Saint Patrick Parish News 01.10.20


This week’s Mass schedule  

Sat., January 11
5PM Mass

Sun., January 12
8AM Mass
10:30AM Mass

Mon., January 13
No Mass Here

Tue., January 14
9AM Mass

Wed., January 15
9AM Mass

Thu., January 16
9AM Mass

Fri., January 17
9AM Mass

Sat., January 18
5PM Mass

Upcoming Events
Sat., January 11
8AM Men’s Spirituality, St Brigid of Kildare
3PM Confessions, Church

Sun., January 12
9AM REP, School
12PM Church Cleanup, Church
1PM Adult Volleyball, Gym

Mon., January 13
Parish Office Closed
6PM Women’s Faith Sharing, St Brigid of Kildare
6:30PM Rite of Acceptance Rehearsal, Church

Tue., January 14
6AM Adoration, Church

Wed., January 15
6AM Adoration, Church
6:30PM REP, School
6:30PM Adoration, Church

Thu., January 16
6AM Adoration, Church
6:30PM Rosary, Church
6:30PM RCIA Inquiry, Faith Formation Room
8PM Men’s Basketball, Gym

Fri, January 17
10AM Adoration, Church
6:30PM Middle School Game Night, Parish Center

Sat., January 18
3:45PM Confessions, Church


From the Director of Music Liturgy:

A very sincere thank you to all the choir and musicians who gave so much of their time leading up to and during this beautiful and holy Christmas season. The work and dedication they gave made for an incredible and meaningful musical celebration throughout this season. I am extremely proud of and grateful for each person that I have connected and worked with. The passion for creating music that enhances the Mass and elevates the prayers of the people is obvious and inspiring, not only in the Christmas season, but since I arrived here almost a year ago. The community of musicians and volunteers is vast, talented, dedicated, and above all, faithful.

I echo the words of Michelle; this choir is the best in the diocese. The work they put in, the amount of care they have for the music we sing is truly a gift to behold and to be a part of. Thank you, Parish of St. Patrick’s, for welcoming me into your community and family. I am overjoyed to have this position as Director of Music Ministry. The opportunity to work with such an involved church and caring community is not taken for granted. I am beyond blessed to be here and serve in the capacity and role I currently hold. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support. Please feel obliged to approach me after Mass or whenever you might see me and let me know how I’m doing, your favorite hymns, or what you would hope to see/hear from the music program in the coming years. After all, the music that we make as a choir is meant to enhance the music and prayers of the people. We are servants of the liturgy, not simply performers. Your opinion matters, for the church is not made up of few leaders, the church is made up of every one of us.

Thank you, Happy New Year and God Bless,
Simon Vernon

In Memoriam
We offer our prayers and condolences to the family of Marcia Lehman, whose Funeral Mass was celebrated on Dec. 23, 2019 at St. Patrick Parish.  May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

Christmas Music
A very special thank you to the children’s choir, who sang for the 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass:  Adelaide, Aela, Ashley, Ellie, Ethan, Caitlin, Cassy, Meara, Sarah and Vivienne. 

And our four Cantors:  Ciara, Fiona, Maggie and Mary

K of C Basketball Free Throw Contest
This Sunday is the K of C Basketball Free Throw Contest in the gym.  Please come and register by 12:30pm, contest starts at 1pm. 

Free for girls and boys, ages 9-14 years.  There will be basketball awards to all who win their age group. Any questions call Todd Gross at 616-691-8163. 

Church Cleanup
This Sunday after 10:30AM Mass we will be cleaning the church of the Christmas décor. Please stay and help if you are able.  Many hands make light work!

