ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS: This weekend’s feast of Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Season and the beginning of the Church. With the rushing of wind and tongues of fire, the Apostles’ fears of persecution and martyrdom were replaced with a deep faith and trust in God. Only then did they venture out to begin building the Church and bringing people to baptism. The same Holy Spirit that turned their fears into faith has been given to us – and for the same purpose, so that we too will ‘Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord.’ 10 of the original 12 Apostles would be martyred for the faith. 31 of the first 35 popes were martyrs. The Holy Spirit gave them the boldness that is required of being disciples of Jesus in order to make disciples for Jesus. Once the Apostles found something they would die for, they had finally found something worth living for. It was the Holy Spirit that brought about this transformation.
A NEW PENTECOST: That same Spirit has been given to us in Baptism and its power unleashed in us when we are sealed with its gifts in Confirmation. Too often the gifts we receive are set on a shelf, forgotten and neglected. Let that never be said of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that empower us to know our faith, to love it, to live it and to share it with others. May this day mark a New Pentecost for the people of our parish as we accept the call, the challenge and the responsibility to spread the Gospel in word and by example. May the Holy Spirit of God come upon us in a most powerful way as it did the Apostles so that we too may yield a bountiful harvest of souls for the glory of God.
“Bethlehem was God with us. Calvary was God for us. Pentecost is God in us” – Robert Baer, author and columnist for TIME Magazine.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD: One of the highlights of attending the 9:00am or 10:30am Masses during the school year is to watch the children excitedly parade out of Mass to go downstairs for Children’s Liturgy of the Word. This allows the children to hear the Scriptures in a way that is more engaging and applicable for their young lives and it allows the parents to pay closer attention to what is happening during Mass while the children are not there causing a ruckus. I attended children’s liturgy all throughout my younger years and I loved it.
HELP WANTED: The only reason why it doesn’t happen every week or during the summer is for lack of volunteers. We provide the lesson plans that are very easy to follow and running Children’s Liturgy still counts toward your Sunday obligation. The need is greatest at the 10:30am Mass but we need more volunteers for the 9:00am also. I am especially asking the parents or grandparents of children who attend Children’s Liturgy to consider taking turns leading this activity so we can keep it going. However, we also accept volunteers whose children are grown or who have no kids. 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.
THE PRECIOUS BLOOD returns to Masses this weekend. The practice of allowing the laity to receive from the chalice ceased in early 2020 due to Covid-19. In order to keep distributing the cups at Mass I need the help of more extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Receiving from the chalice is optional, a full Communion is made by receiving the sacred host. 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 and you do not have to consume what remains after Communion either.
Mark your calendars for the annual corpus Christi Eucharistic procession at St Joseph Oratory in Jackson on Sunday June 19th at 3pm with special guest Bishop Boyea. This is not a Mass. We will spend one hour with our Bishop taking Jesus out into the streets emphasizing our belief in the Real Presence – Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity in the most blessed sacrament of the altar. Yes, this event happens on Father’s Day. You can join us in the procession and then fire up the grill for dad!
GAYLORD TORNADO HELP: On Friday May 20th, a tornado ripped through the business district of Gaylord along I-75 killing two, injuring 40 and wrecking many homes and businesses. Michiganders look after one another. If you would like to help the Diocese of Gaylord who is assisting in the relief effort for those displaced by the storm, you can make a secure online donation with your credit card by using this link:
This storm even managed to attract the attention of our Holy Father Pope Francis who sent a telegram to the new Bishop of Gaylord, Most Reverend Jeffrey Walsh promising prayers and offering support. On an interesting side note, the city of Gaylord is the smallest municipality in the world to be the seat of a Roman Catholic Diocese, as its population in the 2020 census was listed at 3,644.
FOOT GOLF FUNDRAISER: The Queen’s Guild St. Jude Circle invites adults 21 years and older to participate in their Foot Golf Fundraiser on June 17th at Sharp Park Golf Course. 50% Golf plus 50% Soccer equals 100% Fun! Please see details in the bulletin or on our website.
THE SUMMER TRAVEL SEASON has begun. For those who are planning summer travels, please be aware the obligation to attend Mass travels with you. Vacation is not a legitimate excuse to miss Mass. There is a great website owned and operated by The Diocese of Lansing: www.masstimes.org that can help you plan out the church or churches closest to where you will be traveling and let you know when Mass is and even how to get there. Attending Mass in other towns reminds us of how universal the Catholic Church is and it is always interesting to note what is the same no matter where you attend Mass.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.Fr. Tim MacDonald