Parish Newsletter

Dear Our Lady of Sorrows Parishioner,

In this time of covid-19 crisis your parish wants to be a source of support and spiritual strength to you. One step toward this goal is this newsletter.

Please tell your friends about this Newsletter and share anyway you can by email, Facebook, word of mouth, etc. Let them know it can be viewed on the parish website: www.olosmonroe.com .

We hope you find this newsletter helpful. It is full of information, links, and some documents which you can download.

May God walk with you and your loved ones during these difficult days.

- Fr. Paul


 

"The Ascension" by Benjamin West

May 22, 2020

You can download this letter here: LINK 

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Homily for the Ascension of the Lord, Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fr. Paul Gebhardt: HOMILY  

 -------------------------------

Watch Mass LIVE this coming Sunday, May 24, at 10:00 am from Our Lady of Sorrows via Live Streaming at the parish website. Go to the parish website and follow the link on the main page: www.olosmonroe.com .  When the event has ended, the link will take you to a recorded version.

Here is a Guide to the Mass, including the Creed and other Mass parts: LINK 

Alternatively, you can view Mass at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral at the times listed below at this link: LINK

Mondays - Saturdays at 8:00 am*
Sundays at 11:00 am

*Beginning May 25th, schedule will change to:

Mondays - Fridays at 7:00 am & Saturdays at 11:30 am
Sundays will remain at 11:00 am

Tune in to Catholic Programming anytime with EWTN on TV or Online at this: LINK

-----------------------------------

Prayer for Vocations: LINK 

-----------------------------------

The Parish Bulletin is still being published weekly and is available at the Parish Website: LINK

NOTE: Some of the information in the weekly bulletin may be incorrect as a result of changes made after the bulletin goes to press each Monday, but the parish website will continue to have the latest information: www.olosmonroe.com

-------------------------------

Summer Lunch Program 2020

Our Lady of Sorrows will again participate in a community effort with several local churches to provide lunches for children living in Rochester Hills Mobile Home Park throughout the summer.

Due to Covid-19, the need is greater than ever. At the same time, we want to protect our parishioners who may not feel comfortable shopping at a grocery store or coming to church to drop off groceries. We still need your help. Our goal is to provide 130 lunches per day for 5 days for 2 weeks. That is 1,300 lunches. We are asking for monetary donations so we can bulk order the food items for the lunches.

Donations can be made to: Our Lady of Sorrows and should be in a separate envelope from other contributions and clearly marked: “Summer Lunch Program.”

You may mail your checks to Our Lady of Sorrows, drop them off in the office, or drop them in the collection box (which we will use instead of passing the basket.)

Please make your donation by June 20th. Thank you for your support of this program!

----------------------

Note from the Business Manager

The parish staff have been busy preparing to welcome parishioners back to church ever since we learned that public Mass could resume on May 25th. As we get ready to open our doors, we are doing our best to think of everything. Of course, we have a limited capacity for “thinking of everything” but know that we are working to be ready to reopen the church and worship with parishioners in our chairs.

Speaking of chairs, you will notice that many are gone (for now) so that we can maintain some physical distance. Having chairs instead of pews is facilitating a reorganization of the space to hopefully make things work well and conform to the guidelines the Archdiocese and health officials have given for slowing the spread of COVID-19. Our preparation has not stopped with re-arranging furniture. Cleaning and planning for the ongoing need for sanitizing is going to be a continuing effort moving forward in a way we never imagined.

Amid our preparations, we were delivered another “project” that we had not planned on…. With the recent days of heavy rains, we discovered that the church basement (where the PSR classrooms are located) was taking on water. In my time at Our Lady of Sorrows, this has not happened. It was a bit defeating but could have been way worse. We were very fortunate that this was discovered very quickly. Though there was water pretty much in every classroom, in the storage rooms, furnace room and bathrooms, it was only about an inch deep. Making phone calls right away to the insurance agent and Archdiocese quickly put me in touch with a restoration company, who sent someone over within about 20 minutes. A few hours later, the restoration had begun. Though it is a big project, it’s one being handled by experts, allowing the parish staff to continue our preparations. Thank you, Jesus!

It warms our hearts to hear from parishioners eager to return and eager to help! Thank you to all who have mailed in contributions & given electronically during this time with no public Masses. Your generosity is appreciated and vital. To all of those who are unable to give we are praying for you, as we are for all of those who have been affected by this pandemic.

