“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” (1 Cor 12:7)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The conclusion of the Season of Easter coincides with the beginning of the life of the Church. The celebration of Pentecost recalls Jesus fulfilling the promise to his disciples to always be with them through the gift of the Advocate. The Holy Spirit gives the disciples the encouragement to begin a new journey of proclaiming the love and intimacy of God. From this moment onward, the life of the Spirit brings to birth the salvation that is offered to all humanity through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The manifestation of the Spirit, through the lives of the faithful, has brought the announcement of salvation to the ends of the Earth. One exciting reality of the Catholic faith, that I am humbled by, is the universality with which the Church is marked. In our creed we acknowledge this universality. Simply knowing that there is always (except when not permitted) an offering of the sacrifice of the Mass is an immense reality to contemplate. The mysteries of our salvation are continuously being proclaimed to the world. As a priest, it is a privilege to enter into this proclamation by offering the sacred mysteries for the good of the church and humanity. Also, to know with great confidence that when I am unable (like during my hospital stay) to celebrate Mass, that I can enter spiritually through prayer into these mysteries being celebrated through the life of the universal church. This special communion is offered to each of us.

We all play an important role in the proclamation of the mysteries of salvation. Each of us have been endowed with unique gifts and talents for this mission. Given to us at our Baptism and affirmed through Confirmation, they guide us into the life of this world for building up the Church. Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church. How important it is that we renew within ourselves this outpouring of the Spirit that has built, formed, and guided our Church throughout the centuries and still continues today. Although the human church may have gone astray through this time, the Church universal, empowered by the Spirit, has overcome all challenges and will continue to proclaim the good news of salvation through the lives of the faithful.

As a reminder, Bishop Malesic will be the celebrant for the 10:30 am Mass at Saint James on Sunday, May 30. This Mass will be livestreamed to ensure that we all have an opportunity to prayerfully join in welcoming our bishop. There will be a donut reception in the courtyard following Mass.

On Sunday, June 6 I will bless the Fatima statues at Saint Clement Church after the 11am Mass. I am working with the Knights of Columbus to provide a simple social following the blessing. All are welcome.

We have received the directives from the Diocese in regards to liturgical practices as we move into the post-pandemic experience. Effective June 2nd, many of our current restrictions and protocols will be revoked, including the masks (for those vaccinated) and maintaining social distancing. Following CDC guidelines and the lifting of emergency health orders in the State of Ohio, those who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear facial coverings or remain socially distant. For those who are not vaccinated, these practices should be encouraged and respected. Your cooperation during this transition is appreciated.

Next week I will provide more guidance on the restoration of our ordinary liturgy. Many of our liturgical practices will be reinstated. The Diocese has encouraged pastors to take the spiritual welfare of their community into account in making this transition. I am a firm believer that when we have the opportunity for liturgical education, we should take time to renew our appreciation of the gift of our liturgy and its symbolism. As we transition to restoring our normal form of celebration, there will be many opportunities for participation by the faithful. It will be vital in assuring safe and vibrant liturgies to utilize the gifts and talents of our parishioners. Please prayerfully consider how you might be called to serve the parish.

Support for the parish comes from so many directions. The Finance Council is beginning to examine our financial year-end numbers. Over this challenging year many parishioners and other supporters have provided financial assistance for the good of the Church. Thank you for your generosity to help the parish remain solvent as we continue to proclaim the gift of salvation.

As I conclude this letter, I give thanks to God for the overflowing support that I have received in regards to my cancer treatment. My surgery was successful, and the recovery time was less than expected. The surgeon reported that there is no residual sign of cancer and that the tumor that was removed was dead. This is the best possible outcome. Throughout the summer I will have to be cautious with my activity level to allow for further internal healing and then, with fingers crossed, I will have a procedure to restore normal digestive functions.

May God’s Spirit bless us on the Church’s birthday and inspire those who have drifted away to return home soon.

Fr. Workman