Fr. ChasDear Parish Family,

So many have wished and prayed that their loved ones or friends would find their way back to their Catholic faith or encounter Jesus in a transformative way.  Well, these heartfelt desires of many are precisely why we offer Alpha courses!  They are part of the answer to your prayers because Alpha offers the next baby step for them to discover how Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life: the Way to their happiness, the Truth for which they seek, and the Life for which their hearts yearn.  

If they like what they experienced in Alpha, we then invite them to take the next step after Alpha, and that is to attend our Wednesday “Catholicism 101” evenings to discover and discuss how the Catholic faith is the fullest means by which to enter into relationship with God.  For non-Catholics, there are a number of these Wednesday night R.C.I.A. sessions before the BIG DAY arrives when they are baptized and/or confirmed during the Easter season.  With this gradual process, we are able to take people where they are at, whether they are non-believers curious about Jesus and his Church or they are already Catholics, but never really got confirmed or received the faith formation they needed…until now.

So, do you have a family member, friend, or associate in mind?  Maybe he or she is someone who has asked you a question or two about your Catholic faith?  That may be a clue that they are curious and would be interested in finding out more.  “Pub Alpha” in October may be just the ticket for your loved one or friend!

Pub Alpha Ad v4Our parish is partnering with Grand River Brewery to offer “Pub Alpha,” an opportunity for people to explore the meaning of life and see what this person of Jesus has to say about that.  I met with the owner of Grand River Brewery, John Burtka, and although he is currently not a parishioner at St. John, he is excited about the opportunity.  He grew up Catholic and is looking forward to what Alpha offers.  

“Pub Alpha” will begin on Tuesday, October 4, with a taste and see from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  People can come on that first evening with no commitments to come to future ones.  What we obviously hope for is that folks enjoy that first evening and come for the next four Tuesday evenings.  The format is simple: socializing with new friends, an Alpha talk, and then discussion.  

We will be offering FREE FOOD and soft drinks!  Their tasty beer will of course be available for purchase; I recommend the Monkey Mouth IPA!  For more information on the Alpha course itself, visit  To register for Tuesday, October 4, please go to our website,, and click on the Alpha logo.  For any questions, please contact our Director of Faith Formation, Todd Gale, at or 517-784-0553, ext. 121.

Finally, I hope to see you at our annual Family Fall Festival!

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas