Pastor’s Corner | Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 A vision of comfort and healing is offered for the Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In Jeremiah, we see the Lord gathering “his people” – the blind, the lame and the helpless innocents, bringing them together to console and guide them. In Mark’s Gospel, Bartimaeus, the blind beggar has the courage to beg for healing from Jesus. He is hushed by the crowd but continues to call loudly for Jesus, who hears him and heals him. “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

The Gospel of Luke offers a glimpse of Jesus healing and teaching the people, even as he continues to clash with religious leaders. He cures the “bent woman” on a Sabbath and tells of the tiny mustard seed which develops to become a full grown bush. He repeats that it will not be easy to enter the Kingdom: “For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” He defies those who bring word of threats on his life and defies the silent Pharisees who watch as he cures a man on the Sabbath. Jesus encourages us to be humble: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Please, Lord, anything but humility! Our instinctive reaction to humility might be the result of a culture that exalts riches, honors and pride. Yet all this week Jesus teaches that the way to salvation is through humility.

The first step might be simply asking for the desire to be humble. As we move through the simplest of moments in our everyday lives, we can stop and ask God to help us want to be humble. As we sit on the edge of the bed in the morning, as we head to work, sort laundry or do our errands, we can keep a running prayer in the background of our consciousness: “Lord, help me to desire the humility that will make me more aware of your saving grace.”

These same background moments offer ways for us to recognize opportunities to practice humility as we go through our days. Perhaps I can stop myself from correcting my spouse. In a disagreement, I might make an extra effort to listen to the other person’s side rather than planning my rebuttal as they speak. I can let a person in line in front of me, hold the door for someone or make an extra effort to recognize and thank those who serve me. Maybe I can even admit that I may not fully understand the opinions of others and that there may be some legitimate points to them. Even these tiny gestures, when done in the spirit of Jesus’ teachings this week, offer us a special grace.

All week we can continue to speak to the Lord as we would to a loving friend who listens to us. And always, we can end our day in gratitude, for the merciful God who loves us so compassionately and longs to be in our hearts.

Have a Great Week!
-Fr. Joe

Want 4 pm Saturday Mass?

We have received many requests to move our Saturday Vigil Mass to an earlier time. This would be especially useful as we move closer to the winter months for evening driving and possible weather issues. However, if we change the Mass time, it would be a permanent move and not just something for the winter.  

Before any changes are made, we want to get your feedback! Please click the button below to take our quick, 1-question survey about your preferences on this matter.

2nd Annual Fall Fest

Our second annual Fall Fest will be held on Sunday, October 24. The parent/teachers organization and the Knights of Columbus have again partnered to present a cornhole tournament, expanded food and drink sales, music, children’s activities, trunk or treat candy collection for the children, and a very competitive trunk decorating contest—complete with prizes!

All proceeds will be donated to the school Guardian Angel Fund and the school S.T.E.M. program. 

The corn hole tournament will begin promptly at 2:30 pm with a maximum of 24 teams. Entry fees are $20 per person or $30 per team of 2. Participating trunk or treat cars will be limited to the first 60 sign-ups and parked in a designated area in front of the school from 5:30 – 6 pm.

A fall themed photo-op will be available as well as fun take-with activities for the children. Candy will be distributed from 6:30 – 7:30 pm to include law enforcement partners from Grove City, Columbus Police, and the Franklin County Sheriff. Therapy animals will also be there.

Thank you and Happy Halloween!

40 Days for Life

We are going all in, and you’re invited! With all of the attacks on the unborn from our culture, government, and the media, we can do something about it and NOT just be frustrated. The largest 40 Days for Life campaign EVER kicked off on September 22 in over 550 cities.

As division and anger fill our culture, what a joy to peacefully take the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to the front lines. 40 Days for Life has proven, campaign after campaign, to be a source of healing for so many who are abused, lonely, and feel they have no other option than to pay a doctor to end the life of their child.

This Fall, the vigil will be held at Planned Parenthood Surgical Abortion Clinic, 3255 E. Main Street, Columbus. Our parish has adopted Sunday, October 17, from 7 am to 7 pm for peaceful prayer at the clinic. Please consider praying outside the abortion clinic for an hour that day. Help to end abortion by adding to the 19,198 babies saved, 112 abortion facilities closed, and 221 abortion workers who have had a conversion and quit. Please join us and know that with God all things are possible­—even ending abortion.

