Setting Hearts on Fire
Fr. Michael Scherrey, CC, is the current
pastor of St. Scholastica. The large church
was built to hold more than a thousand
worshippers but now sees around ninety
between all weekend Masses, he says.
them to happen,” Mr. Trueman says.
In an effort to approach his predominately
Archbishop Vignron had been seeking African American congregation where they
a community to take pastoral responsibil- were at, Father Scherrey spent his first year at
ity of St. Scholastica Parish in northwest St. Scholastica simply getting to know parish-
Detroit, which the Silvestrine Benedictine ioners. “You pray with them, you walk with
monks had previously staffed for decades. them, you journey with them,” he says.
Continuing the Benedictine religious or-
His own prayers for the parish included
der’s rich ministry at the parish was of first which Bible study program to begin with,
interest for the archbishop.
and Father Scherrey felt the Holy Spirit led
“We see the hand of the Lord in this,” him to Jeff Cavins’s Great Adventure Catho-
Father Vandenakker says. “We immediately lic Bible Study. Although he had used the
felt not just welcomed but energized.”
series successfully at his last assignment in
A member of the community was installed Houston, St. Scholastica’s parish council
as pastor of St. Scholastica in August 2011, members were doubtful he could get more
and three Companion seminarians were than a few parishioners to attend.
enrolled at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
To their surprise, thirty-one people
Currently, twenty-four Companions live at signed up for the twenty-four-week class
the former Benedictine monastery and ad- and at least twenty showed up each session.
jacent convent on the parish grounds. Six “I kind of twisted arms a bit,” Father Scher-
are priests serving at
rey admits. “I used, ‘just
the parish, Wayne State
come for three weeks’
University, and Sacred
on a lot of people.”
Heart Major Seminary.
When the class con-
The remaining eighteen
cluded, and Father
loves the seminarians.
are seminarians receiv-
Scherrey suggested mov-
ing academic formation
ing on to the next series
They really touch the
at Sacred Heart.
on Matthew, it was the
hearts of the people.”
parish council’s turn to
continue to have a pres-
surprise him. The entire
ence in Ottawa, as well as in Halifax and To- group asked to repeat the Great Adventure
ronto, and in Houston. Their membership Catholic Bible Study and let it “soak in,” he
totals forty priests and twenty-three seminar- says. “It’s so good,” they told him.
ians. Wherever they serve, their goal is “to
That core group did repeat the class and
make our parishes lively centers of Catholic are now embarking on the Matthew series.
communion, liturgical life, and outreach.”
And when the parish hosted The Encounter, a
“For years, the Charismatic Renewal was ten-week series featuring Deacon Larry Oney
hidden away in the basement of churches,” and Gerardo Hernandez from New Orleans-
Father Vandenakker says. “We want to based Hope and Purpose Ministries, mor