June 2019

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dream come true SHE IS OUR

How Catholic Charities helped Darci and Rich adopt Anna Grace CULTURE

Pentecost – A Birthday, Feast Day and Confirmation


Deacon ordination 2019


Faith-based adoption services under pressure

FROM THE BISHOP Carlson Productions



is the fifth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing @BishopBoyea

IN THIS ONGOING EASTER SEASON, we continue to recognize that Jesus is Lord, which means that he, the Son of God, is the Lord of our lives. His words, his deeds, his life and his death are all guides for how we are to live as his followers. Thus, when he stated: “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Mt 19:4-6; see also Mk 10:5-8) Here we could reflect on how this teaching calls us to uphold the permanence of a true marriage, but the text also calls us to question our culture’s acceptance of a re-definition of marriage. For even if society has chosen to do this, we who are followers of Christ cannot; there is this teaching of Jesus about the male and female becoming one flesh. Now, we all know this is a very sensitive topic especially since it affects people we know and love. Thus, we need to teach on this matter and accompany our brothers and sisters with compassion and love. Nonetheless, we also need to speak the truth, which Jesus proclaimed that he was. Marriage is a vocation, a calling from God. This vocation, by its very nature, is to be permanent, exclusive, fruitful and between a male and female. This is the way that a vocation from God is blessed. In any vocation, we are invoking God’s blessing not only on the ceremony for that vocation, but also on the living out of that vocation. Now, again, recognizing that same-sex attraction is usually not something freely chosen by an individual, we are called to treat all our sisters and brothers with great compassion. But we do not serve our Lord by teaching something contrary to his own teachings and contrary to something which has been consistently taught by the Church for 2,000 years. We all need to be able and willing to listen to the struggles of those around us, but also accompany them as together we seek to follow the truths of our faith and follow a life of chastity. We firmly believe, that by following Jesus’ teachings and by living out the vocation of marriage, we will be a blessing to our culture and world. The joys and difficulties of the married life will be aided greatly by God’s blessings, especially as these flow through the sacramental life of the Church, which is the body of Christ. In this month of June when so many weddings are celebrated and anniversaries remembered, it is good for us to renew our commitment to be followers of Jesus Christ in our married and family life. My own parents celebrate their 69th anniversary this month. This commitment to our spouse, lived out in great charity, will be a wonderful way to be missionary disciples and to Announce the Gospel of the Lord. 3


Celebrating our deacons J


UST A FEW WEEKS AGO, on May 18, at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in East Lansing, nearly 1,000 people from around our diocese, including a large contingent of priests and deacons, gathered to celebrate the ordination of 12 new deacons for service to the people of our diocese. Ten of the new deacons are permanent deacons, while the remaining two are transitional deacons, meaning that, God willing, next year they will be ordained as priests. It was a beautiful liturgy, in part because of the ordinations being celebrated, but also in large part because of the gathering of the diocesan Church – folks both young and old from every part of our diocese, brought together in one place at one time. That happens but once or twice each year, and it is always a moving sight to see the rich diversity of people in our diocese gathered as one assembly, joined in worship.


is the editor of FAITH Magazine and pastor of St. Mary Parish, Charlotte and St. Ann Church, Bellevue Email: editor@ FAITHpub.com.


For me, the experience had additional levels of meaning. I have had the privilege of teaching seven of the 12 new deacons in our diocesan ministry formation program, sponsored by Siena Heights University. I also consider two of the new deacons to be friends – men whom I first met when I was their pastor a number of years ago. With the assistance and encouragement of their wives, I approached both of them to begin conversations with them that would eventually lead them to ordination. As is the case with married men considering the deaconate, their wives play an instrumental role in their discernment and their Let us all future ministry. rejoice in the In fact, one of the great joys I have known through ministry of the years is the opportunity to watch as both our 12 new husband and wife cultivate their identities of service within the Church – often leading them to different deacons. but complementary ministries within their parishes. Each has One might take a leadership role in guiding the responded to RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), while a unique call the other is active in school-age religious formation. One assists with ministries of charity such as the from God. parish food pantry or St. Vincent de Paul, while the other ministers to the sick and the homebound. One assists with youth ministry while the other is devoted to caring for folks who stop at the parish office, needing assistance of one kind or another. I see them together, often in prayer. I appreciate their witness as devoted parents and grandparents. Let us all rejoice in the ministry of our 12 new deacons. Each has responded to a unique call from God. Those who are married find encouragement and joy in the challenges of living both the sacrament of holy orders as well as the sacrament of marriage. All of them are visible reminders that each of us, lay or ordained, have many ways to build up the body of Christ, and a lifetime of opportunities to do so. And so, our journey in FAITH continues.



PR AY E R Forming Missionary Disciples PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS This year, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated on Friday, June 28. The prayer below was written by Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. Most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, You are concealed in the Holy Eucharist, And You beat for us still. Now, as then, You say: “With desire I have desired.” I worship You with all my best love and awe, With fervent affection, With my most subdued, most resolved will. For a while You take up Your abode within me. O make my heart beat with Your Heart! Purify it of all that is earthly, All that is proud and sensual, All that is hard and cruel, Of all perversity, Of all disorder, Of all deadness. So fill it with You, That neither the events of the day, Nor the circumstances of the time, May have the power to ruffle it; But that in Your love and Your fear, It may have peace.





6 marriage matters

She says: ‘After my diagnosis, we need to move.’ He says: ‘I want to care for Eileen at home.’ What do they do?

7 parenting Help your children discover God’s plan for them

work life


10 grow+go • Give Jesus your crumbs • Mary accompanies the dying

12 in the know with Father Joe What is love?

14 theology 101 Encountering Jesus in reconciliation

How do we stop gossip at work?

20 goodlife How do I keep up with the lifestyles of my friends?


2 1 ordination 2019 The Diocese of Lansing was blessed with 10 new permanent deacons and two transitional deacons on May 18.

2 4 special report Faith-based adoption services under pressure

8 culture Pentecost – A Birthday, Feast Day and Confirmation



26 local news P. 21

28 things to do

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After my diagnosis, we need to move I was just diagnosed with Alzheimer's – Ron won't be able to cope, so I want to find a place to live.


I love Eileen and want to take care of her at home. I think it’s important for us to stay here.


I want to care for Eileen at home

RON AND EILEEN are obviously concerned for one


another, and indeed St. John Paul II would applaud them both. In his 1999 Letter to the Elderly, he affirmed Ron’s desire to care for Eileen at home:

“The ideal is for the elderly to remain within the family.”


hold master’s degrees in theology and counseling and serve as family life ministers for the Diocese of Sacramento.


But he also knew this ideal must sometimes give way to reality: “There are situations where circumstances suggest or demand that they be admitted to ‘homes for the elderly’ where they can enjoy the company of others and receive specialized care.” Ron and Eileen should begin by expressing appreciation for one another’s perspectives of love. From there, they can build a plan that reflects both of their desires and concerns for the other. Given the nature of Alzheimer’s, they should not delay. First, gather data. Talk together with health care professionals about what to expect as the disease progresses. How realistic is home care, and for how long? What family members or friends could help? And even if they were to start out with home care, what objective signs could they agree upon for Ron to know when “the time has come”?


