A Contemplative Oasis

By: Sr. Gloria

These contemporary times are offering us much too much by way of conflict. One is reluctant to follow the news, but one wants to know what is going on. So we conclude that we must deepen our faith and pray more sincerely, and find a positive way…..

When we calm down, we know that our inner awareness is always evolving. Let’s consider some various wisdom sharings by other spiritual seekers.

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” Abraham Joshua Heschel

“The interior experience of God’s presence (through prayer) activates one’s capacity to experience God in everything else – in people, in events, in nature.” Thomas Keating

“By reason of His immensity, God is present everywhere; but there are two places where He dwells in a particular manner. One is the highest heavens, where He is present by that glory which He communicates to the blessed; the other is on earth – within the humble soul that loves Him.” St. Alphonsus Liguori

“One of the most important —– and most neglected —– elements in the beginnings of the interior life is the ability to respond to reality, to see the value and the beauty in ordinary things, to come alive to the splendor that is all around us in the creatures of God. We do not see these things because we have withdrawn from them. Thomas Merton in “No Man is an Island.”

“God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If you become Christ’s you will stumble upon wonder upon wonder, and every one of them is true.” St. Brendan of Birr

“Throughout salvation history God calls people to play a part in the story of God’s love.” Sr. Kathryn Hermes, FSP

“……offering our lives to the work of the Holy Spirit in this world…..” Dominican Praise

What shall we do?

Stations of the Cross 2017

Jesus carrying crossStations of the Cross will be prayed each Wednesday and Friday during Lent beginning on March 3rd, 2017.

  • Wednesdays at 5:30pm at St. Stephen
  • Fridays at 12:15pm at St. Joseph

On Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 the Stations of the Cross will not be prayed at 5:30pm, they will be prayed at 6:45pm with the Religious Ed families.
All are welcome to come and pray with our Religious Ed students and families.

Resisting Happiness Book Study

Join Us!!!

Resisting Happiness Book Study
at Holy Trinity Parish

Wednesday’s during Lent, beginning March 1st for 6 weeks!
(March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, & April 5).

Time: 12:30pm in the school, Room 101
Led by: Helene Bridge/Dc. Dennis

Study Guides will be
available at Mass this weekend!
BOOKS TOO (if you don’t have a copy)!
Please read chapters 1-6 before the first session.

Everyone is welcome!!

Knights of Columbus News – March 5, 2017

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

January 2017 Knight of the Month: Grand Knight Steve Drouillard. Steve and his lovely wife Deb hosted our annual Knights of Columbus Council 521 Christmas dinner party. Steve is also recovering from Knee surgery. Thank You to Steve and Deb Drouillard!

January 2017 Family of the Month: Father Jeff Allan Family includes his Dad and Mother and the Holy Trinity Parish Family. Thank you for service as our council Chaplin and all that you do for Holy Trinity Parish!
The Knights will be sponsoring a float in the annual St. Patrick’s parade in Port Huron. We will be decorating the float Sunday March 5th in the rectory garage between 4-7 PM if wanting to help let us know. The parade event on March 11th will go as follows 9 AM Mass at St. Josephs after Mass refreshments at St. Joes. Then line up for the parade at 11 AM The parade starts at 12 noon after the parade we meet at St. Stephens Center / Gym where the Jackson family will be preparing a corn beef and cabbage lunch. This is a Great event to come out and show the community who we are as a Church and K of C council. Get your Green On! The more people / families that march with us the merrier.. This is open to ALL parishioners, families and of course K of C members. If you could attend the parade and march with us give us a head count also if attending the lunch let us know by calling or texting Pete Cervini 810-650-3041.

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 email ten.t1519054531sacmo1519054531c@iks1519054531wredn1519054531ajr1519054531

God Bless Vivat Jesus!

Children Caring

Starting with the first Sunday of Lent and going forward there will be some changes to the Children’s Liturgy of the Word.

After the opening hymn the children will be called up and dismissed. Then the Mass would begin with the sign of the cross, greeting, etc. and go on as usual.

The children will then return before the offertory occurs. While the collection is being taken, children are invited to come to the foot of the altar and donate a can of food for the poor.

