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