January 17, 2021

  “What are you looking for?” Jesus asked, which he follows with an invitation to “come and see,” in response to the disciples’ question about where he is staying. Of course, Jesus knew what they were seeking; is it not what we all seek — peace, hope, salvation? Jesus calls them, and indeed us as well, to accept his invitation to find those things, and so much more, in him.

 Regardless of where Jesus resides physically, we know from his teaching later in John’s Gospel, what he longs to show us is where he abides. In John 15:4-16, Jesus shares the blessing of abiding with him; there, we can bear much fruit in our faith, receive what we, and most importantly, know the Father’s glory.

Jesus’ invitations present an opportunity for us to contemplate what we are looking for and to take stock of our current situation. Do you know what it is you seek in this world? Are you open to truly be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Can you leave behind your expectations, trusting the goodness of Jesus’ invitation, and follow God’s perfect will for your life?

 Without waiting for the early disciples to respond, knowing their hearts and that the Kingdom of Heaven holds everything they seek, he invites them to come and see. Some of Jesus’ disciples came and stayed with him because they had heard him preach. Moved by the promise, hope, mercy, and life he offered, they directly accepted the invitation from him. However, like Peter, others came to follow Jesus after someone else extended an invitation to “come and see” themselves.

 Peter’s brother Andrew’s willingness to evangelize brought Peter to become a disciple of the Lord. Andrew’s love for Peter moved him to share the truth and joy he had found. How blessed to have someone care enough to step out in faith and share the life found only in Jesus — no matter how uncomfortable they may feel or how their testimony may be received.

 Those who believe inspire others to believe. John’s Gospel also introduces us to the Samaritan woman Jesus meets at the well. Her encounter with Christ spurs a conversion so dramatic, she cannot keep it to herself. Transformed by his love, mercy, and hope of a life where she no longer has to thirst for acceptance and redemption, she leaves her past behind and becomes an unlikely evangelist. Moved by her transformation from accepting Jesus’ invitation to come and see — she goes out immediately to share the Good News — causing a ripple effect of discipleship.

 The lives of the people she encounters and invites, are never the same once they accept the invitation to follow and abide in the truth and love offered by Jesus. One of the most powerful moments in John’s Gospel (4:41-42) occurs when we learn many more have come to believe. And those she has testified to come back saying, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One truly is the Savior of the world.”

 The power and beauty of evangelization manifests in the conversion of hearts when an invitation leads to a personal encounter with Christ and the choice to remain and abide with him. We may recognize our journey within these many roads to discipleship; which of these paths is yours? Will we pay forward what we have received? Do we have the courage and strength to follow Jesus’ example and invite others to come and see? When we, like Andrew and the woman at the well, tell others about finding the Messiah, we become part of the hope of discipleship present in John’s Gospel. We become conduits for others to encounter the truth and grace found only in Jesus Christ.

 

Allison Gingras

Fall Clean Up

Our heartfelt thanks go to Allison Wright, Kathy Burger-Reece,  Ray Mote, Barbara Cunningham, Eileen and Bob MacDonell and Rick Charlton. Their dedicated watering and gardening throughout this summer kept our plants living and yielding beautiful flowers for us to enjoy God’s Majesty.     

Unfortunately, it soon will be time to remove the decaying flowers, and ready the grounds for winter. Please set aside Saturday, October 17th, 9 am-12 pm,  for fall clean up around the church and school. Please bring tools, paper bags, and come join a bunch of fun volunteers. Many hands certainly make the work lighter !! All the best, and hope to see you on Saturday, October 17th.

Eileen MacDonell


Praying the Rosary

 Our Parish will be praying the rosary after most weekend Masses in October. Please mark your calendars to join us.


Saint John XXIII’s Story— November 25, 1881—June 3, 1963

Saint of the Day for October 11

Although few people had as great an impact on the 20th century as Pope John XXIII, he avoided the limelight as much as possible. Indeed, one writer has noted that his “ordinariness” seems one of his most remarkable qualities.

 The firstborn son of a farming family in Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo in northern Italy, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was always proud of his down-to-earth roots. In Bergamo’s diocesan seminary, he joined the Secular Franciscan Order.

After his ordination in 1904, Fr. Roncalli returned to Rome for canon law studies. He soon worked as his bishop’s secretary, Church history teacher in the seminary, and as publisher of the diocesan paper.

His service as a stretcher-bearer for the Italian army during World War I gave him a firsthand knowledge of war. In 1921, Fr. Roncalli was made national director in Italy of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He also found time to teach patristics at a seminary in the Eternal City.

In 1925, he became a papal diplomat, serving first in Bulgaria, then in Turkey, and finally in France. During World War II, he became well acquainted with Orthodox Church leaders. With the help of Germany’s ambassador to Turkey, Archbishop Roncalli helped save an estimated 24,000 Jewish people.

 Named a cardinal and appointed patriarch of Venice in 1953, he was finally a residential bishop. A month short of entering his 78th year, Cardinal Roncalli was elected pope, taking the name John after his father and the two patrons of Rome’s cathedral, St. John Lateran. Pope John took his work very seriously but not himself. His wit soon became proverbial, and he began meeting with political and religious leaders from around the world. In 1962, he was deeply involved in efforts to resolve the Cuban missile crisis.

His most famous encyclicals were Mother and Teacher (1961) and Peace on Earth (1963). Pope John XXIII enlarged the membership in the College of Cardinals and made it more international. At his address at the opening of the Second Vatican Council, he criticized the “prophets of doom” who “in these modern times see nothing but prevarication and ruin.” Pope John XXIII set a tone for the Council when he said, “The Church has always opposed… errors. Nowadays, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.”

On his deathbed, Pope John said: “It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better. Those who have lived as long as I have…were enabled to compare different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity and to look far ahead.”

“Good Pope John” died on June 3, 1963. Saint John Paul II beatified him in 2000, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014.

Taken from franciscanmedia.org


 Permanent Deaconate of Robert Calleja

Please keep Robert (Bob) Calleja in your prayers as he will be ordained to a Permanent Deacon on Saturday, October 17th. The ordination Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

 

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