Speaking of, not only would there be no harm in checking out memory care facilities, indeed they should do so now – well before Eileen may need admission to one. Second, pray, and pray together. Thank God for the years you have had with one another, and the years you will yet have. Ask for the wisdom to know the most loving way to carry this new cross together. Finally, what matters most is not where Eileen eventually lives, but how consistently Ron will be present in her life. A bishop once told of an elderly man who every day would visit his wife of many decades even though she had lost virtually all cognitive awareness, including, apparently, any recognition of him. The bishop asked why he would still visit her. He replied, “She may not know who I am any more, but I will always know who she is. She is my bride and the love of my life.”







Help your children discover GOD’S PLAN FOR THEM “For I know well the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11) “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE when you grow up?” I ask my students that question when a new school year begins. After a few standard replies, someone will recall the ultimate answer and respond, “I want to be a saint.” Sainthood is the plan God has for us, but the way we achieve it will look different for each of us. As parents, we want our children to lead the holy, happy and prosperous lives God has planned for them, so here are some ways to help your children discover that plan.

THE INVITATION. Every single day, ask God to bless and guide your children toward the path he has planned for them. He will reveal it tiny bits at a time. When new talents, interests and abilities come to light, that’s God pointing the way. A wise mother once told me one of her first prayers each morning is, “Lord, please lead my children this day to whatever will make them holy.” As your children get older, invite them to begin their day the same way.


is a Catholic school teacher, speaker, writer and founder of Joyful Words Ministries. Sheri blogs at www. joyfulwords.org

THE QUESTION. God – how would you like to use me? Every gift, talent and ability is a gift from God, and he’s got a plan for how it can be used. When we use these gifts from God to honor him, the blessings come back a hundredfold. A baseball talent might not be meant to lead to a pro career, but maybe to coach and inspire and influence many others with an example of faith and character. THE FOCUS. The world tells our children to seek power, money and

prestige when making their life and career choices. God says to seek his glory, not yours. Our children need us to help them focus clearly.

THE TREASURE. God’s plan leads to our sainthood, and therein lies treasure and happiness far beyond any earthly offering. Teaching our children to invite God to reveal his plan and notice the places he’s working in their life will lead to this true treasure.

shut down the company.

Gossip is as old as the hills (or at least since the fall of our first parents), universal and apparently enjoyable. Since every action is aimed as some perceived good, let’s JIM BERLUCCHI first consider the various rewards is the executive of gossip. director of the For the gossiper, the delights Spitzer Center include ego satisfactions such as: for Visionary feelings of superiority, the pleasure Leadership. of revenge, the undermining of a rival, admiration gained as one privy to inside information, an outlet for envy, etc. And for the eager ear, well, let’s face it, gossip can be downright interesting. “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down into the inmost parts.” (Prv 18:8) So, if gossip is both natural and enjoyable, the only hope of reducing it is to expose its downsides, and they are many. Gossip divides people and groups, stokes fear, boosts suspicion and destroys reputations. Conversely, reducing gossip increases harmony, respect, productivity and morale. More gossip = less happiness. Less gossip = more happiness As for a corporate strategy, it must be from the top down. Conviction, role modeling and messaging from management are essential. A bottom up approach is futile. Management should: T. GENNARA


mind – either forbid all human interaction or

1. Declare the values. Gossip is not a topic in itself; it’s a subset violation of proudly held values, particularly respect. 2. Educate the minds. Management must make a compelling and rational case that exposes gossip as a hobby for small minds. 3. Inspire the hearts. They should spice up the training and sweeten the medicine with role playing and humor. 4. Back it up. Challenge employees to a personal and explicit commitment to speak well of one another or not all.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prv 18:21) 7



A Birthday, Feast Day and Confirmation AS THE EASTER SEASON comes to a close, we will commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, June 9. Relative to the other more prominent and “popular” Christian holidays, Pentecost often gets overlooked. But it’s actually a very important day for our Catholic faith. 8


Pentecost is not only one of the oldest feasts in the Church, it is also considered to be the birthday of the Church, since the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, allowing them to go forth and spread the Good News. Acts 2:2-4 recounts the event of the first Pentecost that took place in the Upper Room when Christ appeared to the Blessed Mother and apostles

after his resurrection: “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHANE FOLKERTSMA

Gâteau colombier de Pentecôte (Dove cake for Pentecost)

1¼ cups granulated sugar ¾ cup plain yogurt ¾ cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs ½ teaspoon almond extract 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1½ cups flour ¾ cup almond flour 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup chopped candied orange peel (optional)

the confirmation Mass. After doing some research, I found a dessert option that is Pentecost-themed, and one that I knew my son would approve of. It is a French Provencal almond cake called le colombier (dove) that is traditionally made for the feast of Pentecost (la Pentecôte) in southern France. There appear to be many variations of this French pastry, so my son and I did some experimenting in the kitchen and baked one to our liking. So I guess you could say that it is a le colombier-inspired dessert. It is always exciting to try a new recipe in the kitchen. And it’s even better when the food is seasonally, thematically or religiously appropriate to the time it is served. So while I have a special reason to bake this dessert for my son’s confirmation this year, I encourage you to give it a try also. After all, the feast of Pentecost is also a birthday, which is best celebrated with a delicious cake!



T. Gennara

and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” It was this event in which Christ’s mission was completed, and that marked the beginning of the Church’s mission to the world. This year, Pentecost has even more meaning for our family, since my son is being confirmed the same weekend. We are eager to celebrate his sacrament of the Holy Spirit and to commemorate the feast day, so we plan to host family for refreshments and desserts after

is a designer and the busy mom of three children.

Orange glaze ¼ cup orange juice 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest 1 cup powdered sugar plus more for dusting ½ cup sliced almonds (lightly toasted)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350˚ Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray and line bottom with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs and extracts until smooth. Add the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine and then fold in orange pieces (if using) – do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pan and place in oven. Set timer for 35 minutes. While cake is baking, make the orange glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice, vanilla extract, orange zest and powdered sugar until combined. Check on the cake after 35 minutes. If the edge of the cake is looking dark and center is undercooked, cover outside with foil. Baking time is roughly 3545 minutes or until the cake feels springy and a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake. Allow cake to cool slightly then turn upside down out of the pan onto serving plate. While still warm, spread the glaze all over the cake (the cake will absorb most of it). While cake is wet, sprinkle toasted almonds over top and then dust with remaining confectioners' sugar before serving. To add a Pentecost element to the cake, cut out a shape of a dove and place it in the middle of the cake before dusting (as shown in picture). 9



as a disciple of Jesus WIKIPEDIA/NHEYOB

Give Jesus your crumbs “They said to him, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have …’” (Mt. 14:17)


HEN I READ A FAMILIAR GOSPEL STORY, I ask God to help me see it with new eyes and think about it with a deeper meaning. Sometimes, I’m led to think

about the other characters and events that might have taken place while the story unfolded. As I was reading this Gospel (Mt.14:13-21), I wondered, what if the person who

had the loaves hadn’t shared his bread? What if he had thought it was too small, not the right shape or maybe a little over-baked or lumpy looking? What if he figured it wasn’t enough to begin with, so why bother? I realized it was a good thing I was not the one with the bread because I would have made those excuses and more, not remembering that Jesus takes whatever we offer and makes it perfect. I worry about offering Jesus prayer time and actions that are perfect, but all too often all I have left to offer him are my crumbs. But because of his grace, my crumbs are enough. I bake three loaves of bread every week, and one is always a giveaway loaf. Dave is happy with his two loaves, but I’m guilty of studying the three – choosing the nicest one to give away. I will admit that if I have a week when the bread doesn’t turn out pretty, I won’t give one away at all. In all my time of giving away bread, nobody ever commented on its color, shape or size. Each person I’ve given bread to takes it with a smile and probably goes home to make toast. God is … well, he’s God, the author of perfection, so why 10


