Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, July 23, 2007

St. Michael's Conference for Youth - photos

What a wonderful week it was last week at the St. Michael's Conference for Youth here in Michigan! As I noted in an email to the parish, it was the best week of the 12 St. Mike's I have done!

We were in a new location, Manresa Retreat Center in Bloomfield Hills, MI and although I had some reservations before hand (single rooms only and strange "flow" to the facility) it worked out very nicely! The Confrere's were attentive and positive, and the worship glorious. The Chapel was not ideal (not great accustics, and the layout a less than ideal due to the long narrow footprint without much room in the sanctuary...it wasn't designed for Solemn High Mass). But we made the most of it. My father was a trustee for this Jesuit Retreat Center for many years, and it was a real honor celebrating Communion at the altar where my father attended daily Mass for many years!

So what is St. Mike's about? Here it is in pictures....

The first picture, of course, is of the Friday morning Solemn High Mass. The Mass was done with all the trappings - THE Utmost for His Highest (with apologies to Owald Chambers for the title). There is no sermon though -that is reserved for Evensong.

After breakfast there are three classes with lunch in the middle of class number 2 and 3. Note St. John's parishioners Lance Johnson and Eliot Erlandson in the back right corner of the photo! This was my PALEGAS class (the seven deadly sins).

Here is a photo from a meal, with Larissa Jones, who until recently was a member of St. John's. Larissa and her family have moved to Maryland, In this picture is her new parish priest, Fr. Jason Catania, SSC. He is rector of Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore.

In the afternoon there is structured free-time, including games like ultimate frisbee or kick the can. There is also time for board and card games, hanging out with friends, reading, praying, or occasionally a nap!

Some extra-curricular events such as Stations of the Cross (being organized here) and the opportunity for individual spiritual direction with the priests on staff, and making a confession if desired.

Pictured here is Fr. Kenneth Jaggs, Rector of St. George's Church,
Windsor, Ontario talking with a Michaelite

At 5pm there is Solemn Evensong with a 'faculty talk'. The talk has a three year rotation. This year it was The Apostles Creed (the other two years are The Ten Commandments and The Lord's Prayer), each night being 1/5 of the Creed being explained. Here is Fr. Janikowski, Rector of Grace Church, Galesburg, Illinios (Diocese of Quincy) giving the Faculty Talk on the last clause of the Apostles Creed.

After dinner there are discussion groups on current topics and how we approach them as Catholic Christians in the Anglican Tradition.

In the evening there is an activity, ranging from Talent Show to Square Dancing.

The day ends with some free time to wind down and optional attendance at Compline (the night office) before bed.

Here is the St. John's contingent. Eliot, Lance, Larissa, and Fr. Kelly. There are at least three more who have said they are coming next year, including my oldest son, Sam! (the age group is 12 to 20). It is hard to imagine that he is old enough...when I started working at this St. Mike's (Midwest) I was a priest in Pennsylvania and Sam was 2!

On the last day, we have The Pageant of Redemption, telling in scripture and acting the saving acts of our Lord, and the work of His Church! Pictured here is the resurrected Christ being saluted by St. Michael the Archangel

And this final picture is of The Gauntlet....
The faculty lines up in the hallway outside the chapel after the closing ceremony to hug everyone good-bye. There is hardly a dry eye in the place! Even those who come with great reservation (usually strongly encouraged by their parish priest and parents), can't believe it is over and can't wait until next year.