Lowell — Rhett Barnwell will give a full concert on Friday evening, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. He will perform on several instruments, playing sacred music. Tickets may be purchased by calling (616) 897-7842. HARPfest 2012:The Spiritual Nature of the Harp will be Aug. 17 and 18.
Guest clinician, Rhett Barnwell, has distinguished himself as a composer and arranger of music specifically for the Celtic harp. His work encompasses hymn arrangements and original transcriptions of the music of Bach, Handel and others. Barnwell holds a Bachelor of Music from Florida State University. He has also pursued advanced studies in choral conducting and Gregorian chant. He recently completed a concert tour of Italy with soprano Claire Teuber. Mr. Barnwell has released four recordings to date. He is the founder of Seraphim Music, a source for sacred, healing and meditative music. For more information, visit seraphimmusic.com.
n Gregorian Chant for the Harp (All levels, hands on)
With the recent surge of interest in Gregorian chant, many people are rediscovering this most ancient form of sung prayer. We will look at the origins of Gregorian chant and see its fundamental role in the shaping of Western sacred music. These simple and beautifully profound melodies lend themselves well to being played on the harp, and this workshop will explore how to do this as well as examining existing arrangements.
n Checking Your Baggage (All levels, lecture and discussion)
How often have you had the experience of thinking you had learned a piece rather well, only to perform it in front of people and having disaster strike! This may come in the form of shaking fingers, memory slips, mistakes, losing your place, or general amnesia of how to play the harp! This workshop will show you how to approach learning music and performing in a totally different manner which will minimize these potential pitfalls of public performance.
n Getting a Handel on the Harp (All levels, part lecture, part participation)
In the first half of the 18th century, the harp was overshadowed by instruments that were more capable of meeting the ever-increasingly chromatic demands of composers of the time, most notably, Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, and Handel. Of these, only one was in a unique position of having virtuosi harpists at his fingertips – George F. Handel. After leaving his native Germany, Handel settled in London and soon discovered a group of Welshmen who were quite proficient in the triple harp, which had been brought previously from Italy and adapted to their needs. He composed a handful of pieces for the instrument and, more importantly, inspired later composers and arrangers to adapt his music for the new-fangled single and double action pedal harps, which came later. In this workshop we will look at the few original pieces Handel wrote for the harp, and hear his famous harp concerto as it might have sounded in the early 18th century, and explore transcriptions of some of his best loved works. Many of his pieces are very well suited for the lever harp and are frequently requested for weddings, church services, and other special occasions.
n Anything Goes – Arranging and Composing for the Harp (All levels)
We discover there is more than one way to skin a cat as we look at the methods to the madness of arranging and composing for the lever harp. We will learn how to create beautiful music out of a row of strings. You will find your “style” by selecting a mood, a mode, a meter and other mechanics. We get down to the nitty gritty of classical forms, look at tricks of the trade, and figure out how to make things sound like they are meant for the harp. In the end, we discover that anything goes – if it sounds good, it IS good!
Rhett is available for a limited number of private lessons, first-come, first-served basis. Indicate on your registration form if you would like a private lesson. Fee is $60, paid directly to Rhett.
Franciscan Life Process Center • 11650 Downes Street • Lowell, MI 49331-9489 (616) 897-7842 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.†
GAYLORD — On Saturday, April 28, Bishop Bernard A. Hebda will ordain seminarians Chet Collins and Bryan Medlin to the Transitional Diaconate for the Diocese of Gaylord. A deacon is an ordained minister of the Catholic Church and serves in the ministries of charity, liturgy and the word. Transitional deacons are those men who are pursuing ordination to the priesthood. The Eucharistic Liturgy and Ordination will begin at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord.
Charles Lewis Collins, known as “Chet,” was born on September 15, 1945, in St. Joseph Hospital in, Flint, Michigan, to Larry and Gladys Collins. By Chet’s fourth birthday, the family had decided to move north to Gaylord, living in a one room cabin on Big Bear Lake while building a home on the weekends. Collins’s older sisters, Joyce and Barbara, attended St. Mary Catholic School and after dropping off his sisters, Collins and his mother would attend the daily Mass at the church next to the school. It was there, Collins recalls, that attending daily mass became a goal in his life. As a child, Collins expressed his interest in religious life by performing mass for the “congregation” of his grandfather and little brother, Vern, from his homemade altar set with statues and other religious figures.
Collins graduated from Central Michigan University in 1968 with a bachelor of arts degree in geography. Following his graduation, Collins embarked on a journey of discernment that would lead him to experience life as a seminarian for the Diocese of Grand Rapids (being that Gaylord was then in the Diocese of Grand Rapids), then to the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption BVM Province in Pulaski, Wisconsin and ultimately back to Gaylord as a seminarian. In the interim he attended Mt. St. Paul College in Waukesha, WI, St. Meinrad College in St. Meinrad, IN and St. John’s Seminary in Plymouth, MI, but discerned that the Lord was not at that time calling him to priesthood. He also served five years as a United States Navy officer, several years as a teacher, and traveled across the United States working several temporary jobs. By 1987, Collins had returned to Gaylord and began his career with the United States Postal Service. Collins remained in this position until his retirement in 2009, remaining active in the Church.
