RCIA

10-28-2012Pastor's LetterDolores Wright

Dear Parish Family,

In the musical, The King and I, the king of Siam tries to reconcile his thinking with that of Anna, the English governess: "Tis a puzzlement!" he says. Several weeks ago I was asked to write a letter for this week's parish bulletin on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), but I have to admit that I am a procrastinator. If I had immediately written on the RCIA as directed, I would not have ended up with a "puzzlement" of my own. Instead, I put RCIA on the "back burner" and started thinking about all the things going on in our parish: the Year of Faith in which we are to focus on and reaffirm our beliefs found in the Apostles Creed, the New Evangelization that Father Tim is studying at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, our new parish website, the impact of the upcoming election and religious freedom, bible studies, etc. Then we have such a great calendar for this coming week: Halloween (which means holy evening), All Saints and All Souls Days, followed by the Stewardship Ministry Expo next weekend. How was I ever going to put all of that together along with RCIA? 'Tis a puzzlement!

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Answer Jesus' call in your own life

10-21-2012Pastor's LetterMr. G. Stricklin

Dear Parish Family,

As I look out the window today at the rich fall foliage - orange and crimson and brilliant yellow - can't help but notice that many of the leaves have already started to fall. Of course this reminds me of the colder days ahead, the inevitable dormancy which is a necessary part of the cycle of seasons. But that time is not here yet! We still have a few more weeks of this glorious milder weather which seems to invigorate us for our fall projects - planting and seeding, repair jobs on the house, schoolwork, a new exercise program, bike rides outside! The fall is a time that seems to inspire us to grow and get better and accomplish things.

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New Evangelzation

10-14-2012Pastor's LetterFather Jack O’Kane

Dear Parishioners,

This past Thursday, October 11th, kicked off the Year of Faith declared by the Holy Father to be a year for learning the richness and beauty of the Catholic Faith. Every Saturday night or Sunday we profess the Nicene Creed and we pray "I believe in…", and this Year dedicated to the faith is meant to be a time of reflection, prayer, observance, and promotion of the faith that we hold strongly at our core. Our parish and our diocese have many different opportunities during this year to help the faithful learn about the faith, and grow in their love and understanding of all the Church teaches.

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October is Respect Life Month

10-07-2012Pastor's LetterDeacon Mike Bachynsky

Dear Parish Family,

I was on vacation last week. We visited my wife's Aunt and Uncle down in South Carolina. They are in the their mid 70's and could be considered "snowbirds" since they return back to their other home in Long Island for part of the year. They made a nice dinner for my wife, son and I (spaghetti, my favorite!). Just before we left, she asked me about the requirements to become an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. I told her that she needed to contact her parish, that the process is usually not a big undertaking, but that most pastors looked for candidates with an active faith life and devotion to the Eucharist, which she has. Later I thought about why she asked me. She said she wanted to help some of the homebound people she knew and of course she knew that I am a deacon. But I wondered why now, why now at this particular time of her life. And this is the question we all need to ask ourselves. How are we called to make a difference? How are we called to come and follow Him?

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Responsibilities of a Deacon: Proclamation of the Gospel

09-16-2012Pastor's LetterDeacon Stephen Kern

Dear Parish Family:

When Fr. Tim left for his studies, he asked certain staff members to write the bulletin letters in his absence. I was very ex-cited to be asked to contribute, and so this is my first attempt. Actually, since I am writing in place of Fr. Tim, you could say that I am writing in persona Christy (credit to my son Kevin for that one).

Seriously, I would like to reflect a bit on one of the prime responsibilities of a deacon: the proclamation of the Gospel. The Gospel holds a special place in the Liturgy of the Word, that part of the Mass where we hear the Word of God. In the case of the Gospel, it is not just the Word of God, but words spoken by The Word, Jesus. The specialness of the Gospel is evident right from the opening procession of the Mass where the Book of Gospels is carried in by the deacon, raised high so that you have an idea of its significance. As he enters the sanctuary, the deacon places the Book of Gospels on the altar, signifying to the assembly that Christ - who will become present on the altar in the bread and wine - is already present in the Gospel.

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We begin the Fall season with some major changes

09-09-2012Pastor's LetterFather Jack O'Kane

Dear Parish Family,

As the Summer sadly draws to a close and September begins, life at St. Magdalen de Pazzi begins to pick up once again, and we begin the Fall season with some major changes. As students return to school for the year, Fr. Tim, our pastor, begins his fall returning to study the New Evangelization so he can bring this new information and new ideas to our parish and our diocese. We wish him great success on this endeavor. Please remember to keep him in your prayers during the year and know that he is praying for all of us as well.

