Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

     I heard everything went well for the Matthew Gembrowski’s Candidacy ceremony and Bishop Gruss’s visit last weekend.  It’s quite an honor for our parish to celebrate.  We ask God to continue to guide Matt as he begins his theology studies at Mundelein Seminary.  May God bring to completion the good work he has begun in him.  Thanks for all who helped with the Mass, especially Fr. Matt and our seminarians and for all who prepared and provided for the reception after. Also thanks to Drew Derosier from making the grounds look so good.  We gave a good first impression to the Bishop.  You all did great.   

     I’m making my re-entry at a steady pace.  I had a wonderful sabbatical at St. Meinrad’s which is the home of a Benedictine Archabbey and a School of Theology.  I went there for college seminary from 1970 to 1974.  The Institute for Priests and Presbyterates is based there and they have a variety of programs for priests throughout the year.  Their Mini-sabbatical program featured different classes on scripture, spirituality, health, the arts and a few day trips.  It also provided plenty of time to rest, read and reflect.  It was a good experience which I believe will bear good fruit.  Thanks for your prayers during my time away and I apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.  I’m here for the duration now.

                                                                          Peace,

                                                                            Fr. Ron

 

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend in the Gospel we hear about the coming of the Lord. Sometimes I think we tend to forget that the Lord is always with us. He will not just appear one day and gone tomorrow. He is always with us, guiding us along the way.

 

We welcome Bishop Gruss to our Sunday mass as we celebrate the Rite of Candidacy for Matthew Gembrowski. This rite is one of the first public commitments that Matthew will make in his road to the priesthood. Please continue to keep Matthew in your prayers as he begins his studies next week at University of St. Mary of the Lake – Mundelein Seminary just outside of Chicago. Mundelein is one of the largest seminaries in the US (around 200 students) and has students from dioceses all over – from Alaska to New York. I am proud to have called Mundelein home for the six years that I spent there. Blessings upon you Matthew!

 

Recently, it has come to my attention that individuals have been taking it upon themselves in adjusting the thermostat in the Church. The thermostat has been programmed to automatically adjust when mass, the rosary, and other events are occurring in the Church. Please do not touch the thermostat unless Fr. Ron or I instruct you to do so. Thank you.

 

God bless,

Fr. Matt

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend in the Gospel we hear about greed. Greed is prevalent in our culture today but how do we overcome it? Are we like the rich man who stores his bountiful harvest not sharing with others in need? Or do we share our surplus with others or perhaps give a little more than our surplus whether it be time or money? Greed will never cease to exist within our lives but all of us can do our best in trying to eliminate it as much as possible.

 Next Sunday, August 11th, Bishop Gruss will be presiding at the 9:30AM Mass and we will be celebrating Matthew Gembrowski’s (our parish seminarian) Rite of Candidacy. This rite is one of the first public commitments that Matthew will make in his road to the priesthood. During this rite, the Church will recognize Matthew as being worthy of being ordained. Please continue to keep Matthew in prayer as he takes this next step in his journey to the priesthood and as he begins his theology studies at University of St. Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary just outside of Chicago.

 

God bless,

Fr. Matt

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We have a new Bishop! This past Friday, Bishop Robert Gruss was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw. This is an exciting time in our Diocese as we gain a new shepherd. Please continue to pray for Bishop Gruss as he gets settled in.

 

This weekend in the Gospel we hear one of the disciples ask Jesus how to pray. Do you ever ask yourself the same question? Our Church tradition has many devotional prayers such as the rosary, Our Father, Hail Mary etc. that many of us are familiar with however prayer can be as simple as having a conversation with God like you would with your best friend. We must always remember that God is always there for us, right beside us.

 

God bless,

Fr. Matt

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This upcoming Friday is a big event in our Diocese – the installation of Bishop Robert Gruss. Although the installation is a ticketed event, the event will be live streamed via the Diocesan website. On Thursday evening at 7 PM, you are welcome to attend Solemn Evening Prayer with Bishop Gruss at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Please continue to keep Bishop Gruss in prayer.

 

As I get acclimated here at St. John Paul II, I just want to thank everyone for the warm welcome. Please bear with me as I learn all of your names!

 

A special thank you to Fr. Bill Taylor and Fr. Steve Gavit who helped with masses this weekend.

 

God bless,

Fr. Matt

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend in the Gospel we hear one of the most important commandments to live by – “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Within our daily lives do we choose to do the same?

 As I get settled in here at St. John Paul II, I wanted to give a brief introduction of myself. I am the son of Larry and Marilyn Federico and have a younger brother, Ryan. I grew up at St. Stephen Parish (which is now St. Dominic’s) and am an alumnus of Nouvel Catholic Central High School. I have an undergraduate degree in accounting from SVSU and worked in the accounting industry for eight years prior to entering the seminary in the fall of 2013. I completed my seminary studies at Mundelein Seminary which is located just outside of Chicago.

 I am looking forward in to getting to know everyone at St. John Paul II and Christ the Good Shepherd. Besides being at both parishes, I will also be the chaplain at Nouvel High School. Please be sure to introduce yourself to me.

 Please keep Fr. Ron in your prayers while he is on sabbatical. Next weekend Fr. Bill Taylor will be celebrating mass with you as I will be at our linked parish, Christ the Good Shepherd.

 

God bless,
Fr. Matt

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

How can I serve you? I hope that will be my first and last question to you as I begin my service here at St. John Paul II Parish.I know you will be asking the same question of me.We are servants and disciples of the Lord and have been given the gifts needed for our parish to thrive and flourish by our loving God. I am grateful to build upon the foundation that so many others have laid before me.In particular, I am grateful for the ministry of Sr. Chris Gretka and Fr. Jim Bessert.I wish them God’s blessings in their new assignments.

      We are privileged to have Fr. Matt Federico as our Parochial Vicar.  He brings a desire to serve and a strong love of God to our parish as well.  He is very gifted and we have a lot to look forward to from his ministry.  We both need your prayers and we both will need your gift of patience as we learn your names and your stories.  Our main goal is to listen, listen and listen.

 

     I entitle my column, “Of Mind and Heart” because I hope to reveal what’s on my mind and in my heart.  I will use it as well to keep you up to date on things and share observations.

 

     This is kind of a different way for me to come into a parish this weekend.  I’m saying “Hello”, then saying, “See you later”.  I begin a “Mini-Sabbatical” on Monday at St. Meinrad Seminary’s Institute for Priests and Presbyterates in southern Indiana.  It’s entitled “Stoking the Fire” to help priests rest, reflect, and reinvigorate their spiritual life, update and expand their theological intellect, and renew their fire for pastoral ministry.  It’s goes from July 8th to August 3rd.   I put in for this Mini-Sabbatical last fall, long before I knew I would become your pastor.  I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.  Meanwhile, the weekend masses will be celebrated by Fr. Matt, Fr. Bill Taylor and Fr. Steve Blaxton.  I’ll see you when I get back. God bless.

 

                                        Peace,

                                           Fr. Ron