Unleash the Gospel Magazine Winter 2021-22

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EVANGELICAL CHARITY • WINTER 2022 A MAGAZINE OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DETROIT


Old St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church | Downtown Detroit-Greektown 646 Monroe, Detroit 48226 313-961-8711 oldstmarysdetroit.com rectory@oldstmarysdetroit.com Free secure parking in our church lot

Daily Mass (Mon thru Sat) 12:15 pm Saturday vigil Mass 5:30 pm Sunday Masses 8:30 am, 10:00 am Latin, 12:00 noon First Friday Tridentine Mass 7:00 pm Confessions 30 minutes prior to all Masses For the most updated information on Mass schedules and events please visit our website, oldstmarysdetroit.com and our Facebook page, facebook.com/OldStMarysGreektown


WINTER 2022 VOLUME 3: ISSUE 3 P U B L I S HER

The Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit EX E C U TI VE E DITO RS

Dr. Marlon De La Torre Emily Mentock Edmundo Reyes ED I TO R- I N - C HIE F

Christine Warner

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

M A N AGI N G E DITO R

Casey McCorry

C R E AT I V E DIRE C TO R

Paul Duda

A D V E RTI SING MANAG E R

Michelle St. Pierre I L LU S T R ATO RS

5 ABOUT THE COVER AND CONTRIBUTORS 7 A MESSAGE FROM THE ARCHBISHOP

Diego Diaz Zach Stuef

P HOTO GR A P HE RS

Tim Fuller Celeste Garza Matthew LaVere Christi Marcheschi James Silvestri Valaurian Waller Grant Whitty Rosamaria Zamarro CO N T R I B UT ING W RIT E RS

Joe Boggs Erica Tighe Campbell Dr. Marlon De La Torre Daniel Gallio Father Boniface Hicks, OSB Father Matthew Hood Dr. Daniel Keating Chris Leach Kate Lochner Rakhi McCormick Father Brian Meldrum Joe Pelletier Sister Maria Pacis Polakovic, RSM Jen Propson Paul Propson Father Stephen Pullis, STL Jack Telnack

Elizabeth Martin Solsburg P R ES I D E NT AND C E O

Rachel Squibbs GR A P HI C DE SIG NE R

EM A I L U S : utgmagazine@aod.org V I S I T U S O NL INE : unleashthegospel.org F O L LO W U S O N FAC E BO O K, INSTAGRAM T W I T TE R AND YO UT UBE : @utgdetroit

Unleash the Gospel (USPS 23690) is a membership publication of the Archdiocese of Detroit, published quarterly by the Archdiocese of Detroit, 12 State St., Detroit MI 48226-1823. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage in Detroit, MI and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Unleash the Gospel, 12 State St., Detroit, MI 48226-1823. ©2020 Unleash the Gospel, Archdiocese of Detroit.

F E ATU R E S 8

LIVING WITNESS Wayne County Jail is the ‘right place’ for Sister Peggy Devaney

12 REAL TALK How do you think we best share Christ with others? 16 EVANGELICAL CHARIT Y Remember the dignity of your neighbor 20 EVANGELICAL CHARIT Y Serving the hungry soul 24 EVANGELICAL CHARIT Y Seize opportunities to show mercy

C U LTU R E 29 POETRY God’s Grandeur 30 MOVIE REVIEW Now playing: Missionaries and mercy 34 SACRED PL ACES Miracle at Massabielle 38 OUR HISTORY A divine gift that keeps on giving

P R AYE R 46 CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD ‘Remarkable boldness’ sent West: The motherly heart of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini 50 PRAYER 101 ‘At night I ponder in my heart’ 54 WISDOM FROM THE CHURCH St. Basil the Great: Sharing our goods and possessions with the poor

D I S CI P LE S 56 FAMILY CHALLENGE Preparation and celebration 60 GRO WING IN VIRTUE Take courage: Fix your eyes on the Lord 64 PURSUING HOLINESS ‘Sending up our sighs’ together and apart

D E TR OI T 68 UNLEASHED QUESTIONNAIRE John ‘Jack’ Telnack 70 PHOTO ESSAY North Macomb Vicariate: Family 2


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TO GET TO KNO W OUR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS BETTER, WE ASKED THEM:

HO W DO YOU LIVE OUT EVANGELICAL CHARIT Y?

J OE BOG G S : I try to keep a homeless care kit in arm’s reach whenever I’m driving in my car. If I can pull over, I like to have a conversation and pray with them. Mother Teresa said that the greatest poverty was to feel unwanted and unloved. I think we all can do a better job of making those who live on the streets realize that they too are beloved children of God. FATHER BONI FACE HI CK S : I have made a concerted effort to practice the corporal works of mercy at least a little, but I live most of the time in the spiritual works of mercy. As a spiritual director and seminary professor, I counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners and comfort the sorrowful on a daily basis. As a Benedictine monk, my vocation is also to pray daily for the living and the dead.

EVANGELICAL CHARITY • WINTER 2022

DA N K EATI NG : Works of mercy seem to zigzag in and out of my life, sometimes being very present and other times not much at all. But they have provided times of great joy and gratitude in Christ. I have the privilege now of serving with the St. Vincent de Paul Society in my parish, and this is a great blessing.

A MAGAZINE OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DETROIT

BY ZACH STEUF

THE COVER Marker 8.4 of Unleash the Gospel Pastoral Letter is Evangelical Charity, reminding us that “we need to ensure that in ministering to the material needs of others we are also responding to their spiritual thirst for God. Every Catholic charitable work must also be an authentic expression of Catholic faith.” To illustrate the theme of Evangelical Charity, the cover depicts people engaging in acts of service. It represents evangelical charity which requires both serving and loving your neighbor.

C H RI S LEACH: The works of mercy are my way of allowing the love that God shows me to overflow into my friends and neighbors. I love to repeat the maxim: “God can never give enough, he always must give too much!” He is a God of abundance! His love and mercy overflow, and I can help it overflow by giving it away as quickly as he gives to me! KATE LOCHNER: At this point in my life, when a significant amount of my time is dedicated to caring for my three little kids, I can’t help but think about how the works of mercy come alive in my home on a daily basis. Admittedly, these very tasks of motherhood — the feeding, the clothing, the cleaning and folding, the staying up all night with a sick little one — can feel monotonous and draining. The challenge and the call is to remember there is profound beauty in these works of service. My own constant prayer is that I remember to find the beauty of the moment and to not lose sight of the fact that carrying out the works of mercy starts at home. FATHER B RI A N MELD RU M: To pray for the living and the dead is a spiritual work of mercy; to bury the dead is a corporal work of mercy. Ministering to the dying and offering a funeral Mass or other Mass intentions for the faithful departed is one way that as a priest I unite myself with Christ’s redeeming work of mercy. S I S TER MA RI A PACI S P OL A KOV I C: As a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, the spiritual and corporal works are essential in our lives! Both communally and individually, the sisters seek to be instruments of unity and mercy in the Church by responding to the various conditions of misery — physical, spiritual, psychological, moral and intellectual — with which man is faced today. Knowing ourselves to have been recipients of God’s great mercy, we seek to bring his mercy to others. This starts in our common lives together through our striving to live out the little virtues of humility, patience, trust, courtesy, kindness, gentleness, simplicity and forbearance. From there, as we strive to act mercifully in our common living, our works of mercy flow out in our various apostolates, as our communion gives impetus to our mission. What does this mean? Mercy starts at home!

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“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

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THE MOST REV. ALLEN H. VIGNERON Archbishop of Detroit DetroitArchbishop @DetArchbishop @DetroitArchbishop

DEAR JOYFUL

MISSIONARY DISCIPLE! LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, SO THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS AND GIVE GLORY TO YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. (MT 5:16)

The life of a joyful missionary disciple is one that radiates the light of Christ into the world. As disciples of Christ, everything that we do should reflect the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts. Our awareness of this unending love compels us to share it with all people. One very tangible way we can help share that light is through evangelical charity, those acts of service which tend to the spiritual or physical needs of others. Catholics around the world and in our local Church have fostered a remarkable network of charitable programs for health care, disaster relief, hunger alleviation, poverty reduction, refugee aid, family

MAREK DZIEKONSKI, PHOTOGRAPHER

services, counseling and help for people in every form of need. In this way, our Church might be considered a social service agency. However, we stand apart from such agencies because our charitable acts are also authentic expressions of the Catholic faith, manifesting God’s love to those to whom we serve. How do we infuse our faith into our charitable works? As with many things in the life of a disciple, we must begin with discernment. We consider what opportunities God has put in our path — whether they be formal community service activities or smaller acts of charity in our daily lives. Next, we turn to prayer, acknowledging that the love we share through service — our charity — comes from the very heart and soul of Jesus Christ. We can pray alone or with others — those we serve

and those who serve alongside us. These prayers help us ensure that in ministering to the material needs of others we are also responding to their spiritual thirst for God. Last, we take the opportunity to make a clear witness, to share our testimony with others, so that they know our actions come from Christ through us. Through discernment, prayer and witness, we become vessels of Christ’s light and love poured out into our communities in Southeast Michigan. I am grateful to God for those in our midst who are already committed to advancing the kingdom through their works of mercy. And in the spirit of Blessed Solanus Casey, who dedicated his life to works of evangelical charity, I thank God ahead of time for those who will hear and listen to the Lord’s call to service in the days, months and years to come.

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LI VING WITNE SS

WAYNE COUNTY JAIL IS THE ‘RIGHT PLACE’ FOR SISTER PEGGY DEVANEY 8

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THERE WAS ONLY A BRIEF PAUSE BEFORE A THEN 30-SOMETHING YOUNG SISTER THOUGHT, “OH, I THINK I’M IN THE RIGHT PLACE.” THESE AREN’T THE TYPICAL WARM AND WELCOMING WORDS YOU’D EXPECT TO HEAR WHEN SOMEONE’S REALIZED THEIR VOCATIONAL CALLING, BUT YOU COULD SAY SISTER PEGGY DEVANEY, IHM IS ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL. Born in 1941 to Irish immigrants, Sister Peggy grew up on the west side of Detroit in a community of immigrant families where she says she became aware of the idea that, “There is something outside of where you are” at a young age. She attended St. Francis De Sales School from first to 12th grade and it was there where her love for the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first planted. The sisters’ order was adjacent to the school, and it was in Sister Peggy’s classrooms where the sisters taught. When asked about her call to religious life, Sister Peggy puts it simply, “It’s seeking God.” She continues, “When we talk about a call to religious life that really is in your heart and in your soul, that’s not something you put in.” Her discernment took her to a number of orders, but she couldn’t deny the connection she had with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a connection that had been fostered for 12 years during her schooling. Ultimately joining the community in her late teenage years, Sister Peggy began her life of ministry and taught at Epiphany Grade School in Detroit and St. Michael’s in Flint.


Sr. Peggy Davaney, IHM pictured at the Wayne County Outreach office.

KATE LOCHNER is a writer and mom. Most of her professional career has been spent in marketing and content creation. She loves exploring her home state of Michigan and currently resides in the Metro Detroit area with her husband and three kids.

KATE LOCHNER, WRITER • MATTHEW LAVERE, PHOTOGRAPHER

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Sr. Peggy oversees volunteers and workers at Wayne County Outreach office preparing materials for her prison ministry.

In her 20s, Sister Peggy was sent to Florida to teach junior high and soon after moved into parish ministry. It was when she came back from her ministry in Florida that she questioned if she was being called to something more. “Something in me said, ‘It’s not enough.’ It’s not enough out of me. Something in me was urging me, but I didn’t know where I was getting urged to.” She spent a year in discernment at the community’s Visitation House of Prayer studying Ignatian discernment, attending various workshops and retreats and pursuing the writings of spiritual writers — one of whom was Thomas Merton.

