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A Message from Al Kresta

Dear friends and partners,

We are now having our fall 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
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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
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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
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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
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Kenneth and Rosemary - Beaverton, MI
Carl and Laura - Grand Blanc, MI
Paul and Susan - Rochester Hills, MI
Steven - Omaha, NE
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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
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Mary - Ann Arbor, MI
Terry - Crowley, TX
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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
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Lana - Lewis Center, OH
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Sonia - Damascus, MD
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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
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Thomas - Boca Raton, FL
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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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James - Peachtree City, GA
Virginia - Metamora, MI
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Barbara - Fort Mitchell, KY
Bernadette - Jersey City, NJ
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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
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Renee - Livonia, MI
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Barbara - Chelsea, MI
Diana - Macomb, MI
Douglas and Regina - White Lake, MI
Carol - Midland, MI
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Stephen and Mary - Plymouth, MI
Huy-Linh and Rolaine - Canton, MI
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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
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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
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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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Margarita - Rochester Hills, MI
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Timothy - Monroe, MI
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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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Janice - Waterford, MI
Lawrence and Sharon - Whitmore Lake, MI
Erica - Sunbury, OH
Kimberly - Broomfield, CO
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Jeff and Pamela - Livonia, MI
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Michael - Dexter, MI
Jackford and Elisa - Belleville, MI
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Karen - Pinconning, MI
Michael and Joanne - Clarkston, MI
Alejandrina - San Antonio, TX
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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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Jeff - Saginaw, MI
Paul - Livonia, MI
Katherine - Ypsilanti, MI
Edward - Dearborn Heights, MI
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Cecilia - Grand Prairie, TX
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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
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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
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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
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Madeline - Fenton, MI
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Charles and Delia - South Lyon, MI
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Daniel - Troy, 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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Jacqueline - Belleville, MI
Robert and Cynthia - Saline, MI
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Roger and Kathleen - Chelsea, MI
Stephen - Pleasant Ridge, MI
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David - Paulding, OH
Thomas and Leslie - Pontiac, MI
Dalia - Fort Myers, FL
William and Emily - Westland, MI
Deborah - Burke, VA
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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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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
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Rita - Farmington Hills, MI
Mary - Rochester Hills, MI
Jeffrey - Brighton, MI
Stashia - Howell, MI
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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
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Thomas - Dearborn, MI
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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
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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
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Carol - Ypsilanti, MI
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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
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Daniel - Duxbury, MA
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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
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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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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
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Michael and Beth - Ann Arbor, 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
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Mary - Farmington Hills, MI
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Adam and Maria - Waterford, NY
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Robert and Frances - Milford, MI
Michael and Cheryl - Howell, MI
Christopher - Hilliard, OH
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Michael - Plymouth, MI
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Mary - Mill Valley, CA
Linda - Cincinnati, OH
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James and Bridget - Saline, MI
MaryEllen - Plymouth, MI
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David - Ypsilanti, MI
Marc - Saginaw, MI
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Mark - Farmington Hills, MI
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Patricia - Thornton, CO
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The Pontifical Council for Culture chose to collaborate with an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York because of the Met’s significance to culture and potential global outreach, but officials were unaware of the widely criticized gala that took place on Monday night.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council, had been wanting for some time for the dicastery to focus on the relationship between fashion, art and faith, and so agreed to collaborate with the exhibition which opens May 10 and runs until October 8.

“We wanted to be involved and those behind it had good intentions,” a Vatican official told the Register. “As the Met is one of the most significant cultural institutions in the world, and our remit is to engage the world, we see it as important.”

But the Vatican was unaware of the Met Gala, and that the evening event would be used by some celebrities to dress up in a way deemed by many to be a sacrilegious mockery of the Church.

The Gala “crossed a line and was openly, brazenly disrespectful,” wrote Piers Morgan, a Catholic talk show host, of the star-studded event which included pop singer Rihanna dressed up as a provocative, sequinned pope and actress Jennifer Lopez wearing a jewel-encrusted multi-coloured cross. “By doing so, [the Met] confirmed itself as an organisation of rank double standards, because everyone knows they’d have never dared do it to Islam or Judaism.”

