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Flocknote Update - 05/09/2020

Church open for private prayer starting on Monday

Bishop Brennan has given us the good news that beginning on Monday, May 11, churches may open for private prayer, including Eucharistic Adoration. The friars are glad to open St. Patrick Church to you during the following hours as we look forward to the resumption of public Mass:

Monday - Friday
6:30am – 10:30am
1:00pm – 3:00pm (with Eucharistic Adoration)

Saturday and Sunday
6:30am – 8:00am
11:00am – 3:00pm (with Eucharistic Adoration)

Please bring a mask or face covering with you, and hand sanitizer if you have it. We have also closed some pews to help keep a 6-foot distance between persons in the church. It will be possible to schedule an appointment for confession during some of the times the church is open, so that you can combine a visit to the church with your confession.


Confessions continue by appointment

We continue to offer many opportunities for confession--in fact, every day of the week, but for the present you must still make an appointment by calling (614) 240-5910. See our parish homepage for details on how to schedule and go to confession.

Once we open the church for private prayer and Adoration, we will move our confession stations to the Parish Library and Aquinas Hall, but otherwise the same health and safety precautions are in place. When you arrive for your scheduled appointment, an attendant will direct you where to wait for the next available priest.


Friars adding a 7am live-streamed Mass Monday-Friday

As we look forward to resuming the public celebration of Mass, the friars are adding a 7:00am live-streamed Mass Monday through Friday from the Priory Chapel starting this Monday, May 11. This is in addition to our existing live-streamed Masses: 11:45am Monday-Friday and 9:00am Saturday and Sunday.

We are hoping that this will be of help to those who would like the option of a live-streamed Mass earlier in the day, especially if you are unable to watch the Mass during their workday. You can find the Mass on our live-streamed events page.


Public celebration of Daily Mass begins on May 25

Bishop Brennan also gave us the happy news that, while the resumption of the public celebration of Sunday Mass begins on the weekend of May 30/31, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, we can begin the public celebration of Daily Mass starting on Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day), and we are looking forward to doing so here at St. Patrick. We anticipate continuing with our regular Mass schedule—please stay tuned for details.

Some health and safety precautions will be present, but we look forward nevertheless to welcoming you back to Mass!


Blessings on Mothers Day!

Blessings to all mothers, grandmothers, and godmothers as we celebrate the women who have given us life and have helped carry and sustain us through our lives.

We friars look forward to welcoming all of you back to your beloved St. Patrick Church!

Peace,

Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Pastor's Letter - 05/03/2020

Dear friends,

As I write this letter, we are preparing to begin individual confessions again this weekend—by appointment, and with some safety precautions being taken—to welcome you back to mercy of Christ, the Good Shepherd, the one who knows how to rescue his straying sheep and carry them home on his shoulders.

At the same time, we have received news that the Catholic bishops of Ohio have decided on May 30/31, the Solemnity of Pentecost, as the target date to resume the celebration of public Masses, though with added safety precautions. See the letter from Bishop Brennan in this bulletin. While this will mean a few additional weeks of waiting after the originally hoped-for reopening on the weekend of May 10, you will have the opportunity to go to confession, and from Bishop Brennan's letter, it looks possible that at least some churches may be open in the coming weeks for visits to pray in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

The readings this Sunday present the Divine Shepherd, who has come that we might have life, and life abundant. To bring us to this abundance, he leads us through shadowy valleys of fear, giving us the courage to follow one who has already passed victorious through the darkest valley of all.

This Sunday, even though we cannot yet celebrate Mass publicly, is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and so today would be an excellent day to pray for our young people who are discerning their calling from God, that they would listen with courage, and boldly follow the Shepherd who alone can bring abundant life to them and through them.

St. Patrick, our patron, was a shepherd even as a young man during his time of slavery, and later was called by the Church to be a spiritual shepherd, a bishop, and a missionary evangelist to Ireland. Let us ask St. Patrick also to pray for us and for the young people of our parish, especially that those who are being called to the diocesan priesthood or to the consecrated life of a religious sister, nun, brother, or priest, will have the courage to find and give this abundant life to others, as have so many young people at our parish, even in recent years.

