Monday, August 25, 2014


The Founders' Bible: The Origin of the Dream of Freedom by David Barton

American stands at the crossroads of human history, once revered and respected throughout the world for its exceptionalism, a gleaming "city on a hill" as a beacon of enduring freedom, now reviled, its influence reduced, teetering on the brink of disaster.

Urban/Suburban Unity Walk Thursday at 6 pm in Warren, MI

Join me to walk from 8 Mile Road and Van Dyke in Warren, MI., Thursday, August 28, 2014, south to Saint Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at Outer Drive and Van Dyke at 6 pm.

Each step moves us toward the aim of better regional cooperation and jump starting a conversation on an open would of race in this culture of persistent poverty and increasing crime among Blacks that is greater now that when the Civil Rights Movement emerged.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Life Is A Long Walk

Life is a trying journey home. 

It can include division, discord and more.

Join Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 6 pm for a symbolic trek at 8 Mile Road and Van Dyke in Warren to Outer Drive/Van Dyke in Detroit.

We'll dedicate the walk to veterans and their families, Cardinal Edmund Szoka who led Catholics in Detroit for decades, and those who speak truth to power.

We'll break bread after the walk at about 7 pm in Saint Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Cathedral with a pot luck meal and program with  Dr. David Jantz addressing drugs and their effects with a response from Diane Shultz.

The public is welcome.

Call (313) 530 2727 for more information.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunday's Sermon: A Homily - Building On Rock: Who Is Jesus the Christ? Mt. 16

Rock Financial.

Climbing rocks.

Rocky water.

Jesus declared he is the rock on which the church is built.

Today,  however, Peter's faith waivers when Jesus tells of his impending suffering, even death on the cross (as some Christians this minute are crucified, buried alive even,  in Iraq!)

Catholics look here in Matthew regarding the Pope, successor of Peter.

After Jesus is said to be "rock," Peter is challenged to build the Church.

He is.


A peg in a sure spot, like Eliakim in Isaiah 22.

Like gravity, ground of all being, and, a fixed place, posture, point forever.

Popes are like all of the community of disciples of Jesus, like Francis, our current pope,  (Romans 11), and, any "who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?"

Papacy is a charism, a gift, a favor and blessing to unite Catholics and the world in this universal Church down through history.

Pope Francis fills the office of "rock" passed on by Jesus from Peter.

A good thing, no?


Like a rock.

A solid foundation.

For sure.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Detroit-area Chaldeans, Others Decry 'Genocide' of Christians in Iraq

Imam H. Al-Husainny, Rabbi Dorit Edut, others and myself will join in solidarity Friday, August 15 at 4 pm in the Karballa Islamic and Educational Center, 15332 W. Warren/Greenfield, Dearborn, 48126, (313) 729 8035 to show our support for Iraq's plight.

All are welcome.

Join us and let us stand together to declare our appreciation for life.

Fr. Ventline
313 530 2777

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where is the Outrage?

Where is it?

As children, among others are alienated on a mountain, and others beheaded in Iraq, where is the outrage among Christians, others?

When will we rise to stop the violence?


How can we allow such genocide?

And, do we realize that as Christians are expelled and killed by terrorists, and, Christianity is threatened at home and abroad, as Christianity and religious liberty go, so goes this Nation?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Building Up Marriage and Family Is Theme at People's Community Services Center Sunday

By Fr. Lawrence Ventline, D.Min.

Metro-Detroit area residents are welcome to the People's Community Services Center August 17 to learn some skills to build their marriage and family, according to Common Word Alliance leader, Arif Huskic of Hamtramck.

Starting at 4 pm, Mayor Karen Majewski will greet the guests and their family, that includes child care at the site at 8625 Joseph Campau at Danforth.

Refreshments will be served at 6:15, following nine workshops, including Islamic and Buddhists perspective on marriage and family development, ways to fight fair in love and marriage, teens and parents hearing one another, how to find a job and support your family, how to find the right person for marriage, family addictions and alcohol, and maintaining peace in the neighborhood.

Among those leading workshops are Imams Ali Suliman, Mohamed Almasmari and Mohammad Ali Elahi, Revs. David Kasbow and Dharmananda Mahathera, Rabbi Dorit Edut, and Sister Grace Keane.

The event is free.  For more information, call (313) 999 5483, or e-mail,


One's Own Garden Story and a Good Self Image is Theme of Pastor's Book

By Rev. Lawrence M. Ventline, D.Min.
A Dump, A Garden, And One's Worth: Growing An Interior Life by Lawrence M. Ventline

Life's story begins in a garden of paradise, Genesis notes.  Another garden in John's Gospel across the Kidron Valley that Jesus and his disciples used is mentioned there also.  So does one's trek of twists and turns take one on her or his trail through a garden, or, a dump.

