Page 1


The great “both ... and” St. Athanasius | May 2

saint of the month

Is Jesus created by God? Or is he God? St. Athanasius faced one of the greatest challenges to this principle and paid for his defense of it in the form of multiple banishments. Arius, a presbyter from Alexandria in Egypt, and his followers had declared that Christ was not of the same “substance” of God the Father. Instead, Jesus Christ was the highest creature created by God, not God himself. Fully human and fully divine – the origin of the Nicene Creed At the First Council of Nicaea (325), Athanasius argued vehemently against this denial of Christ’s divinity. Jesus Christ was/ is both fully human and fully divine. To deny either pole of this dialectic was to lose the fullness of truth about Jesus Christ. He continued his defense of the Incarnation in and out of exile. Ultimately, he was found to be innocent of all the false accusations that his enemies had leveled against him and used to justify his banishment. This Doctor of Orthodoxy died peacefully in his own bed.

What does this mean for you? The “Great Both…And…” that St. Athanasius spent his life fighting for continues to be a principle that invites each Catholic to live in and embrace the tension inherent in the Church’s understanding of the truth. Pope Benedict XVI identified a number of these dialectic poles in his recent encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. For example, the title itself points to the reality that both charity and truth must be held together and affirmed in order for the fullness of truth to be discovered. St. Athanasius’ life witnesses to the arduous nature of this challenge. However, his faithfulness to this principle prevented the Church from reducing reality to only one aspect of the truth at the expense of the fullness of the Truth, who is Jesus Christ, an “indivisible” person, both human and divine.

San Atanasio

The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids

May 2011 Volume 5: Issue 3

Bishop Walter A. Hurley PUBLISHER


Michael Zalewski MANAGING EDITOR

JoAnn Fox


Bishop Walter A. Hurley Msgr. Gaspar F. Ancona Father Ron Hutchinson Molly Klimas JoAnn Fox Tyler Lecceadone CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

JoAnn Fox Tyler Lecceadone David Taylor Jonathan Tramontana CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

FAITH Catholic Rev. Dwight Ezop CHAIRMAN

Patrick M. O’Brien


Elizabeth Martin Solsburg


Cynthia Vandecar


Patrick Dally ART DIRECTOR

Michelle Hildebrandt


Frank Iacovella Lynne Ridenour Janna Stellwag Abby Wieber


Jillane Job


• San Atanasio enfrentó uno de los mayores desafíos a este principio y pagó, por defenderlo, con múltiples exilios. Arrio, un presbítero de Alejandría, Egipto, y sus seguidores habían proclamado que Cristo no era de la misma «sustancia» de Dios Padre. En su lugar, Jesucristo era la criatura más excelsa creada por Dios, no Dios mismo. • En el primer Concilio de Nicea (325 A.D.), Atanasio impugnó vehementemente esta negación de la divinidad de Cristo. Jesucristo era y es ambas cosas; completamente humano y completamente divino. Negar uno u otro extremo de esta dialéctica era perder la plenitud de la verdad acerca de Jesucristo. Él continuó su defensa de la Encarnación dentro y fuera del destierro. Finalmente, se le halló inocente de todas las calumnias que sus enemigos habían esgrimido difundido contra él para justificar

su destierro. Este Doctor de la Iglesia murió serenamente en su propio lecho. • El “Altísimo, Jesucristo, verdadero ... y ...” por el cual Atanasio lucho toda su vida sigue siendo un principio que exhorta a todo católico a vivir en, y abrazar la tensión inherente en la interpretación de la iglesia de esta verdad. El Papa Benedicto XVI señaló un número de estos extremos dialécticos en su reciente encíclica Caritas in Veritate. Por ejemplo, el título mismo señala la realidad que tanto, la caridad como la verdad, deben sostenerse y apoyarse juntas para que se revele la plenitud de la verdad. La vida de San Atanasio da testimonio de la naturaleza ardua de este desafío. Sin embargo, su fidelidad a este principio evitó que la iglesia limitara la realidad a sólo un aspecto de la verdad a expensas de la plenitud de la Verdad, que Jesucristo es una persona «indivisible», tanto humana como divina.

Michelle Sessions DiFranco Deacon Tom Fogle and JoAnne Fogle Paul Jarzembowski Father Joseph Krupp Dr. Gelasia Marquez Dr. Cathleen McGreal Sister Ann Shields Rita Thiron CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Tom Gennara Philip Shippert


Derek Melot



PRINT MANAGEMENT FAITHTM Grand Rapids (USPS 023-851), the Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, is a publication of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, 360 Division Avenue S., Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4501. Published monthly except for February and August. For address and subscription changes, please contact Periodicals postage paid at Grand Rapids, MI and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to FAITHTM Grand Rapids, 360 Division Avenue S., Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4501. ©FAITH Publishing Service and Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Give the gift of

Order a subscription today:

Liturgical calendar: Divine Mercy Sunday May 1 | St. Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church May 2 | Feast of Ss. Philip and James, apostles May 3 | St. Damien Joseph de Veuster of M

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |


Cover photo courtesy of Jonathan Tramontana

Into the Light:

An icon painter’s story


– Molly Klimas

22 profile

Lifelong artist shares ancient tradition of iconography – Diane Hamel says that the spirituality and faith of her students always leaves her feeling humbled and enriched. As she meets with catechumens and candidates in her work and continues to paint and share iconography with others, Hamel reflects on and imparts to those she meets what she feels is one of the most beautiful gifts of Catholicism – the communion of saints. – JoAnn Fox


social media

Diocesan communication ministry enters new age, reflects on history – While social media might be the latest buzz words to describe how people communicate in today’s society, the Catholic faith has been using some form of social communication since the birth of Christ. – Tyler Lecceadone

what you’ll get out of this issue 4 from the bishop – Most Rev. Walter Hurley 6 parenting journey I lost a child and Mothers’ Day is hard. – Dr. Cathleen McGreal

6 what gets my goat My friend just had a miscarriage and I don’t know what to say. – Dr. Gelasia Marquez 8 culture The dish on working together. – Michelle Sessions DiFranco

10 in the know with Father Joe What is social justice? – Father Joseph Krupp

12 theology 101 What will we be saying differently at Mass? The presidential prayers – propers. – Rita Thiron 14 spiritual fitness How can we be more like Mary? – Sister Ann Shields

30 vocations Pray without ceasing. – Father Ron Hutchinson 31 last word Lifelong friends. – Msgr. Gaspar F. Ancona

Moloka’i, priest May 10 | Ss. Nereus and Achilleus, martyrs; St. Pancras, martyr May 12 | Our Lady of Fatima May 13 | Feast of St. Matthias, apostle May 14 | St. John I, pope and martyr May 18

inside this issue

Chances are, you’ve met or heard of Chris Stander through the secular and Catholic roles that have taken her from Grand Haven to Holland to Grand Rapids and even to The Abbey at Gethsemani in Kentucky. In recent years, she’s taken on a quietly creative and contemplative role as Chris the icon painter – a role that fits beautifully with her desire to just “be” in the present moment with whoever may need her.


Photography by Dave Taylor

Holy Week and Easter at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew


y dear friends,

from the bishop

Each year during Holy Week, we are reminded in a profound way of the foundation of our Christian faith – the mystery of Christ’s victory over death and his resurrection. As we walk through the turbulent final week of Christ’s earthly life, we are immersed through Scripture and sacrament in the events of Holy Week and Easter which identify so clearly the importance of Jesus’ life and our own.

Matthew’s recounting of Jesus’ Passion is more than just a historical timeline. His Gospel message conveys a new understanding of our own suffering and the promise of our resurrection. In the midst of pain and loss, we can find comfort in knowing that God is leading us to new life and joy. Each time we celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass when the priest recites the words “Do this in memory of me”, the events of Holy Week and Easter are “made present” and we find in that experience the boundless love of God. My prayer this Easter season is that you may know and experience the presence of the risen Lord in your lives. Sincerely yours in the Lord, Bishop Walter A. Hurley






St. Bernardine of Siena, priest May 20 | St. Christopher Magallanes, priest and his companions, martyrs, May 21 | St. Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi,

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |


Joined by Cardinal Maida (center), Bis bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, rece and chain from Pope John Paul II during Michigan bishops in 2004.




A Two by two, priests and deacons of the diocese process into the Cathedral of Saint Andrew during the annual Chrism Mass, a time when the priests renew their commitment to priestly service. | B Bishop Hurley incenses the oils during the Chrism Mass. | C Priests of the diocese pray together with Bishop Hurley. | D Washing the feet is a symbol of profound religious meaning and a sign of humility such as that exemplified by Jesus. Here, Bishop Hurley washes and dries the feet of Cathedral of Saint Andrew parishioner Brad Mathis. | E Adoration of the Eucharist in the Cathedral of Saint Andrew chapel. Eucharistic adoration is the respect and worship we give to Jesus, who is truly present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. | F Members of the congregation process forward to give honor to our Lord’s cross as the instrument of our salvation. | G Bishop Hurley celebrates Holy Communion, the third part of the Good Friday Liturgy. | H Bishop Hurley baptizes catechumen Sandra Herrera. | I Bishop Hurley along with the entire congregation welcomes and congratulates the newly baptized (from left) Stacey Arambula, Coral Cano and Sandra Herrera. | J Celebrating the sacrament of confirmation.