Please also pray for our seminarians and religious sisters still in formation. Deacon Seth Keller, a son of our parish, will be ordained to the priesthood on June 13 for our Diocese of Columbus. We look forward to the day when he can celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Patrick. Please pray for Deacon Seth as he prepares for his ordination to the priesthood, that he will be a shepherd after the heart of Christ.

I would also encourage you to read the wonderful letter of Pope Francis, included in this bulletin, for the 2020 World Day of Vocations. I find the image of Christ, walking on the water during a storm to the aid of his fearful disciples being tossed about in their boat, to be a powerful image for meditation especially during the upheavals of this time of pandemic. Christ never abandons us. Let us welcome him into our storm-tossed boat, and ask of him the peace, mercy, and abundant life he promises.

Peace,
Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Flocknote Update - 04/30/2020

Renewed Consecration to our Lady

The month of May is traditionally set aside to honor the special role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Church. In light of the global pandemic sweeping our world, the month will begin in a very special way. The Bishops of the United States in conjunction with the Bishops of Canada have made a collaborative decision to re-consecrate both countries to the intercession and protection of Our Lady under the title of Mary, Mother of the Church on Friday, May 1 at 3:00pm Eastern Time. As Archbishop Gomez, the President of the USCCB noted, "This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus."

This event will be aired live on the EWTN Television Network (check listings for appropriate cable channel), the EWTN Facebook page, and on St. Gabriel Radio AM 820.


 Live-Streamed May Crowning on Sunday, May 3

For those of you watching our Sunday live-streamed Mass on May 3 at 9:00am, the friars will crown an image of Our Lady at the end of the Mass and pray the Litany of Loreto. We will include the Litany with the music sheet for the Mass, to be sent out in a separate Flocknote on Saturday.


 Additional details about Confessions by appointment

The friars are glad to make the Sacrament of Confession available to you again! See below or the homepage for information about how to schedule an appointment and go to confession with some added safety precautions.

The confession stations are located just inside the double doors to Patrick Hall from Kelly Alley and just inside the east entrance to the Parish Center near the Lourdes Grotto. An attendant will direct you where to wait once you arrive for your appointed time slot. Please note that you will need to wait outdoors for the next confessional, so you may want to dress accordingly and bring an umbrella if necessary. If the weather is bad, you can wait in your car.

Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

Peace,

Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Flocknote Update - 04/29/2020

Dear Friends,

St. CatherineOn this Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, a great Dominican saint and Doctor of the Church known for her devotion to Christ and the great mercy he gained for us through his blood, I am happy to announce that we will be able to start hearing individual confessions by appointment beginning this Friday, May 1, at St. Patrick. See below for the guidelines for going to confession, which include scheduling information and safety precautions.

As St. Catherine once said, "God is more willing to pardon than we have been to sin." May the doors of Divine mercy, now open wide for you, bring you the great gift of forgiveness of your sins through sacramental absolution.

Also included below is a letter from Bishop Brennan, announcing that the target date decided upon by the Catholic Bishops of Ohio for resuming the celebration of public Mass is the Solemnity of Pentecost on the weekend of May 30/31. Originally the bishops were hoping to resume public Masses on May 10, but in coordination with the plan of Governor DeWine to reopen Ohio gradually and avoid large gatherings, they have moved the target date back a few weeks. While this will mean a few additional weeks of waiting, you will have the opportunity to go to confession in the meantime, and from Bishop Brennan’s letter, it looks possible that at least some churches may be permitted to open in the coming weeks for visits to pray in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. If this becomes possible at St. Patrick, I will do everything I can to make it happen.

Your friars are praying for you, and miss you. Blessings on this feast of our great friend in heaven!

Peace,

Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Guidelines for scheduling and going to Confession

The Dominican friars give thanks to God that we, along with many other parishes in the diocese, will be able to make the Sacrament of Confession available starting on Friday, May 1st!

During this transitional time, in order to prevent long lines and large gatherings, and to help maintain a healthy and safe environment, confessions will take place by appointment only. We will, however, make every effort to accommodate a large number of appointments each day. To this end, confessions will be scheduled back-to-back in time slots of 5 minutes each.

We want everyone to be able to experience this return to confession as a moment of peace and mercy, without anxiety or fear, and so we ask that you cooperate with the following guidelines developed by the Diocese.

First, we ask that you remain home during this time if...

