Tuesday, December 22, 2015



Christ's Mass / Christmas, 2015

So, it is Christmas. It is. That is on December 25th. Some prefer to skip it as John Grisham wrote in his tome, "Skipping Christmas." I love Christmas, and, I relish saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone I meet. Christmas is a gift. It is a present. It is, in fact, the Presence of God-become-one with human flesh. The reason for the season is front and center. It is. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Standing Together: From Poland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Africa, and More

These holidays hold out hope. They do. For all of us. After all, we all have roots to other nations. My own Polish great grandparents came to these United States centuries ago from Poland, for example. We're full of immigrants. This town is saturated with roots and relationships from numerous countries. And, America's Muslim community is here to stay in southeast Michigan. Routinely, I can walk into Imam Husham Al-Husainy's Karbalaa Islamic Education Center on Warren Avenue near Greenfield in Dearborn, Michigan. The same Imam who fled Iraq's terror has been to my home in Harrison Township. We're that kind of people here in the Detroit area. The interfaith community has tight bonds that have blossomed over years and decades of dialogue. From the many diverse roots we are one, and, better in our fabric of differences. From the many, we are one, indeed, in fact, one nation under God. Citizens who take time to get to know the varieties of immigrants know well. Employment opportunities attracted our Muslim acquaintances, friends and neighbors. As a Catholic pastor who strives for unity, I have discovered true friends in the Muslim community. Like bonds that build and grow over time, much talk and conversation has brought the Detroit area, Hamtramck and Dearborn to the place of harmony it is today. Whether it is Al-Husainy, Iranian Imam Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, or Bosnian Arif Huskic who steers the Common Word Alliance in Hamtramck, MI., common ground issues have been faced together for the betterment of this town. Anything other than standing together with Muslims, and any other immigrant is an assault on our God-given freedom. At this time when we celebrate the birthday of Jesus the Christ, I am mindful of Imam Al-Husainy, his University of Michigan son, and many others from his Karbalaa who replied affirmatively to my invitation for them to join me last Christmas Eve for midnight Mass at the historic Saint Aluburtus Catholic Church with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, presiding in that revered, iconic and ancient edifice that welcomes all God's people near downtown Detroit. Even though it is now shuttered,it is allowed by archdiocesan officials to open up for significant seasonal holy days like Christmas and Easter. We all will be better for taking time to talk with those residents who are different from any one of us. We will. God blesses such generous and abundant love.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Stewarding We Go!

Light switch on in the bathroom. When done, I turn it off. Yes, I do. While in there, flush, when done. Wash hands, wipe dry, or, power dry 'em. Waste not, want not! Where did I hear that from? Was it from my mother, or, my father, both farming-town youngsters who came to Detroit to find factory jobs in their early teens from Cheboygan and Port Austin, MI. They used every minute well, it seemed to the seven of their children with two sets of twins when diapers were cloth, and, far from the 'throw-away' today. Waste! Got to hate it, right? Senate Bill 1150 seeks to change the Michigan Vehicle Code to limit the gross total weight of trucks, not to exceed 80,000 pounds. Got to give it to Michigan State Senator Steve Bieda pressing to pack more gently on the asphalt, even though this time 'round it went down like a flat tire! Speaking of fledgling roads, the good Senator is concerned about declining gas tax revenues caused by increased vehicle fuel economy that has resulted in a significant drop in fuel tax revenue, notes Bieda, representing Warren, MI., a blue-collar town in a fest-shrinking middle class. Whether the light switch, saving water at the sink, or elsewhere on the lawn, for example, a little bit of enlightenment and information helps us all conserve and be wise stewards of time, talent, treasure, and trees, too! Anyone out there today who will lighten the burden on roads these days, and, be a 'light' to the world saving some, somehow today? After all, it's Stewardship Sunday across Catholic congregations today! The power of oneness may be the answer in the living Temple of the Holy Spirit that get to give an accounting at the general and particular judgement day when my final breath of living energy ebbs.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sunday's Sermon: A Homily

Friendship. We all have one or two. And, tons of acquaintances. For sure. I learned that from the famous Father Edward Popielarz, a parish priest of the late Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish where my family of nine, including two sets of twins, worshiped, and, went to school. Ruth and Naomi were friends. Really good friends. They were faithful and true like a 'best' priest friend, and, a high school chum from the East Side of Detroit, my Motown - another friend of a town! That's another sermon, however. Committed friends. Ruth and Naomi, Biblical friends way back. They were. Side by side, heart to heart, they spoke, shared, and, I bet they cried also, at times. Both characters of the Sacred Scriptures - the Living Word of God that you and I walk these days in our limbs and legs and living Temples. Small in stature compared to the love God has for you and me, among all others, including creatures that crawl the earth. God's love is huge. A really big heart. In fact, unimaginable for us frail, limited and at times sinful humans. Yep. I can't imagine the size, let alone an adequate Name for the largesse of the Maker of men and women like me, like you, all of us here today giving praise to God at this Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist (a Greek word that means 'thanksgiving'). Feeding here on the living Word and easting of the Body and Blood of Christ with the communion of Saints. With Mary, the mother of God, her mom, Saint Anne, Saint Lawrence, the deacon,and, the entire heavenly host of all saints such as you and me, and, the officially canonized Saints. Even those "poor souls" in Purgatory that we all prayed for, I bet. That feast we marked November 2nd, called All Soul's Day. So many saint among the dead and the living, and...among the Living forever, for eternity. Be blessed these holy days all the way to Thanksgiving Day, and beyond. Give thanks. For saints. For friends. Acquaintances also. And, for friendship with God, with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity. Be one. Be a friend. Befriend one or two, and reach out if you need one. Know, however, that God is a Friend forever especially at those low points, down moments that come and go like the spiritual life, like consolation and desolation, the 'ups and downs' of living daily lives. Like the roller-coaster at Edge-water Park on Seven Mile near Telegraph. Anyone remember?

Monday, October 19, 2015

OCTOBER 25, 2015 Sunday's Sermon: A Homily Based on John's Miracle Story of the Blind Beggar

A family went to Africa to hunt lions. Dad and mom wanted to do this as a dream of their lifetime. Lions seemed lazy, they all thought. Outraged at the lifestyle there, they judged the Nation as one filled with people who could changed everything if but they were motivated like Americans, dad and mom concluded. "We will never return here again," they declared. And, the kids agreed. As a matter of principle, the parents taught their children to never give cash to beggars. To any of the street beggars, and anybody else. You just never know what they want the loot for? Can't trust anyone? When they returned home they showed their photos to others they frequently visited in their upper-scale community. They agreed that they wouldn't visit there ever again, also. Do you have any sympathy for the poor and needy, one relative inquired. How can you feel for lazy, unmotivated people, anywhere? they shot back.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

People's Pope of Family Stepped One Step to Far?