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One thing became clear to Sister Peggy following her time of discernment, “I needed to be with the poor and abandoned but I didn’t know how to get there.” It was her leaning on God that guided her to the next act of her ministry work. Through an organization in Detroit, Sister Peggy started an internship that took her to volunteer work at the Wayne County Jail. It was at her orientation, when she heard that curt welcome, that Sister Peggy knew she was where she was supposed to be. A world she had previously known so little about would be opened up to her in a way that would fulfill her for

nearly four decades. Following her internship, she held an archdiocesan position, where she continued to serve the poor, the displaced and the mentally ill and became acutely aware of the needs of a community that is often left behind or forgotten. “It’s one thing to be inside the jail and wishing people well when they go out the back door with nothing but the clothes on their back. A lot of them have lost their apartment, their house, any material items they owned, it’s all gone. Many of them have lost any connection with family. Lots of times people give up on them.” With this sentiment, Sister Peggy started the Jail Outreach Ministry, an “all-inclusive ministry organization” that provides certified chaplains, interfaith services and services to all “individuals affected by crime — victims, offenders and families.” The ways in which Jail Outreach Ministry services all those who they come in contact with are extensive. Creating the evolving procedures as it relates to various policies and religious activities, determining clearance procedures, organizing groups involved at the jail, communion services, Jewish and Muslim services and stocking their emergency closet and emergency pantry is just a brief overview of what the Jail Outreach Ministry offers to all those impacted by crime. Within the scope of her work, works of mercy come to life throughout the day to day. She recalls a story in which a boy, whose mother was incarcerated, longed for a pair of black dress shoes so he could sing in the Christmas choir at his church. Each day, he asked his grandmother, who was taking care of him about them, and she would tell him, “Jesus will take care of it.” She was worried though, they hadn’t had a Christmas for two years because they couldn’t afford it. “I invited a motorcycle group that worked with us in the jail [outreach] to go help out his grandmother and assist her in tidying up her house,” remembers Sister Peggy, “Grandma’s house received a special cleaning, a full refrigerator, decorations


and gifts,” including a pair of dressy black shoes. “While we were at her home, the boy came home from school. I really couldn’t believe it! He was wearing his grandmother’s oversized shoes, really oversized! A call to outreach and support of many volunteers made this miracle of Christmas happen.” On Christmas Day, the little boy’s voice was among those echoing throughout the church. A unique angle to their ministry is the outreach and counsel that’s offered to the families of inmates. Sister Peggy has aided in the reconciliations of relationships within families of victims and offenders. She describes a story where a mom called, “beside herself ” after she found out her son was facing a drug charge. After this mom had spent her life making sure her son had every opportunity available to him, she was ready to give up on her son, let him go to prison and cut ties. Quickly, Sister Peggy left her office to go meet this mom to console her and help her come up with a plan to advocate for him. “You’re not finished working with him yet,” said Sister Peggy. Sister Peggy also serves on the board of Wayne County Outreach Ministry, which is similar to the Jail Outreach Ministry but also helps to provide the recently released with job assistance, education and medical and dental care. And it was through this ministry that Sister Peggy was directly tied to saving a life. After being released from jail, a woman went down to Florida to try and start a new life but got into “some trouble” and was facing the death penalty. Sister Peggy, along with a couple of others, was called by the prosecutor’s office to go to Florida and testify about the mitigating circumstances for the death penalty. Sister Peggy brought this woman’s file that was held at the ministry containing detailed police reports. With them, she was able to show the jury how emotionally undone the woman had become after multiple rapes and mistreatment. She was ultimately spared from the death penalty. In talking with Sister Peggy, she shared numerous stories such as these, where she or her ministry had a hand in showing

God’s tender love and mercy to those in need, those in trouble, those in pain. Sister Peggy has been a soldier for mercy on the ground fighting for human life to be valued and seen even in the darkest of circumstances where most wouldn’t consider going. She sees God-given dignity in the displaced, the marginalized, the abandoned and the suffering and has spent her last four decades advocating for them. As Sister Peggy sees it, “In this ministry, what happens if you allow yourself to be a part of it, you are being shaped so much more by the person you’re meeting than actually what you have to contribute to the

situation.” She stresses the significance of the community of volunteers who assist in the work they do, many of whom have lost someone to addiction. The Wayne County Jail corrections officer went on, “You know the biggest medical problem in this place? Rat bites.” There was another brief pause when a then 30-something young sister thought, more certain this time, “Oh, I think I’m in the right place.” A place most would want to avoid, Sister Peggy, armored up with God’s love, was buzzed into the jail. She has borne witness to God’s mercy by extending a hand to her neighbors in Christ ever since.

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RE A L TA LK For whatever reason, when winter rolls around, the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” seems to take a more prominent place in my heart. And as I reflect on instances that I have experienced the corporal works of mercy, one memory in particular makes me smile. Every year, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Royal Oak participates in a local rotating “warming shelter” for the homeless who seek reprieve from the bitter Michigan winters. It lasts about a week at St. Mary’s and volunteers help to make up cots, provide warm food, engage in conversation and give mercy through the sheltering of the homeless. I took the opportunity to volunteer a couple of years back and the experience was transformative. Being able to touch the pain and suffering of another human being brings us back to the most basic sense of human dignity and human connection. God’s grace was given and received in abundance in St. Mary’s grade school gym as I sought to know and remember the names, details, struggles and stories of those I was serving. It can, unfortunately, be all too easy to look through the man on the corner or pass the person under the bridge, but having the opportunity to make personal and real human connections with thirty-some homeless men and women gave me a unique opportunity to see as Christ sees and to love as Christ loves in a way that I was not used to. As we approach Christmas, I encourage readers to take part in a tradition my wife and I enjoy every year. Around Christmas time we buy a few gift cards, write a few Christmas cards and seek out a few local homeless people to share Christ’s joy with. Matthew 25:40 “‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” JOE STANISZEWSKI, ST. MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, ROYAL OAK

HO W D O YO U T H IN K W E B E S T Since the fifth grade, I have volunteered almost every Saturday morning feeding the hungry of the city of Detroit with PBJ Outreach. A significant time of grace for me from this ministry was when I was entering the seminary. I had officially been accepted into the seminary and was very nervous about the next steps in my discernment of the priesthood. God acted very deliberately to conquer the fears that were arising in me at that time, and he used the very people that I was helping to do just that. When I told a few of our guests that I was going to start studying to become a Catholic priest they were overjoyed. Many immediately grabbed my hands and told me how proud they were of me. They were proud because I was following the call of the Lord, I was trusting God, something that our guests do every single day. God used the community of PBJ Outreach, the guests and the volunteers together, to calm my fears and help me discover my vocation. Now I am in my sixth year of seminary studies and loving every minute of the journey! STEPHEN MOENING, SEMINARIAN AT SACRED HEART MAJOR SEMINARY

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It is truly a gift from God to serve those in need of comfort. Some of our people simply need food, a basic necessity. Most are in need of comfort and healing. During Covid, I learned how to serve in so many new and unexpected ways. People were out of work and trying to feed large families. We ran a food pantry with two people. We ran (literally, based on volume) food orders outside to cars so people could stay safe and warm. Seniors were isolating to stay safe, and were so lonely and sad. We visited porches in all seasons and dropped food and prayers off. We made phone calls and joyful cards (by parishioners of all ages), and we had a drive-thru gift drop-off celebration. We zoomed and provided fellowship to people who hadn’t seen anyone in months. There were many funerals and bereaved families, which prompted the need for grace, mercy and comfort. Your heart grows past capacity when people are hurting and you find a new way to show Jesus’ love to those trying to cope. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be called to grow and change to serve my brothers and sisters. KIM HOUSEMAN, CHRISTIAN SERVICE COORDINATOR, ST. ANASTASIA, TROY

SHA R E C H R IS T W IT H OT HE RS ? My husband and I are blessed with a bunch of children; in fact, we spoke about wanting a large family on our first date. Fourteen years later, we have six beautiful kids, which has changed my understanding of the corporal works of mercy. As a young person, I got to go to the inner city and build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Now, with our children, we provide a warm bed and loving arms to cuddle. I used to have a weekly dinner at a women’s shelter where we would make a meal for the crowd of women who would otherwise go hungry. Now, my feeding the hungry takes a different focus as I feed my children and many of their friends who happen to stop over when they hear pizza rolls are hot out of the oven. I give water to the thirsty as I fill the endless water bottles. I need to remind myself that it’s through these small acts of service to my family that I am doing God’s will and living out the corporal works of mercy. One day, I might be in a place where I can go back to the mission field and serve in the traditional way, but as for now, I will love my family and pray that they know God’s love through the fresh uniforms that wait for them in their clean clothes basket. KATY CONNERS, ST. REGIS, BLOOMFIELD HILLS

ROSAMARIA ZAMARRO, PHOTOGRAPHER

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I help my grandpa at the St. Mary Magdalen food pantry near our house. I help sort the food on the shelves and carry the heavy bags up and down the stairs. It’s important to me because I want to be helpful for people who need help getting food. That’s what Jesus would do. DAVID JOYCE, ST. MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, ROYAL OAK

Of existence, of creation, there are corporal needs. They are as sacred as our spiritual, emotional or intellectual needs. I can understand deeper what it is to be homeless and hungry after it happened to me. Now, when it happens to someone else, I am more conscious of what it really is. I also understand that despite efforts, it is a type of thing that can happen to anyone. There is somewhere in the heart of each one: divine love, compassion, understanding, mercy, and generosity, but it is not always activated and can be surprisingly and sadly rare. But I received the help of a friend who offered me a bed and donated items to me. I received her mercy, instead of a harsh and false judgment for why I was in that situation or instead of feeling concerned or not trusting me. She understood me with grace. It made me safe when I was vulnerable. There are no words to describe the feeling of gratitude for a roof while being homeless. Having to ask is not easy. I appreciated that she was able to go out of her comfort zone and make extra efforts in her own life to help me. Be a blessing to others in need; those blessings are corporal mercy. CHANTAL GROS-LOUIS, COORDINATOR, NATIVE AMERICAN CATHOLICS, ARCHDIOCESE OF DETROIT

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REMEMBER THE DIGNITY OF YOUR NEIGHBOR THE LAST CHAPTER OF THE LETTER TO THE HEBREWS INTRODUCES A UNIQUE COMMAND, “DO NOT STOP LOVING YOUR BROTHER.” (13:1) IF ONE WERE TO UNPACK THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS CHAPTER AND VERSE, THE AUTHOR OF THE LETTER TO THE HEBREWS DOUBLES DOWN AND

D R. MA RLON D E L A TORRE is the archdiocesan director of evangelization and missionary discipleship.

PROVIDES CONTEXT TO THE ACT OF LOVE WHICH INCLUDES ACTS OF HOSPITALIT Y TO THE STRANGER AND SOJOURNER, PRISONER AND THE ILL-TREATED. IN THESE EXAMPLES, THE PERSON WHO FALLS INTO THIS CATEGORY IS NO DIFFERENT THAN YOU AND ME. THE AUTHOR CHOOSES TO CONVEY THIS POINT BECAUSE THE REST OF CHAPTER 13 EMPHASIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF ALIGNING OUR ACTS OF EVANGELICAL

CHARIT Y AND MERCY TO THE REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING OF JESUS CHRIST WHO OFFERED HIMSELF FOR THE SINS OF HUMANIT Y BY WAY OF HIS CRUCIFIXION.

DR. MARLON DE LA TORRE, WRITER • ZACH STEUF, ILLUSTRATOR

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DŪƐɰíŔŝŪƘƤɰǰǬɗNJĘíƐƘɁɰ íƤĸŪŔĽĊɰ ĸíƐĽƤĽĘƘɰŪİɰ«ŪƬƤĸĘíƘƤɰpĽĊĸĽıíşɰĸíƘɰƍƐŪǃĽđĘđɰƐĘƘƍĽƤĘɰİŪƐɰĊíƐĘıĽǃĘƐƘɰ DŽĸŪɰİĽşđɰĊŪŝİŪƐƤɰőşŪDŽĽşıɰƤĸíƤɰƤĸĘĽƐɰŔŪǃĘđɰŪşĘɰĽƘɰƘíİĘɰĽşɰíɰ ĸƐĽƘƤɗĊĘşƤĘƐĘđɰĘşǃĽƐŪşŝĘşƤɅ

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On the campus of St. Lucy Catholic Church

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When someone initiates a journey of discernment to serve others, it may not render an instantaneous reaction of, “Yeah, let’s go help someone.” A journey of openness to Jesus Christ actually guides a person toward a desire to serve because it means that a change has occurred, “I think of others before myself.” When I was told that I needed to perform some work of Christian service as part of my Catholic high school graduation requirement, I did not jump for joy. Growing up on the border between Mexico and California, I had seen enough poverty over the years even amongst my own family members in Mexico that I had become numb to the experience. Hence, when I was tasked with performing Christian service, I chose something completely outside of my purview at the time — a nursing home. My first day proved to be very significant because that’s when I met Lupita. Lupita had been a nursing home resident for quite some time. She always greeted everyone with a joyful smile even though you could tell she was in constant physical pain. Over a period of several months, I began to develop a relationship with Lupita, which led to an invitation into her world as a Catholic who prayed the rosary and exhibited a great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The simplicity of her faith was very attractive and demonstrated the importance of treating your neighbor with dignity and respect. The fruit of our relationship compelled me to form a prayer group with many of the residents regardless of religious affiliation for the simple purpose of forming community and sharing the love of Christ with one another. In a sense, the community became a spiritual household and ultimately a family of Christian faith. Acts of

evangelical charity differ from the common understanding of Christian service because as the letter to Hebrews reminds us, we are called to love others first before ourselves. The Catechism of the Catholic Church articulates that our works of charity are rooted in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that direct their attention toward the dignity of the human person whether forgiving or bearing wrongs patiently or giving alms to the poor. (2447) St. Luke affirms this important point where he describes Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees’ emphasis on ritual customs of cleansing before dinner instead of primarily focusing on the spiritual cleansing of their soul. (Lk 11:37-41) Any act of evangelical charity would be disingenuous if its identity is not intimately centered on Jesus Christ and the law of love rooted in the Ten Commandments and the beatitudes. As members of the body of Christ by nature of our baptism, we are provided with an opportunity to act in the name of Jesus Christ in word and deed which serve as the seminal foundation of any act of evangelical charity. Again, the catechism reminds us: The Law of the Gospel requires us to make the decisive choice between

