Fr. Hurley's Herald


Fr. Hurley’s Herald

August 9, 2020

Family of Parishes

Unfortunately, I don’t know any more than you regarding the Family of Parishes diocesan reorganization.  The vicar, Fr. Rich Treml, will be hosting us for a dinner and further discussion about what is going on.  I get the impression that the parishes are going to eventually be in a hybrid cluster model arrangement.  I am not sure what that will mean for us up here, because the parishes are so spread out in the vicariate.  This will work much easier in the suburbs where the churches are closer together and can share the priests and resources more readily.

Sacristy Traffic

There has been an ever increasing about of foot traffic in the sacristy before and after Mass.  I have been asked repeatedly to hear confessions right before the start of a Sunday Mass.  This has caused me to be late, forget to set up the Mevo to live stream, forget to set something out for Mass, to forget to lock something up after Mass, or to simply disrupt my preparation and prayers before and prayers after Mass. 

I set the nut cracker out as a reminder to stop before entering the sanctuary.  It is one thing if you are a lector or volunteer (cleaning/sanitizing) to come up into the sanctuary to ask me a question or to get the equipment to sanitize, but please wait to see me after Mass when I am unvested. We are now praying the Prayers After Mass before the procession out, so I am hoping that this will alleviate some of the issues by being outside after Mass.  Please note that I am on a water pill to prevent kidney stones.  If I walk past you briskly, I am not being rude, but it is because Mother Nature paged.

Blessing of Items

There have been an increasing number of requests to bless multiple items, which often requires multiple prayer books.  If you would like multiple something blessed, please drop them off at the office with your name, number, and the date you need them back.  I will be happy to do that there.  It is easier to do the exorcism and blessing of salt, water, oil, and St. Benedict medals this way. 

The new rite from the Book of Blessings reduced the blessings to the Blessing of All Things from the Old Rite.  The Old Rite has a blessing for practically everything that can be blessed (prior to cell phones and computers), so each object will get blessed using the Old Rite. 

Dress Code

There is not a formal dress code for Mass and the Sacraments.  Because of this, I am increasingly seeing shorts, stretch pants/yoga pants, flip fops, sandals, & beach/bath wear, and shirts with inappropriate saying or pictures on them.  At a bare minimum, the dress should be what we called business casual.  This would be a polo or button-down shirt with kakis or slacks for men and boys and a polo or blouse with kakis, slacks, or a longer skirt or a dress for the ladies and girls.  For Sunday Mass, a Wedding, or a Funeral, this should be kicked up a notch.  This is also a good way to form the kids in preparing to come to Mass, because it teaches the children that they are going somewhere special to encounter Someone Special in Our Lord.

Music at Mass

Mr. Joe Balistreri, who work in the Archdiosesan Worship Office, wrote an article in the AOD’s blog/website called Encounter/Grow/Witness.  His article is copied below.

The Role of Liturgical Music During the Pandemic

Joe Balistreri • Jul 28, 2020

Singing is a crucial component of Christian worship. The first Eucharist, celebrated by Jesus and the Apostles in the upper room, concluded with the singing of a hymn. The scriptures are filled with psalms, songs, and canticles. St. Augustine is believed to have written "he who sings prays twice." We know from church records and musicological research that the hymn "Ubi Caritas", sung on Holy Thursday, dates from the beginning of the second century. The antiphons for Mass that have become known as Gregorian chants were arranged into a fixed cycle in the seventh century, with many of them existing centuries earlier.  

In Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council declared that "the musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy."

When COVID-19 forced us into quarantine and research began to uncover how the coronavirus spread, it became clear that the primary method of spread is aerosol droplet transmission. Unfortunately, researchers broadly agreed that indoor community singing is one of the most effective ways to spread aerosol.

Those who study singing learn how to maximize the efficacy of their breath in projecting sound, releasing large amounts of air with inclusion of consonants and vowel shaping, and ultimately releasing significantly more aerosol droplets at a further distance than speaking. This is also why you may notice singers almost always carrying water with them: singing expels a significant amount of aerosol, and the singer needs to remain hydrated!

For these reasons, it has been necessary to minimize congregational singing at Mass until the pandemic subsides.

A completely unsung liturgical experience would be quite unsettling for many Catholics. The very nature of Christian worship even seems to beg the question: "How can I keep from singing?"

A middle path, recommended by the Archdiocesan Academy of Sacred Music, asks a solo singer or small group of well-spaced soloists to sing the antiphons. These are the texts of the Gregorian antiphons mentioned above, handed down to us over about 1500 years. Instead of participating in the music in an exterior way by singing, the congregation is invited into interior participation in the music by active listening and contemplation.

Some music ministers have taken to singing the ordinary parts — the unchanging texts from week to week, such as the Gloria and the Sanctus — in Latin or to unfamiliar settings, helping to minimize congregational singing while allowing interior participation. These various creative approaches are commendable.

As we wait in prayerful hope for an end to this pandemic, I invite you to join with your music minister in praying in your heart these confident hymn lyrics:

No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I’m clinging. Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?

