Pastor's Blog

Weekly bulletin articles will be placed here. For more information about our pastor click here.

May 22, 2017

posted May 22, 2017, 5:47 AM by Kurt Weber   [ updated May 22, 2017, 5:47 AM ]

Dear Parishioners, 

As we move forward in our anticipation of the clustering of the two Catholic parishes in Adrian, it was suggested that perhaps parishioners from here could join the parishioners of St Joseph’s at their weekly adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesday evening from 5:45 until 6:45. And hopefully they would be able to join us for our Eucharistic Adoration any time from 8:45 until 8PM. What better way to pray for the union of our two parishes in this impending cluster?

As you read this I am just returning from a week away on vacation in a hopefully sunny location. I will return refreshed and ready to face the challenges that lie ahead of us as we make this important transition. There really are positive consequences to this move that will enable us as a Catholic community to continue as a dynamic presence in the local community.

God bless, Fr. Tom

May 7, 2017

posted May 9, 2017, 4:56 AM by Kurt Weber

Dear Parishioners, 

Thank you are two words not spoken enough in our times so I do not want to stand accused of being ungrateful. We have much to be grateful for in St. Mary’s. The recent celebration of Easter stands as a testament to so many involved in making our celebrations of these important days so uplifting. The liturgies themselves went off without incident because of the capable and dedicated ministries of so many individuals in the variety of ministries necessary. Our environment committee worked so hard to assure the décor added to the solemnity of the events.

Last weekend we watched as our First Communicants edified us all by their reverent reception of the Eucharist. Certainly that reflects the hard work and dedication of our Faith Formation teachers from both parishes giving of their time but more importantly of their love to our children. To the parents who were supportive of the process and are examples of faith for the children, many thanks.

Our Rosary Altar Society worked very hard during the recent semi-annual rummage sale and earned money that they donate to the parish for some projects to support the parish. In recent years they paid to have the Christmas crèche restored and looking so beautiful. It is hard work, yet they do it for the parish.

Our recent decision to sign a contract for the church air conditioning did not come without a great deal of effort on the part of our Building and Grounds Committee responding to what you, the parish decided as your first priority in the poll taken by Father Shaun. Our initial disappointment at projected costs almost eliminated this as a possibility but, with hard work and effort a financially feasible alternative was discovered.

The Finance Committee did their part as well in giving us the guidance of their professional backgrounds to determine what we were able to do in light of our financial situation.

One group often overlooked is our shut-ins. I have never been at a parish where the prayerful and supportive presence of those confined to their homes has provided that extra umph needed to bring a project to completion. No one should consider themselves unimportant or uninvolved. There is a place for everyone.

How are you involved? 

What gifts and talents do you have that can enhance the life of our parish? Time is a precious commodity and yet all these people have the same limitations on time that you have. What can I do for the life of this community? No committee is off limits to anyone wishing to share of themselves. I guarantee the more you give of yourself to any project the more that will mean to you. If you are on the periphery, I invite you to come and see. It is easy to stand on the sides and criticize but involvement teaches how much is involved in any project. I cannot handle St. Mary’s by myself and that will become ever more clear when I assume responsibility for St. Joseph’s as well. Jesus said it best, “Come and see”.

God bless, Fr. Tom M.

April 30, 2017

posted May 9, 2017, 4:54 AM by Kurt Weber

Dear Parishioners, 

I am writing today to update you on some mundane aspects of the parish’s life. Specifically, I want to make you aware that we are in the process of continuing efforts to air-condition the church. Our initial bids, based on plans drawn up by an engineer, proved too costly of an adventure for us. In discussing this further with several local contractors we solicited bids for a system that would not be a Cadillac version but would certainly serve our purposes. This is in response to what you as a parish identified as your number one priority when your opinion was solicited during Father Shaun’s tenure.