, virgin May 25 | St. Philip Neri, priest May 26 | St. Augustine of Canterbury, bishop May 27 | Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary May 31

from the bishop



T. Gennara

I lost a child, and Mothers’ Day is hard. Can’t they avoid talking about it at church?


Dr. Cathleen McGreal is a psychology professor and certified spiritual advisor.

parenting journey

I was in church on Mothers’ Day and the priest talked about motherhood in the homily. Then he asked all the mothers to stand for a blessing at the end. We lost our only child a couple of years ago and this is so painful for me. Don’t you think the Church should be more sensitive on a day that is so difficult for so many people and just not bring it up?


Once, when we were driving, my grandma explained the difference between displaying blue or gold stars during World War II. The stars were long gone, but she knew how many there had been in each window. Her home had three blue stars for members serving in the military and they remained blue. But, one day, the lone blue star in a window down the street was covered with gold. That young soldier had died. Women gathered on that front porch of the home, mourning together. Like Mary, mothers carry these memories in their hearts; they hold them there for a lifetime.

If you can, stand for your blessing. You will always be a mother. When you pray each day for your child, you

what gets my goat


A friend of mine recently had a miscarriage, and I don’t know what to say to her. I’m afraid talking about this will just make her sadder. Can you help?


pray as mom. The heartbreaking part is that you don’t get to go through all the developmental changes: moving through grades at school, discerning a vocation, seeing talents blossom. But you don’t need those experiences to be a parent. You are a parent. Let God’s love surround you during the blessing. Have your husband and close friends sit beside you so that you feel their warmth and support. Spend time in prayer with the Blessed Mother. Perhaps pondering these verses will help you in your distress: “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took

her into his home.” (John 19:26-2) Your future has changed completely since your child’s life gave a particular focus to your own and a timeline to your expectations. Contact the funeral home to see if there is a parental support group. Check with your parish to see if there is a bereavement ministry or a special ministry for parents who have lost children. Pray for others whose hearts ache on Mothers’ Day. Mothers’ Day is difficult for those who want to be parents. In many parishes, women who love others with a mother’s heart – such as aunts and godmothers, teachers and friends – are invited to stand and be blessed.

My friend just had a miscarriage and I don’t know what to say Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.

Throughout our lives, we continually confront crises – some expected and some that hit us out of the blue. A miscarriage is one of those unexpected crises – and it is an intensely sad experience and extremely devastating loss for both parents. No words, no set of phrases or lines – not even the text of the commercial sympathy cards – can substitute your presence there, while she is dealing with the personal

reactions that follow a loss. My suggestion is to show your friend that you care and that you are there for her. Spend time listening to her while she is talking about her feelings, when she is crying or having an emotional outburst – because crying and emotional outbursts are the first steps toward healing. Pray with her, show her the love of Christ for her. She will be grateful to you for the rest of her life.

FAITH Grand Rapids / April 2011 / |


He said | She said what do they do? Deacon Tom Fogle and JoAnne Fogle help prepare couples for marriage.

“Smoking is a deal-breaker.” Barb says: I recently found a pack of cigarettes in Mike’s jacket. I am really upset – my grandfather and uncle died of lung cancer and this is a “deal-breaker” for me. I always told Mike I wouldn’t marry a smoker.

“Marriage shouldn’t have deal-breakers.” Mike says: I know smoking is bad for me. And I did quit before Barb and I got married. But I’ve been under a lot of stress lately and picked it up again. It calms me down – and it is my body after all, not Barb’s. I can’t believe she considers this a “deal-breaker”; I thought marriage meant there were no deal-breakers.

A marital relationship is based on covenantal love: trust, honesty, commitment and care for your spouse. Barb has a right to be concerned about Mike starting to smoke again – not only because of the impact to his health, but also because of what second-hand smoke can do to hers. Barb should share with Mike how his smoking again will affect “his and her” health and focus less on the relatives who have already died. This may help Mike understand the severity of his actions. It is not unusual for a person to revert to addictive behaviors when under stress, especially if those patterns were learned in their early developmental years. The addict tends to rationalize his or her actions in an attempt to legitimize and justify them (“It is my body” or “I thought there were no deal-breakers,” for example). The rationalizing usually makes no sense, except to the addict.

Barb and Mike need to discuss the particular stress Mike is experiencing and how they both could help in reducing the stress – remember that in a sacramental marriage helping your spouse comes before self-interest. In most cases, stress can be minimized when both husband and wife share in finding a remedy that will work toward lessening behaviors that are not conducive to a life-giving marriage. Simple things like evening walks together, short discussions around the dinner table or participating together in a hobby may help. The key is to re-channel the stress. Addictive behaviors usually need assistance to overcome – they tend to overrule our good sense and have a powerful magnetic pull on our human weaknesses. Mike should ask the Holy Spirit for grace to fight the addictive attraction and to choose good over evil. It is wise to remember the admonishment from Romans 14, “If your brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with love. … Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another.”

your marriage matters

Mike is correct: in a sacramental marriage, there should not be any deal-breakers. However, addictive behaviors that are harmful and dangerous to either spouse border on unacceptability.


A Polish The dish on working together Easter


FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

The second is the kind that spouses do together for the benefit of the home, the kids or another person. These collaborative sacrifices can become great blessings in disguise, since they seem to reinforce and bolster the bonds of marriage as well as deepen our relationship with Christ. They give us (as a couple) a common purpose, so we, in turn, learn to become mutually dependent and supportive toward each other for a common goal. Examples might include relinquishing a precious Saturday to visit an ill or elderly acquaintance together. Or something we’re going to be doing in the near future, getting rid of our cable TV, so our children aren’t exposed to inappropriate programming and racy ads. Another example of the collaborative type happens at dinnertime. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I love to cook. But there is a big difference between fun, creative and leisurely experimentation in the kitchen, and the mundane food preparation that happens on a routine basis for the family. I’ll be frank: it can be a chore, and, thus, a small sacrifice made for their benefit. But when we work together in the kitchen, the burden of the job becomes a common goal and challenge. We operate like true partners. Of all the meals my husband and I cook together, few have been as demanding, and rewarding, as paella. Paella is a Spanish rice dish that includes a lot of ingredients and preparation. I will be forthcoming in saying that it is one of the more involved recipes I’ve shared in this magazine. But it is totally worth the effort, as it results in a delicious combination of complex flavors and textures. Guests love it and our children devour it. And the sacrifice it demands (work, extra time and some cleanup) is as rewarding to us as the taste of the finished product. My husband and I find that sacrificing for each other has long-term benefits. But sacrificing together for the benefit of others offers some immediate gratification. I encourage you to try this incredible dish sometime. And if you can tackle its preparation with your spouse or a family member for others to enjoy, it can be a labor of love that will benefit your relationship, as well as your palates. Enjoy!

Spanish paella 4-6 skinless chicken thighs, seasoned with salt and pepper 2 chorizo sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 pound raw, peeled shrimp ½ pound raw sea scallops or chopped calamari 10-12 little neck clams or mussels (in the shell), scrubbed 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained 2-3 red, yellow, orange or green bell peppers, sliced into strips ½ cup frozen peas, thawed 1 medium to large onion, chopped 5-6 cloves minced garlic pinch of crushed red pepper (or more for added heat) 1 teaspoon Spanish saffron 4 cups chicken stock or broth 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 cups white rice salt and pepper to taste ½ cup chopped parsley lemon wedges for serving In a paella pan (or large sauté pan or wok), heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the chorizo and chicken until browned. Remove and set aside for later. In the same pan, add 1-2 tablespoons (more) oil and sauté peppers, onions and parsley for 5-6 minutes (on mediumhigh heat). Add tomatoes and cook until peppers are tender and onions slightly caramelize. Fold in the rice, crushed red pepper and garlic, and stir until the grains are well coated. Add the chicken stock and saffron. Give

By Michelle Sessions DiFranco | Photography by Philip Shippert

mixture a quick stir and bring to boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, carefully moving pan around until the rice absorbs most of the liquid. Add the chorizo and chicken. Add clams, followed by shrimp and scallops (in that order/ waiting about a minute between each ingredient). At this point, you can cover and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or when the clams (or mussels) have opened. Gently fold in peas and continue to simmer until rice looks fluffy and moist. Serve with lemon wedges and a garnish of parsley.


