St. Bartholomew – Middleburgh Heights – Sunday – July 9th
Initial Thoughts: Allow me to share my most favorite part of this church, even before walking in:
After walking in to the worship space, I immediately thought of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Euclid. They are both very similar in the layout and design. The Stations of the Cross are beautiful. At first I thought there was only one color in each but after looking around, you can see all of them have multitudes of color.
Opening Hymn: Canticle of the Sun
Celebrant: Fr. Leonard Bacik, Pastor
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30; includes the scripture:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Homily Reflection: During these lazy days of summer, it’s easy to think we don’t have a care in the world. But trouble doesn’t take a vacation and burdens in December are just as heavy as they are in July. Our prayer list can be just as long. Jesus knows all about carrying heavy loads too heavy to lift and anguish that’s too hard to explain. What are the 3 burdens we are carrying now? Which ones would we like to lay down? Father suggested we write down our top 3 burdens, fold that piece of aper and place it in a bible or put it behind a crucifix in our homes and ask Jesus to carry it for us.
Offertory Hymn: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.
Closing Hymn: Quite possibly the most stirring and beautiful rendition of How Great Thou Art I’ve ever heard. All 4 verses sung by all of us and the choir and it sounded just magnificent.
Holy Moments: During the intercessions, I heard prayers for “those who can’t afford vacations with their families,” and “those who are cynical, depressed, and lost,” and for the soul of a young man of 22 years of age who had died recently from their parish whose name was Marcus. The hymns chosen to be sung as well as the homily and the beauty of this church really made it one of the more memorable ones for me.
St. Stanislaus – Cleveland – Tuesday July 12th 8:30am
Initial Thoughts: The pictures don’t do this Shrine justice. I’m so ashamed to admit that it took me this long to finally get to St. Stans. It seemed like almost everyone I told about the DMP would always ask me “Have you been to St. Stanislaus yet?” I knew it was going to be a sight to behold but I really had no idea what I was in for when I walked in.
Celebrant: Fr. Eric Orzech, Pastor
The homily was wonderful and short and sweet and there were only 6 of us in attendance. But what was most interesting was this woman who said her name was “Bets.” (short for Betsy of course). She was awesome. She told my friend Jim and myself all about the church, as much as she could for the short time we were there.
I found out Pope John Paul II visited here in 1969, when he was just Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. He presented the church with a relic of St. Stanislaus, pictured here:
Then, in 2014, Pope John Paul II’s former personal secretary visited and gifted St. Stans with this first class relic of JP2.
It was suggested that instead of rushing around trying to snap pictures, that I give myself a tour when they are open during the weekend using this guide.
Between all the altars and the stained glass and the statues, there’s so much to see; I would want to take my time. So perhaps someday, a self-guided tour is in my future. In the meantime, here’s my favorite part – An Icon of St. John Paul II and St Stanislaus written in Krakow Poland in 2007:
Mary Queen of Peace – Cleveland – Tuesday July 18th – 6pm – Lower Level Chapel
Mary Queen of Peace is the merged parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel and Corpus Christi in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland.
Initial Thoughts: It’s unfortunate I couldn’t make it to a Sunday mass to see the large cathedral-like main worship space because from what I have heard, it’s beautiful. Here’s the outside view:
But it’s okay because I attended this mass with my second cousin and my Great-Aunt and Uncle. This was ultimately my goal with the DMP – To meet up with people at their own parishes to have mass together. Or to try and find someone to meet up with me. But it’s really difficult to get schedules to match, but this time, it worked out perfect!
Celebrant: Fr. Richard Bona (In Residence)
Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Homily Reflection: Sometimes we think we haven’t been blessed enough by God. We tend to focus on what we lack instead of realizing what we have. We think this gospel doesn’t apply to us. We are the ones who have received many gifts and respond to God’s inviting Word to live a holy life and to love him with all our hearts. Because, despite what we think of our gifts or lacktherof, our God is a generous God.
Holy Moments: Simply being with my family that I haven’t had a chance to see lately was the only holy moment I needed. 🙂 What was really cool was seeing this outside on the fence by the school/parking lot:
So you might be thinking, “What’s so interesting about that? What is that?”
Turns out, some years ago (can’t recall exactly when) the church put up these flowers with the names of the families who went there and what year they graduated from the grade school. Here is the one representing my cousins:
Simple but a great way to “beautify” a fence!!!
St. Brendan – North Olmsted – Wednesday July 19th – 8:30am – Chapel
Celebrant: Fr. Terry Grachanin
Initial Thoughts: I didn’t get any pictures of the chapel but that’s because I was let in to the church/main worship space itself because, hey, “I know a guy.” 🙂 Fr. Terry is a friend from my nephews parish of St Charles and we also attended the Way of Beauty course in Pennsylvania in May. St. Brendan’s is his new assignment and I wanted to be sure to get to a mass he celebrated. Fr. Terry and the seminarian (Kevin) gave me a brief lesson on all things St. Brendan (Irish, known as “The Navigator” and…some other stuff I can’t remember, ha! Sorry Father! I should have taken notes!) But the BEST tidbit of info? I now know what TINY SAINTS are! How adorable are these things???
I’m ordering several for myself. Or if someone is looking for birthday gift for me (September 9th) I’ll take one St. Michael and one St. Mary Magdalene.
1st Reading: Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27
Homily Reflection: So in the first reading, Moses sees the burning bush and God speaks to him, telling him that he will be the one to rescue the people of Israel out of Egypt. But Moses doesn’t think he is qualified. Fr. Terry mentioned 4 things happen during these “Divine Calls” from God:
- You receive the call from God
- The response is usually one of lowliness and unworthiness, or incompetence
- God gives the person assurance that they can do this
- The specific task is performed
The greatest example we have is of course the Annunciation. Mary’s yes changed it all for us. And even though we are no Virgin Mary, we’re no Moses or prophet either, we cannot refuse to answer when God calls us. We may be fearful or have doubts of our abilities, or lack of trust in God that He has a plan for our lives.
Holy Moments: I will interject my own thoughts here and say I recently had a very long struggle with trusting in God’s plan for my own life. And lo and behold, He showed me that I just had to trust and surrender to Him, and it will all work out. And it has!
The next blog post will sort of serve as a “conclusion” to the Cleveland Daily Mass Project, as I have accepted a position in Ann Arbor Michigan. I MAY have to continue the DMP but with 300 parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit, this could be really difficult. 🙂 Pray for me to continue on with this initiative that I have loved so much.