By Fr. Terry Kerner

January is often a time of new beginnings and changes for many people. This is certainly the case for the parishioners of St. Alphonsus/St. Clement Parish. Their pastor Fr. Linus after years of service in Dearborn will be going home to Africa in a few weeks. Father has served his parishioners with devotion and pastoral zeal for many years, and he will certainly be missed by his parishioners and priest colleagues. No replacement for Father has been named as of yet. Fortunately for the parish Fr. Greg Deters remains as the associate pastor and will continue to minister in the parish.

Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing and sharing information about the Family of Parishes to be formed this summer. Half the parishes of the Archdiocese have already begun the process. The remaining parishes will begin soon. For us the relationship involves

St. Alphonsus/St. Clement, St. Barbara, St. Cunegunda, St. Maria Goretti and St. Kateri parishes. Each parish will maintain its independence, with its own finances and properties and pastors but will seek to form more collaborative ministries and strategic planning. Each Family of Parishes will have a Moderator to help shepherd and guide the process along. Archbishop Vigneron has asked me to fulfill that role for our Family of Parishes.

I will be celebrating my 50th anniversary of Ordination on February fourth this year. Seems like a perfect time to ask your prayers and encouragement of vocations to religious life and the Priesthood. I am convinced that there are many young men and women called to serve their Church but society and our culture discourage their calling. Even families inadvertently sometimes smother the call of the Holy Spirit to young souls. And certainly, a call to vowed or ordained ministry in the Church is not limited to the young. Deacons are great examples of this. As parish configurations and ministries grow and change, we can be sure that the Holy Spirit will be with us to guide The Way! We only need to open our hearts and souls.

Stay warm and healthy.