Friday, December 19, 2014

It’s More Than Just Beads

The rosary is a biblical form of prayer, a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary, and one of the most symbolic objects to Catholics. Devotees recite the rosary because they believe that it is a powerful intercession through Jesus’ mother, Mary. Thus, they carry the rosary as a reminder that she is with them. 

Praying the rosary has been a tradition in the Catholic Church for a very long time. There are conflicting views about the history of the rosary. According to sacred tradition, the rosary was given to Saint Dominic in a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Monastery of Notre Dame de Prouille in France.

Experience and feel the holy presence of the Lord at the Old St. Mary’s Church in Detroit, Michigan.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Understanding the Spiritual Gift of Giving

In every moment, we are given the opportunity to give, regardless of circumstance. The gift of giving is a pure selfless act. These people enjoy sharing their blessings that God has given them. 

It’s good to know that there are a lot of people who give because they want to help and care for others without conditions; however, there are those who have different interests not aligned to the core mission.


Characteristics of a Giver

Someone who has the gift of giving takes delight in discovering needs that are overlooked by most people. A giver chooses stay out of the limelight; he gives anonymously in order to avoid attention or recognition for his gestures. He gives purely for the benefit of others and not for his own.

A generous heart, regardless of his economic status, hardly spends more than he makes. He loves to encourage other people to save and to give generously.

Jesus left an example for us that we should follow His steps. He submitted his life as ransom for our sins. Old St Mary’s is the third oldest Roman Catholic Church in Detroit and the first German Church. Understand and develop your spiritual gifts with us as we share the good news and serve those who are poor in spirit and in resources.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Celebrating Christmas as One

Christmas is a time for celebration: we celebrate our faith, we celebrate in the spirit of giving, and we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. What many remember about the word “celebration” is the connotation of happiness; what many forget is the connotation of togetherness.

God’s Love Is Everywhere

It is easy to dismiss the importance of going to a gathering to celebrate one’s faith. After all, it is said that God is everywhere, so He can hear our prayers wherever and whenever they are uttered. This is true, of course: wherever hands can be folded, heads bowed, and hearts opened, He can hear and listen. 

Church is Home to a Bigger Family

But one’s voice can only carry so far. The meaning behind the celebration does not just lie in the fact that the Lord receives our message; there is also meaning in delivering the message as one. One soul certainly is not insignificant, but many souls speaking as one certainly have a greater weight. And certainly, as one sees how many people share in his or her devotion, that person’s devotion is reinforced and strengthened. Those whose voices waver in loneliness may find themselves shouting louder, emboldened by the knowledge that they are part of a family.

At Old St. Mary’s Church in Detroit, it is our constant mission to ensure that people, wherever they are from, are free to become part of our Catholic church. It is as Saint John Chrysostom said: “You cannot pray at home as a Church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity.” A Catholic is Catholic wherever he or she is, but every one of them needs a home, something bigger than himself or herself to belong in.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Heart of Christmas

Once more, we’re coming up to that time of year: Christmas. It is the season of smiles, the season for sharing, and the season for giving. The experience may be totally joyful for many, but for others, it can be a time of worry.

Giving Usually Hurts…

We cannot deny that for many, life can be harsh. Perhaps they are in a place in their lives when they feel that things are out of their control; they are experiencing many misfortunes that takes away what little they have in the way of luxury and pleasure. Bills go before dinners out; work goes before play. And in this kind of situation, it is easy to slip into the trap of thinking that whatever one gives others, however little, takes away from one’s happiness.

…But It Is Usually Worth It

What many fail to consider is the payoff from their sacrifice. Every act of sacrifice is an act of love. You pay your bills to keep your family secure; you work so that your children can play. The happiness you bring them, in effect, is your gift, and being able to give is something from which one can derive immense satisfaction. In the spirit of love that comes with the Christmas season, as well as the spirit of the Catholic Faith, it is important to not lose sight of this.

At Old St. Mary’s, we celebrate the spirit of giving not just during Christmas, but every day. Jesus Christ’s life was a testament to the power of giving. He performed healing miracles; he taught lessons to many, while inviting all to listen; and he died on the cross to cleanse us of our sins. As members of the Catholic Church, we must remember the importance of his example, and follow it always. Everyone is invited to be part of our institution, a home for traditional Catholics to follow the spirit of their beliefs.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How Do We Become Angry?

Unhappiness roots from the most unlikely places--whether you’re not achieving a goal or you’re faced with an uncomfortable circumstance. The emotion can last a day or a lifetime depending on the issue. Not being able address it instantly can make the unhappy feeling turn into anger. 