I don't know. But, perhaps Pope Francis is a bit too brave. And, courageous. Although I savor such stellar stepping out, did he go one step too far earlier today when he addressed the joint session of the U.S. Congress at the Capital Building in Washington, D.C.? I don't know, but I'm paying attention to my parish priest who would have relished the image of the family at a fireplace like a folkloric feast with food and fellowship, so to speak. The late Father Edward Popielzarz of Polish origin in Saginaw, Michigan, perhaps, unlike any other mentor and pastor of my seven decades, taught me to listen well to my feelings, and, to heed what joy or 'heartaches by the number' I may be entertaining at any given time or day. For sure. When Francis called for conclusively eliminating this Nation's death penalty, evangelicals and fundamentalists must have had the hairs on their head, or, neck rise in anger. Really! After a splendid, urgent, and clarion call in "the land of the free and the home of the brave," Pope Francis' urging for the prayer and dialogue of my favorite Cistercian monk of Gethsemane, Kentucky, buried at my favorite retreat house, Father Thomas Merton, got the pope to want the world to emulate Merton, and, connect with the Creator often each day. And, Abraham Lincoln's cry for liberty was held up high for us all, and, union of the Civil War era, finally, revered Catholic Worker Dorothy Day's pleading for social justice, and, the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s civil rights' race, and massive march on Washington, D.C., did the pope of the people and the poor and impoverished lean a step to far? I think so. But, I may be wrong. Of course the arc of justice is long, and, it leans toward justice, as King would have applauded the Pontiff, but, one can spoil the soup, so to speak, with one step too much, no? Who knows? With little clarity, the Pope concluded on the side of mercy and hope and rehabilitation possibilities for criminals on 'death's row. He did. I affirm that also. However, some fine nuancing, and, elaboration on this 'magical' man's point would have helped Francis to trek on in his firm, feisty, and virtuous procession through the weekend in Philadelphia for the World Family Meeting without a glitch, and 'possession' of unnecessary attachments, to borrow from his speech to Congress today. The fallout may follow. We'll see. Too risky for the fledgling U.S. family that needs all the help that it can give. The late, and former Archbishop of Detroit, John Cardinal Dearden, would agree. "We never do enough for family," bolted the reasoned and progressive Dearden who participated in all of the sessions of the ecumenical Vatican II Council from 1962-65.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Married Couples, Family Income, Poverty, and an Angelic Phrase to Protect the First Institution of the Sacred Scriptures

New estimates of 2014 poverty and income just published show that poverty increased among groups that are traditionally less vulnerable: Married couples with children and people age twenty-five and older with at least an undergraduate degree. According to reports, no President has done as bad by the middle class in modern times. Other resources now note that growth rather than social justice needs to be the measuring standard. That will be tough in a time and culture of entitlement-mentality, and increasing dependence on federal monies by individuals and others. All of this points to indicators of even more anxiety and anger disorders in the work of counselors and clergy, among others, especially the fledgling American family that could use all the help it can get from people getting back to work and buoying the economy in urban areas, and more. Detroit's poverty rate below $24,0000 incomes is highest in the Nation at over 39 per cent. The future, I must confess looks bleak in a 'feel-good,' politically-correct-driven America that would rather be comforted by lies than the facts and truth. After all, C.S. Lewis noted that the question about religion is not whether it makes one feel good, no, it's about whether religion is true. God help us work to provide hope within and around ourselves in a culture of violence and reduced respect for all of human life in and outside the womb, coupled with global wars erupting everywhere. Such fracture further divides children broken by conflict, longing for family affection, unity, and, mentoring by mom and dad. The village and neighborhood may help also with effective, functional examples of the common good. Angel of God, my guardian dear. . . may I be moved to stand up fearlessly for, and, defend the first institution of the Bible, and, my America. Family First! For sure.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

War Room Is Number One - A Bit of Restorative Faith in a Fledgling Family

Tops. A shattered marriage of Liz, who is Priscilla Shirer, merges with some mentoring by Miss Clara, who is Karen Abercrombie in a thrilling, laughable and most loveable cinematography. War Room, a remarkable and fast-moving, funny drama, is No. 1. It topped the Labor-day weekend with close to $13 million in about 1,500 theaters. With about thirty inter-religious leaders, steered by Bishop Jerry Pepisco, and, his wife Sherill, of Evangel Christian Ministries in Roseville, Michigan, this flick had me in stitches with all my feelings flowing freely from glad to sad, and, everything in-between. Faith-based movies are bringing throngs of people into theaters everywhere these days filling the longing for moral meaning and purpose-driven living in an oft-void culture we inhabit all around us. War Room is the top hit for director Alex Kendrick. His, Courageous title, in 2011 and Fireproof flick in 2008 cashed in at $34.5 and 33.5 million, according to bean counters. The crowd I was with went over to a new National Coney Restaurant nearby following the movie to unpack its pearls of wisdom. For me, I'd love a spiritual director like Miss Clara, who I affectionately call, Grandma God working for Jesus like a fury of fire catching on in Liz' fragile home first, only to ignite neighbors, the workplace, and beyond. Like an amassing snowball copycatting is everywhere. Applause to the producers. The world needs this movie for mending a broken home, or two, on your block. Bring on more. Enter more makers of movies like this. The faithful, and more, are hungry. Real hungry. Beyond any need of reconstructing Genesis' male/female marriage partners, this film only aims to strengthen marriage and family as the Bible's first institution. No need here to remake God's marriage design, as in the latest fad of the five attorneys who wrongly decided for so-called democracy in America.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Firm Faith of Jimmy

It was easy watching President Jimmy Carter tell of his cancer. He told the world about it in the eyes of faith. His eyes. His faith. Without drama, Carter smiled as he told his tale: Cancer is in his brain. Yet, amid all this, he stood firm in his faith. And, after radiation treatment, he taught his usual Sunday Bible School class full of hundreds of people attending. Faith is his life. Carter doesn't wear his faith on his sleeve. It is him. People may laugh about his presidency, but, what is most important, is faith. His own. Mine. And, yours!

Monday, August 24, 2015

This Wednesday evening at Chene and Lafayette in downtown Detroit, a collection of clergy and other citizens are addressing the epidemic of children living with one parent in metropolitan Detroit, along with the pockets of poverty, and heroine's rise, organizers said. At 6:30 pm, the public is welcome to participate in the revival with rap, hymns and preaching for all as residents and leaders occupy the corner and hold a rockin inter-religious tent revival for all.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The 10 Commandments

What would society look like if the Detroit-area newspapers, among other towns, published the ten commandments from the Good Book once in a while?

To Life...in a Teetering Civilization That Sells Body Parts

In "Fiddler on the Roof," a central character says: "To life..." And, each time I try to engage someone about when life begins, there may be a pause, or, an impassioned statement. Then, I may speak of the trafficking of sacred body parts today, and, how I grimace with pain at how I watch a barbaric act done to a baby in his or her mother's womb. "God help us," I silently say. God forgive us for we know not what we do! And, I wonder who is the author and giver of life now? Surly not I. Or, you. Or, others. Or, mother alone. Or, ecclesiastical leaders, and, the pope. Some segments of society think that their power, or, their influence or education, or, even their place in government, or, lawyers, or, judges on the Supreme Court, allows them to be lord of life's limits. Not! To life. But, when does life start? When? Is life not a scientific issue? Hardly, is life's beginning point a theological, or, a question for philosophers, as much as they may want to resolve the issue of life's start, or, end, for that matter. In science class, perhaps biology sessions at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish High School at Townsend and Miller in Detroit's 48213 zip code, Mrs. Newton, and, Sister Mary Assumpta, taught me that life starts when the chromosomes of the sperm fuse with those chromosomes of the ovum. Formed from this biological (meaning, "life logic") interactivity, is a distinguished and distinctive DNA compound complex that manages the new organism's growth and progress. And, unless this new life grows, and, changes daily, and, often, it will die. It will. All living organisms are like that, no? Change, grow, or, give up living as an organization. Until, and, if, a natural accident strikes or interrupts the evolving baby's growing, progress mounts in this organism's eventual fruition. That is about nine months. Like my twin sister and myself, Patti emerged from the birth canal minutes before I too was pressed to exit the warmth and the safety of my mother's womb, and, the water, and, the fallopian tube that fed me, I'm told by scientists. Later, age appropriately, my dad and mom spoke to me about the "birds and the bees," and, how God formed my siblings and me. They confessed that the sexual intimacy and penetration of dad and mom produced human and sacred life. Before those talks, I thought a stork brought my four sister and three brothers to our two-family, aluminum-sided home at 7107 Arcola Street, near Van Dyke and Lynch Road in the Detroit zip code of 48234. That cherished time of maturation is savored to this day. Even as my father drove a brown, older Dodge vehicle without a license to operate a motor vehicle (my farming dad went only through the second grade in the Port Austin, MI., schoolhouse, while my farming mother of a merged family, like dad's, finished the eighth grade and came to Detroit to work), some of his children prayed that we wouldn't be stopped by the police, and, that we would arrive uneventfully to the Detroit City Airport, for example, where we recreated as we watched ascending and descending airplanes on Sunday afternoons. The complexities of family life were limited without any surpassing of boundaries of human life's sacredness. Today, a throw-away and locomotive-like-speed of an engine's train finds many Americans traveling in the fast lane, ever ready to thrown life away in and outside the womb. Like the respect one must have for human sexuality and life, so, also youngsters, among others, must be taught to respect guns in a violence-prone culture of anger, impatience, and, the need control, and, to be right at any cost! To life. For sure. Although the Supreme Court claimed they could not determine when human life actually began, they decided, or, asserted, the impossibility of judges and lawyers really knowing. After all, they are far from the scientists who know, as, I was taught when life began. That matter and energy are not destroyed in time, but change, and, evolve. A shadow government, as a conscientious physician I know, dubs attorneys, is far from the Supreme Law of God...in the beginning. What worries me is that my own generation seems to think we know everything. However, the fact is, no one knows all things, but the Maker of heaven and earth alone. Like the mayor of Warren, Michigan, the honorable Jim Fouts, a former and much-loved teacher, security and safety in his town, is similar to the need for protection in and outside the womb, and, for that matter, taxpayers who pay for a civilized society. A civilized society remains that only with boundaries, discipline, respect for all of creation, and, the law of God in the ten commandments of the Hebrew Scriptures in Exodus, chapter 20, and, Deuteronomy, chapter 5. By now, I have to wonder what my taxes are financing. And, what is my government getting away with when there are over 40 million U.S. addicts, only to be outdone by a society with fledgling families, and, increasing numbers of precious children without a mother and a father to form, inform, and shape them, unlike my own parents who were far from perfect, but tried to raise us into faithful citizens of what I still hope is the greatest nation on the Earth.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Marriage and Family: Fortress or Field Hospital?