August 2, 2020


Please note that my day off is Friday and now that we are able to be out and about, I am usually gone.  I don’t like to publicize this, because I was robbed at my last assignment when I published that I was going on retreat.  I would eventually have to alarm the rectory at St. Anthony because of that.  I have been considering doing the same for here.

I don’t like to get in the habit of scheduling things on Friday, but there have been a few exceptions due recently because of Covid and travel restrictions.  We had a burial and a funeral on a couple of Fridays recently, as well as, wedding rehearsals.

Please also note that if you need someone anointed please try to catch me on Thursday or Saturday.  I felt bad, because I missed someone this past Friday at the hospital, because I was in Cleveland.

If you also try to contact me for things that are not urgent, I may not be able to get back with you until I am in the office on Monday.  The weekends can get busy, so depending on what is scheduled, I may not get around to it only Monday.

Last Friday, I drove down to Toledo to anoint my friend, Fr. Patrick R., who had to have heart surgery on Tuesday.  He is recovering well from the surgery, but he suffers PTSD from being a Military Chaplain and stationed in Iraq.  Prior to his ordination, Fr. R. was enlisted in the military and injured his back during his tour of duty.  He suffers a great deal from the physical and emotional trauma, so please keep him in your prayers. 

After dinner, my deacon friend took father home. Then, we met up with some mutual friends from St. Anthony for a bonfire.  Afterwards, we went to the local sports complex (bowling, outdoor sand volleyball, video golf, a restaurant, firepits, etc).  We got to know the owner, Mr. Rich Kenny, and caught up with him at the outdoor restaurant/bar area.  I have been following him since the shutdown. He tried getting ahead of the curve by purchasing equipment to keep everyone safe.  He has plenty of technology to sanitize bowling equipment and the whole campus.  I have been trying to apply some of what he has learned here, but at a much lower cost.   

Mr. Kenny is concerned that if he is not allowed to open the bowling alley portion of the campus, he may go out of business.  He employs a number of people from the area and he provides a great outlet for kids of all ages to play different sports.  He said that the bowling alley association was going to petition the governor to take them into consideration.  Please pray for Mr. Kenny and his cohorts.

This past Thursday evening, I was able to drive to Stowe, Ohio (outside of Cleveland) to meet up with College classmates from John Carroll.  It was the first time we could physically get together, since January.  We were supposed to gather in March, but that was right about the time everything was shutting down.

One of my classmates is a teachers’ union president in Ohio. He got word earlier that day that Cuyahoga County is not having live, in-class teaching, beginning this Fall.  He isn’t sure about the whole year yet. This was after the Health Board for Franklin County (where Columbus is located) cancelled live, in-class education.  They will start this August with remote learning.  As these two counties go, so goes the rest of Ohio.

Bishop Kelley Catholic School

I wrote the above, because our plan is to open with live, in-class learning this August.  This is also the plan for the Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Detroit Schools.  Mr. Kevin Kijewski and his staff are working hard to ensure the safety and well-being of the students, faculty, and staff of the schools.  They are also working to try to make sure that we can begin school in a classroom setting this Fall.

I am not sure how the school year will play out, because it seems like the governor of Michigan seems to follow the governor of Ohio.  The other factor now in play is the Board of Health in each county in Ohio.  I am not sure how that works here in Michigan.  I know my classmate’s superintendent wants to open and so does he, but it appears to be out of their hands.  The same could be said here in Michigan.

I guess my point is that if you want your schools to open (public, private, Catholic, charter, etc.), you should probably be writing all of those mentioned above and any other officials that you think should be notified. 

My concern is not only how this will effect Bishop Kelley, but also how it will effect the Religious Education program.  There is a strict protocol regarding the sanitizing of the schools.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any direction for the Religious Education programs, yet. I am going to have to see if there are any remote programs, just in case. 


I will be hosting the Right of Christian Initiation (RCIA) classes beginning this August.  With us limited in number at the school, it will be easier to host the RCIA in the rectory.  If you know anyone interested in becoming Catholic, please have them email me or call me in the office.  I have met with one fellow and his bride for RCIA and Marriage Prep.  There were also a few that started late last season, but with Covid, we had to cancel the program and delay those who were further along to Pentecost. 

Family of Parishes

I will know more about this come Wednesday when we finally have a meeting with the Vicar and the Auxiliary Bishop. Since the Vatican put out a document recently, the AOD has had to review it and modify their plans.  It is sort of like a Together in Faith 3, but that may be a bit too simplistic to describe what is going on.  The biggest issue is that the number of priests left will be cut in a third to a half in 10 years.  

June 28, 2020

The Week from Purgatory

This month has been pretty intense shoehorning three months’ worth of activities into the month of June.  This past week began with the second round of First Holy Communions, which was a great day.  Then, the normal weekend Confession and Mass schedule followed by the normal week day Mass schedule.  However, due to the Stay at Home order, there were three funerals scheduled for the week.  The funerals on Monday and Wednesday were here and my high school classmate’s funeral was Thursday at Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Sterling Heights.  We also had a burial on Friday.  All of these brought some closure to the families.

