Articles and Messages

 

 

 

Articles and Messages

 

 

 

St. Patrick Catholic Church is located at 313 North DePeyster Street in Kent, OH 44240

Category Archives: Articles and Messages

Confirmation and Communion Parent Letter

Dear Parent,

I hope that you and your family are doing well during these days of sacrifice. Please know that you are remembered in my daily prayers.

I am writing to you because you have a child who is either in the 2nd grade and preparing to celebrate First Communion or a child in the 8th grade preparing to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. At our St. Patrick Parish, Confirmation was previously scheduled for April 23, 2020 and First Communion was previously scheduled for May 2, 2020. The Ohio Catholic Conference of Bishops announced Thursday, April 2, that the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses and liturgies has been extended through and including Sunday, May 3, 2020. The Catholic Conference Chairman Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said in a prepared statement,

“Out of deep concern for the common good, as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed once again to cooperate with the governor’s direction. To that end, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio extend the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies at least through and including Sunday May 3rd. This decision has not been taken lightly and, as your bishops, together with you, we recognize the sacrifice we are called to make by being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another.”

Therefore, in light of the decision of the Bishops of Ohio, I am informing you that the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion are postponed until a later date. Of course, I am unable to say when we will celebrate these Sacraments with your child, but please know that I will be in communication with our school principal, Mr. Howard Mancini, and our PSR Director of Religious Education, Ms. Carol Wallington, to keep you informed of any further developments and information. Only when it is safe and in everyone’s best interest will we choose dates for these celebrations. (For our 8th grade Confirmation students, Bishop Murry has already delegated the pastors of the parish to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation.)

I understand that this decision might prove to be a hardship, but I appreciate your understanding during these unprecedented times. Please assure your child that they will be confirmed and they will make their First Communion – just at a later date then previously scheduled. Feel free to contact Mr. Mancini, Ms. Wallington or myself if you have any questions or concerns. In the meantime, my prayers go out to you and to our faith family of St. Patrick Parish.

God’s blessings,

Rev. Richard J. Pentello, V.F.
Pastor

Priests Without People

Dear St. Patrick Parishioners,

I share the following article with you because it speaks of my heart and perhaps gives you a different perspective – the perspective of a priest, as we all do our best to get through these Lenten days of sacrifice.  Like you my heart aches, and I also long to be with you, and I pray for that day to come “sooner” rather than “later” when we can be together again in worship  as the faith-family of St. Patrick.  Until then, my love and prayers are with you – always!

Fr. Richard Pentello

Priests  Without  People

Priests Without People

Fr. Paul D. Scalia
Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, VA, where he serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy

“The priest came in. . .and took out the altar stone and put it in his bag; then he burned the wads of wool with the holy oil on them and threw the ash outside; he emptied the holy water stoup and blew out the lamp in the sanctuary and left the tabernacle open and empty, as though from now on it was always to be Good Friday.” 

Last Tuesday – the first day of no public Masses in our diocese – I was reminded of this scene from Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited, when the priest came to close up the Marchmain family’s chapel.  That last line in particular rang in my mind: as though from now on it was always to be Good Friday.  Granted, the analogy is not perfect. Our situation is not exactly like Good Friday. The Mass is still being offered (albeit privately), our Eucharistic Lord is still present, and our churches are still open for people to come and pray. Still, although necessary, the suspension of public Mass does create a sorrow not unlike Good Friday’s. It is like being exiled from a loved one: you know where He is, but you cannot be with Him.

Here is another painful exile: that of the priest from his people. The faithful throughout the world suffer the pain of life without the Mass. Priests suffer the pain of life without their people. Those men have given their lives for Christ’s flock. Now they struggle to understand their lives apart from that flock. Tend the flock of God in your midst, Saint Peter exhorts the Church’s pastors. (1Pt 5:2) But what to do when the flock is no longer in your midst. . .and not allowed to be?

The whole situation sets in stark relief this truth about us parish priests: we are ordained propter homines – to serve the people of God. Our lives don’t make sense without a people to serve or a flock to tend. When asked what he thought about the laity, Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman famously observed that “the Church would look foolish without them.” As it turns out, it is we priests who look most foolish in that scenario.

