Beware of Local, “New-Age” Occult Influence!

A new store opened in town off of 309 Huron Avenue back on June 7th called The Wyld and The Wyrd. Whether you have faith or not, this is not good news for our local community from a spiritual standpoint, because of the nature of the goods and services now being sold there. Some of what is being sold at the store include Reiki healing, crystal healing, astrology, and tarot card readings. This was featured in a Times Herald (www.thetimesherald.com) article also back on June 7th. Furthermore, the article states: “In the future (Jen) Jaros (the owner) plans to hire a psychic medium and card reader.”

These evil influences that are harmful to our souls can be classified under an umbrella term known as the “New Age Movement” which is contrary to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Catechism confirms this. It states: “All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone” (#2116).

YOGA > BE CAREFUL! – REIKI > STAY AWAY FROM!

Yoga and Reiki can both be classified under New-Age spirituality too. But are they both bad? It depends. If you are strictly using yoga for stretching and exercise purposes, then it is acceptable. But some would argue against that, which will be addressed below. If you are practicing yoga for spirituality or prayer purposes, then I would recommend to stop immediately.

Yoga has come to be a very common form of exercise in recent years in the U.S. According to a report by Yoga Alliance back in January, the number of U.S. yoga practitioners has increased to over 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012, and practitioner spending on yoga classes, clothing, equipment and accessories, rose to $16 billion a year, up from $10 billion over the past four years (Source: https://www.yogaalliance.org/2016yogainamericastudy).

In a homily, Pope Francis reminded listeners that practices like yoga aren’t capable of opening our hearts up to God. “You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you freedom”, he explained (Source: http://www.catholic.org/news/health/story.php?id=59107).

Can Catholics participate in yoga? “The answer is a bit more nuanced than one might think. Catholics should not participate in any of the ‘spiritual’ aspects associated with yoga, but technically can do the actual physical exercises. However, many people who practice yoga caution that it is often difficult, if not impossible, to separate the exercises from the meditations…The Pope tells us that only the Holy Spirit can ‘move the heart’ and make it ‘docile to the Lord, docile to the freedom of love. If we are seeking a zen-like peace from yoga meditation, then we are seeking peace from the wrong source’” (Source: http://www.catholic.org/news/health/story.php?id=59107).

What is the Catholic Church’s stance on Reiki? Don’t do it! What does Reiki mean? In the June 7th Times Herald article, Jaros, the owner of The Wyld and The Wyrd states: “Reiki means universal life force energy” (Source: www.thetimesherald.com). What is Reiki? It is an alleged healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

In an article published on March 25th, 2009, the U.S. bishops made a concluding public statement on Reiki in “Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki As An Alternative Therapy” which stated the following: “Since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy.”

My recommendation would be to not only stay away from Reiki but also any of the previous goods and services mentioned in this article that are being offered for sale at the store, The Wyld and The Wyrd as well as anything that has to do with the New Age Movement. In the knowledgeable opinion of Norman L. Geisler, professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas (Tex.) Theological Seminary he said that the New Age Movement is “the most dangerous enemy of Christianity in the world today,… more dangerous than secular humanism” (Source: Article, “The Age-Old New Age Movement” – http://www.ewtn.com/library/newage/age-old.txt).

The New Age Movement and these specific goods and services now being sold at the Wyld and The Wyrd store are very deceptive and highly attractive especially to our young people. It is up to us to educate them, protect them, and steer them away from this evil in disguise. “And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Curiosity can be harmful and dangerous to the soul and ultimately to our salvation.

One resource I would like to direct you to is a long but insightful document on the New-Age Movement known as “Jesus Christ: The Bearer of The Water of Life – A Christian reflection
on the ‘New Age’” that can be found at the Vatican website, www.vatican.va. This long article can give a fuller, more thorough explanation of what the New Age Movement is. If you want me to send you a condensed, 4.5 page version of the document, just send an e-mail to me at moc.l1495996164iamg@1495996164nalla1495996164ffejr1495996164f1495996164.

In The Truth and Love of Jesus Christ,
Fr. Jeff

Grateful For One Another

By: Sr. Gloria

We would express our appreciation for the support of so many of you, as we were surprised to receive an achievement award from the City of Port Huron. (Perhaps that is one benefit of living in one city for many years.) At that event, it was heart-warming to see former students and parents from Port Huron Catholic, and former and present friends from the three sites of Holy Trinity Parish, as well as former and present choir members and their spouses. Together we are family, after all.

