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:

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

Also Read:

A Faith Response to the Coronavirus (View PDF)

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