Scout Donuts
Come warm up with the scouts and enjoy some coffee, a hot chocolate bar, and donuts after Sunday masses on January 19 in the parish center.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Mass for Life
On Wednesday, Jan. 22 the nation will mark the 47th anniversary of the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize abortion in the    United States via their ruling in Roe v. Wade.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids will observe a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children on Jan. 22. As Catholics, we are deeply committed and concerned about the need to protect human life from conception to  natural death. Resources and ways you can participate can be found at 

All are welcome to join Bishop Walkowiak for Mass on Jan. 22 to mark this anniversary.   Time: 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.  Other information on Life events in the month of January can be found on the diocesan website:  here

Mobile Food Pantry at FROM
It is that time of the year again when our parish join’s St. Mary’s in Lowell and sponsor a food distribution to our neighbor’s in need at Flat River Outreach Ministries. We are looking for adult volunteers to unload, sort and help distribute food on January 25th from 9am-12:30pm.

Please contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office for questions and let her know if you plan to help. 

Seeking Awareness of Addiction & Recovery
Gathering HOPE, an addiction recovery support group, invites the community to attend a public speaking event at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Activity Center in Belding. Daniel Carlock, addiction therapist, will speak on The Problem of Addictions and there is a Solution. This presentation will take place on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. There is no charge to attend. Gathering HOPE extends an invitation to anyone interested in learning more about substance abuse and recovery. 

For more info contact 616-446-3000.

Rediscover the Saint’s
Please feel free to take a free copy of Matthew Kelly’s new book Rediscover the Saints. They are located on the heaters in the narthex.

Blood Drive
Happy New Year! Please consider as a resolution for 2020 a 1st time blood donation that will help save lives in our community.

First Blood Drive is scheduled for Sunday February 9th in the multi purpose room. Subsequent blood drives will be held on Sunday April 19th, July 26, and October 18. Please place on your schedule.

For questions or to make an appointment call 1-866-642-5663 or visit or contact myself at Thank you in advance for your willingness to donate!

End Dismemberment Abortion Drive
Thank you for your efforts to support the End Dismemberment Abortion petition drive these past six months. Right to Life of Michigan submitted 379,418 signatures to the Board of Canvassers. While the signatures need to be verified by the Board, this is above the legal requirement of 340,047 signatures needed to send the proposed legislation to the legislature.

It will most likely be early March before the proposed legislation makes its way to the legislature. Then they have 40 days to decide on the proposal. If passed, it becomes law without Governor Whitmer’s signature; if declined, it will be placed on the 2020 ballot.

Our churches and schools were a huge part of this process. We collected over 19,000 signatures for this important initiative in the diocese. Thank you, for all of your prayers, hard work and dedication! This would have been impossible without you.

Thank You
Thank you so much for giving and making an  impact in our community. Thanks to the generosity of the community, we were able to help 162 families shop for Christmas gifts for 390 children in our Christmas Toy Store. We were also be able to provide a holiday meal with all the trimmings to 268 households.

We couldn’t do this without all those who donated items, financial gifts, food and their time. In fact, we had 85 volunteers that volunteered over 525 hours to make our Christmas Toy Store and Food Basket a reality. We had volunteers help with pre-registration, decorating and setting up the toy store, preparing the food baskets and assisting the day of with sign-in, helping folks bring food out to their car and so much more.

Thank you to all those who volunteered their time in Treasures Thrift Shop which was open exclusively for our Christmas Toy Store and Food Basket families that day at a discount. From all of us at FROM and on behalf of the individuals and families we serve,  THANK YOU

Catholic Men’s Conference
Man up!  Make THIS the year you go to your first (or 16th!) Building A Legacy/KEPHA Catholic Men’s conference.  You won’t regret it.  The speaker lineup is top-notch: Matt Fradd, Fr. Leo Patalinghug and Jesse Romero – men on fire for Christ.  Our own Bishop Walkowiak will be there to celebrate Mass too.  Saturday, March 14th at West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids.   Find more details and registration at  Bring your sons (teens and older), fathers, uncles, friends.  Give God this one day and see what He can do in your life!

Know of Someone in Need?
If you need some help or know of someone who does, please contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office. This could be with a meal for the holidays, presents for the family, a bill that is a challenge to pay, or whatever would be helpful. All personal information is kept confidential.

