Care for the House of the Lord

This year, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the construction of our “new” church, which was formally dedicated by Bishop Joseph M. Breitenbeck and Fr. John Porter on February 2, 1988. I am grateful to earlier generations who faithfully cared for the original church until our community outgrew the little white church across the street, and to the families who sacrificed to create the worship space that we enjoy today. We are blessed with a beautiful place to worship and now it is our time to come together and do our part to maintain our House of the Lord. I am excited to share with you that this year we will be combining the 2018 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) with a project called Care for the House of the Lord. The project will restore the interior finishes to their original condition with quality, commercial-grade materials that will endure for the next generation. The scope of the project includes:

  • Rebuilding the floor under the altar area, which has lost some of its integrity.
  • Removing wallpaper on the east and west walls (adjacent to the rose windows) and repairing two structural cracks.
  • Repainting the center of the church ceiling, east and west walls, chapel, sacristy, narthex, cry room, usher/scrip room, and restrooms.
  • Addressing the main entrance doors and exterior metal lintels (above doors/windows) which show signs of early rust.
  • Refinishing of the pew cap rails, backs and ends.
  • Reupholster pews, kneelers (qty. 61) and freestanding chairs/kneelers (qty. 80).
  • Removal and disposal of old carpeting.
  • De-installation of pews, while replacing the carpeting, maintaining integrity of the original floor bolt system.
  • Installation of an inductive hearing assistance system (Hearing Loop System).
  • Installation of new carpeting in the church, chapel, sacristy, cry room, and usher/scrip room.
  • Additional items may be considered as parishioner input is gathered.

The total estimated cost of the project is $233,000, including a 15% contingency.

The Care for the House of the Lord project will be combined with the So Faith May Flourish 2018 CSA Campaign. Essentially, all contributions to the combined effort will be processed as CSA gifts and once our parish CSA goal is achieved, all additional funds will be returned to Assumption to support our parish project. In other words, to secure the future of our church building, you will be asked to include the Care for the House of the Lord project in addition to your annual CSA gift.

Our 2018 CSA Goal                                       $131,631

Care for the House of the Lord Estimate       $233,000

Combined Campaign Total                            $364,631

Thank you for help in the worthy effort to maintain our home here at Assumption.

Our Lady’s 15 Promises to Those Who Pray Her Rosary

At the Family Night Out on Wednesday, we heard about the Rosary and why we should pray it every day. But with only 15 minutes, that’s just not enough time share all the special information about the Rosary. So each week, we’ll feature an article about the Rosary for you to read here. Beginning with Our Lady’s 15 promises to those who pray Her Rosary:

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.

[A signal grace may be a simple sign in daily life that answers a question made in prayer or points towards God’s will. For example, seeing a rose after finishing a novena to St. Therese of Lisieux could be considered a signal grace. Signal graces are often subtle or seemingly coincidental.]

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.

4. It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.

[In other words, anyone who faithfully prays the Rosary and asks for Mary’s intercession will be saved from hell.]

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.

[An unprovided death means dying while not in a state of grace (that is, in dying with unconfessed mortal sin in the soul). The Blessed Mother promises that anyone who regularly prays the Rosary, and earnestly tries to live according to God’s will, will be spiritually prepared when their time of death comes.]

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

[Our Lady ensures that the soul will receive sanctifying grace through the Sacraments prior to its departure from the body.]

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my Sons, and brothers of my Only Son Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

[By this the Blessed Mother means that a devotion to the Rosary is a good indication that the devotee is on the path to Heaven.]

It is amazing to realize how much grace and heavenly help we can receive by an act so simple as praying the Rosary regularly. It only takes 15 minutes to pray! Set aside time alone, with your family or with some friends to start the habit of reciting a daily Rosary. If you don’t think you have time, try praying on the way to work in the morning. You will surely notice the grace it brings to your life, as promised by Our Lady!

Understanding Holy Week in 4 Minutes!

Understanding Holy Week in just 4 minutes? It’s a great start! Holy Week is quickly approaching, the most sacred week in our Church’s year. Do you know why it’s so holy and sacred? Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink, sit back and take 4 minutes to watch this enlightening video. Enter into Holy Week with a whole new understanding of why this week is “Holy”!

Don’t Stop Understanding Holy Week!

This video took just 4 minutes. Obviously, there’s so much more to know and understand about Holy Week. 4 minutes simply can’t do it justice. Why not take some time to visit a Catholic website to learn more (simply Google “Catholic Information Websites” to find excellent sources)? Or take some time to visit a Catholic store such as The Angelus (located on Diamond across the street from St. Isidore Church in Grand Rapids). Another great source is Michigan Church Supply located on the first floor at Cathedral Square downtown on the corner of Wealthy and Division Streets in Grand Rapids. Not sure what you’re looking for? Someone is always there to help and make suggestions for you.

No matter our age, there is so much to continually learn about the Catholic Faith. Don’t ever stop learning as it takes more than a life-time to know all there is to know about our beliefs!

The Holy Family

St. Joseph’s Feast Day – March 19th

Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Families, is the silent man of the New Testament. He plays a vital role in the first chapters of the gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke. However, neither evangelist records anything St. Joseph said. But if he does not speak, he certainly does act.

St. Joseph’s Ancestry

Joseph was born in Bethlehem, the hometown of David. In fact, Joseph could trace his ancestry back to the shepherd boy who became king of Israel.

Joseph’s Early Life

Joseph the Carpenter

When we first meet Joseph in the gospels, he has moved north to the town of Nazareth in Galilee. He works as a carpenter. In Nazareth, Joseph became engaged to Mary. Sometime before their wedding, the Archangel Gabriel made the announcement to the Blessed Virgin that she was going to be the Mother of the Savior.

The gospels do not say when Mary told Joseph that she was pregnant. What we do know is that Joseph assumed Mary was unfaithful to him and that she was to bear some other man’s child. Feeling hurt and shame, Joseph, being a righteous man, made plans to break off their engagement quietly. Before Joseph could act, however, an angel visited him saying, “Do not be afraid, Joseph, son of David, to take Mary as your wife, for the child within her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.”

This is how the Holy Family began, with an angel assuring Mary and Joseph that what was out of the ordinary to them was in fact all part of God’s plan to redeem the world.

Joseph’s Role as Step-Father

Joseph & Mary on their way to Bethlehem

Every time we see Joseph thereafter, we see him taking loving are of Jesus and Mary. In Bethlehem on that first Christmas night, he wanders the streets looking for a decent place where Mary can give birth. When King Herod schemes to murder the Christ Child, it is Joseph, warned by an angel, who gets Jesus and Mary safely to Egypt. And when Herod is dead and it is safe to come home, Joseph brings his family to Nazareth.

Finally, the last time Joseph appears in the gospels is when he and Mary search Jerusalem for three anxious days, looking for the Child Jesus.

The evangelists never mention Joseph again. Biblical scholars always assume that he must have died before Christ began His public ministry. If he had been alive, there would have been no need for Jesus, as He hung from the cross, to ask St. John to look after Mary.

Joseph – Our Heavenly Protector

Families have always found comfort in having St. Joseph as their heavenly protector. Blessed Pope Pius IX probably had that in mind in 1870 when he named Saint Joseph the Patron Saint of our extended family, the Catholic Church.

 

How are they made? The Roman Rite has very specific guidelines about the process.

Article featured in Aleteia, March 11, 2018 

Image by Joanna K-Penn | YouTube | Aleteia 3/11/18

Ever since the Last Supper the Catholic Church has celebrated a Eucharistic feast that features bread and wine that are miraculously changed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

However, the Catholic Church believes it is not just any bread or wine that can be used and has specific guidelines that govern its creation.

In the Roman Rite (the Eastern Rite will be covered in a separate article), the Code of Canon Law lays out the basics of the bread and wine making process.

Can. 924 §1. The most holy eucharistic sacrifice must be offered with bread and with wine in which a little water must be mixed.

§2. The bread must be only wheat and recently made so that there is no danger of spoiling.

§3. The wine must be natural from the fruit of the vine and not spoiled.

Can. 926 According to the ancient tradition of the Latin Church, the priest is to use unleavened bread in the eucharistic celebration whenever he offers it.

The instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum adds a few other qualifications.

It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament. It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist.

The wine that is used in the most sacred celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice must be natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances.

There are some exceptions to the rules above, including low-gluten hosts and a form of wine permitted for those who should not consume alcohol. In general, however, these basic rules govern what type of bread and wine can be used at Mass.

Many companies specialize in creating this type of bread, including many communities of nuns. For example, the Passionist community in Erlanger, Kentucky bakes bread each day that is used by parishes across the United States. In an article for Loyola Press, the detailed process is explained.

They start their workday by mixing water and flour to make paste. Back in 1951 when the monastery began making altar bread, they measured flour and water with measuring cups. Now that the business has expanded to 100 parishes nationwide, they have to measure with scales.

The paste is ladled onto “bakers,” a machine similar to a waffle iron, except that instead of a grid, the Chi-Rho symbol is embossed onto the bread. Once the 14-inch plates are cooked, they’re stacked and stored overnight in a humidifier so they can be cut without breaking the next day. The moistened plates are assembled in stacks of 72 and cut into small and medium-sized wafers. Once cut, the wafers dry out in dish pans, to be packaged later by 91-year old Sister Paul for distribution.

