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March 26, 2023

Fifth Sunday of Lent

 The Monsignor's Musings 

Traditionally, we begin Lent on Ash Wednesday with our foreheads marked with a cross of ashes with the words “Turn away from sin and embrace the gospel.”  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate this year and we began Lent without ashes. Turning away from sin can mean different things to each one of us.  Sin has a way of turning us away from God and separating us from one another.  The challenge for us is to identify what it is that is turning us away from God. 

On this last weekend before we transition to Holy Week our readings foreshadow Easter in that they deal with issues of death and ultimately resurrection and new life.  In our gospel reading, we find an image of Jesus, with whom we can all relate.  When he approached the tomb of his friend Lazarus, Jesus was overcome with emotion and wept.  Jesus felt the sting of loss at the death of his friend, just as you and I would.  Death marks the end; it’s final.  But, in Jesus, death may be the end of a chapter, but it’s not the end of the story.

As he lay on his dying bed, St. John XXIII pointed to Jesus on the cross and said the open arms of Jesus were the inspiration for his entire life work.  Those open arms of love can remind each of us of the depth of God’s love.  Those arms are open for each of us, without exception.  Those same arms that were stretched open on the cross, for you and me, are waiting to embrace us, to fill us with the love and healing that only God can give.  

Our scriptures this weekend provide us with a comforting image to ponder.  Jesus responded to loss with love, doing everything in his power to change death into life, darkness into light, and sadness into joy!  This week, let us reflect on our own deaths, our own transgressions, our own fears, and see them surrounded by the light of the Good News of the Resurrection.  

A powerful way for us to ponder Jesus’ outstretched arms of love is to attend our penance service on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.  Together we will gather as God’s beloved to reflect on God’s love and mercy.  As is our tradition, we will offer general absolution as we prepare to celebrate the joy of Easter.  For those who would like to confess their sins with a priest, we will have clergy available.

May God bless you and your loved ones today, tomorrow, and forevermore.

Fr. Harry 
If you have missed any of The Monsignor's Musings, you can read them on the parish web site at 
Image by <a href="">Ri Butov</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>
Music for the Soul

This weekend’s song is “Give Us Your Peace” by Jesse Manibusan.  This gentle song is a prayer for the healing only found in God.  As we draw near to the end of our Lenten journey, let us pray for healing and peace.

You can listen to “Give Us Your Peace” on YouTube by clicking here.
Penance Service

We will be holding our annual Penance Service on Wednesday March 29th at 7:00 pm in our parish church.  We will have several priests available for those who would like to make an individual private confession and we will be also offering general absolution.  Lent is a time for us to identify areas in life where we are in need of God’s healing love and forgiveness.
Collection of Food Items and Toiletries

Throughout Lent, we will be collecting nonperishable food items and toiletries for people in need.  Please bring food and toiletries each week during Lent and place them in the baskets near the Holy Family statues.  The doing of good works, also known as almsgiving, is an important part of our Lenten journey. 

At the end of Lent, the collected items will be provided to CrossRoads for distribution to people in need.  Please be generous.
Photo by <a href="">Sarah Dorweiler</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Lenten Fasting

Traditionally, Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent and commit themselves to offering something up or doing something special throughout the Lenten season.  An alternative to refraining from the eating of meat during Lent is to eat more simply, not just on Friday’s but everyday during Lent.  That could include skipping a meal, not dining out, avoiding sweets or alcohol, or having simple dinners or lunches.  These simple acts of penance are meant to focus our hearts and minds on God by offering up simple things we enjoy.
Stations of the Cross

On Friday’s during Lent, you will find the Stations of the Cross on our YouTube page.  The Stations of the Cross is an ancient prayer where we can spend a half hour in prayer, spiritually walking with Jesus as he made his way to the cross.

You can find our YouTube page by following this link: 
Stations of The Cross on YouTube Stations of The Cross on YouTube
Photo by Alena Koval:
Gratitude Tree

What are you thankful to God for?  Your life?  Your family & friends?  A roof over your head?  Food on the table?  The list is endless!!  This Lent, the Worship Committee is asking you to reflect upon what you are grateful for.  And as a way of acknowledging our gratefulness to God in a concrete way, we are asking everyone to write down something they are thankful for on the end of a brightly colored ribbon. You can even grab multiple ribbons to write down your multiple thankfulness’s, too! The more the better!

As you walk into the Social Hall after Mass for your cup of coffee, look for a basket of ribbons and markers on the sign-up ministry table.   When Lent is over, these ribbons will be used to create our Easter Season Gratitude Tree.   The more ribbons we have, the more beautiful our tree will be!! Thank you for your participation.

