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Transforming the Culture – St. Patrick

| March 17

How do we Catholics interact with and evangelize the culture? The life of St. Patrick provides us some principles we can apply in our own work as participants in the one mission of Jesus Christ.

saint of the month

Principle 1 – Pray, Pray, Pray At 16, St. Patrick was kidnapped from his home in Britain by a band of Irish marauders and sold into captivity in Ireland. During the subsequent six years of captivity, Patrick tended the flocks of his “master.” He relates in his Confessio that he would pray up to 100 prayers a day. Principle 2 – Seek to understand the culture and its mindset During St. Patrick’s captivity, he learned the Celtic language and came to an intimate knowledge of the culture transmitted through it. In addition, Patrick became familiar with the dominant

religion of Ireland, Druidism, as his master was actually a druidical high priest. This gave him an understanding of the belief system and consequently the value system of the land he would evangelize and seek to transform through God’s grace. Principle 3 – Always witness to the Gospel worldview with one’s own life and in one’s own actions St. Patrick beautifully wrote in his Confessio: “You are an epistle of Christ in greeting to the ends of the earth ... written on your hearts, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.” Unless your life becomes a “walking, talking” version of the Gospel, the culture will not be

persuaded of its veracity. Principle 4 – Seek opportunities to interject something different into the cultural mindset Upon his return to Ireland as a priest, St. Patrick visited his former master – not for vengeance, but to compensate him for the loss of his slave. It was customary to compensate an owner if one was responsible for the loss of one of that owner’s slaves. He was also interjecting something new: He was going to exchange God’s blessing upon the former master for the years of servitude and cruelty. This was indeed something very new!

¿De qué forma los católicos interactuamos y predicamos la cultura? La vida de San Patricio nos ofrece algunos principios que podemos aplicar a nuestra propia obra como participantes en la misión de Jesucristo. A la edad de 16 años, San Patricio fue raptado de su casa en Gran Bretaña por una banda de maleantes irlandeses y vendido en cautiverio en Irlanda. Durante los siguientes seis años de cautiverio, Patricio se ocupó de los rebaños de su “amo”. En su obra Confessio relata que rezaría hasta 100 oraciones al día. Principio 2: Buscar entender la cultura y su modo de pensar

Durante su cautiverio, San Patricio aprendió la lengua celta y logró un conocimiento profundo de la cultura que transmitía. Además, Patricio se familiarizó con la religión dominante de Irlanda, el druidismo, debido a que su

amo era en realidad un alto sacerdote druídico; esto le proporcionó un entendimiento del sistema de creencias y por consiguiente del sistema de valores de la tierra que evangelizaría y buscaría transformar por medio de la gracia de Dios. Principio 3: Siempre dar fe de la visión del mundo del Evangelio con la vida y las acciones propias.

San Patricio escribió bellamente en su obra Confessio: “Ustedes son una epístola de Cristo al saludar los confines de la tierra... escrita en sus corazones, no con tinta, sino con el Espíritu de Dios viviente”.

March 2011 Volume 5: Issue 2

Bishop Walter A. Hurley PUBLISHER


Transformar la Cultura – San Patricio | 17 de marzo

Principio 1: Orar, Orar, Orar

The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids

A menos que tu vida se vuelva una versión “caminante, hablante” del Evangelio, la cultura no te convencerá de su veracidad.

Michael Zalewski MANAGING EDITOR

JoAnn Fox


Bishop Walter A. Hurley Msgr. Gaspar F. Ancona Father Ron Hutchinson Molly Klimas Patricia Mish Mary Vaccaro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS


FAITH Catholic Rev. Dwight Ezop CHAIRMAN

Patrick M. O’Brien


Elizabeth Martin Solsburg


Cynthia Vandecar


Patrick Dally ART DIRECTOR

Michelle Hildebrandt


Lynne Ridenour Janna Stellwag Abby Wieber


Jillane Job


Douglas Culp 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

Principio 4: Buscar oportunidades para agregar algo diferente al modo de pensar cultural

A su regreso a Irlanda como sacerdote, San Patricio visitó a su antiguo amo, no por venganza, sino para compensarlo por la pérdida de su esclavo. Él estaba agregando algo nuevo: tambien iba a intercambiar la bendición de Dios en el antiguo amo por los años de servidumbre y crueldad. ¡Esto era ciertamente, algo muy nuevo!

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.

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Liturgical Calendar: St. Katharine Drexel, virgin March 3 | St. Casimir March 4 | Ss. Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs March 7 | St. John of God, religious March 8| Ash Wed

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |


Cover photo courtesy of Jonathan Tramontana

To seek the truth Dan Krajewski spent 34-plus years working at the Kent County Sheriff’s Department; serving in many roles, including sergeant, lieutenant, detective and corrections officer. But the essence of law enforcement, Dan says, is to keep the peace, and that occurs by seeking the truth. To some, it’s a thankless and dangerous vocation. To others, like Dan, it’s a calling that is in keeping with the commandment to love one’s neighbor.

16 – Molly Klimas

Youth minister embraces God’s call to service – Emily Kokx was at a crossroads. She could pick up where she had left off a decade before with a successful banking career, or pursue ministry. She found the answer while praying in the Eucharistic adoration chapel at her church, St. Simon in Ludington, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1998. After reflection, she decided to volunteer in youth ministry. – Patricia Mish

what you’ll get out of this issue

4 from the bishop – Most Rev. Walter Hurley 6 parenting journey We are having a baby, but all of our friends’ kids are grown. – Dr. Cathleen McGreal 6 what gets my goat How can I get my parents to pay for my wedding? – Dr. Gelasia Marquez 7 feature Christian Discourse: Speaking the truth in love. – Donald Cardinal Wuerl 8 culture Remembering a shepherd. – Michelle Sessions DiFranco

27 education

FAITH Grand Rapids magazine talks with Father Virgilio P. Elizondo, professor of Pastoral and Hispanic Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

10 in the know with Fr. Joe I can’t carry a tune – why do we have to sing everything at Mass? – Father Joseph Krupp 11 spiritual popcorn Embarking on a Lenten journey. – Paul Jarzembowski

12 theology 101 What will we be saying differently at Mass? The Roman Missal: The Act of Penitences. – Rita Thiron

14 spiritual fitness Don’t let your emotions rule you!


lenten reflection

Why is it so tempting for us to want more than what we have?

– Sister Ann Shields

30 vocations That’s my life. – Father Ron Hutchinson 31 last word Spring into Lent. – Msgr. Gaspar F. Ancona

– Mary Vaccaro

dnesday March 10 | St. Patrick, bishop March 17 | St. Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop and doctor of the Church March 18 | St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary March 19

inside this issue

22 profile

4 church has chosen (elected) them for membership. It also serves as a reminder that the church is larger and more diverse than our own parish and our own diocese can ever be. I would hope that as you see the candidates in your parish being dismissed for preparation after the homily that you would keep them in your prayers.

from the bishop

Catholic Services Appeal (CSA):

Bishop Hurley receives the offertory gifts from Catholic school students and is assisted by Deacon Stanley Lechtanski (left) during the Catholic Schools Week Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Feb. 1.


y dear friends,

On Ash Wednesday, March 9, we distribute ashes and mark the beginning of Lent. It is a privileged time and an opportunity for great blessings. In the morning on Ash Wednesday, I will bless and distribute the ashes and celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. At noon, I will repeat the celebration at West Catholic High School for the students. As a youngster, I was not particularly excited about the coming of Lent as it meant to me a time of deprivation of many things I enjoyed. Time, however, has changed my perspective and for me Lent has become, not a time of deprivation, but a time of opportunity to deepen my relationship with God and look within myself using prayer, fasting and penance to reconnect with the deepest roots of our faith. I hope it can be that for you. Lent is the time for the special preparation of adult candidates for baptism through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). We also use this time as an opportunity to welcome and prepare others who are being received into full communion in the church. After a period of preparation, the candidates come to the Cathedral of Saint Andrew from

our parishes for what is known as the Rite of Election. Because of the large number of candidates (500-600) with their sponsors and families, we have three separate ceremonies beginning the First Sunday of Lent. It is always a great privilege for me to celebrate the Rite of Election. It is a celebration of not only the candidates’ response to the call of the Lord but also that the

This year, with the late celebration of Easter, the recommendation of the council of priests (Presbyteral Council), is that pastors and parishes of the diocese be given the choice of having their CSA campaigns during the usual time after Easter or during the Lenten season. At this time, it appears that most parishes will do so during the Lenten season. As you know, parishes are not islands or congregational churches but are part of a larger church for which all have responsibility. In many dioceses, there is a fixed “tax� which the parish must pay from its regular Sunday income and, in addition, a diocesan appeal such as the CSA. In Grand Rapids, we have only the CSA.Each parish target is calculated on the basis of offertory income using the same percentage. School tuition and other parish income are not included in the calculation. It is for that reason that if a parish does not meet its obligations through the CSA, the parish is expected to meet its responsibility from regular income. I am deeply moved by the generosity of the people of the diocese to the CSA. All registered parishioners will be receiving information on the CSA depending on when the pastor/parish has chosen to do it. A video about the CSA has been made available to parishes for their use and is posted on our diocesan Web site:

Televised Mass: For over 50 years, Sunday Mass has been broadcast live from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. The televised broadcast can be viewed on WXMI FOX 17 at 10 a.m. each Sunday. The broadcast area, for the most part, covers the entire diocese as well as areas of other nearby dioceses. I continue to hear from many

