Saint Mary of the Assumption
Rev. Fr. Craig R. Eilerman

Dear Parishioners,

A blessed Good Shepherd Sunday to you. Our responsorial psalm for today’s Mass is that most beloved of all the psalms, the 23rd, The Lord is my Shepherd. Some of the imagery of this psalm was lost to me until I visited the Holy Land. Our guide pointed out that the Good Shepherd has both a staff and a rod, a detail I had not noticed before. The staff was familiar to me; I knew it as a shepherd’s crook, a model for a bishop’s crosier. That the shepherd also had a rod, just never registered. Our guide explained that shepherds in Jesus’s time would carry a rod or what we might call a club to defend off wolves from attacking his sheep. Now the psalm revealed a fuller picture of Jesus to me. Yes, he is leading me, but he is also defending me and all who are members of his fold. This is the reason we can walk with courage in the dark valley. Jesus our Good Shepherd not only guides us, but also protects us.

Today is also the first Sunday of May the month of our Blessed Mother. During this time of uncertainty, it is good for us to turn to Our Blessed Mother and seek her intercession as Catholics have done in difficult times throughout the ages. The Bishops of the United States of America and Canada renewed the consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary of their respective countries this past Friday, May 1. At the conclusion of today’s Mass, I will renew our parish’s consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can find the text for Renewal of the Consecration Prayer in today’s worship aid.

Beginning this Wednesday evening and continuing every Wednesday of May, Deacon Sullivan will lead the Rosary from our Church at 7:00 PM. This will be live-streamed on the Parish Website, the Parish Facebook Page, and on the Parish YouTube channel.  I encourage you to join him in this powerful prayer. Many of you have set up prayer corners in your homes during this time of self-distancing. In this month of May I suggest that you add, if do not already have one, an image of Our Lady to your prayer corner.  Flowers are plentiful now and a bouquet placed in front of an image Our Blessed Mother, is a wonderful way to honor her and seek her intercession.

As you have most likely heard the bishops of Ohio have extended the temporary band on celebrating public Masses through Sunday, May 24.  This means it will at least be Pentecost before some of us will be able to gather for Sunday Mass. As I said last week, I am longing for the day when the doors of St. Mary can be opened wide again and allow all to enter and celebrate the Eucharist. Until then it is important for us to remember we are still united in Christ.

A reminder, if you are in a financial position to fulfill your commitment to support the parish please do so, by using Online Bill Pay through your bank, mailing or dropping off your contributions to the parish office. Your support is very much appreciated.

Let us continue to pray for one another and may the peace of Christ the Good Shepherd through the Immaculate Heart of Mary be yours.

In Christ,

Fr. Eilerman