They may give a dollar or even just some change if they forget their can good. Fr. Jeff or I will give a hug, or handshake, or high five, or fist bump as the child wishes, in order to thank them for their participation. They return then to their seats. Since the collection occurs after the children return from Children’s Liturgy of the Word none of them should feel like the two are connected. In other words if they don’t bring a can they are still most welcome to the Children’s Liturgy. The children’s offertory is just one more way for them to participate at mass, get to feel welcomed and comfortable with their priests, and learn to give. Jesus said ‘To such as these belong the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Peace, Fr. Sal

Rise Up

Rise Up Blue Water Catholic Men’s Conference logo
Blue Water Catholic Men’s Conference, April 1st, 2017
at Holy Trinity Parish
St. Stephen site
Doors will open at 7am for fellowship and a light breakfast.
The program begins at 8am and runs until 12 Noon.

Featured speakers:

  • Dc. Dennis Crimmins of Holy Trinity (PH) and
  • Dc. John Manera of St. Joseph (Lake Orion).

Opportunities for Confession, Eucharistic adoration, and good fellowship.

This conference is to instruct, encourage, and strengthen Catholic men to fulfill their calling as disciples of Christ and leaders in their parishes and communities. It is sponsored by the Blue Water Catholic Men’s Fellowship, and is open to all men at no charge.

To register: Visit Eventbrite.com or contact Wade at 810-357-1752 (moc.l1519054531iamg@1519054531fmcre1519054531taweu1519054531lb1519054531). Same day, walk in registrations are welcomed.

Come rise up and fulfill your noble calling as a Son of God!

Ash Wednesday 2017 Masses

Ash Wednesday

March 1, 2017

9:00 a.m. Mass with distribution of ashes at St. Joseph Church

12:15 p.m. Scripture Service with distribution of ashes at St. Joseph Church

6:30 p.m. Mass with distribution of ashes at St. Stephen Church

pancakesThere will be a Pancake Supper from 4-6 p.m. at St. Stephen on Ash Wednesday. All are welcome! Free-will offering at the door.

Solitude vs. Loneliness

In 2005 a documentary was released called, Into Great Silence. The documentary was about the Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse Monastery. (Yes. They are the same monks who make the liquor, “Chartreuse.” 🙂 These monks, who were founded by St. Bruno in the 11th century, live high in the French Alps and dedicate their simple lives to God in the form of “prayer and work,” a phrase translated in Latin as ora et labora, revolutionized by the founder of Western Monasticism, St. Benedict who lived in the fifth and six centuries. While the documentary could be perceived as boring, it’s fairly long at a clip of about two hours and 40 minutes. (You can watch the whole thing for FREE on youtube.com). Also, the documentary has received anywhere from 3.5 – 4.5 stars out of 5 from major movie critics. But what was unique about the documentary was that it was done almost in complete silence with virtually no conversation. While some disliked it, I found it quite refreshing, particularly because of the solitude it presented in a positive way. Monks were often shown working in solitude. But they also prayed in community and in solitude and seemed to enjoy God’s creation in solitude too. I am not advocating to do everything by yourself in solitude or live by yourself in solitude 🙂 We are social beings by design. But the solitude these monks enjoyed was far different than the loneliness people often experience being by themselves. While the monks are called to a communal life of prayer as well as solitude, they seemed to experience the solitude in a joyful and welcoming way, far different than becoming angry, uncomfortable, or sad that one could experience living by oneself and feeling lonely.

First, what is the difference between solitude and loneliness? Let’s try to define both words and then try to make some distinctions.
Loneliness: Being by oneself in an unhappy state and wanting to fill it with someone or something

  • Uncomfortable being by oneself
  • Uncomfortable in silence… For some who struggle to be by themselves, silence can be deafening, especially from all of the noise already in their lives.
  • Struggle to find something to do… One may feel he/she always has to do something or feels the need to be constantly busy, efficient, and productive. Instead, just be…Just be a beloved son or daughter of the Father in Jesus Christ, and receive the love of the Father!
  • Feels the need for someone or something to always be with him/her.

Solitude: The state of being alone in an uninhabited place

  • Comfortable being by oneself in silence in the peace and quiet of the moment.
  • Great appreciation for nature and the surroundings
  • Being comfortable with not doing anything at all
  • Recognize that while one is by oneself physically, one is truly not by oneself spiritually. Faith tells us that one is actually in the presence of God (in his omnipresence), one’s Guardian Angel, and in the presence of other angels and saints if called upon through prayer.

What other ways would you describe loneliness and solitude? Similarities? Differences?