St. Toribio de Mogrovejo, bishop March 23 | Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord March 25

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |

people, especially those confined to their homes through illness, age and other reasons, what a blessing the TV Mass is. Beginning this month the televised Sunday Mass will be available during the week as a download on our diocesan Web site: I am most grateful to those who help make this service available to the people of West Michigan. Contributions to support the TV Mass are always welcome. Years ago, the Masses were provided as a public service by television stations but now we must purchase the televised time. Mass on television is not a substitute for participation in Sunday Mass, but it is a special blessing for those who are unable to leave their homes. For us, as a diocese, it is part of our outreach and evangelization efforts. In these days, the use of the media and technology have become more a part of our lives than many of us could have imagined. It is a great blessing but has brought about great opportunities and challenges for us. The days of relying solely on TV and the printed word are long gone. Our sophisticated smart phones and technology, such as the Apple iPad and other similar products that come out each day, have changed the way we communicate,

the way we learn and the way we do business. Along with the many benefits of new technology there are also downsides. For us in the church, we need to embrace that technology if we are to reach a generation who have and will grow up with it. Technology has changed the way we deal with each other and not all of it is good. On page 7 of this issue of FAITH magazine, we have reprinted an article written by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. It is entitled “Christian Discourse: Speaking the Truth in Love”. It is worthy of our reflection in terms of our use of the media and the way we often deal with each other, whether in the church or society. I am grateful to Cardinal Wuerl for his observations and for permission to reprint the article in our diocesan publication.

Governance Study update: With the leadership of our new Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Mr. David Faber and our Diocesan School Board, we have begun a study of governance within our Catholic schools office and within each of the Catholic schools in our diocese. The goals of this study are:

1. Explore current and possible diocesan governance models and identify a governance structure that will best serve the current and future needs of all 31 Catholic schools. 2. Explore current and possible school governance models and identify those that will be supported within the diocese. 3. Determine appropriate relationships between diocesan governance and individual schools’ governance. On Feb. 16, Mr. Richard Burke of Catholic School Management, conducted a seminar on ownership and governance in contemporary Catholic schools for 80 pastors, principals and board members from approximately 44 parishes. The Catholic schools office has scheduled follow-up listening sessions to be held on March 1 and 2 with all pastors, principals and boards. Catholic School Management will document our explorations, identify relevant possibilities and assist in making final recommendations that will: 1. Define and diagram the diocesan governance structure as well as each unique school governance structure and how they relate to one another. 2. Provide recommended by-laws to govern these entities. The governance structures that currently exist in many of our schools are effective and provide the appropriate level of support to their associated schools; however, the collaborations necessary for the future sustainability and vitality of our schools require us to consider, “Are these models the most effective for bringing about the collaborative relationships our schools will need to strategically plan for the future?” As we prepare to celebrate the season of Lent and look forward to Easter, may God’s special blessings be with all of you.

For more than 50 years, Sunday Mass has been broadcast live from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. The televised broadcast can be viewed on FOX 17 at 10 a.m. each Sunday. Rick Merpi, shown in the control room behind the altar at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, along with a crew of four helps produce the televised Mass.

Sincerely yours in the Lord, Bishop Walter A. Hurley



We are having a baby, T. Gennara

but all of our friends’ kids are grown

parenting journey


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

Just after my wife’s 42nd birthday, we were blessed with a daughter. We are thrilled – we’d given up any hope of getting pregnant. Our problem is that all of our friends’ children are much older – and our friends are no longer in “baby mode” when it comes to entertaining or spending time together. What’s our best option for enjoying our own parenthood, while keeping our friends in our lives? One of my vivid memories from adolescence is helping my mother decorate our dining room for a baby shower for one of her good friends. Elsie and her husband had sons in their late teens when she visited a physician with concerns about her health. As it turned out, she didn’t have an illness. Instead, she was a pregnant empty-nester! What options do you have when you are at a different stage in the family life cycle than your friends?


Make it win-win when it comes to entertaining. Since your friends are out of “baby mode,” it feels as if you are out-of-sync. Actually this can work to your benefit. Can you hire their preteen to watch over your baby when you entertain them at your home? Their child earns money and gains valuable child-care experience under your supervision; your friends will have a relaxing evening without the need to worry about supervising their “tween.”

What time is it on your social clock? We hear so much about our biological clocks, but little about our social clocks. Every culture runs on a social clock that determines when life events are “supposed” to occur. In the early 1900s, people tended to get married at later ages than in the 1950s. Now the pendulum is swinging toward marrying at later ages again. Social clocks tell us whether we are in sync with our peers.

Open yourselves to new friendships. I have friends who first met me as “Kaiti’s mom” or as “Erin’s mom.” God has blessed your daughter with talents that you haven’t yet discovered and you will be sitting side-by-side at events with parents of children with similar talents. Reach out and make friends when that happens. Whatever the ages of the other parents, you will find that you will have quite a bit in common.

what gets my goat


I’m getting married next year. I was planning a big wedding. But my parents have decided they don’t like my fiancé, so they won’t contribute financially. Is there a way to get them to pay their share?


Regretfully, both families’ likes and dislikes are an issue that cannot be avoided when a couple decides to get married. And when you marry, you start a family that cannot and will not exist in a vacuum. Your wedding will establish a mutual link between you two, but this link also joins your families. These links also are part of the chain of the community where you live. Regarding the finances, the social etiquette regarding who pays for what has become more fluid. You shouldn’t expect your parents to pay for your wedding. If your parents are willing to help foot the bill, appreciate their generosity and say thank you. Adjust the elaborateness of

How can I get my parents to pay for my wedding?

Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.

your wedding plans to the scope of your budget – not the other way around. Most of all, it’s important to remember the purpose of a wedding – it’s really not about being a princess for a day. This is the moment when you and your fiancé will stand before your family, friends and the Church to become one – and to begin a family that is modeled on Christ’s love for the Church. Focus on that, and you will have a beautiful wedding, regardless of who pays for it.

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |

Christian Discourse:

Speaking the truth in love


Irresponsible blogs, electronic and print media stories, and pulpit and podium people-bashing rhetoric can be likened to many forms of anonymous violence. Spin and extremist language should not be embraced as the best this country is capable of achieving. Selecting only some facts, choosing inflammatory words, spinning the story, are activities that seem much more directed to achieving someone’s political purpose rather than reporting events. We have all seen examples of this. One side in a discussion is described as an inquiring

Donald Cardinal Wuerl Archbishop of Washington, D.C. Reprinted with permission from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.’s office of communications.


omeone once described a gossip as a person who will never tell a lie if a half-truth will do as much harm. When we listen to news accounts or read what is presented in the print and electronic media, we are too often reminded that spin, selecting only some of the facts, highlighting only parts of the picture, has replaced an effort to present the facts — the full story. We all know the tragic results of gossip, against which there is little or no defense. In an age of blogs, even the wildest accusations can quickly become fact. Gossip is like an insidious infection that spreads sickness throughout the body. These untruths go unchallenged because the persons who are the object of the discussion are usually not present to defend themselves, their views or actions.

mind that simply wants to know and the other side is depicted as lashing out in response. We need to look at how we engage in discourse and how we live out our commitment to be a people of profound respect for the truth and our right to express our thoughts, opinions and positions — always in love. We who follow Christ must not only speak the truth but must do so in love (Eph 4:15). It is not enough that we know or believe something to be true. We must express that truth in charity with respect for others so the bonds between us can be strengthened in building up the body of Christ. Each of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Our baptism into Christ creates among us the bonds of a new spiritual family life. Within this family, each person must ensure that the dialogue proceeds in a manner, which not only achieves the ends desired, but also recognizes everyone’s rights. It would be a true tragedy to accept as a principle of discourse that the end justifies the means, so that winning would validate any destructive behavior or speech. While each person engaged in discourse is understandably concerned about his or her point of view, the rights of others, including the claims of truth itself, cannot be forgotten. At no time is the spiritual violence of falsehood an acceptable component of Christian discourse. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2478) quotes Saint Ignatius of Loyola and his spiritual exercises when speaking about Christian discourse: “Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love.” We Catholics need regularly to reflect on how we engage in discourse and how we live out our commitment as members of the Church, people with profound respect for the truth and a family of faith committed to expressing our thoughts, opinions and positions always in love. We also must consider how one responds to decisions made for the good of the Church with which a person may disagree. Even while there may be disagreements within the ecclesial community on policies and procedures, there is a presupposition that we are all one in our faith. One of the reasons why we should find it easy as a Church to arrive at consensus is because it is Christ who calls us together in the first place. Even if we do disagree on some particular practical issue, we must always do so in love. Basic to Christian discourse is the belief that truth itself is strong enough to win the day. It rejects the maxim – the one who yells the loudest wins. All have a right to voice their opinion but it is the truth that should direct the discussion and ultimately prevail. Freedom of speech and respect for others, freedom of expression and regard for the truth, should always be woven together. This should be true of everyone, whether they speak from a pulpit, a political platform or through the electronic and print media and other means of social communications.



remembering a shepherd


FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |


magine entering a hostile land filled with savage people. You know but a few words of the local tongue, and the natives want you dead or gone, or both. Now imagine you aren’t just passing through, but you are here to stay, and you have a mission. Your mission is to convince them that their pagan beliefs are false and that it would be in their best interest to adopt your Catholic faith, which, before your arrival, they had never heard of.

