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St. Luke – physician and evangelist The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids

saint of the month

Feast day: Oct. 18 Patron saint: Artists; bachelors; bookbinders; brewers; butchers; Capena, Italy; doctors; glass makers; glass workers; gold workers; goldsmiths; Hermersdorf, Germany; lace makers; lace workers; notaries; painters; physicians; sculptors; stained-glass workers; surgeons Meaning of name: Bringer of light Claim to Fame: St. Luke the Evangelist was born in Antioch to pagan parents. It is believed that he was one of the first converts to Christianity. What is known of Luke the Evangelist is that he was a physician and a painter. Legend says he painted portraits of Jesus and Mary; however, he received no attribution for his work. Luke the Evangelist evangelized in Greece and Rome with his mentor, St. Paul the Apostle. It was through the teachings of St. Paul that Luke the Evangelist was able to write the Gospel According to Luke. This is the only Gospel that provides a full account of events relating to the Annunciation of Mary, the visit to St. Elizabeth and the parable of the prodigal son. He also wrote the

history of the early church in the Acts of the Apostles. Why he is a saint: It is believed that Luke the Evangelist was present during the time of the 12 Apostles. He was the apprentice to St. Paul the Apostle, and from his teachings he was able to educate by writing the Gospel According to Luke, as well as early histories of the church. Best Quote: Acts 1: 1-5 – “In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’”

San Lucas El Evangelista Día de fiesta: 18 de octubre Santo Patrono: De artistas; solteros, encuadernadores; cerveceros; carniceros; Capena, Italia; doctores; manufactureros y trabajadores del vidrio; orfebres; Hermersdorf, Alemania; manufactureros y trabajadores del encaje; notarios; pintores; médicos; escultores; trabajadores de vidrio de colores; cirujanos Canonización: Pre-Congregación Significado del nombre: Portador de la luz Motivo de su fama: San Lucas El Evangelista nació en Antioquía de padres paganos. Se cree que fue de los primeros en convertirse al cristianismo. Lo que se sabe de Lucas El Evangelista es que fue médico y pintor; la leyenda dice que pintaba retratos de Jesús y María, pero no recibía ninguna retribución por su trabajo. Lucas El Evangelista evangelizó en Grecia y Roma con su mentor, San Pablo el Apóstol. Fue a través de las enseñanzas de San Pablo que Lucas El Evangelista pudo escribir El Evangelio según San Lucas, que es el único Evangelio que ofrece un relato completo de los eventos relacionados con la Anunciación de María, la visita a Santa Isabel, y la parábola del hijo

pródigo. También escribió la historia de la Iglesia primitiva en Hechos de los Apóstoles. Por qué es un santo: Se considera que Lucas El Evangelista estuvo presente en la época de los 12 Apóstoles; fue aprendiz de San Pablo el Apóstol, y de sus enseñanzas pudo educar al escribir El Evangelio según San Lucas, así como las primeras historias de la Iglesia.

October 2010 Volume 4: Issue 7

Bishop Walter A. Hurley PUBLISHER


Michael Zalewski MANAGING EDITOR

JoAnn Fox


Bishop Walter A. Hurley Msgr. Gaspar F. Ancona Father Ron Hutchinson Molly Klimas John Hogan CONTRIBUTING WRITERS


FAITH Catholic Rev. Dwight Ezop CHAIRMAN

Patrick M. O’Brien


Elizabeth Martin Solsburg


Cynthia Vandecar


Patrick Dally ART DIRECTOR

Lynne Ridenour


Janna Stellwag Abby Wieber


Jillane Job


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

Philip Shippert


Derek Melot


Mejor cita: Hechos 1: 1-5 –“En el primer libro, querido Teófilo, hablé de todo lo que Jesús comenzó a hacer y enseñar, al final del libro Jesús daba instrucciones mediante el Espíritu a los apóstoles que había elegido y era llevado al cielo. De hecho, se presentó a ellos después de su pasión y les dio numerosas pruebas de que vivía. Durante 40 días se dejó ver por ellos y les habló del Reino de Dios. En una ocasión en que estaba reunido con ellos, les dijo que no se alejaran de Jerusalén y que esperaran lo que el Padre había prometido. Ya les hablé al respecto, les dijo: Juan bautizó con agua, pero ustedes serán bautizados en el Espíritu Santo dentro de pocos días.”


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.

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Liturgical Calendar: St. Thérése of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church Oct. 1 | Guardian Angels Oct. 2 | St. Francis of Assisi Oct. 4 | Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, virgin Oct. 6 | Our Lady

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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |

Cover photo by Jonathan Tramontana

what you’ll get out of this issue 4 from the bishop – Most Rev. Walter Hurley

6 parenting journey How do I get my toddler to stay in bed? – Dr. Cathleen McGreal

6 what gets my goat It’s a party! Unless your neighbor is a stick-in-the-mud – Dr. Gelasia Marquez

– Tom and JoAnne Fogle

8 culture Once upon a time – Make this vintage-style clock – Michelle Sessions DiFranco

10 in the know with Fr. Joe How does the pope pick his name? – Father Joseph Krupp

11 spiritual popcorn What would St. Francis watch?

inside this issue

7 marriage matters She says: “He’s gained weight and I’m not attracted to him anymore.” He says: “I’m too stressed to exercise.” What do they do?

– Paul Jarzembowski

’Til you find your dream Nancy Woodcock's faith journey has not only led her to become the Diocese of Grand Rapids’ first pastoral director, she fills that role in two parishes: St. Mary in Carson City, and St. John the Baptist, in Hubbardston. – Molly Klimas


24 Embracing God in the delivery room


For more than 25 years, nurse practitioner Deb Biller has been involved in hundreds of risky deliveries, but the one that stands out is a Caesarean section performed in 1990 on a first-time mother. – Molly Klimas

12 theology 101 The History Of Liturgical Books – Part I – Rita Thiron

14 spiritual fitness Praying with the saints of autumn – Sister Ann Shields

30 vocations My discernment: Relying on prayer, not a whim – Father Ron Hutchinson

31 last word The challenges of citizenship – Msgr. Gaspar F. Ancona




gin Oct. 6 | Our Lady of the Rosary Oct. 7 | St. Denis, bishop and martyr, and his companions, martyrs Oct. 9 | St. Callistus I, pope and martyr Oct. 14 | St. Teresa of Avila, virgin and doctor of the Church Oct. 15

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from the bishop



y dear friends,

Faith Formation: The last Saturday of September brought together over 500 catechists and teachers (almost exclusively volunteers) who give of their time and energy to share the teachings of the church with the young people of the diocese in religious education programs conducted in our parishes and schools. Seventy of our parishes were represented at this gathering which has grown each year over the past three years. The work they do is the Lord’s work of bringing the good news of the Gospel to our young people to support and strengthen what goes on in families. The task is to share the faith of the apostles and to encourage young people to respond to Jesus’ call to follow him.

Their task is not an easy one since most religious education classes take place after or outside school hours whether on Saturdays, weekdays or between or after Masses on Sunday. As I looked out over the crowd that gathered for the catechetical conference at West Catholic High School on Sept. 25, I could not imagine those who might be more important in their service—to proclaim the very word of God. The ministry of these faithful workers is sometimes taken for granted. We expect all our catechists to be certified to teach religious education and offer numerous ways for this certification to take place. The content of the teaching must reflect the teaching of the church and catechists often need assistance with methodology. Our catechetical certification is always a work in progress. I am especially grateful

Church leaders from Grand Rapids commemorated the ninth anniversary of 9/11 and recognized local public safety personnel during an interfaith community prayer service on Sept. 10 at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. (From left) Dr. Sharif Ahmad Sahibzada of the Islamic Center of West Michigan; Very Rev. John Geaney, CSP, rector/pastor of the cathedral; Rev. Canon Robert Schiesler of Saint Mark's Episcopal Church; Rev. Mr. Larry VandeVoren, Kent County Sheriff Dept. chaplain; Rev. Cheryl Molhoek of Bethlehem Lutheran Church; Rev. Anne Weirich, associate pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church; Bishop Walter Durham of the Praying Hands Ministry Church of God in Christ and Most Rev. Walter A. Hurley, bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Artists and the public mingle during opening night of ArtPrize at Cathedral Square, Wed., Sept. 22.