T. Gennara

s a wife and mom, I find that sacrifice can be broken down into two categories. The first is the kind that is solely for the benefit of your spouse. Whether large or small, it is very selfless. Like when I forfeit the TV remote so he can change from HGTV, which I love, to People Caught On Tape Hurting Themselves By Doing Stupid Things, or whatever it’s called, which he loves. Or, conversely, when he forgoes guy-time with his friend whom he hasn’t seen in months to help me with a project that I know he wishes I had not begun.



Dear Fr. Joe:

What is social justice?


Send your questions to:

At Mass on Sunday, one of the intentions was for social justice. I hear this term all the time in church – what does it mean?


in the know with Fr. Joe

T. Gennara


This is a great question! These are confusing times for American Catholics, I think. We’ve got a strong sense of allegiance to our American political system, be it conservative or liberal, and are, at times, in danger of letting our political affiliation define us more than our Catholic faith. Let’s look at what the Catholic Church means when she requires us to be concerned with social justice. As for me, I’m neither liberal nor conservative – I’m Catholic. With all that in mind, let’s get right to it. What is social justice? We’ll start where any good answer does: the catechism. In section 1928, the CCC says this: Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority. The catechism helps us further by breaking down the idea of social justice into a few core ideas, each one with pretty serious consequences. We start with the idea of human dignity. A society that is socially just is one that promotes the fact that we are all made in God’s image and likeness. Each person we encounter is a treasure God puts before us. Any law or policy that doesn’t enhance this belief works against human dignity and, therefore, works against social justice. If our hunger for social justice is not rooted in a firm and heartfelt

conviction that all life is sacred, then we do not understand social justice at all. Because of this inherent dignity, a socially just society promotes and proclaims policies that allow all persons within it a legitimate shot at earning their due. This idea that we all share equally in God’s dignity means then that we should, as a country, work hard to reduce/alleviate any “excessive social and economic inequalities. (Human dignity) gives urgency to the elimination of sinful inequalities.” (CCC 1947) Also, keeping in mind the value of each person, a society that lives a commitment to social justice recognizes that each person should “… look upon his neighbor, without any exception as ‘another self.’” (CCC 1931) This goes beyond “accepting other people” and right into the heart of our belief that we were made to be dependent on one another. It is not a bad thing; this interdependency is God’s plan. This brings us to the final idea of social justice: solidarity. In sections 1939-1942 of the catechism, the idea and importance of human solidarity are broken down so well, I’d be hard pressed to explain without missing some very important ideas. The core idea of solidarity is that we are all connected, you and I and every person in the world. We are connected by God’s love for us and by our dignity. This connection should compel us to identify with those who suffer and want justice for the poor and “little ones” – at least as much as we want it for ourselves. See that? A society that is socially just

is one that starts with a recognition of human dignity and continues with a deep respect for the way God manifests himself through the many people we encounter and the spiritual and physical gifts they bring with them! What’s amazing to me about this is that this teaching on social justice is not about any political party. It’s about you and me. You and I are all called to be just. With our hearts, our words and our actions, we are called to recognize the value of every person we meet and let that recognition transform the way we live and love. In summary, when we pray for social justice, we are praying that God will increase in each of us our recognition of our human dignity and the dignity of all his children. we are praying that, as a country, our policies and laws will promote an honest and open society that offers each person a chance to earn their due. We are praying that life will be honored and protected at all stages – it’s a big prayer, but one well worth praying! Enjoy another day in God’s presence! Next month, we’ll explore the seven principles of social justice.

To learn more about social justice initiatives in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, contact Jean Katt, Catholic Charities West Michigan, 616.551.5663.

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |


Take Mom to the movies


Read more of Paul Jarzembowski’s thoughts on

This is also a perfect month to remember movie mothers over the years: Kay Miniver (Greer Garson) as a resilient mother in the early years of World War II in Mrs. Miniver (1942); Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) comforting her cancerstricken daughter, Emma (Debra Winger), in Terms of Endearment (1983); or Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts), a single mom who becomes the protector of a whole town in a major civil case in Erin Brockovich (2000). Perhaps most importantly, movies remind us that the love, strength and determination of mothers can withstand any problem that faces their families. For instance, in The Incredibles (2004), it is Elasti-Girl (voiced by Holly Hunter) who brings her strong-headed husband, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), back to reality – and reminds him that the love of family is the greatest superpower of all. In much the same way, in My Big

Fat Greek Wedding (2002), it is the common sense of the Greek family matriarch, Maria (Lainie Kazan), that softens the hard edges of her bull-headed husband, Gus (Michael Constantine), and fuels the ambitions and dreams of her formerly shy daughter Toula (Nia Vardalos). These films remind us how important our mothers are in our lives and in our families. In the Scriptures, it was Mary who lovingly encouraged Jesus to perform his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1-12), yet she still stepped back and allowed him to do as he wished. Mothers are the glue that can hold a family together and the gentle voice urging us on. The Blessed Mother has done that for the Church through the centuries, and our own mothers and grandmothers continue that wonderful tradition. Movies like these (and many more) continue to remind us to honor our mothers, thank them for their sacrifice and love them as Jesus loved his own mother. So treat your mom (and any of the other motherly figures in your life – grandmothers, aunts, sisters, spouses, teachers, care-givers and mentors) to a bucket of popcorn and a seat next to you at the movies this year. It’s the least we can do for them. Read more of Paul Jarzembowski’s thoughts on

spiritual popcorn


ay is a great time to take mom to the movies – perhaps on Mothers’ Day or after church in this month that we honor our Blessed Mother (or simply because the summer blockbusters are starting to arrive in theaters now – and Mom deserves a trip to the multiplex, too).

theology 101


W h at w i l l w e b e s ay i n g at M a s s ?

The presidential prayers –



our times during the Mass, the priest, who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ, addresses God in the name of all those present. We call these the presidential prayers because they are voiced by the presider. (GIRM 30) Foremost among these is the eucharistic prayer, but three other orations (ora, “to pray”) are offered that are proper to the Mass – that is, they are particular to the liturgical day or rite.

(Photo by Dave Taylor)

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

concisely expresses the character of this particular celebration. It has three major parts – the address (“Heavenly Father,” “Almighty God”), the petition (“Grant that we may …) and the conclusion, which acknowledges the mediation of Christ. The conclusion changes depending on the rest of the prayer. • If the prayer is addressed to God, it will conclude with “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. (Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum). • If the prayer is directed to the Father, but the Son is mentioned as the end: “who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.”

The collect We encounter the first one at the conclusion of the introductory rites. First, the priest says “Let us pray.” In the silence that follows, we focus on the fact that we are in God’s presence and call to mind all the intentions we may bring before the Lord this day. Then the priest begins the opening prayer, or the “collect,” so called because it “gathers together” the silent intentions of the faithful. (GIRM 54) Like all Roman Rite prayers, it is marked with noble simplicity and clarity of expression. The collect

In the current translation, you hear the phrase “We ask this through …” But there are no words for “we ask this” in the Latin original, so in the new translation, the priest will merely say “Through Christ our Lord…” We make the prayer our own by responding “Amen.” This is a great Aramaic word. It sounds the same in Latin. It means “so be it” or “it is so.” With this word, we assent to what is true. (cf. Deut 27:15; 1 Cor 14:16)

The Prayer After Communion After the distribution of Communion, the people pray together silently or sing a hymn of thanksgiving. (GIRM 164) “To bring to completion the prayer of the people of God, and also to conclude the entire Communion rite, the priest says the prayer after Communion, in which he prays for the fruit of the mystery just celebrated. (GIRM 89) He uses the shorter conclusion Per Christum Dominum nostrum – “Through Christ our Lord.” Again, this will vary depending on the totality of the text. We affirm the prayer with our “Amen.” These prayers have a rich history and are part of the rich heritage of the Church. All of them have undergone a new translation so you may hear a phrase that is new to you. Listen attentively to the rich theology they contain and to the petitions that they address to the Father. Then give the prayer your sincere and hearty “Amen.”

Prayer over the offerings At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the gifts of bread and wine are brought forward. After they have been placed on the altar and the accompanying rites completed, the priest invites us to pray that these gifts may be acceptable to the Father. He then prays the prayer over the offerings. (GIRM 77) There is evidence that the Church has prayed a prayer over gifts since the 11th century. For many centuries, the prayer was recited quietly and was called “the

Rita Thiron is director of the Office of Worship for the Catholic Diocese of Lansing and a member of the board of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.

theology 101

• On the rare occasions when it is directed to the Son, the prayer ends with “You live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.”


secret.” But in the reforms of Vatican II, the name of the prayer and its manner of recitation were restored. In the Mass, only one prayer over the offerings is said and it ends with the shorter conclusion: Per Christum Dominum nostrum – “Through Christ our Lord.” Again, if Jesus has been mentioned in the prayer, the conclusion changes. As before, the people unite themselves to the entreaty and make the prayer their own with the acclamation, “Amen.”

