From the Pastor’s Desk

CoVid-19 Mitigation Update March 16, 2020

Hello Dear Members of the Saint Brigid Parish Family:

As we continue to adapt and change as a result of spread CoVid-19 I want to assure you we are doing everything we can to provide refuge and safety from the anxiety and panic that has begun to engulf us all.  We also want to foster your ability to worship, pray and remain part of a community of disciples.  These coming days are certainly a challenge to our faith, hope and desire to gather with others.  Early today we began assembling a master email list which encompasses all known emails that we have. The purpose of this group is to provide you with ways you can remain active in your faith at home while we refrain from public liturgies.  Yes as of today Bishop Gruss has suspended all public liturgies in the Diocese of Saginaw until April 6, 2020.  Further details about Holy Week will follow.  In the meantime we are committed to helping each household know and enter into Spiritual Communion, and foster devotion and reverence.  You can:
  1. Find our Live Liturgical Feed at http://rebrand.ly/stbrigidmass
  2. Note that our public Calendar now has video links when appropriate, using the Google Hangouts Service the calendar can be see here https://calendar.google.com/calendar/b/1?cid=bm1lZHNqc3BjOTkyNnBsMG5qZjM0ajlsaWNAZ3JvdXAuY2FsZW5kYXIuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbQ
  3. Call the office for individual appointments as needed (989)835-7121 – these include need for Confession or Anointing of the Sick.
  4. You may submit sacrificial offerings via mail or electronically at http://www.osvonlinegiving.com/665
Last week my concern was helping calm the fears and anxiety of all our dedicated and hard-working employees.  These women and men have often taken jobs with lower pay than other institutions.  As is right and just we committed to continue pay and benefits until April 6, 2020.  These are extraordinary times and I am confident God will honor us for being faithful.  These are days in which we are all being forced to slow down, and learn how to live without a hectic and overcommitted calendar.  These are days in which many are being liberated from the commitments of work.
It is my honor to serve as your pastor and I want to remind you that my commitment to accompany you is in no way lessened because we must observe social distancing. I will offer daily Mass for your intentions and will be at the forefront of my mind.
Wishing you health, holiness and peace!

Blessings and Peace,

Fr. Andy Booms
Pastor
(989) 835-7121 x34
P.S. Should you desire to be added to our General Membership list please email nschwartz@stbrigid-midland.org she will add you to the list for future mailings.

Lent 2020

Lent is one of my favorite seasons! Truly I love the challenge and opportunity to draw closer to the Lord.  It is a season that we realize just how deeply God loves us.  It is also a time when our faith naturally integrates into our daily lives.  This bulletin is your 6-week guide to all the ways we prepare, participate and receive life from Christ in Lent.

A refresher on the minimum expectations. For Roman Catholics, fasting obligations apply to adults age 18 through 59. We are asked to fast by eating only one complete meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  The USCCB explains Lenten fasting as one meatless meal, and if necessary, two smaller meals may be consumed that combined equal less than a full meal. Liquids are allowed at any time, but no food should be eaten between meals. All Catholics aged 14 and up are asked to abstain from meat every Lenten Friday and Ash Wednesday.  While muskrat is considered seafood in Michigan don’t forget that Chicken, Turkey, Pork and Beef are all meats and to be avoided on days of Abstinence.

We don’t fast to save money for a later indulgence we fast so that we can make a difference for others.  That is what the CRS Rice Bowl helps us do.  If not the CRS Ricebowl, give money to other charities from the money you save by Lenten fasting.

The third pillar of Lent is prayer.  We are encouraged to spend more time in personal prayer and liturgical prayer.  We offer Stations of the Cross on Tuesday evenings after Mass, we offer Wednesday exposition and adoration, we offer night prayer and benediction and we also have expanded times for reconciliation in a communal setting or individually.

However you spend this Lent, make sure you let go of whatever keeps you from coming alive in Christ!  We share His life in our Worship, Service and Education.  We are glad you’re with us as we discover the empty tomb in our own lives and the graces of resurrection freeing us today.

