Be not afraid! These words are found often throughout the Gospels as Jesus spoke to people; these are words Pope St. John Paul II spoke often in his addresses. Jesus speaks these words to us today: Be not afraid! With Governor DeWine declaring a stay at home order, the parish offices and the churches will be closed during this time. If you need to get in contact with any of us, you can call and leave a voicemail, send an email, or send snail mail. We are still able to communicate through those means of communication. Reflections will be found semi-regularly on the Facebook pages of both parishes. While there were some technical difficulties last week, we are still planning on broadcasting Mass via the parishes' YouTube channels. Please tune in at 10:30am so that we may pray together.
At the beginning of Lent, I exhorted everyone to have “an excruciating Lent.” Little did we know how excruciating it would be, yet that word excruciating remains relevant on multiple levels. We are suffering and enduring the hardships and uncertainties this health crisis has brought upon us. With that, it's worth noting that the word excruciating comes from the Latin “ex cruce,” meaning “from the cross.” This is an excruciating Lent, in which we are given the opportunity to become more fully united to Christ crucified, to be more completely conformed to His Sacred Heart, to grow more deeply in relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Fight the urge and tendency to think Lent and Easter are cancelled and therefore fight against drifting away from the work of Lent. Keep a routine of prayer and a routine in general during this time.
Here are some resources you may find helpful:
Magnificat provides the readings for Mass, daily reflections, and abbreviated forms of Morning and Evening Prayer, and they are offering this free for now: www.magnificat.com/free
Readings for Mass: usccb.org
Explanation and Meditations of the Sunday Mass readings: www.thesacredpage.com
FORMED offers inspirational, educational, and spiritual videos, podcasts, and other programs: formed.org
Bishop Barron provides reflections for the Stations of the Cross: http://stations.wordonfire.org/stations-of-the-cross
Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet: https://www.thedivinemercy.org/m…/devotions/pray-the-chaplet
Praying the Rosary: https://www.rosarycenter.org/…/rosa…/how-to-pray-the-rosary/
Praying the Liturgy of the Hours: http://www.ibreviary.org/en/
Download the iBreviary app on your phone or tablet
Lastly, in this time of a suspension of public Masses, please consider our online giving options (found with the online giving links on the parish's websites) for any donations to continue support of our parishes, school, and office employees. Electronically you can stay consistent in your faithful giving. You can still mail in donations as well. We understand that there is economic stress for many during this pandemic, so some might not be able to donate, but for any who are still able, the support will be very much appreciated.
Next week, I hope to resume this bulletin column with the series regarding a “quick” telling of the good news of Jesus Christ. Know that I am continuing to offer Mass and many prayers for all of you. God bless all of you.