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Sunday Gospel and Homily

A Letter from Archbishop Schnurr

March 17, 2020

 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We find ourselves in a time of confusion, fear, and tension. The range of thoughts and concerns which weigh upon each of us is vast, knowing that the pattern of our lives has quickly become very different than it was mere days ago. In the midst of all of this uncertainty, the Catholic bishops in the State of Ohio, in consultation with the governor and public health officials, have made the very painful decision to suspend the celebration of all public Masses throughout Ohio, at least through Holy Week and Easter. This is a step that I wish we did not feel compelled to take. I realize it is yet another source of suffering in an already trying time. However, given the grave health risks we are currently facing, especially with regard to public gatherings, I believe it is a necessary step in the interest of the common good that will help to curb the spread of this virus.

This is the challenging situation in which we find ourselves, yet we are not alone. As the Church, we are united as members of the Body of Christ; we are united first of all to Jesus and, then, through Him to one another. Only Jesus can bring us peace at this time. He tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14: 27). The peace that Jesus gives us flows from the Cross, that place where the Son offers Himself entirely to the Father for our salvation. We are able to worship God by sharing in that mystery of the Son’s perfect self-offering, and the fullest way that we are able to do that is through the gift of the Mass. For that reason, it is with heavy hearts that we bear these current restrictions.

The Mass, though, will continue to be celebrated in our archdiocese. I call on our priests to privately offer the Sacrifice of the Mass for the good of the people of their parishes, for the whole archdiocese, and for all our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are suffering from this illness, for those who are afraid, and for those who are stricken by anxiety and social tensions. This is a time to beg Christ to fill us with the fire of His love so that we may be the instruments of the charity of His Sacred Heart. The people around us need to be loved. These limitations may make us feel like we are far from Christ, but He has promised to remain with us always. He is here with us as we carry our crosses, and He is asking us to love, even when we find ourselves in the midst of personal, family, and workplace struggles and uncertainties.

I want our churches to be accessible, and I ask my brother priests to do all that is possible to keep the doors of their churches open for some time each day so that we can stop in, offer a prayer to the Lord, and be consoled by His Presence among us in a time of trial. This is a time for families to pray together, to join in supportive communion with our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are suffering so much, and to invite God into every aspect of our daily lives – especially the parts that are most painful for us right now – so that while so much else seems to be taken away, we discover anew His presence among us. For my own part, I am increasing my personal prayer on behalf of each of you. Let us unite ourselves, together as one family of God, to the suffering of Christ.

God gave us the Church because we cannot journey back to Him by ourselves. We need each other so much right now! I pray that all of us will be faithful to the call to holiness that we received at our baptism. Christ is with us in this trial, and He wants to be present to those in need through us. Let us

band together as Christians. Let us be witnesses to the love of God which conquers all things. Let us offer a world in need the peace that only Christ can give – the peace He has entrusted to each of us!

You are in my prayers daily. Please pray for me.

 

Your father in Christ,

 

 

Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr

Archbishop of Cincinnati

Mass Schedule

There are currently NO public masses taking place in the Archdiocese.

The following is our
Regular Weekend Mass Schedule:

Saturday 4:00 PM

Sunday 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 12 noon


Weekdays
Tuesday 6:00 PM
Wednesday 8:35 AM
Thursday - Friday 8:00 AM


Other Liturgies
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Tuesday 5:00-5:40 PM
Saturday 3:15-3:45 PM

Adoration
Tuesday 12:00 - 5:30 PM Benediction 5:40 PM
 

A Holy Week Letter from    Fr. Don

April 7, 2020

 

Dear Friends,

As we begin Holy Week, we enter into the most sacred time of the year and we turn our focus to the central events of salvation history.  Totally obedient to the will of His Heavenly Father, Jesus literally walked the way of the cross for our redemption.  With that in mind, the Church invites us to walk with Jesus as He is betrayed in the garden, falsely accused before the Sanhedrin and Pilate, mocked and beaten by the Roman soldiers, and bears the judgement of all mankind upon the cross—for dying with Christ is precisely what every Christian is called to do. This particular Lenten season has asked us to suffer and to die with Christ in a way we could not have imagined. 

 

For most of Lent, Catholics have been deprived from coming together as a parish, and from celebrating the Mass and being nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus who is the very source of our life.  This is a sacrifice and a hunger like none other; yet through this forced fast from the Eucharist we have been given an opportunity. 

 

Each of us has the opportunity to meditate upon these precious spiritual gifts that perhaps too often many of us have taken for granted.  We’ve been given an opportunity to deepen our love and appreciation for the Mass and the priesthood that Jesus instituted on Holy Thursday, as well as the Eucharist which is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. 

This moment of crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus will eventually pass and hopefully when it does we will return to St. Bernard’s with a deeper love and commitment to the Mass, the Eucharist, Confession and the other Sacraments that aid us on our journey to God.  These are indeed difficult times for all but as St. Paul reminds us, “if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.”

 

The Catholic Church has given us powerful liturgies for Holy Week to help us comprehend the great mystery of our salvation. They reveal God’s love for us made manifest in the most concrete of ways.  These liturgies give us the opportunity to reflect on our willful turning away from God as well as the chance to convert and renew our devotion to Him recapturing the joy of our faith.  

 

In order to arrive at the joy of Easter Sunday we must first be willing to embrace the cross.  We cannot simply wish ourselves to be at the end, at the empty tomb of Easter. We must walk the way of the cross with Jesus and this year we are doing so in a unique way.  There is no resurrection without death; there is no Easter victory without Good Friday’s cross.  I invite all of you to take the time to participate to the best of your ability in the Holy Week liturgies especially those live streamed by the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains.

 

Finally, I would encourage all of you to continue to pray for the end of the Covid19 virus and for all those who are sick or have died from it.  Specifically, it would be beneficial to pray a daily rosary as a family, the Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy chaplet, and the Divine Mercy novena which begins on Good Friday in preparation for the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday.  At the very least, pray a Memorare to our Lady each day as a family.

 

May God continue to keep us safe, healthy and most importantly deepen our desire to grow in holiness!

 

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Fr. Don

 

 

St. Bernard Catholic Church

7130 Harrison Ave, 

Cincinnati, Ohio 45247

(513) 353-4207

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