Hi Parish Family!
Who is the priest who celebrates Mass every week? Where is from? What does he like to do?
I thought, “If I don’t know anything about him after living here for a year, maybe someone else doesn’t know him either.”
From reading his bio on the parish website and sitting down with him, I learned he grew up in southeast Grand Rapids where his mother still resides along with his sister, Cathy and her family.
Fr. Dave volunteered in and around his church growing up including participating in Mass as an altar server, mowing the grass, and lots of volunteering around the parish. His first job was on the maintenance staff of St. Stephen
Growing up in southeast Grand Rapids was a normal, simple, middle-class experience filled with driveway basketball, open field golfing, and playing catch.
Vacations were occasional and included attending the Cherry Festival with family who resided in Traverse City as well as visiting a cottage on Lake Michigan with friends.
Fr. Dave studied education at the University of Michigan and completed his student-teaching in Ann Arbor.
As a teacher, Fr. Dave took advantage of the summer vacations and travelled around to different music concerts and especially to Nashville several years in a row for a summer country music festival.
He always had a vocation to the priesthood in the back of his mind growing up, but it wasn’t until his time serving in campus ministry with his students that he more seriously considered it.
Fr. Dave studied at Mundelein Seminary north of Chicago and absolutely loved his time there. The campus is situated on 900 acres and includes a retreat center, hosts many visitors, and a big lake.
A lake that is supposed to be relaxing and peaceful for most and allows for canoeing and kayaking was only enjoyed once by Fr. Dave.
“Early on in my first year there,” says Fr. Dave, “I took a canoe out on the water and in maneuvering around or trying to get back to dock, I capsized the canoe and because the lake is mostly mud on the bottom, got pretty stuck. It took about an hour to get out of the lake and return the canoe and that was the last time I tried that.”
So, maybe don’t invite Fr. Dave out to canoe with you on Spring Lake.
His other more enjoyable memories from seminary include playing in and coaching for the basketball tournament, winning about half the time.
Now, if sports ever return to normal, he enjoys refereeing basketball games and coaching track and cross country, if he’s available.
Fr. Dave lives alone and is responsible for feeding himself so he gets by with simple meals like cereal and milk every morning for breakfast. He does eat out at our local restaurants like Ted’s and Two Tony’s but he doesn’t drink alcohol so don’t ask to get a drink with him at Stan’s. He said he does enjoy being invited to parishioners’ houses for dinner so if anyone would like to spend time with him, extend the invitation!
He takes off from official duties as Pastor on Mondays so he can grocery shop, clean his residence, or go visit his family in Grand Rapids.
The hardest thing about being pastor?
“Balancing all the responsibilities without shortchanging anyone,” he says. “I would love to celebrate more with parishioners and the school,
but the business part of it requires making sure the nitty gritty details are taken care also.”
I look forward to inviting Fr. Dave over for dinner soon, knowing my wild and chaotic children will be thoroughly entertaining for him.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share with me and I hope some of you learned something about the priest that you see every week at Mass.
Love and prayers to you all,
Greetings to my new parish family!
My name is Megan Tobin and we are still relatively new to West Michigan. Kurt is my husband and together we have 3 adorable and chaotic young children – Elizabeth (4.5), Patrick (3), and Margaret (19 months). We also have a dog named Tucker who goes with us any time dogs are allowed (and sometimes even when we are not sure dogs are allowed). For example, I called ahead to The Village Baker to make sure he could sit with me on the patio while I work on this post.
We moved to Spring Lake in February 2019 at the tail-end of the week the polar vortex hit with12 inches of snow, from Indianapolis where we had to shovel six inches of snow off the driveway for the moving truck. Four months ago, we moved out of the house we were renting and five houses down the street, all during the beginning of the mandatory stay home order. Yes, all with three young kids and a dog. No, I am never moving again.
When Dave Heinert discovered that I majored in Journalism along with Anthropology at Miami University, he mistakenly thought that I’m a terrific writer with lots of thoughts to share. Yes, I did study those subjects and yes I learned a lot during classes, my summer internship at the Catholic Telegraph in Cincinnati and during my free lancing opportunities in Indianapolis but I’m so rusty at writing that I hope you have low expectations for me. I intend on growing as a writer and exceeding your expectations but for the first few blog posts, take it easy on me, will ya?
