Coronavirus Updates

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

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