Saint Patrick Parish News 11.30.17


This week’s Mass schedule  

Fri., December 1
First Friday
9AM Mass

Sat., December 2
5PM Mass

Sun., December 3
8AM Mass
10:30AM Mass

Mon., December 4
No Mass Here

Tue., December 5
9AM Mass

Wed., December 6
9AM Mass

Thu., December 7
9AM Mass
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
6:30PM Mass

Fri., December 8
9AM Mass

Upcoming Events

Fri., December 1
First Friday
10AM Adoration after 9AM Mass, Church
3PM Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Chuch
5:30PM Wild Game Dinner, Parish Center

Sat., December 2
3:45PM Confession, Church

Sun., December 3
9AM Breakfast with St. Nicholas, Fair Trade Coffee/Goods Sale, Olivewood Sales, Parish Center
9AM Exploring the Sunday Readings, St. Brigid of Kildare Room
9AM Religious Education, School
11:30AM Youth Choir Practice, Church
11:30AM Pivotal Players, St. Brigid of Kildare Room
12:40PM Youth Orchestra Practice, Shepherds of Armagh (Music) Room
1PM Euchre, Parish Center
7PM Adult Volleyball, Gym

Mon., December 4
Parish Office Closed
6:30PM Women’s Faith Sharing, St Brigid of Kildare Room

Tue., December 5
9AM NET Retreat, Parish Center
7PM Bunco, Parish Center

Wed., December 6
6:30PM Religious Education, School
7PM Parish Reconciliation, Church

Thu., December 7
6:30PM Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Church
7:30PM Adult Choir Rehearsal, Shepherd of Armagh Room (after Mass)
8PM Men’s Basketball, Gym

Sat., December 9
8AM Men’s Spirituality, St Brigid of Kildare Room
3:45PM Confessions, Church

Parent’s Day Out
Enjoy a day out while your child enjoys a day in!  Christmas Movie, craft, Christmas music, hot dogs, chips, fruit and open gym. Open to all Saint Patrick Parish and School families: Preschool – 8th grade. Date:  December 9, 2017, Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Cost: $10.00 per child, Registration deadline is December 4th (Prior registration is a must).  Location: Parish Center.  Contact Kalin Ritzenhein for more information:”

First Friday
Please join us December 1st, 2017, for Adoration after the 9:00am Mass until 4:00pm to implore God’s  Mercy on the Holy Souls.  Rosary at 2:30PM followed by the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3:00.  According to St. Gertrude the Great this prayer will release a great number of souls from purgatory: Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all the Masses being said this day throughout the world for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Advent Flock









Tradition of the Advent Wreath
One of the most recognizable Catholic symbols of the Advent season is the Advent wreath.  The concept of the Advent wreath actually originated in pre-Christian times in northern Europe when people would gather evergreens and light candles to ward off the darkness of winter and serve as a sign of hope that spring would come. These were often attached to wagon wheels brought in for the winter.  

By the 16th century, Catholics in Germany began using the wreath as a sign of Christ’s coming. From there the tradition slowly spread throughout the world.

The circular wreath represents the fact that God has no beginning and no end. The evergreen branches stand for everlasting life. Four candles—representing Christ as the light of the world—adorn the wreath.  Traditionally, three of the candles are purple, a sign of this season of joyful waiting. These candles are lit on the first, second and fourth weeks of Advent.

On the third week a rose (pink) candle is lit. This week is known as “Gaudete” Sunday, Latin for “rejoice.” The rose candle symbolizes our joyful anticipation as Christmas approaches.

Advent Resources
There are still some Advent resources in the gathering space of Church.  Our St Patrick App has Advent resources as well. Don’t have the app yet? Search the app store for St. Patrick Catholic – Ada, MI.

Preparing the Church for Christmas
Help Decorate our Worship Space for Christmas:  The Art and Environment Ministry is seeking willing hands of all ages!  If you are interested, please join us on Friday, December 22nd, 6:30-8:30PM in the church.

Final Preparation for Christmas:  The fourth Sunday of advent falls on Christmas Eve this year.  The advent wreath will need to be removed after the 10:30AM Mass on Sunday, December 24th and a quick clean up before the Christmas Eve Mass. 

For more information, contact Jillian Westbrook at 616-443-1778 or

Retirement Fund for Religious
Help care for elders.  “Thanks to support from the Retirement Fund for Religious, we are now in a much better position to care for our elders,” writes a religious sister.  Your donation helps her religious community and hundreds of others provide for aging members and plan for long-term needs.  Please give to next week’s Retirement Fund for Religious collection.