NEW Info!  Catholicism Series
In January we will begin the study Catholicism: The Pivotal Players focusing on St. Augustine, St. Benedict, Fulton J. Sheen and Flannery O’Connor. This is a new study from Bishop Robert Barron and is a wonderful time to get involved in a study!  The group will meet following the 10:30 Mass in the St. Brigid Room. Contact Cheryl Emmette for more details and the schedule. 

NEW! Online Giving
Have you considered using online giving? By creating a login and contributing online you’ll always have a report of your giving history available.  You can access your report easily and securely via the web, and your information will always be up-to-date with your last contributions.

You can find the online giving link on a gift.

If you want to give to a fund not listed in the form, please put enter the information in the misc. notes box.  Contact the parish office with any questions.

Ministering to the Homebound
Do you currently bring communion to a family member or someone else who is homebound?   We are trying to establish a list as the Bishop is implementing some changes on how this is done.  Please contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office so you can be informed of the changes.

Donate your old Magnificat!
The Religious Education Program has a use for the artwork on the  cover of your old Magnificat booklets.  Instead of discarding those old issues drop them off in the basket next to the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue in the back of the church.  We look forward to utilizing those sacred images! 

Other devotional subscriptions with sacred art is welcome for donation as well.  Thank you for your donation!

Are you familiar with FORMED? St. Patrick now has a subscription free to our parishioners. This online resource gives you unlimited access to thousands of Catholic videos, programs, and daily reflections.

In your web browser type in and it will take you to our parish’s subscription. Create an account and you will have access to all of the content on their platform. You can also download the FORMED app and enter and register.  Have questions, contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office.

Photos of Our Beloved Deceased
If you brought photos for the remembrance of our faithful departed, please pick them up from the parish office. There are still five pictures to be spoken for.  Thank you! 

More Liturgical Ministers Needed
Ushers/Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion/Sacristans/Servers are needed, especially 5pm and 8am Masses.  Please give the parish a call (Cheryl or Darci) to help with these important  roles.  We could also use some Lord’s Launderer’s if you are so inclined! If you’d like to know more detail, please call Cheryl in the parish office.

Festival Auction 2020
St. Patrick’s is planning Auction 2020. Our goal is to raise funds to support St. Patrick’s parish and school. In the heart of sticking together to make St. Patrick’s the best place for schooling and enriching experiences, we are seeking your assistance.

Booking has started for sponsor tables and would make a great gift. Each six top is eight hundred dollars and sponsors will be represented on our auction banner, in the program, and receive hors d’oeuvres and beverages during the auction. 

We have already started locking in our long-distance travel destinations; however, we are looking to add more local Michigan, OH, IL, and WI destinations and experiences.  Collection of live and silent auction items begins Jan. 6th, 2020.  If you have any questions or information for us, please do not hesitate to reach out. Elaine Buehner,, 616.915.9339 OR Jessica Perkins,, 616.427.7230.

Knights of Columbus Euchre Sunday, January 12th at 1:00PM in the parish Center.  Cost is $10.00, all are welcome!  Contact Dennis Brown 616-262-1888 or Diane Brown 616-293-4993, for more information.  Remember the Euchre tournament during Festival weekend, June 28.  Sign up starts at 6pm.

Are you discerning the priesthood?
Gifted and Called is a discernment opportunity sponsored by the diocesan Office of Priestly Vocations. Each month, young men (ages 16 – 35) are invited to gather and discern God’s will for their lives.  Time for prayer and reflection will be held monthly at St. Robert Catholic Church in Ada from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Men are also personally invited to attend the 6 p.m. Sunday Mass.  This year’s Gifted and Called discernment opportunities are offered on the following Sundays:

Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 15, Apr. 19, and May 17.  Feel free to show up or call to let us know you are coming at 616-288-0910.  Questions, email Fr. Stephen Durkee (

Prayer for Peace in the spirit of Taize
Monday, January 20, 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary Church, 423 First St. NW, Grand Rapids, celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Prayer of Peace is contemplative, ecumenical, candlelight musical prayer in the spirit of Taizé. Few things are more conducive to a communion with the living God than a meditative common prayer with, as its high point, singing that stretches through time and that continues in the silence of one’s heart when one is alone again. Every year Christians across the world gather in prayer for growth in unity. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity gives Christians across the world an annual opportunity to gather in prayer and continue our quest for the unity we already share in Christ.

