From Fr. Paul 4-30-2017
As Catholics, we are united with all other Catholics as members of the Universal Church throughout the world. That means we are part of something greater than our own parish of St. Mary. We are also members of the larger family of Catholic believers of the Archdiocese of Detroit. We might be reminded of this when we enter our Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Woodward in Detroit. It is a second home parish for all of us. We might realize this when we visit Sacred Heart Major Seminary and attend a presentation, a class, or attend our school’s annual auction. We might be reminded of this when we hear that 996 individuals received full initiation into the Catholic Church this Easter across the Archdiocese.
The CSA or Catholic Services Appeal too reminds us that we are part of a larger family, and of something bigger, the mission to help others encounter Jesus Christ across southeastern, lower Michigan. This past week you were mailed materials for the CSA. I invite us all to prayerfully consider what we will give this year. Maybe you have always given to the CSA, or maybe you have never given before. All of us have a need to support our Church, and support the proclamation of the Gospel. Thanks to the CSA your future priests have a solid foundation in their studies in theology and Church teaching. It was always very humbling to know that I was able to study at Sacred Heart because of contributions to the CSA. The CSA also funds campus ministry, Catholic schools with the School Outreach Fund, programs such as Amazing Parish (St. Mary took part in this great program last year), and programs encouraging young adult Catholics such as Theology on Tap. It assists in providing canon lawyers for the annulment process and many other services.
The total budget for the ministries the CSA supports is $19,000,000. Our parish’s portion is $92,000. If we do not raise the amount through the CSA, the parish has to make up the difference. I encourage you to prayerfully contribute to the Catholic Services appeal. I am asking each family to consider donating $270 for this initiative. I know some families will be able to give more and some will be able to give less. Together, I know we can reach our goal if it is based on prayer. You may turn in your pledge card in the collection at Mass or mail it back to the parish as soon as you are able.
I would like to congratulate all those who received the Sacrament of Confirmation last Sunday. The Church again becomes new as our 8th graders were sealed in the Holy Sprit for the purpose of the mission to announce Jesus Christ and His Gospel of Salvation to the world. As our Archbishop reminded me, in the Church we all are part of this mission, and no one sits on the bench. Please know of my prayers for an outpouring of the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, knowledge and right judgment, fortitude and reverence, and fear of the Lord.
This coming week I will be leading a pilgrimage to Italy. Forty-nine of us will be journeying to Rome, Assisi (birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare), Siena (Birthplace of St. Catherine), Orvieto (site of a miracle of the Eucharist), and Florence. Please know that I am taking your intentions with me as we celebrate Mass at these shrines and pray at the tombs of Saints. This also means that the daily Mass schedule will be altered over the next two weeks. Please check the bulletin for more details on the daily Mass Schedule. Please keep me and the pilgrims in your prayers as well.