would I doubt for one minute that I had to offer him a perfect loaf when all he needs are my crumbs? He can take the broken, the crumbled, the messy and the small and turn them into absolute perfection. He doesn’t expect me to be the perfect Catholic; I don’t have to be the perfect wife, mom or teacher. He’s asking for the tiny crumbs of my life to be lifted up so he can bring great good. When we give him our crumbs, he can do great things with them and then we just simply stand back and give him the glory. The Gospel doesn’t tell us the

bread owner’s name, but it doesn’t matter. His humble generosity trumped his notoriety. I’m not going to scream out to the world, “Hey look at my crumbs!” I’m going to give them to the Father and then stand back and say, “Hey look what he did!” Thank you Father for taking my crumbs! PRAY: Spend some time in prayer considering the places in your life you feel the pressure to be perfect or over-achieve. Ask the Father to help you find balance in those areas. STUDY: God’s grace is powerful. His grace is what allows us to offer our crumbs and know he will make them enough. Father Mike Schmitz has a great podcast called “Heaven: You’re Not Good Enough (and why that’s okay).” It offers great perspective on what God can do with all that we offer him. ENGAGE: The miracle of this Gospel occurred because a few joined what little they had and, in their offering to Jesus, something amazing happened. The exact thing happens in our parishes when we join our “crumbs” with those of others and offer them to the service of the Lord. Where can you get involved and allow the Father to use your gifts, talents and time to bless others? SERVE: What can you share? Can you take Communion to one person? Can you make something for a funeral dinner? Can you take a dozen cookies to struggling neighbor? Can you stop and pray a rosary with an elderly person from your parish? With God’s help, your crumbs can be a banquet.





Mary VanPoppelen became a volunteer at Mother Teresa House after retiring from the family business about a year and a half ago. Mary prepares meals, and does laundry and household chores. Most important, she provides care and companionship to the dying.

PRAYER: Before I go to Mother Teresa House, I pray, “Jesus, please let me be your hands and feet and help me see you in everyone I meet.” Each day, I pray for guests here and I pray for those guests who have gone on to heaven. I hope everyone I have accompanied will pray for me when I am dying. WITNESS: I always wear my Miraculous Medal and hope that the kindness and love I exhibit gives witness to what I believe. I think the quote, “Preach the Gospel always; if necessary use words” describes how I witness to my faith here.

ACCOMPANIMENT: I hope that my presence with guests brings the peace that comes from knowing they are not alone. During my shadow experience as part of orientation, I was encouraged to pray with a woman who was close to death. As I prayed the Rosary, her breathing became gradually slower, calmer and less frequent. I thought each breath would be her last. As I finished the Rosary and prayed the Hail Holy Queen, she took her last breath. I had thought I would be uncomfortable being with someone as they died. But when this happened, all I could think was, what an honor to be here and accompany someone on the way to heaven. BY SUE PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSHUA HAMILTON


love? WHAT IS


What is love? Can you explain the various definitions?


WOW – THAT’S A BIG ONE. Let’s start by looking at

some of the words for love that we see in the Bible. This is not

an exhaustive list, but it captures the main ones. We’ll start with Eros. Eros is a Greek word for

T. Gennara



is a former comedy writer who is now a Catholic priest. @Joeinblack 12

words and give an image. For example, when we say, “God is love,” what we usually mean is “God is loving,” and that right there is the problem. The statement “God is love” is accurate. When we love one another, we are imitating God. The more our love looks like God’s love, the more perfect that love is. When I was younger, love was a simple thing: it was based on what you do to and for me. As I get older, I realize that the less my needs are present in the equation, and when my love looks more like giving than taking, the more perfect that love is. C.S. Lewis put it best in his book – The Four Loves:

a craving. It’s often expressed sexually, but not always. It’s a hunger for another person and is the root of our word “erotic.”

The Bible also uses the word storge for love. This is a Greek word for the love family has for each other: the love of a parent for their child, a familial bond. A third and very common word for love in the Bible is philios. This Greek word refers to “brotherly love,” close friendship, affection. The final word for love I will give you is agape, a Greek word for perfect love. This is love in its purest form: it's universal, and unconditional. It is a love that never quits and never breaks, no matter the circumstance or situation. When we talk about God’s love, we are talking about all four of these – and more. We do not have a word that expresses the totality of God’s love; all we can do is use our broken human


God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that he may love and perfect them. He creates the universe, already foreseeing - or should we say “seeing”? there are no tenses in God - the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath's sake, hitched up. If I may dare the biological image, God is a “host” who deliberately creates his own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and “take advantage of” him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love himself, the inventor of all loves. With all that, I want to offer you two things I learned about love from my parents: one from my mom and one from my dad. When I think about my mom, one of the most im-

portant gifts she gave me was her willingness to let me suffer. Like every young person before and after me, I suffered in different ways in school. My inability to sit still, my struggles with peers – all of it was and is normal. Yet, as was typical for a young person, I lacked the ability to see my pain in context. So, I went home and complained: this teacher did this to me, this student did that to me – on and on and on. I wanted Mom to do what the other moms and dads often did: fix my problems. They rarely did. Instead, my memory is of Mom giving me tools to endure the suffering well, to respond like Jesus as best I could, to change what I could change within myself and let the rest go. She helped me focus on controlling what I could control and enduring, even thriving in, those things I couldn’t. It never occurred to me until I got older how awful that must have been for her. I had a conversation with Mom when I was in my 20s when she suddenly opened up to me about how hard my childhood was on her. I was absolutely blown away as I realized that my parents loved me so much that they chose to be uncomfortable and sorrowful “behind my back” as it were, instead of diving into the fray and trying to save me from all pain. I grew up with a solid

understanding that life is hard, that suffering is an omnipresent reality and that I needed to learn how to do hard things without becoming a hard-hearted person. For that, I am eternally grateful. The day of my mother’s funeral is when I learned about another important lesson about love from my dad. I drove him to the funeral and, when we pulled up to the church, I went to open my door, but realized that Dad was just sitting there. We sat in silence for some time, staring at the church and trying to cowboy up to go in there for her funeral. After some time, Dad spoke. With tears in his eyes and a broken, weak voice, he quoted Psalm 118: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” He went on to tell me he could barely think through the pain of this moment, but that he was glad he was experiencing it and not Mom. That’s love. I had heard of a man saying that before, but there I was, in my truck with my dad as he expressed the most perfect love I’ve been witness to. One of them was going to experience life-altering pain and he was glad it was him. So there’s my snapshot discussion on love. Please, please – never grow content with how you love. Never think you’ve “got it down.” Constantly grow in knowing God and you will constantly be growing in love. Enjoy another day in God's presence.

Constantly grow in knowing God and you will constantly be growing in love.”




RECONCILIATION Pope Benedict XVI once said, “... the faith is not a theory, a philosophy, or idea; it is an encounter. An encounter with Jesus.” It is this encounter with Jesus in the sacraments that is the focus of this year’s Theology 101. Sin is never simply personal in its impact. It always has a social consequence as well. It breaks our personal communion with God and, at the same time, it damages our communion with the Church, thereby impacting the body’s communion with her head, Jesus Christ. Consequently, the healing of this rupture requires reconciliation with both God and Christ’s body, the Church. The sacrament of reconciliation (or penance) liturgically expresses 14


and accomplishes just this. The whole purpose and effect of this sacrament consists in “restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship.” It brings about the “restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God.” (CCC 1468) It is a great gift since the sacrament repairs that communion for which we are destined.

