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Friday, Jan. 16, 2021:

Sacristan Volunteers Needed! We need volunteers to set up for the Friday 8:00 a.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. Masses. The responsibilities are easy to learn and training will be provided. Please consider this opportunity to serve the Lord and His Church. Contact Celeste Sura at 517-655-1794 if you are interested in volunteering.

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There is so much noise and chaos in the world right now that we are going to have an extended time for prayer and reflection, without a speaker this month. 

Bring whatever is on your mind to Jesus, listen to Him, and rest in His presence at Alive.

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Pray this novena together with Catholics all across our nation for a renewed respect for the sanctity of human life, from conception until natural death. You can receive it by email or text.  Click here to join in.

St. Mary parishioner and seminarian Brett Ivey was featured by the Diocese of Lansing this week, as he shared his story of coming to know Jesus. Enjoy this short video, and let’s keep Brett in our prayers as he discerns God’s call for his life. 

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Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021:

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Special thanks to our volunteers who did such a beautiful job decorating the church for Christmas!

It takes a lot of work and time to prepare the church for the Christmas holiday and they did a tremendous job! 

If anyone would like to take a poinsettia home, you may take one after the 11am Mass this Sunday!
Thank you also to all of our volunteers who served at our Christmas Masses and Masses for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God! We appreciate all that you do!

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For those who receive contribution envelopes:
Please pick up your 2021 envelopes from St. Joseph Hall. Thank you!

* There is currently a real need for volunteers to set up for the Friday 8:00am and Saturday 9:00am Masses. The responsibilities are easy to learn and include: 

  • Opening up the church
  • Setting up the sacred vessels for Mass
  • Closing up some areas of the church after Mass

Training will be provided. Please consider this opportunity to serve the Lord and His Church. Contact Celeste Sura at 517-655-1794 if you are interested in volunteering.

* If you like to have fun and are filled with the joy of Christ this job is for you! We have three spots open for anyone who is interested in volunteering in the parish office. Office volunteers answer telephones, do light administrative work and welcome anyone who may come into the office with a smile and a pleasant attitude. The shifts available are:

  • Mondays 12noon – 3pm
  • Wednesdays 12noon – 3pm
  • Thursdays 9am -12noon

Please contact Leslie at leslie.stmarys@gmail.com if you are interested in helping out for one or more of the shifts.

Inclement Weather Policy

It’s that time of year again! If St. Mary School closes due to inclement weather, the parish office will also be closed. If the parish office closes, we will post the notice on our our website here and on Facebook.

Mass will not be cancelled. However, if it is unsafe to attend due to inclement weather you are not obligated to come. We will continue to live stream Sunday Masses on our YouTube page

If Eucharistic Adoration or other parish events are cancelled, we will post it on our website here and on Facebook.

Watch: Realign Resources for Mission – A Virtual Parish Meeting hosted by Pete Burak

If you missed our parish Zoom meeting in December with Fr. Mathias Thelen and diocesan lawyer Will Bloomfield, representing the Realign Resources for Mission Committee, please take the time to watch the video below (41 min).

* Pete Burak explains why our diocese needs to realign resources (it’s not all about money or not having enough priests, although those are realities).

* Go through the four principles informing Bishop Boyea’s Realign Resources for Mission Vision.

* Take the opportunity to give written feedback to them and the RRM process in general via this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/realignresourcesformission

Fr. Mathias assured us that the Committee is reading all of the survey responses, and truly wants our parishioners’ input as the diocese discerns how God is leading us forward. 

Please submit any feedback by Friday, January 15.

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Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020:

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Christmas Eve – Dec. 24, 2020:

St. Mary’s Staff sends Christmas greetings and blessings to all of our parish family!
Fr. Fons and some of our staff included messages in the video above.
We all pray that the joy and peace of Christ’s presence will be yours
as you celebrate His birth!

Saturday, Dec. 19:

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If you haven’t read Fr. Fons’ letter, click the image above to do so.

Christmas Mass times:

  • There will be two simultaneous Masses at 4:30 pm on the 24th, celebrated by Fr. Zach Mabee (in the church) and Fr. Fons (in the gym).
    • The Mass in the gym will have a combination of normal seating and “family pods,” which are marked off areas for one household, similar to how seating worked at the outdoor Masses where you can use our chairs or bring your own chairs, blankets, etc. Please know that all children are welcome at our Masses.
  • We also have Masses at 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm (with Eucharistic adoration after the 11pm Mass) on Christmas Eve.
  • Then we have Masses at 9:00 am and 11:00 am on Christmas morning.

