From the Pastor, Sept 28

Dear Parishioners,I recently came across an article on the web by a Deacon entitled: Seven Vices of Sporting Events.  Deacon Ed Looney is from the Green Bay Diocese and an avid Packer fan. The seven listed are:

Pride – when it turns into cockiness

Drunkenness – when one’s judgment is hampered

Crudeness – with four letter words

Anger – when one team loses

Impurity – when one’s dress is inappropriate including cheerleaders

Profanation of the Sabbath – when the field becomes a basilica

Lack of Stewardship – when one spends  beyond one’s means ($ and time)

Could one not also give seven positives, like – team work, sense of skill, family fun, leisure time, fulfilling a dream, etc.  What do you think?  Get feedback from family and friends… Father Frank

From the Pastor, Sept 20

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Dear Parishioners, “We are companions on the journey, breaking bread and sharing life.”…This refrain says it all.  This image of companions or pilgrims reminds us not only our daily life but also special travels one makes to religious shrines/churches.Last week I with 44 others from around NE Ohio traveled by bus to Birmingham, Alabama, visiting  EWTN (including live shows with Fr. Mitch Pacwa and the taping of Mass on Wednesday)  and then on to Hanceville to the National Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Mother Angelica’s Monastery .  It was the first time for 19 pilgrims.Fr. Dan is presently on a trip to Italy with his pilgrims for two weeks visiting the many churches and shrines. Let’s remember them in prayer for inspiration and safety. With the cooler weather upon us, why not make a trip as pilgrims with the family to local shrines throughout Ohio.  Your faith will be enhanced greatly…Father Frank

From the Pastor, Sept 14

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Dear Parishioners,

I hope some of you can join us this afternoon for the Faith and Culture Mass at 2:00pm and the Pot Luck of Foods following.

Did you see Fr. Frank on TV this week?  He celebrated Mass at Mother Angelica’s convent in Alabama with 40+ folks from Ohio.

Arrivederci, Akron!  This week I will lead a pilgrimage of 47 people to the Vatican and Italy.  Please say a prayer that our journey is safe and spiritually renewing.  You will be in my prayers as we celebrate Mass each day.

PSR classes will begin on Monday Sept. 29th from 6:30-7:45pm at St. Bernard in English and at St. Mary School in Spanish.

If an emergency arises, please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Frank at the Parish Office.                               Pace e bene, Fr. Dan

From the Pastor, Sept 6

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Dear Parishioners,

On May 22, 2004, Ramon J. DiMascio, accompanied by his wife, Judy, and with seven other deacon candidates, was ordained to the Order of Deacon by Bishop Anthony M. Pilla.

Deacon Ray was immediately assigned to our parish community and has served us for these past ten years.

Born in 1959 and baptized at St. Martha Church, Ray has responded to the call of Christ in many ways.  Before his call to the Diaconate, his first calling was to marriage.  He and Judy (Sparhawk) were married here at St. Bernard in December, 1981.

It was their love for this parish and his desire to do more for it that led Ray to pursue the studies and formation for ordained ministry.  With Judy’s support, who teaches at St. Anthony Grade School, Ray persevered in those studies while continuing a full-time career with Veyance Technologies.

In service to this community, Ray has assisted well-over 200 people to become fully-initiated Catholics in the Church.  Leading the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, he and the RCIA team have helped many discern God’s call to follow Jesus Christ in their life.

Not only adults in the RCIA, but also numerous children have been prepared and baptized into Christ by Deacon Ray.  He first spends time with the parents to help them understand the meaning of the baptismal rituals.  He then further instructs them in the vital role they have as Christian/Catholic parents.  With knowledge of the Sacrament and words of encouragement, parents receive the support of this community through Ray.

With Judy, and other parishioners, Ray has sponsored hundreds of engaged couples seeking Marriage.  However, by his ordination he also is delegated to witness the exchange of consent and rings at the couple’s wedding.

Finally, and most visibly, he has assisted the congregation and the priest (or Bishop) from the altar and preached God’s word to us at Sunday Mass.  Often highlighting the importance of being an active part of a faith community, he has helped us find Christ present here in St. Bernard Parish.  By sharing his own story, gifts, and by his personal example of Christ-like living, Deacon Ray has brought folks closer together in the parish.