A sign-up sheet is in the Parish Gathering Space. You can also sign up by contacting Stacey Belford at 614.554.0161 or

Pastor’s Corner | Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus tells his disciples not to worry about someone driving out evil in his name. He warns about giving scandal, especially to children and calls for a radical avoidance of evil. We are to separate ourselves from it and choose to turn away from sin and its sources as radically as if to cut off our hand or pluck out our eye. It’s about life itself.

The first readings continue with the prophet Zechariah of the period of recovery after the exile. “They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice.” The Book of Nehemiah, like Ezra, chronicles this history. The prophet Baruch gives us a prayer of the people in captivity and God’s reply, “Fear not, my children; call out to God!”

We continue reading Luke’s Gospel, as the disciples argue about who is the greatest. Jesus points out a young child and asks them to strive to be the “least” not the greatest. Jesus stops his disciples from preventing people, not of their group, from healing, because they are with Jesus, too. When Nathanael believes because Jesus could say where he had been, Jesus tells him that as a follower, “You will see greater things than this.” People come up, offering to follow Jesus, but have excuses for why they can’t do it now. Jesus calls them to not “look back” once they have said, “yes.” He sends his disciples to other towns: “The harvest is rich but the workers are few.” Jesus tells us to humble ourselves like a defenseless child. He prays, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”

We can be inspired this week by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the beloved Little Flower and her “Little Way” of finding a path to God in the smallest of ways. An extraordinary young woman who lived close to our own times (not many saints have had their photographs taken); she is an example of a humble life of simplicity and humility.

This week we can ask for the desire to become the least, not the greatest, in ways that applies to us. We can ask to experience humility and grace in the real limits we experience in our lives. All of us have some places where we come to know our humanity and are brought to our knees: perhaps we continue to be judgmental of others even after asking for forgiveness ourselves; we keep falling into the same temptations; we present ourselves one way in public, but act a very different way with those closest to us; we never get around to acts of generosity and charity, perhaps even to our parents or with members of our own families.

We can all begin our mornings with our own version of this prayer: “Lord, help me to be more simple, authentic, transparent and trusting today. I don’t want to try to be someone else.” We might ask, “Help me not ‘look back’ today, Lord” or “Lord, I need your help today to be more accepting of others who are different. Help me to see you in those who suffer or struggle in any way.”

For those who have hurt us in some ways, we can do as Thérèse of Lisieux suggests and pray for those people. It is nearly impossible to hold a grudge or hang onto a hurt inflicted by someone when we are praying for that person each day.

This week, we can turn to the Archangels and our own Guardian Angel to support us and help us stay open to listen, courageous in saying yes, and faithful to reforming our desires.

Throughout the day this week, we can take brief moments, in the background of our consciousness, while driving, going to a meeting, shopping, doing laundry, to repeat and deepen these prayers. And, may our God send prophets and angels and his own Son to help us find intimacy with God in the midst of our busy lives. We can beg God to increase our faith and in the simplest ways each day, we can let our tiny seed of faith bloom in extraordinary ways in our lives.

Have a Great Week!
-Fr. Joe

Pet Blessing October 3

Pet Blessing October 3

We will hold our annual pet blessing on Sunday, October 3! Bring your well-behaved, safe-around-others pets to be blessed on the front lawn at 2 pm. We can’t wait to see all of your furry friends!

We will also be taking up a collection for the Franklin County Dog Shelter. Donations may be dropped off at church or at the pet blessing itself anytime between now and 2 pm October 3.

Acceptable Items:

  • Canned or soft DOG FOOD
  • Creamy Peanut butter
  • Soft or chewy dog treats
  • LARGE bath or beach towels
  • (no hand towels or face cloths)
  • Blankets and comforters
  • Dog beds, crates, pet carriers
  • Durable toys like kongs, nylabones, puzzle toys

Cat food (dry or moist) or canned tuna

Please NO plastic dog bowls, bed sheets, bath mats, rugs, crocheted afghans, rawhide chews, tethers, choke chains, prong collars, or retractable leashes. 

Thank you for Caring for God’s Creatures!

COVID Update: Masks at Mass

Dear Parish Family, 
We just received the following message from Bishop Brennan. Please read it thoroughly.

