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff (i.e. Hail Mary) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, that he/she be in a state of grace, recite the Our Father & the Creed, and also add a devout prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!). In addition, the Divine Mercy Novena (nine consecutive days of prayer that includes the Chaplet of Divine Mercy) starts this Friday, March 25th, which is Good Friday and concludes on the Sunday following Easter known as Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3rd. For more information on the plenary indulgence or the Novena, please go to thedivinemercy.org.

One of the main instruments to establish Divine Mercy Sunday was Pope John Paul II. He canonized Sr. Faustina on April 30th, 2000 making her the “first saint of the new millennium” and subsequently established Divine Mercy Sunday to be the first Sunday after Easter. The Pope called St. Faustina “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time.” Pope John Paul II, later died in April 2005 on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, was himself beatified (or made Blessed) on Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1, 2011, by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI and was canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014, by Pope Francis.

We have heard much about mercy lately. Pope Francis has declared this year as a Year of Mercy. Two weekends ago, we heard how Jesus offered mercy to the woman caught in adultery. This weekend on Palm Sunday, we heard in the Passion account how Jesus offered mercy to the two thieves at his side (Lk. 23:33-43), and yet at the beginning of every Mass we pray the Kyrie, the “Lord have mercy!” We are in a time of mercy, the time between Jesus’ first and second coming. May we all ask Jesus for mercy and know that our sins, if confessed, can be swallowed up into His infinite ocean of mercy. Jesus said to Sr. Faustina one day: ‘Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to the Divine Mercy.’” May we turn to our merciful Savior and say, “Jesus, I trust in You!”

In Our Merciful Jesus,
Fr. Jeff

Resources:
Bible: Ps. 51:3, 145:8
Book: Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul (600 pages)

* Neighboring parishes

Religious Education News – March 20, 2016

Peace be with you!

During the late 70’s and early 80’s Pope John Paul II wrote and presented a series of 129 lectures that were later compiled into a single work titled Theology of the Body According to John Paul II (now called Male and Female He Created Them).

Theology of the Body covers such topics as the bodily dimension of the human person, the nature of human sexuality, the human need for communion, and the nature of marriage.

Since then, TOB (Theology of the Body) has been written in age appropriateness for high school teens and middle school kids. With a curriculum using video and workbooks it applies JP II teachings of TOB to the lives of these teens specifically addressing questions relating to chastity and sexuality. It is an articulation of the faith that is intended to enrich the lives of these teens!

In a culture where self gratification and sexual immorality has become the norm this program teaches the children that they have been created by God for greatness. It teaches how to live lives that will bring peace and happiness. It teaches the difference between real love and user love and it teaches them to discover the ultimate purpose for which God created them…..communion with Him!

We are very fortunate to have in our program a certified catechist in Theology of the Body (Laura Somogy)! With the blessing of former Pastor Fr. Brian and the immediate blessing of Fr. Sal we incorporated the TOB program into our sixth grade curriculum beginning in January. It has been very well received by the students and their parents and will be a continued part of our 6th grade Faith Formation in the coming years.

Because we feel that it is important to present this material to our older teens as well we offered a one day workshop for these kids on Saturday March 19th.

Laura along with her husband Ray present the video to both boys and girls and then they break up into gender appropriate groups so as not to make anyone feel uncomfortable while teaching the truths of our faith but keeping in mind the challenges young people face today!

In the end the kids are asked to seriously pray about and contemplate their Vocation in life and to keep their minds open to what God has planned for their lives in living a single life, priestly or religious vocation, or marriage! Making a commitment to do things GODS way!

Is there any other way??

Peace and prayers, Karen Clor – DRE
810-985-9069 or moc.o1506430887ohay@1506430887erneh1506430887petst1506430887s1506430887

P.S. God bless your Holy Week with many close encounters of Him!! 🙂

Easter Food Basket Distribution 2016

Food Baskets will be distributed on Tuesday March 22nd. To accomplish this we rely on much needed help from all of our parishioners. This also is a good opportunity for any student wanting to obtain service points.

Monday, March 21st from 6 to 7:30 p.m.: sort all donated food and pack food boxes in the gym at the St. Stephen’s site.

Tuesday March 22nd:
     10a.m. until 12noon: deliver donated hams to the gym at St. Stephen’s site
     12noon to 2 p.m.: distribute food baskets (We help the recipients take their food baskets to their cars and always can use some help with this process.)

If you are interested in helping please just show up and we will put you to work. Any questions please call Barbara Brown
at 810-385-6736.

Thanks to all of you who help make this project a success.

Vocations Essay Contest

On Tuesday, March 8th, the Vocations Commission at Holy Trinity probably had one of the hardest jobs imaginable to do. They had to select 3 winning Middle School Essays from a total of 26 wonderfully written and thought provoking submissions on either, “A World without Priests” or “What my Parish Priest Means to Me” from the Vocations Commissions sponsored Contest. Each entry was scored for Content, Grammar, and Style by the Essay Committee. The points were close, but the top three winners are:

1st Place: Mallory Nowiski
2nd Place: Hanna Sarrine
3rd Place: Michael Ward

A portion from Mallory’s Essay read: “PRIEST”, the first letter ‘P’ stands for prayerful, peaceful and patience…The ‘R’ stands for respect and reasoning….The ‘I’ stands for important and intelligent….The ‘E’ stands for enthusiasm and excellence…The ‘S’ stands for smiley and smart…The ‘T’ stands for trustworthy and truthful…”

We truly agree, our priests are invaluably gifted and are beautiful examples of God’s love to us.

Congratulations to our winners and all the individuals who took the time to ponder and grow in their understanding of these Vocational Topics.

The Feasts of Judaism

New Scripture Study Starting April 5, 2016
This 6 week program from Threshold Bible Study helps us to understand the Jewish feasts and festivals that Jesus celebrated. Reading from Old Testament passages helps us to see the importance these feasts had in the lives of the Jewish people. Understanding these events helps us to grow in our own faith. Groups will meet on Tuesday mornings at 10:30am to noon or Tuesday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:00pm in St. Stephen School.Cost is $15.00
For more info call Amy Miles at 810-300-0417

AOD Synod 2016

Synod 2016 logoMy dearest faithful,

My name is Rebecca Sweet, I have been chosen by our Archdiocese Council to represent our parish, Holy Trinity, at the November 2016 Synod.

Many have asked: What is a Synod? Why were you chosen? What is your role? Why do we need a Synod? As we are quickly drawing near to different types of our preparation I will shortly explain.

I was one of three parishioners chosen for a process that began with prayer and discernment to see if this was my path from the Holy Spirit. Shortly after came the 5-page application! This was not the easiest application I have ever filled out, but when the Holy Spirit wants you to do something the Lord provides. As I read each questions slowly in my head, I quickly put the application down. This was very overwhelming for me. I sat with these questions the rest of the day. Awakening the next morning refreshed, I had my cup of coffee and sat down with a pen and paper. I knew these questions were not going to change and that I had to answer them truthfully and from the heart. As I began to write, more and more feelings I have felt from different parishioners came through my words. Your concerns on topics of church, fear, evangelization, declining numbers, charity. I knew then that the Holy Spirit was flooding me with the answers I was searching for.

This Synod, which I am merely your messenger, is a gathering of faithful to decide where the Holy Spirit will lead us next with evangelization. The many who have attended Christ Life found out that, this big scary word, evangelization, is as simple as a smile. We may smile 25 times in a single day, but one of those smiles may have changed someone’s life.

So, as we embark on a new chapter in our Catholic faith, I invite you, to help me, be your voice for our next journey with all God’s people.