After all, every pilgrim has a story to tell.  It is a tale of joy and sorrow, of desolation and consolation, spiritual ups and downs.

My own trek takes me through a dump-like plot of land where I once lived in Harrison Township, Michigan  that builders once began and did not finish as the Good Book notes. Debris filled the area around boulders of rocks and more.  Bottles were strewn there with other garbage from passers-by. I pulled weeds and re-made the dump with colorful flowers and evergreen trees.  Less debris was left by others then.  After all, it was a garden now.  And, gardens grow greens and more, beyond rubbish.  Like life.  A poor self image begets more of the same until I decide otherwise and make a garden like paradise of life.

Dumps attract debris the same way humans attracts more of the same when their self esteems lacks dignity and worth.

This tale is told of my own family of nine with parents who hailed from farming towns of Port Austin and Cheboygan ,Michigan.  It takes me through Detroit's east side where we were educated at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish and its grade and high school after attending kindergarten at Lynch Elementary on Palmetto near Van Dyke where I couldn't tie my gym shoes with two loops and was shamed by the teacher who made me face the wall until I learned.

My own demeaned self-image and worth needed shoring up from a boyhood pastor, the late Father Edward Popielarz who taught me to accept myself, others and God in his weekly class in acceptance that I attended in Pontiac where he led the self-help session weekly while I was at St. Mary's College, Orchard Lake.

Later in life, others dumps were explored in Kingston, Jamaica, and, San Salvador in a chapel where the blessed Oscar Romero was murdered at Mass.  Dumps began to turn into fresh gardens over time and turns in life's travails.

I came to accept my story of desolation and consolation from  Father Popielarz' quoting of theologian Paul Tillich's, The Shaking of the Foundations:  "Simply accept the fact that you are accepted."  Accepted by whom?   By God, by golly!  For sure.  When that happened, I experienced grace, favor and blessing.  Everything is transformed and morphs when I accept.  Grace, after all, conquers sin and estrangement, and the abandonment I felt early on in life as my own father seemed estranged from his stepmother who abused him and his siblings.  Alcohol consumed my dear dad's tale.  And, I needed to learn to trust, talk and feel again - classic traits of children of alcoholic parents.

Like the sermon on the mount address of Jesus in Matthew 5:1-12, acceptance principles are analogous, I realized...finally.  Accepting my self and my story completes the threads, brings life's trek together, and, helped me appreciate the need for the gym shoe laces tied with two loops.  Like laps of life, my tale's threads connect in helping others to ask:  How does your garden grow?


Sunday Sermon: Homily for August 17, 2014

Matthew 15: 21-28


The outsider had it.

She persisted and Jesus responded.

The Canaanite woman would not take no for an answer.

Jesus listened to her.  He gave in to this outsider.  She begged Jesus to hear her.

He did.

Her persistent faith pressed on beyond her origin of birth.

God simply needs to hear me. 

Just ask God.

Although a sinner, I trust that God welcomes me and my request for life after death.

God will hear me also.


Vatican Synod October 5-19

The social and spiritual crisis of the world today is increasingly impacting the Catholic Church's evangelizing mission as it concerns the family now.

Consequently, Pope Francis is calling a special meeting October 5-19th to address issues of the widespread practice of cohabitation; same-sex unions; inter-religious marriages, and more.

Vet Support and Venting

Join me the first Tuesday, monthly through December, for Vet Support and Venting, starting September 2nd, 7-8:30 pm in Mainstreet Coney and Grille, 1985 Jefferson, Det., 48207.

Get support and resources to face trauma caused from battle fatigue and more with a licensed counselor and pastor of 38 years.

Call 313 530 2777, for more.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weddings in the Woods, and, at the Water at Stoney Creek, Michigan

O happy bliss!

Alicja is getting married at Stoney Creek in metropolitan Detroit, MI., later today.  She's my brother's daughter, the daughter he raised and loves.

Conversation is abuzz about it.


One relative refused to attend since the couple are "naturalists" who revere the water, the elements, the trees, and more.

Let it be.


The couple love each other.

And, they enjoy nature.  And, want a wedding by the water.

So . . .

Let it be.

Let them be.

Relish the relationship of matrimonial bliss.  Attend the wedding.

After all, love is love.

"Love your neighbor as yourself," the Good Book says.

And, "Love one another."

"God is love."


Not sure I can improve on that.

May the newlyweds "I do" be forever.

For ever!

That's another blog, however.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Spirited Service of Praise

When I showed up to support the pastor at World Deliverance Temple in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Tuesday, I sensed I was in for a lively service of praise.

A drummer, keyboard players, and more were plenty.

The week-long conference hosted a variety of speakers including Pastor Winans of Perfecting Church in Detroit.  And, his voice reminded me of an experience at his church years ago when he sang and I felt like I was in heaven, not that I know what that is like.

