Meet our fellow parishioners and learn as they share their parish engagement.

Meet Donna Semanco

Donna is a member of the “church family” at Assumption. If you attend Mass on Saturday evening, you probably already recognize her as one of the greeters. But, that’s just one of the ways she volunteers her time. 

Stewardship: Called to Serve

Meet Paul Brown, one of our ushers, and listen as he describes what it means to him to be able to help serve at Mass.

Do you feel a call to serve? Contact the parish office today to see how you can help.

Wondering how you can help?

Our booklet on volunteer opportunities will introduce you to the many ways you can help within the parish community. Copies are also available in the gathering space.

Thank You, Phil!

Grateful farewell to our friend and fellow parishioner ‘Photo Phil’ (and Connie, too).  Going through things at my mom’s house, we’ve found many photos, prompting memories—and some questions: “Who’s that?”  Like any family, we sought to preserve moments and prompt memories by taking pictures.

For many years, PHIL WALENGA has served our parish family by taking photos of people, events and many of our Sacramental celebrations!  Phil has generously shared his time, his passion, his expertise and his equipment as he has served our faith family in this way.  More recently, Phil has also aided in our online presence and parish website.

Now, Phil and Connie are moving to be closer to family and we bid a grateful farewell to them as well as best wishes for even more memories as we here at Assumption will treasure the photographic record of our ‘family life’ that he leaves as part of his legacy.  Thanks, Phil!

Lay Ministry

We are a faith family pursuing and sharing CELEBRATION, SERVICE and GROWTH.  Our parish family was blessed this past Sunday as Bishop Gruss commissioned our sister, NOREEN WARRICK, as a Lay Minister for these next three Years.  Noreen joins the half dozen other of our fellow parishioners who have already completed the formation process and are serving here at Assumption in various leadership roles. Noreen has served our parish family in a variety of roles over the years (e.g., choir, catechist, lector) and she wanted to grow and deepen her knowledge of our Catholic faith.  She found the Lay Ministry process responsive to her hopes.  We are grateful to Noreen for her service but also for the example her ongoing pursuit of growth offers us all.  Congratulations Noreen, Thank you—and thanks to all who by your service and prayer continue to support our parish family.

Gratitude is the root and heart of faithful stewardship

Gratefully responding to God’s overwhelming generosity and abundant gifts.  Our FAITH is one such gift, a gift to be shared.  And we can all be grateful to SANDY ZONDLAK for the service of SHARING our FAITH as our Sacramental Catechist.

For four years Sandy has guided our 2nd graders and their families as they prepared to celebrate several of the Sacraments of our family of faith.  She helped them all in readying to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time and then to complete their initiation by being Confirmed and making their First Holy Communion.  Sandy served as guide for the parents as families participated together in the preparing.  And this year presented unique challenges as Covid forced adopting new strategies to prepare our parish children for Confirmation and First Eucharist.  As you saw, those Sacraments were (finally) celebrated a couple of weeks ago and we are grateful to Sandy and to the parents who will continue to guide our youth as they grow in wisdom, age and grace.  Thanks for modeling good stewardship for our whole family of faith.

Our day-by-day Way to Joy   

Some 15 years back Bernie and Lorie Servinski were asked to assist in caring for the grounds here at our Assumption parish home.  Since then, as part of their ‘day jobs’, they have cared for the parish property as if it were their own.  Each week they do the mowing, trimming, and usual yard work on our big “yard” but they also joyfully volunteer topiary and other skills to keep both the grounds  and the equipment in tip-top shape. Their skill and commitment combined with the Creator’s genius and plan for growth and greenness make our parish home a beautiful place we can all be proud of.

   God’s gifts are given to us all and at an early age both Bernie and Lorie were taught that Christian stewardship involves using your talents as well as the generous sharing of the moneys we manage, spend and invest.  So, beyond the yard works, Bernie serves as an usher Saturdays at Mass and also pitches in on occasional other maintenance tasks.  Meanwhile, Lorie provides some office assistance and continues the family tradition of delivering trees, wreaths and other greenery to be used to enhance our Christmas season praying.  Bernie and Lorie with their daughter Michelle form a 3rd and 4th generation of Assumption faith family members (Servinski/Cabala).  So we celebrate and give great thanks for your many years of CARE for our church grounds and parish family!

Office Manager:  MOST "EST" BUSY Manager!