Dear friends, 

The recent surge of the delta variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus is showing its effects throughout the twenty three counties of the diocese. I don’t need to recite these effects as they are well reported. The good news is that we have learned how to live with this virus and mitigate its effects. As always I join with the Holy Father in urging all those who are eligible for the vaccine to consult with their physician to consider getting the vaccine.  I also urge anyone not feeling well, even if they are not sure if they actually have the coronavirus, please to stay home until you can be certain that you do not have it. I remind you that while there is no longer a dispensation from the Sunday obligation, anyone not feeling well or concerned about their own health or that of other family or household members is already exempt from that obligation. 

I understand that there are strong feelings, even convictions, about the different protocols for mitigating the virus and frustration about the changing guidance. These feelings often put individuals at odds with one another. Last year Churches were included in a statewide mandate regarding masks. That is not the case this year. What I ask at this point is that we exercise prudence and charity in these weeks in which we are dealing with this surge. In that spirit I am asking that we wear masks at Mass and at indoor parish activities for the time being, continue to practice good measures of hygiene such as the use of hand sanitizers, and that we exercise extra patience with one another during this tense time. The Office of Catholic Schools will continue to work with particular schools to meet the differing needs and regulations in the various communities. The people of this diocese overwhelmingly have been extraordinary in showing that charity and patience – I am proud to be associated with you and deeply grateful for your goodness. 

In the meantime let’s pray for all those suffering with illness of any kind, for those who have died, their families, care takers and all those who serve in healthcare.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop Brennan

We encourage everyone to resume wearing masks at Mass and all indoor activities on our campus, beginning this weekend. While it is not a mandate at this time to wear masks, we encourage all to follow his guidance and do so—especially those who are unvaccinated and those most at risk according to the CDC guidelines. Let us all act with compassion, charity, and patience.

We join our prayers to Bishop Brennan’s, and we also pray for an end to this pandemic. God bless and stay safe!

Pastor’s Corner | Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear Jesus tell his disciples about his passion, death and resurrection a second time. It is clear to him that they didn’t understand the first time. He knew that, along the way, they had been arguing about who was the greatest. He gathers the Apostles and says to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

The first reading this week comes from the Book of Ezra, one of the first chroniclers of the post-exile period of Judaism. He is responsible for helping hold the restored people together. We finish the week with brief selections from the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who were prophets during this period. “Consider your ways!” “My spirit continues in your midst; do not fear!”

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus urges us to use our gifts: “No one lights a lamp and hides it under a bushel basket.” When his family comes looking for him, Jesus uses the occasion to tell us that we are family to him, if we hear his Word and act on it. He encourages his Apostles to freedom, sending them out to teach and heal, taking nothing with them. Herod is wondering who Jesus really is. Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is. Peter replies for them all, “The Christ of God.” Jesus doesn’t want them to announce he’s the type of Messiah they were looking for. Instead, he tells them of his upcoming Passion and death.

This is a great week to be reminded that the call to be a Christian is not a simple path. We are called to serve boldly and without worrying about material needs. This week’s readings have a clear call for us to examine how we share God’s love for us with others.

How do we do such serious reflection when it seems we don’t have time for it? We can be “contemplatives in action” by beginning our day with a desire, letting that desire come to our consciousness throughout the day in the “background” moments, and by giving thanks for what graces we received at the end of the day.

How do we come up with the desire? The first step to finding “intimacy with God in the midst of our daily lives” is to develop the habit of naming a desire for the day, while we are still just getting started with the day, before our concentration becomes preoccupied with the worries of the day. These guides can help by suggesting desires that flow from the readings of the week, but the best desires are in the very needs and anxieties that are deep in our hearts. That is where God is working in us, revealing things we can turn over to the Lord and form into a prayer. It can often be just 45 seconds, when we throw on a robe or slippers, or while in the shower or getting dressed. It is deep prayer if we can just say, “Help me, today, Lord. My day is so full. Give me courage, and let me know you are with me all day.”

We can use the readings of the week in a variety of ways. We can take a day to imagine being part of Jesus’ family, with a desire to hear his word and keep it. We can let Jesus address us one day this week, asking us who we say he is. The words don’t need to be complicated – it’s just starting conversation with God who loves you deeply, then listening.

Gracious God, I ask you to heal me today as you healed so many others. Bless my eyes that I might appreciate all that I see around me; and my mouth that I may not judge others and speak harshly of them. And bless my feet as you send me on this journey of grace in my life each day.