Knight’s Fundraiser
Pizza fundraiser night with Papa Murphy’s on Northland Drive.  January 23rd they will donate a portion from every order they get from us back to the Knight’s.  Watch the bulletin for more detail coming soon.

Right to Life March
Go to the 2020 March for Life and be a part of the largest prolife event in the world. This peaceful demonstration, on the somber anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy, is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time.

Grand Rapids Right to Life is hosting bus trips to Washington, DC, for the 47th annual March for Life on January 24, 2020. Travel options vary by dates, prices, and hotel locations. To view travel options visit or contact Betty at 616-516-0082.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Give your spouse the best gift of all this Christmas – time with you. Refresh your faith and your marriage by attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend: Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the Comfort Inn in Farmington Hills or Feb. 28-Mar. 1 at the St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt.  Check out  to apply or contact Chris & Darla Vinton at 269-953-8287 for more info.

Men’s Retreat
We will be hosting a half day men’s retreat for the men of the area. Fr Phil Shangraw will lead the retreat this year on February 1st from 8 am-12 pm. The cost is $15. To register please contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office or by email

Cherish Marriage
Registration opens Nov. 1 for the annual Cherish Marriage event!
It will take place on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at Frederik Meijer Gardens from 6 – 11 p.m.  Couples will enjoy an evening of dinner, inspiration, and dancing to strengthen their marriage.  The keynote speakers for the evening are Dan and Amber DeMatte.  Register at  You can find a flyer here.

Dear Ladies of the Parish:  Our next bunco night is Tuesday, February 4th at 7:00 in Multipurpose Room 1 of the Parish Center.  Please join us!  If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Covell at

Senior Luncheon
Our next monthly senior luncheon is on February 13th. Anyone 60 and over are welcome to attend. We meet monthly from 10 am until 12:30/1:00 on the second Thursday of the month. Lunch is served at 11 am. It is a wonderful time to catch up with long-time friends or make some new ones. If you plan on attending each month, please call Cheryl Emmette in the office so we have enough food.

Catholic Women’s Conference
The GR Diocesan Council of Catholic Women invites all Catholic women to join them for the state conference, BEACONS OF LIGHT, to be held April 24-25, 2020 in Frankenmuth, MI.

Please join us for this event that will feature Mass with our bishops, inspirational speakers, vendors, and fellowship time with women from all over the state. Check-in begins at 8:30am Fri. and concludes on Sat. at lunch. For registration information and room block details, email or call Janet at 616-915-5930.

New Parish App
Do you have our current parish app and are receiving from us?  If not, download our new app today and see what you’ve missed!  There are many new options on the new app and you can continue to stay connected. Questions or need help,  contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office. 

We hope for our new app to be a tool for fostering stronger parish life at St. Patrick and better engaging the New Evangelization.

Text APP to 88202 to download our parish app.  Download myParish App and select our Parish after opening.  You must setup an account to receive our notifications.

WC Shadow Days
New to the Grand Rapids area or West Catholic?  Want to experience what has made West Catholic one of the top Catholic school sin the U.S.?  Join us for a shadow day!  Flyer is here.

Open Jobs at the Diocese
The Diocese of Grand Rapids is seeking an Administrative Assistant (part-time, 30 hours maximum) to provide a variety of specialized administrative support services to the Office of Faith Formation including Catechesis, Family, Youth, and Young Adult ministries.  The successful candidate will provide administrative support, event coordination, and database management while creating a welcoming environment for visitors and callers. More information can be found on our website at

Other Diocesan openings:  Parish Auditor, Parish Accounting Services Specialist, Assistant Director of Hispanic Ministry

Eucharistic Adoration:  Our Lady of Consolation
Jesus Christ is in love with YOU and wants to spend time with YOU! Have you made time for Him this week in the classroom of silence? Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Our Lady of Consolation is 24/7. Stop in anytime. For more information or to schedule an hour with Jesus, call 616-866-0931 or e-mail 

North Kent Connect is Hiring
Experienced Administrative Specialist:  see details on this job here

Critical Pantry Needs
WILL YOU HELP?  Our Pantry (free to all NKC clients) is critically low.  Would you please consider donating any of the following items?