  • You are ill with anything contagious, including a cough or cold, and especially symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • You are in a high-risk category for COVID-19.
  • You have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

If any of these conditions apply to you, remember that forgiveness of sins can be obtained through perfect contrition. If you are seriously ill or in danger of death, please call the parish office and arrangements will be made for a priest to visit you, either at your home or in the hospital.

If none of the above conditions apply to you, you may make an appointment for confession by calling (614) 240-5910 and receiving a confirmed date and time slot.

Confessions remain anonymous. When you call, you will not be required to give your name. The receptionist will ask how many people you need to schedule confessions for, tell you what time-slots are available, and then confirm your confession time and date. A separate appointment must be made for each person who is going to confession, including any children who are going to confession. Please ensure, though, that all young people under 18 are accompanied by a parent or adult sibling while waiting for confession.

When you come to confession, please use your own hand sanitizer and wear a sanitary mask or homemade face covering that covers your nose and mouth. Please use the restroom before leaving home as the church and parish center will remain closed. Bathrooms can only be used in cases of emergency.

We ask that you try to arrive no more than 5 minutes before your appointment time, so that we can avoid the formation of long lines.

An attendant will welcome you in the east (back) parking lot and direct you to one of two indoor confession stations, which will be set up so that you don't have to touch anything. The confession stations are located just inside the double doors to Patrick Hall from Kelly Alley and just inside the east entrance to the Parish Center near the Lourdes Grotto.

Please note that you will need to wait outdoors for the next available priest, so you may want to dress accordingly and bring an umbrella if needed. If the weather is bad, you can wait in your car.

Given the time constraints, we ask that you make an effort to prepare beforehand and to be "to-the-point" in confessing your sins, since each penitent is allotted 5 minutes. If you need counsel on a particular issue, you can arrange to speak with a priest later over the phone.

We see this as a critical transitional time and one which will help us prepare for the future celebration of public Masses and reception of Holy Communion here at St. Patrick. Please know of our gladness in making the sacrament of confession available to you again, and thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this difficult time.


Letter from Bishop Brennan

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Lord is Risen – Happy Easter!

The Ohio Bishops met yesterday. After consultation and a close examination of the facts determined that while it is not yet possible to begin the public celebration of Mass, we are looking at a target date of May 30/31 – Pentecost Sunday hopefully to resume our celebrations. Each of us continues to dispense all Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and I also dispense from the canonical obligation of Easter Duty. During his press conference yesterday, Governor DeWine indicated that through increased and widespread testing and other means, much knowledge will emerge to allow for safer conditions for the assemblies of people. In the meantime we will begin the gradual process in various ways.

This week many of our priests will begin setting aside dedicated time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a wide basis by appointment and in places deemed to provide for safety and hygiene. These locations will include spaces free of the need to touch surfaces such as doors or furniture, providing appropriate social distancing and privacy and limiting the number of people gathered at any one time to a bare minimum. The locations and contact numbers for appointments will be posted on our Diocesan Website beginning Wednesday April 29th so that appointments for confessions may be scheduled, and hearing confessions can begin Friday May 1st. We will be working to make it possible in at least some of our churches for people to visit and pray during certain hours in the coming weeks. Again, care for the continued health and safety of those who visit is paramount.

The process of preparing for Mass will encompass many considerations. We will work to ensure that the Churches are clean and safe. We are working to have plans in place to manage seating and movement, allowing for safe social distancing; this may perhaps limit the number of people in the Church or any other spaces at any given time. We will follow the guidelines for assemblies regarding face-coverings and other protective measures. It may be necessary to adjust schedules to allow for priests to help each other beyond parish boundaries. In recent weeks there has been a task force looking at the many opportunities for evangelization here in the diocese. Their work will turn to provide recommendations on how we as a diocese and as parishes use this time for pastoral and interior preparation.

Looking ahead with hope and anticipation I ask your prayers. Looking back, I can only do so with deep gratitude for your continued goodness, your sacrifices, your patience and understanding. I am convinced that the measures we have taken together with the rest of our community have made a significant difference. Let’s pray for those who have suffered deeply, especially those who have died and those who mourn. And let’s never forget the sacrifices and hard work that so many people heroically make for us and our well-being.

