Pastor’s Pen – March 3, 2023
My article this week presents four invitations, each of which is worthy of your attention! Persevere in reading to the end!
- Lent and Mardi Gras
- A visit from our Jesuit regional Superior, Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ
- Our Intercessory Prayer Ministry
- Proposals affecting the future of our parish commitment to social justice and service
Lent and Mardi Gras. Be sure to check out the sections of this eNews that provide you with offerings for your spiritual growth this Lenten season, including the two 90-second videos I’ll be offering each week on the foundations of our spirituality as followers of Jesus, as summed up in the call of Jesus to “Change your life and actions, and believe in the Good News!” (Mark 1:15) Many thanks to those who helped usher in the Lenten season with our parish Mardi Gras party. Those who planned for the food and venue gave us a great service, and those who performed in the talent show gave us great gifts! I had great fun and hope you did too!
Jesuit Provincial Superior Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ (former President of UD Jesuit High) will preside with me and preach at our mass this Sunday, March 5, as part of his annual formal visitation of the Detroit area. He oversees all the Jesuits and their ministries in the Great Lakes/Midwest region of the country, from Ohio to the Dakotas. We have not had a Provincial visit our parish since 2012, when the very survival of the parish was at risk. By the grace of God, we’ve come a long ways since then! Don’t be shy about greeting him personally on Sunday and sharing your hopes and dreams for our parish and for the Jesuit presence in Detroit. You can also register for his presentation to Jesuit Friends and Alumni on March 9 HERE.
Our Intercessory Prayer Ministry is now inviting new members. Consider joining this group – it’s an easy way to get involved and be connected with the spiritual life and needs of other parishioners. Those who join will receive a weekly email containing the prayer requests of fellow parishioners, and then will pray for these intentions on their own however and whenever they wish. Simple! But very meaningful for those in need. If interested, email me directly: email@example.com
A Call for Proposals. Over the last few years, through surveys, town halls and focus groups, our parish articulated the “Calls and Commitments” that emerged during its Province Parish Examen. Almost a year ago, Provincial Fr. Kiser received and ratified these goals as the growth areas for our parish. In the area of “Faith that does Justice,” one of our goals was to “identify a specific social justice issue or project as a parish focus that truly reaches the poor and marginalized, can build relationships with other faith communities, and includes especially environmental justice.” I have recently begun to implement that goal by convening a task force of 13 parishioners of various backgrounds to research possibilities and make recommendations.
The task force has begun by surveying the justice and service activities of most of the churches (of all denominations) in the downtown area and researching the major nonprofit organizations providing services in the city. The task force will also receive any ideas or proposals that you, the parishioners, may have. Any ideas or proposals regarding this goal as quoted above should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 17, in no more than 700 words. The task force will assemble all its collected data, and through a process of spiritual reflection, analysis, and Ignatian discernment, arrive at concrete proposals for the parish to consider.