Tuesday was bitter sweet Day. It began with the anticipation of the celebration of the Baccalaureate Mass for the Home School High School Graduates.  It was celebrated with great solemnity on the Vigil of the Birth of St. John the Baptist in the Extraordinary Form in Latin, which is more penitential in nature in the Old Rite, including the wearing of the purple vestments and a more subdued tone for the Ordinary of the Mass.  However, shortly before Mass, I would see the last posting on Facebook of one of my College classmates that his battle with cancer that lasted about two years was coming to an end.  He had been posting his journey with all of the ups and downs that go along with chemotherapy, trial drugs, and the loneliness that occurred during the lockdown and his quarantine.  I would find out after the Baccalaureate Mass that Chris had died shortly before the Mass began. It would dampen my celebrating with the graduates at their reception in the parking lot after the Mass and the diplomas were handed out. 

I was able to celebrate a belated Father’s Day on Thursday after the funeral of my high school classmate, Brian Czach.  The burial was during the Stay at Home order, which was very limited, so this was good that all of his family and friends could attend.  Thursday was my dad, William’s, patronal feast, the Feast Day of St. William the Abbot.  It was good to visit with my mom and dad, especially after he broke his right leg at about the same spot as his left leg a year and a half ago.  Thankfully your prayers were heard, because my dad won’t need surgery as long as he takes it easy. 

There was an anointing in between there somewhere, with the scheduling of the funeral when I return from retreat.  It ends with two weddings on Saturday (one here and one at Marine City, with Fr. Terrien, but the reception is at the Pavilion in Metamora) and the weekend Mass Schedule.  Thankfully, Dcn. Joe Hulway is preaching! 

I am looking forward to my retreat in Tulsa.  Please pray for me while I am there.  Please keep an eye on the parish, too. 

New Directives from the Archdiocese of Detroit

The AOD is allowing us to have 50% capacity in the parish church for Masses with the public, provided we can do our best to social distance and keep everyone safe.  We will still be sanitizing the church for the time being.  I suspect we will continue to do this, especially when we get into the Fall and Flu Season.  This will allow us to open the back door and to resume the collection by the ushers. 

There will be limited singing by the congregation during Holy Mass.  So again, respond to the parts softly or in a low voice as best as you can.

Unfortunately, we are still limited to 10 people for non-liturgical functions like meetings and such.  They are limiting this to 100 when it is held outdoors.

Again, all of the faithful are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass through Sunday, September 6, 2020.

Altar Boy Boot Camp

We will be hosting Altar Boy training  during the week of July 20th for boys, young men, and even dads to learn how to serve both Rites (Novus Ordo in English and the Traditional Latin Mass).  Training for the Novus Ordo in English will be Monday and Wednesday, July 20 and 22 from 10am-2pm.  Training for the TLM is Tuesday and Thursday, July 21 and 23 from 10am -2pm.  Pizza will be provided for lunch. 

We will watch some videos, practices the responses in both English and Latin, and learn about postures and positions at Mass and practice them as well. 

Please let me know if you are able to attend and which dates either by email at [email protected] or at the parish office.

Life is Good. Enjoy Life. – Brian Czach

December 1, 2019

Parish Mission

Fr. Mark Prill is excited to be coming here for the parish mission from December 8th-12th (he will have to leave after the last session on the 11th).  He will be talking about parish renewal with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Fr. Prill’s talks will be about Mary, the Eucharist and the Sacraments, Devotions, and the Apostolate. 

 I am hoping to have a replica of the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe framed in order to dedicate at Mass on December 12th.  The framer by the train station is working to get it back to us in time for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is over 4 feet tall and almost as wide.  I am hoping to have her hung in church by the Marian Altar. 


It was recommended by a classmate who is a canon lawyer to add a door for the priest to enter in separately, so as to section off the penitent’s area from the priest’s area.  We have been waiting on Rome to rule about this since the first scandal in 2002.  Unfortunately, Rome has not provided us with this guidance.  The purpose is for the safety of the priest and penitent.   

 Furthermore, as the world grows evermore anti-Catholic, there has to be a safeguard for the Seal of Confession.  There have been cases outside of America in which law enforcement and judges have tried to get the priests to break the Seal of Confession.  Recently, there have been movements afoot in the Western states to rule along the lines of breaking the Seal.  This will be rectified with the separation. 

 The hope is that those who would like to kneel will be able to kneel.  Those who are not able to kneel will be able to sit while going to confession.  There will be a screen long enough to accommodate both postures.  Until this is completed, feel free to stand behind the kneeler if you want to remain anonymous, but cannot kneel.

 Youth Group

The parish youth group will be meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday.  The Junior High/Middle School will meet on Tuesday from 6-7:30p and High School will meet from 6:30-8:30p in the Fr. Lewnau Room.  Demetrius Eddy will be covering the Saints with the Middle School Group and the Marian Doctrines for the High School Group.



November 24, 2019

Advent Mission with Fr. Mark Prill

We will have an Advent Mission led by Fr. Prill that will run from Sunday, December 8th to Thursday, December 12th.