Sandy Martinski has been hard at work doing many everyday tasks to keep our parish office up and running!  From writing checks, to getting our bills paid, keeping the books balanced, sending parish emails, doing a great job on the bulletin, and answering a ton of emails.  She has even taken on a lot more during these challenging times. The Diocese keeps her busy with many questions concerning our budget, and the end of the fiscal year budgeting.  Sandy has always been the “glue” that keeps us going in the office and parish.  As a parish, we are blessed to have such a hardworking, self motivated person.  Sooo if you notice her arm is in a sling, say a few prayers for her; she had a little tumble!  Thanks Sandy!!  God only sends us the very best!  We are Blessed to have you!! 

Thanks 2 our Assumption Parish “Techy”

We all owe GREAT GRATITUDE to Kathy Russell, our Director of Youth Ministry, for using her talents to help us put together the VIDEO messages, our new Facebook page and other online resources for use during Holy Week.

Using of a few lights found in the garage, an iPhone, a tripod, and her knowledge (aided as well by her daughter, Kristyn), Fr. Joe’s homilies, some personal words of encouragement, and other links have been captured and posted on our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, and our website!  Plus, as Kathy would quickly remind us, do not forget the lots of prayer asking the Holy Spirit to give her wisdom!  So be sure to give Kathy a shout out in an email or a phone call!  It is amazing when we face challenges the gifts that begin to come forth for service, gifts that help guide us during these unusual circumstances!  God is Good …. All the time God is Good!!!! 

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

Hello, I am Dan Schneider, and I have been altar serving for five years, as well as being a CLOW (Children's Liturgy of the Word) Aide and Preschool Faith Formation aide.  Altar serving has helped me grow in my faith substantially, since whenever I altar serve, I feel holy, since when you altar serve, you serve the Lord.  Sometimes, besides altar serving, I help by being a CLOW aide.  Being a CLOW aide brings me joy, since I am helping children understand and know the Lord better.  After church, I usually help by aiding the Preschool Faith Formation, which I enjoy as much as altar serving, since I am helping spread the Word of God to little children. Helping Assumption Church has helped grow my faith.

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Mary Smith.  I have been a member of the parish for a long time, but only since I retired from teaching have I become more active in the church.  An invitation from Kathy Russel to help in the kitchen eventually turned into becoming a member of the Caring Cooks Committee, Funeral luncheon group and MACC Mission food prep team.  

Being a former educator led me to participating on the Education Commission, leading the Book Study groups and CLOW.  In the community, I am involved with Midland’s Open Door.  Sometimes when people retire, they say, “I don’t know how I ever had time to work!”  I am finding that to be true, but I am enjoying sharing my time, talent, and treasure with my church family.

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Jean Krause.  A few years ago, a friend invited me to a Stitch and Prayer meeting, knowing that I knit, crochet, sew and quilt.  My interest was piqued when I learned this group provides items of warmth and comfort for those in need in Midland and surrounding counties.  

I attended my first meeting many years ago and was welcomed by all of the members.  I feel very honored to help provide for our neighbors in need.  Please join us in this wonderful community service and share your skills.   You, too, will feel blessed and humbled beyond belief.

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

I am Keaton Hocking, a junior at Midland High School and also an usher for ABVM. I started ushering in 8th grade with my Dad. I loved the feeling of being active and having a job in church. It gave me a new way of experiencing Mass. 

I like working in the background helping to make sure everything goes smoothly and opening the door to greet people as they come to Mass. Another thing that gave me a new way of experiencing church was through National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis in 2017. Though there were giant gatherings of us experiencing the talks of wonderful speakers, the songs of amazing Catholic artists, and the hardships that were made lighter through faith; I found my best experiences through talking personally to Catholics attending from all over the country. I am looking forward to attending NCYC 2019!

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Jim Erdman and I love my ABVM parish family.  I believe that participation in the needed ministries is a way to show our love for God and one another.  I have participated in a variety of ministries and events over the years and am currently a lay presider for Word and Communion services, which I regard as an awesome privilege.

As I prepared this message, I keep remembering an old Country & Western song that I think applies:

Have I told you lately that I love you? 

Have I told you lately how I care?

Have I told you how with all my heart and soul that I adore you?

Well “Darling” (God, brothers and sisters) I’m telling you now! 

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is John Phillips.  I currently have the honor of chairing the Pastoral Council (PC).  After I retired, I was looking for an opportunity to help the parish.  When an opening on the PC was announced, I thought it would be a good place to have a positive impact.  It’s been a great experience working with the other Council members and Father.  What a wonderful group!  It also opened the door to opportunities to meet and work with other parishioners on the Education Commission and the Wild Goose is Loose program.  I’m looking forward to the GPS and Companions in Christ programs and other programs planned this year.  We have an opening on the PC now.  I would encourage anyone that is interested in joining the PC to contact Father or myself.  

