May 17th Message from Father Bob

Dear Parishioners and Friends Near and Far,

From my favorite newspaper comic strip PICKLES: Earl, sitting on a bench with a friend says, “I volunteered for the men’s choir at church. They said they were looking for a younger voice. So I told them it’s the oldest violins that make the sweetest music. They agreed, and said if they ever need an old violin they’ll let me know.”

May 14 was the feast of the 13th apostle St. Matthias. He was elected to replace Judas after the Ascension of Jesus. About 120 of the early Christian community gathered and cast lots, an ancient Jewish tradition. The sacred lots were called Urim and Thummin. By using this method to choose the replacement of Judas, the early Christians showed their Jewish roots. We don’t know why, but St. Matthias is never mentioned again in the New Testament.

May 18 is the 100th birthday of St. Pope John Paul II. We certainly need his intercession from heaven now. He survived Nazism, World War II, and Communism. He led the church faithfully for many years and maybe now he can help us endure this pandemic with grace and hope.

The Catholic bishops of Ohio have stated that we should have a “soft opening” of our churches starting May 25 – Memorial Day – Mass at 9:00 a.m. So weekday masses will begin that day. Do you realize that the last time I celebrated Mass with a congregation was March 16 over two months ago? The weekend of May 30 and 31 is the feast of Pentecost, this will be our first weekend with the regular Mass schedule. However, we have some directives from the diocese:

Parishioners have to keep a social distance of at least 6 feet entering and leaving the church. 6 feet apart in the church, in the pew (except for those living in the same household), receiving Communion, etc., is expected. You must wear a facial mask while at church except when receiving Communion. When receiving Communion just lower your mask and then return it. No processions in or out of Mass. No physical sign of peace. No communion on the tongue and I will be wearing a mask giving out communion. There will be markings on the floor and in the pews where we should be. No offertory procession. Ushers will use baskets with long handles for the offertory collection. Everything touched in church will have to be sanitized before and after Mass. If you are sick please do not come to church. We will have hand sanitizer nearby everywhere. There will be no holy water in the fonts. I am asking all ushers, EMs, lectors, and volunteers to help us follow these directives with kindness, gentleness and order PLEASE. This will take everyone some patience and practice and prayer and time. We all want to stay healthy, happy and safe.

A little canine humor:

Day 17 at home during the virus and the dog is looking at me like, “See? This is why I chew the furniture!”

What do you do when you see your dog eating your dictionary? Take the words right out of her mouth.

It looks like baseball might begin in July – I can’t wait!! GO TRIBE!!

With Him and His Mom,

Father Bob