Pastor's Column, December 21, 2014

Death is always a hard reality to accept, but when it comes near the holidays it can be especially painful to those left behind. Rose Wilk died last week after suffering from Alzheimer’s for about 4 years. Her husband Ted of 56 years was able to spend the last year in the same facility residing in the assisted living section of Mt. Alverna. We extend our sympathy to their two children, Stephen & Kathleen, and ask that you remember Rose in your prayers this week. 

We also extend our prayerful thoughts to the members of the McDermott family on the loss of their father, Raymond who died after a short illness. He and his wife Elizabeth had 12 children, 8 of whom are still living. They have a long history at St. Leo’s as they all attended our parish school. We can be proud to have graduated such good people who have learned the importance of family and faith through their parents. May each member of the family find solace through that faith.

The Diocese also suffered the loss of a much-loved Auxiliary Bishop, A. Edward Pevec. Bishop Pevec has been retired since 2002 and died at the Center for Pastoral Leadership where our seminaries are housed in Wickliffe. I’m sure he has been to St. Leo’s a number of times in the past. I think of him fondly as he was the rector of Borromeo Seminary High School where I started as a seminarian in 1974. I was one of his Master of Ceremonies for a few years and as many can attest, he is remembered for his exceptional kindness and gentleness. May he and all of God’s faithful servants rest in Christmas Peace. 

Finally we extend our sympathy to parishioner Elizabeth Fleming on the death of her father, Thomas. Let us remember all of these survivors that they may be consoled in their faith.

In order to prepare well for the feast of Christmas, we can take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we experience the fullness of God’s mercy. Individual confessions will be heard Monday at 11:00am and Tuesday at 7:00pm. 

On behalf of Father Vesely & the entire parish and school staff of St. Leo the Great, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. This is a time when we can be mindful of inviting family members, neighbors, and friends who visit us to join with us in celebrating God’s universal love at our Christmas Masses. Please extend the invitation especially to those who may not participate in our liturgies throughout the year. We warmly welcome everyone who walks through our doors and we ask them to join us in the praise of God who sent his Son to save us all.