to Sr. Barbara Cline, FSE who heads our faith formation office for her commitment and dedication to this important work. The work of religious education and our own personal growth in faith is not limited to children and young people. As adults, through our prayer, study and

reflection we need to grow in our faith to continue to persevere through the complexity of our lives. A 12th grade faith may not serve us well at 30, 40 or any other age. For this reason and many others, we are fortunate in the diocese to have the Catholic Information Center (CIC) operated by the Paulist Fathers in

St. Hedwig, religious; St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin Oct. 16 | St. Luke, apostle Oct. 18 | St. John de Brébeuf and St. Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and their compan

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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |

ArtPrize 2010 entry at Cathedral Square: Peace Garden by Kate Diedrich who formerly taught art at Immaculate Heart of Mary School.

programming of births. At the other end of the spectrum, a pro-euthanasia mindset is making inroads as an equally damaging assertion of control over life that under certain circumstances is no longer deemed worth living. Underlying these scenarios are cultural viewpoints that deny human dignity.” In June of this year the Bishops of Michigan issued a letter called A Call to Conscience: Faithful Citizenship and the Common Good. It was made available to all parishes. Among other matters it contains a reminder of our moral obligation to participate in the democratic process; to form our consciences based on Scripture and Catholic social teaching, and to evaluate candidates through the lense of faith. With the forthcoming November election pastors and others are often pressured to distribute election materials prepared by a variety of individuals or organizations that do not always reflect the church’s teaching or practice. It may be worth noting that the Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors reaffirms the long standing prohibition of the distribution of election year materials

in parishes “unless published by the diocesan bishop, the Michigan Catholic Conference or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops”. ArtPrize 2010 at Cathedral Square: Now in its second year, ArtPrize, is an international art competition held in Grand Rapids, in which the winning artist is determined solely by public vote. As an ArtPrize 2010 Exhibition Center, Cathedral Square attracted over 5,000 visitors during the first four days of the event beginning Sept. 22. Cathedral Square is featuring the work of 32 artists from the U.S. and Canada through Oct. 10. The church has a long tradition of supporting the arts and seeing ArtPrize at Cathedral Square is an expression of that support. With the assistance of Meijer, Aquinas College and other sponsors, we welcomed ArtPrize’s invitation to be part of this growing event, in which our participation highlights the presence of the Catholic Church in West Michigan. To learn more, visit With my best wishes to all,

from the bishop

the Cathedral Square Center. The CIC is designed to bring an understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church and to offer a deeper and more reflective awareness of our Catholic faith to anyone interested in learning more. Courses are available year round. The catalogue of fall courses is available on our diocesan website: or visit Respect for Life: Each October we are asked to pray more intensely about and continue to support efforts to promote respect for human life from conception to natural death. “Every human being, at every stage and condition is willed and loved by God. For this reason every life is sacred. To deprive someone of life is a grave wrong and a grave dishonor to God. Because we are created in the image of God, who is Love, our identity and vocation is to love. Pope Benedict calls this ‘The key to our human existence’.”(Respect Life Program 2010). Pope Benedict has stated in his encyclical letter Charity in Truth: “To the tragic and widespread scourge of abortion we may well have to add in the future the systematic eugenic

Bishop Hurley

Bishop Hurley joins fifth and sixth grade students and their teacher from Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Grand Rapids, on Sept. 24 during ArtPrize to view and talk about the art on display at Cathedral Square.

rs, and their companions, martyrs Oct. 19 | St. Paul of the Cross, priest Oct. 20 | St. John of Capistrano, priest Oct. 23 | Feast of Ss. Simon and Jude, apostles Oct. 28

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How do I get my toddler T. Gennara

to stay in bed?

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

parenting journey


About an hour after we put our two-year-old to bed, she is up asking for water. Or a story. Or wants to come into our bed. If we put her back, she cries and carries on. What can we do to make her stay in her own bed?

Our bedtime routine was a favorite with our four children. It began with a slow trip up the stairway, saying goodnight to each relative’s picture along the way. Then, after taking baths and brushing teeth, the children would settle in for the cuddly part of the night. Here are some tips to make bedtime work for your daughter – and to get her to stay in bed.


Look at other parts of the day. It sounds counter-intuitive, but to see why your daughter is getting up, take a look at her naptime. She should be down to just one nap (of about one to three hours). Make sure her nap is early in the day, rather than close to bedtime. When does she wake in the morning? Her total sleep time, including her nap, is about 12 to 14 hours at

this age. Be consistent every day! If you keep her up later on weekends by taking her with you to visit friends, then it is difficult for her body to readjust. Having a baby-sitter come to your home will help keep her on schedule. Start cherished routines. Engage in quiet activities, rather than roughhousing, when bedtime is approaching. Children love lullabies; they will think your voice is enchanting! Take requests! My daughters begged for “The Castle Song” [Castle of Drom-

what gets my goat


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ore] and my son was partial to “You Are My Sunshine.” Insert their names into the lyrics. Your child probably will become relaxed and drowsy after stories, songs and prayers. Here’s an extra tip for parents of infants: Sleep experts recommend that babies be put to bed when they are drowsy – don’t wait until they have fallen asleep in your arms. These babies are more likely to soothe themselves back to sleep after nighttime awakenings, just as they do when they first fall asleep. Start early and you may avoid the 2-year-old who’s up all night. Stuffed animal for security. Having a special nighttime sleeping buddy may help. We love the imaginations of toddlers and preschoolers, but not when that imagination leads to bad dreams. I used to give my children “alternate endings” so that their bad dreams turned out fine. Then I put them back to sleep with a new, cheerful dream. Remember to pray with your daughter before she goes to bed. She will turn to God for comfort throughout her life.

We’d like to host a big neighborhood block party – but the neighbors across the street are real “stick-in-the – mud” types and are likely to object to the street being closed off by the city. Is there a good way to persuade them to join in the fun and let us have ours?

It’s a party!


of organizing the first block party. They can share ideas with the neighbors, get their reactions and get commitments. Some neighbors may say, “We’re going to pass this time, but we don’t object.” But some neighbors may really object. If it’s a small minority, you should plan

Having a block party can create a sense of family within the neighborhood – which leads to neighbors getting to know each other and caring for each other. This is a reflection of the Gospel message. Here’s what I suggest to

help make this a success: In every neighborhood, there are two or three families who are closer to each other because they’ve lived there a long time, their children are friends or they belong to the same churches or civic groups. These families could assume the responsibility

Unless your neighbor is a stick-in-the-mud Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.

the party anyway. Decide how you will minimize the impact on their privacy. For example, make sure nobody cuts through their yard and that they can get their car in and out. Then, you will have honored their objections, but everyone can still have fun!

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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |

“He’s gained weight and I’m not attracted to him anymore.” Susan says: Ken was fit and handsome when we got married. We used to spend a lot of time outdoors playing tennis and hiking. Now, the only exercise he gets is the weekly walk around the yard behind the lawn mower. The rest of the time he does nothing but watch sports on TV – and it shows. This is becoming a “deal-breaker” for me.

