Pastor’s Pen – April 21, 2023

Many people in our congregation are drawn to our parish because of our Jesuit, Ignatian heritage. Here are two ways you can help strengthen that Jesuit character and share Ignatian spirituality with others.

Please take a few minutes to see if you know any young adults (ages 24-39) that you could nominate for CLA (Contemplative Leaders in Action), our Ignatian leadership program for young adults that enables participants to integrate their spiritual development with professional leadership skills. (They don’t need to be members of our parish or any parish.) We are now accepting applications through May 31. Over the last several years about 40 young leaders have been deeply influenced by CLA through our parish. Your personal referrals are most important in finding new participants! Direct others to for more information. Submit nominations or inquire by email to

The Jesuit Friends and Alumni Network offers three events each year where anyone connected with or interested in the Jesuits can hear a compelling speaker address a current topic, and enjoy a great opportunity to socialize and network with others.  Our next event will be Wednesday, May 17, featuring Angela Moloney, who, as President of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, helps thousands of Detroiters through non-profit philanthropy. She has a personal background in the Jesuit world (Georgetown and Jesuit Volunteer Corps), and the Foundation has awarded significant grants to our parish and to the Pope Francis Center. If you can’t come yourself, perhaps you can suggest the event to someone you know. Info and registration HERE.

In this our first eNews of the Easter season, I want to reflect on our experience of Holy Week and Easter.  First, a grand “Thank You!” to all those who helped out with the liturgies and celebrations: the decorators and cleaners, musicians and singers, and liturgical ministers. The word “liturgy” means “work of the people,” and it certainly takes all of us working together to make these sacred celebrations possible.

The Palm Sunday and Good Friday liturgies of the Passion of Christ have long held a place in popular devotion and practice.  Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday (the Easter Vigil) have been less well attended.  The Easter Vigil was restored to practice after centuries of disuse only in 1955; it has not yet “caught on” with the Catholic people in general. That’s a shame because those who have an understanding of the basic “mysteries” (symbolic events) of our faith realize that these liturgies are the most moving and important of the entire liturgical year. They draw us readily into the presence of the Risen Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

This year’s Holy Week was also an experiment for our Jesuit Family of Parishes.  Holy Thursday was celebrated only here at Ss Peter and Paul, and Holy Saturday only at Gesu Parish.  Holy Thursday was made especially joyful with the presence of the First Communion families and children of both parishes.  We had a great pot-luck dinner before the liturgy. At Gesu, three people joined the church in the moving baptisms and confirmations that are part of the Holy Saturday Vigil. I wish more people could come and join these celebrations which are so beautiful and really sum up in symbol, word, and ritual our entire spirituality and life in Jesus Christ.

The 54th annual “Earth Day” is this Saturday. Our parish will participate in a service project planting trees at Fort Wayne with the Greening of Detroit organization.  Planting trees is a small gesture toward the monumental need to care for the earth, our common home.  Since his 2015 Laudato Si’ document on this theme, Pope Francis has continued to call us to address this most urgent and challenging need facing the human race. Our “Green Team,” along with their counterparts at Gesu, are continuing to develop ways that we can become more engaged both as individuals and as a whole parish.