Blessings and Peace,
Fr. Andy Booms
Pastor
(989)835-7121 x34

Winter OT

The 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time is now also called the Sunday of the Word of God. The Pope desires that we would each develop a more personal relationship with God though His Word preserved in Sacred Scripture.  The US Bishops have gathered a great many resources for you in establishing a habit of prayer and reflection with Scripture.  You can find those resources http://www.usccb.org/about/divine-worship/liturgical-calendar/sunday-of-the-word-of-god.cfm.  It would be a shame to limit the Word to one Sunday a year.  We draw on both the Word and Sacraments to share life in Christ.  Our vision calls us to be a community fully alive in Christ.  Don’t miss this opportunity at the beginning of the year to establish a deeper relationship with Jesus in God’s holy Word.

At the beginning of the Gospel of John we learn that Word is the pattern for all creation.  When we study any aspect of creation we are also studying Jesus.  As a parish we are blessed to have a school to help us accomplish our mission.  Today we also begin Catholic Schools’ Week.   A school represents many things to different people.  As a pastor I experience it in three different ways.  There is the fiscal responsibility that it brings.  Schools require a lot of money for salaries, programs and safety.  While our school does require a subsidy from the parish to operate, we are blessed with many who work hard to make the school operations less of a burden.  Last fall our Emerald Evening raised just over $108,000!  This money lowers the cost of tuition for families, helps fund our Guardian Angel scholarships and helps us invest in the needed infrastructure and development programs.  So yes there is a fiscal aspect to our school but I must say it is hardly the primary experience of the school.  The second way I experience the school is the administrative and leadership role.  I am blessed to work with Laura Wilkowski as our principal and I’ll admit she carries the heavy load of administration and leadership in the school.  So while there are more staff members to lead and guide the role of school administrator is not the primary experience for me as Pastor.  The third is school as life in Christ.  Because of the energy the commitment and involvement of the staff, parents and students the school is great fuel for our mission.  To share life in Christ.  Wether during weekly Mass or during the preparation of the students for Mass or even just stoping by to answer their questions.  I must say the school truly is a major part of our vibrant parish and the life we draw from Christ.  Join me as we celebrate the Catholic Schools week, stop in for one or all the open events and come and see for yourself how the school helps us share life in Christ!
Jesus walked along the shore of Galilee and called some folk to follow him. We know that at least some of them did: Simon Peter and Andrew, James and John. Did they know whom it was they were following? It’s not likely. Jesus’ ministry had barely begun, and in Matthew’s account, so far Jesus’ greatest achievements were growing to adulthood and wrestling down the devil alone in the desert. The fact that these four men dropped everything to follow Jesus says more about the prospects of Galilean fishermen than it makes a faith statement about this crew. They followed a virtual stranger. And so do we all, in the beginning of our journey in faith. Paul saw full well what happens when the relationship goes awry, as it did in Corinth. Some who heard about Jesus from Paul thought they were following Paul! And others followed their own messengers, Apollos or Peter (Cephas). Some of us, it should be admitted, are still following dearly departed Monsignor Hart, old Sister Amandine from the fifth grade, the RCIA director who brought us into the church, the pastor before this one, or whoever it was with whom we were first spiritually smitten. Yet whomever we follow, however admirable, is the wrong guide unless we follow Jesus first and foremost. Baptism, Saint Paul writes, brings unity to those who have faith in Christ. How am I an instrument of unity in the Church and the world?
 
Blessings and Peace,
Fr. Andy Booms
Pastor
(989)835-7121 x34

November 2019

I imagine your calendar is about to fall apart just as my calendar is a bit thread-bear. Blink and it will be 2020. November is a natural time of Thanksgiving. We draw each November to a close with the great feast of Thanksgiving. I’d like to propose that we spend each day in thanksgiving for the ways God nurtures and nourishes our faith.

We just concluded our Midland Area Catholic Community mission. Saints:Day by day. Certainly we are thankful for the new and renewed bonds established during our mission. As members of the same faith we recognize that our Church is bigger than one parish. Here in Midland we try to model healthy cooperation and complimentary schedules of events. No matter the location you will find a place at table.

Without the example of holy living where would we be? Without the influence of our mothers and fathers in faith we would not know Jesus. The command to pray for the dead is an extension of the relationships we share in life. By venerating the Saints we also celebrate God’s plan for each Baptized member of the Church: union with God for eternity. We are also developing friendship with those our mothers would be happy for us to emulate and become like. In praying with and for the faithful departed we recognize our responsibility to our brothers and sisters does not end at death we are to be positive influences on others at all times. Commending them to God’s mercy and encouraging them along the path of purification. We can and do influence those who love us and we love even after death.