T. Gennara

“I’m too stressed to exercise.” Ken says: Susan didn’t mention that I got a new job a couple of years ago. I work long days and have a threehour daily commute. When I get home, I am absolutely Deacon Tom Fogle and JoAnne Fogle help prepare couples for marriage. exhausted. All I want is a few minutes of quiet time on the couch in front of the TV before I go to bed and start the whole taking it to prayer, that we were we able to come to a solution thing over again in the morning. I’d like a little support, instead we could both accept. of constant nagging to work out. Ken and Susan, this is a time for the two of you to be open to each other in your communications. Ask what can you do Tom says, “Most of us were fit and handfor each other to keep your relationship number one in each some when we got married, but time, our other’s heart. We both believe the real issue for Ken and Susan natural maturing cycle and the stress associ- is not Ken’s weight! That is a manifestation of something deepated with daily life tend to modify us.” er: a loss of feeling special in each other’s eyes. For example, if Along with the inevitable pull of gravity and the normal it was only about the lawn not being mowed, Jo suggests you changes of time, having a new job with a long commute and could hire someone to mow the yard, thus creating some time no time for exercise can take a physical toll and put a stress on for the two of you to go hiking, or play a game of tennis, or marriages, as well. maybe just plan a 30-minute walk twice a week so you can Ken and Susan need to become intentional about the adjust- share some events of your day. ments both need to make. The fact that Ken has a daily threeParadoxically, Ken also may find he has more energy just by hour commute most certainly will cut down on the time both expending a little energy. Even a short walk in the evening with will have to spend together nurturing their relationship. When Susan, after the daily commute, would be enough to gain addiwe marry, the vows we take, in part, say, “in sickness and in tional energy. While they are walking and talking, they should health.” Jo thinks they should also say, “... and especially when refrain from put-downs and innuendoes. Focus, instead, on our bodies change due to difficult schedules and lack of the what made your relationship grow, why you fell in love with right activities.” each other, why you are proud of each other and what makes We remember all too well the time in our life together when your spouse special. Remember that loving someone means Tom was faced with a long commute each day and the toll it helping them see new ways to grow. In fact, when you rekindle took on our family life and on our relationship. It, too, became that special feeling for each other, you will once again see Jesus a deal-breaker for us; it forced us into making a difficult, lifein the face of your beloved and it will become a whole lot altering change. As Jo pointed out, it was only after a lot of easier to forgive each other for the weight redistribution that heart-to-heart communicating between the two of us, and then mother nature inflicts on all of us.

He said | She said what do they do?

your marriage matters

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T. Gennara


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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |

Once upon a time T. Gennara

Make this vintage-style clock


By Michelle Sessions DiFranco | Photography by Philip Shippert

lbert Einstein once said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

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for. Sure, it is limited. Yes, it cannot be replenished. But that’s the point. If it were limitless, we would put off all the important things God wants us to do. Perhaps the problem is that our perspective on this matter is off, since we often don’t make good use of that great gift. We see time as a burning wick, limiting what our short lives can accomplish in the realm of temporal, worldly achievements (which ultimately leave us feeling unfulfilled in the end anyway). But, if we keep in mind our purpose – to love God and each other – we can see time differently. It is like the gasoline we carry for an important trip across the state. It is what we are given to use as efficiently and effectively as we can toward bringing our Lord’s kingdom to earth. It is, in short, what we must invest to get to heaven! Now, that doesn’t make deadlines go away. And it certainly doesn’t make the end of my life easier to accept when my time has run out. But, if it helps me make better decisions on how my time can be spent, and if it encourages me to do more for my fellow brothers and sisters, then maybe, just maybe, I can better answer that question, “What was God thinking when he invented that?”

Vintage-style clock For this project, you will need: • Cigar box • Clock mechanism with hands (usually around $5 at any arts-and-crafts store or online) • Scrapbook paper, trimmed to 8½ x 11” • Computer and printer • Scissors or craft knife • Glue stick (or double stick tape) • 1 small crucifix charm with loop removed (small wire cutter tool) • Metal/jewelry cement • Cordless drill, with appropriate-sized bit (look at size of mechanism’s diameter) • One AA battery Almost any found object can be turned into a really cool, decorative clock: A photo frame, wooden tray, collector’s tin or almost anything from the woodcraft section of an arts-and-crafts chain will work. I prefer the vintage/oldworld look, so I chose a distressedlooking cigar box. Don’t have one? Don’t worry. Use what you have. First, apply the main message or graphic on the face of the object. I printed out a quote on time (on 8 ½ x 11” scrapbook paper), trimmed it to its appropriate size and adhered it to the front of the box. Next, drill a hole where the clock mechanism and hands will be placed. Use your craft knife to carefully remove any loose wood or paper around hole. Position and adhere (w/ cement) the crucifix charm at 12 o’clock. You can add three other time markers at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Markers can be created with stickers, gemstones, paint or thumbtacks (just to name a few options). Finally, insert the clock mechanism through drilled hole (inside front or back of cigar box) and assemble according to the mechanism’s instructions. Install battery, set the time and close the box.


Well, I’m not one to argue with a mind like Einstein’s, but, at my house, it usually seems that everything is happening all at once. And for busy adults, time is the ever-looming menace. Along with its schedules and deadlines, it is what ages us, runs out on us and cannot be stopped. Like mosquitoes, the flu and other earthly scourges, time is one of those things that makes us ask, “What was God thinking when he invented that?!” Seems such a cruel thing, time. Or is it? We often hear or speak the phrases, “There’s never enough time,” or “I’m not getting any younger,” and, my personal (and often-used) favorite, “Time is against me.” With so much jammed into our days as we try to accomplish everything under the sun, we end up asking ourselves, “Where did the time go?” But before we lament time and its ceaseless march, there is one way in which time is our greatest friend. Look at it through the eyes of our faith. Envision time as a gift given to us by God. Time is the currency we are given to spend entirely for what we were made


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T. Gennara

Dear Fr. Joe: How does the pope pick his name? @

Send your questions to:


Why do popes always seem to choose a previously used name? If they are doing so to honor a previous pope, how can we tell which one? Did Pope Benedict choose his name to honor Benedict I or Benedict XV, or someone in between?

in the know with Fr. Joe


Now there’s an interesting question! If you take a peek at the Bible, you’ll see that there are a few times where God changes someone’s name. Take a look at this passage from Genesis 32: Jacob was left there alone. Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob’s hip at its socket, so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled. The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. He answered, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed." If you get a chance, be sure and read the whole chapter – it’s a pretty amazing story. So, Jacob, whose name meant “laughter,” had his name changed to Israel, which means “wrestles with God” or “contends with God.” Here’s a passage from Matthew 16: When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his

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disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” Here, we see God taking Simon, whose name means “pebble” and changing his name to “Peter” which means “rock.” In both cases, God changed a person’s name. In the first, God changed Jacob’s name because of a momentous event. In the second, Jesus changes Simon’s name because he gave Peter a significant mission and purpose. Peter’s whole life changed and he became the rock on which Jesus would build his church. In the same way, when someone becomes pope, he experiences both of those things: a momentous event and a new mission. The momentous event is, of course, being named pope. The new mission is to continue to build on the rock that Jesus gave us.

That’s the “why” of the name change. In regards to why they pick the names they pick, they do so to indicate the kind of pope they are going to be. They pray very seriously about what God is calling them to do as pope and then chose a name that will signify that special calling. On April 27, 2005, Pope Benedict explained why he chose the name Benedict: Filled with sentiments of awe and thanksgiving, I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps, I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples. Additionally, I recall St. Benedict of Nursia, co-patron of Europe, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe. I ask him to help us all to hold firm to the centrality of Christ in our Christian life: May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions! So, there ya go! Our pope chose his name to honor and emulate two different Benedicts. He chose Pope Benedict XV so that he could use his papacy to be a man of peace and reconciliation. He chose St. Benedict of Nursia so that he could help guide people to a deeper commitment to their Catholic roots. What a blessing we have in Pope Benedict! Let’s be sure and hold him in our hearts and prayers. Enjoy another day in God’s presence!

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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |


What would

St. Francis watch? Read more of Paul Jarzembowski’s thoughts on


f St. Francis of Assisi were around today, what would be in his Netflix queue? Perhaps one of the most “green saints” in Catholic tradition, Francis (patron of ecology, the poor and simple living) probably would rent movies that advocated a more responsible, peaceful approach to all God’s creatures.

