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A Message from Al Kresta

Dear friends and partners,

We’ve postponed our Spring membership drive because now is the best time to teach the faith, encourage the anxious, exhort the weary and preach good news without interruption. Our financial need, however, remains as urgent as ever. Please hit the Donate button and contribute as generously as the Lord has enabled you.  Also, ask for the intercession of our patroness, Blessed Mary, ever virgin who, in birthing God’s Son became the first to transmit the Word of God to the world.  Pray that we imitate her in offering Christ Jesus, the Eternal Word of God to the world.

Peace In Him,

Al

Thank You To Our Donors
Paul and Patricia - Howell, MI
Viviana - Lehigh Acres, FL
George and Mary - Spartanburg, SC
Elizabeth - Shepherd, MI
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Ronald and Gloria - Redford, MI
Barbara - Taylor, MI
Mark and Vicki - Maple City, MI
David - Washington Township, MI
Willard and Janet - Caro, MI
Joseph - Milan, MI
Ibtisam - Troy, MI
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Joyce - Sterling Heights, MI
Jeffrey and Katie - Saline, MI
Paul - Canton, MI
Paul and Mary Louise - Swarthmore, PA
Jennifer - Dundee, MI
Carmen - Peachtree City, GA
Jayson - Rochester Hills, MI
Jack and Anna - South Lyon, MI
Tiffany - Novi, MI
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Maher and Iklas - West Bloomfield, MI
James and Susan - Ann Arbor, MI
Rinaldo and Carmen - Farmington Hills, MI
Ingrid - Farmington Hills, MI
Kenneth and Rosemary - Beaverton, MI
Carl and Laura - Grand Blanc, MI
Paul and Susan - Rochester Hills, MI
Steven - Omaha, NE
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Douglas and Marcia - Ann Arbor, MI
Samuel and Sheryl - Saint Johns, FL
Geordie - Saint Petersburg, FL
Robert - Livonia, MI
Steven and Jacinta - Hawley, MN
Frank and Maria - White Lake, MI
Joan - Placentia, CA
Celia - The Colony, TX
Deborah - Belle River, ON Canada
Janet - Washington, MI
Mary - Ann Arbor, MI
Terry - Crowley, TX
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Curt and Ann Marie - Plymouth, MI
Thomas and Kathy - Ypsilanti, MI
Bernard and Lisa - Ann Arbor, MI
Amy - Alva, FL
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Keith - San Antonio, TX
Teresa - Clarkston, MI
Thomas and Deborah - Ann Arbor, MI
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Brian - Milan, MI
Robert and Julie - Ann Arbor, MI
Richard and Deana - Fremont, CA
Brian and Ann - Waterford, MI
Jeremy and Teresa - Farmington Hills, MI
Lisa - Lantana, FL
Donald and Maria - Manassas, VA
Ra-Mon - Ann Arbor, MI
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Karen - Canton, MI
John and Jaqueline - Harrisville, MI
Lana - Lewis Center, OH
Teresa - Rochester Hills, MI
Richard and Catherine - Midland, MI
Sonia - Damascus, MD
Brenda - San Lorenzo, CA
Richard and Sandra - Ann Arbor, MI
Rebecca - Richland, WA
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Kim - Oxford, MI
Catherine - Slinger, WI
Kenneth and Juliet - Ypsilanti, MI
Ritchie and Catherine - Dearborn, MI
Ariel - Lehigh Acres, FL
Cindy - Bossier City, LA
Thomas - Westford, MA
Terence and Melinda - Rochester, MI
Jennifer - Troy, MI
Roberta - Milford, MI
James and Bridget - Ypsilanti, MI
Daniel and Tracy - Canton, MI
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Ronald - Highland, MI
Anne - Arlington, VA
Ann Marie - Warren, MI
Edward - Laurel, MD
Kathleen - Clarkston, MI
Theodore - Brighton, MI
Anthony and Carole - South Rockwood, MI
Thomas and Karen - Ypsilanti, MI
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Annmarie - Royal Oak, MI
Robert and Helen - Berkley, MI
Matthew and Tabitha - Milan, MI
Kenneth and Mary - Fenton, MI
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Margo - Bay City, MI
Thomas - Boca Raton, FL
Catherine - Dearborn, MI
Mark and Donna - Southfield, MI
Judy - Walker, MI
Roseann - White Lake, MI
Christine - Troy, MI
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Stephen - Ann Arbor, MI
Regina - Cheverly, MD
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Amy - Livonia, MI
James - Peachtree City, GA
Virginia - Metamora, MI
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Barbara - Fort Mitchell, KY
Bernadette - Jersey City, NJ
Diana - Stanwood, WA
Michael and Kathleen - Clarkston, MI
Russel and Diane - Brighton, MI
