State of the Parish Articles

2018 STATE OF THE PARISH REPORTS, as printed in the Christmas Bulletin

ALTAR SERVERS: Servers assist the priest in a special way during Holy Mass and other Liturgies held at Holy Spirit Church. Responsibilities are to come early for Mass, set up the altar, serve Mass and clean up the altar afterward. Servers are scheduled quarterly and can request Mass preferences. Open to both boys and girls, training is provided every fall (or by request throughout the year) and the only requirement is that the child must have received their first Holy Communion. The careful work and training that is necessary seems a small price to pay for the privilege of kneeling so close to the altar during the Consecration when Christ becomes truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist!  We are in great need of more servers at this time. If you or your child would like to become a member of the Altar Server Ministry, please contact me. ~Annabelle Clinger, waclinger@gmail.com

BOOK SHOP: Holy Spirit Book & Gift Shop primarily exists to evangelize and serve all who visit.  Some of the gifts you’ll find are rosaries, statues, religious art, crucifixes, medals, and gifts for all occasions.  We carry a wide variety of Catholic Books, bibles, DVD’s and CD’s. Our staff welcomed a new member this year, Dani Negri, who works on weekends along with Rick Krul. Maria Gonzalez serves during the week with me. I am blessed to welcome you to the store and hope to see you soon! ~ Shawn Spagnuolo – Manager

CEMETERY: Holy Spirit Cemetery can attribute its inception to the foresight of people like the late Stella Campbell and others from our Parish. Our stately cemetery was officially opened in 2005. The governing body of the Cemetery is its Board, which revises the By-Laws of the Cemetery and makes decisions regarding issues. Within the Board, there is a separate committee to investigate concerns of grave owners. Currently, there are approximately 700 plots comprising the Cemetery, along with four columbaria, each of  which can accommodate 12 burial urns. Each columbarium has a bronze statue depicting either Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph or Mary Magdalene. Of the four columbaria, two are completely occupied.  Of the in-ground burial plots, approximately 350 are purchased, but only 91 souls are currently interred. The Angelus Memorial is located at the end of the driveway separating the two sections of the Cemetery proper. This Memorial is a columbarium dedicated to holding the remains of babies lost to miscarriage. Grieving parents are able to memorialize their infant by placing the baby’s name on a plaque which embraces the niche. Kim and Lou DeLellis have compassionately adopted this ministry. They counsel grieving parents and guide them through the process with the medical community. Todd Borek from Borek-Jennings Funeral Home donates his time and talent in this area of concern as well. The Angelus Memorial provides healing to parents well beyond Livingston County and the Diocese of Lansing. Dine with Jesus is a newer interactive sculpture on our parish campus, and parishioners and visitors come from miles around to have lunch at this beautiful setting. Sue Hansen, along with Jacque Durco, work together to coordinate any needs at our cemetery. We strive to maintain a religious environment by creating a peaceful and meditative atmosphere for the memorialization of the beloved dead. ~Sue Hansen, Cemetery Office 810-231-9199 x204

CONQUEST: Conquest is a father/son Catholic virtue development club which meets offsite on Friday evenings in 6-week blocks/18 meetings per year. Fun for boys with their dads, prayer and study of virtue and how it can be applied to our daily lives is the meeting focus. ~Todd Borek, borektodd@gmail.com

COURAGE/ENCOURAGE: Courage is an international apostolate of the Catholic Church, which ministers to persons with same-sex attractions and their family and friends. EnCourage is a ministry within Courage dedicated to the spiritual needs of parents, siblings, children, and other relatives and friends of persons who have same-sex attractions. Standing by the true teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, EnCourage members support one another and their loved ones through discussion, prayer and fellowship. Please contact me for dates and time of meetings of the Brighton, Michigan chapter. ~Fr. John, frjohnrocus@holyspiritrcs.org

DIACONATE: Dcn. Jerry Brennan and his wife Ronnie have been members of the parish for over 13 years. They have 5 adult children and six wonderful grandchildren and often travel to Chicago or Toronto to visit them. Jerry retired a year ago as the Director of Permanent Diaconate for the diocese of Lansing. Before going to work full time in the Church, Jerry held a number of corporate executive positions and has a finance and legal background. Ronnie is a Secular Franciscan and serves as a Sacristan here at Holy Spirit. I thank you for all your prayers over the last year as I recovered from multiple brain surgeries. ~Jerry Brennan, gbrennan@holyspiritrcs.org