ANY ACT OF EVANGELICAL CHARIT Y WOULD BE DISINGENUOUS IF ITS IDENTIT Y IS NOT INTIMATELY CENTERED ON JESUS CHRIST AND THE LAW OF LOVE ROOTED IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE BEATITUDES.”

the “two ways” and to put into practice the words of the Lord. It is summed up in the Golden Rule, “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; this is the law and the prophets.” The entire law of the Gospel is contained in the “new commandment” of Jesus, to love one another as he has loved us. (1970) The relationship I had developed with Lupita was an encounter I never expected to happen. The gift of her friendship changed my perspective that we as members of the family of God are in constant need of his love. Thus, our acts of evangelical charity must be directed toward an unceasing love of our neighbor and his needs both corporal and spiritual. On the last week of my nursing home rotation, there was an ominous look on the faces of the staff as I walked in. When I turned toward Lupita’s room, I noticed that her nameplate had been removed from the door and it had not struck me, or strangely I was already in denial about the inevitable, she had passed on to meet our Lord the night before. In his first letter, St. John provides us with a fitting closure: By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So, we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. (1 Jn 4:13-17)

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SERVING THE HUNGRY SOUL One of the most remarkable aspects of the earlier Christians was their radical love for one another and those in need. In fact, there are numerous sources in antiquity — Christian, Jewish and pagan — who actually remark that Christians caused surprise and even scandal by their selfless love of the poor, outcasts and the sick. Highlighting this radical difference between Christians and pagans, Emperor Julian writes to a pagan priest of his day: “For it is disgraceful when … the impious Galilean [a derogatory term for Christians who followed Jesus from Galilee] support our poor in addition to their own.” Christian charity extended beyond those within the Church and even to pagans!

FATHER STEPHEN PULLIS, STL is the director of graduate pastoral formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He also co-hosts the Encounter Grow Witness podcast to equip and evangelize ministers on a mission to unleash the Gospel and create a joyful band of missionary disciples in the Archdiocese of Detroit and beyond.

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Caring for the material needs of others is central to our identity as Catholics. It is a reflection to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” as Christ told his disciples. (Mt 5:48) It is also an acknowledgment of the spiritual reality that we are far poorer and in need of God’s grace than even the most desperate beggar. St. James seems to tell us that it is hypocrisy to give a poor person a blessing without seeking to assist them in their material need: “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and in lack of daily food, and one of you say to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?” (Jas 2:15-16) As concerned as we are to care for the body, we have a deeper hunger to care for the soul. Jesus tells us that spiritual dangers are more acute than even physical dangers. (Mt 10:24-33) The work of the Church has deeper roots, a more ambitious goal and a clearer vision than a social service agency or an international humanitarian foundation. The goal of Christ’s Church — his Catholic Church — is to make the kingdom of God present in this world. God’s kingdom is present wherever, whenever and however, Christ is made king; and making Christ king means bringing ourselves and others into an undeniably transformative relationship with the God of infinite love for us. Our care for one’s material needs is not dependent on their coming under the kingship of Christ. It is not dependent on their becoming Catholic (nor is it dependent on one being grateful for what is done for them; what we give is freely given — no strings attached) for them to receive it or for us to continue to give and serve. But our service must stem from our relationship with Christ and his Church: “Every Catholic charitable work must also be an authentic expression of Catholic faith.” (Unleash the Gospel, Marker 8.4) In order to do this more faithfully, I propose three things for us to keep in mind:

FATHER STEPHEN PULLIS, STL, WRITER • ZACH STEUF, ILLUSTRATOR


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OUR CHARIT Y IS AN EXTENSION OF OUR LOVE F OR GOD If you have not prayed the Act of Love prayer before, I encourage you to look it up (a.k.a.Google it) and pray it. Along with the Act of Faith, Act of Hope and Act of Contrition, these prayers help focus our hearts and therefore our actions more soundly on the wisdom of the church. In the Act of Love, we speak to God, saying, “I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you.” In these few words is incredible theological richness. Committing to love others — and not an amorphous “other” but the personal other whom God has put into my life, my neighbor — as ourselves for love of God. It is first and foremost because God has loved us that we have the capacity and the impetus to love others. This is the same beautiful understanding of love which we read in John’s first epistle: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” (1 Jn 4:10) Therefore, each act of charity we are able to perform is an extension of God’s love for us and our returning that love for God. We love others because God loved us first. We love others with the love God has placed into our hearts through the sacramental grace we received at our baptism and which is renewed and enriched each time we receive holy Communion with faith and devotion.

Therefore, our love must be concrete. It must take the shape of caring for the material and spiritual needs of others in the circumstances they find themselves in. There is always the temptation to look for situations that are more to our liking, but this is a deeply unchristian response. Our works of charity respond to the needs of our neighbor, whatever he or she might demand of us. For our society, in addition to the material needs, it necessarily includes the spiritual goods of others: helping them see Jesus in us, being ready to point them to Jesus, who reveals man fully to himself. (Gaudium et Spes 22) This shows how works of charity and our work of evangelization meet in evangelical charity. We are called to have the love of the heart of Jesus — which he ardently desires to give to us — so that we can respond to the deepest desires of the hearts of others. These desires can only be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

BE JESUS TO OTHERS

SEE JESUS IN THE OTHER

This second point flows naturally from the first: We must love others how Jesus loved them. This love of Jesus is always concrete. Christian love cannot simply be a sentiment or a feeling. It has to be real and actionable. Jesus did not love us by simply considering taking on our flesh and dwelling among us. He did not love us by purely contemplating his denial, betrayal, Passion and death. He did not love others by merely looking at the crowd with pity. He indeed loved in deed! By his Incarnation, his preaching, his healing, his listening and his responding. He loved through the all-too-real suffering (both internal and external) of the Passion and death.

Evangelical charity can only be effective — and effective here is the spiritual effect which God wants to work in us and in another — if we truly see Christ in the other person in need. When Jesus speaks of the judgment of the nations in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, those who performed works of mercy are told that the one they are truly ministering to is Christ: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to the one of the least of these by brethren, you did it to me.” (Mt 25: 31-46) Seeing Jesus in those who are in material or spiritual need does not come naturally. We need to pray for the eyes to see this reality and practice the building up of virtue to treat others in accord with this truth. The concrete circumstances of our time demand a particular care for the spiritual needs of other brothers and sisters. So many have left the Catholic Church through scandal, moral relativism and for myriad other reasons. But the enticements of the world and the (at times grievous) failing of Catholics do not need to be the end of the story. Our existence at this time in this place is not an accident. The great spiritual needs of many, even many Catholics, should spur us on to be the hands and feet and especially the heart of Jesus Christ for them. Come Lord Jesus, give me a great hunger to bring souls to you!

IT IS FIRST AND FOREMOST BECAUSE GOD HAS LOVED US THAT WE HAVE THE CAPACIT Y AND THE IMPETUS TO LOVE OTHERS.”

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SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES TO SHOW MERCY IF ANY SCRIPTURE STORY KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT, IT’S THE STORY OF THE RICH MAN IN MARK 10:17-22. THE RICH MAN APPROACHES JESUS ASKING WHAT MORE HE SHOULD DO IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. THE MAN IS ENCOURAGED BECAUSE HE HAS ALWAYS DONE HIS BEST TO FOLLOW THE COMMANDMENTS. JESUS RESPONDS THAT IN ADDITION TO FOLLOWING THE COMMANDMENTS THE MAN SHOULD ALSO SELL ALL OF HIS POSSESSIONS AND GIVE THE MONEY TO THE POOR. THE AUTHOR OF THE GOSPEL DOESN’T TELL US IF THE MAN FOLLOWS JESUS’S ADVICE — WE ONLY LEARN THAT HE WENT AWAY SAD.

From my youth, I have always followed the commandments — done my best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the example set by my parents and mentors. I am proud of this similarity with the rich man — I have always tried to live my faith. But my other comparison to the rich man is that I am a rich man. I have never had a lot in my life, but I’ve rarely wanted anything either. Compared to the situation of many

CHRIS LEACH, WRITER • ZACH STEUF, ILLUSTRATOR

CHRI S LEACH is the director of evangelical charity for the Archdiocese of Detroit. In this role, he helps Mission Partners and Families of Parishes implement Unleash the Gospel in their communities. Chris also works part-time as a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Plymouth and is an adviser to the Alpha Youth Program in the United States.

of my neighbors and most people around the world, I have it pretty good. So when Jesus tells the rich man to give all of his possessions to the poor, the direction hits me hard. I feel the challenge. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was reassigned from the Office of Youth Ministry to lead the new Office of Evangelical Charity for the Archdiocese. The mission of the Office of Evangelical Charity is to

ensure that everything the Church does is not only for spiritual renewal but that we are also being faithful to God’s call for social renewal. Further, we aim to transform every act of service into an opportunity to evangelize. This focus on service has introduced me to the countless staff, volunteers, ministries and organizations working to fight poverty and social injustice within our city. It has also forced me,

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especially during a public health crisis, to confront the profound reality of human suffering around us, often much closer than we would like to admit. This confrontation with suffering has me thinking about the rich man even more. Unleash the Gospel calls us to be evangelical in every act of service because a true disciple does not pass up an opportunity to share the Gospel — regardless of how big or small the opportunity. This is at the heart of Jesus’ encounter with the rich man! The rich man knows the law and has encountered Jesus — and now he must give witness to both. Not only is his wealth an obstacle to his total reliance on God, but every possession he holds onto is a missed opportunity to show mercy, to share his encounter with Jesus with the poor. This means that each of us needs to look at all that we have — our material treasures, abilities and spiritual gifts — and identify the opportunities to show mercy that we let pass by every day. I’ve found it helpful to reflect on the creative ways that I have witnessed others be merciful. During the pandemic, a mom with three sons who were all quarantined together regularly came to the Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn to move food boxes for the Catholic Charities Pantry Project — something they were uniquely suited to do because their family was large. Another man with a pickup truck regularly came to shuttle food packages from Divine Child to St. Anne’s Basilica because their pantry staff couldn’t make it out to us — again, something uniquely suited to him as the owner of a truck.

One young man, thankful to have been employed in an important business through the pandemic, regularly went from store to store, personally buying the food staples we could not otherwise get for the food kits. He knew that having an income in a time of significant unemployment was providing him a unique opportunity to be merciful! For myself, the owner of a threebedroom house, I have been able to show mercy to a future seminarian who needed a place to stay in the months between the end of a lease and the beginning of seminary. I’ve also been able to show mercy to a student trying to pay his way through college and start out on his own. What opportunities do you have to show mercy? Like the rich man, Jesus is calling you, his joyful missionary disciple, to put everything you have in service to spreading the Gospel. Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Start with prayer and discernment. Ask Jesus to open your eyes to these opportunities and trust that he will. Then, when presented with the chance, be merciful. Your chance could come in the form of a person in need on your doorstep, a request from your parish to help with a service project, an unexpected surplus in your budget, a newspaper article about a local problem that you can’t stop thinking about or even the “still small voice” of the Lord telling you where he wants you to go. It will look different for each of us, but if our desire to show mercy is sincere, it will come tangibly and unmistakably. It would be very easy to end this reflection here — admonishing you to do acts of mercy. But Unleash

IT’S ONE THING TO BE MERCIFUL BY SHOWING CHARIT Y TO A NEIGHBOR — IT’S ANOTHER THING TO BE EVANGELICALLY CHARITABLE TO YOUR NEIGHBOR.”

the Gospel calls us to go deeper. It’s one thing to be merciful by showing charity to a neighbor — it’s another thing to be evangelically charitable to your neighbor. The simplest way to make sure our charity is not mistaken for humanist philanthropy is to speak the name of Jesus boldly. Evangelism means sharing, by action and testimony, our encounter with Jesus and the meaning it has given our lives! St. Paul says always to be ready to give witness to the hope that is in you. Don’t just be prepared — share it! For myself, God has been incredibly good to me. Not only have I wanted for little, but the presence of God has helped me through many things — most recently, the loss of my father to cancer, my decision to seek treatment for an eating disorder and a dramatic career change amidst a global pandemic. Through it all, God has guided me, sustained me and protected me. My only response can be to heed his commandment, to give everything I have — everything — to the poorest of my neighbors in the hopes that they too will know of God’s kindness and mercy. As we move into an uncertain future, let us not walk away sad like the rich man, but boldly step out, and with renewed energy and vigor, seize every opportunity to show mercy, and boldly share the testimonies of our encounter with Jesus Christ.

