From the Pastor, Oct 26

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Dear Parishioners,

            This Church is in constant need of repair.  Does it ever end?  Over time, and when we become complacent to its needs, the elements wear away its sturdy structures.  We may try some quick fix with a band aid, and find it doesn’t last.  Some decisions that people make to better and beautify parts of the Church only cause more deterioration.  We have a beautiful Church and we want to see it shine for the glory of God – every “living stone” of it!

            I am talking about THE Church, not simply our church building here.  Although our building is a monster to care for and where the repairs never end, I am talking about our Catholic Church.

            A year and a half ago, Pope Francis took a look at the Church and started asking how we can fortify one of the most fundamental structures of our Church and society – Marriage and the Family.  We have the tools – Christ, Scriptures, and Sacred Tradition.  But it seemed we didn’t use more than band aids in many parts of the world to safeguard Catholic marriages and families.  It appeared that the cultural elements – i.e. ways of thinking about commitment, sexuality, children, and divorce were wearing away the sacredness and purpose of this Christian vocation.  The pope wanted an assessment from clergy and laity around the world.  He then compiled the results into a working document, and called in some consultants to take a look at the renovation blueprint, and now take a year to pray, study, consult, and present a realistic way to revitalize and care for this Sacramental structure within our Church and in society.

            The Bishops concluded its first meeting (Synod) to discuss the working document.  The news media gave us bits and pieces of what some of the topics and issues were.  In the interim we pray for the Church as it once again listens to the signs of the times and remains faithful to the call of Jesus to reform our lives and follow Him.

            Fr. Frank returns later this week from vacation.  We hope it was a restful time for him.  This Sunday has become known as “Priesthood Sunday”.  I probably speak for the other priests here, when I say we know of your appreciation for our priestly ministry.  So often throughout the year, many of you send a note or card to say thanks for something we’ve done or do.  Your affirmation and gratitude to us personally is heard and felt. Thanks!

            But, it was the Son of God who instituted the ministerial priesthood at the Last Supper.  He removed his apron and washed his disciples’ feet. But all along, Jesus had been commissioning and preparing His Apostles for the ministry when He sent them out in mission, and when he charged them to be instruments of grace, forgiveness, and healing.  Priests, primarily the bishops, share fully in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.  For this reason, today our gratitude is directed to Jesus for the gift of the priesthood in the whole Church.  What a blessing it is; what a fulfilling life it can be.  Please pray for priests, especially those in the Cleveland Diocese.

            Mark your Calendars – Wednesday, Nov. 5th!  In the Bible, Jesus calls us to pray for workers for His harvest.  That evening we will pray:

                       

            Adoration of the Eucharist 5:30-7:30pm

                        (Join us in part or its entirety)

Celebration of Mass following Adoration

(A newly ordained deacon

preparing for the priesthood

will join us and preach)

 

WEDNESDAY – NOVEMBER 5 – 5:30 to 8:30pm

 

This event, sponsored by our vocation office, is being held at St. Bernard and publicized in Akron parishes so others can join us here.   

            Newman Students please join us on Nov. 5 as part of your evening events and dinner. 

Also, this Wednesday Oct. 29, there will be carpooling to the 7:30 presentation by Jason Evert on the Virtue of Chastity.  Meet here at 6:15pm if you want a ride down to Queen of Heaven Parish in Uniontown.  Or catch the presentation at St. Hilary Parish in Fairlawn on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7:30pm.

            Saturday is the Feast of All Saints.  Although we are not obliged to attend Mass when a Holyday falls on a Saturday or Monday, we will celebrate a Mass at 9:30 A.M. at ST. MARY Parish.  Let’s honor those holy men and women who pray that we remain faithful to Christ and His Church.

            Please take note of the events happening this week in the parish, particularly for those interested in becoming Catholic.  Those with questions join us Tuesday night; and those considering the Sacraments of Initiation meet on Wednesday night.

            Finally, once again, PARDON OUR DUST!  We signed a contract for the new parking lot.  A retaining wall along University Avenue will begin early November, weather permitting!  Please allow space along the north side of the church for those needing assistance.

Thanks for reading!             Peace, Fr. Dan

From the Pastor, Oct. 19

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Dear Parishioners,
            Today in Rome, Pope Francis will conclude the meeting with invited bishops of the world. They have been discussing issues related to marriage and family life in light of our call to evangelize the world. He concludes this first of two meetings with the beatification of Pope Paul VI. The Holy Father will declare his predecessor among the “Blessed” of heaven. If there is a second miracle attributed to his intercession, the Church will move to have him declared a Saint.
            Needless to say, his fifteen year papacy was not as world-renowned as St. John Paul II.   Yet, his impact and precedents sparked the pastoral mission and direction of his successors, even Pope Francis.
            Things we take for granted today: a world-traveling pope, a crown-less monarch, a humble and spiritual leader among the people, a voice for the poor and devastated, a voice that speaks truth to cultures and powers, and other aspects of today’s papacy are due in large part to his decisions.
            His encyclical, Humane Vitae (1968), was not widely received. But, Pope John Paul II based much of his own Theology of the Body on that letter. Today, although still not widely praised, the encyclical is considered prophetic in many circles.
            There isn’t much to-do given to this event in Rome today.   Between the good Pope John XXIII and the charismatic Pope John Paul II, now saints, stands this quiet man who guided the Church in the midst of a tumultuous world. Here is a personal prayer:

