Saturday, November 19, 2016
Evergreen hope is heralded amid darker and drearier days four weeks before Christmas, December 25th, observing Christians claim. After all, it is Christmas that historically emerged from the birth of the God-man, Jesus the Christ, who is the "way, the truth and the life" for believers, especially Catholics. No doubt, once the Gospel is fully embraced with followers pressing behind Jesus, divisions, exclusions, absolutes and more will scatter to the sidelines. Until Christians fully claim Christ as the Way, a wandering and wondering culture amid a Divine Disconnect, and, broken world and family, will show its divisive face. That is, a face far from the Christ born centuries ago in Bethlehem, house of bread. Merry Christmas follows after the trek and weeks of Advent when waiting and embracing of the Light in darkness shines brightly.
It's the oldest tradition in our Nation. Thanksgiving Day. A festival of family, food and faith in an enlarged "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It is. Indeed. And, in fact. Thanksgiving is a combination of gratefulness and sharing. And, grateful people are happier individuals. After a vitriolic presidential campaign, thanksgiving may well be what this nation needs. While Abraham Lincoln called for a general thanksgivng amid the Civil War, it was Sarah Hale, reports show, who is the Godmother of Thanksgiving Day that was made official by George Washington, other historical notes suggest. Give thanks a chance. It's worth it. After all, it is full of the evergreen virtue of hope founded in faith, for sure.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
We hear about greatness these days. What is it? Is greatness success? Overcoming other nations? Beating the opponent? Is greatness full of virtue, inner strengths? Is it integrity, accountability, thinking and engaging the common good? Greatness is a good thing, no? It is a relative term, isn't it? Greatness is comparative like justice. It is. It's like doing the Creator's justice as the common Word has carried God's way, truth, and life down through the ages. The only problem it seems to me is that we keep thinking this culture has to reconstruct everything, including God's created creatures, humans, and more!
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
"All for the glory of God." That's what Anthony Helinski who changed his legal name to Conti, wants on his epitaph. After over three months in Angela Hospice in Livonia, Michigan, Tony died Sunday, October 9th at about 2:10 pm. "Prefer nothing to the love of Christ," was his favored quotation while we were classmates at Saint Mary's College, Orchard Lake, MI. Tony savored 'Snoopy' and 'Peanuts,' and, Simon and Garfunkel's, "I Am A Rock!" He did. That was in 1967-71 when the Pittsburgh, PA., native, Tony, drove up Heron Hill in his home steel state of the sports' teams of Steelers and Pirates. The stick-shift automobile began to roll backwards down that hill. My, my.... We safely descended and made our way up once more on to his childhood home, and more. Tony relished showing me around. We worked together on the Orchard Lake Schools' 1971 Eagle Yearbook. Journalism was our joy...and, writing...and putting together letters, words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. We composed. We prayed. We learned Polish, Greek, Latin, and English. Aiming toward ordination as pastors was a thrilling adventure. We arrived to be ordained deacons and clergy in 1976. Lots has happened...broken bridges mended and morphed, and more, praise God! Memories of Tony. He would have turned 68 on October 16th. Brain tumors beat his indomitable spirit him as he battled the cancerous sells for months. Tony enjoyed writing, reading, smoking, drinking coffee, and residing in Detroit at 6444 Townsend Street, 48213 ever since I introduced him to Connie and Chuck Conti while we were at Saint John's Seminary, Plymouth, MI., in formation to be ordained Catholic pastors. Tony earned degrees for counseling also, later, while serving at multiple parishes, including, Saint Thomas the Apostle, Detroit, Saint Joseph, Monroe, MI., Sacred Heart, Dearborn, and Saint Ignatius, also in Detroit. Efforts to contact Tony Helinski's family were made. Tony's birth father was to have 'burnt' a family member, admitted Tony once more as his lips pressed a Smoker's Choice cigarette when we sat on the patio at the hospice. Tony told his story. He also reconciled estranged rapport. He articulated well his brain anatomy, and more. Tony told of his demise. He seemed to accept his fate. Weeks ago, when he was still able to stand and consciously decide, we talked about going to Kevan's Grille near Twelve Mile Road and Hayes, in Warren, MI. Nurses OKed our 'night trip' and, I did the necessary paper work to please attorneys . . . and . . . He was buried this past Monday near Charles and Concetta Conti. His temple of the Holy Spirit rests in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, MI., a site near and dear to my family and me. Our own parents, and PFC Lukas Ventline, among other relatives, are buried there. The loop of loss needs closing. Grieving is like that. A hole in one's heart and soul, or not, the process of grieving, then mourning, mounts for a year or more. It does. Eternal + rest unto Tony, O Lord, and, let perpetual light shine upon him. Lawrence Ventline 25959 Waterway Drive Harrison Twp., MI. 48045 firstname.lastname@example.org