We are going through the process of diocesan approval for a project that would cost us $88,000 for the actual ac unit and another $15,000 for accompanying electrical work. Once we get the OK from the appropriate diocesan offices we will sign the contract and our Building and Grounds Committee does not see this as a project that would require a lot of time to finish. With that said, you never know what circumstances happen so I am hopeful, with all approvals in the near future, that we will be able to begin this project relatively soon.

Thank you for your continued support. This brings me to another topic. There are many things that need attention concerning the upkeep of the facilities. You control that by your financial support. As of a few weeks ago, we were about $5,000 behind in our giving from the previous year. That often happens when there is a change in personnel, specifically the pastor. I hope my ten months with you have sated any concerns about what you were getting in this guy from Virginia. My point being that I hear your concerns about various items around the facility but we can only do what your financial support allows us. I never want anyone to go without their necessities but give some consideration in regard to your financial contributions to see if you are giving what you are able.

Many thanks, Fr. Tom

April 23, 2017

posted May 9, 2017, 4:53 AM by Kurt Weber

Dear Parishioners, 

By now you have heard that a decision has been made by the bishop concerning the parishes here in Adrian. Since a report issued by the diocese in 2008 the probability of the merger of the two Adrian parishes was made known. The time has come to begin this process. As of July 1 of this year, both parishes will continue to exist as separate entities and I will be pastor of both parishes.

We are presently working on getting an additional Oblate here in Adrian. Fr Mike will continue to live here in residence but he is not employed by the parish. His primary duties are in Oblate recruitment and working with Oblates currently in formation. In addition to this he is writing

his thesis in order to complete his doctorate. Because of these factors, he will continue to minister with us as his schedule allows. An additional Oblate would be a full time person serving both parishes.

Sister Rita, from the diocese, will join us on the evening of April 26 at 7PM at St Mary’s Church to explain the decision process and answer any questions you may have.

In the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. The clustering of parishes can test this article of faith. I pray we will be able to put aside any differences that may have existed between St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s over the years and become one cohesive Catholic presence in the community. I promise to work hard to make this next chapter of Catholic history in Adrian a positive one. I know I cannot do it alone. Please work with me and our parish staffs as we transition into a more united witness of our one faith in Christ. In the weeks ahead, let us pray for a grace-filled transition. 

Heavenly Father, 

We, the parishioners of St. Joseph's and St Mary’s, 

profess one faith, one Lord and one baptism. 

Bless us as we prepare to cluster our two parishes. 

Shepherd us beyond our wants and fears. 

Help us experience the love and union that our patrons, 

Mary and Joseph, experienced here on earth. 

Bless our parish priests and staff who are most affected by these changes. 

Make us one cohesive Catholic presence in our community. 

Please hear this prayer we offer for and with one another. 

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Blessings, Fr. Tom M.

From the Pastor's Desk

posted Mar 5, 2017, 10:23 AM by Kurt Weber   [ updated Mar 5, 2017, 10:23 AM ]

Dear Fellow Parishioners, 

Once again, we prepare to celebrate another Lenten Season. It affords us the opportunity to truly reflect in a serious way about our own personal relationship with Christ. The ashes we may receive are simply external signs that have meaning only when they are reflective of our internal disposition.

As we contemplate the true purpose of Lent, perhaps we might all examine our own conscience to identify an area that we might strive to improve. The decision is entirely ours to make and it should reflect a change in us that would enhance our relationship with God and with others.

The Season culminates with our celebration of the Triduum where we celebrate the gift of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, the Death of Jesus on the Cross and finally His Resurrection from the dead. His victory is our victory and to make it so we need to acknowledge what we would like to see die within us so that we can rise to the new life Jesus has won for us, not only in the next life but also in the present one.

Once we identify our way of rising with Jesus then we need to decide how to accomplish this and that is what Lent is all about. What prayer or action can I make for my own Lenten Journey that will make me a better person and a better follower of Christ?

Happy Lent 

Fr. Tom M.