 On Sunday, we will gather at 5pm for a Potluck Dinner in the Community Room at 5:30pm.  Please bring a dish to pass. At 7pm, we will then move to the church for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Fr. Prill’s first talk.  It will be on Mary and the model Christian and her relevancy in our lives as Catholics.  He will talk about Mary as the model for us as a follower of Jesus Christ.  It will include her devotion to her son, her humility and her “yes” to God.  Then, he will relate all of her to our lives as Catholics.  The evening will conclude with Benediction.

 On Monday, Fr. Prill will begin at 7pm in church with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  His talk will cover the challenges to our faith how to overcome them, including personal challenges we may have due to sin, challenges from world, and the challenges as a Catholic (i.e. no one likes what we stand for and briefly touch on sex abuse scandal).  Then, he will talk about the boldness needed today as a Catholic, being that witness, importance of Confession and trust in the Lord.  The evening will conclude with Benediction.

 On Tuesday, Fr. Prill will begin at 7pm in church with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  He will discuss renewing our friendship with Christ, parish renewal and the Apostolate/Evangelization.  Fr. Prill will talk about getting back to basics - “Catholic boot camp”.  He will also cover topics like Confession, Eucharist Adoration, The Most Holy Rosary, and the other spiritual weapons the we have from Christ to face the challenges of the day.  He hopes to give practical advice for personal spiritual growth, so that we can help to make the parish a shining example of the Catholic Faith around the county.  The evening will conclude with Benediction.

 On Wednesday, Fr. Prill will have morning Mass with the School.  He will also gather with the Religious Education students at 6pm.  He was going to talk about his vocation story and challenge them to live out their faith.  In in other words, if one kid can do it from Lapeer, so can they.  There will be a brief gathering in church after Religious Education at 7pm.  There will be Exposition and Benediction with a consecration to Our Lady.  (Fr. Prill has to be on the road at a reasonable hour for the two-hour drive to Erie, MI.)

 Finally, on Thursday, we will have Holy Mass in the Evening for Our Lady of Guadalupe at 7pm with a gathering afterwards in the Community Room.  An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was donated to us.  I am hoping to have it framed and then dedicated that evening at Mass. The gathering afterwards will be a potluck style dinner.  Please bring Mexican/Latin American dishes to pass, since Our Lady is the Patroness of the Americas.

 Please RSVP for the Sunday, December 8th Potluck by December 5th and the Thursday, December 12th Potluck by Wednesday, December 11th.  You may leave a message on my voicemail or via email.  This will ensure that we have enough food.  Please, you may attend the talks even if you don’t RSVP.

Bishop Kelley Washington DC Collection

A big thankyou to parishioners that donated after Mass to help fund the Washington DC trip for the Bishop Kelley students.  Close to $1000 was donated last weekend to help the kids fund their trip.  They will be here on the 3rd Sunday for the next few months to help collect funds after Mass.  Hopefully, this will help offset the trip enough that the few families that had to back out due to cost will be able to reconsider the trip.

 This came up at the last Parent Teacher Group meeting.  The parents were greatly appreciative of the parish’s generosity. 

 Bishop Kelley Schola

At Wednesday morning Mass, the Bishop Kelley “Schola” sang hymns, the psalm, and propers.  There were about 10 students from the 2nd and 3rd grades in the choir loft.  They will be meeting after school to practice to sing at Holy Mass on Wednesday mornings with Mrs. Hilary Thompson, the choir director.  We hope to expand it a bit with some of the upper grades.  I am also hoping to find some simple pieces of sacred music for the band members to play.  I also have my eye on some used percussion equipment, such as timpani and hanging bells/tubes.  

 At some point, we would like to see them sing at the holidays.  If you would like to sing or play an instrument, please let Mrs. Thompson know.  It may be too late for Christmas, but it is certainly worth looking into.  We could also look at Easter and some of the other Holy Days.

 Parish Patronal Feast Day

The Archdiocesan Worship Office returned my call regarding the Parish Patronal Feast falling on a Sunday in Advent.  Mr. Dan McAfee stated “In the new calendar of the Novus Ordo, the Sundays of Advent outweigh the Marian Feast Days.  Therefore, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception must be transferred to Monday, December 9th, even though it is the parish patronal feast.” It is Holy Day that is not Obligated, because it is transferred to Monday. 

 Interestingly, the 1962 calendar allows Marian Feast Days to trump the Sunday of Advent.  The noon Mass will be the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with a commemoration of the Sunday of Advent (there will be a second collect).  This will be the Traditional Latin Mass.

 Annual Collection for Parish St. Vincent de Paul

This Wednesday there will be Mass at 7pm will a collection taken to support the St. Vincent de Paul society at Immaculate Conception.  Since there is not a vigil for a secular holiday, we will be able to use a Marian Mass for the parish. 



November 10, 2019


Karaoke Night Rescheduled

Between the lack of promotion on my part and technical problems with my friend’s computer, we are going to have to reschedule the Karaoke Night to a later date.  I apologize for the inconvenience.

 Second Collection

During the parish audit, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s auditor told us that we needed to eliminate the standing second collection and the extra envelopes for the school, food pantry, and the St. Vincent de Paul.  Each of these were assessed (taxed) by the Archdiocese after being counted by the money counters.

