Worship News | October 2016 Worship News | December 2016

Advent: A Time of Waiting
f1yg4fu92pny8nwyjpgqnnic47vhr0ckI remember the day that Gerry died, as Mary held his hand.  Oh how she wept as she clung to his body in the hopes of somehow not losing the fifty seven years of married life they had lived and loved together.  The kids tried to console her, but it was of little use.  She just needed to cry until she couldn’t cry anymore.  The pain and the emptiness was deeper than I could ever imagine.
            She spent the next days and weeks longing for Gerry more than she had ever longed for anything ever before.  She so wanted him to come back that every creak of the floorboard and shadow around the corner made her heart leap in hope.
            I lost track of Mary, but bumped into her again about a year later.  She was still sad, but not as desperate as the last time I had seen her.  I inquired how she was doing and she told me about the day that made all the difference.
            She had gone to Church and she was sitting all alone in the pew staring at the crucifix above the tabernacle, she said.  When all at once it occurred to her that it was not Gerry for whom she longed, but God.  The God who she prayed would forgive Gerry’s sins; the God who would keep her in his grace, until the last day; the God who had gone to prepare a place for Gerry and for her and for all who loved others as he had loved them. 
            Her longing for Gerry was just a shadow of her deepest longing for God, her desire for love, and her desire to live in God and know peace with him forever.  Isn’t it true that we all ache for God, and we wait….since the day of our birth we have been waiting…
            As we wait this Advent may we look with love on all God’s children…the addicts, the single mothers, the soldiers, the elderly in nursing homes, the prisoners, the refugees…God has planted deep inside them that same longing for him…Share with them the smile of Christ who loves them and wants to offer them his peace and love…pray for them…invite and accompany them to the confessional to the Lord who forgives…and WAIT IN THE PATIENT HOPE OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE. (Unknown Author)


Synod 16
The excitement of Synod 16 is over but the work of putting flesh on the results of months and months of prayer, dialogue meetings, Encountering Christ experiences, hours spent in reading and thinking and7mu4o4hevmixbqlxfec98h10yululomj talking with friends and parishioners, etc. is just beginning. 
            On Friday, November 18th, over 400 people gathered at Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit.  This included bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity…those who were members of the Synod and others who came to serve the members.  At the appointed time all gathered in the ballroom for the official v2h8u5dvhrw70sexajg189euqz9woancopening of Synod 16 and then led by Archbishop Vigneron processed on the streets of Detroit to St. Aloysius Church for the celebration of the Eucharist.  At the beginning of the celebration each member made a solemn promise and came forward to place his/her hand on the Sacred Scripture to seal that promise.                                       
After Mass the true work of the Synod began.

Individuals
            Each member was assigned to a group with whom he/she would interact for the duration of the discussions.  Synod members r45bd93f2kqv5s5hjnfzly4sj6x3ieexbegan their discussions looking at themselves as individuals and the challenge of becoming holy.  They were challenged to uncover the ways that the Holy Spirit worked within them leading and urging them to make better choices.  Hopefully, this would help them as, in the future, they help others to uncover the hand of the Holy Spirit in their lives.


Families 

The discussion on families led the members to the process of prioritizing the direction the Archdiocese needs to take by considering two possible projects and as a group deciding which would be the best direction to choose. The projects surfaced from the feedback received at dialogue sessions. Forty six tables cast their votes. The results were:

56.5 percent (26 votes): Envision and develop a plan for ongoing human and spiritual formation for all stages of life (e.g., children, youth, adults, and seniors).

43.5 percent (20 votes): Envision and develop processes for sacramental preparation, and for marriage preparation in particular, modeled after practices and phases of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and focusing on conversion to a life of missionary discipleship, catechesis on the sacrament, small group dynamics, mentoring, and ongoing formation.

Parishes
The theme of parishes was divided into three sections: Parish Culture, Parish Functions and Parish Leadership. For each section, Synod members voted on one direction for the future. The results were:

Parish Culture
48.9 percent (22.5 votes): Build a culture of personal encounter with Jesus that permeates every aspect of parish life and that leads to a loving encounter of our neighbor.

Parish Functions (Pray, Invite, Connect, Mentor, Send)
26 percent (12 votes): Equip, empower, and support individuals and families in mission (e.g., evangelization, social and economic transformation, and spiritual and corporal works of mercy). 

Parish Leadership
39.2 percent (18 votes): Establish pastoral leadership teams as a normative practice, where team members develop shared responsibility and accountability both to the vision of the Archbishop and the mission of the parish. Extend the same team dynamics and practices to all parish and/or school staff.

Archdiocesan Central Services
For this theme the members discussed and voted for three propositions they felt were critical in forming a joyful, missionary presence in the Archdiocese. There was a clear first and second choice and a three-way tie for third place, as follows:

First: 76.1 percent (35 votes): Build a framework for mutual accountability between pastors, parishes, schools and Central Services. To build a foundation for this, heal wounded relationships, build trust and practice transparency.

