I’ll never forget May 2003, the first time I ever went to Ireland in the month of May. There is just something brilliant and beautiful when the spring flowers of May burst forth from the forty shades of green. But, isn’t there just something so alive and hopeful with May. From my admiration with the Carolan and Carney ancestral Irish tradition of telling friends “you’re as welcome as the flowers in May,” to the smell of my Grandma’s lilac bushes, to the annual bringing outdoors of my Mother’s yellow hibiscus plant, I just love the bouquet of new life that May brings. Even a virus cannot take away the best of what this month wants to offer us. I realize that with all the social distancing and government policies upon us, so many this month have been deprived of life-changing celebrations of graduations, weddings, ordinations, 1st Holy Communion (which should have been May 2nd) and Confirmation (which was postponed from this past Tuesday). Still, May always begins the same with the giving of flowers on May Day and the celebration of my Dad’s favorite saint, Saint Joseph the Worker. May is also the month of Mary. So, please join us from home on May 1st, for our 11:00 a.m. live stream feast-day Mass with our Day School and PSR families. This year we have an added blessing, since our U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on May 1 at 3:00 p.m. EDT in renewing the consecrations of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother during this time of such uncertainty. Through a collective dedication or entrustment of our nations to Mary, an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need.
Although we are asked by our Ohio Bishops to follow Governor Mike DeWine’s strategy to begin a multi-phased plan for Ohioans to gradually return to work and daily activity, we cannot keep quiet how much we hunger for the day all our churches are finally opened for Mass. The Bishops write:
“We realize the frustration, sadness, and loss the faithful felt not to be able to gather personally to celebrate the Paschal Mysteries during the Sacred Triduum and each Sunday. During this time of sacrifice and longing, we have joined our prayers and hearts to yours, trusting that God will see us through this pandemic and reunite us at the Eucharistic Feast. Out of deep concern for the common good as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed once again to cooperate with the governor, and to support and abide by the multi-phased approach to returning to work and eventual public gathering in large groups. To that end, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio extend the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies ending on May 29, with the hope of publicly celebrating together the Solemnity of Pentecost on the weekend of May 30/31. Each of the bishops of Ohio, once again, dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in their territories from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass during this time. We ask for the cooperation and adherence of all the faithful to the governor’s directives during this period…This decision has not been taken lightly and, as your bishops, together with you, we recognize the sacrifice we are called to make being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another. We remain grateful for your understanding and prayerful support. As your bishops we continue to encourage you to keep holy the Lord’s Day by participating in Sunday Mass by way of radio broadcast or televised or livestreamed options and making a spiritual communion. Keeping in mind of the gift of plenary indulgences offered to us by the Church, we encourage all the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer, praying as a family or individually the Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Stations of the Cross, etc.”
As we would be doing anyway until Pentecost, this year’s counting of days will carry with it some new joys and a greater trust in the gifts of the Holy Spirit to lead us to where He wants us to witness His Resurrection. Thank you so much for all your prayers and letters and emails…they have carried me closer to Him during this time. Alleluia!
Fr. Bline, your pastor