In the peace of our Risen Lord,

+Bishop Brennan


 Letter from the Ohio Catholic Conference of Bishops

Download the file here


Flocknote - 04/25/2020

Father has sent the latest update through Flocknote. You can read it here. This message contains a links to teh parish bulletin and a link to the Mass Music sheet for this week.

To learn more about Flocknote and to sign up, please see our website here.


Flocknote - 04/18/2020

Father has sent the latest update through Flocknote. You can read it here. To learn more about Flocknote and to sign up, please see our website here.


Pastor's Letter - 04/19/2020

Dear friends,

Our reading today from the First Letter of Peter begins with these words:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

These verses sum up in a beautiful way, I think, where we find ourselves as a parish at the present moment. In God’s mercy (on this Divine Mercy Sunday), we are given a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (in this Easter Octave), in which we rejoice, even though for a little while we have to suffer through various trials (during the pandemic and its wide-ranging effects), but all of this can reveal the genuineness of our faith, and so prove to be for the praise, honor, and glory of God.

I am glad to receive notes, messages, and anecdotes of how you are holding on and staying connected to your Catholic faith and your parish during this time of physical separation. We friars are spending even more time together than usual, especially since most of our pastoral events have been postponed except for the live-streamed ones. So, it has been good to renew our brotherhood as friars, but we still very much miss being with you, and look forward to the joyful reunion whenever it may come.

You probably also miss coming to our beautiful church, so I thought I would include a few snapshots of the coming of Easter and Spring to St. Patrick.


A new feature on our website is an online prayer list where names of persons you would like to lift up in prayer can be posted. You can find it here.

As we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, we are still awaiting the time when we can offer you the Sacrament of Reconciliation again. As I noted in a recent Flocknote, a plan has been developed by the Diocese for the hearing of individual confessions during the time of the pandemic, but cannot be implemented just yet, especially due to the anticipated surge in cases of COVID-19 in Ohio in the next weeks. Bishop Brennan will let us know when we can set this plan in motion, so your patience is appreciated.

In the meantime, Fr. Bernard Mulcahy, O.P., one of our friars at St. Patrick Priory who teaches full time at the Pontifical College Josephinum, has written a concise, clear, and encouraging article on the meaning of perfect contrition, which the Holy See has encouraged the faithful to have recourse to in times like these when individual confession is not immediately available. You can read it at this link.


Thank you to all of you who are continuing to contribute to our weekly offertory and to our Little Margaret’s Charity fund by mail and through online giving. It is wonderful for me to see your commitment, even in these uncertain financial times for so many. Since the pandemic restrictions began, over 50 parish families have signed up for online giving through our secure WeShare online giving page If you would like more information on how to sign up or just need a little help doing so, feel free to contact the parish office.


Kindly remember in your prayers the soul of parishioner Ralph Antolino, who was buried on April 8. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated for him at a later date once the pandemic restrictions are lifted. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.


Blessings to all of you, and may the great mercy of God on this Divine Mercy Sunday give birth in you to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!

Peace, Fr. Stephen


Easter Blessings from your Dominican Friars

Dear friends,

Alleluia Marker
Above is the marker for the Alleluias that were buried at the beginning of Lent in our parish courtyard by our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd students. How I look forward to the day when we can be together again, and when they can unearth their Alleluias! The church is very quiet without all of you. What I wouldn't give just to hear a crying baby. :-)

Below are some close-ups of our Paschal Candle which was lit for the first time at the Easter Vigil last night.

One angel, weeping, points to the crown of thorns beneath the cross. Surely many of you can identify with the crown of thorns during this Easter. While I know that many of you have been watching our live-streamed liturgies and appreciate them, there is still the separation that this pandemic has brought in so many ways, including not being able to attend Mass in person and receive Christ in Holy Communion. 

The other angel points to the crown of gold above the cross, signifying that, perhaps, while acknowledging the reality of our suffering individually and collectively, we should nevertheless look with hope and even joy to the glory that Christ has gained for us through his passion, death, and resurrection. 

As Fr. Thomas said in his homily today, the death and resurrection of Christ has changed the meaning of our suffering--we can see it as a calamity (a kind of meaningless suffering that we simply complain about) or as a cross (suffering united to the suffering of Christ himself, which unites us to the one who has overcome sin and death). I pray that your sufferings, united to the cross of Christ, will point you in hope and even joy to the crown of glory that awaits you. 

