March Madness Precedes April Gladness!

March Madness graphiccross and sunset

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments are well underway. Did you make good choices in your brackets? Much drama has already taken place with upset victories by the underdog, and the loss of last-second shots have ushered in the emotion of defeat as seen on the exhausted players’ faces. This is “March Madness” in which a victory propels the winning team forward to the next round, closer to the “Final Four” and the National Championship, while just one loss sends the loser packing to go home.

We may have experienced a bit of “March Madness” in our own spiritual lives; not on the basketball court, but in this season of Lent. To fast on Ash Wednesday perhaps was more difficult than we initially thought. Was it embraced, or was it the case of encountering “spiritual madness” that felt like an absolute grind? Let us now get ready to fast on Good Friday. What about abstaining from meat on Fridays? Maybe it was not only an adjustment over the past few weeks but a case of “spiritual madness” too that, on the positive side, led to growth through self-denial. What type of “madness,” if any, have we experienced this month? With whom?

We may have also encountered the “March Madness” of the time change, of Daylight Savings Time. Have you and I adjusted yet? Are we caught up on our sleep? The good news is that it is getting lighter out later, and spring has now come.

But this “March Madness” is temporary, and it precedes the “April Gladness” of Easter. All of this preparation, especially the spiritual kind, whether it be through prayer, fasting and abstinence, almsgiving, or acts of charity, will make the experience of the “April Gladness” at Easter much more worthwhile. While the “March Madness” of Lent is 40 days long as it bleeds into April, the “April Gladness” of Easter is 50 days long, which means a longer and greater time of celebration as we prepare once again to celebrate Jesus’ eternal victory over suffering, sin, Satan, and death.

May the “March Madness” we encounter inspire us to persevere. St. Paul says, “rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer…We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 12:12, 5:3-5). We know that as we move ever closer to Holy Week, there is not an Easter Sunday without a Good Friday. In the meantime, may this “March Madness” remind us to appreciate the “April Gladness” of the Easter season that awaits us with great joy. Amen.

– Fr. Jeff

Our Prayers Reach To The Other Side Of The World

By: Sr. Gloria

We have previously mentioned the plight of our Dominican Sisters in Iraq. Several of them have studied with us in Adrian, and worked in some of our missions in Detroit and elsewhere. Thus we know them personally and feel an ongoing concern.

The 14th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq occurred on this last Sunday, March 19. The Iraqi Dominican Sisters were forced to leave their convents, their work and their city. They have been living as refugees in ‘safer’ parts of the country. Sr. Luma Khudler, of those Iraqi sisters, was recently asked to read the following reflection at the Mission Congress in Rome. This reflection first appeared before Christmas.

(We received this, just the other day, from our Motherhouse in Adrian, with the request: “We invite you to ponder this message and what questions and responses we hold with our Iraqi Dominican family.” These questions can also help us think of other refugees that are so much in the news today, in our world. We can’t ignore their plight when we watch and read the news. As we think of these struggles, may our hearts and our prayers expand!)

Christmas Message From Heaven.

“As we approach Christmas day to celebrate the birth of our Lord, many of us join the shepherds with our questions and concerns:

Shall we return to our towns?
Shall we stay where we are? Shall we leave the country?
Shall we stay in this country? Is ISIS still there on the Plain of Nineveh?
Is ISIS out of Iraq? Shall we restore our houses and churches?
If we return, shall we be safe?
If we stay, what will happen to our homes on the Plain of Nineveh?

“With all of these questions, God in His mercy looks upon us and sends His angels to announce the Good News confirming that:

He is Emmanuel… God is with us.
If we return, He will be there for us.
If we stay, He stays with us.
If we leave the country, He will guide our steps.
If we stay, He will open our eyes to see signs of His love amongst all this destruction.
If ISIS is still here, He will send His angels to protect us.
If ISIS is out of here, He will give us courage to start again.
If we start restoring, He will send His messengers to give a hand.
If we worry about safety, He is trustworthy….and He will never let us down.
If we do not find answers to all our questions, He will give us peace in our hearts to sing with the angels: Glory be to God in the highest, and peace be to His people on earth.

Lenten Film Series March 29th, 2017

Season for Nonviolence/Bluewater Pax Christi—Lenten Film Series

7pm Wednesdays at the Main Library in Port Huron. No charge.

March 29th, 2017 The Inheritance
A brief history of the labor movement in the USA, emphasizing the solidarity between different immigrants, and races, that made their accomplishments possible.

The League of Catholic Women

The League of Catholic Women are hosting a luncheon on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at noon at the northend Chinalite Restaurant. The meal will be served “family style” with entrees of Lemon Chicken, Beef Broccoli, Steak Kow and Almond Chicken. Soup, Eggrolls, Rice, Beverages and Fortune Cookies are included at a cost of $12. Reservations are required by April 10th. Call Helen Casper at 810-941-8613. New members & guests are always welcome.