What Anger Can Do to You and Others

Anger triggers heart pains both figuratively and literally, activating the body’s fight or flight response. This causes a person to generally feel uneasy all the time. Physically, one can easily get irritated that leads to depression and conflicts with others. While anger has a purpose, and it’s a part of life to experience it, what’s unhealthy is holding it in.

The Healthy Response to Anger

A proactive first step is identifying the cause of the anger by creating a journal or talking to a friend and maybe a psychiatrist about it. This helps narrowing down what’s bothering you. It’s also important to make an informed decision on the actions you’re willing to take towards easing your anger. Although all your problems can’t be solved overnight, getting rid of a few counts as a win. Obsessing over the remainder does not help.

Prayer Can Help

Surprisingly, talking too much about your problems can also stress out your friends. That’s why changing the conversation once in a while is good, to give them a break. Prayer a viable alternative and there’s no harm in trying it out. Surrendering your problems to the Lord can change your perspective. With a calmer mind comes lucidity that helps you figure out what to do.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Singing and the Elements that Go with It

It’s believed that the first form of singing was individualistic and improvisatory due to the singer imitating sounds heard in nature. The process of properly singing took a while but surely enough it got clearly defined. Musical instrument were introduce shortly, which employs the principle of pitch matching to an individual’s voice or a group while being played. Slowly other elements were discovered that culminated the way we sing today. Chanting out words is considered singing. However, to sing properly one must be in the right posture, breathe properly, pronounce vowels correctly, practice scales and do warmups. These take time and effort but can be done by anybody to get to sing the right way. 

Religion Connected to Singing

Singing became a staple through the early Christian worship by being synonymous to its rituals. The activity even became more popular in the fourth century when Christianity became an establish religion in the Roman Empire. The religion dominating on a mainstream culture gave them the opportunity to control the development of western music for the next thirteen centuries. Leading to the development of polyphonic chorale style that is used by choirs today. 

The Church Choir

Polyphony requires the proper blending of high and low pitch voices. A lot of practice is required when singing in this style. Making a need for the choir director to be proactive in acquiring and retaining members, creative in selecting music, identify each member’s strengths and meet goals set. The reason is for the entire group to sing harmoniously.

The Singing in Holy Mass

Singing takes place during the entrance of the clergy, the first and second reading, offertory, on the Holy Communion and many more. The choir is in the spotlight throughout the entire ceremony. They are required to be attentive and remember by heart what practiced. And if everything goes well, a successful performance elevates the Mass to greater heights of inspiration.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Want to Help Your Parish? Here are Three Simple Tried-and-Tested Ideas

Mass is more than just a ceremony. For many people, going to church offers concrete benefits, like gaining enlightenment from the scripture, a chance to pray for certain intentions, and the opportunity to be one with other churchgoers.

With all the things your parish does for its members, it’s only proper to help out in any way you can. After all, no church is a one-man-show—parishes are only as successful as the congregants make it. If you want to pitch in, here are three simple ways you can be of assistance: 


Churches have many activities throughout the year and these events naturally require manpower to pull off. Fortunately, one of the best ways to help your parish is by volunteering your time and effort. Even something as simple making flyers or helping to decorate the venue goes a long way towards making the activity a success.

Share Your Talents

According to the Bible, God has endowed each person with gifts and talents. As this verse from 1 Cor. 14:12 points out, though, they are not meant for your gratification but for the edification of the Church: “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” If you’re musically inclined, why not join the choir? If you have a knack for web design, why not update the church’s homepage?


While parishes don’t require their congregants to donate, any sum you contribute helps the church perform its myriad duties. Whether you donate money during mass or via online giving platforms like GiveCentral, know that every dollar you give is spent doing God’s work.

Friday, October 3, 2014

How Well Do You Know Baptism? Here Are a Few Interesting Facts about It

There’s a reason why baptism is called “the door to the Church.” In the Catholic faith, it is the first of the seven sacraments a person receives, one that officially welcomes him or her as a member of the congregation, aside from washing away the original sin. Of course, there is still so much more about this ceremony that many people do not know. For example, did you know that:

Words Matter

You’ve probably heard that in a pinch, even laymen can baptize others. However, the Bible has a very strict guideline about which words to use. According to Matthew 28:19-20: “Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Hence, the Catholic Church considers non-members baptized as long as “the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” are uttered during their baptism. If not, the Church deems it invalid.

You Can Only be Baptized Once

Many people convert to Catholicism each day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they get baptized in the process. That’s because an individual can only receive the sacrament of baptism once in their life—whether in the Catholic Church or in another religion, provided the proper words were used (see above). However, if there are grave doubts about the validity of the original baptism, a priest can perform what’s called a conditional baptism instead.

Being a Godparent is a Big Responsibility

If you think being a godparent is just ceremonial, you might want to think again. According to the sacrament, if parents cannot bring up their child in the Catholic faith, the godparents must fully assume this responsibility.