PES Relations and Allied Documents
Or "Fr. Joe's October 15th Report from the Mission Frontier of Detroit/St. Clair Shores!"
It was with a mixture of great sadness and anxious excitement that I left you all at the end of June and embarked on the voyage to the shores of St Clair. But, by the grace of God, I arrived safely and joined my three fellow missionaries who had arrived on the feast of St Damien of Molokai, May 10th, to make preparations for this new mission. It has been a whirlwind of activity and grace, but I finally find a quiet moment to write to you all to report the beauties of God’s hand working in the faithful souls entrusted to Pro Ecclesia Sancta here.
The parish and school entrusted to us, under the patronage of St Isaac Jogues, sits on 7 acres of land, with our 1954 Church building, one school building, one newly renovated gymnasium, one convent, and three beautiful baseball fields (which we use for soccer and football as well)! I was happy to see the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist installed here at the school in positions of principal, teachers, and interventionist. They have been serving the PreK through 8 school for the past 10 years, of which is home to 180 students, who receive a stellar education and are absorbed in a faithful Catholic culture.
One of the strongest communities here at the parish and school is the athletics program. Offering sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, and even cheerleading for the Kindergarten and First Graders! You will find most school and parish families at the sporting events, so I have been making an effort to be at as many of the games as possible (and show the athletes that priests can play ball too!)
Our parish offers many opportunities for adoration, devotionals, and service. Shortly after arriving, we carried on the tradition of St Mark’s and offered Sunday confessions…the line is starting to get long! We usually see about 500 people coming to worship our Lord on any given weekend, with three Masses.
I see my role here, as missionary and father to this family, to seek to evangelize the organically existing communities around sports and extra-curriculars, and to unite the different groups under one mission. I guess you could say we are striving to be One Strong Family United Christ! Once united, we hope to walk towards the bright future the Lord has in store for us, being hopeful and resilient along the way.
I do miss you all, my dear family, and the beauty of St Mark’s: the liturgy, the music, the architecture, the adoration, the number of confessions, the community, the people, and of course my PES confreres! Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to be faithful to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and extend His kingdom in this little territory entrusted to us in St Clair Shores and Detroit.
In the Heart of Christ,
Fr. Joe Barron, P.E.S.