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From the Pastor

posted Mar 10, 2018, 8:42 AM by Kurt Weber   [ updated Mar 10, 2018, 8:43 AM ]

DEAR PARISHIONERS

 In today’s Gospel we experience Jesus healing a man born blind. It is God in Jesus Christ who gives us the eyes of faith to see more fully the mystery of divine love. St. Francis de Sales explains how God entices us to on-going conversion:


Only God can enlighten us and open our blind eyes. When God gives us faith, God enters us and incites our mind through inspirations. So pleasantly does God propose the mysteries of faith to us that, without doubt or opposition, we consent to them.


Faith, the best friend of our spirit, brings us to love the beauty of the truths of the mystery of God. When we are exposed to the rays of the noonday sun, we scarcely see its light before we quickly feel its heat. So it is with the light of faith. As soon as the light of faith casts its light on us, we feel the heat of heavenly love. Faith makes us know with certitude that God exists and that God is infinite goodness. When temptations against faith start raising questions, we have to answer with our heart, not reason. Reason admits its limitations. It tells us that while the mystery of God transcends our ability to reason, our faith in God is eminently reasonable. Like St. Augustine, let us affirm our faith by crying out, “Lord I do believe, but help me in my unbelief!”


Let us faithfully concentrate on nourishing God’s gift of on-going conversion with awe and confidence. Let us make God’s love effective in our lives by remaining steady and persevering in our good us not be afraid of Our Lord who wants to take full possession of our hearts. Rather, let us surrender ourselves lovingly into the hands of Our Savior desires and holy resolutions. Without forcing or doing any violence to us, Jesus draws us to Himself by bonds of love and gentleness so that we begin to do all things through holy love. Then let , who desires to do great things in us, if we let Him open our eyes.


(Adapted from the Writings ofSt. Francis de Sales.)

From the Pastor

posted Jan 24, 2018, 5:45 AM by Kurt Weber

DEAR PARISHIONERS, 

We once again prepare to commemorate the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion in the United States. There is no doubt this tragedy involves the complete disregard for the sacredness of life of a child in the womb. I believe that we, as Church, have a duty to defend the value of human life but that stance cannot only be invoked when we are dealing with life in the womb. To be the Church that advocates the value of life, we need to present a consistent message that advocates the innate value of every human life from the moment of conception until natural death and every other moment of life between. The real catch involved in advocating pro-life causes is that often we find groups at opposite ends of the spectrum that counter their own position by their selective decision as to what life really matters. When any of us in any particular position are unable to advocate for another pro-life event, we undermine the integrity of our own position. We can’t be solely anti-abortion, or solely anti- capital punishment or solely anti any particular life issue and feel as if we can call ourselves pro-life. What do we do to help woman in difficult pregnancies? What do we do to inform legislators of our concerns with legislative issues that dramatically impact the lives of the poor? What do we do to help an elderly or infirm neighbor as they cope with the struggles incumbent with the aging process? My point is that issues abound that carry with them the notation “Pro life”. Let all of us strive to really be pro-life on all issues and while we can’t do everything, we all can be consistent in our attitudes towards these various issues and select the situations where we can have a real impact.


God bless, ~Fr Tom

From the Pastor

posted Dec 2, 2017, 8:16 PM by Kurt Weber

Dear Catholic People of Adrian 


I have been told that confusion exists in the minds of some as to what the outcome of recent events means for the Catholic community. Deacon Len has already affirmed that the clustering of the two parishes is ongoing and will lead to their eventual merger. A merger does not mean that one or the other of the two sites will be closed but that we will be uniting ministries, rather than closing them. The reason for this is to effect better results and a more economic use of available funds for those programs.


Recent events have not totally stopped the path towards merger but have put the task on hold to regroup our efforts towards a peaceful resolution of issues that have emerged as we entered this process. What I do know is that the process is not dead in the water but will continue at a pace and according to the directives of the Bishop. Our resolve as the Catholic community of Adrian must be to enter into this process for the good of all and not hinder it by our opposition to something meant for the overall good of the community.


We enter into this Season of Advent which is a Season of Hope as we prepare for our annual celebration of Jesus' entrance into our lives. May this season be for all of us an opportunity to see the realization of


hope as we continue our journey into this process towards the merger of our two communities that profess one faith. So, for those concerned or confused, know that we intend to have two places of worship but will combine our efforts in many areas to more effectively witness to our faith. We have hit a speed bump on the trail that has slowed down our efforts but has not derailed them.