I graduated from Miami University in December of 2013, married my college sweetheart (Miami Mergers!) in June of 2014 and gave birth to my first child in October 2015. I really did look for writing jobs in Indianapolis, but the best fit I found was at The Celtic Cross Catholic Giftshop in Indianapolis. If I had had free childcare, I would have gone back part-time after giving birth. It was a blessed and joyful experience.
We lived in an idyllic and comfortable house and neighborhood on the northeast side of Indy with two growing suburbs all around us. It was a tough decision to leave our lives there but it has been a beautiful opportunity for growth in all areas of our lives. The biggest blessing of the move – Kurt’s parents literally down the street from us and able to be in our kids’ lives ten-fold.
My husband and I both are in a place in our lives now that we can begin immersing ourselves more fully in the Catholic community here in Spring Lake.
We decided to move our oldest from West Michigan Academy of Art and Academics to St. Mary’s not because there was anything “wrong” with WMAA but because we want to be more connected with our parish family and the Catholic community. Elizabeth will be in the Pre-K afternoon program Monday through Thursday and Patrick will be in the 3’s program Tuesday and Thursday.
Having only Maggie with me 2 days of the week is going to feel so weird and I am trying to fully enjoy the time we are all together now, I know we will never have this time again.
With all of this in mind, to say I am excited to work on the blog for St. Mary’s is an understatement. I hope a few people read along with me. I look forward to serving in this capacity and I hope I get the opportunity to meet you in person soon.
Prayers and blessings,
It’s better to take all our emotions to God than others, for He fully understands us.
The Bible says, "Rend your heart to God, not your garments." To "rend" means to rip open. The Israelites, when morning, used to rip open their robes and put ashes on themselves. But, this verse is telling us to do something else. This verse means, to open up all of our hearts, all of our emotions to God. He wants all of who we are.
The Psalms of Lament, a third of the Psalms, show us that we can be angry at God. YOU can be mad at God. God made you who you are and gives you the emotions you have. He wants us to give fully of ourselves to Him. As a spiritual exercise. Sneak into the chapel, reverently take off your shoes, and let God have all your emotions. OUT LOUD! …...YELL, if you must, at GOD in the tabernacle.
Doubt is not opposed to faith; despair is. We see this in the case of the father who brought his son to Jesus for healing. When Jesus encouraged the father to have faith, he replied, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Pray for an increase in Faith and Hope in Jesus!
Even Saint Paul tells us he was “perplexed, but not driven to despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8). In despair we give up on our relationship with God. Pray for an increase in Faith and Hope.
John 9: 1-3 “Who sinned this man or his parent.” Jesus replied, “Neither.” It’s not your fault. How our sinfulness has an effect on our children is through the passing on of Original Sin, not on the loss of a child.
I repeat, "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT."
Diocese of Baton Rouge: www.mfldiobr.org/miscarriageearly-infant-death
I beseech you, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose most holy soul was pierced in the hour of your Passion by the sword of sorrow, may intercede for us with Your mercy now and at the hour of our death.
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by the overwhelming grief you experienced
when you witnessed the martyrdom,
the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son,
look upon me with eyes of compassion,
and awaken in my heart a tender. Amen
Pieta Prayer: (Would be good to pray in front of our Pieta with your spouse.)
Mother of Sorrows, You who held Jesus in your Arms, Please intercede with your Divine Son in our behalf. Ask Him to help us to know, one another better, To forgive one another more readily, To love one another more deeply, Mother of all mankind inspire us to travel without falter along the road at the end of which, Under the Fatherhood of God, there is true peace. Amen
We are called to be a communion of Saints. I know that often times it is very difficult for we in our society to tell others that we are suffering. We like to suffer alone for some reason. I think it's something the devil really likes because it's a way to cut us off and can lead to despair. Maybe the initial feelings are from God, He calls us to withdraw into our room, alone; so that we can lean on those Saints that are part of our Community that sometimes we who haven't passed on don't always notice. The trick is to not get stuck in our room. When we recognize that the Saints are praying with us and for us then we are called back out into the community, different from the experience but not despaired.
Here are some
Saints to pray with:
The focus of these Sessions was on Miscarriages and those who lost children early in the child's life.
"Why?" is a big question we ask God.
The answer is different for all of us, but let me share this answer that my wife and I got during prayer as to "why" we've had miscarriages. It's a way to spiritually bond to Mary, specifically her sorrowful heart as "Our Lady of sorrows." Even though she never had the pains of a miscarriage, she knows the sadness of having an innocent child die. Therefore, of all the help or assistance we as a Church can offer, nothing compares to what, or rather WHO, Jesus offers to you, His mother!