Second: 35.9% (16.5 votes) Invest in people, processes and tools that ensure effective anticipatory and responsive communications to all those engaged or seeking engagement with the Church (internally, as well as with parishes, parishioners, and the public).

Third: 20.3% (13 votes)

  • Partner with Sacred Heart Major Seminary to develop practical ongoing formation opportunities for clergy, lay ecclesial ministers and lay faithful around key areas of missionary activity (e.g., homiletics, family culture, building teams, daily life evangelization and Catholic principles of social justice).
  • Build cultural competency among individuals, parishes, and archdiocesan leadership to acknowledge and break down barriers that divide us - including race, ethnicity, sex and socioeconomic status.
  • Actively support the re-envisioning of the mission, funding and governance of Catholic schools.

News from the Vatican
The Holy Door is Closed ... but Mercy continues
a7ljjo5unnpkvshbve8qb4vjt65a341sAs we come to the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, it is important to look to the future and ask:  How can we best continue the joy, fidelity and enthusiasm of the Jubilee Year.  Since December 8th 2015 thousands upon thousands of pilgrims from all over the Archdiocese made their way to Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, walked the path of doors and through the Holy Door.  How will that journey impact their future…our future?  Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et misera” reminds us that ‘mercy constitutes the very existence of the life of the Church.  Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love’.  Forgiveness signals a clean slate, a chance to start over again on the path to holiness.  That path will bring us to the celebration of the Eucharist every week, to the confessional frequently.  It will inspire us to read and reflect on the Word of God in the Scriptures.  Our Holy Father also continues some of the special privileges of the Holy Year as well and in closing his letter reminds us:  “The Holy Door is closed.  But the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open.  We have learned that God bends down to us so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters…..This is the time of Mercy...”  Read the full letter here.

Two New Auxiliaries

39exzkayp8mvxm1cb7ikpuxc020p0vndPope Francis has called Fr. Gerard Battersby and Fr. Robert Fisher to the fullness of the priesthood as the new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Detroit.  Their ordination is scheduled for January 25th 2017 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.  Please keep these two priests in prayer as they help guide the Archdiocese into the future

Young People Need to Know They are Welcome in the Church
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the new apostolic nuncio to the United States, addressed the U.S. bishops at their conference in November urging them to pay close attention to young Catholics to both learn from them and help them to deepen their faith.  He urged the bishops and the whole church “to go out to the youth and young adults, to listen to them, to be with them, and to help them discover God’s plan for them”.  It is incumbent for the Church to provide young people with the opportunities for a true Encounter with Christ.  It would be well to read Archbishop Pierre's full address.

Workshops 2017
Record Keeping Workshops for those who have the responsibility of maintaining Sacramental Records. All workshops are scheduled from 1:00 p..m. - 3:00 p.m.

 
February 15, 2017 St. Alfred Parish
24175 Baske, Taylor, MI 48180
February 23, 2017 St. Hugo of the Hills Parish
2215 Opdyke Road, Bloomfield HIlls, MI 48304
February 24, 2017 Sacred Heart Major Seminary
2701 Chicago Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48206

Admission is $5 and extra Reference Guides are available for $10 each.
To register, visit: aod.org/worship/events

Feel free to bring any questions, concerns or situations you would like addressed during the workshop.

RCIA Topics
RCIA Topics Scheduled for the New Year:

 
January 14, 2017 9 a.m. - Noon Topic #1: Overivew of the RCIA
January 14, 2017 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Topic #2: Pre-Catechumenate
January 21, 2017 9 a.m. - Noon Topic #3: Catechumenate A
January 21, 2017 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Topic #4: Catechumenate B
January 28, 2017 9 a.m. - Noon Topic #7: Presiding at Minor Rites
January 28, 2017 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Topic #5: Purification & Enlightenment
February 4, 2017 9 a.m. - Noon Topic #6: Mystagogia
February 4, 2017 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Topic #8: Parish as the Initiating Community
February 25, 2017 9 a.m. - Noon Topic #9: Canon Law for RCIA Teams


Q & A About Ashes

Since the release of the new Vatican document on regulations regarding cremation many questions have arisen.  The following are answers to questions submitted to the USCCB.


Q#1: The new document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) spells out regulations regarding cremation. Does it change anything in how the Catholic Church in this country has regulated this issue?
A.: No, the new document from the CDF doesn't change anything for us in this country. For example, we already have permission to have a funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains. What the Instruction does do, however, is reiterate the church's preference for the burial of the body in normal circumstances, and, when cremation is necessary, its insistence that the remains be properly interred.

Q#2: If the document says that traditional burial is preferred, does that mean cremation is wrong?
A: If the church saw cremation as "wrong," it wouldn't permit it! Sometimes cremation can truly be necessary. However, the ancient custom and the preference of the church is to bury the body, whenever possible.

Q#3: What should I do if I've already scattered the ashes?
A.: We can't change the past, of course, and if you truly didn't realize at that time that it shouldn't be done, then you shouldn't burden yourself with guilt. Remember that what happens to a person's body after death has no bearing on what happens when that person's soul meets the Lord on judgment day. However, you might wish to offer extra prayers for the person's happy repose.

