By Sandra Burch
The Catholic Weekly
SAGINAW — A crowd of nearly 300 came to Nouvel Catholic Central High School on Sunday, Sept. 18, to watch Bishop Joseph R. Cistone bless the new classrooms at 2555 Wienecke Road.
Mary Ann Deschaine, the superintendent of schools for the Saginaw Diocese, welcomed the crowd to the rededication and the blessing of the school. (more…)
SAGINAW — Bishop Joseph R. Cistone announced Wednesday, Sept. 21, the start of “A Future Full of Hope: Planning Tomorrow’s Parishes,” a strategic planning process designed to engage parishioners to assess the state of churches across the 11-county Diocese of Saginaw and develop recommendations to enhance the vibrancy of parish life.
“For years the diocese has discussed the need to prepare for a time when personnel and resources would demand major changes, and that time is now,” Bishop Cistone said. “It is our hope that, through this process, we will be in a position to enliven sacramental, educational and community life, including service and stewardship, for all of our people.” (more…)
Flint woman finds a second family in Ohio-based religious order
By Mark Haney
The Catholic Times
TORONTO, Ohio — Like many people, when God came calling, Sarah Rose Dent tried to plug her ears.
I kind of freaked out,” said the daughter of Richard and Suzanne Dent of Flint. ‘No way am I supposed to be a nun!’ In those first moments, I was kind of fighting it, that is for sure.”
On Saturday, Aug. 6, in Father of Mercy Chapel at the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R. of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother in Toronto, Ohio, however, the member of St. Matthew Parish became a new nun. She was one of two who made first profession of vows. The other was Sr. Maria Clare Smith of the Diocese of Lafayette, Ind. Bishop Gilbert Sheldon, retired from the Diocese of Steubenville, received their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. (more…)
By Lisa Briggs
The Catholic Times
FLUSHING — Fr. Roy Horning got a surprise this summer.
The pastor of St. Robert School learned he is one of four recipients of the 2011 Fr. John Zwers Award sponsored by the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools (MANS). Fr. Zwers was a founding member of MANS and served on the MANS board until his death in 2005.
Fr. Horning was nominated by Susan Sharp, principal of St. Robert School, for his history of support for faith-based schools, his ability to articulate the importance of faith-based schools and his continuous leadership to the St. Robert School community, its parents, teachers and learners. (more…)
TRAVERSE CITY — Diane Gray, office manager of Oakwood Catholic Cemetery in Traverse City, and Fr. Wayne Dziekan, director of the Secretariat for Justice and Peace, will present a workshop on Catholic burial practices at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at St. Patrick Church, 630 W. Silver Lake Road.
Gray will provide insights and answers to issues concerning Catholic burial practices. Such as: what can be done about the high cost of burial? What are the options? What does the Church require? What does the law require? What is the environmental impact of our burial practices? Is “green burial” a possibility for Catholics? What about cremation options?
Fr. Dziekan will help clarify pastoral situations and provide connections with Catholic social teaching.
Advance registration is not required. For more information, call Gray at (231) 947-7921 or Fr. Dziekan at 409-1387
The workshop is an outreach of the Oakwood Diocesan Catholic Cemetery and the Secretariat for Justice and Peace and is partially funded through the Catholic Services Appeal.†
ALPENA — Youth ministers can spend their entire careers hoping they are making a difference in the lives of young people.
Marsha Hoppe knows she has. She has the proof.
The high school youth ministry coordinator for the Alpena Catholic community was one of 10 winners of an “Everyday Hero Award,” honoring those who inspire Michigan’s youth through commitment, courage, compassion, and integrity. Hoppe was nominated by youth ministry participant Samantha Forintos, who calls Hoppe “a mentor, a confidant, an inspiration, and a hero.”
Hoppe was chosen by the Everyday Heroes program sponsor, Winning Futures, as one of its top 10 among 350 nominees. All 10 were honored this summer at the Palladium Theater in Birmingham at a banquet billed as a “Rare Night of Heroes.”
But while the award went to Hoppe, Forintos also was honored – with a $2,500 college scholarship from Winning Futures.
Forintos, now pursuing a teaching degree at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, was a member of Hoppe’s youth group for four years, although school and job commitments kept her from participating in many meetings and extra activities. She did, however, get to see Hoppe in action with other kids and enjoyed a personal relationship with her and joined in one of the youth group retreats.
“Marsha really shines as a mentor and youth group leader,” Forintos wrote in her nominating letter. “She is an amazing listener, opening her ears, her heart, and her arms to the youth who ‘Facebook,’ call, or meet with her. Youth feel comfortable ‘spilling’ to Marsha, and feel confident their secrets won’t be spread.”
Forintos wrote that Hoppe does what she can to help teens through their problems and helps them see past their own concerns by involving them in volunteer work. “Working on Habitat for Humanity homes, organizing the local food pantry, serving at the soup kitchen, or sleeping in boxes to raise money and awareness for the homeless, Marsha never fails to make helping others fun and rewarding,” Fortinos noted.
“As if this isn’t enough, Marsha’s compassion and desire to spread the Lord’s love reach beyond the community. She has traveled with the National Relief Network to help clean up and rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and also to Tennessee and Iowa after flooding and tornadoes,” Forintos wrote. “She put her life on hold to help change the lives of strangers who live miles away. If this isn’t pure selflessness, nothing is.”