Calling all “NextGen Catholics,” ages 14-25 years! Introducing UPRISE – – a brand new, volunteer global movement of generosity!  It is an invitation to inspire your personal Catholic commitment of greater time, talent, and ties, using social media to spread your good works of mercy to those in need!

Started this autumn right here in West Michigan by a team of young adults, designed for young adults, in service partnerships with their families, schools, campus and parish ministry.  Check out to learn more and join the generosity movement!  

UPRISE for our faith, for love of others, through generous service! 

Advent Collections
We will again be collecting various items for those in need, watch for a tree and baskets in the gathering area:
Prison and Jail Ministry (tube socks/reading glasses [+1.0, +1.25, +3.0 strengths]  Flyer
Tree of Hope – North Kent Connect (take a tag/buy a gift/return unwrapped under the tree) Flyer   Here is a video too
Mission Possible – FROM (learning toys, arts & crafts, teen gifts, lego’s, science themed, games, books, cologne, bath & body, sports, etc.)  Flyer

Christmas Choirs
Youth Christmas Choir – Our first rehearsal and sign up is this Sunday, Dec. 3rd following the 10:30 Mass in church. The Youth Choir will sing at the 5:00 Christmas Eve Mass. Please contact Michelle Ogren at extension 13 or at  for more information.

Youth Christmas Orchestra –  5:00 Mass Christmas Eve Beginning December 3rd, rehearsals are every Sunday from 12:40 until 1:30 in the Shepherd of Armagh music room.. Contact Michelle Ogren at extension 13 or at with any questions.

Adult Choir – Midnight Mass – Rehearsals for Christmas have begun! If you would like to join us for the Midnight Mass Christmas choir, please contact Michelle Ogren at  Rehearsals are Thursdays at 7:00 in the music room.  

Work of Human Hands Sale
Ever wonder what Fair Trade is?  Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade.  It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.

CRS Fair Trade helps us bring the core values of our faith to the choices we make as consumers – choices that have the power to lift our brothers and sisters out of poverty.  We will be having a consignment sale on Sunday, Dec. 3rd.  We will have Fair Trade coffee sales, the Olivewood sales and other Fair Trade items for you to peruse. Please consider supporting this program and the artisans/farmers around the world.  Please join us in the Parish Center after the Sunday Masses for not only these sales, but the world famous Knights of Columbus breakfast and a visit with St. Nicholas!

Save the Date:  Advent Prayer
KofC Breakfast with St. Nicholas:  Dec. 3, Parish Center
St. Patrick Middle School Band: A Christmas Program:  Dec. 4, 6:30PM, Gym
Parish Celebration of Reconciliation/with individual confession:  Dec. 6, 7PM, Church

Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Dec. 7, 6:30PM, Church
Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Dec. 8, 9AM, Church

St. Patrick Preschool-4 Grade:  Sing a Song for Christmas: Dec. 12, 6:30PM, Church. Refreshments to follow in Parish Center.
St. Patrick Middle School: A Holiday Program:  Dec. 21, 9:45AM (following 9AM Mass), Parish Center
Preparing the Church for Christmas:  Dec. 22, 6:30PM & Dec. 24, following 10:30AM Mass
Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord:  Dec. 24, 5PM (caroling before Mass), 8PM (caroling before Mass), 12AM (caroling before Mass/refreshments after)
The Nativity of the Lord:  Dec. 25, 11AM
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God:  Monday, Jan. 1, 10AM
Winter’s Eve Gathering:  Wednesday, Jan. 3, 6:30PM, Rectory

Thursday Faith Study
Do you struggle with anger, fear, loneliness or hopelessness? Do you feel enslaved by shame, envy or your appetites? Learn the practical ways to overcome your struggles with the study Walking Toward Eternity: Engaging the Struggles of Your Heart by Jeff and Emily Cavins. In this program, you will learn how to listen to your struggles, engage them and overcome them in simple, practical steps, and how to hear God’s loving voice in your struggles. Learn how to Improve your lifestyle and relationships today! We will begin Walking Toward Eternity: Engaging the Struggles of YourHeart on Jan. 25th. The group will meet in the St. Brigid of Kildare Room (in the school) every Thu. at 7pm. Please contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office to register or email  Click here to view a video regarding the study.

Mom’s Prayer Group
There will be a Mom’s Prayer Group starting in January.  It will be held on Thursday mornings at 9AM.  All Mom’s and children are welcome!  If interested, please call or text Kerri Bengel at 616.498.8022.

