Thursday, April 2, 2020

Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. The Lenten season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial, and resurrection.

In the Western Church it runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday and so includes forty weekdays.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of abstinence from meat and also days of fast; that is limited to a single full meal. 

The other Fridays of the season of Lent are days of abstinence from meat. 

The law of abstinence binds all Catholics 14 years and old.

The law of fasting binds all Catholics from their 18th birthday until their 59th birthday (canons 97 and 1252). 

With regard to the obligatory days, there are frequent questions about the degree of seriousness of the matter. The teaching of Pope John Paull II may be simply paraphrased: the obligation to do penance is a serious one; the obligation to observe, as a whole or “substantially,” the penitential days specified by the Church is also serious. No one should be scrupulous in this regard; failure to observe an individual day of penance is not considered serious. 

People should seek to do more rather than less. Fast and abstinence on the days prescribed should be considered a minimum response to the Lord’s call to penance and conversion.

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Burundi Women's Choir

St. Leo's Burundi Women's Choir sings an anthem
as St. Leo's children receive their First Communion

May 26, 2013

St. Leo's Burundi Women's Choir sang and danced in prayer at the January 1, 2013 World Day of Peace mass at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Worship Schedule

Mass  Saturday    6:00 pm, Spanish

  Sunday   10:30 am
    Thurs.   7:00pm
Holy Thursday   April 9   7:00 pm Mass
Good Friday   April 10   7:00 pm Service
Easter Vigil    April 11   8:30 pm Service and Mass
Easter    April 12    10:30 am Mass
Live on Facebook at:         RCC St Leo Cincinnati
Children's Liturgy of the Word    Sunday
10:30 am
Holy Days       Call 513-921-1044 for specific information 
Vigil       Call 513-921-1044 for specific information 
Exposition of the 
Blessed Sacrament
  Following 7:00 pm Mass until 9:00 pm
Confessions   Saturday   5:00 - 5:30 pm
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 
        Daily Reflections 
        Easter Changes Everything
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

5th Sunday of Lent

From Fr. Jim:  
March 29, 2020

Bivuye kwa Padiri Jim:  
Machi 29, 2020

(African translation)

Mensage del padre Jim:
29 de marzo de 2020

(Spanish translation)

    While we continue to follow social distancing measures due to the Covid-19 coronavirus, you can live stream 10:30 SUNDAY MASS at St. Leo's via FACEBOOK LIVE at Grupo Hispana St Leo

This is a powerful gospel story that helps us examine our lives in order to stay in step with the movement of grace and conversion.  It offers us assistance as we try to live more in the image of Christ and allow our Lenten observances to help us “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”

 What moves you the most about this wonderful story?  There is so much that invites each of us to ongoing conversion.  Some of my favorites are:

  “Lazarus, come out!”  Can you hear the Lord calling you to come out from a tomb or a dark place in your life that has the power to either take life away from you or deny life from you altogether?  Where might you be dead and how does the Lord want to turn this around by calling you to freedom and life?  Addictions, bad behavior, selfishness?

“Untie him and let him go.”  From what is the call to live more with grace and God’s unconditional love untying you and setting you free?  As the season of Lent comes to a close, how have you turned away from sin and become more faithful to the Lord?  Do forgiveness or offering and receiving mercy help?  Does living more faithfully with any of the virtues or gifts of the Spirit help?  Does giving thanks for second chances help?  Does praising God for God’s presence and love help? 

 “I am the resurrection and the life… Do you believe this?”  Are you getting ready to renew your baptismal promises at Easter?  Can you say, with Martha, that you really believe that Christ is the Son of God?  Are you willing to live more as an Easter people with Alleluia as your song?  Does participating in the Eucharist fully and completely, believing in the real presence of Christ and living in the image of Christ, as the Body of Christ in the world, help?  How is your faith increasing and growing?  How can you give better witness and respond more with your life – all of your soul, mind and strength?

 An Official Announcement:  Effective July 1, 2020, Archbishop Schnurr with the recommendation of the Priest’s Personnel Board has appointed me Pastor of St. Boniface Church in Northside while continuing as Pastor of St. Leo the Great Church.  The former pastor of St. Boniface, Fr. Joe Robinson, has retired.  Interestingly I served as Fr Joe’s Associate Pastor from 1983 t0 1986 when Fr. Joe was pastor at St. Columban in Loveland.  St. Boniface is a neighbor to us here at St. Leo and I am happy to help them as Pastor while continuing to remain at St. Leo as Pastor.

 Some of our children attend St. Boniface School.  Also, effective July 1, 2020, Mrs. Angela Heisel will be the new principal.  I have met her, and she is very excited to be the principal and I believe she will be a wonderful addition to the St. Boniface parish family.

  Please stay safe and healthy.  Let us keep praying for each other during these days.



Eucharistic Adoration
World Day of Prayer


St. Leo The Great Parish

Rev. James R. Schutte, Pastor
2573 St. Leo Place
Cincinnati, OH 45225
513-921-1044 ext. 21


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