If He provides for the birds in the air and the fish in the sea, How much more will He provide to you who mean so much more?
We hope that in sharing this pearl we received during our hard times that you are able to have some more consolation. Please, if you are willing, share some of the pearls you have noticed during your difficult times. We are called to a community to help lift each other up. May God bless us in all we do.
On February 8 our Parish will be hosting a film night. The film is the cartoon "God is with Us" that is found on formed.org. It is meant primarily for those ages 7+, but I enjoyed seeing the Gospel come alive in ways I haven't seen before. One can do more with cartoon films than non-cartoon films sometimes.
If you don't want to watch the film, then you have two other options. First, you could join those under 7 in playing or second, you could join other adults downstairs in fellowship. This event is not just for families. You can head on down to room D to share in fellowship with your Church family. Let's get to know each other a little better, go outside our bubbles and clicks to share the joy of Christ.
Welp friends Christmas is officially over and we are in Ordinary time for the next 8 weeks. We kick off this weekend with the Wedding Feast of Cana found in the Gospel according to John. This reading is very loaded, but I want to just touch on a couple things. One, that Mary is present at the wedding. And two, that Jesus probably doesn't have all of his disciples yet.
First, since Mary is present we can deduce that those getting married were relatives of Jesus. How can we reach to this conclusion? Well, not everyone would have known that they had run out of wine. Those in the inner circle would have had this knowledge. Mary was in the inner circle, and Jesus wasn't. This is very interesting to me. It points to some spiritual insights. If we let Mary into our lives, then she will bring our concerns to Jesus. There are religions out there, like Islam, that accept more Marian truth than they do Christology.
The second point that Jesus does not have all of his disciples yet can be seen by looking at the previous verses. He has at least six so far. One can then imagine Jesus showing up with a plus six to a wedding and since these guys have not been taught that they may have had a little to much to drink. Maybe Mary saw this and it's one of the reasons she went to Jesus. One thing we do know for sure is that the disciples saw the exchange between Mary and Jesus and that John wrote about it because it was Gospel worthy.
Yes, it's still Christmas. We just had the Epiphany last weekend and this coming weekend we will remember Jesus' baptism, which will conclude the Christmas season. Therefore, I hope you all still are saying Merry Christmas to people and still have some of your stuff up. Sometimes I hear people shoulding all over themselves after the new calendar year that they should have all their stuff down. I try and remind them to be easy on their self and remind them that it's still Christmas. Don't buy into the fast pace of the secular world. We are still in the slow down season. Slow down, but confusing Christmas season is.
Something I have noticed this Christmas season is that I along with a number of other people get all confused at the time of day and which day it is. How can we not? Just to name a few: meal times are different, we go to Mass four times in two weeks, and talk to family at not the normal times. An example of the confusion is that one night after dinner my daughter almost had a melt down because I told her it was time to shower. She was so mixed up on the days and times of days that she thought we had just had breakfast. I hadn't even served a breakfast food like waffles. Sneaky me wants to do that next year though.
It's nice this last week of Christmas to be getting back to normal. It's the first full week of school and work. But, there must be something that God wants us to learn about the confusing time that is the Christmas season. Please share your stories and thoughts on your Christmas season confusions and things you have learned.
God bless, -dave
I had a really nice one written. Probably the best blog ever about Christmas in the history of the world. But, I lost it and don't have enough coffee in me to recreate it. But, I do remember the ending. I asked the readers, um... YOU, some questions. What are some things that you do spiritually during the Christmas season to grow closer to Jesus? How do you approach the Christmas season differently than all the other seasons? I pretty much just restrain myself from some secular things during Advent, like eggnog. I try really hard to hold off on the nog till Christmas day. Please comment below to help me grow. Thanks!
The third week of Advent the Church lights up the Rose candle.^1
Also, during this Gaudete, or Rejoice, Sunday we have readings that are meant to have us feel and be full of Joy. This years readings, year C, start with Zephaniah who was a "prophet of doom." However, in the reading chosen for this Sunday, Zephaniah 3:14-18 we read him saying, "Shout for Joy!" So, even a doomy guy can tell us to shout for Joy. Therefore, we should all be able to at least look for some silver lining in doomy situations. Go read Zephaniah. It's a really short read.
^1 It's not a pink candle. As one priest pointed out to me a few years ago. Men don't wear pink, liturgically it's rose.
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