UP Catholic 01 15 2016 E Edition Page 7

BY MARGARET STRIPE THE U.P. CATHOLIC As the Year of Mercy unfolds, each person is called to reflect on both the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. One of the Corporal Works of Mercy, to visit the sick, has taken on a special focus for Father Corey Litzner, pastor of the Baraga County Catholic Community, which consists of The Most Holy Name of Jesus/St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, Assinins; St. Ann Parish, Baraga; and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, along with Sacred Heart School in LAnse. Father Litzner realized he was facing a problem when he determined that the need to serve the homebound people in his parishes was far greater than one or two people could handle. When I would bring the Holy Eucha- rist to an individual, he said, I could only spend 10 minutes before I had to leave to go to the next person. It was impossible to visit everyone on a weekly basis. He also realized there were many more homebound in their community than they were reaching. This needed to change, he said. Brother Michael Kowalewski was assigned to work with Father Litzner last June as a seminarian. (Kowalews- ki later discerned he did not feel a call to the priesthood). During his time at the parish, Kowalewski was chal- lenged by Father Litzner to revitalize the homebound ministry by putting together a team dedicated to bringing weekly communion and fellowship to the homebound. He accepted the challenge and it took him to different parts of the faith community to visit homes, the prison, hospitals, and nursing homes. Kowalewski began building the min- istry by contacting Deacon Tom Foye, director of divine worship for the diocese. He helped me put together a list of policies and procedures which were written to protect the Holy Eucharist from the risk of unsafe and improper handling, he said. After this, he began to train the team of 25 extraordinary ministers. Kowalewski emphasizes three things: First is reverence. Our ministers obediently follow the Rites of Communion of the Sick, he said. Second is having the right rela- tionship with God. Each minister is required to make an examination of conscience and, if needed, to receive reconciliation. Finally, charity to- wards our neighbor. Ministers are asked to spend some quality time with those they visit, and because there is a large number of ministers, it enables them to do that. In return, the home- bound are encouraged to serve the apostol- ic mission through prayer, said Kow- alewski. They have a special role as inter- cessors. Every month they receive a quote from Sacred Scripture or the Catechism and a list of seven prayer intentions from Father Litzner. One of those intentions is always for an increase in voca- tions to the priest- hood. Through this prayer apostolate, our homebound bestow a great blessing upon the Baraga Catholic Community. Besides directing the homebound ministry, Kowalewski also taught Latin at the parish school, directed the altar serving program, assisted in RCIA, directed a Sunday Mass choir, led a Bible study, and volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society. It is a full and enriching schedule, he said. Father Litzner is pleased with what has been accomplished; the ministry has increased from just himself to 25 ministers, and from visiting 30 homes to now visiting 80 homes. It has freed me up to attend to other parish issues, he said, and increased the awareness of the importance of this ministry. I am learning to see the important role that laity has in assisting the pastor, especially in this ministry, Kowalewski said. One of the rewards is the relationships that develop with the homebound. Serving them lets me see the face of Christ. Throughout this Holy Year, The U.P. Catholic will be highlighting the works of mercy taking place in our parishes and communities across the Upper Peninsula. If you have a story and pictures of a person or group of people who are actively engaging in works of mercy, email your sugges- tion to The U.P. Catholic at news@ dioceseofmarquette.org. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC YEAR OF MERCY January 15, 2016 7 Silent Directed Retreats For Men & Women Triduum Retreat for Holy Week March 24 - 27, 2016 Experience the high point of the Church year by entering into the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord in a way that cannot be experienced except in a retreat setting. A retreat to surpass all retreats. (Cost: a free will offering) A directed retreat is designed for those who seek to listen and respond to the Lord in an environment of solitude and silence. Anyone is welcome: Catholics and those of other faith traditions. Three Day Silent Retreat - April 1 - 3, 2016 Cost $120.00 Six Day Silent Retreat June 5 - 10, 2016 Cost $235.00 NOTICE Financial businesses, institutions and individuals who are currently doing business with the Diocese of Marquette, or wish to in the future, are welcome to advertise their services in the same issue that contains the Diocesan Annual Report. The Diocesan Annual Report is an overview of the activities and finan- cial position of the Diocese of Marquette during the previous year. Projected Issue Date: March 4, 2016 Advertising Cut-off February 16, 2016 Contact Dcn. Steve for rate information 1-866-452-5112 upc@new.rr.com COOPER OFFICE EQUIPMENT Full Copier Line From Tabletop To Networkable Digital Laser Systems (906) 228-6929 Phone 800-432-7682 Fax 800-908-8542 Purchase & Lease Options Authorized KONICA Printers-Copiers Dealer Mercy Corner: Visiting the sick is a God given privilege COURTESY PHOTO Bob Michels (left) gives communion to Dan Goulet (right). Michels is a part of the visiting the sick ministry in the Baraga County Catholic Community.

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