Family is a healing system that loves, laughs, enjoys household, eats together, and, is disciplined with praying times together, for sure. In some way, it could be a fortress against the demonic elements closing in on it, attempting to even destroy the firmness and the foundation of the family - the glue of society. My own family was a merged system on my mother's side and my dad's side also. On August 29th, we meet for a family re-union in Bad Axe, Michigan at the park. We grow as we meet- re-meet, gather and gather again. Praise God.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Marriage and Family Minute Reminder

Survival was the major focus for my dad's father who buried his wife when my own father was only six months old. Grandpa needed a wife with the merged families and the farm in Port Austin, Michigan, the thumb of the "hand" that is Michigan's shape. Today, personal, and, perhaps interpersonal fulfillment is the key expectation of spouses, it seems to me, a counselor who observes the signs of the time when it comes to family, and more, including marriage in that order - marriage and family! Respect, reconciling differences, patience, among other virtues (inner strengths), power and influence, inlaws (and out-laws!),communication, struggles, economic and spiritual wellness, all demands an affirmative commitment in a time of 40 million U.S. addicts compounding a chaotic culture of marriage and family. Your spouse does love and respect you, on his or her best days. Yet, in days of desolation, doubt, depression, denial and the demonic forces of toxicity transforming one or the others in a matter of seconds, whoa.... as the minions may mouth much in their fantasy and being-dominated days. Time out. Spouses and their sibship will need it daily. And, careful mindful marriages and families do work. They work well when worked at every moment. Praise the Maker of moments of loving, tender care and respect for each member in the family, and, then some couples meet and encounter in the 'hood, at work, at play, and in school.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sunday's Sermon: Marvin Gaye, A Homily on Saint John's Gospel, Chapter 6

Bits and bites of bread. For sure. Feeding, eating, taking, blessing, receiving, and being the Body of Christ. Being. Yes, BEING THE BODY OF CHRIST. We know Jesus as the One of history - en fleshed in Palestine, fleshed in the "ecclesia," the church, and, his body received as precious Body and Blood. Next, we are called to be his Body here. Right here. At home. In one's heart, in speech, for sure. At work, and, at play. His Body in the 'hood at Chene/Lafayette, Detroit 48207, my people/parish where routine rounds fill my day in Elmwood Park Community, west of the jewel of our Belle Isle Park, where a March for Marriage and Family occurs Sunday, August 2nd at 11 am across the MacArthur Bridge, followed by praise, and, a 'pot luck' picnic 'til 5 pm for the public at the Playscape Area. And,'God is Love,' comes to mind, recorded by Marvin Gaye in Studio A of my Motown Museum in Hitsville, U.S.A.: "Oh don't go and talk about my father God is my friend Jesus is my friend He made this world for us to live in, and gave us everything And all he asks of us is we give each other love. Don't go and talk about my father Cause God is my friend. . . Love your mother, she bore you Love your father, he works for you Love your sister, she's good to you, Love your brother, your brother! All he asks of us, I know, is we give each other love." Say it - Right on! They all got their start here in Detroit town - The Temptations, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. All were guided by hit maker, Berry Gordy. Psalm 78 pronounces that Israel's ancestors ate "the bread of angels, then and now, in these current days of chaos and crisis in the fledgling family amid 40 million U.S. addicts. God help us! How does the God we sing of, and, talk about, keep it altogether? In the generosity and divine mercy of a huge heart, so to speak. In the abundance of sharing hearts, food, money and more to the least of my sisters and brothers. After all I am my sister's keeper, no? Each part of the body builds up the sinewy nature of Who we receive as Saint Augustine of Hippo, Africa, notes: "Receive who you are - the Body of Christ!" At times, all we want is magic: "Feed us, entertain us, and we will adore you (Jn 6:30). "Follow me," Jesus says. Follow him. Forget the rest, will you? The lone sign God gives is the only One necessary: the flesh and blood of Jesus, God among us now in the homeless stranger at Sunday's picnic, the broken bread, the gathered people. Loads to chew on, no? And, the motto of the City of Detroit of Father Gabriel Richard feeds into my heart and soul with Bread from Heaven and the living, walking Word of God. "Speramus Meliora Resurget Cineribus" - "We hope for better things; it will rise again from the ashes." "Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer be a reproach," notes the prophet Nehemiah, Chapter 2:17. Build fledgling family at home where you are at any given moment. Family is in trouble amid 40 million U.S. addicts, and, a culture of chaos among households. Mount an offensive for marriage. Strengthen your resolve for respect and reconciliation with your spouse, siblings, sons, daughters, and more. Now, is a good time to start. It will. We will. The Bread of Life is like that!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Problem Prevention with Positive Products

Did you know that baby shampoo is what I'm using in my sixth decades of living after all those chemicals did a crime to my hair? Did you know that Compassion Pregnancy Center is taking on life, all of it in the womb, and beyond. www.compassionpregnancy.org Ultra sounds, counseling and life-giving solutions are waiting for those parenting moms and dads looking for support from Kathy and her staff in Clinton Township, MI. Thanks to Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton Township, MI., for purchasing an Ultra Sound,for enlarged images of a breathing baby inside, and, to the Knights of Columbus, a men's Catholic fraternal organization aiming fearlessly to stand up for life in and outside the womb. Trafficking human life as sex objects, and, selling human tissue and organs, has to stop by all humans who revere the iconic image and likessness we all are as the Genesis account in the Bible notes. Stand up! Stand with the All-Faiths Festival who help people in crisis, as our mission statement promises.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Massive March for Marriage, August 2nd, 11 am, Detroit Belle Isle State Park, Jefferson/East Grand Boulevard