It is in ruin. Yemen is under siege. This ancient land bombarded by Saudi airstrike, note news reports. Yemen citizens reside in Hamtramck, and,Dearborn, Michigan, among other cities across our beloved United States. The wars in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Israel, also, stir feelings that sit restlessly within me. Pictures of innocent and bloodied and bombed children bother me no end. They do. Who will stand up against the aggressors? Who will walk with the metropolitan-Detroit area Yemen people? The victims in Syria? Iraq? Who will talk and negotiate 'safe air space' for the children? Who? Who will walk with residents of metropolitan Detroit, MI., Focus:HOPE, a civil rights and human services icon for over fifty years, founded by the late Father William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis, for example? Thousands walked in my Motown Sunday at the same time thousands walked in Dearborn, MI., and, pressed for Hussan, for justice, against oppressors? Who? Who will stand with the immigrant citizens in Hamtramck, MI., for example, and, urge safety and security in this 2.2 square-mile town where parents asked me during the Labor Day parade: "Why do our children have to breathe in the marijuana smoke in our neighborhood?" Why? Tell us Hamtramck City Manager Katrina Powell? Tell us Hamtramck Police Chief Anne Moise? Why do you refuse to restrict illegal 'smoke'? When I witnessed at the Hamtramck City Council, you sat passively. Why? The dignity and worth of every human person deserves security, safety, more, no? Stand up with us, Hamtramck, MI., City Council, and, make a difference in a town where parents care about the livelihood of our precious children who play, run, laugh and live as children should. Are you with us? Will you lead and enforce ordinances and laws like the Warren, MI., Mayor Jim Fouts who demands 'Fresh Air' as others and he walks or runs or plays in the streets of this ever-striving safer and securer City? Let us know, please, diverse, rich, and beautiful residents, parents and grandparents, entrepreneurs, mosques, churches, educators, Drug-Free Hamtramck Coalition, Block Clubs, and, Hamtramck, MI., City Manager and City Council? Work for us, please!
Monday, June 6, 2016
"I am the Greatest," declared Muhammad Ali who just died. He may have been silenced but this distinguished man still stirs discussion everywhere, it seems. He does. A principled guy for peace and justice he brought home prisoners of war in the first Gulf War, history records. Muhammad was misunderstood much the same way Detroit bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton is not understood for his bringing back home prisoners of war from Vietnam. Gumbleton was called a communist by those who hardly knew him, including some of my family members. Muhammad needed to say that he was the greatest. It was a mantra that marked him as a victor beyond being a victim that many Blacks were branded. Like Pope Francis who is declared a socialist by some, I find myself saying, "Hello, Bergolio is from Argentina, and the Gospel of Saint Luke tells of how the early Way of Jesus shared everything in common. They did. So, what does that make Americans and the man of the hour, namely Ali? We need voices like Ali. Like Gumbleton. Like the Biblical prophets who speak up. They speak truth to power. They stir wrestling within most of us when we get right down to it. We don't like the trust, or, we can't stand the truth. In turn, Martin Luther King, Jr., among others were murdered. Like Jesus who stood up for the "least among us" when others simply sat down. He did. Do we need loud and clearly, clarion-calling voices against violence today? Sure do! While youngsters are mass murdered daily in urban setting, outspoken women and men need to speak up. We have to stand up for the little children who have no voice of their own yet. Who will be the greatest and speak up for the little lambs, so to speak? Who? Ali was the greatest because who sided with the little women and men of America. He was a boxer, for sure. But, beyond boxing, I enjoyed hearing his heart and wisdom unfold with truths. So many trust did Ali tell. Muhammad Ali may be dead, yet his 'bites' do bite us in the collective conscience of a Nation that must choose a path for single-parent households, for boys and girls who need mentors when dads or moms abandon and neglect them. Let the next generation of the greatest, please arise? You are needed as much as Ali, Gumbleton, other prophetic voices who refuse to be quiet even after their final breath. Their truths ring and resound in our ears. Lawrence Matthew Ventline is a Catholic pastor who has been a board certified professional counselor for four decades. Father Ventline is a native of Detroit, MI. Reach him at, www.religionrootsrelationships.