If you are able, you can mail your offering envelopes in to the parish office or any contributions you would normally be putting into the collection basket at Mass. Mail them to:

Our Lady of Sorrows
330 Lebanon Street
Monroe, OH 45050

While all public Masses have been cancelled throughout the Archdiocese, our priests are daily saying private Masses for the people of our parish (and we have been able to make Sunday Masses from Our Lady of Sorrows available for viewing via Live Streaming on our website: www.olosmonroe.com). Our staff is continuing to take care of parish business, pay bills, maintain our facilities, communicate with parishioners through available channels, and do all we can to maintain the vitality of our parish and to provide the pastoral care our parishioners need.

We are blessed by the continued financial support of many of our parishioners who have mailed in checks or chosen to give by electronic contribution.

If you are interested in setting up electronic giving, this is how it works: Once a month, on the 5th of every month, funds can be transferred from your bank account electronically. Simply download the form below and mail it in to the Parish office. You will need to enclose a cancelled check for verification of routing numbers. (IMPORTANT: When submitting routing numbers on the form, be sure that you copy them from a CHECK and NOT a Deposit Slip. They are different numbers.

Here is the link for the electronic giving form: LINK 

Finally, you can also have checks sent automatically from your bank to the parish on a regular basis. Contact your bank for details.

We look forward to coming together with our parish family again soon. Thank you for your prayers and support and be assured of our prayers for all of you.  

- Ava Bertsch

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Episcopal Retirement Services has achieved its goal of having masks for all ancillary personnel at its retirement facilities!

The number of masks needed was 1,700, and that goal was met.  Thank you to anyone who contributed to this effort; ERS personnel are extremely grateful!

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Due to the six-foot distancing rule still in place due to the Corona virus, our blood pressure screenings after Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows have been discontinued until further notice.

Thanks to all who support this ministry.  We look forward to resuming these screenings as soon as safely possible.

----------------------------------------

A Note from the Director of Religious Education

During these unusual circumstances, parents, we remind you that you are the first and best Catechists to your children.  Passing the Faith along is your primary duty and responsibility.  This is what you promised the Church when you had your child baptized.  We are here to help and support you in your time of need.  Please contact Chris Baumgardner at: [email protected] .

Here is the Gospel for this coming Sunday, May 24, the Ascension of the Lord.  There is a family prayer service on this page and reflection questions for children youth, and adults: LINK  

Two other sites that have kid-friendly Gospel activities are: LINK and LINK

Watch Mass live-streamed from St. Peter in Chains Cathedral daily. Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM and Sunday at 11:00 AM*. This is a great way for the lay faithful to unite in solidarity with one another in an act of spiritual communion. While the Sunday obligation has been lifted for now, attending Mass is still important! You can find links for this at: catholiccincinnati.org or stpeterinchainscathedral.org or THIS LINK.    

       *Beginning May 25th, schedule will change to:
        Mondays - Fridays at 7:00 am & Saturdays at 11:30 am
        Sundays will remain at 11:00 am

Another site to try is this one: LINK .  Using this site might allow you to visit a Church that you wouldn’t otherwise and take a church tour!    

If you are looking for a way to keep children engaged during online Mass, have them use this resource to take a “scavenger hunt”: LINK

Sign up for a FORMED account at: FORMED.org. Both parishioners from Our Lady of Sorrows and Holy Name of Jesus can access this. 2nd grade sacrament parents should watch the Presence series.   Remember, too, that FORMED isn’t just for adults! There’s series for teens and lots of programming for children as well.

FORMED is an online platform that can enhance your knowledge about many facets of our faith. Here's some tips in accessing FORMED. Please let us know if you have any questions. Best of all, it's FREE for you to use.

Already have a FORMED Account?
1. Visit FORMED.org
2. Click Sign In
3. Enter your email
4. Click the link in the email you will receive
You’re in! No more passwords!

To create a new FORMED account:
1. Visit FORMED.org
2. Click Sign-Up
3. Select “I Belong to a Parish or Organization”
4. Find “Our Lady of Sorrows” *
Enter your email and you’re in!

Please note that these instructions are for both Our Lady of Sorrows parishioners and Holy Name of Jesus parishioners as well.