T. Gennara

During the 2011 Mass of Chrism at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Bishop Hurley and the concelebrants extend their hands in prayer over the bread and wine.

spiritual fitness



FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

How can we be

more like Mary?


t is May – the month of the Blessed Mother and the month in which we honor our earthly mothers. As I was reflecting on that, I began to think about particular qualities of a good mother: her desire for the best for her children; her willingness to sacrifice in so many ways to make sure her children have the best that a mother can make possible. The well-being of her children – health, education, advantages for the future, their relationships, the fostering of their talents and abilities – is ever uppermost in a mother’s mind and heart. But don’t forget what is most important.

Sister Ann Shields is a renowned author and a member of the Servants of God’s Love. Questions can be addressed to Sister Ann Shields, Renewal Ministries, 230 Collingwood, Suite 240, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Spiritual exercises


Unite your will to God’s will by daily allowing your life to be more and more conformed to God’s will. Ask him for grace to surrender your personal life and your married life to his will.


As you do that, you will begin to grow in wisdom on how to pray for what is most needed in your child’s life – whether that “child” is 2 or 22 or 62. A mother’s prayers united with God’s will are powerful! “The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful in its effects.” (James 5:16)


If it is possible, form a small mothers’ group that meets monthly, or more frequently, to pray for your children together. The support of others praying

with you for the needs of your children is supportive and encouraging and keeps discouragement from overwhelming you.


Where it is at all possible, I would encourage a husband and wife to pray together weekly for the needs of their children, surrendering them to the Lord and his will, praying for specific needs. When a couple is on the same page and continues faithfully in prayer, God will bless!


If you are a single mother, don’t be discouraged. The Holy Spirit will pray with you in a very particular way. You are not alone and God will bless your prayer.

spiritual fitness

and you don’t have the wherewithal to make it happen, you might go to a friend and say, “Would you put in a good word for me with so and so?” You trust that this friend will have influence on someone to affect the outcome of a decision in your favor. Jesus says that we can pray to the Father in his name and our prayer will be heard. But I need to be sure that I have the same intention as the one whose name I use. Jesus’ intention is always that the Father’s will be done. When I pray in Jesus’ name, I am asking that God’s will be done in my child’s life. When you surrender your children like that you will eventually see great blessing. So in short: God loves your children even more than you do. He wants them with him forever.

T. Gennara

God’s desire is that your children have such a life that God is at the center of their goals, their plans, their hopes and their dreams. Am I talking about everyone becoming a priest or sister? Of course not! But what I am saying is that every mother (and father) should desire that their children, above all else, be formed in a way of life that makes them truly Christian – truly Christ-centered! Whether they become doctors, artists, engineers or playwrights is secondary. The most important thing is that they know Jesus Christ. Once you’ve given yourself to God’s will, God’s way, you find a joy and a delight that no one can take from you or your children. Everyone has a free will and the ultimate choices for their eternal destiny will be made by each of your children. No parent can do it for a child. But a parent can live a life worthy of the Gospel in such a way that it is attractive. Some children will be drawn, some will rebel, some will be indifferent – but you do it because this is the central piece of a mother’s vocation in Christ. And then you pray! Scripture tells us quite clearly, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.” (John 14:13) What does that mean? Take a moment and think about it this way: Whenever you want a particular favor done for you or for someone you know


FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |


Some people hold court – front, center and usually vocal, they’re hard to miss Some people hold hands. They’re the ones by your side, centered and ready to listen. Once you know them, they’re hard to forget.

Chris Stander is the holding-hands type. If she senses something is wrong, she’ll reach out, grab your hand and won’t let go. “Chris Stander is ‘Chris the caretaker,’” said Kathy Johnson, a friend of Chris from Grand Rapids who was diagnosed last fall with a rare, aggressive cancer. “She is a wonderful person to have in your corner.”

By Molly Klimas | Photography by Jonathan Tramontana


cover story



hances are, you’ve met or heard of Stander through the secular and Catholic roles that have taken her from Grand Haven to Holland to Grand Rapids and even to The Abbey at Gethsemani in Kentucky.

Earlier in her work life, she was Chris the communicator, directing corporate communications at Prince Corp. in Holland, Mich. She’s also been Chris the fundraiser, Chris the parish and diocesan volunteer, Chris the go-to person.

She’s the wife of Bob Stander, mother of Andrea and Dan, step-mom of Katie, Stacie, James, grandmother of 10 and a friend to many. In recent years, she’s taken on a quietly creative and contemplative role as Chris the icon painter – a role that fits beautifully

with her desire to just “be” in the present moment with whoever may need her. “I need the freedom to respond when I hear the small, still voice, calling me to be available for others. I’m blessed that in this phase of my life and through the support of my husband, I can go where I

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

am called,” Stander said. She believes people come into one another’s lives for a reason. Often, people living through grave illnesses and unspeakable tragedies have come into her life. “My close friends have seen this pattern repeated so often – ‘Ah,’ they say, ‘that’s your next assignment’ when someone with a special need comes into my life,” Stander added. “It’s ‘my freelance ministry’ – to be there for others – I can be fully present with them because my life is set up this way.” Being “present” for someone is very different than being “there,” according to Stander. “When fully present, there are no distractions, opinions or agendas. You almost need to disappear before the other so that the Holy Spirit can fill the present space; together, we then can experience the sacrament of the present moment,” she explained. “I’ve been given many opportunities to walk with the gravely ill; whether in treatment or at bedside.” In Johnson’s case, Stander started a prayer chain for Kathy. “I’d run into strangers who would say, ‘You’re Kathy! We’re praying for you!’ – because of Chris,” Johnson said. The most meaningful expression of support for her, though, was an icon of Christ the Healer that Stander gave to Johnson shortly after her diagnosis. “I had painted the icon the year before, after seeing a representation of it on an announcement for the Healing Mass at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. I knew I had to paint it. I knew somewhere,

sometime, its presence would be needed,” Stander said.

Prayer through painting

Icons were embedded in my life,” she said. “I was captivated by them.” What exactly is an icon? What’s icon painting? In contemporary language, the word “icon” can mean different things – a picture, an image, a representation, a symbol. In the Eastern (Greek Orthodox) Church, it means a “representation of some sacred personage, as Christ or a saint or an angel, painted usually on a wood surface and venerated as itself sacred.” (Source: The word iconography literally means “image writing” from the Greek words for “image” and “to write.” Even though the physical process may be one of painting, the spiritual process is more akin to writing infused with prayer. The Holy Spirit works through the iconographer to produce the image, much in the same way he worked through writers to produce holy Scripture. According to Praying with Icons, “… icons are not mere art or even ‘religious art,’ but a way to proclaim the Gospel. The task of the icon is not merely to illustrate and certainly not to decorate, but to function in prayer.”

Stander explained it this way: “An icon is a repetition of a visual image similar to the way that Scripture readings are a repetition of Scripture.” Icons, in other words, are ways to see the Gospel. Icons are painted according to a traditional, canonical pattern established by the Church. There are a finite number of approved images and specific materials, paint colors and processes one must adhere to. The process and finished product can be a meditation for both the painter and, later, for those gazing upon the icon. Stander grew up with icons. Her father is Greek and was raised in the Greek Orthodox tradition but converted to Roman Catholicism when he married Stander’s mother, who was Irish. “Icons were embedded in my life,” she said. “I was captivated by them.” Her grandparents had a special place in the home for icons called an iconostasis. A light always glowed from this “Church within the home” as a constant reminder of Christ’s presence through times of sorrow and joy. Early in Stander’s life, there seemed to be more of the former. The oldest of five children, her next closest sibling, Danny, had been born prematurely, and with severe cerebral palsy. “He never walked, he never talked. He was immobilized by the cerebral palsy, but was fully conscious, and able to laugh, cry, listen and respond. He could fully engage me and taught me at a very young age how to be present to another as caregiver and friend’’ Stander explained.

(From left to right.) Stander’s baptism with godparents Aunt Lynne Licht and Uncle Tom Diskin | Stander on her fourth birthday | Stander’s High School Graduation 1969 | Stander, kneeling left, holding the hand of the Dalai Lama, at the Abbey of Gethsemani, a monastery in the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance (OCSO), in Trapist, Kentucky during a 1996 meeting of Buddhist and Christian monastics.


cover story


She and Danny, almost close enough in age to be twins, developed their own unspoken language, usually communicating with their eyes. “We loved and understood each other,” she said. Danny died at age 9; Stander was 10. “It took us down as a family. My dad cried every day for months. He eventually lost his job,” she said. But there was more to come…in her twenties, two beloved uncles were murdered one year apart. In her thirties, a close friend of Stander’s committed suicide. Her mother died at a relatively young age of pancreatic cancer. As an adult, Stander married, had two children and then went through a divorce. She worked long, hard hours to support herself and her children. At one point, she fell away from the Church but never lost her faith. “It’s what brought me through everything, always.” The dark times helped her to see the light.