All of your Dominican friars pray that today, on this Easter Sunday, you will know this hope and this joy of Christ, risen from the dead!

Peace,

Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Update - 04/09/2020

Plenary Indulgence for praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart on Good Friday

The Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the USCCB, invites all Catholics to join in praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at 12:00 noon on Good Friday. By a special grant from the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See for those who pray for the end of the pandemic, a plenary indulgence is available for all who join Archbishop Gomez in this prayer. To receive this indulgence, a member of the faithful would need to:

  • pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on Good Friday;
  • be truly repentant of any sins they have committed and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the earliest opportunity; and
  • pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.

The USCCB has supplied a prayer card with the Litany of the Sacred Heart in both English and Spanish, and one of the friars will pray this Litany at noon on Good Friday, at the beginning of our preaching of the Seven Last Words of Christ.


Seven Last Words

It is a custom in some families to try to observe silence in their homes on Good Friday between noon and 3pm, the hours that Christ was on the cross. It is the custom at St. Patrick to preach about the seven last words (or sayings) of Christ on the cross as recorded in the four Gospel accounts. In addition to our already announced Triduum liturgies, we will also live-stream the preaching of the Seven Last Words of Christ: seven brief reflections spread out over these three hours. Here is the schedule of the preached reflections:

  • 12:00 Noon – Litany of the Sacred Heart, in partial fulfillment of the conditions for a plenary indulgence, followed by preaching on Luke 12:46 – "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." / Fr. Thomas Blau, O.P.
  • 12:25pm – Luke 23:43 – "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." / Fr. Thomas Blau, O.P.
  • 12:50pm – John 12:26-27 – "He said to his mother, 'Woman, behold your son.'" / Fr. Raymund Snyder, O.P.
  • 1:15pm – Matthew 27:46 – "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" / Fr. Charles Shonk, O.P.
  • 1:40pm – John 19:28 – "I thirst!" / Fr. Charles Shonk, O.P.
  • 2:05pm – John 19:30 – "It is finished." / Fr. Stephen Dominic Hayes, O.P.
  • 2:30pm – Luke 23:46 – "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit." / Fr. Stephen Dominic Hayes, O.P.

Confessions are coming

A plan has been developed by the Diocese for hearing individual confessions safely during the time of the pandemic, but it cannot be implemented just yet, especially due to the anticipated surge in cases of COVID-19 in Ohio in the next weeks. Bishop Brennan will let us know when we can set this plan in motion, so your patience is appreciated. 

In the meantime, Fr. Bernard Mulcahy, O.P., one of our friars at St. Patrick Priory who teaches full time at the Pontifical College Josephinum, has written a concise, clear, and encouraging article on the meaning of perfect contrition, which the Holy See has encouraged the faithful to have recourse to in times like these when individual confession is not immediately available. You can read it at this link


Pastor's Letter - 4/5/2020

Dear friends,

In the Passion according to St. Matthew, after Jesus celebrates the Last Supper with his disciples and institutes the Eucharist, he goes with them to the Garden of Gethsemane. He took along with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be filled with sorrow and distress, saying to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He went forward a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will."

At that moment, Jesus reveals that he knows and bears our human suffering. He is ready to accept the Father's will, which is that he will redeem us by his blood on the cross. He asks three of his disciples to remain near him and to keep watch with him.

During the pandemic, even though so many people are temporarily separated from the sacraments of the Church, it is so important to keep watch with Jesus in prayer, and even by praying the Liturgy of the Church from afar by watching online or through other media. St. Matthew names some of the women watching his crucifixion from afar, including Mary Magdalene, who had been set free from seven demons, and the mother of James and John, who had asked for the seats at the right and left hand of Jesus, and had agreed to drink the cup that he was to drink. He is no stranger to our suffering. He is no stranger to facing death. He is no stranger to feeling the desolation of being abandoned. And yet Jesus is never completely abandoned: there are always those good-hearted yet imperfect disciples who keep watch with him, and remain with him.