Hold a family rosary session each evening after dinner. Here's a good site to offer some ideas for little children who might become a little wiggly during the experience: LINK

Turn off the TV and listen to Sacred Heart Radio. If you have trouble tuning it in, you can download the app and stream it to your devices. SACRED HEART RADIO

We are accepting non-perishable food to donate to the Middletown Choice Market. Donations can be dropped off at the “Parish Office” door. If no one is in the office, please leave donations inside the doorway. It is unlocked until 9:00 PM each evening.

The activity director at Mt. Pleasant Nursing Home in Monroe is asking for letters and cards to be sent to residents who cannot receive visitors right now. Many of the residents at Mt. Pleasant are our parishioners.   Letters can be sent to:

Ohio Living Project Smiles
225 Britton Ln.
Monroe, OH 45050

For the past several years, the dessert table monies donated at our annual fish fries have gone to support the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and their mission in Haiti. That mission no longer exists and became known about a week before the fish fries began.

Upon calling the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Pennsylvania, they suggested that we consider supporting St. Michael Indian School in Arizona. Both the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Michael Indian School were founded by St. Katherine Drexel. While they operate separately, they do share a familiar correlation.  This is the only parochial K-12 school that is located on an Indian reservation.

In the two fish fries this year, almost $750.00 was raised to support this cause.

This week, we received and email from Brooke Overturf, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, thanking us for our ministerial efforts. "On behalf of St. Michael Indian School, thank you so much for considering us! Every gift is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to our partnership in the years to come."

Through email correspondence, it was learned that they have another need as well. Currently, the Navajo Nation has been hit very hard by the COVID-19 virus. There is a great need for masks. If anyone would like to make some or donate some, you can drop them off at the parish office or contact Chris at [email protected] .

Read more about St. Michael Indian School here: LINK                                                                           

Please ”like” the Our Lady of Sorrows’ Facebook page as the staff post articles that are Faith related. You can look for us at “Our Lady of Sorrows Parish”.   

Consider honoring Mary this month by dropping off flowers to one of the two Marian statues at Our Lady of Sorrows.  They are both outside where you can easily “social distance” from one another.  This could also give you a chance to visit the outside grounds of Our Lady of Sorrows if you are missing our Church.  Know that the Our Lady of Sorrows' staff is missing YOU!

Looking for some good reading material for your children that could also spark their faith?  Check out these suggestions: LINK   

Please keep our PSR and MTCES students in your prayers who were to receive their sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation this Spring. Please know that we look forward to the day when we can celebrate with you! 

- Chris Baumgardner

-----------------------------------

Other Links and Resources

Information and Resources from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati: LINK

Spiritual Resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: LINK

Daily Mass Readings from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: LINK

Catholic Health Association: LINK

Vatican Website: LINK 

Resources for Economic Support: LINK

Volunteer Needs and Opportunities: LINK

 

 


May 15, 2020

A Few Words About the Resumption of Public Masses

Dear Parishioners,

As I begin the process of applying the Archdiocesan Guidelines for Resumption of Public Masses to our situations at Holy Name of Jesus and Our Lady of Sorrows I want to share with you my perspective on what I believe I and the parish staff are obligated to do and why.  First, like you, I’ve heard the range of opinion about how seriously we should take the virus and all the media coverage of it.  I’ve concluded that it doesn’t matter.  If there is any risk to the health of my parishioners from this virus, we must take the threat seriously and take all reasonable precautions to protect your health and wellbeing.  The personal opinions of the staff are of no consequence.  Neither parish will become a hot spot for the outbreak of the virus if we have anything to say about it.  

We do this for two reasons. One is already stated, your continued health and wellbeing.  The other is your peace of mind.  No matter what your opinion is about how serious the covid-19 crisis is, when you come to Mass you should feel that the church is the next safest place to your own home.  You should be able to worship without undo fear for your health.

In order to accomplish these two purposes we will make certain adjustments which may include holding Masses in the Parish Hall/PAC, using the Parish Hall/PAC as overflow seating and live-streaming the Mass from the church and Communion being brought over; or some creative combination depending on the numbers attending Masses.  For the first few weeks we will set up our locations for social distancing and allow for the largest possible groups and then adjust based on what the first month or so looks like.  Periodic adjustment will also occur as our society adjusts/returns more to normal, for example when/if school reopens in the fall.   Please, expect changes to the “normal” look and flow of church.  Please watch for more developments.  And please pray for your priests and parish staff.  This is going to be a wild ride.  

