Father's Bulletin Letter 10.25.20

Oct 22, 2020


This weekend we celebrate the gift of the priesthood. Over the past 2,000 some odd years, roles and talents thought vital to our culture have risen and faded. Some do remain. Few remain as intact and unchanging as the vocation to the priesthood. Through prosperous and desperate times, through favorable and oppressed times, through peace and through war, through plagues and health, in pious cultures and in worldly ones, the priesthood perseveres in service to God and His People. Through fallible men, God continues His unerring saving work.

In every generation, there arise a small band of men willing to step forward and take on this unique and ageless role for faith communities. Where do they come from? Everywhere and every situation. These very few men rise up from every country and from every part of those countries, sometimes surprising those who know them and sometimes not. But each picks up their cross and volunteers to enter into service to an ecclesial community to be a particular witness of Christ to them and to make Him present through the sacraments; sometimes hailed and sometimes scorned, but always needed.

If you are a young man I highly encourage you to ask Your Father at least once if you have a vocation to serve Him in His Church. If the answer is yes, contact one of your priests or the vocation office of our diocese at https://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/offices/clergy-religious/vocations-se....

If you question as to whether you have a vocation or not, know that the seminary is not so different from any other course of study in which you might engage. It is a time of discernment for you and for the Church. Many men who enter the seminary leave after a while not unlike any major at a typical college, once a man decides that a particular calling is or is not for him. But whatever it is that you do learn, it will benefit you for the rest of your life.

If a priestly vocation is not for you, please pray for vocations. Christ told us to beg for more laborers for His harvest. Pray that our young men will be open to the call and pray for perseverance for those who are in our seminaries.

Mr. Erin McGough is a seminarian from St. Eugene Parish in Cuyahoga Falls. A man in his first year of seminary training, he spent quite a bit of time at St. Sebastian this past year and is returning here to promote vocations and ask for you prayers. Please welcome him and let him know of your prayers.


Recently we had our October Counts, the annual census of how many people attend weekend Masses the first two weeks of October throughout the entire diocese. I must say I was holding my breath about the numbers firstly because of COVID, then because of the lifting of the requirement to attend Mass weekly, of reduced seating space in our building and finally because St. Paul Parish in south Akron began a Mass at a convenient time that attracts some people who would have typically attended here. In any case, the results are as follows:

In the previous year’s count we averaged 1,146 people attending Mass each weekend for those first two weekends in October. This year we averaged 717 for the same time period. Interestingly enough, if we take the Masses that were lived-streamed for Sunday on those two weekends this year, we average 326 “views” which may be single persons or groups thereof. If we can add the views average to the 717, that brings the total to 1,043, but that number is not very reliable because we don’t know if the same person watched a video multiple times or if there was a family of 6 watching it once on the same device. So are we vaguely maintaining? Only at the end of COVID will we really know, but there is hope here in these crazy times!

God bless all of you and please keep your priests and the whole parish in your prayers.

Fr. Valencheck