A massive March for Marriage is set for the Fifth Annual Urban/Suburban Unity Pot Luck Picnic, August 2nd at Belle Isle, Detroit. At 11 am, balloons, brass and bands, with banners, will lead hundreds across the MacArthur Bridge to the Playscape area where the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network, steered by Rabbi Dorit Edut, is hosting its Fifth Annual Unity Picnic for the public. Contact mutzim@aol.com for more information, or, me, regarding the Marriage March, at 313 530 2777. SCRIPTURE STUDY The Pope John Paull II Park on Jos. Campau in Hamtramck, MI., is the venue for Wednesday Scripture Study for all from 12 Noon-1 pm. Reservations are required for the event to be held by calling Father Lawrence M. Ventline at 313 530 2777, lawrencematthewventline@gmail.com. Monday Moaning Scripture Study will be held by reservation at the Big Boy Restaurant on Gratiot, near Nine Mile in Ferndale from 8 am until 9 am with me. Get the Word! Welcome all! Bishop A. Barnes and the International Beginning Ministries is hosting a REVIVAL 4 ALL, Wednesday, August 19th, 6:30 pm at his edifice on Grayling, west of Jos. Campau in Hamtramck, MI. My house is to be a house of prayer for all peoples is the theme, according to Barnes, who welcomes all to the ecumenical event. Contact Barnes at internationalbeginningministries@yahoo.com. The following Wednesday, August 26th, also at 6:30 pm, join in Motown Marriage 2020 Revival under the tent at Chene/Lafayette, Detroit, across from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Apartments. Testimonies with the Rev. Horace Sheffield, and, the invited, Rev. Dr. Yvette Griffin are set, while, Archbishop George Stallings, Jr., is revival preacher. Special music ministry. All are welcome! The Third Annual Unity Sidewalk at Van Dyke/8 Mile to Warren, MI., Metro Family Church is set for Thursday, August 27th at 6 pm for all. Contact Kasbow@earthlink.net, or, me for more information, please.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Thumb of Michigan

Refreshing. The thumb of Michigan, that is. It is. For sure. Calmer. Slower. More relaxed. Politer. And, a sweet change from the hurried, metropolitan Detroit area. Dad was born here in Port Austin, MI. His birth mom died when he was six months old, and, his dad needed to remarry, given help needed on the farm. Dad's step mom became the family secret, sad to admit. Yet, a family is as sick as its secrets, I've come to believe. Grandma broke dad's nose, dad told the seven of his children, and, she also broke his brother's noses also. What is not healed by the grace of God is projected onto others, I've learned over time. So, the cycle of violence continued until it was stopped cold, in its tracks. His, hers and theirs was the reality of familial relationships. Accepting this reality affords freedom to be who each of us are as family. It does. Amid, the healing that had to happen, it is refreshing to walk, talk, take in the sun, and more, in Port Austin these few days.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sunday Sermon: Mark's Gospel 6:1-6

From faith to face. And, the story beats on today. Faith is like that, isn't it, in the smiling, sad, sorrowful, sick grimacing of one's facial expressions. A story of faith interfacing with countless faces across the globe. Yet, we all know that unless each of us grows, and, communities change and adapt, they indeed do die, don't they? "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?" Further on the story teller says: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." I get comfortable with the old order of doing things. Change becomes difficult.. And, I don't like it. Providing for tomorrow was far from what the disciples were to do. They, like us, were called, and are challenged to repent. To change the course of things. To turn. To totally turn around? Disciples were different. In fact, they looked different than the old order and way of doing things.. Their message was different. No wonder they took offense at Jesus. Jesus taught that there is power in weakness. Paul resounds with the clarion call and marching order of a new order: "Power (God's) is made perfect in weakness (human weakness)." The promise: "Behold, I make all things new. All. All things. Everything. Changing faces full of faith passed down. Faith interfacing with changing faces and new hearts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jairus; and, the Woman with a Hemorrhage - Sunday's Homily with Lawrence Matthew Ventline

June 28, 2015 Wisdom 1:13-15 Ps. 30: 2-13 2 Cor. 8:7-15 Mk. 5: 21-43 Heal what you feel by the favor, grace, blessing of God. After all, God is for life. For the abundant life as Jesus asserts. Jairus is a synagogue leader and his daughter is near death. "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be made well, and live." Both are Jewish - a girl and a woman. The power of faith is working wonders here in both scenes. Faith is like that. Isn't it? The hemorrhaging woman is touched and made well by Jesus. In the meantime, Jairus believes his daughter died. "The child is not dead, but sleeping," Jesus asserts. "Little girl, get up," Jesus says in Aramaic. The 12-year-old rises, the Gospel notes. Restoration of life. Revival. Renewing life around the common number of 12. Restoring 12 tribes of Israel. The 12-year-old and the 12-year hemorrhaged woman. Israel is the daughter and bride of God (Hos.2:19-21). Daughters brought to life, wellness, full health. Praise God! Faith suffices even over death when it comes to Jesus the Christ, the Lord of life and love. For sure. Heal what you feel by the favor of God, will you?

"Laudato Si" - Be Praised!

Two Clergy Roundtable sessions on Pope Francis' latest care for each other, the environment, water, climate letter to the world. Coming in October, 2015. Write lawrencematthewventline@gmail.com for details.

Racist Virus Still a Sin

It's in our DNA, it seems. Racism. And, it's affecting every aspect of life in our metropolitan region of Detroit, and beyond. It is. Join in Clergy Roundtables, Friday, Sept. 11 & Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 12 noon-1:30 pm in the Warren, Michigan Civic Center Conference Room, and, the Hamtramck Public Library. Racism is a sin, our U.S. Catholic Bishops declared decades ago. And, it still is. Deal with it personally, in institutionally, all other ways, all ways, always! Name racism the sin (missing the mark of God's love) it is, claim it as one's own, and tame it today, will you? I will try.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Is Everything About Race?

Is it? For example, 50 years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, at the Department of Labor, noted that "The racist virus in the American bloodstream still afflicts us, and the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling" in his The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. And, yesterday as clergy and civic leaders sat in my living room, the issue was raised as to whether the dismal statistics about the African-American family since 1965 show that family is really worse off. In fact, statistics about family are bleaker today. No doubt. And, that is NOT a racist rant! The young and scholarly message from Moynihan five decades ago was that nearly a quarter of African-American births were "illegitimate," and only a minority of children of African-American descent who were 18 at that time had lived all their lives with both parents. I tire of being charged that everything is about race. This crisis is worse now than in 1965, and, urban areas need to embrace a theology of the family, come clean about the rising illegitimacy of children, and, the crumbling Black family. As clergy and legislative leaders wrestled with the epidemic of family fracture today, in my home, yesterday, they clearly care about this crisis of family, so must urban pastors step up to the plate. They need to rise again NOW! Only a comprehensive plan will help all of us to realize the truth that firm families are good for the health and wellness of the regions where we reside. It is about race. All of it. It's about the human race. Only truth, however, will set us free to rebuild and restore family that has to begin in the home, or else, more of the same real (and unreal) racist rants against police, and more, will fracture this town, and my USA.

Monday, June 15, 2015

'Celebrating Family' Thursday in the Warren, Michigan Civic Center

Family intends to rock Thursday at 6 pm in the Warren Civic Center Atrium near Twelve Mile and Van Dyke, just north of Detroit. Clergy and civic leaders, among others, will affirm that our founders created a balance of power in our government to protect against any assumption of influence, and, personal policies of all leaders. What's right is right. Like good Guardians, family as the basic foundation of our society, is protected by our founders, in the notes of James Madison, for example, among others. An independent judiciary was created as "an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive" branches, claimed James Madison. Madison, among other founders, aimed to be "guardians" of our precious rights. The balance of power ensures that government and law is kept in check with a clear conscience. It is time to found this Nation again with the vision of our founders. "A people without a vision perish," notes the Good Book. It is about time that our revered vision be revived anew.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Hurry Addiction

Hurry. People seem to be in a hurry. They do. You do. I do. Hurrying is the latest addiction. It is deadly. It is based on speed and on winning. Hurrying is about being number one. And, it is like a car racing nowhere.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Detroit Tent Revival Near Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Apartments