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our brothers and sisters throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them, through our hands, this day their daily bread, and by our understanding give love, peace and joy.
                                                    Bl. Pope Paul VI

             Another event capturing the world news this week has been the mounting death toll due to the devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa. And then, on the local level, how difficult it is to contain this disease.
            Recently, someone who attends daily mass here shared an email with me of an Akron family stationed in West Africa. They ask for prayers as they chose to stay at their post. Aware of how the disease spreads, and using every precaution, they do not appear alarmed for themselves. They ask prayers for others suffering during this outbreak.
I cannot speak on the subject of Ebola. I can however learn the facts about it and encourage you all to do the same. I can also pray for the victims of this terrible disease and for their families, for the research doctors, and for our U.S. military and health professionals responding to this crisis. And, I can ask and encourage you to pray as well. Thanks.
            Another national and world-wide effort that could be supported by our prayers is the conflict in the Middle East. Please continue to pray for our world leaders as they work together to stabilize the region. Please keep in prayer the military personnel of our nation (and others) who seek to root out an organization that seeks no peace with the world.
            At our recent pastoral council meeting, a decision was made to start a prayer line here in the parish. It will be a phone line. There are many concerns we carry, and often it helps to know that other parishioners care enough to pray for your needs. We already pray the rosary daily after Mass, and there is on the bulletin cover an Assistance line for someone pregnant and needing help. More information on this phone line/prayer line will be forthcoming.
              Finally, a contract has been signed to complete our parking lot. Work will begin within a few weeks – weather permitting. More instructions will follow so you can come to PARK and PRAY.                                    Blessings on your week.   Fr. Dan

From the Pastor, Oct 11

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Dear Parishioners,

This past week the priests of the Cleveland Diocese attended a workshop on preaching.  The priesthood is a calling from God, but like all professions there is room for improvement and/or updating.  Preaching God’s word is a mystery – a mixture of a human being’s experience and the working of the Holy Spirit for the good of others.

Monday evening the Pastoral Council will gather for its monthly meeting.

Thursday mornings a few volunteers come to the social hall kitchen to make bologna sandwiches for the poor, underemployed and some homeless persons.  We can work out a convenient time, if your group or organization would like to help.   This would be an ideal class project for a high school, confirmation class, alumni group.  Just call the parish office for more information.

Persecution of Christians abroad as well as here in the U.S. is on the rise.  In 1571, a naval battle occurred in Lepanto, Italy between a small ragtag naval fleet of Catholics and a mighty Turkish navy.  The pope called on Catholics to pray the Rosary and on October 7th the small fleet prevented an Islamic invasion of Europe.

Pope St. Pius V made the day a feast in Italy honoring Our Lady of Victory but in the early 1700s the name was changed to Our Lady of the Rosary and celebrated by the universal Church.  In recent times, St. Padre Pio would state that the weapon against evil is the rosary.

When confronted by pure evil, persecution, and hatred the intercession and protection of the Blessed Mother is a powerful weapon even today.

Under the patronage of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) our parish church here was consecrated to God on Oct. 15, 1905.  Here’s what St. Bernard said about the powerful intercession of St. Mary:  “O you, whoever you are, who feel that in the tidal wave of this world you are nearer to being tossed about among the squalls and gales than treading dry land.  In dangers, in hardships…think of Mary, call out to Mary.  With her protecting you, you will not be afraid.  With her leading you, you will never tire.  Her kindness will see you through to the end.”(Praises of the BVM, ca. 1125)

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Peace to you and your household, Fr. Dan

 

Three Important Changes

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend there are three (3) important changes that go into effect. You already know about the new Schedule for weekend and daily Masses. A constant reference is the updated sign board on the front corner of the church building.

Confessions – 3:30-4:30 Saturdays
5:00-5:45 Sundays
Weekend – 5pm Vigil
9:30, 11:30am and 6:00, 8:00pm
Daily – 12:10pm
5:10pm Mon.-Wed.
7:00am Thursdays
Fridays – TBA at the school

Also this weekend we begin distribution of Communion under both forms of consecrated bread and wine at all the Masses. Please note the position of the Communion Stations and where you will be directed to receive. Hopefully, it will simplify our procession and keep to a “careful and reverent” reception of the Eucharist.People in the pews along the Walls of the church process all the way down the wall aisles and receive Communion at the Stations by the side doors and return to their pews up a Statue Aisle with the arrow.  (see the Diagram posted with the story on the website)

People in the middle pews enter the middle aisle and process down to a Communion Station and return to their pews up the same Statue Aisle indicated with an arrow.

Finally, the third change this weekend is that our meal program to the homeless will be open now Monday through Friday only, and other organizations located elsewhere will provide service to the homeless. We will still have our hot meals five times a month and our weekly Thursday distribution of food goods to families.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation with these three changes. We hope they enable us to serve you better here at the parish.

Remember that next weekend for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, the rosary will be recited together in church a half hour before every Mass.

St. Bernard and St. Mary pray for us to our Lord.

God bless you all, Fr. Dan

The Traditioning of St. Bernard Parish

27 June 2010 – The Traditioning of St. Bernard Parish In the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians we read “I handed on to you first of all what I myself received…” Handing on life and faith is at the heart of our religion. God hands over life to creation. In our redemption the Father hands over His Son to us. Together the Father and the Son hand over the Spirit to us. Jesus hands over Himself to the Church and in the Eucharist. Continue reading