26 May 2010

Dear Villagers,

We had a great Barbecue Bash this past weekend! There were just over 30 of us, and some great rounds of Hide and Seek Tag and Dodgeball. We grilled up some juicy hamburgers and hotdogs, and had flavor-changing gum for dessert!

The only sad thing is that the Barbecue means our Sunday night Village meetings are finished until the Fall. :( However, there will be loads of other exciting events going on throughout the summer.

Here are some things to get geeked for this summer:

* Dead Theologians Society is Continuing through summer on Thursdays from 7-8pm!
o We'll be back on starting Thursday, June 10th!
o Join us before and afterward for social time, including ice cream at Stucci's and other fun adventures...

* The Parish Hall is an African Safari for Vacation Bible School this June 21-June 25th!
o Join us to hangout with friends and teach the little ones about God's love
o Sign-up to Volunteer by returning the attached form!
o Can't help the week of VBS? Email back to help with decorations and snacks the week before.

* Steubenville Youth Conference is taking 14 of us on a roadtrip to Ohio July 9th- July 11th!
o Get excited for Mafia on the road, incredible speakers, and powerful Eucharistic Adoration

* Our Art Fair Parking Fundraiser is on July 21st- July 24th!
o Who knew you could keep the Village going financially by playing games, directing cars, and eating junk food?!

* Our Retreat for Incoming Freshmen is on for Saturday, August 7th!
o Join the planning team in July to help tailor school-specific survival tips for next year's freshmen class!

17 May 2010

Village News: Barbecue Time!

Dear Villagers,

We had an awesome round of Pop, Pop, Vinegar at Village last night. Four people drink, and one of them gets vinegar instead of Pop- everyone tries to figure out which one is actually drinking vinegar! Many honorable mentions, but I think consensus was with Nora of Huron High- who had a crazy awesome poker face!!

There was sweet dialogue as we answered the remaining questions from Villagers together- Why do some prayers go unanswered- How do you explain mortal & venial sins to a non-Catholic- How can I know who's talking, Satan or God? Awesome dialogue!

The highlight of the meeting was Eucharistic Adoration, and our Surprise Birthday Party for Father Bill! He was *so* surprised. Thank you to Annemarie for all of your help planning this!

Come out this Sunday from 4-7pm for our end of year Barbecue Bash here at St Thomas! We'll celebrate the coming of summer with dodgeball in the gym, hide and seek tag through the whole building, and great food. St Thomas is providing hamburgers, hotdogs, and tableware. Girls, please bring a side to share- and Guys, please bring a dessert to share. The barbecue will be loads of fun!

"In Him a new age has dawned, the long reign of sin is ended, a broken world has been renewed, and man is once again made whole." -Eucharistic Prayer, Preface of Easter IV

St Thomas Bulletin, Sunday 5/16
Click here to read the full St Thomas Church Bulletin from this past weekend.

No DTS this Thursday

Due to a time conflict, there will be no Dead Theologians Society meeting this Thursday or next Thursday. The Dead Theologians Society is a national movement to incorporate the lives of the Saints into the prayer life of the Church– that we would answer the call to live as they did.

* 7-8pm: gather in the Church choir loft for prayer with the Saints! (Elizabeth St door is always open)
* 8-8:30pm: snacks in the Parish Offices

Barbecue Bash This Sunday, 5/23 from 4-7pm

Join us here at St Thomas as we celebrate the end of our regular Sunday night meetings, and the coming of summer! We’ll bust out some dodgeball in the gym, hide and seek tag through the whole building, and grill out on the patio. Hot dogs & hamburgers will be provided.

Guys: please bring a dessert to share

Girls: please bring a side to share

Your Question of the Week: Are angels made in the image and likeness of God?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is “in the image of God”; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created “male and female”; (IV) God established him in his friendship (CCC 355). So humanity does have a special place in the order of creation!

Disfigured by sin and death, man remains “in the image of God,” in the image of the Son, but is deprived “of the glory of God,” of his “likeness.” The promise made to Abraham inaugurates the economy of salvation, at the culmination of which the Son himself will assume that “image” and restore it in the Father’s “likeness” by giving it again its Glory, the Spirit who is “the giver of life” (CCC 705).

So man was definitely made in the image and likeness of God. Since the fall of Adam and Eve we are still born in the image of God but we have lost the likeness (See Catechism #705, 1700-1707).

