Saint Joseph and Nativity Parish Updates

COVID -19 Updates


Letter to the Parish from Fr. Tim. 5-18-20

Fr-Tims-letter-to-parishioners-of-both-parishes-May-18-2020

Dear Everyone,
Attached are 1) a memo to priests and deacons regarding starting public Masses on Monday, 25 May 2020, and 2) guidelines for returning to public worship in the Diocese of Cleveland.
These two documents were issued this morning, 10 May 2020.  I wanted you all to have a copy right away as this returning to public worship involves a lot of planning and coordination, as you will see.
I also want parishioners to be able to view this on the website to help them understand what we need to do to keep everyone as safe as we can as we begin to celebrate Mass publicly once again, after a long period of fasting from the Eucharist that began on 17 March.
Let’s keep each other and our parishes in our prayers.  You are all in mine every day.
Gratefully in Christ,

Fr. Tim

Guidelines-PostPandemic-10-May-2020

Memo from Catholic Diocese May 12, 2020

Memo From Catholic Diocese May 10, 2020

Catholic Conference of Ohio Letter May 8, 2020

Fr. Tim’s Letter April 28, 2020

Bishops Letter April 28, 2020

Weddings, Funerals and other Pastoral Matters Memo

CYO Memo

Catholic Schools and PSR Memo

Church Enhancement Project Details – Updates

If you click here you will see the plan layout for the Church Enhancement Project.  This is in PDF form and printable.

St. Joseph Church Enhancement Pledge form.  Click here.  You may download, print and fill out.  This form can be dropped off at the Parish Office,  mailed back or you may fill out, sign and email back to the following email:  parishoffice@stjosephamherst.com.   Thank you.  (rev10/2019)

Weekly Enhancement Updates

998-Saint Joseph Church Remodel Progress Update 200707

Weekly updates on construction – just click each date to read

7-7-20

6-29-20                                6-23-20                                         6-3-20

5-20-20                                 5-12-20                                         5-5-20

4-28-20                                 4-21-20                                        4-14-20

4-7-20                                   3-17-20                                        3-3-20

2-25-20                                  2-4-20                                         1-28-20

1-21-20                                  1-14-20                                        1-7-20

12-18-2019                            12-11-2019                                   12-4-2019

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am happy to let you know that our Saint Joseph Church Enhancement Project has begun on Monday, 18 November 2019.

The weekend of 16-17 November was the last time that we used the church until this project is completed.  Our Saint Joseph Social Hall will serve as our temporary church and, beginning on the weekend of 23-24 November, all our Masses will take place there.

The John G. Johnson Company, our construction management team, confirms that this will be a 5-month project and the clock began to run on Monday, 18 November. We hope to be finished in late April.

These will be some exciting times for Saint Joseph Parish as we prepare to celebrate the 50th birthday of our beloved third church in 2020.  Thank you for your support and encouragement. And, of course, your financial gifts and pledges are still needed and appreciated for our Saint Joseph Church Enhancement Project which is now going on.

Gratefully in Christ,

Fr. Tim O’Connor

______________________________________________________________________________

20 October 2019

Dear Saint Joseph Parishioners,

I want to give everyone an update on the launching of our Saint Joseph Church Enhancement Project as we get ready to celebrate the 50th birthday of our beloved third parish church building in 2020.

On 9 May 2019 we interviewed three construction firms and we selected John G. Johnson to be our “construction manager.” On 4 June we reviewed the bids for the project and found them to come in much higher than our original budget figure of $1.4 million. While this figure was a good estimate in the fall of 2018, materials and labor have risen considerably. Adding to this was the wet spring and wet early summer that caused many contractors to be behind in their seasonal schedules and so were not in need of additional work.

We went out for bid again and reviewed them on 9 July. While the bids came down considerably we were still about $275,000 over the original budget of $1.4 million, and that was after quite a bit of value engineering and listing some project items as “alternates” for a later date. And then came the news about our leaking church roof that I shared with our parish at all the Masses on 20-21 July.

Brady Burmeister of the Diocesan Facilities Services office has been a great help to us. We have had three evaluations of the roof situation. We know now that the steeple base and the roof finial base are admitting water. And the steeple needs immediate restoration, due largely to weather. The consensus among those who did the evaluations is that taking care of the steeple and finial first just might solve the church roof situation. And this needs to be done anyway. We will know for sure after some heavy rains whether or not we need to proceed with a complete tear-off and re-shingling. And the roof restoration was not part of our Church Enhancement Project fund-raising.

And then, as you may have noticed, the bell tower is also in need of attention. After evaluation, we have been told that the bell tower is unsafe, with chunks of brick from its upper parts having already fallen to the ground. And, of course, the bell tower was not included in our original Church Enhancement plans.

All in all, we are going to get started this month with our Church Enhancement Project beginning with the outdoor work before the inclement weather is here. I know that so many people are anxious to see this project get underway – including me.