John and Denise - Macomb, MI
Steven and Susan - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Craig and Terry - Ann Arbor, MI
Richard and Deborah - Wyandotte, MI
Edmund - Dothan, AL
Judy - Shelby Township, MI
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Virginia - Fort Myers, FL
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Caroline - Northville, MI
Joel - Saline, MI
Mary - Grand Blanc, MI
Donald and Cathleen - Powderly, TX
Joel - Livonia, MI
Renee - Livonia, MI
Martin - Kensington, MD
Craig and Tanya - Lansing, MI
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Barbara - Chelsea, MI
Diana - Macomb, MI
Douglas and Regina - White Lake, MI
Carol - Midland, MI
Ronald and Cynthia - Dearborn, MI
Stephen and Mary - Plymouth, MI
Huy-Linh and Rolaine - Canton, MI
John and Jan - Folsom, CA
Margaret - Flat Rock, MI
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Randall and Cheryl - South Lyon, MI
Daniel and Barbara - Novi, MI
Colleen - Dearborn, MI
Robert and Marilyn - Ann Arbor, MI
Thomas and Kathleen - Denton, TX
Thomas - Skaneateles, NY
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Mary Dianne - Clarkston, MI
Carol - Howell, MI
Michael - Fort Wayne, IN
Charles and Anna - Allen Park, MI
Donald and Carol - Columbia City, IN
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Robert and Emily - Commerce Township, MI
Dennis - Naples, FL
John and Rebecca - Conway, AR
William and Sevine - Corona, CA
Steve and Catherine - Warren, MI
Adam and Elizabeth - Ypsilanti, MI
James - Bonita Springs, FL
Paul and Maureen - Northville, MI
Logan - Milan, MI
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Donald - Naples, FL
Phyllis - Lafayette, LA
Kastytis and Rita - Livonia, MI
Thomas - Modesto, CA
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Barbara - Livonia, MI
Joseph and Patricia - Saline, MI
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Donald - Hillsborough, NJ
Patricia - El Paso, TX
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Margaret - Beaverton, MI
Erich and Jacqueline - Midland, MI
Margaret - Atlanta, GA
Richard - Canton, MI
Kevin and Andrea - Ypsilanti, MI
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Timothy / Klark's Auto Maintenance - Naples, FL
Scott - Warner Robins, GA
Eileen - Midlothian, VA
Philip - Lewiston, ID
Gregory - Lake Orion, MI
Sam and Ellynn - Troy, ID
Carl and Leann - Ypsilanti, MI
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James and Beth-Ann - Canton, MI
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Angela - Naples, FL
Carmen - North Potomac, MD
Halina - Burleson, TX
Jason and Angela - Perryville, MO
Paul and Susan - Milford, MI
Jay and Aracely - Canton, MI
Charles and Audrey - Alexandria, VA
Thomas and Theresa - Boise, ID
Joanne - Canton, MI
Michael and Katherine - Dearborn Heights, MI
Dave and Janet - Dexter, MI
David - Spokane, WA
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Susan - Saginaw, MI
Joanna - Waterbury Center, VT
John and Diane - Barre, VT
Joseph and Kathleeen - West Bloomfield, MI
Stephen - Ferndale, MI
Neil and Nanette - Ann Arbor, MI
Kevin and Patricia - Ortonville, MI
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Paul - Flushing, MI
Lisa - Capitola, CA
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Nancy - Walled Lake, MI
Margarita - Rochester Hills, MI
Michael and Helen - Auburn Hills, MI
Timothy - Monroe, MI
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Scott - Saginaw, MI
Ralph and Michelle - Cincinnati, OH
Mark - Garden City, MI
Virginia - Ypsilanti, MI
Andrew and Terese - Royal Oak, MI
Daniel and Cecilia - Canton, MI
Walter and Cheryl - Sterling Heights, MI
Jennifer - Novi, MI
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Alvaro and Laura - Saginaw, MI
Janice - Waterford, MI
Lawrence and Sharon - Whitmore Lake, MI
Erica - Sunbury, OH
Kimberly - Broomfield, CO
Jonathan and Peggy - Whitmore Lake, MI
Jeff and Pamela - Livonia, MI
Julia - Ely, MN
Michael - Dexter, MI
Jackford and Elisa - Belleville, MI
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Peter and Marsha - Ypsilanti, MI
Karen - Pinconning, MI
Michael and Joanne - Clarkston, MI
Alejandrina - San Antonio, TX
Alfred and Jeanette - Clinton Township, MI
Michael and Audrey - Leonard, MI
Alexander - Watertown, SD
Barbara - Conway, AR
Patrick and Teresa - Bay City, MI
Starling and Susan - South Lyon, MI
