Monday, November 24, 2014

Everybody's Prayerbook

While occupying the corner at Chene and Lafayette with Good News in downtown Detroit,Everybody's Prayerbook,published by O'Neill D. Swanson of Swanson G. Funeral Home, was widely welcomed by pilgrims, the homeless, and others I met. "How may I pray for you?" I'd ask. People would say, "Get me a job." Then, I'd hand them the prayer book. The foreword to it is remarkable. It is among the best definitions I've seen on praying. "Prayer has been described as conversation with God." A Prayer for the Home Visit, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this house, and drive from it all the snares of the enemy. Let Thy holy angels dwell herein, to preserve us in peace; and may Thy blessing be upon us forever, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen. Sharing the ardor of the Gospel is a joy. People engage readily. They are courteous and kind. I love occupying the corner.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation informed by engaged communities.

Apply for funding for innovative ideas that advance informed and engaged communities today.

A letter of inquiry is the principal way to apply for funding from Knight Foundation.

Submit an idea.

Apostle Paul: From Jailer to Jailbird

On the inside looking out...of a jail cell in Macomb County's Jail on Groesbeck at Elizabeth and beyond Michigan.

For many there they look within as they look outside the doors for a fresh take on life.

The Kingdom of God is within.


All of us.

In Acts 7:58-28:3 1noted is Paul's travail in jail.

Paul wrote to young church, like the many young in our jails today across the globe and in the USA where it is reported that the most jails exist.

Go figure.

From among the greatest enemies to one of the champions of the early Way, long before we were dubbed Christians with Emperor Constantine organizing the apostles.

Prisoners are among the company of Paul, among other Bible characters.

That's hopeful the inmates tell me on Monday while Mass is celebrated there at about 1 pm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Watch out for the two-legged turkeys and the other turkeys I like to jest by way of holiday greetings these days.

People laugh.

I do also.

In a culture of hurry and impatience, the captured turkeys waiting to be roasted have the harder task, no?

Courtesy and civility of the late and revered legacy of Saint Francis of Assissi, Italy emerges as a reminder for me.

Blessed thanksgiving.

A special day.


Clem Kern and Labor

A conscience of Detroit.

That is the legacy of Monsignor Clement Kern of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

A beloved mentor of mine, he told me once, "Do what your people ask."

So, I do.

Today, near Chene and Lafayette in downtown Detroit where I reside, a visit to a union office
has a few of us talking about a food supplier at a local Catholic university that "get little respect from staff" while their contract is up for renewal.

Earlier, a commercial driver, now a mover for Saint Vincent DePaul told me that his dignity and worth was violated at a downtown Detroit church on Woodward.


One wonders what is going on.

In fact, I was told what a particular Catholic university stands for is currently practicing far from official teaching.

Of course, there are many sides to everyone's stories.

We're all mature enough to know that.

When another gentleman told me that someone was fired at a university when attorneys found out that an employee drove a pregnant mother to the hospital, I perked up.

What a travesty if true.

University officials don't want to be involved.


The conscience of Detroit.

What would Clem Kern say?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Wisdom of Advent

With Advent season approaching at the end of November, the four-week conscious-raising rite offers Christians the opportunity to prepare for the anniversary of the birth of Jesus the Christ December 25 as they await his Second Coming.

To that end, four sessions with Dominican Sister Suzanne Schreiber, O.P., are set for Dec. 3, 6 pm, Dec. 4, 12 noon, Dec. 9, 9:30 am, and Dec. 10, 6 pm at various homes in the metropolitan-Detroit area.

All are welcome, including inter-generations, cultures and faith traditions, planners said.

For sites and more information, write

Mass Mob

A Catholic Mob Mass Movement.

With 'jump starts' in Buffalo, New York and Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan is reviving churches.

 The Mass mob has moved into the phenomenon of the Sunday crowds filling urban churches with suburbanites who may have attended the parish school long before many shuttered.

Our Lady Queen of Apostles in Hamtramck, MI., will be the latest edifice November 16, 2014 at 12 noon when local bishops also move in to preside at the fledgling parishes.

Earlier, Saint Florian Church, also in Hamtramck, bordering Detroit and Highland Park, hosted that Mass Mob.

Nearly 2,000 people participated in the Mass at Saint Florian, according to organizers who encourage worshipper to bring a can of food for the parish's soup kitchens that aid the area hungry daily.

Countless competing activities affect one's committing to regular Sunday attendance that is shrinking even though research surveys show that belief in God is firm.  And, Detroit-area Catholics boast about being most generous to mission collections across the United States and beyond.

Boundaries and respect for human life, marriage and family, and more, are blurred these days even as related to respect for courtesy in the marketplace, and, the "courtliness" that Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy addressed in the 13th century wanes.

Perhaps this lay-run initiative that is organized and managed by the faithful is a clear signal that current church clergy, bishops and other leaders can learn a different model of attracting younger generations to church services.

Holiday Pain

Need to manage holiday pain these days?

Help is on the way November 24 and December 8 from 12 noon until 1 pm with Father Lawence Ventline leading the sessions.

Participants will learn how to calm down, mediate and be equipped with other means to survive the season that tends to be frenetic for many in a culture of 40 millions addicts, research shows.

Write for details.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


They lined up to serve.

More will follow, for sure.


A grateful nation appreciates vets today.

We do.

We need to respect their role, however one may agree or disagree with war and its misery, mystery and more.

Lukas Ventline, 23, died in Vietnam in '68.

My brother served his nation well.

Today, I remember the 6 foot 3 inch man who was the oldest of the seven of us, including two sets of twins.  I pause.  I ponder.

At Mt. Olivet Cemetery I will honor my brother and all the veterans who gave and served this grateful nation.


Exit Halloween, All Saints, All Souls.

Enter Christmas, New year's, Thanksgiving, Advent, more.

Amazing grace!

Accepting how they all merge now, overlap and create a culture clash even.

Yet, accepting life's flow on its terms seems to be the way to go.

Go with the flow.


Why go against the grain to create boundaries again.

That would be too much like ridding the culture of no fault fault accidents...and....

Boundaries, rules, commandments, and more as in the days of old seem gone in this modern era.

Nevertheless, culture is paying for lack of boundaries, separate seasons, designated days for the holiday and holy days.

Are boundaries still part of family?

Of households?

Even, of myself?

Go figure.

And, let me know, please.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Occupying the Corner at Lafayette and Chene Streets, Detroit

Equipped with Good News, I am surprised by my encounters daily at this corner where I minister.

I ask people who frequent the corner how I can be helpful.

Inevitably, they ask me for work.

Focus:HOPE in Detroit is where I point them all the time.

There they can get job training an more that may land them a job.

When I ask them how I can pray for them, they quickly ask for work.

Good Grief

Grieve, but do not grieve as those without hope.

The Good Book suggests that. 

It does.

Like a long tunnel, multiple persons I met this week were dealing with losses that caused grief.

Grief is the natural process one encounters over time to recover.

Fall weather can also affect those experiencing losses in life.

Expression is an antidote to depression.  Staying active, getting rest, eating well and exercising helps one get through the long tunnel.  It does.

If one's grieving goes longer than a year, professional help may be necessary.