September 20th message from Father Bob

Dear Parishioners and Friends, Near and Far,

Hope you are staying safe and healthy and personally distant.

Watching the installation of our new bishop on Monday, I had mixed feelings! A feeling of sadness came over me because of how limited the seating was due to the coronavirus. Ordinarily our cathedral would’ve been packed to the walls. On the positive side, I was impressed with our new bishop’s homily. He seems to be well educated, happy to be here, and humble in his understanding of our relationship with the Almighty. 

With our new bishop now running our diocese, I thought I’d give you some reflections personally of bishops that I have known. When I was in the seminary at age 14, I met Archbishop Edward Hoban, who led our Diocese from 1945 to 1966. He was called a prince among bishops. He had connections all over Europe and Rome. Bishop Clarence Issenmann served us next. It is said he wasn’t the greatest administrator, but one on one (priest or otherwise), he was so kind and understanding. He was also a good cook during his retirement. Bishop James Hickey came next and ordained me and numerous others during his six years. I remember when he was upset at meetings, he would slam his ringed hand on the table. Bishop Anthony Pilla was homegrown and served us for 25 years. He appointed me as pastor at Nativity and is now 87 years old. He was a great handball player when he was a young priest, and taught us economics and social studies when he was just a seminary professor. Bishop Richard Lennon came from Boston and served our diocese for 10 years. He was our tallest bishop and had the very difficult task of merging or closing parishes. Bishop Nelson Perez was only here for three short years, and is now Archbishop of Philadelphia. He has a great personality and we were so fortunate to have him here at Nativity for Mass and a visit last September. In my homily I’ll speak of a couple other bishops I knew personally. Please pray for our new Bishop Edward Malesic as he shepherds our souls and our church.

A little weekend humor:

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of the Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note and posted it on the apple tray: “TAKE ONLY ONE. God is watching.” Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples…

I don’t know what to say about our Cleveland Browns!!!

With Him and His Mom,

Father Bob