We will live stream the 9:00 am Mass on Christmas Day on our YouTube channel. You will also be able to watch it later in the day. Click here to watch.

Other schedule changes:

  • The parish office hours are 10-1pm until further notice.
  • The parish office is closed the following dates: 12/24, 12/25, 12/31, 1/1.
  • Fr. Fons will be on vacation for a week after Christmas. Fr. Zach Mabee will celebrate our Masses on the weekend of Dec. 26 & 27.
  • We have priests to cover some weekday Masses during that week, but not all. The following are cancelled: 
    • Saturday 12/26 – no 9am Mass
    • Tuesday 12/29 – no 8am Mass
    • Thursday 12/31 – no 8am Mass
  • We will not have confessions on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

New Year’s schedule for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God:

  • Thursday, Dec. 31:
    • Vigil Mass at 7pm
    • Eucharistic Adoration immediately following until Midnight
    • Sacrament of Reconciliation available from 8pm – 8:30pm, and from 11pm – 11:30pm
  • Friday, Jan. 1:
    • Masses at 9am and 11am
    • The 9am Mass will be live streamed.

We will continue to live stream all of our Sunday 9am Masses in the new year. Click here to watch.

Realigning Resources for Mission Update: 

We had a very encouraging Zoom meeting with representatives of the diocesan Realign Resources for Mission Committee, Fr. Mathias Thelen and Will Bloomfield. They are excited about what the Holy Spirit has been doing here at St. Mary. 

They shared a sobering analysis of our 10-county diocese. We are already facing some significant challenges in terms of a priest shortage, burnout for priests and parish staff, and the ever-present challenge of raising up our parishioners to use more of the gifts the Holy Spirit has given them (which is important in itself, regardless of the well-being of our pastoral leaders). 

We know that God always provides a way forward, so the “Realignment of Resources for Mission” committee is doing just that: discerning how to realign our diocesan resources so that we are better focused on the mission God has given us – to make disciples.

Fr. Mathias and Will expressed several times that they really want to hear our parishioners’ responses to the situation we’re facing as a diocese, and to hear our hopes and fears. They are asking everyone to:
   1. Watch the Zoom call, or at least the 4-part presentation. The Q & A at the end is more optional, though it was valuable.   
2. Once you have watched it, send them your thoughts via an online survey. This is due by Christmas, Dec. 25.

In the new year, they’ll take our input and that of all the other parishes in the diocese and formulate proposals for realignment. Lest you worry, they assured us that our parish will not be closing. They are excited about what is happening here, and want to encourage our growth. 

For more info: 

Did you know that St. Mary School has an Amazon wish list? Actually there are seven! Pick an item off of the school list, or choose from one of the teachers’ wish lists.

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We still have lots of room for anyone who would like to live stream the Encounter Ministries conference at St. Mary! 

Be empowered by the Holy Spirit for the new year!

It starts Monday evening, Dec. 28, and goes all day on Tues. Dec. 29 and Wed. Dec. 30. We’ll join via Zoom, and have worship and prayer ministry in St. Joe Hall. Masks and social distancing are required. Tickets: $59.

Register: Christy Whiting – stmary.christy@gmail.com; 517-655-2520
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You can also Zoom the conference at home. Register at the Encounter Ministries website.

Tuesday, Dec. 15:

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Fr. Fons’ letter includes our Christmas Mass times, locations, and live stream information. Please read it.

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We have restocked our CDs! New topics include:

  • Our Lady of Success
  • “Why Be Catholic?”
  • “Why go to Mass?”
  • “Prayer: the Gateway to the Spiritual Life”
  • “Making Peace with Difficult People”
  • “Suffering and the Love of God”
  • “The Four Levels of Happiness”
  • “The Battle Within” (overcoming sin)
  • “Men and Women are from Eden”
  • “A Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids”
  • “Contagious Catholicism”
  • and more!

Sunday, Dec. 13:

Captured: What the Hell Happened?

Last Sunday, Fr. Fons continued with the second of a 4-part homily series on the kerygma – the gospel, or “good news” – of why God created us, how we have been “captured” by sin, Jesus’ rescue mission, and responding to Him.

