PASTOR'S COLUMN, SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2018

Submitted by St. Mary on Sun, 04/15/2018 - 7:49pm

Dear Parishioners:

  

Cause for joy...cause for concern...calls to action!

  

   It strikes me that in life, we continuously encounter reasons to rejoice, reasons to be alert and sober, and reasons to respond in faith to events and circumstances that surround us.  Individuals and families are pulled in many directions, and I can only see the importance of an engaged faith life becoming more and more essential in the midst of all that is occurring.  So, allow me to highlight a few of these “causes.”

  

   First, Carol Matesich recently has come aboard to develop youth ministry and also to work alongside Kelly Hassenzahl, Director of Faith Formation and Donna Lohnes, faithful secretary in that office.  I want to invite you to stop by the Faith Formation Office sometime to introduce yourself to Carol.  That includes a distinct encouragement to teens and parents of teens!  Carol and her husband, Zachery, have come to Wooster within the year.  Zach is on staff at the College of Wooster (He is also an alumnus who was very active in Catholic campus ministry in his undergrad years!).  Welcome!

  

   We also share the joyful news that Fr. Dan Reed will embrace a new assignment of pastoral ministry as Pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Valley City.  Since 2010, Fr. Dan has faithfully served two parishes in Akron, St. Bernard and St. Mary.  His new role begins on May 1.   Blessings, Fr. Dan!

  

Next, I want to draw our further attention to the Northeast Ohio initiative entitled Greater Than Heroin. 

Greater Than Heroin is a group of civic and faith leaders from Northeast Ohio committed to addressing the heroin epidemic through understanding, collaboration and awareness.

· Understanding through care, compassion and prayerful support

· Collaboration through community engagement and coalition building

· Awareness through community education and resources

  

   In 2017, the State of Ohio lost 4,329 people to a heroin/opiate related overdose. A dramatic increase from the prior year when 3,945 died. It’s a clear and painful reminder that we have a crisis raging out of control which is ravaging every corner of our State and impacting every community and neighborhood. It’s going to take all of us working together to create the awareness and understanding to put an end to these senseless deaths and the pain and suffering they bring to family, friends, co-workers and loved ones. Together we are GREATER than heroin... but it really is going to take all of us working together.

  

   One immediate opportunity to respond:  Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 28.  As the weather turns warm and we begin to spring clean, this year, take some time to clean out all your unneeded and unwanted prescription drugs. . Take your ‘spring cleaning’ to your local police department for proper disposal. It’s healthier for you and better for our

environment. To find out more, go to: www.GreaterthanHeroin.com.

 

Blessed Easter,

 

       Fr. Stephen