 The auditor recommended that we have donors send the money directly to Bishop Kelley, The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan’s Immaculate Conception account, and St. Vincent de Paul.  The checks should be made out directly to them.  St. Vincent de Paul may be sent here at the office, plus please make a note stating “attention St. Vincent de Paul” on the envelope. 

 The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan has an account for Immaculate Conception, so make a note of this on the memo line of the check.  Their address is Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, 2300 Lapeer Rd, Flint, MI 48503.

 Bishop Kelley Washington D.C. Trip

Since the classes going on the trip got a late start in fund raising, we thought this would be a good time to transition from the second collection to an appeal after Mass.  They are paring with another Catholic School to attend the trip, but still need to help subsidize the cost.

 In light of that, once a month on the third Sunday, students will make an appeal before Mass and wait after Mass at each entrance for those that would like to donate to their cause. They will make their first appeal the weekend of November 16th and 17th. 

 Camera Crew

There will be a camera crew from CGI Communications filming at the Mass on Sunday, November 24th and Wednesday at Mass and in school.  Lapeer hired them for their website and are including community groups to be placed on their website and linked to our websites.

 Missionary Strategic Plan (MSP)

A few of us will be headed to Sacred Heart Major Seminary to learn about forming a Leadership Team, how to write a Missionary Strategic Plan for the parish (which includes the school), what we are to do in Wave 1 in the next phase of Unleash the Gospel, and what it will mean for us for the Archdiocese’s impending capital campaign.  This will be Tuesday, November 12th in the evening. 

 With this request, we will have to cancel the Parish Pastoral Council Meeting for this coming Tuesday, November 12th. 

Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS)

The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites have transferred their meeting location to Immaculate Conception.  Their chaplain was a former associate here, Fr. Michael Suhy.  Fr. Suhy was assigned to be the pastor of Our Lady of Good Council, which is too far away for him to drive or for the members to meet there.  They have asked me to be their chaplain, so we welcomed them to the parish.  I was in formation at one time to be a Secular Carmelite, but it became to much when I went on internship at Immaculate Conception in Anchorville.

 This means that we will have Mass on the 4th Saturday at 8:45am roughly during the school year.  The mass is open to anyone who would like to attend.  Please check the bulletin for the schedule.

 Michigan Catholic Conference: Michigan Values Life

Paul Long, the president and CEO of the Michigan Catholic Conference, wrote us pastors with an appeal for one last push to sign the petition to end dismemberment abortions.  They have surpassed 200,000 signatures, but still need 400,000 before December 23, 2019.

 Mr. Long writes “It is with sincere gratitude… for all your efforts in promoting the Michigan Values Life initiative and providing opportunities to sign the petition in your parishes.  The outpouring of support for this petition drive to prohibit the dismemberment  abortion procedure in our state and the fruitful response of faithful Catholics has been heartwarming.”

 He continues, “Yet, let us remember to never become complacent in our efforts to defend life.  Last week, with support from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, pro-abortion advocates announced legislation to eliminate all existing restrictions on the procedure in Michigan and to repeal the state’s long-standing ban on abortions, which only remains unenforceable due to Roe v. Wade.  The Reproductive Health Care Act would negate the state’s existing requirements for waiting periods, informed consent, and parental notification for minors prior to an abortion.  It would also abolish abortion clinic regulations that ensure facilities have been inspected by the state.  In effect, the legislation would allow for unlimited abortion up to the point of birth and return the heinous partial-birth abortion as a legal practice.  Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) strongly opposes these bills and reaffirms the need to retain existing regulations, which protect women and uphold the sanctity of life.  Which the package was likely introduced for political reasons and is not expected to receive consideration form this legislature, it underscores the need for Michiganders to speak up for life by signing the petition to end dismemberment abortion.”

 Currently, there are petitions that may be signed in the rectory office. More information will follow when the next petition drive will occur. 

 On behalf of Paul Long and MCC, thank you for your support.



October 20, 2019


Woodchips, Vatican II, and Gossip

So… I was invited to Woodchips for lunch a week or so ago by one of the local ministers that I met at a wedding here.  As it turns out, he grew up Catholic.  He told me a bit of his story over lunch.  His parents were Catholic and held to their faith, but didn’t know really what they believed or why they believed it.  He eventually had a crisis of faith and would walk away.  In the process, this minister met someone and while dating, he went to her church.  He eventually talked about an encounter with Christ he had in prayer and how his life was turned around.

 This fellow would eventually go off to seminary and study to become a minister.  He was a minister at a few placed and now is establishing a church based upon the “seeker” model.  Interestingly, the “seeker” model type church is based upon a business plan that draws people in through different methods in order to eventually present Jesus Christ to them.  It seems a bit lacking to this minister and he realizes that the people need more. 

 I wasn’t surprised that by his comments and shared a bit of my story and added some commentary about his experiences with the Catholic Church and his own searching.  I also was interested in hearing more about the “seeker” model, because many of the new gimmicks that are being used for Catholics seemed to be based upon this methodology.  I shared with the minister how one of the founders of this style of church wrote in the Wall Street Journal a number of years ago how he regretted regretting founding it.  He wrote that this style of church is rooted in feeling and experience but not doctrine.  The goal is to get people excited or charged up, but when the crush of the culture comes at them, they don’t know how to defend themselves against it. The founder regrets not teaching his people their faith.