Scout Donuts
Scouts will be selling donuts on the front lawn after Sunday Masses on Dec. 10th.

Thank You!
Thank you to all who worked and donated to the Dinner/Dance put on by St. Patrick Church and the Knight’s of Columbus.  We had a very good turnout and by the comments, everyone enjoyed themselves.  A big thank you to Jim Albert for getting the 17pc orchestra, fabulous music and Brian Mauric and his team, for cooking the dinner.  A special thanks to the American Heritage Girls for their help and the flag ceremony.  Look for more dinners to come!

Photo’s of Deceased Loved Ones
If you brought photos for the remembrance of our faithful departed, please pick them up from the basket in the gathering space.  After Dec. 10th, photos will be in the Parish Office.  Thank you!

Help Wanted
Paraplegic Priest needs help getting up and dressed one day a week.  6:00AM to 8:15AM – this is a paid position.  St. Ann’s Home, 2161 Leonard NW.  No previous experience necessary, present caregivers will train you.  Call Fr. Tom McKinney at 616-453-9193.

Youth Group
Middle School:  Royal Descent is to help the youth understand the importance of the Incarnation and how we can follow the example of Mary’s Fiat.  Youth meeting is Dec. 10th from 3-5PM in the Faith Formation room.

High School:  Pics or It Didn’t Happen is for teens to understand that there is evidence that Jesus is God in the miracles that He did, most especially the Resurrection, and in looking at these miracles grow in faith.  Youth meeting is Dec. 10th from 6-8PM in the Faith Formation Room.

West Catholic Art & Craft Fair
Saturday, Dec. 2nd from 9-3PM.  West Catholic High School, 1801 Bristol NW, Grand Rapids.  Free parking, food, snacks, and shopping fun!  200 or more booths represented.  $2.00 admission.

Knights of Columbus Euchre, Sunday, Dec. 3rd at 1PM in the Parish Center. Cost is $7.00.  All are welcome.  Contact Dennis Brown 616-262-1888 or Diane Brown 616-293-4993 for more information.

Dear Ladies of the Parish:  Our next bunco night is Tuesday, December 5th 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 senior luncheon will be, Thursday, December 14th Coffee and fellowship will begin at 10AM and lunch will be served at 11AM.  Anyone 60 and older please join us in the parish center for fellowship, a meal and fun.  Please RSVP to Cheryl or Darci in the parish office no later than  Tuesday, Nov. 12th to ensure we have enough food.

Edelweiss German Choir Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 17, 3:30 p.m. at St. Mary Church, Grand Rapids. Music from the German-speaking regions of Europe will be performed by the Edelweiss Choir, the Ein Prosit Band, and the Alphorn group Alpentraum. Free admission, free parking, with a freewill offering at the end. St. Mary Church, 423 1st St NW, Grand Rapids.  More information can be found here.

Respect Life
Good news!  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. abortion rate has fallen to a historic low.  The rate dropped 2% between 2013-2014 to a level of 12.1 abortions per 1000 women of childbearing age.  This is compared to a level of 19.4 abortions per 1000 in 2008.  The CDC also reported that infant mortality has reached an all time low of 6 deaths per 1000 births.  Let us continue to pray that this trend continues and that we may one day see the end of abortions.

Strong Catholic Families
1st Sunday of Advent:  God’s Faithfulness
Reading I: 
Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7 – Prayer for the return of God’s favor

Reading II1 Corinthians 1:3-9 – Thanksgiving

GospelMark 13:33-37 – Need for watchfulness

Key Passage:  God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

AdultHow do you know when you’re following Christ and living his teachings faithfully?

YouthWhat good thing might God be asking you to do right now?

A Family Perspective
by Bud Ozar
Today’s gospel tells us to “Be watchful.” This comes natural to families. Parents are watchful of their children’s health, grades and friends. Children are watchful of parental moods.  Today’s gospel encourages us to use this ability to see God acting in the innocence, tenderness, love and forgiveness of your family. “Be watchful,” the Lord is already with you.

We are growing our ministry of Greeters.  If you are willing to come to church a little earlier, meet and welcome your fellow parishioners and visitors with a smile, a handshake, and a word of welcome, we need you!  Perhaps your family would like to share this ministry. We are scheduling up to four greeters during the winter months (we greet inside the main doors) and more when the weather allows us to be outside.  Please email Cindy Samson at or Michelle Ogren, or call the parish office.