A SACRAMENT OF HEALING The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults indicates that Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. In particular, the sacrament of penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed by us after baptism can be forgiven. In confession, we have the opportunity to repent and

recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God: “In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) While all the sacraments bring us an experience of the mercy that comes from Christ's dying and rising, the sacrament of reconciliation is uniquely and specifically the sacrament of forgiveness.

‘IT IS IN PARDONING THAT WE ARE PARDONED.’ However, there is more to this notion of forgiveness as we are

TIMELINE: How did CONFESSION come about? OLD TESTAMENT • I sraelites developed rituals for turning from sin to covenant living – sacrifices, ritual washings or purifications, sin offerings. JESUS/NEW TESTAMENT •J ohn the Baptist preaches repentance and practices ritual washings in the River Jordan (Mt 3; Mk 1; Lk 3; Jn 1-3). •S amaritan woman meets Jesus at the well where he tells her of her sins and offers the water of everlasting life. (Jn 4) • Woman caught in adultery: The crowd is about to stone the woman, but Jesus asks if there is anyone sinless who might cast the first stone. He tells her to sin no more. (Jn 8: 1-11).

•H oly Spirit: Jesus says to the apostles, “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall hold bound, they are held bound.” (Jn 20: 22-23)

40 AD–400 AD • Apostates: During the persecutions, those who denied their faith were known as “apostates.” This was a serious sin which demanded reconciliation with the community. •C anonical penance involved the whole


taught by Jesus in the words of the Our Father. In this perfect prayer, we encounter the line, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The catechism (2840) explains the outpouring of God’s mercy “cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see. In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father’s merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to his grace.” So it is in the same sacrament of reconciliation that we receive both the forgiveness of our sins and the challenge to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who have sinned against us. In short, we are liberated to be forgivers. Our heavenly Father knows that it is beyond us to not feel hurts or to forget offenses, so he gives us grace through the sacrament of reconciliation. Again, confessing our sins opens our hearts to this gift of grace through which, as the catechism teaches, “the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession.” Through the sacrament of reconciliation, the Holy Spirit can make our mind the same mind of Jesus Christ. It is our confessing and dying to sin through the gift of God’s grace that allows the “mind of Christ” to well up within us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only then are we free to forgive as Christ forgives. Only then can we participate in the forgiveness of the Father who does not wait until forgiveness is sought to offer it.


is the CAO and secretary for pastoral life for the Diocese of Lexington, Ky. He holds an MA in theology from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

community. The apostate would privately confess to a bishop and was assigned a severe penance which might last for years. He might stand outside the church in sackcloth, begging for forgiveness. Eventually, he would receive a dramatic absolution. 5TH TO 7TH CENTURY • Tariff penance: In Ireland and England, people begin to consult holy men (monks) when they are in need of forgiveness. The penitent goes to private confession and receives tariff penance – the monks had devised books which contained lists of penances commensurate with various sins. The community is not involved. 7TH TO 12TH CENTURY • Irish and English monks influence penitential practices on the continent of Europe. Tariff penances replace canonical penances. • Absolution is given only after a penance is performed and contrition is judged to be sincere. 13TH TO 20TH CENTURY • Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 names penance as an official sacrament of the Church. • One must confess to a priest who acts on behalf of God. 1973 Pope Paul VI promulgates new rite of penance

THE SPIRITUAL EFFECTS OF PENANCE OR RECONCILIATION According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sacrament of penance produces several spiritual effects. Among these effects are: • the reconciliation of the sinner with God (by which the penitent recovers grace); • the reconciliation of the sinner with the Church (every sin is social by nature and has an impact of the communion that is the Church with Christ); • the remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins and, at least in part, the remission of temporal punishments resulting from sin; peace and serenity of conscience and spiritual consolation; • an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle. 15





dream come true SHE IS OUR

How Catholic Charities helped Darci and Rich adopt Anna Grace BY NANCY ROSEBUSH SCHERTZING | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM LUNING

This love story begins seven years ago in a dream. Newlyweds Darci and Rich Herl had been talking about welcoming children, but couldn’t agree on names. One spring night, Darci awoke to her groom talking in his sleep.

“No,” he adamantly told the unseen person. “I don’t like that name.” He continued muttering. “No, not that one either . . . Hmmm, Anna Grace.” He paused and exclaimed, “I like that!” Over dinner, Darci shared the story with Rich and they laughed about the incident, filing it away as a funny memory in their hearts. Over the next year, the newlyweds continued to build their life together. Rich was hired as news director for MacDonald Broadcasting in Lansing. Darci became a quality analyst at Auto-Owners Insurance. They developed wonderful friendships through church and bought a house. Married life was developing as they had planned, with one exception. Darci explains, “After over a year of being married, kids still had not come. After consulting with a couple of doctors, we found that having a baby the ‘natural way’ was virtually impossible for me.” Darci smiles and continues, “I always had a desire to foster or adopt children, so it was a quick jump for me.” Rich agrees, “It didn’t make sense to try expensive medical procedures, so we decided to foster children with the hope of adopting one day. We contacted St. Vincent Catholic Charities about becoming foster parents, then attended an orientation session in December of 2013. With the help of our licensing specialist, a year later, we were fully licensed foster parents. “Over the first year, we received calls for short-term placements. Our first was a weekend of respite for another foster family who had three young boys. Man! Was that a weekend of learning for us – going from none to three in an instant. It was a great three days, but we were very ready when their foster family picked them up!”


I was so excited I couldn’t focus on work. I asked my boss if I could just go home. She told me, ‘Go have a baby!’”


Rich nods. “When we get a call [from St. Vincent’s], it’s like: ‘Here’s what we know’ [which isn’t usually very much]. ‘Do you want to take the child?’ If the foster parents are unable to, the agency moves to the next family on the list, or the next agency gets a chance.” “In December of 2015, the St. Vincent licensing supervisor called me. She explained there was a 6-month-old baby girl that Children’s Protective Services (CPS) would be removing from a bad situation. However, they were unsure of where or when they might find the mother and child. St. Vincent’s was looking to have a family that was ready and waiting – were we in? We said yes, of course, then we waited to hear back.” Darci recalls. “We waited through the night and went to work the next morning. After hours of no communication, the caseworker called to tell us the mother had taken her to a nearby county. She was being cared for through another agency. I was so angry! I was angry at the system, I was angry at life, but I was mostly angry at God.” Rich says, “Two weeks later was Christmas Day, and Darci didn’t want to get out of bed.” Darci quietly adds, “I said some very mean things to Rich, and had a very frank talk with God that Christmas Day. How could God let me go through yet another holiday without a child? Taking this baby from us was too cruel. “We got through Christmas and went back to our regular routine. Four short days later, on Dec. 29, I was getting ready to go out for lunch when my work phone rang. It was St. Vincent’s again, this time they had a newborn girl whose mother had left her at the hospital.