As the month flies by we will soon feast together at tables filled with family traditions and memories. Prepare now by making room for the feast – adopt a practice of fasting and give the food to those in need or use the money saved to enrich the poor. Take an active inventory and empty out all that will prevent you from filling up with grace.

Taking stock of the blessings and the people who have shared faith and encouraged you is the perfect way to end this liturgical year. November closes out the year of grace with two great feasts. Christ the King and Saint Andrew. In Johns Gospel Andrew shared Jesus with Peter saying “we have found the messiah”. Drawing from Andrews example have you been brave enough to share your encounter with Jesus the King of the universe? It may seem insignificant but every invitation matters.

Fr. Andy Booms
Pastor
St.  Brigid of Kildare

Vision: A community fully alive in Christ
Mission: At Saint Brigid, nourished by the Word and Sacraments, we find life in Christ by gathering disciples for worship, service and education.

July Column- Our Faith Midland

The month of July is the month we recall our liberty and independence. While certainly not having done any kind of official survey it seems July is a common month for independence. (i.e July 1 in Canada, July 28 in Peru, July 14 for France and July 4 in the USA). These are just a few of the days when nations celebrate their independence from colonial or other powers. As it is a right, just and wonderful summer holiday to celebrate independence, we should also treasure the dependence we can have on God. More than any political system God offers us the path toward eternal life, freedom, and joy now.

Later this month the Diocese will welcome Bishop Robert Gruss as our 7th Bishop. This time of transition is a natural time to look for change and hope for many blessings. As one who will be working with him for many years I look forward to hearing his vision, to listening to his priorities and learning from him. God grants those who serve in leadership roles the grace of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Each Bishop I have known has displayed them differently. I look forward to what gifts Bishop Gruss brings. I hope you will join me in praying for him as he prepares to assume the reigns of our Diocese on July 26. I also hope you will make an effort to see what gifts the Spirit has in store and keep an open mind. I have no doubt Bishop Gruss will surprise us all as we get to know him and his many talents and gifts. I know it was a pleasant surprise already to hear that he will be moving to the cathedral rectory. I was the last resident there and I’m so happy to know that grand old house will get some much needed TLC and a new resident. God is good!

My father often says, “by the 4th of July summer is half over!” While it’s true the season is brief I have already put my order in for a long warm fall… if only it were that easy. The heart of summer, like Christmas, invites us to recall the wonders and traditions of years gone by. The sound of children playing often reminds us of the games we would play. It’s summer – get out there and enjoy creation and join in this time of renewed hope and expectation as we receive our Bishop.

June Column- Our Faith Midland

June is the month we celebrate our longest day and shortest night. While the sun reaches its zenith and light has shattered the stubborn cold of winter. No matter what kind of summer we have it will be warmer, brighter and greener than winter. God is the source of all and giver of all gifts. It is appropriate as we prepare for the gift of the summer that we thank God our Heavenly Father.

Each June we celebrate the importance of Fathers. We commemorate Father’s Day and the role our Earthly Fathers have in bringing us to life and sharing faith. We also celebrate the final feasts of Easter. Ascension, Pentecost, Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi. These Feasts remind us we are invited to share in the greatest gift of the Father – His Son. Jesus is the light and while the sun will begin its recession from the sky Jesus will continue to offer the path to the Fathers kingdom.

Speaking of the Kingdom this month we celebrate Corpus Christi. It’s the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus. The early days of the Easter Season we heard the resurrection narratives. Each was a different Eucharistic encounter. We have the opportunity on June 23 to follow the Lord. To let he who conquers the grave be our guide in life. Join us as we give thanks for the gift and renew our desire to follow him. The procession of this day is very different that the procession of Holy Thursday. This time we celebrate and rejoice with the risen Lord and make our faith known. On Holy Thursday Peter denied Jesus in this celebration we acknowledge Him publicly as the way, the truth and the life.

Have a blessed June and don’t forget the Son is more powerful than the sun. He never burns, tires or leaves us dry.

May Column- Our Faith Midland

It’s good to be back in print. As you can tell the Our Faith Midland has had a few months of transition. I welcome Marta Manning as the editor and coordinator of local content. This publication is not an official ministry of the parishes, but I am grateful of the hard work of the editor and publication staff to make it possible. Our Faith is bigger than any one parish, our faith is truly universal. Catholic as you know means universal. We are called beyond our boundaries into the realm of God which stretches beyond the boundaries of time and space. We experience that in the Eucharist, when we participate in the heavenly liturgy, but we also experience that in the multitude of ways our faith stretches our personal boundaries of who is in and who is not.

