A Message from Father Jim

Dear Parish Family,

I REALLY miss everybody. Offering mass without our congregation felt the same as not having my dad around. I felt the emptiness of missing you. Please take good care of yourselves. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, wash your hands, be patient, pray lots of prayers of gratitude, love more, bicker less and know that God has this in his hands. As a friend said to me once years ago, “This is a set-up for God to show up.” Please know you all are in my prayers and I can’t wait to be with you again. What a glorious day that will be. And may Almighty God bless us all: +The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN!!

Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Jim Colopy

Activity: Set up a Prayer Space in your Home

Join Mrs. Dilley, our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Coordinator, as she shows us how to make a prayer table! We may not be able to go to Church right now, but we can all carve out a little sacred space in each of our homes.

Watch the video, then send us photos or videos of YOUR prayer space!

All Campus Buildings Closed

Our Lady Family,

Bishop Brennan sent the following message out earlier today:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I reach out to you once again as part of our best effort to keep you informed regarding changes in our practices as the severity of the Coronavirus pandemic increases in our community.

After further discussions with our pastors, it has become apparent that the most recent restrictions and necessary precautions mandated by the State of Ohio, regarding public spaces makes it impossible for our churches to meet those standards for the safety of others. As much as I am pained by doing so, and as much as we have all tried, we simply cannot allow access to our churches or other parish buildings.

Again, as I’ve mentioned, I ask all the faithful in the Diocese to please make every effort to stay home, especially those among us with any elevated risk of infection. Please continue to practice “social distancing” for the safety of all, and continue to pray for those impacted and those who work and place themselves at risk to help us.

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan
Bishop of Columbus

For the sake of everyone’s health and well-being, and to do our part to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, all church campus buildings are to be closed immediately. For the next few weeks everyone really needs to stay home as much as possible. The effort only works if we as a society are “all in.”

Stay safe, stay home as much as possible, and may God bless you all.

Bishop Brennan Urges Everyone to Stay Home

We have received another message from Bishop Brennan to the members of our diocese. Please read his important letter below:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I write to you again to speak about the many challenges we all face in light of the growing Coronavirus pandemic, which is so significantly impacting every facet of our daily lives. As you already know, the bishops of Ohio earlier this week decided to suspend the public celebration of Mass in every diocese of the state, and dispensed to the faithful from their obligation to attend Mass at least through Easter Sunday.

I cannot begin to tell you how difficult and painful this decision was, especially during the Lenten season. But, after consultation with our Governor and several health and medical officials, and faced with the stark realities regarding the spread of this virus, it became apparent that this dramatic step was critical to making sure we are doing all we can to help curtail the spread of this virus and keep our communities healthy. This extreme measure is a stark reminder of the necessity for all of us to heed the warnings of health and government officials to stay at home.

As Masses have been halted until after Easter, all other activities and events in our parishes must also be canceled or postponed to restrict contact and exposure. Many have asked about keeping our churches open for prayer, Adoration, and Reconciliation. The real answer is that you should remain home. Please understand that we as priests want to be faithful to our responsibility for the care of souls but in doing so, not to place people in danger. For the moment that means finding other ways to keep our parishioners connected and spiritually fed through the Word of God, and responding to pastoral emergencies. I implore your understanding and our shared cooperation. Trust me, I look forward to being together to celebrate the sacred mysteries of our faith. It is only under the strictest guidelines for hygiene and safety that Churches may be open for prayer and confession. Priests will try to be available or get the necessary assistance for urgent situations.

I want to leave you with this suggestion: if possible, in consideration of not only your health but the health of all those you might come in contact with, please make every effort to stay home and find other means to stay close to the Lord. This is especially true for those of us with the highest risk for complications from infection. Utilize Catholic media, TV, and St. Gabriel Radio to continue to experience the Mass. Take this opportunity to expand your prayer life. You can find links to much of this information on our website, columbuscatholic.org. As we move forward, we will continue adding resources to assist you.

Even in these challenging times, as we all continue our faith journey during Lent, all of us can engage in spiritual communion. A spiritual communion acknowledges that deep sense of loss at not being able to share the sacrament but an act of faith in Jesus’ faithful presence among us as we long for the day when we might share anew in the Lord’s most gracious gift.

Let us be united with ever fervent prayer even as we experience physical “social distancing”. Let us beg God’s help and mercy in this trying time. Indeed let us practice “extreme charity” making these sacrifices for the good of those around us and being aware of the each other’s needs. We pray for all those who are afflicted by this virus or any illness, for all of us who have been impacted, and for those who labor to curb and defeat its effects and keep us safe. We offer all of our sufferings and anxiety to Our Lord Jesus, and united in faith, we pray to be refreshed by his boundless love.