 This minister and I had a nice conversation.  I explained to him some of the things that happened after the Second Vatican Council, but were not rooted in the Council itself.  The Baltimore Catechism was dropped as the primary religious curriculum, but was not replaced with anything.  I would eventually find this out from one of my neighbors, who was asked to cover my 5th grade catechism class (he was a teacher and administrator) and complained that he there wasn’t a curriculum and didn’t have a text to use in order to teach.  This would eventually be confirmed by my high school religion teacher, who told me that they did not have a curriculum and were improvising using some material from the University of Detroit. 

 I would let him know that one of the Jesuits, who teaches in Rome at the Gregorianum, that I met while in Germany as a seminarian, said that there was a systematic withholding of the Faith after the Council was over.  Father had confirmed what I had suspected all along.  This minister was surprised to hear about this, but it also confirmed why his parents really didn’t know how to defend the Faith and why he didn’t learn anything when he was a kid. 

 This is where things got interesting at lunch.  As I was telling him these things and we were sharing our experiences, a conversation was going on next to me between two men who came after and sat down at the table next to us.  I didn’t think anything of it until the gentleman next to me began to talk over us to the point of being distracting.  He began to talk about the so-called conservative priest at the local parish.  He also claimed to know how this priest thinks and talked about how each generation rejected the generation before them.  At one point, he also got the collection numbers incorrect. Then, he claimed that the parish went from 9 Masses to 4, because of the loss of the associate.  I had suspected that this was about me and Immaculate Conception.  I was trying to focus on the conversation with the minister, but this gentleman was so loud, it was hard to concentrate.

 Well… after using a gift card (thanks to a generous parishioner from IC), and splitting the tip, we got up to leave.  I noticed that the gentleman leading the gossip turned away for me not to see him.  I made sure the minister saw me stay, so I greeted both men at the table.  Then, I told the gentleman leading the gossiping to call me at the office, because he had a number of his facts wrong.  He tried to defend himself, so I repeated me request for him to call me, so we could sit down.  I recognized his face, but do not know his name, so I don’t have a way to contact him.


On the surface, his facts about the Mass changes were incorrect.  We had 7 Masses and went to 4, not 9 to 4.  I’m not sure that there were ever 9 Masses here for a Sunday, so I don’t know where he got his numbers from.  Of course, he took the lowest collection number and not the average for the year (which is still down, but not as bad as the picture he was painting).  However, this isn’t what was the most disturbing.  It was that he though he knew my mind and heart in what I was doing.  He had believed the notion that the rejection of one generation to the next applied in my case.  He was sorely mistaken.  It was clear that he had never read the Council documents or probably any documents to begin with.

 What he also didn’t seem to realize was that I am an engineer by schooling and temperament. I also enjoyed the Liberal Arts while in college and enjoyed them even more while in the seminary.  Those who study engineering, mathematics, science, philosophy, and theology recognize that there is objective truth and strive to find it.  What he also did not know is that there is enough research now that we can reflect on Vatican II and see what was actually implemented properly and what wasn’t. 

 For example, one the professors in the seminary, who taught Latin, was “contracted” to translate the new Roman Missal of 1970 from the Latin into English.  Had we used his translation at the time, we would not have had to have another translation put forth in 2010.  Unfortunately, his translation was rejected, because he was tied to a so-called conservative bishop.  The real reason was that his translation was literal and they went with something called dynamic, so in theory the translation would be more colloquial.  The problem was not only were there texts that were poorly translated, but not even a legitimate translation.  For example, “Et cum spiritu tuo” means “and with your spirit” not “and also with you”.  There were other liberties that were taken that don’t make sense once you know the Latin.

 Ironically, the actual Roman Missal of the Second Vatican Council was that of 1965, which was the Old Rite that had some of it translated to the local language, such as the readings, but the consecration was left in Latin, as well as, the parts of the Mass that were constant like the Gloria and Agnus Dei.  The Council documents stated that Latin was still the official language of the Church, the pipe organ had pride of place, and Gregorian Chant and Polyphony were to be used (and in the first time in history of the Church and composer was specified to be the model in Palestrina).  The Liturgical Calendar was not to be changed, but it eventually was by removing a number of saints, dropping the Octave of Pentecost, and creating the term “Ordinary Time” as opposed to “Time after Epiphany or Pentecost”. 

 There were a number of other things that I can point out and eventually will get to, but it was disappointing to be gossiped about by someone who clearly didn’t know what he was talking about, especially when I was sitting right next to him and could have readily answered questions had they been asked of me.


I let the minister know I had approached the other table and explained what had happened.  He was a bit taken aback to hear that I was being gossiped about at the next table.  I explained a bit of what was going on and pointed out a number of things that I described above.  He said that he was interested in learning more about the Church and what he missed out as a kid.  He also said something surprising after I had mentioned that Fr. Terrien was the former exorcist and how a lot of the turmoil here is rooted in Spiritual Warfare.  He said that he had never heard a priest talk like I had to him about Church History, the Faith, encountering Christ in a personal way – friendship with Jesus Christ, and Spiritual Warfare.  I smiled and said there are more of us out there than he realized. 