Bar-B-Que. Bible study. 12-Step Raps. A ROCKING TENT REVIVAL! YES, a tent revival planned for Wednesday, August 26th, 6:30- 88:30 pm at Chene/Lafayette across from the MLK, Jr. Apartments. There will be rapping, rocking, rolling, and more with Archbishop George Stallings, Jr., among other inspiring agents of God, and, the Beloved Community of Dr. King. Yes, there will be! Welcome with your voices, soul/heart, living Temples, trumpet, guitar, keyboard, choir, solo singers, and more as we STAND IN THE GAP as the prophet in the Bible says. Rev. Doctors Sidney and Yvette Griffin of Detroit Pilgrim Baptist Church, near 7 Mile/Ryan, Rev. David Kasbow of Metro Family Church, Rabbi Dorit and Shimon Edut, Bishop W.T. Isaac of Promise of Life on McNichols near the Southfield Freeway, Bishop Barnes of Internatonal Ministries and More, Keyanna Sweeney, the manager of the MLK,Jr., Apartments, among others, are helping to plan this event with Archbishop George Stallings, Jr., of Washington, D.C., Bishops Thomas Gumbleton, Donald Hanchon, Michael Byrnes, Arturo Cepeda, Catholic Alumni Club, Carol Hofer, among others, including Lori Tims, a Team for Justice Advocate, and, the Detroit Pastoral Alliance, AND, MANY MORE supporters. Join us THIS Monday, IN THE MLK, JR. COMMUNITY CENTER (enter on Chene, midway between Larned/Lafayette), June 8th from 11 am until 12 Noon to plan further this TENT ROCKING REVIVAL. Please come Monday to plan and bring your musical instruments, whistles and diverse tongue to praise the Maker August 26th! PLEASE COME THIS MONDAY AND HELP US GET THIS REVIVAL ROCKIN, RAPPIN AND MORE! Father Ventline lawrencematthewventline@gmail.com 313 530 2777

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Voluntary school praying was constitutional from 1789 until 1962. Then, why is it illegal now? At least, that's what history points out, doesn't it? Similarly, if the Ten Commandments are also outlawed, why did Framers of our Constitution and earlier courts allow them? Why was nothing present to prohibit posting them until 1980? Something "fishy" here, so to speak. Courts reached different decisions that are opposite of more recent conclusions when ruling on the same issues. Go figure. To illustrate the point, in 1844, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the instruction of the Bible was to be included in government-run schools. That's a reversal from today. Isn't it strange that America used to include prayer and the teachings of the Bible as part of the public marketplace and schools? What gives? What changed? Who is changing all this today?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Healing Power in Writing

William Shakespeare said: "Give sorrow words." And so, I craft letters and make words and sentences while I live and breathe, and, juggle, transpose, edit thoughts. While doing all this, I recall my Master-teacher's words: "I've come to give you life and give it more abundantly." Life. Loving it!

Sweet Summer Simmering in Rapport

Street ministry never knows where God leads. I don't. Really. Early in the day after praying some Psalms, and, a long run in Harrison Township. MI., Tucker Park, with the overly vibrant Cara, and, my more modest and white Woofie, my endearing dogs, Mass followed nearby with breakfast at Big Boy's while reading The Detroit News. The Arabic term, "Daesch," for ISIS/ISEL caught my eye. The Iranian leader was complaining that our U.S. President is doing nothing to help with the "henchmen," to use the term one guy I visited later this morning used for the killers. Sweet June's debut is like that, I suppose. Never know what it will bring this happy priest who works the trenches and talks with anyone in my path. O blessed summer! After all, they are all graced at my age to quote Judy Collins who adorned my Saint Mary's College, Orchard Lake, MI., Freshmen year bulletin board in the room where I resided with John Bish of West Warren, Massachusetts from '67-71. When Collins sang at the Macomb Community College Center Campus one Fall, she said: "It's good to be here; in fact, it's good to be anywhere at my age," added the folksinger who I admired. On my way to the Macomb/Clinton Library, a stop at the TV station next door gave pause to a conversation about how the staff there is doing. The acting director afforded me many minutes as he took a flier noting some events on strengthening marriage and family in Hamtramck, MI., Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church on Prescott near Conant, June 10th at 6 pm. Jewish, Muslim and Christian thought on fledgling family will be explored by a Rabbi, Pastor and Immam after a Preparing/Enriching Marriage session at 4 pm, and, a Good Grief Growth Group at 5 pm the same day. At the library I met Joseph Syrkowski and Ethel Dekarski in the Book Nook where I purchased the recycled, "A Labor of Love: How to Write a Eulogy." Amid the sale, Joseph, born in Poland, told me of his ordeal in Austria, his American-citizen dad's days in Concentration Camp, and, his tale of his brothers and parents in America. Some tears tore at his heart as he told this tale. I filled in the blank with a story about my two young nephews whene we went to Chicago from the Detroit City Airport to watch the Detroit Pistons win a championship game. Joseph was showing me how short he was when the Germans removed his family from Poland. That brought to mind how my little nephews told about how they couldn't "see the game since the players were so tall," they confessed. How interesting, I thought. It (life) is all about story, isn't it? In the computer room now, crafting some words and sentences to make sense of the wonder of God's Good Earth.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The First Institution in the Bible is Family - June 1st Prayer for Family

The creation account of Genesis 1 tells of God establishing marriage and family. Generations later, Moses allowed divorce into the public policy of an independent Israel. Unfortunately, divorce became common like 'blowing one's nose." As is no-fault divorce today. That permits marriage's termination without presenting wrongdoing by either spouse. Malachi 2:16 notes: "I hate divorce," says the Lord, the God of Israel. Marriage, according to God was clear, along with divorce. Jesus also affirmed God's lack of favor for no-fault divorce. Our Founding Fathers embraced the Bible's position on the permanence of marriage. Interfaith leaders are hosting a day of prayer for family, Monday, June1 from 9 am until 1 pm in the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn, MI., Contact kasbow@earthlink.net or mtross152@comcast.net for more.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

When the Vietnam War of Healing Rolls into Town in Clinton Township, MI.

With police escort, and more, the moving mobile Vietnam Wall rolled into Clinton Township Wednesday afternoon, north of Detroit. Always a solemn and sacred time, the Wall's presence provides an outlet for healing for many who have experienced the loss of loved ones in that battle. Merging misery with mystery, my tears wed wit the rain as it poured on to my head as I searched for my deceased brother's name on the black granite and polished wall in November of 1982 when the wall was dedicated. In the Washington National Cathedral the names of the more than 58,000 military personnel, among those missing in action, were read out loud. I got to say my bother's name, Lukas Ventline's. As I shuttered from the rain outside, and, the rush to the Cathedral, I had a grateful heart. I did. For Lukas. For those who served. With thanks to a grateful nation. My prayer tonight at the Wall sitting on the Clinton Township Civic Center, I will say: It was all sacred that night I flew into D.C. from Detroit, O God. Sacred silence and a hushed quiet awaited me. Soldiers assisted me in finding my brother's name on the wall as the rain wed with my tears. While the holy water poured and poured and soaked this saturated soul, it was clearly sacred ground. Silence pervades. Stillness did also. We were all like one soul silenced in the sacred moment of the many who died in Vietnam. I touched the granite black and polished wall and felt my hand feel his name, his heart, the wounds that mangled his temple. With thanks, and, the rain still pouring, O God, I said, "Give me always a grateful heart." I left. In silence. Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Palestinian Nuns Now Saints

Pope Francis looked to Palestine once more from the Vatican Sunday where he made examples of two women who were nuns before they died. Both are the first saints from the region since the early centuries of Christianity. Official saints that is. It is an affirmation of national identity. Of roots and relationships. Just hours before the Pope will sign its first treaty, "State of Palestine." Like a shepherd watching his flock. The good pope after the Good Shepherd.

When a Heart of a Parish is Broken in Rosevile, MI.