We are painfully aware of what happens when a priest loses the supernatural outlook and sense of the sacred. He becomes not just useless but dangerous. A priest must be oriented toward and attentive to the divine first of all. But now we see the other part of the equation more clearly. The priest maintains an orientation toward and focus on the divine not for himself but for others. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. (Heb 5:1) Without the presence of those for whom he acts, a priest can lose sight of his purpose.  The suspension of public Mass, like any cross we endure, can and should become an occasion for spiritual growth. We need to draw what good we can from this suffering. What might this mean for a priest?

Well, for starters, the absence of a congregation can remind priests that at Mass we stand before the Lord on behalf of our people. Of course, they are not there. But we are there in their place and on their behalf. This highlights the difference between a prayer-leader and a priest. The former simply coordinates and guides a communal action. All he needs is delegation, not divine sanction.

But a priest is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God. He stands before the Almighty as the embodiment of the prayers and sacrifices of his people – whether they are there or not. Their absence should increase our appreciation of this truth.

Another bright light is the evangelical generosity and ingenuity of so many flockless priests. During the bombing of England in World War II, Monsignor Ronald Knox retired to Mells to work on scripture translations. He suddenly found himself chaplain to a girls’ school that had been evacuated from London to that sleepy town. Not the best scenario for the bookish Knox. Not what he would have looked for. But his response was generous, innovative, and lasting. From that ad hoc chaplaincy come two of his best works: The Creed in Slow Motion and The Mass in Slow Motion.

So also, many priests apart from their congregations are making the most of things. The situation is sad, and not what they would have chosen. But they are not giving up. They are finding how to evangelize in other, unexpected ways. The Internet makes possible creative solutions, and many have found opportunities there to reach the flock no longer in their midst.  Further, this whole situation reveals the true nature of priestly ministry – that it is really a matter of spiritual fatherhood, of a father being present to his people. The inability to be present in that way painfully highlights the need to be.

This also reveals that all our technology, which we tend to see as the evangelical solution, is insufficient, just a stopgap. It is a fascinating paradox that in this situation we both depend more on our technology and more deeply know its limits. As useful as it is (email, live-streaming, posted videos, etc.), it cannot actually put us in touch with one another. It only tides us over until authentic human communication – unmediated, face-to-face, person-to-person – can be recovered.  There is no substitute for the shepherd’s presence among his people. And a priest’s heart cannot be content with a virtual connection. It longs for the real.

One last rose drawn from these thorns: an increased appreciation for our people’s devotion. The lack of a public Mass on Sunday will greatly impact the lives of all Catholics, whether they realize it or not. But many do realize it. They long for the Mass, they still come to the church to pray, and they desire to receive all that a priest desires to give. To see their pain and longing should encourage us to be worthy of them.

Ours is an unexpected advent in the midst of Lent. We are waiting – and thus preparing – for when the priest of Christ can again be with his people.

Palm Sunday Message for April 4th and 5th, 2020

Although we are not permitted to celebrate public Mass until further word from the Bishops of Ohio, blessed palms will be available to those who wish to have them. Palm Sunday weekend is April 4–5. Father Pentello will bless the palms privately and will then pass them out on Saturday, April 4 @ 3:00-4:00 and Sunday, April 5 @ 11:00-12:00 noon.

You are invited to drive to the back parking lot of the church and will not have to get out of your car. Father (with gloved hands!) will give you the palms. This is not the ideal, of course, but it will allow the faithful to celebrate Palm Sunday in some small way.

Also, if you wish, you can drop off your Rice Bowl and/or Sunday/Easter contribution.

MEDIA RESOURCES

During these difficult days many Catholics are availing themselves to online resources for daily Mass (and making a Spiritual Communion), prayers, Scripture readings and daily meditations. This is certainly encouraged until we can gather again to worship publicly as the faith community of St. Patrick Parish. Below is a list of resources you may wish to check out:

  • WJW-TV FOX8 airs Mass on Sunday at 6:00 a.m.
  • WUAB-TV 43.1 My Network airs Mass on Sunday at 8:00 a.m.
  • WGN America airs Mass on Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
  • EWTN airs daily Mass at 8:00 a.m.
  • Diocese of Youngstown www.doy.org (click Media tab)
  • CTNY Catholic Television Network of Youngstown
  • Other online Masses
    • Catholic Extension Online Mass
    • The CatholicTV Network You Tube Channel
    • Heart of Nation Catholic Mass (search by zip code for broadcast and satellite stations, plus radio)
    • www.friarly.com (Dominican Friars Live Streaming Mass, Adoration, Liturgy of the Hours)
  • Radio:
    • WINT-1330 AM airs Mass on Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
    • WCCR-1260 AM airs Mass on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

You may also want to watch the videos below to listen to beautiful arrangements of Ave Maria and You’ll Never Walk Alone – the latter which, of course, takes on a more serious and deeper meaning as we live through these days of sacrifice. Always remember and never forget – we are a people of hope.

