Queen of Heaven Catholic Church

1800 Steese Road • Uniontown, Ohio 44685 • 330-896-2345

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Pastoral Letter

May 20, 2018 - Pentecost Sunday

A Note from Deacon Steve

Do you get the feeling that the Holy Spirit is moving in amazing ways in this awesome Parish of ours? Do you think that all this flowing grace is due, in part at least, to our Patroness?

This past Monday, forty-three of our youth were sealed with the Spirit as they celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation with Abbot Gary Hoover. Today we celebrate the great solemnity of Pentecost and tomorrow we have the privilege of having our beloved Bishop, Nelson Perez, be with us to celebrate the Church’s first ever Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

So, on this Pentecost Sunday, let’s take a moment to reflect on the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Church as a whole, in our Parish Community, as well as in each of us individually.

As we know, the solemnity of Pentecost is right up there with Christmas and Easter as the most sacred of days celebrated within the Church. Pentecost is considered to be the birthday of the Church because it was on this day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the nascent Church and empowered the Apostles and the other disciples of Jesus to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world. Praise be to God for that outpouring of grace – had that not happened would we be Catholics today?

But this is a big day for us individually, too. With the Spirit’s sacred presence within each of us, we come to believe in Christ as our Savior, as our Lord, and as our God. That same presence of the Spirit empowers us through the Sacrament of Confirmation to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to all people.

The Spirit’s moving, too, in this new Memorial of ours. Pope Francis declared this past February that a new memorial is to be celebrated in honor of the Mother of our Church. Fittingly, this Memorial will take place each year on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday.

So, what’s the purpose of this new Memorial to our Blessed Mother? It makes sense that we honor the Queen of Heaven in this special way since she was there at the start of the Church: when Jesus entrusted the beloved disciple to her at the foot of the Cross and again in the Upper Room, when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, and all those gathered with them, at Pentecost. Mary was there at the start of the Church, and she continues to be with us now.

Through the new Memorial, “the Holy Father wishes to promote this devotion to Mary in order to encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.” But why now? Because, if ever we needed the help, direction, and example of our Blessed Mother in this world of ours which lacks a firm foundation in Christ Jesus, a world adrift in a swamp of sin and moral decline, a world which calls good evil and evil good, it’s now.

So, how blessed we are! God himself is love. That love of his is embodied and made known to us in the Trinity – and that embodiment is made known to us also in Mary, the spouse of the Third Person of the Trinity. In the past seven weeks we’ve experienced this Trinitarian love in very special ways:
• The Father loves us so much that he as the Second Person of the Trinity – Jesus the Christ – became one of us to die for us and redeem us from the power of sin.
• On top of that, our heavenly Father loves us so much that the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, comes upon us and dwells within us so that we become his living temples. Being temples of the Most High, God changes us, sanctifies us and empowers us to profess and teach the Gospel of Christ and to bear Jesus to others just as Mary did.

So, with joyful and thankful hearts let’s pray:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Church. Pray for us!

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
Deacon Steve