“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated….Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40)

As in past Advent seasons we are extending an invitation for parishioners to journey through Advent in union with some of our brothers and sisters in Kalamazoo who need our help. You are asked to bring one of the items on the list for each Sunday of Advent. Your donations will be collected in the back of the church and then distributed to the various organizations listed below. The Liturgy Commission believes that the success of this program is directly related to the fact that all parishioners can participate - from our youngest to our oldest members. We encourage you to do what you can and know that whatever you do is appreciated by many.

Any questions? Call Beth at 343-6256, ext. 113.
Thank you for your generosity!
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WEEK I: 1st SUNDAY OF ADVENT December 3 & 3, 2017
Parishioners in Nursing homes and Homebound.
Please bring any of the following unwrapped or in gift bags. These will be delivered when we go caroling on December 10.
Items needed:
Any small sweet treat, hand lotion, hand soap, handkerchiefs (male & female), powder, decorative tissues and small stuffed animals.

WEEK II: 2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT December 9 & 10, 2017
Keystone Drop-In
The mission of Keystone is to provide a safe & comfortable environment for peers of the mental health system…..To learn to Hope, Love, Dream and Achieve Goals, one day at a time…..We are a home and family that faces our struggles with a common understanding. We care because we have been there.
Items needed:
Deodorant, lotion, razors, combs, brushes, shampoo & conditioner, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, mouthwash, feminine products, towels, hats and gloves, laundry soap, snack foods and single serve instant oatmeal.

Week III: 3rd SUNDAY OF ADVENT December 16 & 17, 2017
Kairos Dwelling The staff and volunteers of Kairos Dwelling provide housing, food, compassionate care and emotional support for terminally guests at no expense to them or their families.

Items needed:
Office paper (8 ½ x 11 white 24lb.), First class postage stamps, Gift cards to Office Max, Meijer, Target, Lowes, Home Depot; paper towels and cans of pop: Vernors, 7-Up, Sprite, Diet Coke, Pepsi. Liquid laundry soap, caffeinated coffee, new pillows, small containers of baby powder, Clorox wipers, nail clippers, Men’s T-shirts (colored), Lysol Spray, disinfectant wipes, paper plates, Solo cups, napkins, Ziploc bags, Hand (soft) soap, dishwasher soap (or pods).

WEEK IV: 4th SUNDAY OF ADVENT December 23 & 24, 2017
Parish Food Pantry
Items needed:
Any non-perishable food items. Or checks made out to “Loaves and Fishes.” Items most needed: catsup, mustard, mayonnaise and tuna.

A Heart Full of Gratitude

By now it’s no secret that these parish Staff members are leaving us (in order of years of service here): Lynn North, Sr. Mary Catherine Fodrocy, OP, Graciela Valdez, and Geary North

To each and to all I say… Thank you! … Gracias! I try to make “Thank you” a prominent part of my vocabulary; and I have thanked each of these servants of the Church personally many times. But public recognition: I’ve been lacking there.

I see a sort of parallel in the way veneration of St. Joseph has come to be acknowledged. St. Joseph, our holy Patron, is known to us first by the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Then, holy people of the early Church wrote about him, using the faith of the People as guide, and some legends about him that arose or were discovered as the years and centuries passed. But only in the last two or three centuries has Joseph begun to be acknowledged by the whole Church—you could say, recognition “from the top down” followed the widespread devotion of the faithful.

I know that anyone who has been served by one or more of the Staff members who are leaving feels gratitude for their service; and as we have come to know each of them in a personal way, our appreciation has deepened.

  • Lynn has served St. Joseph’s since 1986, first as support in the Religious Education department and in the School, and these last years as Manager of the parish office.
  • Sr. Mary Catherine is finishing 24 years of service as Pastoral Associate.
  • Graciela came to be sort of the “Mother” of the rectory Staff, starting in 1999.
  • Geary joined the Staff as Supervisor of Maintenance (and “doer” of most of it) in 2009.

We’ll all have a chance on the weekend of June 17th & 18th, 2017, to extend our personal thanks to each of these parish servants. I suggest that you consider the gratitude in your own heart and write a note to each one of the departing Staff members as appropriate. Say a little about your gratitude and what makes you grateful to this one and that one. And to God for them all. And, if possible, spend a few minutes after one of the Masses on June 17th or 18th greeting them personally.

My heart is full of gratitude to and for these women and men who have served alongside me. May God bless each one in his or her new directions. May God bless them all with days of fulfillment and happiness!