San Francesco Parish, in Clinton Township, Michigan is a personal parish established to serve the Italian community and all people who choose to use its services in lieu of their territorial parish. San Francesco Parish has no geographic boundaries, and all are welcome to come together to worship and grow in faith and love.
SATURDAY: 8am and 6pm
SUNDAY: 8am, 10am (Italian), 12pm
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Friday from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon with Benediction at 11:50 AM.
First Friday devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.
First Saturday devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is once again available every Friday 6:30 – 7:30 PM.
SUNDAY: 1pm BY APPOINTMENT
CALL RECTORY OFFICE AT LEAST 6 MONTHS BEFOREHAND
From Our Pastor, Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
A Message from Archbishop Vigneron Regarding the Passage of Proposal 3
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We awake today to the news that Proposal 3 has passed, altering our state constitution to allow for unregulated and unsafe abortion on-demand in Michigan. As people of faith who witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ and His teachings, we are deeply saddened by this grave assault on the dignity and sanctity of unborn, innocent human life. We grieve for the many women who will continue to be harmed by abortion in our state. And most importantly, we grieve for the lives who will be lost because of this unjust and perverse law.
Over the last several months, advocates for life across the Archdiocese of Detroit and the entire state of Michigan worked tirelessly to spread the truth about Proposal 3, imploring voters to make an informed decision at the ballot box. They have been clear about the devastating impact of the vague and broad language of Proposal 3, invalidating dozens of laws and safety regulations. I offer my deepfelt gratitude to all who prayed, spread awareness, voted, and otherwise worked against this proposal; and I share in their sorrow at the outcome.
Abortion is now legal in Michigan at an unprecedented level, and millions of lives are at stake. We must pray and ask God for his mercy upon us for allowing this evil to happen in our state. For this reason, I want to invite all the faithful to join me in the first two weeks of Advent, from November 27 to December 9, in doing penance, giving alms, praying, and fasting. We must use these spiritual practices to make reparations for the great sin of abortion in our midst.
We also renew our commitment to accompanying women and families in need, with greater resolve than ever. This work is more critical now, as the unborn have been stripped of their basic right to life and their mothers face the harmful lie that the death of their children is a solution to their struggles. In response to the passing of Proposal 3, we must step forward with no judgment, open arms, and effective resources to help women reject the “solution” of death and empower them to choose life for their children.
In the Archdiocese of Detroit, we do this largely through Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, our charitable arm, and through the Archdiocese’s Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship Department. In particular, Walking with Moms in Need (WWMIN) is a ministry to help parishioners identify and create local resources that provide assistance to pregnant and parenting moms in need, and Project Rachel is an important ministry for individuals who have been harmed by abortion. I urge you to please consider joining a WWMIN ministry at your parish or getting involved in other prolife works of mercy in southeast Michigan. For more information and to get involved in these ministries, visit aod.org/walking-with-moms-in-need and evangelicalcharity.org.
We will continue our efforts to build a culture of life in which abortion is unthinkable, all families receive the support they need, and the dignity of all people is recognized. We do this with confidence in the ultimate victory of Christ, whose resurrection to life has defeated the powers of death.
St. Gianna Molla, the patroness of mothers, physicians, and unborn children, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, who carried the Savior in her womb, pray for us.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit
Proposal 3 passed despite all our prayers, sacrifices, sincere efforts, and passionate urgings made to family members, friends, and acquaintances to be informed about the radical and extreme proposed change to the Michigan Constitution so that they would join our noble cause of the defense of the unborn and parental rights. We had Holy Masses offered; we watched videos on this subject, and we enthusiastically joined the most massive and well-organized effort ever put forth by the Michigan Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
To say that we are saddened by the decision reached by 55% of Michigan voters doesn’t even begin to describe our disappointment and anguish. Ours was a most noble cause. We were never in doubt of that. We knew viscerally that God was blessing our fight for the unborn whom He had called to life. As we heard the news that we had failed in stopping Proposal 3, we began to ask why the Lord allowed this to happen.
