Current Status: Regular Schedule

ADORATION CHAPEL: 

Regular Schedule Is:

Open: Sundays 12:00 PM – Thursdays 11:59 PM Fridays 9:00 AM – Saturdays 9:00 AM.

Closed: Fridays 12:00 AM – Fridays 9:00 AM and Saturdays 9:00 AM – Sundays 12:00 PM

CHURCH OFFICES:

Holiday closings:

  • July 3, 2015 (Independence Day)

  • September 7, 2015 (Labor Day)

  • November 26 – 27, 2015 (Thanksgiving)

  • December 24, 2015 – January 1, 2016 (Christmas Holiday)

  • March 25, 2016 (Good Friday)

  • March 28, 2016 (Easter)

  • May 30, 2016 (Memorial Day)

June 4, 2017

PENTECOST

JMJ

Happy Birthday Universal Catholic Church and happy patronal feast day to us, at the church named after the Holy Spirit.

I’m going to do something a little bit different today for this space…I thought I would defer to a much wiser and holier person than myself to share some thoughts on the third person of the Trinity. It is from Saint Basil,  Bishop, and is his treatise on the Holy Spirit. It was a part of last Tuesday’s Office of Readings. OK, maybe a little bit technical, but please read it to the very end.

“The titles given to the Holy Spirit must surely stir the soul of anyone who hears them, and make him realize that they speak of nothing less than the Supreme Being. Is He not called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, the Steadfast Spirit, the Guiding Spirit? But his principal and most personal title is The Holy Spirit.

To the Spirit all creatures turn in their need for sanctification; all living things seek him according to their ability. His breath empowers each to achieve its own natural end.

The Spirit is the source of holiness, a spiritual light, and he offers his own light to every mind to help it in its search for truth. By nature the Spirit is beyond the reach of our mind, but we can know him by his goodness. The power of the Spirit fills the whole universe, but he gives himself only to those who are worthy, acting in each according to the measure of his faith.
Simple in himself, the Spirit is manifold in his mighty works. The whole of his being is present to each individual; the whole of his being is present everywhere. Though shared in by many, he remains unchanged; his self-giving is no loss to himself. Like the sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth his grace in full measure, sufficient for all, and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive him. To all creatures that share in him he gives a delight limited only by their own nature, not by his ability to give.

The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress. He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin and makes them spiritual by communion with himself. As clear, transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and a source of grace for others.

From the Spirit comes foreknowledge of the future, understanding of the mysteries of faith, insight into the hidden meaning of Scripture, and other special gifts. Through the Spirit we become citizens of heaven, we enter into eternal happiness, and abide in God. Through the Spirit we acquire a likeness to God; indeed, we attain what is beyond our most sublime aspirations—we become God.”

Addenda:

Part of our celebration today should be remembering our founding pastor, Fr. Charlie, as he celebrates the 50th Anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood. I hope to be able to join him at the Open House this Sunday afternoon in DeWitt. All are invited.

I also had a chance to talk with Cesar Helou of The Men of the Sacred Heart. Got some information on how to do an Enthronement of our parish and of individual homes. More to come in this month of the Sacred Heart.

We had a great Memorial Day celebration at the Serenity Court this past Monday. Blessed with great weather and a good crowd.

Fr. J

 

 

Video

A Visit to Holy Spirit’s Adoration Chapel

May 28, 2017

SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD

JMJ

This month of May, dedicated to our Blessed Mother, is quickly winding down. We will conclude the month this Wednesday with the feast of the Visitation when Mary, after the annunciation of the angel, went to visit and care for her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who was now also with child.

If you look at your church calendar for this week you will see that the day before, Tuesday, the 30th, is blank. No saint or feast day is listed. I find that a little surprising and mysterious, because a rather well known and beloved Saint is honored on that day… at least in France, and perhaps some other places in Europe. And she’s a favorite of mine as well. I’m talking of Saint Joan of Arc. I can’t say that Joan introduced herself to me in any special way, as did Saint Philomena and St. Joseph, and Saint Anthony, but, when I read Mark Twain’s novel about her some years ago, I was so impressed that I began to research her life a little more closely. It all began with a quote at the end of his book, which, I might add, he considered his best and most important work, despite the fact that it is one of the least well known. Let me just paraphrase it here. “Considering her age, her sex, her inexperience, and her isolation, Joan was easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced.”

That is quite a quote from a man who did not hold Christianity in very high regard.

On my little vacation a few weeks ago, my ultimate easterly destination was the statue of Saint Joan that I had heard was in Philadelphia. It is full-size and gold in color. She is on her horse, in her specially-made armor, and carrying the battle flag that she designed herself. The base of the statue is surrounded by shrubbery so if her name is located there, it is hidden. Nobody other than myself was there to admire it, but a few feet away many people were having their pictures taken at the statue of a fictional hero, boxer Rocky Balboa, who immortalized the Philadelphia Art Museum when he ran up the steps shadowboxing in preparation for his big fight. If you want to know more about a real-life hero, check out the link https://goo.gl/m6wrHE to an article in National Catholic Register. Also, be advised that we have a small section in our lending library dedicated to Joan and her story. You can even watch the made-for-TV mini-series about Joan on your smart phone. It’s available on the FORMED.org website which is available through our parish for free (Parish Code: 2JQ9YM).

