All Things Are Possible With God

From the Moderator's Desk

From the Moderator by Fr. Terry Kerner September 11, 2022

Summer is over and how very quickly the season has gone by. Though one would hope that summer days could be quiet and restful, this has not been the case at St. Alphonsus-St. Clement Parish. The asbestos abatement work is in progress with the convent already done and work in the high school building now in progress. Completion of the abatement work is expected around mid to late October. Afterwards the demolition process begins. We can be very thankful for the generous efforts of volunteers who over several weeks have made school and convent items available for alumni and parishioners. Special thanks to David Katona and Barbara Bechard for contacting schools and institutions who might want to avail themselves of equipment and furniture. Our gratitude for all who have participated over the last several weeks.

The time for “tearing down” is giving way to “building up” the life of the parish and our Church! Two important ministries are growing because of the formation of our Family of Parishes. The St. Vincent de Paul Conferences of St. Alphonsus-St. Clement and St. Maria Goretti are working with St. Kateri and St. Barbara parishes caring for the many needs of our community’s poor and vulnerable. God’s love for the needy knows no parish boundaries only generous hearts. You might want to become part of the effort!

Family Faith Formation has now been restructured and available to all in our Family of Parishes. All programs, for children in grades 1-8, their parents, as well as any Catholic who has not made their communion or confirmation, will be held on Mondays. Folks considering becoming Catholic will also convene for instructions on Monday evening. For information or to register for any of these programs, please call the parish office.

Many good things are happening that we might not see at first glance. We all need eyes of faith and a creative vision for a hope filled future - something that founding families 170 years ago did not lack.

From Father’s Desk by Fr. Terry Kerner August 14, 2022

Dearborn Homecoming weekend was a success! And the celebration at St. Alphonsus-St. Clement on Sunday was meaningful. Homecoming gives everyone the opportunity to remember some of the happiest and most significant days in a person’s life. Recalling the events on the gridiron or on the stage can take on more than a little exaggeration with the passing of years. But the stories never lose the joy that comes with telling them. Remembering is also a time to remember, that is, to reunite with the intent of coming together to enjoy the blessings of those carefree days of past years. Sharing the tales of yesteryear can reignite the warm feelings for our parents and those of our dear friends. Recalling the names and faces of revered and not so revered, teachers and coaches can only evoke questions as to whatever happened to those legendary figures of our formative years. Soulful journeys back in time can only enrich our appreciation of who we are because of what others have been for us. What a beautiful legacy St. Alphonsus has been for its alumni. What a rich assortment of human endeavor our seven thousand alumni have enjoyed down through the years! That endeavor has been recognized in recent weeks in the extraordinary efforts of “fifth generation” David Katona. David has led and organized parish and alumni volunteers in making available to different local schools and organizations salvageable furniture and equipment. He has taken on the many detailed tasks of bringing Homecoming to our parish as well. He deserves everyone’s gratitude for his more than generous service to the parish he loves! (David no doubt learned generosity from past generation Espers who started it all!)

The future holds a place for all who have shared in the life of St. Alphonsus-St. Clement Parish. With the Family of Parish structure now being implemented the parish has once again a Religious Education program which will be starting in mid-September. Any parish parent or grandparent can enroll a child whether a member in the parish or not. RCIA (convert classes) will also be available for adults who might be in need of “catching up” with some of the sacraments. You will be hearing more about the programs in the weeks ahead. St. Vincent de Paul of St. Alphonsus-St. Clement are already collaborating with St. Maria Goretti in feeding the hungry. You might want to help. Call the office to volunteer.

As we move forward, I would hope that alumni, no matter where you might live, could come to see St. Alphonsus-St. Clement as YOUR second, or maybe even your first parish. Fr. Greg so sincerely in his homily offered this invitation this past Sunday. While in the months ahead, buildings will be coming down and our church and campus will remain as a tribute to one hundred seventy years of Faith with many more years to come. Alumni and friends; Welcome Home to the “ole neighborhood”!

From the Moderator by Fr. Terry Kerner August 7, 2022

The title “Moderator” is the name given by the Archbishop for the pastors who drew the short straw and got the job! In other words, the role is about being a facilitator for the parishes and their priests in the family of Parishes. Our Family is composed of St. Alphonsus-St. Clement, St. Barbara, St. Maria Goretti and St. Kateri. I want to make I quite clear that NOT ONE PARISH IS CLOSING! And each parish CONTINUES TO RETAIN responsibility for its own finances and assets. Parish life and activities will pretty much look the same except in areas where collaboration with the other parishes can be productive. An example of this is the work of St Vincent de Paul. (Already St. Alphonsus-St. Clement have met with St. Maria Goretti and are discovering ways to complement one another with goods and services). Other areas will be mentioned in weeks ahead. The new arrangement is driven by the shortage of clergy. Over the next decade the Archdiocese projects one third fewer priests. Almost two-thirds of our priests are already over 60. (No wonder you are asked to pray for vocations each week!) Understandably, the average Catholic does not feel a shortage because every time you attend Mass, a priest is present. But priests do feel the shortage and we recognize the need to minister and live parish life differently. Under the Family of Parishes, priests would be able to share one another’s burdens by coordinating ministry schedules, avoiding duplicate services and ultimately help their parishioners in their ministry efforts. It’s a good thing! Regarding Mass times, changes will be made but not until after the new year. Attendance numbers are an important factor in any decision to be made. Now is a good time to invite folks to Mass with you and even offering them a ride! For now, there are NO schedule changes planned to St. Alphonsus-St. Clement nor any other parish. The only exception is for the residents of Allegria Village (formerly Henry Ford Village). Their chapel Mass will be move from 9am on Sunday to 6pm on Saturday starting AFTER LABOR DAY, September 10.