Through a fictional alien landscape, several critical Catholic social issues were raised, including ethnic and tribal genocide, ecological destruction and exploitation, lack of intercultural communication and the respect for the life and dignity of all God’s people (Na’vi or earth-bound). These were some of the social concerns that Francis encountered in the 12th and

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“Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.” “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” “No one is to be called an enemy. All are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.” “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

spiritual popcorn

He might enjoy a big-budget action film like The Day After Tomorrow (2004), which depicted the catastrophes that might happen to the earth should the polar ice caps melt due to climate change; or an award-winning drama like Gorillas in the Mist (1988), the true story of Dian Fossey, who worked in Rwanda to protect the wildlife from illegal and cruel poaching. More recently, though, Francis might also have found a kindred spirit in the character of Jake Sully, who walked without fear amongst the Pandoran wilderness in James Cameron’s Avatar (2009). This is a movie that touches on several themes common to the life and ministry of St. Francis, although its inherent theology is not compatible with Catholicism:

13th centuries, which we continue to experience in our own time. In Avatar, the main characters were able to enter another world, just as Francis was able to walk into the Muslim camp during the crusades. To work toward real social justice, like Jake Sully or Francis of Assisi, we must cross borders and immerse ourselves in solidarity with creation, the poor and the oppressed. This might be an impoverished area of the world, the prejudice experienced in the local community or one’s own irresponsible carbon footprint. Wherever it is, let us walk like Francis and sow seeds of peace, reconciliation and incredible care for all of God’s creation.

9/29/10 11:15 AM

T. Gennara


The history of Liturgical Books – Part I 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.

Deacon Stanley Lechtanski carries the Book of Gospels during procession at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.


e reverently carry in the Book of Gospels in the opening procession of Mass. The server brings the Sacramentary to the priest so that he might recite the opening prayer. The reader approaches the ambo and reads from the Lectionary. But what is the history of these sacred books and why are they so important to how we worship?

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Our liturgical texts bear witness to an “unbroken tradition” [GIRM 6] of how the church has worshipped for 2,000 years. The third edition of the Roman Missal, which we will use in November 2011, is the latest step in this tradition. In the early church, worship was conducted by improvisation, with the presider “giving thanks to the best of his ability” (Justin Martyr, c. 160). Rituals and texts were influenced by Jewish synagogue practices. This was an oral culture and only gradually did presiders start to write things down, often on scrolls made of animal skins, then in a “codex” (similar to a book as we now know it). These small liturgical books, libelli, were often only a few pages long and contained prayers for one or more celebrations. The earliest standardized eucharistic prayers seem to date from the 3rd century. By the 4th century, as worship became more formalized and with growing concern for orthodoxy, there was a trend toward standardization of the prayers and readings that would be used at various rituals and on various days of the year. Yet, there was still a variety of expressions in multiple liturgical centers, from Rome to Jerusalem, from Antioch to Egypt. In the next few centuries, more extensive books appeared, such as the Leonine Sacramentary – a rather disorganized collection of libelli that appeared at the end of the 6th century and was erroneously attributed to Pope Leo I (440-461). The Old Gelasian Sacramentary (7th8th century) had three sections organized according to the liturgical year. Roman in origin, it was later enlarged by Frankish practitioners. The Gregorian Sacramentary (late 8th century) was a book intended for the exclusive use of the pope and eventually developed into three different products. In 785, Pope Hadrian gave one of these to Charlemagne (d. 814), who extended its use throughout his empire. Extensive additions gradually were made for local use. Other liturgical books, too, were developing in the first nine centuries. Where once a Bible had simply been marked with marginal notes, it became a more practical matter to organize the readings into epistle books (epistolaries) or Gospel books (evangeliaries). As early as the 5th century, lectionaries organized selected passages (pericopes) according to the liturgical year. Early church ordos (plural – ordines) contained rubrics or instructions for how the Mass, sacramental rites and other ceremonies were to be performed. A series of famous Roman Ordines became the norm for papal, episcopal, monastic and parochial practices. All

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Symbols: Vatican City Flag


Pilgrimage destination of the month Every year, Catholics from around the globe travel to religiously significant locations in order to deepen their understanding and appreciation for the Catholic faith, to venerate Mary and the saints, to ask for intercessory prayers and to express gratitude. Here is just one of the many places you might want to make a pilgrimage.

Moscow, Russia

The flag of the Vatican City was adopted on June 7, 1929, the year Pope Pius XI made a treaty with Italy, setting up a new independent state. The Vatican City coat of arms can be found in the white half and consists of:

The yellow and white of the flag also refer to the keys – in heraldry yellow represents gold, while white represents silver.

these orders now provide fascinating glimpses into how early worshippers celebrated initiation, ordinations, Masses, funerals and even coronations. By the end of the first millennium, the church was using full missals, with everything one would need for Mass – chant texts from the antiphonary, readings from the epistle book and the Gospel book, prayers from sacramentaries and instructions from the ordines. [cf. From Age to Age by Edward Foley, The Liturgical Press, 2008]

Partly in reaction to the Reformation, the Council of Trent (1548-1563) called for uniformity in the liturgical books, using Latin, the language of scholarship. Soon after, the church received a breviary (1568), the Missal of Pius V (1570) and the Roman Ritual (1614). Using the recently invented printing press (c.1440), the church decreed that all dioceses and religious communities whose liturgical traditions were less than 200 years old would use these books. Though they underwent some changes in the next 400 years, they remained relatively unchanged until the Second Vatican Council (1961-1965). In our next installment, we’ll trace the history of our liturgical books since the Council. In the meantime, listen carefully to the beautiful texts of our Mass and appreciate that as you pray, you are echoing the prayers of Christians long before us.

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Notables: The Tretyakov gallery contains around 47,000 Russian works of art including a world-famous collection of ancient Russian icons. Visitors to the gallery can see rare originals of icons by the early 15th-century iconographer Andrei Rublev. The Trinity Monastery of Saint Sergius is the center of the Russian Orthodox Church and holds such treasures as white stone Trinity Cathedral (1423) and the famous icon, The Trinity, by Andrei Rublev. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is the tallest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world and is located on the bank of the Moskva River just a few blocks west of the Kremlin. (Pictured right.)

pilgrimage destination

• the papal tiara (as used under the pontificate of Pius XI); • the two keys which represent the keys to Heaven (Matt 6:19) given by Jesus to St. Peter. The gold key represents spiritual power while the silver key represents worldly power. • a red cord connecting the keys.

Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia and one of the largest cities in the world. It is famous for its architecture and artwork and it is also the religious center of Russia.

Ascension Church (1532) was built in white stone to commemorate of the future Ivan the Terrible. It is characterized by its “White Column” which marked a rupture with the Byzantine tradition. The Novodevichy Convent, founded in 1524, was built as a fortress. It was closed down in 1922 by the Bolsheviks and was made into the Museum of Women’s Emancipation. Stalin then sanctioned the Moscow Theological Courses at the convent in 1943 that later became the Moscow Theological Institute. In 1994, nuns returned and the convent is currently under the authority of the Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna.

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Praying with

the saints of autumn


uring October, we celebrate some significant feast days: St. Therese of the Child Jesus (1), Guardian Angels (2), St. Francis of Assisi (4), Our Lady of the Rosary (7), St. Teresa of Avila (15), St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (16), St. Luke (18), Sts. Simon and Jude (28). Each saint reflects some particular aspect of God for us; their lives are intended to encourage us, guide us and inspire us to live for God. I am going to suggest we pay close attention to two of them this month: St. Therese of the Child Jesus and St. Margaret Mary Alacocque.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

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Pause and reflect: How can you grow in child-like obedience to God? During October, ask St. Therese to help that you, too, might follow her example.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque St. Margaret also was a French religious sister, but was very different from St. Therese. Sister Margaret Mary lived in the 1600s. Christ appeared to her frequently, acting himself as her spiritual director, and confiding to her the mission of establishing devotion to his sacred heart. It was St. Margaret Mary who began the practice of a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament and the first Friday devotions. Jesus himself called her the beloved disciple of his sacred heart. In showing Margaret Mary his burning heart, Christ said, “Behold, this heart which has so loved men and is so little loved in return.” In the midst of all these powerful revelations, she experienced the disbelief of her community and superiors, which led to tremendous suffering that she endured in humility and charity, offering it that God’s love might be known. In today’s world, most of us, even strong Christians and Catholics, do not begin to comprehend the love that God has for each one of us.

St. Margaret Mary suffered much – mentally, emotionally, physically – to proclaim the love of the sacred heart of Jesus for each one of us. Pause and reflect: I would encourage you to read a good biography of both St. Therese and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Both men and women can benefit from the lives of these two saints. God offers them to us to widen our vision, to receive encouragement and wisdom to run on the path to holiness – and to run, so as to win!