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GOD’S GRANDEUR G ER A R D M A NLEY H O P K I NS (1844–1889) was an English poet and Jesuit priest. His work was not published until 30 years after his death, leading to his posthumous fame as a Victorian poet. Many of his poems praised God through imagery and nature references.

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, WRITER • CAITLIN HOTTINGER, ILLUSTRATOR

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

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MOVIE REVIEW

NO W PL AYING:

MISSIONARIES AND MERCY

J OE PELLETIER is a video producer with the Archdiocese of Detroit and a perennial student of film and filmmaking.

IT IS NO GREAT REVELATION THAT THE WORK OF EVANGELIZATION AND THE WORK OF MERCY ARE INDISPENSABLE TO EACH OTHER. While one might remain more hidden

“A HIDDEN LIFE,” 2019, ELIZABETH BAY PRODUCTIONS

within the other, they remain mutually dependent. In any good Christian effort to show mercy to others, we are, by default, evangelistic. And what good is evangelization if it does not draw from the wellspring of God’s mercy? For this edition, we have selected five films that highlight great evangelizers. Some of the witnesses are bold in their engagement; others act as silent conduits of God’s grace. But this variety should help to give us a taste of the innumerable ways in which we ourselves might be called to engage in evangelization, demonstrate the mercy of God to others and serve as effective channels for his grace.

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A HIDDEN LIFE 2019 • Starring August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Matthias Schoenaerts • Directed by Terrence Malick As the title suggests, the life, witness and martyrdom of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter were nearly lost to history. In life, he was known only to those who also lived and farmed in the small, Edenic village of Sankt Radegund in Austria; in death, he was quickly and gladly forgotten by his village for his refusal to capitulate to the spirit of the Third Reich. His resistance to the Nazi effort, friend and foe alike were quick to remind him, would not change a thing except to leave his children fatherless and his wife without her spouse. The war would march on, unaffected by his decision. Until the moment of his death, this assumption haunts Franz. What sort of witness is he giving? Is it worth it for him, and his family, to pay such a heavy cost when, as he might reasonably assume, his witness to the truth will be ignored even by those within his sphere of influence? And yet, nearly 80 years after his execution and martyrdom, the witness of Blessed Franz is realized with this hauntingly beautiful film. While his own witness no longer remains “hidden,” as it were, it points our minds to the innumerable holy men and women over the centuries “who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs” and whose unsung witness is so greatly responsible for the “growing good of the world.” Runtime: 2hr 54min Recommended ages: Teens and up


“BABETTES GÆSTEBUD (BABETTE’S FEAST),” 1987, NORDISK FILM

BABETTES GÆSTEBUD

DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX

Babette’s Feast • 1987 • Starring Stephane Audran, Birgitte Federspiel, Bodil Kjer • Directed by Gabriel Axel

Of Gods and Men • 2010 • Starring Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin • Directed by Xavier Beauvois

Like the titular meal, this classic Danish film, cited by Pope Francis as his favorite movie, is a joyous feast for the heart and the soul, a celebration of artistic talent and a hymn to silent evangelization. It is the story of two Protestant sisters who carry on the work of their late father, the head of an austere sect in 19th century Denmark. Having rejected offers of love and fame in their youth out of religious observance, the pious sisters now face old age, the sting of regret and schism within their community. When Babette, a French refugee serving as their housekeeper, prepares a grand, multi-course Gallic meal for their flock in honor of the deceased pastor, the sisters find the ascetic community slowly and subtly overwhelmed, in spite of themselves, by this sacrificial labor of love. While not an explicit evangelist for the Catholic faith, Babette witnesses, through her talent and total self-giving, to the Catholic incarnational tradition that celebrates the joyous union of the spiritual and the physical and to the belief, in the words of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, that “the world is charged with the grandeur of God.”

Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men recounts the story of nine Trappist monks, seven of whom were captured and beheaded in 1996, during the Algerian Civil War. The film, whose quiet rhythm echoes the Carthusian documentary Into Great Silence, eschews focusing on their violent deaths (which are only mentioned in an intertitle at the end of the film) and instead chooses to spend large parts of its two-hour running time demonstrating the monastery’s daily living of the Gospel message. Throughout the film, we witness them not only meeting the physical needs of the Muslim community they dwell in — and even extending this medical aid to a Muslim assailant — but then boldly advocating for the Prince of Peace at gunpoint. The final decision to remain in the community despite facing certain death does not emerge from thin air but is the result of years of quiet sacrifice, emboldening them to embrace the cross of martyrdom and demonstrate the ultimate witness to their friends and enemies alike. **French, Arabic with English subtitles Runtime: 2hr 2min Recommended ages: Teens and up

**Danish, Swedish, French with English subtitles Runtime: 1hr 42min Recommended ages: Kids and up

“DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (OF GODS AND MEN),” 2010, WHY NOT PRODUCTIONS

JOE PELLETIER, WRITER

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“MONSIEUR VINCENT,” 1947, VISCOUNT GEORGE DE LA GRANDIERE

MONSIEUR VINCENT

PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST

1947 • Starring Pierre Fresnay, Aimé Clariond, Jean Debucourt • Directed by Maurice Cloche

2018 • Starring Jim Caviezel, Olivier Martinez, James Faulkner • Directed by Andrew Hyatt

Winner of the 1948 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, Cloche’s Monsieur Vincent is a stark and luminous portrayal of the hard road that is being truly merciful in a fallen world. The opening sequence, which shows our titular character Vincent de Paul making his way to minister to a plague victim as terrified villagers hurl stones at him, succinctly visualizes the terrible weight of mercy and illustrates de Paul’s firm resolution to bear this weight. The unassuming priest, portrayed wonderfully by Pierre Fresnay, is not afraid to admit that the poor can be “masters who are terribly insensitive and demanding” but notes that the harder they are to serve, “the more you will have to love them.” Neither does he fail to lambaste the wealthy class, who prefer their charity take the form of a social club that allows for all feelings of being merciful but without the dirty hands and smells. None escape the criticism of our austere protagonist but it is criticism aimed to challenge those receiving it to a higher standard of mercy. Largely neglected despite a place on the Vatican’s 1995 list of “great films,” Monsieur Vincent is a beautiful and inspiring film and holds a high place among the great spiritual works of cinema. **French with English subtitles Runtime: 1hr 51min Recommended ages: Kids and up

It might seem strange at first for a film about one of history’s greatest traveling evangelists to focus exclusively on a period in which he is locked in a prison and largely removed from the outside world, but such is the approach of Andrew Hyatt’s Paul, Apostle of Christ, and it works to great effect. The film, set during the infamous Neronian persecution, follows several storylines, beginning with Jim Caviezel’s Luke smuggling himself into the prison hoping to bring from Paul words of encouragement for the desperate underground Christian community. Olivier Martinez portrays Mauritius, the Roman prefect charged with Paul, who has trouble at home in the form of a debilitating illness plaguing his daughter, one which his many offerings to the Roman gods do not assuage. Both of these strands pivot on the stoic and beaten-down Paul (James Faulkner), who awaits his execution for treason and grapples with the trauma of his past life as a Christian persecutor. But it is Paul’s witness, silent in some situations, that extends beyond the wall of his prison and affects great change even up to the moment of his martyrdom. Runtime: 1hr 46min Recommended ages: Teens and up

“PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST,” 2018, AFFIRM FILMS

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Healings still happen, body and spirit, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

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DAN GALLIO, WRITER


DAN I E L GA LLI O writes from Ann Arbor, where he is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish.

THREE HUNDRED PEOPLE GATHERED AROUND A YOUNG GIRL KNEELING IN THE DIRT ALONG A FORLORN STRETCH OF THE RIVER GAVE. SHE KNELT BEFORE A CAVE, OR GROTTO, IN A ROCKY CLIFF NEAR THE RIVER. SHE RAISED HER EYES TO WARD A HOLLO W ABOVE THE CAVE AND SILENTLY MOVED HER LIPS. THE VILL AGERS O F LO U R D E S, A MO U NTA I N CO MMU NI T Y IN SOUTHERN FRA NC E , PA ST U R E D T H E I R PI G S H E R E . COU LD THE B LES SE D MOT H E R R E A L LY BE A P P E A R I NG I N THIS REEK I NG PL AC E ? A ND TO BE R NA D E T T E SO U BI R O U S, AN ILLI TERATE 14 -YE A R- O L D L I VI NG I N A N A BA ND O NE D JAIL CELL WITH H E R I MPO VE R I SH E D FA MI LY? T H E C R O WD CAM E TO THE GR OT TO O F MA SSA BI E L L E TO F I ND O U T, M AY B E TO GLI M P SE T H E MOT H E R O F G O D T H E MSE LVE S. INSTEAD OF A M I R AC L E F R O M H E AVE N, T H E Y SA W T H E ACTIONS OF A SI MPL E TO N, A F R A U D , PE R H A PS E VE N A LU NATI C — AT L E A ST AT F I R ST.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, Dennis Jarvis, 2014. (Wikimedia Commons)

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‘ WITHOUT NATURAL EXPL ANATION’

St. Bernadette as a young girl circa 1858. (Wikimedia Commons)

A GROTTO FOR DETROIT On March 15, 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Archbishop Vigneron entrusted the Archdiocese of Detroit to the care of Our Lady of Lourdes so that, through her intercession, the people of Southeast Michigan would be under her perpetual care. In gratitude, Archbishop Vigneron announced the creation of a grotto to Our Lady on the campus of the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. For more information and ways you can support this project, go to: catholicfoundationmichigan. org/news/ or call Jim Thomas, the archdiocese’ director of development mission support, at 313.596.7450.

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“Drink from the spring and wash yourself there,” requested “the lady in white,” as Bernadette described her. It was Feb. 25, 1858, the lady’s ninth appearance to Bernadette since Feb. 11. Bernadette hesitated. The lady pointed to a patch of mud in the back of the grotto. A confused Bernadette still obeyed. She scraped her fingers into the muddy hole and brought her cupped hands to her lips. Then Bernadette turned to the crowd, her face smeared with muck. “She’s mad!” a voice shouted. “A filthy little upstart,” said another. Bernadette’s quiet explanation: “She said do this for sinners.” That evening, a man had the muddy water brought to his home. He poured it over his ruined eye. Instantly the eye could see — Lourdes’ first miracle. Three days later, this mud hole of shame gushed clear mountain water. A desperate woman plunged her crippled hand into the spring. The hand emerged healed — Lourdes’ first miracle at the grotto. Water continues to pour from the spring, an astounding 12,000 gallons per hour. Pilgrims continue to come to Lourdes, for healing, spiritual refreshment or just for curiosity, an astonishing 6 million per year. As for the healings? The shrine’s medical bureau has documented more than 7,000. The Church has endorsed 70 healings as miracles of God. A nun’s instantaneous cure of nerve disease received the latest approval in 2018. The beauty of its setting in the Pyrenees Mountains. The human drama of this sacred space. Where heaven’s Queen has revealed her

most highly favored name: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It’s no miracle the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is the second most visited Marian shrine in the world.

DRINKING AND WASHING First-time pilgrims often are surprised at the sanctuary’s vastness. Crossing the St. Michael Bridge from Old Town, visitors encounter the dramatic Esplanade. In this grassy park with its elliptical walkway, thousands of worshippers each day participate in two legendary Lourdes traditions. An afternoon eucharistic procession circles the Esplanade. With monstrance raised high, the presiding priest blesses the afflicted in wheelchairs along the way. In the evening, pilgrims carry candles and pray the rosary in a crescendo of languages at a torchlight procession. As pilgrims proceed along the Esplanade, they pass by the Statue of the Crowned Virgin before reaching iconic structures filled with stunning mosaics and precious artifacts: the original Crypt chapel (1866), the Rosary Basilica (1889) and the Upper Basilica with its landmark spire (1871). Of course, visiting the Grotto of Apparitions is the highlight of a Lourdes pilgrimage. Swing a right at the Rosary Basilica and down a shaded path. There it is! In silent unity, pilgrims line up and enter the grotto, touch its black rock face, peer into the miracle spring. They find the marker where Bernadette experienced the first of her 18 visions. They gaze up at the image of the Immaculate Conception in the grotto niche in awe.


VIRTUAL VISIT Can’t make a pilgrimage? Take a virtual visit at lourdes-france.org. Walk the grounds through a 360-degree virtual tour. Learn about Mary’s visitations through videos and vintage photos. Submit a prayer petition or have a candle lit. View events in real time with TV Lourdes. Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, 2019. (Wikimedia Commons)

At multiple fountains, pilgrims “drink and wash” with water piped from the grotto well. Some wash more literally at 17 private bath receptacles. They ask for healing while plunging back into the frigid water with the help of trained assistants. Many visitors continue their pilgrimage by crossing a ramp over the River Gave to light a candle, leaving it as a prayer petition in the Chapel of Light.

