July usually brings a short pause in the parish activities, but, hopefully, no such pause in our ongoing efforts to live a life in Christ and continue working for the salvation of souls. This weekend brings a welcome burst of activities with Fr. Titus Kieninger of the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross preaching a Day of Recollection on Mary, Mother of Mercy. There will be two conferences, one beginning at 2:00 PM and the second beginning at 3:00 PM, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction beginning at 4:15 PM. Following this, those who have completed their formation will make their Consecration to to the Guardian Angel. Fr. Titus will be available after the Consecrations to speak with those interested in beginning the formation year which precedes the Consecration.
This weekend is also our annual Mission Sunday with a visit from Fr. Kevin Dance of the Passionists of Papua New Guinea. The Passionist congregation was founded by St. Paul of the Cross in the early 18th century with the mission to keep alive in the world the love of Jesus Crucified as seen in His Sacred Passion. Fr. Kevin will speak about the work being carried out in Oceania (north of Australia) by the Passionists. As always, do prayerfully consider how you can support the Missionary Activity of the Church spiritually and monetarily. Envelopes are provided that you may bring back next Sunday and place in the collection or you may simply include a donation designated for the Passionists in your regular contribution envelope.
There are many holy Passionist saints in the Church. It is very interesting that the Mission Appeal by the Passionist order would be here the same weekend that Fr. Titus and Sr. Maria Gemma are here for the Day of Reflection. Sr. Maria Gemma takes her name from St. Gemma Galgani, who is one of the prominent saints of the Passionist order. St. Gemma Galgani's remarkable life was a living out of a mystical union with the Suffering Christ. During her brief life, St. Gemma Galgani endured much suffering both physically and spiritually. She received many visions from Our Lord and even spoke with Jesus, the Blessed Mother, her Guardian Angel, and St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. She is among those Saints who received the stigmata. Her obedience to the Lord and His Church was so absolute, that when her spiritual director ordered her to pray that the stigmata be removed, she did so at once and the stigmata disappeared. She died on Holy Saturday in 1903 and was soon canonized. She remains the patroness of religious, priests, and virtually all those who suffer in some way.
A reminder that the pro-life group Crossroads will be here next weekend. Each summer, members of Crossroads Prolife walk from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. witnessing to the dignity and sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. They visit Assumption Grotto each year as the Northern Walk passes through Michigan in order to raise awareness about their cause and accept any donations that are offered. One of the major battlefields for the heart and soul of young Americans is the colleges and universities of this great nation. The anti-life forces control much of what is taught, promoted and funded on college campuses. That ideology eventually winds up becoming the law of the land through subsequent generations of politicians and judges, and, of course, voters. Please take some time to learn about this remarkable effort and support them financially and spiritually as you are able.
The 30-day preparation for the Consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary begins July 13. The preparation is not precisely a novena, but a period of preparation that precedes the Consecration on August 15. The more effort that can be put into preparation, the greater the spiritual benefit. If you haven't started the preparation to make or renew your Consecration it is not too late to begin today. Booklets are available in the Gift Shop.
As our patronal feast day approaches, we are always in need of volunteers to help with the many activities before, during and after August 15. Please contact the rectory if you are able to help.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Assumption Grotto in July: Day of Recollection, Passionist missionary visit, St. Gemma Galgani, Crossroads Prolife, preparation (beginning July 13th) for Consecration to Jesus through Mary, and preparation for patronal feast day on August 15th
Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, July 10, 2016):