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.
Every Friday the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.
SUNDAY: 1pm BY APPOINTMENT
CALL RECTORY OFFICE AT LEAST 6 MONTHS BEFOREHAND
From Our Pastor, Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
We Must Focus on Vocations to the Ministerial Priesthood!
Even those who do not attend Holy Mass regularly should have become painfully aware that our Archdiocese is hurting for vocations to the ministerial priesthood. The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, our Archbishop, has made it abundantly clear that we are facing a crisis of alarming proportions. The measure of dividing the AOD parishes into Families of Parishes should indicate to all the faithful of goodwill that we should all be wholeheartedly involved in storming heaven so that the Lord may bless our Archdiocese with many more priests as the Moderators of the various Families of Parishes and the One-Pastor Families of Parishes are forced to rely very heavily for pastoral assistance on the help of retired priests, some of them well into their eighties!
If you go on the AOD website and search for “Vocations” you will see all kinds of suggestions and ways we can help so that our Archdiocese may be blessed with enough new, holy priests.
Here I report the prayer which we recite after Holy Communion in church and the prayer of Intercession for Vocations which our Archbishop asked us priests to include in the Solemn Intercessions, which are part of the Good Friday Liturgy.
Heavenly Father, Lord of the Harvest,
call forth vocations to the priesthood
from our archdiocese and families.
Jesus, Eternal High Priest,
give us men willing to sacrifice and serve.
Make their hearts after your own Sacred Heart.
Holy Spirit, Everlasting Love between the Father and Son,
strengthen, inspire, and set men on fire with divine charity.
Grant them the courage to say yes to their vocation.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Mother of priests,
comfort and protect your sons as they discern their call.
With Saint Joseph, may they know your love and companionship
as they deepen their relationship with Jesus.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
St. Anne, pray for us.
St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests, pray for us.
Solemn Intercession for Vocations to the Priesthood
Let us pray, dearly beloved, for vocations to the Holy Priesthood of Christ in the Archdiocese of Detroit, to continue to nourish us with the Body and Blood of Christ through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and strengthen us with the grace of the Sacraments of the Church.
Prayer in silence.
Then the Priest says:
O God, who willed to provide shepherds for your people, pour out in your Church a spirit of piety and fortitude, to raise up worthy
ministers for your altars and make them ardent yet gentle heralds of your Gospel.
Through Christ our Lord.
Supporting Our Own Seminarian, Antonio La Barbera
Antonio La Barbera is the son of Salvatore and Maria La Barbera from Lenox, Michigan. They are members of our San Francesco Church. Antonio, who has an MA in Theology from Sacred Heart Major Seminary, is a seminarian for the Diocese of Lubbock, Texas. He will be ordained a priest for that Diocese in about three years. Unfortunately, for his education towards the priesthood Antonio has piled up a sizable debt which he is paying through his work for the Labouré Society whose noble purpose is to help rescue vocations of seminarians by mitigating their debt. Antonio is humbly asking us for our prayers and donations. To donate please go to https://rescuevocations.org/antonio. Do not be scared by the figures you see there. They are the sum of the debt of the whole group of seminarians and nuns helped by the Labouré Society at this time. Make sure that you donate in “honor of Antonio L Barbera.”
May the Lord reward your generous heart.
Fr. Dino Vanin, PIME
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
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
Update on the Synod on Synodality
As with other changes in the Catholic Church, the Synod on Synodality has the faithful divided into three groups. There are those who are docile to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and, as requested by Pope Francis, gave their personal contribution and are now following with sincere interest, prayer and enthusiasm the steps that this spiritual journey of the whole Church needs to take to reach the outcome necessary for keeping the Catholic Church relevant and fully engaged in the mission of spreading the Gospel far and wide. There is also a group of critics that are wary of changes that might compromise the Deposit of Faith or simply because they are against any changes and feel comfortable only with a return to a past to which they look with nostalgia. And there is a sizable group that is waiting on the sideline of faith with a mixture of mild curiosity, a degree of detachment and a wait-and-see unemotional disposition.
While the Synod on Synodality is progressing slowly but in orderly fashion at the Vatican; in the United States we are in the middle of a National Eucharistic Revival which will conclude in Indianapolis next July. Commenting on these two concurrent events, recently, Pope Francis invited us as American faithful not to pit one against the other or at the exclusion of the other. He urged us, rather, to seize this grace-filled opportunity to strengthen our faith in the real presence of the Lord Jesus Christ both in the Eucharistic species in his body and blood, soul and divinity and present as the Head of the Mystical Body (Church); thus leading us on the mostly uncharted path of synodality with the guidance of his Holy Spirit so that we can be better equipped to carry out the ageless mission of preaching the Gospel everywhere and to everyone.
The listening sessions conducted worldwide last year, at diocesan, national and continental levels were marked by diffused participation of the faithful also in mission lands where the Church is very young, vibrant, and facing challenges quite different from those confronting her in Europe and in other parts of the old, more developed world. The massive feedback from all over the world was processed carefully in the months of April and May this year by a committee of 22 experts personally selected by Pope Francis. It was then concentrated into a 52-page document which is now the “working tool” to be used in October at the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. It is worth noticing that this document is not to be considered part of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, but as a list of priorities that surfaced from listening to the People of God from all corners of the world. For the first time in the history of the Church, about 21% of delegates with voting rights at the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will not be bishops… This document that will be the working tool at the October Assembly at the Vatican has two parts. The first part is a summary of perceptions and visions gleaned from the continental gatherings and also offers a template of what an “ideal Synodal Church” should be and how it should function. The second part of the document is made up of 15 spreadsheets with questions geared at well-pondered answers for the synodal journey of the Church. As a member of a missionary Society of Apostolic Life (PIME), I feel reassured by the focus throughout this multiyear Synod on Synodality of finding the most effective ways of preaching the Gospel in the 21st century and of the voice given to the young ecclesiastical communities of the universal Church. Some of the questions in the 15 spreadsheets are more than thought-provoking. Some of us will find them unsettling and feel quite apprehensive about the future of the Church. Yet the topic of who exercises authority in the Catholic Church is so central to the whole document that the term “authority” appears 50 times! Those who fear a Protestantization of the Church need not worry but, instead, should support this synodal journey with prayer and full trust in the assistance of the Holy Spirit and the assurance that Jesus, the Divine Bridegroom, will never abandon His Bride.
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
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Pick up a copy of MISSION WORLD from the magazine rack in the Vestibule of San Francesco Church.