The Met Gala is the annual curtain-raising event for its Summer exhibit, this year called Heavenly Bodies — Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. The display will feature “fashion and medieval art from The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.”

The Vatican has loaned 40 priceless items which serve as the “cornerstone” of the display, including “papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican.”

The Pontifical Council’s involvement dates back to the latter half of last year. Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, a fashion magazine, says she had the idea but struggled to attract the Vatican’s interest, sending many emails but never receiving a response.

“I’m stubborn, everyone knows that,” she told La Repubblica May 8, and so wrote handwritten letters and turned up in person. The exhibition curator, Andrew Bolton, a Catholic himself, also made several attempts, Wintour said, eventually obtaining permission from the Vatican to borrow the exhibits.

The Jesuit magazine America played a role in persuading the Vatican to take part, arranging meetings between Archbishop Paul Tighe, Secretary at the Pontifical Council for Culture, and people in charge at the Met when Archbishop Tighe happened to be visiting New York last October.

 

Local Church Backing

But work towards putting on the exhibition was already underway: one of the Council’s consulters, Italian fashion designer Lavinia Biagiotti, had already made inroads into organizing it with Cardinal Ravasi.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, had also already given it his backing. The support and engagement of the local Church was said to have been crucial in giving the Pontifical Council confidence to go forward with its collaboration. Jesuit Father James Martin, America’s editor-at-large and consulter to the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, is also understood to have played a role and, along with Cardinal Dolan, attended Monday’s event.

But Council officials saw the Gala as a “stand-alone event” and took little notice of it — indeed most knew nothing about it until this year. For them, the exhibition was the main focus, and they noted that organizations such as the Sheen Cultural Center also had events connected with the exhibition planned. The Council also insists it has received no financial rewards for loaning the exhibits, although the Met may have paid for some restoration costs.

But this was not the limit of Vatican involvement: the Sistine Chapel Choir, made up mainly of boys aged 9-13, performed at the Gala for the assorted, provocatively dressed celebrities at the request of the organizers: Wintour and the Met.

“We were contacted by them after the tour we did last year in the U.S.,” said Michelangelo Nardella, the Sistine Chapel Choir’s administrator. “The official invitation came through Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, who was present at the Gala and who probably helped to take care of other aspects of the event.”

Nardella said he believes the exhibition is “exclusively” linked to the Catholic world and in particular the Vatican and the papal sacristy. “In this way, our presence fit well with the exhibition and that’s what the organizers strongly wanted,” Nardella told the Register, adding that he believed it would be “difficult for this to happen again in the future.”

He said the Choir would continue doing what it always has: performing concerts in cathedrals, or theatres, and bringing the “message of peace, ecumenism and evangelization.” After last year’s historic tour to the U.S., the Sistine Chapel Choir will be returning to American shores for a series of concerts in July (see tour dates here).

But concerning the Gala, the Vatican generally played down its significance as the work of a few provocateurs. “For those who wish to make publicity stunts, to draw the most attention, I always say it’s better to ignore them,” said one inside source, noting that these days the faith and art do not have the easy relationship they once had. “Let’s just say I’m happy the Gala is over.”

***

Cardinal Ravasi wrote the following for the exhibition brochure:

On Priestly Garments

Card. Gianfranco Ravasi

 

When I put on my cardinal’s robes or the sacred vestments for liturgical celebrations with Pope Francis, my thoughts often turn spontaneously to two divergent sets of images. One is the sculptor Giacomo Manzù’s powerful Cardinali, a series of more than fifty figures he created from the late 1930s through the late 1950s. Manzù’s stately cardinals, whether seated or standing, large or small, are truly imposing (fig. 1). Cast in bronze or carved of stone, their pyramidal forms culminate in the peak of a mitre. The figures, each cloaked by a simple yet majestic cape, are engaged in mystical meditation, immersed in contemplation of a timeless horizon. In stark contrast is the satirical and grotesque runway show of clerical fashions depicted by director Federico Fellini in an exhilarating sequence of his film Roma, from 1972 (fig. 2). By that time Pope Paul VI had already vastly simplified the sumptuous cardinalate garb, for example cutting off the long tails of the cardinal’s cape, but Fellini’s caricature of clerical ostentation serves as an effective counterpoint to the grandeur of Manzù’s cardinal figures. From the solemn to the superficial, these images capture the full spectrum of the possibilities of sacred dress.

