The Ushers Club was founded July 7, 1947. The organization has maintained its constant presence over the past 50 years, assisting parishioners during services. Today the Ushers are Ministers of Hospitality, greeting the people as they enter the church. In the early years the Ushers helped with many projects and fund raising events for the parish. In 1955 the first parish picnic was held and the Ushers hopelessly lost their baseball game but not their spirit. In December the same year the Ushers took over the gala Feather Party, i.e., a card party with turkeys for prizes, which was a great success. The Ushers have always had a philosophy of “Share the Wealth” and to this day still sell 50/50 tickets to benefit the parish.
In December 1957 the Booster Club was organized to promote athletic programs for the parish children. The Club grew with the parish, donating much appreciated financial support and volunteer time to work with the kids. The Boosters encourage all the children to participate in the Junior Olympics and Parish Picnic annually. The Club provides athletic equipment, uniforms, and coaching for the various sports teams, which over the years have grown to include basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, baseball, softball, and cheerleading. Club membership now includes men who once wore the familiar green and white uniforms. Over the years the Booster Club has been the helping hands of the parish, preparing playing fields, constructing the Tot Lot, finishing the Shepherd’s Room, and transforming the first temporary church to a gym. The friendships that developed through the Booster Club have remained strong throughout the years.
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the largest order of Catholic men today. The Robert H. Jones Council, established in October 1947, and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is the largest council in Michigan. Originally started as a club for Catholic immigrants, the organization has evolved with multifaceted, family centered activities. The Knights are well known for their works of charity, including building wheelchair ramps, raising funds for the mentally and physically challenged, and supporting pro life causes. The Council has always been committed to Catholic education and supports Good Shepherd Grade School and Aquinas High School.
Holy Name Society
The Holy Name Society was established in 1949 and revitalized in 1956 with a membership of over 600 parish men. The men attended Mass together one Sunday a month and men from the organization served at the Mass in lieu of the altar boys. By the 1960s, however, the Holy Name Society dissolved. In 1952 the St. Vincent de Paul Society was formed at Good Shepherd and has been helping people in the parish ever since. When the Society receives a referral, a team of volunteer workers makes a home visit, then interviews and intervenes as needed. The family may receive a gift certificate for a supermarket, voucher to use at the vicariate food depot, or money to help with a delinquent household bill. In 1996 the Society made 108 home visits and distributed 45 Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. The Society meets the needs of so many through the generosity of the parishioners annual collection, the poor boxes, and the food collections.
Women of Good Shepherd
The Ladies Society was founded during the parish’s first year. In the early days the group did much fund raising work for the parish. Christmas card and rummage sales supported projects like the school library. In 1958 the Ladies Society affiliated with the Arch-Confraternity of Christian Mothers. After Vatican II the role of the laity changed and so did the role of the organization. Now called “The Women of Good Shepherd”, open to all women of the parish, married, single, and religious, the organization connected itself to the Council of Catholic Women. While the Women of Good Shepherd still raise money through the rummage sales, salad luncheon, Arts & Crafts Fair, and card party, they are now intertwined with the Ministries of the parish. They organize evenings for education and reflection, visit the sick, prepare funeral luncheons, and do the altar care. They continue to be an integral and vital part of the parish community.
The Senior Citizens officially organized as a group in January 1971. The group was intended as a social organization and still serves that purpose, providing friendship and companionship for its members. Over the years the Seniors have seen many of its original members pass away, but they continue to be a supportive network of friends.
From Mr. John McKenzie to the present Music Director, Mr. Omar Berrocal, the Choir at Good Shepherd has always practiced very hard, brought spirit and joy to parish celebrations. Since the 1990s Cantors have lead the parish in song at weekend masses.
Over the years Girl Scouts and Campfire Groups have been at Good Shepherd. The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts however have been constantly present since 1951. Originally Troop L 10, the troop split into two units in 1956, creating Troop 1381. While never a Boy Scout himself, Fr. Torzewski accompanied the Scouts on campouts and said Mass in the woods for them. Over the years several young men have earned the Ad Altare Dei Medal, the Catholic award for scouting, and have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Fr. Redwick, a Star Scout himself, continued the tradition of supporting Scouting at Good Shepherd, a tradition that continues to this day.