There was no father listed on her birth certificate so it was likely this would be a longer-term placement. Our caseworker said the mom had children in another state, and that state was close to terminating her parental rights for them. The caseworker asked, ‘So, are you willing to take this child?’ “I immediately dialed Rich’s cell but my calls kept dropping, so I switched to his office line and got the receptionist. ‘Rich. Rich. I need to talk to Rich!’ I gasped. When he asked who was calling, I could only say, ‘Wife. Rich’s wife.’” Darci laughs. “Thankfully, Rich agreed, so I called the caseworker back and gave her our emphatic yes. She said CPS would phone us after the 1 p.m. court hearing. “I was so excited I couldn’t focus on work. I asked my boss if I could just go home. She told me, ‘Go have a baby!’” Darci laughs. “I texted my friend group from church to tell them our news and ask for prayers. One of those friends, who was a nurse at the hospital, texted back, ‘I probably shouldn’t say this, but I just kissed her.’ She had

switched shifts with a co-worker and happened to be in the nursery that day! I have faith that all of the nurses are loving and capable, but it was wonderful knowing ‘our child’ was with a friend. Especially since we were waiting so long for the call to pick her up.” Rich jumps in: “Darci had called me at work, and said she’d call back, but it was taking forever. We didn’t know that the court postponed the hearing because the mom wasn’t showing up, so we waited . . . and waited. “We found out later that the St. Vincent’s staff had really gone to bat for us. Another agency had responded to the placement search email before they were supposed to, and initially the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services started the process for that agency and foster family. The St. Vincent’s worker argued that it was still in the timeframe for their agency to find placement. She also pointed out they had already taken one placement away from us that month – they couldn’t take a second! “Finally, we got the call! They told us to pick her up at McLaren Hospital, so we jumped into the car. We walked proudly to the information desk with our car seat, and the staff person shook her head. We had gone to the wrong McLaren campus. So we got back in the car and drove to the correct one!” Darci shakes her head smiling: “A few days later, I brought our baby to my work. As I walked around showing off my new bundle of joy, I pulled out a blanket St. Vincent’s had provided when we picked her up. My friend’s eyes grew wide. She looked at the blanket and then back at me. ‘I made that blanket,’ she said. ‘And I prayed over it that it would hold your baby.” Darci smiles, “That was when I told God, ‘OK! I got the message.” “There’s one thing more you need to know,” Rich adds. “When we arrived at the right hospital, we had told our nurse friend about the Anna Grace dream from years ago. As she was going through the discharge paperwork, her mouth dropped open. The birth mother had named her baby – our baby so many had prayed for – Arianna, and had given her the middle name Grace. We held Anna Grace in our arms and knew we were meant to be a family. “It has been a long road for us, but St. Vincent’s has been with us every step of the way, from being there during the licensing process, supporting us through the legal maze, to having half the office show up on adoption day three years after Anna Grace’s placement! We’ve developed close relationships with the St. Vincent’s team, and we’re not afraid to call them if we have questions, or even if we just need to vent. Everyone there has been amazing. “We love that God has given us this opportunity to expand our family through foster care, and adoption. Whether children stay with us for an hour or will be visiting us in the nursing home, every child who walks through our doors becomes one of our kids.”

Foster parenting and adoption through Catholic Charities Foster parenting gives children the opportunity to develop to their full potential in a safe, caring environment. The preference for foster care is always to reunite children with their biological family, if they are able to provide a safe and loving home. Second best is having extended family who can provide stability while keeping the children connected with their biological history and personal family stories. The final preference is a safe foster home. When a child enters the foster care system, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) tries to place him or her with extended family, whenever possible. If they can’t do so quickly, they will decide whether to place that child in a DHHS foster home or reach out to private agencies, such as St. Vincent Catholic Charities, in the county where the child is located. Generally, the agency has four hours or less to place the child. If you are interested in more information on adoption or on becoming a foster parent, contact your local Catholic Charities agency. CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF JACKSON, LENAWEE & HILLSDALE COUNTIES www.catholiccharitiesjlhc.org | 517.263.2191 CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES OF WASHTENAW COUNTY www.csswashtenaw.org | 734.971.9781 LIVINGSTON COUNTY CATHOLIC CHARITIES www.livingstoncatholiccharities.org | 517.545.5944 CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF SHIAWASSEE AND GENESEE COUNTIES www.catholiccharitiesflint.org | 810.232.9950 ST. VINCENT CATHOLIC CHARITIES www.stvcc.org | 517.323.4734 19


How do I keep up with the

lifestyles of my friends? Q:

Why does the grass seem greener in everyone else’s yard? How do I keep up – or not get caught up in the comparison?


Matthew 6:24 tells us we cannot serve both God and money. We are called to be good stewards of what we are given. In Matthew 25:23, we are told of the importance of being faithful in small matters. Review those verses in the Bible and pray to find what God is asking of your life.


True happiness is not of this earth. However, God delights in our happiness when we are living the life he calls us to. When we pursue that life and God’s will for us, we are able to focus on what we are given rather than what we do not have.


Realize a lifestyle is an outward appearance. Just like looking at an iceberg, only a tiny fraction can be seen when viewing the surface. New clothes, new cars, big houses, and possessions do not tell the whole story. Happiness is not found in material things.


Take a look at the Tenth Commandment: Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods. Full stop.

Our purpose in life is to know, love and serve God. Fix your eyes on Christ and you will find contentment where he calls – regardless of where or how your friends live. 20


God delights in our happiness when we are living the life he calls us to.



THE DIOCESE OF LANSING was blessed with 10 new permanent deacons and two transitional deacons on May 18. Bishop Earl Boyea ordained the new deacons at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in East Lansing. Meet the new deacons on the following pages. PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN CUMMINS/GENNARA PHOTOGRAPHY


DEACON ERIC ELSTRO Deacon Eric and his wife, Mary Beth, have been blessed with five children and 10 grandchildren. They have been members of St. Joseph Parish in St. Johns for 26 years. Eric and Mary Beth are retired from full-time jobs, but do some contract work. They have served in many parish roles and are currently most active in eucharistic and prolife ministries.




Deacon Phil and his wife, Kathleen, have been married for 43 years. He started working for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce in 1974 and retired in 2018. His wife, Kathie, is a teacher. They are active members of St. Gerard Parish in Lansing and have one child in heaven, four adult children on earth and one granddaughter.

Deacon Pete and his wife, Connie, have been married for 36 years and are blessed with three children and nine grandchildren. They are founding members of Christ the King in Ann Arbor. Since retiring as a GM engineer, Deacon Pete has been active in hospital ministry and Unbound Prayer, and has served as Alpha coordinator at Christ the King.


DEACON ROBERT NIEMAN Deacon Bob and his wife, Lynna, have two children and two granddaughters. They have been members of the Catholic Community of St. Jude for the past 19 years where Lynna sings in the choir and Deacon Bob trains lectors, among other duties. Deacon Bob is the general manager for GC Services LP, a call center company providing services to the State of Michigan. He has mentored at St. Vincent Catholic Charities, brings Eucharist to patients at McLaren Hospital and is active in jail ministry.

DEACON GARY PERRYDORE Deacon Gary and his wife, Mary, have six children and two grandchildren, and are parishioners at Old St. Patrick in Ann Arbor where they prepare engaged couples for marriage and support various parish ministries. Gary graduated summa cum laude with a master of arts in pastoral theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in preparation for ordination, and is a director of corporate accounts for a medical device company.





Deacon Gordon is 62 years old, and attends St. John the Baptist Church in Ypsilanti. He’s been married to Kimberly for 37 years and has 27-year-old twin girls, Alexandra (married to Holt) and Suzannah. Gordon is a psychotherapist, and looks forward to preaching, marriage ministry, adult faith formation and developing other needed social ministries in the parish.

Deacon Rich, a longtime member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Fenton, cares for his sister Regina, who was injured in an auto accident in 1996, and is also employed as an inventor in the fields of electronic and mechanical engineering. He shares his love for the Catholic Church by teaching children and adults and by ministering to the sick.