PROUD TO BE CATHOLIC Laurie Hojak made a journey to Lourdes and Fatima in September, arranged by Northville’s Pilgrimages by Corporate Travel (pilgrimagesbycts.com). “I thought I needed to go on a pilgrimage where Mary appeared,” Laurie explains, “to pray for strength for my family in these hard times.” Each day at the grotto, the rosary is prayed in different languages, which gave Laurie a heartfelt sense of the church’s universality. “Praying with like-minded people from all over the world — it made me even prouder to be Catholic.” She felt privileged during Mass to sit at the spot where Bernadette first saw Mary. “Of course, I had my husband Bruce take a photo!” she laughs.

Like Laurie, James Forbes of Bay City had his faith reinforced by the pilgrimage. “At Lourdes, seeing how God is at work in the world, gave me a stronger feeling of being grounded, centered, in my Catholic beliefs.” The retired elementary school teacher says he did not ask for a miracle. “Only for the maintenance of my own soul. I wanted to let the Blessed Mother know I appreciate all she has done for me.” Laurie believes physical healings do happen, “but first we have to ask for the spiritual.” She and her daughter have a touching ritual using Lourdes water from the fountains. Laurie pours the water over her daughter’s hands, a suggestion of Bernadette at the well, and encourages her to “ask the Blessed Mother for help” when a difficult life issue arises. I also have a small Lourdes story to share. In 2000, two friends, Mike and John, invited me to join them on a whirlwind tour of holy sites in France and Belgium. Lourdes was the most anticipated stop. John had been suffering chronic pain in his right arm since a car accident as a teen. As he dropped into the chilly water at the grotto bathhouse, John asked the Virgin to heal his arm. John’s pain still remains. But the

moment he rose from the water, the migraine headaches that had plagued him since the accident disappeared. “I don’t know if it’s a miracle or not,” John says with humility. “I just know I haven’t had a migraine since that day.”

INCORRUPTIBLE A pilgrim could spend days exploring the 29 worship areas within the sanctuary. A “Footsteps of Bernadette” walking tour in Old Town is intriguing: to Le Cachot, the jail cell where Bernadette lived; Boly Mill, Bernadette’s birthplace; and to the Shepherds Hut in Bartres, where she tended sheep. “You hike up lots of hills!” Laurie laughs. “But you really see how Mary must have loved Bernadette’s humbleness.” “The cell was so little,” she continues, “and we have so much.” And what became of Bernadette? In 1866, she left Lourdes forever to become a Sisters of Charity nun. She died at the community’s motherhouse in Nevers in 1879, at age 35, from agonizing longterm diseases. Make a side pilgrimage to Nevers if you can. The body of St. Bernadette lies in state at the convent — totally preserved from corruption.

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OUR HISTORY

Portrait of Mother Teresa, taken as she meditates during her 1979 visit to Detroit. (Tony Spina, Photographer)

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MOT H E R S T. T E R E SA’ S I MPAC T I N SOUTHEAST M I C H I GA N


I N 1972, FATHE R ED WA R D FAR R E L L BOAR DED A PL A NE AT CHI CAG O ’S O ’ H A R E A I R PO RT TO HE AD BACK HOM E TO DET R O I T. T HE R O U T I N E FLI G H T T U R NED O U T TO B E AN Y T HI N G B U T O R DI NA RY.

JOE BOGGS, a parishioner at St. John the Baptist in Monroe, has written about local history for over a decade. He has been married to his wife Bridget for eight years and teaches history at a public high school in Perrysburg.

I N AN I N T E RVI EW S EV ER A L YE ARS L ATE R WI T H T H E DETROIT FREE PRESS , FAT H ER FA R R ELL R E CAL L E D THAT M EM O R A B LE T R I P. “I LO O K ED AT T H E PER S O N I N THE SE AT N E X T TO M E A ND T HE R E SHE W A S . I ’ D H EA R D O F HE R , O F CO U RS E, A ND G R EAT LY AD M I R E D T HE W O R K S H E D O ES AM O N G T HE P OO R I N CA LC U T TA ,” SHAR E D FATHE R FA R R EL. HI S SE AT M AT E WA S NO NE OTHE R T HAN MOT H ER T ER ESA O F CALCU T TA , A FU T U R E N O B EL P E ACE P RI Z E R EC I PI ENT A N D A SAI N T I N THE M A K I N G . JOE BOGGS, WRITER

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During a subsequent phone call, Father Farrel worked up the courage to ask Mother Teresa if she would ever consider opening a Missionaries of Charity convent in the Detroit neighborhoods. She simply responded, “Nothing is impossible.” Soon enough, Father Farrel received a promising message from Mother Teresa. She was not only coming to Detroit for a visit, but she was bringing three sisters from her order to minister permanently on the streets of Detroit. On the evening of June 22, 1979, Mother Teresa and her trio of fellow Missionaries of Charity arrived at Detroit Metro Airport. A large crowd of priests and clergy waited to greet them, including the overjoyed Father Farrell. They were then escorted to St. Agnes, which was led at that time by Father Farrell. There, Mother Teresa detailed the mission of Sisters Fidelia, John Janet and Nalina to a crowd of 150 people. The trio was to “search for the poor, the lonely, the unwanted and rejected and bring them home to the heart of Jesus.” Mother Teresa added that these nuns “are my gift to Detroit. Take them to help you search in your city for the poorest of the poor.” An apartment down the street from St. Agnes would serve as the sisters’ home base from which they would serve the surrounding neighborhoods. Parishioners had donated beds and appliances, but when Mother Teresa gave their “convent” a look over, she instructed them to remove the refrigerator. Modern conveniences would apparently distract them from their mission of serving the poor. Msgr. Patrick Halfpenny, then a chaplain at Bishop Borgess High School and at that time a member of the archdiocese’s Communications Office, was able to help arrange Mother’s appearance on a local midday radio program before her departure. Monsignor recalls, on the elevator ride up to the studio, Mother Teresa encountered a young woman and asked for her name. To her delight, her name was Teresa. Mother responded, “I am Teresa, too, only the little one.” Once they had arrived at the studio, Msgr. Halfpenny remembers how Mother Teresa’s feet did not reach the floor when she sat for her interview. She insisted on not discussing politics while the host smilingly asked that Mother not mention abortion. About three minutes into the interview, Mother spoke about the importance of defending the unborn. The interviewer bumped his coffee cup, which clattered noisily. He then smiled and said, “Let the record show that was not a bolt of lightning.” When the interview had concluded, and as they were leaving, the veteran host pulled the monsignor

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“THEY BRING THE QUIET BUT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY HUMAN JOYS TO VERY LONELY AND FORGOTTEN PEOPLE. THEY BATHE INVALIDS, SHOP FOR THEM, SING SONGS WITH THEM AND RELATE TO THEM AS HUMAN BEINGS.” -FR. FARRELL

aside saying to him off-air, “If she needs something, please let me know.” A Free Press report in 1980 revealed the diversity of work the sisters were doing along the “infamous Cass Corridor.” They could be witnessed going in and out of apartments, responding to the unique needs of individuals living in that area. One man who could not leave his second-story flat due to health reasons called the nuns “his girls.” Like clockwork, he could count on the sisters to visit with him and even assist him with picking up groceries. Father Farrell further detailed the other kinds of services the trio was performing in Detroit. “They bring the quiet but absolutely necessary human joys to very lonely and forgotten people. They bathe invalids, shop for them, sing songs with them and relate to them as human beings.” The priest also noted that the Missionaries of Charity gained the admiration of an unlikely ally. During one day of ministry, two of the sisters were approached by a gang member on Linwood who in turn encouraged them to meet their leader. In this unique meeting, the gang leader assured the so-called “ladies in the sheets” that they would be protected wherever they served in Detroit. Mother Teresa returned to Detroit for a brief visit in the summer of 1981. After some observations of the sister’s work in the neighborhood, she bluntly stated that her sisters were not forming close enough relationships with the people they served. Mother Teresa made the executive decision to place two of the sisters in a new residence in the neighborhood where they visited most and “among the people to bring Jesus right there.” During this second visit, a special Mass was held at St. Agnes with both Rosa Parks and Mother in attendance. One thousand people packed the pews to get a glimpse of the future saint. At the end of Mass, she emphasized two seemingly disconnected issues. First, she made note of the fact that abortion was “killing the image of God.” Mother Teresa also pointed out that serving the poor was “the sure way to go home to God.” Her remarks that day revealed that her pro-life ethic truly knew no bounds. Every single human person, from the womb to the tomb and regardless of economic status, was worthy of respect and dignity according to the future saint. Msgr.Halfpenny noted, “Every human being was valuable to her.” Msgr. Halfpenny also had the privilege to interview Mother on behalf of the archdiocese’s Communication Office before her departure. Mother Teresa’s personality made a lasting impression on Msgr. Halfpenny. Beyond the “easy humor” she demonstrated in that brief elevator encounter, the monsignor noted that “she radiated joy”


Msgr. Patrick Halfpenny holds a painting he received as a gift from Julianne Burrows of Cincinnati. (Mandi Wright, Photographer)

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Mother Teresa with Fr. Ed Farrell, Cardinal Dearden, and two other sisters during her visit to Detroit.

and “emanated genuine peace” wherever she went. “She had an unshakeable conviction about the right way to treat every person.” In the years and decades following Mother Teresa’s final visit to Detroit, the Free Press routinely covered the work of the Missionaries of Charity. They could be seen working in local soup kitchens, visiting housing projects and neighborhoods “even police would not enter,” and using their small living quarters as an emergency shelter. Today, the Missionaries of Charity continue their tireless ministry in the heart of Detroit’s Mexicantown where they have served since 1984. Five Sisters — Christa, Brunetta, Anima Christi, Trima Maria and Imeldina — devote much of their time helping out at St. Gabriel Parish on the city’s west side. Father Kevin Roelant, the pastor at St. Gabriel, certainly appreciates their service to the Church community. Father Roelant noted that they help teach the catechism, lead a weekly prayer group for young families to pray the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament and even host faith camps for local youth during the summer. Their ministry often extends well beyond the parish grounds with the sisters making frequent home visits throughout Mexicantown. Beyond praying with families and teaching the faith, sometimes they sit with lonely Detroiters for a friendly conversation and even do housework. “Anything they want us to do, we do it,”

Sister Imeldina plainly stated in a phone interview. She also made note of other types of charitable work they do in the community. The Missionaries of Charity organize a monthly kitchen pantry in their convent for the poor in the community. They make visits to area nursing homes where they visit with the elderly. Sister Imeldina especially cherishes feeding and helping the area homeless around Christmas time: “They are often forgotten about during that time of year.” Their presence in the parish, neighborhoods and elsewhere is certainly appreciated and noticed, despite the fact that the Missionaries of Charity do not go out of their way to seek attention. “I am very grateful for the service and witness that they give. They are holy, joyful sisters who give great testimony to a life of poverty, prayer and love,” Father Roelant shared. “They truly are living witnesses to the Gospel.” Msgr. Halfpenny added, “They welcome each person in a way that affirms their identity as a beloved child of God. Their presence is another gift from the Father to the Church in Southeast Michigan.” Their continuing presence in our archdiocese is indeed a present first gifted by Mother St. Teresa during her historic visits to the Motor City. And as the Missionaries of Charity continue to serve the poor and do the will of God in the years ahead, they will remain what Mother St. Teresa herself embodied: a divine gift that keeps on giving.

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EQUIP YOURSELF TO SHARE THE GOSPEL Did you know that classes at Sacred Heart Major Seminary aren’t just for priests, seminarians, and religious? Through our Certificate in Catholic Theology program, you receive in-depth instruction on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. With the opportunity to enroll completely online, you can complete the Certificate with flexibility within your own home. “As a student who had been away from the classroom for many years, the thought of participating in the online version of the Certificate in Catholic Theology program at Sacred Heart Major Seminary was a little daunting at first. But the online CCT has been a very positive, smooth, and faith-enriching experience. Every course has strengthened and deepened my faith beyond my expectations.” —Mark Laginess CCT 2021 Whether you want to take the next step in your ministry or grow as a missionary disciple, we will help you discern the best option.

