Doing something a little different and squeezing a bunch of parishes into one blog post. They were all so wonderful in their own unique ways.
St John Bosco – Parma Heights – Thursday – April 27th
SJB has a perpetual adoration chapel where I spend a good amount of time. But what I didn’t realize is that they have a 7pm mass on Thursdays. I just happened to be in the area and thought I can mark it off the list!
Didn’t take any notes on the homily or anything since it was a last minute addition. But what I do recall was the music minister was very very good. And the words to not only the songs but the responses were displayed on screens above the sanctuary. Not something you typically see at a Catholic church. Very much enjoyed it.
Holy Trinity – Avon – Saturday April 29th 5pm Vigil Mass
Celebrant: Fr. John Misenko, Pastor
Gospel: LK 24:13-35 – The Road to Emmaus
Initial Thoughts: I came early to go to Confession which was how I was able to get a picture of an empty church.
I took the time to notice little things, like this sketch on the opposite wall.
I walked up to it later to get the picture of it and saw that they have relics of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Oh and these beautiful statues above the sanctuary…
Homily Reflection: Fr. Misenko mentioned a painting of the road to Emmaus and silly me, I thought I could just Google “Emmaus Painting” and all of a sudden figure out which one he was talking about. Yeah. Not possible. (Go ahead and Google it and you’ll see what I mean).
He went on to say that as Jesus was the teacher to these two disciples, and that walking and talking was a form of teaching called Socratic, started by Socrates. Sidenote: I learn so much better by listening while I’m walking or jogging on the treadmill. In fact I know there’s a school in Indiana that has their kids exercise while teaching them and how they performed so much better learning this way. So maybe there’s something to it!
There’s also a sense of peace and tranquility as the disciples were affirmed that they had seen the Lord. And finally they feel joy at recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread. For us, we learn from the teachings in the Liturgy and in the words of the homily. We feel joy as we see Christ in others and as we do His will. And finally, we find peace as we live out our faith.
Holy Moments: I noticed the altar servers seemed incredibly ON POINT. Not sure how else to describe it. But it was clear they took their job seriously for young boys. Beforehand, going to confession, was probably the holiest and most peaceful moment. For a 5pm Saturday mass, it was packed. I know several friends who attend here and really like it. I can see why!
Now someone tell me what those statues mean!
Saint Richard – North Olmsted – 7am – Monday May 1st
Initial Thoughts: SOOOO quiet. As soon as I walked in, I saw that every person that was there was reading. They all had their heads down and were reading (probably the daily readings or the Magnificat or something). No chit chat beforehand. But then again, it was 7am on a Monday.
I wish I had a better picture of the stained glass that goes around the church. Here is one from the stained glass designers. It’s dark but I guess that’s the best way to see the design:
Homily Reflection: To be a disciple of Jesus requires us as individuals to know what our faith is about. We can’t rely just on what we learned in school. We need to develop a sense of knowledge and deep reflection. We need to learn to live what we believe. How are we putting our faith into practice?
He preached a lot more but I couldn’t write fast enough. 🙂
Holy Moments: A nun sighting! In a habit! I should have probably gotten her name. I actually got sad when I realized I was getting elated at the sight of a religious sister in a habit. It made me a little nostalgic for my grade school days being taught by my FAVORITE teacher, Sr. Agnela. (And yes it was Agnela, not Angela)
Saint Agnes – Elyria – Tuesday May 2nd – 9am – Memorial of Saint Athanasius
Celebrant: Fr. Albert Veigas, Pastor
Initial Thoughts: I normally wouldn’t be available Tuesday mornings but a client canceled a session and so I was able to attend this church. It was a total unexpected blessing.
I walked in early to hear the end of a rosary being recited by about 5 women and 1 man. They were all on one side of the church and I took a seat on the opposite side. And while they were still reciting it, I decided to snap a picture.
As I waited for the mass to begin, only 1 other person (another woman) walked in for mass. So in all I think there was maybe 7 of us. ALL ladies.
