|This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, One God in Three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the central Christian Mystery of our Catholic Faith.|
Next weekend is Father’s Day, a chance for us to honor all of our living and deceased fathers, grandfathers and Godfathers – and honor them we shall! Sunday June 19th is also Corpus Christi, a celebration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion. At a time in history when fewer and fewer people believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, we need this feast to remind all of us about who, not what, we receive when we approach the altar at Mass. All are invited and encouraged to join us for the Jackson Regional Annual Corpus Christi Procession with special guest the Bishop of Lansing Most Reverend Earl Boyea. This will take place at the St. Joseph Oratory at 705 N. Waterloo at 3pm on the 19th. This is not a Mass and does not take the place of the obligation. This is a Eucharistic holy hour with an outdoor procession.
“Many people nowadays say, ‘I wish I could see his shape, his appearance, his clothes, his sandals.’ Only look! You see him! You touch him! You eat him!” St. John Chrysostom
“Not to go to Communion is like someone dying of thirst beside a spring.” St. John Vianney
“Go often to Holy Communion. Go very often! This is your one remedy.” St. Thérèse of Lisieux
“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament … There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth.” J R R Tolkien
There is a commercial on TV about children with asthma. The child says that without air she feels like a fish with no water. That is how all Catholics ought to feel if we are trying to somehow witness to the Catholic faith without believing that bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus made it essential: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (John 6:53). The Catechism of the Catholic Church is also pretty clear: “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it” (1324).
Before the pandemic, only 3 in 10 churchgoers at Catholic Mass in America believed in the Real Presence – that the Eucharist is Jesus’ flesh and blood. I can only imagine that number would be lower now. It is time for all of us to stop making up our own truth and doubting the lessons handed down for generations. The state of the world has not improved since it became ‘every man for himself,’ causing most people to want to abandon ship. The Catholic faith is our anchor on stormy seas, and the Eucharist is the firm bedrock of faith that keeps that anchor still and those clinging to it safe until God calls all of us to the safe harbors of Heaven.
If you have never once in your life participated in something like a Eucharistic Procession, I challenge you to come to St. Joseph Oratory at 3:00pm next Sunday the 19th and join with our Bishop in expressing publicly our Eucharistic faith. Jesus stood for you on the cross. Let us stand up for him on the streets of Jackson. We welcome our first Communicants to come dressed in their suits and dresses – they won’t fit much longer, and also the newly baptized and Confirmed members of our parish from the RCIA.
THE PRECIOUS BLOOD: How appropriate that Queens reinstated the offering of the precious blood at Mass just in time for Corpus Christi. Things seem to have gone well this past weekend where those who wished to receive from the cup had the opportunity to do so without creating major traffic jams in the Communion line. As long as have enough volunteer extraordinary ministers willing to make the chalices available we ought to be able to keep offering this option. Those who choose to receive from the cup are assuming all responsibility for any risk associated with doing so. If you are an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and you are willing to help, please contact scheduler Marcia White: firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not need to receive from the cup in order to distribute it to others.
NEW PRIEST IN TOWN: This weekend Bishop Boyea will ordain priests and transitional deacons. Please pray for soon-to-be Fathers Tyler Arens and Peter Ludwig and Deacons Corey Bilodeau and Seamus Kettner. Bishop is assigning Fr. Tyler Arens to St. Mary Star of the Sea right here in Jackson and he will start there in July to replace Fr. Rick Eberle who is entering senior status with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. For the next six months, Fr. Tyler is assigned to St. Mary with Fr. Nelson as his mentor. In 2023, his assignment will broaden to encompass the Jackson Grouping for Realigning Resources for Mission in which case he will then be helping to meet the pastoral and sacramental needs of all the Catholics in the area. There was some question of where to put Fr. Tyler as we prepare for the Pilot Phase of RRM over the coming months. Fr. Nelson and I agreed that he would be a better host and mentor than I am and Fr. Tyler will be better served starting off there before I work his fingers to the bone! These are exciting times indeed for the Diocese and for us here in Jackson as we work together like never before to become intentional missionary disciples.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD: Last week we put out a call for more volunteers to lead Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the Sunday 9am and 10:30am Masses during the school year. We provide the lesson plans and leading Children’s Liturgy still counts toward the fulfillment of the Sunday obligation. We are not currently planning to offer Children’s Liturgy during the summer. We are looking to reload with more volunteers for this fall and throughout the school year. It would be especially ideal if parents and grandparents of children who attend Children’s Liturgy would take turns signing up to lead this. Having a deeper bench of volunteers would allow us to make a larger rotation and not have the same people doing it week after week after week. Younger people needing service hours can be ‘student helper leaders’ along with a trained adult and this can then be used for service hours for school or Confirmation. Please consider this and contact director Betsy Koval if you will help us or just want to know more: email@example.com or call the parish office.
FOOT GOLF: Teams are forming now for those 21 and older for this year’s Foot Golf Fundraiser sponsored by the St. Jude Circle of the Queens Ladies Guild. Time is running out! This event will be held this Friday evening June 17th at the Sharp Park Golf Course. No experience with soccer or golf is necessary. Your package includes food, fun and fellowship. Sign up following the link on our parish website at www.queenschurch.com. DSA 2022: The Diocese has almost reached its goal of $5,500,000. Queens is at 120% of goal with pledges of $237,354. We are $40,580 over our goal of $196.774 and we have gifts and pledges from 571 parish families representing 38% of our households. We have the second highest pledge total and the third highest number of donors in the Diocese. 40 more gifts of any size from new donors in the parish family will get us to all the milestone of 40% participation. With 957 registered families not participating, that means only 4% of that group needs to give even a dollar per household for us to make the mark. The money over goal is split 50/50 with the Diocese, so we currently will have $20,000 and change coming to us as a rebate.
If you are a past supporter of the DSA, now is the time to make your gift. Some can give more. Others can afford less. Everyone could give something. DSA Envelopes are available at the church doors and at the parish office. Checks should be made payable to ‘Queens/DSA’ and all gifts should be placed in the offertory at Mass or sent over to the parish office. Please do not send them directly to the diocese. You can make your secure online gift with a credit card using this link:
On behalf of Bishop Boyea and those who will benefit from the 100 programs and ministries funded by The Diocesan Services Appeal, thank you to all of our donors. Every gift and every giver makes a big difference!
Fr. Tim MacDonald