Deacon Rob and his wife, Sue, have been married for almost 40 years. They have three children, Father Anthony Strouse, Amanda Surdenik (Dan) and Allison (Tom) Spoonster, along with two granddaughters. Robert has been the operations manager at the Catholic Community of St. Jude for 13 years, and is currently assuming the duties of pastoral associate. Robert, a convert to Catholicism, serves in several liturgical ministries at St. Jude.

Deacon Kevin and his wife, Jackie, have been married for more than 38 years and are blessed with three children and six grandchildren. They are parishioners at St. Mary Church in Pinckney, where Jackie leads a parish prayer shawl ministry and Deacon Kevin serves as RCIA director, leads baptism preparation and chairs the worship commission.


Deacons John and Michael will be ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 2020, at St. Mary Cathedral.

DEACON SEAN COSTELLO Deacon Sean and his wife, Elisa (Ely), have been blessed with four children. Sean is the chair of the Theology Department at Powers Catholic High School in Flint and the chief of staff for the Catholic Community of Flint. He will continue his ministry in both after ordination.



Deacon John is the son of Bob and Kathy Vinton, and he has a younger sister and brother. He is from Holy Spirit Parish in Brighton. Deacon John attended Spiritus Sanctus Academy in Ann Arbor and Detroit Catholic Central High School. He has graduated from St. John Vianney Seminary in Minnesota and is currently studying for his master’s degree at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He will be assigned as a deacon to St. Robert Bellarmine, Flushing.

Deacon Michael was born in the Ann Arbor area, and raised in a Lutheran home with his two siblings. After being received into the Church while a student at Eastern Michigan University, he made St. Francis of Assisi in Ann Arbor his home parish. He has just completed his fifth year of seminary at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. Deacon Michael will be assigned as a deacon to St. Mary, Pinckney. 23




Faith-based adoption services UNDER PRESSURE ATHOLIC CHARITIES AGENCIES have long provided adoption and foster care services to the neediest children, such as older, abused and special needs children. However, since the civil law’s redefinition of marriage to include two people from the same sex, faith-based adoption services, like Catholic Charities agencies, have faced increasing pressure to either place children with same-sex couples or lose their state licensing and/or vital state funding. Already, Catholic Charities agencies in several states have had to shut down their adoption services as the only other alternative offered to them was the violation of their conscience. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asserted that these governmental actions have trampled on religious freedom. “Religious liberty is more than freedom of worship; it includes our ability to make our contribution to the common good of all Americans without having to compromise our faith.”

ANATOMY OF THE TENSION Thus far, the aforementioned states have taken the stance that laws protecting the religious liberty of faith-based organizations do not outweigh nondiscrimination protections. However, the classifying of the non-placement of children in same-sex households as illegal discrimination illustrates the tension inherent in this issue. 24


The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1935) is clear when it quotes the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes that “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.” Later, the catechism (2358) states that persons with same-sex attraction “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” While Catholics are to avoid all unjust discrimination against persons, whether it is unjust for Catholic Charities agencies to refuse to place children with same sex couples hinges on the nature of marriage and the rights of children.

THE CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDING OF MARRIAGE The decision of these Catholic Charities agencies to get out of adoption services rather than to place children with samesex couples was informed by the Catholic view of marriage, i.e., that marriage is both a natural and a supernatural institution. BY DOUGLAS CULP

LITTLE COMFORT TO BE HAD Catholic Charites agencies began to feel the pressure to place children in same-sex households or close as early as 2006. Perhaps in recognition of this, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy attempted to assuage any concern about a negative impact on religious liberty by citing the First Amendment’s protection of religious organizations and persons in the majority opinion of the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land. However, in his dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts questioned what might happen when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may conflict with the right to same-sex marriage (for example, a religious adoption agency declining to place a child with same-sex couples). He concluded that “people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority (opinion) today.” In response to the ruling, then president of the USCCB, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, suggested in an interview with Our Sunday Visitor that the Church “will face greater pressure now to mute our voices … [as] the freedom to run our ministries and participate in the public square while holding to the teachings of Jesus will likely be challenged.” He went on to note that “new legal requirements could threaten the life and work of the Church as well as other religious institutions and individuals of faith.”

CATHOLIC CHARITIES LITIGATING IN MICHIGAN In recent weeks, the state of Michigan entered a settlement agreement with the ACLU regarding same-sex adoption. By this settlement, the state of Michigan informed adoption agencies that they must place children with same-sex or transgendered couples or lose their contracts. On April 15, St. Vincent Catholic Charities, one of the Diocese



The catechism (1601) states that the marriage covenant, a covenant between a man and a woman, “is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.” As such, it is a natural blessing arising from the natural order of creation for all humanity in all times and cultures. However, while a natural institution, marriage is not purely a human institution. God is the author of marriage. In the 2009 pastoral letter, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,” the USCCB reiterates that this natural institution is a gift. The “gift of marriage is something we receive, not something we construct or change to fit our purposes. It is a firm foundation, a truthful guide, a trustworthy light for the way.” The Bishops further assert that marriage is not only crucial to society on a natural level because it forms its foundation, but that it is also crucial to the Church on the supernatural level. “Through baptism, men and women are transformed, by the power of the Holy Spirit, into a new creation in Christ … It is within this new Christian context that Jesus has raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament. He heals marriage and restores it to its original purity of permanent self-giving in one flesh (see Mt 19:6).”


ECAUSE MARRIAGE IS FROM GOD, it is endowed with certain essential attributes, without which it cannot exist as God intends. Among the essential attributes of marriage are: • exclusivity in the relationship between one man and one woman until death that cannot be dissolved by the simple will of the spouses; • marriage as the foundation for the family; •c onjugal love, the love proper to marriage, as present in the commitment to the complete and total gift of self between husband and wife; • t he clinging together of husband and wife as one flesh in complementarity; and • the formation of a unique communion of persons. Source: 2009 pastoral letter, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,” USCCB.

In Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith emphasized the importance of sexual complementarity and the need for children to experience both motherhood and fatherhood. It goes on to stress the importance of marriage as the foundation of the family, which is necessary for the survival of society.

of Lansing’s Catholic Charities agencies, sued the state of Michigan in federal court. On April 25, Catholic Charities West Michigan, a Catholic Charities agency of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, sued the state in state court. By these lawsuits, these Catholic Charities agencies are asserting their rights to free exercise of religion, free speech and equal protection under the state and federal constitutions, and to protection under a 2015 state law that protects the religious liberty of adoption agencies. In the St. Vincent lawsuit, St. Vincent is joined by three individual plaintiffs, Shamber Flore and Chad and Melissa Buck, all who have benefited from St. Vincent’s adoption services and would be harmed if those services were ended. St. Vincent and other plaintiffs are requesting that, during the lawsuit, the court preserve the status quo and order that St. Vincent be permitted to continue uniting children with adoptive and foster families in accord with Catholic principles and as it has since St. Vincent’s inception more than 70 years ago. 25




The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing JUNE 2019 VOLUME 19: ISSUE 5

www.FAITHpub.com Most Rev. Earl Boyea PUBLISHER

Rev. Dwight Ezop

dream come true SHE IS OUR

How Catholic Charities helped Darci and Rich adopt Anna Grace CULTURE

Pentecost – A Birthday, Feast Day and Confirmation


Deacon ordination 2019


Faith-based adoption services under pressure










Patrick Dally ART DIRECTOR


Jillane Job

Pope Francis calls all bishops to accountability with motu proprio on abuse



Jim Berlucchi | Doug Culp | Michelle DiFranco | Rev. Joseph Krupp | Sue Parker | Steve and Bridget Patton | Nancy Rosebush Schertzing | Sheri Wohlfert CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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Rev. Charles Irvin FOUNDING EDITOR For advertising information, contact Tom Gaskin Call 517.853.7648 or email tgaskin@faithcatholic.com For subscription information: Call 1.866.76.FAITH

FAITHTM (USPS 019993) is a publication of FAITH Catholic, Diocese of Lansing, 1500 E. Saginaw St., Lansing, MI 48906-5550. FAITHTM is a membership publication of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing and is published monthly except for February and August. To purchase a subscription, log on to FAITHpub.com. If you have a change of address, please contact your parish. Periodicals postage paid in Lansing, MI and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to FAITHTM, 1500 E. Saginaw St., Lansing MI 48906-5550. ©2017 FAITH Catholic. FAITH is a trademark of FAITH Catholic.