We do need to raise some more funds so that the project is delivered as promised and without incurring debt. As I am sure that you know, when working on an older structure there can be some unplanned challenges that arise.

How much more do we need to raise? We are looking at an additional $500,000. I am very grateful to the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Cleveland for their advice and counsel in laying out a plan to raise these additional funds during this fall and winter season while the Church Enhancement Project is underway.

Is raising an additional $500,000 do-able? I believe that it is. With 300 households from Saint Joseph Parish having contributed to our Church Enhancement Project capital campaign and enabling us to raise $1.4 million, we still have another 1700 households from whom we would welcome a pledge or a gift. Might you be among them?

Enclosed in this bulletin is a pledge form. And please note that this new pledge fulfillment period continues until 31 January 2022, one year longer than before. We want to make pledge payments easier for those who are pledging now for the first time or for those who would like to increase their original pledge by adding an extra year of contributions.

You are going to be seeing our Church Enhancement Project getting underway very soon. These are going to be some very exciting times for Saint Joseph Parish. If you have not already done so, may I please invite you to lend your support promptly with a pledge or gift to our Church Enhancement Capital Campaign? Every gift counts and every gift will help us achieve our goal to celebrate the 50th birthday of our beloved church in 2020.

May I please count on you to be “all in” for this exciting parish project?

I thank you from my heart for helping to make this dream come true for our parish. And I appreciate your personal support and encouragement for me.

May the Lord continue to bless you, and those you love, richly and warmly.

Gratefully in Christ,

Rev. Timothy J. O’Connor

Pastor

If you click here you will see the plan layout for the Church Enhancement Project.  This is in PDF form and printable.

St. Joseph Church Enhancement Pledge form.  Click here.  You may download, print and fill out.  This form can be dropped off at the Parish Office,  mailed back or you may fill out, sign and email back to the following email:  parishoffice@stjosephamherst.com.   Thank you.  (rev10/2019)

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”8″ display=”basic_thumbnail”]

Fr. Tim’s Homily for Sunday, July 12, 2020

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME-A

Isaiah 55: 10-11
Romans 8: 18-23
Matthew 13: 1-9

Sunday Readings – click here

Weekly Bulletin – Click here

Advertisers know they must target a specific audience if they are going to make a sale. The “one size fits all” approach is not effective. People need to feel personally addressed.
There are many audiences that advertising appeals to. I would like to point out two today: “the belongers” and “the achievers.”
For many people, it is important to feel that they belong, and so advertising targets that group. The fashion world does this all the time. People want to fit in with the latest styles. They are “the belongers.”
Another group is “the achievers.” Achievers are often very successful people. And they don’t want to be like everybody else. They want to set the style. And so advertising might say to the achiever, “This is something that most people can’t afford – but you can! After all, you are not like everybody else!”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus demonstrates how different audiences will receive His Word in different ways.  He delivers the same message – the same Word – but not everyone will hear it in the same way.

Jesus tells a parable about the seed as the Word of God: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” And then Jesus adds, “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Unlike the fixed personality types to which the advertising world appeals, we choose the kind of soil we offer the seed of God’s Word to grow in – or not grow in.  The condition of the soil symbolizes our response, our receptivity to God’s Word.   

There were two sisters, Lisa and Shelly.  Both liked to swim.  Lisa practiced faithfully and fruitfully, and had just won a competition.  

Her dad was talking about this as he and Shelly were snacking in the kitchen.
He asked, “Shelly, don’t you want to do something like Lisa did?” Well, Shelly wasn’t into practice. She just enjoyed being in the pool.
So Shelly replied, “No, I really don’t want to do that, Dad. I’d rather just sit here and have cookies and milk with you.”

We can take that approach with our discipleship – just sitting back and admiring the Christian life.  Or, we can commit ourselves to practicing it faithfully and fruitfully, day after day. 

There was a young man who wanted to enter the seminary.  He went through the admissions process, listed the college he attended, but did not include a graduation transcript. 

The admissions counselor contacted the college and found out that this young man had indeed been there for four years. But he used the tuition money from his parents to enjoy college life. And he audited every single course – no assignments, no exams and no academic credit. Although he had been there for four years, he didn’t earn a graduation diploma.

The writer who cites this illustration says that sometimes that is what we do in the Christian life.  We become mere auditors of the Christian life, rather than being full participants.  And there is a great deal of difference between being interested and being committed.

Jesus teaches us that we choose how we hear His Word.  And with God’s grace, we can cultivate our soil so that it produces fruit “a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

There is an invitation at Mass right before we receive Holy Communion.  The priest takes the Host and the Chalice and holds them up – the Body and Blood, the soul and divinity of Jesus Himself – and says, “Behold the Lamb of God.  Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.”
And we all respond, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.  But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

“But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Lord, we ask you, please say that word and enable each of us to “yield a fruitful harvest” [Responsorial Psalm 65], “a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”