Grass Lake – “’Til death do us part.” Many people have trouble making commitments, especially life-long commitments. True, it can be a little scary when you don’t know what’s ahead, but if we let the Lord into our lives and remember that He holds us in the palm of His hand, it becomes just a little easier, and we know that “all will be well.” Two good friends of the Shrine, and Guanellian Cooperators, Jim and Sue Phillips, let the Lord into their lives 40 years ago and recently celebrated their 40th Anniversary. They received a special blessing from Fr. Satheesh after Mass and their rings were re-blessed. It’s so good to see couples celebrating these special milestones, and is also encouraging for the younger couples.
Grass Lake – On the March 19th Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, the Shrine of St. Joseph was filled with a constant flow of pilgrims. The Women’s Guild prepared the Shrine by stocking the gift shop, setting up St. Joseph’s table and filling the place with votive candles for the pilgrims to light in honor of their loved ones. Pilgrims arriving in the morning were blessed with the celebration of the Holy Mass and the sacrament of Confession. They also had time to enjoy lunch and refreshments offered by the Women’s Guild. The Chaldean pilgrims arriving in the afternoon had time to visit all areas of the Shrine, pray for their loved ones, light candles and receive blessings from Fr. Satheesh, Shrine Director. Many of our Chaldean sisters pray for the safety of their husbands still living in Iraq. A total of eleven buses visited the Shrine that day.
Grass Lake – The month of September has been a month full of activities at the Shrine. We had a day dedicated to the family. On September 13th, we invited Peter Herbeck to talk to the families who come to the Shrine regarding “Challenges American Families Face and What the Lord Asks us to do.” Peter Herbeck has been inspired by the Holy Spirit from a young age, and speaks at many conferences and on Catholic Radio around the country. It was a very informative speech followed by a question and answer session.
The month of September has also been a month for pilgrims. St. Stephens Catholic School in New Boston, MI came to visit the Shrine in two groups. The first group came on September 14th with their 1st and 2nd graders along with the chaperones and teachers. Fr. John Hedges led the group since he has been involved with the Shrine from its beginnings. He has been coming here since the time of Fr. Germano, and he directed the kids for a wonderful tour. Then the 3rd and the 4th graders came on the 29th of the month. Fr. John came along too, and both times the group participated in the Holy Eucharist. On September 15th, a group from St. Anthony’s Parish, Indiana, came to visit the Shrine. They participated in the Mass and ate their lunch in the Pastoral Center. It is always a blessing to have pilgrims come since we are inspired by their faith in the powerful intercession of St. Joseph. During these pilgrimages, the Women’s Guild actively assisted the Director.
Grass Lake – March 19th is the Solemnity of St. Joseph and the Shrine of St. Joseph becomes a very busy place with many pilgrims coming to visit and receive blessings from the Foster Father of Jesus. This year too there were many bus loads of pilgrims who came to the Shrine and prayed to St. Joseph. They are all Chaldean Catholics and it was wonderful to see them praying in their language which Jesus also spoke. They were also very pious to receive a blessing from the priest. Their piety and devotion to St. Joseph is outstanding and inspiring. May God continue to bless them through the powerful intercession of St. Joseph.
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 – 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