Prayer List

Jeannie Richardson
Lauren Torbico
Lamont Monet
Annie Parker
Leroy Coleman
Nick Lucas
Ross Turner
Christopher Stockert

George Stockert
Kristen Rader
Tom Draplin
Jason Kezelian

Michael Zaydel
Patricia Trudeau
Nancy Bukowski
David Saad
Br. Xavier Pankovitch
Sr. Alice Kotwick
Jennifer Lidgard
Bishop Michael Goddard
Cindy Knox
Pamela Miller
Dave Signon
Hank Johnson
David Pembrooke
Jeffrey Hall
Sue Hall
Ellen Fedorczyk
Marion McBrien
Rose Marie Cookie
Ron Bukowski
Martha Fiore
Elizabeth Hutko
Jim Bachelor
Fr. Charles Blanchard
Vera Cadotte
Jim Stokes
Lois Spencer
Patsy Dockery
Kathleen Moylan Klosterman

Mass Intentions

Because as Catholics we believe the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, Christ the Good Shepherd parish would be honored to remember your special intentions for the living or deceased at Mass.  If you would like to have a Mass offered on a special day, please see Fr. Charles.  A suggested donation of $20.00 for each Mass is requested.

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the community transmission level is Low.
Wearing a mask at mass
is optional. 

People may choose to mask at any time.
People who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.
If you have symptoms or have tested positive with COVID, please consider participating in mass on our Facebook or YouTube pages.
Mass; 10:30am

Communication Committee Meeting; 6:00pm
Parish Office

Lenten Penance Service; 7:00 pm

Church Cleaning; 10:00am
Mass; 4:30pm

Monday, April 3
Parish Discernment Workgroup; 6:00pm
Social Hall

Tuesday, April 4
Religious Education Committee Meeting; 7:00pm
Zoom Platform


Spring Cleaning

Our church facility is in need of a deep cleaning.  We are seeking volunteers to help clean, vacuum, wash floors, and finish incomplete projects.  Can you help?  Join us on Saturday April 1st at 10:00 am.  
To see all events at Christ the Good Shepherd, click here to view our online calendar.
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Saturday, March 25
Mass is offered for the intention of the parishioners of Christ the Good Shepherd.

Altar Server: Volunteer 
1st Reading:
Barbara D
Second Reading: Kevin C

Sunday, March 26
Mass is offered for the intention of the parishioners of Christ the Good Shepherd.

Altar Server: Barbara S
1st Reading: Jonathan Q
Second Reading: Anne V
Eucharistic Minister: Volunteer 
Gift Bearers:
Joe T and Volunteer
Donna P

Mass will be live-streamed on our Parish Facebook page


If you are a Lector, Altar Server, or Eucharistic Minister, please take a moment and sign up for the various ministries based on your availability.  

We will post the sign up sheets for a month at a time and include a reminder in the bulletin.

Eucharistic Ministers
We are in need of Eucharistic Ministers.  This is an important ministry that is open to all members of our parish.  We will hold a brief training next weekend immediately after both of our liturgies, March 25 and 26th.  If you are or would like to become a Eucharistic Minister, please sign up on the volunteer list near the entrance to our social hall.
If you are sick, unable to attend Mass, or would like someone to visit you at home or in the hospital, please contact Deacon Ross at (248)701-1949 or  

If you are hospitalized, sick, or recovering from surgery or an illness, please let the parish know. 
Photo by Tim Gouw:
Easter Flowers

As Easter is quickly approaching, we will need flowers to decorate our worship space.  There will be a backet by the Blessed Solanus Casey statue for Easter flowers.  We will use the money collected to purchase flowers from Eastern Market on Holy Saturday morning.  If you would like to join us as we purchase flowers, please see Joe Fedorczyk.  

March 26, 2023
Fifth Sunday of Lent

I read somewhere about the nuclear dead-zone that surrounds the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. As you know, the Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of Ukraine. While it is still considered radioactive, amazingly, it was becoming a tourist destination prior to the invasion by Russia. They consider the radiation levels to be “safe”. Whatever that means. 

What fascinates me, is how the local flora and fauna have rebounded in the 33 years since the accident. Trees and bushes are growing up thru the ruins of the plant. And there is no radioactive levels in the plants. Wolves, fox and lots of other wildlife are returning to the area, and, again, none of them appear to be radioactive. Soil in and under the plant is radioactive, but further out, the soil is clean (at least on the upper levels). 

Experts said it would be at least 3,000 years for the area to become safe, while others believed that the reactor site would not become habitable again for at least 20,000 years. Although no one is saying the area is totally safe (from war or radioactivity) the natural healing power of the earth has, once again, fooled the most learned of us all. “Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our Mother, who sustains and governs us.” - St. Francis of Assisi

In today’s Gospel, we hear the familiar story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Of course, the crowd was astounded and amazed at the sight of a dead man walking out of his own tomb, and why wouldn’t they be? But Jesus is just giving us all a little tease about what will transpire with himself as Passover is approaching. Jesus is telling his followers then, and us today, that death is not final and there is something more to look forward to. 

All of us have experienced and endured death in our lives. We’ve seen loved ones pass over to God’s glory and have felt the anguish of not having that person close by any longer. It hurts and is not enjoyable in any sense. How often have I been sitting at a funeral and wished that, like Lazarus, my loved one could be returned to me. But it has never been. “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given.” ― Francis of Assisi

For myself, though, I have found that the memory of the person never leaves me. My love and closeness to that person take on a different form, but is as real as it was before. The trees of life slowly, but surely, begin to grow thru the ruins of my grief and bring peace to my soul. New life begins to appear where I once thought there could never be any life at all. Jesus’ promise is true: death is not final and there is something more to look forward to. 

