Jottings from Fr. J.J.

Our CSA target this year is $248,532 and we are almost there (see pie chart).  If you have not had a chance to donate yet, please help out St. A’s from having to make up the difference. Please send in your pledge now. Thanks.

Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ, rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, shield your joyous ones, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.” — St. Augustine

This past week we heard about the horrific tragedy that tornados and storms caused down in Oklahoma and across the country. What do we do? What does our faith call us to do? Faith is put to the test when innocent people suffer. You may wonder where God was during the disaster. You may wonder why God didn’t intervene. If you look at a crucifix, you could ask the same questions — and yet, God triumphed over the “disaster” of Good Friday when Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, “God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good.” Only in faith can you embrace the mystery of suffering in the world. Only in faith can you accept that God created an imperfect world where good and evil exist for reasons that are beyond human comprehension. Only in faith can you believe that God will bring something good out of every tragedy. St. Catherine of Siena said, “Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.”

We are called to pray.  We are called to help, monetarily and in service.  We are called to respond with faith.

   Memorial Day has come to signify the start of summer for many Americans and is often celebrated with cookouts, family get-togethers, sales on appliances and concerts. But the real meaning of Memorial Day has, for too many Americans, gotten lost in holiday hoopla.
Memorial Day was created as an occasion to honor those who have paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom. It is our opportunity to stop and give thanks for the many that have died protecting that freedom.
God’s Word provides peace amid chaos and perspective when the world seems upside down. It also provides shared encouragement for those on the battlefield and loved ones back home. For those
who have given their lives for freedom, words from the Bible are often the last they hear in this world as dedicated chaplains hold their hands and honor their sacrifice–even as they are making it. The widows, widowers and fatherless children of our American military family also cling to Scripture’s truths as they stand strong within the loss of their loved ones. As we remember the sacrifice of their heroic loved ones, let us not forget their own personal sacrifices.
This Memorial Day, enjoy burgers and hot dogs with loved ones, but take a moment to remember those who can’t do the same. Remember those families who will have an empty seat at their table and the men and women who used to occupy it. One way we can honor their sacrifice is to continue to bring the comfort of God’s Word to those in harm’s way. I invite you to pay tribute to these men and women by picking up Scripture and reading the words that echo on the battlefields of today and yesterday. Consider reading Psalm 91 aloud. Allow this unchanging hope to strengthen, encourage and bring peace to you on Memorial Day and every day.

   In just a few short weeks we collaborate with our partner parish St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and celebrate Vacation Bible School here on our campus. We already have over 90 kids signed up and only have space for about 20 more. VBS’s theme this year is “Kingdom Rock,” all about knights in shining armor. Send your grade school aged child for a fun packed week (June 17 – 21), and we are cheaper than most parishes.  Most charge $45, we only charge $35. If you want to join in on the fun, we need help with the Kindergarteners. Come join in the fun.

   Last week I wrote about a metro Detroit group that is trying to reclaim the big screen on Sunday. They are showing “food for the soul” type movies once a month for FREE OF CHARGE. Next Sunday, June 2nd at 4pm at the AMC Star Gratiot (35705 Gratiot Ave., Clinton Twp.) they will show Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.  Enjoy a nice family outing.

God Bless,
Fr. J.J.