One blessing that I will be most grateful for this Thanksgiving is that of being a part of the St. Isidore Catholic Community. When Msgr. Mike left St. Isidore seven years ago to become pastor at St. Andrew parish, my sisters and cousins, longtime members of St. Isidore, urged me to come here. They love this parish and were confident that I would love it too. They were correct (as always!). St. Isidore parishioners are hardworking, generous, down-to-earth, friendly people, dedicated to their God, to their families, and to those in need. I am so grateful for your generous financial support for all the good we do here. I am especially grateful for your support of our outreach ministries, including the Society of St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry, the Baby Pantry, our Advent and Lenten Giving Tree programs, and the charitable work of our many parish organizations. I am grateful to all of you who give so much time and effort to our many and various parish ministries and organizations throughout the year. I am grateful to all who gather with us on a regular basis to worship, especially our many younger families who must make a great effort to come with their little ones, and our elderly who come in spite of failing health. Finally, I give thanks every day for my colleagues on our parish staff who give so completely of themselves in serving our people!
My father was the sixth of nine children. Both of his parents died by the time he was 21. Since before I was born, all nine families, which eventually included 50 grandchildren, would gather at the same eastside Detroit church for Mass on Thanksgiving Day morning to pray for my grandparents. About 30 years ago we began gathering on the night before Thanksgiving for Mass at whatever parish I was serving at. My family will be joining us at St. Isidore this Wednesday evening at 7:00 for Mass and then some light refreshments. While we encourage you to join us for the 9:00 AM parish Mass on Thanksgiving Day morning, all who may not be able to make it at that time are welcome to join us on Wednesday evening. And, if time allows, please stay afterward to share some food and time with my family, for which I am also extremely grateful!