DIVINE MERCY CENACLE: Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy (EADM) meet in small groups to have fellowship, deepen their Catholic faith and the knowledge of the Divine Mercy message, share their struggles and joys in applying it to life in the family and work place and to live out this faith together by performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Groups meet 1) Monday mornings every two weeks from 9:30am-11:30am (at Connie Walters home 10 min away from Church), 2) Wednesday evenings on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 7-8pm (Shawn Spagnuolo), 3) Friday mornings on the 1st and 3rd Fridays from 9:15-10:30am (Ellen Skolnik), and 4) Friday mornings on the 2nd & 4th Friday from 8:30am-9 30am (except during winter months) (Caroline Gabel). ~Connie Walters, conniewalters9250@gmail.com

DIVINE WILL PRAYER GROUP: Have you noticed the weekly inspiration at the top page 3? Our group was formed to assist the faithful in growing and learning about the Divine Will, through prayer and study of the writings of Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, and those quotes are from her. We meet in a prayer group setting where reading and sharing in discussion is achieved in a community setting on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays from 7:30-9pm. ~Todd Borek, borektodd@gmail.com

ENVIRONMENTAL GREEN TEAM: Our mission is to support Holy Spirit Parish in becoming a better steward of the earth by promoting and implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and related sustainable practices. Past projects include implementation of a campus-wide recycling program in 2016 and updated energy efficient heating and cooling mechanical systems in 2017. This past year in 2018, we completed implementation of a campus-wide energy efficient LED Lighting project. For 2019, we are targeting completion of a business case analysis of a potential solar energy project. We also perform support activities, such as returning recyclable empties for credit (proceeds to the St. Joseph Guild fund). Members meet once every three months with Fr. John and a Diocese-level consultant, Fr. Jim McLaughlin, and spend approximately 2-5 hours per week on projects. Watch for periodic updates in the Church Bulletin. ~Dave Rais, david.rais@att.net

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION: God’s Blessings to all! As we begin the new Liturgical year we are blessed to have Eucharistic Adoration available once again. The first Friday of each month from 9am to 9pm we have the opportunity to spend time with Him. There are many graces presented to us when we spend time with Him. During this busy holiday season is a great time to visit Him. Our goal is to increase the time available but we need people to sign up. If you have any questions or would like to sign up please contact Pat O’Brien @ 810-923-0478 or email pfobrien52@gmail.com. God Bless, ~Pat O’Brien

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion serve God and Holy Spirit Parish by arriving early for Mass to pray with Fr. John, and then reverently distribute the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ to the congregation during Mass. Schedules are made quarterly. On average Eucharistic Ministers serve 1-2 months per quarter at a Mass time of their preference. Training is provided as needed. If you regularly attend one of the weekend Masses here at Holy Spirit, please consider joining this awesome and very rewarding ministry.  ~Bill & Char Curtis, charbillc@live.com

FAITH FORMATION: Four months into my position as Director of Faith Formation, I am grateful for the opportunity given to me to walk with the good people of Holy Spirit on their faith journey. Our Religious Education program has grown slightly from last year and is progressing well under the tutelage of our dedicated catechists Jeff Reseigh, Cathy Pequeño and Jan Mannarino. We’ve incorporated materials from Dynamic Catholic in our sacramental preparation classes with an eye toward giving the children more opportunity to grow in a relationship with Jesus. The 7/8 grade Holy Spirit School and Religious Educations classes programs enjoyed an inspiring NET retreat in November. Adult formation started in September with a small but spirit filled Alpha group and is finishing out the calendar year with a study on the Eucharist called ‘Presence’.  A new twice monthly Bible study began in November, with Cathy and Tony Pequeño offering insight into the weekly Mass readings. We are looking forward to Fr. Pivonka’s Wild Goose series in January as well as an Apologetics class. Plans are in the works for an Unbound study group as well. I do believe that everyone has something they can teach us, so in that spirit feel free to drop by my office with your comments, requests and suggestions, or to let me know if there’s any way I can help you in your personal journey toward a greater relationship with Jesus. ~ Mary Anne Bastian, mabastian@holyspiritrcs.org