Helping Hearts, Helping Hands
We are looking for more people who may be interested in helping with projects at parishioner’s homes. Occasionally we get requests for parishioners who are unable (for whatever reason) to take care of some things around their home.  Time commitment varies and is not needed on every project.  We just need a larger list to ask for volunteers.  If you are interested in being added to the possible volunteer list, please contact Cheryl Emmette in the parish office, by email, or through the website volunteer form.

If you are in need of Helping Hearts, Helping Hands service, please contact us also.  Cheryl Emmette, or 691-8541 x14.

AA Meetings
Sunday nights at 7:30PM in the St Bridgid of Kildare Room (in the School) and Tuesday nights at 7:30PM in Canonsburg above the Bottle Shop

Adult Volleyball Open Gym
Adult Volleyball is on Sunday, 7PM (or 7:30PM, check parish calendar) in the gym.  Call or text Jamie Dye with any questions, 269-330-6395.

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

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

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

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 Diane Hamel, 691-8541, x12.

Men’s Faith Sharing
This Fall’s guide for sharing is Be a Man!:  Becoming the Man God Created You to Be (by Fr. Larry Richards).  The group meets on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 8AM and this year we’ll be in the St. Brigid of Kildare room in the school.  Please contact Cheryl  Emmette in the office if you would like more information. 

Women’s Faith Sharing
This Fall’s guide for sharing is A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love and Scripture (by Scott Haan).  The group meets on Monday evenings and this year we’ll be in the St. Brigid of Kildare room in the school from 6:30-8PM.  Please contact Cheryl Emmette in the office if you would like more information. 

Sunday Study Group
Please consider joining our group each Sunday at 9AM to discuss how to apply the Sunday readings to our daily lives.  We gather in the St. Brigid of   Kildare room in the school for coffee and conversation using resources from Twenty-Third Publications and Sunday Scripture Insights.  All are welcome; hope to see you there.  Contact Mary Nugent, 691-8557 for additional information.

Hispanic Ministry
The Data Gathering Subcommittee has been busy tabulating the surveys received from parishes that have Hispanic Ministry.  Beyond the demographic data previously gathered, and the environment surveys from church leadership, we received over 600 surveys from parishioners about the services provided by our parishes.  The data is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Data Analysis subcommittee to be used as a basis for the creation of the plan.  The Data Gathering Subcommittee thanks the pastors and church leaders who helped distribute the surveys to the community, and all parishioners who took the time to give us feedback.  Your input is essential to the creation of the Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry.

Ministry Booklet
Please feel free to take one from the back of church. Our ministries happen because of our volunteers! Please consider sharing some of your time to an area that interests you.

We received a very generous donation of Scapula’s of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  If you’d like one, there are a few in church and more in the parish office.

Consolata Guild
Christmas Party:  Dec. 3, potluck at 2PM, Assumption of the BVM Activity Center
Advent Retreat:  Dec. 6, 9:30-12:30PM.  Center House (6801 Belmont Ave NE, Belmont).  RSVP to Sr. Felicia at 361-2072, x3 or 361-5126, x5.

Catholic Information Center Events
Christmas without the Crib? Mark’s Gospel in Advent
With Fr. John Geaney, CSP
Wednesday, December 13, 7-8:30pm
Does it surprise you that the Gospel of Mark does not have a version of the Christmas story? Even without a manger, shepherds and magi, Mark still has plenty to tell us about the meaning of Christmas. CFD: Theology  ($10 donation suggested).  This program will be livestreamed at

Please visit their website for many more events

CIC| 360 Division Ave S, Ste 2A | Grand Rapids |616-459-7267  |
To pre-register, please call 616-459-7267 or email to

Franciscan Life Process Center Events
Christmas Breads
Saturday, December 2nd 10AM-Noon
Join Sister Mary Paul Moller, FSE, to learn to make braided fruit – filled sweet bread shaped into a wreath or a candy cane. Share this Franciscan tradition with your family and friends. Class size is limited. Register today!

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:

Parish App & Parish e-News 
Enrich your daily life with spiritual resources and parish community! Connect all week long with prayer, educational opportunities, news and community event information. Download the app to your phone from the website or the e-newsletter. 

Job Openings

Cathedral Square: 
Receptionist.  More information here.

Diocese of Grand Rapids:  Staff Accountant to the GRCSS.  More information here

Dominican Sisters:  Part-time Dietary Aid.  More information here.

Other local job openings via the Diocese of Grand Rapids can be found here.

Director of Religious Education:  St. Mary Church, Lowell
St. Mary Catholic Church in Lowell, MI, is looking to fill a part time position as the Director of Religious Education. St. Mary is looking for qualified applicants who have experience working with both children and adults.  For more information, please see this attachment.

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.