Grass Lake – March 19th is always a very special day at the Pious Union/Shrine of St. Joseph. Many visitors make the journey to the shrine erected in his honor. This year ten bus loads of pilgrims braved a cold and wet day to celebrate Mass, browse the gift shop, and receive individual blessings from Fr. Paul. They brought their personal intentions, praying for themselves and their families still struggling in Iraq. Their devotion seems to have increased during these difficult times.
This year evening prayers were offered in the chapel followed by a fellowship meal for all of those present. The St. Jospeh’s Women’s Guild was on hand to offer information, assistance and refreshments for the pilgrims.
Grass Lake – In line with our spirituality and mission we are offering the local Church some spiritual activities for the benefit of youth, families, sick and aging persons. Among them is an overnight monthly adoration at the Shrine of St. Joseph. The third “Clubbing with Jesus” was on August 17th. The atmosphere of faith and the devotion of the participants impressed those joining for the first time. They were touched by the prayers, music and moments of silent contemplation of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. At midnight the Rosary was prayed while walking from the Grotto to the Shrine and carrying the image of the Blessed Mother. The next “Clubbing with Jesus” will be on September 22nd beginning at 8:00pm with Mass and ending the next morning at 4:00am.
Grass Lake – Each month at the Shrine of St. Joseph special prayers and celebrations will be offered on the 12th and 24th to honor Our Lady of Providence and St. Louis Guanella. However, this past month celebrated two other important events. While celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the beginning of the Pious Union of St. Joseph, on May 26th, we were pleasantly surprised by crowds arriving at the Shrine despite the Memorial Day holiday when Americans are normally vacationing or visiting relatives. Chairs had to be added to accommodate everybody for the celebration of the anniversary of the Ordination of our Founder and the commemoration of the arrival of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in USA. It was an opportunity to talk about Guanellian vocations; inviting families and youth to pray and be opened to the call of Jesus to follow Him in the Guanellian charism. A display depicting the life of our Founder and the ministry of his two Congregations was at the entrance of the Shrine for people to see. The celebration ended with refreshments being served to the participants.
Grass Lake – The Pious Union of St. Joseph was born from the love of St. Louis Guanella for the suffering and dying. He understood that the last hours of people’s lives were the most important for every human being. The Pious Union of St. Joseph was officially approved by Pope St. Pius X, on February 17, 1913, and extended to the whole world on February 12, 1914. The Michigan branch of the Pious Union of St. Joseph was approved by the Bishop of Lansing, MI, on August 3, 1987. The Pious Union marked this anniversary with a special Mass presided by the Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of Lansing, on Sunday, December 1, 2012, at 11:30am. The Mass was followed by a lunch at the St. Louis Center. The members of the Pious Union who participated in this event offered their prayers to St. Joseph for an increase of faith and membership.
Grass Lake – On Saturday, December 1,2012 The Pious Union of St. Joseph in Grass Lake, MI will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with a concelebrated Mass with Bishop Earl Boyea of the Lansing diocese, along with the Servants of Charity of the St. Louis Center.
Fr. Germano Pegoraro, had a dream to start a Pious Union of St. Joseph in the United States just as Fr. Guanella started the original Pious Union in Rome. In 1987 Fr. Germano, as the first director, initiated the magazine Now and at the Hour, the official publication of the Pious Union of St. Joseph, in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He was inspired to paint a replica of the image of the Death of St. Joseph which adorns the sanctuary of the St. Joseph Minor Basilica in Rome. This painting is now revered in the Chapel of the St. Joseph Shrine in Grass Lake, Michigan.
In 1994 Bishop Kenneth Povish gave permission to establish the Pious Union of St. Joseph in his Diocese of Lansing. Fr. Germano moved his office and continued the publication in Grass Lake, Michigan. The property had a small house and an old barn situated on it. A benefactor came forward with enough money to get Fr. Germano started in rebuilding the existing barn into the Shrine to St. Joseph. Fr. Germano’s dream followed the exact path that St. Louis Guanella took in transforming a humble barn in Italy into the beautiful St. Joseph Basilica in Rome.
Now 25 years later the Pious Union of St. Joseph is grateful to God for the charism of St. Louis Guanella who founded this great confraternity promoting prayer for the suffering and the dying.
Grass Lake – On September 15, 2012 8 members of American Heritage Girls (AHG) Troop 3498 and their parents placed flags at the Shrine of St. Joseph as a way of participating in AHG’s first National Day of Service. Kathy Mars, a member of the Pious Union, wanted to get involved with the Right to Life flag display as part of the tenth ’40 Days for Life’ Campaign so she invited AHG to help. 400 pink and blue flags were placed before the Blessed Mother’s Grotto as a symbol of the 52 million babies who have lost their ‘right to life’ since Roe V. Wade was passed in 1973. Also during the ’40 Days’ Campaign there is a baby shower drive taking place in the shrine for people to donate baby items for a local crisis pregnancy center. Part of the AHG troop will also be praying the rosary weekly outside of Planned Parenthood in Jackson. It is appropriate to note the fact that September 15th is also the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. After the flags were in place, Annie Lavergne, Troop Coordinator, distributed information about the upcoming events for the local 40 Days for Life Campaign. They prayed together and shared some refreshments.
After a difficult search to find a host, AHG Troop 3498 was formed in 2005 at the Pious Union of St. Joseph in Grass Lake. It was the third troop in the state of Michigan and has been growing strong ever since. According to Annie Lavergne two other troops have grown out of Troop 3498. The First Church of the Nazarene in Jackson, MI is now home for Troop 3489 and the second will be at St. Joseph in Jackson. Their troop is in the final stages of formation and a troop number will be issued soon.
Founded in 1995 in West Chester OH, AHG is a Christian alternative to the Girl Scouts. In the 16 short years since its inception, AHG boasts 18,000 members and has expanded to 45 states and four countries. You can learn more about them by visiting their website: ahgonline.org