Thumbing inquisitively through the Bible, we find out that this is not the first time the Lord doesn’t go along with His people’s good intentions. While God’s law is an eloquent sign of His predilection, it is also true that manmade laws are all wanting.
Oftentimes laws have a very limited effect on the problems they are issued to solve. Gun violence is out of control precisely in cities where gun laws are more stringent and more numerous. Prostitution flourishes in cities with the highest multiplication of laws against the oldest profession. Corruption is widespread where it is the accepted way of getting things done despite the law.
I think that the Lord wants us to realize that working for laws to correct barbaric horrors, such as abortion, is a convenient shortcut to a solution that would make us feel good without requiring a high personal cost and with limited inconvenience. The following passage from the Prophet Jeremiah might reveal to us the reason why Proposal 3 passed. Truth be told, we should have had warning signs dating back fifty years: despite all we did and the innumerable prayers we said, and the many sidewalk counseling sessions in front of abortion mills, abortions were performed legally and illegally because the laws had remained on paper rather than interiorized.
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33
By now God’s message to us should be clear: no shortcuts. Abortions are reduced and, eventually, eliminated one heart at a time. We ought to roll up our sleeves and instill respect for life in all the budding new generations in our families, social gatherings, places of work, and anywhere else we can engage in private, kind, unthreatening conversations that are determined to listen respectfully and refrain not only from judging but also from uptight body language. We will reap fruits according to the amount of time, patience, and self-sacrifice we are willing to make so that God’s law will be written in another heart. Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
When Will it Ever End?
You, too, must have lost count of how many times we thought we had turned the corner and were going to put the Covid-19 pandemic behind us as an ugly, scary dream.
We are thoroughly worn out. The toll has been incalculable on all facets of our life. We have all experienced losses on many fronts, emotionally, psychologically, physically, and economically.
Some of us feel helpless because, after two years, no solution seems the right one. Others are thoroughly angry because they firmly believe that politics and lust for control have tainted many of the remedies proposed. Still others, perhaps the majority, are much confused as the purported luminaries who demand docile obedience have fed us contradictory, illogical, and conflicting solutions all proven fruitless or modestly effective, at best.
As your pastor, I feel the urgency to remind myself and all of you that the last two years have not driven us out of the Mystical Body of Christ. We are still one with him, our Lord. It would be totally unbecoming of our Christian dignity to throw our hands up in the air and say: “I give up.” We can never lose heart.
Here are some of the statements written by our loving Father with millennia-long divine forethought:
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name; Isaiah 49:15-16
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.John 14:23
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
We have human remedies for Covid-19 and its variants, and we have divine remedies. Any of the statements recorded here should be enough to bring us a degree of inner peace and motivate us to keep carrying out our duties according to our life’s calling.
As people chosen before the creation of the world (cf. Ephesians 1:”4) and held in the Father’s embrace, we are expected to live through this pandemic owing each other only the debt of love (cf. Romans 13:8).
That debt of love is paid through human touch, sincere caring, mutual support, cheerful forgiveness whenever wronged and humble owning up to our crankiness. After two years of Covid-19, it is getting harder to hide our wounds and we are affected by the wounds of others. But we should find comfort in the fact that our pain is completely and wholly recorded by our heavenly Father:
My wanderings you have noted; are my tears not stored in your vial, recorded in your book? (Psalm 56:9).
None of us really knows when Covid-19 and its variants will be only a blip in the radar of human history. But, as believers, as people living in the Father’s embrace, we know that even this devastating pandemic falls completely within the Father’s mysterious, often painful plan yet totally unable to separate us from His love.
Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
Devoted to Breaking Bread in our Church (Acts 2:46)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a wonderful definition of the Eucharist: The Eucharist is “the source and summit” of the Christian life. The other Sacraments and, indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch. (1324-1327).