Let us join together to celebrate, give thanks, pray for, bless, and recognize the generous and kind heart of this man of God who has served us faithfully these many years.

God bless you, Deacon Ray!

From the Pastor, August 31

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Dear Parishioners,

Labor Day is this Monday.  Please note that our one Daily Mass is at 9:30am, and the parish office is closed for the day.

Hey, Newman Students!  Come join other UA Students in the Newman Center on Wednesday, September 3 at 6:30pm for dinner (located on the 3rd floor of the office building – just look for the blue banner).  Then get some info on ‘Speed Dating’ and “Got Prayer?”  They may go together!!  Anyway, come and get acquainted or re-acquainted this Wednesday.

As you can see in the column to the left ◄ we want to celebrate with Deacon Ray and his wife, Judy, his ten years of ordained ministry as a deacon and his whole-hearted service to this parish community.  Please join us for a special celebration next Sunday at the 9:30 Mass followed by a light reception.

Also in this bulletin you will find an invitation to all parishioners to join us on September 14 at 2:00pm for a special bilingual Mass.  This annual Diocesan event, Fe y Cultura, celebrates our unity of faith and the unique expression of it within various cultures.  The participation of our English-speaking community is a blessing to this event.  Foods from various countries will be available following the Mass.

Registering children for Religion Class continues in the Upper Room after each Mass, or by coming to the parish office during the week.  We need to know where your child (K-12th grade) is receiving religious instructions.  PSR Classes will begin the week of Sept. 21 in English, and the week of Sept. 28 in Spanish.

Did you hear?  St. Mary School down the street has enrolled nearly 230 students, an incredible increase!  You here at St. Bernard are a blessing to their education through any contributions you make in the red, monthly “Fr. Hilkert Envelope” found in your Parishioner Envelope packet.  ‘Thank You’ on their behalf.

Have a restful Labor Day…and as we take our rest let us remember this adage from the Book of Proverbs (16:3): “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”  May the Lord prosper the work of your hands and give you peace.      Fr. Dan

From the Pastor, Aug 17

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DEAR PARISHIONERS,

I received a phone call from a priest with a request.  He wanted to know if I would permit our Mass and Confessional schedule be published in a flyer for those attending the Gay Games 9 in Akron and Cleveland.

Of course, there was no hesitation to say yes.  Our doors are open and there is a welcome to all our Catholic brothers and sisters to worship God.

Over the week however I was just a bit uncomfortable and momentarily sad to think that we still equate a man or woman who is homosexual as a person of questionable morals.  Why did I think that?  Well, because the request was based on a presumption that our parish may be perceived as condoning homosexual activity by finding our Masses listed in a pamphlet at the Gay Games 9.  That presumption would be terribly inaccurate!

In 1997 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a Pastoral Letter to parents whose child is homosexual.   It’s entitled:  “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers”.  You can type in the title on your search engine and get the entire Letter.  This Letter was also intended for Church Ministers to guide them with practical approaches to assist.  I think all the approaches are valuable, so I copied them here with permission. But two are highlighted because I believe they apply to all Catholics:

 

  1. Be available to parents and families who ask for your pastoral help, spiritual guidance, and prayer.
  2. Welcome homosexual persons into the faith community, and seek out those on the margins. Avoid stereotyping and condemning. Strive first to listen. Do not presume that all homosexual persons are sexually active.
  3. Learn more about homosexuality and church teaching so your preaching, teaching, and counseling will be informed and effective.
  4. When speaking publicly, use the words “homosexual,” “gay,” and “lesbian” in honest and accurate ways.
  5. Maintain a list of agencies, community groups, and counselors or other experts to whom you can refer homosexual persons or their parents and family members when they ask you for specialized assistance. Recommend agencies that operate in a manner consistent with Catholic teaching.
  6. Help to establish or promote support groups for parents and family members.
  7. Learn about HIV/AIDS so you will be more informed and compassionate in your ministry. Include prayers in the liturgy for those living with HIV/AIDS, their caregivers, those who have died, and their families, companions, and friends. A special Mass for healing and anointing of the sick might be connected with World AIDS Awareness Day (Dec 1) or with a local AIDS awareness program.  Copyright ©1997, U.S. Catholic Conference, Washington, DC

 

Given these pastoral recommendations, I know as a priest (i.e. “Pastoral Minister”), we have done more in this parish than advertise our Mass schedule.  Sr. Rita Mary Harwood, SND, who was interviewed for a recent article in the Akron Beacon Journal, is the Diocesan Director of Ministry to Gays and Lesbians in the Church.