In May of 2004 he became a candidate for the Secular Order of Franciscans and after 18 months of formation made his profession becoming a member of Our Lady of Carmel Fraternity in Lewiston, Michigan. .
On January 2, 2010, Collins and his mother took home the Vocations Prayer Chalice from St. Mary Cathedral that he began to reconsider his call to priesthood. That same day, a couple asked him if he had considered going back and finishing his seminary studies, “which was exactly the reason I had signed up to take the Chalice, though I figured the Diocese would not even consider me because of my age,” Collins said. That discussion led to meetings with Fr. James Bearss, the parish priest ,as well as Fr. Don Geyman, the Vocations Director and Bishop Hebda. He was accepted to Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin that fall.
Collins credits Bishop Hebda and Vocations Consultant Dr. John Olesnavage in guiding him in his discernment process which has led him to this point in his life. “They have helped me in my self- confidence and to accept myself as God made me. God makes us all different for a purpose and if we allow Him, He will make that purpose fruitful.” Collins said. “I have learned to put everything into the Lord’s hands and trust that He will lead me in the direction He wants me to serve Him.”
Bryan William Medlin was born on May 19, 1980 in Wyandotte, Michigan, to Daniel and Debra Medlin.Early in life Medlin felt that his calling was to the priesthood and was accepted by Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1998, at the age of 17. Realizing that he was too young and not quite ready, Medlin left seminary one week after he arrived and enrolled in Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn. He went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Though a native of southern Michigan, Medlin’s discernment process led him to the Diocese of Gaylord, an area where he had spent time hiking, hunting, and fishing. He enrolled at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit where he completed his bachelors of philosophy in 2008 and in the fall of 2009 Medlin began his theological studies at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
Medlin says his roots in the Catholic Church give him strength and comfort. Before moving to Columbus, he served as Chairman of the Worship Commission at St. Joseph Parish in Trenton and as a volunteer chaplain at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center also in Trenton. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, bike riding and playing the piano.
In the summer of 2010 Medlin received a scholarship to participate in The Rome Experience, an intensive six week program in the Eternal City including lectures, coursework and cultural formation for a select group of young men preparing for the priesthood each year.
“I was able to see the tombs of people like Pope John XXII, St. Monica, St. Catherine of Siena, and so many more,” Medlinexplained. “My favorite part was going into the catacombs where the early church praised the Lord in the midst of their persecution. I was in awe over all that I saw and am humbled to have walked where the saints of the past and present trod.”
As he prepares for his ordination to the diaconate, the next step in his priestly formation, Medlin said, “My life experiences have made me a better human being and formed my conscience. I love the Church and I look forward to the day I can serve the people of God as a priest.”
On the eve of the Ordination, seminarians of the Diocese of Gaylord will lead a Vespers Service in thanksgiving to God for the gift of Chet and Medlin as well as to pray for vocations. It will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 27, at St. Thomas of Aquinas Church in Elmira.
The ordination will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Gaylord. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.
Everyone is invited to celebrate this special occasion.†
GAYLORD — On Sunday, April 15, a special Vespers service was held at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord in celebration of six priests of the Diocese of Gaylord receiving Papal Honors by Pope Benedict XVI. Fr. James A. Suchocki, Fr. Raymond C. Mulka, Fr. James L. Brucksch, Fr. Edwin A. Thome and Fr. Francis J. Murphy, who have each served as Vicar General of the Diocese of Gaylord, were named Prelates of Honor of His Holiness on December 23, 2011. In March of 2011, Fr. Daniel B. Gallagher was appointed a Chaplain of His Holiness by the Holy Father in the course of his fourth year of service at the Holy See working in the English and Latin Sections of the Secretariat of State. The recognition for each of the six priests carries with it the honorary title of “Monsignor.”
Papal honors had not been conferred on a priest of the Diocese of Gaylord since 1987 when the late Monsignor David Gemeund was named Domestic Prelate.
“I was thrilled to receive notice of the Holy Father’s decision to recognize these very worthy sons of the diocese who, like so many of their brother priests, have served the Church so faithfully over the years,” Bishop Hebda said. “That the honors were conferred within the year of our diocese’s 40th anniversary makes them all the more significant and is one of the ways in which the Holy Father was able to express his closeness to us in our Jubilee year. In this gesture, Pope Benedict also affirms that we are always in union with him, tied into the very heart of the Church and to the gift of Apostolic Succession that takes us all the way back to St. Peter and to Christ.”