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Marc - Youngsville, LA
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Rita - Warren, MI
Charlene - White River Junction, VT
Chuong - Houston, TX
Patricia - San Dimas, CA
Robert and Cynthia - Saline, MI
Jolene - Plymouth, MI
Richard and Tanya - Rochester Hills, MI
Catherine - Canton, MI
Robert - Fenton, MI
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Barbara - Morton, IL
William and Melanie - Grand Blanc, MI
Ronald - Bennington, NE
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Barbara - Troy, MI
Thomas and Margaret - Plymouth, MI
Kelley - Denison, TX
Michael - Taylor, MI
Brian and Barbara - Cincinnati, OH
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David and Anne - Saginaw, MI
Phyllis - Waterford, MI
Elizabeth - Ann Arbor, MI
Richard and Kathleen - Novi, MI
Donna - Rockwall, TX
Gene and Sue - Ann Arbor, MI
Edward - Garden City, MI
Barbara - Dexter, MI
Christine - Burt, MI
Steven and Dina - Dexter, MI
Diane - Canton, MI
Barbara - Rockbridge Baths, VA
Thomas and Jodi - Westerville, OH
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Donna - Essexville, MI
Douglas - Horton, MI
Mark - Swartz Creek, MI
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Maria Rebecca - Abilene, TX
Patrice - Plymouth, MI
Karen - White Lake, MI
Donald and Rose - Whitmore Lake, MI
Marc and Marylynn - Clarkston, MI
Dave - West Branch, WI
Matthew - Saint Charles, MI
Richard - Plymouth, MI
Mark and Rachel - Ypsilanti, MI
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Brent and Terri - Highland, MI
Sandra - Northville, MI
Eric - Bloomfield Hills, MI
Kathi - Plano, TX
Haiyan - Ann Arbor, MI
Przemyslaw - Golden, CO
Jill - Livonia, MI
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Joseph - Ypsilanti, MI
Peg - New Berlin, WI
David - Ann Arbor, MI
Joe and Erica - Canton, MI
Sharon - Adrian, MI
Dan and Brandy - Texarkana, TX
William and Kathleen - Auburn Hills, MI
Paul and Joanne - Chatham, ON Canada
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Paul and Jody - Plainview, MN
Walter and Mary Anne - Dearborn, MI
Brian and Laura - Indianapolis, IN
Teresa - Madison Heights, MI
Kathleen - Canton, MI
Maureen - Ypsilanti, MI
Andrew and Terese - Royal Oak, MI
Brendan and Hannah - Saline, MI
Gregory and Elizabeth - Northville, MI
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John - Whitsett, NC
Jonathan and Artha - Clarkston, MI
Patrick and Eileen - Ypsilanti, MI
Michael - Whitmore Lake, MI
Stuart and Annette - Ypsilanti, MI
Catherine - Plano, TX
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Erin - Merrimack, NH
Patrick - Essexville, MI
Kevin and MaryBeth - Plymouth, MI
Theresa - Brooklyn, MI
Thomas and Mary Anne - Saint Ignace, MI
Christopher and Kristen - Dearborn, MI
Chris and Elaine - Livonia, MI
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Maureen - The Villages, FL
Rachael - Ann Arbor, MI
Margaret - Commerce Township, MI
Maria - Wyandotte, MI
Michael & Juanita - Ojai, CA
Marouki and Awatif - West Bloomfield, MI
Thomas and Mary - Berkley, MI
Michael - Livonia, MI
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Patricia - Sunrise, FL
Minoo and Jeanette - Farmington Hills, MI
Ralph and Elizabeth - Coal Valley, IL
Genevieve - Lapeer, MI
Matthew - Ann Arbor, MI
Billy - New Rochelle, NY
Paul and Lucy - Ypsilanti, MI
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Kevin - Clarkston, MI
Karen - Plymouth, MI
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Thomas and Sarah - Ann Arbor, MI
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Jeff - Saginaw, MI
Paul - Livonia, MI
Katherine - Ypsilanti, MI
Edward - Dearborn Heights, MI
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Cecilia - Grand Prairie, TX
Shirley - Fenton, MI
Peggy - South Lyon, MI
Carol - Ypsilanti, MI
Trevor and Brittany - Dexter, MI
James and Sandra - Redford, MI
Michael and Laura - Plymouth, MI
Betty - Concord, MI
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Jeffrey - Reno, NV
Samuel and Lisa - Waterford, MI
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Jason and Mary - Northville, MI
Stanley and Donna - Wyandotte, MI
Maureen - Grand Ledge, MI
Zephyr - Nampa, ID
Marilyn - Baton Rouge, LA
Alan and Rosetta - Chesaning, MI
Melanie - Humboldt, SK
Michael - Ocean Springs, MS
William - Shelby Township, MI
David - Plymouth, MI
James and Dorothy - Ypsilanti, MI
