A New and Different Way Andrea Cisneros ’10 M.Ed.
I’m bad at guessing ages, but I’d say he’s at least 50—tall and made bigger-looking by the slight forward slope of his neck off his shoulders, his bulky coat, and the peak of his knit hat that floats over the top of his head. I tell him I don’t have any cash on me, but I’ll buy him something to eat, if he wants.
“Alright. How about a sandwich?” he says, looking across the street to my favorite chain, as it happens….We’ve walked about three steps towards the crosswalk when he pauses. “Could we get something for my friend over there, too?” he asks, pointing to a woman across the street. She is his mirror image—leaning against a wall, watching passersby for any sign they might hear her as she addresses them. “Of course.”
We introduce ourselves inside the sandwich shop, and he asks if I’m a student (backpack, college town, a block from campus—it’s a good guess). I tell him about what I’m studying, and he says he’s glad there are people working on that and asks what I want to do when I’m done….He tells me he and his friend have lived in Michigan their whole lives….He makes sure the guy behind the counter makes her sandwich without tomatoes, because she definitely doesn’t like tomatoes. He has picked up and set down the glass bottles several times, rubbing his hands and shaking them out so his wedding band flashes. I pay for three sandwiches and wait for him.
“Well, thank you very much,” he says, nodding. “Thank you. It was nice to meet you. You take care.”…He heads back out into January while I go upstairs to eat….Despite being one of those obnoxiously, notoriously broke grad students, buying a sandwich is not that big of a deal. It’s a tiny, tiny work of mercy—one I don’t even always do with a glad heart....Today, though, I’m thinking about his question: “Could we get something for my friend, too?” He asked without assuming the answer would be yes, but he also asked without sheepishness or trepidation. He responded to a tiny mercy by nudging it to grow so he could share it.
Of mercy’s many powerful outcomes, perhaps unexpected and most important is that it unearths hope. I hoped my small act would be of some help, and witnessed great hope and love in return. I tried to be generous, and witnessed even more generosity. Mercy opened a new and different way at an ordinary intersection; mercy transformed three sandwiches into a kind of communion.
Every act of mercy gives us reason to think that it is not a mistake to look for good things—that fear, anxiety, and isolation are not the end of our stories. Even a tiny mercy is an occasion for hope to spring up, giving us courage to reach for greater communion.
You can register your children for this year's Vicariate Vacation Bible School with the registration form available here. It will be held June 27 - July 1 at Divine Child Parish from 9:00 a.m. to Noon daily.
The Archdiocese of Detroit is committed to Evangelization, continually looking to make disciples by proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. Spiritual formation is a key element of the archdiocesan evangelization initiative and preparation for the archdiocesan synod on evangelization November 18-20, 2016. “Come,Encounter Christ!” is a series of 30 vibrant gatherings featuring inspirational preaching, uplifting live music, Eucharistic adoration, and opportunities for private confession! See a schedule of upcoming events here.
On Sunday, May 1, from 12:45 to 3:15 p.m. there will be a Synod Gathering Discussion, Town Hall format, in the Parish Hall. A facilitator will lead us through an open, honest, respectful sharing of faith experiences. The themed response from these gatherings will be recorded, compiled, and presented to Synod members and leaders to consider and pray about, as well as reference during the Synod. Please do your best to join us. Your participation is vital, valued, and necessary for the success of the Synod.
You may sign-up online here.
Hear Archbishop Allen Vigneron and Bishop Michael Byrnes talk about the New Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Detroit. “The New Evangelization
unfolding and breathe new life into the Church in Detroit. Unleash the Gospel
is a major push to change the DNA of the Church in Detroit to one of a Body of
Christ on mission. What we are attempting is nothing less than a radical
overhaul of the Church in Detroit, a complete reversal of our focus from
inward, or maintenance-focused, to outward, or mission-focused. We seek to bring about this change first in our hearts, through an encounter with Christ. Then in our homes as we grow in our faith. And finally in our culture as we become a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ." -Visit the Archdiocese of Detroit website to watch more online.
In an effort to give Sacred Heart parishioners the opportunity to share your gifts of time, talent and treasure, our Adopt-A-Zone program is back. This program invites parishioners to adopt a particular area on the parish grounds to be maintained during the growing season. If you are interested in adopting a zone please contact Matt or Neil at 313-278-5555 ext 108 or email email@example.com. Zones are filling up fast so be sure to reserve yours soon. Zones 2, 3, 4 and 9 have already been adopted. View the Zone Map here.