Second, Jesus experienced both loneliness and solitude. He felt lonely and abandoned as he experienced the Agony in the Garden (Mt. 26:36-46, Mk 14:32-42, Lk. 22:39-46 KJV). In his loneliness as he hung upon the cross, Jesus cried out to the Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt. 27:46). There have been moments I have felt lonely. Some of you may have experienced loneliness being single or lonely after losing a spouse to death. You may have experienced loneliness in your own marriage. Think about an infant or a young child. What happens when mom or dad leaves the room? Left unattended, the child instinctively cries out. We all experience feelings of loneliness. When we experience these moments, it’s a signal for us to reach out to God with trust and bold faith through a simple, prayerful conversation with the Lord, for example.

But Jesus also experienced solitude too. Mk 1: 35 states: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Another good question to ask is what did he do with the solitude as well as the loneliness he experienced? He prayed. Mt. 14:23 states: “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”

Third, how can we experience healthy solitude in our own lives? We can experience healthy solitude like Jesus experienced, and it doesn’t have to be anything you need to create. It can already be created for you. What do I mean? Recently, I had the experience of solitude at an eight-day silent retreat with over 20 people in Ontario. The majority of the retreat was silent with the exception of daily spiritual direction and participation at Mass. You may respond, “Father, I can’t take eight days off, let alone try to be silent for that length of time!” I’m not asking you to do that. Instead, I recommend to take SOME time for solitude. You decide how long that will be. It doesn’t have to be an eight-day silent retreat. It could be just a weekend retreat away from distractions (e.g. technology). How else could one experience solitude? Through a walk or a hike, an evening in the convenience of your own house if the circumstances allow with either a cup of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee, or even for five minutes in the convenience of your bedroom with a Bible and a journal.

Fourth, why would one want solitude? To deepen one’s relationship with God and to spend time with God in prayer and reflection, but also to get recharged for the responsibilities that lie ahead.

May we understand that God doesn’t call us to loneliness. Rather he calls us to spend time with him in solitude. This is not wasteful time but a good investment of it. Jesus often went away to spend time with His Father in solitude. May we take time to do the same to deepen our relationship with Him and be ready for what God calls us to do next.

In the Solitude of Spending Time with the Lord,
Fr. Jeff

Religious Formation News – February 19, 2017

Peace be with you!

We had a great Confirmation Retreat with our candidates this past Sunday! A big thanks to Mary Lee Becker who comes in to facilitate this day for us!

Our requirements for Confirmation are that the kids (adults too) that are preparing for the Sacrament have a certain basic knowledge of the Catholic Catechism! We ask that they know the basic Catholic prayers.

We ask that they know the Seven Sacraments and their affects and have knowledge of the Liturgical (Church) year and the Holy days of obligation.

We ask that they know the Principles of Christian Living….the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, Spiritual & Corporal Works of Mercy and that they are living those Works of Mercy by helping out in their parishes, homes and communities.

We ask that they know the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Fruits from using those gifts!

Of course this is ALL head knowledge and none of it counts if they do not have Jesus in their hearts! If they do not know Jesus and recognize Him as their Lord and Savior!

Ms. Becker did a great job of imparting what it is to be a Disciple of Jesus and their importance to following Christ and becoming viable members of their parishes and larger community. She stressed the importance of prayer in their lives and asking Jesus to direct them in their Vocations in life. I like her analogy of …..JES isn’t complete without ???? US !!! JESUS. 🙂

She did a good job of explaining that Confirmation is “a beginning” and not a graduation from Faith Formation classes and that they certainly are “not” adults (that will come in some years with age and with much more knowledge) but that their “yes” at Confirmation will open up doors to new responsibilities in the faith!

The kids written prayers at the end of the Retreat were beautiful in their depth and compassion for others and the world! Let us hope that this attitude will stay with them as they move forward!

So with six short weeks left for their preparation for this AWESOME Sacrament, let this faith community support them with our prayers! Let’s pray that their eyes will be open to God’s Spirit working in and through them during this time to really turn their hearts to Jesus and the awesome possibilities that await them when their “YES” to the Bishop on March 25th, 2017 really means “YES”!!

God Bless your Week!
Karen Clor – DRE Holy Trinity Parish 810-985-9069

The League of Catholic Women – Myrtle Beach Trip

The League of Catholic Women are excited to announce a Myrtle Beach Show Trip and Charleston, South Carolina. 7 days and 6 nights September 10-16, 2017 for $685 per person/double occupancy. Trip includes 6 breakfasts and 4 dinners, 3 evenings of shows: Legends in Concert, Caroline Opry, and Alabama Theatre, plus a morning of Cirque Extreme and a visit to Broadway at the Beach. For information and reservations contact: Judy & John Anter at 810-987-3059.