Praised be Jesus Christ. Hello, everyone, I am Father Don Oleksiak, administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland. It has been a month since our parishes reopened after being closed for many weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. I want to take this opportunity to thank you and your families for your patience and faithfulness as together we experience a new reality in liturgy and worship, giving praise and glory to God while working to ensure the well-being of everyone.
I am receiving steady feedback on how our parishes and parishioners are adapting in the face of the pandemic and I am proud of the resiliency and resourcefulness shown by the faithful, clergy and parish staffs as public worship resumed. I am pleased at the progress that has been made and I look forward to the day when our parish worship experience will return to normal.
However, we don’t know yet how long things will be different, and uncertainty sometimes leads to apprehension and doubt. But here’s something to keep in mind: it is only when we open our hearts after the example of Jesus that we become free from our fears and worries and rely solely on the Lord.
Please continue your patience and kindness toward one another. At Mass, remember to wear your mask, exercise proper distancing and follow the safety directions at your parish. And remember that whether you choose to attend Mass in person or participate spiritually by way of video technology, your parish still needs your financial support to keep its ministry alive. Thank you for your generosity and support for the parish.
Also, if you need help making ends meet during this time of economic downturn caused by the pandemic, talk with your pastor. The diocese has set up a special emergency assistance fund for parishioners who need some extra help.
Together we pray that all those made ill by the virus may come to know the healing touch of God, and that those who have died receive eternal rest.
My friends, in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus invites us to take up our cross and follow him, and to respond to those who are in need. As our community bears the cross of this pandemic, may we show ourselves as followers of Jesus by the way we extend our hospitality, love and caring to one another during these challenging times.
May God bless you and your families.