Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

May 3, 2023

May is the month of our Blessed Mother.  It is a good time to renew our devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, especially through the Rosary.  In the apparitions of our Lady at Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje, she has urged us repeatedly to pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners.  Praying the Rosary gives us the opportunity to reflect prayerfully on the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary especially those events that have shaped our salvation.

The Rosary is truly a Gospel prayer.  As we pray this powerful prayer, we can see how the trust of both Jesus and Mary truly gives us the best example of what it means to follow in the way of God.  Jesus and Mary trusted completely in the Father’s love and His plan for salvation.  Jesus and Mary were committed to doing the Father’s will in all things.  This is an especially important lesson we can learn by praying the Rosary.  We strive to make doing the Father’s will the center of our lives.  We realize that the strength and power to do the Father’s will comes from prayer and the sacraments.

Please take time during this month of May to pray the Rosary more often.  Invite your family and friends to pray with you or pray it by yourself while driving, going for a walk, or making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in our Chapel of Divine Mercy.  Making the Rosary a part of your life will make a significant difference on how you view the world around us and the way we respond to it.

Last Saturday, April 30, fifty-two of our children received Our Lord in Holy Communion for the first time.  May this be the beginning of a deep and lifelong relationship with Jesus with a deepening understanding of the real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  May they, and all of us, come to understand more and more how essential the Eucharist is in all our lives.  We need the grace of Jesus’ gift of Himself every Sunday so we can truly live the life for which God created us, a life of love for both God and neighbor.

I am very grateful for everyone who made the First Communion Liturgy as prayerful and beautiful as it was; Fr. Pat, Deacon Rich, Deacon Richard Vossler, our second-grade catechists: Lisa Kelley, Katherine Paydo, and Elizabeth Fick, as well as Abby Cook, our DRE, Eric Pandrea,  our cantors, and our altar servers.  Everyone did an outstanding job.  May God bless all for their devotion and effort.

In this Month of May I need to say something about two parish organizations dedicated to Mary.  We have our Altar & Rosary Society, a group of very dedicated women who work very hard to continue the work of this society.  The work of the Altar & Rosary Society has a very powerful impact on our lives whether we realize it or not.  We all like to come to church and see a beautifully decorated altar and a sanctuary that is cared for in the best possible way.  This is part of what this society does as well as purchasing and caring for the items used in our worship of God.  I invite all the women of our parish to consider taking an active part in the Altar & Rosary Society.  In next week’s bulletin there will be an opportunity to bring you time, support and talent to the society by filling out a form.

The Legion of Mary is another wonderful organization in our parish community.  Today you have listened to some of the members of the Legion of Mary share with you what the legion does and invited you to become active members of the Legion of Mary.  Being a member of the legion does not take up a great deal of time.  An active member is asked to attend the weekly meeting, do one hour of legion work per week such as calling on new parishioners, delivering the baptismal certificate to the parents of newly baptized children, visiting the sick or home bound, and reciting the legion prayers each day.  There are many in our parish who are auxiliary members, so they say the prayers each day already.  I invite everyone to consider becoming active members of the Legion of Mary and joining in the great work the legion has been doing here at Sacred Heart for the past 50 years or so. 

These two organizations do great and holy work in our parish community.  May God bless all of them for their good work and devotion to our Blessed Mother.

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS.  Our celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart will take place on the weekend of June 17 and 18 with our parish picnic following the 5:00 P.M. on June 18. 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