And now imagine that this goal makes them want to kill you even more. That was what St. Patrick faced centuries ago when, as an evangelist and shepherd of the people, he traveled to the remote fringe of civilization to win Ireland for Christ. It is remarkable what the Church fathers and early Christian evangelists faced. When I think about it, I find that it both motivates and shames me, given how much they risked and suffered compared to what I do all day. Well, that’s why he’s Saint Patrick and I am just Michelle. I am not about to go traipsing off to the nearest violent, pagan country I can find and set up shop. But there is one thing I can do, and you can as well. With the feast of St. Patrick coming up, we could spend some of the day honoring him, asking him to pray for us and recalling what he did to promote our faith. I have a recipe that fits the theme and honors this man who, in addition to being a shepherd in his youth, blossomed as a true shepherd of the people in his adulthood. I first tasted this one cold Saturday evening. After sifting through the fridge earlier, trying to figure out what to make for dinner, I came across a package of ground turkey that was about to expire. Feeling uninterested in cooking that afternoon with all that had to be done, I turned to my husband for ideas. “Honey, what should I do with this?” I asked. He replied, “I could make a shepherd’s pie with that.” My eyes grew wide and my ears suddenly perked up. Had he just said that he would do the cooking? With resounding approval, I complimented his brilliant idea! When I returned home from running errands in the bitter cold, I was greeted with a fire in the fireplace and the wonderful aroma of David’s cooking. The very first bite of his shepherd’s pie was far beyond what I had expected. That incredible recipe is shared below. Served with a Guinness, I think this recipe rivals anything we might find in Ireland itself, where this dish has its roots. Accompanied by a brief reading about St. Patrick and a prayer for his intervention in our lives, I think my family will enjoy and benefit from a feast day that celebrates a brave and holy man.

Shepherd’s pie


T. Gennara

Prepare both the boiled and mashed potatoes and set aside. In a large sauté pan, cook onions in butter or olive oil for 5-6 minutes or until slightly transparent. Add mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and half of the juice from the can. Add bag of frozen vegetables, and continue to cook on low to medium heat until much of the liquid has reduced.

By Michelle Sessions DiFranco | Photography by Philip Shippert

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, brown the ground turkey or beef and drain the liquid/fat. Add the browned meat to the tomato/vegetable mixture. Add the beef broth, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, bay leaves, dried thyme and dried rosemary. Reduce heat and continue to simmer until mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the mixture into one 9” x 13” non-stick pan (or two smaller casserole dishes). Remove the bay leaves and gently fold-in cubed potatoes. Spread a 1½- to 2-inch layer of mashed potatoes over the meat mixture, and place a few thin pats of butter on top. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown in areas on top.


• 2-3 medium potatoes (peeled, boiled and cubed) • 1 medium onion chopped • 2 cups chopped white mushrooms • 1 bag frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn and green beans) • 3-4 tablespoons butter or olive oil • 1 pound of ground turkey or beef • 1 large (28oz.) can of diced tomatoes (including ½ of the liquid) • 1 small (14.5oz.) can of beef broth • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce • ½ teaspoon soy sauce

• 2-3 bay leaves • 2 teaspoons dried thyme • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary • 5-6 cups mashed potatoes (instant will work) • salt and pepper to taste

With the feast of St. Patrick coming up, we could spend some of the day honoring him, asking him to pray for us and recalling what he did to promote our faith.

10 Dear Fr. Joe:

I can’t carry a tune – why do we have to sing everything at Mass?

Q in the know with Fr. Joe


Send your questions to:

My pastor is apparently a major music fan. It seems as if we sing the entire Mass. I find it very distracting – shouldn’t some parts of the Mass, such as the Our Father, be said?

I’ve gotten a few of these types of questions. It seems that more and more of the men coming out of seminary are singing the Mass more often. I know for some it’s incredibly distracting ,while, for others, it’s incredibly uplifting. I don’t know what to say, except that if it is difficult for you, please take some time to see if you can’t get used to it. So, why are some priests now doing this? I’m learning that it’s not coming out of nowhere, but from our tradition. We need liturgy to be holy, meaning “set apart.” The liturgy should look and feel like something unique to our experience, all the while incorporating elements of the daily lives we live. Singing is a good example of that: it’s a part of our daily lives, but also it’s a different enough thing that, when we hear it in Mass, for example, we pause and recognize its “differentness” (I just made that word up, I think). There is a document called Sing to the Lord that gives preferences for singing the Mass parts. Essentially, it says that singing by the gathered assembly and ministers is important at all celebrations. Not every part that can be sung should necessarily be sung at every celebration; rather, “preference should be given to those [parts] that are of greater importance.” So, if you are going to sing parts of the Mass, you have to sing those things that are most important – you shouldn’t sing the less important parts unless you’re also singing the most important. Hope that makes sense. So, what are the parts that are most important?

1. The Dialogues and Acclamations 2. Antiphons and Psalms 3. Refrains and repeated responses 4. Hymns So, there we have the beginning of the discussion – let’s always remember to pray that God continues to guide us and that we continue to follow. I think in the end, we can all agree that the most important thing is our liturgy. This is what defines us as Catholics and, as a result of that, we simply must “get it right.” Enjoy another day in God’s presence!

Singing: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!” You’ll notice that the Scripture mentions joy, not pitch or key. Singing is an important part of worship and some elements of the Mass are specifically designed to be sung. Examples are the Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy” prayer) and the great Amen. Singing is a wonderful way for a congregation to express unity, since they are singing the same words at the same time and in approximately the same tone. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) extols the importance of congregational singing and stresses its necessity at Sunday and holy day Masses. Everyone present is urged to sing out with great joy, not just those who can carry a tune!

T. Gennara


FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |


Embarking on a Lenten journey


ach year, Lent gives us an opportunity to take a 40-day journey to go deeper with our faith by strengthening our disciplines of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. It’s a chance to renew our souls and reexamine our lives in light of the Gospel.

The image of journeying is a popular one in movies and television, especially epic tales such as Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars and serialized shows like LOST, Doctor Who and 24. In each, the audience follows a character or a group of people as they embark on a quest, solve a major dilemma or experience personal formation and self-discovery. One particular story that really echoes the paschal journey of Lent is The Lord of

the Rings, originally a trilogy of books written by J.R.R. Tolkein in the 1950s and recently made into three Oscar-winning movies directed by Peter Jackson (released in 2001, 2002 and 2003). In them, Frodo Baggins, a simple hobbit who courageously takes upon himself the burden of carrying and destroying the dark ring, reminds us of the Lenten directive Jesus offers each of us: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt. 16:24). And like Jesus making his journey toward Jerusalem in the New Testament, Frodo sets off toward certain pain and suffering in Mordor with his companions – including one who would ultimately betray him. These companions engage in their own forms of fasting (relying only on lembas bread and foods from the fields), prayer (taking time for contemplation in Rivendell and Lothlorien) and almsgiv-

ing (showing compassion to Gollum) – to prepare them for the larger task of vanquishing evil and bringing peace to Middle Earth. The road on which these fictional travelers walk is not easy – just as our own journeys of faith face challenges from the turmoil, tragedy, and temptations of life. The Lord of the Rings also reminds us that the journey is never made alone. We go through Lent as a community of faith, with Catholics and Christians around the world – just as Frodo had Sam, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli to accompany him at various stages along his way. Even when it was most difficult for Frodo, it was Sam who lifted him on his shoulders in an act reminiscent of Simon of Cyrene on the way to Calvary. And so we, like this fellowship of the ring, must travel through Lent in fellowship with one another in our shared journey toward the joy of Easter.

spiritual popcorn


Read more of Paul Jarzembowski’s thoughts on


W h at w i l l w e b e s ay i n g d i f f e r e n t ly at M a s s ? Clergy and parish lay leaders attending a workshop on the New Roman Missal Feb. 10 at Cathedral Square Center sing the refrain “Jesus Christ, Yesterday, Today and Forever” part of the Gathering Prayer based on the Introductory Rite from Roman Missal III.

The Roman Missal:

The Act of Penitence


n ancient document called the Didache (c.60) noted that the people came together on the Lord’s Day and gave thanks “after first confessing their sins.” For many centuries, the Mass had no penitential rite. The Confiteor was part of the private prayers said by the priest and the ministers at the foot of the altar. After Vatican II, a brief penitential rite was added that had its source in both Scripture (Matthew 5:23-25) and tradition. (cf. The Mystery of Faith by Lawrence Johnson,

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page 13).

Now the Act of Penitence has several options. Each begins with an invitation by the priest to recall our sins and a pause for silent reflection. We may all respond by praying the Confiteor, a prayer that acknowledges the social dimension of sin. The new translation of this prayer restores the “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” Alternately, we may respond to a series of invocations addressed to Christ. What was once a long litany, was shortened in the sixth century and now consists of three verses (tropes) that conclude with the ancient Greek response –Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison. St. Paul used the word kyrios to acknowledge Christ and his divinity. We may also respond in English –“ Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.” Another option uses Scripture. (Baruch 3:2 and Psalm 85:8) This is followed by the “Lord,

have mercy” in Greek or English. The final option may be used on Sundays, especially during the Easter season. Water is blessed and sprinkled on the people as a reminder of their baptism and the reconciliation brought about by Christ. The Asperges rite comes from Psalm 51:9 “Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified.” During Eastertide, this verse is replaced by the Vidi Aquam a text about the water flowing from the temple. (Ezekiel 47:1, 8, 9) Each of these rites concludes with the priest’s absolution – “May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.” Though these words lack the efficacy of the sacrament of penance (GIRM 51), they are a fitting reminder that we all seek God’s mercy, especially as we come together to celebrate his sacred mysteries.