With her oversight, St. Bernard Parish has been on occasion a location for our brothers and sisters to gather for prayer, spiritual presentations, and socials.  To be a homosexual Catholic or a Catholic homosexual (depending on how you look at it) is a challenge.  Actually it is a spiritual battle to live a virtuous life in our culture that laughs at the very suggestion of being chaste or celibate.  Our parish could do more to support parents and to help support men and women who are seeking to live a life in which a “Someone” isn’t turned into a “something” for their own personal pleasure in thought or deed – and that applies to both sexual orientations!

Let us pray for those in our parish community who strive to live in conformity to the example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.   Let us pray too for those who have given up the challenge.  And finally, let us pray for our youth who have chosen to sacrifice their very life – God’s gift – because they feared rejection, a life of ridicule, or condemnation.

Providing support to parents and Church Ministers was only one way the Bishops chose to respond fifteen years ago.  It is up to us today.  We can do more; and as the pastor of St. Bernard I am open to do more with God’s help, the direction from our Diocese, and your efforts.    In Christ, Fr. Dan

From the Pastor, Aug 10

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DEAR PARISHIONERS,

This weekend we bid a prayerful farewell to four of our young parishioners who have served this community well over the years.

At the 9:30 Mass we ask your prayers and blessing for Pauline Klein. Later this week she will become a postulant with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee. They are a teaching community founded in 1860 in the tradition of St. Dominic. Our best wishes to her as she leaves to discern further this vocation to religious life. Our thanks to Pauline for her service to us by joining the choir and singing at Mass these past four years along with her sisters, brother, and father. Our thanks also to her parents, David and Ruth, and to her siblings who supported Pauline in this decision.

Then at the 11:30 Mass we ask the prayers and blessing of the community on two of our Altar Servers whom we have watched grow up before our eyes: Sarah and Zachary Schreckenberger. They have served faithfully the 11:30 Mass since they were 9 years old, and often singlehandedly. They will be leaving us to enter into their chosen universities. Zach will be heading to Ohio State University, and Sarah will be entering Kent State University. Since they’ve been a team since birth and at God’s altar, they probably won’t become rivals now.   Let us give thanks to God for them and for their commitment to serving God with us. Our thanks also to their parents, Chas and Kim, and their older brother who formed them in the practice of their faith and gave example to become a Christian man and woman.

Finally, at the 1:00 Mass we pray for Nancy Cabrera. She along with her brothers has served each Sunday as an usher. In a week or so she will enter the University of Akron, and being nearby will continue serving our community. Our thanks to Nancy, and to her parents, Nancy and Rogolio, who have encouraged their children to be an active part of the faith community here at St. Bernard.

On Monday, August 11, the pastoral council will meet to decide on whether to have one Mass or keep two Masses on Sunday Mornings. I’m so glad people read the bulletin! Since mentioning that the response so far has been for only one Mass, I finally am hearing from those who think we should keep it the same. I have drawn up a list of pros and cons for us to make a decision. May the Spirit guide us.

Parents with children in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will need to “register” your child (that is, inform us) as to where they are going to receive religion instructions this coming academic year. As is in the past, your child can attend our PSR program, another PSR more convenient, or be homeschooled with approved texts.

For those who have registered in the past, we are currently scanning your past forms so that you can easily and quickly update last year’s form.

Registration will start August 24 after Masses.

In this bulletin you may have seen the ad for “INQUIRY GROUP”. This is an opportunity for people with questions about the faith and Church to get answers. Beginning Tuesday, August 26, we will hold an Inquiry Session each month for anyone to come with questions about the faith, God, etc. This informal session will be led by a priest or deacon. Please let people know, especially those with interest or just questions. Come and see! Aug. 26th at 7pm in the Conference Room.                                    Peace, Fr. Dan

From the Pastor, Aug 3

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DEAR PARISHIONERS,

On Monday, August 11, the pastoral council will meet to decide on whether to have one Mass or keep two Masses on Sunday Mornings.  I’m so glad people read the bulletin!  Since mentioning that the response so far has been for only one Mass, I finally am hearing from those who think we should keep it the same.  I have drawn up a list of pros and cons for us to make a decision.  May the Spirit guide us.

