Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Sep 14, 2022

CATECHETICAL SUNDAY: Today the Church observes Catechetical Sunday.  Catechesis is the sharing of the faith with others especially our children and young people.  The word, from the Greek, literally means “to echo.”  So, the catechist is one who echoes the Catholic Faith to others.  Just as we are all called to holiness, that is, to be a saint, in many ways we are also called to share or announce our faith to others by what we say and do.  We have catechists in our day school, our PSR program, the RCIA and RCIC processes, in our adult faith formation series, and in all the areas of parish life where the Catholic Faith is taught and shared.  Today at Mass we pray for all our catechists that God will strengthen them and grant them His Holy Wisdom so that they are better able to share our faith with others.

This ability to share the faith with others comes from the Holy Spirit and we have all received the Holy Spirit and His many gifts in Baptism and Confirmation.   The challenge is how to allow the Holy Spirit to grow stronger in our lives and in our hearts.  This challenge is met primarily through the grace of the sacraments and prayer through which we unite ourselves to God and to the Church.  The theme for Catechetical Sunday this year is: SAY BUT THE WORD AND MY SOUL SHALL BE HEALED. These words which we say at Mass before Holy Communion are taken from the Gospel of St. Luke.  It is the response of the centurion who asked Jesus to come and heal his slave who was near death.  As we know Jesus went, but before he got to the centurion’s house the centurion told Jesus that he was not worthy to have Jesus enter under his roof.  All he asked Jesus to do was say but the word and his slave would be healed and that is exactly what happen.  We say the same words as an act of faith before Holy Communion affirming that all we need to be to have Jesus say the Word and we will be healed.  We get more than the word of Jesus, we get the Word of God made flesh in Body and Blood of Jesus.  We are not worthy, but Jesus deeply wants to come to us because He loves us so much, more than we could ever know.

We are all called to be catechists on some level because we are called to echo our Faith to others in our words and actions.  So, as we celebrate this Catechetical Sunday, we pray for all the catechists in our parish.  Let us also strive to be good catechists ourselves in all that we do.  This means we must always be ready to learn more about our faith so we can tell others about it.

LIFE CHAIN:  Soon it will be October and October is Respect Life Month.  Please mark your calendar for our annual Life Chain Event.  This year it will be held on Sunday, October 2 from 2 PM to 3 PM on High Street, just north of Great Oaks Trail.  Please note the change in the location.  This is a wonderful way to witness to our respect for all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.  Life is a sacred gift from God.  No one has the right or the authority to take the life of another human being least of all the life of an unborn child that has not even had the chance to live.

We celebrated a great victory with the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the Supreme Court on June 24th, but there is still much to do in changing the hearts and minds of people so they may come to know that all human life is a sacred gift from God.  We must continue to pray and work as people who are Pro Life especially helping mothers and fathers nurture and care for a child that may not be wanted or even a child who is the result of incest or rape.  Please remember that the child is innocent and has the right to live the life that God has given him/her.  There are many ways we can help through prayer, by donating our time or treasure to a pregnancy center; such as the Embrace Clinic and Care Center in Barberton; and being careful who we vote in an election by voting for candidates who are pro-life.  The battle against abortion, assisted suicide, and capital punishment goes on and we must continue to pray and work that life will be victorious.

ALTAR & ROSARY RAFFLE:  Please support our Altar & Rosary Society by buying a raffle ticket for their weekly raffle.  Just by purchasing one ticket for $52, you have 52 chances to win because there is a drawing each week and your name always goes back into the bucket!  It is a good deal and a terrific way to help the Altar & Rosary Society to raise funds for the excellent work that they do in caring for the sanctuary and all the items that are needed in our offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The work of the Altar & Rosary Society is a splendid example of charity as they help in our worship of God, taking care of funeral luncheons for those who have lost loved ones, as well as the spiritual care of the women of our parish.  Thank you very much for all your support through the years.  May God bless you for your generosity, present and future.

Fr. Joe Labak