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.

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |


Brethren [brothers and sisters], let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries. (Pause)


I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God. May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.

OR Priest:

Brethren (brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries. After a brief pause to allow us to recall our sins, the priest, deacon, or other minister offers various invocations and we respond.


You were sent to heal the contrite of heart:


Lord, have mercy (or Kyrie, eleison). Lord, have mercy. (or Kyrie, eleison)

Brethren (brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries. (pause)


You came to call sinners: Christ, have mercy (or Christe, eleison). Christ, have mercy (or Christe, eleison).


Have mercy on us, O Lord.



For we have sinned against you.


Show us, O Lord, your mercy.

You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us: Lord, have mercy. (or Kyrie, eleison)


And grant us your salvation.


Lord, have mercy (or Kyrie, eleison)


May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.


May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life.







OR Priest:


theology 101





FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |

ur emotions, given us by the Lord, are intended to serve – to serve the truth in love. They are never to be our masters. The world, especially through the media, will try to tell you that you need to fully express all emotions whenever you feel them. They say, let them “rule” you and determine how you will think and act in every situation. The world defines that as an expression of “freedom.” Do you know that is a big lie? When God created us, he gave us an emotional package that – when used under the lordship of Christ – can fuel just anger, courage, hope, love, confidence, joy and peace. In short, we are given the means to serve the Lord and his people with true joy.

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“authority.” Reason is pushed into a very secondary place. Then we are “led” precisely where we do not want to go: broken relationships and marriages, mistrust and suspicion, loss and failure, “hating ourselves and hating one another,” as Scripture eloquently summarizes our predicament. See Titus 3:3-8 When emotions are rightly used – as servants of the truth – we will know true peace and freedom. It is a struggle; it is a battle; but if you are willing to fight it, God’s Holy Spirit will work a marvel in your personal life. Some emotions need to be banished – such as the hatred that fuels a desire to kill another. Yes, some emotional expressions need to be cut out of our lives. They don’t befit our dignity or the dignity of others. But most of our emotions don’t need to be repressed. They need discipline and redirection. The Holy Spirit will strengthen you in that process if you are willing to be “re-formed” according to God’s priorities as revealed in his word. Are you willing?

Reflect on this true story The main characters are a minister and an Orthodox priest. Our immediate inclination can be to say – “Oh, these are holy men – not like me!” In other words their example does not apply to my life. But it does! Priests and ministers have to fight all the same battles you do and, sometimes, they are even worse because their service, their ministry, attracts the work of the enemy to lie to them and seek to rob them of hope and confidence. So don’t use their vocations as an excuse not to heed what these men conquered and the victory they won. In 1969, under Communist domination, Eastern Europe was in captivity: suppression of all religion, threats, fear, imprisonment, torture and death were the experience of many. In Romania, Pastor Richard Wurmbrandt, a Lutheran, was imprisoned for religious activities. In a very crowded cell with many men – a scene of hopelessness and despair – Pastor Wurmbrandt experienced a miracle. Near the pastor was an Orthodox priest who was dying from the torture he had undergone. Suddenly, that priest’s agony was interrupted by the cell door being thrown open and a man, bloody and beaten, was tossed in. (He was a prison guard who had been charged with a crime.) The prison guard began to cry out and it went on for a long time. “I have no hope, I am going to hell for my sins. There is no hope for me!” In the midst of that noise and sobbing and despair, the Orthodox priest lifted his head from his cot and looked at the prison guard’s face. Then he turned to two other men and asked if they could drag him over to the prison guard – the priest could no longer walk because of his many broken bones. Pastor Wurmbrandt said he heard the interchange between the priest and the guard. The priest said, “Do you want me to hear your confession?” “Why”, said the guard. “No one can forgive me. I am damned.” The priest said “If I can forgive you, God will forgive you!” (The priest had recognized the guard as one of the men who had tortured him!) That night, in that prison cell, Pastor Wurmbrandt said he witnessed a miracle. The murdered man forgave his murderer. God’s forgiveness covered them both according to their needs. Both men died that night. It was Christmas Eve 1969. God can work miracles, God can meet our everyday challenges – if we allow our emotions to be governed by the truth.

This month’s exercise:

• Reflect on the story: Have there been times in your life you haven’t been able to forgive yourself? • Read Titus 3:3-8 and ask if your self-hatred leads you to treat others badly. • See how men and women, just like you, allowed God to harness their unruly emotions and bring them to serve holiness of life and the building of his kingdom.

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 fitness

But we must decide to follow the priorities of the Gospel – not those that the world tries to sell us through the media. What are your priorities in life? Do they square with Scripture? If your priorities are based on God’s truth, then your emotions can “get in line.” Your emotions can become the servants of the truth. It is a process. Most of us are formed more by the world’s values than we would like to admit. So often, thoughts, born from temptations and other personal experiences that do not reflect God’s priorities can “lead” us down certain paths (with all the attendant emotions) – lust, greed, power, jealousy, envy and hatred, for example. When we allow all the emotions that accompany sinful thoughts and actions to dominate us, our emotions quickly become our masters. Those “masters” – our feelings – promptly gain the first place in our thoughts and decisions. Little by little, they achieve full



By Molly Klimas | Photography by Jonathan Tramontana


enturies ago the word “truth� meant fidelity –the state of being faithful. Quite simply, truth meant faith; faith meant truth. To Dan Krajewski, in this century, the words remain inextricably united. One word demands answers, empiricism; the other, trust in the unknown, the unseen. All his life, Dan has lived this divine dichotomy: He has searched for truth even when the answers might have rattled his faith; he has kept the faith, even when answers have proved elusive.

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |


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any in West Michigan’s Catholic community know Dan for his 34plus years working at the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Before retiring a few years ago, he had attained the rank of captain, in which he served for six years. He’d also served two years as a lieutenant, two years as a sergeant in the Family Services Unit, almost five years as an officer at the Children’s Assessment Center, five years as a detective in the Vice Unit, 14 years on the Road Patrol/Emergency Unit and one year as a corrections officer at the county jail. Many roles, years and experiences. But the essence of law enforcement, Dan says, is to keep the peace. And that occurs by seeking the truth. To some, it’s a thankless and dangerous vocation. To others, such as Dan, it’s a calling that is in keeping with the commandment to love one’s neighbor. Many in West Michigan’s Catholic community know Dan for his 34-plus years working at the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Before retiring a few years ago, he had attained the rank of captain, in which he served for six years. He’d also served two years as a lieutenant, two years as a sergeant in the Family Services Unit, almost five years as an officer at the Children’s Assessment Center, five years as a detective in the Vice Unit, 14 years on the Road Patrol/ Emergency Unit and one year as a corrections officer at the county jail. Many roles, years and experiences. But the essence of law enforcement, Dan says, is to keep the peace. And that occurs by seeking the truth. To some, it’s a thankless and dangerous vocation. To others, such as Dan, it’s a calling that is in keeping with the commandment to love one’s neighbor.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain Dan is achingly honest about the core reason he entered law enforcement: You’d never know it now, judging by his 6-foot-4 stature, but this gentle giant endured bullying through much of his grade school years. As anyone who’s been bullied, seen one’s child bullied or perhaps even been the bully but now gained perspective knows, it’s no fun, it’s not nice (to put it nicely)

Dan in the late 1970s when he served as a deputy for the Kent County Sheriff’s Department’s road patrol/emergency unit.

and, tragically, it can be deadly. Dan was “the new kid on the block” when his parents moved back to Grand Rapids’ West Side in the late 1950s after 10 years in Hart, Mich. From a small school in a small town to a big school in a big city, it was culture shock for the fifth-grader, entering a new school mid-year, knowing no one. Instead of welcoming the stranger, a few kids seized the opportunity to be hurtful. Without an established group of friends in the new school, Dan, to them, was easy prey. Their bad behavior went on for a couple of years. And no matter how right-on Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous quote on self-esteem is –“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission” – it doesn’t bring much comfort, let alone make much sense, to a child being bullied. Even the little bullies may not fully realize what they’re doing and the far-reaching effects their actions

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I realized I didn’t like people being taken advantage of, and I liked to see the wrong made right. That comes by finding the truth. That tied into why law enforcement. was appealing to me.”

may have. Fortunately, in Dan’s case, by high school everyone had outgrown the bullying, and Dan had come into his own as a young man. As he matured, he saw the hidden blessings of past hurts: He had gained understanding, empathy and a taste for truth. He felt an affinity with the vulnerable and wanted to protect them. “I realized I didn’t like people being taken advantage of, and I liked to see the wrong made right. That comes by finding the truth. That tied into why law enforcement was appealing to me,” Dan said. The other reason he chose the vocation: his parents. “Mom and Dad were a huge influence in my life,” Dan said. “They were good people, with good spiritual, Catholic values. Dad had polio early in life and had to wear a leg brace, but he never complained. He owned a restaurant in Hart, and then a party store in Grand

