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Second Sunday of Easter

Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday
The Holy Gospel that the Liturgy presents to us on this second Sunday of Easter, is one of the most well known, discussed, and appreciated—the meeting of the Risen Lord with St Thomas. The Fathers of the Church have given us numerous insights into this Gospel text. Likewise, it is has proven the inspiration to the numerous artists who have physically represented the events of this Gospel in order to give us a clear idea of what happened, ‘eight days after’ the first apparition of the Risen One, to the disciples congregated in the cenacle.

Jesus’ response to Thomas, after he recognized Him as ‘My Lord and my God’, has a mysterious fascination that must relate not so much to the disciples—those who ‘have seen’—but rather to those, like us, who were added to their number afterwards. ‘You have come to believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’ (Jn 20:29)

The attention that these words evoke seams yet more paradoxical if we remember that the Lord had proposed, to the same author of the Gospel, what can be justly referred to as the Christian method, ‘come and see’ (Jn 1:39). How can we possibly reconcile these two phrases by Jesus that form the ideal setting for the whole of the fourth Gospel? Perhaps, in the end, the Lord decided to change His method? What do the words ‘have not seen’ really mean?

The timely recollection of the ‘eight days after,’ which is the Sunday after the Resurrection, permits us to tie our reflection to one of the most significant Eucharistic hymns composed by another Thomas, St Thomas Aquinas. In the Adore Te Devote, which refers to the Eucharist, we read: ‘Sight, touch, taste are all deceived in their judgement of you. But hearing suffices firmly to believe’. Combining these words with today’s Gospel we can justly affirm that the experience ‘to see’ was not denied to us, but it is in contrast with the Apostle Thomas’ physical experience, who was able to put his own finger into the holes in Christ’s hands and side, whilst we can only comprehend it in the faith which is guarded and transmitted by the Church, our Mother and Teacher.

That which we ‘have not seen’ is therefore the glorious Body of the Risen One. However, today we have the ability to ‘listen’ to the Word of God and the Magisterium of the Church and so we can ‘see’ the real Body of Christ which is the Eucharist. We can ‘see’ His Mystical Body which is the Church. We can ‘see’ Him in our lives and in the lives of our many brothers who, after meeting the Lord in a real but mysterious way, are united to Him in His Spirit!

Like Thomas, Christ calls us to fill the holes left by the instruments of the passion in His Body with our own hands so that our lives and the verbal witness that we give proclaim His Resurrection. Our senses could betray us, but we know that we have met the Risen One and we have recognized Him!

The certain hope that Peter, who betrayed the Lord three times for fear of death, proclaims to us with the words, ‘rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8), become fully comprehensible because blessed are they that ‘have not seen’ the Risen Lord, but seeing the joy of His disciples ‘have believed’ in Him!

 

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World Day of Prayer

Worship Schedule

What You Need to Know about our Church Reopening

Nini unahitaji kujua juu ya ufunguzi wa Kanisa

Lo que necesita saber sobre nuestra reapertura de la iglesia

Click here to watch Fr. Jim's video explaining the new guidelines for attending Mass.

Mass    Saturday    6:00 pm, Spanish

 
  Sunday   10:30 am, Multilingual
    Wed.   11:30 am, English/Bilingual
    Thurs.   7:00pm, Bilingual
         
Holy Days       Call 513-921-1044 for specific information 
         
Vigil       Call 513-921-1044 for specific information 
         
Exposition of the 
Blessed Sacrament
  1st
Thurs.
  Following 7:00 pm Mass until 9:00 pm
         
Confessions   Saturday   Call 513-921-1044 for appointment
         
Baptism       Call 513-921-1044  3 weeks in advance 
         
Marriage       Call 513-921-1044  6 months in advance 
         
Sacrament of the Sick        Call 513-921-1044 
         
         info@saint-leo.org
         
        Daily Reflections 
         
         
Mass at St. Boniface:             
     Monday     7:30 am   English
     Tuesday     7:00 pm   English
     Wednesday     7:30 am   English
     Friday     7:30 am   English
     Saturday     4:00 pm    English
          6:00 pm   Spanish
     Sunday     9:00 am   Spanish
        11:00 am   English
        12:30 pm   Spanish

The Strangers We Meet

Painting in the vestibule of St. Leo's

The work of the late Fr. Jim Hasse, SJ, “The Strangers We Meet” depicts Christ breaking bread at Emmaus. Instead of more traditional representations, it depicts Christt as a man of African descent, sitting with people of various ages and from various ethnic heritages. All the models were St. Leo parishioners.

