A Letter from Our Pastor




A Letter from Our Pastor




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

Category Archives: Letters from Our Pastor

A Letter from Our Pastor – May 6, 2020

Dear St Patrick Parishioners,

I pray that this letter finds you safe and well. As faithful Christians, we acknowledge that all good gifts come from God, and that we are called to share our gifts of time, talent, and material resources at all times. During this time of uncertainty, Catholic parishes around the world, including St. Patrick Parish, have felt the effects of COVID-19 and our call as citizens to shelter in place. It is my hope that we will all be together soon to celebrate Mass and engage in our parish ministries and activities! Until that time, our parish office continues to operate, though with limited hours (Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) and I am still here to serve you.

In order to maintain our current levels of ministry and staffing, it is my duty as pastor to ask you to consider your contributions to St. Patrick Parish. Your regular contributions are vital for us to thrive as a parish faith community; without them, we would not be able to meet your spiritual needs, minister to the sick and homebound, and provide a place in our often-divisive world for all to know the love of Christ. In this time when the Church is needed the most, we have had to adapt to the changing landscape of ministering from a distance. (I would like to acknowledge here the wonderful work our St. Patrick School administrator, faculty and school staff are doing during this unprecedented time. I am grateful that both teachers and students have adapted well during these challenging days.)

Though public Masses and parish events have been temporarily suspended, you can still connect and stay up-to-date with the parish online through the parish website www.stpatrickkent.org and on our parish Facebook page.

While I know that some parishioners have been financially impacted by this crisis and this may not be the best time to talk about finances, it is my duty as pastor of our beloved St. Patrick Parish to address our financial needs. After all, we still acknowledge that at all times, we must give thanks to God. We are taught that there is much more to stewardship than financial support, and sharing our time and talent are important as well. Additional ways you can be good stewards might include reaching out to another parishioner, family member, or friend to talk; virtually participating in online Mass or following Bishop Barronʼs Word on Fire page; taking additional time out of your day to pray for those affected by the virus and for frontline workers; or complete an act of kindness for a neighbor, a stranger, or someone you know. You have no idea how grateful and humbled I am by all the phone calls, notes, emails and texts I have received from parishioners who have expressed loving and prayerful support. These simple acts of kindness mean more to me than you will ever know.

Again, it is my hope that we will be together soon. Many of my favorite events have been postponed too: not being able to celebrate First Communion with our school and PSR second-grade students, Confirmation with our school and PSR eighth-grade students, and initiating our parish R.C.I.A. Elect as new Catholics into the Church during the Easter Vigil liturgy. These have taken their toll on my own spiritual life. Please remember that this is temporary, and it is in the best interest for our health and safety. Know that you and your intentions are remembered in my daily prayers. May God keep you safe and healthy until we can all be together again!

God’s blessing – always,
Fr. Richard Pentello

April 28, 2020 – Letter from the Ohio Bishops

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Yesterday, 27 April 2020, Governor Mike DeWine presented a strategy to begin a multi-phased plan, even while the executive “Stay at Home Order” remains in place. His plan begins a process for Ohioans gradually to return to work and daily activity and provides hope and evidence that our cooperation with the governor’s orders has significantly curbed the spread of the virus.  We thank you for and admire the patience, cooperation and understanding you have already shown during this COVID-19 pandemic.  We realize the frustration, sadness, and loss the faithful felt not to be able to gather personally to celebrate the Paschal Mysteries during the Sacred Triduum and each Sunday.  During this time of sacrifice and longing, we have joined our prayers and hearts to yours, trusting that God will see us through this pandemic and reunite us at the Eucharistic Feast.  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, and to support and abide by the multi-phased approach to returning to work and eventual public gathering in large groups.


To that end, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio extend the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies ending on May 29th, with the hope of publicly celebrating together the Solemnity of Pentecost on the weekend of May 30/31. Each of the bishops of Ohio, once again, dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in their territories from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass during this time.  We ask for the cooperation and adherence of all the faithful to the governor’s directives during this period.


We will be working diligently with our pastoral teams to consider reasonable, gradual and responsible initiatives for welcoming back the faithful in time to Sunday Mass, initiatives which will renew our love for the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and which will help us to restore Catholic life and invite others to share that life after the pandemic. We encourage individual dioceses and their respective pastors and parishioners to begin to work to establish plans which respect social distancing and other requirements for the safety of our people.


This decision has not been taken lightly and, as your bishops, together with you, we recognize the sacrifice we are called to make being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another.  We remain grateful for your understanding and prayerful support. As your bishops we continue to encourage you to keep holy the Lord’s Day by participating in Sunday Mass by way of radio broadcast or televised or livestreamed options and making a spiritual communion.  Keeping in mind of the gift of plenary indulgences offered to us by the Church, we encourage all the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer, praying as a family or individually the Liturgy of the Hours, rosary, divine mercy chaplet, and Stations of the Cross, etc.