Esther - Manlius, NY
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Andrew - Grapevine, TX
Prudence - Troy, MI
Terese - Corpus Christi, TX
Daniel - Ann Arbor, MI
Maryanne - Acworth, GA
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Benjamin and Erin - Sterling Heights, MI
Elizabeth - Lincoln, NE
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Craig and Tanya - Lansing, MI
Duane and Judith - Grand Blanc, MI
Vincent and Ellen - Brighton, MI
John and Patricia - Livonia, MI
Tom and Patricia - Plymouth, MI
Charles and Anna - Allen Park, MI
Susan - Clio, MI
Paul and Karen - White Lake, MI
Chris and Esther - Schertz, TX
Russell and Catherine - West Branch, MI
Michael - Maumee, OH
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John - Sainte Genevieve, MO
Gregory - Ann Arbor, MI
Elizabeth - Willis, MI
Joseph - Billings, MT
Carol - Woburn, MA
Susan - Milford, MI
Lael - Scottsdale, AZ
Frank and Flavia - El Paso, TX
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Jane - Novi, MI
Donna - Commerce Township, MI
Lee and Deborah - Garden City, MI
Jerry and Rachel - Deer Park, TX
Mary Lee - Ann Arbor, MI
Phil and Patricia - Northville, MI
James - Windsor, ON Canada
John and Sara - Silver Spring, MD
James and Mary - Royal Oak, MI
Chris and Lynda - Trenton, MI
Steven - Plymouth, MI
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Michael - Pittsford, NY
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Don - Walton, KY
Susan - Pinckney, MI
Constance - San Francisco, CA
John and Laura - Oxford, MI
Gary and Carol - Sunset, LA
Mary - Woodstock, GA
Annette - Novi, MI
Harry and Rita - Milford, MI
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Mark and Mary - Farmington Hills, MI
Mark and Jane - Kawkawlin, MI
Joseph and Mary - Grand Ledge, MI
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John and Lisa - Ypsilanti, MI
William and Mary - Ann Arbor, MI
Kenneth - Redford, MI
Cheryl - Lapeer, MI
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Kathleen - Glasgow, KY
Randy and Laura - Livonia, MI
Emilia - Canton, MI
Lindall - Falmouth, MI
Mary - Fall City, WA
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Elizabeth - Whitmore Lake, MI
Bryan - Jacksonville, FL
Theresa - Bradenton, FL
Madeline - Fenton, MI
Roberta - Farmington, NM
Jeremy and Bonnie - Berkley, MI
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Peter and Mary - Livonia, MI
Anthony and Marie - Sand Coulee, MT
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Charles and Delia - South Lyon, MI
David - Alexandria, VA
Emily - Clarkston, MI
Daniel - Troy, MI
Daniel - Flint, MI
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Albert and Sally - Ann Arbor, MI
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John - Indialantic, FL
Richard and Joan - Livonia, MI
Mark and Nancy - Northville, MI
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Catherine - Milford, MI
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Thomas and Sylvina - Spokane, WA
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Jacqueline - Belleville, MI
Robert and Cynthia - Saline, MI
Margaret - Lathrup Village, MI
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Roger and Kathleen - Chelsea, MI
Stephen - Pleasant Ridge, MI
Sophie - Westland, MI
David - Paulding, OH
Thomas and Leslie - Pontiac, MI
Dalia - Fort Myers, FL
William and Emily - Westland, MI
Deborah - Burke, VA
Jane - Brooklyn, MI
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Lena - Livonia, MI
Paul - Taylor, MI
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Thomas and Nancy - Brighton, MI
Matthew and Vikki - Rosemead, CA
Julia - Farmington Hills, MI
Steven - Ann Arbor, MI
Thomas and Maria - Canton, MI
Helen - Dexter, MI
Pauline - Pahrump, NV
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Richard and Margaret - Livonia, MI
Steven - Hampton, VA
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Joseph and Karen - Sacramento, CA
James and Mary - Marina Del Rey, CA
John and Marcia - Dearborn, MI
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Thank You … Ave Maria Radio
John and Judith - Dearborn Heights, MI
Jane - Niles, MI
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Lawrence and Stacey - Clarkston, MI
Judith - Milford, MI
Lisa - Plymouth, MI
Kathleen - Ann Arbor, MI
Brian and Kelly - Canton, MI
Jared and Sarah - Rathdrum, ID
