Save the date for the 2018 Diocesan Conference taking place September 21 & 22, 2018, at Treetops Resort in Gaylord. Entitled “This Little Light of Mine: Shining Christ’s Light, Sunrise to Sunset,” the conference will focus on ways to ‘shine your light’ in all facets of life and will even feature special breakout sessions for teens. Our Friday-night keynote speaker and emcee/musician for the weekend is internationally-renowned singer-songwriter Jesse Manibusan, author of “Open My Eyes,” a hymn that has been published in many languages for both Catholic and Protestant Churches around the world. Dr. Timothy O’Malley, Ph.D., director of the Center for Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame will present on Saturday. Bring your family for a weekend of faith and fun and take advantage of the special lodging and golf rates offered by Treetops. More information is available at www.dioceseofgaylord.org. Stay tuned as more presenters and a full schedule will be announced! HELP NEEDED! The Women’s Emergency Shelter, located at Third Day Fellowship, will open again November 1st through May 1st. We are looking for female “innkeepers” to help us supervise the shelter again this year! Shelter hours are 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Contact Ginger Stevens at 231-330- 2643 (call/text) or email email@example.com if you are able to serve in this amazing ministry! TRANSPORTATION If you need a ride to a appointment or to Mass…please call: Kay Krause at 231-437-3230 Kay will contact one of our volunteer drivers to pick up. Absolute Catholic 2018 Women’s Conference All women are invited to the Absolute Catholic 2018 Women’s Conference “Let Us Cross to the Other Side: The Other Side of Fear” on Saturday, January 27, at Christ the King Parish in Acme. This year, the conference will feature Hallie Lord, author of On the Other Side of Fear: How I Found Peace and host of Hallie Weekly on SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel. Registration and fellowship will begin at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $25 per person before January 19, and increases to $30 per person until the day of the event. Tickets purchased at the door are $35 per person. Cost includes lunch. The day will feature Mass with Bishop Raica, a witness from Beth Maday, and prayerful music with Janine Winkler. For more information or to register, contact Stephanie Endres at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit AbsoluteCatholic.com. March
MONTHLY OPEN HOUSE
Every 1st Thursday, 9:00 am (November 2nd)
Still wondering what St. Michael Academy’s all about? All interested community members, parishioners, and potential students are invited to attend our monthly open house. Tour the school, meet students, staff & teachers, learn about classical curriculum, athletics, faith & service opportunities and get all your questions answered!
We need helpers for 9:00am and 11:00am coffee and donuts. This entails picking up donuts, fruit and supplies, preparing on trays and making coffee before both masses. Please contact the office if you are interested in helping out.
The Men’s Homeless Shelter is also seeking male volunteer supervisors at the Community Reformed Church beginning on November 1st and going until March 31st. Please contact the CRC at 547-9482 for more information.
If you need a ride to an appointment or to Mass, please call Kay Krause at 231-437-3230. She will contact one of our volunteer drivers for your needs.
Throughout the last few years the diocese has been reshaping the children’s sacrament program. For the last 15 years the children have been receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Holy Communion by the age of 7-8 years old using a 2 year program. Last spring was the last time this program was being used in our diocese. All parishes have converted to a 3 year program.
1st year: Will be the same, Faith formation classes.
2nd year: Faith formation classes plus sacramental classes for Reconciliation.
3rd year: Faith formation plus sacramental classes for Confirmation and Holy Communion. So this means that the children will be receiving Confirmation and Holy Communion at 3rd grade or above. The children who are beginning their formation at 4th grade and above will be included in a Rite of Christian Initiation program set for their age level and the sacraments they still need to receive. So what does this mean for the parish of St. Mary’s? We were one of the last ones to convert to this 3 year program, so this year there will be offered only Reconciliation to our 2nd year faith formation students. That means that this spring there will be no Confirmation or First Holy Communion for our children. The only children that will receive these 2 sacraments will be the children 4th grade and above who are in the RCIA program. They will be received into the church at the Easter Vigil this spring. We hope that this will bring about a greater understanding and love for the Mass, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist.
