For years, Jay Landry described his approach to life as “being on a treadmill to make my life worthy of God’s love. It was, and remains, an illusion that only took life from me.” His participation in the diocesan Trauma Recovery Program helped him realize that “God loves us first. I don’t have to prove my worth to God whose love empowers us to be good.” Jay attributes that lifelong feeling of unworthiness to a childhood trauma he experienced when he was just two years old.
Sitting across from bespectacled Josh Ingraham, it’s hard to imagine that he was once “quite a handful,” as he calls it. The earnest young man, a junior this year at St. Philip Catholic Central, seems more interested in discussing his latest adventure camping trip than in causing trouble. But it was his troublemaking, he says, that got him kicked out of two public schools before second grade — a series of events that led his mom, Renee, to enroll him at St. Joseph Elementary School in Battle Creek.
This October, the legendary coach Lou Holtz will come to Kalamazoo for an evening of inspiration and words of wisdom. Southwest Michigan Catholic spoke with Holtz who shared an interesting tie to Kalamazoo and insight into how his Catholic faith has been at the center of his life.
It might have been helping out at the Tootsie Roll Drive or delivering baskets to the homebound. Whatever the reason, it was Brother Fred Cabras’ love of service, cultivated from the time he was a young boy tagging along with his parents, that eventually drew him to consider joining the Capuchins.
Hispanic Ministry exists today thanks to the efforts, love and dedication of many people who were pioneers in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The Hispanic Ministry forms part of the Secretariat for Parish Life & Lay Leadership. M. Veronica Rodriguez, Associate Director, Sister Maryud\ Cortes-Restrepo, Associate Director, Dr. Angelica Valdes, Coordinator of St. Augustine Institute, and Maria Trumm, Support Specialist, make up the Hispanic Ministry team.
Each year, Caring Network, a program of Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo (CCDOK), provides services for more than 350 pregnant and parenting women and families with needs ranging from parenting classes to clothing, diapers and baby equipment.
IT’S A LONG-AWAITED WARM DAY and Jesús Hernández, like many twenty-somethings, is hanging out with his friends. On this particular Sunday afternoon, Jesús, his brother Oscar and a friend, Alex, are commiserating about Michigan State University’s loss in the Final Four while they swap light-hearted quips about a host of things from girlfriends to wardrobe choices. They’re soon joined by another person who they greet with big smiles.
Después de tres años de planificación y participación en el V Encuentro Nacional, se están planificando nuevas prioridades e iniciativas para la comunidad católica hispana dentro de la Diócesis de Kalamazoo.
As a young bride, Amy Huntington Cupp always knew she wanted a strong faith practice to be at the center of her family. Little did she know then that twenty years after her own conversion to Catholicism not only would she witness her mom, Mary, joining the Church but she’d also be her sponsor. And while their faith journeys had them arriving at the same destination, their journey getting there was markedly different.
How does a former Lutheran music major and IT professional find his way to the Catholic Church and the priesthood? For Father Craig Lusk, pastor of St. Mary Parish, Marshall, and St. John the Evangelist Parish, Albion, the seeds of his faith journey were planted during his childhood, years ago in his quaint South Redford, Mich. (suburban Detroit) neighborhood.
Many times you think that being a missionary involves traveling to a different country, but what if you were a missionary in your own country or, better yet, in your own diocese? During the summer months in our diocese, we have migrant farmworkers who come to harvest the crops. They come to Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties, the nine counties that form the Diocese of Kalamazoo. There are approximately 300 camps. And what does migrant ministry entail? Games, readings, Bible studies and more are provided for adults, children and youth, or the opportunity to just simply be present, listening to the people. The visits are done once a week during the end of June, and for the entire month of July and/or August, and last about an hour.
When you pull into the parking lot of The Ark Shelter, your first impression of the facility is probably anything but homey. Its orange brick exterior and looming façade seem more like a typical 1980s office suite than a safe haven for youth in crisis.
It’s 7 p.m. on a frigid winter night, a time of the evening when most people have settled onto their couch for a post-dinner evening of watching Netflix or catching up on some reading. That’s not the case for the combined RCIA class of St. Martin of Tours and St. Edward Parishes. Weekly participants are listening to RCIA class leader, Rich Furney, introduce the class topic for the evening, the Eucharist.
by Sister Yuliana Rua and the Missionary Sisters of the Divine Spirit
On Sept. 20-23, the V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry of the United States was held in Grapevine, Texas, with 3,200 delegates from the different parishes, dioceses and institutions of the country and 130 bishops, including our Bishop Paul Bradley.
At first glance, Shannon and Sam Sheets are similar to many other millennial couples as they juggle the demands of two jobs outside the home — Sam as an engineer and Shannon as an educator — along with the needs of their two children, 10-month-old Liam and 2-year-old Everly. In this day and age when statistics show that millennials (people born between 1981-1995) are leaving the Church and are the fasting growing group of “nones” those that choose no religious affiliation (Pew Research Center, pewforum.org), the Sheets’ are bucking that trend. For filing up the slots in their Google calendar are faith-centered activities and volunteer work.
“HEY ED!” “OH — HI FATHER CHRIS.” Students at St. Joseph Elementary School love to shout out to their pastor, Father Chris Ankley, as he walks the halls, but who is this “Ed”? Why, it’s his beloved companion, a nine-year-old Cockapoo. Father Chris, who was a practicing veterinarian for more than a decade before entering the seminary, doesn’t mind taking second billing to his popular canine, who he named after one of his favorite former patients. The kids obviously love both pooch and priest.