Nearby you will find our full Holy Week schedule of live-streamed (and also recorded for later viewing) liturgies. We will be broadcasting most of the liturgies from St. Patrick church, so that at least from afar you can keep watch with Christ in the place where you have so often come to hear and receive him, and where we all hope you can return as soon as possible. Also nearby you will find a schedule of Holy Week liturgies and devotions from St. Joseph Cathedral that will be broadcast on St. Gabriel Radio AM 820 and also live-streamed on the DIocese's website, including a special Diocese-wide Lenten Retreat from St. Joseph Cathedral by Fr. Michael Kelly, Director of Spiritual Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum, reflecting on the following topics:

  • Monday, April 6 – Our Response to This Particular Holy Week
  • Tuesday, April 7 -- The Evil that Challenged the Last Supper
  • Wednesday, April 8 -- The Blessed Virgin Mary Guiding Us Through Holy Week

This retreat broadcasts each day at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on St. Gabriel Radio, 820 AM, Columbus. It will also be live-streamed at ColumbusCatholic.org the Diocesan Facebook page, and the Diocesan YouTube Channel.

Jesus welcomes you, invites you to remain with him, to keep watch with him, as well as you can during this strange Holy Week. In our closeness to his heart, we will find life, and peace. Earlier in St. Matthew's Gospel, Jesus says: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (11:28-29). His yoke, his burden, is not easy or light for him during his Passion, but when we share it with him, when we keep watch with him and remain with him, his heart makes our own burdens lighter, and we can find peace washing over our souls.

So, this Holy Week, bring your burdens to Jesus, rest upon his heart, and allow his great but gentle strength to lift them and make them lighter.


I would like to repeat what I wrote last week about Confession.

One of the most difficult sufferings during the pandemic for many Catholics is the temporary separation from the Eucharist and Confession. Confession is such an important part of our ministry at St. Patrick, and yet, in conversation with the Diocese, at least during the "Stay at home" order in Ohio, it is likely that your only option will be to make a good act of contrition. The Holy See, through the Apostolic Penitentiary, reminds us that in conditions like this, perfect contrition obtains the forgiveness even of serious sins:

"Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452)."

Perfect contrition requires

  • the love of God
  • the sincere desire for forgiveness
  • the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available

The Diocese would like to make the Sacrament of Confession available again as soon as possible, and would like to plan for the time when this time comes. We Dominican priests will be glad to be part of that "rolling away of the stone" as soon as this is possible. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding, and I hope that your temporary separation from the Eucharist, Confession, your fellow parishioners, and our beautiful St. Patrick church, will make you ever more hungry and thirsty for these great channels of grace when they are opened again.


We have received word from the Diocese that our parish Confirmation Mass, previously scheduled for April 27, will have to be postponed. We will give you an updated date as soon as we have it, though the course of the pandemic and related restrictions will impact this, and are still unfolding.

If you have any questions regarding other events scheduled in the parish, feel free to call our parish office.

We will bless palms on Palm Sunday, and have plenty of them, but will need to wait to distribute them to you.


Thank you to all of you who, despite these very uncertain times financially, are continuing to support our parish offertory collection by mailing in your envelopes or by giving electronically through your bank or through our St. Patrick WeShare page. This is so important to us, especially to continue to pay our parish staff, who are so dedicated to all of you. If you need help yourself in any way, or would like to volunteer to reach out to fellow parishioners, please call our parish office. For more information on how to give online, go to WeShare Online


Your friars are praying for you, and continue to miss you. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement to us!

Peace,
Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Pastor's Letter - 3/29/2020

Dear friends,

As you will have noticed, we temporarily have a scaled-down bulletin, and it will only be published online during the Covid-19 restrictions. So many things have been scaled down, haven't they? Yet today's Gospel reading shows that with Christ, all sufferin g—even death—is only temporary.

One way to meditate on a Scripture passage that is in the form of a narrative is to put yourself in the place of one of the characters. In the narrative of the raising of Lazarus, imagine for a moment that you are Lazarus.

For, in many senses, we are all Lazarus in the tomb.

Lazarus was confined by his illness; surely he was confined to his home, and then to his bed. And then, after some days of suffering, he died.

During the restrictions in place because of the pandemic, most people are pretty much confined to their homes. Some people, due to illness or self-quarantine, are confined to their rooms. Some people, due to serious illness, are confined to a hospital bed and struggle even to breathe. And some, after much suffering, have died.

It is the rare person who cannot on some level identify with Lazarus.