It is generally believed that Jesus used unleavened bread at the Last Supper. According to some scholars, “Their best-educated guess is that the wine would have been similar to modern-day Amarone, an Italian red wine made from grapes that have been dried before fermentation.” For these and other spiritual reasons the Roman Rite abides by the simplest ingredients for the matter that becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Eucharistic Adoration at Assumption

by Mary Gelderbloom, Eucharistic Adoration Coordinator

Did You Know?

Eucharistic Adoration is now celebrating it’s 22nd year here at Assumption. It is a blessing to have this Devotion of Love.

Why Embrace This Devotion?

St. John Paul ll, Saint Mother Theresa, Mother Angelica and a list that goes on and on of those who can not say enough about the importance of Eucharistic Adoration. Why? Because one thing everyone needs is a time of silence. Our world is very noisy and it’s getting worse. We need quiet time to be with Our Lord so we can listen to Him.

With the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and the Rosary, we Catholics can do so much to change every aspect of our lives. Our Church, ourselves, our families, our communities, the work force, politics and the entire world. Therefore THESE ARE OUR SPIRITUAL WEAPONS. Praise God we still have religious Freedom, but this is shaky, too!

Miracles Abound in Eucharistic Adoration!

There is an extraordinary miracle that took place in Lanciano, Italy. It has now been preserved in a Monstrance for over 1,200 years! What makes it so extraordinary? Because it holds the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ! Scientists began a new investigation from 1970-1971. As a result of the investigation, their conclusion clearly states the flesh is heart muscle and the vagus nerve. Furthermore, the blood is type AB, the same type found in the Holy Shroud of Turin.

There have been hundreds of miracles over the years but I point this out to show the real presence of Jesus in the Monstrance. Remember what Jesus said to St. Thomas? “Blessed are those who haven’t seen and yet believe.” Consequently, if a miracle like that were to happen here at Assumption, we would have Perpetual Adoration right now with a room full of Adorers every day without fail.

We Have A Problem

The problem that’s happening at Assumption Parish is that many of our Faithful Adorers are getting older. Because some can no longer drive due to health reasons, it makes it hard for them to keep a committed spot. Also, we have some over the 22 years who have simply passed away. As a result, we are in need of new Adorers to fill these positions.

I’m happy to announce we have school children coming over for Eucharistic Adoration. These are our “Budding Adorers”. But we need new Adorers NOW to replace those who can no longer commit. With a parish of over 1,200 families (assuming the majority have at least two people in the family), we should have no problem having every hour filled with more than one person. With a minimum of 23 hour-long committed spots, that’s a minimum of 46 people if there are only two Adorers per hour. 46 out of thousands. 46 people out of over 2,400 people. Therefore, we should not have any problem filling these spots.

Besides committed Adorers, I need subs not only to take day spots but for those hours during the night. People have vacations, get sick and emergencies arise in which they need help with coverage.

Remember, this isn’t for me. It’s what Our Lord wants us to do. God wants us to have free time but He also wants us to put Him first. The Lord said to the Apostles, “Could you not watch one hour with Me?”

Will You Commit to Our Lord?

Our Lord needs more people to come aboard. This is the time of Adoration at Assumption:

           Thursday, 7:30 AM to Friday, 7:00 AM

Please call Mary Gelderbloom at 616-433-5005. I can share with you all the details. I will work around your schedule. Eucharistic Adoration can and will change your life. You won’t be disappointed! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU.

 

May the Heart of Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved, with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.

Paul, Apostle of Christ – Coming to Theaters March 23rd, 2018

 

*UPDATE: As of March 13th, there are now locations in Grand Rapids that will be showing this highly anticipated movie: Celebration Cinema North, South and at Rivertown. Please click the red link below for locations, show times and to purchase tickets in advance. 

ABOUT THE FILM

PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST is the story of two men. Luke, as a friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into the city of Rome to visit Paul. Paul is a captive in Nero’s darkest, bleakest prison cell. But Nero is determined to rid Rome of Christians. He does not flinch from executing them in the grisliest ways possible. Before Paul is put to death, Luke resolves to write another book. One that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church.

Bound in chains, Paul’s struggle is internal. He is a survivor of so much—floggings, shipwreck, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure. Yet as he waits for his appointment with death, the shadows of his past misdeeds haunt him. Alone in the dark, he wonders if he has been forgotten. And if he has the strength to finish well.

Two men struggle against an evil emperor and the frailties of the human spirit. They do so in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spread their message to the world.

Tickets

Unfortunately, at the time of this post, there are no showings scheduled for the greater Grand Rapids area. The closest is Kalamazoo. However, they said more showings in theaters throughout the area will be added daily so check back often! In the meantime, please click here for more information about the movie, locations and times of showings that will be playing.