Q#4: If I plan to donate my body to science, after which it will be cremated, is that OK? What if the laboratory disposes of these ashes?
A.: This would seem to be a valid reason for cremation. However, it would be important to make sure that arrangements are made for a funeral Mass, and that a trusted relative or friend is able to receive the remains and see to their proper burial.

Q#5: How do I convince my dad to let me bury my mother's ashes, which he now has at home?
A.: Only you would know the best way to approach a situation like that, and it would depend a lot on his reasons for keeping the remains and on his own personal faith. Perhaps making him aware of the church's preference would be enough to convince him? Or the assurance that his own earthly remains will one day be buried alongside those of his wife? Also, the Vatican's instruction itself articulates some compelling reasons: "The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect…" (n. 5).

Q#6: Entombment of ashes is expensive; is there any 'consecrated ground or consecrated place' where Catholics can place ashes for free?
A.: That would vary from place to place. There have been some Catholic dioceses and cemeteries that have even organized special opportunities for the interment of cremated remains for no cost at all, just as a way to encourage people who might have been keeping the remains without a good idea of what to do with them. You might wish to bring this question to the office of your local bishop -- the people who assist him might be able to help you find an appropriate place, particularly if the expense is an important factor. Please note in the Archdiocese of Detroit people can contact Archdiocesan Funeral Services at 1-888-516-9110 for information about the burial of cremated remains.


Q#7: "I am afraid I did something wrong. When my daughter died, I could not afford to bury her, but I had her cremated and her ashes will be buried with me. I also had some ashes put in crosses for her kids. I am distressed I did something very wrong."
A.: Clearly you did that with good intentions, and weren't aware of what the church wants us to do with the mortal remains of our loved ones, so you shouldn't burden yourself with guilt over this. Would it be possible now to find a cemetery plot where you can bury her remains, and make arrangements so that your own remains can someday go into the same location? If at all possible, the ashes in the crosses should also be buried or interred along with them.

Q#8: Many people die and are never buried properly. Perhaps they die at sea or in an explosion or whatever. Why is the Vatican worried about something like this when there are so many other problems in the world?
A.: This instruction isn't concerned with those kinds of situations. Burial at sea is necessary at times, as is cremation. The main purpose for this instruction is to help foster a healthy respect for the human body, even after death, especially in light of the move in recent years away from traditional burial in favor of more expedient and economical means. Where contemporary culture today may well question what difference it makes, the church is reminding us to recall that the human body is an integral part of the human person deserving of respect even after death. The earliest Christians buried the bodies of their dead, and this set them apart from many of their contemporaries. We bury our dead out of reverence for God our creator, and as a sign that we look forward to the resurrection on the last day.

Resources

Revised list of Eastern Catholic Churches in Detroit
Last month a list of Eastern Catholic Churches in Detroit was shared in Worship News.  Since that time I have become aware of some parishes that were not listed.  Attached is a REVISED LISTI hope that this will be helpful.


Three new resources from Bishop Barron
            1.  The Deeper Gospel….get one email per week with helpful insights on the Sunday Gospel from saints, popes, and Church Fathers
            2.   Daily Gospel Reflections…. 

            3.   Weekly Radio Podcast…

Ritual Editions of the Order for Celebrating Matrimony (OCM)


Five liturgical publishers have received permission to produce the ritual editions of the Order for Celebrating Matrimony:
  • Catholic Book Publishing Co. (CatholicBookPublishing.com, 877-228-2665)
    Hardcover ($27.95) and Bonded Leather ($34.95);
    both 7 ¼  x 10 ¼
  • Liturgical Press (LitPress.org, 800-858-5450)
    English-only Hardcover ($34.95) and Bilingual Hardcover ($44.95); both 7 ¼ x 10 ½
  • Magnificat (Magnificat.com, 970-416-6670)
    Semi-Leather ($39.95); 6 ½ x 9
  • USCCB Communications (store.USCCB.org, 800-235-8722)
    Hardcover ($39.95), 7 ¼ x 10 ½
  • Ave Maria Press (AveMariaPress.com, 800-282-1865, ext. 1)
    Box of Ritual Cards ($55.95) and Binder plus Ritual Cards, ($74.95); cards are 6 x9; binder plus cards are 7 ½ x 10
Texts are obligatory as of December 30, 2016, Feast of the Holy Family.
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I pray that God will wrap you in his loving arms this Christmas and fill you with peace and joy.

                                     
              Sr. Georgette

 

 
Parishes around the Archdiocese are offering workshops and other experiences for adults who are interested in growing their faith. These are advertised in Parish Mail. You may request to be placed on the list of those receiving this news at aod.org/parishmail

December
2016


Events

Vigil of Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 9
5:00 p.m. - Welcome, Rosary, Songs, and Festivities
7:00 p.m. - Mass
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Awaken Ministry
December 9
7:30 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.
Gaurdian Angels
Clawson

Holiday Celebration with the Detroit Children's Choir
December 11
4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Visit the worship events page

 

 


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