Rapids. People would come in and comment on how hard Dad worked. Mom – she just loved people – she lived to be 85 years old and even in her last year she was volunteering at St. Ann’s

Home, visiting and helping people.” Dan’s place in the family also may have had something to do with his career choice; he’s the middle child of three brothers. “Dan’s the classic helper, the classic peacemaker,” said his wife Judy. After graduating from West Catholic High School, Dan pursued a degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Not too long after he graduated from the Police Academy, he met Judy. At first, vocation got in the way of love. Judy tells their “how we met” story with self-deprecating hilarity: “It was 1972, and a friend and I were at a Grand Rapids bar, The Grotto, which was popular at the time. I was wearing this crazy purple and-green mini-dress. My second cousin happened to be there – in fact, he was Dan’s roommate – and he introduced us. Dan tried to impress me, saying, ‘I’m a drummer in a band’–

Since his retirement from law enforcement, Dan has been volunteering for Hospice of Michigan.



a Dan in 3rd grade at St. Gregory School in Hart. b A photo of Dan (right) during his boyhood days in Hart, with his older brother James (left) and David, his youngest brother. c Dan during his days at West Catholic High School. He graduated in 1967. d Dan’s immediate family: (front row, from left) Granddaughter Katie; daughter in-law Heather, Dan, his wife Judy; (second row, from left) daughter in-law Sarah, grandson Jack, granddaughter Audrey, mother-in law Agnes Lenhart, grandson Daniel; (back row from left) sons John, Ken and Loren. e Dan with his sons (from left) John, Ken and Loren.

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e meanwhile, I’m a farmer’s daughter from Allegan County and thinking, ‘That’s a little … radical for me!’ But I liked Dan immediately – you know how you just know when you really like someone? So we hit it off, and Dan said, ‘Meet me back here in a few weeks over Labor Day weekend.’ I agreed, but that meant driving all the way up from Columbus, Ohio, where I was working and going to college. So, I make the long drive from Columbus to Grand Rapids on the chosen night, finally showing up at the bar at 10 p.m.– thinking I’m the one who’s going to be late – and Dan wasn’t even there!” As it turned out, Dan had just been hired by the Sheriff’s Department and immediately had to report to his first

c shift: night duty at the county jail. This was before e-mail and cell phones, and Dan didn’t have Judy’s college or home phone numbers or addresses. He had no way to reach her. “He had to get my address from my cousin to write me a letter,” Judy said. A few days later, Dan’s letter arrived asking if he could drive to Columbus and take Judy on a date. She agreed, and they ended up dating long-distance for a couple of years. That distance grew larger when Judy took a job in California. “I was so lonesome for her. I used to stuff the quarters into the pay phone to call her,” Dan said. “One night, the operator cut in and said, ‘Just marry the girl!’” And, in 1974, he did. Three children came along, all boys: John, Ken and Loren. Judy grew into being a police officer’s wife, and Dan plunged into police work – both of them leaning on the Lord to get them through the challenging years that would follow.

It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Krajewski, according to, is the Polish name for someone from any of several places called Krajewo in Poland, so named from kraj, which is Slavic for “edge” or “border area.” The edge, the fringes of society – among the imprisoned, the marginalized and disenfranchised, the helpless and the hurt, the deranged, the angry and mentally ill – is where Dan spent most of his law enforcement career. He doesn’t talk specifics; confidentiality and discretion are hallmarks of his line of work and persona. Also, it can be difficult to relive certain moments. For example, informing next of kin that a loved one has just died in a car accident – “that’s hard,” Dan said. “When you’re driving down the street to the deceased’s home, it’s 2 a.m. and that house is the only one on the block with its lights on because the mother or father or husband or wife is waiting up– that’s a sickening feeling. You know you’re going to change that person’s life when you tell them the news.” In times like those, Dan prayed to God for the right words to comfort the bereaved. Sometimes he would be with them for hours until another family member, friend or clergy arrived. “I always carried the prayer of St. Francis with me, always thinking of the line, ‘Make me an instrument of your peace… that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,’” he said. Deaths in the home –these also were especially difficult because it’s a traumatic situation and “you’re there to help, but you’re also there to find the truth, to find out what happened, whether a homicide, suicide or natural death,” Dan said. In his early years, he served as both a police officer and paramedic – often the first responder to the scene of an accident. A few times, he was the first to respond to a mother about to give birth in the backseat of a car. He’s witnessed humans entering this life and departing from it. “Every experience is a faith encounter,” Dan says. “You realize how valuable life is, how life can change in an instant and

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |

Dan and his wife Judy, have been married 36 years.

how we are ultimately destined for other things – for a life with God.” Working vice – in which Dan investigated drug-related crimes – was probably more difficult for Judy than Dan. “Sometimes it would be days before he’d come home. I prayed a lot,” she said. She and their sons understood that Dan’s work meant Christmas or Easter or birthday celebrations might not always occur on the actual day. Dan credits Judy for his long career in law enforcement: “She always encouraged me,” he said. Probably the most difficult work he did during his years with the Sheriff’s Department was investigating child physical and sexual abuse cases. He didn’t know, at first, if he was up for it. “And then one night, Judy and I were having dinner at a restaurant, and a little boy came up to our table and just stared at me, and then walked away – it was a sign to me that I had to do this,” he said. It was a gut-wrenching decision: “It opened my eyes to a different kind of sadness: a sad commentary on another side of humanity, the cycle of abuse,” Dan said. But, just like the bullying experience, God may have been leading Dan down

a path by opening his eyes to the work of the social workers at Children’s Assessment Center. Dan started taking classes in pursuit of a master’s in social work. “It took me maybe seven years – the maximum time – but I got it done,” Dan said. In the midst of all of this, his plucky Polish mother suddenly took ill, calling Dan one Saturday evening in the spring of 2001 to say she didn’t feel well. “We took her to the ER, and were stunned when the doctors came back to us and said she had cancer everywhere,” Dan recalled. Long past the time for treatment, Dan took his mother home and planned to stay with her as long as she needed. His father had died several years before and she lived alone. “We didn’t know what to do at first,” Dan said. He called Hospice of Michigan to help provide care for his mother as she neared the end of her life. The call also started a new chapter in Dan’s life. Dan’s mother died just a few days after her diagnosis, but the care and comfort that Hospice provided left an indelible impression. After retiring from the Sheriff’s

Department in 2007, Dan, like many of new retirees, couldn’t sit still. He took on work as a court security officer at the Grand Rapids federal building, but it didn’t provide the kind of interaction that he sought. He started volunteering as a grief support companion for Hospice, drawing on his social work degree and years of experience being with families just after a loved one had died. “In law enforcement, there is loss… of life, property, security … so it was a natural transition because I’ve always dealt with loss. But the thing is, I got so much out of it – out of helping people through their grief,” he said. Dan’s compassion and gift for helping others were noticed, and he was offered a position as a grief support services manager with Hospice of Michigan. He’s been in this role for almost two years now. “A few people have said to me, ‘That must be so depressing.’ But it’s not. It’s an honor and a privilege to help people deal with their grief,” he said. “It fulfills me spiritually and brings a sense of peace.” In other words, his work fuels his faith; his faith infuses his work. And it always goes back to the truth. “Our faith is a means by which we connect in a spiritual way to what is truth – and that is God,” Dan said.




Emily Kokx, left, during a recent peer ministry meeting at St. Simon Church in Ludington, with peer leaders (from left), daughter Megan Kokx and Katelin Anderson, assistant youth minister.

Youth minister embraces

God’s call to serve


mily Kokx was at a crossroads. She could pick up where she had left off a decade before with a successful banking career, or she could pursue ministry. She faced a choice between the world of mergers, highstakes transactions and numbers and a life of ministry, where the stakes are even higher and the operative numbers are 24/7.

She found the answer while praying in the Eucharistic Adoration chapel at her church, St. Simon in Ludington, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1998.She decided to volunteer in youth ministry. “It’s definitely a story of God – letting God lead your life,” Kokx says of the journey that led her to become the church’s coordinator of faith formation 10 years ago: “Every morning I get up and say, ‘God, I can’t. But you can.’” Kokx’s trust in God, energy and quiet passion have been contagious at St. Simon, which has seen its youth

By Molly Klimas | Photography by Sue Brown


FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |

Emily at 6 months old.

Emily and her husband of 27 years Ron.

Christmas 2010 at the Kokx home; shown (from left) are her daughters Melissa and Megan, along with the family’s Cairn Terrier “Sarge.”

Diocese sees growing number of certified catechists

Emily’s high school picture

ministry program grow exponentially. “She’s really brought it to life,” said Jason Sniegowski, 21, who recently graduated from college and is an assistant youth minister, along with Katelin Anderson, 19. “Every year, there’s more and more enthusiasm.” “She gives so much,” said Anderson. “The Holy Spirit works through her. She always knows the right thing to say.”

Peer ministry On a recent Sunday, Kokx tapped out a couple of text messages to remind youth leaders to wear their retreat T-shirts. She arrives in the early afternoon to meet with Jason and Katelin and plan that evening’s peer ministry gathering. On Mondays, she oversees evening religious education classes for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The peer ministers – high school students who have been confirmed – work with the seventh- and eighth-graders to prepare them for confirmation. Right now, they’re planning for the confirmation retreat in March, which is life-changing for many who attend.

