PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS! On October 28, 29, and 30 we will hold our annual Solemn Eucharistic Devotions which will begin on Friday, October 28, with a special school Mass at 9:30 AM. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will continue on the main altar throughout the weekend, and we will have our Solemn Closing with Mass and Evening Prayer and a procession with the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday, October 30, beginning at 5 PM. Our homilist will be Fr. Joe Menkhaus, recently ordained Parochial Vicar at St. Bernadette Parish in Westlake. Those preparing to receive their First Holy Communion and Confirmation will also join in our procession to honor the Eucharistic presence of our Lord. Please make every effort to be a part of this special weekend of praise and prayer as we give thanks to God for the gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist.
Our Annual Solemn Eucharistic Devotions is an especially important part of our parish family life because the very center of our parish life is the Eucharist. Vatican II teaches us that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic Faith. This is also so important because we have begun the three-year Eucharistic Revival. This is a time that the bishops of the United States have designated for all of us to grow in our devotion to and understanding of the Eucharist, the greatest gift that God has given us. It is the greatest gift because it is God giving us the gift of Himself in the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Going to Mass each Sunday is the most important thing we do in this earthly life. We need to be more deeply aware that what we receive in Holy Communion is indeed the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. It is not a sign, symbol, or just a remembrance of Jesus and what He did for us. This is the greatest sacrifice that God has made for us. This sacrifice is made present to us on the altar every time the Holy Mass is offered. How sad and tragic it is for anyone who misses this sacrificial gift because they are busy or just do not understand what they are missing. Let us think and pray about it more and more. Let us actively engaged family, friends, coworkers, fellow students, and neighbors to invite them to come to Mass again. If they do not respond by coming to Mass, do not get upset or impatient, just invite them again. We should never stop inviting someone just because they do not accept the invitation. By repeating the invitation, we give the grace of God a better chance to work in them.
The forms for the Angel Scholarship Fund are available at the doors of the church and in the parish office. You can also find all the information you need at this link: https://vimeo.com/687761970. Please consider being a part of this scholarship fund since it is an easy way to help our Catholic school students and it really does not cost you anything. Catholic schools are very important to all of us. They will become even more important in light of the things that are happening or will happen in our public schools. It seems to me that the government may be using our children’s education to further their own agenda and the agenda of our very secular society. Parents need to be aware of exactly what their children are being taught and what they are being exposed to especially in the area of human sexuality. Thank you for your consideration in this very important matter.
As you may remember, Fr. Pat and I were away October 4th to 7th for our biannual Convocation for Priests of the Diocese of Cleveland. It was our first convocation since 2018 because of covid. It was a very good experience for all of us to get together for a few days of prayer, reflection, and some presentations concerning parish priests and parish life. One area that was addressed is the effects of the pandemic on parish life.
Many parishes are still experiencing low attendance numbers. We conducted our annual October Count the past two weekends and it indicates that we are getting about 75% of our usual attendance since the pandemic. We continue to live stream the daily Mass as well as the 10:30 AM Mass on Sunday. We must remember that watching Mass is not fulfilling our need and duty to participate at Mass every Sunday. This is good only for those who are sick or homebound and not for those who are just “busy” with other things. Please remember that going to Mass every Sunday is the most important thing we do here on this earth because it provides the pathway to heaven. We cannot live a Christian life without Jesus Christ, and it is only at Mass and through the Eucharist that we encounter Him most profoundly and in the most intimate way possible. He has given us this great gift in His suffering, death, and resurrection and there are no substitutes. Please reflect on this truth and share it with others especially our children and young people.