This May is entirely part of the Easter Season (since we had such a late Easter), but it is still a month we are thankful to our Mother. Our Earthly mothers and our heavenly mother. Mary, the Mother of the Church accompanies us just as she was an active and essential part of the early Church. I can picture her having long discussions with the disciples and encouraging them to believe the impossible. She knew who her son was and she knew no tomb could contain him. As we journey through this Easter Season, I invite you to have those long conversations with Mary. She knows and understands pain, doubt, frustration, disappointment and all negative human emotions but she also is a conduit for the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love.

This past February as I journeyed to Mexico City for pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadeloupe I was reminded of her power to lead us closer to her Son. As we seek to know and experience the Risen Lord, she is the perfect companion. She is also the one who teaches us to love, to love all her children and to live in hope. Certainly as we hope for a blessed and productive growing season, having some extra pillow talk with our Blessed Mother is a good idea. Say a rosary, bring her flowers, or just contemplate in prayer with her. Whatever your needs don’t be afraid to talk with Mary about how to find an answer. As we commemorate the great gift of life and faith of our Earthly lives, don’t neglect Mary, she like your mom will never reject a homemade gift or card, she like your mom will enjoy spending time with her child and help guide you along the road of faith.

April 14, 2019

Today begins the holiest week of the year. While it’s easy to speak of Holy Week, it’s much harder to honor it. The world around us hardly remembers, let alone pauses for Holy Week. You can! Make this week a priority of prayer and reflection on the love of Jesus for you. Pray the Stations of the Cross, come to Exposition or an extra Mass or liturgy. Don’t wait for the world to stop- just clear your calendar.

Last Sunday we talked with our Faith formation families and shared details of Fully Alive Tuesday’s. Beginning this summer we will have Tuesday formation for the whole family. For children, teens and adults of all ages. The whole event includes class, Mass, dinner and discussion. We will feature three summer dates to prepare for the fall June 25, July 23 and August 13. You’re never too old to learn and grow in faith. If you know a family that needs more details please contact Jennifer Winberg at jwinberg@stbrigid-midland.org.

As you listen to the Passion of Luke today and John on Friday, it’s a good time to consider how you would tell the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is the central mystery of our faith. How do you witness Christ’s death in our modern world? How do you anticipate His resurrection?

April 7, 2019

Sometimes we joke about the changeable nature of weather. With few exceptions every place I have visited claims to have weather that changes in a few minutes. Perhaps we would have liked weather this way or that way, perhaps we would have liked a Lent that was this way or that way. The truth is we now have 2 weeks until Easter. Don’t look back for what you would have liked, look forward to what is coming!

This week we have two opportunities for communal celebrations of the Sacrament of penance, Sunday at Assumption and Wednesday at Blessed Sacrament. Take advantage of what we have and turn once again to God. There is no doubt that Christian forgiveness remains an extremely radical concept. When have you found it most difficult not to condemn the sinner along with the sin? What would help you most to follow Christ’s admonition to “go and sin no more”? How can you offer similar help to others?

The readings today take us into the realm of the impossible. Yahweh put water in the desert—impossible; Saint Paul tells us we will attain Resurrection from the dead—impossible; the adulterous woman is condemned by no one—impossible What impossible deeds has God performed in your life? What other impossible deeds would you like to see accomplished in your lifetime?

March 31, 2019

Rejoice – today, Latare Sunday, is the Lenten compliment to Advent’s “pink” candle. We are in the 4th week of Lent. By now, some of the changes you’ve made may be sprouting new growth. Rejoice at the good things God has done and know there is more to come.

I hope you’ve had a chance to open your mailing with information on the Catholic Services Appeal. Many have already responded – thank you! This annual campaign not only supports the Diocese, but as we have often exceeded the goal, it benefits our parish too. The funds refunded this year will be used for roof and replacement and restoration of the paint and plaster by Saint Joseph. Thank you for your consideration of this important campaign.

This week we will once again listen to the readings for the Scrutinies from Year A. Many communities will hear Luke’s Prodigal Son the lost and found young man. We hear the healing of the Man Born Blind from John. It is interesting to note that John calls him the Man Born Blind – he is a man first. God sees our humanity first and then helps us overcome our limitations. What limitation do you think prevents you from seeing as God does? There are still 3 weeks of Lent for God to heal you.