Since joining the diocese as the director of faith formation in 2008, Sister Barbara Cline, FSE, has made catechetical certification a top priority. With the support of Bishop Walter Hurley, she and her staff have worked to establish a formalized certification program and supplied an abundance of resources and opportunities for catechists in the diocese to achieve certification. Over the last three years, the number of certified catechists working in parishes and schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids has grown to over 740 and that number increases each month. Catechists in our diocese, whether Catholic school teachers and principals, directors of religious education, youth ministers, parish catechetical leaders, or those leading Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) programs, play a crucial role in passing on the teachings of Catholic faith to individuals of all ages; they often feel called to catechesis as a vocation as evidenced in Emily Kokx’s story on these pages. They model the faith to those they teach in both word and action. Certification is important because beyond passion, dedication and a secular education, certification gives catechists the “skills to teach the faith correctly,” according to Sister Cline, as well as opportunities to foster their personal spiritual growth. “Their own spiritual development is equally important to everything else,” Sister Cline said. The diocese, through the office of faith formation, has established four levels of catechetical certification – basic, diocesan, advanced, and master. Certain credit levels must be achieved to reach these certifications. Credits are attained in four basic areas: catechists (the catechist’s own spiritual growth and development), content (what’s being taught), method (how to teach it) and learner (who is being taught); and by a variety of means including courses offered through the Catholic Information Center; parish workshops and training; conferences and training hosted by the office of faith formation, for example the annual catechetical conference, and through online or distance learning. To provide more convenient and economical access to credits through online study, the office of faith formation has partnered with three universities – Catholic Distance University, the University of Dayton, and Boston College. Certification is good for three years; master certification is good for five years. Official policies on catechetical certification are soon to be released from the bishop’s office. The policies were developed by the office of faith formation with input from catechists throughout the diocese. Every second month, the office of faith formation issues an e-newsletter called Envision containing articles, updates and resources including a list of upcoming events. To view current and past issues, visit and click on the Newsletters & Brochures link (lower left corner), or to join the email list, contact Sister Cline, or 616.551.4742. – JoAnn Fox



Emily (in background) watches a peer team learning leadership skills and b

In addition to working with youth, Kokx oversees adult formation, sacramental preparation, day retreats for sixth-and seventh-graders and also presides at Communion services. In her free time, she enjoys camping and reading. Emily (far left) with pilgrims from St. Simon in Ludington in 2002 attending the 17th World Youth Day, Pope John Paul II’s last, in Toronto, Canada.

“I believe in peer ministry,” said Kokx, who has certificates in youth ministry and pastoral/parish administration. “I can say that the color is blue and they’ll say, ‘Blue is not in; it is green.’” Kokx provides guidance, but trusts the peer team to lead because they are closer in age, more tech-savvy and in touch with the issues younger kids face. “She’s so open to the youth’s ideas,” said Jason. “She doesn’t put her own spin on it.” Another major event is the National Catholic Youth Conference, which draws young Catholics from around the nation to a different city every other year. On average, 47 young people from St. Simon attend – roughly half the representation from the Grand Rapids Diocese. “The youth come back so inspired,” said Kokx. “They meet people from around the United States who are excited and confident and just exuberant about the Catholic faith. Our biggest prayer is that we can harness that energy and keep it going while they are here.”

Not a cradle Catholic The spiritual path that would draw Kokx to ministry began when she was a small child, the third daughter in a family that was not particularly religious.Her father, Emill Granbacka’s parents immigrated from Finland and her mother, Aiko, was a “war bride” from Japan. One summer, a neighbor brought Emily to vacation Bible school. “It was such a warm, inviting experience,” Kokx recalled. As she grew older and the family moved to town, Emily began attending churches with friends. She felt most at home in the Catholic Church. With her family’s support, Emily became a Catholic at age 15 on Christmas Eve. She would later marry her high school sweetheart, Ron, a cradle Catholic. The couple has two daughters, Melissa 22, and Megan, 17. Kokx studied finance and worked for a Ludington bank as assistant to the controller. After taking time off to raise her children, she considered going back to banking, but decided after that pivotal visit to the adoration chapel to volunteer at St. Simon School and in youth ministry. Around that time, the parish business manager left and Kokx applied for that position. Then-pastor Father Ken

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building community by playing the ice breaker “mine field.”

Schichtel “said I was well-suited, but he foresaw my gifts to be in ministry. He said ‘I see it growing; just hang on,’” Kokx recalled. In 2000, the faith formation position opened, but Kokx turned it down. Her sister was ill with terminal brain cancer, and the timing did not seem right. “(Father Ken) told me to go home and pray about it more.” An introvert, Emily felt unsure but Father Schichtel assured her she would get used to the demands of ministry. “So after a lot of discernment, I decided this is where I’m being called right now,” she recalled. She has no regrets about choosing ministry over the business world. “I know that this is what God has willed for me – because no one else would have thought of that,” she said with a laugh.

She gives so much. The Holy Spirit works through her. She always knows the right thing to say.”

Adoration: ‘A grace that everyone should try’ When the church started its adoration chapel about a decade ago, the first prayer put in the basket was for a vibrant youth ministry. “Since then, we have been growing by leaps and bounds,” said Kokx, noting that when the teens outgrew the school gym, the church built a youth center in 2006. The large addition includes comfortable seating, ping-pong, pool and other game tables, a kitchenette and more.

On a recent Sunday, teens gathered in the center. The counter was laid out with teen-friendly snacks – gum drops, Little Debbie cherry pies, chocolate, beef jerky. Leading the music that night was Fran Boehnlein, who recently started a youth band with Emily

Kokx’s support. “She has the gift of bringing out the best of others,” said Boehnlein, a teacher at St. Simon. “She recognizes the gifts of others and encourages them to use it.” Kokx has a quiet faith that rubs off on those around her, Boehnlein said. “She is very trusting of God. And she’s a very calming personality.” The source of that inner calm is a faith rooted in prayer. Kokx enjoys spiritual reading, daily Mass and praying the rosary. She has a prayer calendar that she uses to remember one person on the same day each month for a year. A self-described “night owl,” she treasures her weekly adoration time from 11 p.m. to midnight on Tuesdays. “It’s one night of complete peace and prayer,” Kokx said. “It’s refreshing and a time when no one is talking except God.” She also visits the adoration chapel before youth ministry nights. “I ask for God’s will to be able to minister to whatever is thrown my way for that evening,” she said. “It’s a grace that everyone should try. It’s just a gift of grace,” she added.



Wanting what you have

‘T reflection

he secret to life is to want what you have.” This sage advice is quoted from the famed philosopher, musician, song writer and Margarita drinker, Jimmy Buffet. Surprised to see Jimmy Buffet quoted in Faith Magazine? Perhaps – but, in my experience, wisdom often comes from unusual sources.

For example, why is it that adversity and suffering so frequently bring us closer to God and each other, while affluence often distances us? This phenomenon is demonstrated in the Scripture readings for this year’s first Sunday of Lent. The Gospel (Mt 4:1-11) tells of Jesus, alone and starving in a desert. In contrast, the first reading describes Adam and Eve, living together in a lavish garden paradise (Genesis 2-3). Each story tells of people being tempted. Ironically, the “couple who has everything” falls, while the person with nothing makes the right choice. Why is it so tempting for us to want more than what we have?

What they had Adam and Eve had each other - they were literally and figuratively made for one another. They lived in lush surroundings, with every need met for them. Theirs was a perfect partnership - a state of trust and vulnerability, symbolized by their nakedness. They had nothing to hide from one another or God - no shame. What’s more, they were given the gift of creation. The earth, the seas, the plants, the animals...all entrusted to their care. Finally, they had instructions from God, of what to eat and what not to eat. Their only task was to trust that God’s plans for them were best. Even though they had all they needed, they gave in to the temptation to strive for more. They didn’t want what they had. What did Jesus have? In this Gospel passage, he had hunger, and the desert. And he also had instructions - his knowledge

of and faith in the Word of God. He was tempted, not once, but three times - first to turn stones to bread, then to leap from the top of the temple, finally to worship Satan – all in return for riches and power. But Jesus chose not to use his power for selfish gain. He would not make reckless choices, testing God’s care for him. He kept his integrity, in worshiping the true God, rather than compromising his values for the sake of earthly wealth and power. Jesus recognized the treasure of what God gave him. He knew that even if he had all the riches and power in the world, they would be nothing if they destroyed his relationship with God. Jesus wanted what he had. Now let’s return to the couple in the garden and consider the consequences of their choice to put their ways above God’s. They lost their vulnerability and trust in each other, becoming ashamed of their nakedness. Instead of working together to solve their problems, they blamed each other. Soon they needed to hide their actions from God and to make excuses. They allowed their troubles to tear them apart. All of these negative consequences can be traced to their denial of God’s desire for their lives; their belief that their judgment was better than God’s. Turning back to the Gospel, let’s take a look at the results of Jesus’ choice to embrace God’s will. After his time of temptation, Jesus left the desert to begin his ministry - his work to restore what humanity had lost. He began by choosing his disciples - to build a community of support for his life and work. Jesus knew that in the book of Genesis, God

said, “It is not good for a person to be alone.” He knew that God made us for each other, to be a source of love and support. He knew that God does not want us to blame and turn against each other in times of trouble, like the first couple did. So he established a community that would sustain him through very difficult times. Together they preached about the reign of God, reminding the people that God gives us all we need. It is right here in our midst. Still, the effects of the first couple’s choice are only too evident in our world today. This is what we call original sin. Sexism, racism, war, hunger, poverty, damage to the environment ... all of these evils can be traced to our rejection of God’s will and our failure to fight adversity through embracing community. God has given us the great gift of each other and of creation. We are responsible to care for each other and the earth. Through our baptism, we are called to continue Jesus’ mission of preaching God’s reign - to remind each other that God has given us all we need. It is right here to be taken, but also to be shared. So here we are in the season of Lent. We may be long time members of the Church, or fairly new to the faith. Depending on our individual life circumstances, we may feel as if we are in a lush garden with the perfect partner, or as if we are alone and hungry in a desert. But no matter where we are, we can be sure that God has given us all we need. We just need to want what we have.

