Pastor's Column, December 14, 2014

I celebrated the funeral rites for a number of people this past week…

Adele Schierbaum was married to her husband Paul for 68 years and her passing was sudden and unexpected. We extend our sympathies to her husband and their two daughters, Dona and Debi. 

Martin Fontaine also died suddenly while his wife Miriam, was visiting with him at the nursing home (as she did so often) where he has lived for several years. They were married for 59 years. Martin was very active in the Holy Name Society and painted the mascot of St. Leo’s (a lion’s head) on a large banner that continues to hang in our gym.

Jesse Adkins was 67 and leaves behind a wife, Helen, and a son, Jesse Jr. He was called “Poppie" by his three grandchildren. 

Franklin Jeskey was 80 and married to his wife Barbara for 54 years and has a daughter, Juliann.

Please keep all of these in your prayers. Information on all our funerals, weddings and baptisms can be found on our website, and in our mobile app.

Last weekend I spoke with a parishioner named Mary Hillman whose 101st birthday is this Saturday, December 13th. Last week I wished her a happy birthday a week in advance but she said, “I don’t know if I’ll be here on my next birthday!” Well, I am looking forward to seeing her at the 10am Mass this Sunday where I will wish her a happy birthday a day after she turns 101! My stepmother, Mildred, also turns 95 on the same day, December 13th. We thought that was amazing, but compared to Mary, she’s just a kid!

I received an email from a parishioner asking why our Christmas manger is set up in facing the “chapel” area where we celebrate daily Mass instead of facing the congregation, suggesting that it be placed more prominently in the sanctuary. In “The Book of Blessings” which contains the blessings of the Roman Ritual for the Universal Church, it states that “if the manger is set up in the church, it must not be placed in the presbyterium. A place should be chosen that is suitable for prayer and devotion and is easily accessible by the faithful.” The “presbyterium” is the sanctuary or altar area of a church. We avoid that area so as not to obscure the primary focus of the altar and pulpit during our liturgical worship. In our church, the place for the manger seems perfectly “suitable for prayer and devotion and easily accessible by the faithful.” While you may not always get the answer you hoped for, I welcome your questions and encourage you to ask what others may also be wondering about.