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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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Note: This is the first article in a five-part series in which I express my serious concerns about the working document (instrumentum laboris) for the Oct. 6-27 Pan-Amazon Synod. Part two will focus on the demonization of the West (formerly known as Christendom). The third piece will focus on the radical redefinition of evangelization as listening and learning rather than preaching and teaching. Part four will ask, “Where is Jesus?” The final article will refute the notion that a married clergy is needed and challenge the right of a local synod to make such a sweeping change.

In reading the summary of the instrumentum laboris for the Pan-Amazon Synod, I was reminded of the fictional Shangri-La, described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon. It was a term more familiar to my parents’ generation and is used to refer to a remote, beautiful, imaginary place where life approaches perfection. My father loved old movies and I remember well watching the 1937 movie of the same name as well as the 1973 remake. The story follows a small group of people who crash-land in the Himalayas and seek refuge in the nearby lamasery of Shangri-La. It was a land protected from the outside world by mountains, it didn’t even get cold there despite its location, and its residents lived incredibly long lives. It was a movie about escaping from the real world to the world that ought to be.

Many of us today in this wearisome world look for our Eden, our Shangri-La, a world untouched by human sinfulness. We seek those who still live in perfect harmony with nature, with one another and with God.

As we all know, there is no Shangri-La. We live in paradise lost, a fallen world governed by a fallen angel, and we have fallen natures. All of us, including the indigenous peoples of Pan-Amazonia, are sinners and need Jesus to be saved. While the instrumentum does not deny this, it places such a heavy emphasis on the pristine quality of the Amazon basin and its people that it seems to be describing Shangri-La. Any trouble at all in the region is ascribed to colonization and the interference of other interlopers than anything internal. The document gives the impression that these wonderful people and the magnificent jungles and rain forests were much better off without anyone else, including the Church. The people all got along so well and lived in such harmony with nature before the arrival of outsiders!

Here are some excerpts from the instrumentum that speak of this idyllic place, untouched by and secluded from the devastating modern Western world:

In the Amazon, life is inserted into, linked with and integrated in territory. This vital and nourishing physical space provides the possibility, sustenance and limit of life … a place of meaning for faith or the experience of God … epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifest, a life and wisdom that speaks of God. In the Amazon, the “caresses of God” become manifest and become incarnate in history … the brother tree, the sister flower, the sister bird, the brother fish, and even the smallest sisters like ants, larvae, fungi or insects (cf. Laudato Si 233). … When we contemplate the beauty of the Amazon territory, we discover a masterpiece of the creation of the God of Life. Its endless horizons of boundless beauty are a song, a hymn to the Creator … a precious space for shared human life and shared responsibility “for the good of all.” … The Amazon is where there’s the possibility of “good living,” and the promise and hope of new paths for life. Life in the Amazon is integrated and united with the territory; there is no separation or division between the parts. … The life of Amazon communities not yet influenced by Western civilization is reflected in the beliefs and rites regarding the actions of spirits, of the many-named divinity acting with and in the territory, with and in relation to nature. (Instrumentum Laboris nos. 19-25)

Wow, what a vision — it is Shangri-La to be sure! What some have called a deep, malarial jungle is in fact Eden redivivus. This is Earth in all her glory; this is the “lung” of the world; this is our hope and our future. To the authors, the Amazon far outranks even the farmlands, vineyards, and pastures of other regions that feed the world.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the document seems to divinize nature or to blissfully acknowledge and even honor other “gods” active in the Amazon. It speaks of “actions of spirits, of the many-named divinity acting with and in the territory.” Taken literally, this is at best, syncretism — at worst, apostasy or false religion.

To be fair, the rainforests of the Amazon are a critical part of the world’s ecosystem and biodiversity. We ought not to neglect proper stewardship of it and to realize that reverence for it also involves reverence for God. The document rightly and significantly surveys many biblical texts that speak to the glory of creation as both a revelation from God and a gift to be revered. The Church has always insisted that along with sacred Scripture, the created world is a source of teaching about God. Scripture itself insists that the created world reveals God, his existence, and his laws and attributes (e.g., Romans 1:19-20).

The first problem I see with the instrumentum is that through its lack of balance it misses a key point by treating creation as pristine and perfect in itself and implying that we should simply sit before it in silent wonder or pseudo-worship, seeking to learn its ways.

In fact, Scripture teaches that creation, as we experience it now, is to some degree cursed (see Genesis 3:17). There are things that have become disordered and chaotic in nature due to the aftermath of Original Sin. There is disease, famines, plagues and natural disasters. Jungles and mountains may be beautiful, but they also have their malaria, pestilence, volcanism and avalanches. Arctic tundra and desert regions also have a raw beauty, but they are unproductive and subject to extremes. So, creation is beautiful, but it is also unruly and chaotic. As beings endowed with reason, we are called to bring greater order where we can, to harness an unruly and often hostile world to make it more productive. We are right to fight disease and work to limit the effects of natural disasters. Simply sitting back and admiring nature is ill-advised given its fallen condition. Pristine and primeval should not be confused with perfect. Nature is not perfect; it is fallen and to some degree unruly, even while still manifesting much of its original glory from God.

Scripture speaks to the role of the human person in filling and subduing the earth (Genesis 1:28) and exercising stewardship over it. Even before Original Sin, Adam is told to guard the Garden and till it (2:15), suggesting that even in the Garden there was a work for man to do in directing creation to its proper and best ends. Adam names the animals, indicating superiority over them (2:19). God says that he has put the fear of man in every animal and given to us every plant and animal for our needs (9:2).

Read more at National Catholic Register. 

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