These homilies are adapted from Fr. John Riccardo’s compelling book,
Rescued: The Unexpected and Extraordinary News of the Gospel.

If you missed the homily or would like to hear the expanded version given by Fr. Riccardo, watch the video below. Fr. Riccardo turns our attention to “the bad news,” the explanation for why it is that everything is so messed up, and how utterly hopeless our race would be if God had not acted in the Person of His Son, Jesus. 

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Congratulations to Anne Subrizi,who won the first prize – a new Jeep or $30,000! 

Congratulations to Gary Childs, who won the second prize of $3,000!

THANK YOU to everyone who supported our school through this raffle. A record 771 tickets were sold. God bless you!

All-Parish Meeting with the Diocesan Committee for Realigning Resources for Mission

“This Committee for the Realign of Resources for Mission in our diocesewas really established in order to plan for the future.Where are we going? How are we going to evangelize in our area?”said Bishop Boyea.

Bishop Boyea’s decision to establish the committee has been informed by several key statistics. The number of priests currently in active ministry across the diocese is 81 compared to the number of parishes which is 74. [Some parishes need more than one priest, and over 20 could retire in the next 10 years.] There is also a continued decline in people attending Sunday Mass with a loss of over 17,000 people since 2009.

The membership of the committee includes priests, deacons, and lay men and women from across the diocese who were nominated by the presbyterate and diocesan staff. Overseeing the process is Fr. Mathias Thelen of St. Patrick’s in Brighton who has been asked by the bishop to chair the committee.

“Now…the committee would like to hear from parishioners across the 10-counties,” says Fr. Thelen, “and so…we will be offering presentations to every parish community across the Diocese of Lansing on the Realign Resources for Mission process.”

Each presentation will be hosted by a member of the committee plus, in most cases, a member of staff from the Diocesan Curia, who will explain the Realign Resources for Mission process.

“The key thing, though, is to hear from parishioners at these meetings,” adds Fr. Thelen, “What are your hopes and fears for the future of your parish and our diocese? What do you love about your parish? And what are your recommendations for its future? You tell us.

The end result of the Realign Resource for Committee process will be a final report delivered to Bishop Boyea with recommendations for the future of the Diocese of Lansing.
-The above is taken from the diocesan RRM website

From St. Mary Parish:The Realign Resources for Mission Committee will meet with our parish on Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will take place via Zoom, and will be approximately 90 minutes long.  

The meeting will consist of two components: 

  • A presentation by the Realign Resource for Mission Committee. 
  • Feedback from parishioners on your hopes and fears for the process, what you love or feel needs to be known about your parish, and any specific suggestions you may have for the future of your parish or the future of the diocese.

New Camera Update

We have installed our new live stream camera above the statue of St. Joseph in the back of the church! Due to an art installation behind the baptismal font that will (if all goes well) come with our new floor and pews next year, we had to mount the camera to the side. 

It can pan, tilt, and zoom, so we look forward to being able to offer a higher quality video of the Mass (once we get coordinated on the movement 😉 ).  

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Additional Times for Reconciliation: The previously announced penance services on Dec. 13th at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Gerard have been cancelled. We will have additional times of Reconciliation here at St. Mary on:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 16th – 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm in the school parking lot
  • Thursday, Dec. 17th – 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm in the confessional
  • Friday, Dec. 18th – 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm in the confessional

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Sunday, Dec. 6:

Creation: Why is there something rather than nothing?

Last Sunday, Fr. Fons began a 4-part homily series on the kerygma – the gospel, or “good news” – of why God created us, how we have been “captured” by sin, Jesus’ rescue mission, and responding to Him. 

These homilies are adapted from Fr. John Riccardo’s compelling book, Rescued: The Unexpected and Extraordinary News of the Gospel.

If you missed the homily or would like to hear the expanded version given by Fr. Riccardo, watch the video below.

Did you know – We have a 7:30 am Mass on Sundays! 

We began offering this Mass to avert crowding at our other Masses, and to provide a smaller Mass without music to enable those with significant Covid concerns to have a better option.

Attendance at our 7:30am Mass has been lower, as has the attendance at the Saturday 4:30pm Vigil Masses. We encourage parishioners who can come to these Masses to do so. 