Many St. Mary parishioners experience feelings of great reward in making a variety of donations which benefit our parish and Catholic school. The Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation (NMCF), offers endowment-based options for those who want to consider a gift “that keeps on giving”. These include the St. Mary School Endowment Fund as well as the St. Mary Charity Fund. Donors can contribute to a specific fund which can benefit the St. Mary School tuition assistance program or the new St. Mary’s fund set up to provide a charitable helping hand to others for disaster relief, community outreach and more. These funds are professionally managed with investments that meet specific Catholic-based guidelines approved by the Bishop, and only interest and gains are paid out (twice annually) to our school or parish. The original donation remains intact to generate future gains for years to come. If you would like more information on these giving opportunities, you can contact Fr Peter or John Doskoch, NMCF board member, at (231) 675-7688.
The Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation is pleased to announce the latest annual results for the St Mary School Endowment Fund, fiscal year ending 6/30/2017. This fund provides support to families in need of tuition assistance for their children to attend our school. The fund held a balance of $104,714 on 7/1/2016, received contributions during the year totaling $11,971, and earned $11,794 in capital gains and interest over the past 12 months. $1961 was paid out, and the fund held a total of $126,518 as of 6/30/2017. The investment markets were very generous providing us with a 10.1% return during this period, and although we’d like to see this level of investment return every year, realistically we expect future returns to be more modest in keeping with the fund’s investment principal preservation with moderate growth goal. We’d be pleased to provide more information about the foundation and this fund (or the St Mary’s Charity Fund) if you are interested. Donations are always greatly appreciated, both in cash or securities, or perhaps as a legacy gift in your will or trust.
Do you enjoy high school football? Would you like to help young Catholic men have an opportunity to attend an authentic Catholic university and play football? If so… Ave Maria University (AMU) could use your help! AMU is developing a scout network in Michigan to help identify Catholic football players from all schools (public / private / Catholic) in this area. Generous scholarships are available. For more details, please contact Dr. Gary Jackson, Michigan Scout Coordinator, at email@example.com or 734-516-9615.
Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Servers and Lectors
We are looking for additional servers for each of the Masses. Even if you are here seasonally, we can use the extra help. Training takes about an hour depending on experience with the duties. Please contact the Parish Office to set up a training session.
There is a need for more cantors, choir members and instruments to fill out our 3 choirs at the weekend Masses. The choirs meet on Tuesday evenings at 6pm in the choir loft for practice.
Blood Pressure Screening
Did you know there is a way to serve our parish as a health care professional? Blood pressure checks are offered after all of the Masses the first full weekend of each month. Volunteers are always welcome, and needed, and it is a wonderful way to share your skills with your fellow parishioners. If you are interested in this ministry, please contact Tricia Drenth, 231-622-1683.
Faith Formation/Youth Ministry Teachers
We are looking to staff our children’s faith formation program, middle school and high school youth groups. If you enjoy working with youth, we need your help to continue to build the faith in our young people. Those who are 18 years or older are needed to help fill out our staff. We meet once a week for 1-1.5 hours, depending on the program. The Youth Ministry will include some weekend time for community service projects and youth events in the diocese. Even if you are unable to commit full time, we could still use teachers once or twice a month. Please pray if you are being called to help our parish in this ministry.
The Health Ministry Committee has discussed the importance of reducing the risks of infection and promoting tips for staying healthy. We have suggestions for your consideration:
1) If you have symptoms of respiratory illness or flu, we encourage you to stay home and recover. You do not want to be responsible for spreading your illness.
2) Many of our parishioners are at risk for contagious conditions. If you are concerned about the hand shake spreading unwanted germs that is understandable. You do not need to shake hands or feel apologetic about not shaking hands, a warm smile and your words of “peace be with you” is all you need to do.
3) If you have symptoms of potentially contagious conditions, receive the Eucharist at Communion and bow at the Precious Blood as you return to your seat.