It's 3 days before Christmas as I write this so I am hoping as you read this that we all had a wonderful, though warm, Christmas celebration. Personally I would have preferred some snow glistening outside the windows. The poor reindeer must have been a muddy mess when they got home. But worse than that I caught something when I was visiting friends before Christmas and thought I was over it when I returned home but I still had some mending to do. Hopefully this new year will bring health to us all, especially to our fellow parishioners who have been suffering the effects of illness in the past year.
I'm very grateful to Father Vesely for all he did during my absence before Christmas to make sure the spiritual needs of the parishioners were met. He celebrated Mass and funerals, heard confessions, and is always a great support when I'm in need his extra help. It would be a lot tougher without him, and it's always enjoyable with him around. He and I in turn extend our appreciation to all of you who sent cards and eatables for us to enjoy during the holidays. Your kindness to us is always noted.
Our prayers go out to the family of Stephen Kovaca whose funeral Mass took place on Friday, December 18, and again to the family of Ivan Sevel whose Memorial Mass was the following day. I'm sure their absence during the Christmas holiday was especially acute, but hopefully the message that God is With Us was also heard in a special way by those who loved them. May they rest in Christmas Peace.
Many of you will remember Noel Ilg, an accomplished Music Director here at St. Leo's a number of years ago. Noel passed away on December 15th at the age of 88. Noel had quite a reputation here in the Diocese of Cleveland as he was President of the Diocesan Music and Liturgy Commission and directed the Diocesan choir at St. John Cathedral in Cleveland. He received many awards and was involved in many civic organizations as well. He served God generously and well. May he who helped others to worship God through music and in song here on earth now hear the choirs of angels in heaven.
Through baptism we welcomed Charles Kindry into the family of God's Church last Sunday. May he and those adults preparing for the sacraments of initiation at Easter find the Lord each day of this new year.
As I begin my third year year at St. Leo's, I continue to be deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve you and proclaim to you the God of Mercy. Pray for me as I do for you.