Pastor's Column

     I will be praying with you in spirit this weekend but not in person as I will be visiting some friends in Fort Myers. In October, they lost their 37 year old son to brain cancer, and he left behind a wife & two daughters. Can you say a prayer for Corey? He was a courageous man who never lost his sense of humor or his faith during the six long years he fought cancer, and was faithful to the end. My sister and brother-in-law are also building a home in Fort Myers about a half hour from where my friends live so I'll be checking on the progress of that building as they will be moving there in February. It will be my only sibling living out of state & that will be hard to get used to, though at least I have another place to stay in Fort Myers when the Cleveland winters are cold & harsh. Of course it is expected to be an un-seasonably warm & pleasant week here in Cleveland as I write this & I must confess that I was hoping it would be below zero & blizzard conditions as I fly into the warm south. Not that I want you to suffer with bad weather here but I enjoy being in Florida more when it's so miserable here in Ohio. Please offer our usual St. Leo welcome to the missionary priest who will praying with you this weekend.
    This past Tuesday, as we celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception, we also began a Year of Mercy at the prompting of our Holy Father, Pope Francis. The whole world knows that mercy is at the heart of Francis's preaching. This Jubilee Year ends on Sunday, November 20, 2016, the feast of Christ the King. More information about what this Year of Mercy means can be found through a link that will be on our website throughout this next year, highlighted by the logo & motto designated for this special year. The motto "Merciful Like the Father" (taken from the Gospel of Luke, 6:36) serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn but to forgive without measure. The logo shows Jesus taking upon his shoulders the lost soul, and the right eye of Christ is merged with the left eye of man. It's an intriguing symbol. A banner which will change quarterly will be hung in the church as a reminder of this focus on Mercy during the next 12 months. May God's be mercy be shown to us so that we in turn my show mercy to each other.