From the Pastor’s Desk

By Fr. Terry Kerner

This past week we lost a great priest and dear friend of so many Dearborn citizens. Fr. Jack Childs entered eternal life on, October 10th and his funeral was celebrated on Friday, October 15th at Sacred Heart Church. Fr. Jack was the pastor of St. Martha and enjoyed the love and respect of his parishioners for years. He will be remembered by for his kindness and pastoral concern for his people and steady and competent administration of two Dearborn parishes, St. Martha and Sacred Heart. Even in retirement he continued parish administration when he served as temporary administrator for four months at St. Joseph after the death of Fr. Redwick. It was at this time that I first got to know Fr. Jack when he welcomed me as the new pastor of both St. Martha and St. Joseph. Asking for his thoughts and advice for my new undertaking, Jack simply said: “I think you’ll like Dearborn.” He was right!

When asked his birth date Fr. Jack would proudly invite the questioner to check out the date above the iron gates leading into Greenfield Village. Both the Village and “Baby Jack” made their mark on the world the same day. It’s not hard to believe that Heaven’s “pearly gates” now share a similar privilege. May he rest in peace.

This Thursday St. Kateri will host a day of prayer and thanksgiving as we recognize the anniversary of our patroness’s canonization. The day begins with 9 am Mass and includes an exhibit of some twenty saints along with talks by Fr. Henry Sands, Executive Director of the Bishops Committee on Native and Black American Catholics. The day begins with Mass and concludes by mid-afternoon and includes complimentary lunch and refreshments. Invite your friends, the day is open to all. (You might even want to wish Fr. Henry a “Happy Birthday” which he celebrates October 17th!)

I am sorry to report that the parish sponsored Red Cross Blood Drive for this Wednesday, October 20th, has been cancelled. Not for lack of your generosity (already a dozen or more of you have volunteered to donate) but sadly the Red Cross inability to get the medical personnel to staff the day. What a strange and sad time we live in when such an important and life giving event cannot take place simply because people don’t want to work!

As for myself, I hope to know in the next few weeks whether or not I have overcome my heart infection and built up my strength to get back to normalcy. Please continue with the prayers. You’ve got mine!

The Deacon Is “Speakin”

Abandoning Ourselves to God, Part 3 of 3

Our last article closed, saying, we can think that evil is basically good and that we need it, at least a little, in order to experience the fullness of being.  We think that a little bargaining with evil, keeping for oneself a little freedom against God is basically a good thing, perhaps even necessary.  In this article, we continue to follow the thought of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

The person who abandons himself totally in God’s hands does not become God’s puppet, a boring “yes man.”  Only the person who entrusts himself totally to God finds true freedom, the freedom to say “yes” to God’s own creative goodness working in and through us.  The person who turns to God does not become smaller but greater, for through God and with God he becomes great, he becomes divine, he becomes truly the self that God created him to be.

The person who puts himself in God’s hands does not distance himself from others, withdrawing into his private salvation; on the contrary, it is only then that his heart truly awakens and he becomes a sensitive, hence, benevolent and open person.  The closer a person is to God, the closer he is to people.

We see this in Mary.  Her love, trust and obedience to God when it felt right and when it made no sense at all to her, united her inextricably to her Son’s own love, trust and obedience to the Father.  The fact that she is totally with God is the reason why she is so close to human beings.  She endured the Lord’s suffering as only a mother could, for our good.  Thus, she can be the Mother of every consolation and every help, a Mother whom anyone can dare to address in any kind of need in weakness and in sin.  Her union with the Son gives her understanding for everything, becoming for everyone the open power of God’s creative goodness. 

Mary’s “yes”, her abandonment to God, is also the model of our “yes”, our abandonment to God.  Mary had no need to flirt with evil to be a complete, loving, fulfilled human being.  Let us emulate Mary.