The pandemic has revealed those of our parishioners who truly live out this definition by the aching that gripped their hearts during the lockdowns and the intensity of their longing to return to worship in their beloved church of San Francesco so as to ease their hunger for the living Bread.
But the pandemic has also brought to the surface the painful reality that only one third of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic species, i.e., present with his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. For them the Eucharist is far from being the ‘source and summit’ of Christian life. Alas, they might feel lukewarm about the Eucharist and reserve it for the occasional thought that prompts them to set foot inside a church on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, a few other Sundays and on special occasions such as First Holy Communions, Confirmations, weddings, and funerals. Their body language, more than their actions, denotes a lack of that burning desire that should be visibly displayed by their entire being; this is if they firmly believe in truly becoming divine by assimilating the heavenly food that guarantees genuine believers to live on into eternity, way past their inevitable physical demise.
Let me confess to you all how deeply concerned and troubled I am that the other two thirds of “Catholics”, de facto, are not Catholic anymore, because they are missing out on the source and summit of Christian living.
The first of the two most disconcerting signs of apathy towards the Catholic belief in the Eucharist is: having adjusted to a general spiritual malaise of being sinful and weak. Spiritually healthy believers, realizing that their love for Jesus has become tepid, would rush to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Those who do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species instead go years or even decades without receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, because their sinfulness has metastasized. The other disconcerting sign is a loss of craving for the Flesh of our God in Holy Communion. The fire of love for Jesus that once was burning inside has been gradually replaced by tepidness, as they have adjusted to the near flat line of their Christian life.
Hence, tragically, two thirds of nominal Catholics find themselves trapped helplessly in this vicious cycle. Tepid love for Jesus makes them minimize their sins until they find themselves in a deep sinful rut, and they become weaker and weaker. Having become spiritually weak, they still keep “the habit” of going to Holy Communion, but without feeling the urgency of reforming their life and without the burning hunger for the heavenly food that would make them recover their strength and be set ablaze again with love for Jesus. The vicious cycle is only broken by genuine love for Jesus, which is eloquently visible in the Crucified Lord and readily available in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and The Eucharist, in that order.
Fr. Dino Vanin, your very concerned pastor
For your edification, you might also want to Google “St. Tarcisius;” you will find a variety of narratives about the inspiring feats of faith and courage of this young Christian boy martyred for his love of the Eucharist.
The Missions Corner
A Reflection on the Synod on Synodality
A large, majestic tree, full of wisdom and light, reaches for the sky. A sign of deep vitality and hope which expresses the cross of Christ. It carries the Eucharist, which shines like the sun. The horizontal branches opened like hands or wings, suggest, at the same time, the Holy Spirit.
The people of God are not static: they are on the move, in direct reference to the etymology of the word synod, which means “walking together”. The people are united by the same common dynamic that this Tree of Life breathes into them, from which they begin their walk.
These 15 silhouettes sum up our entire humanity in its diversity of life situations of generations and origins. This aspect is reinforced by the multiplicity of bright colors which are themselves signs of joy. There is no hierarchy between these people who are all on the same footing: young, old, men, women, teenagers, children, lay people, religious, parents, couples, and singles; the bishop and the nun are not in front of them, but among them. Quite naturally, children and then adolescents open their walk, in reference to these words of Jesus in the Gospel: ” I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children”. (Mt 11:25)
The horizontal baseline: “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission” runs from left to right in the direction of this march, underlining and strengthening it, to end with the title “Synod 2021 – 2023”, the high point that synthesizes the whole.
The above description of the Synod on Synodality from the Vatican Website captures all the elements of this unique communal effort of a Church that is by her very nature missionary.
If you keep abreast of what is going on in the Catholic Church, you must know that last year, Pope Francis issued a massive effort to get the whole Church involved in becoming a global Community of Faith totally fired up by the Holy Spirit to fully exercise her mandate to be genuinely missionary. This very ambitious project is called the “Synod on Synodality.” By reading the description given of this unique Synod we realize its magnitude and we understand why on October 16 of this year the Supreme Pontiff extended its conclusion by one more year, going from 2021-2023 to 2021-2024!
