PRAYERS and FRIENDSHIPS AND COPING MECHANISMS
I hope everyone is bearing up under the circumstances of this Novel Corona/Covid-19 pandemic. So far, I have become aware of one person in our parish who has tested positive for the virus. We should continue to keep all who have been affected by this pandemic in our prayers.
Also, we should be supportive of one another. As this pandemic goes on, our patience may get thin at times… Our frustration may get the best of us at times. So it is important to tend to our emotional health. It is helpful to just admit that this is a stressful time, and stressful in rather unique ways. We do not often realize how much our routines and habits are linked in to our emotions and sense of well-being until they are changed or removed.
This is where true friendships can certainly prove their worth. As a rather practical friend of mine once said about friendships: “They are cheaper than therapy.” I would add that they can be more effective too over the long haul of a life. So communicate with your friends about what you are feeling, particularly feelings of vulnerability, helplessness, powerlessness, anxiety, depression, etc.. And of course, be a good “set of ears” for your friends to talk to. Often enough, verbalizing our concerns helps us to live with them better.
BIG NEWS REGARDING OUR FATHER JASON BERTKE…
Our Father Jason Bertke has been informed that he is being assigned to Saint Paul’s Parish in Florence as pastor, effective June 11, 2020. We congratulate Father Jason on his appointment and promise him our prayers as he assumes important responsibilities at Saint Paul’s.
…AND FATHER TRINITY KNIGHT
Father Trinity Knight, currently parochial vicar at Saint Paul’s, will be coming to Saint Agnes as parochial vicar (Associate pastor), effective June 11, 2020. We welcome Father Trinity to Saint Agnes!
Once the protocols for the Covid-19 virus are lifted and it is safe to gather, we’ll look into having some sort of formal “farewell” gathering for Father Jason, and a “welcoming” gathering for Father Trinity.
SISTER BONITA NEWS
Yesterday (Friday, April 24) I received the following email from Sister Bonita. She sent it to all of the school faculty and administration, as well as to parish staff.
My dear friends and co-workers,
I’d like to share a little of my personal history with you. I entered the convent in 1964.
After studying for my degree, the Sisters of Notre Dame spent some time trying to “polish” this country girl. My teaching career began in 1968. Finally, in 1976, I was sent to teach the fifth grade at ST. AGNES. I stayed for 5 years during which I taught Michael Sucher, Debbie Finke, and many others who are still a part of this parish.
I was gone for several years during which I taught at several schools and studied for my Master’s Degree in Religious Studies in the summers. Back I came to ST.AGNES in 1984 to serve as the Director of Religious Education. I loved this work, especially the RCIA Program. After 8 years as DRE, the community called me elsewhere, so I packed my bags and left.
Then, you guessed it, ST. AGNES had a need, and Linda Groh found out I was free. I came back to ST.AGNES in 2007. At this time, we had three classes in some of our intermediate grades. So, in 2007-2009, I taught 3 Religion classes each day.
I have stayed on as an Academic Support Teacher these last 10 years.
Now, it is time for me to retire. Two trips to the E.R., followed by several other falls, were clues that it is time. Also, I would like to see the students have someone who is more versed in technology than I am.
Thank you for your goodness and kindness to me–each and every one of you! You are family. I will pray for you and your families provincial day.
I would like to close with a quote from Pope Francis: ”Each and every one of us is irreplaceable in the eyes of God.”
God bless you!
We wish Sr. Bonita well and pray she won’t be a stranger. In addition to her presence in our school recently and as she describes in her letter, Sr. Bonita has been a regular at our 6:30 AM Mass over the years. We will miss her greatly. It would be hard to overstate the blessings of having her as part of our parish life, especially as a member of our school faculty.
Sr. Bonita is one of the 138 different Sisters of Notre Dame that have served our parish since 1930. Saint Agnes is very grateful to the Sisters of Notre Dame for their demonstrated commitment to our parish and its mission. It has been an honor to work with them. Needless to say, our parish could not have accomplished all that we have without the support and commitment of the Sister of Notre Dame. God bless Sr. Bonita and all of the Sisters of Notre Dame!