From the Pastor's Desk

posted Jan 17, 2017, 8:49 PM by Kurt Weber

Dear Parishioners 

One of the more controversial issues of the last election cycle was immigration. Certainly there are definitely two perspectives on this topic and some would say that it is a political issue that does not belong in the spectrum of church. There is no doubt it is a political issue but one with very definite moral values attached to it and this is where it becomes an issue of the church as well.

There were hard words used to defend the various positions but we have an opportunity to view this issue from the liturgical season we have just celebrated. Jesus was born in one sense as an immigrant far from his native village because of the need to comply with a law to go to the family's place of origin for a Roman census. They were driven into Egypt, a foreign country, because of the fear of Herod and his desire to kill the child. In other words, the Holy Family were immigrants in their time.

The Pope and the Catholic bishops throughout the world, including our own country, have asked us to be compassionate in regard to the immigration crisis caused by the terrible presence of war and other atrocities. Are they asking us to admit terrorists? Are they asking us to take in violent criminals?

They are asking us to be humane, to be Christian in our perspective. Often times these issues are seen in the abstract. Think about the immigrant community that is part of St Mary's. I knew the circumstances of the immigrant community of Reston much better than the immigrant community here but I believe it is similar. I found them to be hard working members of the civic as well as the church community.

I never ask them their legal status because many people acknowledge the far different situation and expectations placed on immigrants to become legal today as opposed to the immigrant members of our families who came here long ago. It is a very costly and complicated process that puts it beyond the reach of many who would like to attain a legal presence here.

Recent Popes have addressed this issue and do not expect us to take in those with terrorist leanings or criminal backgrounds but they do ask us to do our part to effectively work for realistic immigrant legislation that would empower our government to open our shores to those with the intent of being positively assimilated into this country as our forefathers and mothers did when they arrived and to revamp the naturalization process to eliminate some of the prohibitive components.

The American bishops recently elected leadership for the next three years. The usual course of action is the sitting Vice President becomes the incoming President. The newly elected Vice President is Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, who is a Mexican-born American citizen. He will probably become the Bishops' Conference President right before our next Presidential election. It seems to me their choice of him is a public statement on this issue.

Please do not lump all members of a specific nationality, race or religion together because any known grouping of people have those who do not positively contribute to society and that includes your ethnic heritage and your religious family.

I ask that you pray for the prejudices you might harbor and ask God for help for yourself to be able to see the good in everyone - to truly see as he sees.

God bless Fr. Tom M. Mass

From the Pastor

posted Jan 5, 2017, 1:16 PM by Kurt Weber

Dear Friends, Acquaintances and Newcomers, Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. I pray this wonderful feast will be a time of love and peace for all of you and your families. It is such an exciting time of the year and perhaps we need our enthusiasm to be tickled by the enthusiasm of our children who are mesmerized by all that surrounds this feast.

To those I see frequently, know how much your supportive loved has helped me in my transition to Adrian. To those visiting from afar, thank you for including us in your visit home to relatives or friends.

To those from the area who do not know us well, please consider this an invitation to continue being a part of who we are - we are here every weekend and we would love seeing you more often.

To one and all, best wishes for the joy and happiness of this season for you and your family. 

God bless, Fr. Tom Murphy

Dear Parishioners of St. Mary’s

posted Oct 19, 2016, 3:02 PM by Kurt Weber   [ updated Oct 19, 2016, 3:02 PM ]

This coming weekend the diocese will be offering the second of three sessions of the program “Called by Name”. These sessions are a direct response from the Bishop’s pastoral on evangelization that was issued several years ago. The first session two years ago focused on the energizaion of the parish life. This year the focus will be on how we can reach out to non-practicing Catholics who have left the Catholic church for any number of reasons. Some have left for legitimate hurts caused by clergy or others representing the church. Most priests would not have the opportunity to encounter these people in a situation that would allow for some dialogue but you could, while sitting around the kitchen table or watching a TV show or even a telephone conversation. Don’t we all know someone in this situation who we could gently suggest the possibility of considering this and even accompanying them along this path?

