Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s a celebration of the special grace that was afforded to Mary for her unique role in salvation history. The preface for Mass sums up the theological significance of this mystery:

For today the Virgin Mother of God was assumed into heaven as the beginning and image of your Church’s coming to perfection and a sign of sure hope and comfort to your pilgrim people; rightly you would not allow her to see the corruption of the tomb since from her own body she marvelously brought forth your incarnate Son, the Author of all life. (RM Preface: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Mary received this unique welcome into eternal life that similarly, each of us awaits to experience. Although we will go through the gate of death, the example and life of Mary gives us the direction and confidence to remain faithful as we head towards the prize of our redemption in Christ. Where Mary and others have gone, we strive to experience that welcome that was promised even to the repentant thief.

This celebration is a celebration of heaven. In particular, we express our gratitude for the witness of Mary, which strengthens our resolve to follow our “fiat” as we make our pilgrimage in doing God’s will. Similarly, with great confidence, we pray in thanksgiving for the many people that have also been welcomed into eternal life. They may have given us in life examples of faithfulness but still today, even without our request, pray for us to reach, one day, the heavenly realm.

For me personally, this has been a great source of spiritual comfort to know that those that have passed through the reality of death are praying for our entrance to eternal life. It helps me in times of spiritual dryness to know that people are rooting for me even when I’m not rooting for myself. What a great teaching we have about the communion of saints.

This week an updated document was sent from the Diocese of Cleveland regarding safety recommendations as we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. The entire document is attached below and is inserted into this weekend’s bulletin. I would like to draw your attention to the following sentence:

“All persons – whether vaccinated or unvaccinated – should consider wearing masks when in close proximity to others.”

As your pastor, I encourage everyone to be knowledgeable about the current situation regarding the spread of this virus and how each of us can do our part in fighting this battle. This recommendation is not a mandate. It is up to each of us to discern our own health situation and also to be respectful of the health of those around us. When the number of people limits the ability to social distance, including during Mass, mask wearing is recommended. Furthermore, due to the close proximity while distributing Holy Communion, minsters will wear a mask during this time. Hopefully this will be a short period of inconvenience and the spread of the virus will diminish quickly.

On Thursday, August 19th, the north parking lot at St. Clement will be closed for sealing and striping. Those that attend the 8 a.m. Mass should park in the south lot or on the street. The door at the Lincoln entrance will be open for church access. With the new tenants in the school building, parking at St. James will be limited to only Church usage and occupants of the school/rectory building. New signage will reflect this new policy. Cars may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Many people in our local community have experienced challenges this past week from the severe storms that moved through our area. Let us be attentive to the needs of our neighbors and pray for the safety of our first responders.

Christ’s Peace!
Fr. Workman

Diocese COVID Update