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Floppy discs were in. Back in '76. Microsoft deleted the hyphen between micro and soft. And, along with many others, I said "I do" to a covenant agreement as John Cardinal Dearden ordained me a Catholic pastor on June 4, 1976 in the late Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, Detroit, Michigan USA. To mark milestones of married couples, ministers, and those turning "40" anything, for example, we're meeting in a Mass Mob celebration in the second oldest Catholic edifice in the United States, Sainte Anne de Detroit, Sunday, June 5th, at 12 Noon in the church that the University of Michigan co-found and most famous pastor, Father Gabriel Richard, led for years. Father Richard also ran for, and, won public office when priests were permitted to serve in elected positions. The vibrant liturgy with trumpets and more will honor anniversary milestones of all kinds turning '40.' Welcome all! Ste. Anne Church is located at 1000 Ste. Anne Street next to the Ambassador Bridge in downtown Detroit, MI. Then, Thursday, August 25, 2016 in Saint Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 4275 Van Dyke at East Outer Drive in Detroit, just south of Eight Mile Road, the 33rd Annual Missing and Murdered Molly Bish Benefit Day will be observed along with the 25th Anniversary of Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling & the All-Faiths Festival. A complimentary meal will be served. Please reserve your seat with Lori Tims at ltims@email@example.com, or, 586 925 7617 ASAP. 40 is big and mentioned hundreds of times in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. That number -- 40 -- usually refers to deliverance from captivity and exodus to a promised land, such as the Israelites deliverance from the Pharaoh of Egypt into Palestine. The big 40. 40. 40 years ago was the year 1976. Moments and milestones marking deliverance to promise, purpose and more, praise God!
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Bring on the soccer stadium in the 'hoods. Who needs another jail in this Nation, let alone Detroit. Let the National Guard put order into the disorder. Holy Order. We need it. Fledgling family needs it. I like that. Come on to town, N.G. Come now. Order. Stylish. Something different from guns, bullets and no roses with a fragrance of Jesus' the model for healing and hope. Unarmed and unconditional love. Try it for a change.
National Guard may put order into the disoredered homes, dysfunctional Nation in denial, opiate offenders, and more....just for today. Ride into town, and, please help us save our kids from bullets..save the family while you are at it.
Any one support that the Natonal Guard come to town? Tell us. We will pay you well from drug money and babymaking, they all tell me. Quite a racket in venture capitalism? Let the media know also.
It is. Marge Hallman, my 25-year aide for Care of the Soul and Companions' Counseling All Faiths Festival will host a clergy and civic leaders' meeting as we go down memory lane and remember Molly Bish and her kidnapping in West Warren, MA., and her demises decades ago. A lovely high school junior at her lifeguard post, she disappeared one morning. And, never showed up until a hunter found parts of her foot in the woods while hunting. Molly's parents have never been the same. Care of the Soul's A-FF is twenty-five...and I'm 40 years at 'pastoring' at Chene and Lafayette in downtown Detroit and the Pope Park in Hamtamck, MI.. Complimentary people there. I love em all. I boss says he's doesn't trust my pastor care. Sure glad this Kingdom worker knows that God loves it all. God does. Thanks, Maker of women and men!
You may say I kind of felt like those birds in the Windex commercial on television. I walked into what I thought was a glass door. It was a glass panel at Firn Wood in Clinton Township, MI. After a funeral luncheon, I was exiting the building when I noticed a crowd of smokers blocking the exterior doors where I needed to leave. So...I decided to move east to the other end of the building to secure an exit. Well, every other door was locked from the inside, go figure. As I moved to the reight I was what looked like a door that was propped open. Wrong. It was a glass panel. No, I did not make it through the glass. Transparent glass wall: One. Ventline: Zero. Plus a closed head injury with a severe migraine headache. Add post traumatic stress disorder after rattling my brain. Nothing was like this since I walked into my brother, Lukas' baseball bat when I was twelve, I guess. No marks from that, Tom, I assured me, handing me my two copies of a DVD imaging from the Cat Scan...three words he repeatedly said. Yet, I can't remember. Don't get older. Mind goes. And, you may walk into an imaginary glass door...that is really a glass wall. Time out...call me Sam Bernstein....media...more. What a trip. Stay home at my age? I doubt it. Life is full. So full. I will get through this tunnel also. Amen!
