As Disciples We Are All Called to Stewardship

09-28-2014Weekly Reflection

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
—Matthew 5:14-16

As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace.
—1 Peter 4:10

Who is a Christian Disciple?
Through our baptism, we are all Christian disciples invited to answer Jesus' call to "Come and follow me."

Our Call to Self-giving
Just as Jesus in obedience to his Father offered his whole self for our salvation, we are called as his disciples to make this same selfgift in the service of others and in thanksgiving to God.

READ MORE

How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me? Psalm 116:12

09-21-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family,

Each of us has been abundantly blessed by God the Father with our own unique gifts and talents. When we prayerfully identify our God-given gifts, and then strive to cultivate and share them with others, we glorify the Lord by our lives and become a glowing witness for Christ in the world.

"Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:14-16

Just as God the Father pours himself out for the Son and the Son back to the Father, each of us, created in God's image, has a deep inner desire to share what we have with others. It's how we're made!

There are many active groups, programs, and ministries here at St. Magdalen's that offer you the opportunity to share your time, talent and treasure in the service of others. This is the stewardship way of life and a concrete way to answer Jesus' call to "Come and follow me."

READ MORE

Humanae Vitae

07-27-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

Greetings from Detroit! My summer courses are half over this past week. While I have missed the slower summer pace at home, the study here has been very fruitful for me. I have had the opportunity to spend longer periods of time in prayer and to re-contact the truth that I am dependent on prayer; I am dependent on God. It also gives me a chance to reflect on important aspects of parish life that can easily get lost in the daily routine of taking care of the business at hand.

This past Friday July 25th was an important anniversary that generally gets little notice. It was the 46th anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, which Pope Paul VI addressed with great clarity the burning question of conscience: "Is it morally acceptable for a married couple, for grave reasons, to contracept in their marriage act?" The prevailing spirit of the age gave a resounding "yes" and at that time there were so many reasons that made it seem so right and logical.

During the 1960's, many social influences converged to make the answer seem obvious. One strong influence was the rise of a new feminism represented by Betty Friedan who advocated that women be freed from the shackles of child bearing in order to take her rightful place alongside men in the workplace. Another influence was the population scare. Some social scientists were warning that the resources of the earth would run out if large families were to continue. Economic questions of how to support large families in a changing society was of equal concern. Another major influence was the development of the birth control pill, which was hailed as a great "medical achievement." However, it was the first "medical" advancement that was not about correcting a bodily system that was malfunctioning, but rather was designed to cause a system that was functioning correctly [the fertility cycle] to malfunction.

READ MORE

Spiritual Development

07-13-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family,

Greetings from Detroit! As you may remember, part of my continuing education that I began on my academic sabbatical last year requires that I attend summer intensive courses in theology to complete the degree. This summer I am spending four weeks at Sacred Heart Seminary here in lovely Detroit, Michigan. It has been three days since I left, but I miss you already!

During these summer intensive classes, I am joining 12 other priests from around the country and from Africa and India. It is fascinating and fun to hear the experiences, trials and joys of the priesthood in all these places. We all have in common our desire to engage the New Evangelization. It was St. John Paul II who really articulated, almost thirty years ago, what is the new evangelization: "…it is not a new gospel, but rather the eternal gospel message made available to men and women today." He exhorts that it should be "new in ardor, method and expression."

READ MORE

Holy Spirit

06-29-2014Weekly ReflectionDolores Wright

Dear Parish Family,

There is nothing like a sudden summer thunderstorm. The air becomes very still, the light dims and, off in the distance, the faint rumblings of thunder can be heard. Then the skies darken, the wind blows, lightning flashes, thunder roars, and rain falls from the heavens in torrents. But after the storm, one can step outside with arms raised in praise. The air smells fresh and clean. The dry earth welcomes the wetness and the plants seem alive to growth. Perhaps one might even see a rainbow in the sky. In wonder God reveals himself to us in the imagery of his creation. How like the account of Pentecost in the “Acts of the Apostles”!

In stillness the disciples, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the holy women, wait in prayer. Their spirits are dimmed as they recall Jesus’s words resounding in the back of their minds to return to Jerusalem and await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly from up in the sky there comes a loud noise like a strong driving wind. In tongues of fire the Holy Spirit pours down upon those gathered in the Upper Room and they are filled with the gifts of the Spirit. Renewed in mind and heart, the apostles rush out to proclaim the message of the Risen Lord. A large crowd has gathered because of the noise that was heard and Peter begins to speak to them. Like the parched earth those in the crowd are ready to absorb the words of eternal life and that day about 3000 repent and are baptized. The seeds of faith are planted and the Church begins to grow!

READ MORE

Corpus Christi

06-22-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

If you think of everything you do every day in order to be healthy, how long would your list be? I think for many of us we know we should do more than we actually get done. It could be eating right and exercise, personal hygiene, laundry, cooking organizing and investing in personal relationships. If we let anything go for too long, it catches up with less than happy consequences.

Today we celebrate “Corpus Christ Sunday” or “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” this feast came into existence precisely at time in history that people were losing their personal faith and devotion to the great truth that in our Mass, the very presence, body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ is made present for us. It is our “daily bread.” Yet too often we human beings can go stale in our fervor. We can take spiritual things for granted because we don’t perceive their immediacy like we do our physical needs. If we don’t eat for day, we know it. Believe me I’ve tried it. I feel weak, irritable and tired. The same is more true in our spiritual dimension. However many people think it is possible to get by without Mass, because they are spiritual people. It’s ironic how true the statement is and how badly applied is the conclusion that the most spiritual activity we could do is commune in the flesh with the living God is somehow “not necessary.” There is a spiritual maxim: the more we grow in our spiritual lives, the more we recognize our sinfulness and the things that must change in our lives. The Bread of Life, that is Jesus is the source and summit of orienting us to holiness of life and helping us to put everything else into perspective.