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Shawn - Monroe, MI
Maria - Imlay City, MI
Bernice - Berlin, MI
Mike and Rebecca - Ann Arbor, MI
Stephen and Sandra - Clinton Township, MI
Lennie - New Hudson, MI
Perry and Mary - Commerce Twp, MI
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John - Waterford, MI
Mark and Marilyn - Grosse Ile, MI
Thomas and Patricia - Brighton, MI
Jaime - APO, AE
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Lyle and Cynthia - Livonia, MI
Robert and Laura - Underwood, IA
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Marlene - Dearborn, MI
Joseph - Fredericksburg, TX
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John and Sharon - Troy, MI
Traci - Dearborn, MI
John and Mary Lou - Gregory, MI
Gerald and Maria - Pasco, WA
Ann - West Bloomfield, MI
Kimberly - Westland, MI
Colleen - San Antonio, TX
Ismael - Marietta, GA
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Rita - Farmington Hills, MI
Mary - Rochester Hills, MI
Jeffrey - Brighton, MI
Stashia - Howell, MI
Constance - Gainesville, GA
Inyoung - Yorba Linda, CA
Jane - Rochester Hills, MI
Ceilia - Fenton, MI
Linda - Dearborn, MI
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Martin - Canton, MI
David - Ypsilanti, MI
Linda - Grand Blanc, MI
Dave and Mary - Saint Louis, MO
Erik - Silverdale, WA
Thomas - Dearborn, MI
Melody - Tulsa, OK
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Thomas - Ypsilanti, MI
Leonard and Rosemary - Saline, MI
Jeff and Vickie - Big Piney, WY
Mukasa and Cleo - Canton, MI
Katreena - Livonia, MI
Charles - Farmington Hills, MI
Beth Ann - Canton, MI
Patricia - Ann Arbor, MI
David and Rosie - Rio Rico, AZ
Janet - Dracut, MA
Kenneth and Laura - Canton, MI
Michael and Rosemary - Ann Arbor, MI
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Mary Ellen - Ypsilanti, MI
David and Emiliana - Bismarck, ND
Ruthie - Marshallville, OH
David and Carol - South Lyon, MI
Therese - Westland, MI
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Vincent and Theresa - Canton, MI
Margaret - Troy, MI
John Scott and Cheryl - Fox Island, WA
Jeanine - Plymouth, MI
Michael and Donna - Ann Arbor, MI
Michael and Cindi - Fort Worth, TX
James - Lapeer, MI
Victor - Pine Grove, PA
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Bernice - Morrow, OH
Ron and Lisa - Dexter, MI
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Jonathan and Cristin - Northville, MI
Robert and Susan - White Lake, MI
Andrew and Gwen - Plymouth, MI
D. and Rosalind - Ann Arbor, MI
Eric and Christina - Washington Township, MI
Thomas and Pamela - Plymouth, MI
Vincent and Kathleen - Hebron, KY
Patricia - Fort Worth, TX
George - Livonia, MI
Amy - Milford, MI
Nicole - Allen Park, MI
Carol - Ypsilanti, MI
Rosario - Sterling Heights, MI
Aaron and Michele - Ypsilanti, MI
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Mary - Livonia, MI
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Mary - Tecumseh, MI
Michael and Pamela - Canton, MI
Joseph and Tina - South Lyon, MI
Jacqueline - Howell, MI
Timothy - Ann Arbor, MI
David and Jane - Fraser, MI
Justin and Christina - Pinckney, MI
Robert and Christine - Ypsilanti, MI
Karen - Utica, MI
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Christine - Oakland, MI
Gregory - Berkley, MI
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Daniel - Duxbury, MA
Colin - Clarkston, MI
Mary - Sterling Heights, MI
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Jay and Mary - Richmond, TX
Constance - Fort Myers, FL
Leota - Yakima, WA
Rossy - Bronx, NY
Frank and Sandra - Dearborn, MI
Teresa - Rowlett, TX
Jose and Jessica - Grapevine, TX
Jeanne - Canton, MI
James and Frances - Plymouth, MI
Robert - Orland Park, IL
Robert and Merrell - Palestine, TX
Michael and Emma - Oxford, MI
Mazin - West Bloomfield, MI
Mitzi - Mechanicsville, MD
Brenda - Odessa, TX
Kyle - Ypsilanti, MI
Joseph - Saginaw, MI
Roberto - Katy, TX
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Angelique - Inkster, MI
Kevin - Charlotte, NC
Judith - Swartz Creek, MI
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Janet - Plymouth, MI
Gerard and Christine - Commerce Twp, MI
Dawn - Plymouth, MI
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James and Bridget - Ypsilanti, MI
Angela - Canton, MI
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Thomas and Dianne - Canton, MI
Larry and Branwen - Saline, MI