FACILITY MANAGEMENT: It’s been a very busy year. I’ve been working four years as manager of the campus facilities as well as supervisor of the St. Joseph Guild. Dave Paffel retired this year, and I’m happy to report that the Holy Spirit sent us the perfect replacement, Mike Tworek, an industrious young man who moved to the area while attending college. Thanks to the generosity of numerous parishioners and help from the St. Joseph Guild, and designer Janell Harbaugh, we remodeled the men’s and women’s restrooms. This was a MAJOR undertaking, but we are proud that we were able to accomplish it in house. St. Joseph Guild members work on special projects each week and help take care of our building and grounds. Thank you everyone who helps with this. We have also added members to our St. Joseph Guild, both men and women, and we look forward to a very enlightened new year. The Guild meets on Wednesday mornings and anyone is welcome to come and help out. ~Tim Comperchio, tcomperchio@holyspiritrcs.org

FLINT OUTREACH/HOPE IN A BOX: Started after Bishop Boyea’s initiative to help the poor and needy in Flint, Michigan and coordinated with Genesee County Catholic Charities to determine current needs, items (including sleeping mats made by the Prayer Shawl Ministry) are collected at Holy Spirit Parish and delivered on Saturdays. Watch the bulletin for “Need of the Month” to help those less fortunate.

FLOWER MINISTRY: Behind-the-scenes details enhance and beautify the Church and Mass setting. Responsible for watering plants once a week, buying and arranging seasonal flowers/plants or décor for the altar area. Avg time commitment is 1-2 hours per week. ~Lori Borek, theborekfamily@gmail.com

Fr. RICHARD LOBERT: is a parishioner of Holy Spirit and serves as Chaplain at Fr. Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor. Fr. Lobert often concelebrates Mass with Fr. John.

HEALTH MINISTRY: The mission of the Health Ministry is to carry out the healing mission of Jesus by promoting the health and wellness of mind, body and spirit through prayer, counsel, education, referral and service to the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church Community, by working collaboratively with each other, St Joseph Mercy Health System and the community we serve. All medical information will be held in confidence as a volunteer of this Health Ministry Team. Volunteer nurses offer free blood pressure checks in the Lending Library after all Masses on the last weekend of the month. Doctors have long called high blood pressure “the silent killer” because a person can have high blood pressure and never have any symptoms. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to life-threatening medical problems such as stroke, heart attack or kidney failure. Watch the bulletin for periodic good-health articles. ~Nancy Wheeler

HEAVENLY GRACE PRAYER GROUP: also called the Saturday Morning Men’s Prayer Group, meets at 7:30am every Saturday in the Shroud of Turin Room. Our group was formed in response to a request from the Blessed Virgin Mary through Carolyn Kwiecinski. The messages that have been received through her are all available at www.HeavenlyGrace.org. We encourage everyone to visit this website and read or listen to the audio recordings of these amazing messages, which have in many cases been “life changing” for those who have decided to live them. We typically have a period of fellowship, followed by prayer of the Rosary, which includes the offering of personal intentions before we pray. This allows us to learn about each other and carry those intentions out of the prayer group and into our daily lives. And finally, we listen to a recording of one of the purported messages from the Blessed Mother. Following the prayer group, most of us also stay for the holy sacrifice of Mass at 9:00am. Carolyn also shares her annual message from the Blessed Mother, and sometimes it is Jesus Himself, each year on October 24th at Holy Spirit Church. ~Todd Borek, borektodd@gmail.com

HOMEBOUND MINISTRY: Members are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and take Holy Communion to parishioners who are homebound due to illness, age, etc. at mutually convenient days/times and help them stay connected to Parish activities by bringing them the bulletin, Parish calendar and other information about Parish events. They also provide prayer cards/booklets and request their prayers for the intentions of the Parish, School, and our world. If confession or anointing is requested, Fr. John is informed. Each ministry member spends 2-3 hours per week depending on the number of visits. ~Marie Schlepers, 810-923-3179