“Fr. Jim captured spiritual life in his works, revealing the sacredness in everyday people and everyday actions,“ says Fr. Josephh Folzenlogen, SJ, who lived and worked with the priest painter at Claver Jesuit Ministries in South Cumminsville (OH). “Jim’s paintings were mirrors in which people could see their own beauty.”

Models for the 2004 painting were Timaya Smith (the child in the foreground), Amy Egan, Darnell Edwards, Ivy Peppers, and Rick Nohle.

“Since Jim used people from the parishes and neighborhoods where he worked as his models, the paintings were not just images,” says Fr. Joe. “They were connections with people he loved. Those people were also his children.”

St. Leo parishioner Stephanie Sepate describes the painting as “a beautiful remembrance of purpose” in every life.

“In the upper left of our painting is the figure of the angel by the tomb of the Risen Lord, and the women running to share the news,” she says. “What a beautiful remembrance of purpose in each of our lives — we are not really strangers to each other but we are all one universal family in our life’s journey.”

Fr. Jim Hasse, whose paintings appeared in several publications and are held in private collections, including the art museum at St. Louis University, died in 2011. Most of his paintings are of biblical subjects and feature African-American people he worked with. To see several galleries of his works with associated reflections, click here.

A New Life

Michelangelo sculpted the Pietà in 1498–1499,    taking less than two years to complete. His depiction of the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion on the rock of Golgatha is one of the most famous pieces of sculpture known by so many across the world.

Showing the "religious vision of abandonment and a serene face of the Son", Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather a representation of the communion between man and God through Christ’s gift of life.

For the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Vatican loaned the Pietà for installation in the Vatican pavilion. A conveyor belt moved people, who stood in line for hours, past the sculpture. It is housed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

Several decades ago, St. Leo was gifted with a beautiful representation of the Pietà in memory of the Schuchart Family. Over the years, the wear and tear, fragments of the more fragile areas of the statue cracked or missing, and chipping paint called a friend of the parish to totally refurbish our Pietà. To repaint it with its former colors would have shown the flaws; it was decided to paint it all one color, especially in keeping with the make-up of our parish—all one people. After months and months of prayerful restoration, our Pietà finally came home, quite appropriately, the day before Ash Wednesday.

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we are grateful for Michelangelo’s reminder of the ultimate gift in our midst. The St. Leo Pietà has been given a new life; let us all celebrate a season of renewal in our own lives as Lent ends and as we rejoice in the hope and joy of Easter’s Alleluias!

- Stephanie Sepate


Divine Mercy

From Fr. Jim:  
April 11, 2021

Bivuye kwa Padiri Jim:  
Aprili 11, 2021
(African translation)

de Padre Jim . . .
11 de Abril de 2021

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is Risen. His grace and peace be with you. How great it was to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with people gathered at church again as opposed to last year when we could only transmit it to your homes. Thanks to all who were able to celebrate with us in person and thanks to all who celebrated with us online. I am so grateful to our crew who faithfully transmits our service to your homes.  Social distancing is still necessary, and we cannot fill our church to full capacity yet. The services of Holy Week are so central to our faith and their communal nature is paramount for a good and appropriate celebration. It is a blessing for all of us to be able to share our in-person celebrations with those who for any reason are unable to make it. But how great it will be when we can all return to church again and gather around the eucharistic table together. I deeply miss being with you. As we get closer and closer to herd immunity hope increases that we can open our churches completely to everyone for Mass and meetings.  I long for that day.

A lot is happening while you are away! The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is again planning for the future of the church. This is mainly because the number of priests who are retiring and/or dying is greater than the number of active priests. We are unable to provide a pastor for all the parishes who need pastors. It is becoming increasingly difficult for a priest to be a pastor for more than one parish.  Many of our parishes are restricted to maintaining the current structure at the expense of mission, service, and living the Gospel. The plan is called “Beacons of Light.” It is designed to create parish vitality around a main operating principle or goal: there will be one pastor and one parish per region. The deans are coordinating this process. A professional company has been hired to assist us and facilitate the planning process in conjunction with the Archdiocesan Office of Parish Vitality. Phase One is currently in process.  The Office of Parish Vitality has collected data from all the parishes and deaneries to evaluate the pairing of parishes within regions. Regions are now being called “parish families.”  St. Boniface and St. Leo are both in the Cathedral Deanery and it will become our task to plan to become a parish family together as one parish with one pastor. I call your attention to the insert in this week’s bulletin, and it is posted on our parish web site. It is a summary of the entire planning process with all phases and a timeline showing when each phase begins and ends. Please familiarize yourself with this process and most importantly hold it in prayer. There is a website to keep you up to date on the process and it has suggestions for prayer.  I will also keep you informed.

Pope Francis has declared this year: The Year of St. Joseph. St. Joseph pray for us now and always.