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Lynn - Hazel Park, MI
Andrew - Monroe, MI
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Timothy and Mary - Midland, MI
William - Irvine, CA
Ramon and Martha - Parma, MI
Jose - North Fort Myers, FL
Robert and Linda - Fenton, MI
Amy - Edmond, OK
Dalia - Canton, MI
Ann - Cape Coral, FL
David and Margie - Milan, MI
Christy - Charlotte, NC
Cameron and Teresa - Fallbrook, CA
Georgianna - Clarkston, MI
Erin - Whitmore Lake, MI
James and Mary Beth - Bonita Springs, FL
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Steven and Julie - Royal Oak, MI
Suzanne - Waterford, CT
Gerard and Anne - Naples, FL
Sharon - La Porte City, IA
Scott and Gayle - Cedar, MI
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Virginia - Eagle River, AK
Marjorie - Bay City, MI
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Guy and Trish - Clarkston, MI
Lonnie - Sioux Falls, SD
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Joseph and Becky - Plymouth, MI
Daniel and Carol - Ann Arbor, MI
Joyce - Orange, TX
Lillian - Cooper City, FL
Christopher - Summerfield, FL
Pamela - Dryden, MI
Matthew and Rebekah - Plymouth, MI
Sam / Strategic Partners - Canton, MI
Therese - Ann Arbor, MI
John and Carol - Novi, MI
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Robert and Marie - Riverview, MI
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Roy - Belleville, MI
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Michael and Beth - Ann Arbor, MI
Diane - Grand Blanc, MI
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Michael - Fairfax, VA
P.J. and Jenny - Fowlerville, MI
Peter - Hollywood, FL
Linda - Bay City, MI
Daren and T. - Pinckney, MI
Cheryl - St Thomas, ON Canada
Brian - Milan, MI
Juan - Oxnard, CA
Richard - Russell, KS
James and Eva - Clarkston, MI
Donald and Kristen - Twin Lakes, WI
John - Whitsett, NC
Jeanette - Milford, MI
Heidi - Westland, MI
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Dina - West Bloomfield, MI
Mary - Farmington Hills, MI
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Linda - Columbus, OH
Renee - Dearborn Heights, MI
Josie - Fenton, MO
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Kyle - Cleveland, OH
Adam and Maria - Waterford, NY
Mladen - Windsor, ON Canada
Adam - Ann Arbor, MI
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Robert and Frances - Milford, MI
Michael and Cheryl - Howell, MI
Christopher - Hilliard, OH
Colleen - Plymouth, MI
John and Karen - Metamora, MI
Michael - Plymouth, MI
Ricardo - Carmel, IN
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John and Nancy - Ypsilanti, MI
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Cathy - Ludington, MI
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Rita - Acworth, GA
James and Doris - Saginaw, MI
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Dave - Wixom, MI
Mara - Plymouth, MI
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Paul - Shepherdstown, WV
Mary - Mill Valley, CA
Linda - Cincinnati, OH
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Catherine - Brighton, MI
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Maureen - Waterford, MI
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Samuel and Susanne - Livonia, MI
James and Bridget - Saline, MI
MaryEllen - Plymouth, MI
Fred and Beverly - Waterford, MI
David - Ypsilanti, MI
Marc - Saginaw, MI
Mildred - Spring Mills, PA
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Brett and Andrea - Lorton, VA
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Joseph and Susannah - Simpsonville, SC
Donald and Lynette - Missouri City, TX
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Cynthia - Warren, MI
Mark - Farmington Hills, MI
Judith - Troy, MI
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Mary - Ann Arbor, MI
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Thomas and Susan - Chelsea, MI
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Patricia - Thornton, CO
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Susanne - Ave Maria, FL
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We are now at the time of year in which, in many parts of the country and globe, young people are receiving their first Holy Communion. As pastors and catechists are well aware, the spiritual significance of this event is sometimes obscured by an excessive focus on suits and dresses, parties and photos.

