Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the Gospel this weekend Jesus reminds us that uncleanliness comes from within. How prudent it is for us to take time daily to examine our conscience and reflect on our activities to see if our words and actions witness to the power of God. Living the Gospel faithfully can be a challenge for anyone, but through a regular examination of conscience we will find areas where we maybe drifting towards uncleanliness.

In the letter from St. James, we read: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” This is another reminder be on guard against the illusions of the world that lead us away from a life of charity. So let us take time daily to reflect on our words and actions so that they are not an obstacle to grace but an avenue through which God can bring others to know him.

This past week, I received a letter from Bishop Malesic congratulating St. James Parish for reaching our Catholic Charities annual appeal goal. The annual appeal, “Love Your Neighbor,” raises funds to serve the many human needs of our brothers and sisters. Thank you for your support with this important outreach of our Diocese.

Also this week, I met with two members of the Grapevine young adult group. They are bringing an opportunity to the Lakewood community for young adults ages 18-30ish. The Lakewood branch will be an off-shoot of a very successful group that meets in Parma. They gather at St. Luke Catholic Church every Thursday to discuss and socialize. I love their purpose: “We meet not just for ourselves, but to become branches of hope in the secular world.” More information can be found @grapevine.cle on Instagram.

The sidewalks around St. Clement were repaired this week as part of the Lakewood City sidewalk program. A special thank you to F.P. Allega Concrete for donating a few of the non-sidewalk sections. Weather permitting the parking lot will be sealed and lined on Monday.

In past years, we celebrated the Feast days of St. Monica and St. Augustine. St. Monica, a woman with great conviction, hoped for the conversion of her husband and son to the faith through her own prayer and witness. St. Augustine, after his conversion, became one of the Church’s most influential bishops. Like St. Monica, let us be persistent in our prayer for family and friends who have drifted away from the faith. And through St. Augustine’s intercession, let us pray for their fruitfulness in the faith.

Christ Peace!

Fr. Workman