OPE FRANCIS ISSUED A DECREE in May for the worldwide Church which establishes a new law for reporting and investigating sexual abuse of minors and

vulnerable adults. The motu proprio, Vos estis lux mundi (You are the light of the world), sets a deadline of June 2020 for all dioceses, eparchies and religious orders to establish expedient processes for reporting sexual abuse, especially by clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life or Societies of Apostolic Life. The decree includes directives on caring for those who have been abused and protects reporters of abuse. It does not make changes to existing canonical penalties for clergy proven to have committed sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult. In the introduction to Vos estis lux mundi, Pope Francis declares, “It is good that procedures be universally adopted to prevent and combat these crimes that betray the trust of the faithful.” The pope called all bishops to leadership and accountability in the decree. “This responsibility falls, above all, on the successors of the apostles, chosen by God to be pastoral leaders of his people, and


demands from them a commitment to follow closely the path of the Divine Master.” THE DECREE: • Requires prompt reporting of abuse by all • I ncludes reporting norms for abusive acts by bishops • Protects reporters of sexual abuse •M andates use of metropolitan system for investigating abuse •P rovides for inclusion of laity in the process • I ncludes direction on caring for victims of abuse •R equires accessible systems for reporting abuse


PRIEST ASSIGNMENTS Bishop Boyea announces the following priest assignments and transfers, effective June 26, 2019, unless otherwise noted:

HOLY CROSS SERVICES TAKES OVER VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA FACILITY In October of 2018, Holy Cross Services, a Catholic charitable outreach organization, took over the Volunteers of America facility on Larch Street in Lansing. The facility, now called the New Hope Community Center, provides a full array of homeless services. Services include an emergency overnight shelter and day shelter, meals, transitional housing for veterans, assistance applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSDI), a community kitchen, substance abuse services, counseling, assistance and obtaining permanent housing; as well as, on-site access to a medical clinic, and dental, mental health services through community partnerships.

NEW PRESIDENT HIRED FOR LANSING CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL Bishop Earl Boyea has named Joseph Corace, of Bloomfield Hills, as the new president of Lansing Catholic High School, effective May 20. Joseph has extensive experience in marketing and management, strategic planning and fundraising. In response to his appointment, Joseph says, “I’m honored to be chosen to serve as Lansing Catholic High School’s next president, and look forward to upholding the many great traditions and guiding principles of the school. My wife, Judy, and I are strong advocates of Catholic education, and believe wholeheartedly in its future impact on young men and women. I look forward to working with the entire Lansing Catholic community to strategically move the school into the future. Lansing Catholic is blessed with a dedicated group of students, parents, faculty, staff and benefactors. I'm confident that together we can continue to nurture and grow an environment that forms students spiritually, intellectually and socially into faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.”

•R ev. Robert Bacik, from administrator to pastor of St. Isidore, Laingsburg and Holy Family, Ovid. • Rev. Gerald Gawronski, from missionary at the service of the patriarch of Babylon to parochial vicar in the Catholic Community of Flint, effective Aug. 1. • Rev. David Howell, from pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Brighton to senior priest status and in residence at St. Mark Parish, Grand Blanc. • Rev. Todd Koenigsknecht, from administrator to pastor of Sacred Heart, Hudson and St. Mary on the Lake, Manitou Beach. • Rev. Prabhu Lakra to parochial vicar of St. Gerard, Lansing. • Rev. John Linden, from diocesan director of vocations to pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle, Saline. • Rev. Shaun Lowery, from parochial vicar for St. Francis of Assisi, Ann Arbor to pastor of St. Mary Magdalen, Brighton. • Rev. Michael Newman, OSFS, to pastor of Holy Family, Adrian, effective Aug. 17. • Rev. Vincent Richardson, from

parochial vicar for St. Gerard, Lansing to administrator of Cristo Rey, Lansing. • Rev. Robert Roggenbuck, leave of absence, effective immediately. • Rev. Anthony Smela, from parochial vicar of St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor to parochial vicar of St. Francis of Assisi, Ann Arbor. • Rev. Fred Thelen, from pastor of Cristo Rey Parish, Lansing to senior priest status. • Rev. William Wegher, to sacramental ministry, Sts. Mary and Joseph, Durand and Gaines. • Rev. Dan Westermann, from administrator of Ss. Mary and Joseph, Durand to pastor of St. John the Baptist, Ypsilanti. • Rev. John Whitlock, from spiritual director of St. John Vianney College Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., to diocesan director of vocations.

PRIESTHOOD ANNIVERSARIES The following priests are celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year: • Rev. William Auth, OSFS • Rev. David Harvey • Rev. William Koenigsknecht • Rev. James Lothamer, SS • Rev. Douglas Osborn • Rev. Raymond Urbanek • Rev. Richard Zang, CSC

REQUIESCAT IN PACE Sister Ernestina Zapata-Rosas died at the age of 87 on May 1, and her funeral was on May 7 at Cristo Rey Church in Lansing. She was a Passionist sister who served the Diocese of Lansing from 2000 to 2015. Sister Ernestina visited the families in the towns of St. Johns, Owosso and Jackson, and in Cristo Rey Parish. She served the migrant Hispanic population with love, and visited seniors in the hospital and at their homes, forming Bible study communities.





CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF JACKSON, LENAWEE AND HILLSDALE COUNTIES, JACKSON: 517.782.2551 AND ADRIAN: 517.263.2191 or CATHOLICCHARITIESJLHC.ORG • Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties Bags of Hope Program: Imagine being a parent and having to choose between dinner for your family or toilet paper because you can’t afford both. This program works with various local food pantries to distribute personal needs items. Local service organizations shop for the most-needed personal care products using oversized shopping bags, and deliver the items to their local participating food pantry for distribution. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, your service organization can help. For more information about Bags of Hope, call 517.879.0599 or bcuthbertson@CatholicCharitiesJLHC.org.