This year, however, the world has received an extraordinary reminder of the importance of this day from the First Communicants in Sri Lanka.

As Catholics were celebrating Easter at St. Anthony Shrine in Colombo and St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, young children were excited to receive for the first time Jesus’ risen body and blood in the Holy Eucharist. Bombs detonated, however, at both churches at exactly 8:45am, killing 50 and 93 people, respectively. Others were killed by similar terrorist explosions within the next 20 minutes in three hotels and in the Protestant Zion Church in Batticaloa.

Among all 253 victims — 207 from Sri Lanka and 46 from 16 other countries — the 45 children slain have become the most poignant icons of the attacks. Among the children, those slain on the day of their first Holy Communion are most iconic of all.

Joe Palathunkal, a journalist and editor for the Indian Catholic magazine Living in Faith,wrote a poem — prose is inadequate — to express his grief at pondering so many children, in line to receive Holy Communion, becoming an offertory procession in which their own bodies and blood would be commingled with the Eucharistic sacrifice:

They went with the steps of a soldier to receive him, the Supreme Commander, who had only one command: Love your neighbor as yourself and nothing more.

But the little ones who lined up [in] the churches in Sri Lanka — wearing the white of the innocents and turning the heart to the Table where the Bread of Life will bid them to fight the forces of darkness — during that Easter Eucharist never knew that Judas had already taken a morsel dipped in Blood to turn it into 30 silver coins to sell their life to the ruler of darkness … [and] sniff out their life and the lighted candles in their little hands.

And the First Communion they received turned into the Last Supper while the Risen Jesus welcomed them into his outstretched arms and told them to gaze at a mountain top [Calvary] where nails from perverted minds gleefully cried out, “Crucify him.”

But when the Risen One told them to look into the tomb by the mountain, they found it empty, with an assuring smile that the First Communion you receive puts a seal of lasting life on you …

Little ones, as you lie in white, with closed eyes and folded palms holding a rosary, remember your closed eyes are the most open in a world that has closed its eyes to [those who] have inked an agreement with Lucifer against him who said, “The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Rest assured, you have flooded the eyes of millions, and that is the Resurrection Mass that raises conscience and the First of the First Communions!

Palathunkal’s elegy not only provides a moving tribute to those children dressed in white who died, but also provides a Eucharistic catechesis for First Communicants everywhere and for all those of whatever age who should receive Holy Communion as if it were their first, last or only time.

