New School Principal – Mr. Robert Pyles

This is Fr. McEnhill, announcing the new principal of Our Lady of Refuge School. He is Robert Pyles. He is well known in our community, having spent most of his career as an administrator in the West Bloomfield School District. Mr. Pyles has been the principal at Scotch Elementary, Abbott Middle School and West Bloomfield High School. Our search committee noticed excellent leadership skills and he clearly knows educational and instructional methods. Mr. Pyles is a practicing Catholic and he looks forward to a new school experience in a Catholic school that allows him to be involved in the spiritual growth of our children.

I want to invite you to a “Welcome the New Principal” gathering on Tuesday, July 5th, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. This day was very appropriately chosen because it is the feast day of Our Lady of Refuge. We will begin with prayer at our Marian Garden, near the church, and then have a barbecue and a joyous setting to welcome Mr. Pyles. (If inclement weather, we will meet in the church social hall.)

I am very excited about our new principal and I know you will be also. We will get behind him and give him our support. I ask you to encourage other parents to register their children in our school. Mr. Pyles has an excellent reputation, as he is one of the best principals in all of Oakland County. We are truly blessed to have him. I am very grateful.

Our Lady of Refuge New Stained Glass Windows

Inner Sanctuary – Click to zoom

As you have doubtlessly noticed, our new stained glass “light-boxes” are now in place!! Many have remarked how well they fit the colors of our sanctuary. Blues, dark reds, and browns abound in the glass just as on the walls, ceiling, and sanctuary steps. Blue is an especially suitable color for our parish, as it is traditionally a Marian color, and we are “Our Lady of Refuge” parish!

Some parishioners have asked for more information about the placement and meaning of specific windows. The rest of this column will oblige!

St. Gabriel – Click to zoom

In the inner part of the sanctuary are the St. Gabriel and the Nativity Windows. St. Gabriel is the patron saint of the clergy (priests and deacons) and is near where they perform their liturgical actions. Our Gabriel is suitably enough wearing a deacon’s dalmatic (vestment)! He is also the patron saint of communication, and so he is right above the ambo (pulpit), from which the Word is proclaimed to us. This depiction of Gabriel shows him during the Annunciation. The artist has given us Mary’s view of him, so we can imagine that she is right next to us, giving her “yes” to God, as we celebrate Mass. In fact, we believe that all saints are with us in a special way in the Eucharist, but especially her, since she is, after all, Jesus’ mother! May we add our own “yes” to God to hers every time we worship. Our Gabriel is carrying a messenger’s staff (in early times, before text messaging, phones, or even telegrams, most messages were sent by word of mouth by professionals who marked themselves out this way.) On the top of it is a cross, a reminder that Jesus comes into the world to suffer and redeem us. He is wearing a purple cloak as a reference to the purple military cloak with which Christ was mocked in his passion. Underneath the cloak, the green of his dalmatic is the color of hope in liturgical symbolism, and is associated with ordinary time. So it is in Christian life, sorrow should always be born for God with an underlying spirit of hope!

Read moreOur Lady of Refuge New Stained Glass Windows

Congratulations to Fr. Rafal Ligenza!

I want to announce to you that Deacon Rafal Ligenza was ordained a priest on Saturday, May 21 at the Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Florida.

Deacon Rafal served our parish since last September as he completed his studies at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, the seminary across the street from us. He was ordained for the diocese of Venice which means that he will minister as a priest in the parishes of that diocese.

We congratulate him on his ordination and wish him many happy and successful years as a priest. May God and our Blessed Mother look after him throughout his priesthood. This is a reminder for us to continue to pray that many more will respond to the call to serve the church in the priesthood. Many blessings on the new Fr. Rafal Ligenza.

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