Spiritual exercises: Ponder these Scripture passages: Matthew 18:1-4 “At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’ ”

spiritual fitness

Therese loved the saints and wanted to be one. She wanted to be a missionary, yet knew God was calling her to the cloister. Instead of just dreaming about being a missionary saint, she allowed God to form her as he wanted. So, first, she submitted to God’s plan for her life. Then, as she entered into a more mature spiritual life, she realized how little and helpless she was to imitate the great saints, as she saw them: Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. So she asked Jesus’ arms to be her elevator, to lift her up to God, the Father. In a very simple, child-like, humble spirit, she kept asking God for help, as a child would ask a loving parent. And God did not fail her! Her trust became so unbounding that, on her death bed at 24, when she was corrected for an irritable response, instead of falling into understandable self-pity, she just rejoiced: “O, another opportunity to ask forgiveness and rely on the mercy of God!” Her path to sanctity became known as the “little way.” She showed

how accessible true holiness can be for each one of us.

T. Gennara

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

And John 14:15-21 “If you love me you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you. He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

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By Molly Klimas | Photos by Jonathan Tramontana

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ancy Woodcock is “technically” an outsider. But she’ll get under your skin; inside your head and through to your heart.

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cover story

She lives this teaching nine to five, 24/7 – it’s her career; it’s her calling; it’s her life. She is the Diocese of Grand Rapids’ first, and currently only, pastoral director. And what’s that, you ask? You wouldn’t be alone in not knowing, given the rarity of Nancy’s role. When asked to write this article on Nancy and the pastoral director program, I kind of got it through inference: It’s a person who runs a parish, but isn’t a priest. I was to learn that my watered-down definition is simplistic, antiseptic. The reality is the person and the position are complex, multi-layered and multi-flavored, bold and subtle, earthy and sublime. Clear as mud, right? I was hoping for imagery closer to wine. The canonical definition of “pastoral (or parish) director” is this: … a woman or man to whom a “participation in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish is entrusted.” This care includes the following areas: education and pastoral services, worship, administration. (c. 517, §2) In Nancy’s case, she has been entrusted with the pastoral care of two parishes: St. Mary in Carson City and St. John the Baptist, in Hubbardston. They welcomed Nancy with open arms, but there was a time when the two parishes were wary of one another and of outsiders; their respective roots go deep, back to the mid-1800s. It was through music that they were first united.

A tale of two parishes

Nancy Woodcock, pastoral director at St. Mary Parish, Carson City, and St. John the Baptist Parish, Hubbardston

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was taught that through baptism, each person has the right and responsibility to live their life as an active, involved Catholic Christian,” Nancy said.

Before Nancy, the two parishes shared Father William “Bill” Reitz as pastor. Beginning in 1995, Father Reitz oversaw not only two churches but also the legacy of two grade schools and two high schools that had been for years arch rivals in athletics. The rivalry, and its lingering spirit might not have matched the one between the University of Michigan and Michigan State, but it was close. Looking to the future, Father Bill decided to join the parishes’ children’s choirs in the mid-1990s. Through the children, the young adults and the grown-ups began to move closer together. It was around that time that Nancy became involved with the two parishes. Having earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in child development and reading education followed by a 30-year career as a teacher at Montabella Community Schools, Nancy first came to the parishes in 2003. Born on the east side of the state, the oldest of eight, she had been raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools all the way through graduate school. She had volunteered in all aspects of parish life – as a catechist for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and adult faith formation; as a director of religious education; as a council member…a whirling dervish of service. But when her mother suffered a stroke in 1995, Nancy recalibrated some of her responsibilities and volunteer

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activities, eventually retiring from teaching in 2002 to care full-time, along with her sister, for their mother. “After a couple of years, I remember my mom telling me, ‘You need to find another job – it’s time,’” Nancy said. A part-time director of religious education (DRE) position opened at St. Mary and St. John. She applied and won the job and, in this role, first became acquainted with the people of the parishes. Along the way, she had continued her education. She earned a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Marygrove College in Detroit, and certificates


When the diocese identified a handful of candidates to participate in the formation process and prepare for the possibility of the ministry, Nancy was among them. The program involved a year of meetings and studies in pastoral leadership on top of their existing graduate-level degrees. “Candidates were immersed in all that’s involved in the oversight of a local faith community, including the administrative, sacramental, canonical, financial and liturgical aspects,” said Diocesan Vicar General Rev. Msgr. William H. Duncan, who has been involved in the program since its inception under Bishop Britt.

Nancy had great organizational skills – years of teaching prepare you for meeting any obstacle! – plus common sense and a terrific sense of humor. She won our hearts


in parish administration from Loyola University in New Orleans and in spiritual direction from the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids. The revised Code of Canon 517, §2, promulgated in 1983, had paved the way for future pastoral director positions in dioceses. In 2003, Bishop Kevin Britt began exploring a pastoral director program in the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

(top) Nancy in third grade; (middle) first Communion photo; (bottom right) after graduating from college (bottom left); and graduating from high school.

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Meanwhile, illness and age (he was 80 at the time) had forced Father Reitz to retire – and without any priests immediately available to take his place, this left St. Mary and St. John in a precarious position. The parishes’ distant geographic location – an hour’s drive from Grand Rapids – complicated the situation.

When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window Change in the modern church began in the 1960s during the Second Vatican Council. Interestingly, before the Council convened, Pope John XXIII is reported to have said that he wanted to throw open the windows of the church so that we can see out and the people can see in. As far back as 1983 when the revised Code of Canon law was promulgated, it was clear there would be a shortage of priests in the coming decades. But if one is to look at the “glass half full,” then in some respects we’re returning to a time when laity has a much larger role in parish life and administration. Nancy’s experience and education

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20 made her an ideal candidate to take on that expanded role. She had completed the diocese’s pastoral director training program and was one of the candidates being considered for the newly created pastoral director position at St. Mary and St. John parishes. Bishop Britt was prepared to announce the appointment when he died suddenly. “The pastoral director program as a whole was put on hold,” Msgr. Duncan said, “but, because Bishop Britt had all but signed the papers, our acting Apostolic Administrator, Cardinal Maida of the Archdiocese of Detroit, appointed the chosen candidate, Nancy, to the position.”

cover story

She has confidence … and a sense of humor “As the first female pastoral director, Nancy was on un-trod territory,” said Joanne Burns Howard, who has been a member of St. John the Baptist Parish all of her 78 years. “But Nancy had great organizational skills – years of teaching prepare you for meeting any obstacle! – plus common sense and a terrific sense of humor. She won our hearts immediately.” Gathered around a large table in St. Mary’s multipurpose room in midAugust, Howard, and other parishioners - Helen Gallagher, Catherine and Larry Bogart, Al Giroux, Michael Hodges, Sue Lowe, Kathleen Copp and Pam Carberry - engage in a discussion about Nancy’s role as pastoral director. Two additional parishioners, Pat and Janet Burns, took time to write a letter about all the things they like about Nancy and the pastoral director program. One of the first things Howard said, and all agreed to, was, “We wish we could have two Nancys!” Nancy splits her time between both parishes, but the reality is serving as pastoral director for both is almost like having two fulltime jobs. Part of

Copp said she thought that every parish could benefit from a pastoral director whether it has a resident priest or not: “With the

pastoral director handling the fiscal and the physical, the priest can focus on the sacramental.”

that is because Nancy throws herself into her work heart and soul. “Nancy has this phenomenal energy, she’s everywhere,” said Gallagher Indeed, her role encompasses doing everything a priest would do except for administering the sacraments and celebrating Mass. She visits the sick; helps families cope with the deaths of loved ones; prepares couples for marriage and secures priests to say Mass. Her role includes rallying parishioners around the annual Catholic Services Appeal campaign; overseeing facilities renovation and construction; and managing staff and volunteers who plant flowers and put on fundraisers and

play bingo. The list goes on and on. It is the stitching together of the fabric of daily parish life. Before meeting for an interview for this article, Nancy had prepared a neatly-typed curriculum vitae of sorts, which included her education, work experience and what’s involved in being a pastoral director. At the bottom, she had handwritten, “A sense of humor is essential for survival!” She included a big smiley face. Back in the multipurpose room, several people around the table talk about how they or people they know had returned to the church because of Nancy. “She doesn’t ask, ‘Where are you?’ She says, ‘We miss you,’” Carberry said. “She makes you feel wanted.” Hodges, whose ancestors settled the area and helped found St. Mary – and who is now in his fourth year in the seminary, studying to be a priest – says Nancy is “a good model of gently helping people break old habits of ‘sitting back and waiting for the church to come to you.’” The two parishes are receiving renewed inquiries from individuals interested in joining the church and experiencing increased participation in the RCIA. A visiting priest celebrating the Holy Week, Good

Nancy meets with Bill Westphal, diocesan parish review services manager.

