Pastor's Column, January 4, 2015

This column may be a little behind the news since once again I’m required to write it two weeks before it’s published in this bulletin due to the printing schedule of our bulletin company. But I can say that it’s just a few days over a year that I’ve been here at St. Leo’s and it’s been a wonderful year for me and I hope at least tolerable for you! Thank you for your support and please continue to pray for me that I may serve you to the best of my ability.

Sometimes people ask about how they can receive Holy Communion or be anointed if they end up in the hospital or nursing home. It would be helpful for you to know that most hospitals and nursing facilities have a Chaplain on staff who will be happy to arrange this for you. Most of these have a Catholic Priest who is assigned as either a full-time or part-time chaplain. If they do not have a priest directly connected with the Pastoral Care Office, they know who to contact when a request comes in. Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist from area parishes visit most places and often bring Holy Communion not only to their own parishioners but to all the Catholic residents. However I am always happy to make a visit if the Catholic Chaplain is not available. But we do try to have the Chaplain assigned to the hospital or nursing home be contacted first otherwise two priests end up make a trip for the same person (which happens more than you would think). 

This is the last week of Christmas Time in the liturgical calendar. After we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany this weekend, we will conclude the season with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord next weekend. That feast brings Christmas to a close & puts us back into the “Ordinary Time” of the church year. In six weeks we begin Lenten Time. As you know the time will go very fast for most of us as we live busy lives, but it’s a real gift to have the church help us to transition from one season to another as we focus on different mysteries of our faith and events in the life of the Christ. 

Here’s a nice quote for us as we begin this new year of 2015: “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Good wisdom to help us in the coming months.