– Fr. Paul

Posted below are documents regarding the Resumption of Mass: A Letter from the Bishops of Ohio, A Letter from our Archbishop, and a Set of Guidelines for resuming public worship.   I encourage you to look these over.  Even a brief scan of the guidelines will show you how much preparation needs to be done before public Masses may be celebrated.  We will need many extra hands to help in cleaning and setting up between Masses.  If you are willing to help in that way, please call the parish office [513-539-8061] or email any of the parish staff.  We anticipate these between-the-Masses tasks will continue for many months.  

Please watch the parish website and Facebook page for more detailed information on how our parish will implement the guidelines and begin public Masses on May 25.  

Links:  
Letter from the Bishops of Ohio 
Letter from Archbishop Dennis Schnurr 
Guidelines for Resuming Public Worship
   

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Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter, May 17, 2020

Fr. Stephen Lattner: HOMILY  

-------------------------------

Watch Mass LIVE this coming Sunday, May 17, at 10:00 am from Our Lady of Sorrows via Live Streaming at the parish website. Go to the parish website and follow the link on the main page: www.olosmonroe.com .  When the event has ended, the link will take you to a recorded version.

Here is a Guide to the Mass, including the Creed and other Mass parts: LINK 

Alternatively, you can view Mass at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral at the times listed below at this link: LINK

Mondays - Saturdays at 8:00 am
Sundays at 11:00 am

Tune in to Catholic Programming anytime with EWTN on TV or Online at this: LINK

-----------------------------------

Prayer for Vocations: LINK 

-----------------------------------

The Parish Bulletin is still being published weekly and is available at the Parish Website: LINK

NOTE: Some of the information in the weekly bulletin may be incorrect as a result of changes made after the bulletin goes to press each Monday, but the parish website will continue to have the latest information: www.olosmonroe.com

---------------------------------

White Books Available! - They are in a box under the portico at the church.

This year’s Little White Book of Reflections are based on the Sunday Gospels of Year A. Reflections begin on Easter Monday, April 13, and end Pentecost Sunday, May 31.

Look for them in the labeled box under the portico at the Church.  Help yourself as they are FREE!

Here is a sample of one of the pages: LINK   

----------------------

If you are able, you can mail your offering envelopes in to the parish office or any contributions you would normally be putting into the collection basket at Mass. Mail them to:

Our Lady of Sorrows
330 Lebanon Street
Monroe, OH 45050

While all public Masses have been cancelled throughout the Archdiocese, our priests are daily saying private Masses for the people of our parish (and we have been able to make Sunday Masses from Our Lady of Sorrows available for viewing via Live Streaming on our website: www.olosmonroe.com). Our staff is continuing to take care of parish business, pay bills, maintain our facilities, communicate with parishioners through available channels, and do all we can to maintain the vitality of our parish and to provide the pastoral care our parishioners need.

We are blessed by the continued financial support of many of our parishioners who have mailed in checks or chosen to give by electronic contribution. We know that there are many who are suffering and find this impossible to do right now; we understand and continue to offer our prayers.

If you are interested in setting up electronic giving, this is how it works: Once a month, on the 5th of every month, funds can be transferred from your bank account electronically. Simply download the form below and mail it in to the Parish office. You will need to enclose a cancelled check for verification of routing numbers. (IMPORTANT: When submitting routing numbers on the form, be sure that you copy them from a CHECK and NOT a Deposit Slip. They are different numbers.

Here is the link for the electronic giving form: LINK 

Finally, you can also have checks sent automatically from your bank to the parish on a regular basis. Contact your bank for details.

We look forward to coming together with our parish family again soon. Thank you for your prayers and support and be assured of our prayers for all of you.  

----------------------------------------

A Note from the Director of Religious Education

During these unusual circumstances, parents, we remind you that you are the first and best Catechists to your children.  Passing the Faith along is your primary duty and responsibility.  This is what you promised the Church when you had your child baptized.  We are here to help and support you in your time of need.  Please contact Chris Baumgardner at: [email protected] .