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Nancy talks with Rev. Msgr. William H. Duncan. Msgr. Duncan is the canonical priest supervisor to Nancy in her role as pastoral director.

Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter services had commented on how many people seemed to be going through the RCIA program at the parishes. Copp said she thought that every parish could benefit from having a pastoral director whether they have a resident priest or not: “With the pastoral director handling the fiscal and the physical, the priest can focus on the sacramental,” she added. Hodges agreed. “The priests are able to open up more; it lets them be priests, not operators of businesses,” he said. The visiting priests (officially called sacramental ministers) who celebrate Mass and hear confessions on weekends at the two parishes are scheduled a year in advance by Nancy, usually for six- to eight-week periods, but not always consecutively. The parishes take turns hosting holy days such as Christmas and Easter. Most celebrants are retired priests from the Diocese of Grand Rapids and a few are from the Diocese of Lansing. “They love coming here – they have a beautiful rectory to stay in and home-cooked meals. We take good care of them,” Copp said. Nancy especially delights in hosting the priests of the Ionia Deanery at Christmas gatherings that include “Catholic Trivial Pursuit” and the giving of small, silly gifts – like Santa hats. “It’s the funniest thing when you see priests, in their collars and all in black, with these bright red Santa hats on their heads,” Nancy said with a laugh.

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(center photo) Nancy during a first Communion Mass; (bottom photo) and with a group of 8th grade students who recently received the sacrament of confirmation at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in downtown Grand Rapids.

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cover story

Nancy chats with a group, including Deb McCrackin,(seated next to Nancy) from St. Mary Parish, in Carson City; and St. John the Baptist, in Hubbardson.

“Nancy saved us,” adds The parishioners What is a parish anyway? Perhaps Howard. not only have grown ‘parish’ is an old-fashioned term; “I think we’re proving that accustomed to hosting a perhaps we are redefining ‘parish.’ this is a viable model for bevy of priests throughout the priest shortage,” Hodges the year; they also have said. “You just have to grown to appreciate have an open mind, and be it. Hodges talks about willing to make it work.” how each priest brings A look around the parishes is evidence in motion; the himself to the role. “A lot of people everywhere are under kitchen adjacent the multipurpose room at St. Mary bustles the misconception that a priest is a priest is a priest – but the with local food bank volunteers (the parish site serves reality is they bring themselves into the ministry,” he said. as the food bank for Eastern Montcalm County); senior “We like that we get to know different priests, different parishioners play cards in a nearby room; donated flowers styles,” Lowe adds. adorn both parish grounds. Students at the two parishes The model has drawn some criticism, mainly from those who don’t fully understand or haven’t had an opportunity to are active as servers and the joint K-12 religious education program started by Father Reitz is thriving. The “over 50s experience the program. crowd” gathers for regular lunch-prayer-bingo dates at St. “There are people who may feel we are second class John. And the parishes’ joint choir, the idea for which came because we don’t have priests in residence. Yes, we have a about nearly 15 years ago, is still going strong. history and a culture to overcome, but we are every bit as legitimate as any other parish,” said Giroux. “What is a parish anyway?” Lowe asks. “Perhaps ‘parish’ is an old-fashioned term; perhaps we are redefining ‘parish.’ When Nancy is asked when she first knew that she was And even though we are technically two parishes, I feel we called to serve so fully in the Catholic Church and in faith, are one.” her short answer is that it’s been a part of her for just about The parishes recently formed a single pastoral council, which as long as she can remember. She reflects and realizes that includes seven members from each parish. there were several particular moments when God worked “People are working together,” said Carberry. through another person to show Nancy the way:

And even though we are technically two parishes, I feel we are one.”

All the love you can give

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Nancy visits with a parishioner, Irene Doepker, 90.

What’s involved in being a pastoral director? The pastoral director is responsible for: • Parish worship • Faith formation ministry • Pastoral services • Administration of ministry within the parish • Serving as a liaison between the parish and its diocese • Relations with the wider community • Administration of temporalities and finances • Personnel and parish relationships • Accountability to the Bishop

… Sister Emiline, a teacher in high school, who helped her to understand the documents of the Second Vatican Council and its call for increased participation by the laity. … The Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters at Marygrove College, who taught her the three C’s – be caring, competent and committed. Finally, Nancy shared this: “As I reflected in prayer last night, I realized that my mother was the most influential person in my life. She was a quiet, shy person by nature but she instilled in me her deep Catholic faith, a wonderful warmth of welcoming others and a loving, caring nature. She taught me to read before I went to school and valued education highly. She pushed all of my siblings and me to do the best we could. She was strong, courageous, brave, independent and very proud of her Irish heritage. She lived the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. When I was in high school, my father died and she was widowed with eight children. I was 17; the youngest was four. She insisted I go to college. … Her love and encouragement helped us all to become strong adults who value education. … She went back to school in her 60s and received her associate’s degree from Montcalm Community College and was taking classes at Aquinas when she had her massive stroke in 1995. Her determination and strength allowed her to regain her physical strength until she became so frail that she was cared for. … I am who I am because of her strength, encouragement and love.” As people, we are more than molecules; we are the sum of one another, inside and out. St. Mary and St. John the Baptist parishioners give thanks that Nancy Nancy got under their skin … and became part of them.

Qualifications: • Love for God and those they serve, faith in Christ and commitment to the church • Master’s degree in theological studies or equivalent and five to 10 years of pastoral experience • A commitment to foster spiritual growth in the Christian community • An active member of the Roman Catholic Church • Demonstrated leadership • Ability to articulate a vision • Interpersonal and group communication skills • Flexibility • Ability to function in a collaborative ministry setting • Good at conflict management More information can be found at the National Association for Lay Ministry website,, which covers lay ecclesial ministers under Canon 517, §2.

Source: The Diocese of Grand Rapids

Additional sources for this article: • St. John the Baptist Parish on Fish Creek: The Beginnings by Joanne Burns Howard • The People of God – 2010 Parish Directory for St. Mary Parish Carson City and St. John the Baptist Parish Hubbardston • Pastoral Care in Parishes Without a Pastor: Applications of Canon 517, §2 by Barbara Anne Cusack and Therese Guerin Sullivan, S.P.

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Embracing God in the delivery room

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By Molly Klimas | Photos by Jonathan Tramontana

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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |


or more than 25 years, nurse practitioner Deb Biller has been involved in hundreds of risky deliveries, but the one that stands out is a Caesarean section performed in 1990 on a first-time mother. As the woman was wheeled into surgery, her eyes briefly met those of her husband. The fear and anguish in the man’s eyes are etched into Biller’s memory. The story has a happy ending, thankfully. The woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Emily. Emily, now 20, attends Loyola University in Chicago. And the mother who faced emergency surgery? It was Biller, who has worked the last 15 years in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids. She and husband Fred are approaching their 24th wedding anniversary. “Emily was an emergency C-section and prior to this, they made me cringe,” said Biller, who also has a son, Alex, 18. “It cast a whole new light on the types of emergencies I was dealing with because I was experiencing it first-hand. “I remember the look in Fred’s eyes – the panic and concern,” Biller said. “It has helped me better understand the anguish families experience when the outcome is uncertain.” Offering compassion and empathy to grief-stricken families is part of her work ethic. Working at a hospital that has operated as a faith-based ministry organization since 1893 makes it all the more important, she says.