I would be remiss to note that these pastor’s corners are offered in correlation with Creighton University’s Online Ministry Team. As a graduate of the Institute of Priestly Formation at Creighton University, I have the opportunity to use their Weekly Guides for Prayer. I have been using them for so long, when I switched parishes and bulletins, I did not make mention of it. Otherwise, have a great week!

-Fr. Joe

Rosaries on the Lawn

“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.”

Saint Padre Pio

We are pleased to announce Rosaries on the Lawn! During the month of October, we will pray the rosary on the front lawn for special intentions. Please plan to join us, and bring family, friends, a rosary, and a chair. 

Sunday, October 3 at 3 pm for the intention of the end to abortion, mercy for those who have had an abortion, and for a return to the sanctity of life from conception till natural death.

Sunday, October 10 at 3 pm for the intention of an increase in vocations to the priesthood and in consecrated religious life. 

Sunday, October 17 at 3 pm for the intention of an increase in faith, especially an increase in faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, and that Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament helps lead us to peace in our world, nation, and homes.

Sunday, October 24 at 4:30 pm for the intention of all students, teachers, school staff, and families for a productive and peaceful school year.

Sunday, October 31 at 3 pm for the intention of peace and healing for all who struggle with mental health.

We will have plenty of rosaries and instructions for anyone who may need them. In case of inclement weather, we will move indoors into the Nave. If you or your ministry would like to lead a decade of the rosary on any date listed above, please contact Marie Kinietz at

Parishioner Profile | Baptism Formation Team: Hammerhead Sharks

Yes, this article is a profile of the Baptism Formation Team at Our Lady of Perpetual Help; yes, it will include hammerhead sharks; and yes, it will all make sense by the end. 

I hope. 

Baptism Formation at Our Lady is facilitated by a team of volunteers, some who have participated in this ministry for years and others who have only conducted a handful of sessions so far. The team is coordinated by Karen Cook, Director of Adult Faith Formation, and also includes Deacon Kopczewski. Formation sessions take place a handful of times throughout the year and typically last ninety minutes with a variety of different speakers on different topics. Karen further explains that instead of Baptism Formation, attendees should consider this “Baptism and Beyond.” Instead of merely preparing these new parents for the Sacrament of Baptism, the goal is to prepare them for their responsibilities in starting a Catholic family. Their own domestic church. 

Deacon Kopczewski also alludes to that responsibility during his presentation. Most of his talk explains the logistics and procedures of the sacrament itself. In particular he focuses on the questions that will be asked of the new parents explaining, “When we ask you a question it’s either asking for information or an affirmative. If you answer ‘no’ to something we’re just going to stop and figure out what’s going on.” He does attempt to reassure the attendees that they will be nervous, and it is not at all uncommon for the parents to be asked the name of their child and the husband and wife suddenly and silently stare at each other with wide eyes having completely “blanked out.” 

However, Deacon Kopczewski also stresses the importance of the questions, explaining they allude to the Nicene Creed recited at every Sunday Mass. “Do you understand the responsibility because baptism can never be undone.”

Team member Jason Gale also refers to this during his presentation on fatherhood. “Your central goal is to arrive at Heaven’s Gates… with your family.” He further adds, “When you make those baptismal promises it’s real. Your child’s life and salvation depend on you.” 

However, the formation session also stresses that parents are never alone and are not the first ones to go through whatever trials they are facing. Jason explains the sacrament affirms that parents are the first teachers of their children, “But not the only teachers.” Team member Meredith Adams expounds on this theme during her presentation on Keeping the Commitment. She stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with a Catholic community regardless of whether parents choose our parochial school, public school and PSR, or some other combination. New parents can lean on that community for advice, support, or simply a few words with a friendly face.

During her closing remarks, Karen also reinforces that sense of community. “You’ve met us and know who we are. If you see us at Mass or anywhere else and have questions or simply want to ask us to pray for you don’t hesitate to ask us.” Deacon Kopczewski also records the names of the parents and children of every baptism he performs and includes them when he prays the Divine Office daily. Meredith reinforces that new parents are never alone spiritually, “God is the one who guides us and leads us… be one with Jesus.” Deacon Kopczewski adds that during the sacrament we ask that, “All the saints who are, who ever will be to pray for your child.”

