Weekly Letter from Fr. Valencheck

Nov 07, 2019


Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Cleveland, Richard G. Lennon, passed away and his burial was this past Tuesday. It was Bishop Lennon who assigned me this parish as pastor. He is also responsible for approving many of our projects not the least of which is our beautiful pipe organ and our new brick parking lot. As we understand it, his last official act as bishop was signing the document that made it possible for us to open the Julie Billiart School, Akron. The diocesan capitol campaign that he spearheaded provides grants on a yearly basis and we have had all the doors in the school building replaced and purchased a number of computers in part because of this fund. Also, if you remember, when I came to St. Sebastian, I was the only priest here as was Fr. Karg before me. It was Bishop Lennon that appointed parochial vicars again to this parish. He was challenged about this by a group of priest and he responded by saying, “I am bishop of this diocese and if I want to invest in my cities, I will do it.” So we have much for which to be grateful to him. Please pray for the repose of his soul.


CONCERT SUNDAY:  The Cleveland Chamber Choir will be performing in our church this Sunday, November 10th, at 5:00pm. The concert is free and open to the public.

Last week’s organ concert was brilliant and the free will offering raised a happy amount of resources toward the Lynn Frey-Steward Organ Scholarship that helps promote interest in playing the organ among young persons. In an age when many colleges and universities are closing their organ departments, efforts like this are essential in keeping the art of playing the organ alive in our churches. If your child seems to have an interest in the organ (even if their feet cannot yet reach the peddles) contact Lynn or me for a quick introduction to the instrument to see if it sparks further interest. Also consider donating to the Organ Scholarship Fund.

TOT & TOR:  Theology on Tap will be this Wednesday at M & M Tap House in Barberton. I will be the speaker. Theology on the Rocks is on Monday the 18th, with the Mercedarian Sisters speaking.

SERVERS:  I would like to thank Mr. Robert Rybka who scheduled all of our servers for all of our Masses including wedding and funerals and special occasions. It is no small task and we were never left without the help we needed at Mass. Now that his kids are moving past the age of serving he hands the torch on to Mr. Wayne Johnson whose kids are just moving into serving age. They have a computer program now for the scheduling and if those who schedule readers and EMHC and the like would like to know more about that, please contact them. Thank you both so much gentlemen!

Also, thank you to Mr. Larry Furman who has been training our new servers who have been peppered throughout the server schedule these past couple of months. Great to have you aboard servers!

SEMINARIAN:  Our seminarian intern, Mr. Ian Kelly, will be offering a short reflection at the end of some of next weekend’s Masses as part of his seminary training.

MEETING WITH THE CITY:  The parish had a meeting this past week with several persons from the city to discuss the future of the neighborhood. Here are a few highlights from the meetings:

  • The raising of Perkins took longer than expected because of the discovery of underground rooms.
  • The housing project is still moving forward. Work should be noticed either in 2020 or ’21.
  • ODOT plans on resurfacing all of North & South Hawkins probably in 2021.
  • Hawkins will also be striped soon.
  • The hope is to do it in such a way as to slow traffic where our children cross.
  • The Mull Avenue project has been pushed back until at least 2021.
  • Updated lighting and new sidewalks are planned for the Mull Avenue project.
  • Some outdoor maintenance on the Forest Lodge building is on the way.

I would like to thank the city for working with the parish for a better Akron and so that we can be prepared when major construction will be taking place around our campus.

God bless,

Fr. Valencheck