Together we continue to pray for all who are suffering from Covid19, for all health care workers and first responders, for all the deceased and their families, and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by this pandemic.  Relying on the Motherly care of Our Lady, Health of the Sick, we unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and we trust in the glorious hope of His Resurrection.

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati

Most Rev. Joseph R. Binzer
Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati

Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan
Bishop of Columbus

Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton
Bishop of Steubenville

Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J.
Bishop of Youngstown

Rev. Donald P. Oleksiak
Diocesan Administrator of Cleveland

Most Rev. Daniel E. Thomas
Bishop of Toledo

Most Rev. J. Michael Botean
Romanian Eparchy of Canton

Most Rev. Bohdan J. Danylo
Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat

Most Rev. Milan Lach, SJ
Byzantine Eparchy of Parma

A Letter from Our Pastor – April 19, 2020

Dear St. Patrick Parishioners,

Even though we were not able to celebrate Holy week and Easter gathered in our St. Patrick church, I pray that you and your families had a blessed and happy Easter. I look forward to the day when we can gather in worship around the table of the Eucharist and share once again in the Body and Blood of Christ.

Our society is facing an extraordinary challenge. The COVID-19 global pandemic is impacting every one of our families in some way – the way we worship, work, socialize, study and more has all changed in such a drastic way, in such a short period of time. I would like to share a special acknowledgement of and extend my sincerest “Thank You” to all essential workers that have stepped up in so many ways to keep us going. From first responders, to nurses and doctors and EMTs, to law enforcement and firefighting personnel, to grocery store clerks, restaurant owners and workers, mail carriers, workers who dispose of our waste, and everyone else performing essential duties while the majority of our society is sheltering at home trying to flatten the curve – thank you! They are all playing a tremendous role in supporting our families and our livelihood. If you are one of these essential workers, I personally thank you. If you know someone who is one of these heroes, or interact with one, please join me in sharing special thanks and showing and extra kindness to these people as much as you can – they certainly deserve it!

If there is a silver lining to this crisis, it’s that we’re learning, we’re adapting, we’re reflecting. We may not be physically together, but we are all together in this together. And most importantly, our loving God is with us every step of the way. He has not – and will not – abandon us. I wish you and your loved ones safety and health, and an abundance of blessings and grace from God during this holy Easter Season!

Fr. Richard Pentello


In the coming weeks, families will continue to spend more time together at home. One good use of this time would be to pray more together on a regular basis. This prayer time together will strengthen family and can be enhanced by creating a place in your home dedicated to prayer. Making a place for prayer in your home can help us do what the Gospel tells us, to go into an “inner room” and to pray (Matthew 6:6). Make your prayer place as quiet and uncluttered as possible. It can be the corner of a room or some unused space. Furnish your prayer place with a Bible, a crucifix or cross, statue, prayer books, rosary, icons, and candle – be creative! Encourage family members to use the prayer place throughout the day for personal prayer as well as family prayer. You may wish to bless your family place of prayer with the following:

Come, Holy God, dwell in this place of prayer for our family,
and bless it with your healing peace and presence.
Bless all who seek you here
in quiet reflection and voiced prayer.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Easter Blessings from Our Pastor

Dear St. Patrick Parishioners,

Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia! The Easter message of joy echoes through the whole world proclaiming Christ’s ultimate victory of light over darkness, grace over sin, and life over death. It is the message upon which we build our lives and to which we anchor our own hope of victory with him. During this solemn Easter season of 50-days we joyfully give thanks to God for the many blessings bestowed on us as individuals and as a faith community these many years. Because Jesus has died and risen again, conquering sin and death, we believe that with him we too shall live. In this spirit of faith and hope, I wish you and your families a most holy and blessed Easter Season!

Like you, I am painfully aware that our celebration of Easter might seem incomplete this year. Who could ever have thought, or even imagined, that the liturgies of Holy Week – Holy Thursday’s Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday’s Passion of the Lord, and Easter Vigil’s and Sunday’s Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord – would be suspended. In our lifetime, this is unheard of. Who among us could even remember a time when we did not have the opportunity to celebrate Easter Mass?! But, the decision – the right decision – was made for us to help keep us all safe. In my private Mass for Easter I will lovingly remember all of you, the good people of St. Patrick parish, in a special way. I will ask our risen Savior to be with us and sustain us in the days ahead as we do our best to be faithful people of a loving God. My prayers also include your intentions and the intentions of all our hearts – for those affected in any way by the coronavirus, for their families, for doctors, nurses, EMTs and all health care workers, for those who are on the front lines as police officers, fire fighters and other emergency personnel, for those who still work and encounter the public on a daily basis in our stores and service agencies, for those who have survived the virus, for those who are currently battling the disease, and for those who have died. Our prayers are many – our needs are great. But God’s healing and comforting love and presence are even greater.