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Roe Baker.  You may have seen me at Saturday Mass in the following ministries: sacristan, Eucharistic minister, or altar server.  The kitchen is another area you would find me, coordinating a monthly meal for Open Door and funeral lunches, with other parishioners.  I am also on the collection accounting team, 

I lead Christian meditation and support our global family thru the practice of yoga.  In our individual families, participation is essential to continue growth, love and purpose.  The same is true in our Assumption family.  Most of my efforts require an hour a week.  The benefits you receive in serving in any ministry has unending value.  Looking forward to serving with you in the future!

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Liz Minbiole.  All it took was a tap on the shoulder as a teenager and my Church ministry started with lecturing.  Since that time I have also served as an extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and a Sacristan.   

Each of these ministries has given me back so much because of the people I have met and served.  I have also had the opportunity to serve the Parish on the Finance/Administration Council.  As I retire and we move closer to our families, I am going to miss my Assumption family, particularly the smiles of those of you that attend our Saturday evening Mass.  My prayer is that many of you will accept this as a tap on the shoulder and consider filling a vacant spot.   

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Noreen Warrick.  My earliest recollection of participating in the life of the church goes back to when I was about seven.  I recall sitting cross-legged on the floor of the kitchen in front of the refrigerator with a missalette in hand, excited because learning to read meant I could sing the songs at church.  

 The Holy Spirit was drawing me closer to God and more deeply into the church through liturgy.  And, in my childlike way, I responded.  Over time, I participated in formal ministries, as a catechist, in liturgical ministries and in service to the church and community.  My hope as a present cantor and catechist is that I might help others feel God's love of them and find their responding voice that says, "I love you, too."

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Marcia Schneider.  I've been teaching Catechesis of the Good Shepherd through Assumption's Faith Formation program to Kindergartners for the last five years.  I also volunteer in a program called Faith and Fellowship with people who have serious mental illness.  I've been involved in this group since 1990 when it began in Midland.

Focusing on Faith and Fellowship, the reason for my many-years of involvement is a belief that we are more alike than different, everyone deserves to feel acceptance and belonging and everyone needs a format to share their story and their faith.  This ministry helps fills these needs and nurtures my faith as well.  Some people with mental illness do not feel comfortable in a church setting and Faith and Fellowship can provide a stepping stone.

If you feel that you might be called to volunteerism that helps grow your faith and compassion, I'd be happy to tell you more about Faith and Fellowship. 

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Matthew Conley, musician.  The earliest thing I remember about going to church as a young child is hearing the music.  As soon as I was old enough, Bob Zondlak, our music director, gave me the opportunity to play the piano with the church instrumental group.  Bob and the other members of the group have taught me so much about the church and our faith in general. 

Now it is my turn to give back to the church who so graciously accepted me and patiently taught me.  I’m happy and honored to share the love 

I’ve always felt at Assumption through the power of music.

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Dave Vickery.  Most weekends you will find me playing my trombone or recorders, or at the cantor stand.  I’ve served as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector in the various parishes I’ve been a member of since my early teens.  

I joined these ministries shortly after joining the parish.  What did change at Assumption is that I joined the choir.  Not long after, I was asked to consider becoming a cantor - something I never thought I would have the courage to do.  Enter stewardship.  I've always been taught that we each have been given gifts by God and that those gifts are meant to be shared.  So I said yes.  At times, it is still a challenge - especially singing the psalms.  At those times, I ask God to speak through me and then trust in his help.  What are the gifts that God has given to you that you can share?

Our day-by-day Way to - Joy BISHOP MURPHY’S AWARD

Two faithful members of the Diocese of Saginaw were honored on August 8th for their lifelong commitment to living and sharing their Catholic faith in ways that continue the evangelizing mission of Jesus Christ.  We celebrate each week one of our own members of our Assumption family in our Stewardship corner.  We take time to honor others in our Diocese.  Mrs. Veronica Grusecki, 94 years old, is a member of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Bay City.  She is known for her devotion to her parish community, volunteer work at a local hospital ministry to the elderly and homebound, which began 50 years ago.  Mr. Don Hire, a member of Sacred Heart Parish Mt. Pleasant, is known for his year round fundraising for his parish and school community, volunteering for many years at the Lenten fish fry and his work with a Christmas Outreach program in Isabella County.  He also guides an organization for financial assistance for cancer patients.  Both have received this year’s Bishop Murphy’s Award.  This award is given annually in the Diocese. Several of our parishioners have been nominated in past years.  Blessings Veronica and Don!