Let’s talk about angels! The Old Testament theology included the belief in angels: the name applied to certain spiritual beings or intelligences of heavenly residence, employed by God as the ministers of His will. The Catechism does not speak specifically of angels and God’s image and likeness. However, the Catechism does note that among visible creatures only man is "able to know and love his creator," and "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake" (Catechism, no. 356).

Angels are pure immortal spirits, of an incommunicable and immaterial substance, created by God, having the vital operations of intellection and volition. They have an intellect and a will; which is to say, they know and they love. Being intellectual creatures of incommunicable substance, angels are, therefore, persons. St Boetius defined person as a complete, individual, and incommunicable substance of a rational or intellectual nature, totally subsisting in itself.

The term image is reserved for the resemblance between God and man as being-intellect-will. Likeness refers to the possibility of friendship in Christ. The angels are included in both of these categories, so yes- angels are made in the image and likeness of God!

10 May 2010

Sunday, Adoration Night!

Dear Villagers,

We had a great time serving at the Detroit Rescue Mission Soup Kitchen this past Saturday. Although we got lost along the way, we had quite an adventure following 3 different GPS units, which often disagreed. Thank God, we made it at all!

The men who came for lunch were so friendly, and it was a powerful experience to be able to minister to Christ in the poor. We stopped at Wendy's for lunch on the way home to wrap up our adventure in Detroit! Thank you to the Rose family for helping drive us all out there. Don't miss the attached pics.

Come to Village this Sunday for our last regular Village meeting of the year, an Adoration night! Some beloved past games will make their appearance! Also, we've got 3-4 remaining questions from Villagers that need answers, so we'll gather into small groups to find answers together. Father Bill is joining us for our last Adoration night of the year, and afterward we'll have social time with pizza and a surprise party! ;)

Barbara Conlon Shares on St Basil @ DTS this Thursday, 7-8pm

Come out this week to hear Parishioner Barb Conlon share on this holy man! The Dead Theologians Society is a national movement to incorporate the lives of the Saints into the prayer life of the Church– that we would answer the call to live as they did.

* 7-8pm: gather in the Church choir loft for prayer with the Saints! (Elizabeth St door is always open)
* 8-8:30pm: snacks in the Parish Offices

Eucharistic Adoration Night This Sunday, 5/16 from 5-6:30pm
God sends you daily bread to deal with every problem and trial! This week we’ll come together to ask God for the strength to finish out the school year strong! We’ll have pizza and social hangout afterward, with a surprise birthday party for someone we all love. :)

Your Question of the Week: How do I turn someone down?
Over the years we will all have to deal with the uncomfortable moment where we are asked out by someone we know we aren't interested in. When we become aware that someone we don't like is in to us, here are some things we tend to do in response.

1. Avoid the person altogether, surely their affection will dwindle...
2. Deny they like you, surely this will make them stop...
3. Be rude to them, surely they will get the hint...
4. Tell a friend to tell them that you don't like them...
5. Lie through your teeth about your availability or interest in dating...

Go ahead, identify the few approaches you tend to gravitate towards. Now I'll tell you why none of these are very helpful.

First, avoiding someone can be difficult, and you may miss out on some awesome social events. Also, it's sad that unwanted affection has to lead to the end of even a friendship, right? Second, denial. This one is fools gold, it never works. Ignoring problems just gives them time to fester and get bigger.

Third, being rude. So sad that this is often our go-to solution for these situations. There is no need to be unkind to others- as Catholics we are called to honor the opposite sex! Once again, how sad that unwanted affection has to lead to the end of a friendship, right?

Fourth, telling a friend to tell them. This has first grade written all over it! If you aren't ready to communicate face-to-face, maybe you aren't ready to date! No need to let this become an awkward situation with tons of people involved.

Fifth, lying! It's sad that people fall into these "white lies" because they are so terrified of dealing with conflict head-on. Just because you're getting some unwanted affection doesn't mean you have to sin, right?

So please avoid the above mentioned solutions, they all stink!! If someone likes you and you aren't interested, save everyone the awkwardness and ruptured friendships by addressing it head-on. Take the person aside, and as charitably as possible express that you aren't interested in them in that way, although you think they're a great guy/girl. Doing this charitably and one-on-one will show the other person that you respect them enough to address the situation privately and with dignity.

