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 rkinietz@gmail.com.

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 (ourladygc.org) 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

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

On the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we hear in Mark’s Gospel as Jesus tell his disciples about his passion, death and resurrection to come in Jerusalem. Peter tries to prevent him from going there. Jesus rebukes him and tells the disciples and us that to be a disciple is to follow him, not trying to save one’s life, but by dying to ourselves and losing ourselves for his sake and that of the Gospel. That is the only path to real life.

We continue reading from Paul’s First Letter to Timothy. It begins this week with the great prayer for our leaders. He then says how bishops and deacons should behave. He urges Timothy to be especially caring for the youth. Paul warns Timothy of the troubles of riches. Finally, Paul encourages Timothy to be faithful.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus praises the faith of the Roman centurion who understands Jesus’ power to heal. Jesus then raises from the dead the son of the widow of Nain. In response to constant criticism from religious authorities, Jesus compares the critics to children taunting their playmates. We read of the woman who entered a dinner Jesus was attending and wept over his feet, washing them with her tears, showing what real love is. Luke, who highlights the role of women in his Gospel, tells us of women who accompanied Jesus and his disciples. Finally, Jesus gives us the Parable of the Sower and its interpretation about how temptations and shallow roots can prevent the Word from growing in us or how “the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life” can choke the Word.

Who among us hasn’t wondered about how much is enough? How many times do we need to forgive? How much of the goods of this earth do I need to have? How generous am I able to be? The parables Jesus uses often shock our attention and give us a rich fruit for reflection.

These days, the news stories are centered on war and disasters, and on divisions and conflicts. We are not always aware of the scope of the human tragedy that goes on in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our world. Many people on the earth suffer in so many ways – from dire poverty, from years of wars, and from ecological policies that leave the earth in trouble and people worse off. We can see stories of pain and suffering on the other side of the world and we feel it here. We might be filled with horror and compassion and fear. Insecurity, powerlessness can bring us to our knees and to the Lord. This week’s readings help us with continuing reflection that can guide our integration of a confidence in God’s love and mercy.

One of the great things that any tragedy brings forward is examples of great heroism and generosity. We also know that the human spirit can be tempted to the worst things imaginable. But, when we see people sacrificing their own lives to help others or showing with their generosity and passionate care how deeply they value human life, it lifts our own spirits and helps us be more generous and free.

We could ask the Lord this week to help us assess what we really need. Do riches become a trouble for us? Do anxieties and the pleasures of life choke my reception of the Word? Can we ask for the desire to walk through our days with trust in Jesus’ power to heal, to bring what is dead to life? Each of us can make this daily desire request and reflection very concrete. And, as we prepare for the weekend, we can begin reflecting on how happy I am that God is merciful and generous, even toward those that I don’t think “deserve” it.

As we begin each day with a desire, we can end each day with gratitude for what we received.

Have a great week!
-Fr. Joe

Pastor’s Corner | The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

On the Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Isaiah offers comforting words: “Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you.” In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus heals a deaf and mute man. The people are astonished and say of Jesus, “He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The first part of the week, the first readings are from the Letter to the Colossians. Paul is in prison, encouraging this community to put their trust in Christ, not mystical teachings and powers. He challenges them to live their baptism and to walk in the union they have with and in Jesus. Friday we begin reading Paul’s First Letter to Timothy. On Saturday Paul boldly proclaims that he is the “foremost” among sinners and a sign of God’s mercy.

In the first part of this week, following Luke’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand, on the Sabbath, in front of his religious critics. Then Jesus goes up on a mountain to pray and comes down to name his twelve apostles – all of whom seem to be unknown or questionable at best. When people come to him from all over, he heals them. Jesus announces that the poor, the hungry, those who weep, and those hated or excluded or denounced because of him are the blessed. He warns those who are rich, filled, laughing and spoken well of, for their fates will be reversed. Jesus urges us to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us. He cautions not to be quick to see the splinter in someone else’s eye when we do not notice the “wooden beam” in our own eyes. Jesus says that we will be known by our fruit. It is only by building our lives upon him, as a firm foundation, can we hope to survive crises.

When we place Jesus at the center of our lives, as Paul calls the Colossians to do, two marvelous graces are given us. We experience God’s love for us in the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus. As grateful sinners, we then are able to forgive others.

As we begin each day this week, we can let these two graces be part of our reflection. We can ask our Lord to show us his love. We can fearlessly ask to understand who we are as sinners, in the concrete ways each of us falls short, gets distracted, becomes uncentered and makes very unfree choices. We can ask to be forgiven and healed. We can beg for the grace to forgive others. This journey each day might take us into specific patterns, habits, ruts we’re in. We may even want to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week, as we realize our need for forgiveness, and God’s great love for us as sinners.

