October 28, 2018

Whew! Our first weekend of the On Mission for the Church Alive! implementation is in the books! And, by and large, it was very successful!

As we observed the events of the weekend, we noticed a few things, and we’ll be taking steps over the next few weeks to address some of the issues we observed. Parking at the 10:00 AM Mass at St. Maurice and the 11:00 AM Mass at Sacred Heart was pretty hectic. We’re going to need to find ways to provide parking and access for those who have mobility concerns. (Please be patient as we think through the issues and try to find solutions!)

Naturally, Fr. Mohler, Fr. Vince, and I are trying to learn the patterns and the particular traits of our various parish liturgies (just as, I’m sure, you’re noticing that we might do certain things a bit differently than Fr. Al, or Fr. Ken, or Fr. John did!). To my mind, it feels like new dance partners learning to dance with one another. We’ll step on each others’ toes a bit, but soon we’ll be dancing in harmony!

One last note: we’ve begun our planning for All Souls Day (Friday, November 2). See the article in this bulletin that describes our plan. If we held a funeral Mass or blessing service for a loved one of yours over the past 12 months, then we’ve already mailed you a letter, asking you to participate in one of our Masses of Remembrance on All Souls Day. Please consider filling out the invitation and getting it to one of our parish offices! If you didn’t receive a letter, please call one of our offices, and we’ll find out why we missed sending it to you, and we’ll get your loved one on the list for our Mass!

Most importantly, keep our four parishes in your prayers as we begin this process of transition!

Blessings,
Fr. Larry

October 21, 2018

After years of planning and months of anticipation, the implementation of On Mission for the Church Alive! has begun! I’m really excited to be here, “back home” as it were, and ministering in our communities!

As we get to know one another, we’ll have the opportunity to talk about what the upcoming months and years might have in store for us. At this point, however, I think it’s important to share an understanding and set an expectation for the near future: over the next 12 months, I’m going to try, as much as possible, not to make changes in our parishes. (It’s difficult enough dealing with the impact of the Mass schedule changes!)

If you get a chance to come up and say ‘hi’ to me or Fr. Mohler or Fr. Vince, please do! We’ll be happy to begin to get to know you!

Blessings, Fr. Larry

 

October 14, 2018

There is so much to be thankful for: As I write this last bulletin article I am filled with gratitude for my time being with all of you. You are wonderful people, but more importantly you are wonderful Catholics who truly embody the name Christian. So I say thank you…

  • For your kindness, prayers, and consideration during my illness. You have been wonderful to me. Truly, when I was ill you cared for me.
  • For your unconditional welcome to me during a very challenging time (not only losing a beloved pastor of over 15 years – and a great man in Fr. John, but also upon the dawning of On Mission). Truly, when I was a stranger you welcomed me.
  • For walking with me on the winding road of On Mission. Never did you lose focus on the truth of what Church is or how we are to be Church/Christ to one another.
  • For constantly expanding the social outreach of this parish during my time here. You have continued to build upon the success of the past reaching out to those in need and adjusting ministry to meet the present needs of our community.
  • For your faithfulness during these last few weeks as our diocese was faced with a horrible unveiling of scandal. Our faith in Christ and His True Church remained strong, which not only supported me but aided those whose faith was shaken and tested. You were (are) a light in the darkness for others.
  • For sharing your stories of encounters with the Lord. I have loved hearing how God is alive in your life.
  • For sharing your sorrows and struggles so that I could pray with you and offer sacrifice on your behalf.
  • For your continued welcome and generosity shown to Fr. Daniel, not only a brother priest but a much loved friend.
  • For sharing your talents through the choir, serving at the altar, being a reader or Extraordinary Minister of Holy
    Communion, a greeter, an usher, a sacristan, a money counter, a Welcome Desk attendant, or a church decorator for Easter and/or Christmas. Basically, I just need to say thanks for being a parish where people are so willing to give their time.
  • For the wonderful generosity you have shown the parish, our sister parish and any and every group that has approached us requesting assistance. Not only have you given your time and talent, but you have so often given your treasure, too.

    My list could go on and on. My personal thank-yous are more numerous than I can count. To those of you who have given me gifts and cards in the past week, I thank you and I hope to send you an individual note. I’ll do my best at that but, honestly, it isn’t a strength of mine. Please know, however, you will be in my prayers and I will be forever grateful.

    Thank you all for the love you have shared with me. You have made me a part of the Saint Maurice family and nothing can take that away – – – not time, not distance, not a new assignment. I will be with you and you with me in our hearts and, more importantly, in the Eucharist. Thank you and may God’s love always reign in your hearts.

