Our celebration of Easter continues with the beginning of the annual Catholic Services Appeal. This yearly drive helps us to be mindful that we are not an isolated community. Our parish is part of the wider Church of the Archdiocese of Detroit. There are some ministries that go beyond the scope of what a parish can and should accomplish. This is where the CSA and the Archdiocese come into the picture. I realize the CSA is not popular, yet there are many things we do that, while we don’t like them, we recognize the need and importance of doing them. CSA is one such event. Please be as generous as you can and do your part to help our parish reach our target this year. Thanks for your generosity.

Next Sunday we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at all of our liturgies. This tends to make the mass slightly longer, though I promise a really short homily! Most of all, pray for our sick and homebound members. Use the listing in “The Flame” as part of your regular prayer and keep those who are ill in your mind and heart. In one way or another we have all been there, or will be there someday.

With the celebration of First Eucharist and Confirmation behind us there is a tendency to relax as if the big events of the year are “done.” Of course these events are never finished as their effects continue in our life each and every day. Still in front of us are Summer Circle and McRest, together with the replacing of the tile in the social center and the replacing of our roof. Regarding the latter, I was hopping to have news to share with you insofar as our proposal went before the appropriate Archdiocesan body last week for approval. Hopefully I will hear something very soon so that work on this vital project can begin.

Pope Francis has released his letter summarizing the Synod on the Family. The document is entitled Amoris Laetitia, (The Joy of Love). I have not read the 260 page document but, from second hand reports, it appears Pope Francis, as has been his custom, has not changed any church teaching but asks that they be applied in a more pastoral and merciful way. Regarding Catholics who are divorced and subsequently remarried outside of the Church, the Pope called for “responsible, personal and pastoral discernment of particular cases”. This would appear to be similar to his comments regarding the use of artificial means of birth control, when he urged people to speak with their pastor. The Pope, who has often described himself as a sinner, reminds us that, “No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves.”

Related to this is an upcoming presentation to be held here at St. Blase. On Friday, May 13th (who’s superstitious?) the Elephants in the Living Room present Dr. Stephen Pope as he address the topic, “Can Catholic Moral Teaching Develop?” (The key word here is “develop.” We don’t really speak of Church teaching changing, but rather, it “develops.”) Mark your calendar and join us if you can at 1:00 P.M. in the social center.

Fr. Randy Phillips