Pastor's Column, Sunday, August 2, 2020

Submitted by St. Mary on Fri, 07/31/2020 - 1:59pm

Dear Parishioners:

   This weekend, after substantial delay, presbyteral (priestly) ordinations have been celebrated in the Diocese of Cleveland.  Deacon Joshua Cochrac and Deacon Joseph Robinson will begin their ministry at Saint Charles Borromeo in Parma and Saint Peter in North Ridgville, respectively.  Deacon Matthew Humrickhouse of the Youngstown Diocese, who has studied at our seminary, will be ordained in his home diocese.   Two other classmates, Deacon Jesus Ramirez and Deacon Christian Torres, have been ordained in July in Mexico as priests for the Congregation of St. Joseph.  We rejoice with these men and their families.

   This past week, I had the joy and privilege of leading a retreat for three men who will be ordained as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Cleveland, on August 29.  With the active support and formational involvement of their spouses, Donald Brandt (Bethany), Francisco Miranda (Waleska) and John Nelson Sr. (Racquel) are embracing the diaconal ministry that is a great enrichment to the life of the Church.   The opportunity to share the Word of God with them, to pray together and to learn of the Holy Spirit’s movement in their lives, is a great energizer to my pastoral vocation.

   As we have witnessed over many years—through the presence of Deacon Bernie Hosfeld (RIP, wife Lottie), Deacon Edward Souza (relocated to Idaho, wife Mary), Deacon Pete Foradori (wife Pat) and Deacon Bob Zerrer (wife Lee)— diaconal ministry is great enrichment to the life of the Church.  Deacons, as is true of priests, can expect to serve in more than one community over the course of their ministry.       

   Thus it is that this weekend, Deacon Pete completes his service to Saint Mary and begins a role of leadership at Saint Stephen, West Salem.  Below is a message from Deacon Pete to all of us.  I surely want to take this opportunity to thank him—and Pat, who has shared her music ministry with us on occasion— for their faithfulness to God, the Church, and to our parish.   


   I have been a member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish for just about five years. I clearly remember stopping by the church one weekday to pick-up a copy of the bulletin. When I stepped into the nave, I immediately had a feeling of peace and belonging. I believe that the Holy Spirit was letting me know that this was where I supposed to be at that time of my life. It was a wonderful feeling. We have a wonderful community with a great future.

   There is, of course, always room for improvement. If you are not currently reaching out to others in some way, I encourage you to do so. Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ said, “What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will effect everything.” I challenge us all to take stock of what drives us, what we are in love with and focus our energies either here at St. Mary’s or elsewhere in the community to bring Christ to the lives of those around us. By reaching out to others, you will also be improving the quality of your own life.              Deacon Pete



Fr. Stephen


For quick access to the entire bulletin for this weekend ONLINE, just click on the link below: