Pastor's Column

     This past Wednesday was the funeral for Ann Hrdy who died at the age of 94. May her long life of faith on earth be rewarded with eternal life in heaven. 

    On Tuesday at 4pm, in unison with churches throughout the country, our church bells rang in joyful celebration of the arrival of Pope Francis to the United States. As I write this before his arrival, I believe it is likely that he will speak challenging words calling us out of our complacency toward the poor & toward the care of the earth, but just as likely he will speak comforting words of God’s love and mercy. Let us take in his words prayerfully and reflectively and pray that his presence and his voice in our country may speak powerfully not only to Catholics but to all with whom we seek to live in peace. We will cover this important event on our website at

    Speaking of helping the poor, as you will see in this bulletin, St. Leo the Great Parish is now at 99.35% of our $59,694 parish goal with $59,304 pledged to Catholic Charities. That is great news! 317 parishioners have made pledges and we are a mere $390 away from our goal (any takers to put us over the top?). As you recall, due to the inclement weather on the February weekend when we had our first appeal, the whole diocese was behind from last year’s pledges, but as hoped, you responded generously to our second appeal. This is one great way that we respond to the Lord’s call to take care of the most vulnerable around us. Thank you for this great witness of your faith and compassion!

    I mentioned at the 8am Mass this weekend that when the prayers of the Mass were revised a few years ago, the greeting of the priest and the response of the people at the beginning of Mass were changed. The priest gives one of 3 greetings at the beginning of Mass: 1) “The Lord be with you.” 2) “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” or 3) “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” It’s the 2nd greeting which seems to throw people off since it doesn’t end with the familiar “be with you all.” The thing to remember is that your response to any of these greetings is always the same: “And with your spirit.” If I use the 2nd greeting there is usually a very weak response and I feel like you don’t want to greet me back. Then I’m depressed the rest of the Mass. So pretend that you like me and say loudly, “And with your spirit!”