With regards to our parish’s empty buildings, they will be coming down in the months ahead. This allows for some parking enhancement and green space that will encourage creative opportunities for celebrating our faith heritage. We hope to preserve many of the beautiful mature trees at the same time. The tedious work of asbestos abatement begins on August 8th and will conclude around mid-October when the actual demolition begins assuming all the City’s permits have been granted. The contractors have offered to set aside piles of the attractive brick from the convent and high school buildings. They can make memorable keepsakes especially for alumni.

Speaking of alumni, WELCOME HOME! This weekend has been set aside to honor your past and invite you to look forward to many, many years, and special times of celebrations at St. Alphonsus-St. Clement. We all look forward to building on the 170 years of Faith already celebrated by our support and commitment to the future of the parish. Every religious celebration in your future, regardless of where you live, can be a beautiful WELCOME HOME for you and your children. We only need to make it happen!

From the Administrator’s Desk, March 20, 2022 - Fr. Terry Kerner

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all the parishioners of St. Alphonsus-St. Clement. Archbishop Vigneron appointed me your temporary Administrator to fill the pastoral vacancy resulting from Fr. Linus returning home to serve his bishop in his home diocese of Meru. Fr. Linus lives a dedicated commitment to the Church and to his priestly ministry wherever the Lord has called him to serve. I am sure he remains in your prayers daily. I am no stranger to Dearborn, having arrived in town in 2006. I served as pastor of both St. Martha and St. Joseph churches which later merged in 2013 and took the new name of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first native American to be canonized. It is a vibrant parish with plenty of Lenten services and activities and I invite you to visit. Just go to our website for more information. It is truly a privilege to serve in the administration of St. Alphonsus-St. Clement Parish. The church of St. Alphonsus is a significant presence in Dearborn and will continue to be as it approaches in a few short years the 100th anniversary of its construction. There is no reason why the church building cannot continue to be a beautiful statement of Catholicism and the heritage of Faith it has nourished for generations. With my duties as pastor of St. Kateri and Moderator of our Family of Parishes, I must rely on Fr. Greg Deters and visiting priests to help celebrate masses and sacramental ministry. The parish is also blessed to have a very loyal and competent staff to manage the daily operations and maintain our property. For them I a most grateful. I would only hope that all our parishioners feel the same appreciation and continue to support generously St. Alphonsus-St. Clement Parish. Your faith is strong and blessed with a rich history of devotion. May it continue to flourish well into the future. Let us all enjoy our Lenten practices and our common journey to Easter!

Fr. Terry Kerner

Administrator - St. Alphonsus-St. Clement Parish

December 5, 2021 - Fr. Linus Kinyua

“I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confidence of this that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:4-5).

As we have started this Advent season of “patiently waiting” in preparation of the Birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ, the church calls us to pray and reflect on our faith in the Son of God. Always being vigilant to recognize and welcome the Lord who comes to us every day, in the ordinary events, places and people in our lives.

This is to inform you that my bishop in Kenya has called me back to the diocese. “IT IS HARD TO SAY GOODBYE”, but the time has come for me to say... “Good-bye”.... I am really grateful to the Archbishop Allen Vigneron and my bishop Salesius, for allowing me to serve in the Archdiocese of Detroit beyond the 5 years that I was supposed finish my studies and go back to Kenya.

Saying goodbye is not easy, but I want to take this opportunity to thank you all, for your love and friendships we have shared here at St. Alphonsus-St Clement parish. I have been humbled as your servant in sharing the word of God and sacraments together for the last seven and half years here in Dearborn. Prior to coming here, I worked in Wyandotte, serving St. Joseph’s, St. Elizabeth, and St. Patrick parishes.

I am grateful for having associate pastors that have worked with me here, Fr. Jim, Fr. Aaron, and Fr. Greg, who have been very helpful to me in serving our parish family. God bless you fathers for your advice and devotedness to the Lord in service to his people.

The parish has been blessed with an incredible and dedicated staff both here and at the Henry Ford Village chapel, who really do all the work behind the scenes and often receive little credit. It is because of their hard work that our parish family has remained vibrant.

I would like to thank in a very special way, the parish pastoral and finance council members, the commission groups, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, Ushers and volunteers for working together so diligently in fostering the unity and growth of our parish and the merger and closure of St. Clement parish. Your counsel has brought us this far in helping the parish unite under the patronage of Saints Alphonsus and Clement.

For all those that I may have forgotten, please feel most appreciated for your prayers, love and support to our parish family. God bless you all.

Fr. Linus Kinyua, Pastor