In my brief remarks there, I neglected to mention some special friends even as I had planned. Let me mention the presence of our local Sisters Veronica and Concepcion. As we are more and more promoting the care for creation, we acknowledge the fact that these two have long been pioneers in the promotion of ecological awareness. Their ministry is known as the Full Circle House of Prayer, and they offer many programs calling to care for creation.

I also neglected to mention the presence of three Adrian Dominican Sisters, all who have come to our December concerts. Sister Janet Fulgenzi works at the Diocese of Saginaw, and Sisters Sue Schreiber and Mary Lou Putrow are from Detroit. Sister Mary Lou has taught at the Seminary in Detroit, and remembers having both Fr. Sal and Fr. Jeff in one of her classes; it was especially nice that she could be with us.

It is clear that such recognition belongs to all of us, for we do not work alone. Especially in Church ministry, we are in this together, and we need each other to accomplish goals. Think of the groups working together to prepare parish meals, to activate food drives, and the many who do the work of the various parish groups. We think also of singers who make a commitment to rehearse together, so that we can share music ministry together. We cannot work alone.

The challenges continue, especially at this time in our country. We quote a line from Acts of Random Kindness: “We are part of a vast conspiracy to make the world a better place.”

From our Dominican Praise book, on the day of this writing:

The Word of God challenges us, and so we pray:

You have blessed the poor in spirit. Transform those who control our world’s resources.

You have blessed those who hunger and thirst for justice. Empower them with courage and patience equal to their task.

You have blessed the peacemakers. Raise up leaders whose desire for peace is stronger than their memory of ancient wrongs.

You have received our beloved dead into your peace. Keep us mindful of the gifts of their lives, that we may follow their example. Amen.

Fourth of July

American FlagAll parish offices will be closed on Monday, July 4th.
We would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

Works of Mercy Mission Experience

The Middle School Youth’s “Works of Mercy Mission Experience” is July 10th through the 15th, 2016. Please see a Youth Ministry Representative in the main vestibule after Mass this weekend to sign up for the event or pick up the T-shirts you have ordered.

Movie Night

A new DVD-film was just released by the Knights of Columbus (K of C) entitled, Liberating A Continent: John Paul II and The Fall of Communism.
This movie will be shown in the gym at St. Stephen on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 at 7pm. All are welcome!!

59th Anniversary of the Death of Venerable Solanus Casey and Novena

July 23-31, 2016

The 59th anniversary of Venerable Solanus Casey’s death is July 31, 2016. Traditionally, the Father Solanus Guild has conducted a Nine Day Novena in connection with the date of his death. Starting July 23, weekday Masses at Noon followed by Novena prayers will take place at St. Bonaventure Monastery Chapel, 1780 Mount Elliott, Detroit. Call (313) 579-2100, ext 140 for prayer leaflets. www.SolanusCasey.org

S.S.H.S./PHC Athletes, Inc. 36th Annual Stag Picnic Reunion

S.S.H.S./PHC Athletes, Inc.
36th Annual Stag Picnic Reunion

Saturday, August 6, 2016 12:00 – 5:00 P.M.
St. Edward’s on the Lake 6945 Lakeshore Rd.
Parish Hall across from church

Last year 2015 we gave $2000 to St. Mary/McCormick Academy and $2000 to St. Edward’s sports programs. All males, who attended St. Stephen High School or Port Huron Catholic High School, are welcome to attend or contribute (if unable to attend). We also have raffle tickets, 1st prize $500, 2nd prize $250. Call Bill Kearns at (810) 357-8264 for raffle tickets. Please send the form below with your contribution.
New Member Are Welcome!

Click here to download the RSVP form.

