Saturday, November 21, 2015

Petitions/Prayer of the Faithful for November 22, 2015

[Ellen McHugh wrote these for St. Mary's, Painesville, Ohio.]

Prayer of the Faithful for November 22, 2015

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Celebrant:  As we celebrate our coming together for the Eucharist, let us, dear sisters and brothers,

approach the one God to voice all our needs.

 For peace both internationally and in our own country; that all people will value the absence

of conflict and the presence of God who provides hope and peace that heals all wounds.

We pray to the Lord.

 For Christian and Muslim refugees seeking asylum in Europe and our own country; that

world leaders and citizens will act with wisdom and compassion in receiving them.  We pray

to the Lord.

 As Thanksgiving Day approaches, we offer up a prayer of gratitude for the gifts of health

and material blessings; we pray for those who do not have these gifts, that God may aid

them and that we might mutually support one another.  We pray to the Lord.

 For the food ministries at St. Mary and neighboring churches and for the health and well-

being of the men, women and children they serve.  We pray to the Lord.

 For a special blessing on those newly confirmed this weekend, that they may give witness to

Christ our King in lives built on faith, hope, charity, and love. We pray to the Lord.

 In special gratitude for all those we have loved and lost this year whose names are inscribed

in our hearts. Grant them your peace, a “peace that surpasses all understanding.”  We pray to

the Lord.

 And for those for whom this Mass is offered [name them . . .]. We pray to the Lord.

 Let us pause now and silently offer to the Father our own particular intentions [allow for

silence . . .]. We pray to the Lord.

Celebrant: Father, we believe that you will hear and respond to our sincere prayers, asked in the

name of your Son, and in the power of your Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Serving the Needy, Giving Food to the Hungry at St. Mary's Painesville ("Just Thoughts" article)

[Ed and Krista Zivkovich write about what we are doing at St. Mary's in Painesville, Ohio.]

A Year of Helping Generously

In March of this year St. Mary's began its 4th year of hosting a monthly "Mobile Pantry" for local

persons and families in need.  This was done in partnership with the Greater Cleveland

Foodbank and under the sponsorship of our St. Vincent de Paul Organization.  Once a month

the Foodbank delivered a truckload of fresh fruits and vegetables and additional foods such as

yogurt, breads, and pastries at no charge.  Upon delivery, a band of hard-working volunteers

then went to work dividing up and often bagging these various food items into household-sized

Another group handled the registrations, assisted invaluably by our bi-lingual volunteers.  This

year, with help from Greater Cleveland Foodbank staff and thanks to our church's generous

extension of wi-fi coverage over to the Fr. Hanzo Family Center, we were able to switch to a

computerized registration system.  This change greatly increased the accuracy and efficiency of

our record keeping and reduced the time it takes to register those who received food.

Once everyone was registered, some volunteers helped distribute the food while others helped

those needing assistance to get food and load it into their cars.  A big thank you also goes to

our local Giant Eagle store for providing bags and loaning us the grocery carts we used each

month.  Additional thanks to the Perry IGA store for also donating grocery bags.

In keeping with Pope Francis' call to be better stewards of the gift of creation, and as part of our

parish's efforts to recycle as much as possible, all cardboard boxes which were left were broken

down and taken to a recycling station, along with recyclable plastics and paper.  Discarded fruit

and vegetable matter was collected and taken to be composted thanks to parishioner Bill

At our nine monthly Mobile Pantries beginning in March and ending this month, November, we

distributed a total of 102,956 pounds (that's 51 tons!) of fresh, healthy foods to an average of

591 people living in 162 households each month.  51% were either children or seniors.

While most of our volunteers were St. Mary's parishioners, we had help at various times from

members of St. Gabriel's, St. Mary's Chardon, and St. Mary Magdalene, as well as several folks

who came to receive food but then pitched right in to do the work that was needed. We can't say

thank you enough to all the volunteers who made this possible.

Jesus said, "The poor you will always have with you" and challenged us in the Gospels to help

and support them.  Thanks to our parishioners, our other volunteers, and the Foodbank and its

contributors, the poor are being fed, and will continue to be fed, here at St. Mary's.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Poem for My Grandsons, Colin and Robby

Walking Across Frozen St. Mary’s Lake (January 1967)

I am walking through the woods and gardens
Of Holden Arboretum, holding the hands of my precious
Grandsons, Colin and Robby.

They cannot know what they mean to me,
Cannot know that I dreamed them into being—ha ha! --

. . . in the bitter cold winter of ’66-67,
me walking across the frozen St. Mary’s Lake,
At the University of Notre Dame.
The Golden Dome shining in the crisp night,
The spire of Sacred Heart Basilica,
The glow of the candles at the Grotto—

Me imagining two little boys, one holding my left hand,
One my right, as we tromp across the lake.
Me, rehearsing in my mind ways to explain to your mother
Why this was safe, why this is good—

A controlled adventure,
A thing the boys won’t forget—
Doing something amazing and magical
At this special place, this special night,
With a man who shares their genes and blood—

Boys, I imagined you long ago, I conjured you
When I was 18 years old
On a frozen winter night,
On a frozen lake, long ago,
I dreamed you!

These amazing boys, this fierce love,
This bottomless gratitude.

       Bob Coughlin / October 25, 2015