Our parish secretary, who has studied and is now being trained as a ‘first responder’ in the medical field (EMT) has made it necessary for us to locate a new parish secretary.  If you know an individual that would qualify (Spanish/English a plus) please direct them to the parish office: 330-253-5161.  This is a part time position: 20-25 hours.

Parents with children in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will need to “register” your child (that is, inform us) as to where they are going to receive religion instructions this coming academic year.  As is in the past, your child can attend our PSR program, another PSR more convenient, or be homeschooled with approved texts.

For those who have registered in the past, we are currently scanning your past forms so that you can easily and quickly update last year’s form.

Registration will start August 24 after Masses.

This past week the RCIA Team (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) met to evaluate the program, especially for this past year.  We are seeking parishioners who would be a Sponsor for those coming to be Baptized in the Christian faith, or are seeking a deeper relationship with Christ in the Catholic Church.  Please be open to this vital role.  Requirements:  1) a sinner in need of God’s grace, 2) a witness to how God has worked in your life, 3) able to listen to someone searching, and 4) willing to do it for the Lord.  I would hate to turn people away because we have no one here at St. Bernard to sponsor someone wanting to become Catholic.  We need YOU from November – April!

In this bulletin you may have seen the ad for “INQUIRY GROUP”.  This is an opportunity for people with questions about the faith and Church to get answers.  Beginning Tuesday, August 26, we will hold an Inquiry Session each month for anyone to come with questions about the faith, God, etc.  This informal session will be led by a priest or deacon.  Please let people know, especially those with interest or just questions.  Come and see!  Aug. 26th at 7pm in the Conference Room.     Fr. Dan

 

From the Pastor, July 20

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DEAR PARISHIONERS,

This weekend we welcome to St. Bernard Parish, Fr. Joseph Nelson, OFM, a Franciscan Friar from the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in New Mexico.  (Please see the information on their Ministries in today’s bulletin.)  For over 100 years the Franciscans have ministered to some of the poorest and isolated peoples in the   Southwestern U.S.  Father will ask us to support the ministries of his community.  Please be generous as you are able.  Thanks.

Need a mortgage to go out to a movie?  Looking for some free family entertainment?  Check out the Parish Family Movie Night held here in the Newman Center.  On Friday, July 25 at 7:00pm we’ll be showing the movie “Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure” (2012 – NR) starring Kirk Cameron.  It is an exciting documentary that illustrates the history of the Pilgrims and America’s beginnings in the Northeast.  Refreshments are provided but bring some popcorn if you like.  Contact parishioners Michael and Kelsey Hess (first-time parents) at 567-230-6869.

Our thanks to Jim Kintz and the music ministers at last Sunday’s Mass for the Italian- American Festival in downtown Akron.  We provided a beautiful site for worshipping God.  We welcomed back Fr. Peter Coletti, our guest homilist who was assigned this community many years ago.  And, the sacrifice of the congregation provided the Italian-American Committee $986.00 for their worthy causes, such as scholarships to local youth.

Fr. Frank Basa has been away this week.  He will return tomorrow from Bilings, Montana.  He joined the members of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas for their national convention.  Fr. Basa has served this organization for many years as their regional chaplain.

This past week Christian Burial was given to a former teacher of St. Bernard School, Sr. Beatrice Fitzgerald, OP.  Sister was well known for her love for the Lord and dedicated service to the parishes in Akron.  May she rest in peace.

During the summer months many are away on vacation, especially our University of Akron students.  If you are an altar server, reader, or Eucharistic minister – please be aware that we are short handed.  We appreciate your checking to see if we need assistance, especially at the 8pm Sunday Mass.

Congratulations to former UA student and Newman Ministry team member, Maria Bedell, who was married here on July 12 to Mark Wadowick.  Many Blessing as you life your married life in Christ.

Congratulations to Sam and Jen Ferrise who celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary a few weeks ago on July 3.  They celebrated with family at home.  Sam continues to help Jen daily as she makes steady progress in her recovery from a depilating stroke.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Michael Striker, now an alum of the University and was representative on the pastoral council, acquired employment near his home in Galion, Ohio.  Our thanks to Joe Giorgio, who often assists the community by serving at the 9:30am Mass, for succeeding Michael as the Coordinator of the Altar Servers.

