After every Mass we pray a Hail Mary for vocations. This has been part of our parish family life for almost forty years. Prayer is a very powerful weapon and is part of everything we do and accomplish in continuing the work of the Gospel and the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth. During these past many years, we have had vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate, and the religious life from our parish family. For this we are very grateful.
We have a few more potential vocations to add to this list and our prayers. Just last Sunday Jon Woost participated in the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders. This is the first step in the formation for the diaconate. The program is a four-year process of formation for the men, and their wives, as they prepare for diaconate ordination. So, I ask you to pray for Jon and his wife Carrie as they begin this formation journey. You may remember that Jon’s brother, Fr. Michael Woost, was ordained as the Auxiliary Bishop for Cleveland on August 4. Jon also has two other brothers who are priests of the Diocese of Cleveland, Fr. David Woost and Fr. Thomas Woost.
In addition to Jon beginning his formation, we also have another member of our parish just beginning the preliminary year of preparation to begin formation for the diaconate. I am speaking of Michael Niese and his wife Janelle. Please keep them and their young family in your prayers.
As I speak of vocations, please continue to pray for Jon Hawkins who is studying for the priesthood at St. Mary Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio. Jon is in his third year of theology and is doing an internship at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Parma, Ohio. Jon is a very bright and promising candidate for Holy Orders who, I am sure, will make a very fine priest in the near future. I have known Jon practically all his life as a member of Sacred Heart Parish. Please ask God to continue to watch over and bless these men who are responding to His call.
Youth Faith Formation: Well, we are just into the new school year and that means that a new year will begin shortly for our Parish School of Religion (PSR). All the various aspects of our revamped religious ed programs are described on the parish web site www.shofjesus.com (click on I’m New and then click on Ministries). There is the traditional classroom model for ROOTS (Pre-K thru Grade 5) which will meet on Sunday mornings after the 8 AM Mass. Abby Cook is the director for this program. The VINE is for Grades 6, 7, and 8, which will meet at 7pm on Monday evenings. Ablaze is our Confirmation Preparation Program for Grades 7 & 8 which will meet twice a month on Sundays at 9 AM. 10:10 is our high school religious ed/youth group which will meet on Sunday evenings at 6:30 PM. The 10:10 program and the VINE are directed by Fr. Pat and Claire Corridoni, our youth minister. So, there is something for everyone. Please keep all the catechists and students in your prayers so that all may be instruments of the Holy Spirit as they share and grow in their Catholic Faith.
Tomorrow, we celebrate Labor Day, the last holiday of summer. This is a good opportunity to ask God to bless the work of our hands and give thanks to Him for the gift of work through which we make our living, provide for our families, and share our gifts with our community for the good of all. We also pray for those who are discouraged that they cannot find work, that God will help them through our willingness to reach out, comfort, and encourage them. Labor Day, like all our holidays, should be much more than a day off work or school, but a day for us to focus on a certain aspect of our relationship with God. On Labor Day, we can focus on all the many ways that God has blessed us by giving us all different gifts and talents so that we can share them with one another and so give Glory to God and build up His kingdom here on earth. I hope that your day is a time for recreation and for getting together with family and friends. Of course, a good way to begin the day is with God by participating in the Mass at 9 AM, tomorrow morning, in the church.
BECOMING CATHOLIC, RCIA: It is almost time to start our Becoming Catholic Series or RCIA. This program is for those who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith with the possibility of entering the Church at the Easter Vigil. The sessions are held every Wednesday from 7 PM to 8:30 PM in McMahon Hall. Deacon Rich and Fr. Pat direct the session with a team made up of fellow parishioners. These sessions are also live streamed for the benefit of anyone who wishes to learn more about our Catholic Faith. If you are interested in joining these sessions or know someone who wants to become Catholic, please call Deacon Rich at the parish office. The first session will be on Wednesday, September 28, at 7 PM in McMahon Hall. Please remember that signing up for these sessions does not lock anyone into anything. These sessions are meant to teach about the Catholic faith and once a person has the basic knowledge only then can they decide to enter the Church through Baptism or by making a Profession of Faith. Give it some thought. Maybe you know someone you would like to invite to be a part of our Becoming Catholic Sessions. May God continue to bless us and show us the way to draw others to Faith.