We all come at some point to reduced options, to confinement, to suffering in our life – but in these places, Jesus comes to us and calls our name.

He weeps for us when we are in our tombs, because he knows our suffering from within.

He calls our name, that we may come into the light, and be set free from all bonds that are more suited to death than life.

As baptized Christians, we can also identify with Lazarus after being called by name out from the tomb. We are set free from original sin by baptism, and the door to eternal life as been opened for us. We have become temples of the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit of God dwells in us, and we belong to Christ. The Holy Spirit animates us from within.

At least in a moral and spiritual sense, we have freedom now, and are free to walk in the light. And we await a far greater promise, in a far more glorious resurrection on the last day.

But we still have freedom. We find ourselves between resurrections. The first one has set us free, and the second one is promised by one whose word is never broken.

Now, imagine for a moment that you are Martha.

Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." Martha replies, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world."

We should long to be Martha, and willing to believe in Christ's power to set us free from our confinement: physically, morally, emotionally, and spiritually. We should long to be Martha, and see the love of Christ for us, a love that weeps for all who suffer, and all who die. We should long to be Martha, and believe that there is no confinement, no dead end in our life, that Christ cannot overcome with a single word of command, with a single calling of our name.


One of the most difficult confinements for many Catholics is the temporary separation from the Eucharist and Confession. Confession is such an important part of our ministry at St. Patrick, and yet, in conversation with the Diocese, at least during the "Stay at home" order in Ohio, it is likely that your only option will be to make a good act of contrition. The Holy See, through the Apostolic Penitentiary, reminds us that in conditions like this, perfect contrition obtains the forgiveness even of serious sins:

"Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452)."

Perfect contrition requires

  • the love of God
  • the sincere desire for forgiveness
  • the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available

The Diocese would like to make the Sacrament of Confession available again as soon as possible, and would like to plan for th e time when this time comes. We Dominican priests will be glad to be part of that "rolling away of the stone" as soon as this is possible. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding, and I hope that your temporary separation from the Eucharist, Con fession, your fellow parishioners, and our beautiful St. Patrick church, will make you ever more hungry and thirsty for these great channels of grace when they are opened again.

Peace, Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Update 03/20/2020 - All Public Spaces Closed

Due to increasing restrictions and health precautions required for public spaces, and the fact that parishes are not equipped to meet these standards, Bishop Brennan has decided this morning that we simply cannot allow access to churches or other parish buildings. As he told the priests, this is not about closing churches but really about urging our parishioners to stay at home these next few weeks.

Therefore, effective immediately, we need to cancel our planned open hours for the church, as well as our planned hours for Confession and Eucharistic Adoration until further notice.

We friars are awaiting direction for how to continue to provide Confession to you, and will do everything we can, especially since this is such an important part of our ministry at St. Patrick.

We friars will also do all that we can virtually, including live-streamed Mass on our parish website (11:30am Monday-Friday; 9:00am Saturday and Sunday) and other events, such as Fr. Hayes’ presentation on prayer coming up this Monday at 12:30pm. We are hoping to add more resources for you soon. You can also reach the parish office by phone and e-mail, and we will do our best to stay connected to you.

I must also remind you that most parish expenses continue, including staff salaries and utilities, so I encourage you to continue your regular offertory contributions. While the most efficient way to do this is via our online giving page on our parish website, you can also send your donation envelopes by mail or use your bank's bill pay service.

While not completely unexpected, this is a great loss for all of us. At the same time, with every great trial like this, it is important to look at the glimmers of grace. Even Christ, on his Way of the Cross, brought unexpected graces to Simon of Cyrene, who helped him carry the Cross; Veronica, who wiped his face with her veil; and to his Mother, whom he met on the way. It is encouraging to hear from some parishioners that they are watching the live-streamed Mass and finding it helpful. Thank you for bearing with us, and stay tuned for further updates.

Our prayers are with you.

Peace,

Fr. Stephen, O.P.