The 13th Day – A Film About the True Story of Fatima

Witness the greatest miracle of the 20th Century, and experience the incredible, emotionally-charged and often harrowing world of three young children whose choice to remain loyal to their beliefs, even in the face of death, would inspire thousands.
Running time:  85 minutes
WATCH THE TRAILER

What’s Been Said About This Film:

“The 13th Day is the best film ever made about Fatima”

Steve Greydanus, National Catholic Register

“A timely message of Fatima has been retold for a new generation”

Leticia Velasquez, Catholic Media Review

“A remarkable re-telling of the Story of Fatima”

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

“…having reminded us of a very important message for the World, contained in God’s proclamation transmitted to the children of Fatima.”

The Jury, International Catholic Festival of Film and Multimedia

“This is a triumph of a film”

Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Where Can You See This Film?

You can purchase the dvd from Ignatius Press or watch it for FREE on FORMED.org here using Assumption’s code.

Children: Why Did the Blessed Mother Appear to Children?

Did you ever wonder why the Blessed Mother appeared in Fatima to three very young, simple shepherd children who could neither read nor write?

Let’s take a look at just one thing Jesus said about children:

“At that time Jesus said in reply, ‘I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.'” ~ Gospel of Matthew 11:25

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.”

Never discount a person by their age! Young or old!

Things You Should Not Do at Mass (but you might be doing anyhow)

Small Details That Make the Difference and Unite the Church

  • Do not be late. Remember God is waiting for you to fill you with love, to speak to your ear, to tell you what you need to hear, to forgive you. He gave you a special place at his table. Do not keep him waiting.
  • Do not wear inappropriate clothing. Do it for you, and for others.
  • Do not enter the church without greeting the Lord. When you arrive, make the Sign of the Cross. God is there, happy to see you. Thank him for the invitation.
  • Do not be lazy when it comes to bowing or genuflecting. If you walk in front of the altar, which represents Christ, bow. If you pass before the Tabernacle, where Christ is, genuflect.
  • Do not chew gum, eat, or drink during Mass. Only water is allowed if necessary for health reasons.
  • Do not sprawl or slump in the pew. Your body should express your devotion.
  • There is no need to add “extra sentences” to the Readings and the Psalm. That is, do not read the red letters or say “First Reading” or “Responsorial Psalm.”
  • Never recite the Alleluia in advance. Wait a few seconds. Surely someone will sing it. If neither the priest nor anybody sings, omit it, but never recite it.
  • Do not make the Sign of the Cross before the proclamation of the Gospel. Make three small crosses: one on your forehead, one on your lips and the last over your heart, asking the Word of God to be in your mind, on your lips and in your heart.
  • Do not respond in the plural when the Creed is prayed in the form of questions. The presider at Mass may ask: “Do you Believe in God the Father Almighty?” In this case, do not answer “yes, we do,” because faith, although collective, is also personal: you cannot believe “for” someone else. You should simply reply “Yes, I do.”
  • Do not collect the offering during the Universal Prayer. The offering should be collected during the presentation of the gifts, when all are seated and the priest thanks God for the bread and the wine and purifies the hands.
  • Do not sit during the Consecration. If you cannot kneel, consider standing up, but try to leave sitting for times of illness or caring for a child. Your posture during the consecration should reflect your great respect and reverence for the Real Presence of Christ on the altar.
  • There is no need to pray out loud during the Consecration. There are people who, during the Consecration, say the Apostle Thomas’ prayer out loud: “My Lord, My God.” But this can distract those who are making a personal prayer in silence.
  • Do not repeat “Through him, and with him, and in him …” (that is, the Doxology that concludes the Eucharistic Prayer). The only person who should say this is the priest who presides over the Mass.
  • Do not leave your place to go and give peace. You should only greet those who are close to you in the pew. Neither should you use this moment to go congratulate someone or give condolences.
  • If your soul is not prepared with the one hour fast and in the state of grace, do not take Communion.
  • Do not insist on taking Communion from the priest. Jesus is present in the Consecrated Host, regardless whether you receive it from the priest or from an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, who is a person prepared and authorized by the Church to distribute Communion at Mass and to take it to the elderly and sick.
  • After receiving Communion, do not talk to others. Go back to your place and talk to the Lord. If you have not received the Eucharist, make a spiritual communion and talk to Him.
  • Once Communion has been distributed take a moment of sacred silence, in which each person simply dialogues with God.
  • Turn off the phone. Do not message or talk on the cell phone during Mass, as it distracts you and others. Turn your attention to the Lord, who is dedicating His attention to you.
  • Keep your kids in sight, next to you. Teach them to enjoy their time at the Father’s house.
  • Do not leave until the Mass is over. You don’t want to miss the final blessing, through which the priest sends you into the world to bear witness in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Come out of the church with a new purpose, inspired by the Lord, to build his Kingdom of love.

From Aleteia’s post dated February 25, 2018. This article was originally published in the Portuguese Edition of Aleteia. It’s been translated and adapted for an English-speaking audience.