Message from Deacon Lawrence Toth

My dear community of Saint Valentine,

As some of you know, our Archbishop recently granted me the status of Senior Retired Deacon.  Stephanie and I moved from Redford to Chelsea over two years ago, yet I have been able to complete my term of assignment to Saint Valentine, which officially ended in July of this year.  So it is with mixed feelings that I officially announce my retirement.

 I did not want to go out this way.  After 32 years of being a member of this parish family, and spending the last 12 serving as a deacon among you, it grieves me to leave you in this pandemic year when I have, of necessity, seen so little of you all.  Yet this is the reality we live with, and it is for God’s glory. 

 How can I, in the few words allowed me in this bulletin article, properly honor you for the great gifts of God that I have received through you?  You have enriched me and my family in more ways than I can count.  This is a parish that has been, and continues to be, very much alive.  The depth and breadth of the faith we live together shows up in our midst just as it does in a good marriage: in the whole of life.  We live for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in life and in death.  We have so many ways in which we, together, have expressed, and continue to express, our life of faith.  I could never name them all. 

 Perhaps my greatest joy as a deacon is seeing, in the life we share, the truth of what we teach about the Eucharist: it is the source and summit of our life.  And I mean the day-to-day human life we live as the Church, the local expression of the Body of Christ.  When we come together around the altar, we come from our homes, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our schools, our sports fields, our parties, our parish meetings and our Redford community.  We have prayed and played, sung and kept silence, grieved and rejoiced, argued and agreed, studied and taught, worked and rested – in all of it striving to be faithful to the call of Jesus to “love one another as I have loved you.” 

I will not even try to name names.  To do so would risk leaving out someone who has profoundly enriched me.  Each of you has touched me, whether by your presence, a simple word, or the example of your life.  I owe all of you a debt of gratitude.  Some of you have encouraged me and given me hope when I needed it.  Others have shown forbearance with my faults and failings.  Still others, however, have challenged, guided and corrected me, and for this I am extremely thankful.

 I am grateful for the honor of having served you, and can only hope that, when I stand before the Lord, I will be judged to have been a faithful servant.  This is not goodbye.  It is au revoir.

All my love in Jesus Christ,

Deacon Lawrence

Family of Parishes—Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we creating Families of Parishes?

Before the pandemic, the local and universal Church were already facing significant challenges, including the shortage of priests to care for parish communities. The coronavirus pandemic and its associated health and economic crises accelerated these problems.

  We now have fewer resources to keep our mission active. Archbishop Vigneron, in consultation with clergy and lay advisors, has determined that now is the time to act.

  Our mission to unleash the Gospel hasn’t changed, but how we approach that mission must shift in response to our circumstances. We must move forward with greater collaboration and better stewardship of our resources.


  With this shift, we take inspiration from the early Church. From the beginning, Christ knew the mission he gave his disciples would be difficult and that they would face many challenges, so he sent them to preach the Gospel two-by-two (Mk 6:6-7 and Luke 10:1). Like us, the early disciples knew what was asked of them but not necessarily how to accomplish it or what the end result would be. St. Paul himself was shipwrecked three times (2 Cor 11:25) but wherever he ended, he remained committed to the same mission with which we are entrusted today. Because of St. Paul’s commitment and the commitment of the early apostles, the Gospel was heard across the world.


  Like the disciples, we have been asked to unite and go on mission together, enhancing each other’s strengths and working collaboratively to Unleash the Gospel around us. And while the impact of the pandemic may feel like a shipwreck – like St. Paul, this is not what we planned or wanted – we know that God wants us to continue his mission with the same zeal and dedication of the early apostles. He will be with us every step of the way.

 

Does this mean our mission to Unleash the Gospel has changed?

Not at all. Through Synod 16, we discerned that God was calling us to transform our archdiocese into a band of joyful missionary disciples, sent on mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in southeast Michigan. God continues to send us on this mission to bring Christ to this place and in this time. Those around us are still thirsting for the Gospel, the words of eternal life. The new model of Family of Parishes will allow us to better serve this mission.

