2016 First Holy Communion

May 1, 2016    Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron, MI
Taylor Caza
Brady Cunningham
Mackenzie Friend
Annika Gellasch
Carlynn Gilbert
Joseph Gilbert
Katherine Green
Samuel Hildebrandt
Jack Hyde
Andrew Kolinski
Annalise Lichota
Madeline Murawski
Sajid Pena
Mason Poulsen
Lilliana Pryor
Madeline Schneider
Tristan Shebestak
Travis Streu
Lucas Sutphen
Darian Thomas

Celebration of First Holy Communion & Reminders on Reception of The Eucharist

While we near the end of this joyful Easter season that will follow the transition into Ordinary Time sandwiched in between with Jesus’ Ascension and Pentecost, there is another joyful celebration at Holy Trinity Parish this weekend at the 9am Mass. Our second and third-graders will receive Jesus for the very first time in the reception of Holy Communion.

Do you remember your first Holy Communion? I remember mine. It was the spring of 1987 on a sunny day that I first received Jesus in the Eucharist along with my second-grade classmates at my parish, St. Robert Bellarmine in Redford. I bet many of you have wonderful photos from that great sacramental moment. What a joyful memory it was for us, and we hope it will be the same this weekend for our second-graders.

In recalling this joyful moment, we also want to remind ourselves of how we can best receive Jesus in the Eucharist every time we come forward for Holy Communion. I would like to focus on some of the Do’s and Don’ts of receiving Holy Communion. First, here are a few Don’ts:

  • Don’t receive the Precious Blood from the chalice if you are ill. Instead, just receive the Body of Christ, not on tongue.
  • Don’t receive communion bread from another faith/church/religion. This can give scandal. In addition, what you communicate not necessarily by word, but by action, is that you profess belief in what that church/faith/religion stands for, and you express that the bread is the Body and Blood of Christ, which it isn’t (with the exception of receiving the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church). Instead stay in the pew and pray for unity “that they may all be one..” (Jn.17:21) just as we would advise our non-Catholic guests to do in our own Church.
  • Don’t come up to receive if you know you are in a state of mortal sin. *Instead, stay in your pew, and either pray for a spiritual communion, for others, or for a worthy intention/cause. See 1 Cor. 11:27-30.

Here are a few Do’s for receiving Holy Communion:

  • According to the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM), “When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows the head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence (bow) is also made before receiving the Precious Blood” (GIRM, 160).
  • If you receive on the tongue, please stop in front of the minister (priest, deacon, lay person), bow (to Jesus), open your mouth, and extend your tongue straight out so that the minister can gently and slowly place Jesus flat on your tongue.
  • If you receive the Eucharist on the hand, please stop in front of the minister, and bow (to Jesus). If you are right handed, please put your right hand under your left hand to receive Christ the King, and take Jesus out with your right hand to consume. Similarly, if you are left-handed, please put your left hand under your right hand with a heart of reverence and honor, and take Jesus out with your left hand to consume.
  • Remember to say “Amen.”

These instructions aren’t meant to be childish, patronizing, or funny. The hope is that these helpful reminders will make the transfer of the Eucharist from the minister to the communicant less awkward and uncomfortable. Thank you for your attention to these important matters on the recognition and reception of the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. May we continue to do that with a spirit of reverence, honor, and love.

In The Joy of Jesus,
Fr. Jeff

Congratulations Deacon John!

congratulationsDeacon John Connors was presented with the first “Good Samaritan” award by the Bluewater Area Rescue Mission (BWARM) of Port Huron at its anniversary dinner on Tuesday, April 19th, at Alexanders in Marysville. In presenting the award the director, Pastor Arnie Koontz said that “there would be not be a BWARM without Deacon John. He believed in us when no one else did.” Deacon John worked with Pastor Arnie and his wife Debbie in establishing the center, obtaining the building, and providing advice and support.

Throughout his years in diaconal ministry Deacon John has been a staunch advocate for people who are poor. He has also served the community at Safe Horizons, Pathway Shelter, Mid City Nutrition, and the Food Depot and in many other ways. Deacon John has also been instrumental in the amazing growth of our St Vincent De Paul chapter, which serves people in need almost every day.

Deacon John we love you and we thank you for your amazing service to our parish and our community.

Religious Education News – May 1, 2016

Peace be with you!

