Greetings in Christ all; I wish you a blessed and holy Lenten season. I have a couple of things of import to run by you this week.

First, I want to talk about our emergency number. At the parish, we have a number to call for when you need a priest at the hospital, hospice or home when death is imminent. When you call it, you will be asked to leave a message. In the message, let us know how to contact you and someone will do so as soon as possible. After that, Fr. Le or I will get there immediately if it’s an emergency or let you know when someone will be there.

Last week we received word that we “missed” someone who died without last rites and that broke our hearts. Some hospitals are good at calling us, some are not, as in this case. It should work if you simply call the emergency number and let us know. So, if you need last rites, please use the parish emergency number. Leave your message and stick by the phone; we’ll get there if it’s humanly possible. 

Here is the number: (810) 356-3187. Please do not use it for anything except last rites. For anointings please call our office and speak with Michelle or leave a message and we will schedule an anointing.

Secondly, I wanted to address the comments I made a few weeks ago about the priest shortage. I do not know how wide this view is, but I did get a letter that one of our parishioners took my writing as me complaining. This was certainly not my intent, not even a little. I absolutely love being a priest and doing the work of a priest. What I’m trying to do is get us all to see how radically the situation (the declining number of clergy) has changed and will continue to change. My goal in sharing this is to try to head off the shocked responses when Fr. Le and I are not at every event, or able to pray a wedding at another parish. My goal is to help us get to the right person on staff for our issues, instead of simply defaulting to telling the priest. If you took what I wrote as a complaint, I’m so sorry, that was not even in my mind. I meant it as a context and a nudge to get us to see that the priest shortage is severe and has consequences. 

Finally, I want to talk about giving money to the poor. I’m going to share my opinion on the topic and ask you to consider it. I strongly discourage the practice of giving cash to people who ask for help. We have a great system here that assists people and we control the funds. Simply giving money to people at Church (or anywhere really!) tends to be a bad idea and bears little to no positive fruit. As a lesser reason to not give money, when we give money to folks at Church, they will keep coming and asking for more money from more people.

So, what do we do when people ask for money? For sure, pray with them and/or for them. That’s important. Offer to get them food, offer to take them to food. Let them know about the Outreach Ministry at our parish and invite them to seize that resource. Treat them with dignity and respect, but be firm that you do not give money to people you do not know.

God bless you all!  I’m so grateful I get to be your priest.

Monday – 6:30 a.m.

Tuesday – 8:15 a.m. and 7 p.m

Wednesday – 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Thursday – 6:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.

Friday – 6:30 a.m.

Saturday – 8:00 a.m. and vigil at 5 p.m.

Sunday – 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and seasonal evening Mass:

7 p.m. Memorial Day weekend in May to Labor Day weekend in September

5 p.m. after Labor Day to the weekend before Memorial Day weekend