Brothers, Father Thumma is scheduled to in Romeo again over the first weekend in July.  This will be his second time visiting our parish.  Father Thumma established and runs the Ave Maria Home in Thallacheruvn, India. He feeds the elderly of this village and every dollar goes directly to buying food.  He also runs a school.

This is how he explained it to me via Facebook Messenger:

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There’s a very nice video to shows the facility and the faces of the people Father supports with his ministry.  You can watch it here:

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What did you think of the soundtrack?  I thought it was fantastic.  Then again, I’m a big George Harrison fan. He was a master of blending Indian influences into his music.

Some more images I “borrowed” from his Facebook account.

You might be asking yourself, “where is Thallacheruvn?”  Fair question, I asked the very same thing.  So, a little Googling (if that’s even a word) brings us here:

(click on the images and you can navigate around)

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You can follow the Good Father on Facebook by going here:

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But wait, there’s more.  In addition to being a Priest, Fr Thumma is also a gifted musician.

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Good morning.  Have you taken advantage of the subscription to Formed.org that St Clement has provided for you?  Well, you REALLY should.  I finished this program on the historical and New Testament origins of the Eucharist last night.  It was fascinating.  I went into the program thinking I had a pretty good handle on the topic.  Well, Dr Pitre showed me otherwise.  Even if you think you’ve got it all covered, I bet you’ll find this 10 part program enlightening.

The description of the series:

“”The Lamb of God,” “The Bread of Life,” “The Body and the Blood of Christ”… these are phrases we know from the Mass. But do we understand what they mean in the greater and deeper context of Scripture and Church teaching? Acclaimed author and teacher Dr. Brant Pitre rigorously digs down to the biblical roots of the Eucharist, through its foreshadowing in the miraculous events of the Old Testament, the Gospels, and Apostolic teaching. We’ll discover firsthand how Christ’s Body and Blood are an integral and wondrous part of God’s plan for our salvation.”

Don’t know how to log into formed.org?  Contact me and I can help you.  Or, have a look in the bulletin.

The Knights are having our semi-annual Membership Drive this weekend.  Father Steve has allowed us a few minutes at the end of the Masses to talk about our organization.   It’s interesting to hear what the Brother’s speaking at the pulpit some up with.  Each has their own take on their personal “why.”  Why did you join the Knights?  What I’ve found is, why you join and why you participate are two very different things.

I joined because Tony Nardozzi asked me to join every week for several years.   God love Tony, he filled our Council with many brothers.  I joined and promptly did nothing.  It’s a common phenomenon.  I wasn’t assigned a to-do.  But, I  poked around for a long time like that.  Then one day, everything changed.

I had become friends with Steve Betka years earlier when he and I were teaching religious ed.  He sent out an email looking for someone to take over the spot of financial secretary.  Of course, my first response was, “LOL, ahhhhh, no!”  But I kept thinking about it.   I called Steve and we talked it over.   I prayed about it.  I finally said, “yes.”

It has been an unexpected journey.  I didn’t expect to make the friends I have made along the way.   I didn’t expect to have the feeling of contributing to something bigger than myself.  I didn’t expect to get the opportunity to help so many people.

Who knows, maybe you’ll have a similar experience and we can go on the adventure with us.   Want to know more?  Watch the video below.

Then go HERE for more info.

On March 1st, Sister Val let us know about a family struggling after their main breadwinner was sent to Mexico.  She reached out to the community for assistance.  The Knights contributed to a happy outcome in this situation.  It’s situations like this that make the effort worth it.  We are honored to help and thrilled this family is reunited.

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divine mercy

This weekend, Sunday, April 8th is Divine Mercy.  Divine Mercy Sunday is a very special Sunday when the Divine Floodgates from Heaven are wide-opened and Jesus offers us the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment to any soul, who goes to Confession and receives Him in Holy Communion, on that day.

I’m going to admit, I didn’t fully understand this “Divine Mercy” topic.  I just happened to notice an email the other day pointing a series on the Formed.org called “Divine Mercy, In the Second Greatest Story Ever Told.”  I knew I had some driving around today and managed to get 6 of the 10 episodes done.

Wow!  What an education.  I really had no idea.  This is a fascinating series well worth your time to study.  I’m going to watch the other 4 episodes tonight.  I’ll be the smartest kid in class.  I hope Father asks questions on Sunday!  🙂

Renowned speaker and author Fr. Michael Gaitley tells the dramatic history of God’s love and mercy as interwoven through the transformative message of St. Faustina, the miraculous appearance of Mary at Fatima, the witness of Maximilian Kolbe, and the world-changing papacy of Pope St. John Paul II. Featuring the brilliant cinematic artistry of the Augustine Institute’s film studio, the vast panorama of God’s work of mercy in the world unfolds as a story to be experienced.

Here’s a LINK to the series.  What a treasure!

 

retreat

We know all of you are really busy. We also know many of you have talked about finding a way to grow deeper in your faith and have a more meaningful prayer life. We think we may have just the thing.

Father Art Baranowski will be leading an Easter afternoon of prayer, reflection and discussion to help you find a way to draw closer to Jesus. He will show you a couple of spiritual exercises or “tools” you can use to help you find answers to questions like,

  • “What do I really want for my life?”
  • “What does God really think about me?”
  • “Does God have a plan for me personally and, if God does have a plan, how can I know?”
  • “Where can I find more peace and contentment in this crazy world I live in?”

Please come and spend just 2 hours to help you grow and deepen your faith in the Jesus who loves you. You are also encouraged to share this with your friends. They don’t need to be Catholic to attend; they just need to have a desire to grow in their faith and strengthen their prayer life.