Our day-by-day Way to Joy

My name is Marilyn Zank.  Service to others is how I feel I am called to be God’s servant.  God blessed me with many gifts to help his church, through Music Ministry, decorating with Art & Environment, organizational skills, teaching and gardening.  I feel God talks to each of our hearts to help direct us to the work He would like us to do.  If we don’t hear Him the first time, God will present His idea to us in another fashion.  

Volunteering builds relationships with other people, which in turn builds community and friendships.  We all have a deep desire to be a part of something bigger, more than just one can do alone.  One voice is pretty but a whole congregation singing moves all the hearts to God.  Sing praise!

Joe Stanko

Julie Maurer

Kyle McRae

Carlie Servinski.

Mary K. Taylor

My name is Mary K. Taylor, my grandsons call me Mimmy!Children’s Liturgy of the Word, it sounds intimidating and with a fair amount of responsibility.  Likely, many think the same and shy away thinking, I’m not a teacher, not even close!Something would tell me to step outside of my comfort zone to check it out!  Why would I be afraid of the sweetest, most innocent, of the very gift GOD gives?  Their candor is priceless, their hearts are huge, and they enjoy sharing stories with you.  What’s to be afraid of?  There are plenty of resources, helpers, and most importantly the Holy Spirit to guide you.  And, they could use help!  I took the opportunity to help out two years ago and have enjoyed sharing, my time… EVERY TIME.  I feel fulfilled that I can help even if it’s in the smallest of ways! 

Don Martinski

My name is Don Martinski.  I am a volunteer for the Food Truck at Assumption.Last year I was asked by the chairperson of the Food Truck, Sue Barta, to organize the loading of the cars, 150 or more, in the parking lot for the free grocery pick-up.  I met with the food truck personnel at St. Johns Parish-food giveaway, to learn the safe way to pass out free food to a large group of people without the volunteers getting hurt.  We will make it a safe, respectable, and organized event so everyone gets fed.Doing this volunteer work helps me feel that I am doing God’s work to feed the hungry.

Mark Bernius

Allison Leslie 

Matt Glaccum

My name is Matt Glaccum.  One of the ways I have found to give back to the community over the past five years is to work in the parish garden.  I am proof that you don’t need to be a master gardener to do so!  The only qualification is a willingness to put in the time and effort when you can to help bring the Lord’s bounty to those who need it (such as by tilling the soil, pulling weeds or tending the plants). The produce from the garden goes to Hidden Harvest and others to help get it where it is needed the most.  Helping others while enjoying the beauty of His creation in the green that grows–with the fellowship of like-minded folks, a wonderful way to take in the cool of the morning or the ending of the day.

Ann Buzanowski

My name is Ann Buzanowski.  I was the child in grade school who was terrified of reading aloud in class.  I struggled with phonetics and was frequently teased for my mistakes which were exaggerated by my booming voice.  I was ashamed by my lack of skill, but God had different plans for me.  Eventually,  I overcame my reading problems and developed a passion for reading Scripture and prayer.  When I was asked to read at a friend’s wedding my insecurities returned, but I went to God in prayer and asked him to be my voice.  To my amazement, the words of St. Paul fell from my lips with confidence and conviction.  That day I was asked to become a lector and I humbly agreed.  I am blessed and proud to serve as a reader at Assumption.

Carol Maciag

My name is Carol Maciag We moved to Midland in December 2012 to be near my son, his wife and my granddaughter. Since then my grandson was born in 2013. It was in that year that I volunteered at Vacation Bible School so my four-year-old granddaughter would attend. The last two years my grandson has also attended. Participating in VBS has been a blessing in my personal journey of faith. When I share my faith stories with the children, listen to theirs and those of the other volunteers, my faith increases. Watching the children and seeing their enthusiasm as they sing and act out the songs, which start and end each day at VBS, sometimes brings tears to my eyes. You can just feel the Holy Spirit alive as we gather as a shared faith community.

Maria Dvorak 

I am Maria Dvorak a catechist.  I create an environment where children can learn about their Catholic faith and how much Jesus loves them.  My qualifications are simply, I love my God and I love kids.  The curriculum prepares me with scripture on which to ponder and pray.  The Holy Spirit and the children’s disposition direct, guide and teach me.  The best classes are ones in which the children grab on to a point and run with it.  On these days I learn, laugh and admire these saints in our midst.  Some worry about the future of the Church, I do not.  The Holy Spirit is alive and well and preparing the hearts of its children to be joyous followers of Jesus Christ.  If you delight in being around children, you are perfect for this ministry.

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”   (Matthew 18:20)