Cereal, quinoa, rice (other healthy grains), Canned fruit (peaches, pears, anything low-sugar), Canned pasta sauce (no glass, please), and Pasta.  Flyer can be found here.

Thank you for your generosity!

We are grateful to our community for ensuring the well-being of our clients in northern Kent County. We cannot do this without you!
Donation Hours:  Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or you can put them in the baskets at church.  
Reading Reflections
Baptism of the Lord:  Pleasing to God
Reading I: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 – The servant of the lord
Reading IIActs 10:34-38 – Peter’s discourse; the good news of peace
GospelMatthew 3:13-17 – Baptism of Jesus

Key Passage: Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)

Adult:  How does your own baptism provide you with a “call to serve others?” In what ways  do you serve?
Youth: When has the Holy Spirit helped you treat someone fairly?

Right to Life
Next Sunday, 1/19/20, is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. We remember the value of every human life, and also the tragic Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973 that stripped the legal  protection and lives of more than 59 million children.

47 years. 59 million lives. This Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, commit to doing more about this unimaginable loss of life in the womb. Every human life has value.

Please pick up an informative pamphlet or bumper sticker from the table in the narthex next Sunday.  There will also be luminaria available there for you to display at your home.

A Family Perspective
by Bud Ozar
The words in today’s gospel, “This is my beloved, with Him I am pleased,” are words every child needs to hear often. Affirmation is important to raise happy and confident children.

Word of Life
“An unexpected pregnancy can be a difficult and frightening time, and it’s important that your friend knows you are thinking of her and supporting her. … don’t forget the most important thing is to pray. Even if it’s just a quick two-second prayer, prayer is the most effective way we can help. Pray for her, for her child, and for guidance in how you can give her the best possible support.”

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

“10 Ways to Support Her When She’s Unexpectendly Expecting”

St. Raphael’s Adult Singles Group
St. Raphael’s Singles is a diocesan-wide Catholic ministry for adult singles age 40+ who are divorced, widowed, or have never been married.  Join us for friendship, fellowship and many kinds of events, both spiritual and social.   Gatherings take place on the first and third Fridays of the month from 7-9 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.  
Email for more information.

Cancer Support & Prayer Group
Cancer support & prayer group is held the last Thursday of the month, at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Caledonia, Lower Level room #6 (enter through Main Entrance, & ramp; follow signs to the room).  The group is free.  

This support group is to allow persons touched by cancer to be with others touched by cancer to gain insight, support, pray for one another, and share in a warmhearted and understanding environment. Those with cancer, survivors, and caregivers are welcome; all ages, stages & diagnoses.

If you have questions, want to be on the contact list/register, or have an interest in assisting with this ministry, please contact Christine Shafer, or 891-9259 x224.

Courage Groups
“Before all else comes the individual person,” Pope Francis wrote, “and people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies.  We are all destined to receive his infinite love.”  The Courage apostolate welcomes men and women who experience same-sex attractions as brothers and sisters in Christ, and helps them to respond to their vocation as sons and daughters of God, created in his image and likeness.  Together with a priest chaplain, Courage members strive for chastity, build authentic friendships, and grow in holiness. For more information, call 616-459-4662 or email

EnCourage Groups
For parents of sons and daughters who experience same-sex attraction, “speaking the truth in love” to their children can often present a challenge.  The EnCourage apostolate is the Catholic Church’s outreach to parents and other loves ones in this situation, and offers them support and direction as they strive to love their children without the boundless love of Christ.  A priest chaplain leads the regular meetings of EnCourage and offers insights into how to keep the Faith while keeping family relationships strong.  For more information, please call 616-288-0918 or email