A note about our live streams: 

The camera we have been using, which was new last spring, has been malfunctioning. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. We have purchased a new camera that will be mounted on the wall. We hope to have it set up next week. 

In the meantime, we’ll keep trying to stream our 9am Masses and the 7pm Mass for the Immaculate Conception. If those don’t work, you can watch streams from other parishes around the diocese, or google other Masses. 

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We will try to live stream the 7pm Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. However, if the live stream doesn’t work, see the note above about other live streams.

Special opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation

The previously announced penance services on Dec. 13th at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Gerard have been cancelled. We will be having additional times of confessions here the evenings of December 16th, 17th, and 18th, 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm those nights, along with our normal times of confessions throughout the week. All Wednesday confessions will remain outdoors in the school parking lot.

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Thank you to everyone who supported our school through The BIG Raffle! 771 tickets were sold – a new record for our raffles.

Congratulations to Anne Subrizi for winning the grand prize – the choice of a Jeep or $30,000! And congratulations to Gary Childs, who won the second cash prize!

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Saturday, Nov. 28:

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Advent begins this weekend!

Jesus has many, many graces for us to receive this holy season, so that we will be ready to celebrate His coming. How will you prepare?

This past week you should have received a Flocknote email or text with a list of Advent events and resources. If you didn’t, please email Christy Whiting to be added to our contact list: stmary.christy@gmail.com.

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Bishop Boyea’s Year of the Bible begins this weekend! Join Bishop Boyea in reading through a chapter a day of the Holy Bible for the next year. Each day, the Bishop will text or email you a chapter, so that by the end of the year, you will have a good overview of the Bible.

Over the weeks, Bishop Boyea will also send you invitations to events, share video reflections with you, and let you know about other Year of the Bible updates.

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This is the last weekend to buy tickets for The BIG Raffle!

The winners of the new Jeep or $30,000, and of the second prize of $3000 will be drawn on Saturday, Dec. 5th!

Tickets will be available after this weekend’s Masses. The morning of Dec. 4th is your last chance to purchase tickets at the parish or school office, or from the school website. All proceeds from the raffle go to St. Mary School!

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Our Family Faith Formation Adult Workshop is this Sunday evening, Nov. 29, at 7pm via Zoom. A link can be found in the previous Flocknote communications.

Knights of Columbus will be in the gathering space after mass distributing Keep Christ in Christmas yard signs. A $5 donation is requested.

This Thanksgiving weekend Fr. Fons and our staff want to offer a special thank you to everyone who has volunteered over the past year. Our parish and school are blessed with many people who share their time and talents to make our parish life possible. Thank you!

Tuesday, Nov. 24:

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November 22, 2020:

Bishop Boyea has extended the dispensation from the obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, the day preceding the liturgical season of Lent.

The parish office hours have changed temporarily. The office will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Tuesday December 8th. If you need assistance outside of those hours please call the parish office and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

Bishop Boyea’s Year of the Bible

You are invited to join Bishop Boyea in reading through the Holy Bible starting this Advent and continuing through the next 12 months. Each day, the Bishop will text or email a chapter of Sacred Scripture.

Together with the Bishop – and all those taking part around the diocese – you will then read it and meditate upon it. Over the weeks, Bishop Boyea will also text you invitations to events; share video reflections with you; and let you know about other Year of the Bible updates.

To sign up for texts, simply text BYOB, which stands for Bishop’s Year of the Bible to 84576.

To sign up for emails, click the link below.

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Tickets for the Big Raffle are available now, but ticket sales end soon!
Support our school and enjoy good odds of winning a new Jeep or $30,000, or winning the second prize of $3000! 

All proceeds from the raffle go to St. Mary School!

You can purchase tickets:

  • at the parish or school office
  • from a St. Mary School family
  • from the school website
  • after a weekend Mass

Please let family and friends know about this raffle. A personal request goes a lot farther than a general invitation, so consider asking them over Thanksgiving. 

This is a major source of funding for our school, so we appreciate your support!

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The Magnificat Advent Companion is now available in the gathering area for a donation of $2.

We have our Giving Tree in the narthex, this year with tags and envelops to support Shared Pregnancy, Williamston Food Bank, and classroom gifts for St. Mary school. The envelopes can be sent to the given address and other gifts can be returned under the tree. Thank you for giving this Advent and Christmas season.

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To view archived special announcements, click below.