  • Our formation classes have ended until fall. Please pray for our faith formation children and families to keep Jesus close and have a fun and faith filled summer!
  • Loyola Press along with Pope Francis has a new book out and it is BEAUTIFUL!! It can be purchased by going to www.LoyolaPress.com and ordering “Dear Pope Francis”. It is a book of questions that Pope Francis has answered from children around the world. It is funny, serious and heart wrenching!! Below are a few examples that I thought coincided with our end of the year and First Eucharist! Below is dedicated for all of our faith formation families!
    • Dear Pope Francis, Why do you think children have to go to Catechesis (religious education)? Come again to Brazil. I would like to see you. A hug and a kiss, Ana Maria – (Age 10 – Brazil).

      Dear Ana, You go to catechism to get to know Jesus better! If you have a friend, you enjoy being with him and getting to know him better. You enjoy being with your friend, playing together and getting to know his family, his life, where he was born, and where he lives. This is a good thing. Religious Education classes help you get to know your friend Jesus better and his great family, the Church.

      There are many ways to get acquainted with Jesus. Actually, you don’t so much learn about Jesus as go in search of him so you can meet him as a person. When you look for Jesus, he will come to you and help you get to know him.

      I have to tell you something: You can know many things about Jesus, but that’s not enough. You may also know His story, all that He has done, but you don’t get to know Jesus just by studying Him. You come to know Jesus by reading the Gospel, praying, seeking Him in all you do, doing good to those who are in need, and helping the sick. If you do this, Jesus will surely come close so that you can meet Him and know Him.

    • This next question is in honor of the 20 children (see front of bulletin) who received Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion today! May Jesus feed and nourish them always!

      Dear Pope Francis, Why are lots of people so poor and have no food? Can God give the poor people some food like he fed the 5000 people? Love from, Thierry (Age 7 – Australia)

      Yes, yes! He can do that Thierry! And he continues to do so. At that time, Jesus gave bread to the disciples to distribute to all the people. If Jesus’ disciples had not passed out the food, the people would have still been hungry. See, there is bread! And there is enough for everyone! The real problem is that some of those who have plenty do not want to share it with others. The problem is not Jesus, but the mean and selfish people who want to keep their abundance all for themselves. With these people, Jesus is very stern. We have to learn to share our wealth and the food we have. That way, there will be enough for all, and everyone will be happy.

God bless your week! Karen Clor – DRE
moc.o1524720561ohay@1524720561erneh1524720561petst1524720561s1524720561 – 810-985-9069

Priestly Vocations May 2016

Presbyteral Ordination
May 14, 2016 at 10 am
Join us for the ordination of five Archdiocese of Detroit seminarians at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. If you cannot join us, please say a prayer for them!

Discernment Retreat with Archbishop Vigneron
May 20-22, 2016
The Discernment Retreat is for anyone aged 17 – 55 seeking a better understanding of their vocation from the Lord. This weekend retreat features presentations focusing on the different aspects of discernment. The featured speaker is Archbishop Allen Vigneron. Other presenters include Detroit seminarians and seminary faculty members. The retreat will also include time for quiet reflection and Eucharistic adoration. The Discernment Retreat will be both informative and prayer-filled. Both are important tools for anyone seeking a better understanding of their vocation from the Lord.
For more information or to register, visit detroitpriest.com

A Minute with Synod 16

You probably have heard that the Archdiocese of Detroit is having a Synod in November 2016. But what is a Synod? A Synod refers both to an event and a process in which a group of people gather to discuss important matters of the faith. Recently, a Synod on the Family helped Pope Francis write his apostolic exhortation, the Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia). Similarly, priests, religious and laypeople from throughout the local Church have been selected and will gather at St. Aloysius Church and the Westin Hotel downtown, to prayerfully advise Archbishop Allen Vigneron on how we can best spread the Word of God with new energy and new creativity in southeast Michigan. Learn more about Synod ’16 by visiting www.aod.org/synod

Parish Dialogue Gatherings

Prior to Synod 16 in November, Archbishop Allen Vigneron is inviting people across the Archdiocese of Detroit to attend Parish Dialogue Gatherings. The purpose of these gatherings, which began in March and will continue through June, is to hear directly from the faithful and identify the most important issues that the Synod will address. The three-hour sessions will feature a facilitator, who will lead parishioners and parish leaders through prayer, personal reflection, and group discussion, and focus on the overarching themes of the evangelization initiative “Unleash the Gospel”: encounter, grow, and witness. Responses from the Parish Dialogue Gatherings will be recorded and serve as the foundation for Synod 16, which gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal will help fund. For dates and locations of Parish Dialogue Gatherings, or for more information about Synod 16 and other CSA-funded ministries, programs, and services, please go to www.aod.org

Parish Dialogue Gathering to be held at Holy Trinity parish on June 12, 2016 from 3-6pm.