I can do all that because my relationship with God is true. While God loves us all without exception, there are too many who do not know or feel that love. It is my calling, therefore, to remind everyone I encounter that the love of Jesus is real and extends beyond death. For some, I will be forthright and to the point. For others, I’ll pull back and be a bit more nuanced. But the message will be the same. God is love, and even death has no power over the love of God. Jesus is the proof of that, and the Holy Spirit gives me the strength to believe and proclaim that good news.
Every Day.


If you missed any of the Everyday Evangelist articles, you can read them on the parish web site
Photo by rikka ameboshi:
Photos and Stories Needed

As we prepare to celebrate our 10th anniversary as a parish community, we are in need of photos and stories.  Marcy Maierle has graciously agreed to create a photo book detailing some of the highlights of our history.  She needs your help.  Please share any stories and photos as soon as possible.  You can bring the photos and stories to Mass over the next two weekends.
Painting Project

Our church building needs some loving care.  It is no secret that our building is showing its age from the parking lot entrance.  In April and May, we hope to caulk and paint the southern entrance area of our church.  We are looking for volunteers to assist with this project.  If you are willing to help, please put your name and phone number on the volunteer list on the table at the entrance to the social hall.  Many hands will make the project easier.

Emma Walter
March 5

Rafael Pachecco
March 7

Cindy Knox
March 9

Rikk Stockert
March 9

Al McBrien
March 15

Pat Moylan
March 17
Did we miss your birthday?
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Readings for Next Sunday

April 1-2, 2023
Palm Sunday

Read, Reflect, Prepare
Click on the image above
to take in next week’s mass readings
and prepare your heart.

  • 1st Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:1-11
  • First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
  • Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
  • 2nd Gospel Reading: Matthew 26:14-27:66
As we begin Holy Week, the days during which we journey with Jesus on his way of the cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. The liturgy will begin with the procession with palms to remind us of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem.

The events of Jesus’ Passion are proclaimed in their entirety in today’s Liturgy of the Word. Those events will be proclaimed again when we celebrate the liturgies of the Triduum—Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion. These days are indeed profound and holy.
The story of Jesus’ Passion and death in Matthew’s Gospel focuses particularly on the obedience of Jesus to the will of his Father. 

There are many vantage points from which to engage in Jesus’ Passion. In the characters of Matthew’s Gospel, we find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who betrays Jesus and comes to regret it. We are sometimes like Peter, who denies him, or like the disciples, who fell asleep during Jesus’ darkest hour but then act rashly and violently at his arrest. Sometimes we are like Simon, who is pressed into service to help Jesus carry his cross. Sometimes we are like the leaders who fear Jesus or like Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of the whole affair. Jesus dies so that our sins will be forgiven.

Edited from Loyola Press; Sunday Connection 
Image by <a href="">海然 广告</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”

Jesus wept.

come out of there!”

Lazarus did.

“Death, now where
is your sting?”

with us,
and for us,

in burial cloths
with our hands tied,
when we are trafficked,
seized at borders,

Your passion

“Untie them.
Let them go free.”

- Ann Osdieck

Prayer for Peace and Justice

Dear Lord,

We stand before you, a wounded people, hungering for peace and justice. Protect the people of Ukraine, Palestine, Africa, and other nations experiencing poverty, war, and destruction. 

Protect all children, women, and men from further harm and may your Holy Spirit inspire people throughout the world to work for peace and justice.  

Instill a desire for peace and justice in the minds and hearts of all people, especially world leaders.  

May suffering, discrimination, armed conflict and all forms of violence come to an end and may your Holy Name be praised throughout the world forever and ever.  


Let us pray that we who are “Enduring Parishioners” and “New-Found Friends” 
of Christ the Good Shepherd
may respond to God’s trust in us who possess any talents!
God of Peace and Love; You who are kind, loving and full of mercy,
You no longer call us servants, but friends!
There is so much You have entrusted to us, even the future of
Your kingdom of justice, peace and love.
Give us the grace to work with You today, tomorrow and beyond.
May this growth in mercy and goodness unite all people who seek
You with a sincere heart.
Striving to be reconciliation and joy to everyone, may
Christ the Good Shepherd
forever be “The Small Church With A Big Heart”
through our collective talents, time and treasures.
Let us go together the way to You,
our living and loving God
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Parish Bulletin
The bulletin is a great way to communicate information with your fellow parishioners.  Do you have something you would like to see appear in the bulletin? We are always looking for ideas and/or articles. Send suggestions or articles to

Do you know someone who may enjoy reading this Newsletter? Why not forward it onto them with a little note explaining why you enjoy being a part of Christ the Good Shepherd. It might be just what they are looking for or waiting for. You might be God’s voice when they need it most.


Did someone forward this email to you? We hope you enjoyed reading all that is going on at the Small Church With A Big Heart. Truly, all are welcome at Christ the Good Shepherd Old Catholic Church, without partiality. To learn more about our community, visit our web site or contact any of our clergy to discuss your needs and concerns.

(248) 439-0470

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