And then here’s the kicker: The mass started when the priest walked up to the sanctuary from the pews. HE was the lone man among the women reciting the rosary! It was kinda crazy because I wasn’t expecting it and all of sudden he was in our midst.
And then he started talking and it’s clear from his accent that he’s an Indian priest, which I must say I didn’t think we had any in this diocese. Very cool!
Homily Reflection: Father mentioned Stephen from the First Reading. How he was killed in front of Saul, who later became St. Paul. I’m not quite sure WHEN I figured out that Saul from the Stephen stoning was Paul, but I wish more people DID realize this. That God can save even the most fallen away sinners. Father also mentioned Saint Athanasius and his defense of the faith. Saint A is responsible for why we say the Nicene Creed. And how we believe that Jesus and God are the ONE. He used the example of the sun and light beams from it. How can you say that the light that comes from the Sun is separate from the Sun? It’s one and the same. They cannot be separated, just as Jesus and God can never be separated.
I gotta admit here, I saved the best for last:
Communion of Saints – Cleveland Heights – Wednesday May 3rd – Feasts of Saints Philip and James
This is the parish where a young priest friend of mine, Fr. Pat Schultz, is one of the Parochial Vicars. Him and the other PV, Fr. Matthew Byrne, are such energetic and fun priests. They do this video series with their school kids called “Hey Father, Can you explain why…?” where the kids pose all kinds of questions about the Church and our faith and they answer them.
So the picture above is the outside (there’s a school and a church, but couldn’t manage to get/find a good picture of the ENTIRE exterior). Doesn’t matter, because when you walk in:
Initial Thought: Whoah.
But wait…it gets better:
Continuing Initial Thoughts: The whole place is just beautiful and magnificent! Columns and stained glass and that ceiling!! I got to the 5:30pm mass about 20 minutes early and I’m so glad I did because I took the time to take in all this beauty.
This is the first church I’ve been to where instead of a crucifix, they have a painting of a crucified Jesus. My favorite part.
And as of 5:28pm I was the SOLE person there. I thought maybe THIS was the day – the day I get a mass ALL to myself, ha!
But slowly and surely, other people walked in.
Celebrant: Fr. John McNulty, Pastor
Since there were so few of us, I didn’t take notes from the homily. Since it was so intimate, I didn’t want to be distracted by frantically writing down his points. He also came down from the ambo and started talking to us in the aisle and I can’t quite bring myself to take notes when the priest is directly in front of me. 🙂
What I DO remember was that he emphasized that Philip and James were ordinary people, just like us. They sought the lord, and they found Him. May we do the same.
Holy Moments: I got what I will call a “double host.” I’m pretty sure it was the biggest host I’ve ever received. I thought, “Maybe God knows I need a large amount of healing so he caused the priest to give me the two hosts attached to each other.” 🙂
Afterwards, there was Adoration for a half hour which was an unexpected treat. You know how I adore adoration (Pun intended, always).
I had just enough time to pray Evening Prayer and highlighted this Psalm Prayer:
“Grant that those who labor for you may trust not in their own work but in your help.” (Emphasize is mine. Seemed to be an answer to a prayer for me at the time.)
COS is just down the street from Nighttown which is where Theology on Tap Heights holds their monthly events. This was the main reason I attended mass since it was the only evening service in the area.
The speaker at this months event was Rachel Benda, the foundress of Bethesda House, a post-abortive healing ministry. She gave one of the most moving and heartfelt talks I’ve heard at a TOT event.
For more information about the Bethesda House, and if you know someone who is post-abortive, be sure to visit their website.
Heading to Elverson Pennsylvania this week to take my 5th course as part of my ongoing Theology of the Body certification. It’s called TOB and Art: The Way of Beauty.
You know what they say: “Beauty will save the world!”
So no DMP’s until the week of May 15th. Although, we will have mass everyday of the course, so perhaps a little DMP roadtrip edition is in the works.