Legacy Giving – Learning to See as Jesus Sees
As humans, we often think first about looking out for ourselves – and can quickly default to using our own strength and ambition to do so – but the Lord’s way is always best. Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” This verse reminds us that God is the rightful Owner of everything and He knows how to best care for it. His desire is that we would instead cultivate an awareness of how to accomplish His purposes in our lives – to see as He sees. How would seeing through Jesus’ eyes change the way we live? Consider how living with greater attention to Christ’s purpose could look in each of the following areas:  Your time, Your talents and Your resources.  To learn more about how you might leave a legacy to the Church, contact Mark Morrow at 616-475-1251 or  Visit  Flyer  

AA Meetings
Meetings have been put on hiatus until after Memorial Day 2020.

Lo-Gluten Host
We provide lo-gluten hosts for those needing them. Please contact Emma Darling at for more information.

There will be adoration Tue-Fri at St. Patrick’s from 6-7AM in the Church as long as Father is in town.  Please feel free to stop in and start your day with some quiet prayer time.  Please watch the bulletin or online calendar for cancellations or addition opportunities.

Thursday Rosary
Thursday evenings, 6:30, in the church.  Questions,

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Every Saturday, 3:45 PM, in the church.

Men’s Faith Sharing
The group meets on the 2nd & 4th Saturday of the month at 8AM in the St. Brigid of Kildare room in the school.  If you are looking to form a closer relationship with other Catholic men and learn more about your faith, this is for you. Please contact Cheryl Emmette in the office if you would like more information. 

Women’s Faith Sharing
This group has begun meeting on Monday nights at 6PM in the St. Brigid of Kildare room in the school.  The book is Father Solanus Casey by Catherine Odell.  Please contact Cheryl Emmette if you would like more information.

Adult Christian Initiation
To become Catholic, complete your adult initiation into the Catholic Church, or if you know someone whom might be interested, St. Patrick Parish has a process of inquiry into the Catholic faith that meets throughout the year.  Contact Lindsey Wilbur, 691-8541, x12. 

Adult Indoor Volleyball
Adult volleyball for ages 16+ has started and runs through April’ish from 1-3pm in the gym.  Everyone welcome!  USA volleyball rules, teams of 4’s/5’s/or whatever shows up.  We have (2) courts if necessary.  You don’t have to be a member of St. Patrick’s or even Catholic to play (you may get a favorable line call however if you are [smile]).  Contact Emily or Gregg Intrain w/Questions 616-608-248.

Franciscan Life Process Center Events
Introduction to Natural Family Planning (NFP)
Jan. 23, 6:30-8pm
Franciscan Life Process Center – Grand Rapids campus, 654 Davis Ave, GR 49504
Are you preparing for marriage or looking into Natural Family Planning (NFP) options? This one-time session covers the basics of how Natural Family Planning (NFP) works and highlights the differences between methods. Pre-registration is required. Please contact Laura Chapin at

Touched by Mercy, a Day for those Affected by Suicide
Feb. 8th, 10-3PM
Franciscan Life Process Center – Lowell Campus, 654 Davis Ave, GR 49504
Join Sister Colleen Ann Nagle, FSE, MA and Father Ron Hutchinson, MA for a special day of reflection, sharing and prayer for those who have been affected by the suicide of a loved one.  Please go to to register.

FLPC| 11650 Downes St NE | Lowell |616-897-7842  |
To register, please go to to find the link in events or call 616-897-7842.

Love, Mercy, Life.  Opening the Heart of Marriage
Married love is the most deeply personal union found among men and women. The marital union calls husband and wife to become one flesh, one heart and one soul. In fact, the Church teaches that when they marry, God prepares a husband and wife to faithfully live their sacred union and become parents who will love and nurture their children. The methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) are a support for married love. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for the safe, natural and effective methods of both achieving and avoiding pregnancy. NFP methods teach couples how to observe and interpret the woman’s signs of fertility and infertility.  The benefits of NFP though move well beyond biology and include enhancing the couple’s marriage through greater communication and shared responsibility.  Want to learn more about the methods of NFP offered in our diocese? Married and engaged couples are encouraged to visit: or call (616) 243-0491 for a list of learning opportunities, both on site or online.  The Catholic Church invites all the faithful to embrace God’s plan for married love. Learn more about these beautiful teachings which support the use of NFP in marriage at:

Benefit: Free & Easy Fundraising (or Apply to Tuition)
Benefit is a free iPhone and Android app that allows you to shop at places like Target, Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart and many more, while giving up to 20% of every transaction back to your own tuition account or to the general tuition assistance program. Just shop as normal, and at checkout, use the Benefit app and purchase a digital gift card to redeem instantly.  For instance, spend $100 at Gap, and $8 (8%) goes to your tuition account, your designee or to general tuition assistance.  It doesn’t cost you a dime beyond what you were already going to spend.  It’s raising funds without fundraising!  Download the app and select St. Pat’s as your beneficiary to start giving today. For more info, Involve family and friends – the more people who participate, the more funds raised!

Offered by Catholic Charities
• Catholic Charities West Michigan’s Pregnancy Counseling and Support Program is designed to assist individuals, couples and their families to make decisions, solve problems, set goals and utilize appropriate resources. This voluntary free program counsels expectant parents who have concerns related to their pregnancy. Please email us at or visit for more information.

• Did you know that on any given day, Catholic Charities West Michigan has over 300 children in its licensed foster homes? Foster care means providing a temporary, substitute, safe, nurturing home to children who may have been removed from their parent’s care due to neglect and/or abuse. If you are ready to open your home and heart to a child in need, please call (616) 356-6202, email us at or visit to find out how to become a foster parent.

• Post Abortion Healing – If you are struggling because of a past abortion or abortions, Project Rachel can help. Project Rachel, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan, offers referrals to priests and counselors specially training to help those who have experienced abortion. We also offer Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats. The retreat offers an opportunity to step away for a while and focus on healing, grieving and reconnecting with God. The retreats are open to both women and men. All calls and emails are kept in the strictest confidence. For more information contact Maggie at (800)-800-8284 (MI only) or 616-340-1824 or email

• Bring the kids and your creativity to Gallery 303, God’s Kitchen Gift & Painting Studio. Paint your own plate, bowl, cup and other fun items with your favorite colors and designs! Join us for some great family fun and feel good knowing that the proceeds benefit the food and pantry programs of God’s Kitchen. Location: 303 Division Ave, Grand Rapids, phone: (616) 456-4110. Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 4pm.

• Marriage, relationship and family counseling are available through Catholic Charities West Michigan’s (CCWM) Behavioral Health Department. We encourage you to call us toll free at 1-877-359-6523 to gather more information about our counseling services or to make an appointment with one of our highly qualified counselors. CCWM will provide you with a safe and confidential opportunity to address your pain to find hope and healing.

• Did you know that over 2,000 families strengthened their relationships through Catholic Charities West Michigan’s family preservation and support programs? Family Support Services assists and supports “at risk” families. In a non-traditional way, intensive, strength-based, solution focused counseling and family preservation services are provided in the home. CCWM has continued to successfully stregthen families in throughout West Michigan. For more information, please contact Aleaha Bowen at (616) 356-6262.
• God’s Kitchen Food and Pantry programs are in need of donations! Please see the list below of suggested items that we are in need of.
• Food Pantry
o Peanut butter
o Cereal
Baking items: sugar, flour, oil
o Condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayo
• Baby Pantry
o Diapers sz 4-6
o Wet wipes
o Clothing sizes 2t-6t
o Summer shoes/sandals
o Diaper bags
o Sippy cups
o bottles
o Pacifiers

St. Patrick Parish, Parnell

The Diocese of Grand Rapids
Resources and Events

The Franciscan Life Process Center
Visit the Life Process Center website for current schedules, registration information and other faith formation resources.  Email or call 897- 7842.

The Catholic Information Center
Visit the CIC  website for current program schedules, registration information and other faith formation resources.  Email or call (616) 459-7267.  

The Dominican Center at Marywood
Visit the Dominican Center website for current schedules, registration information for these and other faith formation resources.  514-3325.