Father's Bulletin Letter 1.3.21

Dec 29, 2020

A parishioner sent in an article from First Things that reads in part:

“The New York Times culture critic in Paris, Laura Cappelle, recently sought to fill the cultural void. She found solace in what she called the only authentic cultural event now re-allowed by authorities – the Catholic Mass. Indeed, she claims the Catholic Mass expressed by tradition in the city’s magnificent churches is the only setting where art can repose unperturbed. It is ‘the only show in town.’”

How many other places at Christmas presented and explored ancient texts that were the foundational documents of our modern culture and gathered in buildings that are both beautiful and built entirely voluntarily by the local community? Where, outside of the home, did families gather to give thanks for all of their blessings, to be reminded of what “Christ’s Mass Day” is truly all about? Where else was the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ made available, to be placed in the care of the faithful, as vulnerable as He was in the manger?

It happened all over the world in the Holy Catholic Church. It happened in particular at 476 Mull Avenue in Akron, Ohio. Art and live music, pageantry and festive surroundings, the proclamation of ancient texts and pondering of modern life, the healing of wounded souls and the encouragement of the passionate, the sanctification of her people and the praise of her God, and both the commemoration and the bringing about of the unification of God and man.

This took place for all those who were able to make it to our doors and also for those unable, to watch it on our livestream: 1,814 views as of Monday morning. Unfortunately, many were thwarted from coming because of a snowstorm so severe that they sheriff declared a winter snow emergency during the hours which directly corresponded to our entire Christmas Mass schedule!!! Between the pandemic, the snow storm, and everyone from the bishop to the governor saying, “Consider staying home,” reports from all across the diocese report low attendance.
It all lined up so well to impede full attendance during exact hours of Christmas Masses that it almost seemed diabolical. (I am thankful I only had to walk downstairs and down a hallway to get to Mass.) And we were so much more fortunate here than many parishes as we had five seminarians around to fill in if we needed more ministers and five priests who were here to help us celebrate. And, of course, all of our dedicated ministers from singers to counters.

If you were unable to make it to Christmas, please consider supporting your parish with a special monetary donation so that it may remain strong in continuing its ministry in this most challenging of years. All parishes depend on the extra income that comes at Christmas to make the financial year less of a burden. Your generosity is needed more this year than ever. Help this unique, persevering, counter-cultural, life giving, Divinely inspired place continue to remain strong as a beacon of light for West Akron and beyond.

Thank you for your consideration and God bless,

Fr. Valencheck