Where you find God Stander found God in adversity. “Only in failure, in falling, do you realize you need the love and mercy of God. We aren’t meant to dwell in the dark places in life. So you get up, and you go on, toward the light,” she said. She came back to the Church, which she describes as an incredible gift and central to her life. “I’ve always been held in the arms of the Church. There is not a way to separate myself from that. The Church gave me back to myself, and I’m grateful for it constantly,” she said. After marrying Bob, who, at the time, also worked for Prince Corp, she formed her own communications and graphic design business. Most work she did pro bono for Our Lady of the Lake and St.

An icon of Christ the Healer copied from St. Andrew’s Cathedral announcement of a Healing Mass and kept in Kathy Johnson’s home during her battle with cancer as a constant reminder of the love and mercy of Christ.

Francis de Sales Parishes in Holland. She helped to develop and communicate a fiveyear plan that included expansion of both parishes, a school, lifelong learning center and other shared resources and staff. She attended many meetings, produced a lot of materials and managed many a fundraiser. She has done a lot of diocesan volunteer work and was appointed to the Catholic Foundation of West Michigan board under Bishop Robert Rose. She’s helped to coordinate many events relating to Cathedral Square and its opening. She volunteers at St. Sebastian Parish in Byron Center where she is a parishioner. She also trained and volunteered at Hospice. “My love wasn’t in the business world anymore, but I could still use my skills and time in useful ways,” she said. This new mindset opened her heart to new possibilities. She recalled a homily at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago that caused her to grab her pen: “The priest said, “When you are young, you find God where you are told; when you are older, you find God where you choose; and when you are spiritually mature, you find God in unexpected places.”

When she saw an icon painted by a close friend, Kathy Bauer, she was unexpectedly inspired. Kathy convinced me to try painting and has been a wonderful mentor since my first icon. “I saw God in the work,” Stander said. Although she loved icons, she never thought she’d paint one. In fact, she’d taken a few “traditional” painting classes, but found it wasn’t for her. “I didn’t like painting light and then adding dark,” she said. “I couldn’t do it. It didn’t resonate.” But with icon painting, the process is reversed: “It starts in darkness, then comes the light,” she said. To Stander, this made spiritual sense. “Creation was darkness to light; each day is darkness to light; we’re creatures of darkness to light. It was a way for me to understand life and to feed and express my faith.” She painted her first icon in 2004 under the tutelage of Reverend Peter Pearson, a nationally known iconographer and priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Pa. She also sought a local mentor: Diane Hamel, one of West Michigan’s renowned iconographers. (See story on Pg. 22) She began going on weeklong retreats led annually by Rev. Pearson and Hamel. She started attending Hamel’s weekly iconography classes at St. Patrick Parish in Parnell. Today, even with 20 icons, 14 retreats and countless classroom hours completed, Stander says she’ll always be a student of iconography. “I like to say that God isn’t bound to match enthusiasm with talent. Just because you really, really want it doesn’t mean you’re good at it,” she said. Her husband begs to differ. “Chris is very modest about this gift she has been given. When she finally unveils a finished work to me, I am amazed at her patience and very proud of her skill,” Bob Stander said. But dwelling too much on the technical can actually get in the way of the spiritual. “You can either be drawn into the moment [by God], or driven by your ego,” Stander said. “If you’re driven to perfect, perfect, perfect, then you start seeing the icon as an extension of yourself. That’s when Peter says, ‘Check your ego at the door; paint where you are, as you are, today. Don’t let it be ego-driven. Less you, more God.’” In fact, most icons are not signed for this reason. “So you go back into silence,” Stander

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

Chris the cook! Stander in one of her other passions – cooking.

explained. “You enter the experience without your ego. And it’s there that this kind of painting is so fully engaging that one can quickly move from chronos time to kairos time – from chronological time to a time when you are so immersed that you lose yourself to the process and to prayer. It’s God’s time. It feels like time outside of time. … And you have no awareness of how long you’ve been working until someone says, ‘OK we’re going to put down our brushes, it’s time for lunch.’ ” She loves the weeklong retreats where she feels a quiet but palpable cadence to the day’s work, complemented by morning, noon and evening prayers. “Even though the room is usually quiet, you can sense the emotion; you can hear with your heart,” Stander said. “Peter says when you work on an icon, it works on you as much as you work on it.” She loves Hamel’s weekly classes, a chance to reignite and connect with others on the journey. She loves working at home, in the light of her kitchen. She loves the process; preparing the board’s surface, transferring the image to board, painting the dark background, then the clothing, furnishings if there are any, then the exterior, and finally, the

face(s), hands and hair. “The person, or persons, comes to life near the end. You add the halo. Then you title the work. That’s the technical completion. But when you’re working on something like this, the pace at which you do it is kind of up to you. And you just know when it’s there, when the person has a very serene, still, silent gaze – then you’re done,” she said.

A quiet calling Stander said that one knows when to start an icon – like when she needed to paint Christ the Healer. She went to Hamel for help. Hamel made a drawing for her from an original prototype. From there, Stander went to work. The icon depicts biblical miracles of Christ healing the lame, the blind and others. “When you paint an icon, if you’re doing it according to tradition, the Spirit works through you. The prayer came through me, through my brush and out onto the board, a deep prayer for the sick,” Stander said. One day, months after the icon had been completed; Johnson shared her cancer diagnosis with Stander. “It was so shattering for me … I couldn’t imagine … I struggled with

ways to comfort her,” Stander said. Then she remembered the icon. “I thought, I will offer it to her as a constant reminder that Christ is with her, Christ can heal, Christ can work miracles,” she added. Johnson gladly accepted the icon and kept it in her home for many months. “Knowing the hours Chris put into the icon, how it represented all of her prayers and love, it really was a spiritual connection. No matter where I was, the visual was a wonderful reminder that anything is possible,” Johnson said. “Did a miracle happen? I truly believe life is a miracle, and I’m alive because I’m a believer.” Stander has given icons to other friends as well. In her home is a shrine similar to the one of her childhood – an iconostasis with icons painted by her and by others, as well as a collection of other blessed objects. Painting icons has become almost a necessity in her life. “It’s how I settle myself and become present in the moment,” she said. Silence. And then the Holy Spirit holding Chris’ hand. Fade to light.




Diane Hamel (left), who teaches an icon painting class at St. Patrick Church in Parnell, demonstrates for MaryJo Schuetz, of xxx, a method of applying paint to achieve a certain effect in icon painting.

Lifelong artist shares ancient tradition of iconography


he small block of text about an upcoming icon painting workshop in Scranton, Pennsylvania, buried in the pages of an Environment and Art for Catholic Worship magazine, could have easily been overlooked by Diane Hamel, but it wasn’t. And, in 1997, as Hamel faced a number of obstacles to registering and traveling to that workshop, almost causing her to give up and return home, her husband John’s words of encouragement and a newly found love of icons kept her heading eastward. Story and photography by JoAnn Fox

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

It was at that workshop,ed by Rev. Peter Pearson, a master iconographer, that Hamel discovered an affinity for the sacred form of painting called iconography. After the first day of the retreat, she phoned her husband and told him, “I know why it took so much effort to get here. I’m supposed to be here. This is going to be a great week.” The 1997 retreat started Hamel on a journey to where she is today: passing on the venerable tradition of icon painting to those interested in learning during weeklong retreats. Held at various times and locations throughout the year, the retreats Hamel gives combine painting, prayer, reflection and music, with education about painting technique and the history and spirituality surrounding icons. On a recent Monday evening this spring, a handful of students who meet weekly with Hamel, filtered into one of the well-lit rooms of the parish center at St. Patrick Church, Parnell. The group was formed as an offshoot of the retreats to provide opportunities to paint on a more regular basis. Hamel greets each student and they settle into easy conversation with her and each other. Hamel’s students vary in age, painting experience and religious background, but all are drawn toward this ancient art form of iconography which relays the stories of Scripture through imagery. Part of Christian tradition since the early church, it is thought that the aesthetic style of icon images is rooted in early Fayum mummy portraits. Often placed in liturgical settings and places of personal devotion in the home, icons are intended to draw the viewer more deeply into prayer and reflection. “Icons use a very semantic, symbolic language to convey theological truths,” said Hamel. “Being an artist, visually, the thing that allowed me to become captured by icons was this semantic language. It helped me come to a deeper understanding of my own faith through the symbolic language of the icon.” Unlike in the retreat settings, here each student works on an icon of their choosing. Their selection is somewhat limited, however. As servants of tradition, iconographers copy original images handed down through the Church. Hamel relays that just as scribes

The teaching for me is about sharing something that I’ve come to really love – it’s a passion.” followed particular canons for conveying Scripture, iconographers follow guidelines and rules handed down from teacher to student. Sitting together at a large conference table, the Monday night students assemble their tools – styrofoam plate pallets, paints and brushes. Throughout the three-hour session, Hamel paints alongside the members of the group and then circulates around the room; talking with students about their work and conveying technical knowledge about paint color, application and

technique both verbally and through demonstration. “I very much still consider myself a student of icon painting,” said Hamel. “The teaching for me is about sharing something that I’ve come to really love – it’s a passion.” Hamel, 58, is a Grand Rapids native. She attended East Grand Rapids High School and went on to study art education and fine arts at Michigan State University (MSU) where she met her husband John and, in 1972, converted to Catholicism after being raised in a Protestant home. She and John married in 1973 and have two married daughters, Erin and Carey, and three grandchildren. When Hamel’s youngest daughter entered first grade, Hamel returned to school at Aquinas College and in 1991 earned a Religious Studies degree. Since 1986, she has worked in parish faith formation first at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Greenville and for the last 11 years, as the director of faith formation and initiation at St. Patrick.

