Launch your Lent!
Save the dates now for our parish Lenten program. We will collaborate with our fellow Jesuit parish, Gesu Church, on a 3-day series of presentations by Fr. Matt Linn, SJ, on MARCH 3-5, 2019
, entitled “Becoming Fully Alive By Healing Our Hurts.
” Plan on coming to all three sessions if you can, all at Gesu Church
(17180 Oak Dr., Detroit):
Sunday, March 3, 12:30PM (includes lunch):
Becoming Fully Alive by Healing our Daily Hurts
Monday, March 4, 7:00PM:
Becoming Fully Alive by Healing Our Past
Tuesday, March 5, 7:00PM:
Healing Service: Being Healed and Becoming Healers
Fr. Matt Linn and his team
have presented healing retreats and workshops in over 60 countries, and have authored 24 books. I have attended their retreats myself and can personally attest to the grace that seems to flow through them wherever they go – that’s why I strongly recommend this series. Fr. Linn can present deep spiritual teaching in very simple terms that anyone can understand and absorb; and he has integrated the best of psychology and empirical studies in the areas of healing and spirituality into his approach. As an added bonus, after Tuesday’s service, Gesu Parish will host a New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration! More details in our next edition (March 1).
Lent itself begins the following day, March 6, with Ash Wednesday services here at 11:40AM and 7:00PM. Stations of the Cross begin March 8. On Sunday, March 10, we will celebrate Anointing of the Sick after both masses.
For the remainder of February, let’s continue to study Catholic resources for Black History month, including the U.S. Bishops’ recent pastoral letter on racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts
.” Six African-American Catholics are now revered by the Church as candidates for sainthood; their brief biographies (links below) can inspire us to consider how God wants to work through us in our own lives.
- Thea Bowman, 1937-1990, the most contemporary of these holy ones, was a trailblazing African-American Sister, the first black woman to address the U.S. Catholic Bishops (video) and an inspiration to thousands of people with her words and songs.
- Pierre Toussaint, 1766-1853, a former slave who parlayed his connections as a hairdresser for prominent New Yorkers into a career of charity (watch video).
- Mary Elizabeth Lange, c. 1794-1882, founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore, along with Theresa Maxis Duchemin, who would later begin the Monroe IHM Sisters here in Michigan.
- Augustus Tolton, 1854-1897, America’s first black Catholic priest, who had to train in Rome because no U.S. seminary would take him.
- Henriette Delille, 1813-1862, a mixed-race woman who founded Sisters of the Holy Family, a religious order based in New Orleans.
- Julia Greeley, c. 1840-1918, a former slave who became known as Denver’s Angel of Charity for her support of poor families.
Semi-annual Financial Report to the Parish
The Finance Council report here
provides the financial results of the parish through the first half of the current fiscal year: December, 31 2018. In sum, the parish is financially healthy, performing slightly better than budget. Except for fundraising receipts, all categories of income show growth. CSA donations (the largest item under Fundraising) exceed the target set by the Archdiocese of Detroit but are well below budget due to a lesser number of extraordinary donations compared to previous campaigns.
Expenses are well-managed although the church transferred $50,000 from CSA savings to its checking account in the first quarter in order to address cash flow needs. Our ultimate goal is to provide for our operational expenses through offertory donations, but we’re not there yet. With your increasing generosity as good stewards and with God’s grace and providence, we hope to achieve that goal.
This past Tuesday, we remembered the martyrdom of Sr. Dorothy Stang, an American sister whose commitment to protecting the environment and the poor farmers of Brazil put her at odds with the powerful at the cost of her life. When her assassins asked if she had any weapons, she pulled out her Bible and began to read a passage from the Beatitudes before they killed her.
How fitting, then, that this Sunday we hear Jesus deliver the Sermon on the Mount. If you had to give the cliff notes of Jesus’s ministry, the Beatitudes would fit the bill. Blessed are the poor, those who hunger and thirst for justice, and those who are persecuted, like Sr. Dorothy, for doing the work of God. To them Jesus proclaims, “Rejoice and leap for joy, for your reward will be great in heaven!” Jesus promises those who have had little of this world’s wealth or ease that God sees them, and loves them, even when the world doesn’t.
Although it isn’t Lent yet, it isn’t too early to examine our own lives. Are we peacemakers? People who hunger and thirst for justice? Do we see the poor and hungry among us as the beloved of God? Do we see ourselves that way?
In the coming weeks, we will be offering opportunities to think more on this. Through our partnership with Gesu parish and Fr. Matt Linn, SJ, we will begin with the inner work of healing ourselves and becoming healers. In both March and April, we will be offering a special Stations of the Cross focused on social justice and action. So, come, all you beloved! Rejoice, and be glad!
Faith in the D
Please join us for this month’s Happy Hour at Checker Bar (124 Cadillac Square) February 21 beginning at 5:30pm.
The Archdiocese of Detroit is sponsoring an immersion trip to Ethiopia in May. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the work of Catholic Relief Services in a setting of retreat, reflection, service, and encounter. The application deadline is Wednesday, February 27. Check out the flyer on the information table or contact Mara in the parish office for more information.
Please join us on Wednesdays at 6:30pm for our weekly scripture reflection. We will meet in the parish offices to discuss and reflect on the week’s readings.
I came across this humorous article from America Magazine
; fitting for this weekend when we will bless engaged couples planning a wedding and couples celebrating married life. Did you know SSPP has seen more than 6800 weddings since 1848? Yep! And we're expecting 45 more this year.
WE NEED YOU! We are looking for people who have these special skills to help our Media and Marketing Committee.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Do you happen to have skills in photography? We need some help in obtaining high quality photos for marketing campaigns and social media posts. Taking photos during Mass, special events and holy days is key.
WEBSITE MAINTENANCE: Do you know Wordpress? We have a fantastic website, and know a little about how to update content, but we need someone who really knows this stuff. Perhaps you're a web designer by day?
PROGRAM STUFFER: Yep, that's right, we need people to fold programs and stuff 'em. Here we need availability during parish office hours, but only a handful of times a year. This work happens at special times of the year, like Christmas, Easter and other special celebrations.
If you can help out with any of these needs, please contact me at the office.