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan
Bishop of Columbus

In light of this message from our bishop, members of the Our Lady staff are beginning to call parishioners, starting with those age 70 and up, to check in and do a needs assessment. Please let us know if any of you have specific needs that we can address, and don’t hesitate to contact us if there is something you need and we haven’t gotten to you yet. We are still answering the phones at 614.875.3322, and will continue to do so throughout this crisis (we can forward the line so that we can work remotely and still answer phones). God bless you all!

Offertory Alert

We want to make you all aware of a scam that is going around via email, text, or possibly even phone calls concerning alternate routing of your offertory if you are not able to make it to Mass at your parish. We have not sent out any such communication since these restrictions around COVID-19 were put into place.

We urge our parishioners to think things through and contact us if they think something looks fishy. Please do not give your financial information out over the phone unless you have initiated the call and are certain who is on the other end of the phone.

We do have online giving available, and if you haven’t signed up yet we urge you to continue your offertory by contacting Theresa Bayes or call the Finance Office at 614.875.3322. We are working hard to find ways to make it easier to sign up securely for online giving.

We also want to let you know that if you do online banking, you can also sign up for automatic, recurring payments made payable to and sent directly to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and you can manage that all from your own online banking dashboard.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Even though the office is effectively shut down right now, we are still working hard to serve you and are taking phone calls and emails.

All Public Masses Suspended through Easter

After serious consideration of the grave health risk involved in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the bishops of Ohio have decided, effective immediately, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies, at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter. The bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.

Please see the statement from the Catholic Conference of Ohio for full details.

Stations of the Cross and Liturgy of the Hours are now cancelled at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The Parish Office will be closed until further notice.

We encourage everyone to pray with us the following prayer:

Prayer from Pope Francis to Mary During Coronavirus Pandemic

O Mary,
You always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of Your People, know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

In Christ,
Father Michael Lumpe and Father Jim Colopy

Bishop Brennan Addresses the Faithful

Bishop Brennan has just released a letter to all the Faithful. Please read his latest update below:

Dear Friends in Jesus and Our Blessed Lady,

As you well know much has changed around us in the week since I wrote. Governor DeWine has asked us to maintain a practice of ‘social distancing’ to contain the spread of disease. His request is wise and I deeply appreciate his respect for religious worship. I would put it this way – these trying times call for extreme charity. For the sake of the weakest and most vulnerable, we must all act in a way to contain the virus. At the same time, we need to offer our prayers and assistance as best as we can.

The bishops of Ohio met yesterday by telephone and together we are granting a dispensation to all Catholics in Ohio for the next three Sundays (3/15, 3/22, 3/29). To the best of our ability, parish pastors and administrators will do their best to maintain current Mass schedules, but this is predicated on the availability of our priests – particularly those whose health may become compromised – so it may become necessary to change Mass schedules in our parishes. Should this be the case for your parish, I ask for your understanding and flexibility recognizing that these are extraordinary times. Please check your parish schedule regularly to make sure that the Mass you want to attend is, in fact, being celebrated at the time you are accustomed. It is essential for us that the Mass be offered. That said, I urge all those who are ill, those who might carry the coronavirus or any contagious virus for that matter, and those whose health is compromised by age or other medical conditions, to please to stay home. In a spirit of charity, I also encourage you please to consider carefully your decision to attend Mass and that it might be prudent to stay at home during this time. I remind you that St. Gabriel Radio (AM 820 in Central Ohio, FM 88.3 in Southern Ohio and www.stgabrielradio.com on the web) broadcasts Mass from St. Joseph’s Cathedral (AM Radio) and St. Mary’s in Portsmouth (FM Radio) on Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM. Sunday Masses are also viewable on both WWHO-TV Columbus and WHIZ-TV Zanesville in addition to other cable stations.

Most parish, school and diocesan meetings and activities have been cancelled. The hours will be modified for our Diocesan Pastoral Center in downtown Columbus. Please watch your parish website as well as the diocesan website, www.columbuscatholic.org for updates. If there is a doubt, you should presume cancellation. In all honesty I cannot predict future cancellations beyond Easter, including First Communions and Confirmations, but we need to be prepared for all possibilities.

We are not in retreat mode by any standard. In fact, your priests and I desire to serve you all the more fervently. Similarly, as Catholics we want to serve the poor and vulnerable even more. We need to imagine new ways to achieve this in order to protect the health and well-being of the very people we desire to serve. Clearly, the situation changes daily and we will try to remain in contact. The Diocesan website will contain a special page with resources for information and prayer. These will include possible resources for families to use on Sundays.

Above all, we must be instruments of hope in the Lord. In his message for the World Day of the Sick (2/11/2020) reminds of the tender gaze of Jesus who, himself became frail, endured human suffering and received comfort from his Father. Let’s be strong in our prayer for one another, especially for the sick, their caregivers, those in the medical professions and those entrusted with the charge of care for public health. Be sure of my prayers and deep concern for you.

Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Brennan