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CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD

‘REMARKABLE BOLDNESS’ SENT WEST The mothe rly heart of St. Frances Xavie r Cabrini

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FATHER BONIFACE HICKS, OSB, WRITER • DIEGO DIAZ, ILLUSTRATOR


“NOT TO THE EAST, BUT TO THE WEST” WERE THE FAMOUS WORDS SPOKEN BY POPE LEO XIII TO THE HOLY, ZEALOUS WOMAN WHO SOUGHT THE POPE’S BLESSING TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL IN CHINA. WITH TRUST IN HIS AUTHORITY AS SUCCESSOR OF PETER, SHE SET OUT FOR AMERICA INSTEAD. THIS HOLY, ZEALOUS WOMAN, NOW KNOWN AS ST. FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI, FOUNDED THE MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS, WHO DEDICATE THEMSELVES TO CARING FOR IMMIGRANTS. AFTER CANONIZING MOTHER CABRINI IN 1946, POPE PIUS XII DECLARED HER PATRONESS OF IMMIGRANTS IN 1950. WHAT DID SHE DO TO DESERVE SUCH A TITLE, ESPECIALLY IN THAT TIME AFTER WORLD WAR II WHEN IMMIGRATION WAS SUCH A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE?

She was not a political activist, but, similar to Mother St. Teresa of Calcutta, she focused her attention on the human person. She loved immigrants and, following the example of her Lord, she served them by becoming one of them. She emigrated from her beloved Italy and took up citizenship in the United States. She personally traveled broadly throughout the United States and founded convents, hospitals, schools and orphanages in major cities across the country. She took 23 transatlantic voyages to remain connected to the Church in Rome and to establish hospitals, schools and orphanages in Europe and Latin America as well. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in a message to her sisters on the 150th anniversary of her birth: “Armed with remarkable boldness, she started schools, hospitals and orphanages from nothing for the masses of the poor who ventured into the new world in search of work. Not knowing the language and lacking the wherewithal to find a respectable place in American society, they were often victims of the unscrupulous. Her motherly heart, which gave her no peace, reached out to them everywhere: in hovels, prisons and mines.” These poor immigrants who lived in very difficult conditions found in Mother Cabrini and her sisters an experience of God’s tenderness.

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Mother Cabrini arranged services to provide for their needs, to help them learn the language and culture, to apply for citizenship, to find jobs and to keep jobs, but, just as importantly, she gave them dignity in her gaze of love and closeness to them. As Pope Francis reminded her sisters on the first centenary of her death: “[Migrants] also always need, first and foremost, love, friendship, and human closeness; they need to be heard, to have people look into their eyes, to be accompanied; they need God, whom they encounter in the gratuitous love of a woman who, with her consecrated heart, is your sister and mother.” We find in Mother Cabrini an example of evangelical charity. This was a woman who lived Gospel love for the most destitute, abandoned and forgotten. Where did she get the fire for that love? She had two secrets. She found fiery love above all in the Sacred Heart of Jesus to whom she dedicated her order and whom she encountered in the Blessed Sacrament. Furthermore, she received his Love so well because she came to him in humility. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini had a great love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and she identified the Sacred Heart in a particular way with the Blessed Sacrament. She drew tenderness and strength from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially when she was in his real presence in the Eucharist. She wrote to her sisters in a letter dated May 1, 1889: We have had the Blessed Sacrament here for the past eight days. The joy we expressed on the first day we had Jesus with us was simply great. Oh, how Jesus makes himself felt in our midst! How he repays us for the hardships we endured during the early days! Now we have difficulties to surmount but the Sacred Heart

tells us that he can do all things to show us that we can do nothing worthwhile by ourselves but that it is he alone who does everything for us and will even work miracles if necessary. Any effort to love like Christ will face obstacles from every direction, even from the Church herself at times. The Sacred Heart of Jesus whom we meet in the Blessed Sacrament gives us the strength and spiritual consolation we need to discern, choose a path and persevere. Mother Cabrini also cherished humility. She wrote to her sisters in a letter dated May 23, 1890: Other candidates presented themselves to me but they were capable only, not humble. One candidate went so far as to say that she was doing us a favor by entering our institute because we had need of someone who spoke English. I dismissed her, saying that the Sacred Heart does not need anyone but that the one who wishes to enter the Institute has need of the Sacred Heart; it is he who grants us the grace of admitting us among his missionaries. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini not only acted on her convictions and dismissed the candidate, but she also modeled humility in checking her convictions against the judgment of her sisters by asking: “Do you think I did well in saying this? I would like to have your opinion.” Then she concluded the letter with a simple summary of the power of humility: “a humble subject can work for fifty or more.” One reason she gave for that is that “without humility peace is lacking and grace departs.” We disperse our energies and waste

them when we are too caught up in ourselves. When we are humble we tend to forget ourselves, focus on the Sacred Heart and carry out his will. Perhaps this explains the slowness of political processes where personalities and agendas can so easily frustrate the true work desired by the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The result of her devotion to the Sacred Heart, to the Blessed Sacrament and humility was that she did tremendous work for migrants. Before she died of complications from malaria at age 67 on Dec. 22, 1917, she established 67 missionary institutions to serve the sick and poor in seven states from New York to California as well as in multiple countries in Latin America and Europe. Her evangelical charity was manifested in self-sacrificial service even until her last breath — she died while preparing Christmas candy for local children. Let us follow her example of devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Sacrament, remaining humble and seeking ways to serve the poor and may the Lord make our efforts fruitful for the spread of his kingdom.

FATHER BONIFACE HICKS, OSB has been a monk at St. Vincent Archabbey since 1998 and currently serves as the director of spiritual formation and the director of the Institute for Ministry Formation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Together with Father Thomas Acklin, OSB, he is the coauthor of Spiritual Direction: A Guide for Sharing the Father’s Love and Personal Prayer: A Guide for Receiving the Father’s Love, both published by Emmaus Road Publications.

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PRAYING THE DAILY EXAMEN

FATHER BRIAN MELDRUM, WRITER • GRANT WHITTY, PHOTOGRAPHER


ALTHOUGH WE MIGHT NOT EXPECT A HOPEFUL MESSAGE FROM A BIBLICAL BOOK ENTITLED LAMENTATIONS,

FATH ER B R I A N M ELDRU M was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2021. Before attending Sacred Heart Major Seminary, he was a music minister and theater director and member of St. Thecla Parish in Clinton Township. He is currently studying sacred Scripture at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

WE READ: “THE LORD’S ACTS OF MERCY ARE NOT EXHAUSTED, HIS COMPASSION IS NOT SPENT; THEY ARE RENEWED EACH MORNING — GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS!” (LAM 3:22–23) EACH DAY, WITH BOTH BLESSINGS AND CHALLENGES, IS GOD’S GIFT; YET, THE NIGHT OFTEN BECOMES THE TIME TO REVIEW THE DAY WE HAD AND TO LOOK FORWARD IN HOPE TO THE NEXT. AFTER OUR WORKDAY IS DONE, WHEN THE CELL PHONE IS CHARGING, PERHAPS WHEN THE KIDS ARE ASLEEP, AND TOMORROW’S LUNCHES ARE MADE, WHAT BETTER GIFT CAN WE GIVE GOD THAN OUR LAST WAKING MOMENTS AT DAY’S END. UN L E A SH T H E G O SP E L. O R G |

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The daily task of recalling our day with gratitude is encouraged by Scripture and the saints. Psalm 63:7 reads, “I think of you upon my bed, I remember you through the watches of the night.” St. John Henry Newman gives this prayer for our day: “Lord, support us all the day long … until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, in your mercy, you give us safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last.” Even God, hard at work — day in and day out — in Genesis, on the sixth day looked at everything he had made and saw that it was very good. Then, Genesis tells us “evening came, and morning followed.” (Gn 1:31) St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), the founder of the Jesuits, gave many gifts to the Church, especially a practice of examining our day. This “examen” can be prayed any time (Jesuits continue Ignatius’s tradition and pray it twice daily), but for most of us, night will probably be the time we can pray it best. An important aspect when we begin to pray the examen is to find a quiet time and a distraction-free place. Since we review our day and evaluate where we accepted God’s grace or rejected it, the daily examen can prepare us for confession with a priest. As we formulate resolutions to act with virtue when we are tempted with vice, the examen can ready us for the spiritual challenges that the new day is bound to bring. For the examen to bear fruit in our spiritual lives, progress is more important than process; nevertheless, Ignatius provides steps for praying the examen to assist us toward our spiritual life’s goal: to see God’s grace at work in everything; to cooperate readily with that grace; to imitate constantly Jesus’s goodness; and to follow and to serve Christ the King (I am most grateful to Fathers John Michael McDermott, Cyril Whitaker and Peter Ryan, Jesuit priests and faculty members at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, for their insights on the examen throughout this article).

A DAILY EXAMEN

(BEFORE RETIRING, OR SUITABLE TO ANOTHER TIME OF DAY) LOOKING AT OR HOLDING ONTO A CRUCIFIX, CONSIDER JESUS’ FIVE WOUNDS AS YOU PRAY. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE IN GOD’S PRESENCE. CONSIDER HOW JESUS LOOKS AT YOU. THEN PRACTICE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

THANKSGIVING. Begin with gratitude: “What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor 4:7) Thank God for the infinite goodness shown to you in particular graces today. Spend ample time giving thanks. Gratitude opens you to receive more. The Father delights to give you everything you need — that is why he gave you Jesus. Gratitude makes you even more receptive to God’s gifts.

KNOWLEDGE. Ask God for light to recognize your failings. Jesus says that the Spirit of truth “will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.” (Jn 16:13) Be honest with God, who knows your weaknesses. Ask for God’s grace to recognize everything in you that does not lead to him. It is never easy to see your faults in the light of God’s love; yet God’s light “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:5)

RECOLLECTION. Review your entire day: hour by hour, task by task or in larger segments. Examine your thoughts, words and actions. Ask yourself, “When did I accept God’s grace and when did I reject it? When did I choose God’s will or when did I prefer my own? How did

I grow in faith, hope and charity, or when did I experience doubt, despair or selfishness? Psalm 139:2-4 says, O God, “You know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. You sift through my travels and my rest; with all my ways you are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue, Lord, you know it all.”

CONTRITION. Make an act of contrition. Express your sorrow for sins. Pray for perfect contrition: sorrow for sin solely for having offended God, who is love, mercy and goodness itself. Remember the tax collector who “stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” (Lk 18:13)

RESOLUTION. Ask for God’s grace that tomorrow you might unite yourself more closely to him. Make concrete resolutions. “When I am tempted toward this, I will respond with that. When I doubt, I will make an act of faith. When I despair, I will renew my hope. When I am tempted to love only myself, I will make a gift of myself to God and others.” Pray the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus says, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” (Mt 6:6)

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WISD OM FR OM THE CHURCH

ST. BASIL THE GREAT

Sharing our goods and possessions with the poor

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DIEGO DIAZ, ILLUSTRATOR


ST. BASIL THE GREAT (330-379), BISHOP OF CAESAREA IN MODERN-DAY TURKEY, WAS A GREAT DEFENDER OF OUR TRINITARIAN FAITH BUT ALSO A RENOWNED BENEFACTOR TO THE POOR. IN RESPONSE TO A LOCAL FAMINE, BASIL FOUNDED A CENTER (CALLED THE BASILIAD), FUNDED LARGELY FROM HIS OWN FAMILY ESTATE, TO PROVIDE FOOD, SHELTER AND FREE MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR THE POOR AND NEEDY. OVER TIME, THIS CENTER GREW IN SIZE AND PROVIDED SPIRITUAL TEACHING AND INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO LIVE SIMPLY AND SHARE GOODS WITH THE POOR. THE SELECTIONS THAT FOLLOW COME FROM A HOMILY THAT ST. BASIL DELIVERED ON THE PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN WHO DECIDED TO TEAR DOWN HIS OLD BARNS AND BUILD NEW ONES TO STORE AWAY ALL HIS WEALTH. (LK 12:16-21) BUT THE LORD VISITED HIM THAT VERY EVENING, TOLD HIM THAT HIS LIFE WAS OVER AND CALLED HIM A “FOOL” FOR STORING UP HIS WEALTH IN VAIN. THE PARABLE PROVIDES A WARNING FOR THOSE WHO LAY UP TREASURE FOR THEMSELVES AND ARE NOT RICH TOWARD GOD. IN THE HOMILY, BASIL SPEAKS ABOUT THIS RICH MAN, BUT ALSO ADDRESSES HIM DIRECTLY, INSTRUCTING US AS HE TEACHES THIS FOOLISH RICH MAN. THE CORE OF BASIL’S MESSAGE IS THAT THERE IS GREAT GAIN IN EVERY WAY WHEN WE GENEROUSLY SHARE WHAT WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN WITH THE POOR AND NEEDY. THIS IS WHAT GOD INTENDED: THAT THOSE WHO HAVE MORE SHOULD SHARE WITH THOSE WHO HAVE LESS, AND SO PROVIDE A BLESSING FOR THOSE IN NEED. BUT GIVING AWAY POSSESSIONS IS ALSO A GREAT GOOD FOR THOSE WHO GIVE: BY GIVING IT AWAY IN THIS LIFE THEY GAIN IT FOR ETERNAL LIFE.