I take this opportunity to thank all who have called me or sent emails, texts, cards and notes to me during these days of isolation. Your support and prayers (and your offer of food!) mean more to me than you will ever know. I miss you! I miss celebrating the Eucharist with you! I miss praying with you, laughing with you, and just being with you. But I do not despair. . . and I invite you to not despair either. God always has the last word. Just look at the Easter event! On Good Friday the world of darkness had thrown everything it had on the Anointed One and buried Him in a tomb – thinking it had the final word. But the final word belonged to God. On Easter Sunday God overturned the world’s verdict, as our Savior Jesus Christ rose from that tomb and conquered the darkness of the world forever.

My friends, this is still God’s world. You have heard me preach that many, many times. God will not leave us orphaned. He will see us through these days where it seems always to be Good Friday. But Easter is triumphant. God has the last word – always! May you and our faith family of St. Patrick, along with all of our loved ones, have a most blessed and Happy Easter.

Fr. Richard Pentello

A Letter from Our Pastor – March 29, 2020

Dear St. Patrick Parishioners,

The closing of parishes and the cancelation of liturgies within our Youngstown Diocese and throughout the US is a dramatic move, one that is especially heartbreaking since it disrupts our Lenten journey toward Holy Week and the Easter Triduum. During times of crisis, we lean more heavily on our Catholic Faith and Church; to have that taken away when we need it most is a bitter irony.

But Christians are nothing if not persevering. With 2,000 years of history behind us, we can recall many times and places where the followers of Jesus have endured persecution and trouble. In today’s crisis, people of faith are already showing great resilience. Together, we will get through this, encouraging one another in the faith, helping the most vulnerable, and spreading the Gospel through prayer and actions within our individual circles.

While public Masses are canceled, it remains imperative for the Catholic family of St. Patrick to pray, worship and commune with God and one another—from home. We are all part of the body of Christ. During this unprecedented time of sacrifice, I want you to know that I am grateful to you as you do what you can from your homes to help people encounter God and his love. That is needed more urgently now than perhaps ever before. We are all in this together. With so many changes, cancellations, and suspensions, we have been given days of silence and reflection – it has a “feel” as if it Is Good Friday every day.

We might each ask ourselves: How can I best make use of these quiet, still days? Perhaps we can turn off the news once in a while, stop wondering what will happen tomorrow, and trust in Jesus today. Day by day things will unravel, and day by day He will be with us.

God’s blessings – always,
Fr. Richard Pentello

Dear Beloved St. Patrick Parishioners,

What follows is what was received from the Worship Office of the Diocese of Youngstown regarding Spiritual Communion.  I encourage every household – whether individuals or families – to avail themselves to Spiritual Communion during these days when public Mass is not being celebrated.

Fr. Richard Pentello

Spiritual Communion via Live-Streamed or Televised Mass

Viewing a live-streamed, online, or televised Mass is an opportunity for the faithful to remain connected to the Sacrifice of the Mass during this difficult time.  Please share with parishioners through your parish social media platforms the times which daily and Sunday Mass can be viewed.  A complete schedule can be found on the Diocesan website: www.doy.org  under the Media tab.  Another source includes: www.watchtheMass.com from the CatholicTV Network offering daily Mass in English Sunday through Friday and in Spanish every Sunday.

Spiritual Communion

The Act of Spiritual Communion has long been a Catholic understanding that when circumstances prevent one from receiving Holy Communion, it is possible to make an Act of Spiritual Communion, which is a source of grace.  Spiritual Communion is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embrace him at a time or in circumstances when one cannot receive Him in sacramental Communion.  The most common reason for making an Act of Spiritual Communion is when a person cannot attend Mass. Acts of Spiritual Communion increase our desire to receive sacramental Communion and help us avoid the sins that would make us unable to receive Holy Communion worthily.

Below are recommendations that can be shared with parishioners on how to make a ‘spiritual communion’ when unable to participate in Mass.  These can be adapted based upon personal and family needs:

  1. Gather with others in your household and begin a time of prayer with the sign of the cross.
  1. Take time to read and reflect upon the readings from Sunday Mass. Scripture readings can be found at usccb.org.  Additionally, a televised schedule of Mass is available at www.doy.org under Media tab.
  1. Share prayer intentions quietly or aloud.
  1. Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
  1. Offer a prayer for healing, strength, or forgiveness or any prayer available during the coronavirus pandemic. If viewing Mass, offer a prayer during the normal time of Communion.


My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
and unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.


O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as
a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, health of the sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,
with steadfast faith.
You know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that,
as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.

  1. Close with the sign of the cross.

Below is a prayer sent to us from the Vatican (Office of the Congregation of Divine Sacraments):

Let us pray, dearly beloved,
to God the Father almighty,
that he may extend his hand in mercy
to all those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Silent Prayer
Almighty ever-living God,
heal those who are ill,
comfort those who mourn,
give solace to all who are afraid and alone,
and protect those who are providing medical care.
Make us instruments of your peace
among our brothers and sisters.
In your mercy, alleviate our fears
and eliminate this scourge,
so that we may come together again
to give you praise and to build your Kingdom.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.