 I had to run, because I was heading to Toledo to visit a priest friend in the hospital who had major surgery.  I am looking forward to my next lunch with this minister.  I am still waiting on the fellow at the table next to me to call, too.

 October Fest

Thanks to Scott and Laura Angus and all of their helpers for a great turnout and fun party.  It was good to see all of the different organizations get involved.  The Rosary Makers said that there were about 74 kids that stopped by to make one-decade Rosaries.  The Ladies League had to run and get more balloons to blow up for the kids to throw at and break.  The Knights, Men’s group, and others were there providing fun for the kids.  The spider ring toss seemed to be a big hit.  Fowling in the street later on was a big hit with the Young Adults.

 Thanks again…

 Save the Dates

Karaoke Night on December 15th in the Community Room (for those who don’t hunt and for the Hunting Widows)

The Purgatorial Society’s first meeting on Monday, December 2nd

Parish Mission Sunday, December 8th – Thursday, December 12th with Fr. Prill (Sunday-Tuesday/Wednesday)



October 26, 2018

Being Home

Well, I was officially broken in on Thursday when I had to have a molar extracted.  I thought I had cracked it while on vacation but hoped that I was wrong.  I got through the Masses last weekend with some discomfort, but I knew it was going to be a problem when I bit into a piece of buttered toast after Mass on Monday or Tuesday and it nearly sent me to the moon.  I have a high threshold of pain (redheads supposedly have higher a higher tolerance for pain, which my ADD. doctor confirmed), but it progressed to the point that I had to take pain medication.  Since I do not like to take pain medication, it was a good sign that it is time to call a professional.

 With my schedule and my dentist’s schedule (he was in a conference on Thursday, off on Friday, and I had a funeral on Saturday), I couldn’t get in until Monday.  They called in a prescription for antibiotics and prescription strength ibuprofen, but it wasn’t ready until Thursday morning. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep Wednesday night.  The pain medication had worn off after an hour. The prescription level wasn’t effective as well, so I had to change plans if I was going to get through the weekend.

 Mrs. Mihm heard about my toothache from someone at the Mass with School Children on Wednesday morning.  She had to have her appendix removed Tuesday (emergency surgery), so I had everyone pray for her.  She texted me asking how I was doing.  Thankfully, she asked again Thursday, so she referred her dentist to me.

 Dr. Michael Murphy was able to take emergency patients.  I bumped into a parishioner there when I walked in, which confirmed Mrs. Mihm’s recommendation.  It turns out that Fr. Terrien offered the Funeral Masses for Dr. Murphy’s parents, which was another connection to the parish.  He also grew up in Clawson, which was down the street from my alma mater, Bishop Foley High School, so we reminisced about the old neighborhoods while he was numbing me up for the extraction.

Thanks to all your prayers, the molar came out easier than expected and intact.  It wasn’t cracked, but an abscess had formed probably from the root canal not taking from a few years ago. (My college classmate had pointed this out last Friday morning when I woke up with some pain.  He was told that there is a small percentage of root canals that do not take and can become infected again.  Unfortunately, he had firsthand knowledge, so he told me about his experience).

 This experience reminded me that I need to take the time to find doctors locally, since I have not moved mine up from Bedford, MI and Toledo, OH.  I have been going to the same dentist office for over 40 years, but glad I found someone locally. I took me three months to finally get to the Secretary of State to get my address changed, so I need to work on my doctors now. 

The main level of the rectory has been transformed beautifully, but I still need to straighten up my office.  I have pictures to hang, bookshelves to organize, and papers to file in filing cabinets that have to be organized.  The old associate’s apartment (now the pastor’s palace as I call it) has been painted, so I can start hanging pictures.  I need to move out some furniture and move some in from the garage.  My friend Deacon Trevor Fernandes came up before I went on vacation, so he helped me move over my stereo system.  I am trying to get my dad’s old Dual Turntable to work to play some jazz records up there.

 It is starting to feel like home.  Sometimes it takes the hard way, like a molar extraction, to make that happen.  It is getting there.  It has been slow, but on going.

 Music Director

Daniel Susan will no longer be with us as Music Director.  He submitted a farewell letter that will be published on page two of the All Saints’ Day flyer.  I have hired Hilary Thomson and Felicity Long, who are the daughters of Ray Long.  Ray Long has been playing the music at Mass voluntarily on Monday and Tuesday.  He has fond memories of growing up here, because his parents or grandparents were parishioners here at Immaculate Conception. 

 Hilary Thompson was the organist at the parish in Lakeport, MI.  She played a wedding and funeral here a month or so ago.  I received positive feedback from Fr. Tuskiewicz and several parishioners. Felicity Long was the organist at Sacred Heart in Imlay City. She was recommended by her sister, Hilary. 

Felicity Long will play at Saturday Masses.  Hilary Long will play at the last three Sunday Masses (Mr. Dobos will be at the 8 am Mass). They will tag team for Holy Days and the like.  We will be sorting that out as we go.

 We thank Mr. Daniel Susan for his years here at Immaculate Conception.