One last sentiment. I love facebook, texting, email, and telephones. However- addressing something like this really should be done in person. Challenge yourself to deal with this situation in person! Trust me, learning to resolve conflict is an invaluable tool!

03 May 2010

Serving @ the Soup Kitchen!

Dear Villagers,

We had a glorious Condiment Fight Club last night at our regular Village meeting! Villagers went head-to-head with ketchup, thousand island, and steak sauce to compete for the crown of victory. In the end, after valiant efforts from all, Annemarie Johnson emerged victorious! Her barrel of "Condiment X" (a mixture of teriyaki sauce, grape jelly, ketchup, and salad dressing) was equally frightening to all. She was awarded the crown of victory and $15 to Coldstone Creamery!

Our Bishops have told us that "a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our faith recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first." It is our responsibility as Catholics to consider the needs of the poor and reach out with Christ's compassion!

This Saturday, 5/8 The Village has been invited to serve lunch at the Detroit Rescue Mission Soup Kitchen- where for over 100 years they have been providing hope to disadvantaged and homeless men, women and children.

Won't you come out this Saturday from 10:30am-2pm to provide lunch to nearly 150 people? Of all the great things to do on a Saturday- doesn't this top them all? Let's come together this Saturday to answer Jesus' call to feed His sheep! (John 21:17)

RSVP to Serve @ the DRM Soup Kitchen, Saturday 5/8

To ensure we have enough parent drivers, you must RSVP by this Wednesday 5/5 to bspizarny@sta2.org. Volunteer drivers are needed to transport our group to Detroit. We’re leaving St Thomas this Saturday at 10:30am, serving until 1pm, and arriving back at St Thomas by 2pm. The Detroit Rescue Mission has been sharing the Gospel by providing hope to the hopeless, abused, disadvantaged and homeless men, women and children for over 100 years.

St Bridget of Sweden @ Dead Theologians Society this Thursday, 7-8pm
Come out this week to hear Parishioner Terry Fremuth share on Saint Bridgette of Sweden, who he describes as a powerhouse of prayer! The Dead Theologians Society is a national movement to incorporate the lives of the Saints into the prayer life of the Church– that we would answer the call to live as they did.
* 7-8pm: gather in the Church choir loft for prayer with the Saints! (Elizabeth St door is always open)
* 8-8:30pm: snacks in the Parish Offices

No Regular Village Meeting this Sunday, 5/9- Happy Mother's Day!
Be sure to thank your Mothers for all the sacrifices they make for you! Join us in two weeks on Sunday 5/16 for a solid Eucharistic Adoration night, and a surprise birthday party for someone we all love. :)

Your Question of the Week: What do you do when you’re dating out of your faith?
First of all, it certainly is not wrong to date non-Catholics! That said, there are a few things to keep in mind. Ever notice how you pick up mannerisms of your friends? They say, ‘bad company corrupts good morals’. We become like the people we hang out with! If you date someone who doesn’t know or love God, you may find yourself praying less, and talking about your faith less. How might these small trends be exacerbated over a lifetime of marriage?

The goal of dating is to discern the vocation of marriage and who you are called to marry. The goal of marriage is to become holy and help your spouse get to heaven! It’s important to check whether or not you and your significant other have these same goals, even if you’re both “Catholic.”

Many Catholics are happily married to spouses who don’t share their beliefs. However, if your Catholic faith is an important part of your life, dating/marrying someone who doesn’t share your faith can be difficult. The Catechism warns us that mixed marriages can be difficult when it comes to raising children, Sunday morning, and even sexual morality (Catechism 1635). These things may seem really far away, but if you date and fall in love with someone without consideration for their religious beliefs, you may be opening up a whole bucket of heartbreak for yourself down the road!

If you do date someone of a different faith, keep in mind that you must accept that person as they are today- whether or not they may one day become Catholic. You cannot date a potential future version of someone- you can only date the reality of who they are today. While interfaith dating might lend itself to some great interfaith dialogues, it’s unfair to both of you if your future relationship hinges on someone converting.

Years ago I dated a man who wasn’t Catholic. After countless dialogues and books, we realized neither of us would compromise our beliefs, and there was no future for us in marriage. I sure wish we’d thought of some of these things beforehand, it might have saved us both a bit of heartache! :(