Referring to the new monsignors seated in the sanctuary, Bishop Hebda noted “these five men have all had the particular honor of serving as the Vicar General of the Diocese at one time or another over these past 40 years. It’s a very, very difficult job as they are called to be the voice of the Bishop and to be the instrument of the Bishop in not only dealing with the Church and the priests, but also with some of the problems that come to the Bishop. These five men had always managed to do it with great grace, they managed to do it with great love, and with great Christian charity,” he said. (more…)
By Mark Haney
The Catholic Times
LANSING — On the day when he gave each parish a copy of his first pastoral letter, “Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord,” Bishop Earl Boyea got to speak of many issues addressed in the letter in a homily aimed at the priests of the Diocese of Lansing.
And yet the homily he gave at the Holy Thursday, April 5, Chrism Mass also spoke to the many lay leaders, pastoral administrators and parish representatives who fill St. Mary Cathedral for the service. (more…)
GAGETOWN — In the basement of St. Agatha Church, the sewing machines are humming and a team of dedicated volunteers is busy sewing hundreds of colorful and original “Little Dresses.” They are being made for children in impoverished countries, and for those who receive them, they are perhaps the only new clothes they will ever own.
At the center of this project — and so many others at St. Agatha Parish — is Edna Kujawski; a parishioner and volunteer, retired school teacher and missionary, wife and stepmother. She brought the project to the parish several years ago and it didn’t take long to assemble a team and begin the work of creating the simple pillow dresses. (more…)
By Mark Haney
The Catholic Times
LANSING — “Feed My Sheep,” a report written by the Task Force on Discipleship and Engagement, helped Bishop Earl Boyea formulate the plans he cites in his first pastoral letter, “Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord.”
The task force, made up of Deacon Daniel Foley of Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor, Craig Pohl of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Fowler, Fr. John Byers of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Lansing, Sharon Falinski of Holy Spirit Parish in Hamburg and Patricia Nickerson of Cristo Rey Parish in Lansing, in consultation with Fr. Steve Mattson, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Lansing; Sr. Rita Wenzlick, O.P., director of the Office of Pastoral Planning; and Patrick O’Brien of Faith Publishing, came up with a number of recommendations in their December report. (more…)
Mount Pleasant couple turns blog entries into a testament to love in the face of disease
By Mark Haney
The Catholic Weekly
MOUNT PLEASANT — Dan and Jennifer Digmann know well the cruel vagaries of life.
“I’m training to run an eight-mile race,” said Dan, former editor of The Catholic Weekly, “and my wife can’t walk. But that is just how Multiple Sclerosis affects everyone so differently.”
The Digmanns met because of their shared disease. Now they have written a book about their lives together. “Despite MS, to Spite MS” came out of a blog they started in February of 2009 and offers a personal glimpse into their lives together and with their shared disease. (more…)
Bishop Boyea’s first pastoral letter calls for a new effort at evangelization, year of prayer
By Mark Haney
The Catholic Times
LANSING — The numbers are a bit staggering: since 2000, a 32.8 percent drop in baptisms, a 44.4 percent fall in marriages and a 57.5 percent drop in Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults participation.
And yet the more sobering result is that from 2000-09, the Diocese of Lansing saw a 3.2 percent drop in parish population and a 16.4 percent drop in Mass attendance. That decline was in virtually every parish and every county. Only 20 of 90 parishes showed any increase and only 12 of them were increases of more than 50 people and only five had increases of more than 100 people.
That’s what, “Feed My Sheep,” a report written by the Task Force on Discipleship and Engagement made up of Deacon Daniel Foley of Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor, Craig Pohl of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Fowler, Fr. John Byers of Immaculate heart Parish in Lansing, Sharon Falinski of Holy Spirit Parish in Hamburg and Patricia Nickerson of Cristo Rey Parish in Lansing, found. That report, in turn, along with one of the directions from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for every bishop to write a pastoral letter for the implementation of the Year of Faith, prompted Bishop Earl Boyea to write his first pastor letter, “Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord.” (more…)
Gagetown speaker tells of those caught in modern day slavery
By Debbie Oglenski
The Catholic Weekly
GAGETOWN — Cherie Sammis has the facts, but her stories are far more compelling.
The vice president of mission integration at St. Mary’s of Michigan told of a young woman, professionally dressed in a tailored suit, who came up to Sammis after a presentation on human trafficking and said “You missed me for eight years.” The woman had been abducted from a rural community and was held for eight years as a sex slave. (more…)
JACKSON — The Diocese of Lansing has named Christopher A. Smith as the next principal at Lumen Christi High School, commencing with the 2012-13 year.
Smith is currently the principal at Gateway North Elementary School in St. Johns, where he has served since 2009. Prior to his work there, Smith was principal at St. Therese School in Lansing, St. Mary School in Lake Leelanau and school administrator at Manistee Catholic Central. (more…)