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!