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 to 12:00 noon with Benediction at 11:50.
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.
FRIDAY: 6:30pm-7:30pm OR BY APPOINTMENT
SUNDAY: 1pm BY APPOINTMENT
CALL RECTORY OFFICE AT LEAST 6 MONTHS BEFORE HAND
From Our Pastor, 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
Modern Versions of the Way of the Cross
For about a year now, we have been made painfully aware of the crisis at the southern border with Mexico and been confronted with that unsustainable situation. But naturally, we have looked at this crisis from our standpoint as citizens of the United States and we are rightly worried about the spread of Covid-19, human trafficking, illegal drugs, vicious criminals sneaking in, and all the rest.
Occasionally, in the mass media, there are brief mentions of migrants drowning off the coasts of southern Europe; but those incidents are rather remote from us. However, recent issues of the weekly paper of my Diocese of Treviso, Italy, have opened my eyes to the worldwide size of migration as the modern-day ascends to Mount Calvary and Way of the Cross that snake through all continents on desperate searches for livelihood in Europe or North America.
Pope Francis is so anguished and consumed by this heart-wrenching plight of millions of migrants that he mentions it several times a week; he unceasingly challenges all leaders of affluent countries and their believers. He has visited several refugee camps including the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in April 2016 and, again, on December 5, 2021. He is so taken by this grim, global predicament that he added the title of Comfort of Migrants to the Lauretanae Litanies of Our Lady.
The most notorious migration routes are the Lampedusa, the Greek Islands, and the Balkan routes. Apart from the partially imaginable, dreadful hardships, many lives are lost: To reach Lampedusa or a Greek island migrants risk drowning. To reach the Una-Sana camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina, people risk death from exposure or having their dream shattered by the razor barbed wire of inhospitable countries and by the desperation of local youth who are themselves trying to migrate where it is possible to make a living. The American route also shows the misery of migrants. They arrive in Brazil by any possible means. From there they cross impenetrable forests and the Andes into Peru. And from there they head north. By the time they reach the bottleneck of Panama and its thick forest, the sorry caravan heading north has swollen considerably due to the addition of needy people from other poor countries…
It is hard to believe but it is true: the masses of migrants reaching our southern border with Mexico would be much larger than they are if the Mexican government did not continue doing with the Biden Administration what it had done during the Obama and Trump Administrations: stopping migrants at the city of Tapachula in the State of Chiapas in exchange for substantial financial aid.
We must also add internal migrations to the intercontinental migrations from Africa and Asia to Europe or America. There are over half a million migrants (mostly Karen and Rohingya) wandering inside Myanmar as they try to avoid being killed by the military junta. We cannot forget those people who are fleeing Afghanistan, of course, and Syria, and many troubled areas of Africa, where Boko Haram sows death and destruction.
Missionaries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including PIME missionaries, seem to be the first ones to realize that migration is currently the most colossal global challenge the world is facing. The only viable solution is the undaunted and resolute creation of feasible opportunities for making a living right in the countries from where abysmal poverty and desperation are compelling people to leave. Truly dedicated missionaries are working against very unfavorable odds and risk being kidnapped, as recently happened in Haiti, or being killed as happened in Myanmar to two of them from the humanitarian group Save the Children at the end of December 2021.
I am sharing this reflection with you, basically for three reasons: to be united in daily, heartfelt prayer for genuine migrants and for all missionaries who risk life and limb in mission countries; to accept the hardships of our life without complaining, sustained by a deep-seated sense of gratitude; and to support little humanitarian and development projects designed to improve living conditions in mission lands of which we become aware. We resolve to do so because, at the end of our life, these are the words we want to hear from the Lord seated on his throne of judgment:
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40.
Fr. Dino Vanin, your Pastor
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.