Have a happy Advent Season. ~Fr Tom

From the Pastor

posted Nov 27, 2017, 12:26 PM by Kurt Weber

As we gather this weekend as a country, we remember the origins of this feast. A pilgrim people from across the sea gathered with those who were native to this land to give thanks for their safe arrival and to peacefully gather with those already inhabitants of this land. We continue that tradition by giving thanks as well for the bounty of which we have received as residents of this wonderful land of opportunity. I am sure many of us gathered or will be gathering with others to give thanks. Let us not lose sight in our celebrations of the original Thanksgiving gathering and remember those among us who have less. We pray for those who are the new immigrants to our land as our forefathers and foremothers were to this land when they first arrived. We pray for those displaced from their homes for any number of reasons and we pray for those who spend this holiday alone and in pain. 


We have much to be thankful for. Let us grow in our appreciation of what God has done for us and, as Christians, let us continue to reach out to those in need. God bless 


Fr Tom

SALESIAN PERSPECTIVE

posted Oct 23, 2017, 6:32 PM by Kurt Weber

Today’s Gospel tells us to give to God what belongs to God and to give to the state what belongs to the state. St. Francis de Sales notes that in order to enjoy a just state we must obey those to whom God gives authority to govern. Yet he stresses more “what belongs to God” in light of “obedience of love”:


We have a natural desire to love God that tells us we belong to God. We are like deer marked with the initials of their owner who lets them free to roam in the forest. Yet, all know to whom the deer belong. We too are free, and our natural inclination to love God lets our friends and enemies know that we still belong to God, who desires us to be united through “obedience of love.” 


This obedience of love consecrates our heart to God’s love and service. Jesus is the model. Allowing God to shape and form us, we place all our desires in God’s hands. Such obedience has no need to be roused up by threats or rewards, by commandment or law. It goes ahead of all such things when it gives itself to God. It begins to do with love all that leads to the union of our heart with God. It undertakes this journey in simplicity.


Sometimes our Lord urges us to run with full speed in the tasks required of us. Then God makes us stop in mid career, when strongest in our course. While we must do everything to bring God’s work to a successful end, we must peacefully embrace the outcome. It is our part to plant and water carefully, but the increase belongs only to God.


Nonetheless, as a tender mother leads her little children, and helps and holds them up as long as she sees a need for it, so also our Savior carries us and holds our hand in unbearable hardships. Let us then enjoy a serenity of heart by embracing this obedience of love that unites us to God to whom we belong.


(Adapted from the works of St.Francis de Sales, esp. Treatise on the Love of God)

Salesian Perspective

posted Oct 14, 2017, 8:58 AM by Kurt Weber

The prophet Isaiah chose the imagery of a sumptuous banquet provided by the Lord as a way to offer hope to the Israelites during their period of exile in Babylon.


There will come a day when the God whom they look for to save them will come among them and bring them back to the holy mountain, Jerusalem. There he will provide a sumptuous feast for them. The veil that has separated them from him will be lifted and death will be destroyed. God himself will wipe their tears from their eyes and they will see him face to face.


Jesus uses the same banquet image in the Gospels when he speaks about the kingdom of God. All are invited to share in the banquet of the kingdom. Sadly some will choose not to attend, and a few will even abuse and kill those sent to invite them. Jesus came among us with the invitation to share in his Father’s banquet, and some in their foolishness put him to death. 


The Eucharist we share in today is the banquet of the Lord, and a sign of the eternal banquet to come. Jesus is the shepherd leading his flock to the holy mountain. He is also the host of the banquet, and most amazing of all, he is the Food we are given to eat at the banquet. His Body and Blood are certainly the richest of food and the choicest of wines.


Knowing the magnificent riches of this Eucharistic feast made it possible for St. Paul to learn to cope with the times of plenty and the times of little that he experiences on his earthly journey. The God who feeds him is the source of his strength to face anything that comes his way. God is also the basis for his gratitude for the gifts that the Philippians have sent him while he’s in prison. Paul reminds them, as Isaiah did long ago: God will supply their needs fully, in a way worthy of his magnificent riches in Jesus. Today’s readings give us more than a little food for thought: 

  • God is providing a banquet that will fulfill our needs, both here and hereafter. 
  • We must be wise and choose to share in the banquet he is providing. 
  • The banquet of Eucharist gives us the nourishment we will need to handle anything that comes our way in this life.
  • When God is the only source of our strength, then we will be generous in sharing all that we have. 


May Jesus, our shepherd, our host, and our banquet food, give us the courage to live each day with the strength he provides.

SALESIAN PERSPECTIVE

posted Oct 6, 2017, 10:27 PM by Kurt Weber

 The image of the vineyard is the focus of two of today's readings. In both cases, things in the vineyard happen not to turn out the way the owner had planned. It seems that the people responsible for caring for the vineyard haven't held up to the owner's expectation.


As we consider these two passages, Jesus wants us to understand that God is the owner of the vineyard of life. We are responsible for the upkeep of God's vineyard. We collaborate in God's ongoing plan of creation, redemption, inspiration and salvation. We are to harvest the grapes of life in ways that give life: through honesty, respect, purity and decency.


