Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Jan 24, 2024

This week is Catholic Schools Week.  A time each year for us to showcase our school here at Sacred Heart.  Our school is a very good Catholic school that seeks to educate our children not just in our Catholic faith, although, that is the reason that it exists, but we try to educate our children in many ways concerning a variety of subjects. 

Education, especially Catholic education, tries to teach the children not just with facts, figures, and formulas, but how to think and reason with the information that they are given.  This is most applicable to areas of our Faith.  We teach them the basics of our Faith in the Scriptures and the Catechism as well as the ways that they can apply these teachings to their own lives and the situations they see in our society.  This is what real education is all about.  It is not just putting things into their minds but helping them to draw upon what goes on in the world guided by the Word of God’s own Revelation. 

This is the kind of education we have sought to give the students at Sacred Heart School and will continue to strive for in the future.  I do hope that more of the parents and families of our parish community will prayerfully consider using what Sacred Heart School has to offer.  I know that Wadsworth is blessed with a very good school system, but when you come right down to it Sacred Heart has more to offer because it provides an atmosphere of Faith where a relationship with God can be nurtured based on God’s love for us and our love for Him and others.  God is at the heart of our parish family and our school community just as He should be at the heart of our families and our lives.  Jesus told us that we can do nothing without Him, but these like many of His words have not completely taken root in our hearts.  This is what makes a Catholic school so valuable not just to the children and families that use them, but to our entire parish family and the whole Church.

Sacred Heart has generously supported our parish school since its founding in 1949 with the Vincentian Sisters of Charity and all the teachers and principals that have served so diligently over these past 74 years.  I thank God for all the gifted and hardworking people God has sent to our school and for all the wonderful things that have been accomplished in the Name of Jesus and His Sacred Heart.  May God bless all who have done so much and continue to inspire even greater things for the future.

Friday, February 2, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple.  We recall the stories of Simeon and Anna from the Gospel.  They were both advanced in age and had been waiting to see the salvation of Israel in the coming of the Messiah which they witnessed when Mary and Joseph arrived in the temple for the Presentation of Jesus.  This is also the day when the Church blesses candles for use at the altar and in the church.  The candle is the symbol of Jesus Christ who is the light of the world.  Our use of candles reminds us that we are given the light of Christ at our baptism and charged to take that light into the world and share it with our brothers and sisters in Jesus.

RIGHT TO LIFE.  On January 19, thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C. to March for Life.  These people came from all different parts of the country and from many different faith backgrounds, some from no faith background at all.  They came because they believe in the right to life as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the principles upon which our nation was founded.  As Catholics we believe that God gives us life at the moment of our conception and that no one has the right to end that life except God alone.  We have heard this time and time again, but how many good people still do not believe in the depths of their soul.  Too many people who say they are against abortion are not willing to speak out against it.  They retreat to what they think is a safe place and say that each person should be able to decide this for themselves.  “My body my choice,” does that sound familiar?  The body, the life that is destroyed in an abortion is not the life of the woman who carries a child within her.  It is a person, a human being, a body completely separate from hers.  She and all of us have a solemn responsibility to protect and defend that life created by God.  Many people who believe in the right to life still vote against laws that are meant to protect the lives of the unborn, their mothers and fathers, and all members of communities.  Otherwise, how can anyone explain the defeat of Issue One this past fall when 57% of the voters in the State of Ohio voted to enshrine the “right” to an abortion in our state constitution in addition to many other “rights” that will, in the end, cause untold harm and devastation to so many people, a lot of them unborn babies and children.  I do not think many people realize the great destruction that has been done and the many babies and young people who will suffer greatly as a result.  May God have mercy and may He give us the grace to respond to His call to follow Jesus and listen to Him.

Fr. Joe Labak