Easter Vigil
St. Mary
of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
527 Beall Ave Wooster OH • 330-264-8824

Pastor's Letter

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dear Parishioners,

   One day a couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from a Daily Record reporter, inquiring about this weekend’s Dog Walk and Dog Swim, "Paws in the Park Pawty” to be held at Freedlander Park.  I was asked by Judy Mowrer, to offer a blessing over the canines at the start of the event.  The young lady reporter was simply unaware of the custom of blessing animals.  I imagine that many of us may be surprised at the breadth of things— living and inanimate— as well as different occasions for blessing that are included in the official “Book of Blessings,” which is a major liturgical resource that exists in the Church.

    Here is a sampling:

  • Blessing of Families in Their New Homes
  • Blessing of parents after a Miscarriage
  • Blessing of Victims of Crime and Oppression
  • Blessing for a Catechetical or Prayer Meeting
  • Blessing of a New Building Site
  • Blessing of Boats and Fishing Gear
  • Blessing of Tools or Other Equipment for Work
  • Blessing of Animals
  • Blessing of a Gymnasium
  • Blessing of Departing Parishioners

As the accompanying decree in the front of the book states: “By celebrating a blessing the faithful can also sanctify various situations and events in their lives.”  From a personal perspective, while I imagine it is theoretically possible that on a rare occasion I might need to withhold a blessing (for instance, of an object that could really only be put to a bad use), being asked may nevertheless provide an occasion to reach out to someone who is being misled or is under a false guide.  Blessings to all those who are starting school, this week and in coming weeks, at whatever level and in whatever school or campus you will be attending!

   The following is an announcement from the diocesan Society of St. Vincent de Paul:

Are you looking for ways to experience God?

When you see others in need, 

do you have a desire to help them?

Members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul invite you to share in their ministry of experiencing Christ in the poor.  

A Catholic lay organization, the Society provides 

opportunities for women and men to grow spiritually 

by offering person-to-person service to those 

who are needy and suffering in our local community.  

Consider learning more about the 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul by looking for our 

Invitation to Serve membership drive in September.

   We are blessed to have a chapter of the SVDP present and active in our own parish (coupled with a neighboring longstanding chapter at St. Agnes in Orrville).  Please feel free to contact me about your interest.  Formation Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month.  Some of those involved are part of pairs who go out to visit people in their homes.  This is a very significant aspect of the ministry, since it expands the vision beyond simply meeting a material need with fostering a personal connection.  The way I would express it is: just as we are called to recognize the person of Christ in those who come to us in need, we can show them that the Church has a human face in the most beautiful sense.

   Please find in this issue, the semi-annual report of parish finances (this one for the END of fiscal year 2014).  For those who are accustomed to reading the bulletin online, this report will also be uploaded on the parish website.

    Peace,  Fr. Stephen

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Catholics Returning Home

Catholics Returning Home

An Invitation for Nonpracticing Catholics

Were you raised Catholic but do not come or seldom come to church anymore?

Are you a Catholic who now feels separated from the Church?

Would you like to know more about the Catholic Church as it is today?

Would you like to feel at home in the Catholic Church again?

No matter how long you have been away and no matter the reason, we invite you to consider renewing your relationship with the Catholic Church. Please join us for informal listening sessions and an update of the Catholic faith. The 6 sessions are held at St. Mary Parish Hall, beginning Wednesday, April 23, 2014 from 7-8:30 pm. For more information, call Mindy at 330-464-8873 or mindyptp@aol.com.