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS: The Holy Spirit Knights of Columbus Council 7891 supports clergy, seminarians, Holy Spirit parish and school, and other charities. Members attend monthly meetings and volunteer for fundraisers. General membership meetings are on the 1st Wednesday of every month, and officers meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Activities include Parish Pancake Breakfasts (6 per year), Blood Drives, Christmas Wreath Sale, Intellectually Disabled Tootsie Roll Drive, Heavenly Cruz Car Show and other Parish events. If you are 18 years old and want to support Holy Spirit Church and KofC Charitable works please join us. ~Wayne Clinger, Grand Knight wayneclinger@gmail.com

K OF C BLOOD DRIVE: Since 2012 the Knights have hosted and organized an American Red Cross blood drive 4 times per year on a Saturday. Volunteers set-up, check donors in, serve refreshments after they donate, and register anyone wishing to donate at the next drive. The goal is to collect 60 pints of blood and they almost always make that goal. The next drive is scheduled for January 19, 2019. Donors can register online at www.redcrossblood.org. ~Al Rochowiak, 734-660-6015

K OF C HEAVENLY CRUZ CAR SHOW: Each year the Knights of Columbus has a classic car show held at our pavilion and fields to display vintage cars and provide awards for “best” cars in several categories. We raise over $2000 for charity with the proceeds going to Holy Spirit Catholic School and other charities. Lots of fun for all participants and this year we will have more family and kid friendly events. We always have a band that entertains, lots of food available to purchase, and raffles to add to the fun. We encourage everyone to help with the planning. We always have Knights and their families volunteer 6-8 hours on the day of the event to help with registration and check-in, food, entertainment, raffles, awards and clean up. Email us at heavenlycruz@council7891.org

LECTORS: Lectors serve God and Holy Spirit Parish by arriving early for Mass to say a prayer with Fr. John, and then reverently recite the opening announcements, prayers and assigned readings to the congregation during Mass. Schedules are made quarterly. On average a Lector will read 1-2 times per month at a Mass time of their preference. Training is provided and you will find the duty light and a wonderful blessing. ~Bill & Char Curtis, charbillc@live.com

MUSIC MINISTRY: This has been another wonderful year for the Music Ministry—hopefully always growing spiritually as well as in quality and inclusiveness. I’ll make this report as short as possible and to the point, so that I can bring across our main objectives that have been accomplished, and to let you all know the direction we are headed in, as the Holy Spirit guides us and we attempt to listen and follow through with his plans–which hopefully are ours, too….

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: One MAJOR goal that was realized this year was the introduction of the Holy Spirit Worship Supplement. This binder is meant to replace the features that are missing in the Journeysongs hymn book that were found in the Adoremus, Gather and Today’s Missal books. Many long hours of prayer, input, planning and executing our plans went into the creation of this binder—everyone on the Music Committee (and other volunteers) helped to make this task as streamlined as possible. Our desire was to make the supplement user-friendly and “intuitive” so that everyone would feel comfortable with it and would welcome this addition to our worship—It is in a binder so that it can be a growing to continually include new songs and prayers.

  1. Another goal that was reached was that of selecting a hymnbook that would replace Today’s Missal, Gather and Adoremus. This was a difficult task as there are many beloved features in all three of these publications. The committee looked at several hymn books on the market and tried to find something that would meet our needs. We chose Journeysongs because it contains readings for cycles A, B, and C and it includes songs from both Adoremus, Gather, new tunes from Today’s Missal, and others that have been newly introduced by the Contemporary Choir and through Worship Aids throughout the last couple of years.

  2. This year, we also had a successful benefit concert (the first annual one!) for the Saint Vincent de Paul ministry. We have continued the Children’s Choir, Contemporary Choir, Full Choir and the Men’s Chorus–also, the dedicated ministry of the cantors has continued. The children have contributed to our Masses with instruments, also, with practices each week after school.

  3. Before Lent, a worship committee (for the second year) has met to coordinate all of the ministries involved in the Lenten and Holy Week Masses. This has been a great help in helping everything to run in an orderly fashion as we attempt to create an environment of reverence as we worship.

FUTURE GOALS: When I was hired, I made a commitment to include more young people, or at least reach out to them in the choices of music and in the types of opportunities we offer.  This is an ongoing process–I am always open to suggestions from parishioners on how to make this objective a more dynamic aspect of the Music Ministry.