Another stop on my vacation was at the Brandywine River Art Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. I saw a painting there by American artist Howard Pyle showing Joan imprisoned and under the guard of two English soldiers. I ordered it and it is on display in the lending library.

I also ordered the book called The Soul of a Tree by George Nakashima. He was the architect/woodworker who was an inspiration to many of us back in the day. His style influenced me and the work that the kids and I recently did for the lounge area in our Activity Center. His book will be available there for your perusal should you be interested.

Addenda:

Congratulations to Mr. Peter Swartz of our parish who won the school raffle this year. Again, thanks to all of you participated and supported our school.

Mrs. Christine Blandino was introduced at the raffle roast as our new principal and drew the winning tickets.

I’ve decided to order another set of altar banners and vestments to match our green ones used in Ordinary Time. The next color will be violet so as to be used in two liturgical seasons; Advent and Lent. Our Women’s Guild and an anonymous donor have given us a good head start in financing this, but we could still use some more donations. Please consider contributing to our new altar vestments.

Be advised that we are going to honor the Holy Spirit, the patron of our church, on the birthday of the Church, in a special way on Pentecost Sunday. We will be celebrating, for the first time, a special Pentecost Vigil at the 4 o’clock Mass on Saturday. There will be more readings and we will be using incense. I would ask that all of you join in praying the novena to the Holy Spirit. Our hope, of course, is for an ever greater outpouring of God’s Spirit on our congregation and a New Pentecost for the Universal Church.  Fr. J

May 21, 2017

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

JMJ

When I first came here about 10 years ago, I was approached by a gentleman who said he was a part of a group called Men of the Sacred Hearts. He said that their mission was the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in homes and in parishes. It sounded interesting but frankly, I was a little distracted with the new duties of being a pastor to this parish and so I said I would get back to him, someday. Well I never did, but I never forgot about them either. I have always had a devotion to the Sacred Heart — but it was kind of by default. Most people my age grew up with images of the Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in their homes. In addition, I went to a Sacred Heart Church and School where I received 12 years of Catholic education. And many years later, I continued that training when I attended Sacred Heart Seminary. Not the local one in Detroit, but the one in Milwaukee.

Most Catholic churches have the images of the Two Hearts on display somewhere, either as statues or paintings. Our church is no exception. We have our two beautiful wood-carved statues of the famous Mother and Son up front behind our altar.

Well as I said, I never forgot the visit of that man, but I recently felt moved to finally act on it. It actually had to do with an inspiration to do a formal consecration of our parish to Mary. I thought this might be an ideal year, considering the anniversary of Fatima, but I wondered what might be a good time to do this. It should start with a novena, I would think, but when? The feast of the Immaculate Heart follows immediately after the feast of the Sacred Heart in June. Well, usually. I noticed a discrepancy this year where we will be celebrating the nativity of St. John the Baptist on that particular day. Nevertheless, I still think that this might be a good time to make a consecration. So, after all this time, I will be contacting the Men of the Sacred Hearts Apostolate to see how they might be able to assist us. Part of their work is to facilitate the enthronement of the Sacred Heart in private homes. Individuals from a team of volunteers in Warren, MI come to homes with a statue of our Lady of Fatima and pray a rosary with the family as part of the enthronement. I suggest you check out their website:  www.menofthesacredhearts.org/

Recently our bookstore staff rescued two incredibly beautiful pictures of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts from the rummage sale. I think they paid two bucks each. What a bargain! I’m going to tell them to put the NFS sign below it. We will find some way to use those pictures in our church or school. Check them out. They are very special.

Addenda:

Again, congratulations to our young people who received the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. We truly enjoyed the visit of Bishop Boyea for the Confirmation. It was pretty crowded up on the altar as we had four priests and a deacon celebrating with Bishop Earl. Also, many thanks to Tony DeMaria and his team for their hard work in facilitating this event. It all went very well.

A few weeks ago, Fr. Doug Osborne, a retired priest of our diocese, came by to do a funeral. As he greeted me he mentioned that this was his first visit to our parish and that he was very impressed with our grounds. He thought perhaps it was the nicest in the Diocese. I agreed. Just thought I’d let you know. We can be very proud of our setting here, but remember it has, and still does, take a lot of work to keep it up. Thanks to everyone who works so hard to make these grounds so glorious. A little sprucing up will occur in preparation for our annual outdoor Mass on Memorial Day up above the cemetery.

For those of you who missed the Fatima movie last Saturday, it is available through our lending library. Very inspirational.

Also, I put a link on our website to that modern-day “miracle of the sun” in Uganda that I talked about in my homily last week.

