Friday, January 29, 2016

Regional Michigan Clergy Roundtable Getting It Done

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

Most Segregated Day of the Week

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. ( Tuesday, January 19th, 12 Noon, "Faith of King, Jr.," in Three Star Restaurant at Jos. Campau/Commor in Hamtramck, Michigan. ( 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!