CO M M E N TARY BY DR . DA N I EL K EAT I NG Dr. Daniel Keating is an author and professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

HOMILY FROM ST. BASIL THE GREAT: “I WILL TEAR DOWN MY BARNS” [1] Basil reminds us that the rich man “did not remember that he shared with others a common nature, nor did he think it necessary to distribute from his abundance to those in need. “O mortal, recognize your Benefactor! Consider yourself, who you are, what resources have been entrusted to you, from whom you received them, and why you received more than others. You have been made a minister of God’s goodness, a steward of your fellow servants. ... Resolve to treat the things in your possession as belonging to others. “Imitate the earth, O mortal. Bear fruit as it does; do not show yourself inferior to inanimate soil. After all, the earth does not nurture fruit for its own enjoyment, but for your benefit. But whatever fruit of good works you bring forth, you produce for yourself, since the grace of good works redounds to those who perform them. You gave to the poor, and in so doing not only did you make what you gave truly your own, but you received back even more. For just as grain, when it falls upon the ground, brings forth an increase for the one who scatters it, thus also bread cast to the hungry yields considerable profit at a later time. “Like a mighty river that is divided into many streams in order to irrigate the fertile soil, so also are those who give their wealth to be divided up and distributed in the houses of the poverty-stricken. Wells become more productive if they are drained completely, while they silt up if they are left standing. Thus wealth left idle is of no use to anyone, but put to use and exchanged it becomes fruitful and beneficial for the public. “What could be more ridiculous than this incessant toil, laboring to build and then laboring to tear down again? If you want storehouses, you have them in the stomachs of the poor. Lay up for yourself treasure in heaven. The things deposited there are not devoured by moths, nor are they spoiled by corruption, nor do thieves break in and steal them. “Make your brothers and sisters sharers of your grain; give to the needy today what rots away tomorrow.” [1] St. Basil the Great, On Social Justice, trans. and intro. C. Paul Schroeder (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2009), 60-69.

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FAMILY CHALLENGE

PREPARATION and CELEBRATION Family Traditions for the Advent and Christmas Seasons 56

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ERICA CAMPBELL, WRITER • CELESTE GARZA, PHOTOGRAPHER


TEN YEARS AGO, I WAS LIVING IN BRAZIL,

ERICA CAMPBELL is the owner of Be A Heart, a Catholic lifestyle brand, which began while living in Los Angeles in 2015. She and her husband Paul moved to San Antonio when they had their daughter, Frances and she is now expecting another daughter, Lucille, in March 2022. Through her company, Erica designs products that are small reminders of eternal hope, build a community of people who support each other through the joys and sorrows of life and provide materials for busy women to build their domestic church.

celebrating my first Christmas away from my own family. We celebrated Christmas Eve with the people in the village, watching a little children’s play and waking up early for Mass. At the end of Mass, we drew the name of someone else in our community out of a basket and we were instructed to do little nice things for them until the feast of the Epiphany on January 6. No gifts were exchanged on Christmas, there were no Christmas trees, and there was no Santa. Instead on the feast of the Three Kings, three men who lived with us showed up dressed as kings and carrying big bags of presents for the children. We feasted and got to reveal ourselves as the secret gifter to the person we chose on Christmas day. It was the first time in my life that I really understood the fullness of the tradition in our Church — Christmas is not just one day, but a full season to celebrate. There is no reason to feel the postChristmas slump on December 26th because the full story is still being revealed. The 12 days of Christmas are to be celebrated from Christmas through the new year, not the 12 days leading up to Christmas like so many believe.

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CELEBRATE THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS One fun thing to do is to include a present under the tree that is to be opened by the family that has an envelope for each of the 12 days. Inside the envelope varies from day to day with an activity to do as a family that day. One envelope could have tickets to the zoo and another could have directions to bake cookies to bring to your neighbors or someone who lives alone and might be feeling lonely. Other ideas might include: getting to go to the bookstore to pick out a new book, volunteering at a food pantry if your children are old enough, making sandwiches to hand out downtown to people who are displaced, building forts in the living room for a movie night or a new museum membership. Along with the activity card in the envelope, the day’s Mass readings can also be included and read aloud over breakfast with a little prayer to the Holy Family to sanctify your own family!

PICK NAMES FOR SECRET ACTS OF KINDNESS Borrow from the tradition we had in my Brazilian community. Near your nativity set where Jesus has just arrived, have a tiny bowl with pieces of paper with each family member’s name on it. As each person approaches the manger to pick a name, they pray to grow to be more like Jesus in the coming year — one who sees the other and finds small ways to bless their life. During Christmastide, the family member pays special attention to the needs of the person they picked. Maybe secretly doing their chore, setting out a piece of candy on their pillowcase to find before bed, leaving a card with all of your favorite things about them, letting them go first or spending extra quality time together. One bigger gift is to be planned and given on Epiphany! As some added fun, you can guess who had your name before they are revealed!

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THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD We celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on New Year’s Day, which is a holy day of obligation. We always go to the vespers Mass on New Year’s Eve before going to any parties. But more fun than anything is to tie the feast day into New Year Eve celebrations. Lots of gold and lots of stars! The title “Mother of God” is a western derivation from the Greek Theotokos, which means “God-bearer”. During the party, you can have a basket of saints for each guest to choose a Saint of the Year. Then you can have correlating prayer cards or coloring sheets for the saints to be used in a craft to make a little shrine to have in their room or home throughout the year. Each person can share. You can make fun star crowns and make star garlands (there are lots of tutorials online). Then together you can pray a rosary to invite Mary into your new year and discuss how you hope to be God-bearers in the world.

CELEBRATE THE EPIPHANY In many cultures around the world, Epiphany is a bigger holiday than Christmas. There are so many beautiful traditions to look to. In Mexico there is a Rosca de Reyes cake. Inside the cake is a tiny baby Jesus figurine. Whoever has the figurine in their piece of cake has to bring the tamales for the party at Candlemas, February 2nd. Bless the doorway of your home with holy water and scrawl in chalk C+M+B (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) — plus the year. The “C, M, B” also stands for the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat which means “Christ bless this house.”

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GROWING IN VIRTUE

Pro-life demonstration organized by Everest Collegiate in January 2021.

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SISTER MARIA PACIS POLAKOVIC, RSM, WRITER • VALAURIAN WALLER, PHOTOGRAPHER


TAK E CO U RAGE : F I X YOU R E YE S ON T H E LO R D SISTER MARIA PACIS POLAKOVIC, RSM is a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. She currently serves as the directress of novices at the community’s motherhouse in Alma. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she entered the community in 2009, making perpetual profession in 2017. In addition to Alma, she has served in Rome and Winona, Minnesota.

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TAKE HEART; IT IS I! When hearing the Scripture readings each Sunday at Mass, have you noticed how frequently the Lord tells his people not to be afraid? “Do not be afraid, Mary …” (Lk 1:30); “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid,” (Jn 14:27); “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5). What else could this mean except that fear is a reality that we grapple with and experience? In our moral and spiritual lives, the virtue of fortitude (or courage) helps us to overcome fear to perform good works conformed with right reason. To begin examining the passion of fear and the virtue of fortitude, let’s first look through the lens of St. Thomas Aquinas.

FEAR AND FORTITUDE

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Fear is an irascible passion of the soul that seeks to avoid impending evil. As a passion, it is neither good nor bad, but can become ordinate or inordinate, according to its submission to reason. For example, if you see an angry, unknown dog running towards you, growling and snarling, you will experience fear. You may run inside, shutting the door behind you, thus avoiding the impending evil of possible bite marks. It would be unreasonable to try snuggling with the snarling canine. You experience the passion of fear, which evokes the response, “Avoid this! Get away!” Through right reason, you look for refuge indoors. Conversely, if, from then onwards, you cower in fear at the sight of every canine, running indoors to seek protection, this may be unreasonable, in which the passion of fear is inordinate and not in conformity with right reason. The virtue of fortitude helps to curb our inordinate fears. It is a moral virtue, one of the four cardinal virtues upon which our moral life depends. Fortitude primarily deals with removing obstacles due to various difficulties presented that would prevent us from acting well and doing the good according to right reason. By possessing the virtue of fortitude, man is able to face impending evils and dangers, including the danger of death, with a firmness of mind and heart, enduring whatever may befall him, strengthened to carry out the good action for the sake of truth. The greatest act of fortitude is ultimately martyrdom, by which the fears of bodily suffering and death are overcome, acting according to a higher good for the sake of the truth. Fortitude can be acquired through formation and effort. It also is infused into our souls by God at baptism, helping to make us fit for our supernatural end — eternal life and happiness with God.


DAVID AND GOLIATH (1 SM 17) Surely you are familiar with the heroic story of David and Goliath. David, the youngest of his brothers and a shepherd of sheep, takes on the challenge of battling the enormous, experienced Philistine warrior, Goliath, with nothing other than a sling and stones. Noteworthy in this story is that the odds were against David. The environment oozes with fear, a paralyzing fear in which the king of Israel, Saul, is described as terrified. David is held in contempt because of his age. He is seen to spurn weapons of war in favor of tools that seem utterly useless. His strength and courage come from calling upon the name of the Lord, trusting in his deliverance and mercy. As you know, David wins, and it seems as though the victory was effortless. At times, you may encounter situations in which there is an existing fear that spreads and suffocates those who succumb to it. These persons may be leaders in the community. Perhaps, you may encounter situations in which your natural gifts seem to be insufficient for the task at hand. Perhaps you may be ridiculed and misunderstood for taking a stand against an evil that you may face at home, in the workplace or public sphere. Take courage, follow the example of David. His strength was the Lord, and he knew that. His courage came from calling upon the Lord’s name.

QUEEN ESTHER (BOOK OF ESTHER) With her Jewish identity hidden, Esther becomes the queen to the Persian emperor, whose minister sought to destroy the Jewish people. Because of her role as queen, providentially placed, she is to plead with the king on behalf of her people. Fearing the illicit action to approach the king without being summoned and fearing for her own life and the lives of her people, she is prompted by her uncle to take courage and consider that perhaps all has been divinely ordained. Queen Esther takes refuge in prayer and fasting to the Lord, pleading with him to save her from her fear. She considers herself alone, except for her knowledge that God is with her. As the story unfolds, she approaches the king who pities her and through a surprising turn of events, she and her people are delivered from destruction. Have you ever been afraid to be the one chosen, the one to stick out? Have you worried that your life and the lives for whom you are responsible are at risk of harm, fearing the consequences of what may befall them from what you do? Have you ever been afraid of being alone in living out your faith? Take courage, follow the example of Esther. She prayed to her God and knew him present. Her courage came from her trust in the Lord, her reverence for her Lord.

ST. PETER AND JESUS Lastly, let’s reflect on St. Peter and Jesus. Jesus is walking on water, coming towards the apostles who were cowering in fear in the boat because of the great storm. Jesus approaches. Peter gains courage, begging for the impossible. He begs that the Lord make him also walk upon the water. In his mercy, Jesus calls him forth. Peter takes courage, gets up and starts walking towards Jesus. When looking around, realizing what he is doing, Peter notices the terrifying reality of what is happening. He knows that he should not be walking on water, according to his natural capacities. He begins to sink. Jesus reaches out his hand and saves him. While striving to follow the Lord and grow in holiness, at times you may grow timid in faith. The reality of sin and your weakness may discourage you, making you think that you are not made to live a life of holiness or not made for what God has called you to be. Where are your eyes? Are they fixed upon the Lord or yourself? Take courage; fix your eyes upon the Lord. Whatever may happen, know that he is in control and he intends your salvation.

CHRIST’S FORTITUDE The goal of the virtuous life is to make us like Christ. Jesus demonstrated the greatest example of fortitude upon the cross. He endured facing the loss of his life on earth, physical torture and suffering; he endured mental and emotional suffering; he endured the loss of his closest friends, jeering from authority, contempt, mockery, misunderstanding and scorn. The evil he faced was immense, yet his heart was at peace. His will was firmly fixed upon the will of his Father, whose will is our salvation. He overcame his fear by performing the greatest act of love, enduring all out of love. To conclude, one of the Holy Spirit’s seven gifts is fortitude, which, as St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, gives us confidence in overcoming all perils. Let us beg the Holy Spirit for fortitude. Pope St. John Paul II insisted, “When man lacks the strength to ‘transcend’ himself, in view of higher values, such as truth, justice, vocation, faithfulness in marriage, this ‘gift from above’ must make each of us a strong man and, at the right moment, say to us ‘deep down’: Courage!”

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PURSUING HOLINESS

‘SENDING UP OUR SIGHS’ TOGETHER AND APART 64

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TIM FULLER, PHOTOGRAPHER


HO W DO YOU APPROACH EVANGELIZATION IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE? PA U L: Jen started a Bible study which meets at the coffee shop which has really nurtured the faith for her and the other women who “bear each other’s burdens” in a meaningful way over coffee or tea. There is something about these women just being together with their desire to be closer to God which has clearly enriched all of their lives. I think it is because they are comfortable sharing their faith and their fears and there aren’t so many places where it’s safe to do that. For me, I love to share Gospel stories at work when I can find the way that Jesus’ wisdom and mercy apply in our daily lives. I have always worked with a lot of Christians but I find that Jesus’ words nevertheless pose a tremendous challenge to his followers (no surprise!) and that our daily lives are the best material for discovering the truth’s of his command to love others as he has loved us.