Monday, March 21, 2016
Walk tall. If anything that is what next Sunday is all about. It is about walking tall. Rising...arising... Easter is that for believers. Jesus the Christ rises. And, wants us to rise up also. Really. He does. What else is there than to walk talk in the wonderful awakening that each of us is somebody made by God. When down, than, arise. When depressed, shoulder back, walk talk. Easter is about rising up. It is about knowing that I am somebody. I am.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
They said their kids were the worst ever. A set of teen twins, for that matter. Out late, never observing curfews, stealing.... Gosh...one adviser said to them: "Put them in a boarding school!" "We can't do that. We would miss them. Moms just don't even think like that." Similarly, it would be like my husband and I entertaining the "D" word for divorce. "We don't even think that it is part of our worldview."
Monday, February 29, 2016
The fish rots from the top. An attorney-turned-pastor used that analogy often while we conversed between mental and spiritual care counseling sessions at the parish he still serves in Sterling Heights, Michigan, after decades. I recall when a bride's mother was apparently upset that the good pastor wouldn't be available to witness her daughter's Saturday wedding. Drama ensured. Mother called the bishop who called the pastor, and, then told me to do the wedding. Go figure. A series of reactive moves, no? Concerns about home-grown residential Detroit Public School leaders emerging from Detroit, Michigan readily emerge these days following the Flint, Michigan toxic water debacle that the Governor's e-mail show that he wanted his staff to "work through this without a disaster declaration if possible." After all the emergency managers running things in Michigan, everywhere, it seems, clearly, one understands why! Mess after mess kicked down the road, so to speak, to the next so-called leader. Benchmarks and promises have proved futile so long on the backs of children who indeed will live what they learn watching and witnessing us older and seasoned leaders whether negative or positive! The City needs to take back leadership in this revered town that I respect, love and give time to almost daily at Chen and Lafayette near downtown's Jefferson Avenue, amid a high-crime area near the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Apartments where the elderly citizens fear the gangs surrounding the complex. Local control was always the better way. My parents - the first locals - raised seven children in the 50s-60s when diapers were cloth and mom and dad both worked concurrently as they put food on the table, shoes on our feet, and, a roof over our heads. And, they did it all well in an imperfect world where three-square meals and more mattered most. It's also refreshing that the Vatican's top advisers acknowledged yesterday that the Catholic Church "has made enormous mistakes" in overlooking and allowing children to be raped and molested by clergy over centuries. Positive leadership is the kind Pope Francis shows across the globe wherever he goes. Even when someone seemed to be pulling him into the lines of revelers that wanted to greet him and shake his hand, he quickly asserted to one person: "Don't be selfish!" Global leadership is local at its best. Detroit: Take charge and lead again, now! Dad and mom, coupled with the local leaders in the neighborhood, at work, at school, at church, in the businesses, and more, lead! After all, the fish rots from the top. By now, the aroma is ready for fresh air!
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Father Louis Grandpre of Clinton Township, Michigan, for the longest time, died this week after a rich life of more than 8 decades as a pastor with a kind heart, and, a wide smile. I knew him better at Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church at Jefferson and Larned in downtown Detroit. Often we met there for the Sunday morning Mass. We led worship there, and, were part of the community also. In the notice of his demise, the Archdiocese of Detroit had to note some allegation. Go figure. The man is dead and such an inclusion is made to further the abandonment and neglect I know he felt from the accusations. No, police didn't make them. Officials who need to be pastoral leaders, who are best at prayer and teaching people to pray, play the role of detective and go after men like Grandpre. God help us all! Over the years, I have watched pastors die amid allegations. They seemed to pass on more readily after the charges became public as officials cover their behinds and get their advice from lawyers. Cardinal Jospeh Bernardin, a "breath of fresh air" of Chicago, was a friends of Detroit's Cardinal John Dearden. Bernardin's cancer seemed to speed up after the false allegations. It just seems that we could be better shepherds of one another, and, let the police do their work as so-called church leaders do what we should do best - be shepherds and pray! Eternal rest grant until Lou, O Lord!