We can choose to focus carefully this week on those people we ask for the grace to forgive. To whose faults do I pay most attention? Whom do I judge harshly? From whom do I withhold forgiveness? If we begin each day, asking our Lord to reveal the answers to these questions, throughout our day, our days this week will show us deeper places where the Lord can forgive us and where we can share that mercy.

In this week when we celebrate Mary’s birth, we might ask her to gently guide us to trust her Son’s love and to be more tender in loving those people her Son invites us to forgive and be a source of healing.

Throughout this week, we can also give thanks for the ways we are called to be Jesus’ followers—not because we are extremely talented or because we are perfect, but because he saw in us something that he could heal and then send us to heal others. We can be especially attentive to the ways we are blessed in our poverty and in the ways we sometimes experience rejection as his disciples.

Have a great week!
-Fr. Joe

Parishioner Profile: Bev Killian

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Cor 12:27)

“On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable…” (1 Cor 12:23) 

Generations are important to Bev Killian. After having lived in Philadelphia, New Jersey, North Carolina, and rural western Ohio, Bev and her husband finally settled in Grove City five years ago to be near their children. From her accent to cultural differences to big city versus rural, Bev “learned so much from each place we lived.” However, in Grove City the two of them found a home, “We just love being here.” It was the generations of their children and their grandsons that drew them to our parish. 

As a recent retiree Bev joined several social committees and volunteers at Mt. Carmel, but she “had the yearning” to do something more spiritual for her life. Two-and-a-half years ago she noticed an advertisement in the bulletin asking for help providing the Holy Eucharist to homebound persons. (My first reaction at hearing this was, “So people actually do read the bulletin!”) For the next eighteen months Bev coordinated the Extraordinary Ministers who bring the Eucharist to the elderly and other persons who are not able to regularly attend Mass. 

No doubt if you read the bulletin (people actually do read the bulletin!) you know a recurring theme I have encountered is the Holy Spirit working through other persons to guide us when we need a subtle, or not so subtle, nudge. For Bev it was one of her Extraordinary Ministers who pointed out, “So you’re on the list of us able to distribute the Eucharist, but I don’t see you actually distributing the Eucharist.” That was all Bev needed to involve herself more intimately into this ministry. 

Bev has always been a “people person” and greatly enjoys walking into a home and simply chatting with the person and their family. She explains, “You get to know these people… they become like family.” Currently she provides the Eucharist to the 95-year-old matriarch of a farming family and has the privilege of meeting five generations of that family at the same time in their farmhouse. Bev finds purpose in simply the “joy of talking about God and faith” with all of them. She pauses and then adds, “It’s just the little things.”

Perhaps tellingly Bev further explains, “I’m a firm believer that God puts the people in your life that you need when you need them.” For her this family has become her family. All the people I have interviewed have expressed how much more they get out of their ministries than they put into them. It was Karen Cook that first introduced me to Bev and her story and humorously added, “I’m so glad we were able to find a family to take care of Bev.” 

When I ask her the most powerful moment she has experienced in this ministry, Bev does not hesitate. The youngest member of those five generations was recently born with a severe heart defect that required open-heart surgery at the tender age of 6-months. His family was attempting to order some holy water from the grotto at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Bev and her husband had previously completed a pilgrimage to Lourdes and had some of that holy water at home. She immediately agreed to bring it to the family. Two days after the surgery the infant developed fluid around his heart and the prognosis was not positive. His family sprinkled him with that holy water and prayed over him and trusted God and the medical staff. 

A mere few days later Bev was holding him in her lap in the farmhouse. One of the family took a picture of that scene and it is now framed in his bedroom with a caption referencing this is the lady who brought the holy water. Bev smiles and says, “You’re ministering to the whole family.”

If she had one wish Bev wants all of us to show more peace and harmony. She acknowledges this seems like an impossible wish at the moment given the nearly constant vitriol we throw at each other. Bev further explains that, “We can disagree, but we can respect each other even if we disagree.” 

Outside of ministering to the homebound Bev enjoys reading and golfing although she describes herself as more of a “hacker” than a golfer. She loves the personal interactions with the homebound and their families but finds the logistics challenging in coordinating Extraordinary Ministers with those needing this assistance. In fact, when I was able to interview Bev in the morning, that evening Marti Hurd and Fr. Yokum were holding a meeting to address the coordination difficulties. The dedicated members of this ministry are growing fewer and older, and they could use help. 

