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Halloween: Open Doors, Open “Hearts”

Sacred Heart hosts annual Halloween neighborhood outreach for surrounding community.

by Ryan Eggenberger

Halloween 2017 brought another year of sweet smiles and fraternal joy as Sacred Heart Major Seminary opened its doors and welcomed neighbors for a night of trick-or-treating, games, and prayer.

Seminarians welcomed to our campus families from the neighborhood and around the city of Detroit, which included over 2,500 children, men, and women. Thousands of pounds of candy were distributed to guests, all of which were donated by members of the Sacred Heart community and parishioners from over thirty parishes in and around the Archdiocese of Detroit. 

Second-year college seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit, James Bird, who organized the Halloween ministry this year, was grateful to God for how smooth the night went, due to the collegiality and charity of the entire community:

“Parishes were really generous. We reached out to them, and they gathered candy together as a parish, and then we went and picked it up,” said Bird. “We had a ton of candy. We filled a whole former bookstore with candy. It took almost two hours to move the candy from where we were to the gym.” 

The front entrance of the seminary, where the Halloween festivities are normally held, was not available for use due to the land acquisition project taken up by the seminary last year. As the saying goes, though, ‘when one door closes, another one opens.’ Festivities were instead held in the parking lot and the gymnasium. The new arrangement provided families with more time inside the well-decorated seminary, more room for fun, games, and snacks, and more room for prayer ministry outside.

“In Detroit, there are not a ton of places that children can go to get candy, so we’re kind of the central hub for a lot of the neighborhood for trick-or-treating,” said Bird. “And it’s also a great chance for us to bring Jesus to them—since they may not be entering a church a ton—and this may be the one time a year they come and have the ability to encounter Jesus.”

Open Hearts

Following a trip through the “spooky” gym and after receiving handfuls of candy, families were met back outside with an open invitation for prayer, an invitation almost everybody warmly welcomed with a smile.

First-year theology seminarian Michael Churchill, from the Diocese of Winona said, “As a new seminarian from out of state, it was a blessing to get to know members of our community that I haven’t been able to meet yet, and to meet Jesus with them in prayer.”

“We are always looking for opportunities to go out to evangelize and ‘unleash the Gospel’, but on Halloween so many come right to our doors, it makes the opportunity to come before the Lord easy, and even fun. Praying with others is easily the best ‘treat’ we give and receive here on Halloween,” said first-year theology seminarian John-Henry Keenan from the Diocese of Lansing.

Ryan Eggenberger

Ryan Eggenberger is a graduate Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.