Mary Vaccaro is associate director for program design at the Catholic Information Center and an adjunct faculty member in Theology and Women’s Studies at Aquinas College.

In November last year, the diocese held an event to announce the establishment of San Juan Diego Academy, a kindergarten through 8th grade Catholic academy to serve the educational needs of children of immigrant families. The featured speaker at that event was Father Virgilio P. Elizondo, professor of Pastoral and Hispanic Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Father Elizondo is a member of the Notre Dame Task Force on the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools which produced a study called “To Nurture the Soul of a Nation: Latino Families, Catholic Schools, and Educational Opportunity.” FAITH magazine’s Michael Zalewski sat down to talk with Father Elizondo while he was in Grand Rapids.


t the turn of the century, a diverse mass of immigrants, from far away places such as Ireland, Italy, Poland and Germany, came to America in search of freedom and an opportunity to overcome economic hardships and political oppression.


Catholic education for Latinos, as it did for immigrants of the past, offers

beacon of hope closing the American achievement gap for Latinos and the economically poor, said Father Elizondo, who recently spoke at a diocesan luncheon during which the creation of San Juan Diego Academy was announced. The academy scheduled to open in July 2011, will be located within the current Holy Name of Jesus School building and will serve children of immigrant families. “If you look back at immigrants at the turn of the century, the suffering they endured, and there was an anti-Catholic movement,” Father Elizondo said. “You have to remember that great universities like Notre Dame and Boston College were created because Catholics were not allowed in places like Harvard. People forget that we weren’t allowed in.” Father Elizondo cites that era of educational challenges to the Catholic community as an example of how the Catholic education system must once again recreate itself. “I think we need to acknowledge we are not going to have a Catholic school system as before and it is time to reinvent that system,” he said. “There are opportunities such as endowments, volunteer groups and trades in service years.”

Although a new approach to the structure of the Catholic education system is needed, the value of a Catholic education has not changed. “A Catholic education is not really a choice, but a moral obligation to participate,” Father Elizondo said. “And in today’s society, where we are bombarded with information, we need a strong compass. A Catholic education can provide this compass; so that the culture of Christianity becomes the compass in one’s life. It’s not a catechism, but a culture of an entire people.” For Latinos, a Catholic education has already demonstrated tangible benefits to its community. “Most of our Latino leadership has a Catholic education,” Father Elizondo adds. “A Catholic education is one of the great tools in the Latino community.” To read the full report, learn more and join Notre Dame’s campaign to improve educational opportunities for Latino children, go to catholicschooladvantage. For additional information about Catholic education, or the formation of San Juan Diego Academy, visit, or contact the office of Catholic schools, 616.246.0590.


Upon arriving in the U.S., these immigrants were welcomed with anything but open arms; most were scorned, ostracized and isolated from the mainstream population. At the time, the perception of these immigrants now living in an unfamiliar land yet still embracing the cultures of their respective countries of birth, was that they were “too different.” They spoke foreign languages, they celebrated strange holidays and many embraced a religion called Catholicism. Those issues with which past generations grappled are no different than the ones now shared by Latinos, who struggle for acceptance, even among fellow Catholics. “The issues of the past are not much different from those that Latinos face today,” said Rev. Virgilio P. Elizondo, professor of Pastoral and Hispanic Theology; and Fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies and Kellogg Institute at the University of Nortre Dame. “However, when immigrants at the turn of the century came to America, they brought their own priests and nuns with them. Latinos don’t really have entire groups of nuns or priests who can help provide a Catholic education.” Catholic education is at the core of

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |

28 CIC winter programs for spiritual growth The Catholic Information Center (CIC) offers a variety of programs for Catholics and others who wish to learn more about Catholic belief, practice and other faith issues. 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 616.459.7267, ext. 1801 or go to Upcoming programs include:

I Confess to Almighty God

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Tuesdays, March 29, April 5 and 12, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Father John Geaney has been listening to confessions for 46 years and going to confession even longer! All of this practice has prepared him to offer some tips on how to make the sacrament of reconciliation more “user friendly” and meaningful for folks. This three-session course will include: • March 29 - Bless Me Father – How did the practice begin? Were Irish monks really responsible for confession as we know it today? Who were the Jansenists and how did they get involved in mucking it up? • April 5 - For I Have Sinned – Who determines what a sin is? What do we mean by the terms conscience and free will? If I’m free, how come I can’t do anything I want? Why do I need to confess my sins to a priest? How often should I go to confession? • April 12 - It’s Been (How Long?)Since My Last Confession – When you’ve been away from confession for a long time – what do you do to get back to it? What are the other forms of the sacrament (i.e. communal penance services) and how do they work? What if I have been hurt by the Church or one of its members? What programs/services are available to me to help me heal and get reconnected.

My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? The Penitential Psalms Mondays, March 7, 14 and 21, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Some of the most moving of all the Psalms are the Penitential or Lament Psalms. This course examines the structure, language and emotion behind these most heartfelt prayers.

Truly this was the Son of God: The Passion According to Matthew Thursdays, March 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. One of the things that all four Gospels have in common is the passion narrative. While reporting the same events, each Gospel brings a unique perspective to the story of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. This liturgical year, we are guided by Matthew’s Gospel. So, this Lent we will examine Matthew’s unique take on this, the core story of our faith.

Operation Rice Bowl This Lenten season you are invited to participate in Catholic Relief Services’ Operation Rice Bowl. As Jesus’ disciples in the world today, we are called to care for our brothers and sisters in all nations through prayer with our families and faith communities; fasting in solidarity with those who hunger; learning about our global community and giving sacrificial contributions to those in need. Please take home an Operation Rice Bowl packet available in parishes and follow this simple yet powerful Lenten practice. Visit for additional resources to use at home or contact Jean Katt, Catholic Charities West Michigan Parish Relations & Social Ministry Coordinator, at 616.551.5663 for more information.

Keeping our promise to protect The USCCB’s Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has made care of minors a key priority and spearheaded nationwide safe environment programs through which over five and a half million minors already have been educated on how to protect themselves from harm and nearly two million adults have undergone background screening and training on appropriate relationships with youth in their care. In the Diocese of Grand Rapids background screening is done on all church and school employees and adult volunteers working with children or youth as well as those with administrative responsibility for programs involving children or young people. Each of these individuals is also required to participate in approved training programs including “Protecting God’s Children” which is available through the diocese. Since August 2003, more than 12,411 individuals in the diocese have taken part in the “Protecting God’s Children” program and last year, more than $54,400 was spent by the diocese on programming aimed at creating safe environments for children. To inform the Diocese of Grand Rapids of the sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, deacon or other church personnel, please contact the victim assistance coordinator at 616.243.0491. Additional information and resources from the USCCB’s Office for Child and Youth Protection may be found by visiting

FAITH Grand Rapids / March 2011 / |

Save the date Shine Youth Rally

Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Parish, Grand Rapids, will host Shine, its annual 15 middle school youth rally for students in grades 6-8, 12:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the IHM Parish Center, 1935 Plymouth Ave. SE. Shine is an inspiring weekend of faith that features spirit-filled praise and worship, anointed liturgy, presentations that challenge students to reach new heights in their faith and opportunities to draw closer to Christ particularly in the sacrament of reconciliation and service to neighbor. This year’s keynote speaker is Kelly Pease, a nationally acclaimed speaker and musician. To register or for additional information, contact Chris Epplett at 616.241.4477 or by email at


Mar. Tenebrae at the Cathedral 27

Stewardship Seminar The Diocese of Grand Rapids and Holy Redeemer Parish, will host a day-long stewardship seminar Saturday, March 19 beginning at 9 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Church, 2700 Baldwin St., in Jenison. The seminar will include breakout sessions, lunch and a keynote address by Bob Pfundstein, director of parish stewardship for the Diocese of Rockford, Ill. Registration and hospitality begin at 8:30 a.m. For more information, contact the Diocese of Grand Rapids’ office of stewardship and development at 616.243.0491.

Roman Missal, Third Edition The Roman Missal, Third Edition, the ritual text containing prayers and instructions for the celebration of the Mass, has been approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. First use of the text of the new Roman Missal will be on the First Sunday of Advent, November 27. Pope John Paul II announced a revised

The season of Lent

Lent, which means “Spring,” signifying new life, is a season of preparation for Easter. The liturgies and devotions of Lent help the faithful – especially those to be initiated into the Church at Easter – model their lives after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is March 9 this year. Lent ends at sunset on Holy Thursday, April 21.

The Disciplines of Lent

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are the three pillars of Lent. The spiritual significance of these practices is vast and deep. For those aware of their sinfulness, these disciplines are acts of penance. Others find prayer, fasting and almsgiving a way to express solidarity with the poor and utter dependence on God. Ultimately, these disciplines help us lift our hearts in praise and thanksgiving to God.