Icons vary in size from small, 5” x 7” for example, to narrow to very large, 16” x 20” and can take a week to several months to complete. The artist begins with a line drawing called a cartoon which is transferred from tracing paper onto a wood surface. Paint colors are applied in several layers, darker colors first and lighter ones over top, to achieve the desired effect. The faces of an icon are always worked on last. Finally, the painting is finished and preserved with a polyurethane varnish.



24 Hamel first discovered icons during a high school art class. At age 16, her initial impression was that they were flat, primitive, dark and strange, but she says, “they left a profound impact on me anyway.” She encountered the art form again during her studies at MSU. “I began to really feel drawn to icons more during those college years,” said Hamel. “I certainly had a better appreciation for them after studying their history. There was something compelling about them, but still I hadn’t fully fallen in love with them.” That moment came during a visit to The Field Museum in Chicago with her husband and children in 1996 to see an exhibit of icons from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. “I have found with iconography that one is really pursued by icons, not the other way around,” said Hamel. “I think that they sort of capture you.” In the years after that first retreat in 1997, Hamel continued to attend retreats given by Rev. Pearson. In 1999 at Hamel’s invitation and in conjunction with sponsoring organizations - the Dominican Center at Marywood and later the Diocese of Grand Rapids - Rev. Pearson began to come to Grand Rapids once a year, during the summer, to conduct icon painting retreats. At one point, Hamel recalls Peter telling her that she really should teach. “I felt like I had sort of received a blessing when he told me that,” she remembers. Hamel began teaching iconography soon after that and led her first retreat in 2003. Her favorite iconographers are Theophanes the Greek and Andrei Rublev who lived during the 13th and 14th centuries and painted in and around the Novgorod area of Russia. Both are considered to be among the greatest iconographers who ever lived (Source: Wikipedia). In endeavoring to continue to improve as an iconographer and to be able to share even more with her students, Hamel has studied with Xenia Prokovsky – a Russian iconographer who immigrated to the U.S. from Moscow in the early 1990s and French iconographer George Drobot. A distinguished iconographer in her

Diane Hamel

With iconography I’m introduced to these saints in a way that gives me hope and helps me move forward into a deepening relationship with God.” own right, Hamel has created icons for exhibit around the United States and for private collections, churches, and other institutions, including the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids. Hamel says that the spirituality and faith of her students always leaves her feeling humbled and enriched. As she meets with catechumens and candidates in her work at the parish and continues to paint and share iconography with others, Hamel reflects on and imparts to those she meets what she feels is one of

the most beautiful gifts of Catholicism – the communion of saints. “To me it was like opening a treasure trove and finding treasure after treasure,” Hamel said. “It dawned on me when I was a young mom that the communion of saints provides for us a hope that we’re all called to be holy and we do it in very ordinary human ways. With iconography I’m introduced to these saints in a way that gives me hope and helps me move forward into a deepening relationship with God.”

To learn more about icon retreats led by Diane Hamel, you may contact her at 616.987.6439 or by email,

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

Finding Forever Families for Michigan’s Waiting Kids

June ordination

Catholic Charities West Michigan (CCWM) is partnering with Focus on the 25 Family to promote the adoption of more than 4,600 children and youth currently in Michigan foster care. Through its national campaign, Wait No More: Finding Families for Waiting Kids, Focus on the Family is collaborating with government officials, adoption agencies, church leaders and ministry partners to highlight the urgent need for adoptive parents. The campaign in Michigan will culminate with an event for potential adoptive parents on May 21 at Resurrection Life Church (5100 Ivanrest Ave. SW). The event will provide information about children waiting to be adopted; the process of adoption from foster care; ways to support adoptive families, and opportunities to speak with agency and county representatives. Together, our Catholic community can help ensure that the 4,600 children in Michigan foster care find their forever families.



· Likes to play mommy · Doesn’t have one of her own

Consider adopting a waiting child from foster care. Children in foster care awaiting adoption are often overlooked. Yet they need love and security as much as any of God’s children—and your family may be the one they’ve been waiting for. To learn more, visit

© 2008 Focus on the Family

Catholic Charities West Michigan, in partnership with Focus on the Family, invites you to attend an event on May 21, 2011 at Resurrection Life Church, 5100 Ivanrest Ave SW, Grandville, MI from 9a-3p, please contact Jean Katt, Catholic Charities West Michigan, (616)551.5663

On Saturday, June 4, during celebration of the Eucharist with the Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate and Presbyterate, Bishop Walter A. Hurley will ordain one man to the priesthood and two as transitional deacons. Rev. Mr. Luis F. Garcia will be ordained to the priesthood and Mr. Michael G. Hodges and Mr. Darrel C. Kempf will be ordained to the diaconate at 10 a.m. on June 4 at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. The public is invited to attend, or watch the live webcast of this special liturgical celebration on the diocesan website, Please keep these men in your prayers: Rev. Mr. Luis F Garcia, 38, is the son of Luis Garcia and Maria E. Vargas of Cali-Colombia. He has four siblings, Maria Esther, Patricia, Victoria and Carlos. Our Lady of Consolation, Rockford, is his home parish. He attended the Javeriana University, Cali-Colombia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree of accounting. He has also earned bachelor’s degrees in business and administration from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Mr. Garcia entered Mundelein Seminary in Chicago in 2007 and in 2009 he completed an internship at Our Lady of Consolation Parish under the mentorship of Rev. Tony Russo. Mr. Garcia entered his final year of seminary at St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois in fall 2010 and received his master’s of divinity degree in spring 2011. Michael G. Hodges, 42, is the son of Gene and Kay Hodges of St. Mary Parish in Carson City, his home parish. He has three siblings, Michell, Patrick and Pamela. He attended Central Michigan University, where he earned a master’s of art degree in 1997. Mr. Hodges will enter his final year of seminary at St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois in fall 2011 and will receive his master’s of divinity degree in spring 2012. Darrel C. Kempf, 27, is the son of Tom and Jane Kempf of St. Michael Parish in Brunswick, his home parish. He has five siblings, Patrick, Amber, Christine, Max and Cameron. He attended Muskegon Community College and St. Thomas University, where he earned a bachelor’s of art degree in philosophy in 2008. Mr. Kempf will enter his final year of seminary at St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois in fall 2011 and will receive his master’s of divinity degree in spring 2012.

local news

For more information, contact Jean Katt, CCWM’s parish relations and social ministry coordinator, 616.551.5663 or

Although Kendra is fictional, there are thousands of children just like her waiting to be embraced by the love of your home. Focus on the Family® is not an adoption agency, but rather an educational resource for adoptive families.