Ave Maria

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Parish Update

After serious consideration of the grave health risk involved in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the bishops of Ohio have decided, effective immediately, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses and liturgies, at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter. The bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.

At St. Patrick Church – at least through Easter – the following are canceled until further notice:

  • 5:00 Saturday Vigil Mass
  • 8:30 and 11:00 Sunday morning Masses
  • Monday morning Word Services/Communion
  • Weekday Masses Tuesday thru Friday
  • Adoration on Tuesdays
  • Soup Suppers and Chaplet on Tuesdays of Lent
  • Stations of the Cross on Fridays of Lent
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry on Wednesdays
  • Fun Time Group on Thursdays

Letter to Parishioners

Dear Saint Patrick Parishioner,

The current health crisis has impacted all of us, altering our daily lives beyond what we could have ever imagined. At the same time, this outbreak is stirring up anxiety, fear, confusion and distress. I want to assure you of my continued prayers for your well-being along with your family. I also ask that you offer daily prayers for those affected by this virus and for all health care professionals doing their very best to protect us and heal those who are ill.

As you know, the Church has also been directly affected by this outbreak causing us to cancel and make changes to many events and ministries, including Sunday Mass. I am writing to provide you an accurate summary of the actions currently in place regarding Saint Patrick Parish.

At present, the Bishops of Ohio have granted a dispensation regarding the obligation to attend Sunday Mass for the next two weekends: March 21-22 and 28-29. If you are feeling ill, or exhibiting flu-like symptoms please stay home and watch Mass on television. For the time being, weekend Mass will be offered for those who are healthy and desire to attend. However, depending on the volatility of this situation this may change at any time.

Our St. Patrick School continues to be closed, per Governor DeWine’s mandate. Classes will resume when we are instructed to re-open our school. All PSR Religious Education and Youth Ministry classes have been canceled through Easter Sunday, April 12th. Confirmation, scheduled for April 23rd, is still on our calendar, but may need to be rescheduled for a later date. We will keep you informed if Bishop Murry finds it necessary to reschedule. First Communion, scheduled for May 2nd, remains, but this, too, could be postponed if circumstances merit. Most meetings/events scheduled for the rest of March have been canceled or postponed. Presently, the Parish Office will remain open; however, if possible, you are asked to conduct any business by mail or phone.

Finally, I call to your attention to a very serious and real implication this situation will have on our parish should it remain for an extended period of time. While it is understandable that many will stay home from Mass during this time, the financial repercussions will be far-reaching if Sunday donations are not maintained. While the parish church and school can survive an occasional missed donation, it is nearly impossible for us to endure an extended period of time, such as this, without receiving your weekly/monthly contribution. In the midst of these unusual circumstances we remain obligated to our financial responsibility to compensate our school faculty and staff, our church employees, remain current on our bills, and meet all of our financial obligations.

I implore you to please continue to support your parish financially throughout this unprecedented time by mailing to the parish office your weekly/monthly contribution (or dropping it off at the parish office), or signing up for online giving through myEoffering. Easy instructions to sign up for myEoffering are on our parish website. Your support is vitally important to the continued vibrancy of our parish in the midst of these challenging circumstances. Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter and for agreeing to remain current with your contributions.

No doubt the daily news is filled with so much information about the coronavirus and the impact it is making throughout our world and in our daily lives. At times it can seem overwhelming and depressing. Enclosed is an article that provides a different perspective and approach. I found comfort and consolation when I read in its beginning, “A good starting point is to remember that the most repeated phrase in the Bible is ‘Do not be afraid…have no fear!’” In this uncertain time, we all need some reassurance to not be afraid. As a people of hope, soon we will be singing God’s praise, thanking Him for His goodness, and living our life to the fullest!

Please know that I continue to remember all of you in my daily prayers for your health and well-being. Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and support.

God’s blessings – always,

Rev. Richard J. Pentello Pastor

Also Read:

A Faith Response to the Coronavirus (View PDF)