Ash Wednesday and Lent

In the Old Testament, people covered themselves with ashes to express mourning or contrition. In the early church, those who had committed serious public sin were excluded from the Eucharist, marked with ashes by the bishop and then welcomed back into the fold on Holy Thursday. Today, ashes represent sorrow for sins and a desire to repent. Ashes are imposed on people’s foreheads at Mass or during Liturgy of the Word with Distribution of Ashes. Ashes are smudged on the forehead in the shape of the cross with the words: “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel,” or “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

A reminder about church teaching on fasting and abstinence

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of universal fast and abstinence. Fasting is expected for all who have completed their 18th year and have not yet reached their 60th year. Fasting allows a person to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may be taken, not to equal one full meal. Abstinence (from meat) is obligatory for all who have reached their 14th year. Fridays in Lent are obligatory days of complete abstinence (from meat) for all who have completed their 14th year. Courtesy of USCCB and Father Chris Rouech, interim director, Office for Worship for Diocese of Grand Rapids.

version of the Missale Romanum during the Jubilee Year 2000. Among other things, the revised edition of the Missale Romanum contains prayers for the observances of recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the eucharistic prayers, additional votive Masses and Masses and prayers for various needs and intentions, and some updated and revised instructions for the celebration of the Mass. The English translation of the Roman Missal will also

include updated translations of existing prayers, including some of the well–known responses and acclamations of the people. To learn more about the Roman Missal, Third Edition, go to romanmissal. For information about upcoming workshops and training sessions on the New Roman Missal, visit, click on New Roman Missal under News & Resources and then click Education & Training.

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Join us Good Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew for Tenebrae, in which the ancient tradition of sanctifying the hours of the Triduum is honored. The evening will offer various spiritual contemplations on the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross through readings from Scripture, the singing of Allegri’s ethereal “Miserere,” the playing of Barber’s “Adagio” for strings, prayer in song and in silence, and veneration of the cross. For more information, contact the cathedral parish office, 616.456.1454.



That’s my life

vocations – open to God’s call

Father Ron Hutchinson is director of priestly vocations for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.


s I sit facing a blank screen on my computer monitor, with no idea what I should write, the many and varied activities that have filled this day keep flashing in my mind. From the peaceful moments of prayer in the chapel before I presided at daily Mass, to the laughter that filled the conference room at the end of the staff meeting, to the worry-worn faces of family members who seemed to lighten when I entered the hospital rooms of parishioners in ICU, to the deeply spiritual and personally moving moment of anointing someone facing the final hours of their life. I recall them all vividly.

These and many other moments that have made up this day comprise the unique ways in which God has spoken to me and has used me today in service of his Church and people. So often I am asked by young and old alike to describe a “typical” day in the life of a priest. The problem is that no day is typical, in the sense that no two days are really alike. Even a day that may seem typical or quiet can, with one phone call, become filled with powerful moments of life and death - both physical and spiritual.

That is the life of the priest. The moments that make up our day are often deeply emotional and difficult situations which are being faced by the people we serve. Even if the rites associated with anointing of the sick or actively listening to someone pour out the pain of their heart is something we do again and again, day after day, they are never typical for the people placed on our path and, therefore, they are really not routine. At times, it can be jarring to be pulled quite suddenly from one situation to the next and from one type of emotion to the next; however, each situation is a unique experience of God’s creation and God’s plan. Often it isn’t until I am sitting down for nightly prayer that I have the opportunity to see the many ways in which God has been revealed to me and to others in the various situations that comprised my day. And I never fail to be surprised by the ways in which God has been present to me and others. It is always my hope that I have made myself open enough to the spirit of God that my ministry in that moment is an opportunity for God to be revealed to those I am serving. I can only pray that God accomplishes what is intended, despite my many inadequacies and foibles. No, typical would not describe most days in my life and those of other priests, but it is in the unique character of each and every day that we encounter God in his people and in the situations of their lives. It is also in these many and varied situations that we are asked to help others find God and his plan. That’s my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

FAITH Rapids / March 20112011 / | FAITH GrandGrand Rapids /January/February / |

New things to Springing learn about into Lent Eternal Truth

Cathedral of

Saint Andrew 2011 LENTEN SEASON

Ash Wednesday - March 9 Ashes will be distributed at all liturgies. 7 am – Mass; Bishop Walter A. Hurley, presider Noon – Mass 5:30 pm – Liturgy of the Word 7 pm – Mass (Bilingual)

HOLY WEEK Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, April 17 10 am – Mass of the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance Bishop Walter A. Hurley, presider Noon – Misa En Español 6 pm – Mass with simple procession 7:30 pm – Contemplative Mass Mass of Chrism– Tuesday, April 19 7 pm – Bishop Walter A. Hurley, presider Mass of Chrism is a ticketed event

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion – April 22 1 pm – Celebration of the Lord’s Passion Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross, Holy Communion Bishop Walter A. Hurley, presider 6 pm – Viernes Santo de la Pasión al el Senor. La liturgia de viernes Santo en español. 8 pm - Tenebrae Holy Saturday Night: The Easter Vigil, April 23 8 pm – Mass of Vigil; Bishop Walter A. Hurley, presider

SEASON OF EASTER Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord – April 24 10 am – Mass of the Resurrection (televised) Bishop Walter A. Hurley, presider Noon – Misa En Español 6 pm – Mass 7:30 pm – Contemplative Mass

265 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 616.456.1454

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


fter many a frigid in a long t’s a continual marvel today witness winter, many us or young Michigan children learning a newofskill are eager to shed the heavy adding new words and expressions and come into to theirclothes vocabulary. Their out ongoing some sun and warmth, even education – whether in a formal ifsetting it’s justsuch the promise of sun a tease of as school, or atand home or play warmth. Our cave-like existence, with its – often happens spontaneously and withlong hours ofLater darkness, coming to anitend. delight. in life,isunfortunately, seems to get harder and harder to learn.

In the far sunnier and more temperate climate of Italy, they haveour a charming called theeither passeggiata. That’s own fault, custom we are often told, because In large cities and small, in villages and towns, the our brain has physically stopped developing or ourcitizens come out for a have strollleft around p.m.time. Usually of the responsibilities us no5extra Or isinitone more main piazzas or squares, they walk the circumference a problem of attitude? We stop the pursuit of learning of the area in groups or couples, round round, talking, because “there’s nothing new under theand sun.” “We’re too laughing, flirting, gossiping, teasing, gesticulating, old to bother” is another excuse. Or, in these times oforating and, above all, observing each “learning other andfatigue.” catching up endless change, there is simply with the news. Often arm-in-arm, they take part in our this Besides, why should we have to keep re-learning traditional and communal ritual as an opportunity to Christian faith? We were taught eternal truths, after all,be and with another share the as joys of daily thoseone things don’t and change, even theand restburdens of life changes life. Those us. who cannot walk are in wheelchairs or, more all around likely, watching from adjacent outdoor table while When we enter the an world of Jesus and the Gospels, having an espresso or glass of wine. By 7 p.m. we enter into a relationship with the Lord in which everyone we are scatters back home“disciples,” to preparewhich for the late evening meal, always and forever is to say, learners fortified with much to talk about at the family table. or students. The adult apostles had plenty to learn from traditional ritual one candidly nation images theThis great teacher, folk Jesus. Thefrom Gospels attest that something of the procession that all Christians make many times they were poor students, hard-headed and together during the season of Lent. stuck in their ways. They weren’t bad people, but they were Though the penitential season calls us of tothinking. specifically given to superfi cial and materialistic ways They individual acts of prayer and sacrifice, we are also pretty much bought into the culture of their invited society to in be conscious allgood the while that of wethe areRomans one community, yearning for the riddance and a return the ownoffamily, in service to the entire human to aLord’s kingdom their own. What was so wrong with that? family. We are on pilgrimage together, marching Nothing, really, in and of itself, except that wasn’t with whatour Savior Christ, working with him to proclaim and prepare Jesus was all about. He came to bring about a radical for the fullness of God’s re-alignment between us kingdom. and God, between us and one Yes, there will be opportunity aplenty love and another. He came to make it possible for for us to become friendship, showboating and shepherding, laughter new beings, from within, graced with new capabilities and to tears with otherchildren. along the way; have all live and acteach as God’s This wasbut thewe’ll launching of his that much more share, with Lord and one “kingdom.” In thistoenterprise, hethe commissioned usother, as his when we gather later at our family tables and at our partners. community’s For this, weeucharistic will always table. need an open mind and, even more, an open spirit.

last word word last

TRIDUUM THE GREAT THREE DAYS Holy Thursday Evening: Mass of the Lord’s Supper – April 21 7 pm –Bishop Walter A. Hurley, presider


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

Catholic Services Appeal 2011


may faith flourish Para que la Fe pueda Florecer

p l e a s e

r e c y c l e

You call each of us to service each day and moment of our lives and we ask for your blessings on this year’s Catholic Services Appeal. May the abundant grace you bestow transform us. May it make us good stewards of your gifts and open our hearts to the needs of your Church and of all your people. Nourish our family of faith. Give us wisdom and compassion. By the power of your Spirit, show us how to serve with gladness as your Son Jesus Christ served and sacrificed for us. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen

To Seek the Truth by Molly Klimas for the FAITH GR Magazine  

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