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People will tell you evangelization is difficult. Following Jesus is unrealistic and too demanding. The call of Unleash the Gospel to be joyful missionary disciples is out of reach for the average person. But within the parish community of St. John Vianney, discipleship seems attainable for everyone. Father Tim Mazur, Deacon Mike Houghton, the parish staff and the volunteers all model the behavior of Spirit-filled evangelizers — and the booming parish follows suit. The atmosphere created by the people of the parish is one of welcome and belonging, prayer and hope, joy and gratitude. It is this atmosphere that draws in families, young adults and others alike and keeps the parish thriving as an example of being “radically mission-oriented.”

On March 30, St. John Vianney’s incorrupt heart visited its parish namesake in the Archdiocese of Detroit. The “Heart of a Priest” national relic tour was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and drew so many faithful that the lines stretched out the doors and visitors waited over an hour to see and venerate the relic.

“My little children, your hearts are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us … When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.”

— St. John Vianney

The families who attend St. John Vianney describe the parish as “home,” “supportive” and a place where “God is truly present among his people.”

 

“A good shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy.”

— St. John Vianney

No matter what time you enter the sanctuary, light streams through the glass section of the ceiling above the altar, highlighting the central point of the sanctuary: the altar around which the community gathers to share in the Eucharist.

Part of the call of discipleship is to be generous with our means, and the response of the parishioners of St. John Vianney is evident in the donations that crowd the entry hallways, waiting to be delivered by the Knights of Columbus to a local food pantry.

Deacon Mike Houghton has been serving St. John Vianney for six years as a permanent deacon and shows boundless energy, greeting churchgoers on their way out of Mass with an authentic, joy-filled smile.

The church building is constructed of wood, brick and glass — a simplicity worthy of the Cure d’Ars himself. The simplicity does not give way to irreverence; rather, the prayer of the priest, the prayers of the people and the traditional accents of the faith maintain the sacred nature of the sanctuary and the sacrifice of the Mass.

Father Tim Mazur, pastor of St. John Vianney since 2010, is a priest following in the footsteps of St. John Vianney — totally devoted to the heart of Jesus, to the care of his parish and parishioners and to offering the sacraments joyfully and frequently.