Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, February 14. St. Al’s will have three Masses at 7:00, 9:00 am and 7:00pm with distribution of ashes at all masses.
St. Al’s Senior Prom is February 10th at 6:30pm. Time is running out to register. If you have not sent in your RSVP, it is not too late. Please act SOON. It is very important for us to know the number of people coming so we may have the appropriate amount of food for everyone. Call to RSVP to the Office of Faith Formation by 2/5/18. Call 459-5472 or email email@example.com.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of All Saints Academy. It provides a wonderful opportunity for individuals from any of our four mother schools of Blessed Sacrament, St. Alphonsus, St. Jude, and St. Isidore to share interesting and memorable stories of their school days. These experiences have provided the foundation for what All Saints Academy is today, building on the legacy of those four schools and parishes.
Look at the legacy of both St. Alphonsus and St. Isidore’s schools of over 100 years each educating Catholic students. Add in Blessed Sacrament with over 60 years and St. Jude’s school of over 50 years and you come away with thousands of alumni who went through these four Catholic Schools. Imagine the stories and tales that could be told and shared!
It has been a dream of ASA to contact all of the alumni from each of our four founding schools. ASA has been able to track those who have attended ASA these past 10 years. But now ASA wants to track down those who attended one of our mother schools 20 or 40 or 60 years ago.
And so this is what we are asking of graduates of these four schools. If you or a member of your family, perhaps a child, or grandchild, or great grandchild attended one of the four schools of Blessed Sacrament, St. Alphonsus, St. Jude or St. Isidore, would you be willing to contact the office at All Saints Academy to give us the contact information for yourself or your family member. We would hope to have the ability to invite all of our alumni from our mother schools to participate in the 10th anniversary of All Saints Academy. This would be an opportunity to visit the school and see what a Catholic school offers today and looks like compared to the past. We want to welcome all of our past alumni into our All Saints Academy family. Our present ASA school children would love to see past generations of Catholic schools and hear their stories. Let’s bridge the generations!
If you can help, please contact John Matlak at the ASA office either by phone at 364-9453, by email at jmatlak@ASAGR.org, or by mail at 2233 Diamond Ave. N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505. John is usually in his office at the elementary campus in the mornings, Monday through Friday.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out how many actual alumni there are from our four founding schools, how many of them are still living, how many of them are still living in the area, what they might have done or be doing for careers. And if we can obtain the names of those who are deceased so that we might have our present students remember them in our school masses and prayers.
If you have any questions about any of this, please contact John in the school office or contact any of the pastors of our four parishes. I believe this project would greatly benefit All Saints Academy and awaken in all of us the great legacy we have in our founding schools of St. Alphonsus, St. Isidore, St. Jude and Blessed Sacrament. All Saints Academy can have a bright future built upon solid foundations.
God bless all our current and past alumni of our Catholic Schools!
Blessings, Fr. Pat Grile, C.Ss.R.
Help Save a Life! Our next Blood Drive is Sunday January 21st from 7:30am-12:30pm. There will be a sign up table in the back of church the next two weeks January 6th and 7th as well as 13th and 14th to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also accepted. If you have questions or would like to make an appointment during the week, contact Michelle at 913-4415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
With the beginning of a new year many people make resolutions about what they want to change about their lives. Some say they will eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more, spend less time watching TV and spend more time with family and friends. These are all good resolutions. We all seem to want to move forward in some fashion and make decisions that will better our own lives and the lives of those we love and cherish.
It seems to me that the question to ask is “Where is my life moving?” And I would match that question with “Is my life moving toward God or away from God?” If we do not consciously and willingly move toward God then we will move in the opposite direction. Spending a few quiet moments in prayer with the Lord each day will shed some light on where we want to go and how to get there.
May I suggest that we do something good for ourselves and treat ourselves to some old fashioned prayer time each day: pray the rosary, take 5 minutes of silence, read the Bible for 5 minutes. Whatever we decide, just DO IT! Start small and grow with it. The Lord will lead the way, trust Him.
I want to THANK so many parishioners who gave of their time and talents during these Christmas days:
There were those who cleaned and decorated the church.
There were the many musicians, choir members and cantors.
There were the lectors, the servers, eucharistic ministers, the ushers and the sacristans.
THANK YOU all for your countless hours of practice and volunteering to make our church look so beautiful and our liturgies so uplifting. I cannot name all of you, but you know who you are and I thank you in the name of your fellow parishioners for your gracious serving and giving! God bless you!
May we all be grateful for the precious gift of life each day in this new year. May we continue to pray for each other that this year 2018 will be a year of deep peace and hope for all!
Gratefully, Fr. Pat, CSSR
Sisters and Brothers,
This Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Family. I imagine most of us would say that our families are far from being holy. It would be pretty safe to say that there are no perfect families. What is it that makes us so impatient with the faults, failings, and limitations of those we spend most of our time with? How often we fail to be as loving and tolerant with family members as we are with strangers. Is it because we are so used to the people closest to us? Perhaps we just expect them “to put up with us” and we do the same to them. Could we not be more forgiving of our parents who did the best they could with what they knew and had? Could we not be more understanding and less critical of our children? Could we not be more accepting of our siblings and see the good in them?
Families are given to us. We did not get to choose our parents, or our siblings, or our aunts and uncles, or grandparents. So maybe we can learn to accept these good people that God has put into our lives and see the beautiful face of Christ in them. Maybe they will see the image of Christ in us too even though it may seem to be buried a little deeply! We need our families in the hard and difficult moments of life. We cherish them at baptisms and weddings and console them in times of grief. We need to respect and love our families all the time.
Is there someone within your family with whom you have lost touch because of busyness, distance, hurt, misunderstanding, or just not taking the time? Perhaps now is the time to forgive, to reconnect, to write, to call, to visit. Life is short. Do it in the living years.
“Jesus, thank you for my family, imperfect as it may be, but they are the people you have given me. May I grow to respect and love them for who they are. For they are your face for me and I for them. How beautiful to behold! Amen.”
Gratefully, Fr. Pat, C.Ss.R.