The three words of the Synod’s logo indicate the three steps to be taken by the whole Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.
Communion: The Eucharist makes all of us one in Christ Jesus; we are the Body of which Christ Jesus is the Head. Strengthened and motivated by the Eucharist, all of us, regardless of our state and calling in life, are to participate with our entire self, talents, know-how, and goodwill (Participation) to identify shortcomings, mistakes, needs, and voids in our local Church. We are to propose solutions inspired by the Gospel and set up plans and strategies to reach the largest number of people to whom to proclaim the Gospel, which we are living in the purity of intent (Mission).
By looking at what the Catholic Church is doing for the three stages (Communion, Participation, and Mission) of the Synod on Synodality in countries like Italy, I must wonder why the same type of support, sharing, and exchange of topics of concern is not happening in our country. Italy is hurting from a lack of priests as much as we are in the United States; yet different dioceses send some of their priests to do missionary work in mission lands of South America, Africa, and Asia. PIME, to mention but one Missionary Institute, offers a two-year training stint for young people and married couples with or without children to be sent to help in the missions as hospital workers, engineers of various backgrounds, technicians, husbandry experts, and general helpers to the local missionary priests and nuns. Their assistance lasts from a minimum of a few months to years, to a lifetime…. There are also numerous in-person and, in reduced number, virtual seminars during which the exchange of candid information enables both Churches to come to a sincere and deepened appreciation of the difficulties they face and find themselves enriched by the methods applied to solve similar problems and by tackling issues that were left dormant and/or ignored before the exchange began to take shape.
Here are some forms of mutual enrichment between well-established Churches and mission Churches:
The inexhaustible energy of the Gospel that directs believers across the globe to continue Jesus’ work of seeking out and valuing the voiceless, the marginalized, the outcast, and any child of God who has been invisible for too long. There is newfound hope that both young and old Churches may walk together toward the Kingdom in genuine brotherhood and joyous service; the discovery that, regardless of origin, status, or background, all are entitled to have their personal dignity recognized. In the Catholic Church of the third millennium, nobody should ever be considered a second-class citizen. The crucial importance of cultivating interpersonal relationships is far and wide; the communal effort to help everyone pass from less humane to more humane conditions; learning about each other’s circumstances through honest dialogue and reciprocal, attentive listening; entrusting to the laity the service and contribution that they can provide with more effectiveness and professionalism.
The American Catholic Church does a little outreach (mostly in some areas of Central America) and is in no way ready to do what some European Churches have been doing for over two centuries and are doing now using the latest technological advancements in communication. Only time will tell. But we at San Francesco, a parish entrusted to the PIME missionaries since 1947, should routinely find some time in our busy schedules to learn about the difficulties and issues troubling mission land Churches through Mission World magazine and the US PIME website. There are additional media such as Asia News (English version) and the Italian Mondo e Missione website (in Italian). We should already be convinced that our brothers and sisters in Churches situated in mission lands are very precious to us. We should not spare any effort to find out about the challenges they are facing in living out the same Gospel we are called to live out, although in different circumstances. Since they are out of physical sight, as disciples of Christ Jesus, we cannot allow them to vanish from our minds and, even less, from our hearts. The bond that unites us with them is the Blood of Christ. It is unbreakable. Hence, we pledge to hold them very dear to us and to do for them what we feel natural to do for all people whom we truly love.
Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
To reinvigorate your missionary spirit and to feel close to the needy and suffering people of the missions, please go to www.PIMEusa.org or:
Contact the PIME Mission Center via e-mail: info@PIMEusa.org or
Write to U.S. Mission Office 17330 Quincy St. Detroit, MI 48221-2749 or
Subscribe to MISSION WORLD, or
Pick up a copy of MISSION WORLD from the magazine rack in the Vestibule of San Francesco Church.