A broken heart. The iconic and historic spiritual, academic and sports prowess Sacred Heart Parish of Roseville, Michigan has one. A crowd showed their broken heart Sunday as they sat on the steps at the corner of Utica Road and Gratiot Avenue, miles north of Detroit. Parishioners claim they are resigned. Go figure. Sure there was a process that led to the closure, shuttering and now, the selling of the vast parcel of property that saw thousands graduate from its schools, and, even more walk through the doors of the church where the bells will be silenced soon, or, sold, or demolished for some other business enterprise. Of course the people have a right to be heart broken. Grief is like that. It's a process like movement through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. My eyes always aim toward the light at the end of of that water walled-in and murky tunnel. We all like light. Even a little bit of it. Were the people ever really involved in the process? Were they? When local officials and bishops framed town halls with little time for input from those attending some of those session, of course, one has to wonder. Trust and morale are diminished when people who built that edifice seem to be an afterthought. Or, a second though. Shame on such shepherds! Well, perhaps the faithful were decided upon even though some input came from them. Looks fine. But....? And, to think of an appeal? Fat chance. Mopping up those there hurting hearts will take time. Will anyone be there for them? Will a shepherd? Time will be needed to get through this one also. Life is like that, and, loss of life, a limb, a love, also. After all, those faithful are witnessing their hearts tore asunder...again...with the anguish, even torture, with the memories of Sacred Heart of Roseville that filland flood these elderly hearts. So much for shepherd. Dare they question. Speak up. Join together in solidarity. They are one. Someone brought communion with them. More could have been done to include parishioners. So much. Of course, one has to make decisions when money is limited and fewer parishioners frequent the place. But, what about looking at how leaders and pastors reach out or fail to? After all, it all starts at the top. At least in a hierarchical church. No?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Back to Class

Went to class today. Had to recall when the previous time was sitting in session and learning something new. Learned about concealed pistol carriers. What a lesson. And. a lot to take in all day. Plenty of enthusiasm had me wondering also. Why so many people are getting a license to carry a concealed pistol. A different world.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Racial Reconciliation

The candid pastor pressed me, and, asked if I understood. "Listen to me," the wise and experienced Reverend told. What he said to me after the meeting made what he was cryptically saying during the session all the clearer as day. A white mayor, he implied, is getting a new fleet of buses, and more for my Motown that was in receivership. He spoke vividly now as a group of us listened intently. Like fledgling families and 40 million addicts across this Nation, the gap between the community and law enforcers these days, and,the gap in the home and school need intense communications. As in the neighborhood. People need to talk and know one another as families need restoration as the anchor of society, and,are the glue of a community and Nation. It all will take bridge building. That will be no easy task. But,worth it. For sure. It will be an economic spike also. Like the pastor and me. We talked until I finally understood what he meant about a white mayor. A pause to ponder. Worthy of thinking about.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Easter Season's 50 Days of Celebrating

Jesus' resurrection affords believers ten days more than the sorrow-filled Lenten season's trek of 40 days. I relish that. The central core of our Christian faith, Easter Sunday all the way through Pentecost, gives me time to savor the season with family, friends, church, and more in a conscious way that isn't so common today about dwellers on Earth. The 'hurry' and 'too busy' addictive culture, the newest and latest numbing experience is staved off by me. I want no part of a society that is too busy and in a hurry. No way. Such frenetic times bring on physical, emotional and spiritual consequences that are deadly. For sure.

High Holidays for Marijuana Movement and 'Pot' and Nicotine Smoke Need Clearing of the Air Now for Victims

To breath fresh air. I love it. For sure. I bet you do also. Yet, when smoke gets in your eyes, and 'pot' smoke, or nicotine toxins fill my office at 2231 Caniff Avenue, Hamtramck, Michigan, victims' right to a 'Fresh Air' ordinance explode in the 'hood, on the streets, and, where I work with addicts who valiantly strive to remain in remission of heroine or cocaine, for example. And, these trigger smokes can cause my patients to relapse. For sure. In Warren, Michigan, the muscle-minded, Mayor Jim Fouts is aiming toward a 'Fresh Air' ordinance for people like me. Putting up with the aroma of 'pot' smells almost daily in my VENT-Line Interfaith Center for Counseling/Coaching, Inter-religious Dialog and Strengthening of Family, merits pressing up against nicotine and cannabis users. Apartment dwellers in the same building where I pay $600 dollar a month for rent of the front business space, invade my counseling office with their 'smoke,' and think little of it violating my right to fresh air. Go figure. After all, narcissistic personality disorder runs rampant like the high holidays of the marijuana movement these days. Yes, me, myself and I -- that's all some think about. With 40 million U.S. addicts walking around numbed from food, shopping, gambling, sex, caffeine, work, and, yes, nicotine and 'pot' smoke, you think homeland security would listen up and lead on this one now!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Detroit March 28th March for Justice

From Chene Park to MLK High School from 12 Noon. www.marchforjustice2015.com Join me. L. Ventline VENT-Line Interfaith Center for Coaching/Counseling 2231 Caniff Ave. Hamtramck, MI 48212 (313) 530 2777

Need a Job in Michigan?

Contact MICHIGAN WORKS! for work, please, or, attend 4th Monday of the month from 2-4 pm in the Macomb-Clinton Library on Gratiot, north of 15 Mile Road to hear representatives on Job seeker communications Landing your job Engaging social media Interviewing Be blessed. You need land only one job and God is already there! Try Focus:HOPE Detroit also for job training, manufacturing and more. Focus:HOPE has a proven record of helping people since the riot in 1968, almost 50 years ago in Detroit. Father Lawrence Matthew Ventline 2231 Caniff Avenue Hamtramck, Michigan 48212 313 530 2777

Friday, March 20, 2015


Amazing grace! Put that sign in the window at VENT-Line Interfaith Center for Coacing and Counseling and what a flurry of activity. God help us! Indeed! Little did the curious know that the hiring is for folks to walk on Jos. Campau Avenue in Hamtramck, Michigan, USA, to share Good News. That's it! Good News. God's. That is. For sure. With the center open now and the call for others to join in and help with Good News is crucial. Familiy is fledgling. Singles are the most populated people in the U.S.A. Do they commit? Are they divorcing? What gives? Good News. I need it. You? And, more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring in the Air

It may be cooler and colder than yesterday in Michigan, but, I will take the sunshine and brisk, blowing wind over the snow and sleet of the past weeks.

Even people I meet on Joseph Campau Avenue in Hamtramck,, Michigan seem happier and more engaging.  One guy even shouted out across the street to me:  "Hey, I need a cup of coffee!"

Life is in air, or spring's coming, or . . .

Life unfolding with people out of hibernation of winter.

I like it.

And, on this St. Patrick's Day amid Lent's final couple of weeks, I'm happy to take what I get at my age from God.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Great Grief in Hamtramck, Michigan

In the small town of Hamtramck, Michigan, nestled next to Detroit and Highland Park, the 2.2 square mile City is grieving the removal of its popular Police Chief, Maxwell Garbarino.

The 35-year-old University of Detroit doctor of law was told by the City Manager to hand over his gun, badge, ID, and computer over a week ago, allegedly without reason other than rumored hints of Internet issues.

The following Monday the chief appeared at a City Council meeting to get answers about Garbarino's removal.  Few were revealed, although the chief was seen in a photo talking with a TV reporter speaking for himself.

When accusations are implied, one needs to speak for one's self to clear the air.

"It's like having my heart pulled out of my chest," said the decades-long security official who rose through the ranks after a decade on the beat.

However, his term ended last Wednesday when the city manager announced Garbarino's resignation.

Found among residents, at community meetings, and more, neighbors who knew their chief well are writing notes detailing their fond memories of him.

Grief is like that.

It's like the Detroit/Windsor tunnel.

Getting through it, I mean.

I look toward the light at the end of that tube.

It takes time, however.

People's hearts connect.

Humans in Hamtramck like each other.

That's how that town has flourished over decades since thousands of immigrants came to work in the auto factories there in the 50s.

Polish food, and more things Polish.

Over fifty nations are now represented in Hamtramck.

Diversity soars and people get along.

"Diversity is and isn't working," Garbarino told a crowd weeks ago in the Hamtramck Public Library.