Here is the Gospel for this coming Sunday, May 17, the 6th Sunday of Easter.  There is a family prayer service on this page and reflection questions for children youth, and adults: LINK  

Two other sites that have kid-friendly Gospel activities are: LINK and LINK

Watch Mass live-streamed from St. Peter in Chains Cathedral daily. Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM and Sunday at 11:00 AM. This is a great way for the lay faithful to unite in solidarity with one another in an act of spiritual communion. While the Sunday obligation has been lifted for now, attending Mass is still important! You can find links for this at: catholiccincinnati.org or stpeterinchainscathedral.org or THIS LINK.

Another site to try is this one: LINK .  Using this site might allow you to visit a Church that you wouldn’t otherwise and take a church tour!    

If you are looking for a way to keep children engaged during online Mass, have them use this resource to take a “scavenger hunt”: LINK

Sign up for a FORMED account at: FORMED.org. Both parishioners from Our Lady of Sorrows and Holy Name of Jesus can access this. 2nd grade sacrament parents should watch the Presence series.   Remember, too, that FORMED isn’t just for adults! There’s series for teens and lots of programming for children as well.

FORMED is an online platform that can enhance your knowledge about many facets of our faith. Here's some tips in accessing FORMED. Please let us know if you have any questions. Best of all, it's FREE for you to use.

Already have a FORMED Account?
1. Visit FORMED.org
2. Click Sign In
3. Enter your email
4. Click the link in the email you will receive
You’re in! No more passwords!

To create a new FORMED account:
1. Visit FORMED.org
2. Click Sign-Up
3. Select “I Belong to a Parish or Organization”
4. Find “Our Lady of Sorrows” *
Enter your email and you’re in!

Please note that these instructions are for both Our Lady of Sorrows parishioners and Holy Name of Jesus parishioners as well.

Hold a family rosary session each evening after dinner. Here's a good site to offer some ideas for little children who might become a little wiggly during the experience: LINK

Turn off the TV and listen to Sacred Heart Radio. If you have trouble tuning it in, you can download the app and stream it to your devices. SACRED HEART RADIO

We are accepting non-perishable food to donate to the Middletown Choice Market. Donations can be dropped off at the “Parish Office” door. If no one is in the office, please leave donations inside the doorway. It is unlocked until 9:00 PM each evening.

The activity director at Mt. Pleasant Nursing Home in Monroe is asking for letters and cards to be sent to residents who cannot receive visitors right now. Many of the residents at Mt. Pleasant are our parishioners.   Letters can be sent to:

Ohio Living Project Smiles
225 Britton Ln.
Monroe, OH 45050

Episcopal Retirement Services' Parish Health Ministry, which has been an instrumental partner with our Wellness Team at Our Lady of Sorrows, has many retirement communities in need of masks for ancillary staff (non-nurses).  Can you help out by making and donating masks?   You are welcome to use your own pattern, or follow instructions in the links, below.  100% cotton is the preferred fabric.

LINK 1   LINK 2

Mail or Drop Off:

Homemade masks can be mailed to:

PHM Masks
ERS Support Offices
3870 Virginia Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45227

OR

Drop off in the basket just outside the entrance to the ERS Support Services Office at 3870 Virginia Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227. Attach a note that says, “To: PHM Masks – From (your name).”   If you are local and can drop them off, please call Emily at 513-271-9610 on Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to let her know that you just dropped them off.  She will come out after you leave to pick them up and bring them inside the office.

Thank you, and God bless you!

Please ”like” the Our Lady of Sorrows’ Facebook page as the staff post articles that are Faith related. You can look for us at “Our Lady of Sorrows Parish”.   

Consider honoring Mary this month by dropping off flowers to one of the two Marian statues at Our Lady of Sorrows. They are both outside where you can easily “social distance” from one another. This could also give you a chance to visit the outside grounds of our parish if you are missing Church.

Looking for some good reading material for your children that could also spark their faith? Check out these suggestions: LINK 

Please keep our PSR and MTCES students in your prayers who were to receive their sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation this Spring. Please know that we look forward to the day when we can celebrate with you!

- Chris Baumgardner

-----------------------------------

Other Links and Resources

Information and Resources from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati: LINK

Spiritual Resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: LINK

Daily Mass Readings from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: LINK

Catholic Health Association: LINK

Vatican Website: LINK 

Resources for Economic Support: LINK

Volunteer Needs and Opportunities: LINK