Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

May 4, 2022

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is a very special time for us to honor all our mothers and most of all, our Blessed Mother. Our mothers give so much of themselves to us. They care for us, they nurture us physically and spiritually, they guide us through life, they watch over and protect us, they care for us when we are sick, they comfort us when we are sick or hurt, and they rejoice with us in our accomplishments.  Mothers are always there for us just as our Blessed Mother is always there for us in good times and bad. Today, let us thank almighty God for the gift of our mothers; mothers, stepmothers, godmothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, and those who are like mothers to us. May God truly bless them with His love and always help them to be instruments of His love in our lives. We also pray for our mothers who have died, that God may care for them and guide them safely home to the Kingdom of Heaven where they may enjoy forever the light and love of God’s life. 

Truly, our mothers on earth are a source of care and comfort. When we need help in our lives, so often we turn to our mothers. Sometimes we ask them to do things for us themselves and sometimes we ask them to intercede for us with our fathers or others whose help we need. We also do the same thing with our Blessed Mother. We pray that she will intercede for us with God, our Father, so that He will help us in doing some important or special task. 

Today is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.  While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission to all people.  This year marks the 51st Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It is very important for us to encourage our young people to consider answering the Lord’s call.  The Lord is calling as many of our young people to serve Him and the Church in priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life as He has ever called.  The problem is that not many are answering that call because they convince themselves that He is NOT calling them and that He is calling them to do what they want to do.  In our part of the world there are many distractions to answering the call of God to serve Him, but the same is not true in many other parts of the world especially in Africa where the seminaries and convents are not big enough to accommodate all those who wish to enter. 

Please keep in your prayers the young people of our parish who received the Sacrament of Confirmation on April 30.  The Confirmation liturgies were very beautiful and prayerful.  I am very grateful to all who assisted in the liturgies especially our musicians.  I am also very grateful to Fr. Pat, Deacon Rich, and Claire Corridoni who helped in preparing these young people for the sacrament.  May God bless you all for your devotion and hard work. 

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS.  The Feast of the Sacred Heart this year is on Friday, June 26.  Since the Feast of the Scared Heart occurs on a Friday we are permitted to move the celebration to the weekend because it is our patronal feast.  So, we will celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the weekend of June 25 and 26 at all the Masses.  Following the 5 PM Mass on Sunday, June 26 we will hold our parish picnic. The Family Life Commission and the Parish Council will be working to plan the event, but more help and ideas would be most welcome.  So, if you would like to help plan this parish gathering, please call the parish office as soon as you can.  In the meantime, we can all pray for good weather, or we will have to have our “picnic” downstairs in McMahon Hall. HEART OF A SHEPHERD:   A major capital campaign in the Diocese of Cleveland, named Heart of a Shepherd, was launched in Fall 2019 and was conducted here at Sacred Heart last June, 2021.  This fundraising effort is to support renovation at Borromeo Seminary and St. Mary Seminary in Wickliffe, priests in their retirement, and relief from educational debt for newly ordained clergy.  As always, the Sacred Heart Parish family was very generous in the response.  Our goal was $405,000 which we exceeded with pledges of over $900,000.  As it was explained when the campaign was started, a certain portion of the donations would come back to the parish between 65% to 80%.  Again, thanks to your generosity, we have already received around $390,000.  I am very grateful to all those who made a pledge to the campaign and are faithfully fulfilling the pledge. The monies we receive will go to fund the salaries of our marketing – IT staff member and our youth minister.  Anything over and above that will be used for capital improvements and needs of the parish. May God bless all for your generosity and sacrifice in this effort.  Please pray for our priests, seminarians, and for vocations.

Fr. Joe Labak