Among 2023 plans: Lourdes Grotto project, symposium on Fathers of the Church
A busy year for the Order of Malta Michigan Area concluded with the traditional Advent Mass and brunch. Sixty-five Dames, Knights, candidates, and guests filled the beautiful Grosse Pointe Academy Chapel. We were privileged to have the Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron ChC, Archbishop of Detroit, celebrate Mass. Afterwards, we gathered at the Grosse Pointe Club for fellowship and a delicious meal.
Michigan Area Co-chairs Robert and Barbara Wilson reported on the Michigan Area’s 2022 activities:
- The “Into the Fire” ministry, led by Patrick Jones, KM, and John Juriga, KM, provided over 1,000 lunches to people living on the streets of Detroit this past summer alone. “Into the Fire” is now collecting warm clothes for the homeless.
- Michigan Area members participated in sidewalk ministry outside the Malta Dental and Medical Clinic, offering food and clothing to those living on the street. The sidewalk project is a joint effort of the Michigan Area and the Center for the Works of Mercy, which shares a building with the Malta Clinic. The ministry takes place on Wednesdays from April through October.
- The Malta Dental and Medical Clinic, which was named “Organization of the Year” by Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan in September, plans to expand its medical services to a second location at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Detroit, which also hosts a soup kitchen. Thomas Larabell, KM, is the Clinic’s longtime president; the board of directors includes Michigan Area members Michael Bonventre, KM; Dr. Edward Jelonek, KM; Msgr. Michael LeFevre, ChM; Marcia McBrien, DM; Andy Smith, KM; and Peggy Stanton, DM.
- After an enforced hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the Michigan Area is resuming its prison ministry, led by Hon. Stephen Murphy, KM. Michigan Area members visit prisoners in the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan, Michigan, one Sunday a month. In 2023, the ministry will be expanded to the Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility.
- In addition, the Michigan Area plans to expand the prison ministry to the Wayne County Jail. John Trupiano, KM, was recently named deputy executive director of the Wayne County Jail Outreach Ministry; its board of directors is chaired by Hon. Maura D. Corrigan, a candidate for the Order. WCJOM is an interfaith 501(c)3 nonprofit, supporting religious services for inmates during their stay at the Wayne County Jail, regardless of denomination, and helping them set out in a new and positive direction upon release.
- In 2022, the Michigan Area welcomed four new members, including Stephanie Le, DM; Kathleen Mastrangelo, DM; Andrea Smith, DM; and William Somerville, KM.
- Two candidates began the formation process in 2022, including Hon. Maura Corrigan, counsel to the Detroit law firm of Butzel Long and former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and Christine Jonna Piligian, chair and president of Jonna Realty Ventures Inc.
Robert Wilson urged members to include the Malta Clinic in their year-end giving. He noted that members can designate a certain percentage of their donations for the Clinic in the “Call to Serve” capital campaign. Doing so satisfies the “Human Services Foundation” division of the “Call to Serve” contribution.
A new project for 2023: Building a grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes on the grounds of Detroit’s Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. This project is in thanksgiving to Our Lady of Lourdes for her intercession and protection from the COVID pandemic. The grotto project will be announced at the Michigan Area’s annual anointing Mass on February 5.
Also on the calendar for 2023: A May 20 symposium on the Fathers of the Church and the Area’s annual October retreat. Many other activities, such as the popular First Saturday Masses with Lectio Divina, are also planned.
The Wilsons closed the program with a meditation on Psalm 27, about “waiting for the Lord” and with readings from Peggy Stanton, DM’s new book, From the White House to the White Cross: Confessions of a TV News Correspondent. Peggy, an author, painter, and journalist, was ABC Television Network’s first woman news correspondent in Washington, D.C. in 1966. Since coming to Michigan, she has hosted several shows on Ave Maria Radio, including the “Order of Malta Minutes with the Catechism.”
At the brunch, the Wilsons gave copies of the book as their annual “love gift” to Michigan Area members and read excerpts from the book. Highlights included Peggy’s encounters with such personalities as Julie Andrews, Charlton Heston, Mother Theresa, and Salvador Dali, and most importantly her first pilgrimage to Medjugorje, which led to her deep conversion and humanitarian missions to the area, including during the Bosnian War. From the White House to the White Cross is published by Marian Press and is available at https://shopmercy.org/books/marian-press.html.