A grateful pastor welcomed the inter and intra-faith clergy.

Pastors are like that.

They know that linking our lives in God is crucial to ministry and more.

The Pentecostal service had the Imam wondering as I prepared him for what to expect.

He was grateful.

And, he accepted that people worship differently, saying, "I don't judge; God will sort them all out."

How true.


We clapped.  We shouted and prayed in tongues, even danced in praise of the Maker.

One's entire being is engaged here, I thought.

A Catholic physician turned from his front row saying, "We Catholics should try this!"

Why not, I thought.

God awaits our entire being to fully engage.  And, although we are more cerebral, I think there's room for diversity of ways of worshiping.

A Spiral of Failed Functioning

When a customer at a local restaurant ordered poached egg, oatmeal and yogurt, the server reported that they were out of yogurt.

"Would you like something else,"  I overheard her say to the patron.

"OK," I overheard again, "I'll have turkey patties," he said.

The waitress forgot the eggs and let the cashier know that the lack of yogurt seemed to confuse the waitstaff.

"Oh," she said, as I waited behind the customer to pay for my breakfast.  "At times, the trucks say they will bring yogurt when they forget to load it, but never do," the cashier told the waiting customer.

And, so goes the cycle of failed functioning.

How we are connected, I thought, as the cashier rang me out as I paid my bill.

We are.

When one function is upset, others follow.

Like with the yogurt.

We are so tied into each other and the cycle of service, aren't we?

Taking responsibility for the job I have at hand will assist in keeping the spiral functioning well.

Or, else.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Pot Luck Picnic Sunday at Belle Isle Park

Crowds will be busy Sunday, August 3rd from 12 noon until 5 pm at Detroit's jewel of a park, Belle Isle.

We will gather on Central near the Playcape area.

The sun is scheduled to shine widely upon us. 

Bit, even if it rained we would enjoy the shower some, wait, and, get back to the busy schedule the planners set.

Not a dull moment Sunday.

Too much for me.

I like more calm and quiet to talk and sit and sip a beverage with the homeless who attend also.

It's nestled downtown at East Grand Boulevard and Jefferson blocks from where I overlook it at home.

Diverse people will bring various kinds of food to feast upon with all faiths and generations who will play soccer, get their faces painted, dance, drum, and more.

It's the third annual picnic for all.

Cost-free and family friendly we'll pray and give praise to the Creator of trees, rivers, and living temples, at 12 noon.

Kosher hot dogs and an array of dishes will satisfy then.

Kids will run and sing, while adults will engage eyes and voices of diversity with one another.

I relish this annual event.

Join me.

Summer Solitude, Silence

Some solitude and silence twice daily with twenty minutes each times seems to row my boat, so to speak.

When neglected, my day seems less joyous.

"After doing so, Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray."

                           - Mt. 14:23

When I have my fill of people where I minister on the street, I pause.

It's as though I dismiss the crowd as Jesus did.

I rest.

A park nearby helps.

And, the Detroit River at Belle Isle draws me deep within.

Finding a place, a spot to hear God whisper in the wind, or my ear and heart, helps me to be ready and welcoming for the crowd. . .again...later, or, tomorrow.

Sunday's Sermon: A Homily on Satisfaction

I can't get no satisfaction.

Someone sang those lyrics out of the depths of his heart, no?

When one's basic needs are met, am I more satisfied with giving to the poor, than buying another TV with a wider, bigger, larger screen? Or, a huge mansion that may need a scooter for me to get around from one end to the other?

Perhaps not!

So . . .

"Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy?"

                                           - Isaiah 55:2

The prophet would concur, it seems to me.

Meaningful living with a semblance of satisfaction comes from stooping low to serve the most vulnerable, or, those near me in need at any given moment.

In our economy that depends on consumerism, the question is a challenge, no?

Subliminal messages in the media, and more, press us to spend and shop 'til I drop!

Now, a fresh loaf of bread made from scratch and free from preservatives and processed ingredients clearly satisfies me.  The "On the Rise" Bakery on Gratiot, near McClellan in Detroit motivates me to eat Farmer's Rye, for example.

The Bread of Heaven, this Eucharistic feast -- simple as it is -- made from human hands off God, satisfies hungry hearts.

My mother, and Mary, perhaps would agree. 

After all, they were simple peasants seeking to serve and stoop low to meet the basic needs of my four sister and two brothers. 

Furthermore, in their own womb of an oven, they carried meaning and more.

Mom always seemed satisfied despite meager money, and, living from paycheck to paycheck.

May appeared that way also, no?

God, assist me to balance desires, wants and needs by finding meaning in serving right where I am at home, work, school or on the streets of  Chene/Jefferson at the Detroit Branch of the Elmwood Park Library where I craft this talk today.