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Deb Biller (standing right), Jan Grassmid (seated) and Tammy Hogan caring and spending time with one of the infant patients in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids.

As the woman was wheeled into surgery, her eyes briefly met those of her husband. The fear and

anguish in the man’s eyes are etched in Biller’s memory.

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26 “It is an awesome responsibility and privilege to work in a setting where you are

taking care of God’s greatest gifts.”

“This is my faith and I am happy to be here and able to share my faith with others,” Biller said. “It is an awesome responsibility and privilege to work in a setting where you are taking care of God’s greatest gifts.”


Letting God take over

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Biller is a cradle Catholic who grew up on the city’s Northwest side. Her parents were founding members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Emily and Alex followed in their mother’s footsteps. Both attended Holy Spirit elementary school and graduated from West Catholic High School. Over the years, she and Fred, a cost estimator for Commercial Tool and Die Inc. in Comstock Park, juggled their schedules so Deb could continue her education in neonatology. “He’s been my rock,” she said of Fred. “He took over when I was in school and helped get the kids ready for school and on the bus when I was working.” You might say it was her Catholic education that steered Biller into nursing. “My eighth grade teacher at Holy Spirit encouraged me, so I knew since the eighth grade I was going to be a nurse,” she said. Biller is one of four nurse practitioners in the neonatal unit. It is an intimate, quiet setting. The walls are painted in soothing shades of green. It has 15

Deb Biller spends time in the Healing Garden, which is located on the roof of Saint Mary’s, to reflect on her day.

high-tech beds with transparent sidewalls and more electronic hook-ups than a wide-screen television. Windows provide a panoramic view of Grand Rapids and overlook the Peter M. Wege Center for Health and Learning, opened in 1998 on the east side of Lafayette Avenue SE. “Our babies start out in the beds and progress to

the basinets,” she explained. In a corner, a father cradles his infant daughter on a recent September morning. The baby is the sole occupant of the 15-bed unit this day. “It’s more personalized. We have one-onone care – not like a factory,” Biller said. They serve high-risk infants ranging in age from 23-weeks-old to

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those born full-term, at 40-weeks. “We do everything here but cardiac and surgery,” she said. She works a 24-hour shift and then gets a few days off before her next shift. Events of the day are replayed like prerecorded messages at an airport: Did I do everything I could? Did I make the right choice? “Most times it is fine, but when you lose a baby you take a few hours to reflect,” she said. Biller and colleagues attend all high-risk deliveries. A highrisk delivery is triggered by myriad circumstances – a low heart tone, meconium-stained fluid or a prolapsed umbilical cord. Occasionally they’re called to assist with deliveries in the hospital emergency room downstairs. Beyond the machines, the codes, priority one patients and alarms, Biller, Drs. Charles S. Winslow and Mariel Di Musto-Poortenga provide something you don’t see in neonatologists’ summaries and annual

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reports – evidence of healthcare rooted in the Catholic faith. At Saint Mary’s, you see it all around – from the wooden crosses displayed in every room to the gold cross suspended from a thin rope chain around Biller’s neck. It is an unapologetic affirmation of faith. “I am so impressed how far we have


come in taking care of premature births,” she said. “But there are times when we have to step back and let God take over; there is nothing more we can do. “I know in my heart that I’ve given it my all and now it is time for the Lord to take over. This is my source of comfort. It always has been.”

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28 Faithful citizenship for November elections

Dead Man Walking: The Play and the class

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the role of the church is to help Catholics develop well-formed consciences in accordance with church teaching so they can make sound moral decisions and apply that sense of morality when faced with political choices. Modern Catholic social teaching, which was developed through scripture and the writings of theologians, popes and bishops, serves as the framework for informing our consciences. The teachings that apply to our call for political responsibility are defined in the USCCB’s Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which states, “The church’s obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith, a part of the mission given to us by Jesus Christ. Faith helps us to see more clearly the truth about human life and dignity that we also understand through human reason. As people of both faith and reason, Catholics are called to bring truth to political life and to practice Christ’s commandment to “love one another” (Jn 13:34).

This fall, Catholic Secondary Schools will put on a production of Dead Man Walking: The Play, featuring students from Catholic Central and West Catholic High Schools, directed by Bob Rose. In conjunction, the CIC will offer a follow-up class and discussion of Catholic social teaching on the dignity of life, especially as it relates to the issue of the death penalty. We will also learn a bit more about Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, activist and author of the book Dead Man Walking which inspired the film and the play of the same name.

You can find additional resources on faithful citizenship on the diocesan website at, or at Additional information is available by visiting, part of the website of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan.

Dead Man Walking: The Play • Dates/Times:Oct. 14, 21 and 22 at 7:00 p.m.; October 17 and 24 at 3:00 p.m., audience Q&A to follow each performance. • Location: Circle Theatre, on the Campus of Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Road, Grand Rapids. • Tickets: $8 for adults, $6 for students, available at the Aquinas Performing Arts Center Box Office beginning Oct. 4. All seating is general admission. For more information, please call 456.6656 after Oct. 4. The Catholic Information Center, 360 Division Ave. S., in downtown Grand Rapids, will host a discussion about the play from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 4.

Diocese of Grand Rapids Fall stewardship efforts During the fall of each year, the Diocese of Grand Rapids recognizes and supports the seasonal Stewardship education that continues in many of our parishes. The rich messages in the Gospel during the fall season reflects the both the grateful giving back to our Lord for his generosity as well as the responsibility for each of us to use our unique gifts to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.” Luke 19:8-9 (From the readings of Oct. 31, 2010)

Practicing good stewardship requires regular evaluation of how we use our time, talents and money. Jesus often spoke about money, possessions, talents, etc., to teach us that how we use them directly expresses what we value in life – our priorities. Jesus taught we are to use our Godgiven gifts for the work of Gods kingdom. That should be our priority – giving our best, from our first fruits to

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advance the Lord’s work. In giving back a portion of our money, some choose the biblical norm of giving 10 percent of their gross income (tithing), some give more. Others might start at 2, 4 or 6 percent. After prayerful thought about the size of your gift, when you do not find yourself making excuses for its size, when you know in your heart that you have been completely honest with God and yourself, then your gift is the proper size. God has also given each of us a certain amount of time and varying talents. Giving back these gifts could include helping on a parish committee like finance, hospitality, social justice, usher, choir, etc. Perhaps you could volunteer to visit shut-ins, assist in the parish office, lector, become a religious education teacher, help clean, assist with funeral luncheons, yard work, etc. God owns all, and has graciously given us the privilege of managing the gifts he has given us. How we use our gifts of time, talent and money is the question of stewardship. Seek practical ways to “add value” to all God has entrusted to you for his glory through the important work of your parish. That’s good stewardship.

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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |


CIC fall programs for spiritual growth The Catholic Information Center (CIC) is offering a variety programs for Catholics and others seeking to learn more about Catholic belief, practice and other faith issues. All programs are open to anyone wishing to attend. Free parking is available. There is no registration fee, but donations are welcomed. To register, or for more information, call 459-7267, ext. 1801 or go to Upcoming programs include: • Consolata Missionary Sisters and their Mission of Consolation Thursdays, Oct. 14 and 21, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The CIC continues its series of programs highlighting the mission and contribution of women’s religious communities in the diocese with this two-session course on the Consolata Missionary Sisters who celebrate the 100th anniversary of their founding this year.

– Oct. 21: Session two will outline the growth and development toward a worldwide mission as “Missio Dei”; the ministries and missionary style (human and spiritual formation); and our presence in the United States as the mission of consolation continues. • John Henry Newman Mondays, Oct. 18 and 25, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The most influential English Catholic of the 19th century, John Henry (later, Cardinal) Newman will be beatified by Pope Benedict in September 2010, the final step before his canonization. – Oct 18 : His Life and Spiritual Journey: Born in London in 1804, educated at Oxford, he was ordained a priest of the Church of England. He became a leader of the Oxford Movement which tried to restore Catholic elements in that Church. Later, as a Catholic, he founded the Oratory of Birmingham and was an intellectual force in the 19th century church.