Help CRS Aid Earthquake Victims in Ecuador

The Archdiocese of Detroit is collecting contributions on behalf of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS has a team in place in Ecuador delivering life-saving supplies to families affected by a devastating earthquake that occurred on April 18, affecting the coastal Manabi Province and other parts of the country. Visit www.aod.org to donate.

Doorway to God’s Mercy

Holy Door of Mercy 2016 logoThrough November of this year, Pope Francis has asked Catholics around the globe to take part in the Jubilee of Mercy by making a pilgrimage to a Holy Door of Mercy at their local Cathedral. Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, thousands of Catholics have had a moving, self-guided pilgrimage experience passing through the Holy Door at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The experience has helped many members of the faithful to understand God’s unfathomable mercy in new ways. The Holy Door at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament is open on Fridays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 until 3 p.m. To learn more about the Holy Door of Mercy, visit www.aod.org/holydoor

Why I Love Her…

St Peter's BasilicaHow blessed we were this past week to receive a wave of warmth in southeast Michigan! Though the temperature dipped back down again, the sunny weather and blue skies were a sign of good things to come which brought great joy to many of us who have longed for it. There is also “love in the air.” The warm air we experienced is also a sign that the wedding season is almost upon us, and it is a sign of the love that many couples will experience as they prepare to get married in the coming weeks and months. The marriage between husband and wife is a deeper spiritual reality that points to the marriage between the Bridegroom, Jesus and his Bride, the Catholic Church. There is even a reference to this nuptial mystery and language to this weekend’s Mass in the second reading in which the beloved disciple, St. John, states from the Book of Revelation that “I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” which is to take place at the end of time (Rev. 21:2).

While I love Jesus, who is our Lord and our God, the second person of the Most Holy Trinity, I also love his Bride, the Catholic Church? Why? For multiple reasons…I love the Tradition of the Catholic Church that comes from Jesus that has been given to his apostles and includes their teachings in the Apostles Creed. I love reading about the saints: from the witness that St. Damien gave to the lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, to the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, to the celebration of virgins like St. Clare, the founder of the Poor Clare nuns, to the great missionaries like the co-founder of the Jesuits, St. Francis Xavier, plus many more memorials and feast days upon which the saints are celebrated over the course of the year. I also love the bride’s mother, Mary, the Mother of God. I love the rich history of the Catholic Church: from the Catacombs to the Crusades, to the persecution of the Church during the French Revolution, all the way to Pope Pius XII’s heroic efforts to offer refuge to Jews during World War II from Nazi aggression. I love the writings of the Early Church Fathers like St. Jerome who is famously known for the quote, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” I love the pope and bishops along with the laity, which together form the Catholic Church. Similarly, I love Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist, which together form the Mass. One of the main reasons I love Jesus’ bride is because it’s true. Ultimately, the bride I love isn’t a mere building though buildings can be beautiful and are important. Take St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, for example (in the photo seen above). The true Bride of Christ, whom I love, isn’t a building, but the reality of people. It’s worth noting that we are also called not only to love the Bride, but all people outside of confines of the Catholic Church not yet in full communion, whether it be non-Catholics or non-Christians, and even those who try to harm us. Doesn’t Jesus say, “love your enemies” (Mt. 5:44, Lk. 6:27, 35)? But the Church is a group of people whom we are called to love which can be difficult at times too. Why do YOU love her? Is it her prayers, her music, her sacraments, her education, her love for the poor, her global outreach, or something else? Why do you love Jesus’ Bride, the Catholic Church? This weekend’s Gospel is about love. May we heed Jesus’ command from John 13 in which he says, “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:34-35). May we continue to love Jesus. By loving him, loving ourselves, and loving one another, we love her, Jesus’ Bride, the Catholic Church.

– Fr. Jeff