Hoppe has been involved in high school youth work for decades, building bonds with students now in their 30s and older who still stay in touch. A hairdresser who must balance the demands of her job with what she describes as “my real love, working with kids,” Hoppe and her husband, Joe, have also raised their own two daughters and been active in a number of church, school and community projects.
“Her love for her family, the youth, and all God’s people is endless,” Forintos added. “…this is what really makes her a hero.”
Winning Futures is now accepting nominees for next year’s “Everyday Heroes” program; deadline is December 1. More information about the program and scholarship application is at www.rarefoundation.org. Winning Futures is an award-winning nonprofit organization offering school-based mentoring
programs and workshops for middle school and high school students in Southeast Michigan. Its programs focus on the life skills of character value identification, goal setting, career preparation, and strategic planning. It was founded in 1994 by entrepreneur Sam Cupp.†
GAYLORD — As part of the Diocese of Gaylord’s 40th anniversary celebration, Bishop Bernard A. Hebda will honor the vocation of marriage and all couples celebrating 40 years or more of married life at one of three special Masses being held in the diocese.
The Masses will be 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at St. John the Baptist Church, 2550 First St. in Alpena; 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at St. Francis of Assisi, 1025 S. Union St. in Traverse City; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, at St. Mary Cathedral, 606 N. Ohio Ave. in Gaylord
“The vocation of marriage is so important to the life and faith of the Church,” said Bishop Hebda. “By their commitment and love for one another, these couples reveal an image of God for others. As we were discussing the event, we really wanted as many people as possible to be able to participate so we decided to have it in three locations this year. “
Couples planning to attend are asked to RSVP to the Diocese of Gaylord at (989) 732-5147 with their name, home parish, city, number of years married, number of people attending and their phone number and indicating which Mass they will attend. Forms are available in parish offices and on the diocesan website at www.dioceseofgaylord.org.†
GAYLORD — The annual Catechetical Conference will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 611 W. North St.
Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m.
The day will be geared to all those who lead children’s religious education programs, youth ministry and adult faith enrichment programs.
The keynote speaker will be John Roberto, founder and director of the Center for Ministry Development. He is president of Life Long Associates, editor of Lifelong Faith and coordinator for the Faith Formation 2020 Initiative. He works as a consultant to churches and national organizations, teaching courses and conducting workshops in faith formation. He also has authored a number of books and program manuals for youth ministry, family ministry and intergenerational faith formation. He created the theory and practice of Generations of Faith — an intergenerational, lifelong approach to faith formation.
The day will also feature an “Introduction to Social Media” by Candace Neff, director of the diocesan Secretariat for Communications. The session will help those unfamiliar with social media begin to understand how these tools can be useful for communicating and sharing the Catholic faith within our parishes and beyond.
Roundtable discussions will provide participants opportunities to discover best practices on a range of topics related to catechetical ministry from those who are serving in parishes across the diocese.
The $30 cost includes all materials and lunch. Pre-registration is required and forms are available in parish offices as well as on the diocesan website at www.dioceseofgaylord.org. The registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 28. For more information, call Dannie Brzezinski or Tammy Boylan at (989) 732-5147.†
GRAND RAPIDS— Grand Rapids Bishop Walter A. Hurley recently made the following pastoral changes:
Fr. Edward A. Hankiewicz is appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish in Lowell while continuing as judicial vicar at the diocesan tribunal, effective Wednesday, Sept. 14. In addition to these responsibilities, it is anticipated that St. Anthony Parish in Saranac will also become Fr. Hankiewicz’s responsibility as the “Our Faith, Our Future” recommendations move towards implementation.
Fr. Aaron R. Ferris is appointed canonical administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Grand Rapids, effective Sept. 14.
Fr. Eugene Okoli’s letter of resignation from his responsibilities as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Lowell was accepted by Bishop Hurley effective Thursday, June 30. Fr. Okoli has reported to the bishop of his home diocese, Bishop Paulinus E. Ezeokafor, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Awka, Nigeria.†
BATTLE CREEK — John W. Wagner, a 1987 graduate of St. Philip Catholic Central High School, recently was promoted to colonel in the U.S Air Force. His promotion ceremony was Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.. His current position is with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a politico-military planner in the Iran Branch of Middle East Politico-Military Affairs, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), in Washington D.C.
Wagner graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991. His various assignments included military launch vehicle and spacecraft test, checkout and launch of spacecraft mission operations, military warning, war games and exercises and higher headquarters staffs. He commanded the 45th Launch Support Squadron at Cape Canaveral, Fla., through 12 successful launches of upgraded intelligence, navigation, communications and warning spacecraft. He also served as the deputy commander of the 45th Launch Group.
He was first to report multiple Chinese missile launches toward Taiwan in 1996. He also served as speechwriter for AFSPC commander.
The son John and Sarah Wagner of Fair Lake is married to the former Jennifer Schmidt of Piqua, Ohio. They have two sons, Jeffrey and Jacob.
Wagner will be recognized as a distinguished alumni at St. Philip Catholic Central High School’s homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 8.