Every time we attend Mass, we enter in time into the timeless actions of Christ in the Upper Room, on Calvary and from the empty tomb, where Christ leads us on the new and eternal Passover. His act of total self-giving, the greatest act of love in all of history, was met not just by love and gratitude, but also by betrayal and sadism. So we shouldn’t be shocked that the evil one who was present in Jerusalem reappears with the same spite in Colombo, or Negombo or closer to home.

But as Jesus was raised on the third day, those who hunger for him, who eat his flesh and drink his blood, who long to enter into communion with him, enter into communion with his risen life. The Risen One meets them with outstretched arms and inaugurates them into a communion within the communion of saints within the communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Holy Communion is meant to lead to heavenly communion.

St. John Paul II stated in his Eucharistic encyclical Ecclesia de Eucaristia, “This pledge of the future resurrection comes from the fact that the flesh of the Son of Man, given as food, is his body in its glorious state after the resurrection. With the Eucharist we digest, as it were, the ‘secret’ of the resurrection” (18).

Palathunkal’s poem reminds us that receiving Jesus at Mass is not like receiving birthday cake at a birthday party. It’s entering into Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.

To enter into risen life, we enter first into Jesus’ martyrdom. He gives us his body and blood, tells us that no one has greater love than to lay down his life for his friends, reminds us that we are his friends if we do what he commands, and then he commands, “Do this in memory of me.”

This imperative means more than, “Celebrate the Eucharist.” It means, as well: “Make your lives a commentary on the words of consecration: Learn to love others by giving your body, blood, sweat, tears, mind, heart and strength as co-redeemers.”

To receive Holy Communion is to receive the food that makes martyrs.

We’ve seen this throughout history.

We see it in St. Ignatius of Antioch in 107, who saw himself as “God’s wheat” and who desired through his imminent martyrdom to become “Christ’s pure bread,” as he called the Eucharist “a medicine of immortality, an antidote to death.”

We see it in the altar boy St. Tarcisius, who in 258 gave his life protecting Jesus in the Eucharist, whom he was bringing to prisoners.

We see it in the Martyrs of Abitene, who died in 304 for coming together Sunday morning to celebrate Mass despite an imperial prohibition. They proclaimed, “Sine Dominico non possumus,” that without receiving the Lord on Sundays they cannot make it.

We see it in St. Nicholas Pieck and his fellow martyrs of Gorkum, in 1572, who were tortured and hanged for their refusal to deny their belief in the Real Presence.

We see it in St. Oscar Romero, who on March 24, 1980, celebrated Mass despite death threats and was gunned down at the offertory.

It was the reality of the Eucharist — and Jesus’ promise that those who worthily eat his flesh and drink his blood will have eternal life —that strengthened them to make those sacrifices, because they believed with firmness of faith that just as Jesus had been raised from the dead after his martyrdom, God would similarly raise them.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Sacramentum Caritatis (SC), his exhortation on the Holy Eucharist, about this connection between martyrdom, the Eucharist and eternal life. “The Christian who offers his life in martyrdom,” he stated, “enters into full communion with the Pasch of Jesus Christ and thus becomes Eucharist with him” (85).

This connection between the Eucharist, martyrdom and eternity is a truth that all of us today must ponder more.

When St. Paul tells us, “I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1), he wasn’t just speaking symbolically, but describing how we should pray the Mass and make our life a Mass. We’re called to offer our bodies, which are the sacraments of who we are, body and soul, to God, as a sacrifice of life. He calls this, in Greek, our logike latreia, which means, “the only worship that makes sense.”

Pope Benedict commented, “Even if the test of martyrdom is not asked of us, we know that worship pleasing to God demands that we should be inwardly prepared for it. Such worship culminates in the joyful and convincing testimony of a consistent Christian life, wherever the Lord calls us to be his witnesses” (SC, 85).

We’re all called to be martyrs — whether “wet” or “dry,” in death and life, respectively — of and by means of communion with Christ and his life, death and resurrection.

The Mass, as a priest mentor once told me, is kind of like a game of poker. Jesus says, “I’m all in.” And, even though we may have far fewer chips to play, the only fitting response for us is to go all in, too.

This is something hopefully First Communicants this year will learn well, so that they, with us, may live the “joyful and convincing testimony of a consistent Christian life” and cash in on the “jackpot of happiness” in this world and forever.

via National Catholic Register. 

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