We always want the music ministry to adapt to the needs of our changing community.  It is our desire that our ministry retains its mission to primarily lead our Masses and Holy Day celebrations in a way that honors the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist–always striving to draw the worshipper’s whole being to the wonder of God’s love for us in giving his Son as a ransom for us and sending his Holy Spirit to guide us in our Christian walk.  Giving God the praise he deserves and thanking him for all of the blessings we enjoy.

–Philippians 3:13, 14: Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

God bless you, Holy Spirit Church, as we look forward to new opportunities in 2019!

~Leo Lemery, Director of Liturgical Music

PARISH OFFICE: Andrea is full-time with her main responsibility being bulletin editor, media coordinator and secretary, and Marie continues working two days a week. Together, we share the secretarial duties which includes greeting visitors, maintaining parishioner records and registering new parishioners, assisting parishioners and public with Mass intention requests, recording and updating sacramental records, ordering office, liturgical and fellowship supplies, taking monthly staff meeting minutes, contacting various ministries for funeral services, preparing weekly intercessions and announcements for Masses, managing the Parish calendar of events and printing the monthly calendar, posting weekly contributions, collecting, counting and depositing miscellaneous cash at the end of the month, assist in the bookstore and business manager as needed along with other miscellaneous tasks that come up. We also have two wonderful parishioner volunteers who help us each week. Brenda Johnson and Ewa Kucharski do filing, stuff bulletins, update the sign in the driveway and special projects as needed. Both bring their own unique personalities to the office on Thursdays and Fridays, and we are blessed to have them! Please feel free to stop by or call 810-231-9199 x200 if you have any questions or concerns. If you happen to get our voicemail, please be assured that messages will be responded to in a timely manner. We are both very happy to serve the parishioners of Holy Spirit Church in any way that we can. ~Marie Lelko, parishoffice@holyspiritrcs.org, ~Andrea McGrath, amcgrath@holyspiritrcs.org

PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL: Fosters full participation of all members of the Parish community in the life and mission of the Parish, helps steward the Parish community’s time, talents, and treasure, facilitates the spiritual and material well-being of the Parish community, and provides counsel and advice to the Pastor in support of the Parish mission. Activities include the St. Joseph Table Pasta Dinner (annual event in March welcoming new parishioners), Parish Picnic (held the second Sunday in September), and the Advent by Candlelight Tea (held the first weekend of Advent). Members must be registered member of the Parish for at least 2 years, 18 years old, received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and be a practicing Catholic. Meetings are held monthly on the second Thursday at 7pm. Visitors are welcome to attend. ~Sheila Love, President, ppc@holyspiritrcs.org

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY: Gathering on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month from 1-3pm, this group comes armed with needles and crochet hooks ready to work on a project: Prayer Shawls and Lap Robes for those who are sick and have asked the parish to pray for them and for those who are in need of a hug due to a rough time they are having. They also make baby blankets to be given out to newly baptized babies in our parish, and knit & crochet sweaters which are sent to “Knit for Kids” (World Vision). The ministry has grown to include making mats for the homeless to sleep on out of plastic grocery bags, which are then donated to the in Flint Outreach. They also make rosaries which go to various missions in Africa. Perhaps you haven’t knitted or crocheted in years but would like to renew your interest in the craft…Join us! ~Ginny LeRoy

PRAYERLINE: A team of two dozen faithful who are contacted when someone is in need of prayer. Only one phone call is needed to the coordinator (248-397-8881) who in turn calls the top tier of the ‘phone tree’, after which all members are called. Members then include the intentions in their daily prayers. When someone calls the Parish Office, the person is placed on the Sick List in the bulletin, the Prayerline is called and Fr. John is notified. Names remain on the Sick List for 4 weeks unless continuing prayers are requested. Optionally, information can be given so that a get well or encouragement card can be sent from the Divine Mercy Cenacle group. The power of prayer can work miracles! ~Joanne Bettis, 248-397-8881

RESPECT LIFE: The focus of this ministry is to increase awareness of the value of Life – both at the beginning and the end of life.  There are many events and activities existing that can be offered to our church family. Watch bulletin for updates or contact Joan for more information. ~Joan Hutchison, 810-923-3660