For anyone who might be interested in this ministry, Bev assures me that it is not nearly as difficult as you would imagine. All the Extraordinary Ministers are given cards that walk them through the necessary prayers and readings. She also explains that praying and proclaiming the Gospel in a small group is extremely powerful. 

I am reminded of Fr. John Riccardo who is an avid golfer. He recounted having an associate pastor who was an equally avid hunter and once asked him, “When you’re sitting up there at the altar do you sometimes think about hunting?” When that priest replied in the affirmative, Fr. Riccardo responded, “I’m so glad because I just spent almost an entire Mass thinking about golfing.” For those of us who regularly attend Mass it can become routine, regular, and perhaps even boring.

Bev assures me that praying and reading the Gospel for the homebound and their families is anything but boring. She also adds that you may think you do not know enough regarding scripture, prayer, or our shared Catholic faith. In fact, those same concerns kept her from actively participating in this ministry until the Holy Spirit dragged her into it. Bev assures me, “It’s completely okay to say, ‘I don’t know’ but I’ll find out.” 

If you feel the Holy Spirit is drawing you towards ministering to the homebound you can contact Marti Hurd in the parish office at 614.875.3322, ex 318 or through email at mhurd@ourladygc.org.

By Eric Brooks

Introducing: Our new Director of Sacred Music

This weekend, I am happy to announce that I have hired a new Director of Sacred Music for Our Lady. Her name is Jordan Werring. She comes to us from the Scioto Catholic Consortium, where I was pastor before I moved to Our Lady. The Director of Sacred Music is a very important position in our parish. She will oversee, research, direct and administer all music ministries of the parish including: children’s choir, cantors, traditional adult choir, folk choir, bell choir, and school liturgies. What I look forward to most is her desire to mentor our young people in our parish. Over the years, we, the Church, have not done a great job, on the whole, at mentoring our young people, and we see the result of that in parish life and parish ministries. 

I think I can sum up Jordan’s philosophy on music from the Vigil Project, “Music opens our hearts to experience God’s love and moves us to new depths of devotion…From the beginning, music has played a central role in Christian prayer – in helping man pray from the heart and grow in deeper relationship with God. From Liturgy, to prayerful devotion, to all the moments of our Christian lives that are lived beyond the doors of the church building, music is a language that permeates the whole of our existence, raising our gaze to the Transcendent.” (www.thevigilproject.com)

Please join me in welcoming Jordan, as she begins a new chapter in her life at Our Lady. She will begin on September 1.

-Fr. Joe 


Hello!

My name is Jordan Werring, and I am excited to be joining the community at Our Lady. 

I’m originally from southern Ohio (Adams County) and grew up on a family farm. I am the eldest of four, and my parents still reside on that family farm. All of my siblings are musical, however, I am the only one who has pursued this professionally. Thank the Lord for my wonderfully supportive parents!

Musically, I started playing for the Liturgy in my junior-high-school days, and have been ever since! All told, that’s approximately twenty years of playing for the Mass, and I have been blessed during that time to have had a variety of musical experiences within the Church. Some of those include: Being the Music Coordinator at the Adams County consortium (Archdiocese of Cincinnati), Music Director at Christ the King (Columbus Diocese), and most recently, the Consortium Director of Sacred Music at Scioto Catholic consortium (Columbus Diocese). Between all of these, I have played in various parishes across the Columbus and Cincinnati diocese, and have also owned my private music teaching studio. I have earned my Bachelors in Music from Capital University’s Conservatory of Music, and am currently in graduate studies in Catholic Theology from Franciscan University at Steubenville. 

Fr. Joe summarized my personal philosophy regarding music up above so well, I only wish to add one more note: That my musical philosophy also includes walking that spiritual journey with people. This is probably my favorite part of my role, which is helping people grow in their relationship to Christ and His Church. Within the scope of what I do, I use music as the means, as the “tool” to facilitate this growing relationship. Everything that we do musically within the Church is a continual offering of our gifts back to the Lord and giving Him the praise for all that He continues to do within our lives. While we aim for musical beauty within the Liturgy, this does not matter if our hearts and souls are not in the right place. I am looking forward to engaging the community of Our Lady in musical praise of our God! 

Though I love what I do, some other things that I enjoy outside of my role in parish ministry are gardening, baking/cooking, and hanging out with friends and family while sampling delicious bourbon or cocktails. If you have a great recipe to share, I’m always interested! 

I look forward to meeting you all and serving the community of Our Lady. Please know of my prayers for you all!