HISTORY IN THE MAKING: In a 6-3 decision of The United States Supreme Court, the constitutional rite to an abortion granted 49 years ago in Roe v Wade has been overturned. The issue now returns to the individual states. America’s legislatures are pretty evenly split with 26 states having abortion bans and 24 maintaining some level of abortion on demand. While the vacating of the original court ruling returns Michigan to existing law where abortion would be prohibited, this is already being challenged in the courts and therefore the fight for the unborn will continue. To take stock of the situation, an estimated 63,000,000 children were killed because of Roe v Wade over the last half century. By my math, that is around 3,500 a day every day for 49 years who never saw the light of day because we refused to let them live. Those staggering numbers explain the urgency behind the prayers of the pro life movement ever since Roe became law.
We thank God for the justices who made this bold move to overturn what many said was irrevocable. Now, we have to pray that a future court or legislature does not reinstate what so many have worked so hard to overturn.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW? Based on the recent attack on Jackson Right to Life and Congressman Tim Walberg’s campaign office, we can see that violence and vandalism are hitting closer to home. Activists have called for more of such illegal activities in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. We have been coordinating with local law enforcement to ensure that there will be increase patrols and police presence to guard the people and property of our Catholic parishes. That started today and will continue until the threat level has been lowered.
I have notified parishioners who are in law enforcement, first responders and corrections officers to help be the eyes and ears of our vigilance, along with ushers, ministers of hospitality and the Knights of Columbus. If someone plans to break something, they will be breaking the law and will be treated as such. If someone tries to hurt someone, they are committing a crime and they will be prosecuted. Jesus says, “take courage, it is I. Do not be afraid.” We will be open for Masses this weekend and we will keep all of our facilities and programs on schedule. In the meantime, we pray in thanks for the lives that may be saved thanks to the brave decision handed down by the court today. We pray that no lives will be lost tonight or in the days ahead in the violence that may erupt. We pray in reparation for the children lost to abortion and for parents who are suffering post abortive grief who are in need of healing.
Here is the statement from Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:“This is a historic day in the life of our country, one that stirs our thoughts, emotions and prayers. For nearly fifty years, America has enforced an unjust law that has permitted some to decide whether others can live or die; this policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of preborn children, generations that were denied the right to even be born.“America was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life. We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision. We pray that our elected officials will now enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.“Our first thoughts are with the little ones whose lives have been taken since 1973. We mourn their loss, and we entrust their souls to God, who loved them from before all ages and who will love them for all eternity. Our hearts are also with every woman and man who has suffered grievously from abortion; we pray for their healing, and we pledge our continued compassion and support. As a Church, we need to serve those who face difficult pregnancies and surround them with love. “Today’s decision is also the fruit of the prayers, sacrifices, and advocacy of countless ordinary Americans from every walk of life. Over these long years, millions of our fellow citizens have worked together peacefully to educate and persuade their neighbors about the injustice of abortion, to offer care and counseling to women, and to work for alternatives to abortion, including adoption, foster care, and public policies that truly support families. We share their joy today and we are grateful to them. Their work for the cause of life reflects all that is good in our democracy, and the pro-life movement deserves to be numbered among the great movements for social change and civil rights in our nation’s history. “Now is the time to begin the work of building a post-Roe America. It is a time for healing wounds and repairing social divisions; it is a time for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.“As religious leaders, we pledge ourselves to continue our service to God’s great plan of love for the human person, and to work with our fellow citizens to fulfill America’s promise to guarantee the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people.”
And this from the Bishops of the Michigan Catholic Conference including the Bishop of Lansing, Earl Boyea:Nearly fifty years after the unjust decision in Roe v. Wade, our country draws closer to a society that recognizes the God-given right of life for all persons, at any stage or in any condition. While today’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturns Roe is a cause for joy, we must remember that life is and always will be a gift from our Creator; it cannot be given or taken by governmental structures, judges, or elected officials.We are saddened by the fear and anger that has reverberated across our land since a draft of this opinion was leaked to the public. In light of these concerns, we wish to make clear that no woman should face pregnancy alone. With safe-delivery laws, adoption, pregnancy resource centers, and assistance from Catholic and other agencies that provide necessities for mom and baby, every pregnant woman should know there is a community of compassion and support waiting to help her and her unborn or infant child. We empathize with women who struggle with daily challenges that may affect their decision to carry their baby to term: financial insecurity, food insecurity, medical care, lack of relationship and/or family support, coercion, and homelessness, just to name a few.The pro-life movement must redouble its efforts to ensure every woman has the support she needs throughout her pregnancy and beyond, whether she chooses to parent or create an adoption plan. We affirm that the Church must prioritize this work, through our Catholic Charities and parish-based support networks, to meet the physical needs of mothers and children as well as offer the emotional support and love new mothers need. We also implore men to be respectful of women and responsible when they father a child. We are all called to walk with moms in need, and we encourage all Michiganders to join us in this effort.Today’s momentous decision would not have occurred without fifty years of prayer, action and witness from innumerable women and men who promote the sanctity of human life. These people of goodwill laid the foundation for a future of love, compassion, and support toward women and their unborn or newborn children. Though Roe is no longer relevant to abortion policy, we must remain vigilant against future attempts to promote abortion as help for women, which in reality are attacks on human life itself. Some of those attacks have already started here in Michigan through the legislative process, at the ballot box and in the court room, signaling that the work to build up a social order that respects human life is not finished.Let us, as the Body of Christ here on Earth, pray for all pregnant women and continue to proclaim that human life is sacred from conception to natural death and at every point in between, and to commit ourselves to building a society grounded in that essential God-given right.Jesus, Protect and Save the Unborn.
