Pastor's Column

     Please say a prayer today for Catherine Herda, a longtime parishioner of St. Leo's who passed away at the age of 99 & whose funeral Mass was this past Wednesday. Catherine loved attending Mass & sat in the front pew of the church. In the words of St. Paul, "she has fought the good fight, she has run the race, she has kept the faith. Now the crown of righteousness will be awarded to her." May she rest in peace knowing that she has been faithful to the Lord & may God bless her children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren. 

    I'm sure you've heard of the latest craze regarding the game so many are playing on their phones called "Pokémon GO." I'm not a game player myself but I can tell when someone is engrossed in a game on their phone. I've seen some teenagers & young adults on our property lately who seemed to be heavily involved with this game. Apparently they have to catch some creature which can be found in various places, even in churches & in church parking lots. I'm tempted to just open the doors of the church as they walk with their heads down & eyes focused on their phones so that maybe they'll walk straight into the confessional! You never know how God may be helping someone stumbling their way back to church. 

    Here is the final part of my recent explanation of our Catholic tradition regarding the offering of Masses for others: Because there are many people who request Mass intentions, we must limit the number of Masses an individual can request to have offered during a certain period (for example, no more than 3 weekday Masses or more than 1 weekend Mass per year). And sometimes we have all Masses on a weekend offered for the same intention (for example, all Easter and Christmas Day Masses are offered for all the people of the parish, as well as Father's Day, Mother's Day, and civil holidays).

    The point of this three-week explanation is to encourage a more inclusive understanding of Mass intentions. The priest and people celebrating a particular Mass are happy to pray for the specific person or intention as requested. However we continue during that Mass to pray for many people and many intentions as well so that we can never claim the Mass as being "our own" or "one that I paid for." Mass is always for the whole Church, for those here on earth and for those who have died. If you have any questions about our understanding of Mass intentions, please feel free to ask me. If you need assistance scheduling a Mass intention, please see the receptionist in the rectory office or at the information desk in the vestibule of the church after Mass.