READ MORE

Stewardship

06-15-2014Weekly ReflectionDeacon Mike

Dear Parish Family,

The opening sentence of John's Gospel today does a good job of describing how God feels about us: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." But if you look at the sentence closely again, John says that those who believe might not perish and might have eternal life. He doesn't use the definitive verb will but the conditional verb might. That's because there is no guarantee that we will achieve eternal life in heaven. So what does it take to get to heaven and achieve eternal life? Great question. I'm not sure I know the answer, but I can put forward some ideas. If we go to church every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation and go to confession once or twice a year, is that enough? Well, we know that receiving Jesus' body and blood is both the source and summit of our relationship with Jesus Christ. And certainly going to confession absolves us of our sins, no matter how serious. It's a great start…and an essential ingredient to punching our ticket to heaven. But there's more to it than just a checklist. And I know that because of that sacrament called baptism. Through our baptism, we are called to be a light to the world. Striving to be a light to the world signifies a much more active participation on our part then sitting in the pew every Sunday. And for those of us who are cradle Catholics, we really didn't have a choice in our baptism. But then through confirmation we received additional graces and were filled with the Holy Spirit to go on our mission as a light to the world. And this happened just three weeks ago when Bishop Paul confirmed 133 young adults at St. Magdalen's. And it also happened this past Pentecost Sunday when14 adults were confirmed at the 10:30 am Mass.

READ MORE

Music Ministry

05-25-2014Weekly ReflectionCheryl Manfredonia

Bless me Father, for I HAVE been singing!! It's been 50 years since Vatican II.

Yes – fifty years since Pope John XXIII (now Saint John XXIII) convened the Second Vatican Council. Pope Saint John XXIII was perhaps the most influential pope of the twentieth century. One of the greatest reforms resulting from Vatican II is the full and active participation of the assembled congregation.

What exactly does that mean for us? The opportunity to enter into the sacred liturgy with all of our senses, heart, body, mind, and voice - - a sacred, prayerful dialogue with the celebrating priest in spoken and sung prayer.

I am grateful for all the parish cantors, musicians, and a singing congregation! Together we praise and thank God, the angels and saints, the Blessed Mother in joyful hymns and songs. I encourage all ages, men and women, boys and girls, to please… Don't be shy…..Give Music Ministry a try! Summer is a great time to join the team who lends support to our congregational song. Sacred song, united to biblical text, forms a necessary and integral part of the treasure of the Catholic Church – our solemn liturgy.

READ MORE

Parish Center

05-18-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

I'm happy to invite you to a parish meeting for anyone interested in touring our present Parish Center and to hear a brief presentation on the needs and potential plans of the building. As many of you know, the building is aging, built in 1974, it has never had any significant improvement over the past 40 years. This is presenting us with a number of decisions that must be made to responsibly address the deteriorations and end of life issues of several vital systems. It also presents us with the challenge of how it could be used more effectively in the future.

While we have a number of organizations, ministries and events that currently take place in the Parish Center, we also need to ask the deeper question of how can this building serve the heart of the mission of the parish for the next generations? This is a visionary question that I wish to consult you about.

We are in the initial stages of working with an architectural firm to begin to work with concepts that will then allow us to develop the best possible use of the current space with our needs and vision for the future.

READ MORE

Religious Education

05-11-2014Weekly ReflectionBridget Rincon

A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
—Jn 10:10

Happy Easter! What a beautiful gift the Church gives us: 50 days, from the first Sunday of Easter until Pentecost, to celebrate and meditate on the "joy of glorified life and victory over death." Our faith is predicated on this truth, as St. Peter affirms: "If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith." (1 Cor 15:14). The resurrection is the reason for our joy. In one of his letters, Pope Francis wrote "Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved." (EG 6).

This past semester, I took a course on the Nicene Creed we profess each Sunday. At the beginning of the course, I came across a sentence in my readings that stopped me in my tracks. "…if a man loves God knowing a little about Him, he should love God more from knowing more about Him: for every new thing known about God is a new reason for loving Him." After I read this, I thought about my marriage of 26 years. I was able to see the journey my husband and I have taken, how we got to know each other and how that led to a deeper more meaningful love for each other––a selfless love. It is the same way with God. Like my marriage, my relationship with God has been a steady process of opening to grace, of having courage to seek, and learning more about the immensity and majesty of God––and His perfect, infinite love.

READ MORE

First Communion

05-04-2014Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

I love the springtime for so many reasons. Nature shows in dramatic form what God wants to do for each one of us in our heart. That is the reason why Sacraments of Initiation happen during the Easter Season and on a Sunday.

Easter Sunday is the Center of the Church year and every Sunday is a "little Easter." We celebrate the Resurrection and keep in mind that this day needs special significance in our week. If we don't mark any special time during our week, everything looks the same. We forget that God orders our lives. We think its all up to us. Ultimately, life becomes very boring without Sunday as a special day. Try to reclaim Sunday as a family day. Try to reach out to someone who is left alone on Sunday and visit them or invite them to your home. Pope Francis continually asks us to go out of our comfort zones to find where life sad, depressed and lonely. We might need to just look in our own families. Perhaps all the frenetic activity that families can get involved in with so many complicated schedules actually takes people into more isolation rather than into an experience of loved, recognized and cared for. We definitely need more quality time with those who love us and depend on us.

READ MORE