All of this comes at a particularly difficult time for the Sisters of Notre Dame, as they make plans for some most monumental changes in their lives this year. Many of you know that the four provinces of the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States have decided to combine into one, with the motherhouse being the motherhouse in Chardon, Ohio, near Cleveland. Saint Joseph Heights will no longer be a provincial motherhouse. Plans are still in the works as to what will happen to the Heights. So please pray for the Sisters and their loved ones in this challenging time. My impression is that there is much sadness and grief about this, both among the Sisters and all those who love them. –Father Mark Keene
SPECIAL BELLS AT SAINT AGNES
In addition to the normal times, we are now tolling the bell-system at 3 PM, the “Hour of Mercy” at the request of Bishop Foys, (and Pope Francis I believe), the “Hour of Divine Mercy” which of course is the hour of Jesus’ death.
The bell system is also now playing Easter Music for a few minutes at 8 PM each evening at the suggestion of some parishioners, for the benefit of Fort Wright and Park Hills residents. Last week, I stated “Patriotic Music” but I was unable to program the bell system for that. Easter Music is good though!
GREEN LIGHTS: UPDATE
Thanks to a parishioner, some green light bulbs appeared at Saint Agnes this week. Two are in lamps in the front room of the rectory. You can see them through the windows. As fate would have it, that same day, while at the grocery, I noticed they actually had some green LED bulbs. Every other of the many stores I looked had been sold out. So I bought two. They are now illuminating the Mary grotto in the front of the rectory. It looks very nice.
I drove through a few neighborhoods last week. It was nice to see some of the green lights. My mother’s neighborhood in Louisville, including my mother’s house, has a few green lights on front porches. The lights are a good reminder of those who have died, and a reminder to pray fort them.
THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER SEASON
We will be celebrating the Mass for Third Sunday in Easter Season this Sunday at Saint Agnes.
∙ The Gospel Reading for this Sunday is the story of the two disciples walking to the town of Emmaus. While on the way, Jesus joins them, though they do not recognize him. He explains the Scriptures (what we now call the Old Testament) to them and how these Scriptures relate to what they have just experienced in Jerusalem. Jesus breaks bread with them, and they recognize him and with that he disappears. The disciples joyfully hurry back to Jerusalem to the greetings of the other disciples who have also experienced the Risen Lord. This reading is a favorite of many. This reading is part of the Scriptural heritage regarding our Tradition of Sunday Mass, Sunday being “the first day of the week” as the reading says. Sunday is also known as “first day” of the “New Creation.”
∙ This Mass at Saint Agnes will not be open to the public.
∙ Unfortunately, we do not have live-streaming capabilities at Saint Agnes.
∙ There are many parish websites that do have live-streaming, including our own Cathedral Parish, as well as Saint Peter’ in the Vatican.
DAILY MASSES AND SUNDAY MASSES AT SAINT AGNES
Father Jason and myself are continuing to say Masses daily, including Sundays, though privately.
Last week I announced that as of April 15, our offertory collections were $74,000 under budget.
Some of you have responded quite generously to my email last week. Thank you very much. We aren’t caught up, but every little bit helps.
We did get a rough price on a new compressor unit for the church and hall. As other bids may be sought, I don’t want to publicize the one bid we have. Needless to say, it is quite expensive. At this point we’ll just say “multiples of $10,000.”
We sent out an email about Faith Direct this past week. It is a very simple way to have your offertory collection support of the parish, donated automatically from your bank account. You can arrange for weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, as well as for special collections. If you have question or need assistance, call the parish office (859.431.1802) or email ([email protected]).
On behalf of Father Jason, Father Quill and myself, “Thank you” for the cards that some of you have sent expressing your concerns that you hope we are doing fine. It is very kind!
Continue to pray for our parish! And for all persons, “especially those in most need of prayers.”
God bless you,
Father Mark Keene, Pastor