SACRISTANS: Our volunteer sacristans can easily be referred to as ‘God’s Housekeepers’ and do much work that is often unnoticed. We have a team of people with various jobs and responsibilities including showing up and preparing the sanctuary for each Mass, funeral and liturgy, cleaning up afterward and changing the vestments for specific seasons and liturgies. We also clean the altar, sanctuary and back of the church candle area and Confessional/Shroud/Family Room on Mondays and take inventory and order supplies. The women from the St. Joseph Guild clean the rest of the church on Wednesdays, and Char Curtis takes care of Fr. John’s vestments and Jill Marquette takes care of the altar server’s cassocks and surpluses. If you would like to get involved in this ministry please contact Cathy Wylie or the Parish office at 810-231-9199 x200. ~Cathy Wylie

ST. MONICA PRAYER GROUP: meets on the third Monday every month. Monica was a mother who prayed unceasingly for her son, St. Augustine, who had left the church and was leading a very evil lifestyle. St. Monica prayed for his salvation and return to the Catholic Faith for over 30 years. In God’s Time, her son struggled his way back to the church. Through his writings, Augustine was proclaimed to be one of the early Doctors of the Church and achieved Sainthood! Everyone has someone who needs prayer. We pray for divine grace to bring our loved ones back to the safe haven of God’s all-embracing love and we pray for each other. God has blessed us with some of the group experiencing a few glimpses of light. Come join us! ~Joan Hutchison, 810-923-3660

STS. SIMON AND JUDE MINISTRY: Formed on their feastday, we invoke their assistance in the work we try to do on behalf of people who hurt in a special way. I participated in extensive training on the subject of deliverance at the Institute at Mundelien, which is the seminary for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Many have suffered some kind of traumatic abuse in our childhood, a mother/father wound, bullying, painful memories which continue to plague us in our adulthood in addition to spiritual temptations, and even genuine oppressions from the Evil One which can include addictions to things like drugs, or pornography. We hold healing services after the first Tuesday Mass each month where we administer the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and include those who suffer in mind or spirit. Our group meets on the third Wednesday of the month and study, discuss, pray, host guest speakers and actually have practiced using the methods of the deliverance ministry on some individuals who have a great spiritual need. Jesus wants to heal us. He wants us to have an abundant life, lived in freedom. Needless to say, participation in this kind of ministry would be a special calling. For myself, I have called it “a call within a call” but for others, maybe it is simply a movement of the spirit, or a true compassion for others who hurt. Obviously this ministry is not for everyone. We do see some disturbing things. It can be a cross. But please do keep us in your prayers. ~Fr. John, frjohnrocus@holyspiritrcs.org

SCHOOL: It is a very exciting and blessed time at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic School! We are currently 79 students strong! In August we completed the process of acquiring the required State of Michigan license to offer families a dedicated preschool class option and licensed after school care services. Nine of our students comprise the new preschool class. They are a blessing to our community and we are so happy to be able to provide this service to our families.

Our seventh and eighth grade students were invited to join St. Mary’s in Pinckney for a NET Ministries Retreat this November. It was a spiritually engaging and uplifting evening for many, and students returned filled with the Spirit! May God’s graces continue to rain down upon our youth!

Deacon Jerry has recently visited the classrooms inducting students into the Brown Scapular Society. Each newly inducted child received a new scapular and small pamphlet with the prayers of the scapular.

Our teachers, Mrs. McGirt (kindergarten), Mrs. Ceresa (first and second), and Ms. Wilson (fifth through eighth reading, writing, and religion), attended a week-long conference in Chicago this past summer learning about The Responsive Classroom. The premise of The Responsive Classroom is building relationships within the community of the classroom and school. This method of classroom and school behavior management marries well with virtue education and living our faith through our interactions with others. We hope to send Ms. Hager (third and fourth) and Mrs. Warzecha (fifth through eighth math, science, and social studies) to the training next summer.

Mrs. Warzecha delivered beautiful twin babies this fall and has been enjoying being a new mom. Recently she brought baby Lilly and baby Sam for a visit at the school. Students and fellow teachers were very happy to see all three! She will be returning to her teaching position upon our return from Christmas break in January. During her absence Mrs. Dewan graciously stepped up to teach our students. We are so appreciative and blessed to have had Mrs. Dewan during this time.