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
We will have no rules, a couple of the participants firmly shouted as a member of the group expressed concerns that guys were leaving early from the support system that meets Tuesdays in Royal Oak. MI. Upon reflection, to say there will be no rules in the decades-old men's group of wise elders is to be a rule, or, if you will, a ruler by which the group guides its 'round robbin' turn where each participant talks briefly about his health, attendance at some cultural event or movie, and more, for example. Having to leave yesterday's meeting early for an appointment, I thought, perhaps, all the traffic lights need to go,also, and, the boundary lines that keep athletes playing their games fairly with rules to guide the revered and ancient courtesy, and, the "courtliness" of Francis of Assisi, Italy. Otherwise, a people without a plan will perish, I was reminded. And, a family, a people without the equipment and formed-capacity and skills to ensure the common good with respect, "I'm sorry," "Excuse me," and more, will be in disarray, for sure. How's that working for us, I wondered? And, for this nation and town, for that matter?
Monday, February 22, 2016
Anyway! Death gets my attention. You, also? The mystery of death surround us. It does. Drinking of the cup of dying and death demands staring death's dark, murky and mortal wound. Anyway! Drink deeply! Befriend death. Be a friend of death in a culture - that which we inhabit - that is "contra" - against life unlike my uncle Chester, a fruitful, faithful farmer who sowed seeds, nurtured them, fertilized them, and grew them with God into deeper, fuller, firmer life, indeed! Could Chet drink of the cup? Did he know what he was asking when, I imagine, he wanted to be at the left or the right of the Lord of Life? Do you know? Do I? His story - like our own - is full of mystery, even contradiction, and, contra - against - Life - your own and mine, maybe? So, we drink deeply of the cup? We can, no? Will you? Will I? We drink and inebriate on the cup of blessing? A good sip of the cup. The Body and Blood of Christ soaked in the Word of God - the living...always was always will Be Body of Christ. In the travail of life, the desolation/consolation, and roller-coaster-like ride of ups and downs of life's brief trek, like a blade of grass as the psalm writer notes, however, like the aroma of a rose we are called to be by Saint Paul, confront and face the predicaments and mysteries of living life well today: WE DON'T GET EVERYTHING WE WANT WE WIN SOME AND LOSE SOME WE MAY BE REJECTED BY A FIRST, OR, SECOND LOVE WE MAY GET SICK PASSED OVER FOR A PROMOTION AND, WE WILL DIE IN THESE MORTAL BODIES MARKED WITH THE CREMENS AND ASHES OF THE DEATH WE STARE IN THE FACE THIS DAY. We will. Don't die, then, LIVE! AND, don't die before your time, or, don't let anytime rob you of moments of living, breathing and being....in a contraceptive culture that wants to manage-care dying and death on someone else's terms - beyond the pro-life Maker God who made me, you, more! Be sure you have someone to sit at your bedside when your final moments fade and your candlelight flickers in the wind... Befriend death....and, life moreso...now, this day, here and now, all the way to heaven as Hildegard of Bingen said...heaven is heaven all the way to heaven UNLESS YOU HAVE EOTHER PLANS. Trust God, trust me, YOU CAN LIVE! Live! Don't die! Drink deeply of the cup and soak in it's pain and promise all way through the aches and heartaches by the number. Anyway!
Friday, February 12, 2016
Theories. Conspiracy theories and more. Who knows? The other day, I was told that Zionist Jews are agitating relations between Christians and Muslims to fuel the slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians one year ago, February 15th. Islamic State is blamed. ISIS goes after those who are considered infidels. My sisters and brothers in the faith are murdered these days in Syria, Iraq and Libya, among other terrorist hot spots brewing everywhere it seems, including Hamtramck, MI., one entrepreneur claimed the other day as I made 'rounds' in that 2.2-mile town nestled between Highland Park and Detroit, Michigan. Speaking up and taking action is necessary in a culture of quiet and even frenetic speed, impatience and hurrying everywhere, it seems. A diagnosis worthy of attention by so-called therapists. To call crime, murder and sin what it is seems to be our task. Who will stand up?
