Forming a family of faith is challenging.

We’re here to help.

God created our families as an image of the Holy Trinity. We’re here to love and to be loved, both by God, and by each other. Families are the training grounds for a life of love and faith.

This requires more than one hour at Mass each week and one class of religious education. That’s why St. Mary Parish is moving from a classroom-based model of children’s formation to a family-based model.

The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father’s work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2205

Fr. Mark and St. Mary’s staff and catechists have been discerning for a while how we can provide more effective support for families, and Covid-19 has intensified the need for a more personalized integration of faith into family life.

Our newly-designated Director of Marriage and Family Life Ministry, Laura Hahnenberg, will lead our new Family Faith Formation efforts. We will be using the “A Family of Faith” program from Sophia Press:

In August, when we will have a better idea of how we can host gatherings and other events, we will announce the dates, times, and other preparations for this program. It will replace the “Religious Ed” program that we have done in the past. All parish families – including those in our school and CGS – are invited to participate!


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: We will continue offering CGS, as it has been a blessing to many families in the formation of their faith. Children in Pre-School through Third Grade would therefore be able to participate in CGS and A Family of Faith.

We will be monitoring recommendations from the CDC and the Diocese of Lansing to determine how to continue this program, and will announce plans in August. Laura Hahnenberg will be working with Nancy Hilker to coordinate this program, as well.


Former Director of Religious Ed, Christy Whiting, will be our new Director of Discipleship and Evangelization. She and Laura will work closely together. Christy’s focus will be on helping parishioners to grow in their spiritual journeys, and to reach out with God’s love to bring people to Christ. Her role not only encompasses on-site ministries such as Alpha, but has expanded to developing our parish communications, which include our online outreach via social media and our website, and the development of our Flocknote parish communications platform.


If you have questions about any of these changes, feel free to contact Laura or Christy:

Laura Hahnenberg:, 517-655-2620

Christy Whiting:, 517-655-2520

We look forward to embarking on this new journey with you in the fall!


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