We began raising funds for a new playground in February of this year. We currently have over $38,000 in dedicated funds and are in the final stages of choosing equipment, placement on the parish grounds, and installation options. Each step and decision has required the school to present proposals to various boards including the School Advisory Board, the parish leadership team, Finance Council, and Parish Council. Once these entities are in agreement our next step will be to send our full proposal to the Diocese of Lansing for approval. Then we can place our equipment order! There are a plethora of scientific studies that show very strong correlations between physical activity and increased ability to attend to school work and maintain focus. We are almost there and are excited to be able to improve the play area for our students and enrich their school experience impacting students’ physical and academic wellbeing!

Please continue to keep Holy Spirit School students and staff in your prayers. Yours in Christ, ~Mrs. Christine Blandino, cblandino@holyspiritrcs.org

SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DEPAUL: A Catholic lay organization inspired by Gospel values, which leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Frederic Ozanam, and patron, Vincent dePaul. Members of the Holy Spirit Conference respond to requests for assistance from those in need in southern Livingston County by meeting with them and discussing their problems. We often provide monetary assistance to help with needs such as shelter, utilities, food, or transportation and help the callers with referrals to other agencies to obtain additional needed assistance. Members typically respond to more than 500 phone calls annually, visiting about 350 households, and helping more than 1,200 individuals. During home visits we always offer to pray with them before we leave and are rarely denied. The conference coordinates the Giving Tree at Christmas and Lenten Food Drive, as well as collecting household items that can be sold at the SVdP Thrift Store in Lansing. Members meet twice per month: on the evening of the 2nd Wednesday of the month and after the 9:00am Mass on the 4th Sunday of the month. Prayer and spiritual reflection are always included. Every week two members monitor calls for assistance, visit the callers and coordinate the assistance they receive. The time required depends on the number of calls. No special training is needed to join the Society; initial and continuing formation is conducted while assisting all members to grow spiritually. No fingerprinting or background check is required, however, the Michigan Department of Corrections Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) is checked for each new member. New members are always needed and welcome! ~Dave Rais, President, svdp@holyspiritbrighton.org

USHERS: The Usher ministry is one of the first ministries you see when you attend Mass. Ushers are the welcoming ministry, and are the first persons to greet you and be of service to all. All visitors and parishioners should feel welcomed and comfortable at our Parish. Ushers should have a kind word and smile to give all. Ushers should be of service whether it be taking up the collection, guiding all to communion, showing visitors where the bathrooms are, or aiding the handicap or sick. The schedule consists of 2-4 teams depending what Mass you attend. One team per Mass is scheduled per month, and then they are rotated to a different month. We have some who usher every month because we are lacking persons to join our ministry. Holy Days are on a volunteer basis. I am taking this opportunity to ask for more persons to sign up for our ministry. Please contact, Yvonne Hospodor 734- 878-3797 or ymh@chartermi.net. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! ~Yvonne Hospodor

WOMEN’S GUILD: “… to spur one another to greater virtue, deeper prayer, and generous service to the parish and wider community” (By-laws). Activities include preparing funeral lunches, making sleeping mats for the homeless, prayer shawls for the sick and baby blankets for baptisms. We also have a deceased member’s Mass in November, along with a December and June member party. Our fundraisers include bake and craft sales, October pasty making and sales, and a Spring Luncheon. All women of the Parish are automatically members and are welcome to come to activities! ~Caroline Gabel, President, carolinegabel@yahoo.com

YOUTH GROUP: There are two groups for teens at Holy Spirit – A Middle School group for grades 6-8 that meets two Fridays per month, and a High School group for grades 9-12 that meets every Friday evening. Our meetings are opportunities for having fun and getting to know each other while working on our relationships with Jesus. There is time for prayer, discussion of current topics, sharing ways to make Jesus part of our daily lives, some type of fun activity, and snacks…you gotta have food! There are also a variety of additional activities to experience such as: movie nights, service projects, discussions, field trips, speakers, retreats, praise and worship Holy Hours, game nights, Cedar Pointe trip, and the March for Life pilgrimage. It is great to be with other teens with similar interests, challenges, and struggles as we can be a great support and inspiration to one another. All teens are encouraged to join us for a meeting or an activity as your schedule allows. ~Mrs. Mary Dewan, mcdewan@holyspiritrcs.org