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. It is all day...today. People clean refrigerators of lard, other foods, getting ready for cleansing, fasting, intense praying, and giving and forgiving self and others by the grace of the Divine Physician. Lines streamed along Jos. Campau Avenue in Hamtramck, Michigan last night and today as the traditional fat cake, called Paczki, in Polish, is lusted after by many people. Tomorrow, however, is a different story. A day of complete fast and abstinence for those up to the age of 59. Fish is recommended for the 4 Fridays of this penitential season. My plan is to use words only when necessary. We'll see. I will try. And, I will trust God fully to see me through right up to Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper,when Lent officially ends, the night before Good Friday, culminating on Easter, the last Sunday of next months. Ashes will be smeared on the foreheads of the faithful Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. The burnt remains of the Palm Tree branches remind the faithful of the life of mortality, that we will die one day.
Friday, January 29, 2016
Blight. Boarded up homes. Fledgling schools and family. Crime. Quality of life and security questions. Circuit courts, clergy, probation officers, and more represented a group of concerned citizens at a clergy round table Thursday in the Hamtramck, MI., Library. In round robbin fashion participants shared a concern, a proposal and an accolade. Mayors Dugggan and Young, among others received accolades for jobs well done. Proposals in the hour-long session included a meeting with Highland Park, MI., Mayor Yopps next Monday with Bishop Arthur Barnes of International Beginnings Ministries, Hamtramck. A press release of the results will be crafted and sent to participants and media, and a telephone conference call is set for next Wednesday at 4:15 pm.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Someone said that Sunday is the most segregated day of the week. I think it was Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that. It was that segregated Monday, however, January 18th, when the King was celebrated in America across the land. He stood up when others simply sat and the silence of friends will be remembered more than the enemy's word, Martin also reminded us. He did. What bothered me most Monday was that at the iconic edifice of Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States of America, at the 10 am Mass that was intended to remember the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., most of the people didn't look like me - an elderly Caucasian male. No, most were African-American worshipers who loved Martin, the martyr who died at 38. He stirred conversations about Selema and segregation, and strikes and more. Martin did. And, he died for speaking up and standing up as others sat and said nothing, or little to support in solidarity the civil rights movement that he ignited in the 60s. That was well before his death in '68 almost a year to the date after his speech on "Beyond Vietnam." After the Mass with presider, Ray Stadmeyer, from On the Rise Bakery in Detroit, the hall was filled with many Blacks, and few Whites. Later, at 12 noon in Oak Park, MI., in Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish/Our Lady of Fatima Church, most of the participants in the Elephants in the Living Room session on Pope Francis' agenda for the global Church, most of the people were White like me, and only a few were Black. A study in dichotomy. Two Catholic churches - one in the urban area of the Motor City, and, the other, a suburban place north of Detroit's boundaries at 8 Mile Road. One fully Black, and, the other, fully White. Go figure. Is Martin correct? Was my experience the most segregated day of the week? Why?
Friday, January 8, 2016
MLK, Jr., Father Cunningham, Eleanor Josaitis, and HOPE FOR THE CITY: A Caholic Priest, A Suburban Housewife and Their Desperate Effort to Save Detroit
HOPE FOR THE CITY: A CATHOLIC PRIEST, A SUBURBAN HOUSEWIFE AND THEIR DESPERATE EFFORT TO SAVE DETROIT. By Jack Kresnak. Cass Community Publishing House, 2015. While King's holiday is marked Monday, January 18, 2016, among the hundreds of celebrations of this iconic civil rights pastor will be The Concerned Women of Hamtramck, Michigan presenting their "19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast" from 9 - 11 am, in the Hamtramck, MI., High School Community Center, 11530 Charest St., 48212. It may be ordinary time Monday but extraordinary men and women will mark the diverse and multi-cultural fabric and faith of Motown's Motor City and more in Detroit with King as the centerpiece. In the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s concept of faith, his baptism fueled his mission in that divine one of Jesus the Christ, God of the universe. That King mastered faith in God's all-purposefulness is unambiguous in his multiple affirmations of his belief. King notes the "unlimited power of God" and confirmed that Jesus' primary legacy for followers is the absurdness of "inner stability" that God overcomes the