October 7, 2018

A few months ago I desired to take the final nine bulletins and devote them to the Sacrament of Penance. I envisioned nine different people writing about their experience of the sacrament and the joy it brings. Unfortunately, situations and events arose that prevented this from happening. So
now, with my penultimate bulletin remarks, I leave you with a resource that is posted in the USCCB website to hopefully reignite your desire to encounter our Merciful Lord in this wonderful and healing way.

God’s Gift of Forgiveness: A Pastoral Exhortation on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: “Peace be with you!” With these words, the Risen Lord greeted His frightened Apostles in the Upper Room on the day of His Resurrection. They were troubled, anxious, and fearful—much like each one of us at some point in our lives. Christ repeated the words, “Peace be with you.” But then He added, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them” (Jn 20:19- 23). What an extraordinary gift! The Risen Lord was proclaiming that all the suffering He had just endured was in order to make available the gifts of salvation and forgiveness. He wanted the Apostles to receive these gifts. He wanted them to become apostles of this forgiveness to others.

In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in Him. In this sacrament, He prepares us to receive Him free from serious sin, with a lively faith, earnest hope, and sacrificial love in the Eucharist. The Church sees confession as so important that she calls for every Catholic to go at least once a year. The Church also encourages frequent confession in order to grow closer to Christ Jesus and his Body, the Church. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we seek forgiveness and repentance, let go of patterns of sin, grow in the life of virtue, and witness to a joyful conversion.

Since the graces of the sacrament are so similar to the purpose of the New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI has said, “The New Evangelization . . . begins in the confessional!” We bishops and priests are eager to help you if you experience difficulty, hesitation, or uncertainty about approaching the Lord in this sacrament. If you have not received this healing sacrament in a long time, we are ready to welcome you. We, whom Christ has ordained to
minister this forgiveness in His name, are also approaching this sacrament, as both penitents and ministers, throughout our lives.

We pray that, through the work of the Holy Spirit, all Catholics—clergy and laity—will respond to the call of the New Evangelization to encounter Christ in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Come to the Lord and experience the extraordinary grace of His forgiveness!

God is ironic, isn’t He: I am sure that many of you have picked up on the irony of this note. Next weekend, our last Saturday confessions, we find ourselves in need to cancel the sacrament due to conflicts in schedule and an inability to find an available priest to cover. I know that this is not a message from God saying that the sacrament isn’t important, but rather, it is His way to remind us that life doesn’t always go as planned. It is my deep hope that our new Monday night confessional time (which starts October 15) will be more in line with your availability. It is also my hope that you will find healing with God and the Church when life doesn’t go as planned. May the Mercy of God be always upon you.

September 30, 2018

Email Scam Alert: Once again we are being hit by an online/email scam. This time someone has created a google email of revfather890123654 which identifies itself as Rev. Kenneth W. Marlovits. This is NOT me. Most likely, the only people receiving emails from this account are employees with the parish or East Catholic School. However, in today’s information saturated world, this imposter may be able to locate others who have a connection to the parish or school. For this reason I want you to know that I am not contacting you via email. The likelihood that I would do so is very small, but if I were to actually reach out to you it would either be from the email listed in the front of this bulletin or from my @diopitt account. If you have fallen for any online scams involving the parish or my name, please contact the Parish Center Office and I will assist you in resolving any problems that arose due to the scam.

Please do not respond to any email that seems suspicious and never open an attachment unless you are 100% sure it is from a trusted source.

Diaper Bank Update: Matthias Brucker set out to accomplish his Eagle Scout Project of establishing a diaper bank by working with the Interfaith Ministries of Forest Hills, also known as the Forest Hills Ministerium. This Ministerium is a combined approach of service for Christ through the joining efforts and recourse of the churches in Forest Hills. These churches are Forest Hills Presbyterian, Hope Lutheran, Christ Lutheran, and St. Maurice.

In the initial stage of the FHMDB Matthias is speaking at each church informing the congregations about his Eagle Scout Project and the need for diapers. Immediately following his presentation, a diaper drive, lasting one month, is being conducted at each church. As the diapers are collected they are being stored in the rectory of Saint Maurice. Currently Matthias is fixing up two rooms, making them one by tearing down a wall and repairing plaster and the ceiling to create the actual space for the diaper bank.

Currently, the final touches of the chartering document, as well as the organizational structure to oversee the distribution and continuation of the FHMDB, are nearing completion.

If you are interested in being involved in the operation of the diaper bank you are asked to contact Fr. Ken. He will provide you with a copy of the chartering document and walk you through the diaper bank’s organizational structure, operational guidelines, and the vision (and hope) to sustain this wonderful ministry.

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