WHAT PRACTICES OR HABITS HAVE YOU INCORPORATED INTO YOUR MARRIAGE THAT HAS MADE IT STRONGER? J EN: Going for walks together, just the two of us, has given us an almost daily opportunity to get out of the house and talk about the big and small things in life. It’s on those walks when we are able to offer each other support and work through the logistics of family life. Often our biggest decisions have to wait until we can find the time to get out and walk together.

PAUL AND JENNIFER PROPSON live in Rochester Hills with their seven children. They are parishioners of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights. They both graduated from Bishop Foley High School in Madison Heights. Jennifer home schools the younger children and Paul is CEO of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.

PA U L: Jen is always finding ways to make our marriage stronger. Two things she did stand out: she researched natural family planning and worked to bring me along early in our marriage to becoming a Catholic who accepts and benefits from the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality. I remember when she gave me a cassette tape of professor Janet Smith teaching on the matter and also Christopher West’s talks on Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body. That was the single most impactful decision in our marriage. Without Jen’s courage in taking that on, we would probably only have three children instead of the seven amazing kids God has blessed us with. The other thing Jen did was sign us up to be a “mentor couple” for engaged couples in our parish. Becoming a mentor couple helped us to see how we’ve grown as a couple on the journey with each other and with God.

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WHAT SPIRITUAL BOOKS OR PRACTICES HAVE HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE? JEN : Father Jacques Phillipe has had a great influence on me. His book “Searching for and Maintaining Peace” and the gentleness of his wisdom has given me great comfort and hope in the many challenges I face every day as a homeschooling mother. As far as a spiritual practice, we really took to the invitation of a “family rosary” on Sunday evenings. Families at St. Andrew’s Parish in Rochester were gathering at the Mary statue on Sunday evenings and joining them to pray helped to make the rosary a fixture in our lives as a spiritual practice. It helped our kids become prayer leaders with other families. Even though joining other families at St. Andrew’s only happened for a season in our lives, we have continued to pray the rosary together as a family on Sunday evenings. PAU L : The Sunday family rosary came to life in a new way during this Covid pandemic as it became the most meaningful way to connect with my extended family over Zoom. When we initially gathered over Zoom as several families, it was just chaos. But when my sister-in-law Sharon, who was being treated for cancer, suggested we pray the rosary over Zoom altogether weekly on Sunday nights, all of our families and children found a way to be together for a little visiting and prayer time. As it happened, through the year and a half of this pandemic, we have continued to gather for an extended family rosary over Zoom even while we have endured the deaths of three close family members, Sharon among them, who have gone from praying with us via Zoom to seeing God face to face. Together, our large family has been shepherded through a pandemic of death by Our Lady and as we pray the Salve Regina at the end of each Sunday together we “send up our sighs…” mourning and weeping in this valley of tears together with enduring hope in God who raises up our loved ones to eternal life. The spiritual book that I am most grateful for is St. Therese of Lisieux’s “Story of a Soul.” My mother bought all of her children a copy of the book when our grandmother died. Grandma had grown up in the early part of the 20th century when the story of St. Therese was spreading through Europe. I carelessly put the book

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on my shelf for almost a decade before reaching for it for the first time one day when Pope John Paul II was dying and I was feeling drawn to God. I found the book, written by a young woman who I had thought would have nothing useful to say to me, was filled with the greatest wisdom from the purest heart of love for God. The Little Flower’s love and devotion are contagious and opened my eyes. We like to think that we live in a world that is so complicated, but St. Therese has a way of simplifying life and celebrating our smallness and simplicity.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED IN YOUR MARRIAGE? J EN: It’s important to let the other person be given the space to speak and flesh out their thoughts and ideas before you crush them like a bug! Jesus wants us to be listeners and encouragers. Everyone approaches things differently because we are all individuals and your spouse needs the space to be heard before responding — your spouse needs you to really be listening and not just preparing a response for when they finish speaking. PA U L: When we got married, every task around the house seemed to be a “chore” to me. What little I did was done grudgingly. What a child I was! I’ve learned to enjoy doing many “chores” I used to dread. I enjoy learning new things to do around the house for our family and particularly when they are important to Jen. The trick for me was to enjoy the happiness it gives to Jen when I am contributing to making our home a better place.

WHAT ADVICE W OULD YOU GIVE YOUNG FAMILIES ABOUT INCORPORATING FAITH IN THEIR FAMILY LIFE? PA U L: Faith isn’t something that you “add” to your family. God is at the center of your family waiting for you to come and join him. J EN: Take the kids to Mass when they are little. Find likeminded families who can share the fun of faith with your family. Celebrate the liturgical calendar. Keep it simple and not overwhelming, reading Scripture and Bible stories with your family at the table in the morning.


“ FA I T H I S N’T S O M E T H I NG TH AT YO U “A DD” TO YO U R FA M I LY. G O D I S AT TH E C E N T E R O F YO U R FAM I LY W A I T I N G F O R YO U TO CO M E A N D J O I N H I M .” — PA U L P ROP SON

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NACK

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EL

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UNLEA SHE D Q UESTIONNA IR E


JOHN “JACK” TELNACK WAS GLOBAL VICE PRESIDENT OF DESIGN OF THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY FROM 1980 TO 1997. HE IS KNOWN FOR SHAPING SOME OF FORD’S MOST ICONIC VEHICLES. TELNACK WAS BORN IN DETROIT IN 1937 AND GRADUATED FROM ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN IN PASADENA IN 1958. HE WAS OFFERED A DESIGN JOB AT FORD AND MOVED UP THE RANKS QUICKLY, BECOMING A MANAGER IN JUST FOUR YEARS. IN 1966, HE WAS NAMED CHIEF DESIGNER FOR FORD OF AUSTRALIA, AND SERVED AS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF DESIGN FOR FORD OF EUROPE IN 1974. JACK TELNACK AND HIS WIFE LIVE IN GROSSE ILE AND ARE PARISHIONERS AT SACRED HEART.

WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR EARLIEST MEMORIES?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY OR PASTIME?

At age 4, Dad brought home a new maroon 1941 Ford Sedan … I really wanted a maroon Lincoln Continental convertible.

Sailing with no destination.

WHAT VIRTUE DO YOU MOST ADMIRE IN OTHERS?

Honesty and trustworthiness on all issues.

Sincerity and honesty.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR?

WHAT WORDS DO YOU USE TOO MUCH? “What’s for dinner?”

Being with my wife doing ordinary things in extraordinary places.

I make the sign of the cross and ask for God’s blessing and direction for the day.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE A “MISSIONARY DISCIPLE”?

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Today’s blasé attitude toward taking the life of the unborn child.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE?

At age 17, I convinced my parents that I should drive cross-country to Pasadena, California, to attend college. I didn’t disappoint them.

All broadcast networks reading from the same script.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION OF HEAVEN?

IF YOU HAD UNLIMITED RESOURCES, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

A place where one will experience total and complete happiness in God’s presence … hope I can make it.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST QUALITY? Concern for others.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE TAKEN? Proposing to Henry Ford II a new aerodynamic design direction.

DIEGO DIAZ, ILLUSTRATOR

WHICH SAINT DO YOU TURN TO FOR INTERCESSION THE MOST? St. Padre Pio.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR

Easter.

Harry Callahan.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?

A voice that did not sing off-key.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FEAST DAY?

Ken Follett.

WHO IS YOUR FICTIONAL HERO?

WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST HAPPINESS?

WHAT TALENT OR SKILL DO YOU WISH YOU HAD?

I would ensure children in every economic stratum have access to quality education.

WHAT DO YOU VALUE THE MOST IN YOUR FRIENDS?

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

One who unabashedly shares Christ’s message of unbounded love. Our pastor, Father Marc Gawronski, (Sacred Heart, Grosse Ile) exemplifies this exuberance.

WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT? The secular direction toward which our country is headed.

HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED WHEN YOU DIE? That some of my designs gave pleasure and made hearts beat a little faster.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE MOTTO OR MANTRA?

At 15, I was working at Bruno’s Delicatessen in the old Broadway Market in downtown Detroit.

If I’m truly honest with myself, I will be honest with others.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION?

Watching some of the old-time comedians like Milton Berle, Lucille Ball and Johnny Carson.

A bronze sculpture of the crown of thorns that I commissioned.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT? I forgot!

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS? Achieving the standards that I established for myself and helping others to attain theirs.

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PHOTO E SSAY

FAMILY 2

NORTH MACOMB VICARIATE NORTH MACO M B VI CARI AT E FAMILY 2 CO N SI ST S O F S T. F RANC I S- ST. M AXI M I L I A N PARISH I N RAY, ST. I SI DO R E PARISH I N M ACO M B , AN D S T. THE R E SE O F L I SI E U X PARIS H IN SHE L BY TO W N S H I P. MSGR. JO HN KASZ A I S T H E MODERATO R O F THE FAM I LY OF PAR I SHE S AN D PASTO R AT S T. T HE RE SE O F L I SI EU X PARISH . I N A M E SSAG E TO T H E PARIS H I O N E RS, HE SHAR ED , “AS WE BE G I N O U R N E W ADV ENT U R E AS T HE FAM I LY OF PARIS HE S HE R E I N N ORT H MACOMB, I W AN TE D TO OFFER MY TH ANK S TO AL L W HO H AV E BEEN W OR KI N G THU S FAR TO CREATE THI S N E W E N T I T Y. NO W TH AT W E ARE O F F I CI A LLY A “FAM I LY,” I T W I L L TA K E EAC H ON E O F U S TO N U RT U R E AND SUP P O RT O U R P RO G R A M S AS WE MO VE I N TO THE F U T U R E. EAC H OF O U R PAR I SHE S H A S A UNIQU E I D E N T I T Y AN D W E W AN T TO P R E SE RV E TH AT W HI L E AT T HE SAM E TIME S HARE O U R G I F TS A N D TAL ENTS W I T H O N E AN OT H ER . TH E COM M I SSI O N I N G M A S S H EL D ON SU N DAY, O CTO B ER 10 WAS A W O N D E RF U L COL L A BO R AT I VE E F F O RT AS W E I N CO RP O RAT E D T H E TRADITI O N S AN D ABI L I T I ES F ROM E ACH PARI SH.”

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Bishop Fisher celebrates the Commissioning Mass at St. Isidore Parish for the Family of Parishes.

TIM FULLER, PHOTOGRAPHER AND WRITER


Fr. Ron Victor, pastor at St. Isidore Parish, consecrates the Eucharist at the 8 a.m. Friday morning Mass.

Adoration following Mass at St. Isidore Church.

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St. Isidore Church has an active community with various ministries and programs including Christian service, evangelization initiatives, faith formation, health, music and worship, St. Vincent de Paul, and youth ministry. The parish’s program for teens, SITE (St. Isidore Teen Extreme) brings teens together to worship and learn in small groups with adult mentors, form friendships, participate in community service, and attend retreats and field trips.

Music plays a large role in St. Isidore Church’s community life and liturgy.

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Msgr. John Kasza, moderator of the North Macomb Vicariate Family 2 and pastor at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, at the Family of Parishes Commissioning Mass on October 10.

The congregation at the Commissioning Mass for North Macomb Vicariate Family 2.

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Fr. Christopher Talbot, pastor at St. FrancisSt. Maximilian Parish, preaches to the congregation at the Sunday Mass celebrated in Spanish at 12:30 p.m.

Fr. Christopher Talbot greets parishioners after Mass at St. FrancisSt. Maximilian Parish.

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Parishioners embrace at St. Francis-St. Maximilian Parish. St. Francis-St. Maximilian Parish was formed in August of 2006 by the merger of the parish of St Francis of Assisi, located in Ray Township and the parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe, in Macomb Township. The parish holds Masses in both English and Spanish, with Liturgy of the Word for children. The parish’s ministries include Hispanic ministry, Christian service, liturgical ministry, music ministry, and youth ministry.

Parishioners pray during Mass at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish.

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helping when it counts, where it’s needed most international

Catholic Missionaries www.pimeusa.org

(313) 342-4066


Rev. Ron Essman, weekend associate at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, greets parishioners after Mass.

St. Therese of Lisieux Parish began in 1991 with a diverse congregation coming mainly from St. Lawrence, St. Matthias, St. Isidore and St. John Vianney Parishes. Today, the congregation remains diverse with congregants whose roots are from all over the world. The parish is known for its warm, welcoming atmosphere, now has approximately 3,000 families.

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