 

 

Video

Sun Miracle at Marian Shrine in Uganda

May 14, 2017

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

JMJ

Anniversaries

This week’s bulletin article was composed last Monday morning, on the road, in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, home of the Brandywine River Museum.

After a very busy Lent and Easter, I felt I was due for a little time off so I went to visit relatives and to go on some adventures. Last Saturday evening, I concelebrated Mass in a little town that is named after a Russian prince who gave up his prestige and his fortune and became a priest. Fr. Demetrius Gallitzin was one of the first priests ordained in this country. That day was actually the anniversary of his death in 1840. Sadly, I think I was the only one in town who knew of this landmark date despite the fact that he is being considered for sainthood. It was also the anniversary of my father’s being buried there at St. Mary’s Cemetery in May of 2001.

I continued on Route 22 across that beautiful state, passing over, around, and through many mountain ridges, all the way to Philadelphia where I took a selfie with one of my favorite saints, Joan of Arc (her feast day is later this month). She is next to the art museum and there’s another famous statue there. Far more people have their picture taken with Rocky Balboa than with Joan.

But the thing that really inspired me to take off, however, was an invitation to participate in a special event near the little town of New Hope, an hour north of Philly. It was another anniversary. George Nakashima is a famous Japanese American woodworker who was a hero to many of us back in the day. This was the 50th anniversary of the opening of his studio, which is now a national landmark. He died in 1990, but his daughter Mira continues to maintain the Studio and the business. I learned that the Nakashima family is Catholic. I found this a bit surprising; I thought he might have been Buddhist. But many people attended the gathering and admired the many beautiful pieces of wood and furniture on display. One of the aspects of his legacy is the crafting of several “Peace Altars” made from thick slabs from a very large walnut tree. The slabs were opened up like a book to make for a very, very wide altar. The wood pieces in our activity center lounge area were inspired by this style which he made famous, that of the book-matched surface with natural edge. (Remember, that wood was harvested from our grounds when we built our school).

This weekend we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. I’ve included a picture taken at her garden shrine in the little town of Loretto, the town actually founded by Fr. Gallitzin. It shows the three shepherd children venerating Our Lady in front of a background picture of the beautiful Allegheny Mountains. I’ve made many visits to these grounds over the years. Loretto has always been one of my favorite places to visit. It’s so peaceful there.

 

Addenda:

Our First Communion children crowned Mary this weekend. We did, however, use another statue and a different crown. It was the image of Mary as she appeared in 1917. This statue will be used throughout the next six months.

Congratulations to our Confirmandis who received the sacrament of Confirmation last Wednesday.

 

May 7, 2017

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

JMJ

May promises to be a very busy month for us. We got off to a good start this past Monday with the celebration of Mass on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The instruction of that day was that Pope Pius XII, in 1955, inaugurated that memorial to counter-balance the May Day festival in the communist world, where they emphasize the worker. The Holy Father wanted to honor Joseph as the model for all workers,  as well as to recognize the dignity of human labor as being part of God’s plan from the beginning in the garden of Eden.

But as you know, the month of May is traditionally dedicated to Joseph’s spouse, Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus. She has two feastdays this month, one of which will be the last day of the month when we celebrate The Visitation. We also have a few other special days: May 13th we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Mary at Fatima, and on Sunday May 28th, the Ascension, (transferred from the 25th in our Diocese). There are also a few important saints in there as well, like the somewhat obscure St. Paschal Baylon, the saint of my birthdate, and St. Joan of Arc, one of my favorites. On  top of all of that, we also have Memorial Day on Monday the 29th. We will have our traditional outdoor Mass up by the cemetery on that day.

The first Sunday in June is Pentecost Sunday and our parish feastday as we honor the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit. We’re going to do something a little different this year. The 4 o’clock Mass will be more elaborate; it will be something like the Easter Vigil. All the smells, the bells, and extra readings, as we recall the descent of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. We will do a novena leading up to that day. More information will to come as we continue to plan.

I am not with you this weekend as I went to Pennsylvania to visit relatives, living and deceased. I’m sure there may be a few other adventures in there, too.

Addenda:

Congratulations to Tony DiMaria, our Faith Formation Director, who completed his degree at Sacred Heart seminary this past week.

Also, congrats to all of our children who received their First Holy Communion this weekend and to our young adults who will receive the sacrament of Confirmation this Wednesday here at the parish along with those from Old Saint Patrick Church in Whitmore Lake.

Fr. Gerald Gawronski, former pastor at Old St. Pat’s, was recently interviewed on an EWTN news segment. You can see the story about persecuted Christians here (starting at the 20:50 minute mark): https://goo.gl/88qk47. Fr. J

 

Video

Colorado by Drone

Video

Fr. Gerald on EWTN

Our local priest, Fr. Gerald Gawronski, was recently interviewed on EWTN. Watch the segment on “Persecuted Christians” at about the 20:50 minute mark.

 

Video

Aerial View of Holy Spirit Parish by Mike Paul, Sept 2016

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