evils of ISIS and more, that stir about rallying to devour the faithful: "Those of us who call the name of Jesus Christ find something at the center of our faith which forever reminds us that God is on the side of truth and justice. Good Friday may occupy the throne for a day, but ultimately it must give way to the triumph of Easter." Indeed, with King's faith firmly siding in the Creator, God has the capacity to realize the good and purpose of God's promise and pledge of commitment through the endless and eternal time. Like King's own struggles to face racism and its demonic forces, two local metropolitan Detroit giants in faith furthered Martin Luther King's own mission, and more with the Motor City's own historic strife and civil unrest during the explosive 1960s. Yes, the stirring story of the late Father William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis, among others, is an engaging head-turner of a book depicting a captivating trek of a Catholic seminary English teacher who wore a Roman collar, marched with Dr. King across the Edmund Pattus Bridge, regularly rode a motorcycle, coupled with the suburban mother of five children who moved back to Detroit from Taylor, Michigan while captured by the inspirational preaching of Cunningham. A fondest memory of my dear mentor couple, Bill Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis,is meeting with them, and, hearing about how each of them pressed a penny into the palm of the hand of every person they met, warning them: "Remember in whom we trust." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other events to celebrate King, Cunningham, Josaitis, and Focus:HOPE include "The Faith Concept of Martin Luther King, Jr.," in Rose's Restaurant meeting room in St. Clair Shores, Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 3 pm, with a "New Year's Session on One's Own Pledges and Promises" from 1 pm before the King lecture by Lawrence M. Ventline, D.Min. Wednesday, January 13th, 6 pm, "A Brief Take on King's Faith," with Lawrence Ventline, D.Min., Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network (DION)steered by Rabbi Dorit, and her husband, Shimon Edut in Huntington, MI. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Tuesday, January 19th, 12 Noon, "Faith of King, Jr.," in Three Star Restaurant at Jos. Campau/Commor in Hamtramck, Michigan. (email@example.com) Thursday, January 28th, 4:30-5:30 pm,"Listening Elected Leaders and Clergy," Care of the Soul and Companions All-Faiths Festival Inter-Religious Clergy Roundtable, Hamtramck, MI., Public Library. Welcome all! RSVP at 313 530 2777.
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Uncle Chester Wichlacz of Cheboygan, MI., at Tender Care IS Still ALIVE with personal dignity and all!
TO IGNITE EACH ONE'S DIGNITY AND WORTH BY AWAKENING IT IN SELF AND OTHERS. That's the mission statement of the Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling All-Faiths Festival Center for Inter-Religious Dialogue in Detroit, Hamtramck and Harriosn Township, Michigan. I steer this distinguished group of pastoral professionals, and more, who aim to understand all faith traditions, their customs, practices and ways. We want to integrate ourselves and others into the lives of those who may be like or unfamiliar to us. They're different and I'm different to them. Rather than condemning I will lift up the positive and higher angels of all near and dear, and, even, my foes. I will. Dignity is what my Uncle Chester Wichlacz still maintains as he copes with prostate cancer, I'm told. Chester is alive, engaging and smiling when I talk with him. He is alive. And, even though, some have written my gracious Uncle off as dying, I affirm him otherwise. His capacity to decide and to respond to my questions, and, to smile, speaks volumes of this 85-year-old elder who formed all his life in addition to some boating jobs he landed. He is still alive, you know! Don't forget it!
We like fresh. We do. Fresh bread, a sizzling, newly-baked apple pie, and more. This New Year urges me to pay attention. That is, to wake up. To awaken. To arise from any slumbering from addictiveness to sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and all other substance and process attachments that numb me. To be present when with another. I will try to be awaken and be present to whomever is in front of me whether a wise elder at Oakmont Retirement Facility in Sterling Heights, Michigan where I preside with Mass each Saturday at 3 pm. Or, at the Macomb Jail on Groesbeck and Elizabeth in Mt. Clemens, MI., where I minister every Monday. At home in Harrison Township I will be attentive to Cara, my Chihuahua puppy who is a delight, a companion, and a breath of fresh air almost every moment we may meet in the home where I live, pray, entertain, study, work and cook. Fresh. We all like it. Fresh time requires fresh approaches and solutions. Otherwise, will I expect that the same results will repeat again? A bless Christmas season through the Baptism of Jesus the Savior, and, a Blessed and awakening Fresh New Year! May the Force be with you! The awesome positive One. For sure!