Diocesan communication ministry enters new age, reflects on history

S profile

The Diocese of Grand Rapids newly revamped website:

While social media might be the latest buzz words to describe how people communicate in today’s society, the Catholic Church has been using some form of social communication since the birth of Christ. And the Diocese of Grand Rapids has been spreading God’s word using modern technology as a form of evangelism since the 1950’s. The diocese lays claim to providing Sunday morning Mass live on television longer than any other diocese in the country. Today, the diocese continues to offer Mass live every Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. on WXMI FOX 17, and is now offering Mass live and on-demand through the diocesesan website, By using the internet or a mobile broadband connection, Sunday Mass from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew is available to anyone with access to a computer, Smartphone or the latest tablet technology, such as an iPad. This spring the diocese began using the

social media sites Facebook and Twitter to engage more people in the faith. The diocese can be “followed” on Twitter at GRDiocese and can be “liked” on Facebook by searching for Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. In January, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, released to the public excerpts from his message for the forty-fifth World Communications Day, which will be celebrated on June 5. In his message, Pope Benedict writes, “New technologies are not only changing the way we communicate but communication itself, so much so that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation. This means of spreading information and knowledge is giving birth to a new way of learning and thinking, with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowships.” The Diocese of Grand Rapids is encouraging leaders and parishioners to be active in evangelism through digital

technology, said Bishop Walter A. Hurley. “The Church has been involved in communications since we began over two thousand years ago. Our mission requires us to communicate. ‘Go, therefore, and teach all nations.’ That is and always will be our mission, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world,” said Bishop Hurley. “In every age, the Church has used all the means of communication available: speaking, writing, the texts and actions of the liturgy, sacred song and the visual impact of art and architecture. Today, digital media has opened new ways of connecting and sharing the Good News within and well beyond our local community.” Each week, following the televised Mass from the cathedral, the homily is posted on the Cathedral of Saint Andrew website,, through YouTube. Visitors to the diocesan website will find links to the Sunday Mass homilies given by the cathedral’s Paulist Fathers and homilies given by Bishop Hurley during special liturgies at the cathedral. “By posting the homily on our websites and on YouTube we are able to reach out to people around the globe and share the message of Jesus Christ. It’s a modern way of offering the Gospel to millions of people,” said the Very Reverend John Geaney, rector/pastor of Saint Andrew. Then again, the diocese and technology have been friends for decades. Msgr. Hugh Michael Beahan (better known as Father Mike) has been recognized as the visionary who opened the media ministry for the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Father Mike began his mission from a radio station located in the basement of St. James

Story and photography by Tyler Lecceadone


FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

Church in Grand Rapids. Eventually, Msgr. Beahan helped build a radio station at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. The station, WXTO (the Greek letters for Christ), began broadcasting in 1962; it was the first station in West Michigan to broadcast classical music and religious programming. Msgr. Beahan first appeared on television in 1953; he hosted his own television show, Fifteen with Father, weekly on WOOD TV until 1976. Fifteen with Father had a large following of Catholics and Protestants who viewed to the 15-minute reflections about moral issues. In 1955, the first live-televised Mass was produced from the studios at WOOD TV. At that time, television stations were required to provide airtime for public service programming, and Father Mike arranged to have Sunday Mass as part of the station’s public service. Each week, a different parish would provide the in-studio congregations, and local parish pastors would preside over the Mass. Msgr. Beahan was producer, director and commentator of the hour-long Mass. His commentary always kept in mind Catholics and those of other faith traditions as he explained the mysteries and traditions which make up the Catholic Mass. Msgr. Gaspar Ancona, 74, was coached by Father Mike to be part of the communication ministry. Msgr. Ancona reflected on what he remembered most about Father Mike: “He was given the gifts of voice and personality; his voice and personality were great for radio and television.” The first live Mass from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew came in 1966, following a large donation by Mrs. Catherine Rose to equip the cathedral with its own studio and cameras. Technology soon became available to have Mass carried live on stations beyond Grand Rapids; television stations in Cadillac, Traverse City and Alpena aired the 10 a.m. Mass. During this time, the Diocese of Grand Rapids served parishes south to the Indiana boarder and north to the Mackinac Bridge. “People from all over West Michigan

Msgr. Gaspar Ancona, who was once coached by Msgr. Beahan, watches the Sunday Mass from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew on his desktop computer.

would send donations to the diocese to receive missalettes so they could follow along with the televised Mass,” said Msgr. Ancona, who served as pastor at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in the 1980’s and at St. Sebastian Parish in Byron Center, from which he retired in 2006. After the death of Msgr. Beahan in 1980, Msgr.Ancona continued leading the efforts of the diocese’s television mission. From 1990 until 2006, Msgr. Ancona hosted a fifteen-minute television program called Catholic Outlook, which aired after the televised Mass. Catholic Outlook focused on individuals involved in a variety of ministries, providing an educational forum for the Church to speak on matters of religious and moral interest.

Msgr.Ancona points to the importance of using electronic communication for Christian outreach. “Early on, this was considered the biggest ecumenical effort of the Church, especially for non-Catholics who took notice. For the sick and homebound, this is their connection with the community of the Church,” Msgr. Ancona said. “Today’s new media effort by the Diocese of Grand Rapids, with Mass being streamed live and available on-demand along with Facebook and Twitter, has the potential to touch millions of lives. And it will because people love to make a connection, and these new efforts are real-life links for everyone.”


Msgr. Hugh Michael Beahan reviewing his script prior to going on the air with his then widely popular show Fifteen with Father.


The Diocese of Grand Rapids has expanded its social media presence. “Like” the diocese on Facebook; follow the diocese on Twitter and find the diocese on YouTube. Links to these social media sites are available through the diocesan website ( or search: Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids on Facebook and YouTube and GRDiocese on Twitter.


Save the date Under the Dome season finale


The Basilica of St. Adalbert, 701 Fourth St. 5 NW, in Grand Rapids, will host a concert, “Music for Violin and Piano,” with Jennifer Walvoord on violin and Andrew Le on piano, at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 5. The concert is the Basilica’s final in its 2011 Music Under the Dome Concert Series. Admission is free, however donations will be accepted. For more information, contact Peter Kurdziel, director of music, 616.458.3065, ext. 43 or

local news

Pre Cana retreat for engaged couples


The Diocese of Grand Rapids is hosting a Pre 11 Cana retreat, Today and All the Days of Your Life, for engaged couples from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday, June 11 in the Wege Conference Center at Cathedral Square in downtown Grand Rapids. Registration is $80 and includes morning hospitality, lunch and dinner. For more information, contact Mark Mann at 616.475.1243, or mmann@ Preparación al Matrimonio, sponsored by the office of Hispanic Ministry will be offered on the same day. Contact Carola for more information, 616.243.3927.

Summer Institute: Belonging, Believing, Becoming


The office of faith formation’s Summer Institute will offer a four-day institute, New Pathways, New Partnerships: Belonging, Believing and Becoming for pastors, catechetical leaders, youth


ministry leaders, pastoral associates, principals, RCIA coordinators, parish catechists, youth ministry volunteers, and Catholic school teachers June 20-23. Across the diocese, parishes are beginning to discover their incredible capacity to welcome and weave children, youth and adults with disabilities into the life of their faith community. They are finding how they are enriched by the presence, gifts and contributions of persons with disabilities. What is it that keeps us from including families and their children with autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness, learning disabilities and others? What barriers do we have to overcome and how do we become a welcoming community? This four day institute will address the barriers we have to full inclusion and the avenues for participation. Programming will be offered twice daily: a three-hour program will be available from 9 a.m. until noon; or evenings 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The institute will be offered at two locations: Cathedral Square 360 Division Ave. S. Grand Rapids MI 49503 St. Philip Neri 831 S. Chesnut St. Reed City MI 49677 St. Philip Neri will serve as a remote site, connected via teleconferencing and internet. Both sites are barrier-free. Participants will receive 12 hours towards certification in the areas of method and learner. Registration fee is $25/person. Deadline to register is June 13, 2011. For more information, contact Sr. Barbara Cline, FSE at 616.551.4742 or bcline@ or Mark Mann at 616.475.1243 or mmann@

Let’s go to Bat for Kids!


Join Catholic Charities West Michigan (CCWM) for the 24th 23-24 annual Let’s Go to Bat for Kids! on Thursday, June 23, at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. Watch local media personalities and clergy from the diocese take the field in a light-hearted softball game to benefit a serious cause: CCWM’s child abuse prevention services and family preservation programs. Free children’s games and activities will be available on the concourse during the game. Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and over; children 12 and under are admitted free. Gates open at 5:45 p.m.; opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Event tickets will be available for purchase after June 1 at the Muskegon and Grand Rapids offices of CCWM; also at Michigan Church Supply, located in Cathedral Square Center; or at the ballpark gate just prior to the game. Call 616.551.5667 for more information, or, for event updates, visit

Corpus Christi procession in Grand Haven, Spring Lake


A Corpus Christi procession, the Feast of the Body and 27 Blood of Christ, coordinated by the parishes of St. Anthony Church in Robinson Township; St. Mary Church in Spring Lake and St. Patrick Church Grand Haven, at 2:50 p.m. Sunday, June 27. The opening ceremony will begin at St. Patrick’s Center, 901 Columbus, in Grand Haven, and the closing ceremony and social hour will be held at St. Mary Church, 406 East Savidge St., in Spring Lake. The walk is two and half miles and participants are welcomed join at any point. Bus service will be available for those who tire along the route or are unable to walk. In the event of rain, the procession will be cancelled. However, the celebration will continue at St. Mary Church with a holy Hour from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. and followed by the social hour at St. Mary. For more information (please print CC Procession in the subject line) Mary Cassleman and


FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

Cathedral Square to again serve as ArtPrize exhibition center; volunteers needed

West Catholic band plays for Pope

2011 Catholic Services Appeal, So Faith May Flourish

Cathedral Square final phase takes shape

Catholic Services Appeal 2011

Parishes throughout the diocese have kicked off the 2011 Catholic So Services may Appeal (CSA). Your generous Para que la Fe pueda Florecer contribution to the CSA each year supports the many ministries and programs of the Diocese of Grand Rapids which serve people in our 11-counties and beyond. Working together through the CSA allows us to positively impact the lives of many through evangelization, formation and social ministry. Resources and information for this year’s CSA are available through your parish as well as on the diocesan website (dioceseofgrandrapids. org). Links to CSA resources, Bishop Hurley’s CSA message and options for online giving can be found on the home page of the site, or for more information, call the CSA office, 616.246.0586.

faith flourish

This drawing illustrates how the area along Maple Street between the Cathedral of Saint Andrew and Saint Mary’s Health Care will look following completion of the Maple Street Redevelopment Plan in the summer of 2011. The diocese and Saint Mary’s have collaborated on this plan in an effort to create a cohesive and attractive connection between the Saint Mary’s Health Care campus and Cathedral Square. The plan includes an area for prayer and reflection which spills into to the Piazza Secchia leading visitors toward the main entrance of the cathedral. It will also allow for the feel of one neighborhood and creates a pedestrian friendly environment for students, visitors and neighbors. 2010809

east aerial

site images

1 31 2011

Cathedral Square / Saint Mary’s Health Center Maple Street Improvement © 2011 Integrated Architecture All rights reserved No part of this document may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Integrated Architecture

local news

For the third year running, the Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Cathedral Square will serve as an ArtPrize Exhibition Center. ArtPrize, a radically open art competition awarding the world’s largest art prize as determined by popular vote, will be held Sept. 21 through Oct. 9 in Grand Rapids. The Cathedral Square Exhibition Center is currently accepting artist proposals and will feature art throughout its campus, both indoors and out. In 2011, Cathedral Square will be one of eight exhibition centers where people can register to vote, catch the ArtPrize shuttle, and purchase ArtPrize maps, guidebooks, shuttle wristbands and other merchandise. The Cathedral Square ArtPrize Team is looking for enthusiastic and outgoing volunteers to welcome, assist and register visitors during ArtPrize 2011. If you are interested, send an email with “ArtPrize volunteer” in the subject line and a contact phone number in the body of the email to To learn more about ArtPrize at Cathedral Square go to and click on the ArtPrize 2011 link on the main page in the Resources section.

Fifty-seven members of West Catholic High School’s band spent spring break touring Italy, stopping for performances in Rome and Florence. The highlight of the trip was a visit to St. Peter’s Square for the Pope’s weekly Wednesday address. There the group found themselves at the foot of the stage, barely 50 feet from Pope Benedict XVI. The band played various selections for the Vatican crowd prior to the pope’s announcement. Following the address, the band was announced by name and they played an American march for the pope, who waved and offered a blessing when they finished.



without ceasing

vocations – open to God’s call


n May 15, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Holy Father invited the Church to celebrate the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of this day is stated and explained in the Pontifical Messages addressed each year to the entire Church: “to constitute a public witness of the community at prayer in obedience to the Lord’s command, ‘Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest’ (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). It is a high point in what ought to be an ongoing prayer, and it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life.”

Notice that the Holy Father reminds us that this day is set aside as a focal point of praying for vocations in what should be an ongoing ministry of prayer by all the faithful. When I am asked what I am doing to promote vocations to the priesthood, one of the first things I say is encouraging people to pray for vocations. The work of encouraging vocations begins with prayer, and each of us has been encouraged by the Holy Father to embrace a ministry of ongoing prayer for vocations. We may never ask a young man or woman if they would consider the priesthood or religious life, but we can pray persistently that young men and women will be open to God’s call. Among the evangelists, only Luke provides any parables of Jesus about prayer. The two he records encourage perseverance and persistence in begging God’s help. The first is the parable of the friend who comes at midnight asking for bread to feed an unexpected guest (11:5 – 9). The second, often considered a parallel, is the story of the widow whose unrelenting cries eventually move the unjust judge to vindicate her claim (18:2 – 5).

When I took over the office of priestly vocations in 2006, one of the first tasks that lay before me was to encourage a culture of vocations in the diocese. In order to do so, I knew that, as a diocese, we needed to begin to pray regularly for the men attending the seminary, as well as pray that men would be open to God’s call. That is why one of our first promotional campaigns was asking every parish to pray for our seminarians. In addition, whenever I spoke to various groups about vocations I asked them to pray that the young people of our diocese would be open to God’s call. I firmly believed that before I could do any work to “promote” vocations we needed to do the work of asking God to send laborers for his harvest. As a priest, one of the first things I learned to rely upon was prayer (okay, the first thing really was my secretary, but a close second was prayer). As director of priestly vocations, this reality was driven home. I fully recognized that it wasn’t going to be my work that moved the hearts of men to act upon their call and that it wasn’t going to be my efforts alone that were going to bring about a resurgence of vocations to the priesthood for our diocese. It all depended upon God. I decided my approach had to be that I work as if it all depended upon what I was doing, but I had to pray as if it all depended upon God. The blessings we are beginning to see as a result of this approach have been overwhelming. Over the past two years, I have seen the results of my prayers and the prayers of those in our diocese. The number of men discerning a call to priesthood for our diocese has jumped significantly. I receive many more calls and e-mails each week than I did when I first began this ministry. I attribute this change to prayer. The prayers I have offered, the prayers my parish has offered, and the prayers offered by all the people of our diocese have begged God’s help for men to serve the Church in our diocese. Our persistence and perseverance are paying off. Don’t stop now!

Father Ron Hutchinson is director of priestly vocations for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. Contact Father Hutchinson by email,

FAITH Grand Rapids / May 2011 / |

Memorial Day Mass Schedule

Lifelong friends

Monday, May 30, 2011 Grand Rapids Resurrection Cemetery 9 a.m., Celebrant – Father Ted Kozlowski 4100 Clyde Park Ave. SW

Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery 9 a.m., Celebrant – Father Dennis Morrow 1712 Preston Ave. NW

Holy Cross and Mount Calvary Cemeteries 10 a.m., Celebrant – Father Lou Stasker 2000 Walker Ave. NW

Big Rapids Mount Carmel Cemetery 9:30 a.m., Celebrant – Father Lam T. Le 21594 17 Mile Rd.


Msgr. Gaspar F. Ancona is a senior priest of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.


ecently a priest friend of mine wrote about the beginnings of his life-long friendship with one of the newly ordained auxiliary bishops of Detroit. He described how they were assigned as tablemates at the start of their seminary high school years because their names were alphabetically next to one another. Seminaries used to rely on the alphabet for all sorts of disciplinary and housekeeping measures in those days. That table introduction would lead to years of mutual support in the service of the Lord.

last word

At this time of year, many parishes are inviting their eligible children to the Lord’s table for the first time in their lives. Usually they come together as groups with their parents or guardians to share the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. My own memories of first Communion go back, nearly unbelievably, almost seven decades. Of all the things that have stayed with me are the fresh smell of my new shirt and the shiny look of my new black shoes, along with the feel of the beautifully bound prayer book and the rosary looped around our hands. Sometimes my memories have spilled over into the confirmation ceremony just several years later, when Bishop Haas came to our little church and quizzed us publicly during the ceremony on some catechism questions. Our pastor, Msgr. Cianci, prompted us with answers from his chair at the altar with a too audible stage whisper, earning a humorous rebuke from the bishop. It was unheard of that anyone would rebuke Msgr. Cianci! Maybe it’s just as well that my memories flow back and forth between first Eucharist and confirmation, since, together with baptism, they complete our initiation into Christ and into his community, the Church. However, I don’t know anymore where my tablemates from first Eucharist are whether in this world or the next, in this part of the country or somewhere else around the world. Still, my prayer for them, and for all those who are sharing the Lord’s table for the first time this spring, is that we will all be life-long friends of Jesus and of one another in him. This is a friendship that neither time nor distance, neither life nor death, can separate.

32 360 Division Avenue S. Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4539 online:


I have knowledge, so will You show me now, How to use it wisely and find a way somehow To make the world I live in a little better place, And make life with its problems a little bit easier to face. Grant me faith and courage and put purpose in my days, And show me how to serve Thee in effective ways. So my education, my knowledge and my skill May find their true fulfillment as I learn to do Thy will. And may I ever be aware in everything I do, That knowledge comes from learning, and wisdom comes from You.


p l e a s e

r e c y c l e

Blessings and congratulations to the graduating classes of 2011

Into the Light by Molly Klimas for FAITH GR Magazine  

An article I wrote for the Diocese of Grand Rapids' FAITH GR Magazine.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you