June 1, shotgun start: 9 a.m., St. John, Howell’s Knights of Columbus golf outing at Chemung Hills Country Club in Howell. For information, visit facebook.com/kofc8169. For questions, contact Mike Babiuk at 248.388.5660 or michaelbabiuk@mac.com.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF SHIAWASSEE AND GENESEE COUNTIES, FLINT: 810.232.9950 AND OWOSSO: 989.723.7239 or CCSGC.ORG • The Sewing Business at St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center specializes in the construction of three core product lines: medical apparel, custom embroidery and specialty items including designer aprons and stadium blankets. Medical apparel includes professional scrubs, lab coats and medical gowns. Customer embroidery specializes in company and team logo apparel. They can accommodate orders large or small, please call 810.239.8710 or visit stlukenewlife.com/commercial-sewing to fill out a form to arrange a sales appointment. LIVINGSTON COUNTY CATHOLIC CHARITIES, 517.545.5944 or LIVINGSTONCATHOLICCHARITIES.ORG • Be Our Guest Adult Day Care provides respite care for caregivers offering 24-hour specialized care for loved ones who suffer from dementia and forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s. It provides recreational and social activities for participants. Guests receive a hot meal, medication reminders, daily supervision and activities to meet their needs. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information or to set up a tour, contact Suzi Snyder at 517.546.9910. CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES OF WASHTENAW COUNTY, 734.971.9781 or CSSWASHTENAW.ORG • Substance abuse treatment: Individual substance abuse counseling is provided for individuals struggling with moderate to serious drug and alcohol abuse issues. Using an intervention model, this outpatient treatment focuses on developing specific goals to enable clients to create a healthier and more productive lifestyle. Fees are assessed on a sliding scale. CSSW is an authorized provider for many insurance and managed care plans. Clients are encouraged to check whether their policy covers substance abuse services. A prior authorization may be required. For more information, please call 734.926.0155. ST, VINCENT CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF LANSING, 517.323.4734 or STVCC.ORG •M ARE (Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange) is an information and referral service for prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting children from the foster care system. The MARE website provides a photo listing of waiting Michigan children and of Michigan families interested in adopting children with special needs. The child listings are updated throughout the week and families may inquire on waiting children through the website. If you want to learn more about adoption, please contact Nikki Sepolen at 517.323.4734, ext. 1608. 28


June 2, 11 a.m., the annual Diocese of Lansing Mass for Persons with Disabilities will be celebrated by Bishop Earl Boyea at St. Mary Cathedral, 219 Seymour Ave., Lansing. All are welcome to attend. A light luncheon will follow in St. Mary Cathedral Parish Hall. To attend the luncheon, you had to RSVP by May 24. Tues., June 4, 11, 18 and 25, 6 p.m., St. Therese Parish, 102 W. Randolph St. in Lansing will host the Catholic Information Series for couples preparing to celebrate the sacrament of marriage. It will be held in the St. Francis Room. To register, please contact Deacon Dave Borzenski at borzenskid@ gmail.com or 517.487.0478. June 7, St. Joseph Parish, Dexter will host Fairway to Heaven golf outing at Stonebridge Golf Club in Ann Arbor. To play or sponsor a hole, visit stjos.com. For questions, call 734.426.8483. June 13-14, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and June 15, 8-11 a.m., St. Francis of Assisi Parish will have its annual Rummage Sale in the Parish Activity Center, 2250 E. Stadium, Ann Arbor. For more information, call 734.769.2250 or visit stfrancisa2.com. June 18-20, 8:30 a.m. to noon, St. Therese, 102 W. Randolph St., Lansing, will have Vacation Bible School: Mars and Beyond. For information, call 517.487.3730 or visit sttherese.org. June 18, 9 a.m., St. Agnes, Fowlerville, will have a Firekeepers Casino trip and free breakfast. The church will host a free breakfast in

the Lothamer Parish Center prior to the bus leaving at 10 a.m. Cost is $35 and includes roundtrip bus transportation; $20 in free slot play; and $5 toward dining, slot play or gift shop. Returning guests who bring their Red-Hot Rewards Club card will get credits/ points added to their existing card. For reservations to participate or information, call the parish office at 517.223.8684. June 24-28, 9 a.m.-noon, St. Agnes, Fowlerville will have Vacation Bible School and welcomes children from age 4 through grade 5. ROAR with us as we discover that Life is Wild and God is Good. To register, stop by the parish or email msheridandre@gmail.com. June 29, 4 p.m. Holy Spirit Parish, Brighton will celebrate Mass to mark 40 years with previous Holy Spirit pastors, followed by a potluck picnic and fireworks. For information, contact the parish office at 810.231.9199, ext. 200 or parishoffice@holyspiritrcs.org. June 29, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and June 30, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2316 W. Coldwater Rd., Flint, will host its Fiesta Mexicana with authentic Mexican food, raffle, Mexican bingo, vendors and great entertainment. As time nears, visit ologflint.org for information or call the parish office at 810.787.5701. July 12-14, Ann Arbor Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat: The pain of abortion runs deep and long, but the unconditional love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and healing of our Lord is available to all who seek him. Anyone who has been impacted by abortion is invited to attend the weekend retreat. For information or to register, contact Beth at 734.879.0427 or toheal4give@outlook.com. July 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., St. John the Baptist, Howell’s annual Car Show at the parish grounds and in Thompson Hall: silent auction, 50/50 raffle, food, family fun, awards and car

entrant raffle. Car entry fee is $20 and general admission per car $5. Everyone is welcome. For information, call the parish office at 517.546.7200. July 26-28, the National Conference of Democrats for Life will be at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. There will be speakers and panels addressing issues such as human life and dignity after birth; the plight of refugees; poverty; and end-of-life care. Bishop Boyea will celebrate Mass at 7:30 a.m. on July 28. To learn more, view the conference agenda and register to attend, visit iwantmypartyback. democratsforlife.org. Aug. 2-4, St. Casimir, Lansing’s annual Corn Roast Festival has everything: its famous corn on the cob, beer tent, raffle and more. Friday, great food and DJ, 5-9 p.m. and adult night with live band and dancing 9 p.m. to midnight. Saturday, children’s game area 4-9 p.m. and live music and dancing from 9 p.m. to midnight; and Sunday, 12:30-3 p.m. For information, please call 517.482.1346. Aug. 23-24, St. Michael, Grand Ledge will host its annual Funfest with live entertainment,

kids’ games, concessions, prizes and more. For information, visit stmichaelgl.org. Aug. 25, St. Mark the Evangelist, Goodrich will have a 11:30 a.m. Mass followed by a Founders Day Family Picnic. For information, contact the parish at 810.636.2216 or jsalvati@stmarkgoodrich.org. SAVE THE DATE: Oct. 13 is the inaugural Holy Fire Great Lakes middle school event being held on the campus of Bowling Green State University. This oneday event is filled with dynamic presenters, music and Mass with Bishop Boyea, along with middle school students from Michigan and Ohio. Registration materials and details will be sent to parish youth ministers, DREs and Catholic schools in early summer. OPEN ENROLLMENT: St. Michael Catholic School in Grand Ledge is holding open enrollment for the 2019/2020 school year. If you are looking for a family-centered atmosphere for your child’s education with enriched programs, STEM curriculum and state-of-the-art technology, call the school office at 517.627.2167 for more information or to set up a tour.

RETREATS WEBER RETREAT AND CONFERENCE CENTER, ADRIAN, 517.266.4000 or WEBERCENTER.ORG July 15-19, Private directed retreat: Experience the serenity and clarity that comes from listening to God's Holy Spirit within you, guided by daily spiritual direction to help you process and clarify your insights. Cost: $425, includes private room, meals and daily spiritual direction. Commuter: $250. Register online or call the retreat center. ST. FRANCIS RETREAT CENTER, DEWITT, STFRANCIS.WS or 866.669.8321. July 14-20, Silent Ignatian Retreat is built around the elements of Lectio Divina and the Examen prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Daily liturgical prayer is a key element of the retreat, including Morning Prayer, Mass and Evening Prayer during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. It begins with registration on July 14 at 1 p.m. Cost is $620 per person, which includes all meals, materials, lodging and spiritual direction. A non-refundable deposit of $75 is requested with your registration. To register, visit stfrancis.ws.

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