Jottings from Fr. J.J.

I was not allowed to be an altar server as a kid with a big family and busyness and all that jazz. Even as a young man though, I always respected what servers did. I believe that in assisting at the Lord’s altar, the Holy Spirit has an extra opportunity to plant seeds in these young people to continue to share their gifts and talents with Him as they grow into adulthood. Some may even serve in an official capacity in the Church. We have an excellent group of servers here at St. Anastasia. Fr. Eric has taken over the ministry and has injected it with a new energy. Last week the scheduled servers did not show up for some reason. I am proud to say that three studious and gracious servers came and asked, “Do you need me to serve?” They stepped up to the plate and we all benefited. I want to thank them (I was told not to use their names because they would feel embarrassed). Secondly, I want all of us to learn from their example. I know what Christ’s answer would be if we asked the same question, “Do you need me to serve?” Let’s all step up to the plate.

The 2012 election season is upon us and as you are likely aware, campaigns for various local, statewide, and federal offices are beginning to move into full swing. This year Michigan voters will decide who will lead their communities as State Representative, State Supreme Court Justice, Congressperson, U.S. Senator and President of the U.S. That is a lot of pressure. With freedom comes responsibility. Catholics are called to evaluate all matters, including politics, through the lens of faith, to participate in the public square, to engage the political process, and to allow Gospel values to transform our society into a more just and better world for all. In other words, Catholics are called to be “Faithful Citizens.” Practicing Faithful Citizenship flows from a well-formed conscience. We will be providing you with materials addressing Faithful Citizenship as November approaches, but since this week is the primary election, I invite you to do your homework and pray before you cast your votes.

It is harvest time. If you have wandered through the parish offices, you may have glanced into our parish garden that exists in the inner courtyard between the buildings, also known as our Garden of Giving. It is beautiful. We use the produce to feed those in need. If you have a backyard garden, you will probably at times have an abundance of produce. After you share with your family and neighbors, could you bring a few items to St. Anastasia so we may feed the hungry locally? We make deliveries to local shelters (SS Peter and Paul and Lighthouse twice a week. So please bring your items on Mondays or Wednesdays only, so we may deliver them fresh to their recipients. Simply bring your fresh, unwashed items to the outside fence at the Pastoral Center doors (by the sign marked “vegetables”). You can make a difference by sharing your gifts.

Christmas has come early. You’ll see trees in our narthex with tags on them. This is our Giving Tree campaign. The donations will benefit two Catholic Schools who serve inner city and underprivileged kids (St. Scholastica Grade School and Loyola High School). So if you see those Back-to-School sales, think of our less fortunate neighbors.

Well at least the orphans are “all wet” because of your generosity. Because of the profits from our “Cuts for a Cause” event and a very generous anonymous donor, 100 orphans from St. Francis Family Center got to attend an entire Fun Day at a water park.

God bless,
 Fr. J.J.