With the passing of Labor Day and the arrival of some cooler air, we know that we are headed into a new season. Many thanks to all who helped out with our Jazz Mass, offered in conjunction with the Labor Day weekend Detroit Jazz Festival – especially Julie Ford, our Director of Music and Liturgy, for making all the musical arrangements, and taking on herself alone the acquisition of a new piano for the parish; and Sue DiCosmo for marketing and publicity. And a huge thanks to those who have generously contributed toward the piano purchase!
The passage of Labor Day also signals a burst of activity in schools and parishes. Together with the global church, we join with Pope Francis in celebrating the “Season of Creation” this month. Thanks to our Green Team, we’ll have a unique prayer opportunity this Sunday, with a walking meditation at the Manresa Jesuit Retreat House labyrinth, during which we’ll pray together a litany for creation. Because prayer-labyrinths have become popular only in the last few years, many people don’t realize what a long-standing Catholic spiritual practice this is. Although it is not the most fancy one in the medieval cathedrals, the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral (France) has become the most common model in our contemporary period. Come and experience this unique prayer in the beautiful outdoor natural setting of Manresa… followed by a great community dinner out! On 9/26 we’ll have a special Rosary for creation after mass.
The Season culminates with our special Mass for Creation on Oct. 3. Both religious and civil leaders are stressing the urgent need for action to achieve environmental sustainability; Pope Francis just issued an unprecedented joint statement (read HERE) with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Ecumenical Patriarch of the eastern churches: “Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual commission requiring a response of commitment. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.”
Last week I sent out a brief survey inviting all parishioners to consider joining the Small Group Communities we’ll launch in the coming weeks, our principal parish offering for spiritual development this fall. At least four of the groups will take up the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the foundational spiritual experience for all Jesuit spirituality. If you have not yet completed the Small Groups interest survey, you can still do so (HERE). 15 young adults will begin our two-year Ignatian leadership development program with a retreat this weekend. Please pray for us as we begin the Contemplative Leaders in Action program, helping people develop a robust spirituality as the basis for their leadership and service in their careers, families, and communities.
Many other activities for your benefit are being offered by various Jesuit and other church groups; you’ll find details about them on our parish social media. They include a visit by the Jesuit Refugee Services at our October 10 Sunday liturgy, a local presentation by Sr. Simone Campbell (Network/Nuns on the Bus) on 9/21, an AOD Mass for Refugees on 9/22, and a special online series on the Jesuits and Native Americans beginning 9/30.