Update 03/19/2020

Blessings to you on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph! Please read the letter that Bishop Brennan addressed to all of the faithful in our Diocese on March 18. As you will see in this letter, Bishop Brennan is deeply concerned about the safety of us all, and especially those most vulnerable to the pandemic COVID-19 illness. I too, as your pastor, want to be faithful to my responsibility to care for your souls, but in doing so, not to place you in danger. At the moment, I am concerned especially about significant numbers of the faithful being in church at the same time, especially on Sunday. (Isn't it paradoxical that we have to worry about too many people being in church on Sunday?) Since the Bishop has told us that only under the strictest guidelines for hygiene and safety can churches be open for prayer and confession, here is what I am now planning for this Sunday, March 22:

  • St. Patrick Church will be open from 5:00am until 3:00pm.
  • Eucharistic Adoration will begin at 6:00am and continue until 3:00pm.
  • Confessions will be heard starting at the following times until the line finishes: 6:00am, 7:00am, 8:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm. (We will not have confessions between 9:00am and 10:00am due to the live-streamed Mass from the Priory Chapel at that time.)
  • The goal of this expanded schedule for Confession and Adoration is that you spread out your visits to the church. If possible, please consider coming earlier or later than the usual Sunday Mass times.
  • While in line for confession (which will be in the parish library and/or Aquinas Hall) in the gallery, please maintain a six-foot distance between you and the next person in line.
  • We will close every other pew to ensure some distance between persons within the church.
  • If the number of persons inside the church becomes too great, those arriving will need to wait in their cars until others have completed their visit.
  • For this reason, please consider keeping your visit brief, especially if you arrive during one of the more popular mid-morning hours, to allow as many people as possible to make a visit to our Lord. Also, for the same reason, please do not congregate for the purpose of socializing.
  • Please wash your hands: the restrooms are available for this.
  • If you are 60 or over, or if you have a compromised immune system, or if you have chronic underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, please seriously consider remaining home, where you can watch our live-streamed Mass (11:30am Monday-Friday; 9:00am Saturday and Sunday).
  • If you are ill yourself, or someone in your family is ill, please stay home, especially for the protection of those most vulnerable among us.

As always, schedules are subject to change, but I am hoping this will be a good and safe way for our church to remain open for personal prayer and confession.

Peace,

Fr. Stephen, O.P.

Link to Bishop Brennan's Statement


Update 03/17/2020

A blessed St. Patrick’s Day to all of you! As we adjust to this new and disorienting situation, we want to keep you updated. As has been par for the course these past several days, the following is provisional and subject to change. Here’s our plan until further notice:

  • The parish office will be closed, but we will be monitoring phone calls, voicemail, and email. The office staff will do their best to respond to your requests as promptly as possible. If you need to come to the office in person, please call ahead first and make sure your need cannot be handled remotely. We are here to help, but we want to curtail all unnecessary in-person visits to the parish office.
  • For today, the church will be open for prayer from 11:00 to 2:00. You are welcome to come and make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. We are working on arranging regular hours for prayer and possibly also for Eucharistic Adoration, pending further directives from the diocese.
  • Until further notice, confessions will be offered at the usual time (12:15).
    • If you come for confession, please obey the posted signs and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from one another. (This doesn’t apply to members of the same family, of course.)
    • We will hold confessions in Aquinas Hall and the Library. To reduce the chances of infection from frequently touched surfaces, feel free to stand rather than kneel behind the screen. We also encourage you, without necessarily making it a part of your penance, to wash your hands after confession!
    • If you are feeling sick and have an urgent need for confession, please call the parish office and we will make special arrangements. Please do not come to our regular confession hours if you are feeling unwell.
  • As friars, we will be celebrating a daily private community Mass in our house chapel. We hope to begin live-streaming this daily Mass tomorrow at 11:45. We will also record today’s Mass (with Fr. Hayes preaching on St. Patrick), and we hope to post it online sometime today. We will notify you when we post it. A different friar will preach each day.

We are discussing and thinking about more ways of being of service during this difficult time. We will continue to update you. Please know of our prayers.

In Christ,

The Friars


All Public Masses Cancelled

The Bishops of Ohio have recently decided, with great regret, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses, effective immediately. This includes our St. Patrick Solemn Vigil Mass this evening. Please stay tuned for further updates. Your Dominican friars will do all that we can to stay connected to you and offer any spiritual assistance you may need during these difficult times.

Please stay tuned for information on any live-streamed masses we will be having.

For more information please see the Bishop's Statement here.

Peace,

Fr. Stephen Alcott, O.P., and the Dominican friars


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