As we consider what Jesus presents to us, we realize that we don't always live up to God's expectation. We know the kind of vineyard that God wants us to cultivate. Too often we allow sin, fear and selfishness to prevent us from producing the kinds of fruit that gives life. Instead of grapes of life, we may find ourselves producing grapes of wrath: jealousy, envy and indifference, or worse, hatred, violence and injustice. As we look within ourselves and at the world around us, we can find ourselves at times discouraged and anxious. At these moments, we need to listen to St. Paul:

"Have no anxiety at all." Francis de Sales has told us why: 

“With the single exception of sin, anxiety is the greatest evil that can happen to a soul.” Francis then explains his observation. “Instead of removing the evil, anxiety increases it and involves the soul in great anguish and distress together with such loss of strength and courage that it imagines the evil to be incurable - all this is extremely dangerous.” ( Introduction, 4. 11) 


We need to be honest. We need to identify those areas of our lives - our thoughts, feelings, attitudes and actions - in which we experience difficulty in cultivating a harvest of peace, justice, reconciliation and love. But we need to do this without anxiety because anxiety both weakens our ability to turn away from sin and robs us of the courage we need to do what is right and good. After acknowledging the reality of sin and the shortcomings in our life, we need to dedicate more of our energies to living “according to what you have learned and accepted then, the God of peace will be with you.”


Let us strive each day to produce a harvest of love from the vineyard of life ...but avoid anxiety in the process.

Dear St. Joseph Parishioners

posted Oct 4, 2017, 3:13 PM by Kurt Weber

The clustering of the two parishes in Adrian has not gone without some bumps in the road. I invite the parishioners of St Joseph's to join me on either Saturday, October 7th after the 5:30 Mass or October 15th after the 9 AM Mass to have an open discussion as to where things are in regard to our clustering. The only agenda is to answer your questions and hopefully alleviate some of the tensions that have arisen in recent weeks. These are the only times I can do because of the present Mass schedule. I apologize for stating the choir had resigned. That is the misinformation supplied to the parish office and that information was forwarded to me.


God bless, ~Fr. Tom

DEAR PARISHIONERS

posted Sep 28, 2017, 10:49 AM by Kurt Weber

The Parish Pastoral Councils are both discussing ways that we can implement a program with an emphasis on evangelization. We will be looking at various parish programs we might be able to use to help all of us deepen our faith. In the discussion among the St Joseph’s Pastoral Council members it was expressed that we cannot evangelize anyone unless they feel welcome. I remained relatively quiet during this discussion and it was a St Joseph Council member who suggested that the introduction to Mass begin with a process in play at St Mary’s where people are encouraged to greet those around them. This is followed by a request that everyone place themselves in the presence of God and a quiet returns to the sanctuary for the beginning of the opening hymn. We will begin this process next weekend.


It was also suggested that people sign up for the ministry of greeter to welcome people as they enter the door of the church, as so many of our protestant brothers and sisters do. If you are interested in taking a turn as a minster of hospitality to greet people as they enter at weekend Masses please let me know. I am writing about this because I want you all to understand this was not an attempt on my part to make St Joseph’s into St. Mary’s. All these ideas came unsolicited from members of St Joseph’s Pastoral Council. You can verify this with them. More on the evangelization piece as we move forward in the near future.


God bless,


Fr. Tom

From the Pastor's Desk

posted Sep 1, 2017, 9:23 PM by Kurt Weber

Dear parishioners - 


Last year we had the second of three phases of the Diocesan Program named “Called By Name”. Three years ago the efforts were directed towards renewing the faith life of the parish community. Both Parish pastoral Councils are attempting to look at possible programs that we might consider for the two parishes of Adrian. Too often we find ourselves content with the status quo of our faith life and the programs we are considering are based upon small groups that gather on a regular basis to share faith with each other. Often this results in responses like, “I am too busy for such things” or “There is already too much on my schedule” or “I am happy where my faith life is right now”. Well faith is meant to be shared and the programs we are considering will afford us the opportunity to let our faith grow which is ultimately, what I think what God wants. If faith remains stagnant, it does no one, including ourselves, any good. Jesus called us to a communal faith that was meant to be shared to support and strengthen one another.


This second phase of this evangelical program was held last fall and its focus was the return of Catholics to the Faith. The diocese is sponsoring a five week program called “Catholics Come Home” from mid-December until mid- January. To accomplish this there will be TV ads and parish driven door to door campaigns. Ryan Hanning will provide nine two and a half hour trainings throughout the four regions of the diocese to resource and equip parish leaders for this tremendous task. Perhaps you have a relative or friend that no longer attends or practices the Catholic Faith. Is God calling you to be a part of this program to invite them home? 


Please consider being a part of this effort. The second largest denomination in the United States is Former Catholics. I am sure some of them are looking for an invitation to be a part of our communities. Information is available on the diocesan web site.


God bless, 

Fr. Tom

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