Recovery Houses

On Sunday, March 19, 2017 the Times Herald wrote a feature article on the opioid crisis in our county. The article mentions that one important step to recovery is a safe place to transition to after inpatient treatment. These homes are referred to as “recovery houses”. There are numerous recovery houses in our parish boundaries for both men and women and they are serviced by Holy Trinity St. Vincent de Paul. Many clients have withdrawn from family and friends while using drugs and reach rock bottom before seeking help. Therefore they often come to the recovery house with little more than the clothes on their backs. SVdP helps with basic hygiene necessities as well as food and clothing vouchers. SVdP also provides bus passes to assist in seeking employment and for transportation to work before they receive a paycheck. One other service offered is help obtaining valid ID because they cannot be employed without it. We in SVdP view these clients as our brothers and sisters in Christ worthy of our help and support as they transition back into society as productive citizens. We want you to know that the men and women we service sincerely appreciate the help they receive. We ask you to include these clients in your prayers and to continue your generous support of Holy Trinity SVdP.

Old Towne Churches Lenten Luncheon Lecture Series

Each Thursday during Lent a special luncheon and lecture is hosted by St John’s United Church of Christ, 710 Pine St, Port Huron, from 12:00-1:00PM. A free will offering is collected each week to be donated to Blue water Habitat for Humanity. The theme of the series is “Reconciling Journey” (2 Corinthians 5).

Presenters:

  • March 30th, 2017 – Pastor Don Doerzbacher, Our Savior Lutheran, Port Huron and Pastor John Hitzeroth, Pilgrim Lutheran, Marysville.
    (Trinity Lutheran will provide lunch)
  • April 6th, 2017 – Father Sal Palazzolo and Deacon Dennis Crimmins, Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron
    (Holy Trinity St Anne Altar Society will provide lunch)

Called & Chosen (Vocations Committee) Shamrocks

shamrock tree

The “Called & Chosen” (Vocations Committee) put together these two seminarian prayer trees. If you took a shamrock off the tree, please remember to pray for our seminarians and especially to pray for the one who is on your shamrock.

Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance 2017

Since 2005, more than $20 million in financial assistance has helped make a Catholic education more affordable for 17,000 families. The deadline to apply for Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance programs for Catholic Schools for the 2017-
2018 school year is Friday, April 7, 2017. www.aod.org/financial-aid

scholarship 2017 logo

Silent Predators

Hosted by St. Augustine / Holy Family Health Ministry
In partnership with Ascension / St. John Providence

Guest Speakers:

  • St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon
  • Mark Kilgore Greater Macomb Project Vox/CARE of Southeastern Michigan

Learn About:

  • The opiate epidemic and how it affects everyone
  • How casual use can lead to addiction
  • How to get on the road of recovery
  • Reshape attitudes to eliminate discrimination of people who live with addiction to alcohol or drugs

March 29, 2017
at the Holy Family Parish Life Center
at 7:00 pm

(Holy Family Parish is located at 79780 Main St, Memphis MI)

For more information all (810) 392-2056

Synod 16 Update

Synod 2016 logo“What an experience, so much energy and fellowship. Let’s keep it going!”

Thank you to everyone who prayed for Father Jeff, Deacon Dennis and myself leading up to Synod 16’. The Holy Spirit came upon us before and still resonates in us after this wonderful weekend that was filled with so much zeal. Before Pentecost, it is going to be the work of the Holy Spirit through Archbishop Vigneron to compose an account of where our archdiocese will be heading.

I would like to share a few things to keep in mind over the Lenten season:

  • Pray for Archbishop Vigneron as he discerns his account to be released June 3, 2017 during Pentecost Mass at the Cathedral.
  • Remember we are ALL called to be a band of joyful missionary disciples, therefore making a difference in others’ lives.
  • We as a church need to share our gifts and talents with others around us. We also need to expand our thinking outward, city, vicariate, archdiocese.
  • Look around, there are many things that will be happening around the diocese. We as people of Jesus Christ have a hunger to know the Holy Spirit. Start by visiting the archdiocese website (aod.org) and watch the Synod videos. !Aspire to Inspire!

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
We adore you as God. We offer you our whole hearts and render you thanks for all the benefits you have bestowed upon us. You are the author of all supernatural gifts. We ask you to visit us by your grace and love and to guide, strengthen and protect Archbishop Vigneron as he leads our archdiocese. O Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth, come into our hearts, shed the brightness of your light on our parish and its members so that all we do will be united with and pleasing to you. We give you permission to refashion us according to your will. Amen

Peace,
Rebecca Sweet