If you would like to serve for Mass on the weekends, please contact the parish office.  We prefer a boy or girl in the fifth grade, at least.  We are in need of servers at all Masses.

A good number of people have let us know their preference for a single Sunday Morning Mass.  There’s been an overwhelming desire to have one Mass on Sunday morning, not only for the summer, but even year round.  The pastoral council will discuss the response at their next meeting on the second Monday of August.  We still want to hear from you.

Also, if you are interested in being considered for membership on the pastoral council, please contact Fr. Dan at the office soon, the new council will begin in September.

Families with children in grades K – 12, in a few weeks we will be asking where and how your child will receive their religious instruction in the coming year.  Watch for further announcements.  It will be easier if you have registered them all in the past year.

Please pray for the 30 parishioners making a 33 Day Retreat this summer, some in Spanish and most in English; as well as those who are infirmed in our parish at this time.

Know you are in my prayers, not only at the “Pro Populo” Mass “For the parishioners”, but also in my daily prayers.  May the Lord give you… His Peace.                     Fr. Dan

From the Pastor, July 13

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DEAR PARISHIONERS,

This weekend we welcome to the 11:30 Mass the Italian-American Festival.  This event is a celebration of culture and faith, along with some great food down at Lock 3 all day.  The Festival Committee responded to an invitation to celebrate the Mass here this year.  We are happy to welcome all Italian-Americans in the Akron area, the Knights of Columbus, the Peace Together Choir, and homilist, Fr. Peter Colletti.  Benvenuti a Tutti e Buona Festa!

In cooperation with our Diocesan Mission Office, we welcome next weekend a Franciscan Friar from the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in New Mexico.  For over 100 years the Franciscans have ministered to some of the poorest and isolated peoples in the   Southwestern U.S. Please read the Insert in today’s bulletin.  It will identify the ministries they will ask us to support next weekend.  Given recent news at our borders in the Southwest, I hope Father’s timely presence will be informative and our response generous.

Here at home we continue to do what we can to share our blessings with those in need.  Last month the Parish Pantry (which is highlighted in today’s bulletin) served a 3-day food supply to 201 households.  Overall, that came to 590 individuals in one month.  Program leaders and longtime volunteers have commented on the increased number of people who are coming to us this summer.  In large part this is due to a decrease in school programs in the area which often times provided a breakfast or lunch to its participants.

Sadly, I learned that the sound mixer used by our parish choirs at that side altar was stolen last Saturday.  We prayed for the thief at Mass.  In the meantime, Jim Kintz is looking for one that will work in our sound system before we have to buy a new one.

Need a mortgage to go out to a movie?  Looking for some free family entertainment?  Check out the Parish Family Movie Night held here in the Newman Center.  On Friday, July 25 at 7:00pm we’ll be showing the movie “Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure” (2012 – NR) starring Kirk Cameron.  It is an exciting documentary that illustrates the history of the Pilgrims and America’s beginnings in the Northeast.  Refreshments are provided but bring some popcorn if you like.  Contact parishioners Michael and Kelsey Hess (first-time parents) at 567-230-6869.

Ever need a place to get centered, find peace of mind, spend in quiet prayer?  Besides our own church’s availability and the 12:10 Daily Mass and Rosary, the following area parishes have a Blessed Sacrament Chapel that is open to you 24 hours a day / 7 days a week:

Barberton – St. Augustine Church

Green – Queen of Heaven Chapel

Stow – Holy Family Chapel

Wadsworth – Sacred Heart Chapel

It’s what the Divine Physician has provided!

Here’s an update on the parking lot.  The pastoral and finance councils discussed two proposals from the architects.  They agreed on one plan which will be presented to the City of Akron for their evaluation.  This does not mean the lot will be completed any time soon.  Nowadays, the lot is well used.  But, unless you know someone to give us an interest-free loan, the needed funds will come in part from the pledges made in the Rooted in Faith Initiative.  ‘Thank You’ for honoring your pledges.  And, donations are accepted to help with this project as well.   Viva Italia, Fr. Dan