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

Pastor's Letter

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

   “You defended me in the womb; please defend me in the world!”  I cannot claim that I have literally heard anyone say these exact words.  However, I believe that they are consistent with the heart of the Gospel of Life.  We appropriately speak up in defense of those who literally cannot speak for themselves.  However, in our world, there are so many who, while they can speak the words, “please respect my dignity,”  nevertheless need other human beings, who claim to respect all life, to speak up on their behalf, when some individuals— whether they be few or many—are behaving in ways that disregard fundamental human dignity.

   By the time you are reading this article, in print or online, a gathering of concerned citizens and leaders will have taken place in downtown Wooster, at the gazebo on the corner of Market and Liberty.  This peaceful demonstration is a response to recent spikes (from what I understand, quite substantial spikes) in incidents of harassment of persons of varying ethnicity in our community.  While heckling of students of the College of Wooster is reportedly a longstanding (and shameful) occurrence, we are given to understand that it is not at all limited to the college campus area.  I hope that without exception, the people of the St. Mary Parish will look for opportunities to challenge this attitude of insult and ignorance, and additionally reach out in genuine ways to those who may be targets of this sin.

   In past years, a cooperative of area churches has sponsored the Alternative Gift Market— for a good many years, hosted at First Presbyterian Church.  While this year, transition of coordinating staff did not allow for the event to be held on such a scale, there is still an online opportunity to participate in this effort nonetheless.  Anyone can visit Alternative Gifts International (www.altgifts.org) and make a gift , including gift cards.    I am told it is hoped the event will return to town next year.

   As Christians, we show respect for life even after natural death.  As you know, St. Mary has a cemetery on the top of Madison Hill across from O.A.R.D.C.  In just the past few days, we have begun a project out there, to add a columbarium (an above-ground structure with niches for the placement of funerary urns).  We hope that this will provide a further option for consideration as individuals and families consider their final arrangements.  We will let you know of the progress of this addition; this will include an updating of our St. Mary Cemetery brochure.

   Finally, as you are discerning charitable giving at the conclusion of the current tax year, St. Mary Parish Finance Council asks you to consider a gift to one of the following:

·Major Repair Fund (which finances ongoing capital improvements and maintenance) 

·St. Mary School Endowment (a conservative and ethical investment account that provides a substantial annual contribution in support of school operations)

·St. Mary Guardian Angel Fund (from which direct aid is given to families in need of tuition assistance).

Peace,

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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 Monday, April 4, 2016 from 7-8:30 pm. For more information, call Mindy at 330-464-8873 or mindyptp@aol.com.

Mary's Tears Grief Support Group

Mary's Tears next Grief Support Group will begin April 17, 2017 after Easter.  There will be six consecutive Monday evening sessions from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  We invite you to join us then if you experience the loss of a loved one.  Before the next group begins if you would like to be contacted by one of the facilitators you may call Tony 330-321-3854, Mary 330-601-0236, or Joan 330-262-8276 for information or support.