Entries by Michelle Guthrie

Father’s Letter: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Today we kick off Catholic Schools Week, a celebration and promotion of our Catholic schools here in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. I would like to reiterate my encouragement to all of you to consider the serious importance of forming the souls of our young according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of teaching them how to pray, how to defend the Faith and evangelize. Without this formation, our young ones become the next generation to once again fall away from the Faith as soon as they are presented with opposition from our culture – usually beginning in high school. The Diocese provides and promotes Catholic education in order to assist parents in preparing their children for a faithful, virtuous and holy life in this world and, most importantly eternal life in heaven.

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Father’s Letter: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Jesus gives a summary of all of His preaching in today’s Gospel in the simple command “Repent and believe in the Gospel!” This is truly all that is asked of us. But repentance does not just mean sorrow for sin – it means an entire change of life. Christ asks that we not only try to stop sinning, but that we develop a hatred for sin, for anything that keeps us away from Him. Further, it means moving past merely resisting temptation, to an intense desire for holiness. Our spiritual life is an adventure to grasp something positive, not just avoiding the negative. Repentance is the first step in a long, exciting journey in the footsteps of Christ. May we begin with that first step of hatred for sin if we are not yet there, and ask for the grace to desire holiness.

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Father’s Letter: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

The familiar phrase “behold the Lamb of God”, which is uttered by St. John the Baptist in today’s Gospel and is said by the priest at every Mass, has a long and rich backstory. It is mentioned in Mass because of the Sacrifice of Christ which is made present at the Mass – a sacrifice foreshadowed by the willingness of Abraham to offer his only son Isaac. When Abraham and Isaac proceed up Mount Moriah (the future Temple Mount in Jerusalem), Isaac asked where the victim of the sacrifice is, to which his father responds “God Himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice.” A millennium later, the moment finally arrives: John the Baptist, the great prophet who was to precede the Messiah, announces that the promise has finally been fulfilled and God has finally provided the Lamb for the perfect Sacrifice, so he announces: “Behold! The Lamb of God!”

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Father’s Letter: The Epiphany of the Lord

Dear Friends,

As the Christmas season comes to a close, I would like to thank everyone who helped make the church and the music so beautiful! Any attempt at a thorough thank you would fill the whole bulletin, but a special thanks to Deacon Mike for his constant help both in the liturgy and around the parish; to Martha Reid and all the musicians for their beautiful sacred music; to Sherry Gesmundo for coordinating the efforts of so many in making the church look so gorgeous; to Kathleen Foldenauer for the stunning altar frontal; and to Ryan Anthony for all of the time and labor he puts in during these winter months.

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Father’s Letter: The Holy Family of Jesus

Dear Friends,

In the Gospel this weekend, the Church places before us two great examples of patient, prayerful perseverance: Sts. Simeon and Anna.

Consider how long they had been waiting for the Messiah – they were both advanced in years and spent their lives praying and anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promise. Did they grumble or grow impatient or lash out at God? We don’t know. While it is likely that there were moments of doubt or confusion, we know one thing for sure: they persevered. What was the reward for their perseverance? They were among the first to see the Messiah, hidden in the small child presented in the Temple that wonderful day. May we never grow impatient or tired in prayer, for God will always reward a persevering heart.

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