Because we share differently, men and women will meet separately:

Women will meet on Saturday, April 7 at 2 p.m. in the Day Chapel
Men will meet on Sunday, April 8 at 2 p.m. in the Social Hall

Father Art Baranowski

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It’s amazing how much you can destroy with a sawzall, sledgehammer and a couple guys at first light.  Father Steve asked the Knights to help tear down a couple cabinets in the sacristy.   Out with the old (and I’m NOT talking about these fine gentlemen) and in with the new.  As luck would have it, Mark and Steve actually know what they’re doing.  Claudio and I are hanging around mostly for comic relief.  Father, well, he’s the foreman.

Pictured, left to right, Mark DePaola, Father Steve Reckker, Steve Betka, Claudio Selva and Joe Suminski.

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Men: Are You Ready to accept the Challenge?

Our communities need strong Catholic men to answer the call to lead with faith, protect our families, serve others and defend our values. For over one hundred years, Knights of Columbus have done exactly that, standing up for the Church, serving the least among us, and strengthening our parishes and families.  Eligible Catholic men can now join the Knights of Columbus online in a simple, streamlined process.

As a member, you join a worldwide community of nearly two million men, including more than 65,000 in Michigan, who stand together.  Men have a duty to lead, protect, serve and defend. The world needs more committed, unified Catholic men to answer the call. Will you answer?

Visit HERE to learn more about the many benefits of membership in the Knights
of Columbus. For information about Michigan State Council activities, click HERE,
and for K of C Supreme Council national and international activities, click HERE.

Have questions and want to talk to a real person?

@ St Clement, call Jim Smiszek, 586-752-2856 or Karrie Illner, 586-337-4225

@SS John and Paul call Joe Martino, 586-292-5021

Subscribe to our Newsletters – link here

I was at church this week on Monday.  We were having a First Degree.  I was there just helping get stuff set up.  We had a good turn-out and I didn’t stay until the end of the ceremony.    As I was leaving, about 7:15 pm or so, I saw the light on in the Sanctuary.  I then heard the prayers in unison from across the silent church.  As they do most nights, a group gathers in the evening and offers prayers.

Standing there, listening to them in a mostly dark church on a cold January day, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what praying sounds like to God.   We Knights send out many prayer requests for our members and their family’s.  We see requests from friends on Facebook that say “pray for me” or “keep me in your prayers.”  There’s something special about praying in community, everyone saying the same thing, at the same time.   Before our meetings, many of us gather and pray a Rosary together, in a community.

I have this great app on my iPhone, it’s called Divine Office.  It always starts out with the following introduction.

From ancient times, the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of hours.   In this way, the Church fulfills the Lords precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.

One of the many cool features is the “Now In Prayer” view.  It lights up the planet with people who are actively using the app (and therefore we can assume, praying.)

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I’d like to see this same view with all the people praying in any format, in a community, in their car, in bed before going to sleep, in the morning before getting up, etc.  I suspect the globe would be awash in light.

“We have no command to work and to pass the night in vigils and to fast constantly. However, we do have an obligation to ‘pray without ceasing.’” This quotation from Evagrius Ponticus (c. 345-399), is a good reflection of the belief of the early Christians about prayer. In the letters of St. Paul we frequently see the injunction to pray ceaselessly, as, for example in 1 Thessalonians 5:17(“Pray without ceasing”) and Romans 12:12 (“Be constant in prayer”), and Ephesians 6:18 (“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”). In the Gospels themselves, Jesus emphasizes persistent prayer, as in Luke 18 where Jesus taught the disciples a parable “to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” These passages of Scripture were taken very seriously by the early Church and much discussion was given to this idea and how it could be achieved.”  (Taken from Portsmouth Abbey website document here.)

Praying in community at St Clement of Rome on a cold January evening.

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You know, sometimes it really is the little things that bring the most joy.  Our crack Advocate Karrie Illner noticed our By-Laws were woefully out of date.  By-Laws need to be reviewed and voted on every ten years.  Karrie got Mike McKinnon involved to update and edit our last published By-Laws.  Yesterday, a big box of printed By-Laws showed up at the house.  They look nice.

One of the first pages is a current list of officers.  I’ve been gathering up all the picture albums in various cabinets in our Knights room at St Clement.  I’ve been scanning and posting them out here.  I figure it’s part of the history and having it available online is better than a photo album no one sees in a locked cabinet.  The reason I mention it is because last night, I picked up the “next” album.  It was from 1977.

Going through all those old pictures and letters of congratulations, it occurred to me, many of the original guys are still around.   Some of the guys have gone home and others are MIA.  I wonder what the officer’s list will look like in 10 years?  I wonder if anyone will notice the By-Laws actually need to be updated.

Someone make a note for fall for 2027.   I’ll bring these to the Knights room.  Please pick up a copy and review.

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I stopped by the church this morning and reloaded our Kiosk.  If you’ve not had an opportunity to stop by and check out our complimentary booklet series, please do.  There will be ALOT of folks at church over the next couple days.  Encourage them to have a look and take a book that appeals to them.  A little Christmas gift from the Knights of Columbus to you.

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CIS – BUILDING THE DOMESTIC CHURCH SERIES

Since 1948 CIS has been the major evangelical arm of the Knights of Columbus. Through multiple booklet series and various media formats, CIS makes our Catholic faith accessible and provides continuing tools for catechesis and spiritual formation. Knights of Columbus councils should use the complete library of CIS materials in their membership formation as well as promote them for parish continuing education, youth catechesis and spiritual study groups.

The Building the Domestic church series builds on this tradition and presents some of the most popular CIS resources aimed at helping us to live out the Church’s mission and vision for our families. Series topics include parenting, fatherhood and family prayer life, as well as two of St. John Paul II’s famous messages for the family – Letter to Families and The Family in the Modern World.

 

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