Pope Francis recently declared July 25th the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. We will include an Intercession and blessing prayer for them at this Sunday’s liturgy; if your own grandparents are still living, you are encouraged to extend some extra TLC to them! Unfortunately, this announcement reached us only days ago, too late to plan any special celebration this year. But you can read Pope Francis’s letter to Grandparents, along with a Prayer Card for their use. July 25 also begins National Natural Family Planning Week; learn about upcoming local NFP programs HERE.
GET READY FOR OUR 175th ANNIVERSARY!
July 31 is the feast day of the founder of our Jesuit order, St. Ignatius of Loyola; Detroit area Jesuits will gather on that day at Gesu Church as they kick off the parish’s 100th Anniversary year. Next year that date will fall on a Sunday and will conclude the current “Ignatian Year” marking the 500th anniversary of his conversion – and the start of our own parish’s 175th Anniversary year! For the Ignatian Year, Bp. Robert Barron of Word on Fire has just released one of his beautifully produced full-length videos, a documentary on St. Ignatius that you can VIEW HERE. (Check out other great resources from the national Jesuit office, ignatius500.global, and ignatianspirituality.com.)
July 30 is the feast day of Detroit’s own Blessed Solanus Casey, OFM, who did so much practical work during the Great Depression of the 1930’s to support the poor; and at the same time was a man of holiness who brought healings and other miracles through prayer into the lives of countless people. Both of these great souls – one from “long ago and far away,” and the other from our own backyard not so long ago, remind us that God is always present in our world through people who entrust their lives to his care and become channels of his grace for others. We all have the potential to be like that! Blessed Solanus teaches us to “thank God ahead of time” for all the miracles and gifts God wants to give us; St. Ignatius helps us to “find God in all things” so that we can live always in his consolation.
At our July 18 liturgy, Jenéne Francis, the representative of our Jesuit Provincial Superior in Chicago, gave a brief presentation about the Parish Examen – an Ignatian spiritual process of review and reflection being undertaken by all the Jesuit parishes in our Midwest region. Our Parish Council, staff and Parish Support Team have recently completed their part, and soon the entire parish will participate. The results will then be formally confirmed by the Provincial Superior, Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ, and will set the “calls and commitments” (direction and goals) for our parish for the next several years.
Parishioner engagement in this process is essential! You may recall that we had begun our own planning process, with a parish-wide survey, town halls, and focus groups, in late 2019-early 2020. Of course the pandemic disrupted that effort, but we have incorporated all that input into this current Examen process. But now it is time to weigh in again as parishioners. Sometime after Labor Day, you will be asked to provide your own spiritual reflection on the priorities, “calls and commitments” that the parish leadership has distilled from your 2019-2020 input.
As an added benefit, Jenéne worked hard behind the scenes with Archdiocesan officials to ensure that the Examen and our own parish planning efforts will satisfy the strategic planning requirements that the Archdiocese sets for all Families of Parishes.