"We get it right but not always," he confessed to crowd at a town hall meeting on Caniff Avenue, blocks east of the I-75 Interchange that included concerns about ISIS from the Global Alliance for Termination of Al Quada, also.

People are there for each other in their terrible grieving and loss.

They are.

Just as Police Chief Garbarino was there for the heart-broken community for more than a dozen years as a protector.


It may take months to recover.

Paddy's Day

Druids clans captured the son of a Roman deacon, the tale be told.

Patrick escaped to France from Ireland.  In France, he studied to be a priest.

Then, Patrick, returned to the Green Isle to get the snakes and serpents out of Ireland.

Consequently, March 17, marks Saint Patrick's Day, a patronal feast day sandwiched into the Christian penitential season of Lent, meaning "springtime," and Saint Joseph's Day, the 24-hour celebration of what Polish people claim as "our saint."

However, either day amid intense prayer, fasting and charitable giving is welcomed by believer.

This 40-day period that ends at Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, a day before Good Friday when bells sound loud and church lights illuminate edifices across the universe.

In the end, however, after all is said and done, Easter Sunday, April 5th, triumphs over Lent with 50 days to celebrate Christ's resurrection from the dead.

That's Good News.

And, that is central to Christian theology, the distinguished study of God by women and men across the planet(s).

Any way, Saint Patrick's Day can be extreme with green beer, whiskey and many toxic ways that could be sinful for celebrators of Patrick.

Take Sunday, for example, as I walked among and worked the crowd at Michigan Avenue/Trumbull, and beyond with a parishioner from the second-oldest Catholic Church in the U.S., Saint Anne, by the Ambassador Bridge, revelers were numb from beer by 1 pm when we arrived to greet the faithful.

Ah....the humanity in all of us!

And, Patrick, who gets blamed for most of the mess and debris left in the streets.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Embracing life with its ambiguities and all is critical for satisfaction, it seems to me.

Unless one accepts moments of desolation and consolation, he or she will struggle and be frustrated.

Like the roller-coaster ride at the Edgewater Park on 7 Mile Road near Telegraph, life has its ups and downs to be sure.

Embracing such ambiguous times and experiences facilitates daily living.

Monday, March 2, 2015

When Death Strikes

When death trikes, one better be ready.

Or else.

A regular prayer Monday leader at the jail died last week, and, his demise has me wondering about his passing ever since.

Death is like that.

It is.

It surprises when it comes suddenly.

It may even anger some survivors.

It does, however, weigh upon me.

It does.

He was a dedicated visitor and Bible study leaders at the jail right up until he could no longer show up at the jail.

When one gets into the 70s, you have to wonder, but. . .

Death does come like a tief in the night.

And, it works on one like it is on me.

Grief is like that.

It is a process.

And, it takes one through a dark tunnel like the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel.

I can't wait to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I can't.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Police Chaplaincy

Hamtramck, Michigan is a small town with 2.2 square miles.

It sits nestled near Detroit and Highland Park.

I like this town for many reasons.

Hamtramck is diverse with 42 percent of its residents from other nations.

A diverse town, it seems to work well like Albania amid its many faith traditions.

It is a model city even though it has its problems like any city, all humans.

Serving as a police chaplain is an engaging service in Hamtramck.

Each day meets me with challenges in counseling, coaching, mentoring and more.

My help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth!

Thanks be to God.

Two Servants: Hesburgh, Schwedler

Theodore Hesburgh was a national servant.

William Schwedler was a local servant.

Both will be missed.

By me, at least.

Father Hesburgh of the University of Notre Dame was a pastor who said his influence was necessary for the public square.

It was.

He made a difference where he was. 

He stood tall when others simply sat and said nothing.

Fairness/justice were important virtues and strengths for Father Ted of South Bend, IN..

It was important to local East Pointe, MI., leader Bill Schwedler also.

While I learned of Schwedler's death in the newspaper today, I knew of his dedication to the outcasts of society.

Like clockwork, Bill would lead Bible study at the jail on Groesbeck and Elizabeth in Macomb County each Monday.  I joined him for Mass on Mondays.

At 79, he was dedicated to serving the inmates.

When I called twice last week, there was no response.  I wondered how he was and asked Tina, the receptionist at the jail.

She didn't know either and didn't see him.

One just never knows when one is called home.

Bill wondered and worried about his future as we chatted about his health.

Two servants. Two great Catholics.

They both loved people and those on the margin.

Ted and Bill.

They both led well.  They lived out Matthew 25.  I am grateful to both.

I will miss them both.

They exemplified stooping low to to lift the lowliest up high.

They did.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Center, Hamtramck, Michigan USA

Daily, almost without exception, the word, center, comes to mind.

Listening to others and myself, moderation is at that center of self, one's soul.

It is.


Philosophers always speak of balance, moderation, center.

And, like the balancing "teeter totter," praying some, working some, socializing some, eating some, greeting some, giving, and forgiving. . .

Life is about the center.

That's what life seems to be about in the interfaith center I just opened in Hamtramck, Michigan where 42 per cent of the residents are from Yemen, Banladesh, Africa, Poland, Bosnia, and more.

Keeping centered with moderation beyond extreme poles of behaviors is key in such a diverse town.



Center between the two poles of the extremes where one best not go in his or her activity.

Now, for some still time.

For balance beyond a frenetic pace.


Praise God for this way of being always.

All ways.

So be it.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Genesis 22: 1-18    Psalm 116       Romans 8:31b-34             Mark 9: 2-10

Beloved son.

Listen to him.

Jesus knows.

Jesus knows about dying and rising.

He knows about death.

These 40 days of Lent we walk his sorrowful way of the cross.

We do.

We meditate on death.

Our own death also.

Joining our eventual death with that of Jesus' dying.  We mark that on Good Friday.

When thinking about death - my own - I change.  Things change.

Relationships change.

Some are for a reason.

Others for a season.

And, some for a lifetime.

With God, my connection with God lasts forever.

With some other relationships, some were for a moment in time.

They passed.

Death has a way of  putting what matters in perspective.

What maters most comes to mind.

Things pass and are not forever.

However, my walk with God lasts long.


It does.

Today's Gospel changes my entire attitude about life, death, and what matters most.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

From Ashes . . .

From ashes to Easter.

Christians, particularly, Catholics, mark the "springtime" season of Lent, an Old English word, and, a forty-day period of penitence, fasting from food, and more, and intense charity of giving, (for)giving, and outreach.

For me, personally, this Lenten time through the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Gloria on Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, will be morphing and mending.

To track progress, I intend to write down in a journal how grateful moments each day fill the life of others, and, myself, for example.

After all, an attitude of gratitude is a pure prayer.

That was noted on a plaque in my boss' office at Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center in Memphis, Michigan where I was an assessment and addictive behaviors counselor.

An attitude of gratitude.

I like that.

Thanksgiving is what Eucharist, from the Greek word, "eucharistan" means.

We become who we receive, the body of Christ, according to Augustine of Hippo, present-day Africa.

And, Lent  is enhanced by my fasting, daily praying of Liturgy of the Hours, and, other devotionals, and of course, the source and summit our the Christian life, the Mass, as the second ecumenical Vatican Council II, notes.

Bring on Lent.

Only to be outdone by Easter rising of Jesus the Christ!

Thanks be to God!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hamtramck, Michigan

Caniff Street.

At I-75.

Interfaith Center.

2231 Caniff, 48212.




Yemen.  Bangladesh.  Bosnia.  Polish.  More.



An encounter each day at Pope John Paul II Park on Jos. Campau.


Be enriches.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday's Sermon (Homily) on the Word of God and Cleansing, Renewal and God Purifying Leprosy, More

A story in contrasts.

That's what rests in Leviticus 13 and today's Gospel from Mark (1:40).

The disease is identified in Leviticus 13 in order for the leper to be declared "unclean."

That means the leper is ritually impure and excluded from the worship of God.

Lepers "dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp."

Disease does not fit with the ideal of purity in Leviticus 13.

However, Jesus does not simply identify impurity but becomes the source of purity.