Pope St. JP2 Film by K of C to Be Shown Next Month in Parish Gym…

Pope John Paul IIA new DVD-film was just released by the Knights of Columbus (K of C) entitled, Liberating A Continent: John Paul II and The Fall of Communism. How blessed many of us were to have lived through the years of Pope John Paul II’s papacy, 1978-2005. What a treasure it will be for this new generation of young people to learn more about him. Also, how blessed we are now to live under the papacy and shepherd of mercy, Pope Francis. This film will be set up similar to the film about Purgatory that was played over this past year. It will play in the parish gym on Tuesday, July 12th and will start at 7pm. In seeing this film about a week after the 4th of July in which we celebrate our independence from England, I believe this will be a timely film that will help us value our freedom even more after watching what the Polish and other Europeans battled against over this past century. Prior to the film, two terms that will need to be defined. They are “communism” and “solidarity.” Also, be aware that parts of the film will contain English subtitles. After the conclusion of the film, we will take time to field some questions and comments. The following is a thorough quote from the Knights of Columbus about the description of the film:

“St. John Paul II’s role as a driving force in the fall of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe is the focus of a new documentary illustrating how the late pope insured a ‘revolution of conscience’ that was pivotal in the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989…

Narrated by actor Jim Caviezel and featuring original music by renowned composer Joe Kraemer (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Jack Reacher), Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism tells this story using rare archival footage and exclusive interviews with several heads of state, historians, foreign policy experts, church leaders and close personal acquaintances of the late pontiff, including Supreme Knight Carl Anderson; papal biographer George Weigel; John Paul’s longtime assistant Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz of Kraków; and Richard Allen, Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor.

The 90-minute film recounts Karol Wojtyła’s growth from an underground seminarian to his appointment as archbishop of Kraków and to his election to the papacy in 1978. As archbishop, Wojtyła developed tools for resistance to communist rule that were grounded in defense of human rights and the reclaiming of Poland’s Catholic identity. This documentary, through interviews with historians and journalists who had access to recently declassified KGB documents, illustrates the vast Soviet campaign to counteract John Paul II’s moral crusade. The film follows the wave of free thought that seized the Soviet bloc following the pope’s epic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June 1979.

‘By his actions and his words, John Paul II inspired a thirst for freedom that would evolve into the Solidarity movement,’ said Anderson. ‘Without his spiritual support, Solidarity’s success would not have been possible, and without Solidarity, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Revolution of ’89 would never have happened.’”

For more information about this important, new film, or to obtain a DVD, please visit jp2film.com. Having already seen the film once, it is well done, and I highly recommend it. Hope to see you at the showing of the film, Liberating A Continent: John Paul II and The Fall of Communism on Tuesday, July 12th at 7pm in the parish gym.

Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!
Fr. Jeff

Religious Education News – June 26, 2016

Peace be with you!!

Last Friday June 13th I attended a retreat at the Archdiocese of Detroit, Sacred Heart Seminary. The title of the retreat was “The Name of God is Mercy” and it was put on by our very own Deacon Dennis Crimmins with the musical group the Caskettes (Mary Fran, Lois, Mike, Nancy and Bill, who are our Sunday morning choir at St. Stephen’s) providing lovely songs of praise and mercy!

It was a beautiful retreat and we should be very proud of the talented people we have to represent Jesus and the Catholic faith from Holy Trinity parish!

Some things on Mercy we learned at the Retreat:

Divine Mercy – If God did not forgive….. the world would cease to exist!
Mercy is Jesus.
God’s mercy is greater than our sinfulness.
Mercy is an attitude.
Forgiveness is Mercy in action.
Mercy gives Hope.
Mercy is emotional and is a sacrifice.
Mercy is a process.
Mercy is often personal and complicated.
Mercy is not about fairness or entitlement.
Mercy is LOVE in action and it heals wounds and changes the course of people’s lives.
We always receive more Mercy from God than we could ever give.
And finally….Jesus never worried about contamination, he was always willing to show mercy despite the consequences.

As we celebrate this designated year of Mercy we must ask ourselves…..When have I been shown Mercy?….When have I been Merciful?……Who in my life is in need of Mercy from me?

The Corporal Works of Mercy (pertaining to bodily needs) – Feed the Hungry – Give drink to the thirsty – Clothe the naked – Shelter the homeless- Visit the Sick and Imprisoned – Bury the Dead.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy (pertaining to the needs of the soul) – Counsel the Doubtful – Instruct the Ignorant – Admonish Sinners – Comfort the Afflicted – Bear wrongs patiently – Forgive offenses – Pray for the Living and the Dead.

God bless your week with Mercy! Karen Clor – DRE 🙂
moc.o1495996164ohay@1495996164erneh1495996164petst1495996164s1495996164 810-985-9069

July 9 & 10, 2016 Masses

On the weekend of July 9 & 10, 2016 all masses will be held at St. Stephen Church because the parking lot at St. Joseph is being resurfaced.