Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Oct 26, 2023

Last weekend we held our Annual Solemn Eucharistic Devotions with our closing Mass at 5 PM on Sunday.  Fr. Liptak, our guest homilist, gave a beautiful and inspiring homily.  I am very grateful for his time and effort in sharing God’s Word with us.  I am grateful for everyone who made the weekend so very prayerful and beautiful, especially the closing Mass.  Fr. Pat and Deacon Rich did a great job with the Mass and procession and with the altar servers who did a very fine job being so prayerful and reverent, giving their time and effort.  I am grateful to the Knights of Columbus and to the children of our First Communion and Confirmation classes, as well as their teachers and catechists: Abby Cook, Lisa Kelley, Elizabeth Fick, Lindsay Frame, Rene Gerschutz, Emma Jo Powers, Jodi Nichols, Jess Allen, and Claire Corridoni .  Thank you also to our musicians, cantors, ushers, and lectors.  May God bless all who took part in this special time of adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

The election is only a few weeks away and there is much at stake here in the State of Ohio.  It is a matter of life and death for thousands of children.  As Christians and followers of Jesus Christ we must oppose the bill or amendment that does not accept the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.  Every human life is sacred because all human life comes from God and is made in the image and likeness of God.  No one has the right to kill another human being least of all an unborn defenseless child in the mother’s womb.  We often hear some people defending abortion by using the phrase, “My body, my choice.”  This is the most ridiculous rationale for empowering a mother to kill her unborn child.  The statement is totally inaccurate because once a child is conceived that child is a completely different person than the mother, even though the child is growing within the womb of the mother.  After conception there are two bodies and two souls each having the right to live the life God created them to live.  It is really so very simple and anyone should be able to understand it.

Any so called “law” that allows a person to kill another person is no law at all.  This absolutely flies in the face of God Himself and is directly opposed to God and His Law of love.  It is not easy to follow God’s law especially when our choices place us in certain very difficult positions, and we are looking for some kind of easy solution.  There is no easy solution to a problem like this, but there is a right way and a wrong way.  The right way seeks to fulfill God’s Law of love by promoting life with all the love and respect that we can, and the wrong way seeks to destroy a sacred life and at the same time only creates more problems and difficulties that may not show themselves for years in the future.  The best answer is always to follow God’s law even though it is not the easiest and it is usually very difficult.  Through this all God is with us and loves us and offers His love and help in many ways and through many different people that He places in our lives.  These people can be family or friends or others that do so much to help parents to care for their children in ways that really help and remind us that all human life is sacred. 

All of this help is made possible by the grace of God and the prayers and good works of people in our communities across the state.  Our parish has consistently and generously supported the Embrace Clinic and Care Center in Barberton.  This center helps everyone involved from the baby to the grandparents and family members.     It is truly a gift from God through which He reminds us over and over again that He is with us, loving us, and showing us that following His Way is loving and life giving. Thank you to all who participated in the baby bottle fund raiser.  Thanks to your generosity we raised $3,200 for the Embrace Clinic and Care Center.

Please pray for one another so that we may all vote on November 7 in a way that witnesses to the love of God and our neighbor.  Vote prayerfully and carefully!

Today we celebrate Priesthood Sunday as we pray for our parish priests and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood.  We are very fortunate to have a seminarian with us this weekend from St. Mary Seminary in Wickliffe.  We welcome our own Jon Hawkins, who will speaking at all the Masses after Communion to share with us his vocation story.  Jon is in his fourth year at St. Mary Seminary and grew up right here at Sacred Heart.  You will find an insert in today’s bulletin with the pictures of all the seminarians at Borromeo and St. Mary Seminaries.  Also, the insert contains a letter from Bishop Milesic to all the young people of our diocese.  Please keep our young people in your prayers for vocations that they may be open to God’s call to the ordained or religious life.  Ask God to help all of us to encourage any young person who may show signs of a religious vocation or expressed interest in serving God and the Church in this way.

Fr. Joe Labak