Unlike the priest, Jesus has the power to make the leper clean and regenerate him back into the community of Israel, thanks be to God.  (The Greek word for Eucharist, what we do here at Mass, like Jesus at his Last Supper, is "eucharistan," meaning, "thanksgiving.")

Jesus invites the leper to show himself to the priest.  His role is reaffirmed so as to ID the difference between purity and impurity, thanks be to God.

Yet, Jesus' role and mission is higher, that is, to heal and bless with wholeness and holiness in order to be part of God's beloved community again.

Sin is like that.  It "misses the mark."

God's standard as told in the Ten Commandments and the laws of love of Jesus the Christ.

We Catholics, Christians, believe that in the sacrament of baptism, Jesus does for the leper what he does for us.

We are healed of spiritual infirmities to be placed among the People of God again, a phrase the second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-65) repeatedly calls parishioners, Christians, the flock fractured as it is in so many ways today in one's own heart where all dissension and sin starts.

"I will do it.  Be made clean,"   Jesus affirms that to each of us with the faith to ask for forgiveness and freedom from the enslavement of sin and death.

Like perhaps the most faithful follower of Jesus, Mary, mother of God, points the way and steers us to the Way, Truth and Life in the abundant life.

Now, let us go our way always submitting like her and the leper with a faith deep enough for Jesus to heal sin and  make  us whole.

Thanks be to God.

For our help is in the Name of the Lord!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Town Hall Hears about Global Alliance to Terminate Al-Queda

They came.

They listened.

And, the crowd heard about the Global Alliance to Terminate Al-Queda.

That is, G.A.F.T.A.

Hamtramck, MI., Police Chief Maxwell Garbarino was on hand to take questions, and, like others, to learn about G.A.F.T.A., among other issues residents raised about the 2.2 square mile enclave situated between Highland Park and Detroit, MI.

Five gentlemen from Dearborn Heights, MI., arrived to tell all about G.A.F.T.A..

Their aim with education and awareness is to end Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

For ever.  For good.

Impassioned they were as they fielded questions.

And, although their aims seemed to be small with the insurmountable force they intend to contend with, determination filled the presenting volunteers who go to colleges, and, elsewhere to talk to anyone who will listed.

Hosted by the VENT-Line Interfaith Center for Coaching and Counseling, the Care of the Soul and Companions All-Faiths Festival that is based at 2231 Caniff in Hamtramck, MI., 48212, another Town Hall is planned for March, 2015.

They came,and, they  listened to the audience, and, they are deeply troubled by the demonic deeds of ISIS and Al-Quea.   Google GAFTA form more, or, to be a member of the growing, global initiative.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


The Delite Deli and Cafe in Hamtramck, MI., will host a gathering of engaged and married young adults on Valentine's Day, February 14th from 5 pm.

Join me.

They need our support and encouragement as clergy, among others, enhance their communication skills, tach them how to resolve conflict, and more.

Call me at (313) 530 2777, or visit me at the Vent-Line Interfaith Center for Coaching and Counseling, 2231 Caniff, Hamtramck, MI., 48212.

Then, make plans now to join me at Celina's Polish Kitchen in St. Clair Shores, on Tuesday, March 17th, from 12 noon - 6 pm,  the feast of Saint Patrick, for a good ole Irish party.  All are welcome but I do need reservations since the place comfortably holds about 20 people, although people will come and go those hours, OK?

It will be fun!

And, fun in the middle of Winter is welcomed.

For sure!

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Declaration to Save the Children

Children have a fundamental, natural, human right, as far as possible, to know and to be loved and cared for by their married mother and father.

They do!

And, even though I firmly believe that the only right any of us has, and, in particular, Christians,  IS THE RIGHT TO LOVE, when it comes to family, children are getting lost in the latest addiction - speed, "too busy" excuses, trafficking, and more.

They are!


In fact.

How sad.

The abundant life is what Jesus came for -- those who witnessed him first hand, noted in the Good Book.

However, the epidemic of babies being conceived out of wedlock needs to be addressed again.

Or, else.

The community's spiritual and economic base, and more, will continue to erode.

And, the soul of this nation will continue to ebb.

For sure.

Join me from 5:30-7 PM,  Thursday, June 29, 2015 in the Hamtramck, MI., Public Library for a town hall meeting on this topic, Global Alliance for the Termination of Al Queda (GAFTA), marriage mentoring, and, volunteers in prevention (VIP) of the rising epidemic of child trafficking.

Keeping our children safe is a full-time task for this entire village.

It is.

Banning together in communion will move us forward.

For sure.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Auto Show

I like the buzz of people at the car show in my Detroit.

I do.

And, looking at new designs is a thrill.

It is.

The world auto show showing off in Motown.

What a wonder!

Everyone seems to be there.

But me.

Perhaps tomorrow or the day after I will get in line and review the cars.

Don't want to miss the show.

No way!

Dr. King, Jr.

I have a dream.

Those words of the iconic Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., ring loud in my heart and soul.

They do.

A dream delayed, however.

It is.

With ISIS now and a seemingly ambiguous decisiveness to take them out on the part of our Commander in Chief, I have to wonder about the dream.

King wondered whether his four little children would be judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin.

He did.

I still wonder.

Steps forward.

More back, it seems.

Yet, the evergreen virtue of hope hastens my steadfast to keep on walking the talk, the dream.


Amid so many children left out, pressed down and poor, how can one not wonder.

With the normalization of illegitimate children spiking daily, who will speak for them when their parents abandon, fathers forget, and moms are left carrying the child in the womb and outside it.

Teetering marital relationships must be addressed in a politically-correct culture that has some attorney wanting to crush commitments, and, the I do!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Father Ed Popielarz' March 4, 11, & 18th, 12 Noon-1:15 pm Class in Acceptance in Hamtramck, MI., Public Library

Each problem or issue is an interpersonal one.

It is.

Love of money, power and sex are symbols of HAVING.

Freedom, creativity and sharing are signs of the Spirit of God at work in BEING.

Consequently, when issues emerge as they will for all of us, I recall CONTACT, RECOGNITION AND ACQUAINTANCE.

When I am in doubt, I need to communicate.  Communication begins with a clear intention, and, an honest motivation of my aim in any and all relating with others.

Interrupting another when she or he is speaking violates their sacredness and made "image and likeness in God."

It does.

Acceptance is an art of relating.

It is the key to freedom, productivity and sharing.

It is the supreme resolver of fear.

Any fear and all fears I carry that Jesus claims are useless in the Gospels need to go and be released for true freedom.

Acceptance is a covenant (an agreement) of freedom like God's rapport with each of us that is sealed in love.  God's love.

A class in acceptance "grows" participants to allow everyone to be who they are - warts and all, the late founder and teacher of the class taught weekly at my home parish of the late Saint Thomas the Apostle on Detroit's east side.

When I accept, I let God change others.  I refrain from trying to change anyone.  I only look at myself because if someone irritates me, I am lacking in some virtue (strength) like faith, hope charity, prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance, or patience (long-suffering).

A mentor for me as my boyhood pastor, Father Pops taught me much.

Join me as I lead a class in acceptance in the Hamtramck Public Library, 2360 Caniff, 48212, March 4, 11, & 18 from 12 noon-1:15 pm.  Reserve now since space is limited.

It is an opportunity to center myself in God and my neighbor.  Here, I will remember what I want to be and live by. "I need you to grow myself," voiced Father Popielarz in the class he led as I listened long.

Friday, January 2, 2015




Write Hamtramck@DetroitSOUP.com for more information, or, to send a proposal with your project name and description, how the project benefits Hamtramck, how you will spend SOUP funding to carry out the proposed project, what is the time frame for the project and how will project's progress be commuicted at future SOUP sessions?

Submit online at DetroitSOUP.com/HAMTRAMCK, OR,

Those who bring a plate of food or soup to pass may take a minute to promote an event, business, organization, or, a cause.  E-mail the food name you will bring.