A central theme of the formation session is attending weekly Mass as a family. Deacon Kopczewski simply states, “The most important thing you can do is bring them to Mass. This is their home. No matter what happens they belong to Jesus Christ.” During her presentation Meredith explains, “Mass is about what you are giving; you are teaching them.” However, all the speakers acknowledge the challenge of attending Mass with children. Meredith has an entire section of practical tips for attending Mass with young children and adds, “Sometimes you just make it to Mass with them and somehow survive it and that’s okay.” Jason elaborates that a parent’s example matters, and their children are always watching them. “You’re being watched every day to see how serious you are. You need to be intentional.” All the presenters reassured the attendees that a rambunctious child at Mass is a blessing and not a distraction. Perhaps Meredith most succinctly explained this, “Remember a noisy Mass is a living Mass.”

Deacon Kopczewski again referenced the responsibilities these young parents were about to undertake. “Until they’re sixteen they’re not going to be able to make it to Mass on their own. Don’t prevent them from going.”

“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And he laid his hands on them and went away.” (Mt 19:14 – 15)

Perhaps most importantly all the speakers expressed solidarity. Each of them is a parent and has gone through many of the same things the attendees are currently going through and will go through. They all provided deeply personal anecdotes; some humorous, some instructional, and some agonizingly heart wrenching. However, the common theme was these trials never drove them away from God, but instead drew them closer to Him. 

Following the session, I had the opportunity to interview the team members. During these interviews I often ask what the greatest challenge of the position is, and for the Baptism Formation Team, the universal answer was, “It’s not challenging… it is a joy… every time I leave refreshed.” They repeatedly stated that conducting this formation brought them determination, grace, and inspiration and made them even more resolved to shepherd their own families. 

Regarding their most impactful moment, all of them referenced this session I had the privilege to observe. At the conclusion attendees mingle with the team members and an older child, around 7 years old, was there with his parents and was the one to be baptized. The session took place at 9 am on a Sunday morning, and he wanted to schedule his baptism for Monday. The next day. He was so excited to join our shared Catholic Church that he did not want to wait a single day more than necessary. 

So, hammerhead sharks. 

Until recently Jason was a pilot and aircraft commander for a Coast Guard C-130. I have quite an affinity for the C-130 as I have close family members that were a flight engineer, pilot, and navigator for an Air National Guard unit flying that aircraft. Jason and his crew had been in Central and South America flying drug interdiction missions where they endlessly patrolled vast stretches of empty water looking for boats transporting illegal drugs into the United States. 

On one of their glorious downtime days, he received a call that five divers had gone missing in an area rife with hammerhead sharks that researchers use to study them. These kinds of search and rescue missions were one of the reasons why a farm kid from landlocked Ohio joined the Coast Guard, so Jason immediately agreed to the mission. When he explained it to the crew the overwhelming consensus was, “We never find divers.” The aircraft is flying too high, too fast for the crew to ever spot something as small as a human on the ocean. Spotting a 20-foot boat is challenging, but a human head bobbing on the surface of the water is nearly impossible. 

Still, they spent the next twelve hours flying over empty water counting sea turtles to keep their eyes acclimated to examining the ocean (my older twin Henry was quite excited to hear about the sea turtles.) With twenty minutes of fuel remaining, they had to choose between two airfields and turned back towards the coast. Their choice brought them almost immediately and directly over two of the missing divers. The C-130 dropped a life raft to the survivors and directed ships to their location. Jason would later learn the divers had been continuously attacked by hammerhead sharks and jellyfish during their time in the water. 

Even though they “never find divers” Jason reminded his crew that this was someone’s son and this was their mission. If seven aircrew in a C-130 will make that kind of effort to save someone else’s son in this world, how much more important is our mission as parents to save the eternal souls of our own children. 

If you are a parent of any age with children of any age, I would encourage you to attend a Baptism Formation session. As Meredith says, “Every time I speak at one of these there’s something new to take away.” Karen also explains, “They call us ‘practicing Catholics’ because we’re practicing at it, not because we’re experts at it.”

The next Baptism & Beyond session will be Sunday, November 7 at 9 am in the Life Center. Anyone interested in attending can register through the parish website ( under Sacraments > Baptism > Baptism & Beyond Parent Formation Registration. 

The members of our Baptism & Beyond Formation Team are:

  • Karen Cook, Pastoral Minister
  • Deacon Michael Kopczewski
  • George Adams
  • Meredith Adams
  • Diane Boyden
  • Emily Gale
  • Jason Gale

By Eric Brooks