Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Apr 26, 2023

THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS – APRIL 30.  The purpose of 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), consecrated life in all its forms (male and female religious life, societies of apostolic life, consecrated virginity), secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life.

A vocation is a call from God to live our life in a certain way.  We all have a vocation to follow Jesus in His way of life and to be with Him in His eternal kingdom.  There are two aspects to all of our vocations: the call and the response.  God calls all of us in some way or another.  He is calling us right here and now.  A vocation is not really a past event; it is an ongoing event in our life.  God is always calling us to live out our life according to His plan and design.  What is God’s plan and design for us and how will I know what it is?  God’s plan is laid out for us in His Word to us and His Word is made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.  We look to the words of Jesus in the Gospel and in His Church.  Jesus is speaking to us and we for our part must take the time to listen and that is what we do in prayer.  In prayer we lift our minds and hearts to God.  We speak and listen to God.  This is why the Mass is the greatest prayer.  The Mass is where we encounter Jesus, the Word of God made flesh.  We listen to His word and praise Him as He comes down from heaven and enters into our life.  He again becomes flesh in us as we love Him and others in our own bodies.  The way that we treat others, talk to others, talk about others, the way that we respond to others in their time of need.  The way we love God and our neighbor.  This is God’s plan for us.  This is what He has called us to do.  This is our vocation.

We pray that more of our young people will respond prayerfully and generously to the Lord’s invitation to follow Him in serving His people by giving their life for service in the Church as a priest, deacon, religious sister or brother.  For many years, our parish family have been praying a Hail Mary after Mass for vocations and there have been countless holy hours made in our Chapel of Divine Mercy for this intention.  Please continue to pray for vocations from our parish.  We do have a few men discerning priesthood and diaconate vocations.  Jon Hawkins is studying for the priesthood at St. Mary Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio, and Jon Woost and Michael Niese are in the diaconate formation program.  Please keep them and their families in your prayers.

I am very happy to announce The Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Mason Willmott today at our picnic pavilion.  Mason is the son of Douglas and Natashia Willmott.  For his Eagle Scout Project, Mason chose to construct an outdoor cross shrine at our picnic pavilion by the warehouse.  It is very beautifully done, and we hope it will remind those using the pavilion of the love of God shown to us in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  Thank you very much, Mason, for this prayerful addition to our parish grounds.  May God bless you and your family and all our scouts in all that they do.

God’s blessing and congratulations to all the children who received our Lord for the first time in Holy Communion this weekend.  May they always know that Jesus is with them at all times and that as they are nourished by His Body and Blood they will come to know Him and strive to become more like Him in all that they do.  May they always hunger for Jesus in the Eucharist and receive Him as often as possible, even daily.

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS.  The Feast of the Sacred Heart this year is on Friday, June 16.  Since the Feast of the Scared 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 17 and 18 at all the Masses.  Following the 5 PM Mass on Sunday, June 18, 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 pleasant weather, or we will have to have our “picnic” downstairs in McMahon Hall.  What would a Parish Picnic be without a raffle?  This year we will have a raffle with a Grand Prize of $500. The tickets will be $5 each and will also be sold in advance as well as on the day of the picnic.  The winner need not be present.  The proceeds from the raffle will go to help Ukrainian refugees coming into the Cleveland area.  We are joining with three other parishes to raise money to help these refugees.  Please be generous in supporting our efforts.

Fr. Joe Labak