Dear Parish Family,
Christus resurrexit! is Latin for “Christ is risen!” It was a traditional greeting from one Christian to another. So when you hear someone greet you, “Christ is risen!”, the proper response is “He is risen, indeed!” This is the great victory that we celebrate today!
The hopeful message of Easter comes at this fitting time when much turmoil and despair afflict our world. Because of the unwavering hope that Jesus bestows upon our hearts, we who profess to follow Jesus Christ cannot be despondent. The Church, you and me, proclaim to the world the Good News that all of that turmoil and sense of despair are passing! They are passing because evil is inherently self-destructive. Love, however, “endures all things,” and the reality that outlasts all evil is the eternal life won for us by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!
The father of lies, Satan, knows this and uses the powers of this world to silence this Good News. Do not let him. Proclaim this Good News that God has not abandoned us in the chaos and confusion of humanity’s own making. Instead, he has entered and engaged the evils wrought by our selfishness and sin. He has done battle with them, taken all of their hits, and come out on top! This is the spiritual warfare that Christ the King takes on not only on a cosmic level, but in our own personal level if we allow his grace and power to animate and operate in our lives.
Divine Mercy Sunday – April 8
Next Sunday is an opportunity to respond concretely to Jesus’ invitation. The Octave (Eighth) Day of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday, when we celebrate God’s loving mercy unleashed upon our world by Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection. We will have confessions available from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Oratory, along with Eucharistic Adoration and the recounting of passages from St. Faustina’s diary beginning at 2:00 p.m. Much of the world unfortunately does not recognize its need for the healing of his mercy, and so Divine Mercy Sunday is also a day when we invoke God’s mercy for hardened hearts by the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. We will do so at 3:00 p.m. that day, also at St. Joseph Oratory.
Building Great Dads: The Fatherhood Project
One group that can be a great source of hope for our society is all the fathers of our parish families. Just like great Moms, our kids need great Dads! Both provide intangibles to the their children’s development that only they can.
Families are the fundamental cell of society. If the basic cells of our society, our marriages and families, are unhealthy, so will society at large be unhealthy. As witnessed by the divorce rate, the #metoo movement, and the immoral behavior of people to whom society looks up (to name just a few of our current social ills), this unfortunately has been plainly evident in our world. The parish is the school of virtue for our fathers and mothers to recover the faith formation that their parents may have neglected to cultivate in them or that the temptations and distractions of the world have lured them to abandon.
And so, we at St. John want to redouble our efforts to help foster great dads who are strong in virtue. One major way a group of parishioners (a group of our young fathers led by Tom DuMont) is doing that is by offering “Building Great Dads: The Fatherhood Project,” a series of six monthly meetings. The first meeting will be at Grand River Brewery’s Event Room on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. It is open to all fathers. You don’t even have to be Catholic to go, but it is a Christian-based initiative. For more information, please contact Tom DuMont at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-667-0235. To let us know you’re coming, please contact Joseph Gruber at email@example.com or 412-551-9897.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas Canoy