Another change that will impact St. Magdalen de Pazzi, is the new assignment for Sister Christine Quense. Sister Christine was elected as Sister Servant for the Sisters of Jesus our Hope over the summer and has left our parish. Sister has been a great influence on so many people in the parish, especially on the youth, through her role as Parish Catechetical Leader. Sister has such a gift to impact lives by her great witness to God’s love which she shares naturally with those she meets and we were very blessed to have her in the parish for the past couple of years. Her obvious joy in the Lord, as well as her direction and support will be missed but we wish her God’s blessing in her new role.

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I am anticipating my return to the parish with great eagerness

09-02-2012Pastor's LetterFather Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family,

I am writing this letter only hours before my departure to Detroit. The last minute preparations are many. While I am used to encouraging everyone else to get ready for school, I had forgotten what it was like for myself!  I am deeply grateful for all the well wishes, prayers and gifts that you extended to me this past weekend, right up to the cake I received a few minutes ago after daily mass for a belated birthday! I feel very affirmed and grateful to God for you, my parish community.

As I spoke about this past week end, this will be a time of renewal and learning for me.  It will be a time of growing and cooperating with each other in the parish. I feel great confidence in the priests and deacons, the sisters, Geoff Stricklin, Regina Edersheim, our Pastoral Council and Finance Council, and the many good-hearted and zealous volunteers, stewards, and organizations here in the parish. We are indeed a vibrant community that truly wants more. I can sense the desire of our parish to grow. I am anticipating my return to the parish with great eagerness and the opportunity to share what I learn to enliven our parish even more.

The most important aspect of the New Evangelization is prayer. The Holy Spirit is in charge of conversion. God can and will do everything, but He has made us to cooperate with Him and to participate in the growth of the Kingdom of God. We must pray for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that the hearts and minds of people everywhere would become attuned once again to God. We can pray that if hearts become ready to receive His Word, that we might become the instrument or the witness to light the fire of faith. It is usually one person at time. So let us begin praying to the Holy Spirit now and doing all we can to repent, cooperate, and become docile to the promptings of the Breath of the Spirit.

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St. John the Baptist

07-04-2012Pastor's LetterFather Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family;

This week end we celebrate the Birth of St. John the Baptist. It is unusual to celebrate a birth of a saint in the liturgy. We normally celebrate the death of a Saint because it marks their birth to eternal life; the fulfillment of all they worked. It is also unusual that a Saint would be celebrated on a Sunday. However this year June 24th falls on a Sunday and because of the importance of who St. John the Baptist is in his connection to pointing us to Christ, we honor his birth, even on a Sunday.

It is a reminder to us that God has a plan. St. John the Baptist was marked out to prepare people for Christ. He was the last prophet of the Old Testament and the first prophet of the New Testament. He is the link from the plan God began in Abraham and brought to fulfillment in His Son Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was convinced that one was to come after him who was greater. He was aware of his part to play in bringing God’s plan further.

This is a good reflection for us as we start the Fortnight for Religious Liberty. As Americans and as Catholics we have a part to play in this great nation. We have a part to play in contributing to the nation as followers of Jesus Christ. Our prayers and awareness of what is happening in our nation is critical. We must ask God for the grace to continue to make known the need for religious freedom as our first most cherished right. Without it, our whole nation is vulnerable to collapse and failure precisely because a nation is built on the strength of each person in its citizenry. We need our conscience in tact and formed in order to know how to respond to the signs of our times and how to read what God is doing in our midst. St. John the Baptist ultimately lost his life by witnessing to the truth of marriage. He told Herod the Tetrarch it was not right to commit adultery with his brothers wife. He was imprisoned and then beheaded. There is always a cost in following one’s conscience, but it is the only way true glory; the only way to find God.

Please come to daily mass as often as possible these next two weeks to join in prayer for our nation as we unite with Catholics across the nation to protect religious liberty.

Let Freedom Reign

Peace and Prayers,
Father Tim

The birth of John the Baptist and the start the Fortnight for Religious Liberty

06-24-2012Pastor's LetterFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family;

This week end we celebrate the Birth of St. John the Baptist.  It is unusual to celebrate a birth of a saint in the liturgy.  We normally celebrate the death of a Saint because it marks their birth to eternal life; the fulfillment of all they worked.  It is also unusual that a Saint would be celebrated on a Sunday.  However this year June 24th falls on a Sunday and because of the importance of who St. John the Baptist is in his connection to pointing us to Christ, we honor his birth, even on a Sunday.

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4th Sunday of Lent

03-18-2012Pastor's LetterFather Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family: 

Today we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent.  This is known by its Latin name laetare Sunday.  It means “let us rejoice”   The rose colored vestments, the simple flowers and more festive music today alert us to the spirit of joy that is meant to accompany us on these final weeks of Lent that lead to the full joy of Easter. 

To be joyful is a good reminder.  You and I can easily be distracted by the difficult things of life.  When we engage to be more serious about our faith, more serious life, more serious about doing good and avoiding evil, somehow the Devil knows we are changing.  He comes to try to discourage us and pull us down through lack of results, persecution from others and also the residue of  our own past attempts at change that may have failed.  We need so much to be reminded of our true calling and who we can be. 

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The first Sunday of Lent

02-26-2012Pastor's LetterFather Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

Today is the First Sunday of Lent.  Jesus goes into the dessert, He is confronted with the temptations of the Evil One, from the flesh and the allurements of the world.  He is facing the same temptations that we all face in our earthly journey here below.

We are meant by our baptismal call to be leaven in the bread, to be a city set on a hill, to be light and salt.  We may feel not up to the task.  We may feel weak in the face such a vocation.  This is where we must have the confidence that comes from knowing that God has specifically chosen each of us.  He can accomplish heroic things in us, if we surrender and submit to the joyful walk of discipleship.

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Star of Wonder, Star of night, Star with Royal beauty bright

01-08-2012Pastor's LetterFather Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family: 

This week end we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord.  This is one of those ancient liturgical feast days that focus attention on the Christmas mystery of the “Word becoming flesh, and dwelling among us.”  However, the emphasis is not on the birth of the Savior, but rather the “revelation” of God in the flesh to the Magi or the Three Kings.  The Magi represent the nations of the world, who come in search of ultimate wisdom, who come seeking the “newborn king.”  They desire to worship the true king and abandon the relative powers of this world.  The wise still seek Him!  The persevering qualities of the Magi need to inspire us to set out to find ultimate truth in all ways to live our lives in this passing and changeable world.  During this Christmas season let us ask to be re-invigorated to respond to a deep relationship with “The Word made Flesh.”

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THE WORLD REJOICES when 33 MINERS are SET FREE!
Heaven Rejoices When Souls in Purgatory Are Set Free!

10-31-2010Pastor's LetterFather Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family,

LATE OCTOBER 14TH the entire world gave a collective exhale. The last of the 33 Chilean miners was raised from the depths of the earth into the fresh night air, enveloped by the sweet sound of gathered thousands cheering in jubilation at the triumph of the human spirit! 69 days earlier in the heart of the Chilean dessert, 7,000 tons of rock collapsed, entombing the men in isolation nearly half a mile below the earth’s surface. “Los 33”, as they are now popularly known, spent 17 arduous days in darkness, before the world above even had a clue they were still alive. Even the most optimistic held out little hope that this would end well.

After nearly ten weeks of entombment the eyes of the world watched with amazement, joy and solidarity as the miners were raised to the earth’s surface. The anticipation of family and friends, loved ones and committed countrymen was palpable. It was as though the human race was being explicitly instructed on the limitless capability of the human spirit. Every few minutes another miner was released into the fresh air amidst an eruption of cheers and applause. Instinctively, nearly every miner fell to his knees, some sobbing, others sober and silent, but each man obviously praying; connecting his heart to the Lord of the universe in an unmistakable public gesture of thanksgiving. The moment was magical, but more to the point it was mystical. The supernatural was breaking into the natural. Even the most callous and unbelieving of human hearts had to be touched and softened witnessing each man, with his own family and personal story, his own gifts and talents, arising out of the depths of the earth: Alive!

May my footsteps be firm in keeping your commands

09-20-2009Pastor's LetterFather Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

Driving recently I saw in the evening sunlight a roadside stand announcing “Fresh Produce.” Under the sign were neatly arranged stacks of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and jars of what looked like jelly. It was a bountiful sight that naturally drew me to want to stop and buy some of this fruit of the land and work of human hands! Although I wound up not stopping to buy, nonetheless the glowing, colorful sight did bring my mind to active and fruitful reflection. I considered all the hard work that went into getting those vegetables to gleam in the evening light. It was satisfying to think of the planting, cultivating, fertilizing, weeding and debugging that must have taken place. I imagined all the rain we had this summer making its way into every root, up every stock and stem, through every branch and nourishing each growing fruit and vegetable. The purpose of each seed had now come to its reason for being and radiated its beauty in this bountiful harvest.

The earth is a reflection of God’s creative process. The truth is that God never creates anything without purpose, without a plan. Nothing in God’s creation is random, haphazard or chaotic. There is no doubt that God is a God of harmony and reason. This insight comforts me. I want my own life, my relationships, my parish and community to reflect the order and unity God intended. What dawns on me as I write to you about the beginning of the fall season is that we all must be periodically reminded of our purpose and reason for being. We must take stock of where we are, and determine if we’re headed in the right direction, toward our ultimate eternal goal.

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