And now we shift gears to things in the parish . . .
CALLING ALL KIDS: FAITH AND FUN ARE ON THE WAY!
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL: This year’s VBS will be absolutely “Monumental!” Monumental is produced by Our Sunday Visitor and it will be presented at Queens School Monday July 11 – Friday July 15th. Monumental will teach the children about the greatness of God and His goodness starting with the majesty and power of God found in nature where the children will make virtual visits to some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of God’s creation. Watch the intro clip here:
Potty trained 3-4 year olds with some preschool experience have a program all their own. Every other child in K-6th grade join us for the full track of music, outdoor games, Bible discovery and Imagination Station, Monday the 11th thru Friday the 15th from 9am – noon each day. There is a special program to conclude the last day followed by a hot dog lunch. There is an early registration discount through Monday July 4th: $15 per child, $30 for two, $45 three or more. July 5 or after/at the door: $20 per child ($60 max/family). We also need lots of volunteers of all ages to help make VBS a great success. Contact Betsy Koval 517-783-2748 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial Assistance is Available.
Enroll your kids now! We give them a tee-shirt, daily snack time and lots of take home items each day, including a CD of their favorite VBS songs! To help us plan for a better experience for everyone, please sign up now and don’t wait until the last minute. Take advantage of the discount, and let us know if you need assistance. Use this link:
Nowhere have I seen VBS’ as big or run as well as they are here at Queens. Vacation Bible School is open to non-parishioners and even non-Catholics. If the kids are getting bored with summer and not staying active, perhaps this is the perfect way to break up the monotony of the lazy days of midsummer. Sign up today!
UPCOMING MASS CHANGES: I am moving some Mass times during Bible School Week so I can be present for the start of each day’s sessions. On Monday July 11th and Friday July 15th the 9:00am Masses at Queens will be moved to 8:00am so I can do both. I am also canceling some daily Masses in July when I will be away from the parish for the first time in three years. There will be NO weekday Masses on July 22, the morning of July 23rd, or any weekday between Monday July 25th and Friday July 29th. Guest priests will come to celebrate the weekend Masses on July 23-24. If you attend daily Mass here at Queens please make a note of these upcoming changes.
STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: Join the Knights of Columbus Council 609 and their families in Vincentian Hall this Sunday for their Annual Strawberry Festival from 11:30am – 1:30pm. Please support Kohler’s Berry Farm, Jerome Swiss Treat, and Fry Krisp. We thank them for their donations and sponsorship. A free will offering will be accepted.
FREE BOOKS: Outside Vincentian Hall this weekend you can find free books, CDs and VHS tapes. These are extras and duplicates of items donated to the parish library. They are free for the taking.
ONE MINUTE IN THE CHURCH: These are little books written by Gus Lloyd of The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM. These can teach you a great deal about our Catholic faith in a short amount of time. Copies of these can now be found in the book racks in the pews at church. They are meant for reading in Church, not to take with you. Try reading it before or after Mass and not while I am preaching! Please take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the treasures of our faith.
WELCOME STEPHANIE KRISTOVIC: The Jackson Catholic Schools is spreading its wings. Lumen Christi has hired a new principal, Mr. Ben Learned from Grass Lake Schools is coming to work at Lumen next month. He is a married father, a Navy veteran, a Catholic convert and a member of St. Catherine, Concord. Mr. Learned is taking the place of Stephanie Kristovic who is the new Chief Academic Officer for all of our Jackson Catholic Schools. Stephanie opted to have an office offsite to allow Mr. Learned to assert himself in his new role, and therefore we have provided an office space for her right here at Queens. We welcome Stephanie and the many contributions she will make. To be clear, she is not a member of our staff and will be paid by JCS.
God bless our country and keep us close to you.
Fr. Tim MacDonald