 In fact, it is during times of crisis — when people are in need and face uncertainty — that they are more open to hearing the Good News. We must seize the opportunity to bring the message of the Gospel to all during these times. 

 More to follow in the coming weeks.


Grandparents Day, September 13—Generations

   God, you have blessed me indeed as the child I love has had a child I love with all that is within me. I pray that in your mercy you watch over and protect my grandchild as you have always done for me. May their lives be long and healthy. May they have the courage to follow their dreams and should the day come when I am no longer on Earth with them, may they look back upon me with fond memories and may they never forget that they were and always will be deeply loved by me.

Taken from jesuitresouce.org

Family of  Parishes

In the coming weeks I will share with you information on– Families of Parishes. Here are some frequently asked questions.

 What is a Family of Parishes?

Synod 16 called for a complete renewal of structures of our parishes to make them radically mission-oriented. Our goal is to make our parishes places where individuals and families can encounter Jesus anew, grow as disciples, and be equipped to be witnesses to the Risen Christ.

The current health and economic crises have accelerated the process of renewing the way our parishes are organized and structured. It is clear we need a new model for continuing on mission.

Over the next two years, all parishes of the Archdiocese of Detroit will join other parishes in new groupings called “Families of Parishes.” Families of Parishes are groups of parishes, generally three to six, sharing resources to advance the mission. This new model will allow the priests, deacons, and lay staff associated with each parish to better share their gifts and talents with the whole Family of Parishes.

While the move to Families of Parishes has been deemed necessary and appropriate by Archbishop Vigneron, the specifics about how best to achieve this directive have not been decided. A proposal has been drafted based on an initial assessment of our own circumstances, combined with what has been learned from other dioceses who have made similar structural changes. A phase of discernment and planning will take place from Pentecost through Advent of 2020, involving members of the presbyterate and laity committed to developing structures that serve our needs and advance our mission.

This is a significant change of the way our parishes are currently structured, but a necessary step in our missionary transformation. Just like the early Church and the missionary activity of the early apostles, the transition to this new structure will require docility to the Holy Spirit, a spirit of collaboration and innovation, and confidence in God who continues to lead us in our mission to unleash the Gospel in southeast Michigan.

 When will the Families of Parishes be announced? What is the timing for Families to be formally put in place?

The finalized list will be published in Advent of 2020. We anticipate a few changes to the groupings may be made after the list is published, as we begin the process and make any necessary adjustments.

We anticipate that there will be two waves of Families of Parishes. The first wave will begin preparation in January of 2021 and will launch in July of 2021. The second wave will begin preparation in January of 2022 and will launch in July of 2022. These waves will be announced at Advent of 2020. This timeline was designed to effectively address our needs while allowing for over a year of collaborative discernment before our first Families of Parishes officially come together.

More to follow in the coming weeks.


Right to Life Lifespan

Life Chain – Sunday, October 4, 2020

From 2:30 to 3:30 pm

This year members of our congregation will be joining thousands of other pro-life people who will line the sidewalks along routes in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties.

St. Valentine will be standing on Middlebelt Road North of 5 mile on the East side of the street.

We hope you can join us.

Rose  Pattenaude, Church Rep


 Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Loretto at 8:30 a.m.

The Parish Office will be open on Tuesday, September 8th at 8:30 a.m.


The Catholic Biblical School of Michigan

Bringing the Bible to LifeEver wonder about the Biblical roots of our faith? Or what the ancient wisdom of Scriptures has to say about living as a disciple in our world? Start a journey through the entire Bible, guided by expert live teachers with the Catholic Biblical School of Michigan’s new classes starting this September at St. Isidore in Macomb (Thu 7-9 pm), Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Beverly Hills (Tue 7-9 pm), Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak (Wed 1-3 pm) or and online (any day/time). Through donations, CBSM is accessible to all with 100% of requests for financial aid granted. Find out more with an on-site or virtual Open House Info Night or register for a class by Sept 14th. Visit cbsmich.org/join. Or, contact us at info@cbsmich.org or 586-438-3085.