Father's Bulletin Letter 8.16.20

Aug 13, 2020


This past week we said, “Thank you and happy retirement” to Beth Flora who has worked part time as our parish bookkeeper for nineteen years! Not only was Beth wonderful at her job, she was always positive, smiling and supportive. Thank you Beth for all that you did for the parish! God bless you in your retirement.


Two other person will be leaving our company on Friday, August 14th. Ian Kelly and Joseph Ho will be returning to St. Mary Major Seminary and Graduate School of Theology studying for the priesthood for service for the our diocese.

Ian came to us around this time last year for his internship year. The COVID scare allowed us to keep him at the parish instead of returning to St. Mary at the end of the year. He was going to work at a Catholic Youth Camp over the summer and when his plans fell through for that, we were lucky enough to have him for the whole summer to boot!

During the worst of the COVID time, he was able to take over a lot of ministry at the parish. He also helped make our parish nicer by working on the grounds (mostly spreading mulch), helping in the school and being of assistance in all of our community wide projects. Of critical importance, he and some wonderful volunteers from the parish were able to set us up so that we now can do quality live-streaming from our parish! Thank you Ian and to all of our other volunteers.

Joe came to us to improve his language skills. He is from Vietnam but he will serve the rest of his life in the Diocese of Cleveland and the seminary sent him here because our rectory has a reputation for activity and it was thought this would help him grasp English better. And it did! He also was instrumental in assisting with the many ministries that we needed to cover during COVID. Because of his green card status, he was not allowed to be employed by us, but he still helped out quite a bit and it was a pleasure to have him here. (Plus we received some really good food at the rectory from the Vietnamese community!)

Thank you gentlemen for all that you did for St. Sebastian Parish! Please keep them in your prayers. Cameron Ferrell, who will be returning to St. Charles Borromeo Minor Seminary (College) will be with us one additional week.

LIVE-STREAM NEWS:  We are now offering to live-stream weddings and funerals. There will be a charge for weddings because it is labor intensive and costly to the parish. In additional to technicians, there are licenses to buy (music) and equipment to maintain and such. Details for this will be forthcoming as we figure it out.

MAYOR:  This past week I met with our mayor who graciously gave of his time to discuss goings on in West Akron. He praised the parish for our efforts to keep our neighborhood strong particularly during COVID.

One thing that he said that I did not realize was that Akron was ranked pretty well for tree canopy coverage. American Forest recommend that cities east of the Mississippi have 40% tree canopy coverage. Akron has about 37% coverage (or around 15K acres!) One of his goals is to get Akron to the 40% gold standard. (The average city is about 27.1%)

To that end, I would not be averse to anyone who wanted to donate a couple of trees for our property for planting in the fall! (Just a thought.)

VACATION:  I was on vacation for most of last week and will be gone again for much of this week.

God bless,

Fr. Valencheck