For those who would want to pursue knowing more about this, consider joining us this coming weekend Friday from 9 AM until 8:30 PM and Saturday from 9 AM until 1 PM in Dimondale, MI. Just let me know if there is any interest on your part.

The last three Popes have called for us, the Church, to actively engage in the evangelization of the world in which we live. That challenge belongs to each of us and there are many out there that need to hear again, of the mercy and love of God which we as Church can provide for them. Could you try?

God bless 

Tom M

Salesian Perspective

posted Sep 25, 2016, 10:42 AM by Kurt Weber

 Today’s Scripture readings are a bold reminder to us: if we are women and men of faith, then we must be actively concerned about our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and less fortunate among us.

A landowner in ancient Israel was seen as God’s tenant and was expected to “pay rent” by giving alms to the poor. The rich man in today’s parable ignored the poor beggar Lazarus sitting at his own gate, so in the next life, he finds that he is in torment as Lazarus was in this life.

The dialogue between the rich man and Abraham is instructive. Abraham makes it very clear that our decisions about how we are going to live in this life affect the life-to-come. They influence how we will live in eternity.

Abraham also makes it clear that we have been given all the knowledge we need in order to enjoy eternal life with God. The Scriptures, and especially the teaching of Jesus and the celebration of Eucharist, indicate how we are to live a life that pleases God, our

creator. Pope Benedict wrote some powerful words in his Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist: “Our communities, when they celebrate the Eucharist, must become ever more conscious that the sacrifice of Christ is for all, and that the Eucharist thus compels all who believe in him to become ‘bread that is broken’ for others, and to work for the building of a more just and fraternal world.

Keeping in mind the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, we need to realize that Christ continues today to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged: ‘You yourselves, give them something to eat.’ (Mt. 14.16) Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world.”

As we take a look at the way we live and decide how we will live better in our world today, we may learn from God’s word today to be more care-full about our brothers and sisters. They are our God-given ticket to eternal union with him.

Rev. Michael S. Murray, OSFS, is the Executive Director of the De Sales Spirituality Center.

From the Pastor's Desk

posted Sep 20, 2016, 12:48 PM by Kurt Weber

Dear Parishioners 

Today we celebrate the vocation of catechist. Certainly it involves the very generous people who have come forward to share faith with our children as well as those associated with adult education forums such as RCIA. These people in particular have made a very clear commitment to this specific ministry that in essence belongs to all of us. While we pray in particular for those designated in a formal way for this ministry, let it serve as a reminder to all of us that we are expected to be catechists in the everyday example of our lives. The old song said “They will know we are Christians by our love”. How strong a catechetical teaching is a life lived in this manner. Let us pray for all of us so that we can assume this particular call of discipleship and make it happen in our own little spheres of influence.

In regard to the air conditioning of the church building. The Building and Grounds Committee has approved the proposal of the engineer and it will now go out for bidding. The anticipated cost of this project could run as high as $150,000. There is $90,000 in reserve our reserve for capital improvements. We will not know a final cost until such time as the bids are returned.

I have varied opinions about this project, and, if it was only a question of the weeks that we suffer from the heat that certainly I encountered when I came to Michigan, it would be one thing, but another important consideration would be the impact on the building. Extreme weather conditions, without adequate care, such as heating and cooling, can have a dramatic negative impact on the building and its structure. If you look carefully at the interior of our beautiful church, you will see artistic elements that would never again be able to be duplicated at least without excessive costs. Recently a project under consideration for our stained glass windows, brought an estimated value of the windows at over $1 million dollars. That is only one element in the church structure.

So I ask you to consider using your capital improvement envelopes in your monthly packet so that we are able to finance this proposed project that will certainly add coolness on those excessively hot days (which I would appreciate), but, in the long run, can help preserve the aesthetic beauty of the church.

Thanks for reading, 

Tom M

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