• Healing our Image of God Thursdays, Oct. 21 and 28, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Sadly too many people have an image of God as a judge, a punisher....instead of a God who loves us and is not waiting to punish us as we imagine. Explore with the group on what the Bible reveals to us about whom God is in reality.

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– Oct. 14: The first session will focus on the origins of the Consolata Family: Brothers, Fathers, Sisters and Laity (LMC); the charism (spirit of the community); and the historical times of its foundation.

– Oct 25: His Writings and Their Impact on Today’s Church: The “Apologia pro Vita Sua” is the autobiographical story of his spiritual journey from evangelical piety through Anglican Via Media to Roman Catholic conviction. “The Idea of a University” came out of his attempt to establish a Catholic University in Dublin. His “Grammar of Assent” explores the relation between faith and doctrine. Most controversial was his essay “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine.”

• Put it in Reverse! Wednesdays, Nov. 3 and 10, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This course will share the philosophy of “reverse mission” where we engage in mission to “learn from” and not just “do for” others. While intended for those interested in discerning their motivations for participating in a short-term mission experience, this course is open to anyone. • Understanding Difficult Scripture Passages Wednesdays, Nov. 10 and 17, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. At times we find quotations from the bible that are very difficult to understand ... for example Matthew 25 31-46 (“the final judgment”) or many references to women and sexuality. Another difficult quotation is Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect”. This session examines these texts very carefully and compare them with other citations from the bible.

World Mission Sunday World Mission Sunday will be celebrated in parishes on the weekend of Oct. 23-24. The Mission Sunday collection, organized by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, helps support pastoral and evangelizing programs, catechists and catechetical work, the building of churches and chapels, the work of religious communities in health care and education, and communication and transportation needs. For more information, please visit

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My discernment:

Relying on prayer, not a whim Father Ron Hutchinson is director of priestly vocations for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.


vocations – open to God’s call

ne of the most common questions asked of priests is “Why did you decide to be a priest?” Although the inflection used to ask this question sometimes makes it seem like the person asking believes I should have pursued another venture or that I am not as well-suited to priesthood as I believe, I often choose to believe that the question is one that indicates interest about what led me to this life. Why did I decide to be a priest? Well, let’s see…

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The first thing you need to know is it wasn’t what I planned to do. I thought a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degrees in counseling and college administration would mean my future would be tied to the world of higher education. In fact, after securing my first full-time position upon graduation from Bowling Green State University, I already was planning when I would begin work on my Ph.D. However, God had another plan for my life. I must admit before I go any further, I had felt at different times since high school that God may be calling me to serve the church as a priest. But each time this “feeling” filled my heart and mind it was sent packing by me or it was squashed by the advice I received from others. In addition, every time I had this “feeling” I became a little frightened. My fear, in retrospect, was the result of not knowing much about what priests do (other than work on the weekends) and what their lives are really like. In the end, I decided to pursue priesthood because God just wouldn’t leave me alone. After starting the dream job I thought I wanted, I discovered I wasn’t happy. My prayer to God asking for guidance kept leading me back to priesthood. In the end I went to seminary to prove God wrong and I was sure I would be looking for a new job within a year. However, the next thing I knew I was finishing my second year of seminary and I had never been happier. Now you could be saying to yourself, I became a priest only by chance or on nothing more than a whim. However, to say that would be wrong. My vocation was the product of a life that always was open to God’s call, even when I may not have realized that was the case. From my youth I had willingly stayed connected to God through prayer both public and private. I always was seeking to live for God and for others. Though I may not have responded

positively to God’s call in my youth, I eventually listened and answered. As the Book of Ecclesiastes remind us “to everything there is a time and a season” (Eccles. 3). I believe I wasn’t meant to go to seminary after graduating from high school. I believe I was meant to have all the experiences I accumulated before I entered the seminary and to acquire the knowledge I gained in other arenas before I began studying theology. Looking back I realize each and every day during my time in the seminary I recommitted myself to becoming a priest, maybe not consciously, but nonetheless it happened. As I sat down to pray the Liturgy of the Hours each morning, I would recommit myself to learning all I needed to that day in order to be the best priest I could be; growing in my relationship that day with the God who had called me and living fully that day in the light of God’s love. Each and every day was a decision to continue my journey toward what I believe I had been called to do by God. And I still make that decision every day.

NEW priestly vocations website The Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids has launched a new Web site, grpriests. org,, that focuses on priestly vocations. The site includes information about The Calling (discernment), Education, Current Seminarians, The Priesthood and Taking the First Step (in becoming a priest). The Calling, Education and Priesthood sections also feature a Q&A and links to other resources.

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FAITH Grand Rapids / October 2010 / |

The challenges of citizenship

Save the date Oct. 23

Middle school students rally in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven

St. Thomas the Apostle, 1449 Wilcox Park Drive, in Grand Rapids, will host the Diocese of Grand Rapids East Deanery JOY rally beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23. For more information call 616.459.4662 or e-mail at St. Patrick, 920 Fulton St., Grand Haven, will host a youth rally for middle school students throughout the Grand Haven Deanery at beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. For more information call Beth Cyr 616.842.0001 or e-mail

Oct. 25

Supreme Court Justice Alito to attend Red Mass


Retrouvaille Retreat Weekend


St. Simon Youth Rally in Ludington

Retrouvaille, a peer ministry for couples considering separation or divorce or experiencing discord or pain who want to give their marriages another try, will hold a retreat on Nov. 5-7. Married and previously married couples are invited to participate. No couple will be denied the opportunity to participate due to financial restrictions. To register, or for more information contact Tim & Susan Erhardt at 616.752.7004, e-mail at or register online at



St. Simon, 702 E. Bryant Road, in Ludington, will host a youth rally for teens beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6. The day-long rally will feature Father Tony Ricard. For more information e-mail Emily Kokx at

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eeing photos or television clips of new U.S. citizens being sworn in and pledging their allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands is always an inspiring experience. People from all over the world still seek our land to be their rightful home. They bring with them their dreams for a better future. Their talents and experience will be enriching the nation for generations to come. Meanwhile, we as a nation continue our troublesome debate about citizenship, because some 11 million people are here without documentation. They are considered “illegals” or “aliens.” How to rectify the situation has been confronting cities, states and the nation with a range of proposals. Some are harsh and punitive, dividing families from their parents or siblings. Some would attempt a kind of “Fortress America,” as if we could wall ourselves off from unwanted intrusion. As a nation of immigrants, we can do better. St. Paul, who knew how valuable his Roman citizenship was to his own human rights, declared dual citizenship. He claimed that he and all followers of Christ were also citizens of heaven. Here on earth, whatever country we live in, we constitute a kind of outpost of heaven, a colony of God’s people living in the power of Christ’s spirit and according to Christ’s ways. Not only, therefore, do we in America have the ideals and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship to live up to, but as Christians, the challenges of heavenly citizenship as well. Those include, as God’s own children, being peacemakers, clean of heart and passionate seekers of righteousness. An American president famously declared dual citizenship one sunny day in 1963 before hundreds of thousands of people in a vast German square. In front of the disgraceful wall dividing East Germany from the West, John F. Kennedy proudly proclaimed: “Ich bin ein Berliner!” In describing himself as a citizen of Berlin, he was defiantly affirming his solidarity with an embattled people. Citizens of heaven by a new birth of water and the spirit and citizens of a blessed land by birth or naturalization, we have much to contribute to the ongoing national challenges of citizenship.

last word

Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito will attend the Red Mass celebrated by Bishop Walter A. Hurley on Monday, October 25. 2010, 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Justice Alito will be the keynote speaker at the dinner held in Cathedral Square Center immediately following the Mass. The Catholic Lawyers Association of Western Michigan invites you to attend. Seating for the dinner is limited. For further details or to RSVP contact David Whitfield at

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

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

All Souls Day, Nov. 2



erciful Father, hear our prayer and console us. As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. p l e a s e

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r e c y c l e

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Till You Find Your Dream by Molly Klimas for FAITH GR Magazine  

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

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