Jottings from Fr. J.J.

ENDINGS AND BEGINNININGS:  As the calendar gets closer and closer to summer, things are rolling down to a close.  The 2009-2010 Religious Education classes for our young people is coming to an end so you now will see First Communions starting up this weekend, and hopefully families continuing to come to the Sunday liturgies.  Our BASIC BASH is this weekend. That is not only a big bonfire, but is also where the teen program rolls into its summer (i.e. lighter) Sunday night programs.  

I want to extend my thanks to the hundreds of catechists, volunteers, CORE team, and Staff who put their time, energy, enthusiasm, and gifts into making this such a successful year.  It could not be done without you.  People always say “But Father, I get paid back a million times over by the great experience I have in getting involved.”  It is true that God is not outdone in generosity, but I want you to be aware of my gratitude as well.  It could not be done without you.

If you read last week’s article, you are aware that there are many changes going in how we will be utilizing the talents of our Religious Education staff.  Marian Bart, our new PCL (that’s Parish Catechetical Leader, cuz the title DRE, or Director of Religious Ed just wasn’t broad enough) has asked Mrs. Christine Broses to be part of the team. Chris is a long time parishioner and has been volunteering for 1001 different jobs. She is a faith filled and very generous individual and will be overseeing the Fourth and Fifth Grade programs.  Welcome aboard Chris!

Another thing that we are beginning a-new this weekend is how we do our offertory.  As usual, we will bring up the bread, wine, and the collection.  Along with those items, we will be bringing up a food collection.  Why?  Not only is the Troy food pantry located in our parish, but in giving of food and money we are giving back to the Lord.  It expresses in the Sacramentary that “it is desirable that the participation of the faithful be expressed by members of the congregation bringing up the bread, wine and other gifts for the needs of the Church and the poor.”  Therefore, when Fr. Mark and I state “Blessed are you Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread. . . It will become for us the bread of life.” or  “Blessed are you Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine . . . It will become for us our spiritual drink.”  You respond “Blessed be God forever.”  In addition, the folks bringing up the money and food will raise the baskets in the air and the presider will say “Blessed are you God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have these alms to offer, fruit of our labor, harvest of our lives, it is the gift of ourselves.” and you will respond like the other times “Blessed be God forever.”   It may seem a little awkward at first, but the prayer will allow you to praise Him in a fuller way by recognizing the stewards we are called to be.

Speaking of being a steward, Christ calls us to examine our lives and reflect on how we can more fully participate as good stewards in the mission of the Church — a mission of preaching and teaching, serving and worshipping for the glory of God. The Catholic Services Appeal is an important way for us to answer Christ’s call and renew our personal commitment to His work in the Church.  By sharing God’s gifts to you through your gift to the CSA, you live out this year’s CSA theme: Sharing Christ in and through the Church. When we make our annual pledge to the CSA, we join with all our sisters and brothers throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit who gather in the Lord’s celebration of the Eucharist to do the work that no one individual can do. We begin this process this weekend here at St Anastasia.  Please take a moment to read and pray how gifts to the CSA are helping not only us, but the lives of so many.  Thank you ahead of time for your generosity.

God Bless,
Fr. J.J.