Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Jan 31, 2024

The 2024 Catholic Charities Appeal will take place next weekend, February 10 & 11, in our parish with an in-pew commitment process.  Please refer to the insert in today’s bulletin which includes our parish’s goal and an overview of the importance of Catholic Charities in our communities.  This year’s appeal is “Transformed by your Love.”  Your generous support will transform the lives of others, to offer dignity, possibilities, and companionship to those who are most vulnerable.  Our appeal is a bit earlier this year due to Lent beginning early.  All who have not received the mailing from Bishop Malesic or have not had a chance to respond to it, will be asked to consider making a generous pledge to support the ministries and services provided by Catholic Charities.  If you have received the mailing from the bishop, please respond generously to it and we ask that you also complete the in-pew envelope and indicate by checking the box that you have already responded by mail.  You are invited to view stories of inspiration and more information at

Our parish community has a long-standing history of generosity to the annual Catholic Charities Appeal by either meeting or surpassing our goal of $183,750.  We have many kind and generous people who are very willing to share their blessings with those less fortunate than ourselves.  I truly believe that whatever you can contribute is not just what you can afford but is truly by the blessings that God has showered us.  Maybe we may have to do with less or even do without in some areas of our live so that others may experience the love and mercy of God in their troubled lives.  So please be generous and respond to this year’s Annual Catholic Charities Appeal.  God will bless you for it and reward you for your kindness.

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR CONSECRATED LIFE: This Sunday we celebrate a World Day of Prayer for those in the consecrated life and those discerning a vocation to the consecrated life.  The consecrated life is dedicating one’s life to God and the Church through the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  The consecrated life is one way that men and women live out their baptismal commitment as a follower of Jesus.  Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life and those who are discerning a vocation to the consecrated life.  Please pray especially for members of our parish community in the consecrated life:  Fr. Scott Steinkerchner, O.P.; Sr. John Paul Myers, O.P.; and Sr. Mary Consolata, CM.  Let us pray that God will continue to strengthen these vocations and help other young men and women of our parish community to hear His voice calling them to this blessed life of prayer and service.

MAKE YOUR PLANS:  Saturday, February 10, 2024, will be our annual World Marriage Day celebration in McMahon Hall. The dinner will follow the 5 PM Mass and the blessing for married couples. This is a time for all of us to pray for those couples living within the Sacrament of Marriage and to thank God for the gift of this sacrament on which we build our families and the Church itself.  We are planning a very entertaining evening with a lot of laughs.  So, mark the day on your calendar and plan to be there.  Tickets are $55 per couple.

The Holy Season of Lent begins in 10 days!  The holy season of Lent is a time for spiritual growth. It is a time for prayer and fasting; it is a time of charity toward others, especially the poor and the needy. What does it mean to grow in our spiritual lives? It means that we grow in such a way that we truly become more like Jesus in our lives. We try to put the needs of others ahead of our own. This Lent is an opportunity to love more; to love God and to love our neighbor. This is who God created us to be; He created us to love just as He loves us. We do not have to look very far to see how much God loves us; we do not have to look any further than the crucifix. The suffering of Jesus says it all; His willingness to lay down His life for us shows us what it really means to love.

We all know that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a very important part of our spiritual lives and also helps us in our relationship with God and others, but we do not use this sacrament as often as we should.  In an attempt to make the sacrament more convenient, the diocese is trying something new this Lent. On the evening of Wednesday, February 28, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. ALL the churches in the eight counties of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will open their doors and offer the Sacrament of Penance…confession. Catholics across the Diocese are asked to invite someone who may have been away from the faith, for whatever reason, to participate at this special time as an occasion to return.

Don’t Give Up Chocolate for Lent: Join Dynamic Catholic for Best Lent Ever, A Free email program designed to help you have a life-changing Lent.  You will receive short inspirational videos, practical tips, and study guides for individuals or groups.  This program is based on Matthew Kelly’s book, Resisting Happiness, this year’s program will help you identify what stands between you and happiness… and what to do about it.  To have the best Lent ever go to and sign up.

Fr. Joe Labak