August 12, 2018

Principal and Teaching Staff

We have completed the hiring process for Bishop Kelley School.  As you saw last week, Gar Willoughby was hired to be the principal.  He has completed the hiring process with the help of the teaching staff that Mrs. Clemens helped begin before she completed her assignment here.

 Their bio’s have been sent to the parents.  I will have them included in upcoming articles.


It turns out that there are a few sacristans, but all of the Masses are not covered.  This has led to multiple different ways for the Mass to be set up.  In talking with Worship Commission, we are considering making this one of the ministries of the parish, so that there will be one sacristan to set up before each Mass and assist the priests after each Mass.

 We will be looking for volunteers in the future.  If you are interested, please contact me or the Kosal’s.

 I have asked Donna Sierakowski to be the sacristan for the St. Louise Chapel, so that there will be a point person there.  She had been filling in for Shirley Tode, who had been doing this for years.  We are grateful for Shirley’s service over the years.

 Sacramental Policies

We have had to set in place new policies for the Sacraments.  These will be published below.  We will include the processes in upcoming articles.

 Immaculate Conception Catholic Church


Sacramental Schedules and Procedures

Sacrament of Reconciliation & Penance: Saturday, 3:00-4:00pm
Friday: After 8:45am Mass
Or by appointment; Please call the Parish Office 

Baptism: At least one parent must be a registered parishioner, active and practicing with the hope that the parent(s) will bring the child up in the Catholic Religion (Canon 868.1.2).  If not, the parent(s) must have some family connection or history with the parish.  If this is the case, the parents must have a letter sent from their proper pastor verifying their registration and granting permission for the baptism to take place at Immaculate Conception.

Baptisms take place on the second Sunday at the St. Louise Chapel at 10am in the Ordinary Form or on a Saturday after morning Mass at the main campus of Immaculate Conception in the Extraordinary Form.  There is a preparatory class for the parents on the Wednesday before the baptism. 

The child’s name is not to be foreign to Christian sentiment (Canon 855).  This means that the child’s first or middle name should be a Christian name (saints name preferably) and not one that contradicts the Faith.

There must be at least one godparent (sponsor); however, there may be two.  They must be active; practicing Catholics registered at a parish (a letter from their pastor is required for verification).  The sponsor(s) must be fully initiated (made their First Holy Communion and was Confirmed) and not less than 16 years of age – unless there is a just reason for the age. If there is only one godparent, this may be male or female.  If two, then they must be male and female. In the case of only one godparent (sponsor), a baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted… simply as a witness to the baptism (Canon 874).

Holy Communion: The child’s parents must be registered parishioners.  They must attend the School, Religious Education Classes, or an approved Home School curriculum in order that he or she has “sufficient knowledge and be accurately prepared.  The reason for this is that they understand (according to their capacity) what the mystery of Christ means, and are able to receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion (Canon 913-914).  The child must make his or her First Reconciliation before being admitted to Holy Communion (Canon 914).

Confirmation: The child’s parents must be registered parishioners. They must attend the School, Religious Education Classes, or an approved Home School curriculum in order that he or she is “suitably instructed, and properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises” (Canon 889.2-890).  There is only one sponsor.  The sponsor must be active; practicing Catholic registered at a parish (a letter from their pastor is required for verification).  The sponsor must also be fully initiated (made their First Holy Communion and was Confirmed) and not less than 16 years of age (Canon 874).

Holy Matrimony: The couple should be active, practicing and registered members of the parish. If not, the bride or groom must have some family connection or history with the parish.  A letter from their proper pastor (the priest in which the Catholic party lives in) will be required for permission to be married at Immaculate Conception, as well as, verification of membership (Canon 1108-1115).

The couple should contact the pastor at least nine (9) months in advance, because the Archdiocese requires that the process begin no later than six (6) month in advance of the wedding date.  Please contact the pastor or associate pastor before arrangements are made with the hall, etc. The ceremony must be performed by one of the priests or the deacon at Immaculate Conception or a family member who is a priest or deacon.

If two Catholics are getting Married, the Rite of Matrimony within Mass is followed. If it is a mixed marriage (Catholic and non-Catholic), the Rite of Matrimony without Mass is followed.  If a Catholic is marrying someone that is not baptized, the Rite of Matrimony for marriage with a Catechumen or non-Baptized is followed. If a Catholic party desires to marry a non-Catholic party at the non-Catholic church, the couple must still meet with the pastor, fill out the paper work, observe the required preparation, and receive permission (dispensation) from the bishop in order to marry outside of the Church (Canon 1116-1119). 

The couple is to attend a marriage preparation class, a Natural Family Planning (NFP) class, and take the Pre-Marriage Inventory in order to be suitably prepared (Canon 1066-1072).

Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick:   Please call the rectory to schedule to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the sick, especially prior to surgery or when first entering hospice.  Please note that this Sacrament is not just to be administered prior to death (Last Rites), but can be administered to those who are seriously sick, the elderly, and even before surgery. 

Please note, if one’s condition has not worsened, the Sacrament is not to be immediately repeated.  For example, an elderly person may receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick once a year.