Pastor's Column for February 25, 2018

We had a funeral service for Wayne Maurer on Ash Wednesday. We express our sympathies to his wife and two daughters, one of whom reflected beautifully on his life during the service.

Stella Sugalski also died and her funeral Mass was on February 16th. She was 95. I made a visit to her home a couple weeks before she died and she was hoping to live at Marymount nursing facility but her health deteriorated quickly. My thanks to Ron Kollar who brought her Holy Communion faithfully for many years and who served at her funeral Mass.

We also pray for Marie Werchelowsky whose Mass of Christian Burial was on February 15th. She and her husband Joe were married for 65 years and had 5 children. Marie and I talked a couple of times at Parma hospital before she died and I knew her to be a woman of faith who loved her husband & children very much. She and Joe were also members of our St. Leo Senior Group, where they had much support. She too will be missed.

Paul Litvin was married to his wife Barbara for 58 years and they had 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 9 great- grandchildren. Paul and Barbara lived in West Salem but left there just a few months after I became Pastor there but then ended up here at St. Leo’s where again they found that I had become Pastor (you can’t run away from me easily). They have been members here for about 8 years. We keep them both in our prayers as we pray for the living and the dead.

The diocesan-wide Evening of Confessions will be this Wednesday, February 28th. All Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Cleveland will be open and have priests available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 5pm until 8pm. This has proved to be a wonderful time for people to prepare for Easter but especially for many to return to the practice of their Catholic Faith after many years. We will welcome everyone as Jesus would.

We will use the Apostle’s Creed in place of the Nicene Creed during the Lenten & Easter Seasons as recommended by the Church as it is more closely related to our baptism which we reflect upon during this time of the year.

The black booklet we handed out the weekend before Ash Wednesday contained a nice reflection about our patron, St. Leo the Great, in last Sunday’s meditation. I learned that February 18th used to be the feast of St. Leo in the Western or Roman Rite of the Church (and still is today in the Eastern or Byzantine Rite) but was moved to November 10th in our liturgical calendar. I take that to mean that we can celebrate our patron on two days of the year instead of one. So have a nice meal (like at our fish fry!) or eat some chocolate (unless you gave it up for Lent) or find some way of celebrating our parish’s patron. St. Leo the Great, pray for us!