Liturgical vestments, like other objects dedicated to worship, are a veritable mirror of the historical phases of the Catholic Church. Indeed, clothing and material goods in general reflect their time and place; as Honoré de Balzac wrote in his Treatise on Elegant Living (1830), “Clothes are the expression of society.” They are effectively its self-portrait. Garments do not merely protect us from the cold and heat or from nakedness, although these perfectly legitimate functions are recognized in the Bible, when God at the dawn of humanity “made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). But, as is clearly demonstrated in the creative world of fashion and is suggested by the linguistic connections among the Latin vestis (clothing), “vestment,” and “investiture”—a word indicating an appointment to an official position—clothing, through its symbolic dimension, also belongs to and expresses its culture.

The forty or so articles of clothing and sacred ornaments from the Vatican presented in the “Heavenly Bodies” exhibition and this accompanying catalogue are rightly classified under the category of “Catholic imagination,” as the subtitle recites. The wide range of objects shown includes a vast array of sacred paraments such as copes, chasubles, dalmatics, stoles, albs, episcopal mitres, papal tiaras, zucchettos, fascias, pectoral crosses, rings, and crosiers, as well as chalices and monstrances used in Eucharistic celebrations. The selection is indubitably sumptuous, a quality that was exalted during the Baroque period but has characterized liturgical ornamentation of the following centuries. Such opulence was intended to proclaim the divine transcendence, the sacred detachment of worship from daily ordinariness, the splendor of mystery.

That was not always the case. In the beginning, the ecclesial community met kat’ oikon, “at the home” of the various Christian families, as Saint Paul often recalls (for example, in Romans 16:5). In these modest settings, the table where lunch was served became the Eucharistic table. Until the fifth century, the ministers apparently wore ordinary clothes, albeit festive ones—not daily attire or military uniforms—and used simple glass chalices. Ecclesiastical clothing modeled on the vestments and decorations of the imperial order emerged later. Then began the long, complex, and rich development of sacred “fashion,” which reflected the tastes of the era and conferred upon every garment, even the most minor, a symbolic value. The latter conforms to the Pauline example (Ephesians 6:11–17), where the apostle deploys terms of military gear as spiritual metaphors: the armor of God, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes in readiness to spread peace, the shield of faith, arrows of evil, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Well before Paul, the Old Testament gave ample space to the subjects of priestly garments and the decoration of the holy tent of the covenant between God and Israel, the mobile sanctuary used during the march through the Sinai Desert and a prefiguration of the Temple of Zion in Jerusalem (Exodus 30–31, 35–40). These passages provide detailed prescriptions for making sacred vestments and objects, a project entrusted to an artist named Bezalel. To carry out his work, he was filled “with the Spirit of God, with ability, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft . . . [and] every sort of work done . . . by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet stuff and fine twined linen” (Exodus 35:31–35). Bezalel’s inspiration was thus not only artistic but also divine, just like that given to the prophets.

With respect to rituals and the Christian liturgical apparatus, it is worth recalling Jesus’ admonition against purely external shows of observance; he criticized worshipers who for appearances’ sake “make their phylacteries broad and the fringes long,” referring to the tefillin and the tallit of Jewish practice (Matthew 23:5). Indeed, there remains in sacred ritual the risk that the English writer William Hazlitt highlighted in his essay “On the Clerical Character” (1818): “Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress.” However, beauty and art have been the inseparable sisters of faith and Christian liturgy for centuries, especially in Catholicism and orthodoxy. And—as Henri Matisse’s marvelous mid-twentieth-century chasubles for the chapel of Vence, now conserved in the Vatican Museums, demonstrate—the bond between beauty and faith continues to revive and renew itself through a dialogue with contemporary art.”

via National Catholic Register. 

Further Reading: Takeaway Message from the Met Gala: The Sexual Revolution is Tired

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